August 24, 2007

How to Write Poems #510

Spelling is very important.
She was excited about
the bottle of gin, but
disappointed when
what came out of it
wouldn't grant
any wishes at all

—F. J. Bergmann
a version of this poem appeared on
with the title "Spell."

Posted by dwaber at 01:52 PM

August 23, 2007

How to Write Poems #86

See, you take a language
you don't even know
and make up whatever
you think it looks like
it could say. Schickelgruber
becomes "shackled grubs"
or "sickle groove." Or "chick
leg rubber." Words are
squirming Rorschach splats
and you have a condition
not described in the DMS-IV.
Pictograms and hieroglyphs
are more, or possibly less,
accommodating. Barcodes are
the most challenging.

—F. J. Bergmann

Posted by dwaber at 12:06 PM

August 22, 2007

How to Write Poems # 49

Rip a page from a defective
dictionary, or a dull novel. Cross
out the words you don't need,
like unnecessary or egregious;
words you don't like, such as
homeland or atrocity; words you
don't want, like heart or knife.
You may be left with nothing
but articles or pronouns,
those monosyllabic grunts
indicative of something
like passion, or pain.

—F. J. Bergmann

Posted by dwaber at 05:26 PM

August 21, 2007

Ars Poetica

Poetry is an act of omission, until meaning narrows
into one knifeblade moment, dwindling to
a spark. The fine horse trots away
over the distant hill and the
horizon is empty,
the fog falling
just before

—F. J. Bergmann

Posted by dwaber at 01:07 PM