I don’t know I don’t know; or, On Writing a Chapbook: The Story of Being Many Seeds

A fascinating look into the mind of poet Marilyn McCabe as she crafted her chapbook “Being Many Seeds” both as a print and an audio/visual experience. Check it out!

O Write: Marilynonaroll's Blog

So with the birth of a new collection of poems, I thought I might share the backstory, as the poems came together in an unusual way, for me.

The poems in this book began as a monthlong exercise in imitations. Each day I’d choose a poem from a literary magazine or book of poems I had lying around, and I’d try to do a word-for-word imitation, but trying often to use opposite words. That is, if the poem started “One early morning…” I might say “Every late night….” I tried to choose poems that seemed unlike anything I might write: longer lines, narrative rather than lyric.

I didn’t overthink the process, I just let words rise up as prompted by the original poem, and figured whatever subject matters were lurking in my brain would arise naturally from this process. So then I had thirty or so of these, and looking…

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One-Liner Wednesday: creativity

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”
~~~Albert Einstein
*****
Join us for Linda’s One-Liner Wednesdays every week and/or Just Jot It January, last chance for 2018 today! Find out how here:
https://lindaghill.com/2018/01/31/one-liner-wednesday-jusjojan-daily-prompt-january-31st-2018/

 

Boiler House video/soundscape

From my birthday post at MASS MoCA in October:

I did a walking meditation in the John Cage/Merce Cunningham Bridge with its current sound installation, In Harmonicity, the Tonal Walkway, by Julianne Swartz. For the second time this week, the art has brought me back to my first semester of music theory at Smith, as the installation is a form of musique concrète. The 13:40 minute loop is composed entirely of recorded human voices. This work inspired Marilyn McCabe, the Boiler House poet who conceived and produced our collaborative videopoem last year, to envision a sound project this year. We each recorded a short segment based on a single word for her today. Stay tuned for the final product when it is available.

And now, introducing the completed video/soundscape!

Boiler House Voices: Truck Shadow Muscular Tunnel Window Hoosic Resurrection Flow from Mar McCabe on Vimeo.

Marilyn asked each of us to choose a single word that represented our reunion week. I chose the word “flow.” We each recorded our chosen word for Marilyn in several ways, including saying the word slowly, three times in quick succession, and sung. Marilyn then spent many hours with her computer, cutting up words, overlaying them, mixing sounds, and constructing the soundscape. I can’t pretend to know how she did it, but some of the techniques would have been similar to those used in the Julianne Swartz piece that inspired the endeavor.

Then, Marilyn assembled the video element. Most of the photos are from the Boiler House. I especially love the parts of the video that involve layering of the images, such as the dancing silhouette and the photo of the eight of us taken this year looking out from where some of the Boiler House windows used to be.

I love Marilyn’s creativity and inventiveness, which is always expanding my sense of what is possible. You should all do yourselves a favor and click on the links above the video to see more of Marilyn’s work with videopoems. You can also visit and follow Marilyn here on WordPress at O Write: Marilynonaroll’s blog.

Comments are welcome here or at the Vimeo link.

Shadow, shadow, shadow. Window.   Flow.

Fridays are Magical: First Grade Poetry Workshops

This evening, in the adult version of Binghamton Poetry Project, I wrote my first tanka. Here, I am sharing the precious post about some of the first grade poets who are loving, learning, and creating with the BPP.

poetry day

Quick post on an odd day. I couldn’t get to sleep last night. I got up at 12:45 to write down a poem that I had composed and edited several times in my head, then, stayed up until about 3:00 trying to get tired to the point of falling asleep. I think I may have finally fallen asleep at about 4:00. I was awake before my mom called at 8:10, talked a while, ate breakfast, showered, dressed, and wrote down another new poem that had started to formulate in the shower.  I tackled my “homework” for Binghamton Poetry Project, which turned into a rather major edit of the poem I drafted from a prompt in class last week – with research using google and my journal from the Smith College Alumnae Chorus tour of Sicily in 2011. I had had plans for practical things like shopping and cooking, but decided that I needed an afternoon nap instead because I have to get through BInghamton Poetry Project class at 5:30, where I need to be able to write a poem in fifteen minutes from a prompt, followed by University Chorus rehearsal at 7:30, where I need to use brain power to not mess up our new wording in the Mendelssohn.  While not being the day I thought I would have, what transpired is probably the most productive poetry day of my life. I’m hoping I can have more similarly productive poetry days, but with more hours of sleep involved.