Friday, March 02, 2012

God Bless the Experimental Writers

Flickr Creative Commons Photo by J. Paxon Reyes

God Bless the Experimental Writers

by Corey Mesler


for David Markson

"One beginning and one ending for a book was a
thing I did not agree with."

          --Flann O'Brien from At Swim-Two-Birds


God bless the experimental writers.
The ones whose work is a little
difficult, built of tinkertoys
and dada, or portmanteau and
Reich. God help them as they
type away, knowing their readers
are few, only those who love to toil
over an intricate boil of language,
who think books are secret codes.
These writers will never see their names
in Publisher's Weekly. They will
never be on the talk shows. Yet,
every day they disappear into their
rooms atop their mother's houses,
or their guest houses behind some
lawyer's estate. Every day they
tack improbable word onto im-
probable word, out of love, children,
out of a desire to emend the world.


This poem has been used in its entirety with the permission of the author. His website is here. Next time you're in Memphis, visit his bookstore and buy a few books!


I chose this poem for everyone who is starting a blog and/or starting the Two Writing Teachers' Slice of Life Challenge for March. Yours isn't exactly the same kind of experimental writing as in this poem, but it IS a grand experiment, isn't it?!?! Have fun! Good luck! Cheer ME on next month when I'm writing a poem a day!!

Dori has the Poetry Friday roundup this week at Dori Reads.

16 comments:

  1. Hey Mary Lee, what a perfect poem for all those writing, especially those improbable words tacked on one after another. Sometimes it feels like that, doesn't it? There were so many in the group yesterday-amazing what the web can bring together! I'll see you in April, too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. My favorite lines:

    God help them as they
    type away, knowing their readers
    are few, only those who love to toil
    over an intricate boil of language,
    who think books are secret codes.

    -- and we slog away, and write, write, write - hoping it will all have meaning eventually. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Every day they
    tack improbable word onto im-
    probable word, out of love, children,
    out of a desire to emend the world.

    Love those lines...they will keep me going this slicing month!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for cheering the Slice of Life writers on. I'm participating for the first time. I hope I can keep up with daily posts. I'm really enjoying reading what everyone is writing. I signed up for the March Madness poetry challenge too and I'm a little worried I may have overextened myself. I guess we'll see! I look forward to reading your poems each day next month!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love this poem and the "improbable words" we all try to tack together. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yes, love this poem. The nice thing about the Internet, is that it is like writing your words upon leaves and letting the wind scatter them abroad, where someone, someday may find them.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am in as well. It was the kick start I needed. I love this in the poem:
    "knowing their readers
    are few, only those who love to toil
    over an intricate boil of language,
    who think books are secret codes"

    I have orginal haiku at Check It Out and SOLSC at Deowriter.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the poem and for encouraging people to write.

    William, Teacher and School Leader
    www.lulu.com/alastingwill - Teacher Resources

    ReplyDelete
  9. Beautifully encouraging post and that is truly what you are, encouraging. Thank you for helping me to get started, generously teaching me using your limited time (I owe you a real lunch!) Thank you and Franki too for all the years that I have been learning from your blog. Enjoy your Slice of life challenge!

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a perfect poem to kick off another month of experiments and surprise! Thank you for always encouraging those of us who "think books are secret codes." a.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I agree:

    "Every day they
    tack improbable word onto im-
    probable word, out of love..."

    Glorious. Thanks for sharing, Mary Lee! (And best wishes for all your upcoming literary challenges!)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm not actually a fan of experimental fiction, in general, but I do love this poem! Especially

    only those who love to toil
    over an intricate boil of language,
    who think books are secret codes.


    Wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Mary Lee,
    Thanks for the inspirational poem. Loved this, "Every day they
    tack improbable word onto im-probable word, out of love, children,
    out of a desire to emend the world." I have joined the crazy madness of SOLSC. I just needed a push right now and this is working out splendidly so far. Who knows, maybe I'll be in such a routine I'll just join the 30 day poetry quest next month.

    Cathy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would SO welcome your company in writing a poem a day in April!

      Delete
  14. Enjoyed this poem, Mary Lee. I'll be rooting for you in April! I would try it myself, but I think I would break something...

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a fine, fine choice. It's hard to get a poem to say enough but not too much, and this one does it. I like all the same parts others did, because they're perfect. Now I have to find my way to Slice of Life posts...

    ReplyDelete

We welcome your contribution to the conversation!