Monday, October 27, 2008


From Fascicle 2 (winter '05 - '06), here's an excerpt from a collaborative poem by Anne Tardos and Lyn Hejinian; method is announced in the first stanza. (There are other collaborations in the same issue)


I will write two lines, knowing that you will insert a third line between them
Late one afternoon in a cafĂ©. I'll offer you a sequence and you won't foresee the consequence—
Therefore my second line's connection to my first will depend largely on you

And that will be the poetry we make. Music will intervene, but we won't complain
About interventions, but accept what happens happily, while hoping
That non-sequiturs don't make any sense. When I write, I'll attach my lines

To whatever music these strings will form—we won't complain
About the things we can't control (aggressive friends, traffic jams, the neighbor's dog);
The other speaker, who could be me, will intersperse her thoughts with mine

Just as laughter wafts through tragedy. I'm not referring to the nervous giggles,
The repressed hysteria, beads of sweat, and the twitching bladder contractions
I used to get when my shell-shocked uncle shed tears recounting the horrors of war.


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