Search

jennieytallman.com

a gallery of controversys

The Elegant Conversations

Like old friends who don’t miss a beat when they haven’t seen each other in over a year, let’s just jump back into this blog like we’ve always been sitting at this table, drinking a steady stream of coffee that turns to whiskey as day turns to night.

Today’s collage began with difficulty. After creating an entirely different collage, this one emerged painfully, gradually, and then (finally) with momentum.

perhaps you're seekingThe line above will serve as the prompt.

Seek a different relationship between art and language.

Step One. Choose two things from a magazine:

  1. A small picture (art): this is self-explanatory, just choose something that strikes your fancy.
  2. A passage (language): skim pages until you find a page full of words. It should contain a number of passages/quotes/fragments that jump out at you.

Step Two. Isolate:

Go ahead and use a pencil to isolate any text moments that you want to keep whole. (This is being done simply to be sure you don’t white them out; see below.) A theme should emerge based on the language you isolate. These text moments need not connect or create any sort of readable story/essay/poem. Allow them to simply coexist with what is to come. These will serve as whispers. They are background vocals. Piano music.

a-great-world-e1541959848391.jpg

Step Three. Poem creation:

Here is where you will use other words, hopefully these will be colorful/playful/different fonts (find nice big words). Using a different font and size and color will let the reader/viewer know to read this separately from the background language. Remember the prompt (establish a different relationship between art and language) as you choose where to place the poem you create.

I see in you

You will know when you are done when you have successfully merged three layers:

  1. Layer One: base layer, text
  2. Layer Two: middle ground, image
  3. Layer Three: foreground, the poem itself

Feel free to manipulate the image and/or the text to suit you. Feel free to switch your layers. Maybe you’d prefer image to be in front. Maybe you want image to be your base layer. All that really matters is that you do merge three strong layers. Use paint, scratching, marker, cutting—anything you want—to create a visually appealing page.

Lastly: give your piece a title. Of course, use something you find in a magazine. If you are like me, the title will have already shown up.

Below, I have highlighted my favorite moment from today’s collage. I like this because I like the tone: the command, combined with the first person, and that not at all subtle YOU. It is the kind of thing I do not tend to do in my “actual” writing.

THIS MIXING OF POVs is the number one reason I enjoy experimental writing.

make an argument

 

Advertisements

What is Done?

Full Prompt Post today. Read on.

Step One: Find a little quote on a page. Honestly, I don’t even read the quotes I choose. I just choose for size. what-is-done-1.jpg

Step Two: Cut it out.what is done - 2

Continue reading “What is Done?”

The Indirect Passage

The return of the Controversy. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: I love boat names.  Controversy,  Compromise, Amphibi-Con, Riverkeeper. These names beg to be poemized.

Admission: Sometimes I sit down to do a new piece and feel absolutely befuddled.

My most typical response to that feeling is to choose a passage from the boat magazine and stare at it until certain words start to feel right. Today’s experiment began with just such a passage.

the indirect passage - 1 (1)

The second step here was to choose how to disappear the words.

India Ink won the day in this one, which is for some reason not a medium I’ve used yet in this book, but I can assure you I will be using it again. It is easier than paint, more flexible than marker, and allows the transparency I love so much. Continue reading “The Indirect Passage”

MADEIN

First thing I like about this page: its title. It sounds like Maiden, but is actually referencing the readymades of Marcel Duchamp — one of my favorite artists (there are a lot of favorite artists, but he really is up there) — whose intention was to get away from himself.

Call it a little game between ‘I’ and ‘me’
— from Duchamp: A Biography.

Continue reading “MADEIN”

Space ration

So, for the first poem after the last series, we’ve got a poem that responds physically to the title. Usually, with poetry and other writing, words come first. It is fun and challenging and worthwhile to turn that notion on its head sometimes.

 

Here, form || the space, the design, the architecture of the image || is the driving force behind the poem. I cut words away I usually would have left, in favor of the lovely zebraesque* pattern created down the lower center of the page. Continue reading “Space ration”

MAKING SENSE OF HISTORY

In honor of finishing the 28 (-ish) part poem, “Another Affair with Water,” I’ve finished with a two-page spread.

Usually, when we write in our notebooks, we don’t track our progress according to the weight of our work—ink on a page does not significantly change the weight of a notebook. But look; my little book has gained a little over an ounce!

Continue reading “MAKING SENSE OF HISTORY”

colors arriving on the banks

Perhaps there is a name for the tendency to find the names of colors as appealing as the colors themselves. Some kind of synesthesia-type disorder. I don’t know. I just know that ever since I was a child I have loved the names of colors, in some cases more than the colors themselves. Pink, for instance.
27-colors-arriving-on-the-banks-31.jpg
In this week’s collage, colors arrive on the banks. This is, after all, the second to last collage in this particular series, which is super awesome and incredibly surprising, and I think it is time the banks of my sad specter and lonely fish king saw spring. Continue reading “colors arriving on the banks”

The Fourth Book of Good Boats

Aphrodite, Baby Bootlegger, Alexandria, and Mary. Four boats. Four good boats.

26-the-fourth-book-of-good-boats-3.jpg

It’s more than a little funny how I’ve come to feel about the little black and white man featured in this gallery. I guess he must be the fish king himself, in his cozy sweater, with his mustache and curly hair. I can’t imagine he is the personification I would have chosen, but there he is nonetheless. Continue reading “The Fourth Book of Good Boats”

the world’s oldest hobby.

 

It is true, sometimes I start a poem for this book and discard it. The only thing that inspired me about the original draft of #25 was the color I’d mixed on a paint palette.

So, I cut everything but the number and the color and went in a more narrative direction. As it turns out, I am pleased with the final page so I am also fine with the process.

Continue reading “the world’s oldest hobby.”

Before the Flood

So, here we are at the final five poems in the “Another Affair with Water” series. I’ll be honest. I was not sure I’d make it through 28 connected collage poems. But I did and my little red book has gained a few ounces.

At this point, I started really thinking about how to tie up any loose ends within this series: my dear Fish King, Specter (Spectre), Light, Mistresses, Hearts, and Boats.

The pictures for this page are a little different this week. You’ll be seeing only process pictures, and no final images. Let’s start: Continue reading “Before the Flood”

Paint Your Own Pictures

I am a pretty big fan of poems that allow the reader to make their own choices about how they should be read. So, that is what I’ve gone for here. Hence the title … do your own damn thing.

The full text of this poem reads: “Sing a song in 1989. I sing in June.”
This would be the most direct reading of this poem.
For the less obvious read, follow me.

paint-your-own-pictures-2Song 1989

I Sin Sing

Sin Son Gin

I sin gin in June

Continue reading “Paint Your Own Pictures”

Two New Titles

I’ve said it before but it bears repeating. Experimental Poetry allows your writerly ego, go-to-themes & stories, and brain to take the day off. Otherwise, why would anyone write a poem called MYSTERY TO THE MAN?

two-new-titles-1

Continue reading “Two New Titles”

story of sex 4 / spectral mistresses

We have reached the end of sex stories. For now, at least.

story-of-sex-4-1-1
I really enjoyed doing this collage, especially after what felt like a lot of disorder in the previous ones (in this sex series). In contrast, this one is more focused and the black and white arrangement is easy on the eye.
story-of-sex-4-1-2

Continue reading “story of sex 4 / spectral mistresses”

Story of sex 3: you should

I am feeling less than talkative this morning, so today: a couple of photos and a major prompt.

sex 3 - 1 (1).jpg

ENIGMA PROMPT FOR THE YOUNG AND OLD:

Continue reading “Story of sex 3: you should”

Story of Sex 2 / boatbuilding supplies

The second story is fairly similar to the way I behave on any plumbing aisle. All those pipes and fittings, with names so dirty, and me whispering / chanting them to myself until overcome with bawdy hysterics.

sex-2-2
In all honesty, this was a fun page to make. It feels a little private/intimate, but not so much as to be excluded from a public blog. They are just boat-building supplies, after all. Continue reading “Story of Sex 2 / boatbuilding supplies”

The Storys of Sex

Which once was Essex, but oh, sex is so much better. Ever since I saw this beautiful headline I have been waiting to use it, saving it up, plotting and planning. And yes, it was just as fun and satisfying as I thought it would be.

But I could not limit myself to just one — it is “storys” after all (Story in this case is a surname, hence the odd pluralization).

So far I have created four stories/poems. I may or may not do more.

18-the-storys-of-sex-2
Now, for a word about PROCESS.

Continue reading “The Storys of Sex”

A Riverkeeper

This past week I’ve been doing a lot of work on my poetry thesis: organizing it into three possible orders and working out themes and sections and all that. Each time I’d figure out one potential way into the manuscript, I’d take a break to finish a collage / poem.

17-the-riverkeeper-1

Diversions like experimental writing can be quite useful for the writer–especially the writer who is entrenched in a project. I’d go as far as to say this is the most lovely stage of editing: the diversions. Continue reading “A Riverkeeper”

The Interrogation of the Ways

Today an image heavy post, with a sparse poem to accompany. In this case, I worked on the poem first, and then finished the image. Sometimes, certain words just pop out. In my case, it was “take care.”16-the-interrogation-of-the-ways-3

Also, never underestimate the incredible power of white paint piled against yellowed pages. Continue reading “The Interrogation of the Ways”

THE REAL MYSTIC’S MUSEUM of the One WATER, Volumes I-V

This week is all about the process, because making this page required more effort than any other page so far. I am going to actually give you a step-by-step for this, so you really can follow along if you like. The following is all one big prompt.

15-the-real-mystics-1

I found one nice, neat page in my magazine. This was originally a review of a series of boat building books. This allowed me to have 5 spots for poems. Continue reading “THE REAL MYSTIC’S MUSEUM of the One WATER, Volumes I-V”

“what you hear is a map of sound”

14-what-you-hear-1-1Today, a full page image/poem, meant to be a continuation of “bend and break in silence.”

For this poem I used a very simple process. I highlighted all instances of the word “sound” and then whited everything else out. I love using this technique because it lets you choose to leave some words only partly obscured, such as in the title image.

So, this is your creative prompt. Focus today on one word. Preferably a word that means something to you. Silence / Sound / Bend / Break. Continue reading ““what you hear is a map of sound””

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: