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.

Second thing I like about this page: The oddly girly-feel, or maybe the Maiden feel, or maybe the old Maid feel. Like wallpaper samples and sweetness.


Third thing I like about this page: The do-it-yourself approach to poetry. It is a mix and match page and the poem, which appears one word at a time in the circles, can be read in any order (as long as you are willing to contribute your own punctuation from time to time).

READYMADE PROMPT : deconstructed sestina


  1. Create a viewfinder, such as above. (Just a construction paper rectangle.)
  2. Use the viewfinder to find a bit of image in a magazine that you feel inspired by.
  3. Mark and cut out the image. This is your title image.
  4. Now that you have the image, find the title. Use the same viewfinder, but this time, isolate words instead. (You may want to save this step for last; it is up to you.)
  5. Now your major job is to create a poem which can be read in any order. I would not use more than six words.
    Here is one example by Lloyd Shwartz: Six Words
    And another, really lovely one, by Ciara Shuttleworth: Sestina
  6. (Good luck. This is hard. Don’t be impossible on yourself.)
  7. It is only six words, right? So, excavate those words from a magazine and place them on your page however you like. You might want to use a background for each word or nothing at all. You may want to create the words ransom-style.
  8. Since the words can be read in any order, do consider their placement.
  9. At this point, the project is yours. Change it and play with it as you like.