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.
The line above will serve as the prompt.
Seek a different relationship between art and language.
Step One. Choose two things from a magazine:
- A small picture (art): this is self-explanatory, just choose something that strikes your fancy.
- 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.
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.
You will know when you are done when you have successfully merged three layers:
- Layer One: base layer, text
- Layer Two: middle ground, image
- 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.