I love the mess left behind after this work.


I rarely throw the scraps away. When doing this work (which is very controlled: remember, my overarching rule is to use only these two magazines) the value of sentences, fonts, colors, and words—even letters—is greatly increased.

I call this, the economy of words. Some day, I will deplete all of the words in these two magazines—will I? When will I find the last appearance of a word? The last ampersand, the last controversy, the last love?

The other day, I was looking for the word, “GHOST,” and I could not find it. I really needed the word. I looked and looked. Finally, I found ghostly in a very small italic font, which is absolutely close enough, but it freaked me out: no more ghosts in these magazines. The last ghost.

I will probably write more about this, later. For now, consider the economy of words in your writing. They are the one thing we as writers feel are limitless: you get all the words you can type. But, what if? What if we didn’t?

Prompt / Rules: The Last Ghost

  1. Call to mind a word that you would really like to use. Are you willing to look through a magazine until you find it? What will you do if you can’t find it?
    (Hint: you can probably find the letters needed to make the word yourself.)
  2. Your poem will be an ode to your word.
  3. How many words do you need? Today, you get 5 words for a title and 20 words for a poem. Four lines, 5 words per line.
  4. No word can be repeated twice.
I was interested in structure for this collage. Lots of angles & torn apart pictures. Broken structure.

Here is an extra picture of an abandoned car found on a hike. I feel like it is a pretty good counterpart to this collage. Look at the rust. The plants growing out of the trunk. The beautiful decay into nature.