Poem a Day 2013 #27: Howl Disjointed

Poem number 27.

Today, I woke up tired, cycled 30 kms and ran a 10 km race. So, now feeling more tired, the idea of doing a new poem is pretty daunting. I looked at the NaPoWriMo site, and they suggested an ‘erasure poem’. This involves taking someone else’s poem, preferably a long and famous one, erasing words from it, and thereby creating a new poem.

I sort of did this. I took part 1 of Alan Ginsberg’s “Howl”, extracted lines from it, changed the tense to make it read consistently, then replaced words in each line with a word having an opposite meaning, as far as possible e.g. replace dark with light, replace barefoot with boots etc. Then I shuffled all the lines except my first and last lines, and this is what came out. Definitely experimental, and quite possibly crap.

Howl Disjointed

The best minds are destroyed by sanity

listen to gospel through the wall

investigate clean-shaven and suited with big warmongering eyes

forget whatever has been said

get headhunted by shrewd businessmen

crawl the corridors and creep into beds

plunge themselves under vegetable racks looking for grapes

dance with boots on broken wineglasses

sit up soaking in the supernatural darkness

walk all day with shoes full of blood

vibrate in the roaring summer winds

freezing for a new hellish disconnection

reappear in nowhere Zen

hide the motionless world of time

agree unreservedly with the echoes of the soul

fall into basements hung- over

drag themselves through the light

grasp total recall for seven days and nights

baring their backsides to Heaven

are lauded by academia for publishing impenetrable odes

consume whispered facts and fragments

wander around and around at dawn in the rail yard

comport themselves on endless subway rides

rise up in vast glorious stories

preserve their own brains for a thousand years.



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Copyright Mike Hopkins 2013


2 thoughts on “Poem a Day 2013 #27: Howl Disjointed

  1. Well done; that’s a good experimental piece you have there! You know, most of these lines would be great poem launchers themselves. (I felt the same disinclination facing mine today and I hadn’t exhausted myself like you did!)

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