Old Mercury Eyes: An Exquisite Corpse Poem

Hi, everyone – Mary Ann, here! My time time with Book*hug will soon come to a close (cue emotional, Hans Zimmer soundtrack), but before I go, and for one big Blog-style “hurrah”, I have orchestrated an infinitely chaotic and unpredictable game of “The Exquisite Corpse” with a group of Book*hug authors.

To summarize, The Exquisite Corpse is a poetry game in which a group of people collaborate to create a poem by each contributing a line, without any knowledge of what the other participants have written. In this Book*hug edition, several authors and members of the publishing team were asked to contribute 1-2 lines of poetry, without any restrictions on length or diction. Not only was each contributor unaware of the content of the rest of the poem, but the order of these lines was determined according to the order in which they were submitted. Even the title of this poem, which was generated via blindly selecting three words from a page, is a product of chance. Like I said, infinite chaos.

Enjoy, dear readers! I hope you find some element of artistic gratification in this amalgamation of prose, or even just a good laugh.

One phenomenon in a cosmic microwave,

Only one phase of a multiverse

Invisible as our cold ego,

Oblivion guides oracles.

 

I think this might be true of all art.

Art is a place where the artist feels

What they are doing is more important than it actually is.

 

What I know of the Atlantic is red.

What I know of its wetness is blood.

You can’t let the asparagus head hit the tarp, because the spearhead will get blunted off from the heat and friction.

And asparagus without a tightly wound head drops in price.

 

Words stick. Gangrene. Necrotic. 5-HTP.

MDMA. Violet.

The ocean is bottomless,

The hour is a clock,

 

Warbles tic, (strobe, bounce across search engines, trip octopi-like

past harbors clotted with plastic cups).

A sitar infolds.

Stays planted. No cotton here in this field. Refusing to lay her head down she waits

For butterfly windows that kiss when closed

 

I tell you this would be simple if you were a chaser,

Your desire as clearcut as just getting off on my transsexual body.

Imagine: seeing a voice in on or among the chlorophyll,

Rotting this way is an angel upward

Our airy room at the residency. A small bed and a dresser, a chair and a desk, one of everything,

like the universal concept of a room.

With special thanks to our contributors:

Mary Ann Matias

Ken Hunt

Jacob Wren

Divya Victor

Steven Zultanski

Kim Trainor

Michael Nardone

D. Nandi Odhiambo

Chelene Knight

Gwen Benaway

Jay MillAr (co-publisher)

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