7:33 a.m. — Atlanta
Here we are in our brand new year and the jet lag [west to east is murder] had me still up at midnight, watching CSI: N.Y. and David Tutera and his wedding show…it was late. There wasn’t much on. As I sat thinking pleasurably about writing the first TT of the year and trying to feel sleepy, the thought slipped through my mind that there are fifty-one more weeks. That would be fifty-one more prompts. Good grief! I banished the thought hastily while planning to find more images, quickly.
I hope you all are well. I had planned to take it easy on you, until I saw the flurry of poems, comments and general all-round ready to go-ness in the past couple of days. So, no mercy. Alright, maybe a little. Let’s play.
In comments on one of her poems, Irene, of Lost in Translation, and I thought doing something with surrealism might be fun. Back in the twilight days of Wordgathering, when I had only a couple of followers, and noone posting poems yet, I offered an exercise based on the Surrealists, as a type of list poem. I am updating the post for today’s prompt. I would love to see what you do with this.
I want you to focus on the Surrealists’ use of imagery, which bordered on the absurd, but to them was a truth.
Some of the images below are James Penha’s* and some mine. Read through this list of images of the kind the Surrealists enjoy:
a sink full of Brussels sprouts
a dripping faucet
a young girl sings a song in the attic
the sound of someone swallowing
a wall made out of fur
the smell of wet dog hair
a bell ringing once every ________
a knife covered with sugar
cobwebs breaking across a face
a scorpion inside a head of lettuce
a doctor with a head that looks like a cabbage
a voice shouting, “One more time for our dead friends!”
a voice whispering
the sound of cotton wool being pulled apart
a boy watching static on television
a mother and child sharing a cigar
a hairless dog
a ball rolling down a hallway
a girl who has no tongue trying to speak
an upside-down tree
a black lake
In the next 12 minutes, make up as many of your own surrealistic images as you can, to add to this list. If you have difficulty, look at some surrealist paintings which to you may look wacky, but to the artists represented a truth about what they depicted. Look closely. Look again. Jot down what you see.
Why practice surreal imagery? Because it is fun. More importantly, if you, like I, have difficulty letting go of convention and the real, this is good practice.
You can go one of a couple of ways. Select a series of images from the now expanded list that seem to you to work together in a surrealistic way and create a poem. Or, choose one image to place within a poem, or to spark a poem.
Here’s my stab at a series of images:
A Walk Through the Park
Mickey Mouse in the nude
walks a balloon dog
along a red river
uphill to a black lake
and an upside down tree
where an egg hatches
a mushroom and cheese omelette
with hash browns on the side
of a pink tiled wall
behind which a young girl sings
“We’re off to see the Wizard”.
Can I do something with the poem? No, but the exercise forces me to be unconventional with imagery and I need that, so take up your pens, pencils, and keyboards and let’s see what Surrealism does for you.
I shall see you Thursday for Thoughts, and Friday for the roundup of this week’s prompts.
Happy writing everyone.