I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

7 June 2013

Two Dada 'Cut-Up' Poems

Rearranging His Office Eight Months After His Death

So here I am in play,
in the window the sun

pouring through the trees
on the pretty street.

I have this morning
the essential power.

This will be —
not left until summer.

Not that closed door
for fear

(never look out,
especially at night).

Around all his boxes 
of notes and papers

it was more and more
crowded; it doubled,

everything swivelling
at right angles.

Outside the door,
walking got harder.

Quiet cul-de-sac …
the cars come slowly.

His desk and table
are long gone.


White light
is clear motion.
Follow. Find.

Allow this warm sun
through the crown
sink into you

and body
wedged into place
to settle light.

See the whole.
Around it flows, down,
into the earth,

long, as he
nodding off
crashed into that

table  — and
there are two beds
as day beds between

body visitors that
support here times
with the essential.

My head nearly down,
or on a chair,
morning suits me.

Spent a lot of time
a minute ago
to this day

making my home
as I finished
coming in to sleep.

Just allow
the beds, light, the rare, the past,
the intention.

I have what I
had been,

though not
your body

And out loud to
myself as if inviting
your body into lying.

Then this
had no need,
in this pleasant space

in our real beds.…
That is the past.

Even spoke
him to admit

Is where it was
causes a slight
unwell and

your head —
Well, what do you know?
They should function.

On to the desk. That’s what
kept it fuctional!
So I’ll, on one of,

one that for so very …
Ah well now, I …
as in for Andrew …

and have a stab.
(It had evidently been
have overnight.)

Fell apart as I removed it.
Any little office snooze
gives relief and soft …

I am light form

it is red,
red through to the
and out the centre

away by the Earth,
as a day
became more and more.

Submitted for dVerse Form For All: Dada poems with scissors.

My text was one of my blog entries, a bit under one and a half printed pages long. The subject was the same as the title of the first poem above. The first page of my text provided this first poem. I used a black marker rather than scissors, to block out all but the words and phrases I wanted to use. Then I rearranged the order until it all made some kind of sense.

But I'm not sure if making logical sense is very Dada, so for the second one I cut it up with scissors as instructed. I soon got bored with chopping it up horizontally, so changed to vertically — but not in straight lines, as I cut around words and phrases. I had printed it on scrap paper with someone else's text on the back, so for this poem I also used what was on the back. As I didn't cut with relation to that text, some of those words had become mere fragments, unusable, but I used what I could. This was a much more playful exercise. I still tried for some kind of bizarre logic, but it wasn't possible to make much real sense out of the cut-up pieces. One instance of the word 'intention' from the second text appeared in capital letters, so I chose that as title for my second piece.

See also next post for computer-generated versions of the above, LOL.


  1. Awesome.. and not the least how you used the two sides of the paper... very creative and smooth

    Allow this warm sun
    through the crown
    sink into you

    sounds like real poetry... yes this was fun

  2. The first two stanzas drew me in and then I was hooked. Lovely.

  3. You know, actually I liked the first poem better because it DID make sense. And I can feel REAL emotions. "His desk and table are long gone," etc. It seems you used a similar process for that one as I used for mine. However, I did not rearrange the order. The second poem is interesting, playful, creative, but I am one who always seeks meaning....but for me a little dada goes a long way. Smiles.

  4. haha but it become more and more for sure....i like erasure poetry but the total randomness of the dada poems is very alluring to me....there are enough coherent bits in yours as well there is a story there...but enough rough edges to see it was random...inviting your body into lying...

  5. Really intersting tender pieces, Rosemary. The first worked as more of a whole for me, but the second, though more diffused, had some really poignant emotive sections. Both have great gravity and simplicity and really convery deep mourning. They are wonderful. k.

    This is Karin Gustafson - Manicddaily - blogger wants me to use an old blogspot blog.

  6. Both are actually pretty readable to me--maybe my mind is more random than I think! The first stanza of the second poem is quite nice.

  7. it was more and more
    crowded; it doubled,
    everything swivelling
    at right angles.

    Quite a chore going through what others left to us. Both poems are great Rosemary! It's fun going through the process. Got that feeling too!


  8. Love what you did on the second one, reworking from the first ~ The over all output is very good, specially the ending lines ~ Beautiful ~

  9. nice..i like them both and i love that you used different ways to get there....White light
    is clear motion.
    Follow. Find.
    ha - love that start

  10. Both of them very creative and poetic. There's always meaning to find, no matter the situation. Nice job. -Mike

  11. There is warmth in both though the directions might have beenn different. Nevertheless,, warm. I saw your second link. Will come by later for that

  12. Love them - and the second resonates! Sounds pretty much like my muddled thought-process as I crawl out of bed in the mornings...

    Anna :o]

  13. I like both, but love especially the use of light (white to red) in the second. And warm...
    Thank you.

  14. I love your process and product. These experiments are so good for the mind and I find that they continue to influence me, allowing me greater freedom in my everyday poetry.