Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Spine Poetry

Reporter:  Why don't you write the way you talk?

Gertrude Stein:  Why don't you read the way I write?

What follows are poems I did not write. They are poems I found. 

Like art made of  found objects.

I lined up the spines of various books in my library, across all genres. Some of them are page turners; a few "how to's", long novels, short prose, story collections. 

Just to see what happens when you change your vantage point, I mixed, arranged and shuffled books about, letting the titles tell their own story in the shape of a poem. 

                                  There is no right way.    There is no single narrative. 

                                         Just an arbitrary collection, a literary remix.

Forbidden flowers
middlesex stirring 
the mud,
welcome to the 
monkey house, disturbances
 in the field.

Our bodies, ourselves
animal-speak dancing
with Life
Wisdom of the body moving, coming

To our senses

speak, children of the wolf
all the powerful, invisible things
How it is, out
stealing horses

Broken for you,
housekeeping. The moon
 is a harsh mistress, the rest 
of her life, until 
do us part

The joy of being, the untethered
how we believe genocide
of the mind,
the compass inside ourselves,

revolutionary road, a map
of the world
everything is illuminated, the spirit
catches you, and
you fall down.

*This literary remix experiment 
was inspired by artist  Nina Katchadourian 


  1. No comments?????????!! Wow! How can one not? one would think...but even more bazaar is that your book collection is able to do that (with a little help from you, of course). hhhmmmmm...;)

  2. This was so much fun to play with; thanks for stopping by Kathy!

  3. This is a most beautiful poem, Monica. I shivered with delight reading some of the lines. "Loading mercury with a pitchfork". Even that, somehow seems filled with great meaning. Happy Thanksgiving up there in the North.

  4. I rad Loading Mercury over 30 yrs ago; was fun discovering old books on my bookshelf!

  5. This was SO fun to read -- I think I might have to steal your idea for my blog (and credit you, of course)! Kathy at Lake Superior Spirit directed me here.

    1. Credit Nina Kathadourian (see above) for the idea. But was so much fun to do...I could have kept going, but had to stop myself!!