Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Glamping We Will Go

Based on my little hiatus, you can tell I’ve been living my summer (I can’t quite say I've been enjoying it, at least not completely). However, during any time of  tremendous upheaval, there are bound to be wonderful, never-would-have-missed-it-for-anything moments. And I do not regret this summer.

* * *

Recently, my friend Chalanna invited several of us ladies to go glamping with her. You know, we camped out in her living room, sipped on mojitos or juice, fought a losing battle against hotdogs and s’mores casserole, played girlie games, listened to music, and created blackout poetry. It was delightful!

Chalanna handed out romance novels for two really fun games you could play with any book you don’t mind destroying. I think cheesy thrillers would work just as well. First of all, based on the description on the back of each book (which we had to read aloud in our campiest reading aloud voices), we were instructed to write the likely first lines to that book. It was a great exercise in creative thinking, and some of the first lines we came up with were hysterical.

After we finished rewriting the opening paragraphs, we made blackout poetry from pages in our books. My book by Kelly Hunter was called The Maverick’s Greek Island Mistress. Naughty, no?

Here’s my poetry (I took some liberties with the spacing and punctuation, and I just kind of went by feel. "Poetry" may be an exaggeration; I'm not calling it good.) : 

hands beneath feet
bringing into closer contact
long, deep, delicious
carried all the way to sensory delights
no denying it

form: a canvas glorious
you only brought your urge

lean, sculpted muscle
sheer perfection
its path a reminder smoothed over
satisfaction murmured
the vision splendid to remember

I just love blackout poetry. You start with a certain set of words in a particular order. Within those constraints, you have the freedom to mark out works, thereby creating new phrases, and with them, new meanings. We spent only a few minutes on our poems, but you could potentially spend a lot of creative energy on them. I would probably be long entertained by creating variation after variation from the same text. That could be an interesting, and quite possibly self-indulgent, exercise. But what text to start from?

Have you ever made blackout poetry? What kind of poetry are you drawn to read or write? Who are your favorite poets? Have you ever been glamping? What kind of activities do you recommend?

Alison :)

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