The Doctor Is In

in Poetry

Dr. Wes

Wes Finds Some Poetry

Let's talk about found poetry!

One of our unstated goals here at Adventures in Poetry is to find and expose the poetry in every doorway and alley, anywhere it seeks rest from the great outdoors. We do this partly because we are lazy, and it beats making up our own poetry, but also because we think it ends up pretty good, even if it usually doesn't end up looking like poetry.

Well, the art of writing and not writing found poetry, itself, is right up one of our metaphorical alleys, snoring away as we speak. Just let me sneak up and nab it from its metaphorical behind. I'll make it breathe some metaphorical chloroform -- there, that does it, it's stopped struggling. Now let's ease it ever so gently onto the metaphorical examining table, and -- there! We're ready to talk about found poetry!

Duo dolores et ea rebum --
a printer's dummy is not at all dumb.

By the way, I call my last paragraph "Metaphorical Chloroform", or, when properly chopped into lines, "Opus Prose Poem Frank, Serial Number 05200230, PFC," or just Frank No Last Name, for short. It is my first poem named Frank No Last Name. I find that which I just said deeply poetic, so it's just the sort of thing that I am talking about. I do not digress!

But let's inject some Generality into our subject. Next, let's slice our subject in half. Doing so we find it consists of two pieces, one "found" and one "poetry". Well that's about as General as you can get. Now let's reel back in disgust and consider another example.

Remember that ordinarily when we make a poem while being stupid or lazy, we do it by taking someone else's poem, throwing out all the words to get an empty form, and then stuffing our own words in. The result is an ordinary poem. But in the example I am giving, half the words stuffed into the form are found words, so the result is an ordinary poem slash found poem slash mutant clone poem, or something. And since it's half as hard as a regular poem, that means it's twice as easy, so we can be twice as stupid while we write it!

"Song of the Printer's Dummy,
Packed Reluctantly Into
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,
How'd the heck I get so wet?
Consetetur sadipscing elitr,
that's not a very good space-heater.
Sed diam nonumy eirmod,
I laid upon it with naked bod'.
Tempor invidunt ut labore,
The wetness came from out' the floor.
Et dolore magna aliquyam erat.
My song is not about a bat.
Sed diam voluptua at vero.
My song is not about DeNiro.
Eos et accusam et justo --
I sing my song with cheer and gusto.
Duo dolores et ea rebum --
a printer's dummy is not at all dumb.
Cha, cha, cha.

See how that works? Only the half that I wrote is stupid. Or is it? You can't tell without a working theory of stupidity, but all the world offers are countless theories of intelligence, as if intelligence were something more than the absence of stupidity. Oh stupid world.

But I have been talking about found poetry. I will have to talk about theories of stupidity in another issue. Perhaps when I get distracted by politics again...

© Dr. Wes Browning:
2129 Second Ave., Seattle, WA 98121 (206) 441-3247

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