Tag Archives: student poems

‘It can be a secret now?’: Exquisite Corpse poems, Fall 2019, 4-5th period

Here are this semester’s 4-5th period Creative Writing class’s poems written in the Exquisite Corpse method.  What I love about these lines is how they were created almost randomly but have a kinda of weird logic. I like how some of these seem almost brilliant, in an obtuse way. See here for previous semesters’ poems.

Flowers smell good, and, look, it’s a rat. Ahh, OK.

Not so much are you this.

Away I ran with nothing red.

The dog just keeps going to convince you that you are beautiful.

Quit being such a tiny hummingbird that flew like the wild hunt.

Physical traits are great to have.

Do you understand, kid, you’re the apple?

No, I’m not “heh” like a bunch of cats in the litter boxers.

I wrote to who is your special secret.

People are dumb and complicated. I’m so dang complicated.

I cannot lie to me like I’m a clown.

Die in a whole.

An inappropriate word is bongo and bingo. I like Uno better than the last one off the rough ground.

Songs about love come from melons.

Equations are the dumbest Cheez-its.

Dang, my life—is it going to happen?

Bored love is amazing and sweet like drops of sprinkles on the house.

Swing by sometime, or maybe just Marvin Gaye and get too big for me.

Blue hats are cool just like no one else you knew.

Who didn’t flush after I went to a house in the point of this is creativity?

It will be soon.

Take another hint, I guess.

Brussel sprouts are fire and have straight ice hanging off my neck.

Neck of the snake vanishes like dead demons evaporate.

Bomb.com, a website where you, me, we’re face to face.

Here is the end of the smart people who can recite Miranda rights to party.

Humpty Dumpty, like, sat on the wall. Bang. What even is that? Is not cool, man. Oh, well.

Park parallel literally anywhere you would like to.

It can be a secret now?

She is too fast for you, slow Poker Face by Lady Gaga waduba romance.

‘It’s a wonderful life. Now 10 minutes left’: Exquisite Corpse poems, Spring 2019

Here are Spring 2019 semester’s Creative Writing classes’ poems written in the Exquisite Corpse method.  What I love about these lines is how they were created almost randomly but have a kinda of weird logic. I like how some of these seem almost brilliant, in an obtuse way. See here for previous semesters’ poems.

Movies are seen as entertainment.

The snow is falling from a cliff screaming.

Winter socks are fuzzy like frost on a windshield.

Time is going by slow people.

Death is at times considerable amounts of chicken nuggets.

Plant a book, harvest an untraveled path.

Nice place you have here, there, everywhere, and somewhere.

Another family will find you trees.

All your memories will start to fade away into nothing. 

Expensive shoes, purses, and clothes are not good food.

Think of a world where your mama doesn’t sound like a Chicken in a Biscuit crackers.

Like like or just like a snowflake falling?

A daydream escapes from the classrooms.

Boring places can be anywhere anytime.

18 January 2019 is a giant, horrendous flop on the hard ground.

Staircases are for falling downtown.

Fake your normal face, hide and seek.

Found a loose tooth and have almost found happiness.

People like Fred Flintstone and swerving on icy roads.

I am trying hard like a rock.

You are a lost cause effect.

World domination is kinda cool but not really.

Soggy grandma’s cooking is the best.

Soon I will not die.

Mean girls wear pink on days that end in the year of Thanksgiving.

The holy bible of memes is God.

Lie like your life depends if we go fly a kite in a dollar tree.

Yesterday, all my truffles seemed to be snowing.

Words are really long johns in summer’s heat.

Rocks hurt when they’re thrown into the world.

House made of cheese and I want some crackers.

Boys like to eat potatoes from a jar on my mom’s shelf.

Nights are kinda my thing except when I’m scared of peeing in dark rooms.

In my bathtub I drowned my first-born child because he was a cat.

Goldfish taste good while alive but even better raw and wrapped in donuts.

Are you happy yet again, you ugly soul?

Jail is a cool place to be the best.

The devil is tired of being there.

That is a question—the reason we exist.

You have many adventures with my two thumbs stuck in the mud.

My only home sweet home is my stomach.

Place this dead deer over the years.

Over the years I’ve learned how to make an apple.

Words are but things; we will live 500 years.

Hawaii is a beautiful place, as beautiful as Hawaii.

Dumb rat just hit the tree that never grew fast.

A weird personality is an important trait that defines who I am.

When is the next apocalypse?

The next apocalypse has now come to the best store ever.

Careers are always important for a whole hour while I wait for the foxes.

I like when my uncle is part Cat in the Hat.

Good wills are the best.

Now the sun is bright like the sun outside.

The rain is more wet than other people’s family.

Broken clocks in the city limits cross the rivers.

Fishing outdoors is great but it should be okay.

I wish I knew those who came before I call my mistress.

The only way outside is cold.

It’s a wonderful life. Now 10 minutes left.

Hear like a deer in the headlights.

The Walmart greeter likes my sister.

Bad grades make parents angry birds.

Today I jumped over the other day.

Friday is the best day that had rain falling into love with my family.

Dumb idiot boys are annoying sounds all around the world.

When are we gonna smash everything you stand on?

‘Chickens waste heroic dreams’: Creating and revising poems in class

After my students made poems using the Poetry Bingo technique, I modeled a poetry-revision method. I led a class discussion-and-creation session in which we took four 10-word poems and brainstormed several new two-word phrases from those. We grouped some of these phrases into sentences, calling that a new poem. Then I read that poem aloud to the class and I asked particular students which words or lines they liked least (based on their feelings about the sounds or images or anything else about the words). We’d swap those out with others of the brainstormed phrases, or sometimes we looked up words randomly by my opening a book to a random page, putting my finger on a page, and taking whatever word(s) my finger pointed to. We subbed in the new word(s) and read the poem again and tried new change-outs; we did this for 20-30 minutes over two days’ class periods. We started with words that were joined almost accidentally, without intending any particular meanings, and we ended up with texts that seemed to grow almost by themselves into original poems. We said things we never would have thought to say. Here’s what resulted:

 

Sorry water mourns

the judge’s darkest promise.

The gods’ governors trade censors

for groaning temptations.

Earth signs glass bones

with sleeping wings.

Its death agonized

over ancient emotions.

— CW1, 2nd hour, Spring 2019

 

Chickens waste

heroic dreams.

Flat mountains

remain conscious.

Inside a palate, thick breezes

darken corrupt influences.

A blinded witness

frees persimmons.

— CW1, 3rd hour, Spring 2019

 

White rains white on sheets

— perhaps.

Hands expect joy to watch.

Dominion Friday records a man

while silence becomes action.

— CW1, 10th hour, Spring 2019

Note: Poems created by this method may seem abstract and be structured more by juxtaposition than by narrative, of course. This seems to be the kind of poem I prefer, poems that are mental palate-cleansers, poems that startle my mind out of conventional thought, and this is the kind of poetry-sensibility by which I teach the writing of poems. I’m not saying this is the only kind of poetry that’s valuable, but I do want to wake my students from their preconceived notions of what poems can be.

Poems: Exquisite Corpse method

In my high school creative writing class, we write poems in the exquisite corpse fashion, this way:

In class: Each student gets a piece of ruled paper and a piece of scratch paper (for covering up the writing on the ruled sheet).  On the ruled sheet, they write some random 4-word phrase, putting the 4th word on the following line, as such:

all the best

luck

And then they cover up the first line, revealing only “luck,” as they pass the sheets to the person next to them (while students are in a circle).  The next student sees ONLY the last word – in this example,  “luck” — and adds to it:

 luck OF THE IRISH

WHO

and then covers up everything on the sheet except the word on the new line, “WHO,” and so on, around the room, for about 20 minutes.  At the end, students remove the cover sheet and read the entire thing like a continuous poem, or maybe they just pull out some unique lines.   It can lead to some interesting lines of potential poems.

We then use these Exquisite Corpse sheets to write additional poems: 

Poems #1 & #2: Take words and phrases from your Exquisite Corpse sheet and combine these into a poem freewrite. Minimum 25 words.  Do this twice.

Poem #3: Write down the words from a column of words on that sheet.  Write 20 words as a poem.

Poem #4: Take the words from #3 and replace each word with a word that sounds like it.  Write as a poem.

In this post, there are some samples taken from Exquisite Corpse poems created in my classes this semester.