Can't recall where I first saw this but I'll admit it isn't my own original idea. I think it was a link on Twitter or something, which I found whilst poking around. Of course I can't find it again.
Basically, the idea is you grab a few books from a shelf or shelves, stack them up and make a poem from the titles. A simple idea and it can strike gold or come off sounding like a third-grader's attempt at a poetry homework assignment (no offense to third graders).
The annoying rule is you have to keep the books in the same order you pulled them from the shelves.
Robert Levine's Free Ride
Dean Faulkner Wells' Every Day by the Sun
Mabel Dodge Luhan's Winter in Taos
Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White
Jonathan Lethem's Fortress of Solitude
Free Ride, Every Day in the Sun.
Winter in Taos, The Woman in White.
Fortress of Solitude.
Alrighty then. Results are less than stellar. Since I can't switch out titles I played around with the lines and wasn't really crazy about any of them. If you see a better arrangement, let me know, because I obviously didn't.
These were six books I plucked from different shelves, eyes closed, hand circling before picking a random book. I didn't peek even once. The outcome should be proof of that.
Next time we'll try "blackout poetry," or "newspaper poetry. This idea came from author/artist Austin Kleon. He wrote a book about what started as a hobby but turned out to be incredibly compelling stuff. So compelling Harper Perennial thought it should be published:
Harper Perennial, April 2010. 208 pp. My personal copy.
Creative possibilities are endless. Look around and see what you can create from books, how you can write poetry, fiction, what have you using elements already printed in any form.
Cut out compelling headlines, blurbs, odd lines that catch your fancy. Throw them in the air and see how they land. Then put them together.
Write your own random works and/or phrases and do the same.
Or, write down any word that pops into your mind. Then write the next, and the next…
All sorts of things you can try using random words. Who knows? You may stumble upon something wondrous.