Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Poetry of Scissors and Glue

Wasn't I just talking about how cool it is when two artists I admire get together? How about when a poet I love unexpectedly branches out into collage? This has been Jim Neill validation week. Poetry and collage are my two arts. What poet might this be? Well, today my mother tipped me to a story in the Sunday New York Times about poet John Ashberry. Ashberry read at UMass last week as you know if you read my blog. Sadly I didn't make it, but last night I was trying to write a poem for my reading on 10/1 at Forbes. I went someplace where I would be in a climate conducive to writing... a barstool at the Toasted Owl with dozens of drunk and screaming Sox fans. One of my approaches to writing is very collage-like. I capture snippets of people's conversation, of sportscasters comments, whatever sticks to me. I become a strip of flypaper, and sort out the flies later. I move the phrases and words around like images and when they start to talk to each other, I use them as the anchor for a poem and begin to write. This is how I do collages too. I gather images from books and magazines and after a week or so of accumulation, I lay them out and see what's up with them all. Imagine my excitement to find in this article that John Ashberry also does collage! My life and its often disjointed outlook and activities starts to make more and more sense. It's about assimilation of what's there into something of my own making, and I suspect the process of uniting seemingly disparate thoughts, images, words, is good mental activity in a crazy world that demands we try to fit it together in a way that enables us to survive, literally and psychologically. Thanks for the link Mom!! Here's the collage slideshow.

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