a damn fool 4/2/15


I am doing the PoMoSco month-long challenge with the Found Poetry group this April. This is one of the poems that I created today using Tzara’s technique and the other can be found at http://www.pomosco.com/chance-operation/shake-it-up/a-damn-fool/.

The instructions:
Follow Tristan Tzara in “How to Make a Dadaist Poem”


to create a cut-up poem. Cut out desired words or phrases from a source text, and put them in a paper bag or other container. Shake to mix up the words, then pull them out one by one. To create your poem, place the words on the table in the order you draw them from the container.

Post your poem — or a picture of your cut-up if possible — along with a source text citation

Here we go:


but the genuine pain was just beginning.
for having shot his wife’s lover
in the moonlight,
silence all through his brain,
into the black beneath the trees.

“Why don’t you stay out here?”
like a metal wave, like a hot tide in the dark
since then everybody’s been coming to him

if I live a thousand years
warm and cloudless night
I’m sending the body back

“Damn dark. I can’t see a damn thing.”

(Source: Shaara, Michael, The Killer Angels. New York: Ballantine Books, 2003.)


4 thoughts on “a damn fool 4/2/15

  1. 007mc

    I really love this.

    reading the last line, one can go straight back to the beginning, which emphasizes a lost circularity of sorts that’s enticing. I’ve got a lot of thoughts and questions about line breaks and punctuation, but perhaps it isn’t the place to ask them all, so I’ll end with one more thought.

    The “color” and motion throughout is a real positive, inexorable moving one forward, like that metal wave, with pauses for reflections that may or may not be part of the whole. That mystery, along with the literal mystery in the poem is a lovely parallel, and the above-mentioned circularity had me re-reading it more than once.

    • Whoops, I have committed the cardinal sin of not crediting my source text. It’s “The Killer Angels” by Michael Shaara. I’ll have to correct that in a bit.

  2. This is Tzara, friends, so none of the lines are mine – it’s all a chance operation. The one at the PoMoSco site is even “chancier” because it’s all single words and two word phrases.

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