Obscurity is three-masted*

When I was studying to become an Art School drop-out, I discovered , one fateful day in the University library, a Surrealist Games kit. Intrigued, and already determined to begin  procrastinating on the essay we’d just been set, I borrowed it immediately.

From that day, I was hooked. Over the coming months, I seized every opportunity to coerce my fellow student friends into sitting around a table with me to partake of surrealist writing games (and the obligatory cheap booze).

Eventually I succeeded in becoming an Art School drop-out, but my obsession with the role of chance as an aid to the creative process has endured. ( as has my love of procrastination, but that’s another post for another time; I’ll get around to it at some stage.. )

Whether it be imaginary definitions, cut-up poetry technique, or the joys of google translate’s epic sentence mangling capabilities, my  enthusiasm for literary lottery borders on creepy. My fridge is covered in magnetic prose. My “dining” table is cluttered with notebooks and  Surreal Sentence Generators- in the form of homemade card games, cardboard  word wheels with badly attached spinners, and little bags full of cut-out words. Mixed in are my daughter’s drawings, which aptly cover subjects such as bee vomit, Olympic cubes, and chickens selling hand cream.

So I thought it was about time to incorporate more of that sort of thing into my blawg. I’ve been self censoring too much; trying to be too linear  and relatable in my bloggage, and it’s just not working . For my own sanity, I need this place to be less of a “how do I  WordPress properly” affair , and more of the uninhibited outlet it was originally intended to be. In short: things are gonna have to get weirder.

And with that, I’ll leave you now with some freshly frankensteined  cut-up poetry I done didded the other day.

(For those of you unfamiliar with the cut-up technique, here’s the basic idea: Take a block of text, such as a magazine article, or page of a book. Cut out every word of said text, and place them in a small bag or container of some sort. Shake them up. Remove words one by one, writing each down- or gluing them onto the page, as I did- in the order they come out. This forms your “poem”.)

Disclaimer: Admittedly, I did cheat a little by eliminating/ ignoring the more aesthetically boring, grammatically confusing combinations, such as: ” he which and are they  a were then as with”. But other than that, the direction of this poem was entirely dictated by the element of Chance. The original Surrealist idea is that whatever comes out is a representation of things hidden in your subconscious mind. Whilst the main attraction for me is the non-linear, twisty word rainbow of it all, I dig this Deep Darque Secret Mind Exploration idea in a Jungian way. Given that- and the fact that the text I used came from a randomly chosen page of a book I was reading months ago- I was amused and  a bit spooked  by the results!






Above: Bonus ‘Not-Looking-At-Page’ drawing. “Poets hand Love hints in the dark”. Inspired by the last line. I wanted to draw Shakespeare ( for some reason. Do I need a reason?) , but then changed my mind and did a picture of Rowan Atkinson  as Lord Blackadder in Blackadder 2 instead.   


It seems to be about ugly revelations, or hipsters with sailor tatts voting with irony for a laugh. Or about Art and love being a guiding light in darque thymes. Or about how Art perhaps inspires Love just as much as Love inspires art.

It’s stupidly deep and deeply stupid.

Bonus bonus: If anybody can correctly guess which famous novel I photocopied a page of and dismembered for this exercise, you will be correct in your guess.


(the next one will be more of a mini, I promise)

*like a sparkling potato


16 thoughts on “Obscurity is three-masted*

  1. I wholeheartedly approve of heightening weirdness, of course. Bring it on! And I totally got Rowan Atkinson from that drawing – awesome stuff, from – hey – one art school drop-out to another!

    I’m loving this ‘out of the bag, out of the mind’ poetry game, and indeed have just plucked a couple of hundred words from an e-book and threw them into a spreadsheet, in which I can run a program and be given random strings of words from the pool. (I went for this rather than cutting, thinking of quickness, then remembered… I’m shockingly dreadful at writing programs. It took forever! :P)

    jingle to the one destiny
    Pageantry is of realized souls
    and love lyrical

    recreate Shakespeare art attitudes
    agog lyrics of actor boundless

    Hmm… well, they sound good! Perhaps I need to do it with the bag and cuttings to be fully absorbed, though. Either way, thanks for the fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rowan is just SO unexpectedly handsome in the 2nd season of Blackadder.( A far cry from Mr. Bean, haha!) I just felt compelled to draw him. Not properly, but halfarsed is better than no-arsed. Some day i hope to progress to a fullarsed effort!

      WHUT!? What program is this???! I want it! I mean, yes, there is a certain meditative state to manually cutting out all the words, but i’m always looking for a way to cut corners 😉 Would actually save on paper, too.
      Cool result that you got. “Pageantry is of realized souls”. I like this. And the lyrics of a good actor *would* be boundless! Unless they specialised in mime.
      Hey, on the subject of random words and computer programs, did you see this delightful, hilarious little film that was made recently? http://arstechnica.com/the-multiverse/2016/06/an-ai-wrote-this-movie-and-its-strangely-moving/ The script was written by an algorithm, and it’s definitely worth the 10 minutes if and when you ever have a spare 10 at hand.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll look forward to Rowan! Likewise, I’m sure I’ll get to drawing Bean someday.

        This ‘program’ is just an Excel spreadsheet with some functions I put together. I did have to type the pool of words in myself, as I couldn’t find a way to paste a block of text into separate cells. So it’s a bit clunky. I could send it you if you like, though!

        Wow, I didn’t know of this film. How fascinating! Mind-bending and hilarious, but surprisingly convincing in parts! You really pay attention to the words trying to piece them together and make sense of it all – wonderful.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, please draw Mr. Bean! He’d be great to draw. I’m actually really tempted to draw a pic of Lord Flashheart, now.
        Ok, i’m very bad at computery things, so when you say you just threw together a program, you may as well have said “I just made a castle out of steam”. Impressed and envious I am. If there *is* a way of me being able to use such a thing, that’d be amazing, and i’d be super grateful- fanx! But also, no pressure, because that whole me-being-crap-with-computers thing means that i probably wouldn’t know how to bloody use the thing. Honestly, i am unbelievably crap at the most basic of technical thingies.
        Yeah, it’s an interesting little piece of art, innit! Made me wish i could write and stage a surrealist musical. Honestly, i’d bloody love to do that.NOBODY would be interested in seeing such a thing, but i can dream….!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ha, oh, I’m awful at this sort of thing too (and I took IT to the end of college!). Google played a big part in writing this little script. I can use computers perfectly well, but just glaze over when people start discussing hardware or coding, sadly. (Well, not terribly sadly, really!)

        I’ll try and tidy things up a bit first, and see what happens!

        Aw – I’d come to see it! 😉 I’m the same. What a great thing to be able to do.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, same. Fine with the basic everyday computery stuff, but zone out at anything beyond typing, internetting, or photoshopping.

        Aww, nice. Don’t go to too much trouble, though! It’s just cool that you were able to make such a fun thing.

        Absolutely. If somebody put such a thing on, I WOULD GO SEE IT! How much fun would it be??! I used to make a bit of music; it’s still lurking within somewhere…..sigh. Someday. Another thing to add to the ‘Things to do when i’m rich enough to employ a bunch of people to help me carry out my wayward endeavours’ list. We just gotta get rich!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I used to do a bit of music too – well, I had a keyboard as a child, and regret not using it more often. That’s another thing for my rich list: a nice piano, to learn on properly. And a drumkit, just because it looks fun!

        Someday indeed – it’ll be awesome!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ooh,yes, a nice piano would be lovely. And yes! DRUMS. I still dabble with percussion…but not enough. Oh well. I hope you acquire a piano ( or drums!) someday! You could always pick up a keyboard in the meantime? I know, it’s not quite the same….but could be therapeutic. I mean- it seems that the drawing is providing that for you at present, but i do hope you get to revisit the music someday 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • A keyboard would be nice. Once I have a job and some money in the pocket, it’s definitely in the offing! Sadly no room for a drumkit here, so that’ll likely have to wait until the windmill is built…

        Yes – the drawing/making stuff is quite important at the moment, though with that there are times when it can feel more of duty than fun (though I’m sure I’m not alone in that). I’m always wary of this spiralling into boredom/burnout, so it’d be helpful to have an alternative outlet and be able to juggle both. One day, when I get me arse in gear! In the meantime, keep on rockin’ yourself! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yep, creative pursuits definitely aren’t the fun & games they’re cracked up to be. Sometimes it feels more of a curse than a blessing to have been born a creative soul. ..but, i guess we can’t help what drives us; we is who we is! The Internet is a wonderful place to go to for a reminder of the positives of being an imaginative human. I see all these interesting and creative minds out there, and it makes me happy to be a part of it- or at least to attempt to be a part of it!
        The getting-the-arse-into-gear thang is the trickiest part, isn’t it…(is sure is for me :/). But it will happen. Hope circumstances allow for you to do more of the things you’d like ( including getting all keyboardy with it) in the not-so-distant future 🙂
        Cheers, i will certainly attempt to rawk awn!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh definitely – ’tis a big part of why I hang around here. WordPress is hugely inspiring, and everyone’s so friendly with it. It sure is nice to have such a pleasant and energetic corner of the internet to retreat to!

        Liked by 1 person

      • It really is quite a friendly place. It’s one of the things that stands out to me about WordPress. People seem rather polite and respectful, which can’t be said for many parts of the internet! ‘Tis a nice little oasis 🙂


  2. I thought this was a great post. I’m glad you liked “Be the Crow.” Everything you’ve written is exactly what I’m talking about. Find your own lane and hit the gas or take to the sky. And the poem you constructed was interesting, too. i t was deep and comical at the same time. Kinda allows you to find your own meaning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, thanks so much 🙂
      I was trawling the “crows” tag ( because i adore Crows and Ravens!) and discovered your post that way. It was uplifting- and timely. I’ve been feeling quite low in regards to never fitting in anywhere, so reading your post was a nice little pick-me-up.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thankyou for the positive encouragement 🙂
        Yes, i’m a big one for “signs” and timing. I do tend to get caught up in material worries a bit too often…well, lately, anyway. Crows are a really special symbol for me ( and they are also just amazing, fascinating, intelligent and amusing creatures!) so i’m taking this as a little message from the Universe not to give up!
        Thanks so much, again. I hope your day brings you some magic!


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