Darling$ ( to be read in a piratey voice)


The above group of wordsicles came about thanks to this fun little thing Black Cat Alley has going. It’s called Whiteout Wednesdays ( or W.O.W.) and is basically the same dealy as a blackout poem, but instead of taking a black marker to the block of text to leave behind a previously hidden poem, you copy and paste that week’s assigned block o’text into your wordpress draft, and white-out the unneeded words using the ‘text colour’ feature. You can then reformat the words so that they’re more readable (but NOT rearrange/add words or punctation) , OR leave them all spaced out and strung out ( like I did.). This week’s text up for your literary obliteration/ creation is here. I do hope that you DOOOO EEEEET! ‘Cause it’s lotsa fun.

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

An explanation of google translaterature:

‘Google translaterature’ is the name I’ve given to a creative writing game I sometimes play, because I’m a giant dork who enjoys that sort of thing. Here are the steps, should anyone wish to indulge their own dorkery:

  1. Take a magazine article/ newspaper article/  book, or any piece of writing that you find interesting.
  2. Choose a passage or two, and type them into google translate- translating these words as many times as you can, into as many different languages as you can, but going back to your chosen/ first language many times so that you can see how the translating is causing the original passage to evolve in unexpected ways. Keep going until the sentence/ sentences on the screen no longer resemble the ones you originally typed. Along the way, write down any groups of words that you find funny or interesting. Keep going for as long as you like.
  3. Create a story, poem, recipe, artwork, joke, letter, or furniture assembly instructions using all the new sentences  you’ve written down as a starting point ( or as a piece on their own) .

I mention this, because the next thing I post will be a story which I arrived at through this method. If anyone guesses the book I used to extract my ‘starter’ sentence, I’ll build you a chocolate replica of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, complete with cars, and a giant, menacing, ferret named Quimbly Von Colgate.