R.G. Johnson's Poetic Slaughterhouse

Bloody Chunks: The Butcher-Poet's Methodologies


This page is my way of sharing my methods with you. They work for me. They may or may not work for you. But, it is always fun to cut open a monster, and see what spills out. I'm like a festive piñata filled with candied mental defects and rusty fishhooks. Mmmmm! Yummy!

1) Foreign Language Text Translation Ping Pong
           a) free write
           b) put free writing into a free text translator
           c) translate to an interesting language (French, Japanese,  Afrikaans, etc.)
           d) translate back to english

 *this method will change phrasing and give more interesting ideas on words that don't
translate directly.

2)  Cut-Up LIGHT
            a) free write or copy random lyrics, words, lists...
            b) paste text into the cut-up machine on languageisavirus.com
            c) this will toss words like linguistic salad
            d) find word combos that you like in the new word mass

 *I think fresh word combos are very important. They can change the tone of
any poem. Many thanks the old and/or dead guys who thought up this method:
Gysin, Borroughs, etc.

3) Eavesdrop Stew
        a) keep a small notebook and pen in your pocket
        b) write down the possibly-poetic statements you hear from others
        c) that night, see if those statements inspire new writing
        d) OR, just copy them on the page as bricks and add some of your own sexy mortar 

*real life is what makes poetry: the good, the bad and the stinky guy on the subway

4) Amnesiac Track
        a) try to forget everything you know about poetry
        b) try to forget all grammatic rules you've learned
        c) try to forget that others will read this
        d) now, write something NEW
*this is nearly impossible for most humans, but it's fun to try anyway

5) Horror Hackjob
        a) purposely write a b-movie style short horror story
        b) scrap the story, but save your best monstrous descriptions
        c) replace the monster you're describing with something less expected (feelings, butterflies, eyes, a lover)
        d) build a poem around whatever strange images you've created
*if all you have going for your poetry is SHOCK VALUE, then you're in trouble, but, to SHOCK your readers now and then
can be quite useful. describing something familiar in an alien way is a great method for accomplishing that goal.

6) Meta-fist
        a) write an angry rant and save it
        b) meditate, then write a metaphysical piece
        c) cut your favorite lines from each of these two
        d) use these lines as the building blocks for a new piece
*I think peace and turmoil are both beautiful. To mix the two seamlessly is truly sublime.

7) Turtle-duckin
        a) watch something that flies (plane, bird, projectile missile, etc.), carefully write a decription
        b) do the same with something that crawls or slithers (dog, turtle, snake, politician, etc.)
        c) Write a poem about a person using your favorite lines from BOTH poems.
*no profound reason. it's just really fun! LOL!

Feel free to email me some of your own methods. I'll post them here, and credit you.

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