It’s time to dig up some old, unfinished drafts. Three or four or ten or just two. They need to be hard copy, on paper. Print them out or write them down if you need to get them off the screen. Go ahead. I’ll wait here…..
Got em? Great! Now go get some scissors. (Sorry, I should have told you that before so you made only one trip).
Got em? Fantastic!
Take a look at your first poem. Cut it in half. Count the lines and literally cut it in half. Then cut each half in half if it’s a longish poem. You want to have several chunks. Now do the same with the next poem. If you have more poems, do the same with them.
Shuffle your poem pieces.
Lay the pieces face down in columns and rows or scattered. Now pick them up and create new poems using at least four pieces at a time. If you think the four don’t fit together, keep changing their order to see what might click.
If you don’t want to chunk, you can do this by cutting up lines of at least two poems.
A narrative may become a lyric poem. A lyric may become a narrative. There may be duds. There may be sparks. Let it all unfold.
Feel free to share your experience in the comments.