Poems: Found poetry from “Down”


51UpSd5xOiLThe following is a selection of found poetry from Downa book of found poetry by Sarah Dowling. Dowling’s found poems into my found poems. It’s a bit organic.

The constraint I used was to find repeated phrasing, and then make a list of those phrases. The phrases are in the order I found them, more or less. Not the greatest poetry, but it was fun to do.

I’ve been finding whenever I read anything these days, I end up jotting down notes and looking for potential centos, found poems, etc. I think I’ve become a phrase addict.


by Debi


1

if I can’t
if I’m not
if I can’t tell
if you tell
I’m not but
you can’t tell me
I’m not but
you shouldn’t but
if I promise
if I let you go


2

it’s by
it’s cold
it’s cold outside
it’s linked
it’s the trembling
it’s cold
it’s linked
it’s the trembling cold outside


3

what could make
what could make me
make me feel
make me better
make me we
what could make
what could make me
make me us
make me matter
make me one
what could make
what could make me
make me feel


4

I don’t need
I don’t need to
I don’t need no
I don’t need us
I don’t need any
I don’t need


5

feel this
feel anything
feel we
feel this one
feel this expressed
feel this in the way
feel this
feel us


6

these days (days)
see tears (tears)
secret place (place)
my prey (prey)
for days (days)
to prey (prey)


7

I’ve got this
I’ve got serenity
I’ve got existence
I’ve got disarray
I’ve got sunshine
I’ve got attention
I’ve got a relationship
I’ve got the same
I’ve got by
I’ve got us
I’ve got so much
I’ve got a person
I’ve got excesses
I’ve got a thing
I’ve got that


8

I may
I must
I guess
I guess
I guess and expressed
I guess we
I guess between
you’d say very
I guess each
you’d say this
I guess any
you’d say not
I guess histories
you’d say never
I guess
I guess very
I guess disorientation


Experiment: An American Story


by Debi


My first word was boat.

My first word was boat as my grandmother pointed to their wooden yacht.

My first word was boat as my grandmother pointed to their wooden yacht upon which my father as a boy traveled to Alaska.

My first word was boat as my grandmother pointed to their wooden yacht upon which my father as a boy traveled to Alaska where his father was a fisherman.

My first word was boat as my grandmother pointed to their wooden yacht upon which my father as a boy traveled to Alaska where his father was a fisherman like his father before him.

My first word was boat as my grandmother pointed to their wooden yacht upon which my father as a boy traveled to Alaska where his father was a fisherman like his father before him in Anacortes where the family settled.

My first word was boat as my grandmother pointed to their wooden yacht upon which my father as a boy traveled to Alaska where his father was a fisherman like his father before him in Anacortes where the family settled after moving up the Coast from Coos Bay.

My first word was boat as my grandmother pointed to their wooden yacht upon which my father as a boy traveled to Alaska where his father was a fisherman like his father before him in Anacortes where the family settled after moving up the Coast from Coos Bay near the spot their family landed after sailing the Plains in a Prairie Schooner.

My first word was boat as my grandmother pointed to their wooden yacht upon which my father as a boy traveled to Alaska where his father was a fisherman like his father before him in Anacortes where the family settled after moving up the Coast from Coos Bay near the spot their family landed after sailing the Plains in a Prairie Schooner who were descended from Puritans who crossed The Pond on the second boat to Plymouth.

My first word was boat as my grandmother pointed to their wooden yacht upon which my father as a boy traveled to Alaska where his father was a fisherman like his father before him in Anacortes where the family settled after moving up the Coast from Coos Bay near the spot where the family landed after sailing the Plains in a Prairie Schooner who were descended from Puritans who crossed The Pond on the second boat to Plymouth whose ancestor was a second son of royalty who came across the North Sea from Sweden.

My first word was boat as my grandmother pointed to their wooden yacht upon which my father as a boy traveled to Alaska where his father had been a fisherman like his father before him in Anacortes where the family settled after moving up the coast from Coos Bay near the spot where the family landed after sailing the Plains in a Prairie Schooner who were descended from Puritans who crossed The Pond on the second boat to Plymouth whose ancestor was a second son of royalty who came across the North Sea from Sweden who was descended from Vikings who circled and settled the Norwegian Sea from Norway to Iceland to Scotland to Ireland and possibly Greenland and even America.

My first word was boat.


Writing Prompt: Where would you be if you hadn’t left your hometown?

This resembles the landscape in my recurring dream.

This resembles the landscape in my recurring dream.


Where would I be if we hadn’t moved? Who would I have been if we had stayed? I’m not sure I would’ve been alive for long.

Moving bought me time. Time to live a life removed from the places and people of childhood. Away from bullies and abusers. Away from those who still haunt my dreams and waking moments.

But then, no escape. Nowhere to run.

Bullied at school. Bullied on the street. Those ever grasping, groping hands in back lots and clubhouses. Insanity at home. Everywhere I turned, I saw only myself and my screaming face of desperation—like being trapped inside a dead-end House of Mirrors.

Let me out! Let me out! But no one hears. No rescue comes.

Help me? Please?

No. Hush, child.

A child left in the care of mental illness. They were blind. Deaf. Dumb. Numb to normal feelings.

The recurring, on-going dream of my childhood was about being buried alive. By my family. Every night. Every night beginning where it left off the night before. The nightmare that perhaps told the story of my childhood.

It went like this:

For far too many nights, tied down in a cart full of hay. Pulled by an old horse. Up and up and up and up the winding unpaved cart path.

Past the homes of friends, homes of family. Past the school, the shops, the weathered farms. To a field of grass and flowers. And a gaping grave.

They took me down from the cart, setting me quietly into the hole in the ground. Throwing clods onto my tiny child body. No! Stop! Please? Please don’t! Was I unable to make a sound? Or were they unable to hear? Or did they choose to continue despite the pleas and cries.

They were silent. Ever serious.

One handful. Another. Covering my legs. My tiny torso. My arms and hands. My face. The dirt collected in my ears, my mouth, my eyes, my nose.

The earth is cold and smells of damp. Smells of earthworms. Beetles. Clover. Grass tufts. The silence covers, envelopes, crushes me.

The lens of my dream retreats from inside my earthen grave. New scene: My family all walking away back down the hill. Silently.

The shot pans through the grim parade. The parents. Grandparents. Aunts. Uncles. Cousins. Single file. Returning from the hill.

The shot pans once more. See the empty field? A freshly dug space, no larger than a child. A view of the mountains. The soft touch of gentle breezes on wisps of grass and weeds.

The dreams ended then. The burial was complete, haunting my waking and dreaming moments.
For the rest of my life.

Who would I have been if we hadn’t moved? Still buried. Still silent. Still watching.

Without leaving, there would have been no future. No me. There is nothing to see or imagine in that alternative timeline.

It would have been

The End.

Experiment: Sirens


by Debi


police lights

Ooooooh, dammmmmn … red lights blue lights heart racing shit shit shit he’s moving in behind me what did I do I’m not speeding tail light burned out tabs expired no all good what the fuck does he want I didn’t do a thing but there he is and here’s the panic crap the panic shit breathe normally it’ll be okay sirens scare the crap out of me just pull over stay calm stay calm stay …

Oh, wait.
Somebody else. Some other call.
Breathe. Just breathe.
False alarm.