“Found” Writing

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My writing group, THE INKY PATH, led by Jena Schwartz and Cigdem Kobu, engages in a unique and fun writing exercise every Friday, from leaving handwritten notes for ourselves and others to yesterday’s prompt to make “found” writing.

What is “found” writing, you ask. According to Jena and Cigdem, it’s simple:

1. Pick a book off a shelf with your eyes closed. 
2. Open to page 45, and write down the last word (or three) from each line.
3. Leave it as is, or use it to spin into something new.
4. Feel free to add punctuation, skip a line, write the words as poetry or prose — anything goes. 

For my “found” writing, I picked Jhumpa Lahiri’s THE NAMESAKE off my bookshelf, turned to page 45, and started collecting last words and phrases. I discussed my final piece with Jena and noted how interesting it was that page 45 of the book pertains to the difficulties of making overseas calls to India and keeping in touch with loved ones, while my poem built from bits and parts of that page seems more like a dialogue between lovers, replete with empty spaces, unspoken truths, and subtle silences. I also just realized I ignored the fact we could “skip” lines – hmmm, had I noted that earlier, my poem might have turned out quite another beast. Anyway, it is what it is.

Check it out.

Page 45
Inspired by The Namesake

Speak
moment
say

Recognize his grandparents
static
midsentence

Me
voice growing fainter

Let’s speak later
write to me
her

Somewhat irritated
only to ask
out

His bed
fatigue

Crib
shivering
calling just now

Exactly
his profile lowered

Tell me
he reaches across

It is.


Pretty cool, non? If you wind up doing one yourself, feel free to share it in the comments so I can check it out…I’m nosy like that.

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