Illustrated by Audrey Lukban
The following poem was written using a deck of 100 words. The goal was to choose different words from the deck and, laying the words together on a desk, to experiment with different combinations of words, trying out one combination, then another, looking more for evocative pairings than for any particular kind of sense or meaning––although sense and meaning often emerged. This kind of poem offers a different way of exploring what language can conjure in our imaginations. We often begin with what we want to say and look for the words to say it, but what if we begin with the words themselves and explore the possibilities of what they can say, what unexpected worlds they can evoke?
She drives down oblivion highway,
watching Mirror City disappear behind her in clouds of peppermint smoke
from the cigarette in her poetic hands.
Her wine lips sing reckless melodies of California
to the sound of her thunderstorm heartbeat
running on gasoline.
She walks through hypnotic glass forests
where ginger autumn leaves float down
against lavender sunsets.
And melancholy rain falls
like paint on dreary canvas.
Feather flowers on her skin.
With porcelain hands of velvet and ice,
she photographs whimsical constellations.
And the camera film speaks:
She found love in her headphones,
And home in solitude’s symphony.