Devoted exclusively to the creative process. Here you will see photojournaling, poetry, prose, an occasional review--journaling or philosophical writing can be found on our other blogs. This is our attempt to use our imaginations. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

"A Patience Unit"        [55 words]

The world was an imposition on his thoughts.

On the other hand, it held the dim promise of an interesting story.

He was thus reeled in. Not that there was a choice.

One goes willingly or unwillingly, when tugged.

At certain moments, it seemed a doubtful proposition.

Was he a patience unit in the factory?


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Enemy of the Republic said...

Oh, I have to start doing these things. Maybe we should get a contest going on the blog. This is very well done. And counting for poetry always takes patience--good title. You are one helleva poet.

david raphael israel said...

thanks En. This idea of the 55-word text: more usually it's conceived as a 55-word "short story"; but I've felt the "form" (simply, the limit of that number of words) can be used in a variety of ways. So this is one way. (Closer to "poem," yes.)
Color (as a secondary "narratory element"[?]) has seemeed fun to experiment a bit with.
btw: I subsequently wrote a 2nd one in sequence with this item (conceived as a perhaps ongoing series); taken together, the story-ideas (as well as form-characteristics) maybe gain in dimension.

david raphael israel said...

about contest, personally I'm not so into that "model of creative production"; I think there are other good models available -- such as, a collective (among a few) enjoyment of some possibilities within a form. Simply having several folks try their hand at it, can in itself generate a collective process (or even lemming-like joy sailing over the [really not so lethal] cliffs of the exactly-55-word text writing experience). It's one of the easiest "rules" in its way. I use Microsoft Word and look at the the document's [File] / "Properties" / "Statistics" [tab] info, where a word count is given. One minor thing to be aware of is that hyphenated words are counted by it as 1 word (but I'm lately counting each words separately when hyphenated; and that the counter counts some punctuation things like dashes or elipses as "words" -- which can mess up your count a bit, but easy enough to correct for.
Many approach this "form" as a mini-story, and put some twist in the end (surprise) etc. I've tried it as a storytelling form, but also in other ways -- such as this mildly Kafkaesque [perhaps] prose-poem-like thingie.
cheers, d.i.

pps: on other hand, if you like the contest concept, help yourself! Was just mentioning a few thoughts in passing. But if you simply write a 55-worder yourself, I'd be willing to bet a quarter somebody else will too. That would represent a practical movement (in terms of this blog -- though in terms of blogging writers, I dare say there's already been a wave or two of 55-worder - um - mini-mania washing thru the currents & onto the shores of blogdom's uncharted seascape. ;-)

Cliff said...

I enjoyed this too. I'm not much of a poet, but enjoyed the ideas. Thanks for sharing and making my day a little richer.

Enemy of the Republic said...

That's a good idea, David. The next thing I write will be a 55 word piece--prose or poem or prose poem. Good suggestion. I'm not nuts for competition among artists either.

camera shy said...

"one goes willingly or unwillingly when tugged"

nicely put

read your other 55 word poem
well done

david raphael israel said...

those 2 (so far) are a particular sort. For possible further (comparative?) interest, fyi a month or so ago, I got serious into this 55-word form, wote (in short span of time) a sequence of 30 of them which I called THIRTY PAGES, conceived as a sequence per se. After completing it, I starting writing more -- aiming to do a 2nd sequence of 30; but inadvertantly it got shunted aside after I'd finished 16 of 'em. But I may pick it up again, will see); those [incidentally] are also on same blog, under the December '05 archive. Rather a bit much to point to in one little Comment (46 55-word items); but even 46 x 55 words is maybe relatively terse as blogs can go. ;-) But the 30-item sequence is (as said) a completed thing, per moi.
[So this is a blogo-bibliographical footnote or at least annotation, presumably pointing to my prolixity (or hyperactivity) in the form in that recent period.]

Cliff: thanks!

En: good! -- look forward to seeing what you do.


feminine expressions said...

ooh, this is a sweet, lovely piece. i love this. (my only snag is in "it seemed a doubtful proposition." i am uncertain what is the antecedent. what is doubtful? otherwise this is a perfect piece...) i love this one...

david raphael israel said...

Well my word, if the Georgia O'Keefe of Poetry approves (on the whole) of my 55-words, perhaps things are not so dire. grazie.

To reply to the point you raise -- I'll concede the grammar does take a fiarly long leap backwards from the "it" (of the cited sentence) and its intended target (namely, the it being the proposisition: "it [yet another it! -- that one points up further, less of a leap, to "the world"] held the dim promise of an interesting story") -- so, to fill in all the it blanks: That the world held the promise of an interesting story -- THAT seemed, at times, a doubtful proposition.

I believe this does hold grammatical water, when followed thru -- and nary spills a drop. But I'd be obliged to hear if the reader finds it still doubtful.


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