Poetic Imagery From Random Phrases of My Journal

I’ve been free writing on my computer for around a decade. This makes for an interesting opportunity: scanning my own material for poetic phrases. So, I wrote a computer program that prints three random phrase from all my journal entries. I wanted to see if any combinations would conjure poetic imagery at all that I might later use as inspiration in song writing.

Here an example…

New Years! Soon to be 2012, the end of the world
That isn't the priority though
How am I going to find inspirational art without it?

This conjures images of New Year’s Day being the end of the world. For me, it’s a remnant of living through Y2K as a computer system administrator. During that time we thought there could be a world collapse of computing systems if we didn’t patch our servers with a fix. A year later 911 happened, and during that New Year’s Eve, we were worried terrorists would do something that night, being such a symbolic time. The meaning then turns around and declares the end itself is not a priority, for there will no longer be art to enjoy. A lot of imagery there, from random sentences. Interesting.

It reminds me of Jeff Tweedy and his wonderful book, “How to Write One Song“. He developed many tools for his songwriting process, including skimming books for interesting and inspiring passages. I like to think what I am doing here is my twist on that technique. Except they’re my words. Also, being that my journal writing is conversational, there’s a bonus of it not being too descriptive. In other words, there won’t be too many adjectives. A problem for song writing that Jeff Tweedy points out with: An “impatient fiery orb loomed in the whiskey-blurred cottony-blue sky” is rarely going to hit me anywhere near as hard as “I was drunk in the day”.

There’s a lot to talk about in his book. I’m looking forward to covering it more some day.

I was also recently inspired by Writing with Andrew’s video on How to Read Poetry. Reading poetry has always been elusive for me and he really put it in a way I finally could understand. It further encourages me to brainstorm using my “random word haikus”. It seems possible, as we are only trying to create an image of a scene or experience.

Here are some more I came up with…

Why do I have so many regrets?
Running out of time
What now?

All of it was gone
I don't know what that was
I felt it

Time to go dream
That kind of thing
Here I am

I won't stop, never
That's all I can say

And my preference is to look deep in the universe and figure out what's out there
Probably rock my world
Now I can move on


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *