2021-02-02 17:20

I started my third chance operation series yesterday. As with the first two, I’m drawing five words at random from a predetermined list, then I’m using a source text to choose a line at random.

The first series ran for about forty days and the second for a bit over fifty days, which felt right for each of them. But I plan on running this series for at least three months, to generate as many as ninety or a hundred poems, from which I can select and winnow. This time, I want as many options as possible: I want the luxury to cut ruthlessly and still have something left over after the carnage.

I plan on doing it daily, but I did two today, so I’ve already written three. I also intend to not look back at the pieces until I’ve written at least 50 or 60, but I went back and copied out these first three poems since I had left them in something of a mess. And… something is happening. Something is clicking. I may even have a title for the project already.


writing process chance


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❡ Finished in January 01/ Week of 3 Jan Alison Moncrieff, Cherrystem (Finishing Line Press, 2017) 02/ Week of 11 Jan Jeff Parent, This Bygone Route (845 Press 2020) 04/
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Chance Operation The third series didn’t last. After an extremely promising first few days, I discovered the source text was problematic; I kept landing on passages