The Other Night: Experimental Poetry

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In July 2016, my friend Taren came over to hangout. While she was scrolling through Facebook, she came across a post that said, "Open the closest book next to you and the first sentence on page 45 and the first sentence on the page describes your love life." The average person would probably do this once, laugh, and move on. However, Taren and I did this and then we kept doing with different page numbers. We were enjoying this so much that I explained experimental writing to Taren. We decided this was great prompt for us to use for an experimental poem.

We changed the criteria for material slightly. While keeping on the topic of love, we created opportunity for better material. We chose five Nicolas Sparks novels (The Wedding, The Rescue, A Bend in the Road, and The Last Song). We would open these books to a random page. Then we would set a 10 second timer. In that time we would have to find a sentence to use for our poem.

We then created a sentence bank. We went through the sentences that we collected and combined them into a way that we thought was logical. I am excited about experimental writing and am currently trying to get some experimental pieces published.


The Other Night

“Do you really want to know?”
I took a deep breath, trying to gather myself.
“I swear on my life I didn’t come here
     to fall in love with you, or try to
     make you fall in love with me. But I did.”

It took a moment for the words to register.
Believe it or not, there are times when
I don’t know what to say either.
     I'm afraid of what might happen
     I can't imagine what it would be like.

“I wanted to thank you for what you did last night.
     But the other night…
     I wouldn’t do that to her.”

With his good hand, he reached over and
patted my leg as if giving me the okay.
She really wasn’t in the mood for this.
      It seems that he went a little too far.
     Never once, however, did he keep his promise.

How do you like it? It’s only going to take a few minutes.
“I’ve got five minutes.”
     “Doesn’t it hurt?”
     “No,” she said simply.

I almost felt guilty about it.
Occasionally, I even felt good about it, too,
though I never admitted it to anyone.
When I finished, he shaded his eyes with his hand.
     I smiled.
     He flashed a quick, almost defeated smile.

I was in love, and the feeling was
even more wonderful than I ever imagined it could be.
     The thought of living the rest of her life without him
     was almost too much to bear.

I had the strangest feeling that when we first met;
he was trying to figure out whether we’d slept together.
     What kind of person would do that?

And he doesn’t complain, he doesn’t
whine, he just does it.
     And not only that, but you’re a man who allows
     emotional women to ramble on without telling them to stop.