The DIY Poem

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single sock


I’ve just come back from Daiso.

I ignored the photo frames, the bow ties, the dog biscuits,

I went straight to the cheap DIY poems,

because even the price of words has gone up these days.


I wanted to try making a poem by myself, you know, the Ikea experience,

instead of getting a professional poet to come and install words for me.


You would think that even a $1.99 poem should come with an instruction manual,

a cheat-sheet for suggested end rhymes, some quick-start ideas or even a sample poem.




For $1.99 all you get is a blank piece of paper, a pencil and 4 small cards.

I turn them over, and one says

Theme: Identity

another says

Tone: Happy

one more says

Poetic Device: Personification

and the last one is a picture of a sock.

I look in the packet for something else… a quote maybe, or an auto-complete button…


So I start thinking why socks don’t often come in black and white,

why bright colors on socks generally make your day walk by better.

I remember how socks keep your feet warm, unflustered and blister-free

I remember never to pair white sport socks with black pants.


Perhaps, I could use my poetic device to give the sock feelings of heroism

when it fulfills its stoic duty in spite of toenails threatening to punch holes in it,

how it gets bullied in the washing machine by more elegant work socks,

or smiles in quiet triumph when it gets picked to go out on weekends.


But look, it’s just one sock, and not two.

Are single socks more fashionable these days?

Maybe this sock likes to go DIY,

but a single sock getting a foot job might send it to a sticky end.


Or maybe someone else has another DIY poem kit with my matching sock,

and is writing a poem about how their single sock will find my single sock

and pair up, because… (cue killer last line)

they’re not single, they’re just waiting.

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The Found Poetry of Britney Spears

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Britney credit Fabiano Campos

photo credit Fabiano Campos

The following poem is made up entirely of lines from songs by Britney Spears. You have been warned.

The Found Poetry of Britney Spears

My loneliness is killin’ me
Here we are with nothing but honesty
E-mail my heart
And say our love will never die
‘Cause the girl in my mirror
Is crying out tonight

Oh baby baby if you seek Amy tonight
Oh baby baby we’ll do whatever you like
If you wanna mess with my eyesight,
Just let me get my head right
Where the hell am I?
I killed the lights, the lights, the lights

I’m into myself in the most precious way
No more tears to dry
You and I, we’re like so “bye-bye”
I’ve heard it all before and I-E-I-E-I
I’m a slaaaaaaaaaaave for you
Tell me, i’m not in the blue
That i’m not wastin, my feelings on you
Open that soda pop, bop-a shu-bop shu-bop

britney2 credit Steven I                                                                                                                                                                 photo credit Steven I

Pull up to my bumper
Watch me apply the pressure,
all decked in lace and leather
just like a circus

Am I too hot for you though
Did you check out my video
Hooked up with a guy named Joe
When the music was fast and slow
I’m cold as fire, baby
Hot as ice
When I crack that whip, everybody gon’ trip

Get naked
Get naked
Get naked
Get naked
Get naked
Get naked
Get naked
Get naked
Take it off

I used to think
I had the answers to everything
But now I know

Your body gives
But then holds back
The sun is bright
The sky is black

Stronger than yesterday
I played with your heart,
got lost in the game
Oops!…I did it again

britney 4 Photo credit April E

                                                                                                                                                                  photo credit April E

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The Postcard Project

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February was a busy, busy month. But I had the good fortune of partnering with Objectifs to take part in the Postcard Project, an initiative by the National Library Board to pair photographers and writers together to create ten postcards with images of youth in action on one side and creative writing in the form of poetry or flash fiction on the back.

Over the course of three weeks, I worked with documentary photographer Deanna Ang. She taught the photographers the basics and brough them on a couple of field shoots while I helped to guide the writers (some of whom were also the photographers) as we carved small arcs of story into these fleeting moments framed by the lens. In the end, each writer produced four to five pieces of writing, but sadly just one photo and poem/prose piece will be chosen for each photographer/writer pairing.

Here’s a shot of the chosen images:DSCF0155


It’s a project that speaks a lot to me, as I see a lot of correlation between the composition of an image and a poem; the deliberation of a frame, the gluttonous act of observation, imagined moments with their plangent emotive thread, spilling out from what was and wasn’t captured by the eye.

Here’s an example featuring a quirky dialogue by Daniela Beltrani paired with a photograph by Chee Wei Teck.

DSCF0149 DSCF0148



















The postcards come out in March and will be distributed free island-wide, watch out for them!

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