Week 3: Cut Up / Aleatory Writing [continued] / Prose Poems

This week we will have a look/listen to your Cut Up works and discuss what effects are being generated by the various approaches and technique adopted. Please feel free to share some of your work under this post as comments. Be great to have some on here as part of the module work-in-progress archive.

Here’s link to a doc on Gysin with a William burroughs V/O – very beat. very cool. and gives some insight to the methodlogy


And here’s another link to a really interesting site with a special piece on Cut Up by Burroughs.


We will also consider the reading and what Bok considers to be a Poetics of Chance. We will also have a look at the some of experiemental writing strategies offered by Hazel Smith in the Chapter 1 extract hand out from her fascinating book The Writing Experiment.


Read: Extract from “Adjunct: an Undigest” by Peter Manson

adjunct – prose poem

Do: At a location of your choice and over the course of a specified duration, record conversation, ambient sound, printed text, and other sensory materials in as much detail as possible in your notebook and bring to next seminar. Start collecting material from the TV/internet/radio/advertising/newspaper. Bring to seminar.


2 thoughts on “Week 3: Cut Up / Aleatory Writing [continued] / Prose Poems

  1. The Quiet Garden
    Not yet spring but warmth envelopes Sunday afternoon. I sit in the garden. No book. No music. I listen. Birdsong. A distant plane. Car engine humming close-by. My eyes close. Gentle breeze whispers across my face. Another car. A sudden beep of a horn. Twice. A different engine sound. Smaller. Motorbike. Not close. Much closer, a knock on a door. A beat, voices from next door. The breeze picks up. The ‘caw caw caw’ from a circling crow. The sound of the motorbike. Closer this time, around the corner. Another plane. Larger than the first. Carrying passengers? It rumbles, a long way off. But still loud, for while, obliterating all other sound. Gradually, silence resumes. Just birdsong. Then … bang! From a neighbouring house. The sound of an inside door slamming. It’s a warm day; windows are flung open; indoor noise creeps out. High pitched mechanical buzz, source unknown. A gate swings, its old wooden frame gently creaking. Then … moments of silence. And I listen. Just birdsong. And a smaller plane, further away. No passengers this time. The breeze catches dead leaves. Whisks them in a tumble across the decking. I continue to listen, eyes closed. Birdsong. More noise from next door; knife grating across a chopping board. A loud, fast motorbike in the distance. A low ambient hum. A fly? Or a bee, energised by unseasonably warm air. Silence pierced by the loud cackle of a lone jackdaw. Footsteps – high heels – from the pavement at the front of the house. Jackdaw continues to cackle. Interrupted by high-pitched birdsong – not a trill I recognise. Water running down next door’s drainpipe. Their boiler hums gently. Jackdaw continues its cry. Car in distance. Motorbike closer. The same one going round in a circuit? But above all, there is birdsong. I listen. The quiet garden.

    1. i love the use of very short sentences in particular in this piece and the way you vary them with longer ones. it creates a very particular rhythm that is reinforced by your fore-grounding of sound as a descriptive throughout – lots of interesting and percussive sound images. love it!

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