Foliage and Grace and a New

By | 1 May 2014

foliage and grace and a new
cup and saucer, a laugh and a
lip and a laid climb sudden
and at the same time
patient and staring and
too late and later all this and not ordinary
noise and distance and even dust
spitting and perhaps washing
and polishing the lamp and the
cake and a sweet singing
trimming by length and
by doubling in the stem
and in starting it
shuts and it lifts the six
and the seven, a glass
and a cousin, the bug and the
post, nearer and farther
a meadow, a stroke
and difficult in mercy and in
medicine, a lining
and the shape, the cut
and slender joint, concentrating
the illusion and the illustration and soap
and silk for cleaning, readiness
and eyesight scatter and scattering
are guided and guided
away old ladies and mild
colds, a sweetness and some of
that, a whole sight and a
little groan and sometime a collapse
and a sold hole, habitual and tyrannical and
clean and cleansing and sometime next best
nearest a pillar a cause and no curve and a hat
and hurt, and courage and a clock
and matches and a swan, three
and more and no more
than three, a red thing and a
white thing, noon and moon
and nearly set in

I made this poem first by tabulating a Gertrude Stein text, ‘Objects,’ from her Tender Buttons, in a
spreadsheet. The spreadsheet’s functions were then used to locate mutually overlapping verbal
rhythms and syntactic repetitions. I manually arranged the resulting fragments in order to accentuate
the further correspondences they shared – but found repetition generates its own differences.
This poem is extracted from a set of 24.

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