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Archive for the ‘discussion’ Category

A cleave by any other name…Part 4: Triptych

In announcement, discussion on April 28, 2009 at 8:18 pm

I was doing what you call cleave poetry in the late 90's with the poetry group centered in Arlington Heights, IL. We called the poems triptychs because they could be read three ways. We also did wreath poems which shared words or phrases at the top and bottom but could be read three ways and V poems which shared only one word or phrase at the top or bottom. What you have done is create a movement and named the poetic type which is quite an accomplishment. Our group performed at Barnes and Noble, Borders, various coffee houses and the Green Mill where Marc Smith, the founder of slam poetry has his performances.

Richard Dates

rain–of poetry by Richard Dates

this poem is my writing
about the rain which forms patterns
in the air dripping down
a gray presence through time
a long affair like a kind of scroll
sacred not planned
by its wetness promoting growth
penetrating to some kind of root
deep into everything but with no clear purpose
softening the light diffusing its path
then drifting away toward some unknown destination

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A cleave by any other name…Part 3: Trigee poetic form

In discussion on March 12, 2009 at 11:26 pm

The trigee poetic form is the same as the basic cleave form.

The poet’s book supposedly contains his examples of trigee forms:

Pavlov’s Cat, Poems and other Stories by TD Euwaite (Richard Brotbeck).

Also see: What is responsible for all this Trigee business going on around here?

Interestingly the creator of the trigee form writes:

“The form was copyrighted in our 2008 book, PAVLOV’S CAT.”

Is it possible to copyright a poetic form?

I have been trying to get in contact with the creator of the trigee but have not had a reply, which is a shame.

Some thoughts:

  • Has the cleave form been reinvented numerous times since the start of the new millenium?
  • Is it an important structure that will arise from the rubble of our post-modern wasteland?

A cleave by any other name…Part 2: Greg Williamson & Octavio Paz

In discussion on February 17, 2009 at 9:54 pm

The cleave – a form waiting to be born?

It seems that a few years before the cleave form Greg Williamson invented a poetic form he called ‘Double exposure’:

Even earlier Octavio Paz experimented with similar forms.

Here are some thoughts on Greg Williamson’s Double Exposure:

And some thoughts on Octavio Paz’s ‘proto-cleaves’:

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tHe mAgic typEwritEr (cleave poetics 15-19/19) by Dennis Kelly

In discussion, submission on November 25, 2008 at 7:29 am


Four Quatorzain cleaves

“I prefer poems in anthologies
to poems in individual books.
A poem in an anthology has
forgotten its author.”
—Tan Lin, “ambient stylistics,”
Telling It Slant


Brute design—beltway bozos
dEmocracy—lewd propositions
guRly boyz—knowing the truth
thiNk about—halliburton haves and those
scabS of the—ratty mourning have-nots
gangsTer lobbyists—hoodlum politicians
silhouEtting—formaldehyde artifices
uncertaInties—nightly snarky fox-tv
discrepaNcies—elephantine lies

Seed text = BERNSTEIN
Source text = Charles Bernstein’s
“Ballad of the Girly Man,” Girly Man (2000)

(Using the diastic method, the writer reads through the source text and successively finds words or other linguistic units that have the letters of the seed text in positions that correspond to those they occupy in the seed text.)

(Using the cleave method, the writer reads through the diastic text—hyphenating the horizontal text into2 vertical texts. The resulting text is a diastic / cleave intertext—with 3 poems in positions that correspond to each in a unique polymorphosely vocal / textual way.


Gravedigger—slowly finishing up
GReene saying—“One never knows,
WhEn the blow—may fall”
DetEctive—sesame phrase:
“FrieNd—of Harry Lime”—
WinklEr—the Viennese Jansenist

Seed text = GREENE
Source text =The Third Man (1950)

“Jansenist,” Dr. Winkler commented and closed his mouth sharply as though he had been guilty of giving away too much information. “Never heard the word. Why are the arms above the head?” Dr. Winkler said reluctantly, “Because He died, in their view, only for the elect.”
—Graham Greene, The Third Man


Balking at sleep—i was a well
pAscal had his abysses—i was a mine
haUnted by vertigo—nightmares
hanDs reaching down into—darknesss
pacEs full of—languorous indifferences
disobLiging work—being a lyric poet in hell
consolAtions being few—in between while
contritIions ending up—lame and clandestine
surrendeRing sullen—boredom
silhouettEs—baudelaire on the wall…

Seed text = BAUDELAIRE
Source text = Les Fleurs de malNotes:

“Les Fleurs de mal was the last lyric work that had a broad European reception; no other writings penetrated beyond a more or less linguistic area. Added to this is the fact that Baudelaire expended his productive capacity almost entirely on this one volume.” —Walter Benjamin, The Writer of Modern Life: Essays on Charles Baudelaire (2006)


Ganymede—prince, my future king
pAge, sovereign’s son—fairest lover boy
joVe’s cutest chicken—lascivious commaund
sweEt beauty’s rarest purple—flower in bloom
wordS can’t describe how wanton—the ivy-twisting
idolaTrous my love-sick lips—kissing qualm
gavestOn your servant—ogling eyes astonished
ascendaNt—by rare phoenix youth…

Seed text = Gaveston
Source text =”Piers Gaveston,”
Michael Drayton (1593)

“This Edward in the April of his age,
Whil’st yet the Crown sat on his father’s head
My Jove with me, his Ganymede, his page,
Frolic as May, a lusty life we led…..
He might commaund, he was my
Sovereign’s son,
And what I said, by him was ever done.
My words as laws authentic he allowed,
Mine yea, by him was never crossed with no,
All my conceit as current he avowed,
And as my shadow still he served so”

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November by Phuoc-Tan Diep

In discussion, submission on November 14, 2008 at 6:59 am
          The sun weeps - cider tinted tears
             for Summer - for the fading
for the moon that hides - light
       behind the trees - as Autumn leads Winter
  shivering and anaemic - by the hand

**For those interested, I have included all my drafts here: Anatomy of a cleave poem: November**

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tHe mAgic typEwritEr (cleave poetics 3&4/19) by Dennis Kelly

In discussion, submission on November 6, 2008 at 7:31 am

“the energy of word art”
—Clark Coolidge,
Postmodern Poetry:
The Talisman Interviews

   cleaving—against it
seeing what—emerges

   monsters—of the id
     ghosts—of the ego

   the body—as movie
   dreaming—voyage imaginaire

i’m starved—i’m hungry
    the way—poets eat poets
   language—cleave du jour

“wait and see
what emerges…”
—Clark Coolidge,
Postmodern Poetry:
The Talisman Interviews

       what’s happening—with cleaves?
         the difficulty—talking about them?
         designing them—as 3 texts in one
        suggesting that—their meaning
          somehow comes—from a “complex”?

          when actually—the artifice of cleaves
performs simultaneously—paraphrasing
     the old surrealism—thru LangPo research
     into a new reading—worthy to be
        called American—parasurrealism…

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    Cleave by Andrea Barton

    In discussion, submission on November 3, 2008 at 7:48 am
                      It isA- joining of words
            A fusion and -cleave– separated by
    oddly, a division thatis– a physical gap
                 ruptures -the – eye’s path
       the rhythm hereopposite- to a smooth
            joint venture -of- meaning
          in clutching -itself- as one

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      What is cleave poetry? A summary of my thoughts so far

      In announcement, discussion on October 26, 2008 at 7:14 am
      What is in a name?
      Cleave : is a contranym, a word with 2 opposite meanings:
      • verb 1) split or sever along a natural grain or line. 2) divide; split.
      • verb 1) stick fast to. 2) become strongly involved with or emotionally attached to.

      — ORIGIN Old English Compact Oxford English Dictionary

      In its most basic form it is three poems:
      • two parallel ‘vertical’ poems (left and right)
      • a third ‘horizontal’ poem being the fusion of the vertical poems read together.
      This is a simple and elegant concept, but it is a paradigm shift.

      It has been interesting to see the development of the cleave form so far. In less than 2 months cleave poets have modified and made it their own, making cleave in their own poetic image by cleaving in at least these ways:

      1. fusion
      2. division
      3. seeding
      4. co-operating
      5. using cleave as a meta-form
      It has been incredible to see the versatility of the cleave form. Something I had not expected, indeed it is very exciting.

      As a summary, here are 11 points. These are my current thoughts on cleave poetics.  I will expand on each subsequently. They are for discussion. Please comment and dialogue.
      1. a foundation for creativity
      2. gives freedom to explore
      3. a framework for that exploration
      4. art fused with craft
      5. focuses on multiplicity of meanings
      6. allows simultaneous seeing of the whole and its parts
      7. synergistic
      8. exercise in poetics and linguistics
      9. a meta-form
      10. poetic maturity
      11. communication and dialogue
      Finally here are some thoughts for the future:

      • Potential for multiple cleave forms and ways of cleaving including multilingual cleaves.
      • The cleave in education as a tool around which language can be taught and skills honed.
      • The cleave in poetry as a new poetic form.
      • The cleave as a way of bringing people and cultures together.

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    • Dennis Kelly’s further thoughts on Cleave poetics

      In discussion, submission on October 7, 2008 at 9:31 pm

      CLEAVE POETICS For Phuoc-Tan, Diana, Laurie and Jennifer


      How to write a Cleave poem?

      Write the horizontal poem first.

      Cleave the poem into 2 vertical poems.

      Cleave with hyphens—using your intuition.

      The vertical poems are the zen payoff.

      They’ll read choppy somewhat but intelligent.

      The gestalt one feels is unique because it’s yours.

      It’s your horizontal poem to begin with.

      But the 2 vertical poems are spontaneous.

      Like Mac Low’s diastic impromptu method.

      Except the cleave method is quicker.

      It’s more spontaneous and otherworldly.

      Because it’s you confronting your double.

      Your poetic doppelganger in the NOW.

      The left hand & right hand poems are one.

      They’re not discrete poems.

      They’re the surprise Bingo that happens.

      The left and right poems aren’t stitched together.

      Hunting and picking for combos that fit…

      Cleaving one poem into two—that’s the trick.

      Not stitching two poems into one.

      What I want is surprise, joy and wonder.

      My way gives the poet a double-whammy.

      Cleave collaboration for me is Translation.

      Translating Pound’s Personae, for example.

      Pound put his Anthology poems together for a reason.

      They were his Imagist Manifesto.

      He jump-started the Modernist Movement.

      Eliot and Joyce did too. The three of them.

      With Personae, The Waste Land and Ulysses.

      But Pound did it somewhat differently.

      Thru small discrete poems—rather than Long Poems.

      The Waste Land = Long Elegy

      Ulysses = Long Love Lyric Irish Fairy Tale

      Pound wanted to embrace & extend the Past.

      Eliot and Joyce as well… each did it differently.

      Personae (1926) was Pound’s American Tree (Silliman).

      LangPo Poetry grew once Silliman’s Anthology (1986) came out.

      Personae is a thin little volume—an easy read.

      The American Tree is thick—many machines on Ix.

      Better than those on Richese?

      How to start a Cleave Movement?

      Call it CloPo or maybe CleavePo?

      How about an Anthology?

      An Anthology is like a Baseball Park.

      Build it—and they will come.







      now—my little cleaves

      let us—speak perfection


      let us—elegantly

      tell—our little story


      —based on “Salvationists”

      Ezra Pound’s Personae (1926)






      (“Come, my songs,

      let us speak of perfection—

      We shall get ourselves

      rather disliked.”)


      Now let us show—let us tell.

      Let our little cleaves speak perfection.

      Simplicity—elegantly telling a story.

      Each story—extemporaneous.

      Each story—impromptu.

      Each story—imbued with ad lib.

      Each story—ours to show & tell.


      dennis kelly 9/23/2008

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    • Cleave poem submissions: Dennis Kelly’s thoughts on Cleave poetics

      In discussion, submission on September 17, 2008 at 11:44 am

      Here are some of Dennis Kelly’s thoughts on Cleave poetry.

      Any more thoughts?


      ______—for Phuoc-Tan Diep


      ____________trying it once-trying it again

      blasting the poetic public-with our new cleavages

      _______cleaving that place-in their brains

      they didn’t know existed!-where angels fear to tread!

      ____uncleaving ourselves-poetically speaking

      _starting something new-not knowing where it’s going

      _____trying all the doors-to find openings
      ________that cleave form-pushing our brains


      _____________cleave me!!!-cleave me!!!

      _____LangClo Cleavage

      ___—for Phuoc-Tan Diep

      _______Please-don’t listen to me

      I’m just trying-to charm you

      ____the world-out of you

      ____ out on youinto me




      ___teamwork-The Trinity

      ____________diamond cleavage

      ____cleaving is like = making love
      lying on your back = with her on top
      _doing all the work = cleaving you
      ______perfectly still = like a diamond
      ____the cleave/gem = a diamond haiku


      _each cleave is different—just like making love.
      ____each time is unique—and erotically intense.
      _______each cleave-gem—cleaves the brain perfectly.
      each time is right brain—left brain cleave.
      _right down the middle—splits you in half.
      __each diamond cleave—is yours to keep.
      ____it doesn’t last long—but it’s deep.

      Cleave poems: © 2008 Dennis Kelly

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