Kenopsia and Experiments of the Hyper Surreal Variety


Baldybeard contacted me with an idea for an experiment. I would write a poem and then he would write the exact same poem (more or less) only he would write it using his own words and in his own style. Likewise I would rework one of his poems in my style. We decided to write to the Kenopsia Prompt so that we were using the same theme. This was tough I am not going to lie. Baldybeard and I have very different styles. His words are clear and concise. Whereas I tend toward rambling abstraction. In doing this I realized I use a lot pronouns. I also tend to focus on emotions and ambiance rather than concrete details. Baldybeard is good with concrete details and internal dialogue, his characters are realistic whereas I tend to exaggerate and romanticize. Anyhoo this was very surreal and a good learning experience. I actually thought of doing this at MLMM as a challenge but I had to try it first myself. Are you guys willing to swap poems with each other?

Here is the first half of the experiment for the 2nd half (where I rework his poem) visit Baldybeard’s Blog here

My Poem

There are some silences

Which hang like predatory silk,

Invisible without contact.

Whole conversations conducted

Smoothly, subliminally

Without the risk of contamination.


I swallow my breath,

Voice swelling, an avalanche of stars.

Once spent I’ll never retrieve this horror.

I stew in vacancy, in the creases

Of overlapping corridors.


I bask in the obsolete

In the postures of civility

Swept aside and reformed

In angles that defy necessity.


Shadows without companion

Defend controversial ruins,

Ruins that remind one

Of just how inhuman,

Humans can seem.

Baldybeard’s Version Same Poem  (he did an amazing job!!!)

a stillness
affixed like predatory silk
visible only to touch

conference in confidence
smooth without sound

I swallow my breath – suffocating – breath demands release
disseminated air grasped in vain
I seek solace in these empty halls

my fondness for the outmoded
civility transmuted according to fashion
forgotten and left to rot

Shadows of ghost
profess this place
ruins of dehumanization


22 responses to “Kenopsia and Experiments of the Hyper Surreal Variety

  1. Phenomenal work–I especially love your last stanza, and the line, “Shadows without companion” gets me deep and hard. In answer to the question you ask–would I be up for the challenge of swapping poems to write–can you hear my shout of NO! The rest of you brave, energetic souls are welcome to it.

  2. Pingback: Factory | BaldyBeard·

  3. Human can seem so inhuman, for sure. Silence can be such a weapon used to hurt. Predatory silk and stewing in the creases are a couple fav lines. Don’t knock your style – it allows a lot of emotion to build in your words

    Babybeard version:

    ruins of dehumanization is a great phrase,as are these liunes when you run them together;

    my fondness for the outmoded
    civility transmuted according to fashion

  4. As I commented on BB’s space – in response to his post and your “re-write” —- indeed a very different but interesting way to approach a project.

    As I said there – the fact that you chose a “difficult” prompt to work with – makes it all the more challenging – and I think you both did outstanding jobs – each with one’s own response – and then, with the reworkings or new interpretations of the other’s work.

    Certain the style and power, each voice is unique – neither better nor comparable – which makes it all the more fascinating to see how someone else can read, absorb and then interpret in their own style.

    I applaud both your efforts – truly – you did wonderful things with this experiment – and – I’m sure, as you’ve noted Yves – it also means taking a look at how one tends to write – in terms of style etc. Which can be surprising in its own way and rite. 🙂

    • Thank you so much XD I did learn quite a lot about my style, my tendencies/habits etc and about setting aside my ego (which poets tend to possess in spades) actually I was most surprised by that. I wondered if a lack of understanding might lead to offense or something but that did not happen, there was no competition or clashing or anything it was really quite easy to open myself to the experience after the first few moments of utter confusion had passed lol

      • LOL — the first few moments of utter confusion – brilliant line!

        I suspect it becomes the suspension of ego and fear – because this is really a huge challenge.

        Difficult theme – as in defining with feelings and the imprecision of something precise – but in an abstract way.

        Then – throw in the fact that many here – who read and contribute – often feel and express their strong admiration for your talents – and perhaps, without stating it openly – think “oh hell, I’m not as good as her” …. so to take on the challenge – even the suggestion by Baldy Beard – well – I applaud his courage – I’m sure you both have shared something quite personal and in a sense intimate – because it’s really a matter of faith and trust – that the other will in a sense “do justice” to what one has created – after all – we all love our works – in some form or fashion. So bravo to you both!

      • Thank you (if you email me at I can speak more openly haha Baldybeard did express intimidation but he has an intense passion for learning and mental puzzles his curiosity is a driving factor in all that he does. He is one of those rare people who is confident but has low self-esteem (I am low in both but confidence particularly). It is intimate we did talk a good deal about the poems with one another as we have such different styles we don’t always understand what the other has written lol Baldybeard is a man of logic, math, and science I am not such a man lol

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s