Broken Lines and Me.
I am a visual artist, used to explaining my paintings in titles and material lists, but since doing this blog about ten months ago I started taking photographs for the first time with a cheap pocket camera (more recently with a better camera) and I have slipped into doing something I call description or broken words (its like baby talk) and it’s basically about using raw words with no frills to describe the photos I have taken. My written style is basically minimalist. Its not poetry… but I find myself making up words to fit into the structure. The process tightens me in, keeps me on track….. and finally it lets me run away with words too…..without ever writing too much.
I start with a few words; the ones I really want to use ( I draw up a list) to describe my photos (feelings, a story line, a picture or even in a letter to my muse).Then I fill in the spaces between the words I have listed….. frugally…. until the list of basic words (still reduced) become less broken! I go on filling in trying to avoid sentimentality. Always in the fewest words.In this way the lines kind of write themselves.
My aim is to make a clearer description (not a poem) from the ideas on the original word list. If I start to over-do it with rhyme,sentimentality, or become too dramatic,cliched ….and notice I stop, and reduce what I’ve have done word by word. The list of words, the bones of the description remain,so I you can have several goes without losing anything.
The process often reveals a natural rhythm, maybe even a song!. I may say things I hadn’t intended or notice at first ….. So I take a bit of time with the edit.
My first go at the words: you-me- we (see above) could simply have stopped at: You and me are we (adding just two words) or it could have read: Your heart and me are we…… or: Your heart is in me, so we will dance forever (no! no! no!….and so on). The expansions I made with these three words were many and I finally settled on a reduction of three lines.The finished lines above still seem to leave out something, so I could still fill in more words! But I won’t. And it is probably all the better for that……