This Friday’s Found Poem

It’s that day of the week again: Friday, Friday, Friday. A day to watch the hours melt into Saturday, or to force productivity in one last attempt to end the week on a high note.

This week, we are pleased to present you with a piece by The Continuist’s very own, a one Cameron MacDonald. In his own words (before we get to the ones he’s found), Cameron describes his process.

Process for Finding Words

This piece was written with two main sources: Donald Allen’s The New American Poetry and PsycInfo, an online database of international psychological literature. I chose pages of Allen’s seminal compilation of postwar poets with a random number generator, put my finger down on the page, and typed out the line that was closest. I would then type in the middle word inPsycInfo and use the amount of words in the aforementioned line of poetry to determine which title I would type down. The words in these two lines would then be scrambled at my discretion, with some grammatical symbols added for poetic effect. Each stanza represents each line pairing. This calculated yet indeterminate approach was utilized in an attempt to represent the dissonance in the 1950s between poetry’s “anti-tradition” and the conservative, clinical approach to writing, paralleled by the resurgence of psychoanalysis.


And here is the final product, a found poem just in time for Friday.

New American Psychology

The concentration increased.
More fluid are we
in it, the sun’s disease.
TREM2 on.
Soluble beauty of light—
the Alzheimer’s white.

The cerebrospinal
videotape disorders the student
of behavior. The linen on
the chairs with purple effect!
On emotional feedback;
on a behavioral task. Of

extinction and place.
Of gated preference. Of isolated
effects. I will only place
naloxone there. And was a queer
conditioned by ethanol? Is aversion
induced and conditioned? Place

is voice for when you are alone:
you love it different.

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