Exquisite Corpse Project

The Exquisite Corpse Project display.

Exquisite corpse is a method by which a collection of words or images is collectively assembled. Each collaborator adds to a composition in sequence, either by following a rule (e.g. "The adjective noun adverb verb the adjective noun") or by being allowed to see only the end of what the previous person contributed.

Unbowed Sparrows Flutter Quietly

The glumly bloated pillow on my bed lays weary

In ways it is resplendent, eternally unemployed

Lazily immortal

Yawns are swallowed by it

Crimson Dreams imparted

Pungent coffee steams, hours away

Tantalizing drowsy Texans in Holiday Inns

Driving to Cleveland perhaps

Or speeding triumphantly to Cozumel

Where mellifluous tom-toms cough creamy beats

capricious lizards eagerly dance

Over the slumbering face of a podiatrist in Denver

The needle plunges passionately into the bonus track

Unleashed overzealously on the turntable

Exquisite avocado boldly wearing purple

sweetly disemboweled green

A universe away, feet twitch under covers

Fleeting emerald buttons combust as photosynthesis rushes softly on

Squished greenish-purple cup, hazel-hughes of its round heart

Now painted with spit

By heartbreaker long since cartwheeled into a cactus

Whispers of reality beckon, but

the earthly ghost is gaily obsolete here

On this luminous canvas maniacally stamped by horses

for as long as the darkness slyly whispers ebony poetry

Until the hazy orange rises dolefully to overpaint fantasy

Tenaciously dream in extravagant color

Only to be savagely snapped out of radiance

Goodmorning, early morning

Friendly half-cadaver, wicked dawn

Blue prostitute lightly sighs herself away

Replaced by the fulminant appearance of citizens

languid in the monotony of grinding work

Septuagenarians, up and at you

Cheerfully follow bird’s song to Drug Mart

Shuffle soulfully through aisles of pears

Vehement in the rays of gold beckoning from between trees

Splattered across sempervirent shrubbery, waxy leaves

 glitter vivacious as Christmas lights  

And yet I am prickly with discontent, languid under this cosmic fire

Sunrise, wrestle the wild night owl

Converting blissful satisfaction into rotten consternation

on the business end of a rose-colored revolver

Scornfully awake, dragging body morosely out to smoke

Lurid high noon, what to do with you?

acerbically participate in rituals

aches screaming dryly in my queer socket

Wisteria crochet glamourous patterns on the eye

a hurricane of children on the playground

Silent butterflies adorn the school lawn

Skateboarder, librarian, and telephone operator

commune over patio table

Simoleons on the check, fruit in the cheek

Voraciously eat up and cut out

Transubstantiation, my blood is wine leftover from night

a bookbag full of theory in a knuckle-hard football bar

Set to the record of WWE blaring savagely over speakers

Shooting twisted evil over rancid food tray

Swiftly explode into latex-smooth drunk, ratiocination absent in the fifty-six

nevermind this demonic alligator

metallic bull, thundering anvil, black eye don’t remain forever

Nauseously gulp dandelion tea, gingerly bite tongue

Usher in another malevolent Tuesday

Thank you to everyone who participated. I am so overwhelmed by the creative energy that has been shared with me. A special thank you to Samia for keeping me on track with your knowledge of adjectives and adverbs, and last but certainly not least, a gracious thank you to the unnamed author of the Exquisite Corpse’s title. Your thoughtfulness and impeccable word choice is most appreciated.

Zena Smith is a Lakewood Public Library employee and sappy poet.

Zenaida Smith

Lakewood Public Library employee, sappy poet

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Volume 13, Issue 12, Posted 2:48 PM, 06.20.2017