Hillman City Haibun 9 Anagrams

It was probably in 1995 or ’96 that Danika Dinsmore made me aware of a form of poetry called Present Beau, a kind of poem that employs the restraint of using only the letters in someone’s name in the poem itself. Thomas Walton of Pageboy Magazine has been using anagrams lately and the more and more I play with them, the more I am fascinated.

One trick, shared here in a past post for Danika herself, is to use the letters of someone’s name to add some zest to birthday wishes. Rather than just saying “Happy Birthday” and being one in a long line of Facebook friends doing the same thing, I started taking a few minutes to weave together some anagrams for the person, not in strict accordance with Oulipo, since they are language fundamentalists anyway. Some examples:

Present Beau for Mimi Machado-Luces Present Beau for Ramon Hildreth

A mild macho miscue for one and hardliner moth for the other! Who would have come up with these? Not many folks. And as I related in a recent post, I have been part of a Cornish College residency Post-Disciplinary Texts. Curated by Julia Greenway and Jessica Hoffman, the Cornish Playhouse Arts Incubator residency attempts to encourage artistic risk-taking by supporting artists creating work outside of their usual genre, discipline or comfort zone. My part will include anagrams, among other things and one of my American Sentences this week came out of the effort with playing with language in this way.

3.3.15 – She calls herself Julia Greenway, to us she’s Iguana Jewelry.

About Splabman

Paul Nelson is founder of SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) in Seattle, the Cascadia Poetry Festival and the August POetry POstcard Fest (PoPo). www.POPO.cards. He has published a collection of essays, Organic Poetry & a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, WA, A Time Before Slaughter (shortlisted for a 2010 Genius Award by The Stranger) and American Sentences, a book of 17 syllable poems drawn from the first fourteen of his 20 years of daily practice. The tenth anniversary edition of that book includes Pig War: & Other Songs of Cascadia. He’s interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Wanda Coleman, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, George Bowering, Diane di Prima, Brenda Hillman, George Stanley, Joanne Kyger & many Cascadia poets (see: https://paulenelson.com/americanprophets/) has presented his poetry and poetics in London, Brussels, Bothell, Cumberland, BC, Qinghai and Beijing, China, Lake Forest, Illinois, Ukiah, CA, and other places & writes an American Sentence every day. www.PaulENelson.com
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4 Responses to Hillman City Haibun 9 Anagrams

  1. -/:}> says:

    But what’s YOUR whole middle name, beyond the E?

  2. Buffy says:

    Paul E. Nelson

    Lou en Naples

    O! Sullen nape

    Slue panel? NO!

    On neu Lapels

    Lap eel-Nouns


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