20 Sentences on Order (Out of Order)

constellations (1)Today’s post is really an exercise or experiment. I wrote 20 sentences and then rearranged them using a random sequence generator. I did it three times but decided on this progression because it seemed least sensible. If you want to read the sentences in the order they were first written, they’re labelled with their original numbers.

2. Stars won’t care.

4. The romance people assign is secondary.

10. Somewhere, amid the lines and dead ends, among parts and their whole, between truth and almost that, lies space.

7. So much of what we think known isn’t.

18. It might speak its own scheme but would take me to interpret it.

9. Blocks of words stretch each of the cardinal directions and their combinations, spreading like spills.

13. We make the image by reshaping our mouths into rooms.

17. I might take a photograph.

15. But we live in our own rooms, our own libraries.

5. Place comes first, and, though we like supremacy, reading chaos as sense isn’t our best trait.

1. You can say what you wish.

11. Maybe wisdom lurks in gaps.

3. Stars wheel through the night as they always have, indifferent and mathematical.

16. Today snow crosses in the air, making instantaneous constellations impossible to read.

12. I see a child standing before a painting, forming her mouth to the shapes of words.

8. Every library contains volumes of madness, shelves of proud misapprehension.

20. What if we embraced the illusion we see?

14. These rooms aren’t anywhere anyone else might live.

6. Stars have order apart from the reason we give them.

19. And that’s after it passes.

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6 Comments

Filed under Essays, Experiments, Identity, Laments, life, Lyn Hejinian, Lyric Essays, Metaphor, Place, Play, Prose Poems, Revision, Sturm und Drang, Thoughts, Time, Voice, Writing

6 responses to “20 Sentences on Order (Out of Order)

    • dmarshall58

      Thanks! I’m going to keep experimenting with this process. It changes the way you write to know that the order of sentences isn’t up to you. Hope you’re doing well. –D

  1. A really neat experiment, and I found that my eyes jumped around — so this added another step of random-ing. I also found that I caught patterns; or, rather, tried to catch patterns, of libraries and forming things with mouths. It was interesting — that in the face of randomness, I tried to find patterns within.

    • dmarshall58

      I know what you mean. My mind was jumping around as well. As I was writing, I was considering how each sentence had to somehow “touch” the others because any two could end up together. I’m not sure how big a piece like this could be—20 sentences seemed a lot—but it’s worth trying. You ought to. –D

      • That’s an intriguing idea about trying it. I thought about it after I read your post, then pushed it to the side as I went on to other projects. But I like the idea of coming around to giving this a whirl. Thanks for suggestion. 🙂

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