WORD PALETTING 2


Now, I don’t remember having purposely made a point to create this writing method and definitely don’t remember having reckoned the contrast that exists between this second word paletting version I used and the first one.


To me, they were a refuge that facilitated my communicative ability to flourish, even when I was only minimally enabled to learn, remember, speak or compose.


The first thing, following my gargantuan stroke and surgeries, that I remember, is being back at home and having no idea what on earth was going to happen, next. I couldn’t tell the difference between the two.


What I didn’t know, at the time, was that the ventricular shunt that had been installed in my brain to facilitate drainage of pressure and fluid had gone the way of the passenger pigeon, due to my having experienced my growth spurt; to me, it’s ironic that it’s possible to OUT- grow something that has been purposely IN- stalled ON the IN- side of one’s body.


However, that is what happened to me, in 1987. Just like in the first Word Paletting version, a writer begins by choosing the fulcrum or anchor term that is used to create the palette.


In the poem, below, the word, “TAIL”, was used as the anchor; in order not to discourage one’s self, it is recommended that a word that has many uses and alternative meanings, in common speech and communication, be used.


The word, “TAIL”, as well, has the homo-phone, “TALE”, that can be used. It might make things easier on an LD writer to use an “ANCHOR TERM” that has multiple, existent meanings and multiple different spellings, due to the greater ease that a writer can experience.


The less crayons in a box restricts a person’s ability to color, the less primary colors a painter has to construct his or her palette and the more homophones and homonyms a word has, the potential greater ease it will be able to provide a struggling writer who is using the Word Paletting process.


The user of this writing strategy should make a note of his or her anchor term, even though, the method, in contrast to the first Word Paletting tactic, is much, much easier to identify one’s creative fulcrum. Here is the original palette that was used to “paint” the poem, loose ta(i)l[e]s.


                       Title Tail/Tale


line 07 -tied a tail:”string attached”

line 13 -in spats & ta(i)l[e]s,

line 15 -aesop, w/his yarns &…

line 17 -deadmen

(tell no tales) & their silence;

line 19 -like lizards lose their ta(i)l[e]s

line 21 -cat has just half a ta(i)l[e]

line 24 -into the bog w/catta(i)l[e} fringe

line 25 -a fenceswift, w/its curly-ta(i)l[e]

line 30 -it, not even of its ta(i)l[e]

line 32 -&, w/o a ta(i)l[e], we had

line 34 -coat ta(i)l[e]s of a comet

line 35 -never-minding ta(i)l[e] winds,

line 37 -sipping cockta(i)l[e]s, thru

line 40 -bytheway, has not a ta(i)l[e]

As a learning disabled individual, who has a hampered memory, it was amazingly cool to have concocted this method; in that, instead of being stymied by the goings-on that are inherent in many, if not all, conventional writing lessons and curricula, the process one uses in word paletting allows for repetition, if not, necessitates it.


loose ta(i)l[e]s


long before the crucifixions,


beings crossed their fingers


& two sticks, then they’d


stretch a skin a’ cross, to


form a kite, to which theyd


tie a tail &, soon enough,  


the acrobat stuntflyer would      


loop twine around  its  


 thumbs, in making it kites


 dance their jig; only,    


 dressed to kill, in spats


  & ta(i)l[e]s, a bigtop hat  


  upon their head, like aesop,  


  w/ his yarns & ta(i)l[e]s of  


  snips & snails; or,  of deadmen    


  & their silence; which, of    


  course, is made of gold/will


  never stay, like lizards lose


  their ta(i)l[e]s, but they can


  make up new ones; unlike cats.    


  this, i know; our six-toed cat  


  has just half a ta(i)l[e]; he  


  skulks along, w/feathers on


  his mind, into the bog, w/ cat    


  –ta(i)l[e] fringe, where i    


  recall a fence swift,  w/ its


   curly- ta(i)l[e], had scaled a


   tree,  in ’86, when halleys


   comet passed us by; we  


   failed to trap a glimp of it, 


   not even of its ta(i)l[e]; yet,


   we are on a planet & w/o  


   a ta(i)l[e], we had no right;  


   tho’, some do  yearn to be


   aboard the coat      


   -ta(i)l[e]s of a comet: never    


   -minding ta(i)l[e] winds,      


   sipping cockta(i)l[e]s, thru    


   -out time & space, a ways        


   away from planet earth


   which, bytheway,    


   has not a ta(i)l[e]


The method that was used to write this poem was not difficult. Forthcoming, I will show, step-by-step, exactly how it was arrived at.


01 loose ta(i)l[e]s


02 long before the crucifixions,


03 beings crossed their fingers


04 & two sticks, together,


05 as theyd lash & stretch a skin


06 a cross, to form a kite,


07 to which theyd tied a ta(i)l[e];


08 &, soon enough, the acrobat


09 -stuntflyer looped twine


10 around its thumbs,


11 in making it kites dance


12 their jig; only, dressed


13 to kill, in spats & ta(i)l[e]s,


14 a bigtop hat upon their


15 head, like aesop, w/ his yarns


16 & ta(i)l[e]s of snips & snails;


17 or, deadmen & their silence;


18 which, is made of gold, will


19 never stay, like lizards lose


20 their ta(i)l[e]s: unlike cats.


21 this, i know; our six-toed cat


22 has just half a ta(i)l[e]; he skulks


23 along, w/feathers on his mind,


24 into the bog w/ cat ta(i)l[e]


25 fringe, where i recall a fence


26 swift, w/ its curly- ta(i)l[e], had


27 scaled a tree, in ’86, when


28 halleys comet passed us by;


29 we failed to trap a glimpse of


30 it, not even of its ta(i)l[e];


31 yet, we are on a planet,


32 &, w/o a ta(i)l[e], we had


33 no right; ‘tho, some would


34 love to be aboard the coat


35 -ta(i)l[e]s of a comet: never


36 -minding ta(i)l[e] winds,


37 sipping cockta(i)l[e]s, thru


38 out time & space, a ways away


39 from planet earth, which,


40 bytheway, has not a ta(i)l[e]


Decide upon the word or word pair that your poem will use as its fulcrum, in this case: TAIL; by virtue of the alternative spelling of “tail”, “tale”, your palette can be expanded.


01 loose ta(i)l[e]s


03 tied a ta(i)l[e]                          (to a kite)


04 spats & ta(i)l[e]        (personification)


05 aesop, w/his yarns & ta(i)l[e]s


06 of snips & snails                     (allusion)


07 deadmen & their silence      (allusion)


08 lizards lose their ta(i)l[e]s           (pun)


09 half a ta(i)l[e]         (amputation /pun)


10 cat ta(i)l[e]           (cat tail)(a cat’s tail)


11 fence swift, w/ its curly-ta(i)l[e]    


12 not even of its ta(i)l[e];   (factual ref.)


13 on a planet,


14 &, w/o a ta(i)l[e]                    (w/o a tail)


15 aboard the coat.                        (fantasy)


 16 -ta(i)l[e]s of a comet             (fantasy)


17 never-minding ta(i)l[e] winds, (fact.)


18 sipping cockta(i)l[e]s               (situat.)


19 bytheway, has not a ta(i)l[e] (no tail)


Each term or phrase that I used contains the word, “tail” or “tale”. When I was trying to re-emerge as a writer in my early post-massive stroke/brain surgery days, I had a very hard time being able to hold a thought in my head very long; I am not kidding when I say that I could not, in general, remember things after a number of minutes. (Sometimes, this was less than 1 minute.) As I come to remember, I couldn’t hold a pencil very easily, either.


By virtue of this fact, life became extremely difficult. Anyway, after you deposit those last two years in a bucket, I’ll continue. In my mind, the word, “tail”, was objective, based on the fact that it has no syntactic bearing on what the poem, loose ta(i)l[e]s, “means”…it was just a word I used to gather poetic (or communicative) kindling and as well, it was correlative, due to the fact that many of the poem’s words were connected to or “correlative” to the word, “ta(i)l[e]“, as well.


However, in reality, T.S. Eliot gleaned the concept of the Objective Correlative from an 18th century painter/writer: Washington Allston. The ironic thing about their concept of objective correl-ative is the fact that it doesn’t really have to do with what the two words actually mean, together.


Stupid me, (Yes, four neurosurgeries, a 15th brain stroke and being exposed to nearly-fatal meningitis actually caused me to go into a stupor.)I didn’t realize this until I was enrolled in a doctoral level class in which the professor assigned us, on the first day of the semester, the task of choosing two concepts to guide us, throughout the semester on which to concentrate.


I can’t even recall the second concept I focused on, due to all the nearly-twenty year old egg I felt upon my face. The cavern walls of the rabbit hole were tie-dyed…this let me know how long I’d been wrong. In fact, from what I was able to determine, upon researching the original “objective correlative”, the concept is almost antithetical to what I conceived of as the meaning of Objective Correlative. My take on it was that it was a poetic method that used a list of generated words that were simultaneously OBJECTIVE and CORRELATIVE.


Thereby, I just assumed that using a list of words that were simultaneously related to a central term (in this case: TAIL or TALE) and that were, as well not really related or that were objective of one another. This was how my amazingly hampered brain was working; especially before I underwent my final operation, during which a second ventricular shunt was installed to facilitate release cephalic fluid and pressure. I really wanted to rejoin the world I was forced to leave behind.


But, due to the failing shunt,  I was forced, like Rudolph, not to join in any reindeer games; then, in the last days of December, of 1987, it came down to my general prac-titioner, once again. I had been under the care of several highly-regarded special-ists/neurologists upon my arrival back in the United States; none of these individuals could figure out what was going on. For all I know, they all probably figured that I was only going to amount to so much, in the rest of my life.


A non-specialist: my damned pediatrician!…finally…cracked the code! In the third or fourth week of December of 1987, I entered the University of Maryland Hospital, in Baltimore. Dr. Walker Robinson (who is not my pediatrician, mind you) performed a surgery to replace the first shunt that had been installed, previously, at the Johns Hopkins University hospital.


You see, the problem was that, in addition to not being sure to leave enough slack in the first shunt they in-stalled, Hopkins allowed my nervous system to be invaded by Spinal Meningitis. This caused my blood temperature to rise to 107° F, very nearly killed me, potentially presented me my short-term memory deficit with which I am still forced to contend, still, 25 years later. I also have hemiparesis (weakness on one side of my body); this, I think, was likely caused by the last stroke.


01loose tailes   01(loose ta(i)l[e]s


02                                                   02


03 tied a ta(i)l[e]                        03(to a kite)


04 spats & ta(i)l[e]     04 (personification)


05 aesop, w/his yarns & ta(i)l[e]05(allus.)


06 of snips & snails                      06 (allus.)


07 deadmen & their silence        07(allus.)


08 lizards lose their ta(i)l[e]s       08(pun)


09 half a ta(i)l[e]s                           09)(pun)


10cat ta(i)l[e]                                    10(tail)


11 fence swift, w/ its curly ta(i)l  11(lizard)


12 not even of its ta(i)l[e];      12(fact. ref.)


13 & w/o a ta(i)l[e]                   13(w/o a tail)


15/16 aboard the coatta(i)l[e]s of a comet


17 never-minding ta(i)l[e] winds,17(fact)


18 sipping cockta(i)l[e]s,     18(situat.ref.)


19 bytheway, has not a ta(i)l[e] 19(taile)


The way I started this Word Paletted poem was by creating its palette. I used the “correlative term” TAIL/TALE and generated a list of compound words and phrases that contained it. Bytheway, this poem’s title was added after the poem was completed.


-kite-tail


-spats and tails


-yarns and tales


-(deadmen tell no tales)


-lizards lose their tales


-planets have no tails / tales


-aboard the coattails of a comet


-sipping cocktails


-earth has not a tail


(in contrast to Halleys’ comet)


I just thought of sayings, statements and concepts that include the word tail or tale. As a rule, it seems to me that a writer who has difficulty initiating the act of writing could use this action, whether he or she is learning disabled, of English as a Second Language status or merely stumped for what to write.


Now, I can truly make the connection between my repeated use of the Word Paletting 2 method, especially during my profoundly cognitively-affected days, and why it’s so easy for me to write, revise and add to text that I create. This ease is based on my ability to place the meaning-based and topic-based nature of what I was/am writing on autopilot and worry more about the effect of what I have composed on a reader’s mind, the same way that a piece of music affects the brain of a listener, rather than the meaning or message. Especially instrumental music is, in my mind, this way.


It’s my hypothesis that much “modern art” is the same, as well; only, modern art, affects the viewer. Even though my memory was incredibly hampered, I still yearned to thrive and act as a student; however, when you cannot remember things, it’s extremely difficult to learn.


As for me, I could hear, just as well as I could before my stroke/surgeries; my motor coordination was much more inaccurate than it had been, making it extremely difficult to write legibly or as quickly as I had been able to previously. In a lot of ways, I was out of luck. To make things worse, I suffered from verbal aphasia, or “tip of the tongue disorder”.


This jackass fiasco that I experienced made it so, even after my brain had had a little time to simmer down and reboot itself, thoughts would flood into my consciousness and I would be preparing to just spout them out; only, aphasia thwarted my ability to speak.


Literally, it was like I, would get the wording from my mind, into my mouth and onto my tongue and, at the end of my tongue, where the key to successful articulation existed, I would be prevented from speaking.


I realize, now, that verbal aphasia, in conjunction with the hell of the experience of a profound short-term memory deficit, truly could have been enough to make me give up; I guess I was, luckily, too pigheaded to concede. Oink, I said…(Note to reader, if you read Richard Brautigan’s book, The Abortion: An Historical Novel: 1966, you might see a little bit of similarity, in one full chapter, to the piggy comments, peppered, herein; also, if you read Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s book, Slapstick, peppered throughout some of the book are sporadic bursts of, “Hi Ho!.)


To start, a person determines the “anchor” term or the term that correlates to all the other words, in the list. For the poem, loose ta(i)l[e]s, The anchor term is ta(i)l[e] and the rationale for spelling this word the way I have is the fact that it has a homophone (tale) that is pronounced the exact same way as the spelling of the original word, (tail).


I suggest the use of an anchor term that as many uses in ordinary conversational language as possible because this will make it easier for a person to make connections to and establish segues from the term.


The best way, especially as an individual with a short-term memory deficit, to go about successfully using this process, is to repeat it, over and over again, without losing track of the method by which the poem was created. This is accomplished more easily if the writer makes the anchor term part of the poem’s title.


In fact, in looking at several of the more than 100-200+ poems I have written in the past 20 or so years, very few of them can necessarily be identified as being formulaic; however, I know the truth.


Several of my poems were written, using bizarre processes; this particular Word Paletting method leaves a fairly prominent breadcrumb trail. The problem is, that the process has several steps. That is the main reason why I have taken so long to document it.


It was all in my head/brain and, due to my damaged brain, I was not able to retrieve it, at will. When using word paletting the first one to one hundred, or more times, for some head trauma victims, it could be a good thing for them to limit the number of palette terms they generate, as a way to prevent massive gobs of frustration.


Take it from me, as someone who has a half a trillion notebooks that contain at least a trillion unfinished poems, that completing a poem or anything else, for that matter, is really a good thing. That is why I suggest generating less palette terms.


Take, for example:


the busi-man


w/manicured hands was


held to the wall,


still clutching his news


 i wake up each newday,


 the radio-news, chirping its static


the news of the


rain  came show


-ering down


The ironic thing about this poem is in the fact that I wrote it in Fall of 1987 or Spring of 1988 and, despite the fact that my school’s literary magazine rejected it when I submitted it, an independent journal in San Francisco, to which I submitted it, simultaneously, did publish it.

One can think about the poem, the busi-man, as a means for becoming acclimat-ed to the writing process and starting small, while building one’s communica-tive abilities, gradually. the busi-man contains only three uses of the word, “news”.


Actually, one can think about the process used for writing “the busi-man” as a means for becoming re-acclimated to the writing process or becoming acclimated differently to the act.


the busi-


man w/ mani- cured hands was


held to the wall still clutching his news


i wake up each new day,


the radio-news,


chirping its static.


the news of the rain


came showering


down


This is due to the fact that, prior to beginning to write, the creator establishes his or her correlative element; in the busi-man, I used the word, “news”. -clutching his news -the radio-news, chirping its static -the news of the rain came showering down The fact is: “less can be, or is, more.”


I’ve been led to believe that many people who might read this poem might get a “dark space” opinion of my mindset I had when I wrote it; however, to the contrary, I actually was able to recognize, way back, in late ’87 or in ’88, that I had been able to produce something that didn’t holistically stink.


My ventricular shunt had stopped working and, even still, I saw the amazing facility of trying, if not succeeding, to create. This is what motivated me. Somehow, I managed to “construct” this poem, in my skull’s mental workshop and have its final product appear to be good enough to have an established periodical print it. The weird thing that occurred after my failing shunt had been replaced was a voluminous out-pour of poems.


Many of them, I recognize, were really not good: at least, not good, in the way that I write poems, now; however, as long as a person attempts to write, or speak or think, he or she cannot go wrong, whether he or she is Learning Disabled, non-LD, shy, brow-beaten or none-of-the-afore-mentioned.


There is no right or wrong: there is only WRITE(!).


01 loose ta(i)l[e]s


02 long before the crucifixions,


03 beings crossed their fingers


04 & two sticks, together,


05 as theyd lash & stretch a skin


06 a cross, to form a kite,


07 to which theyd tied a ta(i)l[e];


08 &, soon enough, the acrobat


09 -stuntflyer looped twine


10 around its thumbs,


11 in making it kites dance


12 their jig; only, dressed


13 to kill, in spats & ta(i)l[e]s,


14 a bigtop hat upon their


15 head, like aesop, w/ his yarns


16 ta(i)l[e]s of snips snails;


17 or, deadmen & their silence;


18 which, is made of gold, will


19 never stay, like lizards lose


20 their ta(i)l[e]s: unlike cats.


21 this, i know; our six-toed cat


22 has just half a ta(i)l[e]; he skulks


23 along, w/feathers on his mind,


24 into the bog w/ cat ta(i)l[e]


25 fringe, where i recall a fence


26 swift, w/ its curly- ta(i)l[e], had


27 scaled a tree, in ’86, when


28 halleys comet passed us by;


29 we failed to trap a glimpse of


30 it, not even of its ta(i)l[e];


31 yet, we are on a planet,


32 &, w/o a ta(i)l[e], we had


33 no right; ‘tho, some would


34 love to be aboard the coat


35 -ta(i)l[e]s of a comet: never


36 -minding ta(i)l[e] winds,


37 sipping cockta(i)l[e]s, thru


38 out time & space, a ways away


39 from planet earth, which,


40 bytheway, has not a ta(i)l[e]


WRITE is easily, once again, connected directly, to SPEAK, THINK, HEAR, RESPOND and RE-RESPOND; and, bytheway: OINK, again! The one thing I have seen in my classmates who were new to creative writing, much less, who were new to poetry writing, is the failure to start or self-start. I can think back to elementary school, to before I experienced my first A.V.M. stroke and remember, despite the fact that I excelled in all subjects, I recognize that, communicatively, I really was enabled.


Reading things over the P.A., for class-specific “things”, I really never experienced any problems, at all. FINALLY, just by luck, my use of this writing technique made it a lot easier for me to accomplish the subprocesses that many English and Content Area courses required me to do, as an undergraduate student.


This was due to my mere need to write communicatively, on the topic about which I was focusing, in “mere denotative prose”, and incorporate outside information that I had researched and isolated from other texts.


All I had to do was verify that the the outside information and/or quoted information’s communication that I chose to “suck in” coincided with the point I intended to make.


Even though the Word Paletting 2 process (at least in my opinion) is a little bit more difficult to “master” than Word Paletting 1, I think, for becoming better enabled to make things happen as a writer and as a student of writing, it is worthwhile to attempt.


I suggest limiting the number of  paletted terms, like I did, above, in “the busi-man”, until you get get the hang of it.


Contact me, via e-mail, at:

mattramzzz@comcast.net or, on

Facebook,

at: www.facebook.com/mattramzzz1971



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