Human Document: Outsider


I scream… get jumped…

I’m poor, wild too

A public disgrace, an ass to society…

We steal things…

Fight things….

Kill to stay together

I’m driven to death…

Life without a family I could have had

I just don’t use my head

I’m supposed to…

But I don’t


I took this from a page of one of my favorite books, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. I started this piece by highlighting what I thought were “key words,” and elements that could serve as pieces of my poem. Yet, I soon discovered that planning in this exercise was useless, as it wouldn’t be possible to envision the poem I wanted to write and have the corresponding words it required to be on the page. So I circled and un-circled words, and crafted the poem piece-by-piece. Connecting these words into phrases was an enormous process of trial-and-error. I found better substitutions for different words and phrases the more time I spent with them. Interestingly, I didn’t even really know what my poem was about until the very end, and the end result was unexpectedly dark, though that is somewhat fitting in the context of this book.


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