AWP Exquisite Corpse: Day 1


Thank you to all of the wonderful AWPeeps who stopped by Booth 1421 to say hello and participate in our exquisite corpse game! Visitors contribute one line to our evolving collaborative writing experiment. The one rule is that contributors can read only the line directly preceding theirs. Follow along at #bhreviewAWP and #AWP15, and on Twitter.

Here are the results from Thursday’s bookfair.



Her eyes were a stunning blue, sapphires, actually.

His were molten lasers. Robotic. Angry.

My mother spoke of them often, drool pooling at the sides of her downturned mouth.

“If you don’t cut them off,” she slurred, “You’re dead to me. What they did…”

“Janice, you know how I feel about all of this—it’s so spirit-crushing. I just have to move on.”

But my spirit has crushes on the worst things:

and there are only beds in the sky there

for children who haven’t seen mountains

and those who have, but didn’t know it.

We provided dioramas of mountain ranges complete with

colorform mountains and goats.

“No one ever talks about poetry on planes,” he said. “Who are you all?”

All my paper in one hand,

I resist the urge to chuck it away,

keep it in small pieces until the sky clears.

Make the mists of lake-dregs lumber—
in high and hard words asunder

my grace is summer sunshine

warm on my skin and filling me

with a gigantic stomach, the gut flora of love.

Nothing clever happens in here;

if we’re lucky, in never will again

and we’ll carry on in the knowledge
that it did, indeed, happen.

We’ll collect and wear the knowledge
like pin on a jean jacket, until they fall off, and
drip like oil

slip, lissome, outside

the door with broken panes

where you hid your stillborn heart

rotted out like a glass-eyed corpse.

We can build a house from these remains,

and the door will hang off one hinge like the promise you broke last week.

The promise that you’d always laugh at my jokes and be there for every tear.

All the years to come, collected in the bud of my chest; you are my betrothed.

Nothing can compare to the touch of your hand. Soon you will be mine.

She whispered with a touch of flair,

“I think Homer is sexy.”