AM Music: A Blackout Reduction of James Joyce’s Chamber Music Poetry Book

Inspired by writer & creative Austin Kleon’s “Newspaper Blackout” poetry book, I decided to take James Joyce’s Chamber Music, a book he originally published in 1907, & make a blackout “reduction” version of it.

I simply adore the poems in this book, & it was quite fun to go through the book & black out sections of the poems to find (& therefore, create) new poems inside them. I liken this creative process to, in a somewhat orderly fashion, shuffling cut-out words from a specific book inside a hat & seeing what poems you find in them. I have approached all the poems from the standpoint of creating art from them.

Admittedly, it was difficult at times to decide what should stay & what should go, as there are so many good bits in these poems.Note: As this book was created digitally & without taking a Sharpie to paper & being locked into the inherent spacing in the text, I have also added punctuation where desired so the created poems read properly.

In some places, I have left entire lines intact if I particularly liked it (the collaborative effort, metaphorically reaching back into time, with Joyce being stronger here). With other poems, I have redacted all but a few words, making these poems mostly-mine. Either way, a thousand people could go through this book & all find different poems that meant something to them.

These are my creative & derivative contributions to a new, semi-collaborative work of art. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it.

Publication Date: July 24, 2019
Genre: Poetry

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

TENDERNESS ON MAIN – NEW POETRY BOOK

Tenderness on Main is a collection of 43 poems about deep, tender love in all its forms: love between two people, love between the Universe & a person, & love between a person & themselves.

out of the gloom, first //

it was all very tender, the way you
took such great care to unearth the most colorful flower you could find
from the bottom of the pile at the garbage dump &
hold it out to me saying,
“treasures are found everywhere” & I said
“I know, I always find them too” & you
smiled at me & I knew what you meant &
it wasn’t in a garbage dump that we found each other but
neither of us were on top of the world either but
inch by inch we pulled ourselves from the bottom of the pile &
declared that we were worthy & ready &
I reached out my hand to you & you wrapped your fingers in mine &
we carried the flower out of the dump between us &
it always lasted in full-bloom

Publication Date: August 1, 2019
Genre: Poetry

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

NEW POETRY BOOK: Alive & Thriving

Alive & Thriving is a collection of 57 poems by Ashlee Craft.

//

some morning light

I want to stand where I can
see outside into the
bright morning day that is
blooming out there not that
I’m not happy inside the cement fluorescence;
it’s better now, the light is also inside
but I still long to drop what I am doing & run out the doors into the bright fresh morning
& sit under a tree reading a book, lying on a blanket in the grass
& changing the direction of the tracks
so that I am happy right now,
not just at some undetermined point in the future

PUBLICATION DATE: April 28, 2019
PAPERBACK 80 Pages
GENRE: Poetry

Kindle eBook
Paperback

“A Lie Cannot Live in the Starless Midnight” – The Ashlee Craft Show – Episode 051 – Poetry

In Episode 051 of The Ashlee Craft Show, I read the first poem from my FIRST EVER poetry book. The poem is called “A Lie Cannot Live in the Starless Midnight” & it’s from my book “The Allure of a Summer Evening”.

THE ALLURE OF A SUMMER EVENING :: https://amzn.to/2JpU5nu

“Words” – The Ashlee Craft Show – Episode 044 – Poetry

I read a poem called “Words” from A Thousand Cranes, Volume 10 in Episode 044 of The Ashlee Craft Show!

A THOUSAND CRANES, VOLUME 10

 

///// WORDS /////

it doesn’t matter what words you use
they all mean the same thing

it’s always great when people ban together
against the same force which tries to outsmart teamwork

it is all planned out beautifully; I am now
strong enough to make it all happen

beautiful music drifted through speakers
& sanctified the rain

the pink candle was lit; shadows of flames
danced & the window was open

I looked around at euphoric basic everyday moments
& finally felt happy

lying in a hammock on the summertime porch
thinking about the meaning of sunlight

“All My Friends” – The Ashlee Craft Show – Episode 035 – Poetry

In Episode 035, I read another poem from my poetry book “Reflections in the Green Triangle” titled “All My Friends”.
REFLECTIONS IN THE GREEN TRIANGLE BOOK

 

ALL MY FRIENDS

for such a long time I thought that I was alone / desperately seeking friendship & reaching out out out floating on desperate waves looking for someone / pleading in the night that I would find somebody to spend time with / searching & searching with the mistaken impression that I was alone / looking for someone I could enjoy being with & embrace & understand & be understood by / but with time I’d see the the whole time / I’d been surrounded by friends

one day I opened my eyes & saw that
I’d never been alone
& I began to find friends everywhere I looked

I was friends with the sun in the sky
the rainbows up ahead
the ideas & questions of if & why
birds singing in the forest I passed thru
each blade of grass covered with morning dew
birds outside my window chirping in the morning
in the lightening & thunder crashing out their warning
the rain pouring onto the pavement
peace, love, & independence
the moon watching gently over the night
the first brand new ray’s of the sunrise’s light
& the twinkling stars I wish upon
the joy contained in each beautiful song
the hummingbirds sipping nectar from flowers
in the fun & freedom filling my every hour

I found friendship in
leaves rustling & drifting down in the breezes
music floating from open windows
jazz musicians playing in cafes
magical sounds of harmonies
artwork & music & films & books &
poems on the walls
crashing waves upon the shore
& the sun melting onto the water in the afternoon
the smell of freshly mowed grass
& the after-rain’s fresh scent
& the sunsets & the sunrises
in the adventures I have everyday
& in happiness

I found a friend
in life

Reflections – The Ashlee Craft Show – Episode 034 – Poetry

Episode 034! I read a poem titled “Reflections” from my poetry book “Reflections in the Green Triangle”.

REFLECTIONS IN THE GREEN TRIANGLE BOOK

Reflections

reflecting upon the silver bar sidewalks & the misty moonlit jaunt thru the breeze double rainbow like a pot of gold in the sky / illuminations / reflecting on windows of trucks & on the sunglasses of passerby / on the Sunday / in the rain

driving thru the puddles / rustling of tires against water sprinkling it upwards showing showering rainstorm reflections

looking in the foggy mirror & at everything mistaken & distorted by the silver / like a whole other world hidden behind glass / distorted in the golden gaze rectified in my precision & by my passion / rejuvenated & suddenly understanding who I was the entire time

down many mistaken roads I walked & many mistaken lies I spoke / many sights of sorrow & many things of beauty filled my vision / down many darkened alleyways filled with soot I trod & many days it just never dawned upon me that I what I’d yearned for & what I’d sought had been there all along / I just had never seen them

I thought what I’d been looking for was something that could be bought / so I looked & looked in all the windows to every store but I kept finding myself wanting more & more / I thought what I’d searched for was far away from me & that by leaving this place, I could be free / so I ran away so I wouldn’t be alone only to find that I’d always been home / I thought what I needed was the love in somebody’s heart & that by finding that love, I’d make a start / so I searched for the one I was looking to find only to see I’d been there the whole time / all that time, I was only too blind to see as I looked & searched & cried & yearned only to find that all along, I’d been exactly where I needed to be

it hadn’t been money or distance or love that I’d needed / I didn’t need to go anywhere or buy anything or find someone to love me / I just needed to see the beauty within me

& all the loneliness turned to friendship, all the dark into light, & suddenly I began seeing the world with my own eyes / my own eyes looking at my own destiny / my own life / now I was free

I had been deaf / to the reflections / of the music / rhythm beating beating beating beating onwards / onwards / into the next reflection