Author’s Note: To write these poems, I select a paragraph from a Woolf novel and use only the words from that paragraph to create the poem. I essentially write a poem while doing a word search using Virginia Woolf as source material. I don’t allow myself to repeat words, add words, or edit the language for tense or any other consideration.

What I Found

            a found poem: Virginia Woolf’s The Waves

I found a dead man by the apple trees
last night. His throat was cut;
he was floating in blood.

The silver moon glared down on us
from the pale-grey sky
and the clouds were white as dead codfish.

Standing in the implacable solitude
I felt sick and doomed
and all too delicate.

I was fixed to the leaves. I was tired.
I was unable to recover.
This was my hour of death.


• • •


          a found poem: Virginia Woolf’s The Waves

I am indistinguishable
from love—I have torn splendor

apart. Jealousy is in my eyes
in green depths.

I refresh hostility and diminish all
I perceive; I want you to hurt.

Rough hands, a shabby dress
I do not change

when I have the choice. I see you
trembling. I see your narrow

limits. You are unprotected: I am
raw fire, amorphous, huge.

I am immeasurable.

• • •

Stuck on This Page

          a found poem: Virginia Woolf’s The Waves

I let light turn to slabs of soot
slice ruthlessly at poetry and people
who choose to fear

spiders and drain-pipe and mud-stained waves—
I am marvelously corrupt.

The only things I like now are the jealousies
and antipathies
knocking gently on the door.  I listen

to the delicate poet weep and chuckle:
this poem is torn
the myriad scraps irrelevant.

Horror and I are one in a faded
but infinite midnight.