Adjustment, page 13

Here’s another one from my blackout poem experiment using a book as source material rather than a newspaper or magazine.

One of the toughest things for me to overcome has been re-reading the pages for the story as I’m working on them. I’ve found that the poems make themselves clear more easily if I’m looking for words rather than the context of the overall page or article. Trying to find that first word or phrase and then the next one that connects – that’s the fun part and it brings a degree of clarity. Re-reading just muddies the waters.

The Routine, Interrupted

One of my goals this year is to have a creative routine that will start my days off, using the “make before you manage” ethos I gleamed from Tim Ferriss and mashing it up with what I remembered from Austin Kleon’s morning routine. The idea is to have a set time each day before starting work that allows me to check the creative box, and is somewhat in line with why making your bed every day is a good thing – no matter what else happens that day, I did something that fed my soul.

One of the factors involved is that I am self-employed and work out of my home. My office is a downstairs room on the opposite end of the house from my bedroom – so there is a degree of separation, but those lines can blur pretty quickly. At some point, I’ll have to do a quick tour of my space that, in spite of not being on par with many writer’s rooms or studios, might be of interest to someone.

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adjustment - page one | blackout poem and book | toddregoulinsky.com

adjustment, page 1

So this should be an interesting project…

Somewhere in 2019, I picked up Adjustment Day by Chuck Palahniuk and decided to give it a try. It might have even been in the 50-cent bin or it might have been discounted down to a couple bucks – either way, I didn’t pay full price.

I really liked Fight Club and Survivor, thought Diary was pretty good too, and then wandered away from his catalog. And so here I was several years later thinking I ought to check in and see what he’s up to these days.

Maybe someone out there likes this book, but I didn’t. In fact, the only reasons I kept reading until the end was that: 1) some hope there’d be some big twist at the end that would redeem everything that came before it, and 2) to see just how bad it’d get. At some point, it turned into a re-watch of Showgirls. There’s confusion, shock, horror, humor, and then just sadness for everyone involved. I’d throw shame in there, but since I’m publishing this on the internet, I guess that one can be safely scratched off the list.

Anyways… I was looking to create a new blackout poem for Word Wednesday and realized I’d neglected to buy a newspaper. Being January and snowing, I started looking around the house for something to use. Then it came to me in one big, beautiful, vandalistic thought – I’m totally going to ruin Adjustment Day. Well, maybe not ruin it since Chuck seemed to do a fair job of that in the first place, but at least cross a bunch of stuff out.

So my idea is this… I’m going to take the 316 pages of this novel and try to turn them into 100 some odd poems (depending on blank pages). Only one side of the page can really be used because the permanent marker seeps through, but I’m thinking of some other ways I can work the backs of pages too. At the very least, I’ll get back my investment in paper, right?

So here it is, page one. Enjoy.