Dada (Fragment #018)

I marched towards the library and collided with Patrick near the main entrance. I remembered this boor. He was an assistant at my entrance examination. I decided not to waste time greeting him and just passed on by.

The 20th century German literature section wasn’t a very popular place. Well, good riddance! It was much better to work without the silly background chirrup of girls writing endless nonsense about heroic troubadours and sighing over modern guys who’d forgotten the art of courtship.

Anyway, I figured I should get to work, so I thumbed along the high stacks looking for the letter ‘T’. Gotcha! Tristan Tzara, ‘Seven Dada Manifestos and Lampisteries’.

“Take a newspaper.
Take some scissors.
Choose from this paper an article of the length you want to make your poem.
Cut out the article.
Next carefully cut out each of the words that makes up this article and put them all in a bag.
Shake gently.
Next take out each cutting one after the other.
Copy conscientiously in the order in which they left the bag.
The poem will resemble you.
And there you are – an infinitely original author of charming sensibility, even though unappreciated by the vulgar herd.”

So, professor, you didn’t like my poem? I giggled at the thought. I’ll learn how to break something that was already broken. Let’s dada, baby! And suddenly, my attention was drawn to some other voices. They sounded pretty tense. I cocked my ear.

“I need this book!”

“The rules are the same for everyone. You can only read it in the reference room. This book mustn’t leave the library.”



I peeped out of the stack and looked over to the counter. A disappointed Patrick was talking with the library custodian, a large leather bound book clutched to his chest. Serves you right! I thought with gloating delight.

I’d always considered the ‘Codex Seraphinianus’ to be a bit of a joke. I didn’t think anyone of stable mind could ever truly take it seriously. My eyes flicked across Patrick’s sad features again. What a putty head!

Anyway, I needed to care more about completing the task at hand.

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8 thoughts on “Dada (Fragment #018)

  1. Yep, best stay away from Patrick his reading material is weird. But then again a selected pile of words cut from a newspaper taken at random from the bag, I expect, is a creative aspiration of pot luck expressed as a poetic puzzle. The professor is biased towards the academic canon and does his crosswords at lunchtime.
    Try using an Ouija Board to write, it adds a spiritual dimension from the darkside.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Except that the humble ouija board started life as a board game for young ‘uns in the 1890s, so I highly doubt that it can achieve any meaningful link to the supernatural at all. Oops. There I go, bein’ all sceptical again. How pesky of me! 😛

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Is this how you craft your poems Tati? No wonder they are so deep and reflect the situation at hand so well. A perfect example of German Engineering at its best.
    Cheers!…. I mean prost!

    By the way, thanks for recommending Codex Seraphinianus, I’ll read it cover to cover and tell you guys how it goes.

    Liked by 2 people

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