Cut-up is the classic technique of snipping phrases and words and workng them into a poem. In the early Dada version, the arrangement depended on chance, resulting in nonsense or at least illogical images similar to the Surrealist game of cadavre exquis. Cut-up takes easily to a minimalist style found haiku. Among my favorites are three of Marlene Mountain's from 1974:: "Alone—birds in the rain", "The all day all night Wet SPRING", and "NO Comfort alone In The summer Pillow". The words and arrangement appear as if they just happened, but transcribed out of they collage they still read perfectly well as haiku.

Here's one of mine, in two versions. I've used some of Marlene's techniques.

The text forms a two-line haiku with canonical season reference ("ice"=winter) and a cut. I like the contrast of an upper line composed of single words and letters, and a lower line that's an entire found phrase. It's reworked--the upper phrase came from an older haigacollage. Tweaking the verb, I tried the "S" in various fonts to find one that didn't call undue attention to itself. The new candidate for a second phrase came from a newsprint magazine that had it twice. I think if I read the poem aloud from each of these, it would be different. The first version feels as if part of a linked sequence, while the second is more definitive and better for a stand-alone composition. The lesson is that in this kind of visual setting, typography and composition make a difference in the meaning.

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