The Exquisite Sonnet Project

Each sonnet was written by 14 different people; each person was allowed to see only the line preceding theirs (and the word they were to rhyme, if any). Participants were recruited through the USENET newsgroups alt.surrealism and talk.bizarre. The writing process was conducted entirely through email.

(project originated by 0)

Click on the numbers in the left margin to learn the author of each sonnet line.

Sonnet 1

4       I wish I had a popsicle as sweet
5       As kisses from impulsive androgynes
6       With tentacles the hue of fresh-tossed wheat
7       Extending gently, tracing tender lines.
8       Look.  Here is the hermitage we've made
12      Those frozen fish she thawed out on the roof
2       Her foot atremble on the slipful grade
9       As she recalled the comfort of her youth
32      She looked into her glass, and wond'ring now
36      At blood's refractive index, wondered then
40      If fusion breeds where sun and plasma flow
43      Togetherness we'll know as we ascend.
14        Stars die--but into us their dust shall blend
31        (I'd trade the stellar fusion for my friend.)

Sonnet 2

0       An unexpected darkness soaks the hills
1       And animates the hawthorne's barren branches.
4       What surely stews Nathaniel to the gills
15      Is the heron calling out for "Daemon Sanchez."
16      My aching thoughts escape the westward wind.
17      They find shelter there, beneath thy gaze,
19      Articulate their love that others find
34      By thy brief glance fanned to a mighty blaze.
45      Perhaps our love does not a planet rend
39      But rather than despair our bland affair,
42      Let us scream at the skies, love, without end.
26      And lose the day and play as if we did care
11        The goose we raise our souls are fine as kind:
45        If you don't kill my dog, I'll lose my mind.

Sonnet 3

Sonnet 3 is not yet finished.

Sonnet 4

10      Or sandwiched her in glass extruding town
0       Or captured what was meant to be her name
26      But somehow black and now it seemed the same
30      As when I first revealed the satyr's crown
1       I bowed before the scepter of his lust
31      And waited for the tasty mint to melt
5       Upon my tongue, until I thought I felt
37      Upon my feet a trace of pollen dust
33      I'm Thrukbee Sowf, the pistil's paramour
38      (Rejoice, the ancient chickens dance a jig!)
7       No more will curs'd behemoths rumble forth.
17      Eden's golden calm our hearts restore
34      We map the soul with this unlikely rig --
29      This song in all your hearts could show its worth.

Sonnet 5

45      The Dreamtime door will ope but once an age
41      To show a child the remnants of each day
44      Or stuff the corpse of Lancelot with hay.
6       To trap the shattered mollusk in your cage
19      That does but scorn the past with festered gaze
12      And moils in the sky that might be chained
15      'Neath dripping poodles that wait to be drained
32      To halt the fire, poured on th'eternal blaze
35      Of noontide suns, redoubled in his ire
28      Which raged like faithless demons in the night
36      'til cowed by dawn.  They break eggs to be born,
2       Break eggs all life, eat, sicken, then retire.
39      So do not toil in vain; set stove alight---
42      Get a pan and oil, and pop some corn.