Apr '15 5

We bought a frying pan at IKEA yesterday and I was reminded of how much I love reading their catalogues. As a copywriter myself, I love to read good advertising copy and IKEA's ticks all the boxes for the win. I decided that I would 'rescue' a poem from the 2015 catalogue.

You can read about my 'rescue' process here.

Basically I write a poem using only the words from a limited amount of text I have transcribed – that might be a couple of pages from a novel/novels, or in this case, seven 'blurbs' from the 2015 catalogue.

The important distinction between my rescuing process and other process-based approaches such as 'finding' poems is that I do not select a complete phrase or sentence; after I transcribe the text I jumble it so that all the words are in random order, and then I choose words as individual building blocks. The resulting rescued poem is usually quite surprising, then, because I take the words out of their original context and impose my own creativity on them, combining them to give a new twist – as is the case with this little rescuee.

little people of IKEA

even the tiniest children are complicated
up and down in a million moments
these unique little freaks
lost in worry-free space
home in happy safe place
ideas become needs
become want want want
getting and giving
getting and giving
high on make-believing every day
hide in giggling sleep every night

and you think
you can stack time
in smart storage
but that's not the way
it seems to play out
and one day
the world takes these
little people

Posted by Jennifer Liston

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  1. Mike says:

    *My new favourite. Brilliant.

  2. rob walker says:

    *A little melancholy. I like it Jen!

    I suppose you've seen my one-and-only Ikea poem?

    how do I shop at ikea?

    First queue like sad-eyed cattle at an abattoir. Step inside.
    Make yourself at home. Sit on the sofas.
    Take a pencil. Read the price tag.

    _Why can’t someone help me?_
    To keep prices down we employ minimal staff.
    This saves us money. This saves you money.

    _What if I don’t want to buy anything?_
    This saves you even more money.
    But you will buy something.

    Even just a $2 vase or a packet of pegs.
    To show your friends that you appreciate
    fine design & scandinavian style.

    _Why are these signs everywhere
    with questions on them?_
    It’s cheaper than employing a person.

    _Why am I talking to you?_
    Don’t ask me.
    I’m only a sign.

    _I’ve just had 3 glasses of your bottomless coke.
    Where can I take a piss?_
    You’ll have to go back downstairs near the checkouts.

    Just follow the arrows on the floor.
    _Forget it. I’ll go later._ That’s fine.
    It’s OK to change your mind.

    Why not sit down & relax for a
    while over coffee at the
    ikea restaurant?

    _There’s nothing here I want to buy...
    That’s fine. Perhaps I’ll just sit here
    on this poäng and write a poem._

    You’ll find pencils and paper at
    locations throughout the store.

    Inspiration and ideas
    are free.

  3. Jen says:

    *Aw thanks Mike!

  4. Jen says:

    *Thanks Rob. Love your IKEA poem; you've really captured the relentless essence of the place!

  5. rob walker says:

    *Thanks Jen. It's an oldie - from micromacro (2006). Yours is kinder on Ikea!

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