Writing Prompt: Weekend at the River – A Bricolage 


The dogs had been barking at the edge of the gully for a full hour, an ominous nerve-racking sound, for it echoed down the gully and from the caves on the other side. Some kids are skipping stones on the river down river. I wish they’d float away with their bellies up.

Over the balcony and off into the flooded square where gulls would swoop and snatch them away. A theory of everything. There are simply too many characters.

Again I hear these waters, rolling from their mountain-springs with a soft inland murmur. I have grown up in the sound of guns like the child of siege.

When I was a kid, my pop used to take me fishing here. One day him and my mama were out on our boat and so I yanked down my shorts and plopped myself down in the sand and pissed. We all grew up with myths. This is, in part, what gives my life its own moral particularity.

Now the things you gotta make way for are the details, cause it’s the details that sell your story. We must stir our way onward, mixing as we go, disorder out of disorder into disorder until pink is complete, unchanging and unchangeable, and we are done with it forever.

Out of sight, beyond the frame, two people are sitting in the dark interior. It is like a strange picture, he said, and a strange sort of prisoners.

The ordinary-sized stuff which is our lives, the things people write poetry about – clouds – daffodils – waterfalls – and what happens in a cup of coffee when the cream goes in – these things are full of mystery. For him, they were not fictions, but how he suddenly saw, or interpreted the world.

I ran into the sun room where the lavender curtains were drawn and the moon was bright and half full. The waves are the loudest sound in the room at night.

Rivers of light live inside your head. It’s like love, don’t you think?

What Is a Bricolage? 

In any art form, a bricolage is a creation made from other available creations, forms or sources. When writing, a bricolage is a fantastic way of creating and shaping meaning through intertextuality and understanding the importance of the intertext, even when it’s evidently “on the surface” and to push the boundaries between original and new.

In my bricolage, I’ve taken phrases and sentences from other short stories, from movie scripts and plays, from poetry, and from other short stories I’ve written myself to compose a new text that makes its own meanings and offers commentary on the ways in which we see the world growing up.


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