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Fragx returns.
August 9, 2002 7:36 AM   Subscribe

Fragx returns. 200 words or less with a 3-word title: one of the earliest and most interesting writing experiments on the web is finally back, and the slate is clean. John Casler's Fragx (short for fragments) challenges the most verbose of us to strip it down, distill it to its most basic elements, then put it up for a healthy flogging by other writers. Sounds like good practice.
posted by frykitty (33 comments total)

 
this is my attempt at a fragx called My Strength:

Come what may,
Winds vast power
Can only shake me,
Barely uproot me
At itâ??s maximum,
Because I weather all storms.
My strength comes from
Years and years of torment and joy.
It helps me to enjoy each day.
As the sun shines
I feel the energy produced
By rays of sunlight,
Countless numbers of
Chemical reaction begin photosynthesis
And I become alive.
And it rains
I become drenched in Godâ??s champagne,
Allowing it to enter through osmosis,
And tasting ever element of life
My strength allows me to tower over those around me,
While remaining nurturing,
A gift from Mother Nature.
Knowledge lies before you
As I have seen many starlight nights,
Been places without moving,
And spread my seeds farther than I could ever reach.
They hopefully grow stronger than I
For my life is not everlasting,
But for as long as I live
I will give what I have left.
My Strength.


I'm a poet who is very sensitive about my work but please feel free to to give me feed back
posted by L. Deuce at 7:58 AM on August 9, 2002


'The 'anthology' section is an area specifically created to highlight specific work within a specific context.'

He's being specific people...
posted by i_cola at 8:03 AM on August 9, 2002


why are all the writing sites...'cutting edge'
posted by clavdivs at 8:05 AM on August 9, 2002


why are all the writing sites...'cutting edge'
one tends to bleed after contact.
posted by quonsar at 8:12 AM on August 9, 2002


So under 200 words it's a "frag?" Under 500 or 750 is usually called "flash fiction." I call it "writer's crack" because you can kick one out in a half-hour and feel satisfied for ten minutes before you have to start a new one.
posted by muckster at 8:18 AM on August 9, 2002


Aren't frags also, uh, kills?

Sounds interesting, but wake me up when there's some noteworthy flashfic there... pretty empty for the moment, and nothing that impressed me particularly.

Thanks, though, frykitty. Good luck with critique week.
posted by Marquis at 8:21 AM on August 9, 2002


muckster: You are bang-on. We used to have to write these things in a CW class I took in University. We would spend the last half of the class listening to people read the inspired prose that they had farted out in the first half of the class. It was generally awful. It was a windowless concrete room. There was a lot of "why am I here? what is the meaning of all of this?"-style stuff.
posted by Fabulon7 at 8:28 AM on August 9, 2002


I guess that leaves out guys like Faulkner, Proust, Mann, Tolstoy, Cervantes, Dickens, and Joyce...ah well....
posted by Postroad at 8:51 AM on August 9, 2002


"I'm a poet who is very sensitive about my work but please feel free to to give me feed back" - L. Deuce

It's a very good idea, then, to not post your work on vast posting boards like this one.
posted by agregoli at 8:54 AM on August 9, 2002


Yes, Postroad. It also leaves out Leonardo da Vinci, Salvador Dali, Vincent Van Gogh, Antonio Vivaldi, Stephen Hawking, Art Spiegelman, and Eleanor Duse. Your point?
posted by muckster at 8:57 AM on August 9, 2002


I'm guessing L. Deuce's post was a bit of sarcastic noise.

I'd honestly never heard of flash fic. Interesting, but I would hope more effort would go into the short pieces at fragx. Short is not necessarily about easy.
posted by frykitty at 8:58 AM on August 9, 2002


No, short is hard. Very hard. Many books and films are too long, precious few are too short. Short is hard, but people think short==easy, so they don't put the effort into it--they just count words.
posted by Fabulon7 at 9:05 AM on August 9, 2002


Fabulon, agreed, short *is* hard.

A thousand or more words allows for nuance and explicit detail, and also often leads to the proverbial slippery slope of digression. I recall once in class having to generate a thousand words describing an individuals face, that was plenty of room to incorporate every Creative Writing 101 cliche ever invented.

Doing the same in 100 words led to clarity and took twice as long.
posted by cedar at 9:21 AM on August 9, 2002


no, no quansor - that's 'bleeding edge'. Were you not a dot-commer?
posted by goneill at 9:22 AM on August 9, 2002


<nausea>"Her eyes were sparkling like vast pools of calm water under the pale glow of the full summer's moon...."</nausea>
posted by Fabulon7 at 9:25 AM on August 9, 2002


Hemingway once said: "writing is easy, just sit down and bleed"
(pulls pipe out of mouth-shakes head)
posted by clavdivs at 9:33 AM on August 9, 2002


goneill: Haven't we moved on to 'still-dripping edge'? ;-)
posted by i_cola at 9:47 AM on August 9, 2002


here is my fragx. I think it is very good.
Kitty screeched her browser into hyperdrive. The rad new board she'd become a member of was languishing in cyber-nowheresville.

"Nobody will be able to understand the divine artistic me, unless we get some people coming to fragx.". she said incomprehensibly. "What I need is some kind of well known website, where lots of people go, and metaphorically filter the good sites from the bad. Then I'm sure to be noticed."

"Say that again." said a dark silent stranger, sporting a tattoo of a Matisse painting and a crying rose.

"What I need...."
"No no" he replied, Huffily. "The end bit. "
"oh" she said. "The bit about metaphorically filtering .."

"Yes" he said excitedly. "What we need to do is find / or create some kind of metafilter. "

"I have a plan, " she said. A flush grew out of her ivory cheeks. "I've got a really good plan".
posted by seanyboy at 9:47 AM on August 9, 2002


The rad new board she'd become a member of was languishing in cyber-nowheresville.

Hmm...to bother...or not to bother.

I'll bother briefly: read my post. Note the words "returns" and "clean slate". It's hardly my fault you missed something interesting and abundant with content a few years ago.
posted by frykitty at 10:06 AM on August 9, 2002


Hemingway once said: "writing is easy, just sit down and bleed" (pulls pipe out of mouth-shakes head)

And Heinlein said: "Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of - but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards."

Heh.
posted by dejah420 at 10:35 AM on August 9, 2002


Hemingway once said: "writing is easy, just sit down and bleed"

He wrote good stuff but he didn't write all of it.

"There's nothing to it. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein." -- Sportswriter Red Smith, asked how he goes about writing a column.
posted by luser at 11:02 AM on August 9, 2002


There's a whole bunch of similar quotes in this (I think - it's a while since I read it.)
posted by seanyboy at 12:51 PM on August 9, 2002


frykitty: i think seanyboy's got a good point. the main problem with your post is not that the site is content free, but that it's a self-link. can you provide any explanation under which this is not a self-link? or would you prefer we take this up in metatalk?
posted by mlang at 2:28 PM on August 9, 2002


can you provide any explanation under which this is not a self-link?

That's like saying Metafilter is a self-link because I post here. I know John about as well as I know Matt.
posted by frykitty at 2:53 PM on August 9, 2002


Can you provide any explanation under which this is not a self-link? or would you prefer we take this up in metatalk?

What is this? Are we running some sort of inquisition where people have to justify their posts after 23 comments? Has MeTa become some sort of threat?

It seems simple to me, if you don't care for a thread don't participate and move on. Nobody has ever said that MeFi has to be everything to everybody.
posted by cedar at 3:06 PM on August 9, 2002


Perhaps this will provide a little context. Those were just current users at that time. You'll note I'm not on the list, because I was back in the archives with dozens of others.
posted by frykitty at 3:15 PM on August 9, 2002


Garbled Apology begins here In fragX's current incarnation, this was a self-link, but I should have done a bit of research. FryKitty's quite prolific on providing comments and links, so a bit of promotion (To paraphrase: Make this site I like, and of which I currently provide 1/3 of the membership, great once again) is probably justifiable. Plus, she's already proven in her 22 links and 466 comments that her main reason for commenting on metafilter is not self promotion. There should be no reason to assume that this link is either. FryKitty, I apologise for the implication. It was a cheap shot.

I do think that the writing that's on fragX is poor though.
And - I think the poem that was the initial comment to this thread wasn't meant to be sarcastic either.
posted by seanyboy at 4:02 PM on August 9, 2002


cedar writes: Are we running some sort of inquisition where people have to justify their posts after 23 comments? Has MeTa become some sort of threat?

no, most posts don't need to be justified. but those that link to projects in which the poster plays a major role have always been frowned upon. i was not 'threatening' metatalk; i just didn't want to clutter it if there was a perfectly good explanation that disassociated frykitty from the site.

i hoped there would be; as seanyboy pointed out, self-promotion would have been quite out of character for frykitty. and there was nothing untoward about this post afterall.

but there are a lot of new people joining the site; matt has vowed to be vigilant... and we, as self-policing members, share that responsibility.

i was probably pissy because i'd come to this thread immediately on the heels of an ugly double post that matt has since wisely deleted. and i apologize if my bad mood led me unfairly impugn a longtime and worthwhile contributor.
posted by mlang at 5:29 PM on August 9, 2002


Yeah, you don't want this going to MeTa. The threadcrime police will have you for garters.
posted by wackybrit at 7:02 PM on August 9, 2002


no offense, but poetry blows.
posted by mcsweetie at 10:52 PM on August 9, 2002


Poetry on the internet blows. I'm a big fan of poetry per-se, but there's something about poetry on the internet which just brings out the worst in people. I guess the lack of editing, etc. is a really bad thing.
posted by seanyboy at 1:44 AM on August 10, 2002


just because a lot of poetry on the internet sucks doesn't mean that all poetry on the internet sucks.
for instance, lyn hejinian is my hero.
posted by juv3nal at 2:11 AM on August 10, 2002


I believe I was clear in indicating which poetry does and does not suck in my first comment!
posted by mcsweetie at 11:24 AM on August 10, 2002


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