Point of Insertion



Point of Insertion is a rule-based process (constraints optional) for

generating texts one word at a time.


In the first round of play, multiple authors sit in a circle and

contemplate the perfect two-word title. At this point, a constraint may


applied to the generation of the two-word title: for example, the two

words may be anagrams of one another, or they may be homophones. The


may be a palindrome, or one word may be made from the other according to

another (as in the verbatim exercise Roussel-O-Grams in which the


word could be formed by the addition, subtraction, or replacement of


letter, yielding titles like Chance Change ) After all authors have

decided on a two-word title, they may decide to make a global constraint

on their output in the second round of play, but this is optional.


Round Two is a lightning round where the titles are passed around the

circle, either clockwise or anti-clockwise, rapidly. Upon receipt of a

title, the author recopies the two words and adds a third, choosing its

point of insertion. For example, if I picked Chance Change and my

optional hidden constraint led me to add the word plague, the first


of the poem could be chance change plague OR chance plague change OR

plague chance change ... whereupon I would pass it IMMEDIATELY to the

next author who would recopy the three words and add another, choosing


point of insertion, with four possible placements. As the string gets

longer and more choices are made available, the authors have greater

flexibility. At times, individual lines become surprisingly coherent,


at other times, lines of pure and incandescent poetry succumb to the


of the puerile or incoherent, and it is up to the next author to try to

repair the damaged area without erasing any word. Punctuation may be

changed freely, as uppercase letters may be freely changed with their

lowercase counterparts.



Point Of Insertion: Example



Delicate Floral


Delicate yet floral.

Several delicate yet floral.

Offering several delicate yet floral,

came offering. Several, delicate yet floral,

came offering several creamy, delicate yet floral.

Elijah came, offering several creamy, delicate yet floral ...

Elijah came, offering several creamy, delicate yet floral ideologies.

Elijah came! Offering several creamy magicks, delicate yet floral

ideologies, Elijah came! Offering several creamy magicks, delicate yet

formal* ideologies crowding, Elijah came near! Offering several creamy

magicks, delicate yet floral ideologies crowding tables. Elijah came


offering several creamy magicks, delicate! Elviss yet floral ideologies

crowding tables. Elijah came near, offering several creamy delicate

magicks, yet Elviss floral ideologies persisted crowding tables.**



Elijah came near, offering several creamy, delicate magicks unsavored,


Elviss floral ideologies persisted crowding tables.




* someone had difficulty deciphering the handwriting above and


the word formal for floral ... but the next author corrected it.

** someone broke a rule here by altering the order of words. Probably,

this person was the author of the original two-word title, who was

allowed special editorial privileges when the text completed a lap of

the entire circle of authors. Often, as our string processing nears

completion, we loosen the tourniquet of constraints so that the final

editors can comb some sense into the gibberish weve generated above.


other special privilege granted to the original writer on the night in

question was the decision whether to continue passing the text, or to

remove it from play for a final edit. Passing the text again after

this point would also grant expanded final edit privileges to the next

author, who would become the new final editor of your text. Most texts

were removed from play after only one or two final edit rounds.


As you could tell from my last email, Point of Insertion exercises are notoriously cumbersome to transcribe. Therefore, I thought Id skip the part where I demystify the string processing, instead stampeding ahead to the last line of several successful exercises. I recommend following in Adam Tobins shoe prints by anagramming one of these texts using Nmg SrAaa ...

1.) Slick gigolo kids played impractical, improbable games with bicycle thieves. Jokers wild when goats break hearts.

2.) Alas, Mme. Tussaud, Im aghast at Boris, the agriculturalist who never ever wanted feudalism to continue growing, unmasked.

3.) Sugardaddy, add press-on flowers. Her statement: to evaporate on his person. Kitten tails cat onines.

4.) Seeking absolute relativity in Virgin Marys unique forest, while quivering, Mother Nature gets histrionic flashback.

5.) In my circles, crops. I know spherical oceans. Where is sliding domain, or streets of slithering?