Saturday, June 14, 2008

Red Herring Update

Image via Sketched Out

So far, the red herring has gone to the park, taken the B train to work, and sighted a mermaid (she snubbed him). I am having a couple of problems with these poems though. The red herring is doing rather banal things. Also, every poem in the series so far has started with the line "The red herring..." This could get old. Finally, I wanted to continue playing with ideas of art and how the mind works. The problem is I don't really know anything about this. I know there must be tombs of scholarly literature out there on the subject. Mrrrr does this mean I actually have to think? I think I'll cheat and start with Alice in Wonderland.

Also, while searching for a picture for this post I found an interesting definition for a red herring, which I wasn't aware of: (via Sketched Out)

"Most film buffs know that a “red herring” is a plot device used in film noir, murder mysteries and suspense films, to distract the audience away from the more important aspect of the plot. The red herring can sometimes be a character, believed by the audience to be the killer, only to discover later in the film that they are innocent and another character, never even considered is, in fact, the murderer."


Justin Evans said...

Some suggestions:

1. Make your title the entry way into your poem by exploding it rather than trying to contain it. William Kloefkorn, in his book, "Ludi jr." incorporated the name Ludi jr. into every title. Here are three actual titles of poems from the book:

"disguised as a square knot,
ludi jr infiltrates the boys scouts"

"ludi jr categorically denies
that he ever had a plan
to bump off (kill) betty jean"

"ludi jr swims underwater
until his left lung bursts,
maybe setting a new record"

So what could you do? How about something like:

"Considering a portrait of Wagner at the MOMA, red herring is reminded of . . ."


"In need of refreshment, red herring stops at the local Starbucks and orders a Double Decaf Micha Grande"


"red herring takes the B Train to work and on the way sees the same thing he sees every day"

2. Write the poems that come to you. Have a direction to go in and don't worry if EVERY poem speaks art and how the mind works. Even if three of the poems of 15-20 address that theme, it will be picked up by the reader, especially if those three poems are well laced.

3. If you don't wantto be concerend with what film noir uses the red herring for, don't. Maybe address it in one of your poems that your red herring is not the red herring in the films---maybe he's annoyed at being associated with the device. Make up the 'true' meaning of red herring.

How is that?

Tara said...

Wow, thanks a lot. This gives me a lot to work with. I especially liked the bit on making up the "true" meaning of red herring.

Anonymous said...

Wall Street has Red Herrings
(a legal requirement
for IPO's -- Initial Public
Offerings). TRR

Tara said...

Thanks for the info! Yes red herring seems to mean a surprising number of things none of which I suspected when I started writing the poems. Keeps things interesting though. :)