Cars Driving on Clouds in the Sky— Exquisite Corpse Poems @ Manley High School

Hello, readers. I am serving as the summer Poet in Residence and I’ll be reporting on poems created at Manley High School’s summer credit recovery program until the end of July.

For our first meeting, we began by playing the French Surrealist invented game—”exquisite corpse.” I wrote the first line at the top of the page then students responded and folded the paper over to cover up the first line. As a group we continued writing and folding until the paper looked like a little accordion. Here are a few of our strange but still beautiful creations:

Mr. Peterson 
Summer U.S. History 

Group Exquisite Corpse 
Dearl B., Kwantina W., Stephanie W., Brandon D. Tekia M., Paige B.

Special discount items last forever
at the Mega Discount Mall
they have all different types of shoes and clothes
They all have different colors and toes
they all have five colors on each toe
red, yellow, blue and more
are colors
the paint can never goes dry
smile you’re on camera
look up and say cheese
please don’t make this picture look like anything
because that is not nice of you
don’t chew the gum or pick the flowers
I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time


Group Exquisite Corpse 
Dearl B., Kwantina W., Stephanie W., Brandon D. Tekia M., Paige B.

Both kids knew and didn’t want
want to go in the house when their mother
told them
she said “get in here!”
“Boy” you know you’re not suppose to be over there
“Girl” I have to pay the fare
“Boy” I’ll pay half of your way
Uh-huh, Yes, Yes—No Way
Turn around girl what are you doing over there
there are knifes and cats over there
the dogs and axes are right there
There is nowhere to hide
or nowhere to go
only this desk right now.

Ms. O’Neal
Summer English

Group Exquisite Corpse
Tiese A., John C., Dr. Crawford, Lynne S., Paige B.

People pass by the man holding
his dreams on his shoulders
the world is in his hands
we must obey all of His demands
like listen to the bike tire, pass me the salt,
cars driving on clouds in the sky
I had reached my destination of freedom.
You must let go of the future to do better now
Keep focused, true to yourself, you will make it somehow,
owls hooting in Humboldt Park
dogs barking in the park
children play hide and seek in the dark
playing games are for kids
unless you are an adult!
You know, the clock ticks,
anyways for us all.


Group Exquisite Corpse
Tiese A., John C., Dr. Crawford, Lynne S., Paige B.

Our little piglet dove into a mud-lake
looking around to see what he could take
he saw band-aids, candy-bars, and a purple popsicle
I see potential in everybody
Everyone can be greater than they know
Your true passion is when no one is looking.
sometimes my “true self” is really cooking
and it turns out under-done or completely burned
dogs going to church
because they heard all dogs to to heaven
well now I know all men will go to heaven
well now I know they send all women to hell
but what they don’t say is how cool hell can be
I wear all white when I’m feeling godly
so I can feel closer to he. AMEN.


For a more in-depth discussion of the game, a few other examples of our work, as well as my reflections, please visit the Moellership Service Blog.



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.