Aleatory Thursday is back!



Entopic graphomania sounds like it should be an exotic or rare medical disorder, but is actually a creativity technique that utilizes random chance to generate unexpected artistic outcomes. I’ve been gradually working my way through the list of Surrealist techniques on this Wikipedia page – applying them with the intention of coming up with new ideas and phrases for poetry. Entopic graphomania is the process of drawing lines between the imperfections or random marks on a piece of paper and using the pattern as an inspiration.

I modified it a touch for my purposes – I asked my wife to put around twenty random dots all over two pages of text. One was a page from a remaindered (and broken up) El Greco art book and the other was an article about exercising in harmony with the phases of the moon (which I have never tried – I am lucky when I exercise at all, moon phase or no). She didn’t know what I was going to do next with the pages and I told her she was free to place the dots anywhere she liked.


Then I took a marker and drew lines connecting all the dots. I experimented with radiating lines versus more linear arrangements. I followed the lines and transcribed all the words they crossed to create four aleatory (random) poems.


Here is one of them:


for fitness and health

is involved followed recovery slower

rate of exertion

times a week to stopping natural the to

is interval completely

as completely human themselves Cyclic have and restores technique

are done lunar moon

exercise cycles noon

in targets bursts times finally

time of maximum are done maximum energy

down to near the resting     the circadian cycle. Tracking this pattern, the

repeated limit rest in a period toward exercise

then 30 year old 50 

for a 200 lb beats

be to week energy done to cycles

O (full moon) 



———   squares    —

I rather like “are done lunar moon/exercise cycles noon” as a couplet!

Sometimes these aleatory experiments result in new poems, sometimes new artwork, sometimes I wind up not picking up the results at all – but they are always interesting and fun to do.

The aleatory archives:

Experiment 1 – Cut ups

Experiment 2 – Ink Splatter

Experiment 3 – Parsemage

Click on the “read more” or on the post to see the other three Entopic graphomania “poems”


Living Urban

dwelling honored 

decades nation’s traditional

of the theater commonly

design as 

known Almanac six they whose

where tradition example Japanese


living urban and artists of

quality year

celebrate nature, wherever they

interdependence species the

the built

go deep

engage your celebration quintessential


diplomatic retained prosperity

way kept clear the

feuds external anxieties harassed

neighbors made enemies

are well the sarcastic

of when

not Venetians

considered themselves belonging 

to the Emperor

to the land

Oriental character thoroughly

a thriving colony

thousand them

mosaicists The had

their S. del Greci

welcome the easygoing 

serene and splendid

feeling of


time of his

then at


dominated by Veronese in

venerable Three 

of history and more there are reflections of Veronese’s

and of

figure of El the

the represent Titian Giulio

and quite was Titian’s as

many own

disciple also profited Jacopo

worried over this crucial work been fond

here of

calm classical he did or

and throughout are all El Greco’s

ruddy warm the El Greco pictures their of nature

perfectly from compare Chicago painting to

note similar the other

personality of for 

are unknown He may have felt that Venice had


    1. My pleasure! I had heard of a few of these techniques before, but I was amazed when I stumbled across the Wikipedia list and saw how many there were. I think next up will be “coulage” – but I just have to figure out how to adapt it for poetry!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sure it will be very cool!! By the way, I plan to post something next week about your nominating my blog for the “No Strings Attached” award. I haven’t forgotten!


  1. So much fun! Also I’ve given up on subscribing to various “word of the day” posts because I will never find anything really new or unique, and you have all the good words here. 🙂


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