you have to do,
and then suddenly undo,
You have to live,
fragments of yourself
exploded to splinters,
you have to want
something to survive.
I was so afraid that I thought
in the disquiet of my mind,
the fear and disgust,
that one writes to inflict pain.
But where is it written that you have to be unhappy?
Source: Story of a Lost Child by Elena Ferrante
Method: I wrote this poem with the aid of a Markov text generator, which feeds in prose as an input and generates an output randomly. I grabbed the best bits of random prose, repeating the process until I got something I liked, and then edited for sense from there. I worked using material from the pseudonymous Italian writer Elena Ferrante, whose Neapolitan novels are some of the best literature of the last decade.
Emily McAvan is a Jewish Australian poet whose work sits at the intersection between sacred and profane.