I don't carry around a notebook in the way that some artists keep a sketchpad with them, but I (like most writers, I suspect) have a place where I record scraps. I read through them when I'm short of ideas. Here are my last 8 entries to give you a flavour - typically short, so I've added some explanations
- "I can tell you that ..." (after noticing that people on TV sometimes start sentences that way)
- "writers sublet their poems to readers"
- "a poem with a large catchment area" (I think I meant like a river rather than a school)
- "her tits really get on my tits"
- "love's austere wound"
- "Recently my parents have started staying separately with us"
- "basketball hoops over garage doors"
- "Golden Brain Award from the Californian-based Minerva Foundation" (a Cambridge prof has just won this. Apparently it's prestigious)
Usually such fragments lead to nothing, but you never know. I also keep lists of words/phrases I should use more often, most recently - "flexed/ coagulate/ shingle-suck/ slapped together/ mollycoddle/ swivel/ quondam/ fondly"
And here are extracts of pages from 2001, each with a line from my Escape poem. As you can see, it's all a bit of a Lucky Dip.