Ed Carson explains the concept behind his book Bird Flock Fish School:
Spurred on by the addition of new words or phrases, the creative direction, diction and syntax of a poem emerge as much from the often unintended interaction of the words as from the more formal and structured planning of the poet. In this sense there is a kind of spontaneous and parallel response in which ideas and actions from multiple origins integrate into the context of the poem. Like the flock itself, the shape and direction of the poem take cues from constantly changing sources. The creation of the poem is both centralized in the poet, as with rhetoric, and decentralized in the emerging interaction of words within the poem; in this sense the poem can be seen as part planned, and part self-organizing.