All entries for October 2007

October 28, 2007

October Haikus

Hello again.

Here are some haikus that I have written for this week's assignment. Although they aren't fantastic, I feel they capture some moments in time.


Honey is wounded

But will regain its old shape.

Flesh sweetens lemon.

Autumn seeps through cracks.

The ochre leaves fall wanton.

Shut the window now.

Chocolate proem:

It melts on the tongue for all

In every season.

The last bus from Leam.

My head is throbbing dullness.

Autumn winds cool it.


In addition to this, we were asked to write some modern haikus, so I played around with the form a bit here. I have also included a nonsense haiku, a la Jabberwocky.


He/she/it/they is/are seeing/sleeping/dreaming/holding/grasping/clutching this:

Winter/Autumn/Summer in its glorified/splendourous/villainous/sarcastic/scandalous

Reign over/under the strong/mild/boy/girl/child.

Broon high with the splodge-

The middle of Gloon is harsh

When spitoons hide cabbage.


That's it for the moment, but I hope to put the rest of this week's assignments up tomorrow.

Laters.


October 22, 2007

Two Poems: Crass and The Ballad of Old Tom and Bobby Joe

Hi,

Sorry for my absence. Due to performing in the MTW Weekend Show here at Warwick, I have neglected the blog a little. To make up for it, here are two genuinely new poems.

  Crass is a replay of last week's word break down assignment, Wealth. Apparently it wasn't as fantastic as I thought it was, due to the fact that others may have touched on the same idea and written it better. However, it was a pleasant experience to write it, and I wouldn't change it for that reason. So here is a new poem, with more of the edge that was expected.


Crass

Crass

ah rass

what the hell

are you between your letters,

between the CRAcks in your ASS?

don't give me sass

just the answer

straight

can rats allow such sarky

sloppy speech and rude cuts

to turn the butts

of jokes to crud?

angry enough

to shit bulls

and cruder

than oil.

crass, what are you, ass?

too bored to speak again.


Another poem in the bank. Now for this week's assignment.

A ballad about two idiots / artists discovering the world in a new way. I had a bit of fun with this one. I hope you do too. Cause I looked up ballad in the OED.

{dag}3. A popular song; often spec. one celebrating or scurrilously attacking persons or institutions.

Intruiged by the word scurrilously, I looked it up.

‘Using such language as only the licence of a buffoon can warrant’ (J.); characterized by coarseness or indecency of language, esp. in jesting and invective; coarsely opprobrious or jocular.

With that, I let loose a bit. Here is the babble that resulted, containing dubious images. It may make you laugh. It may make you cry. It may result in my untimely death. Enjoy.


Ballad of Old Tom and Bobby Joe

Well, Old Tom was a secret surrealist,

And so was his friend Bobby Joe,

And they had been living together

Since the time they destroyed Fabio.

But one day they saw the sun sparkle,

And screamed, ‘Argh, the light’s in my eyes!’

They wrote the sensation on old sugar paper

And wore it on their naked thighs.

Who let these assholes into the street,

And who taught them idiocy?

No one gave a shit ’bout the crimes they commit,

And the government let them go free.

Old Tom reached out for his cell phone,

Bobby Joe said ‘Put down that device,

Or your brains overload and make you explode

For that is the phone pixie’s price!’

Now Old Tom threw that phone out the window

And the handset flew way out of sight,

And set off their new neighbour’s car alarm.

Then Old Tom said, ‘By God, you’re right!’

Who let these assholes into the street,

And whotaught them idiocy?

No one gave a shit ’bout the crimes they commit,

And the government let them go free.

Then Bobby Joe looked at a table,

And asked Tom, ‘What happened to it?’

And Old Tom replied in a deep baritone,

‘Would you like to hear ’bout this shit?’

Those great pairs of legs were a-wand’ring,

And running all over the town,

Till one of them genius carpenters

Got this big plank to weigh the legs down.

Who let these assholes into the street,

And who taught them idiocy?

No one gave a shit ’bout the crimes they commit,

And the government let them go free.

Bobby Joe said, ‘Something’s in my underwear,

And I just don’t know what to do!’

Then Old Tom looked down and said, ‘Partner,

I think that I may have one too.’

Then they both laughed out in wonderment

And pulled down their pants to compare.

And they fiddled around, and the stuff that came out,

They used it to rub in their hair.

Who let these assholes into the street,

And who taught them idiocy?

No one gave a shit ’bout the crimes they commit,

And the government let them go free.

So happy were they in discovering,

They decided to play show and tell.

They rubbed themselves over womenfolk

And those women didn’t take it too well.

Old Tom and Joe are in jail now,

In a couple of months they’ll go free.

Their attorney was paid by the land they betrayed

Who plead for their insanity.

Who let these assholes into the street,

And who taught them idiocy?

No one gave a shit ’bout the crimes they commit,

And the government let them go free.


Done. Come back later for more.


October 16, 2007

Epic Poetry: 'Somewhat Epic' or the 'Tescoliad'

Hello people of the outside world.

After much anticipation (mostly my own), I have finished my first epic poem of great deeds done by men. It is not perfect by a long shot, but it makes me giggle, and I hope you enjoy it. I drew on my experience with Epic Tradition last year and came up with this idea over the last few days. It is excessively long, I know, but enjoy it anyways!


Somewhat Epic

  Sing, O Muse Calliope, of the journey, the trials and homecoming of the heroes of the Achaian host as they ransacked Tesco. Speak first of what became of the hoard of Argos.

  Great Agamemnon, shepherd of men, did rise one morning like shining Apollo from the sea and, feeling hungry, did inspect his fridge. But as a warrior who, conquering a foreign citadel with walls steep and after many years of arduous battle, finds the city he now possesses to be populated by old women past the flowers of their shining youth and the vaults of bounteous gold are left empty, so Agamemnon did find the fridge devoid of nourishing food. As quick Panic instilled great worry and doubt within his heart, the son of Atreus did check the freezer, yet that did not yield a golden fish finger, not even an ice cube. Heavy despair did strike Agamemnon in his heart and he dropped to the kitchen floor, rolling and rending his hair.

  He spoke winged words to no one in particular. ‘O this is the greatest tragedy to strike the house of Atreides! If I, a king of Argos, were made poor in glory lost or my fast ships taken by Poseidon, the shaker of earth, I would give it no mind. If I was left wanting gold after ransoming the whole of my host, I could quench that loss as a shepherd douses a smoldering flame. But this is beyond a king of men, and the gods do torment me! O Zeus of the aegis, grant me succour and I shall devote a ham and cheese sandwich to you at your temple.’

  But the Olympian did not hear the prayer of great Agamemnon of the shining helm. He had already eaten, and cheese gave him the awful wind and sweaty cheeks. Plus, he did have his hands full, what with every woman, man and animal he had had an affair with during his immortal life at loggerheads with one another. So Zeus of the dark brow did ignore Agamemnon, and waited for it to be Someone Else’s Problem.

  And so like an infant in need of its mother’s breast, Agamemnon did continue to wail, until Odysseus, sacker of cities, Diomedes and swift footed Achilleus were woken by the clamour, and minced into the kitchen. Odysseus of the many plans spoke winged words to Agamemnon, ‘What ails the Atreides? Do you want for glory and fame? In that, no one can contest with you. And the golden wealth of foreign lands is in your keeping. Does some god afflict you with hardship? Tell us, for even the gods, save cruel Hades, yield when men are suppliant to them.’

  In return, Agamemnon did say, ‘O calamity! There are no other pains but that the stores are empty, and that no man may eat his share or sip sweet wine.’

  At this, Achilleus was enflamed and burned with rage. ‘Is the greed of the Atreides endless, like ravenous Charybdis? I, Achilleus, have provided for Agamemnon when there has been little to profit myself. When you, Agamemnon, were in want of succour, I did provide bacon for your fry-up, yes, though my stocks did run low and I received no reward for myself.’

  Speak Muse, what thoughts did Diomedes keep within his breast? During this, Diomedes did remain silent in reflection of Achilleus’ anger, for he did know that, in the dead of night before Artemis’ countenance, Diomedes had stolen into the kitchen and eaten of Achilleus’ fat sausages and Odysseus’ flame grilled steaks. Yet he felt it best to retain this information within himself and not stir up the flames as a kiln owner does when making a large amphora.

  And Achilleus might have been overtaken by rage and harmed Agamemnon, or burst into tears and phoned his mum as was his wont, had not crafty Odysseus stayed him and reprimanded him. Odysseus said, ‘Hush! Have you not sworn brotherhood to Agamemnon? Zeus the negotiator looks harshly on those who renege on oaths made. Agamemnon of the shining helm respects promises and returns bounteous prizes to those who aid him. And Agamemnon, you are not one to turn woman, a leader in battle whose courage is undisputed. Do you not remember the words of wise Nestor, he who talks others to death? A few weeks hence, he did say, “Achaian men, when you are in want of food and drink, and your comestibles do run low, yes, even the day glow washing up liquid, these men must journey to other lands and, as the Olympian did coin himself children, so must man pay for his welfare. Whilst others may steal from the fridges of friends and abuse the rights of the suppliant, such as men are now, true Achaians do travel to Tesco, where all is available to those of status.” That was the gist of what Nestor said.’

  The heart of Agamemnon was swayed. ‘I apologise, noble men: I was taken by Ate. Now I’ve regained my cool, let us raid Tesco for the delights of men! And I shall throw such a party, that men to come in later days shall say, “That was one hell of a party, and Agamemnon and his comrades threw it.”’

And so they would have left then, had not Penelope caught Odysseus, halted him and addressed him. ‘Darling, such a man of cunning as could conquer cities and defeat a boar alone would not be taxed in fetching some simple commodities for a busy lover. For though I am but a woman, I yet have needs like men. I ask for you to pick up with your strong arms some shampoo, lasagna, this week’s Heat and some yoghurt, which will be chocolate for I have gone off cherry.’

As a man who, defying the Fates, discovers that his designs are fruitless and resigns himself to the will of the gods, so did Odysseus relinquish to Penelope and spoke to her in crushed words.

He said, ‘Alright.’

And so it came to pass that the men of Achaia did journey to Tesco.

Calliope, O Muse, tell us of the journey of the Achaian warriors to Tesco.

They did walk four abreast, like the great phallanx of an army, and did not take the bus, for to pay for the privilege to travel very slowly around the corner with many sweaty people was deemed unthinkable by crafty Odysseus, when a strong man can get there quicker on foot and spare his shining gold. And so the men did briskly walk to Tesco, with Agamemnon on the lookout for chavs.

Speak now of the joke of Diomedes.

Halfway through the journey, as Agamemnon and Achilleus did discuss the football and Odysseus noted the political debates of the week, Diomedes felt that he should contribute to the discussion. As club-footed Hephaestos was robbed of his iron will by Dionysos’ strong wine, so Diomedes was robbed of rational thought, and proceeded to tell a joke.

  What was the gist of the joke?

  There was no real punch line to be told, and it was no satyr play to entertain with mischance and bold humour, nor a divine comedy that Dionysos himself would commend when played in a grand theatre. It was a glorified penis joke, describing the actions of Dick and Fanny, Dick’s concubine.

  Is it repeatable, O Muse?

  I dare say not. It would waste time, for it was much more funny in the mind of Diomedes, addled by the spirit of Ate, for he did commit a crime against comedy. He tried to laugh it off, yet it was to no avail. Everyone was silent until they reached Tesco.

And what happened when they reached Tesco?

  All of them were overcome with awe within their breasts, and the shining halls of Tesco were so great in size that Achilleus did shed a tear in happiness.

  Agamemnon spoke in winged words, ‘O, this is the most happy day for all Achaian men, for the great automatic doors, O great design of Athena and man, have opened for us, and do continue to open and close for us. Now is the time for action! All men shall venerate the protection of Zeus the negotiator and Hermes, protector of all travellers.’ And to conclude his prayer, Agamemnon of the shining helm did pour libations and burn them in veneration of the gods.

  ‘Sandra, clean up at the magazine counter, please,’ spoke dull Tracy of the Customer Service desk, and all the men did hurry to their different errands.

  Odysseus, sacker of cities, did approach the magazines which do speak glorious tales with pictures and, with arms made strong by the gods and collected wits, did pick up a Heat magazine and drop it into his basket. He had remembered well the askings of Penelope and, using his manly knowledge, did think that he should be well rewarded in Penelope’s chamber that night. He would have left then, had he not spotted Agamemnon of the shining helm, swift footed Achilleus and strong Diomedes inspecting the magazines themselves, and so he did investigate and was deeply shocked.

  It was a copy of Nuts they did inspect, a magazine made glossy by manufacture and base by the focus group. It gave promise of many lewd enticements that snare men, such as ‘Big Boobs Edition’, ‘New Lesbian Photos’ and ‘Lucy Pinder Bares All’. On the cover were displayed many images of women, whose breasts were too large to be real, such as women are today, all naked with stars placed over their nipples enscribed with vulgar phrases like, ‘Censored!’ and ‘See More Inside!’

  Crafty Odysseus reprimanded them in winged words. ‘O brothers, why are you thus ensnared in the charms of Aphrodite, a cruel ruler of men who can’t control themselves? These women of lust are painted with insincerity. And as men know not when they are visited by gods, so these women will pay no heed to you.’

  Then did Diomedes speak. ‘Do not misunderstand us, Odysseus. We merely read it for the interesting true stories and amusing pictures, I say to you. It is the truth I tell.’ Yet Diomedes spoke in falsehood, for his face was red.

  Odysseus returned, ‘Diomedes, it is little else but glorified porn, and very bad porn at that reckoning. But if you must, have it, yet let it be known that I, Odysseus, shall not waste my gold on this and shall be paid back for it.’ At this, Diomedes put the magazine of lust into his basket.

  And what were the thoughts of Odysseus?

  In his head, Odysseus did think vile things of the baseness of his friends, and thought on how they could not be expected to solve a crossword meant for children. No, not even if they were to work together. And so Odysseus of the many designs did smirk but did not let it be shown outwardly.

Tell us now, O Muse, of the trials these warriors faced.

  The first was the trial of mince, for swift footed Achilleus did contest the manhood of Diomedes and spoke in winged words, ‘Why does Diomedes prefer lamb to beef? Is he bewildered by some god or spirit invisible to the eyes of men? Or has he turned woman, softening his wild tastes? Soon you shall be knitting like an old maid.’

  In response, Diomedes said, ‘It is not so! I do change my appetites for want of variety. You are one for talking of manhood: I ask of you why you spend so much of your time with Patroklos, and would you know of his manhood?’

  With great ire, Achilleus said, ‘It is not so! There is nothing but brotherly compassion between me and Patroklos!’ But as iron glows in a forge and becomes red, so did Achilleus face become red, and passing chavs did call him ‘gaylord’.

  And Achilleus would have smashed their faces in, had not Agamemnon of the shining helm said, ‘Achilleus, pay these churls no mind: the gods or police shall pick them up and punish them. And great Diomedes, do not descend into needless slanders for Rumour travels swiftly.’

  Next, the trial of Odysseus. He had found the mighty Heat magazine, as was foretold, and the frozen lasagna of which he found three, for great is the man with foresight who buys one for now and more for later. Yet he was beset with confusion as to the finding of shampoo. For as a shepherd who, having lost his flock in the wild and finds them mixed among those of his neighbours, so Odysseus, crafty though he was, could not discern which shampoo to choose. Like a hydra that grows new heads for each one rended, the shelves were stocked with many brands. Yet Odysseus was much loved by Pallas Athena, who descended and appeared before him in the countenance of Debbie, an assistant at Tesco, and asked of him, ‘Do you need help, sir?’

  Crafty Odysseus did recognise her and replied, ‘Yes, I am seeking aid. I look for shampoo for beautiful Penelope, a task at which I have no skill. If only Tritogenia, daughter of Zeus, was here, for she is kind and gracious to me.’

  At this, Athena revealed herself and grew larger. ‘I am she, and I repay those who do me service. Here, Odysseus, take this one.’ And with her dread power, she infused one bottle with menthol and eucalyptus, and strengthened the power of cleansing and volumising to that of a salon brand.

  ‘Thank you,’ spoke Odysseus, but realised that Athena was in waiting for tribute or payment. Odysseus was wise to the games of women, and knew that something was different about the goddess but not the nature of the change. He enquired, ‘Is that a new helmet, Athena?’

‘This is an old helmet,’ replied grey eyed Athena, ‘which I have worn since I was born, fully armed, from Zeus my father. So, no. Try again.’

  Then, as lightning strikes the tallest tree, Odysseus did realise the change in Athena, and said, ‘Ah, you have lost some weight and do look radiant.’

And though Athena was annoyed at Odysseus’ intial ignorance, the goddess did yield and not strike him down. Or so it would have been, had Odysseus not gone too far and did speak thoughtless words to Athena. ‘I do not mean you have turned anorexic,’ said Odysseus the not so crafty at this point, ‘No, you are not that thin. That is not to say that you are fat, for you are not as as fat as some goddesses. This isn’t because of the ride in Menelaos chariot, is it Athena? Because the cart is very old and creaks naturally-‘ But then Odysseus of the many designs did say no more, for like a blind man who stumbles in a cow field, he had trodden in a spot where few men wish to venture, and the dread goddess unleashed her fury.

  Then came the trial of beers. Agamemnon did find the crate of Carlsberg and did fetch a second, when Achilleus checked him, speaking winged words. ‘Stop greedy Agamemenon. Know your limits and do not strive towards excess!’ Agamemnon of the shining helm replied, ‘I do no such thing, and do maintain that a man who buys in bulk is wiser than he who would fear for his wallet. Besides, it is on special offer, and savings made can be used in other purchases.’ So spake Agamemnon and the second crate was added to the wire baskets.

  It was then that Odysseus returned, a shadow of his former self. As a pale ghost wanders the earth in search of succour and vengeance, so did Odysseus appear before his friends. Poor Odysseus was caked in foodstuffs flung by grey eyed Athena’s arm. Egg shells stuck to his hair and chocolate puddings and meringues adorned his body. The warriors asked him what had happened, but he did say, ‘It would be better not to say.’

  Then they did go to the checkout to consult Rose of the beeping desk. And what did she scan, O Muse?

  She did scan items too many for the telling, a feast of beef and lamb, of pizza and garlic bread with cheese, spaghetti, the dark barbecue sauce which men say goes with anything, curries, Odysseus’ lasagna, shampoo and the two magazines, and finally the crates of beer.

  Odysseus did speak to Rose the terminally bored, ‘I am Odysseus that was, who has lived for many years and bears many scars, most of them being mental scars. I have walked for what seems to be years, and suffered much by the gods I hold dear. I bring food for you scan for which I shall pay, for I have brought my shiny Tesco Clubcard.’

  And Rose did say, ‘Alright.’

  But while Rose did scan the mighty feast, strong Diomedes was disquieted, for he had seen the price of the beans he had picked. In his heart, he knew that he should have gone for the Tesco value beans, for they were bloody cheap at 9p a tin, yet he did go for the Heinz beans, which although they were as heavenly as the Olympiad ambrosia, they were much more expensive. He was shamed at his greed, yet now they had been scanned he had no courage within himself to recant and go for the cheaper beans. And so, like the silent dead he kept his peace.

  Soon the bounteous food was put into bags in sorting of rank and size. Diomedes was picked by lot to carry the eight bags of heavy shopping, which he did, lifting four bags in each hand, the sort of deed that requires four men today, such as men are. The journey was swift, for these men of Achaia knew that beneath the rays of Phoebus Apollo (he who strikes from afar) the frozen foods and meat would cook and be spoiled before they could prepare the feast. The gods made their limbs strong and made them walk fast, yet not too fast, for it is said that no man looks cool running unless they are in a movie and being chased by FBI men with guns made awesome.

  But Muse, please tell us quickly, what is the end of this tale?

  Agamemnon and his men did soon return to the kitchen in swift time and did offer the cold gifts to the fridge and freezer, where they did cool and did not go rank. Agamemnon did pay his libations to Boreas, whose northern winds do blow within the freezer, and all payed respects to Zeus the negotiator and Hermes, protector of all travellers, for the successful journey. All seemed well, and Achilleus did begin to prepare the feast so that all men may eat and none go without an equal share, but crafty Odysseus did collapse in despair. Odysseus of the many designs did realise at that point that he had forgotten the yoghurt of Penelope, and many important items of dire need. Furthermore, he would not know the delights of Penelope’s chamber, even though that was not part of beautiful Penelope’s bargain, and he most likely would not have gotten any at all. The fates had decreed that Odysseus would return to Tesco the next day, for no man is infallable unless he makes a shopping list.


That's it. Over. One more in the bank. Stick with me, please, for more is to come!

Signing out.


October 15, 2007

Poetry: Jacket

Hello again, my readers,

I have been neglecting you and this page. Please forgive me, for I had cruel reading and planning to do. I am still working on the projects I described earlier. The epic poetry is coming along well, and I'll have something complete to post in a while. The play is moving slower than expected but should materialise at some point. Otherwise, great.

I had some trouble coming up with part 2 of this week's assignment, the poetry set out in boxes like a comic strip. I have a lack of inspiration for this form, so I adapted a poem I had created over the last few days and wrote it in this form. I think it works, but it isn't fantastic.

jacket.doc

Based on real events, folks. Hope you enjoy.

Laters.


October 12, 2007

Poetry: Wealth

I wrote this for Intro to Creative Writing. The criteria was, to my understanding, to take apart a word and make a poem about it (examples given included the interaction of the letters in form of a narrative or the use of the word as a mnemonic for something else). I went a bit crazy with this one.

Inspirations: though it turned out that way unconsciously, I would say there's a Tim Burton-esque feel to this one. Mr Jimmy Kent is also an inspiration: his 27 stanza poem of complex structure from last week roused a desire to match the challenge (although I'm not sure I matched the poem in the magnitude or complexity). If anyone needs a friendly creative rival, Jimmy is up at the top and I'm pleased to work in the same class as him.

Wealth, from its conception to realisation, was always a quest poem for me. I wanted to contrast the light poetry of before with something darker. However, realism has yet to make an appearance in my blog (note talking snakes and death gods). I wanted to rhyme again this time: although it is a bad habit, not every poem can be freeform prose. I feel the rhyme gives a kick or shove to the poem. Also, I chose the rhythm that seemed most natural to me. It feels like a folk-tale kind of structure to lay under the work, and I like the effect.

Enjoy the work. And for those who are curious about the title, consider why Hades is also called 'Pluton'.


Wealth

The poet sought to deconstruct

The construct that is DEATH,

Which men, for years

(So it appears)

Struggle with each breath.

The poet sought the means to start,

Beginning with the end,

And so he strove

To that fell grove

Where serpent called us ‘friend’.

A THlivering and THlimy knave

Friend THerpent waTH to be.

The poet found

The wyrm waTH wound

Around the fatal tree.

‘Hail, thief,’ said our poet then,

‘Progenitor, oh why?

Why did you seek

To make the meek

And humble men to die?’

‘Oh, poet,’ said he in forkèd tongue,

‘I’ll say to you, my second.

Beyond the grasp

And angel’s clasp

Was death to you pre-reckoned.’

‘When I had hands and limbs to spare

On work and idle game,

The tree was made

And there displayed

By God before I came.’

‘Who did make the bough bear fruit,

That fruitless fate would store?

Who engendered

That which ended

All men in that core?’

And in this witty, pretty talk,

The serpent smirked and smiled.

The poet squirmed:

‘This evil wyrm’d

Have me most beguiled!’

‘Fine, wyrm, that you did not create

Hard death, I’ll not deny.

But with a rhyme,

You’ll not hide crime.

You poisoned us all. Why?’

Said serpent, ‘I shan’t lie to you,

I did it for a lark!

Why should men savour

All of God’s favour,

With all born from his spark?’

‘We share Prometheus’s flame,

And the kick galvanic

That’s beyond the ken

Of mortal men

And infernal mechanic.’

‘Yet God gave you pastoral joy

That man would never strive,

But us “animals”

Were peripherals

That fought to stay alive.’

‘We had love – a love of sorts –

Like you, and we had ire,

And in our toil

Upon the soil

We, alone, perspire.’

‘If you could feel the hate consume,

The burning, boiling wrath,

Then you, my friend,

Would God contend

Upon the curling path.’

‘But mine is not the crime, you see,

No serpent made “contrite”.

I merely offered

Into man’s coffer

Fruit, but mankind had to bite!’

‘I’ve told my tale, enough, I say!

I’m punished but I have a voice.

To crawl before men?!

I’d do it again,

To see men fall. You had a choice.’

The answer wrecked the poet’s skull

And hands in hair became a rake.

Solution bereft,

He turned and left

The most subtle brother snake.

And so the poet searched the world

For the D, the A and E.

He walked for days

`Neath the sun’s rays

Till the twins he came to see.

Their skin was pale as diamond dust,

Their clothes a tapestry,

Their voices soft,

Their swords aloft,

Phantom shinigami!

And in their eyes, a greyness,

That unfaceable cold.

A hissing churl,

A virgin girl

Just four centuries old.

The poet asked if DEATH could die,

Or the dead gain second birth.

(EE-Ay) said he,

(EE-Ah-DA) she,

And the churl cried out in mirth.

‘There are no routes for runaways,

Nor bargains to be made,

No half or whole,

Just soul for soul,

And we are always paid.’

Inflated with all pompous joy,

Was the sanguine psychopomp.

For his despair,

The poet would swear

He’d landed in a swamp.

And yet he could not now lose hope,

So he made one request:

Of the maid and the squire

He asked for their sire

And the nature of his address.

Then, the virgin maid did speak,

‘Our father, he is no more.

He unburdened himself

Of his scythe on a shelf,

And walks on a distant shore.’

‘And if he lived? No answer would

Come shield you from the dead.

You must, in turn,

New humbleness learn

And live true life instead.’

The poet thanked them for their time,

Yet heeded not advice.

He searched for D

Most steadfastly:

The greatest charm came thrice.

He worked for years and decades past,

And still no cure was reared.

The stanzas cried,

And they denied

That lifelessness appeared.

Although we hoped he’d find the cure,

We never thought he would.

We’re not surprised:

We realised

That we’d all D-

D…

D.


It's a cheery one, that.

Signing off.


October 10, 2007

Poetry: I shall not say it

Hi, back again.

Here's something I wrote a while back. Inspired by a poem by Auden (I forget the name, but it contained the immortal lines 'Time will say nothing except I told you so'). I like this one, because it has an illusion of delicacy around it. As always, feedback appreciated.

Enjoy liberally.


 I Shall Not Say It:

I shall not say it

In a passed around note

That seems a lie handwritten

Or in a text that pays by the word

And so cheapens the way

In which I feel.

Let me say it

In eyes that dart

Around your features

And rest on your eyes –

Until you turn my way.

I shall not say it

In any bold declaration

Like those who have done so

Before, and actors

On screens professing

Heartfelt fake fantasies

Of adoration.

Let me say it

In the holding of your hand

In mine, gently squeezing,

Firm, yet yielding

To your wants.

I shall not say it

It in a dark room

Gently lit,

Whispering as if

We were not alone

In our private little world.

Let me say it

In a brief embrace –

A hug, at least –

Fleeting before

Your latest appointment.

I shall not say it

In the words of

Dead poets, like

Shakespeare and

Wordsworth, who

Did not live to see you

Here today.

Let me say it

In the words of my own

And the choices of my own

And the feelings of my own.

Let me say

It need not be said.



October 09, 2007

Today's joys and a poem from the vaults

Yo.

I am currently doing sort of alright. Working on some ideas at the moment: writing some epic poetry based on some heroes of the Iliad and working them into the modern day. Also, I am working on a play that I hope to put on at some point during the next year.

Yah.

While you are waiting, two poems for you.


 The Study of the Effects of Emulsion Marks on a Civilised Automotive Driver:

White

Lines define the spaces between

Cars

White

Lines define the spaces between

Cars

White

Lines define the spaces between

Cars


The Impressive Poem You Read:

You’re not reading this poem,

You’re merely pretending to read it,

Whilst you think about the things on t.v.

Your body, food and other things.

Then you’ll tell your friends

How cultured you are.


Great! You made it to the end of the blog entry. I shall be awarding prizes soon for those who stick with me.

Laters.


October 08, 2007

Short Story: Dead End

I wrote this a while ago. It was to do with an enrichment course I did in conjunction with NAGTY and the University of East Anglia. I was not a faithful writer back then, with work few and far between, and this was an exercise in writing for objects. Sadly, the item used was my last phone. I played around with this idea, and created this flash prose snapshot. I like the way it turned out. It is not long and not too short (although my mum, who likes reading through all my stuff, had a look and believed I should have taken it further. It seems finished to me).

Let me know what you think, dear reader. The only evidence that this blog is useful so far is the reports of other people on the way to lectures. Comments are welcome, criticisms will be tolerated, but hatemail will lead to some form of blog blocking and fingers in ears (or should that be a blindfold?).

Anyway, here it is.


Dead End:

And she thought, weird as she could be, that nobody could be that stupid. One important thing that any person has learnt today is not to leave your phone anywhere. But there it was, bold as brass yet invisible to the world. A phone with a flip-face screen.

  When she was younger, oh how drab and dull it sounds, people looked after their things – cherished them. Time was, that you would only get a phone if you were really lucky. Now, every weekend you see children flashing their latest trends: nav-sat, web link, picture sharing, video messaging, and maybe – just maybe – this one can make phone calls.

  This was not one of those phones: scuffed and slightly battered from countless bumps, bashes and drops, it was the only traveller on the Thameslink line without a railcard. Its owner was long gone.

  For some reason, this female traveller – her – herself – felt some sort of connection to the phone, just resting on the seat. She would pick it up and hand it in on her next stop.

  It rings in her hand. Caller ID pops up: home.

  It rings.

  It rings.

  It rings. And she hasn’t the heart to answer.

  It rings off. One missed call, the screen says.

  Now guilt comes, welling from the stomach. Her thumbs grope the buttons, and the images flicker: phonebook, caller ID, last number redial. She presses ‘ok’, though she knows it’s not ‘ok’.

  And listens to the voice on the other end.

  ‘Hello? Hello? Is that Steve? Just get back soon. Hello?”

  The phone cuts out dead. No battery. She gets off at Mill Hill Broadway – her stop – and leaves the dead end thing alone.


Yes, it's depressing. I walk the fine line between the emo-core blog and the home made page. I'm doing my best to create some variety in my work. Come back tomorrow for some more bloggage*.

Signing off.

*bloggage: an amalgamation of blog and emotional baggage


October 07, 2007

Poetic Discovery!

Hi, people who read my blog,

As part of the creative writing module, we were given the interesting task of creating a new writing style and defining the history of the style. Unfortunately, I'm limited in my creativity of new styles in my general ignorance of the older forms of poetry and personal preference towards modern poetry which does not focus on rhyming (although rhyming is good, I find it blocks some of my immediacy in on-the-spot writing).

So I started searching for examples of older poetry to aid the creative juices. That was when I stumbled upon pyrametric form, an old form that had gone out of practice but one that I thought was worth investigating.

If found this brief history of the pyrametric form on the internet. Notes and links to this page will be added later.

  The pyrametric form can be traced back to Egypt between 2nd and 1st BCE before its European migration. Initially, it resulted as a form of teaching aid. Similar to the building blocks with numbers and letters which are given to children to learn, those who were apprenticed as scribes would experiment with blocks inscribed with hieroglyphs. To help along the learning process, letters and words were assembled in sets of syllables sequentially increasing in size for each layer of blocks, creating a pyramid of words. As patterns emerged for teaching in this form, artistic expression also emerged in pyrametric. However, few examples remain of the authentic pyrametric.

The original pyrametric form can be described quite simply in this manner: the line number of a stanza determines the number of syllables within the line. Therefore the first line would have one, the second two, the third three, and so on.

Before it spread to Europe, pyrametric form was unrestricted in size: the stanzas would grow to unwieldy sizes, with 24 line stanzas stretching the limits of the form. This is where the sexism, or six line form, appeared. Why the current form is known as pyrametric sexism appears to be an amalgamation of several words, including ‘seis’, the Spanish for six, and sextet among others. Another reason for the name sexism may have arisen from the abuse of the sixth line trope. In practice, poets often used the sixth and longest line to express sentiments and build a doubling of images. However, many parodied this trend through base terms, degenerating into innuendo and double entendre of a sexual nature. Some believe that this lead to the ‘sexism’ moniker that has stuck until the present day.

The historian / critic was cited as being Harold Osmond Axmaker. I haven't found any of his previous work as of yet, but I am still searching.

I have included an example of my own experiment in pyrametric form. Although it is crude, I hope to achieve the greatness of the other pyrametric poets who came before.


Spring Powered Interrogation

Ah!

Petals

Interlock

Around the core.

The name is ‘daisy

And men give women one.

Yes,

You are

The one in

Deepest trouble

For the crimes you have

Done before the cock rose.

Tell,

How did

You feign the

Ignorance of

Spring within the fields

Where men water bushes.

Aye,

You have

No answer.

I swear you shall

Be accounted for

Affairs of country maids.

Why

Don’t you

Confine your

Mischief to the

Honey bees’ toil. For the

Queen they will work it.

Hush!

Sentence

Is passed on

You, criminal.

Before the dawn breaks,

The reaper cuts you short.


I hope you liked that poem. It's just a shame that I still have to find a style to invent for Wednesday. Any tips would be welcome.

Signing out.


October 04, 2007

Poetry: Tombs

When I went to Cyprus on holiday, to 'relax' as put by my family (though we did little of that, thinking about it), we stayed in Pafos and visited a few of the local ruins. This is a poem I wrote when visiting the Tomb of the Kings. I'm not much of a ruin / museum person, but this, combined with several mosaics of Greek mythology seen in said ruins inspired me. It helps that I have done Epic Tradition last year: this is what I really drew on for this poem, as you can probably tell. So without further ado...


Tombs

In the dust of Pafos

(womb of the navel of the world)

Lies the Tomb of Kings.

But it is the tomb of kings

In only its name.

In these houses for the dead

No Atreides laid himself to rest.

No Agamemnon slept here

Wrapped in regal webbing.

The blood of the kin of Oedipus

Ran not here in Pafos.

Yet these were noble men that lived.

Not kings of men that died

In a golden age of spears and swords

But men who lived, for a time.

No heroes lifting giant boulders

But the several men who could lift it together.

These were the men who were

Stoned in death.

Now here we walk:

Yellow stalks dot the wayside,

Green leaves huddle in clefts,

Darker plants net the rocks

Beneath the feet of tourists.

Between the sand and stone

And walls made before we came,

We descend.

Standing, leaning on pillars

For support, we look on family chambers

Which are empty.

They are not here.

All that is left of noble men,

Their wives and children,

Are the doors,

The steps,

The walls

And dust.



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