All 10 entries tagged Poem
May 13, 2008
Last term PENCILfest ran a fund-raiser, with China Mieville and George Ttouli running a workshop on Weird love poetry. Mid-way through I had that old dilemma - knowing a lot about a creepy topic, do you stick your hand up and tell people? After all, if people hear what you know about Furries, what'll stop them thinking you are one? No-one wants to be mistaken for a Furry, except perhaps the Furries themselves.
The tree crab loses her grip,
on the upright tip
of a coconut spike.
Her innards slop
downwards to meet
while mango juice drips
from my mouth and teeth
to touch your feet
and you clutch the sheet
in one hand
and trace my skin
with your fingertips.
December 03, 2007
We were treated two weeks ago to the first half of the excellent Orphee by John Cocteau, and told upon hearing the strange gibberish transfered across the radio in death's limosine that that was that weeks mission. Well, here are the messages I've recorded from inside death's station wagon - a little less impressive perhaps, but equally impenetrable, I hope. Of all of this, I think the only thing with any going distance is "Wolf figurines" - it makes me think of the statue of Romulus and Remus suckling at a wolf's teat.· First there is a mountain: then there is no mountain
· Wire bends without joints
· The bear has been skinned by the flies
· Philosophers make love on tables
· To watch a bicycle is to do very little
· Old Gods grow tired, speaking with the mouth of mouths
· The stars fell a long time ago
· My windowpane is cold: my counterpane is old and forgotten
· Wolf-figurines melt beneath me
· We desire the son of the sun
· Starshine underpenny
· Limes and bootwax, together
· The toast grenadier
· Jazz piano broke her teeth
· The lamp that burnt me is sorry - so sorry
· Watching a pianola, and fearing the radio
· A hard rain fell last night: we didn't care
· Say again? Oh, say again?
· CJD spins on the needlepoint
· Electric toothpaste
· Matchboxes hold suns
· Three point flash!
· Broken teeth are never regrown
· Superlungs and kryptohearts, breathe me please!
· Rainbows curl into discs - they want to print music
· An old man dancing ska is the absolute funk
· New worlds, old Gods
· Turn the door through the wall and smile
· Lipstick, oh lipstick, my lipstick!
· Blu-tack bubbles tie the world together
· Strung from one side of reality to the other
· String-tied hamster teeth
· A little wait and then-
· Tissue paper hearts lick lick lick the sky
· The teats of his mother dried up
· Skin the wolf, skin the bear, skin skin skin!
· Paper, ink, and a world dies
· Sheep-skin warms my back: wool won't be missed
· Ear-cushions are the next big thing: it is proven
· Big shrinks
· Little growths
· The teeth of cancer victims were treasured, once
· Say again? No. Forget me not
· Ulysses would rather be forgotten
· Acrylic paint sticks unforgettably
· Crispy chicken skin is paper
· Blue stones stare accusingly
· My thumbs are scared
· The animals will jump their cages, and burn down the petshop
· The boys are black in this town
· Walls compel amnesia, where love is concerned
· They are turning on the grave-point
· Poincarre, how beautiful you are
Oh, and also "limes and bootwax", I like that. Not sure if "bootwax" is a real thing, but never mind.
November 20, 2007
Right, so - here are the curse and the blessing for last week's assignment. Unchanged following the feed-back. The basic mission (for anyone interested) was to curse someone, and then translate the poem so produced by the antonymic method, that is to say by replacing each word with its opposite (or the nearest equivalent). We were then allowed to jigger the antonym around, and hopefully construct a decent enough blessing.
The curse was not well received. I can see why - the curse was supposed to be a "hammer of language", and this is very effette. I had another idea I didn't go with - the Curse of an A-Bomb (basically, what if an A-bomb effected its powers by magic?) but I got tied down talking about the bomb itself, so I went for this.
The blessing however got a good reception. I do enjoy the imagery it through up - the strange accumulations of language that the antonymic method produced really did create some beautiful images. I'm concerned that the poem doesn't have a coherent narrative or a consistent voice, though. Still, it's certainly something worth returning to.
The heartbreaker's curse
A lover’s blessing – direct antonymic translation
A lover’s blessing
October 30, 2007
So another of our delicious multitude of assignments this week was to write a poem about something really huge as if it was tiny, and something really tiny as if it was huge. I started writing "Very Little" first, under the title of "The Over-Human" - yes, that is a reference to Nietzsche. The idea of the Ubermensch in Nietzsche is (under some interpretations at least) of an entity with such an amazing force of moral will that they can reform reality to match its desire.
On the Nietzschean model, the fundamental substrate of reality is morality and will, so reshaping reality is a matter of getting people to accept your moral standard - the Ubermensch has the capacity to shatter the chains of moral law in which they are raised, and then reconstruct a new morality. The destruction is the act of the lion, the reconstruction is the act of the lamb. I thought, why not have a literal, physical ubermensch?
Don't take "Very Little" as being an accurate representation of any Nietzschean thought - I just used the philosophy as a stepping stone.
In writing the poem, I came to the realisation that I was diminishing very large things by inflating the character of the speaker - by giving them a grotesquely huge ego, I was able to shrink enormous physical objects into diminuity. That helped me deal with the other poem of the pair, which I was struggling with at the time. I applied the reverse principle - give the speaker a tiny little voice. That was where "Big Thing" came from. I wanted to make it longer, but realised quite quickly that it had everything it needed. I like it a lot better than I like "Very Little" in fact.
So, two assignments this week, and this was my first attempt at writing a poem about something small seen so close up as to be huge. Whilst looking at a tree branch in extreme close-up, I was struck by the amazing resemblance to the gorgeous, overwrought fantasy enviroments from things like Labyrinth, Lord of the Rings, El Labirinto del Fauno and similar - so I thought, why not make a fantasy adventure? Sadly, it didn't come through, and I'm now of the opinion that it wasn't the right way to go about the premise.
The structure I was going for here was an attempt to constrain myself, but I don't think its particularly interesting or worthwhile. The basic premise is that the word that ends the first line and the third of each stanza should also end the sixth and the fourth, respectively. That happened just by accident after I'd written the first stanza (which of the three, I'm most happy with), and I tried to apply it to the rest of the poem.
Consider this as being unfinished.
The Little Person
So, one of our multitude of assignments this week was to write some Haikus. My God but they're fun. I'd never used the form before but its blissful - the constraints it places upon both subject matter and structure are challenging but not onerous. Here's the full set of rules, as far as I can remember-
Syllabels - 5, 7, 5
Imagery - Two images, one short and the other enduring. Must be very vivid and visual. They must be linked, but how they are linked is up to the reader to decipher.
Subject matter - Any, but should convey a spiritual revelation onto the reader
Seasonal and nature imagery is popular
I've split up what I've written into traditional Haikus, and short poems with the same syllabic structure but which aren't Haikus
October 24, 2007
This week's assignment was to produce a poem exploring "Blodigkeit" - the state of the idiot, the wonderful apprehension of the world that is enjoyed by the perfectly ignorant. In addition to this, we had to write in ballad format. That's a bit of a departure for me - I'm not used to writing extended, narrative poetry. I think it shows. But I think there are some enjoyable elements in here, and it was certainly a learning exercise.
Families Through Adoption
The woman said "I don't approve
Of your interest in this river!"
The advance was called with a shout.
As a sergeant tore off her face.
October 23, 2007
The asssignment this week - take one word, and chop finely into constituent letters. Sprinkle lightly with garlic salt and leave to simmer. Serve with a side garnish of brains. To show you how easy this recipe is, here's one I made earlier -
who broods between the sentinels,
"Britain", that's a noble word:
October 07, 2007
October 05, 2007
Deep beneath the salt and car crash ocean.