Monday, 1 March 2010

On How One Sometimes Gets Things Totally Out of Proportion

I have this fear that I'm going to drive everyone away with this daily poem posting, but there aren't too many more to go, and I'm finding it invaluable.

This one has undergone so many changes that it bears no resemblance whatsoever to the original with the exception of the idea and the words 'jam' and 'tungsten', see photo for all the variations, if you click on it it will become big enough to make sense of.

Rather than give it to you in written form I thought, to ring the changes, I'd record it and give it as audio.

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Update: Weaver can't hear the audio properly and I can't have that, so here's the text too:

Sisyphus of the Laundry

Tungsten lit stigmata,
the fall of a ruby tear
in Eliot’s yellow fog whose circle
tightens round my throat.

A ruby tear? Hark at her!
You’re such a romantic dear
with your fancy cuffed rubber gloves
and eco friendly washing suds.

Dark, dark raspberries were crushed
and boiled in a pot with sugar
for this: miscarriage heading for the sewer
in a stream of piss; blood blister
on a smoker’s finger. Jam
on a pristine pale cream linen trouser.


Scarlet Blue said...

Well I liked it!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Now I find it frustrating Eryl as my hearing is not very good and I do desperately want to know what your poem is about.

Eryl Shields said...

Scarlet ~ thanks, X

Weaver ~ oh no, I hadn't thought of that! I'll put the text up now.

Pat said...

Oh the horror!
Yes Weaver's right. Even with my aids I want to see it. Both is ideal.

A Cuban In London said...

Well, it certainly takes a detour from the traditional written poem. And I loved the eco topic thrown in. All in all, you're a very good poet (as in a poet who can recite poems, not just write them). I loved the pauses and tempo. Many thanks. In another time, and a different city I would have asked you to come to the monthly session I organised for four and a half years at my previous job (an arts centre). It was a get-together geared mainly towards performers, where poetry had a special place as the majority of people, including my co-host, were poets. But I also screened films and brought dance and theatre acts to the sessions. Many thanks and thank you also for your comment on my blog.

Greetings from London.

Eryl Shields said...

Pat ~ you ask, I deliver!

Cuban ~ thank you very much, I'm feeling quite giddy. Some of my poems, I think, are much better recited because I find it difficult to show in the writing the variations in pauses that I feel as I compose, if that makes sense. I am currently wondering, for example, if I need some commas in that last line.

martine frampton said...

loved the stains in this
thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

Strong poem, in an Eliot vein. Suppressed intensity revealing itself.

I'm not sure that I'd mention Eliot. It looks a bit like namedropping, and it might make people who don't know the reference feel ignorant. Those in the know will get the reference just from 'yellow fog'.

Line 3: 'whose', not 'who's'.

What a nice voice you've got!

Eryl Shields said...

Martine ~ thank you.

Jenny ~ I ummed and ahhed (as my mother used to say) about putting Eliot in or not, worried about committing plagiarism I eventually decided it better to include him. But you're right it sounds a bit like I'm name dropping, bums!

Bum's too about who's: I swear I'm possessive dyslexic, so thanks for pointing it out. I'll change it now.

That's my telephone voice!

Titus said...

Just to confuse you, I don't have a problem with the name-dropping and I like the suggestion that Eliot himself is also tightening your throat. And it leads nicely to the second stanza and other voice, which again echoes Eliot.
Final stanza an absolute corker. Really.

Am I a hyphen fanatic? I think there should be one in eco-friendly.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Wow, you're really getting somewhere with this poetry. Coupling the banal with the profound is tricky but it's working for me here. You could point out the regularity of "the jam problem" to make it chime with the Myth of Sisyphus thing, (though you didn't ask for advice/critisism - I don't know why I'm spouting forth like this...)

Eryl Shields said...

Titus ~ I took Eliot out and it felt wrong but I changed 'in' to 'through' and that was better. So then I recorded it and on the umpteenth attempt I reinserted Eliot and, pa dah! Much happier. I need him for the rhythm first and foremost, but I think you're right: the implication is that he is also tightening round my personas throat so it adds a layer of meaning.

I wondered why 'eco friendly' seemed odd, now I know: hyphen!

Gadjo ~ you must be a born facilitator/enabler/teacher, so you have to help. And thank you, I just hoped for advice/criticism. I'm thinking of changing the title as I don't think the poem earns it, and it will be much easier to change the title than the poem!

I have begun to think the whole point of my writing is an attempt to show the profundity in the banal. Jeez, that sounds really pretentious!

Golden West said...

Thanks for giving a glimpse of your creative process. I know nothing about writing poetry and had no idea it is such a laborious project - gives me a much greater appreciation for the final form!

Anonymous said...

Please do be 'pretentious', Eryl. No one is entitled to cause us to doubt that our philosophising isn't authentic. Philosophising is everyone's birthright. The more people bandy profundity, however casually, the more interesting the world will be.

It is good to show the profundity within the banality. Is there not also banality within the profound? I think there is. Is there profundity within the banality within the profound? I contemplate this, sporadically.

Eryl Shields said...

Golden ~ I suspect that I make it more laborious that it needs to be, and I must say I'm having a lot of fun with it now I've overcome my shame and decided to share some poems here. Everyone has been so helpful.

Jenny ~ I sit here popping Maltesers into my mouth wishing they were a glass of red wine, feeling very glad to have met you. You are absolutely right profundity should be bandied about more often and by more people.

Lulu LaBonne said...

I really liked this one, can't say a single way I'd change it.

Kanani said...

I have to say, Kim's comment the other day was the funniest.

I was a little thrown by Eliot's yellow fog until I remembered...oh yeah.

I'm too tuckered, but really, can you get rid of that semi colon in the last stanza? If you Play with the structure, and start a sentence starting with "miscarriage" can you see how it will give it even more punch?

UK Vintage said...

You've got a really realistic post here, nice one!

Eryl Shields said...

Lulu ~ you are too kind, X

Kanani ~ I'm rather attached to semi colons! I will play with the structure, this is the fun part. I once heard of someone who cuts out all the words, individually, and then just plays about with them on a table until they get it to their liking. If only I had that kind of time!

UK Vintage ~ thank you. If I ever find myself with money to spend I'll come and trawl through your frocks.