Friday, 9 April 2010

National Poetry Writing Month, Day Nine

I'm in a strop today. I feel like I'm wasting my time doing this poem a day thing. I should really be getting on with the book. And although I like to read it, as a leisure activity, poetry's never been my thing. So, I'm thinking, I'll give it another five days, and if I still feel I'm wasting my time, and not achieving anything worthwhile, I'll give it up and get on with the bread and butter stuff. It's not that I haven't been enjoying this exercise it's just that it takes up so much energy, even when I'm trying to ignore it!

Anyway, today on the Read Write Poem site they say:

RWP member Robert Peake has shared with us a prompt he used recently with one of his established writing groups:
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to:
Use at least twelve words from this list: flap, winter, torch, pail, jug, strum, lever, massage, octopus, marionette, stow, pumice, rug, jam, limp, campfire, startle, wattle, bruise, chimney, tome, talon, fringe, walker;
Include something that tastes terrible;
Include some part (from a few words to several lines) of a previous poem that didn’t quite pan out; and
Include a sound that makes you happy.
Write a poem.

I haven't actually written a poem, but an infantile foot stomp and whine.

Kid A

I think I’m not a poet.
I can’t lever meaning from a bruise
of stow, tome, octopus;
and produce verse like a short order chef
with a burger press. I have nothing to strum.
Pressured I flap like the fringe of a marionette
in hair and make-up. I'm in a jam.

I feel like a walker in a cycle race.
This push to rush hits my guts
like sour milk. I limp to the finish,
neither hare nor tortoise.


Kass said...

Oh, excellent, excellent, probably my favorite so far. Really. It has humor, internal rhyme, angry determinism - what more could a reader want?

I know what you mean about this one a day thing. It's semi-ruining my life.

Alesa Warcan said...

While I'm capable of writing in verse on command, this organised poetry thing doesn't move me to do so. On the other had, some of the poems I've read did.
Maybe you should just ask me how my flowers bloom. (quite contrary)
All things said and done, I'd rather improetise with a friend or two rather be a part of a massive faceless group forcing myslf to follow someone else's rules for 30 days.
This was a hard exercise... Pointless squared perhaps. I gave it a try to see for myself if it was as bad as it seemed and wound up using all the words (by cheating) and writing pulp...
I don't think this is one of your better poems, especially after the previous one which must be a hard act to follow. It feels to me too much like an enumeration... That said there are some nice images there.

flaubert said...

This is quite well done!

Rallentanda said...

Well, you have mastered the wordle prompt. Pithy brief and use of words (maybe not all)..a natural!

The Pollinatrix said...

I haven't read a single poem of yours that I didn't find absolutely delightful. Seriously. This one is particularly charming.

And remember - poetry is the most useless thing in the universe. That's why we need it.

jimmmaaa said...

I like it. But I know what you mean, sometimes the pressure to produce makes it feel less meaningful. But surprisingly, when I sit down to write, even if jammed at the end of the day, something usually comes out.

Pat said...

'And although I like to read it, as a leisure activity, poetry's never been my thing.'
I'm with you on that as far as writing it is concerned. But some of it does nurture my soul.
Exercises are fine but a month is a long time and it could get quite irritating. You have proved you can dot it admirably.

Pat said...

Do it even:)

Philip said...

absolutely marvellous. made me laugh. I hate these contrived prompt things. I hate being told what to do generally in fact. If it doesn't come spontaneous then i ain't doing it. Not very grown up i know. Nice work.

Eryl Shields said...

Kass ~ Really? Gosh, thanks.

You too? And you seem to be such a natural.

Alesa ~ I must come over and see what you did. I don't think I'm capable of making dinner on command. Though that's one of the reasons, in a way, I signed up for this. The skill to be able to jump to it seems to be a necessary one in our current cultural climate.

Pamela ~ thank you.

Rallentanda ~ you're too kind!

Polli ~ thank you. It's nice to see you and you are quite right of course.

Jimmmaa ~ thank you. I'm glad you are able to produce at the end of a jammed day. I'm just wondering if this is the best use of my time, though I am happy to think I might not know that for years.

Pat ~ poetry, other people's poetry, can definitely nurture the soul.

Philip ~ I can find prompts really useful sometimes they can dredge something up that I didn't know was there. At the same time I also hate being told what to do!

Glad it made you laugh.

Is your computer sorted now?

Alesa Warcan said...

Hmm... I wasn't going to post it... Would it be ok if I just plodded it on here in a comment? It's just a bit of 3 am drivel really, doesn't deserve its own post. : j

By the way, after discussing this piece (your poem) with my significant other, I come to realise that I don't have a rational reason for not liking this piece, it's just my gut reaction, maybe a reaction to the feeling therein rather than form...
If it can do that, it is not only effective but insidious... Have you just hatched a new style of poetry? Stealth poems?

Mark Sanderson said...

Poetry! That is a tall order to get your head around. What are the rules?

Eryl Shields said...

Alesa ~ plod away!

If your gut reaction was one of irritation then I think it must work, as I was feeling decidedly irritated by the whole thing when I wrote it.

Mark ~ the only rule is to write at least one poem a day for the whole of April, the rest are guidelines and you can quite happily ignore them. No offside rule, thank goodness.

Mark Sanderson said...

Thanks for clearing that up Eryl.

Alesa Warcan said...

The swaggering winter walker walks wagging his wattle like a bantam cock
He cocks his defiant fist and screams at the indifferent January sun-beams
His throat is a torched pumice-scraped chimney, bruised, and misused
He is a marionette with a demon talon jammed in his heart
Jammed into that closed tome ready to tear it apart
He dares to face dread Cthullhu and his octopus head…

Startled, he awakes, massages his temples, and contemplates
The folly of the empty booze jug and the memory of the drugs
A cool wind flaps his limp and sodden hair
Whistles through tree branches
And strums the leaves there

The flickering campfire fringes the campsite with dancing shadows
He levers the pail of water and douses the light
Letting the darkness wash in, calling on the night
To banish bad dreams and bask in the blessing of sweet sleep it bestows.

Greg O'Connell said...

'Kid A' includes so much to enjoy: the image of the chef and burger press, nothing to strum, push/rush/guts, I limp...tortoise. Why! Petulance becomes you! Great piece, Eryl. =)

Eryl Shields said...

Alesa ~ I think you ought to send this to Tim Burton, it would make a great animated film, and it really reminds me of his stuff.

Greg ~ this is actually one of my problems: when I throw a strop everyone laughs!

Alesa Warcan said...

Haha, have you seen what Tim Burton has been cranking out lately? Nono, I know it's bad, but it doesn't deserve that. : j
Speaking of Burton, have you seen his short animation movie from 82 called Vincent? If not here's a link:
(definitely something that should go into the link dump)

Eryl Shields said...

Actually I haven't seen anything of his for ages, but I'm going to see Alice in Wonderland on Friday even though it's been generally panned.

I have seen Vincent but I'm going to watch it again right now because I love it!

Alesa Warcan said...

Yeah it has been panned, slammed, and fired into lower orbit...
I was vaguely hoping it would be good, given how much I love "Alice's adventures in wonderland" and "through the looking glass". But what were the odds. But then I saw the trailer for it when I was dragged to see avatar. The trailer shattered all my hopes. But then, I'm told I'm a picky audience, so maybe it's better than the trailer led me to believe. I'd be very much interested to hear your take on it.

Alesa Warcan said...

Oh sorry for double commenting but did you notice how I cheated? The rug was hidden in the drug.

And "the pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle; the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true!"

Eryl Shields said...

I will let you know what I think. Maybe I'll do one of those 'review' posts that seem to be so popular with other bloggers.


I must confess I didn't notice your cunning rug disguise. Still, I am impressed.