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Today I was inspired by Fanny Howe, the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poet. I like the style and flow of some of this kind of poetry, it walks a fine line between itself and The Beats I think and anyone will tell you I’m normally a bit down on the Beats, but I do quite like the moments in time and the long riffs that spark off from little ideas, so I tried it myself today. It’s a prose poem, so don’t try telling me it’s a short story or whatever because IT’S A PROSE POEM AND GIVE ME A BREAK THIS POETRY LARK IS TOUGH. It’s called Your First Shower At Mine. 

The street cat’s muted viola seasoned mewing lines the gutter like small rivulets of mercury hardening everything it touches with its silvery sound. Faint smells of barbecues come through the window now that the months are reminded it is coming Summer. I was awake until first light as you got drowsy lying next to me. There’s a certain point in the evening where we closed the curtains and they have to stay closed for the minute even though it is early afternoon so I can only see my back yard through a metre long strip of stolen light between the fabric and the wall and in my back yard I can see nothing but dirty, white spots on the rough, grey gravel; rolled up cigarette butts and spat out chewing gum – even the ephemeral is now made permanent as, like a Pollock, the splotches and dots that are dizzied amongst each-other are framed by the brick walls that separate me from my neighbours. 
The shower started with a short click followed by the sound of fountains and I can almost hear the shape of your body based on how the water splashes at different pitches as it bounces of a hip-bone, a salt cellar, a geometric outline made soft by little curves, your Roman nose as you look nearly into the shower head and rub your face.
Before you came here I’d been drunk for three months. 
I wonder how many people, guests of the house, have showered in that bathroom, the room closest to mine? How many people the Frenchman in the attic has invited here for threesomes? How many relatives? The parents or sister of the girl from Watford who lives across the hallway? For me, I’d never noticed the sound of their showering before. I’d never noticed when the last person I’d even said “I love you” to was in there, it didn’t seem important, somehow, and I don’t remember ever sitting on my bed, listening in like a voyeur, hearing his shapes as the water lapped against him, only that he should please hurry up. 
Before you, the little things never caught my eye. I never saw the stickers on the lamppost near my bus stop saying: “TRUST YOUR STRUGGLE”, saying: “MAKE IT HAPPEN”, saying: “YOU ARE SOMEONE’S IDEA OF PERFECT”, until your first shower at mine. Before, my mouth had always been dry and my head had always felt too heavy to be supported by me. And also, my house was always overflowing with an excess of leavings:

Pizza boxes, wine bottles, condom wrappers, screwed up please-forgive-me-notes, the box a pregnancy test came in, disposable razors, bandages, a hospital discharge sheet, spent blister packets of pills, rizla papers, receipts from dinners, bus tickets, an engagement ring, the box it came in, a note telling me to hold on tight, the receipt from that night, watches that don’t work any more, bootlaces, small clear plastic bags lined with cocaine residue, a stalk that some pot once grew on, a piece of broken glass.

They lived like oddities in an installation that people I wish I was friends with might attend the opening of.

There had been a mouse in here once, the only living thing. Manchester, it being vast and filled with hundreds of thousands of people, was nothing but very lonely. Cars parked on my street looked like they’d never moved from their spot. But when you took that first shower at mine I could see they sometimes did in fact crawl on the roads with at least some purpose, as I saw them out of that little slat of light I have that goes out into the world from my bed. I heard the shower click off again and your feet hit the bathroom floor. My feeling was a symptom, I feel, of a wider syndrome – at first alert / like i’d just woken up / briefly / still scared from a nightmare / hit with relief when it had all just been in my head / and the day had something better to bring with it / a something-better that begins – when you come back into the bedroom. I think, the wider syndrome of what I describe here as I recount this feeling of you showering at my house, was the apparent “temporary insanity” cynics will tell you is bred from falling in love, but it wasn’t an insanity, it was – and is – a wellness that lives around us with the first light of the early afternoon in the summer, with the cat moaning outside, the smell of barbecues wafting through the light air. 

I’m really interested in repetition, and when I saw Diane Marie perform at our Sadcore Dadwave night in Oxford, I became even more interested in repetition. Her example of it was hypnotic, and so I thought I’d try myself. It’s called Europe at Night.

Europe at night from space, isn’t it
Beautiful?
Europe at night through trace, isn’t it
Beautiful?
Europe at night through trace, from 
Here, isn’t it beautiful?
Europe at night on the world, through
Trace, from here, isn’t it beautiful?
Europe at night on the world, through
Trace, from here, your ribcage, isn’t it
Beautiful?
Europe at night on the world, through
Trace, from here, your ribcage
Pounding after your heart, isn’t it
Beautiful?
Europe at night on the world, through
Trace, from here, from space, isn’t it
Beautiful?
Europe at night on the world, in Paris,
Through trace, from space, isn’t it
Beautiful?
Europe at night on the world, in Paris,
You’re gorgeous, from space, aren’t
You beautiful?
Europe at night on the world, in Paris,
Through trace, from space, all of you,
Everything, I’ll keep quiet, but God, 
Aren’t you beautiful? 

When I started getting into the alt lit scene, it came out of me discovering and being fascinated by Flarf poetry. It’s the devouring of popular culture and it being spewed back out on the internet in the shape of comments and badly translated web pages. I decided to write a flarf style poem today, and it’s called Alyson Hannigan Surgery of Boob Job

Alyson naturally beautiful or not is asked by
Many question came when people considered
Her appearance is much different to first
Appearance on television lesbian.
Some plastic surgery procedure such as
Boob job and nose job are
Close to Alyson Hannigan today.

The rumours left facelift and Botox injection
For her treatment and positively good outlook
Other rumours said that boob job since her
Boob seems bigger and shows different size
Than before. Nose is also one of captivating
Parts of her face, she is know for her sharp
and Beautiful nose that is why her nose is 
Rumoured to having plastic surgeries. 

She is rumoured having nose job since the
Size of nose is pretty different with her
Past nose size’s back when she was young
Played in some serials and shows whether it
Is plastic surgery or not, Alyson not talk about
It. All we can do is find by ourself in the
Before and after pictures.

Tags: Alyson Hannigan, Plastic surgery, before after pictures, Botox, nose job, Plastic Surgery rumour’s

I realised today that my poems so far for NaPoWriMo have been quite pedestrian and this year, as opposed to last year and the year before, I haven’t laid out anything conceptual. So today, i thought I’d do that. Something that stretches beyond all my poems about love and death and madness. It’s also partly inspired by Dan Holloway’s recent novel Evie and Guy, which really got me thinking about what poetry is, and what it potentially can be. Part of the joy of this poem is I want people to painstakingly try and work it out with logic, the poem is short but the knock-on effect of it is potentially huge. It would take a second to “read” but to understand it could take hours. You won’t know how nonsensical or profound  this poem is unless you apply to it your own logic. I like to think about conceptualism a lot. Here it is: 

Love Life Dilemma From 2010 When I Was In Love With Three Separate People And Needed To Work Out Who The Better Man Was Because I Like To Be Pragmatic And Sometimes Poetry and Art Just Does Not Do It. 

3: SSR + X. 3≤a: + 3≤b: – / 3≤(i): SSR- 3≤(ii): SSR+

First they sat me down and shone a light in my face as they slid a picture of him across the table to me, one of them pushing it to me with the first two fingers of his right hand. They told me his name. It was unusual. He seemed pretty handsome but in the photo he was squinting as the sun was in his eyes. He was standing up somewhere, he was playing with something in his hands. He was trying to shield himself from the glare, he seemed bashful. 
They gave me his shoe size and basic facts about his childhood. They gave me a binder that was full of testimonials from ex-lovers about his bedroom habits. They reassured me that the sex would be adventurous. “Fine” I relented. “Maybe I’d quite like to meet him”.
“Got you!” they said and the next thing I know I was being bundled into the back of a black van. The journey felt like there were lots of sharp bends in the road, it felt like we were driving through the countryside. 

There were clouds that looked like thick, black smoke, far too heavy to suspend themselves alone in the sky. It seemed like a miracle. Below that was all purple and green – heather and rough, coarse grass, not the kind of grass you see in the South, not that shining, lush plastic grass they have in the South. 
They flung me out on top of the heath. They said he’d meet me here and if I just co-operate it wouldn’t take very long. I looked down and I was wearing a white gown but it wasn’t the one I’d always imagined. The shoes were not practical for walking over hills with, and I was worried the mud would spoil them. The men got back into the van. I heard the doors shut and they drove away, leaving me standing there as it started to rain, ruining my hair, waiting to meet my husband for the first time. 

This doesn’t really have a title, it’s just a quick pantun I knocked up and it rhymes and that’s about it. It’s quite vague but I feel pantuns should be. 

I’m applying to appear on some quiz shows
They’re quite easy to do from the couch
Tomorrow I’ll sleep as if comatose
And see if I can work these things out.