Day 28 – Sand Trek

Today was about recuperation. I didn’t realise how stressed I’d become, so most of it was spent reading & catching up on some binge tv.

About 10 o’clock, the dawg & I went for a moonlit beach walk. Once we got home, this came out. & although it’s not strictly one of the Word Games (do I even have to use them now my Residency is finished?) weirdly, last week I read several chapters of Sand: A Journey through Science & the Imagination by Michael Welland, so there is a tentative link.

sand

love  :  taking sand … into the house … on my soles … fugue of beach … summer counterpoint … on this cool … autumn moonlight  :  the thought … of this sandalful … of golden grain … an ankledust’s worth … of microscopic rocks … fleeing the sea … to shipwreck … on my carpet … makes me feel … more connected  :  to everything

microsandCROP

Day 9 – The closest I could get to Fish…

I hadn’t planned to solely use poetry collections for my Judging a Book by Its Cover phase of poetic generation, but it seems to be working okay (& I still have 4 or 5 possibles to draw from) so while it’s working, I’ll go with it.

Today is Sharon Olds’ The Unswept Room.  It is chosen for no other reason than I had an urge to write something about fish (don’t ask why/I don’t know). This was the closest I could find. It seemed to work cos the pome itself came very quickly.

tsunami

shell, coral, fishbones
— these three clues
from the sea
all that remains
of what we were
of our love that was ;
the beach house floor
where we lived
for so many years
has been swept clean ;
a tidal wave of anger
leaving only these
three enigmatic clues
which must mean
something

if only i can work out what
then perhaps, like the tide
you will return

unswept CROP

NOTE: the work of art which forms the cover are ‘details from floor mosaic The Unswept Floor’, Museo Gregoriano Profano, Vatican

(Hour 02) 11.30pm-12.30am — #39 “Those famous steps”

#39

wooden stairs
go down to the beach
& little girls who’ve
just learnt to count
go up & down them
gleefully announcing
how many there are

i am sick with ulcers
& cannot make
the journey myself
so every day
must
descend & ascend
on the backs
of my daughters

welts on my wrists
from the long days
of being handcuffed
to my age

so i watch the birds
from my rear window
avoiding vertigo
yet when the wind
is southerly
i know a hawk
from a heron, sure

OldBingoCard

Day 30 – April Thirty: two, for the price of one

NaPoWriMo is over for me for 2014.  There’s no need for an introduction cos I say it all in the poem.

NaPoWriMo 2014 meta-poem

i.
this last, a self-referential postmodern effort
where i talk about writing the poem itself
& how even finding the title proved elusive
vacillations between the technoesque
“rebuild”, “reboot”, even “re-de-construct”
to the cliched “fresh start” & “new day”
& the punning “imperfect storm”
it’s been a challenging month on a life front
wherein i survived easter (always a dark time)
dealt with banal bureaucracies who
(simply because they weren’t paid for several months)
disconnected power & phone
was unable to use an expired credit card
risked not being able to drive as my car
was 3 hours away from being unregistered
being cancelled from my artist payment grant
because i hadn’t attended a meeting
searched for long lost medicare & healthcare cards
(finding one out of two) almost missed out
on participating in my new course of study
owing to a clerical error…

… but all that changed today
when my long awaited tax refund
magically appeared in my bank account
& the clouds parted & the sun shone down
& life almost did, literally, start again

ii.
yet despite enduring
all that Real World guff
i’ve scribed & posted
30 poems in 30 days
played a few word games
some less successful than others
received some moving feedback
gone from 0 to 50 followers
(thank you all) & been viewed
over 470 times in 11 countries
all of which helps make my first
NaPoWriMo a true blast

i feel exhausted
sad
drained
strangely addicted
wishing for a few more days
wishing Day 16
had a bigger response
& i could reveal the punchline

i’m gonna miss it like mad
because while i published 30 poems
there’s at least another 30
in various solid draft stages
& 30 more abandoned ideas
that might warrant revisiting
when i have more time & energy
so all in all, a profitable month

it’s good
to be
a poet

 

BONUS POEM:  I began this month with a poem about stars. I want to end it the same way, except this is just about one star. My favourite one.

 

latecomers to the sunset

people continue to stop    suddenly
iPhonestruck    fumbling in awe
to snapcapture    the wild gold
firestorm    our universe is  flaring

it’s glorious  admittedly   but i keep
thinking    half-smugly  half-sadly
you should have been here 
15 minutes ago

*****

 2014-04-30 23.49.30

 

April 15 – Day Fifteen: halfway there

Technology makes life pretty awesome for writers.  (When it works of course.)  I am a big fan of Dropbox. All my writing is saved in there & I can access it from anywhere there’s interwebs. Sadly, Dropbox is clunky when it comes to editing, so I use Plain Text, which syncs with Dropbox.  With this PlainText/Dropbox combo I can write a poem on the beach on my phone, edit it on the iPad at a friend’s on the way home & when I open it up on my desktop, the latest version is there, raring to go.  It’s brillo.

Autocorrect, however, while brilliant much of the time, doesn’t always know what I want to say.  Today’s poem was influenced on a whim, by the quirk of autocorrect. 

I was sitting on a bench with the pooch, people watching, sunset waiting, after a nice long walk on the beach.  I started to take some notes on a possible “people watching poem”.  I began with “The girl who squeaks like a bird”.  Except my fat fingers didn’t quite type that.  It didn’t cope with the next phrase either … & an idea was born.  I immediately created some rules.  Well two.

1. Think of the entire line in advance & type as quickly as I could without pausing or backspacing.
2. Accept whatever autocorrect suggested.

Some lines have more autocorrect influence than others, some lines are made gibberishy by the auto; some, somehow more profound; & some just thrilled me no end when they appeared.  No lines have been edited (this also means it’s more fun/less work than a regular poem – haha!)

Esplanade Cavalcade (autocorrected)

The girl who squeaks like absurd,
as her patents ignore her
& talk over her head

The brothers who clamber along Hyde rocks,
one of them finds a cram she’ll,
the it get doesn’t want to look

The ring tonight ting yin
gets bike riders

The yummy mummy jogging
with babying pusher
& a well behaved chic lab trotting alongside

The lesbian couple who u saw
being affectionate on the beach before,
now sadly walking diary,
barely together

The cute teen girl in a purple jumper
who smokes at us as she passes,
park duly more at Chester than I

The woman with the jock terrier
who’s bum bounced a nubs of its own
as she briskwalked away

The overlay earnest woman admiring
the moshav art on the rocks
who stops to tell me to look at one further up
called “the last snapper”

The lonely guy sitting on the bench
playing with this phone instead
of watching the sub set,
or the blood mob riding behind him

*****

 

I couldn’t decide which image to go with … so I’m going with both.

 the last snapper

 

posing on a rock

 

Both images by moi.
Top: “The Last Snapper” cooperative association of Israeli smallholders art.
Bottom: Posing on a Rock. (Such a good boy)

April 8 – Day Eight: 4 bonus poems

Today was a bit messy.  Every other day I’ve known what  I was going to do by about midday.  Today I had a few false starts, & nothing was really grabbing me.  So I worked on a play instead, read some articles online, read Bill Bryson’s awesome chapter on Pronunciation, read a really interesting chapter on how Russia’s political instability is founded on a lack of any clear geographic demarcations between its Western border & Europe … & the “vulnerability” of St Petersburg & Russia now that the Soviet “buffer zone” of satellite Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania etc are now “independent” states.  Written a couple of years again, it shed interesting light on the current Crimea Crisis – but helped little in the poem creation caper.

So to a walk on the beach.  Which produced:

the blue seaglass sky

rain has kept all but the dedicated away
& we’re both a little stir crazy

thankfully this strip of salty dreams
is virtually deserted, even by the gulls

henley beach a zen meditation
the beach as onomatopoeia

water becomes sand, sand becomes sky
sky becomes water … & we drift between

lost on the wind, one lost in the wind
whispers of wings that cannot be seen

waves wash water over wet sand
the sucking sounds – sausages sizzling

in the seashell cemetery, exoskeletons sing
coral cartwheeling, a dead reef xylophone

& every piece of fairy seaglass i find
is washed out blue, just like the sky

*****

1. beach & chezz 1.seaglass

Images: moi

Which, while “nice”, felt like a pretty bog standard grj poem.  It will hopefully improve once April is over & I have a chance to tweak it.  (I particularly like “the beach as onomatopoeia” & will possibly explore that in more detail, sometime.)

So, home after a wonderful wet walk, & a quick stop to shop for essentials, generated this gem:

one of the disadvantages of tardiness

get home after wet beach walk, soggy
towel dry the dog, feed the dog
think about feeding myself, consider coffee
catch from an eye corner, the clock
WTH – where did the time go, calculate
we left here at 4, clock says 6.59
the reading starts in an hour
check the oven: starts in an hour there too
we couldn’t have walked for that long
would’ve said 90 minutes at most
& i only bought a few groceries
dammit! no time for food
put the frozen stuff away. & the milk.
scramble into shower, scrape face
wriggle into jeans, search for shoes
check phone.  wait.  what?  wait!
here the reading starts in 1hr47min
i really should turn those damn
kitchen clocks back — daylight savings
has been over half a week

 *****

clock_by_GruEliSm

Image: Clock by gruelism

This was followed by attendance at said poetry reading which had previously caused such panic in my efforts to get there on time.  [We shan’t mention, the act of sitting at the computer to craft said poem, almost caused me to run late (again, so to speak) for the reading. Sometimes, it seems time is destiny.]

A quick conversation post-reading & this was spewed forth upon my return home. (I had 2 hours to meet the midnight deadline.)

operational policy

my friend works for the government
in the bureaucracy … doing something
to do with housing – or something

every time he talks about it i wittily
pretend to fall asleep. people understand if i say
‘i sit at a computer’  he jokes … before going silent

till one day i overhear him spieling to a stranger
i work for the government in operational policy
we implement what the strategic policy department

decides is a good idea … we make sure it works
i see the woman’s eyes glaze over too
i sit at a computer. aaah, the joke still works

yes, but what do you actually do, she persists
um, my work means the most vulnerable
get what they need in order to live

i haven’t pretended to fall asleep since

*****

 

3. wooden_house_by_kleemass-d3jc2v7

Image: Wooden House by Kleemass

But this still didn’t feel like it.  So I returned to an abandoned effort from earlier in the day.

beyond pain
(Peaches Geldoff dies at age 25)

the deaths of celebrities are strange events
causing outpourings of grief from a deluded
General Population who believe they are somehow
“connected” just because they saw them lots on tv.
the deaths of not-really celebrities are even stranger.

while i sincerely feel the pain her father expresses
in his statement to the media, including the phrase
which titles this poem & others equally heartbreaking
Writing ‘was’ destroys me afresh &
our family, fractured so often, but never broken
the pathos is profound – his clan has done it tough.

what i do not comprehend is how the media
thinks poorly worded tweets from other
second rate celebs some of whom may even
have known the deceased are news — but FFS
Miley & Jamie — sad face emoticons are not
appropriate ways to express your condolences
when someone’s daughter, someone’s mother dies

*****

4. peaches only 3 in WA copy

Screencap moi:  “What’s up WA? – Why is it only 3 on your Reader’s Most Viewed????

But I still wasn’t happy … which leads to today’s Official Post (see new page)