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[29 Nov 2006|10:51pm]
Lost Property

“Move down the bus, there isn't space
in here for all these new lost things
I've found; these ticket stubs to other places

crumpled things and things unwanted.
Old umbrellas, orange peel, the odd discarded
sweaters, still, I collect them all,” he said.

“And then you people, tripping on and off
at every stop as, all day long, I go on
losing people, gaining them.

I've bused the kids to school, I've shipped
old ladies back from Sainsbury's to the broad
suburban cemetaries. Nothing changes,”

said the driver, stopped near where the route will end,
for a swift cigarette as the shifts change hands.
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[27 Nov 2006|04:56pm]
Strange poem produced from group writing on the whiteboard, severly edited, still nonsensical:

If only, then, we lonely insects
would collide, dear friend
that are so soon – too soon – to end.
To leave with just this mess we are
of stings and legs and odds and ends.

And – bless you – then; conserve
these jammy facts that stain
your windscreen red behind the rain.
We are only now these broad dishevelled maps
And this, our once short-passing pain.

Old poem which I gave in last week because I was a slacker and went out instead of staying in and doing the work:

After the shouting

She puts on a song from the seventies.
A woman sings about perfection, about respect.
Later she makes for the stairs, eyeing

on the counter-top his plate, untouched.
At every step she pauses; must inspect
the thinning carpet patch by patch.

Upstairs one child sleeps, a fan of landing light
across his face. Elsewhere her daughter, older, lies
awake. Her eyes pressed shut, her room unlit.

At twelve, perhaps, she will hear him home,
the hour that drags him from whatever pub he’s run to.
And they both will be unsure, will hope

that what needs to be said will be said, at last
by the other,
since neither one is ever so alone, as when
they are together.
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[15 Nov 2006|10:17pm]
Motorway Sonnet M17

I drive back the dull way, down the bypass round
the town, when stopped in traffic halfway home I see
two banners on the bridge above. A first one reads
'I love you, Dave' and then another 'marry me?'
is stretched a hundred metres down the road.
Both are splashed on bed sheets (ripped) in red
paint that has smudged and dripped, from a brush too broad
for what was said.

I don't know who Dave is,
or if he answered 'yes', but I shift in my seat
at the tailback ahead. This message was not meant for us,
who could not leave love hanging in some desperate
question mark mid-air, but still I feel your loss in this.
Nearby, a kestrel swings from wing to wing, then dives
as, foot to pedal, hand to wheel, I wait to start again, then drive.
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Poetry Essay [12 Nov 2006|06:32pm]
This week we had to write a page of 'theory' about poetry, using our own voice. This is, obviously, extremely pretentious, but it's a a creative writing seminar - what do you expect? (Embarrassingly, I quite enjoyed this...). Need to write a sonnet now, think I've got something on the go about a lonely motorist which will hopefully turn out ok. Anyway, here's the essay:

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Rushed pre-seminar... [02 Nov 2006|11:40pm]
The Bees

All that hot week they came and kept on coming,
crawling wall to wall inside that room we shared
above a shop uptown.
What drew them here we could not sense;
some deep bee-stink, perhaps, beyond our smelling.

I envied them, their bellies yellow from the flower
beds, the way they swallowed love aloud,
and buzzed soft-fevered
like that trembling in your throat,
those soft hot 'o's that swarm beneath your mouth.

You saw them nesting, thought they'd wasp their way
between these sheets, possessing our most private places.
And you shut the place up,
thought that we were rid of them and would not wake
again in that half-light to find them wanting out.

But that night the storm broke across the housetops,
brought one last barbed fist battering at the glass,
flailing like some drowned thing.
And still you slept not seeing;
always blind to morning.
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...singing poets :s [29 Oct 2006|12:11pm]
My worst nightmare this week - odd poet bloke who runs our seminar asked us to write a song, the only direction over which being that it had to be "strange". (He also took the opportunity of showing, and singing to, us some of his favourite lyrics.) Being a fool, I left this until Thursday night, consequently it's quite embarrassingly bad. I wanted to write a sort of quirky love song, so this is partly influenced by the lyrics to Pink Floyd's 'Bike', a lot by various Magnetic Fields songs, and the title is nicked from an Incubus song that I don't like.

Under My Umbrella

I met you lost, drunk and familiar
under my umbrella in the rain.
You read me like a street map, turned
and steered me home again.

You spun my wet jeans in the dryer,
swore you'd always feel the same.
And ever since it seems we've had
a good relationship with rain.

We're not quite respectable.We kiss in the rain.
Your face without its glasses just so naked and so strange.

I wrote a post-it note one night
just to tell you that “you're mine”;
stuck with you 'til letters poured
in blue ink down your spine.

You lost your bike one week, you left it
caught the bus back in a storm to bed.
Couldn't help but think that you might
ride me round the block instead.

We're not quite respectable.We kiss in the rain.
Your face without its glasses just so naked and so strange.

In hindsight, this probably isn't the sort of thing to be handing in to a fat, beardy 50-year old, particularly as there's a strong possibility he might make us read them out. Whatever he says, I won't sing.
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[20 Oct 2006|06:30pm]
This is from our second creative writing seminar. The title was compulsory, so I tried to choose a subject that fitted to it more than some memories might have. It needs re-drafting. Theres a couple of lines I like, so I thought I'd post it anyway.

I RememberCollapse )
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Bored Reminiscence [01 Oct 2006|12:06am]
I haven't written anything in a while, but I wanted to post so I thought I'd dredge up some stuff from the past. I wrote this some time last term - more as a sort of word puzzle than a poem - as a way of working through some things I couldn't get off my mind.

So, everyone knows Shakespeare's sonnet 116 (it's a famous one!)... Read more...Collapse )

I took the end rhymes, jumbled them up and tried to make a sonnet fit the gaps. As it turns out, a sonnet about inconstancy...thus inverting Shakespeare's original intentions etc etc...or in other words, just highlighting the fact that the person in question was a bit of a shit. It's superficial and contrived but *shrugs* it helped me at the time.

That night as we lay hot and tired with love
I held my cheek against your chest to find
its hidden beat; the pulse that brought to mind
our separateness which no undressing could remove.
Outside, a stranger’s dog began to bark.
I thought of us, and how our end could come
in shouts and sobs, or how our private doom
might be a quiet one. In time the mark
you left would fade from me. We had not loved,
perhaps, but only sometimes touched and taken
what it was that we had lacked alone. Unshaken,
I lay hearing you as morning slowly proved
us wrong. There would be other chests and other cheeks.
There was not long. A day or two, perhaps a week.

Whilst I'm on the subject, this next poem is also something that's tied up a lot with the same thing, and also happens to be one of my favourite poems. For future reference - sending people poetry by email whilst very drunk in a last ditch attempt to prevent someone from getting back together with their ex-girlfriend is not a good idea. Still, it's a good poem.

To His Lost Lover - Simon ArmitageCollapse )
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[14 Aug 2006|03:56pm]
Ok, so this is a second attempt. I recently read a story called 'Intimacy' by Hanif Kureishi which used the first person really well, so I thought I'd try it.


I’ve only had a couple of lessons. Nina phoned earlier, but I missed it, and now I’m here on my own, outside the school, trying to make three point turns in and out of the bays. I’m twenty-three and I’m single. I remember what it was to be eighteen, when almost all my friends had learned already. Boys were all we talked about then. Late for everything, as usual, I cried over my first one for weeks.Read more...Collapse )
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Short Stories [24 Jul 2006|12:25pm]
I've always wanted to be able to write short stories. Next year I'm going to at least have to write some prose, so I thought that this summer would be a good time to practise, seeing as how I have, well...nothing to do.

I trying to read as many of them as I can. At the moment it's a combination of John Updike and Angela Carter. Raymond Carver, however, is a god. Dave Eggers is also fantastic (you can read some of his flash fiction at http://books.guardian.co.uk/shortshortstories/0,14414,1178980,00.html).

This is probably the first "story" I've finished since I was about eleven. There's a lot about it that makes me cringe. The tone is really inconsistent and there's a self-consciousness about the whole thing, especially the dialogue, that I'm pretty sure only practise can get rid of. There are some bits I like. I think the last couple of paragraphs are probably the best. I think I'm just going to shove this up here and move onto something else so I can learn from it, hopefully!


Claire was drinking tea in the staff room, surrounded by unclaimed Zimmer frames and folders full of patient notes. Outside it was already dark and a frost had begun to set in, creeping across the flood lit lawn and furring the windows from the outside in. They planned to visit their daughter in Manchester that weekend. It was a long journey that would take them most of that night and even taking the driving in shifts would prove tiring. She didn’t know which worried her more; the dash through the dark lanes unconscious in the passenger seat, or the point halfway at which she’d have to take the wheel, while Graeme slept beside her, his balding head nodding against the black slackness of the seat belt.Read more...Collapse )
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[21 Jul 2006|02:30pm]
Today I decided it would be safe to use Livejournal as a writing blog. Seeing as no one reads it anymore (I think!) I can kid myself into thinking that I'm edging towards the public domain, whilst knowing that I'm not really in it yet. If by any chance you still check it, firstly I apologise for polluting your friends page. Secondly, feel free to comment and be as constructively mean as you like. Really. I'd appreciate it.

Here are three short poems that I've written reasonably recently and am reasonably pleased with. Sort of.

A Proverb

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The Coat

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Two O’Clock

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