Friday, 10 July 2015

Poetry challenges and in between writing

My latest writing project is almost totally consuming me right now. Words are flowing and I like what I'm seeing. This means that when I've finished this post all ideas will cease and I'll go into a black hole! (Oh, I hope not)

Poetry really has taken a back seat. I'm still reading it - just finished a back edition of Brittle Star which contains fiction and poetry and I really enjoyed it. I must re-new my subscription as I want to read more.

At the moment poetry is something to do to amuse myself between breaks in the fiction writing. I'm not ready for the serious stuff yet. Instead I set myself little poetry challenges, mainly what I call random words poetry. Pick a few words at random from anything - cereal packet, third word on the first line of a book, a form, an advert, anything, then use the words to write a poem. Strange things happen when I do this and I know I've spoken about it before. I love this method because of the subjects that appear out of nowhere. The poems don't always work and I suppose I could edit them and no one would know I'd cheated with the words or whatever. Sometimes I do go back months later and edit the work into something better and if necessary take out those word restrictions (is a poem ever finished?)

This is one I wrote recently using this method. I adapted the words slightly, especially 'allergy' but I'm sure with more time I could have done something better and stuck to my original form of the word. But these poems I write quickly. I had one false start and then I was in. Some time ago I mentioned another method - a sort of time challenge. I don't strictly keep to a time restriction but as I said I do prefer not to think too deeply about these. They come out of my head and onto the laptop fairly quickly. I might edit slightly but there is no big revision. Do you have methods you use to get the creative words flowing? Do tell.

By the way, the title came first with this and then I picked the words - tough!

Here you go then:

My random words: slim, allergy, hot, July, Indexed, Brighton, Terrace, Bug

Parrot on a door

A sleek, slim squawker
in green plumage; a poster
blu-tacked to the door,

double indexed
in Birds of the World,
now in houses and flying free

as far afield as Stockholm
and Brighton,
and a terrace near you

and on this hot July day
of midges, mosquitoes
and other bugs

the curved billed,
claw footed parrot
has had an allergic reaction

to the blu-tack and come
adrift from the door,

shedding its feathers.

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