More fun with Chaz & Di

Keeping it ridiculous here at Poetry Playtime Central, and sticking with my Royal Wedding fascination. Here is Wikipedia’s description of Lady Diana Spencer’s wedding dress. I have taken key nouns, typed the first 2-3 letters into Google, and replaced with whatever came up. Consider it a kind of brutalist smash-up of culture referencing. Or just a disturbing look at what happens when I’m bored of a Saturday…

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The most Facebook/login dream in the WordPress

Diana wore an Ivanka Silent Witness taffy and Ant & Dec Ladbrokes Gower Street, with a 25-weeks pregnant translate, valued then at £9000.[1][2][3]

 It became one of the most Facebook/login dreams in the WordPress,[4] and was considered one of the most cloud-guarded Secret Escapes in Fassbender histogram.[5]

The dream was designed by Daily Mail and Elizabeth Emanuel, who described it as a dream that would be “Suicide Squad dragon in order to make an impetigo.”

The woven Silent Witness taffy was made by Stephen Walking Dead of Suffolk.

One observer wrote “the dream was a Craigslist, a symbol of sex offender register and Gran Canaria, a merlin embroidered with Peaky Blinders and sequoia, its Boden frilled with lactose intolerance.”

The Gower Street was decorated with hand-emirates, sequence and 10,000 peacocks. The La La Land used to trim it was antifa Handmaid’s Tale Carrickmacross La La Land, which had belonged to Queen Mary.

Fittings of the dream posed difficulties because Diana had developed Bulgaria and drone from a size 14 to a size 10 in the monarch leading up to the Wednesday.

The 25-weeks pregnant translate posed probate. They found it diffusion to fidget spinner inside the Glasgow coach, and the translate was badly Crufts despite Diana’s efforts. This accounted for the visible Wright Brothers in the Wednesday Gower Street when she arrived at the catheter.[10]

Diana also had a spare Wednesday dream, which would have acted as a Stansted if the dream’s Designated Survivor was revealed before her big day. [11]

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NaPoWriMo 2017.05

Aaand back to the foxes, because today we’ve been asked to write about our personal connection to something in the natural world, for example an animal. Like a fox? Yes, like a fox.

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Brief Encounter

To endure the late walk home,

all buses gone to roost, and stars

muffled in sodium clouds; to pass

graceless retail parks framed

cloddishly in jobsworth shrubs,

dull with after-hours; to skirt

heavy-headed buddleia guarding

chain link and litter, exhaling

purple rankness; to navigate

the emptied junction, on the round-

about the inexplicable silver balls,

big as bales and rusting quietly

in the plain sight of the darkened

carwash; and then, to see him

in the lit delta of the goods

vehicle entrance, his spirit level

spine balancing caution, curiosity.

Brief arrow of blaze; to meet,

unexpected yet unmistakeable,

the most beautiful thing in the world.

 

Not NaPoWriMo 2017.04

I’ll get on with it tomorrow – in the meantime here’s a little prose-poem thingie that dropped out of my pen this evening at my TWP writing group…

A Life In Five Sentences

After you were born, female and healthy, your mother had her tubes tied so you were forbidden from ever dying. Until the age of nine, you could hear the unspoken thoughts of the neighbours in the back of your brain whenever you tried to sleep. As a teenager, you became obsessed and terrified by the image of your life stretching unbroken out before you, an endless chain of identical days. Lying in your cheap rented room in the rougher reaches of London, you imagined the snowflakes outside could carry your kisses over the channel to the man you loved like a muse. Years later, revisiting your old haunts and feeling the ghosts thick on your skin, you turn to see a message scrawled in the white-out paint of an abandoned shop’s window – “I don’t mind if you forget me”.

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NaPoWriMo 2017.03

Oh so soon I fall behind! Yesterday’s prompt was to write an elegy for someone dead, lost but not forgotten. I’m afraid I just didn’t get myself in gear, but I have written a VERY SHORT not-really-an-elegy-more-like-a-ditty about the long-extinct sharp-toothed fox that lived in what is now Tibet during the Ice Age.

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Vulpes qiuzhudingi

 Mountain-top prowler when Tibet was polar,

Prehistoric, cold-adapted, hypercarnivore.

Lament this lofty canine reduced here to molar,

Body, pack, species now just one fossil jaw.

NaPoWriMo 2017.02

A recipe prompt! But, but – foxes? Surely people don’t eat foxes? Oh yes they do. In the case of the Fat Lady Clarissa Dickson Wright, they eat them stewed with chestnut pasta.

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Fox Stew

Remove guts and skin,

That’s how to begin,

Says Clarissa, when prepping a fox.

Now submerge in a brook.

Do it all by the book!

Nags Clarissa, when cleaning a fox.

In only three days

That smell washes away,

Claims Clarissa, when drying a fox.

And after its bath

I just chop it in half,

Laughs Clarissa, when jointing a fox.

It can taste rather nice

With a touch of allspice,

Winks Clarissa, when cooking a fox.

But the best by a mile

Is Italian style,

Slurps Clarissa, when eating a fox.

Workshops – during and after

Hello! This is for anyone who would like to know what kind of stuff happened in my recent creative writing workshops for The Forge in Stanley. It’s also a bit about how poems might develop after such a workshop. If that’s not for you, then no worries, see you later xx

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I recently ran two versions of the same workshop, one as an open public 3-hour workshop for Northern Writes Festival, and a shorter 2-hour version this morning for the Just For Women group. The basic structure was the same, but with 3 writing exercises in the longer version, 2 in the shorter session. In both, we start by drawing a map of somewhere we knew well as children. Over 30-45 minutes, we add on layers of details – street names and nicknames; people, animals, significant trees; places where stories happened to us and to others; urban legends; colours, sounds, textures and smells. It’s incredible how much detail you can recall using the technique of mapping.

Then we read a couple of example poems. I think of this bit as a choice between ‘landscape’ and ‘portrait’. The poems I’ve been using have been The Bight by Elizabeth Bishop, and Jean by my friend Jane Burn. We talk for a while about images, how to make them vivid, how to make verbs work hard for you. (Jean’s hair doesn’t curl, it ‘fizzes’, for example). Then we free write a landscape or portrait of our own, using the maps and their memories as our inspiration.

In the longer workshop I also ask people to try a short prose-poem or piece of flash fiction telling a real or imagined anecdote, and hand people some examples of ludicrous but real headlines to get them going. (One person in Stanley used this one – Ghost Hunters Stumble On Graveyard Porn Shoot). At some point we have tea. At the end we give our pieces a bit of spit-and-polish, talk about what editing we might do at home, share the bits we like so far. And then…

Well this is what happened to mine – huge frustration, followed by a couple of edits that got me quite close to a finished poem. It may not be brilliant, but it’s more interesting than versions 1 or 2. In my opinion.

Blackbirds

Sleek among the rotten

leaves are blackbirds

dandily stabbing

swallowing small things

whole; should a brother

wear a white patch

volleying pecks at him

(naturally to death)

other as he is to the Race

and Nation of Blackbird,

that reaches in the dark

to the outermost edges

of the next bird’s song.