Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Day 3 - the super quick draft

I've had very little time today, and have literally sat down and boshed this out while dinner is cooking. From start to finish the draft took 20 minutes.

I tried a brief response to an image (I usually love using images as prompts) but was getting nowhere, so I returned to another old favourite - line replacement. For this technique of poem generation, randomly select a poem from a book, copy out every other line, fill in the blanks with your own words (it has to make a new poem that's half yours, half the original poem). Then write out the lines you wrote and fill in the blanks again. Voila, you end up with all your own work.

Today I used Denise Riley's poem 'Knowing in the Real World'.
This was my result.

My yells rebound, puddle
at the feet of strangers

the echo simpers towards me
unable to contain that moment

between wavelength & velocity
each vibration sizzling against my skin

like sunburn. I am scorched
tears evaporate

I seal my lips, huddle
beneath my imaginary silence

wrap myself
in invisible conversations

We always underestimate
the way they speak, whispers

cut skin, and this blood shadow

shouts beyond the dark.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Second shitty first draft :)

I have this printed out, ready to tweak n edit, but decided to be truthful and post the real first scribbled draft. It amazes me sometimes how these seemingly random collection of words end up being shaped into something completely unrecognisable, its like a treasure hunt where you get clues and have to dig for the real words underneath it all.

This disjointed hand free falls
curves past tattered faces
that tangle and writhe
we tried to hold on
but they plummet

we can never keep
cracked knuckles immobile
shudders spasm them open

Impact will not shatter us
only tears and voices
make us crumble
it’s the moment before we fall
that splits us

we hope these frantic gestures
give us something to hold
that what we cling to

is what crashes  us down.

Monday, 14 April 2014

In celebration of shitty first drafts! Day 1 :)

The wedding is all done and dusted, I'm officially a 'Mrs' now for the first time in my life. I've spent the last few months doing the headless chicken wedding planning dance, and now that's over, I need to get on with the rest of my life.

A big part of that needs to be my writing. I have a dissertation to complete over the next few months, so need to get back on track with my writing. The slight problem I have is that, in my poetry, I've been following a similar theme for the last couple of years and that seems to have come to a natural end. So I need to find out where it's going now.

Having done bugger all over the last couple of months, I need something to kickstart myself and have decided to attempt the poem a day for a month challenge. I tried this quite a few years ago and it worked really well. Most of what I churned out was crap, but some of it wasn't, and it helped a lot with the writing discipline. Although, having just spent over 2 hours battling with my internal critic, and trying to breath life into something, I'm going to rename it to the 'Shitty first draft a day' - just to remind myself that it really doesn't matter whether it's any good, it's the doing not the end result that's important.

Everyone writes truly awful first drafts at least some of the time, for most people it's most or all of the time. And it's far to easy to listen to our critic shouting at us that we're no good, that it's pointless, that we may as well give up now.

So, all hail the shitty first draft! Here's mine for today :)

Cloud shadows
bombard skin
threaten to scour away
the weight of her world

she pins each toe, ankle, knee
stops herself running
pierces thighs & hips
stomach to still his butterflies

pulls skin taut over ribs, breasts
limits her inhalation
punctures throat, stops
that scream

pins eyelids, lips closed
fingernails first left
then right self-

only thumb and forefinger