I suppose a pen and a scrap of envelope
will do, for scribbles that hit mid-amble
along the street, or on a bus. And a keyboard
can take a good pounding of angst, or a tap-peck
for a milder bout of the muse.
But nursery scripts demand to be spelt
on alphabet bricks across the carpet.
Competitive strophes must be gridded
with Scrabble tiles, rhyme sacrificed
for the triple word score.
And the joys of play dough snakes pressed
into sentences across the dinner table
(or the workstation when the boss is away),
verse upon verse coursing across the surface,
punctuated with multicolour dinosaur stops.
Historical epics demand quill and parchment:
the local college offers courses in do-it-yourself
writing kits, supply your own pigeon wings
and kitten skins. Epigrams are built for clay
tablets, baked in the oven alongside the pot roast.
If an image hits as I walk along the shoreline
then a stick and sand will do, big poems
decorated with seaweed and conch shells
to be seen by seagulls until the tides of time
scrub my visions back into the beach.
Or for that one-time invitation only performance
piece, a neighbour's wallpapered lounge and a set
of day-glo crayons: it's art, I cry, as policemen smash
through windows, unbind the audience, muscle
me out of the house.
And then those special times, late at night,
when I creep to the kitchen and settle in
for a feast, and indulge in my secret vice:
chocolate, vodka, and magnetic fridge poetry.
Drafting while the rest of my world snores.
A First Kiss
A cloud hangs.
Her shoulders shiver, and
He moves closer.
She tilts her face and hides a smile.
She feels a warmth upon her cheek.
He is whispering into her hair,
And watching the corners of her mouth.
She doesn’t hear,
But she notices.
Feed the fire, she says.
He does. His hopes take flight.
His breath quickens.
He gazes at the fire, wondering, planning.
Their shoulders touch.
A drop falls. Then two.
They watch the fire.
His fingers find hers.
He squeezes her hand. We have to go, she says.
The cloud darkens.
More drops fall.
He helps her up.
He brushes rain from her cheeks.
He caresses a line down her nose.
She tilts her face, and her smile fades.
He touches his lips to hers.
A cloud gushes.
She giggles and runs.
She races through watery bracken.
She has so much to tell her diary.
Thoughts, fading in the winds
Images of bygone days, future times
Memories, floating through minds
Events celebrated and mundane
Letters on paper forming words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, prologues, and in the end, novels
Ideas, launched to the crowd
Inventions, ordinary and otherwise
Strife recorded, struggling explained
History made and history unmade
Letters on paper forming Stories, queries, partials, wholes, drafts, galleys, proofs, covers, and in the end, books
Rhymes of times, elegantly portrayed
Sonnets to lovers, won and lost
Verses elegiac and heroic
Linguistic Legerdemain delighting the soul
Letters on paper forming Trochee, anapest, iamb, verse, refrain, dactyls, epic, free verse, and in the end, polaris
Oh Evil One On Par
Oh! Evil One on par
with those awash in inspiration,
with those behooved
(in Prada) toting lattes down
the gritty streets of Printer’s Row and
slick alleys of inky desperation,
Edit me to glory, smooth
my rocky phrases with the
Acid-drip of your witty
Words in blue.
Edit me you fool!
Oh Evil One, on par
with those whose phone-in predilections
(in Vera) estimating
volume discounts while chatting
on about current fictions
and relief pitchers on suspension,
Edit my joy, edit my grief-
drafted sentences into
sleek conveyances of brief
and delightful words
suspended of disbelief.
Oh Evil One on par
with the drives and puttering diversions
that swirl and spin
(in ’stocks) the deals
that surge out of bounds and beyond
the known universe,
that skip to the end –
quickly, Edit me, editor,
my intro, my query, if
my plot line’s too thin,
tell me, I’ll toss
a few zombies in.
Sylvia, who lives in Spain
wrote a limerick that caused only pain
When asked why it didn't scan
she said, that's the plan!
Then no one will ask me to do this again!
I laugh aloud
as flames frolic,
c o n s u m i n g
the day's invasion
of unopened manuscripts.
My novel complete at a hundred K
(give or take) relates the tale of girls
who like to sleep around but only gay
relationships cast swine before the pearls
of U-haul trucks on second dates. But wait!
this book will make you loads of cash, you see,
for publishers will cream upon the bait:
no niche: it crosses genre policy!
It’s chick-lit thriller, murder tale with just
a dash of horror when an elf (or else
a goblin if you like) is filled with lust
for superhero Dave who is repulsed
by such a love (he’s a field marshal.)
I await your kind request for partial.
Two poems (with apologies to William Blake)
My mother groand! my father wept.
Into the writing world I leapt:
Feckless, clueless, day-job vowed:
For I have no grants endowed.
Agent, Agent, burning bright,
In the slushpiles of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy feared rejection slip?
In what distant bars or dives,
Burnt the fey of thine eyes?
What awards dare he aspire?
With yet another work Vampire?
And what novel, & what art,
Could seize the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What bland slush? & works effete?
Where's the Hawthorne? where's the Twain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
Where's the Alcott? what dread grasp,
Dare its slushpile's terrors clasp?
When the chumps wrote down their fears,
And water'd heaven with their tears:
Did he sneer their work to see?
Did he reject the Lamb AND thee?
Agent Agent burning bright
In the slushpiles of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy feared rejection slip?