Skip to content

Month: October 2015

Sometimes only a poem will do

12112140_10153226625268333_352631717118469064_nWrite me poem, Caron*. Write me a poem for my birthday. You said you weren’t alright with it and I’m not alright with it. I need a poem. Take the slow collapse of ash and make it spiky and bright. Only a poem can do it. Only you can do it. You have the hair. I never inhaled, you know. I never even didn’t inhale. Too smelly, too dirty, too risky, too bad, too boring, too what my parents did. And I’m not starting now. It’d probably kill me. I have blood pressure and bills and a boy. I need a poem. I thought I’d wear purple, but I don’t. Just grey, fading to greyer. And as for eating too much butter, well, the blood pressure, you know. I thought I’d rage. But I’m just too knackered. I need a poem to set things alight. I’m all about the prose. And I’m turning into one of those faded middle aged novels of navy blue and ash. I need a poem about my crimes of passion and the despair and the rage. There will be no spring; the leaves will fall upon my head and that will be it. How fucking crap is that? I need some words that will be a Festival of Lights. I’m not even excited about the cake. Stick a tombstone on it. The flavours have all gone. I need a poem with chilli and spice. I don’t want dulcet, measured, subtle, pitch perfect prose. I want a fucking poem. I’m not alright with it. I’ve built no monument. I’ve never seen the Northern Lights. I’ve never felt thin, even when I was. I’ve never been pretty. I was old before my time and now it’s my time. I’m still fucked up. I’ve not forgiven my mother. I’ve not forgiven myself. I’ve got acne and wrinkles. (It’s the fucking menopause. And I’m not alright with that.) Sod being a crone. I don’t have the wisdom for crone-dom. Or the patience. I don’t want a nip of sherry. I want a bloody great bucket of wine. But most of all I want a poem. Sometimes only a poem will do.

* a friend, teacher and proper poet.

A rage against Ratners fiction

11220095_10153209597673333_1041411994538382439_nI do not believe that real people think about moves to the country in the form of extended metaphors involving concrete floors slippery with fear. Not unless they are certain types of poet. So when a character in a novel is clearly not this type of poet, or any type of poet, why do I have to endure close third person accounts of such thoughts, page after fucking page? I find it a tiny bit annoying.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good metaphor, but they have to know their place. I have very slightly had it with self-indulgent pseudo literary crap being peddled as quality fiction. I love the sea as much as the next person. And, yep, I’ve been writing about it for years. But I don’t really expect anyone to want to read it, not on and off for a whole 60,000 words! Does the world really need another extended sea metaphor as novel? And the scent of lemons. More? Really? And don’t get me started on dust motes. It’s the same brand of crap Ratners offered. But they got found out.
I know what you’re thinking, sour grapes. Fuck, yes! I may not be George Eliot, but I can write something direct and authentic – I think (I write therefore I insecure). I’m sure I could do better. But where is my model, my inspiration, where do I look for the standard to meet if I aspire to publication. I want to get published. It is objective, ambition, dream. But there are places to which I will not go in pursuit of this. If this crap is where it’s at, I cannot and will not go there.
Let me give you an example. When I eat a croissant, flakes of soft, buttery pastry do not melt on my tongue reminding me of some fuckwit’s kiss or my childhood breakfasts with mother. My croissant gets dunked in hot chocolate that drips down my t-shirt leaving crumb-stuck stains that look a bit too much like dried breast milk. My croissant is from Pret and is eaten at the bus stop. (There is a bus stop theme in these posts. I’ll explain why one day, when I know you better.) My croissant contains calories that come to rest on my over plump belly. My croissant eating is just not… twinkly.