Day Two Hundred and Twelve: In Other Words…

Sundays are lazy days, so I’m going to be lazy.

I’m posting The Second Coming by Yeats. It’s brilliant. Read it.

The Second Coming
by W.B. Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

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Day Two Hundred and Eleven: The Gaze

TV Light Experiment #1

The Gaze

A blank stare
from the corner
threatens to steal away
time and space and thoughts.
Square centrepiece,
lights down below
mark out a flickering landing strip
urging you “green for go”,
demanding that one arrives
upon terrifyingly visual,
aurally spectacular
shores,
dazzled by choice.

Sometimes I struggle to return your gaze.
Swathed in the black fabric
between meal times
family times
and alone times,
stuttering to life in an array of colours,
waiting to trap the attention
by eeking the inspiration I care to find.

Flat front face with a ridged hunchback,
you are Quasimodo in reverse:
beautiful exterior
with a grotesque cowardly heart,
and other times I just can’t resist
as I reach for your remote control
to procrastinate a little more.

Day Two Hundred and Ten: A Look Behind the Curtain

Ok, so I’ve been writing a lot lately. Some poetry alongside some reviews for a new project that I’m involved in, the details of which will revealed very soon.

I did think about posting another poem by someone else but I’ve done that a bit too often of late. Instead, I think I’m going to post something that’s “nearly” there, and offer some views on why I don’t think it’ll ever work.

Pages

These pages have aged with grace
like the lines on a Hollywood face
except these pages haven’t had work done,
they’re complete. Word perfect.

This particular volume has been around since the 50s
back in the time when its author was still getting gigs.
It’s no first edition, granted, and its hardback cover
is rough around the edges;
so dog eared that the cardboard can be seen,
yet still cutting a fine figure.

It is spineless, with no birth marks,
thus never revealing it’s true intention.
For all intents and purposes it is titleless
and authorless upon the furtive glance
but its bronzed pages have aged well
despite numerous cosmetic scars.

Instead of striking a forlorn figure,
it stands as a testament to the bookworm’s
vim and vigour,
adding an extra layer of character
meaning and history,
on top of that which is hidden inside.

Any bookcase would be proud to have it.
It may be falling apart, it may have tape holding it together
however the tome has a story all of its own,
and that’s before you creek open
the weary olden pages.

This poem has had multiple drafts yet remains in this state. The idea here is to create something which not only speaks to us about the novel and the age of it, but about age too. In places it’s a little heavy handed, however I just don’t feel the concept works overall.

I also feel that, stylistically, it’s pretty bland. I’m not sure how much polishing I can do it before becomes a fine piece of work, and perhaps a complete rewrite is on the cards.

Nothing everything a writer does is going to be great. In fact, a lot of the time a great deal of work can go into something and it’ll never improve, or the author will never be confident with it, or even like it. I think it’s important to acknowledge where your ideas come from, the shortcomings of your ability and/or a piece of work, and take stock of the past in order to improve as a writer.

Obviously it goes without saying that you should read a lot too.

I’m going to continue working on this, I think. Thought I’d just share a little of the thinking behind my writing in the hope that someone will find it interesting.

Day Two Hundred and Nine: Scent

I actually really, really like this one. So much that I’m gonna come back and touch it up some more in a week or two.

Bed sheets

Scent

Another line of dots
buttons your shoulders to your hips,
an outline of the bed sheets
pressed into your skin.
The moon paints a halo of reflection
softly on the small of your back
and a warm silence falls.

In the morning your shadow lingers
as a light fragrance on the pillow.
Closed eyes conjure up your presence
only to vanish in the harsh daylight.
After you’ve left,
you never truly go,
you always leave something behind.

Day Two Hundred and Eight: The Warehouse

messy office

The Office

What business is it of yours
where these words came from?
This is not a briefcase.
My mind is not a tidy desk.
Inside this head you will not find
a file cabinet of neatly arranged ideas,
or immaculately kept warehouses of metaphors.
Instead it is a mess.
A postmodern inspired mess.
Complete with bins full of awkward sounds,
ideas half-cocked and incomplete flung throughout
and dusty old poets whispering their words
across acres of broken tables.
Today, and all other days, my office is in my head;
unclean, unkempt and far from businesslike order.

Day Two Hundred and Six: Water

In a struggle to find inspiration I turned to Douglas Dunn’s anthology of Twentieth Century Scottish Poetry. Granted, it’s one of the texts from Scottish literature last year, but it’s a pretty decent collection.

I’ve neglected reading anything by one of our greatest writers – Iain Crichton Smith. I couldn’t find this one anywhere online, so I’ve transcribed it for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

A glass of water

The Glass of Water
by Iain Crichton Smith

My hand is blazing on the cold tumbler.
My eye looks through it to the other side.
If it were what is real, if it were heaven
how I corrupt it with my worn flesh.
How its neutrality is aggrandised
by fever and by empire. I constrain
and grasp this parish which is pastoral.

To be pure is not difficult, it’s impossible.
How could the saint work to this poverty,
this unassumingness, this transparency?
How could his levels be so wholly calm?
The fact of water is unteachable.
It’s less and more than honour standing up
invulnerable in its vulnerable glass.

Something as good as this often makes me re-evaluate how good I am, if I’ll ever obtain that level of quality, and if it’s even worth trying.