Uncategorized

Syncing

Lines in Helvetica
engineered to attract and dilate
the eyes,

To increase the incline,
to adjust our human cells
slightly.

Red faced and burnt fingered,
glossy pinperfect prints
feel more real than skin.

Forward facing cameras
monitor our expressions and
track how we read.

They make charts
to visualize
impressions.

Code-clicking
the human condition
into an algorithm.

We swallow down
stale bread, sugar coated.
We frantically breed-down

And kill-up the against
the shop front bricks.
A swarm of force fed

Swollen gullets receive
the seamless
wireless drip.

By Elexa Rose

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Poetry, Uncategorized

The Air Vent

The only breeze I’ll know today is
The one thrust down from the plastic grate
Above my head.

I will staple the thin film of skin
That joins my forefinger and thumb
To see if they are watching from the vent.

Coffee gas and steam tea breathe in
And out of yellow teethlines,
Staining the numbers they strain to spout.

Shirt sleeves wipe the slate clean
Of brown and green bruises
For the fast talker, pen clicker type.

A pocket full of holes made by accumulated keys
Robin Hoods my loose change,
For the dogs and drug addicts on the street to find.

The air conditioning whistles and wheezes
Pausing every few moments
To catch syllable of silent sounds.

Elexa Rose

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Plans

A Writers Plan of (In)Action

Well I have been working on a few poems, as mentioned in my previous post, and I wanted to post them on here but having done some more research I have decided against it. As is with all writers, I hope to one day be published, however I have found out that any work posted on a blog still counts as being previously published and could cause problems should I have a successful application with a literary journal or publisher. WELL. It’s a bit sad, because I really want to share my work but alas, I don’t want to hinder myself in the future. So with that in mind, I have constructed a plan for getting published.

 

  1. Finish at least 20 poems that work separately and as a collection. I need to get a proper collection together. And I’m forever reading my poems and thinking, no this is not finished. I also need to learn when enough has been done and to just leave it be. Which leads me onto my next point…
  2. Set up writers forum with writer friends. I have quite a few writer friends which is great! And we’ve long dreamed about setting up our own little forum. I tried, but getting it together is harder than it seems. But we must all try again, we want to get a private forum set up online so we can share our work and get feedback. Once I’ve got 20 poems I am relatively happy with I’d like to relinquish them to my writer friends for criticism. Then work on them and get them to a point where I think, hell yeah these should be published.
  3. Methodically send poems too literary journals. My plan is to start small, send out my work to the lesser known journals and magazines first. See what response I get, if any. And  if do my plan is to rejoice! And tell you all about it on this blog. After I’ve been somewhat successful I will attempt to send work to the bigger journals and cross all my fingers and toes.
  4. During my time of sending out poems to journals I will be working on a second collection of poems, hopefully better developed and what not. This, I will try to send out as a complete collection to publishers. Hopefully by this point my name will have cropped up once or twice in a journal or magazine and this will work in my favour. I will keep going, and with every rejection I’ll send out 5 more applications. And if they all reject me, well then I guess I’ll just have to write better poems.
  5. Publish myself. This is always an option, though I’m not too sure at the moment how I would go about this. I would like to set up my own online literary journal or magazine, something with a twist, something grimy and dark. Something that breaks the rules and makes people feel uncomfortable when their reading it. Like a terrible accident you can’t look away from.

 

However it happens, I just want to write and write and write and push it out into the world with all the might and clamour possible. I want to make a noise and be heard and maybe make a difference. Ah, the dream of every writer. This is why I seriously want to organise a network, meet-ups in local Nottingham pubs with quiet corners. Share work and notes and put our heads together and help each other. There are a number of writing groups in the local area already. One in particular that does quite well for itself, but has the air of being somewhat elitist and ‘money grabbing’. I realise that things cost, but there is no need to charge ridiculous amounts for little bit of service you provide. My network will aim to be as free as possible, or where this is not possible, cheap and affordable. Art is about sharing not about making money. And by sharing I mean the original, honest true meaning of the word. Not something you do on social media accounts, something you do with people you actually interact with face-to-face, the touchy-feely kind of sharing that happens when you talk to someone and see the way the words take shape on their mouth before you hear them. See their expressions and share the experience. I want a real-life, honest art community, and I want it now.

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Uncategorized

Any Poem with Cats is a Poem Worth Reading

il_340x270.457958621_7luy[1]I’ve been reading Emily Berry’s debut book of poetry Dear Boy and I’ve fallen in love with it. She twists a surreal edginess in a pragmatic tone, you seem to begin in one place and end up in another. The narratives lead you through odd, surprising images, comical to a degree. Her phrasing is easy to follow, the simplicity accentuates the absurd in it’s frank manner, for example in one of my favourite poems My Perpendicular Daughter:

                                     …they hung her

upside down inside me: now she sticks

straight out, gets in the way when I stand

close to walls.

 

The role and expectation reversal plays imminently throughout her works, such as the immature parent, or the disturbing doctor. This theme is repeated in The Tea-Party Cats, where power is explored cleverly, the cats admired and the protagonist fearful of her otherness, her “taillessness”. I love the assonance of that neologism, phonologically reminding me of ‘tastelessness’. Images of formality, overt prestige and suave manner intimidate the voice of the poem, but all under an impression of artificiality. I wonder if this poem is exploring the kinds of people that society looks up to, presented as a group of seemingly narcissistic cats, especially the final three lines which conclude by threatening the cats’ previously established ‘perfect’ image. I think there is something about cats that imply a kind of underhand, elegantly deft nature, seen in “whose whiskers nicely referenced their bowties.”

I really respect what Berry has done here because as a writer I find it difficult address issues in this kind of light-hearted tone. Dark and depressing definitely comes easier, but Berry’s poems are playful, genuinely fun to read. This is the kind of stuff I’d like to experiment with. Let me know what you think about this poem, I’d love to hear your view and if you get the chance I would recommend having a flick through the book.

The Tea-Party Cats

by Emily Berry

 

We’re suspicious of the tea-party cats;

we don’t know why. They all turned out so well

today and aired their charming characters;

they were so smart they frightened us to death.

We longed to have their style and easy knack

of fitting in; we feared our taillessness

would show us up, or our sickly looking

skin. We tried our best all afternoon,

but nothing seemed to do – we spilled our tea

into the saucer, we couldn’t think of things

to say, we weren’t as dapper as these cats

whose whiskers nicely referenced their bowties.

We stood in corners, if you want to know,

nibbling biscuits though our mouths were dry.

Some of us slipped away before the end.

I stayed until the speeches, when the cats

thanked each other proudly, proposing

endless toasts; and then one of them exposed

a weakness, but quickly covered it up.

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