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Showing posts from April, 2021

Crisis

Brian bought two cars.
He drove one to his ex-wife's house.
Got the bus back.
Picked up the other.
Sat a child in each car.
Repeated the process to get home.

Volvo

Martin cleaned up his act.
Susan hated the new him.
Sitting in the Volvo wasn't doing anything for her.

Tom Hanks Visits McDonald's

Tom Hanks forgot he was an actor.
He went to work at McDonald's.
He was looking like an amateur in there.
Cheese upside down, fries in burger boxes, that sort of thing.
The manager had to take him aside.

Deal

Thomas worked with mice.
He trained them to gather cheese.
In return he offered lodgings.

The Connection

Teddy dropped a banana.
Later Alice slipped on it.

Wheels

Jeremy dreamed of becoming a car.
He ordered some wheels off Amazon or Zavvi or Argos or something like that.
He'd wear the wheels as shoes and gloves.
Figure out the rest from there.

Transform

Maurice pressed the big 'transform' button in his new truck.
He got mangled in the mechanisms.
The robot scooped him out of his chest and apologised to the rest of the family.

Gravity

Willis glued himself to the ceiling.
He recorded videos while dangling up there.
Made bold claims about gravity being backwards in his house.
He started to feel very dizzy.
And very hungry.
He couldn't answer the door when food deliveries arrived.
The glue wouldn't give way.

Penguin

Pingo told a story about how he used to be a penguin.
He stood up and did the walk.
Cracked a few jokes that were apparently common with their kind.
It was all very convincing.

Skateboard

Terry Buzzard got himself a skateboard.
He had a go on the big rampy bits.
It was there his legs came loose.
His wrists too.
At least he'd get some new teeth from whole ordeal.
That was something to look forward to.

Go Time

Holly practised listening for the doorbell.
She practised answering it too.
She practised setting the table.
And rushing to clean the house.
It was almost go time.
She would be prepared.

My Cat

My cat ate itself.
I looked at where it once sat.
Remained Perplexed.
How did it manage the teeth?

Italian

Giuseppe informed everyone he was an Italian.
He stole frozen pizzas from Sainsbury's.
Staff tried to interrupt but he insisted they belong to his people.
When he got home his wife called him Gary, and, quite frankly, ruined his day.

Robot People

Some robot people tried to act like normal people.
Their motors whirred and their joints creaked and their heavy feet clanked against the pavement.
They had major issues navigating stairs too.

Nostrils

Woody tugged all the hairs from his nostrils.
The result was smooth pickings for a few days.
But was that really worth the forty years of sneezing and mopping eyes?

Hugging Stations

The whole lot reopened.
Everyone catapulted themselves to the nearest gathering hubs.
They bathed in an infectious haze.
All started licking each other too.
Boris Johnson spawned the following day.
He clambered up to his podium, gave his shocked face a punt, and told everyone off.
From then on people were ordered to cart around giant perspex screens.
Holes were carved into them.
Rubber gauntlets hung from either side.
Safe hugging ensued.

Blow

Sandra sucked off David.
It seemed like a good way to avoid engaging in his conversations.

Sink

James fell in love with his sink.
Well, by this point he had just pumped so much into it, I suppose.
He pawed at the faucet.
Leaned back and admired the curves of the waste pipe.

The Reopening of Primark

Henry stood outside Primark.
78th in line by his count.
He unhooked his mask.
Breathed in some essential coffee with the fellow liners.
Snow slapped against his arse.
His clothes ran out over a month ago.
This was an emergency.

Tangled

Spider-Man was flinging webs all over the shop.
Eventually got himself tangled up.
Green Goblin cackled like a crow.
Spider-Man assumed it was at the current predicament.
It's possible he was laughing at something else entirely.
It was hard to tell with that guy.
Batman sympathised.

Confused

Steve rolled over in his sleep.
He woke up confused.

Cross

No matter how much Mary professed her love for Jesus,
The priest refused to approve of what she was doing with that cross.

Taking Back Control

Salter was done with the pandemic.
It was time to take back control.
He tweaked the numbers on his scales.
Set to work on reshaping some mirrors.

Stereo

Jeremy twiddled the knobs on his car stereo.
It crunched into action.
He was in love.
He zipped down the motorway.
Guitar in his lap.
Noodling to the latest tunes.

Poetry Tutorial: A Concise Guide to Writing Poetry

Today I thought I'd give myself a break from the typical writing of poetry and instead do something entirely different. It's not really much of a break when you think about it, because I'm still writing. In fact, I'm making more work for myself, there's even more words in this than in the typical poem.

I have very little to say too, so I have to do just as much thinking to come up with things to write as I would when sculpting some poetry. I suppose, in hindsight, it's not a great idea. At least there should be less time consuming musing involved.

Did you know I've written 810 poems? That's a lot of poems for one poet. 810 ideas, splatted directly onto internet paper for anyone to read. There's a few bonus things that aren't poems scattered about in there too, a bit like this.

Now that engaging introduction is over, how about some poetry writing tips?

When you're a poet, like me, and you've written 810 poems, like me, there are frequently concerns that you've written exactly the same thing before. I say that's fine. I never used to, but when I had to search through several hundred poems, I sort of gave up on keeping track and decided to hope for the best instead. If I'm covering a topic I've already given the once over, I suspect giving it the old twice over probably leads to an improved, or at the very least different, perspective.

Step two: Thinking of things to write about. If you're struggling for ideas, just think of any old thing. If it's a thing you have some experience with then that's a bonus. For example, I currently have no ideas, but what I have been doing is eating far too much chocolate. I can put that into action like so:

Sandra ate her stash of Easter eggs.
Her teeth ached.
She pulled them out.
Put them under her pillow and waited for the tooth fairy to pay up.
She needed the funds for more chocolate.
And now the damn teeth won't ruin it for her.

There you go. That's a poem in this article I'm writing to take a break from writing poems. What an idiot. You know what, I'm going to put that up on it's own, pretend you didn't read it.

As you put pen to paper try to give yourself time to muse over your creation. Don’t always just write the first word that comes into your head, try using the second or third word you think of instead, if one of those sounds good. If you can’t think of any other words, then the first was probably fine. And try to avoid words that are too fancy, they just make you sound a bit pretentious. It’s all a battle of words, really. Poetry doesn’t demand an expansive vocabulary, a clever use of the words you do know is fine.

Another good topic for poetry is, of course, love. As I’m sure you’re aware, just a quick glance at Instagram poetry will make it abundantly clear that most poets give love an incredibly wide berth. This is understandable, it’s a very challenging subject. Everyone thinks they know best when it comes to love, but really, only an experienced poet is capable of telling you what love truly is.

If you need a few more ideas for poetry beyond love, well, I don’t know, try car stereos or something.

Jeremy twiddled the knobs on his car stereo.
It crunched into action.
He was in love.
He zipped down the motorway.
Guitar in his lap.
Noodling to the latest tunes.

Two poems in one day.

If all else fails, give looking at some incredibly attractive naked people a go. Any gender you want, just ensure they’re beautiful. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The eye of a good poet requires perfection.

In summary, think about some things, write some things, and if neither of those work out, look at someone attractive. But for god's sake, don't objectify people.

To polish things off I’ll do a brief paragraph on tools of the trade. Poets absolutely love clacking away on typewriters. They’re drawn to them, like spiders to baths, or moths to lights. Honestly, they’re a bad input device. It’s best to just write with any old thing you have in front of you. Like a pen and paper, or a phone, or a computer. A typewriter is cumbersome. You can’t take it anywhere without looking like an absolute pillock either. The single benefit of a classic typewriter is that it gives you time to engage your muse while you grapple with the heavy keys and stumble through sentences.

I suspect in 100 years or so poets will probably be buying up old MacBook Pros, sitting on their local sludge banks, and thinking that’s the only way poems should be written. For now though, feel free to pretend you own a typewriter, it does make you seem more authentic.

That about wraps things up for a quick poetry writing tutorial. I hope these tips helped you knock out some creations of your own. Oh, and it's always a good idea to read things out loud after you write them for some reason. I don't know why, I just pretend I've done that step.

Sensitive

Sandra ate her stash of Easter eggs.
Her teeth ached.
She yanked them out.
Hid them under her pillow and waited for the tooth fairy to pay up.
She needed funds for more chocolate.
And now the damn teeth won't ruin it for her.

Easter Bunny

A giant rabbit bounded through the streets.
Ramming chocolate eggs in letter boxes.
It stopped to watch a family gorge on the delivery.
Its ears were twitching.
Slapping against the window.

The Broken Shower

Jetson's shower broke.
He trained his dog to operate the washing machine.
Fetched shower gel and a sponge and climbed in the barrel.
The door squeaked shut and Jetson gestured at his dog through the porthole.
He'd be giving the rinse setting a whirl.

The March Batch (of poems) An Easter Cave Story


Darius!

Darius!?

DAAARRIUUUS!

Darius, it would appear, is long gone. The result of which is finding myself alone in this spring filled cave with naught but a pocketful of poems and a few travelling biscuits. Just like Jesus before me. Yes, that’s the vibe, a good old cavey Jesus Easter. How I ended up here is a tale in itself. One that won’t be told as it’s far less important than the fact that I’m in the cave now, alone.

If you’ll do me the pleasure of holding on, I’ll just light one of my five remaining matches and shuffle through my pocket inventory. Excellent. All of these poems are from March, a March in 2019. No hope of anything Easter related here then.* At least we have the cave. The dark, chilling, damp cave. I knew early spring spelunking was a bad idea. Why did I trust Darius? The guy clearly can’t even survive a morning scramble.

You have a perfectly adequate face.
More than good enough for my taste.
In that face you have some eyes.
They're fine combined with your thighs.
Which are great for helping you walk.
And you have lips to help you talk.
If I really had to.
I guess I'd say I love you.

This is the time I chose to describe a face. And some thighs because that rhymes with eyes. I did one of the rhyming poems.

DARIUS! DARIUS?!

Darius had a face you know. Not one you’d ordinarily miss, but then, you don’t find yourself lost and alone in a cave very often, do you? Should the light of my match flicker through the foreboding blackness of this hole onto Darius’s jowls, I’d be delighted.

He wears a helmet.
To protect his head.
The bullets rip.
Through his heart.

Faux meaningful tripe, inspired by some of the worst poetry I’ve ever read. Darius had a heart. A big, beautiful, beating heart. He was a good man. A good man with a face.

A man walks into a shop and asks for 40 candles.
Misunderstanding, the shopkeeper retrieves four teak handles.
After a brief chuckle the man enunciates more clearly his request.
The shopkeeper understands and directs him towards the candles.

This is just classic comedy, from a classic double act. I feel it mocking me. Does my pocket know of my lost cavesman? Does it know about my limited supply yet largely irrelevant collection of matches? Darius was carrying the torch. It was a Ledlenser too, that wouldn’t let me down. Not like Darius did.

That morning he puffed his chest with pride. 
Prepared for work.
Dragged his bin to the kerb.
He had never felt so alert, so ready for the day before.
It was the talk of the office.
The confidence oozing off the guy.
He returned home.
Discovered the bin was still full.
It was the wrong day!
He felt such a fool.
The bin was hauled back sheepishly and he hoped none of the neighbours noticed.

What a mess. The floor is all damp too. I shouldn’t have sat down. I just felt I should sit to read the poetry, you know? My underwear has sucked up the moisture like a sponge. My buttocks are cold, yet my fingers burn. My fingers burn for the touch of Darius. And also because the flame of my first match is quickly descending upon them.

A woman stands in the kitchen preparing her husband's dinner.
"Bugger all this" she says and throws a pan of barely cooked mince to the floor.
Scattering bits of meat everywhere and chipping a floor tile before running off to a zumba class.
Her husband peels himself from a comfortable chair to check what all the racket was about.
Sits back down with a bag of crisps.

Empowering feminist poetry. I bet that kitchen had a tumble dryer. I could really use a tumble dryer right now.

I’m roaming, tripping over god knows what. Probably stones, I’d imagine. I keep peeling my underwear from my buttocks. I’ll be honest with you, I’m tempted to remove it. I’d rather not be discovered naked from the waist down though, I must maintain some dignity. The sodden underwear remains where it should be.

The postman loved delivering letters.
It really appealed to him.
The mystery of it all.

My postman, before I ended up in a cave which I don’t even know the address of, was a woman. She had the strong hands of a good reliable letter deliverer, yet a voice that said “it doesn’t bother me that you took 30 seconds to get to your door”. Wonderful. Not like Darius, I’ll never trust another Darius. In fact I hope I’m tripping over his bones right now. Although if I’m tripping over his bones that must mean the torch is nearby!

Nope. It’s all rocks. Wasted a match on that. Well, almost, I bet I can get another poem out of it.

A shrivelled old pear potters about the living room.
The deep shag feels lovely on her slippers.
Last Tuesday her husband kicked the bucket.
He had eaten the last rich tea biscuit.

It’s not all bad I suppose. I still have my travel biscuits. Good old bourbons. Each one almost counts as two biscuits really, when you think about it. That means I could survive for twice as long on them. I just have to maintain my composure. A biscuit a day.

Oh my god.
He said looking up.
The sky looks really high today!
He was unsure whether the sky could move.
His hands were in his pockets holding up his trousers.
He forgot to wear a belt.

I have no sky. Only stalactites. Chewing on a bourbon, please hold.

He picked up a hair brush.
Applied some toothpaste.
Then tried to brush his teeth with it!
He had always been quirky.
But was taking things too far this time.

Ok, those bourbons lasted a good two minutes. The good news, however, is that I’m now filled with energy! I’ll read you one more poem and then we’re solving this conundrum. I will not be a cave dweller, no sir. Darius, I’m coming for you buddy!

A man built his own house.
One brick at a time.
Like they used to do in the olden days he thought.
He forgot to leave holes for windows.
It was very dark inside.

An unfortunate turn of events, that sounds an awful lot like this cave I’ve found myself in. The poetry pocket is clearly trying to drag my bourbon filled body back down to earth. I won’t let it demoralise me. I've come too far. I’m going to scramble up these rocks.

And...

There’s light!

Darius! Are you there my good fellow? I forgive you for possibly almost dying or whatever happened, the Ledlenser can be replaced!

I see a man. A man in the light. And… a forklift? A boulder? DARIUS YOU ABSOLUTE CRETIN. Stop flashing the torch at me! Flash yourself you rotten disease ridden torch wielding stench! Get back here and release the boulder!

You join me, as I lean upon an incredibly heavy boulder. I’m waiting for tourist season to kick off. Or some kind of boulder inspector to arrive, if that kind of thing exists.

*Please note that this was originally published in early April of 2021. Any references to Easter made sense at the time.

April Fools

Bruce learned his family hadn't died in a tragic road accident.
He remained emotionally drained.