With their vibrant colours and pop culture subject matter, the paintings of contemporary Swedish artist Per-Inge Isheden appeal to an international fan-base. This video provides a brief introduction to his work in relation to art historical resonances. For information about Isheden’s work, visit his website.

In addition to these blog posts, you can follow BeadedQuill’s musings on art, writing, Taijiquan and other miscellany of life on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

Last year I had one of those “I’ve made it!” writer’s moments. I was offered a paid writing gig on one of my favourite topics: art. I had the privilege of exploring the work of contemporary Swedish artist, Per-Inge Isheden, whose “puckish paintings” loosened my essay muscles. Read the full written article here, or sit back and listen to it read  (by yours truly) on Youtube.

P.S. If you’re ever in need of an essay by a poet/ art history-visual culture graduate/ memoirist, send me a  message. Ordinarily, I offer copyediting services to business clients, university students and young academics. My email contact is beadedquill@gmail.com.

This poem is based on the day in 2012 when I finally took the plunge and bought a laptop in London. The incessant “£299 on Strand” echoes my personal obsession with the cost of things, which I really am trying to transcend in 2014 (…both the cost of things and the obsession). This close attention to price minutiae has proved fruitful for writing, though. The tallying has found it’s way into other verses: At the moment £2 and Now here is something to marvel at…

While my favourite blend of coffee is still £2,30 at my local Sainsbury’s, fortunately soya milk is back at 59p. My palate has had enough of sultanas, so now I bypass that shelf. More recently I’ve been into dates with my morning oats. Waitrose does a 250g bag for 99p and my local Cypriot greengrocer offers two trays for £1.

A letter is…

You saw me in
spiked heels and felt up the leather skirt
leaning over your polished bonnet 
in the pulsing minutes before 
the drag race took off.

On my calendar 
we took drives
on Sunday afternoons 
to shaded woodland spots.
There we sat on a blanket
and picnicked.


Two poems to go until I hit my 104 total! The aim was to write two poems a week across the 52 weeks of one year.

It’s been quite a year.

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness 

Responsible. Spring cleaning. Light-bulb.

In mid-January 2013 I wrote about the ordinary routine of a quiet creative. I wrote about the things I accomplished during a week and the chores left undone. “The hooded empty eye-socket of the desk-lamp stares at me. A year since moving in, it still needs a light-bulb. “

Since writing that post, the bulbless light has been in a cupboard. After nearly two years, I had finally felt I could spare the cash (all £2,29 for the two 60W bulbs) and make the commitment. Today was the day I bought a bulb! I screwed in this symbolic purchase.

And then – tada! – the light didn’t switch on.

This was meant to be a home-making triumph. How could I have erred in something as simple as putting in a light-bulb? I stared at the dead, bulb-eyed light in woe.

Things are always easier when you have knowledgeable friends. A friend versed in DIY had come come over today to fix two collapsed drawer-runners and a doorknob which had come unstuck.

“Oh, it’s probably the fuse.”

My friend was now excited, “While I’m here, I can have a look at that, too.”

He was  enthusiasm for the new found problem diffused my disappointment. He disappeared to the local hardware and knick-knacks haven to find a replacement.

This lamp still protrudes like some sort of space-eye on my desk.  Now it’s an eye that’s finally emitting light.

 

Caspar David Friedrich, "Wanderer above the Sea of Fog" (1818). 94.8 × 74.8 cm, Kunsthalle Hamburg.

Caspar David Friedrich, “Wanderer above the Sea of Fog” (1818). 94.8 × 74.8 cm, Kunsthalle Hamburg.

I often write to capture moments that I have experienced in solitude. Consider for example the afternoon that produced this poem, “On a rock amongst rocks. I had walked out beyond the beach of white sand to the rocky inlet beyond the seafront houses, the fishermen and the dog owners. Each day I used this landmark as the half-way point measure of each afternoon’s walk. That day I climbed onto the rocks.

These rocks are the jagged kind. If you walk across them barefoot, a delicate tread will still not circumvent the occasional stab to your sole. The sky was grey. Into the tide-carved chasms between the rocks dashed the waves. As the wave foam tossed against the jagged rocks, a further alchemy transpired. I would not have noticed the elemental magic had I not stood on that spot in stillness.

As the sea spray dispersed, it caught the light. On the rocks, bordered by the sea, encased in this salty mist, I stood within an orbit of tiny rainbows.

 

You’re all my favourite readers, but… I have a particularly ideal reader. She is well read and articulate and to her wise critique I have entrusted a few unpolished drafts. Her first response to this poem was a giggling, “Hehehe, you put ‘cock’ in the title.”

Well, dear other favourite readers, the two of us had watched a great many seasons of Sex in the City together. Although the original poem was not written in Carrie Bradshaw’s pun-ladled tone, for fun you may read it so. Kindly then imagine further, this poet musing at her laptop on manboys, love and life. Throw in a stylish and quirky wardrobe and fabulous shoes. These props definitely help the writing.

“The Old Cock and the Younger Hens” found its way into my book published in November last year. Please preview Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys here.

Detail from Anton Melbye, "Lighthouse at Stora Bält" (1845) from image courtesy of www.wikipaintings.org/

Detail from Anton Melbye, “Lighthouse at Stora Bält” (1845) from image courtesy of http://www.wikipaintings.org/

The second-to-last exertion
is not the rainbow.
It is the to-and-fro flight 
of a raven clamped in darkness for 150 days.

Let there be
	beats the raven’s wings
Let there be
	beats the raven’s hope

No land, raven. No release.
Below yap choppy waves,
corpses float and catch 
on broken trees. No release, raven.
No land.

The raven’s wings beat
	there be no land
	there be no release
The raven’s wings beat 
above the choppy waves
and the rocking sucklings of the flood.

But the dove! 
This white-winged wonder bird
reaps the budding olive branch
and on the second flight, freedom.

The last exertion
is not a rainbow.
Although supposedly
one beamed for Noah
when the dove flew
away.


A link to Genesis 6-9 (NIV translation), which outlines the Bible story of Noah’s ark, the flood and the reconnaissance birds.

With four poems to go until the completion of the 104 project, there’s no denying that one may read in here an echo of art imitates life.

When I’m not posting on this blog, I tweet as @BeadedQuill. This Twitter account is linked to the BeadedQuill Facebook page.
If you prefer your reading in old-school format, perhaps you would consider adding one of my books to to your library? There are two from which to choose. Click on the titles below to preview.

Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys

Shining in Brightness

Shining in Brightness, my first book of selected poems, documents the hopeful years of 18 to 30. I hold a special affection for this creative scrapbook. It is a nostalgic artefact of a time period I declared ‘a mystical decade‘.

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