Archives for posts with tag: Bachata

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Writer and Parisian stage star Sidonie Gabrielle Colette worked out in her home gym. Photograph by Leopold Reutlinger (1863-1937) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The girl much complimented
for her great ass
would rather win a Man Booker.
Too bad there is no categ’ry
for her taut, perfected writer’s seat.


Today’s light-hearted five-liner conveys unashamed auto-biography.

The lack of craft and productivity in my writing annoys me. My attempt at the professional/ aspirational middle class life has been a total non-starter for the last half decade. While I churn these frustrations, I do a lot of exercise. I practise yoga when I wake. I walk in the nearby woods, which I follow with some exercise on the grass when the weather is accommodating. I attend dance and other lessons and in the evening, when I have the energy, it’s time for press-ups on my bedroom carpet. The press-ups started with one in April this year. The aim is to reach 100 by February 2015. Currently the mark is 76/78.

I am neither naturally athletic nor trim. When I was younger, I hated playing sport. At High School, playing a team sport was compulsory. I couldn’t face it, so I requested exemptions based on my health issues and cultural involvements. I was the kid who was picked last for teams in Phys Ed. I certainly failed Physical Education in Std. 3 because I couldn’t do a bunny hop. Yet I can now do a yoga crow and I can still cartwheel. Life is a funny business.

In my mid-20s, when I did a lot of Ashtanga yoga, I was leaner but not as strong – or as adept with a wooden sword. I don’t know how long this fitness spell will last (I keep thinking I’m going to get sick again, as I did in 2012, and it will all implode and have been for naught). For now, while other people may be earning reasonable pay-checks, building careers or producing more literary writing, I walk around with an apparently “great ass.” It has been called “the most perfect bum.”

Well, here’s to life’s small achievements, because this writer’s seat was hard won.

(Here’s an entertaining piece about writers and their physiques.)

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
In the Ocean: a year of poetry
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012

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vintage rooster image, visit to the farm, chicken chicks illustration, farm animals clipart, barnyard animals

Image courtesy of The Old Design Shop, a vintage image treasury.

stuffs
extrapolation
exponential
resonate
apt
assimilate
peanut chickens
plait

As promised yesterday, a current list of favourite words. Bachata should also be included, but it didn’t really fit with the rhyme and rhythm of the list. Follow me (@BeadedQuill) on Twitter for the latest on my current favourite activities, which include AfroCubanLatin dancing. I’m also on Facebook (BeadedQuill).

When I’m not dancing, I like reading. So, I decided to write a few books myself. You can preview them by clicking on the titles:
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness

Escucha

My new muse 
is light in his visits,
is late,
never calls,
smiles his cheek,
tells me nothing.
So I invent 
everything.

My new muse
wears white-soled trainers
and a St. Christopher tucked against 
the tattoo, never seen in full.
When the night begins, 
the muse’s t-shirt smells of clean laundry.

My new muse
is an impish sprite.
He wears his hair
in spikes,
is light on his feet.

He’ll offer 4 minutes to Prince Royce,
“escucha las palabras”
but I wear too much clothing 
and worry about accurate footwork.

In the dance,
the muse
is patient with the serious poet.
He smiles a thank-you,
lets go,
leaves the floor,
leaves me turned,
shares nothing.
So I fabricate
the poem.


This poem marks the final work of my 104 project. I set about to write two poems a week for 52 weeks, to total 104 poems across a year. The aim of this endeavour was simply to produce on a regular basis. Irrespective of quality, subject matter, tone, style or artistic investment, the resulting works would be allocated to the 104 project and posted on this blog.

The creative burnout I experienced at the end of February, after a solid month of posting work, was unexpected. Production seemed to be on such a high. Another learning curve has been the resistance to completion. I have wrestled with this over the last couple of weeks.

In truth, during this time I have written more than the two poems required to complete the count. I have judged some of the work too personal or inadequate to post, thereby ignoring the very rules established at the beginning. Each of these recent poems fell short. It was not my intention to have the project end on an unceremonious note. None of them deserved to be The Last Poem.

All in all, these 104 poems (plus the 25 that were siphoned off for Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys) were not the sorts of poems I had intended should fill a book. It was my intention to explore grand themes of ars poetica, politics, justice and humanity. It felt time to explore the wide, broad, deep, conflicted, enduring state of the world.

Instead, my writing inevitably turns to examine the minutiae. Much of this last year’s work presents daily concerns of an ordinary suburban life. There are the quandaries of emotion and soul, work and provision, grocery shopping and living in rented accommodation.

130+ poems later, I am tired. It would also seem I cannot count, for not only did I recalibrated the mark as 102 on Monday, I have also counted 107 poems posted since last year. I have swum in a sea of poems and I am weary.

Truly, it has started to feel as though the muse has left me.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter will already know about my current interest in Bachata, a dance style from the Dominican Republic. I have now had all of eight lessons and this last Saturday attended my first open dance party.

In this inspiration dearth, I think the muse has met me on the dance floor.

The poems of the 104 project will be compiled into a book. This will be my third since February last year. Subscribe (see tab below right), or follow on Twitter or Facebook for updates.

My other titles, available for preview and purchase via Blurb.co.uk, are Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys and Shining in Brightness.

1.
Wake up.
Work hard.
Plan and strategise.
Talk to someone who
     has done it before.
Find a mentor.

2. 
Protect its pollen from the wind.
Blow on the quills when they
   erupt.
Wrap it in this moment
and suspend it from but what if?

It might rest its weary hope 
in a chest of velvet lined

for the unsplit bean alone 
is the treasure


During a very happy and productive year of my professional life, I used to spend Sunday evenings assessing the week that had passed, plan the week ahead and review my life, especially in terms of where I was in achieving my goals. I felt so wonderfully smug and on top of things. Yes! I was making things happen in my life. Yes! Through strategy, persistence and application I was helping my dreams to come true.

Life, they say, is what happens when you make other plans. I left that particular field, moved from the town and no longer pursue many activities with which I was then involved. Half a decade later there are only three outputs that I hold dear from that organised and hyper-functional period of my life: 1. a couple of special, enduring friendships; 2. a few poems and some essays of interest; 3. that I wrote regular letters to my Dad, who was ill at the time.

I mull much over society’s sanctioned notions of success and achievement. The product-driven pressure that a dream must be brought to fruition follows me like a shadow. If I dream of being A Writer then I must schedule writing time, move towards products and a business plan, target a definable readership, join one of the professional writers’ associations and ideally land a contract or an agent, and if not claim a stake in the indie market. This is The Way to Make a Dream Come True.

See how easily I can write about that? I have been avoiding the business plan for nearly a year. Instead, I have been writing poems, drinking coffee at my laptop and watching Bachata videos on YouTube. (Bachata is a style of dance from the Dominican Republic in which one steps to beats 1, 2 and 3 and adds a tap on beat 4.)

So now I have these additional, distracting dreams. One is of simply writing and writing and writing. The result may be endless waffle. Another is to spend time in my local indie coffee shop up the road, as an out-of-jail option when I’m feeling cabin fever. And then there is the dream of dancing like this – so much happiness on such a small square of stage above the earth. That would be treasure indeed.

Follow me @BeadedQuill on Twitter where I get carried away with YouTube forays into Argentine tango, Systema, Krav Maga and, most recently, Bachata.
Or, if you prefer, follow BeadedQuill on Facebook.
My two creative ‘babies’, my published books, are my successes of 2013. Preview them at Blurb.co.uk by clicking on the links:
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys 
Shining in Brightness