Archives for posts with tag: paper

A letter is…

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The truth-teller
draws from a pocket
the laminated slide 
    of mm 85 x 55.
You read  
     – it turns pellucid.

Through the foramen you see
the blade that cuts 
a lover’s sup
and dulled lime drunk alone
in place of absinthe’s 
sleight of bliss.
Here life ferments
and the contact details 
for the artist sit
alongside his finest projects
parcelled on this stretch of linen.

24/02/2014

In preparation for my public reading on Wednesday, I have been mulling over marketing. Should I have business cards printed out, so that I could look “professional” and have something to hand over to people? In true mulling continuation, I started imagining poems about poets and artists with business cards. “Should poets have business cards?” began one draft. Then I started imagining business cards that became magic carpets; others became slices of floating simile (a floating host of spring blooms); still others morphed into glass laboratory slides, which then functioned like truth-revealing lenses.

While paging through an art book last week, I was reminded of Edgar Degas’s painting L’Absinthe (1876, oil on canvas, 92 cm × 68 cm, Musée d’Orsay, Paris). In English the work is sometimes referred to as The Absinthe Drinker or The Glass of Absinthe. In it sits a woman on her own, staring desolately into her own sad distance. In front of her is a glass with green liquid in it: the promised consolation of absinthe. Her slumped posture, the leached colours in the painting and the dulled green of what should be a fun, party drink are all cues that this is not a moment of merriment. It is a moment of doleful truth, captured by the painter.

In the painting she sits next to a bearded man, who also drinks alone. In my memory, I had instead inserted a pair of lovers to the woman’s left (viewer’s right). In creating a fictional world, where the painter’s business card reveals the undercutting truth of things seen, I must have inserted this additional motif of late nineteenth-century Parisian café-life. The lovers, the drinkers, the dancers, the fat-cat patrons and the glamorous Ladies of the Night were all alluring subject matter. They seduced artists such as Degas, Lautrec and Manet with the fantasies they offered. But peering through the bones of this society, these truth-tellers also captured an enduring fermentation of life.

The canvases of Parisian café life are the business cards of these artists past. In my poem, the small piece of card transforms, at the viewer/reader’s glance, into a transparent lens. This lens becomes the truth-revealing aperture. The aperture and canvas and business card all converge into one parcel.

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

 
Rain slaps against the windowpane.
Wee! Wee! It jests and jeers. 
Look at our ease of water-dash
and drip and fall
while you – Haha! –
neith’ eight nor sixteen lines have wrought
on that page. It’s all for nought,
despite your ink-filled fountain pen.

Yes, I see
the sky makes way its blue for grey
              carriers of short-lived sport. The assent
shows far more grace than any 
of those regiments of pressed attention 

marching in my head. Daily it is
to their silver – buttons, medals, lining;
to their praise, rigour and filing, 
my polishing by draft’s employed.


As @BeadedQuill, I tweet regularly about writing and the creative life, but infrequently about English rain.
BeadedQuill also has a Facebook page. Please visit and give us a ‘Like’.

In 2013, I compiled two books of collected poetry online. Click on the titles below:

Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys bundles together twenty poems offering insightson life, love and work for the Modern Boy.

In addition to presenting poetry written by BeadedQuill from 1999 to 2012, Shining in Brightness includes two essays on creative process.

scrumpled dashes dots and lines
between the tracks
        09:33
2 mins until the train arrives
    for Kennington via Charing +

On the tracks
     far from my reach
the scrumpled ball of paper speaks:
    I am a poem between the tracks.


I am quite conscientious about dating my scribbles and working notes. It is a habit ingrained from my junior school days where we were always under strict instruction to date our work. This meant a neatly turned out rendering of the date in cursive. It was always positioned on the far right of the second line of the A4 page. We were not to write in on the line below. This was to be left as ‘a space’. On the next printed line, a neat pen length in blue was to be ruled across. It was all in all a comforting, focussing ritual that made us take note and prepare. It also squared work in a referenced point of time.

When I was older and the formatting was no longer dictated, I simply scribbled day and month in the far left of the page. During high school and university, many a page of notes commenced with day/month suspended in that far left-corner square created by the margin cutting the first line. In that spot where the staple holds pages, a date held mine.

Now I inscribe day/month/year: 14/11/13. Usually these temporal locators  precede a writing session. They reassure me that I am ‘punching in’ for my regular writing routine. These time-markers still find their way into left-hand corners, but also veer to the right. Sometimes they’re added at the end of a jotting, as in the instance of the lines above, which are dated 13/9/12. 

On occasion I shall note the place in which I am writing, but this detail is more often indulged in during personal correspondence. I reveal my location to those closest to me so that they may imagine me there during the then.

Please have a look at my first volume of poems, Shining in Brightness.

I tweet about my life which this last week included 7 hours of training, accidentally burning rice and writing about the gap year I took in my twenties. Please do follow me as @BeadedQuill.

Here ‘fore me, plinth of polish

For the tree to rest on wood

In flat sheets with fastened thoughts

Set forth as marching words.

 

Heralded tonight and often

They are by crest announced.

We cluster! And applaud.

It is a shared experience.

 

Now, to – I must address:

 

From nothing written

from have

and only have

of a fatted dream now fit for parade

with open palms and empty hands

‘fore that company and polished staff

all suited in investiture

I on tip-toe said,

 

I have nothing written here.

I speak only from my heart.

Of late I have drawn inspiration from a combination of lived and imagined experiences. Today’s poem along with ‘Stuck‘ and ‘Genuine‘ of last week are the products of this current creative “sourcery”.

Please preview my first volume, available for purchase, here.

My second volume, Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys, is forthcoming. I’ll keep readers posted on progress, so if you’re interested please follow the blog.  See ‘follow’ box at far right of screen.

Alternatively, follow me on Twitter. I tweet about my writing and my life, which covers everything from recycling collection to Downton Abbey episodes to martial arts bruises. Follow me as @BeadedQuill

Roverhampton
Bodensee
plimsoles
mixologist
category
salient
stubble
snub
rubble
rabble and ruin

I love lists and every now and then I wander around with a list either in my head or on scraps of paper of “current nice words.” At the moment this list includes torsion and fealty. The above list dates from mid-December last year.

My first volume of poetry, Shining in Brightness, was released earlier this year. You can preview it here at blurb.co.uk

Follow my regular tweets about my weaknesses for words, muesli and things cultural. I’m @BeadedQuill