Archives for posts with tag: pavement
Street gutter in Old Town Stockholm

By Bengt Nyman (originally posted to Flickr as IMG_2356-1) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Tight red-green leaves sprout on
the curbside trees. Drizzle taps the
flattened Strongbow cans
stomped down with an empty pizza box

American hot
pepperoni and chilli.
Baronsmere’s pink petals
line the gutters;

blown down in April rains.
I even spied a spider.

12 and 13/4/2015

In rhythm and feel, this poem bears a resemblance to ‘Ninja Turtles Strike Again!’. They both hint at melancholy and contain a tone of nostalgia for things past. In each, things of the gutter and underground animal world are referenced. Plus there’s mention of pizza.

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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Image cropped from a vintage advertisement for corsets from Le Petit Echo de la Mode (Dec. 15, 1901 issue). Courtesy of the Old Design Shop.

Image cropped from a vintage advertisement for corsets from Le Petit Echo de la Mode (Dec. 15, 1901 issue). Courtesy of the Old Design Shop.

How am I supposed to compete
with Nicole, Fully Experienced

who is able to stroke false lashes
onto her eyelids
rather than lose the wily moults
to the back of a chair?

Nicole, with her cream of know-how,
certainly has a drawer of négligée
and suitable apparatus for pranking

Unlike 8 pairs of cotton briefs,
stitched where they give
so as to last another year of wear;
The only bedside apparatus
a weatherworn Bukowski (apparently
to some a turn on).

I bet fully practised Nicole
wears fetish heels as thin and long
as the ballpoint used to spike down
my wares.


I was on Charing Cross Road recently. Swept up in the usual bustle of traversing a London pavement, I kept mindful of my step and the other walkers as we congested around a buggy that had stalled the flow. A scrap of paper under someone’s heel caught my attention. It was a flyer for the services of Nicole, Fully Experienced.

Nicole’s imagined experience inspired today’s poem.

(I am still not entirely convinced about the title, as women who do work in the adult entertainment industry may find it condescending. ‘Skills’ and ‘Wares’ were other options which I considered.)

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

Fish_scales

Look At“, a poem posted this time last year, is a combination of a journal poem and a pavement poem. Derived from mental notes taken during a walk along East Finchley High Road, it documents the comings and goings of an ordinary morning.

Observing the ordinary and everyday is a recurring theme. “Look – really look” takes a similar approach, but places the entry within a specific season (summer) and circumscribes it to a smaller location (one man’s balcony garden).

Look At” is one of the 104 poems that feature in my latest book, In the Ocean.

The image of fish scales is courtesy of Wikicommons Media and photographed by Rajesh danji. View the original image here.

Next to the postbox

I must be one of the last humans who still writes letters and postcards. From the archive, a poem about completing a letter while standing on the pavement next to a local postbox.

This poem is included in my book, Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys.

Black coats, black pavements, black umbrellas, the rain
Nights black by 20:00. Achoos in the office.
Splutters on the train. Time to switch on the heating and
buy doughnuts in the morning. There has sprung the winter hunger
and it will only grow

On the 19th September 1819, John Keats wrote this lilting ode ‘To Autumn.‘ Images of his autumn’s fruitful harvest jarred with my Thursday of cold snap, rain and ubiquitous black umbrellas.

Follow me on Twitter where I tweet as @BeadedQuill.

Preview my first volume, SHINING IN BRIGHTNESS, here, It includes poems selected from twelve years’ worth of writing in South America, the USA, South Africa and Europe.


 
PAVEMENT WALKER –
 

Do not stop for

snowdrops,

they are a

waste of time.

Consult

insufficient

distraction.

Bury in

text.

Hurry in a grey

coat. See not

the fallen gate-

post, a thread

of quiet small-

leafed ivy.

 
 
16/02/2012 19:20

First thoughts for this poem were drafted on a little black Alcatel. I had been given the ‘phone as a freebie on opening an Orange account when I first arrived in the UK. On the evening of these first draft thoughts, I think I was on my way to see the friends whose household features in another of my poems, 118A Creighton Avenue.

“Pavement Walker” reflects a typical weekday evening in a North London suburb when it is repopulated after the workday exodus. The commuters spill onto the pavements from the tube and buses, still bent over their ‘phones and cares.

The original draft mentioned “Consult/ the insufficient Blackberry,” but I removed the brand reference in respect of their copyright. This allowed for a smarter poetic turn, as I could then insert an inter-textual reference to a line from TS Eliot’s “Four Quartets.” See if you can spot the allusion.

“Pavement Walker” serves as the opening poem of my first volume, Shining in Brightness. Positioned as such, it was intended to be both a poetic and thematic entry point into the (sub)urban landscape, which is the setting for much of the work. It also introduces the tone of quiet meditation that qualifies many of the selected poems.

“Pavement Walker” appears in the 94th issue of the South African poetry journal Carapace. You can order copies of Carapace or read more about the journal here.

To preview my first volume of poetry SHINING IN BRIGHTNESS: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012, visit the online bookstore at blurb.co.uk.

Follow my regular tweets on poetry, pavement walking and suburban life. I’m @BeadedQuill.