Archives for posts with tag: stationery

Muse, come to this blankness
and take my unrequited offer
to hold and stroke your shape to form.

Rest here where fingertips may take
their pleasured time with you. Today
we have all day

until 6pm when I’m due out.
Muse, come in and be
a while. My page is yours.

The poem above started with a warm-up line, “Making letters on a notepad making a swish and swirl that satisfies.” I simply love the action of writing. I live for picking up a pen and pressing it against a cushion of paper, whether in a notebook, or a notepad or just stacked up on my desk. My jotting time is consistently the best moment of my day.

It has been an absolute age since I have posted. Sometimes, offline, during this absence I have scribbled creative bits in fits and jerks. Yet almost every workday I write and write and write: emails, content, copy. The muse is not amused. Perfunctory craft is not an aphrodisiac. Or I haven’t yet found a way to tempt the muse with a subject line or ‘in 150 words outline your planned project’.

When I prepared to log in to the blog (like holding aside the overgrown vines to a long-forgotten treasure cave), an odd click-bait ‘ad’ confronted me:

After Seeing Why He Places
An Ice Cube On His Burger
When Grilling, I’ll Never
Make One Any Other Way

Below was a photo of an uncooked burger patty with a melting ice-cube in its centre. Is this what is supporting the online existence of the visits of my muse? It does not surprise me, this strange poetry.

I have been so self-conscious about returning on my rusty sea-legs and what was waiting for me were uncooked burger patties and melting ice-blocks in the virtual jungle. These were the psychological and virtual landscapes. While I prepared this post and poem, this was the atmosphere outside:

The grating of
a saw, a far off
siren cries over
the arrival of a breaking train.

And from there I implored, “Muse, come to this my blankness.”

The muse and I started where we were.

Thank you for being here, too. Hope to see you back here soon.

The man with the notebook
draws attention.
The woman alongside hum
drops her Evening Standard
to glance.
	Left-handed he is
	writing with a ballpoint
	in a Moleskine, A5-sized.

Two page turners 
	across from each other.

The poems this week centre around London and the ordinary, daily observations living in this metropolis offers. Our first poem considers a scene during a tube commute.

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

From this time last year.

Image credit:

Image credit:

On scribbling a postcard to…

next to the postbox
in the wall of the
sorting depot
The last collection’s at 5.30pm
though emptying happens
throughout the day
for your convenience.

Another possible addition to “Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys,” my forthcoming bundle of poems. This project follows the recent publication of my first volume, Shining in Brightness, which you can preview here.

Follow me on Twitter where I comment on postcards, boys, muesli and martial arts. I’m @BeadedQuill

V5 Hi-Techpoint

nibs for superior poetry

ink for better flowing prose

Pilot presents your ideas

only rounded in script and

immediately on the page

gilding the lines of a notebook


you bought it yesterday at

Ryman’s, £10,99

(Moleskine. Red-bound. Eye-catching spine.)

Nib and manuscript together oiled

by finest technology.

I am not alone in my penchant for particular stationery and a writer’s superstition that certain tools will aid creative flow better than others. My sensible self can recall perfectly good ideas captured by stubby pencils on torn envelopes and creative metaphors saved in the drafts folder on my mobile. If you turn to the front and back pages of my pocket diary, there you will find my most loved notes – poems, quotations, off-hand observations – as jotted down by leaking ballpoint.

Nonetheless, for some time I have been a sucker for the Moleskine myth, which Christian Lander summarises in his blog post #122 Moleskine Notebooks. Of course I know, as Lander points out, “[t]hese notebooks are considerably more expensive yet provide no additional functionality over regular notebooks that cost a dollar.“ But oh! They just look artsy and match corduroy jackets and drinking espressos. Truth be told, most of my rambles fill up A5 hardcover notebooks and A4 exam pads from the 99p Store, for which I thank all those factory workers who churn them out at such an affordable rate. The poem above was scribbled in a rather pretty pink, square notebook with a green-chested little bird on the front. It was a gift from a friend.

My real weakness is pens. In my hand should be an ink pen, ideally boasting “liquid ink” or “soft nib,” and in black. When I first arrived in London, I made a pact not to buy unnecessary stationery and instead pocketed any abandoned pens I found lying on pavements or library tables. For more than three months I wrote pages using those small pens that builders, plumbers and other tradesmen carry in their pockets to jot down measurements etc. But, I found I went through them so rapidly, sometimes in two or three days, that this would not do. From these I moved on to committing to ballpoints in any colour, and at one stage worked for months through half-a-dozen unwanted red pens that I had inherited.

Finally, after two years, I permitted myself to move up the pen ranks. Since August 20th last year, I have been working through an extravagant stash of ten V5 Techpoints with a 0.5 nibs, which I bought in a rush of bohemian indulgence, probably after hearing one of my poems was to be published. They were £2,75 each and one will last about 6-8 weeks of writing. That totals in the region of 120 A4 pages. A pen lives in each of the two notebooks I’m filling daily (one A5 cover hard-back and one A4 exam pad, remember). Another V5 Techpoint, sometimes a luxurious choice of two, live in the side pocket of my bag – just in case. These pens don’t get lent out. For that I have an extra ballpoint: the one that leaks.

For more on Beaded Quill’s penchant for pens and poetry, follow @BeadedQuill on Twitter.