Warm-Up

The exercise involves lying full-bodied on the floor for another to draw around your form. The purpose of said exercise is to articulate a sense for the flow of immobility, immobility as flow and thus possibility. Many groups attempted similar activities to great aplomb and connection. Artists collapsed upon their models. Models rose to heights of personal ascendence. Poetry collections were published. Limbs grew lithe in artificial moonlight. The studio upgraded its entire rigging. We brought new humans to practice passivity. Every pairing was a pool of pleasure. Who knew the flesh untouched could be so malleable. To cultivate the necessary unrest, ambient ocean sounds may be played directly into the model’s ear. Arousal. Here we are, rhythm of intermittent tide, a pencilled warble. This man has muscles that articulate a paradoxical vulnerability. It’s in his tattoos, which only the artist sees. A he or a she or neither, in which case a very special effect is reached. Systems fall into perfect error. Undulations of hair leave their impress upon carpets, but admittedly parquet floors were instructed. Recommendations swept away in paper flakes. Controversies stirred at the death of a single participant. They had scratched, I am just looking for a way out. It never occurred to the artist that the model was in fact referring to their very own body. Doors were locked and provisions made. They ate tinned peaches and dripped the slippery juice across each other’s faces. Some of them miss the practice as it was before. No good to dwell in the past. No good at all. The snapshots were flushed when authorities arrived. Time will tell, how else? Little white lines. Social media profiles in the boom era broke down when the 404 parade came round, desperate and percussive. I make of you a blade of rain, they said. This isn’t the eighties, the skin replied. There were twenty-two poems explaining aesthetic paralysis. A great deal of laughter and stuck-together A2 paper, resonant scent of impermanent ink. When your felt-tip skims my shoulders I melt like infinite butter. His tattoos twist, I drink them.

 

– Maria Sledmere

(04/02/18: ‘create’)

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Autumnal Haikus

Golden leaves scattered
Trees have shed their memories
Upon the cold ground

Smoke and mist mingle
Your cheeks glow red as candles
The night is still young

Deepest midnight ink
Paints the sky in darkest hues
The stars are hiding.

 

(By Rachel Norris)

Notes from Workshop 7: Poetry Corner

To ease us into POVEMBER we covered various forms of poetry this week. Here are some of the notes and creations from one of our groups (Maria, James, Heather). If anyone else has stuff to share that they came up with, please email it to gucreativewritingsociety@gmail.com — we look forward to reading it! x

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We brainstormed around a colour theme before individually writing haiku. 
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W
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‘Ode to Donald’ featuring a corn candy windmill (Trump hates windmills, and corn candy is obviously quintessentially American). 
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Some scrappy first draft ‘free verse’ – Maria

Tongue Tied

It starts with:

😉

Then:

Oops meant 😊!

I backtrack, you see. It’s not your fault. I just get a little scared. Silly, I know.

Waiting is the worst. Can’t look away from the screen, when all I can see is:

[Typing]

You stop and start a lot. I wonder if you notice. It keeps me on my toes, breath catching at the thought of your thumb hovering over ‘Send.’

Ridiculous, really.

It takes you 57 seconds to reply:

And here’s me thinking I was special! 💔 😉

Not sure if that means anything. Does it? There’s no rule-book for this. Perhaps it would be easier if we lived in another century. Romance and letter-writing go hand in hand, don’t they? Perhaps we would write each other poetry.

No. Awful idea.

So many words unsent. How can you know?

Fingers fumble over keys to eventually form:

You are! x

Wait. Wait. Wait.

[Saved to Drafts]

— by Jenna Burns

Twitter: @Jenna_221b     Tumblr blog: jenna221b.tumblr.com

(Flash Fiction February prompts: waiting, emoticon)

 

Reminder for POVEMBER

So November may be over but there’s still time to send us your poems! Anyone can enter, whether you attend our meetings or not :)

Feel free to go back over any of the prompts from previous days on the POVEMBER page, or else try out the ones from the 30th: ‘contemplate, press, end’. There’s a submission form on the POVEMBER page or else you can email your work along with your name and a title to gucreativewritingsociety@gmail.com

 

— Thanks to everyone who has submitted already, it’s been really fun reading all your work!

x

West Coast

West Coast

I paced the beach a lot as a teenager,
supposing it was a way of being lost,
going lost, finding my lostness
in the sound of the waves, seagulls
in the eaves of a sky cast black
by fire and onyx.

There were shells stuck in my skin,
bits of them sharp and ridged as glass. Adolescence.
Bottles of Bacardi and Glens
in remnants of lovelorn summers—
each one dug deeper as I walked
and I felt the call of the sea
like a summons. Come back to me

—the waves were strange consolation.
I loved
the loneliness of the sea, its sense of otherness,
of distant worlds, blue and green.

Salt spray
in the faces of children;
sand dunes
where we gathered for drinking and smoking,
wasting time
in the dry ice of shared menthols.

You dig your heels deep
by the shoreline, where your feet sink soft
through the mulch of watery sand,
sinking as if to drift down,
to ease yourself out of matter.

I paced the beach a lot on weekday evenings,
while cars passed behind me, while
normal people went home.
I learned to love
the gulls that croaked on the rocks,
crying cormorants, gannets
and black-feathered auks—
I always longed to spot an albatross,
imagining its body swooping
out of the sea fog
like an omen.

I thought I had forgotten these shores,
the way it felt to know nothing
of what would come; great drawings
dissolved in the tidal pull—come with us.
I thought this world was lost;
I thought
I had lost it all.

by Maria S.

(prompt: seagull photo)

Crossing

Opposite sides of the road, waiting for the little green man.

An old lady mutters near me, impatient, laden with plastic bags.

I can’t wait to pass you in the middle,

I know that the beeping and the grumbling engines will fall silent,

As I catch your gaze.

But today is one of those days –

Headphones firmly in and beanie hat pulled down tight,

Your eyes never lift from the tarmac

That glisters with frost in this cold month.

You’re like an animal that hibernates, so tentative in every winter breath.

When it was warm you used to catch my gaze. In the summer

When I wore jeans and a belly top,

And not this school skirt, with the wool socks,

And broken plimsolls,

Around cold wet toes.

I wonder if we will cross paths again in the summer when I’m seventeen,

And I wonder–

“Eh, love – the light’s just gone green.”

 

By Rachel Norris

(Prompts: wistful, traffic lights, Alan Warner quote)

Forest

Forest

The trees are knotted
in the spot where the bluebells grow
in June.

Gnarling, their roots twist
into strange, exotic shapes—
Spirals and triangles, spikes
like barbed wire.

We used to sit here
as children. We knew the notch,
the dark hard eye,
the tender part which you cut
to get the sap out.

Everything here is a cycle;
there is no flow of time,
no regress or
degeneration.

In summer the frost fades
to forget-me-nots;
through the canopy, long
into the evening, light lingers
in splinters and sparkles.

So I return;
the trees seem to whistle.
You hear their singing, its softness
like pining. Walk with me.

The greenness changes with the seasons.
Now I look upon it,
these tufts of grass, these oak leaves
glow with yellow fire—
chocolate, chestnut, cinnabar.

I look upon the colour, my fingers
scratching the eye. Its hardness
comes apart like ice.

I stare into that black spot,
the cavernous passage laden with frost,
the eye like a moon.

In the copper of twilight I see you again:
grass in your hair,
bluebells in June.

by Maria S.

(Prompts: green-man.jpg, passage, degeneration)

Doomed Affection

You press your hand against mine and my grip
is limp, lacking the conviction you desire.
I cannot, I can’t, be that thing that you need.

Your eyes are on me, and I can feel their weight
like kidney stones pushing hard against a nerve.
Because I cannot, I can’t, look at you like that.

I turn my gaze away, let the music play, and speak
the words I never will. My conscience is too ill,
to say the lines, so I miss my cue.

It’s like a dress rehearsal for a cancelled play,
this doomed affection.

By Rachel Norris

(Prompts: conscience, ill / disillusion, lover)

The Crow Rr’karva

The Crow Rr’karva
Ailsa Williamson

English:

A crow sat high on the wall
Cawing so loud, all heard his call
People looked up from field and road,
Wondering what terrors he foretold
Times and change and times of woe
Lips parted, expressing pure sorrow
But as they listened to his echowing caw
They realised he was not calling to them at all.

Gengen’vor (language in development):

Karva mea’di sha kakata rr’ethr
Korvok’ni kat’val ranna mesh’di lelne efat
Enepis pepe’di volk komp sharat e megmali
Ava’ni ven tandes lel vanashika’di
Garshais me’draka e garshais me’falhi
Banies govo’di lelami’ni finita falhi
Ta’a as lelnn bane’ni ot lelne korvok
Lelnn pafi’di lel gm’di nen efat’ni ot lelnn nen ranna.

 

(Prompts: crow, lips, change)