NaNoWriMo

Coffee?

coffee converging in conversation

pulls page-long pathways across procrastination

files of fiery photons like flying foxes

inklings, darlings! ideas, sparking

alighting at an allied assignation

thinking, darling, of

a car ride with cousins cocooned in comfort

very like visions, varied yet uniform

of factory windows fitted with fliers from

inside, darling…

oh, how my heart soars, unfolds with

sudden secret solace in solidarity with those who sleep–

their heads held high in the wind while

their bodies bode safe below–

darling. sweet.

 

Today’s GloPoWriMo prompt was to write a poem that explicitly incorporates alliteration (the use of repeated consonant sounds) and assonance (the use of repeated vowel sounds). This ended up being a bit of a style over substance but, although it sounds like a bit of a nonsense poem, there are real ideas in there, I swear. Mystery! 

Gothlist

This photo was only taken ~20 years later. So beware kids – this recipe can have long-lasting effects.

 

Recipe for a goth teenager c. 1994

 

Hair dye

Booze – beer or cask wine

Long black skirt – essential if female, optional if male

Fishnets

Ribbons – purple, royal blue, crimson, green or silver

Acid

Nitrous Oxide

Tattoo/s

Piercing/s

Band T-shirts

Studded wrist bands, belts and collars

Industrial music: see Wax Trax! Records

Fairy wings

Glitter

Black eyeliner: pencil and liquid. Lots

Lipstick

Peroxide

Directions hair colour

Silver jewellery

Ability to travel to/from Newtown and/or Glebe Market

Cigarettes: standard, menthol or clove

Speed

Weed

Es

MDA

Butane

Canvas shoulder bag with band names

Doc boots

Stripy socks

Underwear as outerwear

Safety pins

A corset or something resembling a corset

Lace

Hair spray

Leather jacket: essential if male, optional if female

Mild-severe melancholy/ teen angst

The Cure, Bauhaus, Siouxie, Nick Cave, etc.

The Crow: movie, soundtrack, poster

Night clubs

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Deep insecurity coupled with awareness of own superiority

Interest in vampires / the occult

Optional extras: pet rat, dreadlocks, boy/girlfriend who wears black, playing in a band, friends who are also goths, interest in the fetish scene, an attitude

We had a lot of fun, really.

 

Today’s NaPoWriMo post was to write a poem inspired by, or in the form of, a recipe. Mum & Dad – please don’t read this one.

It’s poetry month again!

 

I’m doing GloPoWriMo / NaPoWriMo again this April, since I had such a great time of it last year.

It’s kind of fitting that I’m at a writer’s retreat this weekend. So I’m looking at the Alps (above) from my hotel room window, but I’m thinking about my life back in Sydney because I’m doing this writing course about memoir.

This poem came from the GloPo prompt, which was to write a poem in the style of Kay Ryan, the US poet laureate from 2008-2010. According to GloPo a Kay-Ryanesque poem is: short, tight lines, rhymes interwoven throughout, maybe an animal or two, and, if you can manage to stuff it in, a sharp little philosophical conclusion. (I actually think a lot of my poems work out like this anyway, so this wasn’t too big a stretch!)

My course prompt was to write using your special knowledge of something. I thought about the walk I used to do everyday from home to school along a straight street, listening to my music. Then, a few years later, my walk from home to work along another long, straight street – Wilson Street in Newtown/Redfern – usually listening to Elephant by the White Stripes. At the end of this walk, one morning in Februrary 2004, I passed through the aftermath of the Redfern riots over the weekend.

Plus – the added bonus of spoken word! (link below)

After today, I’ll put this explanatory stuff at the bottom, underneath my poems. Enjoy!

 

Elephant

 

the steps I took

to walk to school

were only mine

no other fool

could walk it as I did

listening to songs

my footsteps

tapping along over

concrete where

my name was scratched

several times

then

on another tread

the street beside

the railway tracks

where at the end

the bricks

did meet

and clash terrible

while

I

(and Jack & Meg)

strode on by

with our nice lives

 

 

Soundcloud link: https://soundcloud.com/user-808707280/elephant

Writing for my life / Fighting for my life

 

This is going to sound melodramatic (but hey, you know me, right?). I realised today that I’m currently fighting for my life.

I don’t have cancer, nor am I trapped in a nuclear bunker or anything (although I’m pictured in one above!) But these past few months I’ve been urgently writing a novel. I say urgently because it FEELS urgent at the moment. My motivation? This is my Eminem-style one-shot moment. OK – so again, I’m not struggling along on Eight-Mile, I live in Zurich, Switzerland, of all places! But, while I’m in this position where myself and my little family are stable, relatively happy and secure, we currently have no paid employment (although we have some income). We are trapped, even if quite pleasantly, in a situation where we can’t do anything major such as buying a house, or even moving to a different rented flat, nor plan a large overseas holiday such as a trip back to Australia. We don’t know what will happen in the next 12 months and everything’s in stasis. Well not entirely in stasis. Because, in some ways, I’m busier than ever.

I’ve talked about writing a novel for years. Who hasn’t? But this particular time is one of the few moments in my life I’ve actually had the space, and kinda the right headspace, to go for it. And I’ve been going for it like the clappers. I’ve pounded out 70,000+ words in about three months (part of it during November’s NaNoWriMo). A rough draft of the book is finished. I wouldn’t call it a “first draft” yet – that, to me, would imply something I could hand over to a few, very kind, first readers. This thing I’ve produced is a mess with notes and loose ends and chunks that will need to be completely trashed and possibly whole sections still to be written. And yet, IT IS DONE.

I haven’t made a big fuss about completing and I’ve been questioning myself as to why. I tell you, it’s because I’m fighting for my life and the battle is far from over. I’m about a year off turning 40. Therefore I’m looking down the barrel of another ~30 years of “career” after having completed a shade over 20 years of working up until now. I cannot think of anything I’d rather do – that I actually can do – than write for myself and get paid and maybe become a Rockstar poet. I’m waging my own personal war towards achieving both those things right now because if it doesn’t get happening in this short, sweet lull in my life, I honestly don’t think it ever will.

So there you go. I’m in a frenzy. I’m working hard but it’s all for my own ends. I’m doing what I love. I’m happy. I’m a ball of anxiety. I’m lonely. I’m content. I’m completing pieces of work and kicking goals like a mofo but I’ve barely even reached Base Camp on Everest at this stage. There is no time to stop and pop the Champers (Oh, OK maybe just a little…) Because I’m writing for my life. Please wish me luck.

I don’t usually say this – but if you enjoy my blog and poetry, please chuck me a like or a follow – I really appreciate it.  I’m also trying to wean myself off my horrible, sickeningly near-constant use of Facebook so if you wish to keep up with my exploits, this blog will be a good place to do so!

A couple of late-breaking links – right after I wrote this, I saw this article on How Your Novel Will Save The World and this wonderful Mary Oliver poem “Going Deeper”, which basically cover the same ground. You can only save yourself.

No Borders

No Borders. Photo: Claire Doble

 

No borders

Sans Frontières

Ohne Grenzen

 

Let there no more be

Criminals of geography

Set them free

Those refugees

Is that Anarchy?

 

Let no more customs taxes

Be used as palm-waxers

But patch the cracks

Where company fat

Lurks in loopholes instead of mending train tracks

 

Human beings being

Disallowed for fleeing

Government regimes

Punished twice it seems;

they didn’t want to leave

 

Open the gates, cut the cord

Move free, back and forward

Stifle stupid laws

Smash established orders

No borders

 

Here’s one I prepared earlier… I wrote this poem a while back and tried submitting it to a few poetry journals. However, no one wanted to publish it (for various reasons) so here ’tis. It’s also a little something to keep Clairevetica ticking over as I’m doing NaNoWriMo this month so I won’t have a lot of time for blogging! Plus, I needed to use this perfectly-suited photo I took. Hope you enjoy it, and wish me luck on my emerging novel. Oh, my novel? A feminist sci-fi set in post-apocalyptic Switzerland, thanks for asking!