A Secret? On Pre-Writing…

I’ve been finding it hard to write of late. Hard to write poetry, anyway. So this is a kind of non-post, or anti-post, because what I’m posting today is one of the documents that’s been sitting on my computer screen for some time. It’s a draft document, and by draft, I mean draft in capital letters. D-R-A-F-T. The bare bones, if you will.

Basically, if I find myself struggling I open up a clean document and I stare at it for some time. I might put a little music on, I might not, I might have a cup of tea in my hand, I might not – but the blank screen is always there in front of me for, perhaps, a good five/ten minutes. Then I sieve through my head for a good line, or two words, or one, or eight, and I start rolling from there. The idea is to let it roll on for as long as I can until I find myself writing without really thinking. I’m feeling the words, or tasting them, instead of thinking them into something coherent.

Needless to say, I end up with a document of oddities – of voices (some my own, some others), rhythms, rhymes, etc. – that sometimes make sense and other times don’t. Out of these documents I can often find a few lines or a stanza which I can work with.

So here’s one of these sometimes-scary sometimes-funny documents:

I know a man
makes love to plastic
bent-double on spreads
tied up, bound even
with the threads
of trains stealing
change at the toilets
gasping
like a child
banking right
on a sharp corner
sparking with another
worn glove scuttling
through a bathroom
that s[h]its steadily
down through his stomach
as he screams,
itching, driving
his arms up,
up, up and through
kinbaku drives sketching
up oils in blacks
greys
blues
nothing more
emptying itself
onto the side street
dipping through a Miliband
bastard breaking
up another
worn excuse.

Rest,
slightly tame men
moving through
top-button-up
same old same old
faces change but fashion
fucks itself incestuous
into a splice
slice
of the same in some
other dirty
colour scandal of the red
shoes and the blue dress
shaking off
amphetamines
in the cupboard
downstairs after
a night out in a wash
of yellow lights:
alleyways pissing back
on men and women
as they spread themselves
so liberally over
rocky levels testing
soberness shrinking
in a sink stained
with coffee cups
drinking
into the depths of a weeks
length of cold
common-water.

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