Today’s Strange Prompt took my mind into dystopian territories once again – I hope you enjoy this small prose-poem, and the following donated poems…
Big thanks to Claire Trevien for this poem (Claire, I can’t find the correct accent for your ‘e’, or to say desolee!)
I leave the earth of sober antlers.
The red sky enters another red sky.
Paper gems and torn varnish.
The earth is abstract textiles.
There is a die that only listens to you,
I leave the ball of rope & its tape of warm hellos.
And another stunning gift from Ann Cuthbert, who has really got into these prompts!
You’re asking for the earth? This is the place –
you won’t find better prices anywhere.
And check out the variety we’ve got.
This planet? Will you look at all that blue!
And what a shape! A sphere. OK not quite.
I’ll knock a coupla quid off if you like.
Too big? Well what about this pedosphere?
That’s soil to you, love – skin of the earth I call it.
Loose or friable or packed or firm.
We’ve got the lot in sacks, buckets and barrows.
Something more stylish? Earthworks are so cool.
Everybody’s getting into these.
The ditch, the trench, the rampart, motte or fogou.
I’ll do you two for one, whaddya say?
Not interested? Well, not quite what you asked for –
But barricades are on the up-and-up.
Get your cement blocks here, sandbags, cobbles.
Defend your neighbourhood, block off your street.
Delay the movement of opposing forces.
Battle the isms and archys of oppression.
Go on, what’s there to lose? You won’t regret it.
We’ve got everything you need to make a stand.
Recently I’ve been reading Asteronymes by Claire Trevien, a collection of poems that has repeatedly and deservedly been called ‘playful’. Lots of the poems muck about with wordplay, redaction, and poetic form. There’s a form in there that Claire has invented, where she splits four-letter words down the middle and uses them to start the first word of a line, and end the last word. This is most evident in the poem ‘Goatfell’, whose first two lines read thusly (emphasis my own)
GOthic scrabble of rocks, we chAT
FEy and murder: how this chap feLL
I rather like this game, so I had a go at it myself. I found it tricky but interesting, as it forced out a strange little poem quite unlike what I would usually write. The inspiration for the subject matter was a conversation I had with Husband as we sauntered through a churchyard. Husband says he’d like to be buried with a video camera in the coffin, so people could watch some kind of live stream decomposition. Grim, but funny, and potentially a spiritual act – it reminded me of a set of Buddhist watercolours I saw in the touring ‘Flesh’ exhibition, which portray stages of decomposition as an aid to meditation on impermanence.
What I really wanted to do was create a version of the poem where lines would fade, or decompose. I’ve seen similar things online, and had hoped it would be something I could do via Twine – but alas, no, it needs properly coding and I am ignorant of this arcane magic. So instead I have rendered it as a Powerpoint presentation with slides that fade into each other! Neat! If you’d like to read it, please click on the link below to download it.
Underground, his face and body disintegrate