A mystical prize to the person who guesses which film I nicked the title from and the nicked song lyric in this poem, and thanks to whoever graffitied ‘palmstruck’ in Withington. Groovy compound word graffiti makes me hot. This was written after John G Hall’s picture poem workshop, written from a collage we made in sandbar which was great fun but got us many strange looks. We even had blue pritt stick, whoever heard of such a thing!
There is so much to gain from that kind of regression, when you are just handed materials and asked to create something, anything and just forget all the ”I can’t”s and ”I’m no good at art”s although you will notice I avoided actually drawing like the plague, even I can’t stifle the inner critic completely. I did an art gcse because I knew I could do the bare minimum to pass and got to muck about with art materials, I specialised in papiere mache, it took ages and looked industrious, with lots of drying time and no drawing! I have no idea exactly when this anxiety about drawing happened, unlike Antoine Saint Euxpery and his elephant eating snake. It probably goes hand in hand with my handwriting problems, it is impossible for the untrained eye to read, someone commented recently that it looks like I have done what Da Vinci did in his notebooks i.e writing backwards to encode it. I could never colour inside the lines.
I blankly wrote down all the text (some of it ripped from The Guardian) but it was lacking something so I rewrote it on the train yesterday with added images and lines. I like writing on trains, its like a poetry exam, you have to sit in a certain place and do something with the time while rapidly altering scenery and colours blur past you. There is even a train track in the collage but it didn’t make it into this draft. I will redraft this again when it has had a chance to settle, I am someone who believes a poem is never finished, only the current draft.
This was a really interesting and unusual way to work, a sort hybrid between a cut up/found poem and an art collaboration with yourself. I am a great fan of found poetry techniques I love coming across uncommon language and the way you can make even the dullest text poetic with a little work. Also what I like about it and well any other writing exercise is the way that it tricks your subconscious into pulling out language you could never have thought of if you were concentrating and it takes away the fear of the blank page. You may have a muse or whatever but I am not someone who believes that inspiration just flies in the window and divines itself through your pen, you have to find ways to surprise your mind.
p.s I am rubbish at punctuating poems.
I’ve got so much love to give I just don’t know where to put it
You are ready to notice something
you offer all
while guarding close
you want our bodies to buck, bite, give in.
You’ve got to care
We merge interest,
I ‘ll wear that polka dot dress
and you know I always fall head over heels
for boys with holes in their converse.
You illuminate me, cherry lips
when you forsake your vision,
you are my vacancy.
Palmstruck as you were
you caught me, contained me
palm to palm an arm wound round my waist
you might even reach my high anxiety
which performs it’s lies
paid out in transformed flesh
my head is in a bitter whorl
you can sweeten me honey
I know about the snowdrop in your suit pocket
next to the parker pen and your spring leaf tie
you shout your dilemma to appear:
”how to write the stars you know while breathing dust!”