NAPOWRIMO: Day 21

I wrote this thinking of all the women of unquiet minds that I know and of this painting, by Matisse which I love: http://cache2.allpostersimages.com/p/MED/51/5141/EPSEG00Z/posters/henri-matisse-blue-nude-iv.jpg (sorry is so small)

Its very late and I just wrote this so I am unsure about it!

Tell me about the blue women

Of your acquaintance

Tell me you see the waves of electric blue,

Emanating from grey clothes,

contorted, sectioned off

head severed at the neck, held on

by empty hands,

Limbs folded protecting the body

The acute blue body

The body radiating blueness

And the cause of blueness

In its largeness, its smallness, its marks,

The drugs, the want, the need, the surplus,

Old fingerprints, its victories, its refusals.

Only blue women really sing the blues

Their treble clefs and quavers blue

Between the lines on sheet music,

On their breath, out of speakers,

In steam in showers, all unnoticed in

Tears and cheap scorching whiskey,

Trembling, cerulean fading to stonewash

In the troposphere

I am a blue woman too

After the smell of spent explosives

Dissipates on the 6th of November

Till the wilting of daffodils on 6th of April

I too am gas flame, pained,

burning up those who touch

Blue women are too sharp:

Walking blades they cut swathes unnoticed

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About

The Stirred quad is formed of Rebecca Audra Smith, Anna Percy, Jasmine Chatfield and Lenni Sanders.

Posted in NAPOWRIMO Anna, Poetry Scrawls
One comment on “NAPOWRIMO: Day 21
  1. Anon says:

    ‘Tell me about the blue women
    Of your acquaintance’

    It is more interesting to say ‘women of your acquaintance’ than ‘women you know’, but I think splitting this phrase into two lines makes the interesting quality of ‘acquaintance’ unnecessarily heavy. Perhaps

    ‘Tell me about the blue women of your acquaintance’

    would have more of a swing, and perhaps

    ‘Tell me about the blue women you know’

    or

    ‘Tell me about the blue women
    You know’

    would work better.

    I had similar concerns over ’emanating’ and ‘troposphere’: not that these words shouldn’t be used, but that if they are to be used they should be used with delicacy.

    Now these lines:

    Only blue women really sing the blues

    Their treble clefs and quavers blue

    Between the lines on sheet music,

    On their breath, out of speakers,

    In steam in showers, all unnoticed in

    Tears and cheap scorching whiskey,

    Trembling, cerulean fading to stonewash

    are where the poem takes a risk but perhaps doesn’t come off. The ‘risk’ is the movement from the clarity of the Matisse painting – which is, quite simply, a blue woman, there is nothing in the picture apart from ‘blue’ and ‘woman’ – towards various ‘real-world’ things, namely the speakers, the shower, the whiskey and the stonewashed material associated with jeans. I think these are distracting. Do they belong in this poem?

    On the other hand I think ‘only blue women sing the blues’ just about works.

    ‘Cut swathes’ – if the speaker is blue in the winter, that is between November and April, then cutting swathes, which is something one does in the harvest season, seems slightly incoherent (but still important).

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The Stirred team at Reclaim the Night Manchester 2015
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