Getting my willy out in public

Hear this at Spoken.

Getting my willy out in public

Sharing your poetry is not unlike
Getting your willy out in public.
The reaction it garners is much the same,
couched in politeness or unrelenting disgust.
Loved ones might find something encouraging
to say, while strangers have permission to pass
unflattering review. That’s too long. It left me
unsatisfied. What’s the purpose of that weird
bit at the end? I don’t know.
These weird bits might not have any purpose,
except to stand before you, exposed
accepting that mine is different to yours
but what we have in common, we humans,
is flaws.

Getting my willy out in public

Semi-circles

Another poem you can hear at Spoken. I originally wrote this in 2007, and to be honest, I was never that keen on it. However, the subject matter suited what I wanted to try and do on the recording, which was to use an Audionautix track as a music bed for the piece.

Semi-circles

I walk in semi-circles, clockwise
Until the link of an arm changes
My trajectory, counter-clockwise
Until the link of an arm changes
My trajectory. Walking in this way
Will eventually see us linking arms:

Our looped steps, our brief tango,
Our waltz in opposite directions
Will be brief. Will we acknowledge
One another, remember we were
Supposed to link, or will we think
This is just another incomplete
Semi-circle?

               We step in unison
In opposite directions, we move,
We look into each others eyes
And we realise that together we
Have indeed completed a circle
With this fox-trot, this pirouette
With this, our only revolution.

Until the link of an unwanted arm
Changes my trajectory once more
My arm, my eyes, my semi-circles
Will meet others, the dance carries
Me away and every other circle
Can never seem so complete.

Semicircles cover art

Semi-circles

Rescue Poem

Hear this at Spoken. I have been enjoying trying out Spoken.co and am finding that it really fuels my wanting to write.

Rescue Poem

The wounded poem was found crawling
into that dark space between the oak
and the alleyway. With barely enough strength
to fight off the advancing pack of smutty
Limericks that rule this part of town,
it tried to utter some plosive alliteration –
“Be bold! They can but bury beauty!”
– but the consonants died unformed
on its fish-out-of-water lips.
Had it not been for the earnest youth
that took it home swaddled in damp
similes, the poem may not have survived the night.
She listened closely to the heartbeat,
that was a mess of anapests and weak spondees,
with the care of a watchmaker, resisting
the urge to turn feeble ticks into driving tickity-tocks,
to let the lines linger a little longer, and in the dawn
it managed to keep down an original metaphor,
growing stronger, it started to look less like a ditty
scrawled on a bathroom wall, and with renewed dignity
began to stand for something, and could sound
its own clarion call, to take a drastic measure,
to write something – anything at all –
between the next line break and the caesura
urging other earnest youths to rescue those that fall.

Rescue Poem

Ted Hughes’ ‘The Jaguar’, as re-imagined by a male feminist, in the style of Scroobius Pip

A little break from education-related posting. I have been teaching a lovely class of year 7 girls about poetry while on placement, and revisited an old favourite of mine with them: The Jaguar, by Ted Hughes. I’ve also been listening to Scroobius Pip’s album Distraction Pieces and generally thinking a lot about feminism recently. Somehow, while waiting at the traffic lights this morning this started forming in my head, because thought-foxes don’t only strike on quiet, snowy evenings. Anyway – I have nothing else to do with it…so here it is (You can also hear it at Spoken):

Ted Hughes’ ‘The Jaguar’, as re-imagined by a male feminist, in the style of Scroobius Pip

The apes adore themselves and in the sun they think of breeding
While uncritically consuming, without question, fleas the media
Puts on them: keep on scratching; don’t start thinking; keep on shrieking —
While the alpha dogs keep lying to their minds that keep on sleeping

There are champions in digital high definition streams
Saving people, crushing evil, swinging heroes, screen to screen
Standing for the little man, the lovely little ladies cry,
Half our dreams are brought to life, the better half are raped or die

Iron John McClane is beating on his hollow, tinny chest
In a loin cloth in the forest chanting “Father Must Know Best!”
But the jaguar is stalking and has set her sights on prey
And will devour foil hat prophets who are standing in her way

Under her foot the world still turns, not by her power only
But because it must, and change will come, we just don’t want it slowly
The rising of the jaguar won’t mean the sinking of the Ark
Containing sons of other beasts, left cowering in the dark

The cage long busted open but we sit behind the bars
Idly spouting archetypes about them: Lovely Venus, Warlike Mars
Jaguar will not be bound by cosmic nonsense or be told
That half the world’s not owed to her: it’s not for others to withhold.

Ted Hughes’ ‘The Jaguar’, as re-imagined by a male feminist, in the style of Scroobius Pip