Wednesday, 20 March 2013

A poem, that'll show 'em

So, I was reading the new "Poetry Bus" Magazine yesterday (see last post) and I read the piece near the back written by Dave Lordan on rhyme. I really enjoyed it. He writes about rhyme in its widest, biggest sense and I liked the range, the open-endedness, of the piece (I urge you to read it... get the mag here... quickly now). The article reminded me how much I love rhyme... of all kinds really... but I know that, personally, I have a special fondness for the simpler stuff. There was a point in my life when I could have become an intellectual perhaps but when it came to it I just turned the other way*. I like simple things, simple pleasures, simple sounds. I guess it means some people think I'm an eejit but mostly I can live with that! And I know the argument goes that lots of people do end-rhymes badly... but then lots of people do everything badly and that doesn't stop us trying to do all those things... like sing... or cook... or have sex... or whatever!

And so... blame Dave Lordan, a little, for the poem below. I don't write much poetry just now so it feels good to work the old muscles now and again. To begin with the 'New' and 'Old" were 'New Poet' and 'Old Poet' but then I realised the subject was really wider than that and not just about poetry writing. Like so many poems this one is about all kinds of things... and there's more than a hint of Dr Seuss to it too, I think.

Everyone is the best ever

New and Old sitting by a tree,
Talking, talking, endlessly,
New barks out “How can this be?
Why is everybody ignoring me?”

Old takes a moment to serve reply,
Surveys the scene, the tree, the sky,
Finally proffers without a sigh,
“What are you saying, to whom and why?”

New is irate and loses cool,
“That should be obvious to a fool,
I'm what you need, a brand new school
Just listen to me, as a general rule.”

Old is sleepy, thirsty too,
Tired of talking, needs the loo,
Happy just to see the view,
The tree is green, the sky is blue.

But “Listen, listen, I can rhyme!
I can talk in double time!
I’m not afraid to social climb,
Everyone should hear my chime!”

New continues, into stride,
Puffed and pumped with precious pride,
“Hear the magic, I'm the guide,
Life’s exciting, what a ride!”

Old is fading, quite a sight,
Doesn’t really like to fight,
Shields the eyes to block the light,
Lies right down and breathes “goodnight”.

New is angry, loudly so,
Wails at Old “Not yet, don’t go!
Who will watch me, see me grow?
Who will tell me what you know?”

No word from Old, the soul is free,
The stories gone, so suddenly.
Too late, too late, we see the tree,
Too late, we want it endlessly.

RF 2013

*One of my other favourite bits of the new Bus mag is the Robert Frost 'roads' reference on page 6 ("fuck it, I'll take the bus/And that has made all the difference").

Monday, 18 March 2013

Poetry Bus love

Has a poetry magazine ever had better covers than Peadar O'Donoghue's marvellous "Poetry Bus"? I don't think so. Issue number 4 is out now, beautifully bound this time and available over here (at the same link you can read a full list of the contents). The magazine comes with a CD as ever (always my favourite part I have to say). I just like to listen to poems more than read them and I think, as my eyes get more and more tired and unreliable, that that is getting to be more and more the case. There is some music on the CD too (and that's all good especially Stuart Wilde's "Hot Damn!", for me).

Obviously I am a little biased as I've been involved, in some way or other, with the Poetry Bus since its first trip (the online Bus back in September 2009!) and I have a poem in this new magazine too but even with that taken into account I still think a trip on the Poetry Bus is always to be recommended. There is no poetry vehicle quite like it.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Music, my friend

A couple of posts ago I wrote about a new single I'd heard on the radio by a musical artist called Laura Mvula. Recently I bought the album too ("Sing to the Moon" - the extended version with extra CD) and I am so loving it... music has always been one of my best friends and this collection is into my top ten friends list with a bang! 

Above is one of the tracks called "Can't live with the world". Reviews I've read of the album (as a former reviewer I am interested, I suppose, in how reviewers try to do the job...) are mixed... on the whole they are favourable but they are much taken up, as reviews often are, with trying to say whose music hers sounds like (Beach Boys etc.) without engaging too much with what the artist has actually done. I've read a few interviews with Mvula too and am interested to hear her describe herself as, and I'm paraphrasing here, not much of a singer and not much of a wordsmith. I find it interesting because one of the things I really like about this album is the simplicity of the repeated lyrics. It's one of the reasons I struggle with a lot of the more literary contemporary poetry too, I'm sure... because I always prefer the underwritten to the overwritten. But of course it is all a matter of taste...

Friday, 1 March 2013

Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow...

This shuffle is getting very slow... hardly here at all these days! Anyway, just a few updates:

The event at Hospitalfield in Arbroath last weekend was loads of fun. I'd started to wonder whether I could still get up and do a poetry "set" as such (because it's been a while and I've been busy with very different activities) but in the end I really enjoyed it, did a mix of poems I'd never done before and got some great feedback. Some closest to me said it was "best I'd ever done" which felt good... and interestingly it didn't make me desperate to go out and do it again (and again, and again). I'm not so good at repetition... I like things to be different every time... and I think that's what makes it exciting for me (I am learning that, in some things at least, I do like excitement... and difference... the unexpected). So that, a few glasses of wine, a responsibility-free night out and the music of Onion Club's Pauline and Stephen and other poetry from Kevin Reid and it was a good experience all round.

Just as well really as I'm off next Sunday (10th March) to do another event in Dundee this time (ADDED LATER - THIS EVENT HAS JUST BEEN CANCELLED).

Gone a bit quiet over on the new blog... any one else got something on hopes and dreams for me?