Friday, April 25, 2014

In verse / inverse

I seem to be writing a verse novel.

I can very clearly see a problem here.

Write an erotic memoir - translates into sales in the tens of thousands.
Write a pornographic series of novellas - sales well into the thousands
Write a literary fiction novel - sales of up to and sometimes including a thousand
Write a verse novel - ah well a dozen people may buy it if I can find a publisher for it.

Something is wrong here.

I started with a very clear idea that writing is a career and somehow I seem to be undermining my potential to make any kind of career out of it at all.

Lucky for all of us the book that is out early next year ticks some hefty boxes. Erotic? Tick. Novel? Tick. Comedy? Tick.

I suppose till I agree to play within the lines I will have to let the work itself sustain me.

Till then, this….

In Coles
In the picnic aisle
A packet falls
There are plastic knives

The pointless sound
Of nothing
Hitting ground

Is what breaks me


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Poem for my grandmother.

Lotty Kneen

I remember your skin
Rough and weathered
On my childish forehead
Wiping fever dreams
Worn away by work then time
Till it is tissue, soft as memory
So slight a wrapping for sharp regrets.

In grief
A queen forbade them to remove her king
And sat him up at table.
Ate with him, slept with him,
Waved from the royal carriage at his mouldering side.
The temptation to touch what was once warm,
Cold on a pillow damp with death
Folding now into itself, going to ground

I dig
A hole
For what remains of your burned blood
A hollow in the earth
To place the grit that might be bone or rock or salt
I pick a grain of you, stolen from the urn.
And place it on my tongue.
Your body.
My blood.

You lodge inside me.

In dream
In breath
In all the painful trudge of days ahead
I grow more like my final taste of you
In grit.
In earth
In death.