Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I've been a bit lacking in posts recently, sorry but I'll explain later.

I was pleased to pick up a Selected poems of Wallace Stevens today in a charity shop. Aside from the fact that I've been meaning to get around to reading more of Stevens I just love these old retro Faber editions of poetry collections like this Plath's Ariel which in in my local library and I've often thought of nicking, only kidding, lol!!

The Stevens collection is in top nick and has the bonus of an inscription inside the front cover which reads:

'Allan Anderson
June 1973
Ice-cream is on
page 28'

So guess which was the first poem I read, yep 'The Emperor of Ice-Cream', which is indeed on p28. So here it is to make-up for the lack of my own poetry -

The Emperor of Ice-Cream

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Take from the dresser of deal,
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My poem 'Mother Nature House Hunting' is now online at Nthposition!
It's a great literary webzine, the poetry editor is the Canadian poet Todd Swift who also runs the literary blog Eyewear.

I've been tagged by Roxana to post 'a phrase: a few lines from a poem, a song, or an overheard sentence that rings important inside you'.
When I read Anne Sexton's poem, 'The Black Art', the first verse very much stuck in my head. I love these lines.

"A woman who writes feels too much,
those trances and portents!
As if cycles and children and islands
weren't enough; as if mourners and gossips
and vegetables were never enough.
She thinks she can warn the stars.
A writer is essentially a spy.
Dear love, I am that girl."

I would like to tag, if they want to play along, Rachel, Shug, Swiss, James, Jim and Dave.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

A month ago everything around me seemed to inspire possibilities for poems but now it seems nothing can. I'm bored by my every attempt to write and wondering if I've exhausted my local landscape. The only lines I have and have had for the last month that seems to me to have possibilities are:

She waits for the birds,
they come daily.
Bringing news from Delphi
and the Middle East.

Yet I can't make anything of them.
So I been baking cakes, watching anything vaguely interesting on tv and even having early nights! This no writing lark is not much fun.

Two rejections last month, one made into the final selection but just not picked in the end - seems to be a common theme with my submissions, the other was a very nice - 'I like your work but they're not quite right for this magazine', however the editor was kind enough to suggest a couple of other mags that he thought would take my work.

On a positive note, I've booked my tickets for StAnza 2009.
Here are the events I'm going to:
Reading by Simon Armitage and Bill Manhire
Poetry Breakfast discussion on Poetry and Song Lyrics
Reading by Ros Brackenbury and Annie Boutelle
Ian Rankin in conversation
Reading by Jay Parini and Jenny Bornholdt
Reading by Carol Ann Duffy and Patience Agbabi
and best of all - a Masterclass with Douglas Dunn