Napowrimo day 9

I went to a writing workshop this afternoon with poet Chris Tutton at Manchester Central Library and have decided to use that instead of the napowrimo prompt today.

The session was about using art to inspire poetry and was focused on German Expressionism. After hearing a bit about the history of the movement, we looked at images and chose one to use as a starting point. I picked The Sea B by Emile Nolde.

You can find out more about Chris Tutton from his website here :

And here’s the painting I used as inspiration:


The night you picked
was purple-graped
Hanging, ripe,
around our young shoulders
The beach was a grave
of fruit stones and bones
and we washed our feet
in salt water
slapping them
like drowning fish
in the shallows
We talked sweetness
until the wind took it
Sucked what was left
of the fading orange sun
Pushed the waves away
with our eager tongues
Swallowed the dusk
Left our clothes
and let the sea take us.

Napowrimo Day 8

A bit late posting this as I’ve been really busy. The prompt was to write a palinode, a poem in which the poet retracts a statement made in an earlier poem.
I went off at a tangent and ended up thinking about things you can’t take back.


There Are Some Things You Can’t Take Back

A torn-worn dress
Vomit stained shoes
Leggings that have seeped from floor-sitting
in night club loos
A bad haircut,
cow-licking and two inches too short
That underwear you purchased
as a last resort
To save a marriage
To save some cash
Even with the tags on you can’t take it back
That sensual bath bomb
you cut into thirds
Those ear plugs you bought
to block out his words
The horrible truth
The verbal attack
No, there are just some things you can’t take back
There’s no guarantee
Even with a receipt
To protect you from cheating,
lies and deceit
“I don’t love you!”
“You’re bad in the sack”
Some things can’t be mended, or fixed
and you can never take them back.

John G Hall’s New Book Launch

I’m off to a book launch this evening. My friend (and amazingly talented poet) John G Hall will be reading from his new book ‘Poems for Explosion’ published with American publisher Crisis Chronicles Press. There will also be a guest performance from the wonderful force of nature that is Gerry Potter and an open mic that’s bound to be filled with wonderful Manchester poets.
If you’re in the city, come and check it out .

john G hall launch poster

John’s work is often fierce and political yet sometimes so fragile, tender and close up and personal that it’s like he’s turned himself inside out for you to see what’s at his core. His work is beautiful on the page and fantastic in performance. He collaborates with other artists and beat poets, makes his own objects and collages and runs a great workshop. He doesn’t perform much due to his other commitments these days so it’s always good to see him onstage.

He is sadly absent from youtube but here is a link to a collaboration he did with a visual artist using his poem ‘War is the Sound of Money Eating’

And Gerry’s work has an honesty and immediacy that just sings out. I love it (and him) so much. You can check out lots of his poems on youtube and there’s a link to one here:

And a link to the Crisis Chronicle Press website:

It’s going to be a good night so if you can get along to Sandbar, I’ll see you there.

Napowrimo and Freewriting Prose

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been doing prose free-writes alongside napowrimo. These are just unedited little bits of writing that are kickstarted or inspired from poems I’ve been reading by other participants.
I had no plans to post or share them as they are purely little exercises for my own amusement but last week I did one using Andy Nicholson’s napowrimo Day 2 poem, which is part of a sequence he’s been writing, and I sent it to him.
He liked it and asked if he could use it on his blog, so you can now read it there (along with his Ghost Story sequence) if you are interested.

You can find it here:

Napowrimo Day 6 – An Aubade

Today’s official napowrimo prompt is to write an aubade, a poem as a serenade to morning. It’s supposed to be about lover’s leaving each other at daybreak and I’m not sure if I’ve honoured the true sense of the form in the task but it’s here:

Half light untangling
Alarm clock’s jangling
Mug of tea dangling
To tempt me out of bed
Squinty-eyed yawning
Snooze button warning
Soft kissed ‘Good morning’
Lamp blushing red
Banging doors of wardrobes
Throwing on of work clothes
Toasting of half loaves
Niceties said
Packing of lunch box
pairing of odd socks
Find work shoes behind New-Rocks
Pull hat on your head
You grab all that you need
Set off at high speed
I flick through my newsfeed
Still technically half-dead
I brew up some more tea
Study my diary
Check where I should be
Want to go back to bed
Garden squirrels bounce by
I marvel at the clear sky
Trace angles that the birds fly
And write a new poem about you instead.