The two greatest loves of my mother's life were the colour green and dancing.
She dressed in green as often as possible and drooled at green items in shop windows.
Dancing was an escape from drudge, the hope and potential for wealth and glamour. But it was among the many things my mother took too seriously to enjoy, so it was never fun.
She took me to a dancing lesson, possibly just the one because I was in hospital for most of my childhood.
We lived in Romford Essex at the time. We traipsed (my mother never walked for pleasure) along traffic-filled streets to a half-derelict building with huge warehouse doors.
On bare boards, little feet that had never had it so good hopped and skipped, out of time with the pre-war piano.
I was scared.
An exercise for the Writing Lives online course I'm doing:
Retirement in Abingdon UK
isn’t like in Oregon USA
here we get assistance
to live with independence
there the doctors help you
toss your controversial life away
on the dubious basis that pain
removes your ability
to die with dignity
on google and yahoo
is in no way similar
for when suffering is terminal
and someone kindly kills you
say thank you
as they put down the lid on you
your shoes soon filled
by someone youthful
someone who’s useful
Terrified by Falconer
I would bring in Bill
who’s not dead yet
if living is better
forget about ageing
in the paradox of place
they may not be able to keep him
in a landmark case
I wrote this flarf poem in the first few days of this New Year, having written almost nothing for a month. I hope it sparks the imagination and provides the reader with a fresh, unique perspective on life.
Flarf seems to have come about by accident. It began as a send-up, a bit of a lark, by Gary Sullivan, to bring out the inherent awfulness, etc., of some pre-existing text.
Flarf his now an accepted and respectable way to generate poetry. Flarf is taken seriously. Poets enjoy writing it and readers, apparently, enjoy reading it.
Dan Hoy said flarf is like collage; it's what happens when poets spend too much time fucking around on the internet.
For me, a newcomer to the form, flarf works as a creative laxative, for the times when I sit there needing to write but it just won’t come out.
The starting point for this poem was rather straightforward, neither clever nor stupid; Into Google’s search bar I typed: What is the answer.
Working with various sentences and snippets in the search results, it soon became apparent that the phrase what is the answer can be read as both a question and a statement; I tried to use this ambiguity in the poem, make it more definite, which is a slight contradiction.
I like contradictions in poems.