Poet, Writer, Media Maker, Facilitator

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Posts in Musings
5 0 0 0 H U R T S

This Insane thing is Just the Beginning, I have a Poetry Pamphlet, Published by Burning Eye Books, released in October 2019. that might just be the start of something.

the book is A poetic experiment in the act of making poem from trauma, 5000 HURTS uses Tinnitus, rather than scarring or viscera as its central metaphor in an attempt to get closer to the poetic truth of contemporary suffering and our relationship with ‘hurting’.

But, more than this its an experiment in what I can do on the page, there are poems that are impossible to perform, poems that are announcements, poems that are ritual magic, train announcements, safety briefings, dreams. this is as far as I felt comfortable reaching into the void with a familiar subject to guide me.
and the first time I have seeded any work with elements of myself.

I Fucking hope you feel it. I really do.

5000 HURTS is available from the ThinkwriteFly Shop from the 18th of October 2019

[Appears from bushes] Hey... wanna hear my Podcast?

Yes, I've gone there.

My experiments in audio (and fruitful attempts to keep living) over the past few months have culminated in a Podcast about poetry. and Im rather proud of it.

Site and Logo!

Site and Logo!

I pulled together a staff of 3,
2 editor/producers: Kallen Daynes and Gavin Randhawa  as well as an Associate producer/ Social media Manager: Ella Cockerton.
They are fantastic people, the sort that are unfortunately rare in the student body of most campuses. Creatively talented, genuine grafters with serious work ethic that have so far worked with me to  generate two fantastic episodes despite my flaky health and need for short notice rescheduling because of it. they have persevered to help me make some quality work.


So yeah... I have a podcast. Click the Pic above to check it out.

Hear me roar

It feels good to be back making work after a little time off. The usual tumultuous Christmas/new year. The winter run around in my faulty meat suit has left me feeling that I need another holiday.

A few days of quiet perhaps.

The closest I'll get to that is page work. Dedicating time to think about words and how I want to use them, so as January Rolls into February I can look forward to plenty of time with paper and pen.

Alongside the new writing, there has been a resurgence of performance hunger.

The desire to get my work off the page and into the ears of an audience has always been something I felt was important, but that my body rarely allowed. Now it seems that I have been given a bit of respite it only seems right to begin to use my voice again.

So I'm beginning an Audio experiment.

The first two poems to go into edit are 'Cloud Swell' and the first part of A growing collection Called the insomnia Suite, featuring 'Sooner still I'm wakeful' and 'Sounds like thunder smells like heat' you can hear them both Here.

I'm also planning to get back on to get back onto the performance circuit in my city. the excellent Verve poetry festival is taking place from the 14th to the 18th of February in Birmingham and should not be missed.

If I take the stage, ill let you know!

I'd love to hear what you think of the recorded versions its been a while since i fired up the DAW so any advice is welcome. As always feel free to comment or hit me up on twitter @Think_write_fly.


Prosody Induced Headache

the  Bolshevik poet and critic Vladimir Mayakovsky, notes in regard to the study of Prodosy his 1926 essay 'How are verses made' that :

"I've several times got down to studying this, understood the mechanics of is, and then forgotten it again. Things like this, which take up ninety percent of poetry textbooks, are about three percent of my practical work!"

It would be an understatement to say that I agree with his sentiment. Yet, every time I find myself wondering into the critical rabbit hole that is critical Prosody I find myself simultaneously repulsed and fascinated. Reading criticism is often onerous, arduous and infuriating, but the ideas gleaned from the coalface have also been the supporting pillars of the work I'm proudest of.

There is so much wrong with the traditional approaches to deconstructing the ever-loving shit out of contemporary poetry, that criticism can easily excoriate any vestige of beauty or vitality from good verse. Yet, without a somewhat mechanistic approach to analysing verse, it is impossible as a poet to learn and develop the ideas of your predecessors.

Criticism, in the words of Simon Jarvis, still "looks forward 'to a unified field-theory' and finds it 'painful to live in a pre-newtonian age'". But one thing that becomes clear to someone like me who has immersed himself in poetic criticism in an effort to develop their craft is that no such theory can possibly exist amongst the vast an nebulous subjectivities that comprise human experience.

So whats the point? why do I have a headache from re-reading opaque paragraphs on the nihilism of deconstructionist verse? I just want to write, I want to write and sometimes I want that writing to rhyme.

The point, In my humble opinion, is part of the point of Art itself. Endeavour. Art should be something to be 'mastered', it should be difficult, it should be struggled towards with a mix of additive and ablative processes until the artist comes to understand not only the scope of their abilities but the modes of expression which most eloquently allow them to evoke what they want to evoke in the viewer, listener or reader.

 In that context, the poet removed from criticism seems as likely to succeed as Michelangelo looking up at the bare plaster of the Sistine Chapel and going "fuck it, I'll work it out when I'm up there"

No artist relishes hundreds of hours of preparatory sketches, no poet loves endless revision, no storyteller 'loves' the 20th edit. but you have to know your tools, the exact parameters of your abilities and where you can develop or improve. sometimes you just have to turn to the practice, the obtuse soliloquising of the 'masters' of a form to figure out how to do something with your Art that you haven't managed before, or if you are lucky, that No-one has managed before. 

Without self-reflection and deep focus on the 'physics' of our work, we can't push forward. I get that.

I would still rather gargle salt than re-read Alfred Corn. but, I still bought The Poem's Heartbeat for reference... so it goes.