Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Tick Tock

07:38:00 Posted by Lara Clayton , , , , , , , 4 comments

Time is one of those things that is impossible to avoid. It scares me. It makes me feel under pressure. It makes me feel wasteful. It makes me worry. In fact, I can't even have a non-digital clock in the house because that tick tock feels like nails being hammered into my brain. I even refuse to wear any type of wristwatch that has ticking hands because, believe it or not, I can still hear it counting my life away.

Poetry is about time. Ideas require time to mature. And once an idea has been captured on paper, it requires even more time. Editing time. Time to be away from the poet, locked in a drawer and allowed distance. More editing time. 

Poetry isn't easy and effortless. It requires dedication. It requires you to give it a significant amount of your time. It is like a needy child that never grows up.

I'll conclude this post with a little piece of silliness. I sometimes think it is good to just play with language, have fun, and write something that isn't polished (and which you have little intention of polishing). It takes the pressure away (sort of).

7:24 a.m.                                                    w
                   at the entrance – banging & bleeping     p
machines as commuters rush – I send smoke rings    u
before joining
Slipping into black-suit currents that give
the direction I am yet to discover. Swarming d
Posters sing out dream,                                   o
excitement, sun, escape                        w
            Sliding past as the stairs clunk                  n
            taking us further beneath the city.

The new sun, green foliage and yapping Yorkie
is distant now.    LOST
to tunnels, stale urine light and a voice
(neither robot nor human) that warns of gaps

I forget what above ground is like
The scents and sights of High Barnet’s
open platform fizzle into darkness
Down here, rats scuttle
below feet
steal and move at speed.

An artificial breeze as tube arrives
packed – humans as sardines – I wait
for the next
                        Take a seat
at 7:38 a.m.
                 remove a book
read poetry until I reach my destination.

Thank you for reading,


Ashley R Lister said...

If e.e. cummings had actually written with that level of clarity, perhaps I wouldn't have always considered him to be a twunt.

Insightful post and excellent poem.


vicky ellis said...

I love the poem (your silly is my best effort).

"Slipping into black-suit currents that give
the direction I am yet to discover."

This is a brilliant line. A visual of slippery black fish writhing on the platform. Love it.

Also, how the hell did you manage to create concrete poetry in Blogspot? That alone deserves a medal.

Your post put me in mind of 'animal-time'...The difference between a cat's magician-like movements, faster than the eye, and a sloth's lazy, swinging relaxo-time. Mice running the labyrinth, snails crawling over bricks. Somewhere inbetween there's a happy pace.

Thanks for a great read :)

Ste said...

I'm in a rush (busy busy busy) but thought I'd log in to say I really enjoyed this. Like Vicky said your silly is pretty bluddy ace! Can't really add much as the same lines Vicky picked jumped out at me as well. Just thought I'd add my two cents worth :)

Lindsay said...

As always Lara, your poetry is amazing and so visual. I think it shows how different people can enterpret a poem in very different ways too, the line vicky mentioned I visualised very differently. I saw the current of suits pulling the narrator along the platform with the flow towards the train. I've spent a lot of time on trains this week, that could be why.

I liked 'stale urine light' as well. It's a grim light at a station, I think that description is very apt and captures the mood at the same time.

I agree with everyone, your silly stuff is still fantastic.