Wednesday, February 27, 2013

365 Poems in 365 Days: Song Titles

Number 33 is about how if you call your child a name a little like a popular music star, I go crazy.


A friend's child, born in December, has
Names close but not exactly the same as
PJ Harvey (Twice Mercury Award
Winning Musician). This Good Fortune ought
To help her with The Piano or Dress
In A Place Called Home. I guess if I'm pressed
I'll stop using The Letter's and instead
Her name, perhaps Written on the Forehead.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

365 Poems in 365 Days: More Supervillain Origins

Number 32, like 30, is a supervillain origin. Although it's only 1 poem, it's been five days.

I love you all so much
I cannot bear to see you unhappy.
So I created the lotus formula
And put it in the food
The water
The air
In pets
On the phones and TV
In the frequency of lightbulbs.
Now I can see you smile.
All of you.
As you sit there
Perfectly Happy.

365 Poems in 365 Days: Colours

Paints from B&Q's "Colours" range.

Grey Hints

Cocoa Bean
Soft Cream
Tangerine Dream

Snake Eye
Clear Sky

Pale Pink
Neat Pink
Playful Pink
Pink Pink


Queen's Mulberry

All of these are real colours available from B&Q. This is number 31, which means I'm done for January.

Damn it.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

365 Poems in 365 Days: Supervillain Origin

Number 30, another superhero/villain origin thought.

I had a very simple plan
Rob a bank
As distraction I made a man
Walk the plank

But my crimes were too flamboyant
Heroes came
Now I must be more vigilant
Not a game

Friday, February 15, 2013

365 Poems in 365 Days: More Movie Night

Number 29 is a brief Acrostic review of this film.  I'm not sure why I wasn't excited by it. Too zany? Not zany enough? At least Wikipedia sorts out that it's set in 1925, So that 60s looking room is actually a 20s Bauhaus modernist room. Not totally convinced.

The Abominable Dr Phibes -
He visits the ten plagues of
Egypt on his victims

As he has a PhD in Theology -
Believes eight incompetent doctors and
One nurse caused his wife (Caroline
Munro) to die. Although believed dead he
Is disfigured and will
Not be able to rest until
All those responsible are
Bizarrely killed. This is
Like a revenge film, but more tragic than
Expected; also funnier. His

Dreamlike mansion includes an organ that
Rises up into a clockwork orchestra -

Perhaps my reservations are that I
Hoped Batman would come along to
Investigate rather than the Scotland Yard
Blunderers. The final deathtrap is
Entertaining and clearly an inspiration for

365 Poems in 365 Days: Trojan

Number 28 came to me just this morning.

Oddysseus' Hack

The Greeks, it seems, left last night.
This morning we woke to the sight
Outside a titanic wooden horse -
We scanned it for malware of course;
No viruses, nothing to hate.
We brought it in though it broke the gate.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

365 Poems in 365 Days: Search Engine Mania

Number 27 is a little something I call:

Previous Search Terms

Ballet shoes
Pope abdication news

Places to meet
Underfloor heat
Prices of horsemeat

Hands shake affliction
Coffee Addiction
Railway Station

Romantic movies
Weeping eyes
Common lies

Saturday, February 09, 2013

365 Poems in 365: More Vampires

Number 26 is a review. I would put it in rhyme and meter, but man, that's hard work!

I am disappointed by this Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Stake Your Destiny
Called The Suicide King
That I got from Poundland for one pound

On the cover it had friendly cartoon portraits
Xander, Willow, Giles and Buffy
(The last almost unrecognisable
Apart from the stake)
Then opens as a girl dies
By stabbing herself with
A silver letter opener
In the head.

I don't mind that I took two decisions and lost -
I played gamebooks back in the day* -
But what did my loss mean?
Sent away from Sunnydale
To live with my Dad.
Will apocalypse come without me to guard the Hellmouth?
Will there be hijinks -
A solo episode away
Another with the gang trying to cope
With no Slayer -
Then back to status quo?
Or what?
The book does not say.
It says "The End".

At least if I died
I'd know I'd lost and the world was doomed
Or maybe not, as another Slayer would rise
And canonically this would
Not be the first time
Buffy died without ending

At least I didn't pay
The £5.99 it cost
When first published
In 2005

* Creature of Havoc requires that you cheat
(Automate that, gamebook apps)
Or you end up in an endless loop of fighting;
Fire on the Water pits you against a Helghast,
Invincible against normal weapons,
Unless you picked one skill out of ten
Or took the magic spear out of another undead
Which then rises up and fights you;
Six books of Way of the Tiger
And in the end no ninja skills
Will defeat the demon god;
And Blood Sword ends with Judgement Day

(It's a good thing)

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

365 Poems in 365 Days: Vamp

Interview With The Mortuary Attendant

We know exactly what caused her to die
Although Stephanie’s body’s now missing
Two puncture wounds on her inner thigh
Autopsy done, prepared for the blessing

Although Stephanie’s body’s now missing
The doors to the morgue are alarmed and locked
Autopsy done, prepared for the blessing
Even the air vent has a grill that blocks

The doors to the morgue are alarmed and locked
The room is unnaturally cold and dank
Even the air vent has a grill that blocks
And that only connects to the blood bank

The room is unnaturally cold and dank.
Two puncture wounds on her inner thigh
And that only connects to the blood bank
We know exactly what caused her to die

A group I sometime meet with gave out the theme Vampires. Here's what I wrote, which is number 25. And now some notes that completely destroy the magic, assuming it has any.

1. Once you have the lines "We know exactly what caused her to die/Two puncture wounds on her inner thigh" you have to write the poem. THOSE ARE THE RULES.

2. This is a pantun or pantoum.  My hope is that one day I will create the perfect one, in which every line appears twice, is always in context, and means something different the second time it appears. This is pretty good, if I say so myself.

3. The title is a reference to Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice, except in this case we aren't interviewing the vampire, we're interviewing the mortuary attendant. So it's just, you know, there. Stephanie's body is a reference to Stephenie Meyer, not because I think she should be killed for her prose, god forbid, but because now she has finished her Twilight saga, and the films are out, perhaps we can just get on with our own vampires, and not always see them in reference to the phenomenon that was her body of work.

4. We're still in Meyer's shadow so here's my thesis (part 1); Vampires should be scary, even if you fall in love with them. Especially if you fall in love with them. Falling in love with a human being is pretty scary, so an immortal bloodsucker is even more so.

5. Thesis (part 2): Any sentence that begins "Vampires are about..." will be wrong, or at least incomplete. Nevertheless, vampires are about sex and death and the place they intersect. In this case they intersect on her inner thigh. Vampires should also be weird, and unexpected. That's why it's the inner thigh and not the neck. That's also why she's risen again AFTER the autopsy.

6. Thesis (part 3) vampires are also a metaphor for tuberculosis. Still, what would you rather read, a poem about pale coughing vampires, or a poem about people bitten on their inner thigh? I know which one I'd rather write. (Poem about Tuberculosis can be found here.)

7. That's more explanation than I intended, but I've actually presented this to two writing groups, who have been generally appreciative. As was pointed out, the only way to really change in would be to make it longer, so that the last verse is better connected. But then it wouldn't be this; flawed in that the last verse doesn't cohere, but perfect in that the last verse summarises the clues for the slow of understanding, or people who don't read afternotes.

365 Poems in 365 Days: More Superheroics

Number 24. I accidentally let slip some tactical advice for supervillains.

Superheroes have no reason to chase me, but if they did
Parkour-friendly areas would not be where I hid.

Monday, February 04, 2013

365 Poems in 365 Days: Depression

I'm not actually depressed
I'm just a little sad
I know about depression
This is nothing like as bad

Number 23. Now we're getting somewhere! I feel really positive about this.

365 Poems in 365 Days: Spies

The search was perfunctory
They didn't know what to expect
There was nothing for them to find
My tradecraft is perfect

Number 22. Tip the hat to John Le Carre, who introduced me to the word, and concept, of tradecraft.

Friday, February 01, 2013

365 Poems in 365 Days: First Dream

Number 21 and I'm already resorting to things from dreams.  If you put a pencil and paper by your bed and write down a dream as you wake up you end up with... Well I wrote "The suffragettes are all dead". Probably. It's not my clearest handwriting.

The suffragettes of which we've read
Are pretty much all now dead.
Except for Mabel who's 103
Hold the Bus! Here she comes now see!