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I AM!

Monday, 4 March 2013 15:53:27

Monday, 4 March 2013 15:53:27

Now that I've had time to look it over, I think the two strands of this could go together - with a change of feeling in the middle also shown by the change of verse pattern. Perhaps it could be called

The Worm Turns

You are the sharp remark
I am the blunt axe
You are the instant text
I am the fax.

You are the wrought iron entrance
I am the five-barred gate
You are the dual carriageway
I am the country track

You are the high heel
I am the flat sole
You are the vanilla slice
I am the bread roll.

BUT

I'm tired of being the shifting sands,
The unanswered call.
I'm going to sharpen up my act,
Build up my strength:
Not be the moat - but the castle wall.

I'm no longer going to be
The message on the answerphone
The unopened letter
The text unsent
I shall be a see-through envelope
A public announcement
A new, loud, ringing-tone!



I am...still here

Thursday, 28 February 2013 16:42:39

Thursday, 28 February 2013 16:42:39
It's been a busy time one way and another. Including a session up in Cumbria for NW NATE. Lovely people and lovely setting.  But it means that my mind hasn't been on my blog, although I have been writing sonnets: 28 in fact.  That's one a day for all of February.  Anyway, that's my excuse for being a bit lacking in the poetry blog department.  Will get back on track next week!


I am...or I do

Friday, 22 February 2013 11:33:05

Friday, 22 February 2013 11:33:05

Here I'm moving away from I am to an action rather than a thing. It will add variation.

I swing on the low branch
over the willow
You take the stepping stones
I have the chilli dip
You take the mayonnaise
Is there, do you think,
In our relationship
Some malaise?

I do like unexpected rhymes and mayonnaise and malaise pleases me. I wonder if it appeals to anyone else!

 



I am

Wednesday, 20 February 2013 9:44:53

Wednesday, 20 February 2013 9:44:53

And in the same vein:

I'm no longer going to be
The message on the answerphone
The unopened letter
The text unsent
I shall be a see-through envelope
A public announcement
A new, loud, ringing-tone

Not sure about the order of these but I like the overall feel of it.
One thing that becomes clear is that even from a random collection of items, all sorts of ideas are generated.  (Not completely random, you might argue, as they all came out of my head in some kind of connected splurge. However, I didn't think about them , I just wrote them down as they came into my mind.)



I am

Thursday, 14 February 2013 13:52:09

Thursday, 14 February 2013 13:52:09

So, being more assertive:

I'm tired of being the shifting sands,
The unanswered call.
I'm going to sharpen up my act,
Build up my strength:
Not be the moat - but the castle wall.



I am

Tuesday, 12 February 2013 10:19:05

Tuesday, 12 February 2013 10:19:05

Taking another couple of the stream of thought images and developing them:

You are the sharp remark
I am the blunt axe
You are the instant text
I am the fax.

Yes, the second half did rely on finding a rhyme for axe - but when I thought, idly, 'fax', I liked it and it had an immediate counterpart in the instant text.

All this is very negative - the writer (me?) seems to have very low self-esteem! It could be an inter-generational relationship, rather than a him-her one. However, next time I write, I'm going to change the dynamic!



I am

Monday, 11 February 2013 8:25:10

Monday, 11 February 2013 8:25:10

Taking another of those images and creating a juxtaposition:

You are the wrought iron entrance
I am the five-barred gate
You are the dual carriageway
I am the country track

This is a shade more subtle, as although the wrought iron and the dual carriageway are 'better' in some ways, we might well prefer the homeliness of the farm gate and the country track.



I am...

Thursday, 7 February 2013 15:10:56

Thursday, 7 February 2013 15:10:56

Let’s take another item from my list, the high heel, which has connotations of elegance, however misguided.

You are the high heel
I am the flat sole
(Given that I’m not sure that high heels are such a good idea, I have second thoughts. But so often it happens that one half of you wants to write one thing and another part of your brain goes ‘Hang on – is that the impression you want to give? And then you argue back ‘It’s not an essay, it’s a poem’ and so on…  Also reminds me of a song with the title ‘You’re the tops’)

These ‘opposites’ are quite easy to string together. If I want a rhyme for sole I could choose ‘roll’. A mundane item – a bread roll – which I can pair with something more elaborate, a chocolate éclair, a vanilla slice, a jam doughnut (maybe that last is a bit heavy for the effect I want.)

So –

You are the high heel
I am the flat sole
You are the vanilla slice
I am the bread roll.



I Am......

Tuesday, 5 February 2013 14:29:25

Tuesday, 5 February 2013 14:29:25

Reading Gareth Reeves’ collection To Hell with Paradise, I came across his poem Gremlin, which begins

    I am the static on the radio

    I am the inkling

    I am the sum that won’t come out

    I am the wasted time

It reminded me of a poem I wrote many years ago and quite widely used in schools, called Sad I Ams (see below) especially the lines   ‘I am the missing piece /  I am the dream you don’t recall…’

 

I thought it was time that I revisited, if not that poem, then that approach.  Perhaps the stress would not be on ‘Sad I ams’ but something harder to define.

 

So I began jotting – without worrying about what came into my head.

 

the camera shutter – farm gate – high heel – lost thread – unmade bed – the low branch over the river –– the unreturned call –the message on the answerphone – the castle wall – the shifting sands – the four-way socket – the extension lead – blunt axe – sharp remark – see-through envelope – six of spades – ring binder – swansong – high note/low note – rutted road – Oyster card – train guard – bending willow – counterpane – weather vane –

 

This stream of consciousness could go on for a long time and you can see it’s not random. Some thoughts are clearly generated by the previous thought, others by a rhyme.  What, if anything could be made of some of these? Do they have any theme?

 

I am the too high heel

I am the low branch over the river

I am the bending willow

I am the rutted road

There’s something slightly – but only slightly - dangerous in these images, which could be worked on.

 

Then again, what if I varied the pattern?

I am the unreturned call

You are the ex-directory number

I am the shifting sands

You are the castle wall

 

Which could be rearranged:

You are the ex-directory number

I am the unreturned call

I am the shifting sands

You are the castle wall       

 

......more to follow. In the meantime, the original poem:

 

 

Sad  I Ams

 

I am

the ring

from an empty soda can

the scrapings

from an unwashed porridge pan

the severed arm

of last year’s Action Man

 

I am

                the envelope

                on which the gum is gone

                the sticky tape

                where you can't find the end

                the toothless stapler, the inkless pen

                the dried up liquid paper

                that mars instead of mends

                the stamped addressed reply

                that you forgot to send

 

I am

a garden

overgrown with weeds

a library book

that no one ever reads

a stray

which no one thinks to feed

the piece of good advice

which no one seems to need.

 



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