#ilkley Nights

In the red corner #poetry, in the blue corner #novels.

Seconds out...

Last night was the first meeting of the #Ilkley writers group - website appearing shortly - at the Out of the Box cafe. 18 writers were in attendance. It was a very pleasant evening. We introduced ourselves, discussed what we wanted from the group, and had a bit of read round.

It was a very nice mix of people and everyone was friend;y.

I read Mary Berry (not the cook).

On the work front, the day was rather light with a few sketches of things...

It's a filthy habit,
you can smell it their clothes.

You have to open the window
when they leave, the curtains stink.

Their breath reaks
of similes of adverbs

I keep my children away
I don't want them exposed to it.


 In the four seconds it takes for the tea
to ascend the white walled cup, her smile
departs like a yacht. The mist falls again,
and again we are strangers at a table,
framed by the window of a cafe, on show.

She asks, half asks; doesn't ask: clearly sees
perceptions as truths on which to rely.
If only the joke refused to remain,
but it sits there...


 Ascending star of evening light
above the moor so dark and true
guides drunken feet towards a fight
leads drunken feet to you


Reading Marx
by the bandstand

the amateur jazz quintet
gave a capital performance


 reading Marx
by the bandstand
my foot taps

birds syncopate
passing clouds

the amateur jazz quintet
gives a capital performance

which I know is the same poem but what can you do?

Oh and someone left a comment on the blog - it is allowed you know - rather surprisingly about the After Satie piece. Not that there isn't any reason why they shouldn't like it, indeed clearly the person has enormous taste.

Let's just say I have been wondering over the past few days on the question of why so much poetry that is admired is soulless, bland, and doesn't say anything - but stays within the rules.

Speaking of rules... no actually I can't be bothered.....

Instead I shall pick up on something that came up at the group last evening;

to scribble or to tippy tappy type
that is question
whether tis nobler to splurge it down
and then realise you can't read your own writing
or the suffer the slings and arrows
of wriggly red and green lines
and American spelling

Oh I know it's dull, writers writing about themselves. But it's useful to consider the process. And, the choice of paper or screen is very much a part of, and influences, what happens both within the process, and what comes out.

Many years ago, I wrote a novel... well that's not strictly true, I wrote three quarters of a novel, bunged an ending on it, sent to a publisher and completely misunderstood the rejection letter as a bugger off, when in fact it was an invitation to rewrite the ending and resubmit in six months. But we don't need to go into the details of that episode, nor to dwell on my chronic fear of success....

The reason I bring it up, is that the piece was written on paper. And during the process of typing it up on an Amstrad 512 - the one with the two floppy disk drives and green screen - vast swathes of the text was rewritten, whole sections of the written manuscript were dropped, or moved around, or altered in some way. In a fashion that doesn't happen when you word process form the off.... well not with me anyway...

And it works the same with poems.

Quite often, as regular readers of this bog will no doubt have noticed, mistakes, typos, grammatical errors, the same word repeated, go unnoticed because the way in which the eye reads text on a screen, which is apparently different to text on paper due to the light, texture, focal distances, etc

Which is not to say one process is better than the other. I mention it because when I got to thinking about it I noticed that the outcome was different, that I could look at poem and tell if it drafted on paper or the screen.

But, I shall leave you dear reader to work which is which, much as I admire the fluff in belly button, it is off little interest to the wider public..... oh if only poets who write of blackness and death would feel the same way....

Cue random picture for facebooks make over....

The Blue Book, now without tomato, only $2.99... or less if the sale has begun... and I could remember how to find out when that is..... you'll just have to click the link and find out....