Punk renaissance

I decided to get back to my blog. Again. I am, at least consistent in my inconsistency. So I need to break the silence. I have still been working on poetry, and I will share some more soon, but I first I thought I’d try and talk to you.
It doesn’t come easy to me, it seems like an effect of my dyspraxia that my thoughts are often disorganised and I fall over my words trying to articulate them. That has been a barrier to me in all walks of life, including creatively. I never set out to do poetry. My memory is bad. Even though I love reading I have difficulty absorbing from the page. I couldn’t quote much of my own work, never mind classical poetry. But I’ve ended up writing poetry for a number of years now, and I was thinking about my influences. I always loved the anarchic humour of Rik Mayall, particular Bottom which had a lot of absurd wordplay. In my teens I found more countercultural entertainers in The Dead Kennedys, a US punk band that had an eclectic catalogue of albums, a frontman going by the name Jello Biafra who reminded me much of Rik, and a similarly memorable turn of phrase in their lyrics. I just put their albums on my phone, and realised that they are still my favourite band, I’ve never listened to another for as many hours, and I do listen to a lot of music. Bringing me towards poetry, there was John Cooper Clarke, a slightly mad Liverpudlian performance poet who brought humour in place of niceties, and Jake Thackray, a singer poet who could paint a seaside postcard picture in a few verses.
These were somewhat passive influences, I listened and watched them for entertainment, with no plans to turn them toward anything.
So then, I got into poetry as one of many confidence building exercises- I was a nervous wreck after I graduated University- and I just found a group to try some creative writing. This was The Baggage Handlers, who were actually more geared towards poetry, formed by Rommi Smith, who I later learned that everybody in local poetry seems to know. Another member was Steve Lunn, who also counted John Cooper Clarke as an influence. Steve is so prolific, working up several short poems in a short time, all rhyming. I was inspired by that, the idea that you don’t need to spend hours crafting an epic poem. Using the writing exercises in the group I became able to put together poems in my own style within twenty minutes each, and at some point actually found myself able to rhyme- I had never been able to before, but soon reached the point where it felt harder not to rhyme.
So this is me as a poet. I still can’t perform vocally very well, I practice, but there’ll always be a gap between the voice I write in and my speaking ability. But I have confidence in my writing, more confidence in this than in anything I do. Words will be my legacy. Not new ones, but used in my own way.

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One thought on “Punk renaissance

  1. My daughter has dyspraxia, she found a way to work a way through it, if not overcome it t when we took her to a kinesiology practitioner.She blossomed after this, but she was about seven when she started the course…
    Some people find rhyming in poetry restricts the flow of writing, but I find it a discipline, in a good way. To rhyme you revisit and look at what you want to write from different perspectves, I find this gives more options, even if it can sometimes be vexing. After a while rhyming lurks in the subconscious. Enjoy writing!

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