I haven’t blogged for a while, I have been suffering quite badly from depression among other things, and it’s been hard to get myself to do things. To keep myself going I watch a lot of comedy, and I got thinking about writing a poem about it, about the people that make me laugh, who go back as far as the early days of cinema. I started out by borrowing the title of an Elvis Costello/ Roy Orbison song and eventually wrote the rest in one evening. I’ve also put together a gallery of some of the people I was thinking of, not used this feature before so as usual I’ve gone overboard. Most of the captions from my own recollection from books and DVD extras etc. I hope you like it. To absent friends!
Here’s another piece from the group, visualising the perspective of something by or of a river. Like many of my others it was partly inspired by the fate of David Oluwale. As such I decided against titling it with a pun such as ‘river sticks’!
This is from the writing group I attend, and it’s the first time I’ve tried to create an exercise myself. Feel free to try it yourself, or share it , tried to make it pretty open ended so people can put their own spin on it, and would be happy to see anything inspired by it if you’d like to post it here or link to it on your own blog.
Recommended time 15 minutes
Take a journey you have been on in your life, or one that you would like to go on, or worry about going on- either one place to another or metaphorically- one state of being or state of mind to another, and imagine the places being on either end of a river- even if they’re in completely different places.
Now imagine yourself taking that journey along the river.
What is it like? Think about
the flow of the water,
what is carrying you? Is it a boat, does it have a name?
Do you see anything in the water? Is it in your way, is it difficult to proceed?
Is there anyone or anything encouraging on the riverbank?
How do you feel as you get further down the river..?
How far along the river do you think you are, have you made it to the end or do you still have a way to go? How will you feel if or when you get there?
Describe all this in poem, prose, however it comes to you.
Another piece from a writing group session, about David Oluwale. We read a chapter of the Hounding of David Oluwale focusing on his difficult time in Menston/Highroyds psychiatric hospital. The brief was to write an account of his time there from the perspective of a fictional observer. I chose to apply some artistic licence and create a ‘ghost’ to empathise with him. Spelling and grammar are phonetic and in-character, with a Yorkshire dialect.
I’m here Lad, as I think I always were.
Though yer skin’s t’opposite hue to what I can see of me now,
I know the pain yer going through.
I were there too when I was on that side,
That electric thing- it does yer brain,
How can yer be people when yer tret like that?
Would never o’wanted me old dog to feel that.
Heck, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, cept them that say it has to happen.
Little letters, long words, they don’t need you to understand.
But you know what they’re sayin,
You learn a word when it’s been done to ya like that.
If my heart still beat it would ache for yer, even bleed.
I’m grateful for the mercy that brought me from this suffering.