I wrote things. Things I had to write for my own sake, pulling my hair out wondering how I will juggle a full-time job and a dissertation. I’m relieved and I always feel pumped after writing, some sort of poetry adrenaline happens. The poems I’m putting on this post are completely raw and unedited poems, so bare with them slightly.
I just want to give a brief idea of the theme of my dissertation so that they sit in some context when you read them…
I always used to leave hand written notes on my parents’ pillows after arguments. Things I couldn’t say very well in the moment, being an emotional and ineloquent kid.
I am so painfully close to my parents that everything is more intense when things go wrong or our feelings don’t align, so it has always been my gateway into helping them understand where I am coming from.
Not only that, but it was my gateway into poetry itself. The thing that gave me a reason to write was patching things up with my parents, it’s a sweet story and so the collection is called ‘Pillow Sweets’.
So the collection is (hopefully) shaping up to be touching on those small consistently occurring moments where we shift our relationship with things; our parents and ourselves.
As per my most recent post, I am still stuck in a rut.
So I decided to switch my creative brain into a different gear by creating some fun little Photoshop concepts.
Here are a couple of them:
It’s important not to focus too hard on one thing, and any creative person will tell you that they like to stretch each one of their creative muscles. Never skip leg day, no one wants huge arms and tiny legs. Never skip out on other creative processes for the sake of the one that perceivably “matters the most”.
In conclusion… This was fun. I should do this more often.
Once you have asserted yourself as a writer, you have made yourself a cup to fill. And once you have settled on a dissertation topic, you have unlaced the boots three sizes too small and you desperately need to jam your fat feet into them.
I am trying to write about things that I thought I could write about a month ago, but now I find myself distracted by sexier, flashier and more immediate things. I realised (too late) that I don’t particularly want to talk about my tortured mother/daughter relationship when I am just too busy having a good time.
This is a recurring theme in my experience of writing poetry to fill a quota – writing for the sake of a deadline and a grade. It is pretty stifling and manages to suffocate everything that you once cherished about your experience of writing. So what can I do to break myself out of this poetry pickle? Many great writers have some interesting examples of exercises, ranging from performing odd rituals (such as eating and shitting out a crystal repeatedly, thanks for that one Conrad) to simply waking up and immediately writing two A4 size pages of whatever pops into your head.
I say ‘simply’ and sound as if I somehow managed to do that “simple task” this morning, but, ALAS, no … I did not. I grumbled and rolled out of bed into a 9-5 temporary desk job (a means of surviving while I hunt for some type of actually meaningful job). I have no energy left to even exercise my writing ability, let alone turn it into something worthy of a Masters dissertation.
Though I know I will get it done, it is frustrating to feel held back from something you usually love to do. I don’t ever want my creativity to become a chore, it is probably just about finding the right ritual for you to break out of that writers-block-funk. Hopefully, for me, that is a ritual that does not involve consistently consuming and excreting a crystal.
Here’s a poem I wrote when I actually could write poems, kind of about writers block, more related to the aforementioned ‘too busy having fun’ syndrome:
In an age where so many of us (myself included) actively ignore the number-heavy blob of red attached to our email app icon, how much do we really notice companies trying to reach out to us?
Studies have shown that an influx of emails in the modern day have left people feeling overwhelmed and result in increased levels of stress. Surprisingly, that applies to everyone —whether you are the organised email emptier, or the “well it was already beyond help” email hoarder.
Gone are the days when work and personal were separate in our phones, as more frequently we find our favourite clothing stores emailing us with their latest trends alongside our work emails and emails from our dad with pictures of the family dog attached.
With so much stimuli, it takes a lot out of our day to sort through and prioritise our email folders and studies found that the average adult spends one hour a day in their email inbox. But what can companies do to engage their customers enough to make their emails a priority?
It is certainly true that there are more noticeable marketing platforms than the humble email, as Krept and Konan have shown us with the release of their marketing song to promote the opening of “Crepes and Cones”, their new restaurant. But when it comes to informing customers about the (less exciting than crepes and ice cream) new data protection laws, and offering them the choice to opt in to brand marketing, it is email that inevitably plays a large role in reaching each customer directly.
“Email can be annoying. Thirty-four percent of respondents say they are most annoyed by brand emails when they send products or services that are irrelevant to them. Millennials are a technologically savvy generation, so we know that things like analytics and data tracking are happening to us when we surf online.” – Aug 29, 2017 in a study by Forbes.
When it comes to emails and millennials, it could be all about tapping into what interests them the most. But, because there are hundreds of emails flooding to our inboxes every day, if a brand (even one that we love and go back to regularly of our own accord) emails us ten times a week with a similar format … we can become desensitised.
It is hardly true that those of us ignoring the emails want to miss out on exclusive deals, it is more likely that in an age of Instagram, Facebook and Spotify ads (to name a few), we have become accustomed to a world of advertising that analyses us and prescribes to us what we want, without us having to lift a finger.
Brand transparency is key when it comes to advertising, and being clear about how our data is analysed. But how much does the millennial actually fall back on those advertisements that pop up as we scroll through our feeds daily?
Now with the new laws we will find that people have to actively click for what they want, and so the power is given back to the customer. This is great! But it means more work has to be done on what actually stimulates and reaches the finger tips of those millennial consumers, or more specifically: how to captivate them enough to get them to tick a box and return to a brand regularly.
It is perhaps about understanding that if branding is successful enough, that customer will not only see their email, but prioritise it enough to click it and interact, not ignore it (and leave it as another digit in their notifications) or delete it to clear away their email clutter.
Thought I’d do something different for today’s post.
I started noticing that I write down a lot of really weird stuff in the notes section of my phone. Some of it is useless and others seem kind of accidentally poetic so I thought I would just write them all out and see what it looks like. Doing writing exercises like this can prove to be pretty useful for the creative process, even if its just one line or one word that flicks the switch in your mind that allows you to unlock a new poem.
I think a lot of us live in our phones, and the notes of many peoples phones would probably be inherently revealing. If nothing else it’s an interesting bit of self analytics and a good way to remind you of all the shopping lists you have made in the last year.
Anyway, without further adieu, a glimpse into the world of my phone notes:
silver confetti of scales
fill the boots with sand and lead
EAT ME WHILE I’M HOT
two shadows on wall of me
my teeth are ringing
dans le noir
probably a lying bitch though
you’re even more psycho than me
i tried writing 300 pages
viper in emblem of milan
i put a safety net down that hole two weeks ago
their bodies are worth more money
i want to ask you a question
T.S. Eliot 66.8
mum said if you were romantic you would buy her champagne
Everyone remembers them, right? Clunky trainers with a hidden superpower. I wrote this piece a couple of years ago, and after seeing a young girl gliding around on these magnificent inventions just yesterday, I realised they could be making a Britney Spears comeback. (In case you weren’t aware thats a metaphor for an extremely under the radar and over before we even noticed it kind of comeback.)
Thought I’d include something other than poetry. Although there is something about trainers with wheels that is inherently poetic, is there not?
I know that nearly everyone in and around my age group will know the feeling of unboxing those heelies. Not just that, but the initial power of choosing which colour combo to get and bragging about it to your friends at the park as you wait 3-5 working days for your new-found-coolness to rock up at your door.
Come to think of it, heelies might have been the death of roller-skates. Everyone realised at that point that roller-skates were far too blaringly obvious as a locomotive footwear. The sleek hidden wheels of the heelies trainers far surpassed the lilac, groovy chick clad, 8 strap, death trap roller-skates that were forever kept in the attic of my garage never to be seen again. Even after the heelies trend died down, (or didn’t according to the young girl I saw proudly sliding about in 2018) roller-skates never fully recovered from the social snubbing.
But at 22 I have long exceeded the acceptable age range to be using these kinds of things, light up trainers, scooters, heelies, hula hoops that rattle, and even paddling pools. So I shall have to just live out my whimsical fantasies in my nostalgic early naughties memory of those hot pink heelies.
This is a bitesize poem for all those who are watching or have watched little girls growing up, and realise the great enormity of pressure to ensure that they don’t confuse being a woman with needing to explain themselves.
There are so many things my nieces say that amaze me. scare me. amuse me. shock me.
Little girls are so important. They are future leaders, whether that be CEOs of companies or heads of their households. It doesn’t matter which one of many future selves they may become, they should be given the correct perspective tools to move around this world without the need to explain themselves in recognisable terms to others or even to themselves. Every one should be allowed access to their human right to understand who they are in this hectic landscape of modern society.
I hope that my nieces know how amazing their minds are. My nephews are cool too I guess but talking about boys just isn’t as commonly associated with feminism. Though it is equally as important. One of my nephews loves drama, and I hope he knows that he should follow that wherever it takes him without hesitation. Even if, like me, he drops it to one day become a poet, though both quests present us with nearly zero solid career prospects. My other nephew loves plumbing and goes on about pipes all the time, that’s cool too. You do you kids.
Realised my poems have specific formatting and look awful when put into blog posts so I will probably resort to PDF links forever.
I read this one out at a poetry reading very recently, it’s pretty breathless and people laughed when I didn’t expect them to, I guess that’s the kink in transforming a poem from a written text to an oral one. I also realised when reading this (and having people laugh at it) that I am a really self deprecating poet at times. It’s an interesting dynamic, I think to write poetry about yourself (which you usually are even if you dress it up in some other costume) is a pretty self absorbed act. Maybe in some ways I was self consciously aware of the conceitedness at play and attempting to undercut it with quips saturated in self loathing on my inability to function as a fully fledged adult.
It’s weird to think about body language, micro-expressions and the like. Especially when it comes to intimate relationships, with others or with ourselves. Consider the collection an investigation into all the unsaid crumbs we find fallen and caught in the rubbery bib of silence that swells around our bodies as we move through life nodding our heads at the right moments during conversation.
I’ve decided to start a blog. Mainly as a resting site for all the poetry I’m writing and have written. I hope it finds someone out there, if not then that’s okay too. Kind of comes with the territory so I won’t get too beat down by the lack of footfall this blog will inevitably receive.
Let me bore you with some stuff:
I love poetry. I think it has more to offer than it currently does, and it’s unfortunate contemporary state of relative dormancy is probably because of the kind of stuff forced down our resistant throats in secondary school, which doesn’t necessarily pave the way for great opinions of poetry as a concept. I don’t know about you, but if I never had to read another lyrical ballad by a dead white guy then, well, I think I’d be pretty okay with that.
I want it to matter. It’s a sad Piscean style head-in-the-clouds kind of dream but it means a lot to me and to actually state such a dream (even to this blog that probably no one will read) is a scary thing.
Anyway enjoy the words I’ve strung together that make subjectively attractive mouth noise.