We are in the final throes of March which means April will be dawning on us soon and with that comes my most and least favourite time of the year – National Poetry Reading Month, or NaPoReMo for short. This includes the NaPoReMo challenge of 30 poems in 30 days. One per day. Now as trivial as that might seem, I’ve tried for the last five years and it is probably the most difficult thing I’ve attempted as a writer… well, apart from trying to write a Pantoum.
I’ll be posting each of the prompts I use and the resulting poem here and on tumblr for all to see and maybe have a go at yourself. Let’s see if I can, for the first time ever, make it through to the 30th day.
Let me know if any of you are attempting this as well as it would be wonderful to share in the creation of new poems and in the frustration that comes from not being able to actually concoct anything at certain points.
Hoping you are all having a wonderful Easter too!
And this, the plain shape
of a chalice becomes
the two of us, closing together
to form ourselves into
one body. To be Kafka
and evolve. To be as the
cloud of starlings that manifests
from the flames of a bonfire.
As if the smoke were pregnant
with them. As if we, in our lusts,
could be more than this indecency,
more than this movement. As if we
were the moth whose wings beat
once into continents, shifting –
become unstable; elements in
the maelstrom of it. As if we knew
This wall of scent – pumpkin
and spice underlining the
Arabica and steam.
Longing for a sip;
to feel autumn slip down
the back of my throat.
I want to taste the season
in burning gulps from
a takeaway cup
Espionage comes easy to
someone so used to hiding;
to password protection –
obfuscating the truth of self.
Taught how to stare at boys
without looking; how to touch
as if by accident. Taught to
sneak with shadows; how to
be impassive as steel. We
are taught this all before we
learn how to say our names.
No, this isn’t a reference to the goppingly awful Hannah Montana song. I mean it very literally.
As much as I would like to devote the entirety of my time to writing, it simply isn’t feasible unless you have a few million sitting in your bank account. So I keep myself going by being a barista. Yes, the budding writer who is a barista, I am indeed a walking cliché.
I work in a small, independent cafe in Keynsham (God, I am sounding more hipster by the moment) and I am there five days a week. Unfortunately it is quite demanding and usually leaves exhausted at the end of a day, which leaves almost no time to sit and to think about writing or editing.
Trying to achieve a balance between what I have to do and what I want to do is proving exceedingly difficult as I have so many ideas for poems and for stories that I just don’t have sufficient time to sit and hammer out because of having to work. Of course, I can’t give myself more time for writing at the expense of having reliable income.
I would never want to give up writing, no less than a sportsman wanting to make it big in their chosen field and faced with the same dilemma. And I’ve seen a lot of people starting to give up hope with it, something I couldn’t bare happening.
Does anyone else get like that? Ending up at that point where you feel you have to choose between aspiration and reality? If so, how do you cope with it?
Let me know.