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November 2004

A breaking echo

Posted by Rupert Mallin on 27 November 2004 at 12:39 in Poetry

Tags: broken echo

I had a good friend once
a friend once

but he kept following me around
following me around

like an echo
an echo

so
so

I told him to his face
lovely face

Why do you keep following my words
following my words

like an echo
an echo

Look, if this doesn't stop
doesn't stop

we will be friends no more
friends evermore

It didn't stop
stop

so
so

I began following him around
following me around

following him around
following me around

like an echo
an echo

echo
echo

echo
echo

O
O

O
O

O
O
O

Rupert Mallin

Comment on: A breaking echo

As good as

Posted by Rupert Mallin on 27 November 2004 at 12:38 in Poetry

Tags: broken

it was a week a

GO

that I broke

HER

Dalton tea p o

t

HAND

le

& I glued the p o

t

to
get
her

& now it is

as good as n e

w

as good as

Rupert Mallin

Comment on: As good as

Confidence 3

Posted by Rupert Mallin on 27 November 2004 at 12:37 in Poetry

Tags: confidence words

IT STOLE HER BREATH AWAY
STOLE HER WORDS AWAY
STOLE HER LETTERS
OPENED HER MOUTH
FILLED HER PEN
HIT HER KEYS

SHE FOLLOWED THE PEN WITH HER EYES
FOLLOWED THE WORDS IN HER MIND
BUT HER WORDS WERE NOT IN HER BOOK, HER NOTEBOOK OR ON SCREEN
SHE COULDN'T HEAR THEM
COULDN'T MOUTH THEM
COULDN'T SCREAM

BUT IT WAS HER MOUTH
HER NAME IN THE PAPERS
SHE HEARD THEM TALKING ABOUT HER
THEY QUOTED HER DEMISE
SPOKE HER WORDS
SHAPED HER MOUTH

WHAT HAD THEY DONE TO HER MOUTH?

THE SCREEN WAS A SCREAM
HER EMPTINESS ON SCREEN
SHE FELT BLOOD RUN FROM HER IDEAS
FELT INK SQUEEZED FROM BETWEEN HER FINGERS

SHE WROTE INVISIBLY
SHE WROTE WITHOUT EFFECT
& THEY LOVED & ADMIRED HER
& SHE FILLED HER IDEAS WITH HER EMPTINESS
& SHE WAS SO, SO CONFIDENT

Rupert Mallin

Comment on: Confidence 3

Confidence 2

Posted by Rupert Mallin on 27 November 2004 at 12:32 in Poetry

Tags: alcohol confidence

SHE WAS SO–SO
SHE WAS WORSE THAN SO–SO
BUT SAID SHE WAS SO–SO
SHE WAS SO SORE, SO LOW, SO
SHE TOOK TO WRITING ABOUT DRUGS
WRITING ABOUT SMOKING
WRITING ABOUT ALCOHOL &
WROTE HERSELF REPEAT PRESCRIPTIONS & LINES &
METAPHORICALLY HUNG HERSELF TO A WASHING–LINE
AS IF HER SKIN WAS HER WASHING &
HID HERSELF BENEATH HER DRIPPING SKIN
ON AN ENDLESS LINE &
WANTED AN END, SO
SHE CUT OUT BEGINNINGS &
COLLECTED UP THE ENDINGS
WHICH IMMEDIATELY UNRAVELLED &
FOUND THEIR WAY INTO OTHERS' STORIES, SO
SHE SLUMPED DEEPER INTO THE BASEMENT OF HER WRITING:
SHE WANTS WINGS BUT FINDS HERSELF A SYRINGE,
SHE WANTS A CIGARETTE HOLDER NOT THE ASHTRAY OF IFS & BUTS,
SHE WANTS A COCKTAIL NOT AN EMPTY BOTTLE,
SHE WANTS THAT CONFIDENCE, SO, SO MUCH,

SO...

Rupert Mallin

Comment on: Confidence 2

Made up broken

Posted by Rupert Mallin on 27 November 2004 at 10:30 in Poetry

Tags: broken mum

if we row we qui
ckly make up & making
up is the best part of our relation
ship & our argu
ments are but preludes to making
up & sometimes we argue over no
thing just to make
up, though once we nearly did break
up because she broke an orna
mental vase – so we could arg
ue to make up – but I had a senti
mental attachment to the vase,
for it was a gift from my

MUM
MUM
MUM
MUM
MUM
MUM

yet I knew we would make
up & I keep all the frag
ments to remind my
self what true
love is:

a vase

Rupert Mallin

Comment on: Made up broken

Made up poem

Posted by Rupert Mallin on 27 November 2004 at 10:26 in Poetry

Tags: appearance broken

With brush, pencil and stick her poem makes an appearance:
a made up, out of bed, out of the shower, out there poem;
an eye–lined, lip lush, highlighted bright poem;
a 'go to work on a poem' kind of poem;
a made up poem.

With cream, tissue and water her poem makes an appearance:
an indoor, into the shower, into her bed poem;
a red–eyed, lip cracked, pasty poem;
a "real me" poem;
a broken poem.

Tossing, turning, sweating her poem makes an appearance:
the boat of her life is ever sinking
& family & friends always knew she had pulled the plug
& her favourite brush is matted with hair
& try as she does she can't pull this terrible poem
from its teeth, from her appearance, but...

With brush, pencil and stick her poem makes an appearance:
A made up, out of bed, out of the shower, out there poem;
an eye–lined, lip lush, highlighted bright poem;
a 'go to work on a poem' kind of poem;
A lady luck club loving poem;
A made up poem

Rupert Mallin

Comment on: Made up poem

Forgiven

Posted by Tim Lenton on 25 November 2004 at 10:12 in Poetry

Tags: forgiven

Monoprint 2004, by Annette Rolston View image

Saw you held
encircled
by pulses of the past
coming like a knife
with a point to make
over and over

You were blind in there
unable to forget
heavy as horses held
at the starting gate

Then
like a seed sensing light
straight out
tape falling, free
racing

Wings open
almost unbearable
being forgiven

Tim Lenton

Poet's comment: This is an example of a poem being inspired by a picture, but taking a different track in response to it. Annette's stunning image is called Fruitful, for obvious reasons, but I saw it also as a picture of someone being set free, which prompted the idea of forgiveness.

Comment on: Forgiven

African Dream

Posted by Tim Lenton on 14 November 2004 at 10:10 in Poetry

Tags: africa dream water

Monoprint 2003, by Annette Rolston View image

Looking down again, I see
the glow of the desert where we met.

You lie naked by the bush
that burned; you are
alone, having received
no message.

You put on your shoes again
and dance past bare walls into the trees, chasing
memories of lion and giraffe.

Flamingos discover the source
of the Nile: it is autumn, and you
are climbing into the snow.

The sky turns, and I plunge
through breadcrumb stars; you stand
beside elephants and rushing water,
wondering whether to risk
the crossing.

Your knees are bruised: I look down again,
then close my eyes. Suddenly
everything is clear.

Tim Lenton

Poet's comment: Here there is little direct correspondence between Annette's picture and the images in the poem. But the title of the picture and the atmosphere it created set me off on a dreamlike trail into aspects of Africa which I found striking.

Comment on: African Dream

Mist and fire

Posted by Tim Lenton on 13 November 2004 at 10:08 in Poetry

Tags: fire mist

by Annette Rolston View image

I live in mist and look at fire
I take the kiss and touch the wire

The mist is cold upon my cheek
The fire I see plays hide and seek

I cannot pin the fire down
The mist is all around the town

The mist is changing shapes for me
It shows me things I like to see

The fire is hard to understand
It blazes forth and burns my hand

The mist relieves the fire in me
The fire outside waits patiently

The mist attempts to hide the flames
With hit and run and fun and games

I hold the mist and love the fire
And one is true and one's a liar

Tim Lenton

Annette Rolston's image appears on the front page of the book of Tim's poetry collection, Mist and Fire.

Comment on: Mist and fire

Soul swimmer

Posted by Tim Lenton on 11 November 2004 at 10:06 in Poetry

Tags: island sea

Monoprint 2004, by Annette Rolston View image

I lie on the sand
Where you stripped chaos from me
Cupped my heart in your hand
Like a feather

Together we fed at the edge of the sea
No further
Your hair splashed over me
Tongues touching and leaving

Now I haunt the island
A shadow that falls
And you are two birds
Flying towards the dawn

Tim Lenton

Poet's comment: Here the images in the poem bear a very strong correlation with Annette's picture. I was able to respond in a direct way to what she had done, and I think the poem and the picture work well together, amplifying each other.

Comment on: Soul swimmer

Confidence

Posted by Rupert Mallin on 4 November 2004 at 12:29 in Poetry

Tags: confidence news paper

Paper, card, thread. Words by Rupert Mallin; structure by Jayne Knowles. View image

she was
as confident as
the path is
as the road signs are
as her star sign is
as water is
as a sheet of paper is

as newsprint is &
confidence stole her away &
ate into her pathway &
bypassed June &
froze her footsteps &
turned her map into wires &

took her words from the paper
but all the words she learnt told her to hang on
so she

H
U
N
G

O
N

&

she was as
confident as
the path is
as the road signs are
as her star sign is
as water is
as a sheet of paper is

as newsprint is &
confidence stole her away &
ate into her pathway &
bypassed June &
froze her footsteps &
turned her map into wires &

took her words from the paper
but all the words she learnt told her to hang on
so she

H
U
N
G

Rupert Mallin

Comment on: Confidence