Saturday, February 14, 2015

Writing and the tranquil mind

Start-Up Live - frustration_relief

At least the ‘Frustration’ poem now has a solid draft.  Concerted effort, achieved by ignoring the blandishments of pop ups and the ever present danger of being sucked into the unending visual carnival of YouTube delights last night, meant that the pages of agonized scrawl became something coherent.  At least to me.  You can try your hand at making head or tail of it at – and don’t take the beginning of that sentence as a defining reflection of the sort of English of which I am capable and which I put into my poems!  Usually.
            I have the notes, in my little red book, for an extended poem to be written in linked parts and I might get down to that over the weekend and see what I can make of it.  It will end up being a sort of collection of reflections over a few days; a sort of series of selective diary entries.  Worth failing at, at worst, and putting with the other ‘work in progress’ which may be brought back to life by later inspiration.
            There is something about writing down intentions that does make them slightly more real.  I have few illusions about my capabilities when it comes to application if I am not totally engaged and sometimes the picture of Homer Simpson skipping after butterflies is one which I find strangely attractive, but the satisfying rush that one gets when a poem has reached the AD (acceptable draft) level is hard to beat.  I wonder when poems are, or can ever be, finished?  Each read-through can point up places where you sense a certain uneasiness, and I have had the supreme satisfaction of deliberating about some poem or other and then, after cogitation changing a comma to a semi-colon.  And in true Romantic Poet fashion, collapsed in nervous exhaustion after such an effort!
            I re-read ‘Existential bus stop’ (also in and had the delightful experience of reading it as thought it was by someone else.  This happens sometimes and that sort of forgetful authorship can give the reader a greater sense of understanding of what is written.  There are connections and suggestions that I read into the poem that I am sure (I should know!) that I didn’t have when I wrote it.  This doesn’t happen with all my poems, but when it does it is like a refutation of the old saw that there is no such thing as a free lunch!

Next week I have to break the back of the next TMA for the OU course.  Frankly, I will be glad when this piece of work is out of the way and I will be able to concentrate on the EMA and the continuing search for the paintings of Alvaro Guevara.  I am well into this piece of work and there is a possibility that my essay may feature in an exhibition devoted to the artist in Leeds.  That is something that I hope that I will be able to make happen and will be an especially pleasing end to the course.
            But, as I said somewhere above, the writing down of intentions is the first stage in making them a reality, or at least what the intentions are supposed to achieve.  All the thoughts are partially in place; it’s just the ordering of them and presenting them in coherent sentences that is required.  And of course all the irritatingly fiddly academic bits which take the real time.  Reading through the comments on the internet forums that we have, I think that more time, effort and heartache is expended on the production of bibliographies than on the actual writing of the body of essays themselves.  I’m sure that it is good for the soul.  Though I am not sure that it is actually very good for anything else!

The second entry on Toni’s blog is about to be attempted as he attempts to bring his entries up by 100%.  Another decent restaurant and another excellent meal at a more than reasonable cost.  Toni has almost decided to develop his acclamation for good meals into informed approbation – leaving himself enough wriggle room to make helpful suggestions.  A fairly simple one in the restaurant that we have just patronised is to provide the items on the menu del dia on a printed sheet menu – not a difficult suggestion to take on board I think!  See what you think about Toni’s blog in its early stages on and don’t forget to leave a comment.  And I don’t care if you haven’t been to the restaurant that he has written about, comment on the methodology!

Meanwhile, in the real world (!) I have to go upstairs and get down to work on the poetic series I wrote about a few paragraphs ago.  But you have to understand those were written before lunch and it’s now clearly in the afternoon.

It is now even later.  A draft of the new poem is now in and is at least something to work on.  I was amazed at how easily this poem came compared with the work that had to be put in for ‘Frustration’ – it remains to be seen how far either of these remains in the state in which they are written in the blog.  But then looking for changes is one of the reasons for buying the book.

Toni has now completed his second entry for his blog, and he has suggested using the blog to record our experiences when we next do the ruta de tapa in Castelldefels.  This is an excellent suggestion and will give a more lasting memory for our various excursions into the further reaches of places to eat in Castelldefels.
            Meanwhile, I will continue to digest my excellent lunch (see Toni’s blog) and prepare to finish the TMA for next week.

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