Sunday, 8 April 2012

What is the meaning of this, McKenna?

I've been posting my NaPoWriMo poems here almost as an afterthought to posting them on my Facebook notes page. This is largely because, between work and gigging, most of these poems have been written quite late at night. Now, with it being Sunday, the Easter weekend, family visited, gifts given and received, I have a little time to provide a little context and explanation. I'll try not to make it sound too much like the dissertation accompanying a Creative Writing portfolio.

(I attended a lecture on feminist psychoanalysis at university where the lecturer explained she had used up her allowance of film clips in other lectures, and would instead have to resort to saying 'cunt' [for entirely good feminist reasons] in order to shock us out of our undergraduate slumber. I'm no good at embedding film clips in blog posts, but I'll try to avoid saying 'cunt' as much as possible.)

Mirror, mirror - nothing to do with the film which is out at the moment, aside from the allusion to the Wicked Queen in the title. The prompt for the first day of NaPoWriMo was 'carpe diem' - the example given was Marvell's 'To His Coy Mistress'. I was in a pretty low mood at the time - I've just started a new run of laser sessions after a loooooong, unintended hiatus, and was getting a bit annoyed waiting for the hair to fall out. I found myself thinking that I wished I'd carped my diem a lot earlier with regard to transitioning. So I started the month on a nice down note. Go me!

Way Down - The prompt for day two was to write a poem inspired by the song at Number One on your birthday - tracked down using this site. Turned out that was 'Way Down' by Elvis Presley, which I've never heard. However I am familiar with Tori Amos' song 'The Way Down', from her album 'Boys for Pele', and this is basically a song about listening to that. Bit of a minor piece, but it's in the nature of the challenge that not everything you come out with will be brilliant.

Not the Royal Wedding (I'm Sure) - day three's prompt was to write an epithalamium, or wedding poem. So I wrote about what I and my friend Katie did on the day of the wedding of Good Prince Bill and Duchess Katie Godblessherhasnthersistergotanicearse, which was go out in the gay village of Newcastle and find the thing a complete bust. The village is pretty desperate at the best of times (well, that's my bridges with the Newcastle LGBT scene burned...) but up until we got to The Yard, by which point we were too tired and emotional to enjoy things, everywhere was dead. It's not really about the Royal Wedding, of course (hence the title, which is also a hangover from the Tori poem on day two, 'Not the Red Baron' being another Pele song); in fact, to my surprise, I found what I'd written was essentially a poem about trans exclusion from cis LGB spaces. If it's not too big-headed to say it, I'm quite proud of this one.

Scrawl from a Blue Room - this was a raid on my morning pages, basically hacked out to hit the one-poem-a-day deadline. The title was basically a cynical attempt to find some way of relating the piece to that day's suggestion of writing a twelve-bar blues, a challenge I opted not to take up, being entirely too much of a bluestocking to write blues. I said, I'm too much of a bluestocking to write me some blues. Couldn't write me no twelve-bar blues even if I choose, uh-huh, no way, no how, yeah.

Catflaps at Dawn - another morning pages raid. This day's prompt was 'openings', which functions here on two levels, obviously: catflaps are openings and dawn is the opening of the day. Do you see? Yeah. I'm geet clever like, me.

The Imp of the Perverse - the prompt was to write about animals. I chose to write about Animal from the Muppets. About halfway through the poem I thought it might have been cooler to write about Hawk and Animal from the Road Warriors/Legion of Doom, but by that point I'd committed. I may still write the Hawk 'n' Animal poem, though. I just need to decide if I include Rocco or not.

The Peculiar Beauty of Meat is a line that Francis Bacon used on occassion to explain the very carnal, brutal content of his pictures. This poem, based on yesterday's prompt to write a poem where everything is the same colour, seemed to be a good fit with that expression, not least because it references Bacon's 'Three Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion' and his series of screaming Popes inspired by Velasquez. There are also references in here to Louis Bunuel's film 'Un Chien Andalou', Diamanda Galas (la carne maccelata, 'the butcher's meat' is a line from her song 'Sono l'Antichristo') and, yes, Tori again.

And most recently, Big Fat Love Poem. I had a bit more time to write today, so started on this one before the prompt went live. It's another morning pages raid, based on a little stream-of-consciousness written after seeing an awesome-looking fat girl on the bus to work. It should, of course, go without saying that we lesbians never objectify other women sexually, not at all, not at all. So this poem is, of course, about my admiration of the way she defied patriarchal conventions of beauty. Yes. Of course. *serious lesbian feminist face*.

So, anyway, that's the context for the outpouring of poems below. If I have time next week, I'll include commentary underneath each poem when I copy it up here. For any I don't manage to include commentary for, well, join me for another catch-up post next week!

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