three cheers
November 7, 2012

by Elexa Rose

 

three cheers for the individual
that spray painted giant genitalia
on the side of the bus shelter
that i stand underneath every single day.
never before have i seen a pair of bollocks
not only large than my head
but also at the same height.
i can peek through their outline
like a porthole
or a frame for the rest of the world.

three cheers for the individual
that smoked a blunt behind the lecture block.
that small space near the bins
that i use as a short-cut to keep on time.
now everyone can do the same.
i couldn’t have hoped to spread the word
more thoroughly.

and three cheers for the kid who first yelled
FUCK IT.
and we did.
because without that kid i guess i would care more
about every ball sack i see
and every red-eyed stoner
and every walk of shame through the corridor.
fuck it, none of us care any more.

Advertisements

Literature’s Biggest Myth
November 7, 2011

Okay, I’m probably going to get a lot of people opposing me here, but fuck it. Most people believe that literature is all about expression, a deeper meaning, emotion. That’s why people think, oh I have a strong feeling, therefore if I write a poem or novel about it, it will be amazing because I am feeling this. It’s ‘real’. Literature is not about expressing yourself, it’s about giving the reader an experience. Personal expression is for your own consumption. For your journals, blogs, diaries, post-it notes, or whatever. Yes content is important, and I’m not saying the content of what I’m writing in these posts isn’t something I’ve felt, or it’s pointless or whatever, but I’m not writing it because I want to tell the world, ooh look what I’m feeling, because most of the time that’s not what I’m feeling when I write it. Yes I guess I am trying to express something, but there’s so much more to it than that! It’s about creating something that stands out, that makes an impact. And it’s not just in the words you use, words are amazing, don’t get me wrong, but words are only 10% of literature. This is why I think I prefer poetry. Why can’t you want to write a poem because you like the sounds of certain words? Or because you want to subvert something? Genre? Social rules? Pragmatics? Surprise the reader. I’m not saying that I do this well, but what I am saying is this is what I strive for, this is the poetry I can appreciate the most. Where you can see the writer has done more than just had an emotion. I like poetry that manipulates language, down to how it is presented on a page. Semantics is such a beautiful and amazing thing, I don’t think people really see just how much words have to offer. I don’t think I’m being clear so I’m going to quote a poem that isn’t about expressing an emotion, it is about language choice, syntax, grammar, linguistic expectations, structure, etc. It worms its way into your head, inception, true poetry. I’m getting over excited now.

Paul Simon variations
by Matthew Welton
 
I’m laying out my winter clothes.
            I’m laying out my winter girl.
                        I’m laying up my winter girl.
I’m fucking up my winter girl.
            I’m fucking up my Spanish girl.
                        I’m fucking up your Spanish girl.
Who’s fucking up your Spanish girl?
 

Okay, I’m probably really bias because Matthew Welton is my lecturer, but he is a brilliant contemporary poet! I challenge anyone who writes purely for emotion, try this, if it’s a love poem, try writing about love without using any language commonly associated with love, or affection. If it’s a poem about loss, depression etc, try to not use any negative language or imagery. I love experimenting with stuff like this. Most of the time it turns out awfully, but you learn so much, and it’s fun. Well I think it is. Recently I’ve been trying to write a poem that incorporates the line “the stars collide” because I really love the imagery it creates, nothing I’m particularly proud of has come out of it yet. But I’ve got a good few half poems scribbled down. Also, I tried to write a poem about suicide without mentioning anything depressing. It definitely needs tweaking, but that will likely be posted soon.

I fear this post is a bit sporadic and isn’t very cohesive, but oh well. I needed a little literary rant. Basically, I’m sick of people seeing pieces of great writing only as a form of expression, as a result of some strong emotion, and I’m sick of people only writing because they ‘feel’ it. And they get ‘inspired’ by something ‘beautiful’ or whatever. Inspiration has nothing to do with it. Well it does, but the greats do not wait for a magical sunset, or heart-break until they write something amazing. It’s art, and if you want to be an artist, you gotta churn it out relentlessly, otherwise you will never be great. That’s my view anyway. Like, an athlete, if you want to be the best, you have to train every day, have a strict regime, and stick to it. Published writers do a similar thing, they have a regime, they have to get through a certain number of words at a certain rate, otherwise they will only ever be amateurs.

Day 11. Something People Compliment Me Most On.
November 6, 2011

~Thirty Days of Truth Challenge (http://hope.gr/30-days-of-truth/)~

The thing I get complimented most on is my tattoo. Most of the time it’s girls, but I get a fair share of guys complimenting it too. It’s four black birds under my collar-bone, on the left hand side. I’ve named them and everything, from left to right, they’re: Louis, Ginnie, Xavier and Dom. During freshers week, there would be about five or six people every night that would stop me and say, “wow, I love your tattoo”. To be honest, it started to bug me. Also, it is annoying when you are talking to someone and they actually interrupt you to say how they like your tattoo. Like once, I was in a restaurant and the waitress completely missed out what I was ordering because she was checking it out. Yeah I guess it’s nice, but I don’t care if people like it or not haha, I got it because I like. But it is nice that people I like it, I guess. I like the attention to an extent. Anyone would be lying if they said they didn’t. I don’t take compliments very well though, I get awkward, I never know how to respond. How lame! Anyway, you can check out my tattoo below, and shower me with compliments (; just kidding.

The flash has made me look very shiny. I’m not usually that shiny. And I don’t know what that red mark is. Maybe I was itchy. Haha.

A Dream Within A Dream
November 4, 2011

Oh what I’d give to write like this. The famous ‘A Dream Within A Dream’, a poem written by Edgar Allan Poe. It takes something else to write a poem so beautiful, I’m working so hard at it, but it seems futile, in the mean time, I’ll surround myself with the breath-taking poems, such as this one. I love it.

A Dream Within A Dream
by Edgar Allan Poe
 
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

Five Most Awesomest Books Like Ever
November 2, 2011

  1. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell – this is my favourite book, I love the whole concept behind the book, the idea of Big Brother, I mean it really does play on everyone’s worries, complete invasion of privacy, stripped bare of any identity or power. We all fear the governement having too much power, and this really creeps me out personally. Winston, not only is he brilliantly developed character that you can completely relate and feel engaged with, but he is lovable, human. His affair with Julia is beautiful, and she doesn’t need to be the feminine, quiet, reserved, traditional woman. She is strong, she is rebellious and yet, still their love is so tender. It might not be courtly love, but then again it is, in it’s own right, their courtship, the note, the disjointed conversation they have to risk so much for to have, it is powerful in it’s vulnerability. I won’t ruin the book for anyone who hasn’t read it, but go, go read it right now, enrich your life!
  2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – flamboyant, yes, hyperbolic, probably but the book reflects the story, the character of Gatsby. It’s epic and lexically luxurious. It’s cleverly written as well, drip-feeding the reader just enough information to fully explore the characters and the story of infactuation with curiousity. Every metaphor and image links perfectly, I just have to applaud Fitzgerald, he really has thought about absolutely everything, no word is unessecary, he leaves no aspect of this novelette untouched and perfected. I over the use word perfect I think.
  3. The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time by Mark Haddon – simple, humourous and yet still moving. This semi-light hearted journey of a kid with asperges is a real eye-opening, it makes you see the world in a new light, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but in a way it does. I have never seen this been done before, Haddon narrates as this kid, showing him not in a light to be sympathic. We don’t feel sorry for him exactly, nor do we feel distanced from him, we experience the world how he does. Wonderfully pragmatic, I’ve read this book at least half a dozen times.
  4. Any Human Heart by William Boyd – this book follows pretty much the entire life of one man. You really feel like you grow up with him, he’s not the best, nicest, cleverest, worst, weirdest man in the world, he’s normal, but he lives an extraordinary life. Well, it is his life, and I think it goes to show how really, every life is extraordinary. Life is amazing. As a youngun it makes me feel excited about the future, it really does inspire you, show you in ways that people can’t express with the cliche, you can be and do anything you want. Also, it shows how even if things don’t go to plan, and it won’t most of the time, and you are going to have some good times and some shit times, your life is still wonderful and every experience is an experience you won’t want to forget.
  5. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer – OKAY. Calm down. It’s my guilty pleasure. I almost wasn’t going to put it, put something more ‘canon’ appropriate or whatever. But no. This isn’t the best written book, or one to be studied, it’s not fabulous. But you know what, it’s a teenage chick flick, and by jove I love it. This one is my favourite from the Twilight saga because I’m not a fan of Edward, yes he’s awesome, but I’m more of a Team Jacob girl myself, he’s the bad boy, he rides a motorcycle, and he shows Bella the kind of attraction that every girl wants. I woudn’t reccomend this book to anyone, unless you love teenager chick flicks, and are okay with the fantasy element. And it’s not normally my think, honestly, but this book is a fun read (:

Why I Love Poetry
October 31, 2011

Sheep In Fog

By Sylvia Plath

The hills step off into whitness
People or stars
Regard me sadly, I disappoint them

The train leaves a line of breath
O slow
Horse the colour of rust

Hooves, dolorous bells –
All morning the
Morning has been blackening.

A flower left out.
My bones hold a stillness, the far
Fields melt my heart.

They threaten
To let me through to a heaven
Starless and fatherless, a dark water.

 

Every line in the poem so perfectly written, it really is. I’m not going to go into each and every thing I love about this poem, but I will pick out a few, basic things. I love the imagery in the line, ‘the train leaves a line of breath’, because it really instills the loneliness evoked in this poem, with connotations of the end of life, reinforced with the repeated ‘morning’ in the next stanza, holding the same phonetics as ‘mourning’. I’ve tried writing similarly, to create the same sense of fragility and vulnerability but I find it always comes across too harsh, it’s so gentle. ‘My bones hold a stillness’, does this in particular, the verb choice ‘hold’ denotes that perfect balance between the placidity juxtaposed with the uneasiness and uncomfortable tone of hopelessness. It’s beautiful. And beautifully heart breaking. And not only is each part of the poem eloquent, the poem as a whole work cohesively, my favourite feature being the ‘whiteness’ at the beginning and the ‘dark water’ at the end. It’s so simple yet implemented in a way that adds a more complex, downward-spiralling sense to it. I love this poem, and I love Sylvia Plath.

Day 5. Something I Hope To Do In My Life.
October 26, 2011

~Thirty Days of Truth Challenge (http://hope.gr/30-days-of-truth/)~

Well well well. I want to loads. I want to publish a novel and/or a collection of poetry. I want to present a radio show. I want to be on television. I want to write for a paper/magazine. I want to walk the red carpet. I want to visit every continent. I want to live in another country. I want an old fashion type writer. I want to get married. I want to have a family. I want to own a big, badass Bentley. I want to study every form of art there is. I want to do some good somewhere. I want to change the world. If I can make a positive impact on one person somewhere, change their life for the better, even if it’s just making them a little happier then it’s all worth it then, isn’t it. But one main thing that I hope to do in my life… it’s a tough one. I want to write a novel. That definitely comes top. But not just any old novel that sits on the shelves in Waterstones that nobody notices, I want people to read it and actually think, “you know, that really made me think about x, y and z”. Have you ever read a book that completely questioned your way of thinking? That stayed with you? I want to write something that people will study one day. That will cause controversy, will be loved and hated, criticised and recognised as great literature. Yeah it’s a long shot, but it’s what I hope for. We all have dreams.

Why Not Write a Poem About Being Completely F*cked
October 24, 2011

Again, messing around with a few different techniques, focusing more on the way words sound and how this conveys something in itself. Changing the way a poem is read through structure, what difference that kind of makes and how that actually links in with the context. Basically, trying to create a more rounded ‘experience’, more relatable. Oh and it’s supposed to be a little tongue in cheek, hyperbolic, etc.

Glazed
by Elexa Rose
 
Knee’s shaking
But her body is
Not quite
Quaking.
And the earth
And soil
Around my fingers
Are warming.
Feet are tripping
Like his head.
No one knows
What they just said.
Why are we still
Still awake?
She’s drunk but
I see her sipping.
He’s leaning in
With crazy, snake eyes
Swaying
Out of time.
Their minds are
Out of sync.
Their words are
Pouring down the sink.
 

I Leave This At Your Ear
October 22, 2011

I am a great believer in, you can only write great pieces if you can appreciate great pieces, and a poem that came up in a lecture recently that I haven’t been able to get out of my head, by W.S. Graham. I love the way it sounds, the way the words literally fall off of your tongue and the impressionistic imagery that harmonises surrealism and emotion in a beautiful amalgamation. I love how simply it is constructed, yet with the most complex of devices, and to create such a gentle and intimate work of art. If I were to comment critically on it, I would say that possibly the second stanza is a little too far fetched, but that’s just my opinion. And to be fair, despite this, I wouldn’t change it, though I guess a main reason why I adore it so much is because a hopeless romantic. Could it be argued that this kind of poetry is dead in modern day society? I’d like to think that’s we haven’t quite gone that far yet, maybe chivalry and courtship, well maybe not even that, just simple honest gentleness, is still around. Yes I am a believer in that it is alive and kicking somewhere. Let me know what you think.

I Leave This At Your Ear
by W.S Graham
 
I leave this at your ear for when you wake
A creature in its abstract cage asleep.
Your dreams bindfold you by the light they make.
 
The owl called from the naked-woman tree
As I came down by the Kyle farm to hear
Your house silent by the speaking sea.
 
I have come late but I have come before
later with slaked steps from stone to stone
To hope to find you listening for the door.
 
I stand in the ticking room. My dear, I take
A moth kiss from your breath. The shore gulls cry.
I leave this at your ear for when you wake.