Running
November 14, 2012

I want to run through life, run to the places
That books are made of. Where life
Is lived. Where colours are painted
In new shapes and sizes round every block.
 
I want to run through life, talk to strange faces
And drink with the locals. I will drive cars
I can’t afford to buy – yet – and maybe
They’ll print my name where you can see.
 
I want to run through life, I can’t wait
Any longer. These hills look taller when
You’re standing right on top.
So will you run with me, or just sit down in the dirt?
 
 
I’ve been told that to inspire a more ‘communative blog’ or whatever that means, the blogger should ask a question to readers about a particular topic. So I’ll give it a go.
 
Is there anything you feel you can’t achieve because of circumstances holding you down?

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.

Petrarchan Sonnet
October 3, 2012

my heart

my heart, to you, is a throw away thing
it’s a cheap plastic lighter
running out of gas.
the more i burn
the less i am.
and i cannot do, but yearn
and scream,
“just stop.”

my heart, to you, is a throw away thing.
wasting like the core of finished fruit
faded from your eye.
those lashes flicker away from me now,
and gaze
the other way.

Poetry > Novels
January 16, 2012

So this is really just a rant. What I don’t understand is why novels hold greater prestige than poetry. Why is it that most people have read at least something by Hardy, Austin, Wells or Dickens; any classical writer yet the great poets of the past aren’t nearly as celebrated. Ezra Pound? He practically created modernism. E. E. Cummings? Another hugely influential writer that has had an impact on poetry to this day. T. S. Elliot? People seem to only associate him with The Waste Land, yet it seems no one has actually read it… if we can’t appreciate the classical poets how can people ever appreciate the great, up and coming poets of today? For instance, Caroline Bird, a young poet that has just continued to excel in the poetry scene from a young age. How many people actually know her name? How many people actually know what poet laureate is? Or know anything about Carol Ann Duffy other than she’s a lesbian and a bit of a feminist? It just annoys me, because all other art seems to hold so much more esteem. Any other styles of writing, music, visual art. When did people stop caring about poetry? I mean, how can someone enjoy literature and not poetry? I know so many people who can sit and read and thoroughly love George Elliott’s Middlemarch, yet put a couple of stanza of Barret-Browning in front of them and they moan. Poetry does so much more, it says so much more, it’s so much cleverer, it requires so much more, it’s simply brilliant. But then again, are modern-day poets trying to reach out to the wider audience? Or in doing that would they lose respect from the critics, from fellow poets? Is poetry in itself inaccessible these days? Who knows. Oh well. I will finish this with a poem by Matthew Sweeny which I think is accessible, is clever and resembles the kind of poetry I inspire to write like. I hope others enjoy it too.

Sanctuary by Matthew Sweeny
 
Stay awhile. Don’t go just yet.
The sirens are roaming the streets,
the stabbing youths are out in packs,
there’s mayhem in the tea-leaves.
You’re much better off staying here.
I have a Bordeaux you’ll like,
let’s open it. (I’ve a second bottle, too.)
And a goat’s cheese to fast for,
also a blue from the Valse of Cashel –
and the source of the bread stays a secret.
Was I expecting you to stay?
No, I always eat like this.
Hear that – wasn’t it a gunshop?
Come closer, turn the music up.
Maybe we should dim the lights.
Let’s clink our glasses to each other
if no better toast comes to mind.
I told you you’d ooh! at the cheese –
here, have some more. A top up?
You’re the kind of girl I like.
Listen, that was definitely a bomb.
Maybe the civil war has strted,
the one they’ve all been promising.
Well, there’s nowhere to go now,
so let’s kill the lights and retire.

Let’s call it an experiment, and this the results.
December 3, 2011

by Elexa Rose
 
It’s fine by me –
 
Another day,
Another night.
I see your face
In the Amber light.
 
Why break this ride?
It feels too good.
It slows my head,
Just like you should.
 
I find comfort
In reddened eyes.
My throat burns.
Another dream dies.
 
Each breath I take
Heals the scars.
I think in silence,
And hear the stars.

Day 17. A Book That I’ve Read That Has Changed My Views In Some Way.
November 17, 2011

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

The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald), I know I go on about this book a lot, but it really was one of those books that made me go, “FUCKING WOW!” Everyone has a bit og Gatsby in themselves, I’m forever worried about it, especially the whole aspect of him glorifying his view on Daisy, his inevitable disappointment, because in some ways, we all expect a lot more from people than they can or ever will deliver. People are always disappointing, and that is a fact of life. There isn’t one person in my life who hasn’t disappointed me in some way or another at some point. I’m not saying I’m hard to please, and I wouldn’t in any way every hold these things against them, because I know, in turn, I have disappointed people as well. Life just is disappointing, if you let it be. It depends on what you focus on, I guess. Also, I like this book because it show the absolute futility of Gatsby’s actions. He does everything. He succeeds. He beats the classes. He changed the winds as much as he humanly could. But, it wasn’t enough, because at the end of the day, sometimes the words just says NO. More importantly, people. People are rejection. And rejection after reworking your entire life for one girl, for one beautiful delusion of love, that is real tragedy. So how did this change my view on things? I think it sort of wakes you up a bit, shows you that the American Dream, is just a dream. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t aspire and push your ambitions, but don’t expect it always happen. Disappointment is an inevitable part of human life. Get over it, I guess. Don’t let it ruin your life. Don’t let it kill you. Obviously there is a lot more to this book than just that. I’m sure I’ll rant about other aspects at other times. I love this book too much.

Day 15. Something I Couldn’t Live Without.
November 15, 2011

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

Something not someone. I am emphasising this point for reasons explained and explored on day 7. Go have a gander at that if you like. So, my thoughts on this so far are either music – though that’s been done to death a bit – or something along the lines of my phone, car, straighteners – because we are all materialistic to an extent – or possibly something more academic, books, literature, poetry – but it would be extreme to say I couldn’t live without these things – so I’m not quite sure. I’ll ramble about all of the above.

Music

Most people express that they can’t live without music, which I agree with, it’s a king of therapy for the brain. Nothing really is more emotionally stimulating that music, it’s emphatic, direct, and in some respects, brash, which is why literature is my chosen art, however, music is still one of my loves. The human race has always been and always will be addicted to music. I genuinely believe the human race cannot function without it. Seeing as I’m talking about it I’m going to chuck in a song, at the moment I’m listening to Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson, I absolutely love this song, it epitomises being chilled and relaxed, care-free. Plus I love banana pancakes.

Technology

I actually can’t live without my phone. It is attached to me twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. I think it’s part of the generation I was brought up in, I’ve had a mobile phone since I was 11 or 12, I think that was my first contract phone anyway, I think I had a shitty pay as you go thing for  of prior to that. Anyone who knows me knows that I spend way too much time on my phone, on facebook, texting, calling, whatever. I can’t help myself. Which leads to my straighteners, yes we all have an element of vanity. I spend too much time straightening my hair, and I will likely be bald by the time I’m twenty-five but I don’t care. My hair is naff. So I singe it into acceptability. I really want to new generation GHDs though, I have fourth gen, but the golds are out… and have been for a while. But I know I don’t need them. It’s pointless. But I want them. And my car, Edwin, the Peugeot 106 ’97. Less than 1 litre engine. The steering wheel shakes when it goes over 60/65. Poor little thing is a little beaten up from my terrible driving, but in my defense I am still in my first year. I just love my car, it’s like a little home away from home, plus I love physically driving. I hate public transport. It’s awkward and annoying. I love that I can just jump in my car and go anywhere. But parking and petrol is a bitch, we all know, but I love my car. Especially driving down the motorway, when I go home. Four hours in the Edwin, struggling to get past 70, 200 miles, blaring my iPod through a sound system that is barely there. Gotta love the first car (: the novelty of driving hasn’t worn off yet.

Words

Language, literature, reading, writing. It’s how I chose to spend my life, it is my life, it is what I do, it is what I am, who I am. It is how I define myself, and English student. Maybe one day I’ll actually call myself a writer. When I’m published. Journalist? Novelist? Poet? Critic? I don’t know or care. As long as I can do what I love and live off of it, I’ll be happy. I probably can’t live without words. Not just for the obvious reasons of communication, I mean, if I wasn’t allowed to write or read for enjoyment, I’d wither into a dry old toad. I’d be nothing. A malnourished ball of depression and worthlessness. Haha.

Don’t take this post too seriously.

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.

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 (: