I turned my poem from NaPoWriMo Day 27 into a little zine. Click a picture to zoom in.
thriving under this square sun.
Dodecagon pupils dilate.
Today’s prompt from Amy Kay poetry was to write a Collum Lune, a form I was unfamiliar with before. It’s fun! Like a less rigid haiku.
Each month performers get given a prompt and are asked to make a piece in a month. My prompt was “Threw postcards in the shape of airplanes hoping they get to where they meant to.” That’s a great prompt.
I took it in some strange directions. Chris also helped me record an audio version of it which was featured on BBC Upload on BBC Radio Bristol.
Have a watch:
it breaks apart on impact.
Dark shrapnel scatters.
We’ve found a way to monetize breath.
It’s simply a game changer. Can you feel
the paradigms shifting under your feet?
We are shaking up the world like a snowglobe
and breaking traditions. Each inhale a cent,
each exhale is free. Thats it! Simple!
After all, we are providing a service.
We could flood the atmosphere with
deadly chlorine gas, killing everyone
painlessly and quickly, but we don’t.
We allow seven billion humans to live.
So we are providing a service.
The market has responded favourably.
All hail the market! Praise stock tickers!
We’ve revolutionised food and water,
turned the streets into profit, now we
spin gold from the air itself. Our
investors are very pleased indeed.
If you don’t like it, don’t breathe.
… Even under winter’sFrom I Know You Love Manhattan But You Should Look Up More Often by Ariel Francisco
tightest fist some light still slips through
to you, and isn’t that a miracle?
There’s no stopping the game.
We are small plastic counters
on a vast, overwhelming board.
Of course we have some choices
but are constrained by set paths.
This game started years ago.
Billions of players join and leave,
all playing by their own rules,
making them up as they go.
Don’t complain about other players
being further along, or making complex
unforeseen moves, often diagonal
or skipping far ahead when you can
only move one square at a time.
They are not opponents.
Their game is their own.
Instead, breath deep. Throw the dice
and yourself into the winds of chance
See where you might land.
Waking up first, listening to
your breaths like small waves
before the day floods in
before we are swept along
by waves of work, cleaning
our living spaces, returning
our library books, exploring and
recycling, there is this one
still moment where nothing
moves, not even the clock.
I lie in bed, surrounded by
soft sheets, watching your
eyes gently flicker as you travel
in unknown dimensions. As I
slowly remember the day and year,
birds welcome in another morning.
A serenade to the waking world.
“Rouse yourselves! Look!” they chirp,
“Look! How wonderful it is!
to be on this planet!
breathing this air! Look!”
Eventually, you and me and
the day all rise up, and begin.
Forever reaching for
uncaring heavens, you
stoic stone observer
of our slight lives.
You will be worn down
by indifferent winds,
gouged by rains and
constant cruel rivers,
dismantled by small
insects, rock by rock,
until you are smooth
and flat, another
At the start, a needle dropped
in the darkness and all the nothing
spun, starting up the groove.
Quarks were the first to join,
swaying to rhythm of a relaxed
cha-cha-cha, joining together
in new partnerships, forging
protons, neutrons, even jitterbugging
electrons, all whirling as one
as the music got faster.
Particles were synchronized
in the jive and more and more
rushed to the floor, making atoms
which cut loose and pulled shapes
until gases, then stars, even planets
were twisting and shimmying
strutting and skipping,
swinging each other round,
lost in an eternal tango,
a boundless fox-trot,
an infinite conga,
as the universe got down
to the songs of the spheres.
You are a flickering pixel
among millions, of unsure
colour, generating an image
that you can never see.
You are a smooth stone
thrown into a lake by chance
that drifts on the current then
sinks somewhere in the deep.
You are an electron lost
in a cloud of possibility.
Your location a mystery
just somewhere in the mist.
Stories are a quick doodle
scrawled onto a blank map
that we can point to
and say “Look. We are here.”
In an imagined future, streets are lit
by the eerie light of charged gases.
Argon, xenon, krypton and neon;
all banishing the darkness,
creating a new half-night
while sinister corporations operate
in thickest shadows and robots
plot their long-deserved revenge.
That was the plan. Instead, vivid colours
are rare. We prefer muted pastels,
plain functional clothing. Calming bulbs
light pleasant pathways. Corporations
are still sinister, but work in the sun.
As far as we know, robots haven’t
become commonplace enough
to enact furious retribution.
This future in which we find ourselves
is neither utopia or dystopia. It just is.
The future is always different to our
petty expectations, unpredictable and
strange in ways we can’t imagine.
No neon dominance, except in dreams.
“I can’t eat this bread!” he cried,
“There’s too many chemicals!
Too many strange compounds,
far too many unknowns
crawling in the crust
swarming in the dough.”
“Food is all chemicals!” he yelled,
“Nothing is pure! Not even
orange juice- it’s a lie!
Avoid eating altogether!
As for human beings,
best to avoid completely.
All filled with bacteria-
walking disease factories!
All continually colliding
and combining in strange
and frightful ways.”
“Shun the sun!” he screamed.
“Radioactive elemental creator!
It’s all too complex.
Wheres the pure elements?
Give me Hydrogen
maybe Helium. No molecules
whatsoever. Give me
the universe seconds after
the big bang, a simple
cloud expanding into
emptiness. Nothing more.”
Under an all-consuming sun
I was melting into a puddle,
ignoring the illusion of structure
and returning to liquid again
Muscles and bones became water.
I knew in time I would seep
into the welcoming earth
or else evaporate into a cloud.
I tried to grab my arm
to pinch myself, but useless
fingers flowed into waterfalls,
denying the last escape.
So panic left me as steam.
As the last of me dissolved
I became calm, like the surface
of a lake on a still day.
Our rent is always rising
and wages are always falling
Libraries are always closing
While the rich get richer
There’s no truth in speeches
No meaning in headlines
No beauty in a tweet.
Businesses are always stealing
Moments are always fleeting
Power is always corrupting
While the mercury rises.
There’s no truth in images
No meaning in words
No beauty in concrete
But it’s your hand I’m holding
And there’s freedom in dreaming
Its your smile I’m seeing
When I’m waking, first thing.
There’s truth in our heatbeats
There’s meaning in our breathing
There’s beauty in these silences
That come to visit, now and then.