It is around about now (days off the end of the month) that I realise this challenge is not going to end in April for me. After 4 weeks off from my writing life, I am returning to writing for performance, performing and editing current projects. The summer is fast approaching and lots needs addressing in my life outside of poetry. My poetry life is busy preparing for festivals, events and submissions. Tag on the day job, I don’t even want to think about all the boxes I am trying to unpack my way through or the need for a DEEP Spring clean at home… the result is chaos.
I have decided not to rush the NaPoWriMo project, I want to enjoy this process and benefit from time to write – after all that’s the main point, that and to have fun.
I may dream of writing business but the nuts and bolts are art. Art needs nurturing, time, commitment, space… I am approaching it softly.
From now on I do a day a day, as it should be. Welcome to day 6.
Our featured participant today is Kevin O’Conner, who struggled at first with our Day 5 prompt, but came up with a great poem, well-seeded with seed names.
Today’s featured poet in translation is Burma’s Ma Ei. Very little of her work is available in English, but you’ll find two poems at the link above, and two more here.
You may be interested in checking out this short film, showcasing the work of contemporary Burmese poets, including Ma Ei, as well as this interview with James Byrne, editor of a recent anthology of Burmese poetry, which includes Ma Ei’s work.
Today’s prompt was to write about food.
This is my friend’s microwave (7 years ago), maybe they have these models in the UK in a higher budget than the mark Mr G and I look at, I just loved the message. Usually they just ping, beep or flash. Perhaps I should have written about this microwave instead of taking half a day (and night) deliberating my food poem.
I think the writing process for Day 6 is juicier than the poem so I am sharing it first. I love food, this write should have been easy. But I remember Jo Bell’s advice; abandon your first thoughts, dig deeper. Immediately, like a naughty child, I want to write all my initial foodie thoughts.
I haven’t written a poem about cake.
Or fish fingers, crabsticks and spaghetti hoops.
There is no advice about what foods to avoid
on (first) dates,
or heavily veiled descriptions of tier towered
No Saturday night take-away
chicken madras, sweet and sour pork, fish
but there is a poem about food.
If in doubt write what you are not going to write about. Just a bit of free write fun there, in the shape of a poem. Although it does pass as a food poem. At this point I placed a title above it and moved on. It is a poem.
I started with pictures of food, trying to disguise identity in an almost riddle.
Bright circus colours
a Big Top in stream form
The mustard and ketchup on a hotdog.
Then came a mind-map. Some ideas from which I may explore in the summer when I have maximum writing time.
Films about food and drink was taken from the mind-map and became an enjoyable hour of research and created some ideas for my next writing group, in May. I have a list of 27 alternative film titles substituting food words. ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crumpet’ a particular favourite of mine. Harrison Ford, dishy – doesn’t take a writer to get to crumpet there.
I then looked at Tarantino film clips involving food (another idea to chase later). I ended up on a recipe page and then spent a futile Google search looking for US Market canned Pumpkin, previously available in Tesco & Waitrose and now seemingly not reaching our island at all. I thought of filling suitcases and then baggage allowance and security.
Then I wrote a poem about Mr G and I cooking in the kitchen together.
Tango on terracotta tiles…
cabinet perimetered dancefloor…
hands gathering busy.
From here I ended up falling asleep and I woke up (2 hrs after my alarm) with a poem spilling from my head.
Eggs is Eggs (A pillow head poem)
Mum poached them
Dad fried them
Paul boiled them
was too young to cook.