This is a series where I interview poets about their process in regards to a single poem. Today we have the fantastic Elizabeth McGeown, who I have been lucky enough to meet at various poetry nights over zoom in the last year.
On telling a friend I am writing to an insect theme
and finding out months later she has assumed I meant maggots
But Maggots do not cross my mind at all:
the plump rot-seeking them of single mind.
Fat little white and wriggling shits with gall,
but Maggots do not...
Taken from an old New Yorker
I spin each morning from dream silk
allow soft light to pour in a torrent
from my ears out into the aether.
Lost chorus ripples from unseen branches.
I am anointed. This is how I drift
without touching the dew damp ground,
absolution in waves over my skin.
Over on Instagram, the very wonderful Open Collab are running remixes where you add your own words over their music. I smashed two poems together and came up with this. Go here to watch me read it with music.1
As part of the Red Sky Sessions with Apples and Snakes, we were asked to chose a painting from the MOMA collection. We then either wrote about the character or adapted a technique from the painting. I tried to ape the tecnique of this self portrait by Andy Warhol.
This is a series where I interview poets about their process in regards to a single poem. Today I am honoured to have the incredible Ankh Spice, whose poetry I have enjoyed for a long time on Twitter. Here, he talks about his love poem New Cloth.
Your pattern pinned itself to the fray of me
the first day. Not yet stitched, aligning
fragile tissue, judging bias – the wounded
always holding their breath.
When they remade you, I slept
on a hospital couch with your dress, bundled
This is a bit late because of Easter. Spring is in the air, the tulips have taken over from the daffodils and freedom feels tantalisingly close.
Here’s some things I liked in March:
Howling Dogs is a text based game that you can play in your browser. Starting slow and routine, it soon expands into something much more bizarre. It’s short, but packed full of interesting, strange situations and poetry that it will stick with you for a long time.
Sandman Overture by Neil Gaiman & J.H. Williams III is essential reading for anyone who...
I’m working front desk at the Hilbert Hotel.
A queue of guests stretches to the horizon,
each person sighing, waiting to check out.
Some leave but the number never goes down.
No matter how quickly I work, more remain.
The amount of disgruntled guests is infinite.
The final bills I print out are infinite.
(Minibars never run empty in this hotel.)
I take one payment. Countless more remain,
credit card receipts spool to the horizon.
The printer paper never seems to run down,
clock hands never seem...
After Kay Ryan
She’s silent, stiff. You drum fingers
on pressed linen. The waiter brings
red wine. Only one glass. Your mind
is filled with dust spirals and wind.
You order steak, but she doesn’t eat.
You try a joke, get the punchline wrong,
and she does not laugh. She is smiling.
Always smiling. This isn’t going well,
you say to yourself. Flustered, you knock
your glass. Scarlet seeps into cream.
She does not mind. She isn’t here.
Hasn’t been for years now.
Taken from DIY Magazine.
Osmosis press have featured a poem of mine called relocation. Many thanks to them. Find it here
Taken from a old New Yorker, no idea which issue.
I’ve added a verse to Joined Up Writing, following on from the last line of the previous verse. Find that here.
Also the daffodils are exploding everywhere and it feels good.
Taken from a old New Yorker, no idea which issue.
A few bits of news:
I made a really strange puzzle page for the latest issue of Welcome to Bear Creek. Thanks so much to them. The whole issue is strange and beautiful, go check it out.
Sam Cavender (who shot the headshot on my home page) took this crazy UV portrait of me in a park. (We were socially distant at all times.) He is an actual wizard:
Check out his
At the end of this month there was a burst of sunshine and the daffodils we buried in November erupted in their pots. This sudden explosion of sun and colour always reminds me of this E. E. Cummings poem and this one by Jack Underwood.1
With the start of Spring and the vaccine rolling out I am allowing myself some tentative hope for the next few months. Brighter days are ahead, fingers crossed.
Here’s a few other things I enjoyed this month.
I turned 33 in February2 and celebrated by...
Taken from DIY Magazine October 2020
Disco ball image from Greyson Joralemon on Unsplash.
Some advice I hear repeated often is to write every single day. Like all advice, it’s a bit more complicated than it sounds. I think it is generally a good thing to get into a creative practice and is certainly something I have advocated for in previous posts. But every single day can be difficult.
Before lockdown, I would write most week days on my lunch break. During lockdown, it shifted to before work, as I didn’t have a commute and lunch was reserved for eating and getting my daily half an hour of prescribed vitamin...