NaPoWriMo 4.30 – Ate Night Moat

This is my day 30 (final one for the year) effort for National Poetry Writing Month.

It’s a homophonic translation (according to sound, not meaning – I don’t know Norwegian!) of this Norwegian poem by Jan Erik Vold.

And as a final flourish, I decided to have a go at an experimental ‘quick and dirty’ video poem (having recently bought a new laptop and some editing sofware).

The purposes of the exercise was mainly having a go at one of my own, using bits and pieces I happened to have filmed on my mobile phone, and to continue getting to grips with my editing sofware.(Also, I really enjoy homophonic translations for their nonsense quality!)

So it’s far from polished, nor does it really have a ‘concept’! But that’s NaPoWriMo sometimes…Hopefully there are some interesting juxtapositions – and it’s made me want to experiment more with poetry, video and sound together.

NaPoWriMo been a really enjoyable endeavour this year and I’ve written various things I’m certainly going to develop – so I’ll see you all in 2017 🙂

Here’s the original poem, followed by the text version of my homophonic translation, followed by the actual translation (which is not, as you might imagine, very similar):

ET NYTT MØTE
Et nytt møte – og all den
smerte

dét
innebærer. Likevel

gleder vi oss, likevel
trekker vi

i alle salighetens
spaker håndtak og hendler, jackpot

på jackpot!
mens myntene raser

ut, de er flere og kommer fortere
enn vi kan samle

dem opp – la gå
med det, la gå med det.

Å veksle
disse sjetongene inn, det er der

det virkelige
arbeidet ligger.

**My homophonic translation**

Ate Night Moat

Ate night moat, ogled
and smarter

debt
imbiber. Like evil

gladder vile, like evil
Trekkie vile

Eye all her Sally eaters
speaker handbag or handler, jackpot

pi jackpot!
Men’s minty razor

out, deer flair hog Frontera
envy can smelly

them up – lager
Med debt, lager Med debt.

A Vesper
disses shit on jeans in, debtor dear

debt twerker liger*
albeit liger.

* a liger actually is “the offspring of a male lion and a female tiger.”

**Real translation**
A New Meeting
A new meeting – and all
the pain

bound
to follow. Even so

we’re happy about it, pulling at
all the

handles, levers and sticks
of joy, jackpot

upon jackpot!
while the coins gush out

so fast
and so many that we cannot

collect them – never mind about
that, never mind.

Cashing in
these chips, that’s where

the real work
begins.

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NaPoWriMo 2.29: The Bristol Queen

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The Bristol Queen…

I’ve been travelling to Weston-super-Mare the last couple of weeks to run a course – and have noticed a boat on blocks, in a car park near the train station…

It’s this one – The Bristol Queen…And there was something about it being there among all those cars that was so incongruous, I thought it deserved a sonnet.

So that’s what I’m writing today, though it’s one I’m going to keep back for potential polishing…

Just as The Queen herself seems to need quite a lot of polishing (having been taken out for refurbishment over two years ago!)

NaPoWriMo 4.28: Ideas

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A zoo sign from Bristol Zoo – and a wonderful artistic intervention.

Something from today, for yesterday…I ran a group today and we worked on the theme of animals – involving writing kennings and also some information signs for The Great Zoo – inspired by Cuban poet Nicholas Guillen.

The idea is that you can put anything into an enclosure in the zoo – and I think this is a really helpful way of getting people to consider and externalise things about oneself, or things that you might find interesting about the world…

So here’s what I wrote (and there were a few different species of this written about by different group members!):

Ideas

In this enclosure, you’ll find Ideas.
They’re social creatures, living
in great communal burrows
in the mind. Sometimes,
you’ll see an Idea break off

from the hive and start
to grow, inflating to around
five times the size of the others.
This Idea will either go off
to start a new colony, or
the transition will be too much
and it will pop.

Ideas generally eat smaller creatures
such as Hunches or Notions, though
they have been known
to cannibalise.


And a bonus Kennings poem – see if you can guess what the animal is! We actually did this as a secretive riddle/quiz during the session, which made it more gamified and fun 🙂

I Am A

Weed-wafter
Seafloor-galloper
Coral-neigher
Tail-wrapper
Fragile-souvenir
Shallow-swimmer
Armoured-slender
Replica-maker
Pregnant-swapper
Eye-diverger
Colour-changer…

What Am I?

NaPoWriMo 2.27: Tele

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Very long lines was today’s prompt from NaPoWriMo – I’m not sure mine are quite long enough, but I don’t have much time today – and have written something…Here it is!

Tele

That ridiculous tele, the size of it, spreading at the edges
of the Panasonic black.; it got so big it wasn’t cinema
it was more than a window, a wall even. It spread out so far
it encompassed the whole of the town, even though
you couldn’t usually see it all from that house. It got so big
that it could see itself from space showing Ultra HD footage
of the Great Wall of China and the plastic islands of the Atlantic
and Pacific. When it showed nature doco’s the tele was so big
it made the Blue Whale seem like a minnow, the Sun
like an energy-saving lightbulb. But that tele was still
too small. It never showed enough. So we wait, wait, wait
for the upgrade.

NaPoWriMo 4.26: Views From the Pen

There was something I really wanted to write for a submission this week – so I duly have (and am treating it as my daily poem – though maybe I’ll write another later)…

It’s for the Show of Strength event ‘View from the Pen’ at Windmill Hill City Farm (just across the road from us here at BV Studios)…Where they’ll be choosing pieces of writing for actors to perform, in the animal’s pens – as the animals.

I’m not going to say which animal mine is, in case it gets selected, but if it doesn’t – then I’ll post it up here at a later date.

But fingers/claws/hooves/paws crossed it might end up coming to life in the City Farm, which would be tremendous fun.

 

NaPoWriMo 4.25: La Belle Dame…

dicksee1

La Belle Dame Sans Merci
by Frank Dicksee

And so I’m up to date, with two ekphrastic poems

This second one inspired by the above painting, itself inspired by this Keats poem of the same name, which means, ‘The Beautiful Lady Without Mercy’.

My poem is entitled The Beautiful Lady With or, Horrid Warning – and allows the lady without mercy her right to reply. She doesn’t mess about.

(I’m afraid I keeping this one too as it’s bawdy and fun, so should be sent out to appropriately-bawdy competitions/journals.)

NaPoWriMo 4.24: The Wild Beast Show

(c) Portland Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

The Wild Beast Show (1932) by Edward Seago

Having just been up to the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, I’ve written a couple of ekphrastic poems for today and yesterday…

For #24, I wrote something based on The Wild Beast Show by Edward Seago – which you can see (most of) above.

It’s caught my eye before and I wonder if it’s something to do with the bright composition, with all those yellows and greens, yet with the mass of caged tigers, climbing on top of one another, across the centre of the frame.

There’s a sense of their movement, their anger, and just how caged they are – while all these people stand and stare at them impassively. (Here’s the thing: this still goes on. Horrendous.)

Anyway – for some reason I was drawn to the idea of someone approaching the cage – which is what I wrote about. It’s quite dark – and something I’ll keep back, tweak and  think about appropriate submissions for…

NaPoWriMo 4.23: My Hitman

A quick and very-first-draft one today (which may remain so) – written in response to a prompt in Helena Nelson’s book How (not) To Get Your Poetry Published.

I won’t share what the (clever) prompt is, because you’ll have to buy the book too 😉

My Hitman

We meet somewhere outside, somewhere not-an-office and drink
fancy coffees. She (for they are unlikely to be ‘male’) will ask
difficult questions, smilingly – a disagreeable helper –
challenging my choices, to move the work on.

We will talk not only about the words, but also the style,
the paper, the print, it will be a complete
aesthetic consideration. There will be laughter, some
of it lewd, but the focus will always return.

She will be older than me, perhaps five to ten years,
able to say difficult things in a way I trust.
I will seek her advice, largely accept it,
until I find confidence in my own.

NaPoWriMo 4.22: The Thereminist Hails a Bus

the-day-the-earth-stood-still-poster

Lydia Kavina played some wonderful contemporary classical for theremin, as well as some marvellous sci-fi and mystery classics, like Mars Attacks! and The Day The Earth Stood Still (which I must rewatch – no, NOT the Keanu Reeves one, which was awful – the 1951 film).

We went to St George’s in Bristol last night (who it appears are fundraising for a rather splendid extension), to see this musician:

It was delightful and mesmerising. I particularly enjoyed the Mars Attacks! theme performance for its soundscape-y and dancy/movement quality…

(Also, I was just reminded in watching that title sequence how much I love the Sarah Jessica Parker and Pierce Brosnan scene where they kiss while he has no body, and her head’s attached to her chihuahua’s body – inspired).

My favourite ‘classical’ (written in 1941 though, I think) was Bird of Paradise – which you can listen to here on Spotify (I didn’t know I could embed these here! Always learning…)

And so, I wrote a piece celebrating the thereminist, the instrument and the wonderful way they are played, with the above title – but am keeping it offline, as I might enter it into some things.

As is now tradition, here’s that sign:

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NaPoWriMo 4.21: Entrance Only

We were at a funeral yesterday and I wrote something about waiting to go to such a ceremony at a crematorium – and also touching on them as spaces (hence the title above).

There’s certainly something there I’d like to develop: funerals are of course an intense, shared, human experience – but there’s also the curious nature of the edge-of-town hinterland quality of crematoria.

It’s a peculiarly Victorian industrial process, even though this one was very well designed (much less of a sense of being ‘processed’ than some).

So again NaPoWriMo-wise: There Are Currently No Animals in This Enclosure. They’re off elsewhere, being preened and fed up, to be released into the Wilds of journals, magazines and competitions.

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I’ll continue sharing elements of the process of writing – just to affirm that I am writing every day and this year (perhaps more than any other) finding that discipline immensely rich.