There are so many potential markets that it is difficult to know where to begin. If I start to send out material regularly, I will have to get an assembly line going, so I can revise and/or resend the material that has been rejected. My family is very supportive, so I am hoping to maintain this routine from here on. Life may well have other plans, but with determination and flexibility I am sure I can keep this show on the road. Thanks to everyone who has been reading the blog. I don’t think of myself as a writer, poet, artist, sculptor, teacher, worker, or administrator, just Raoul. I might well repeat the exercise on the blog where I mindmapped short stories, in the spirit of curiousity and discovery, and because I got a kick from it. Rest assured, however, I have no writing tips to share with you, unless it’s on how to get ink stains out of jeans. Maybe, I might record my voice reading the poems and put them online alongside the original material with creative commons music to add a bit of atmosphere. Sure, I can pretend to be too bashful, shamefaced, and awkward to actually perform this stuff, but in the words of The Smiths: “Shyness is nice, and shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you’d like to”
I hope to have three poems submitted to an online magazine this week. I have failed my deadline, but I will be more than happy to have them revised and ready for market by next Sunday. I have chosen a magazine, and I think I can write three poems to their liking, eventually, I suppose, or rather, I hope. I am also waiting for the results of a writing competition in the next two weeks. It would be so good to have an honourable mention, or even any mention at all really. Odds are slim, and I am an amateur, so I shouldn’t get my hopes up. Also, this week, I discovered the poet George Szirtes has a really helpful blog. I also discovered the Poetry Foundation’s podcast, Avante-Garde All the time. I loved this month’s recording, Driven by Soundtracks, which is a compilation of soundtracks from offbeat website, Ubuweb. All in all a great week.
Walked I through a lonely wood
from whence I saw a future grim
I was in a childish place, strange
and devlish, thus I hid.
Strange the voices that I heard
Weird and spooky came they near
whence I saw the urchins circle
round a bearded stranger dear.
What I now must put to paper
made me blanch and tremble so
for the bearded’un’s odd caper
made the young’uns move in tow.
Marked I thus his hands on crown
Marked I thence, them swoop to shoulders
beastly cries, the young’uns sounded
they grew louder now emboldened.
Flung he hands to knobbled knees,
all possessed by the ghastly rime,
‘Sblood, such torment of toes was seen.
O how they chattered and cried!
Retreating once more to their knees,
arching their backs with the motion,
advancing once more on their toes,
Dread thee the awful devotion.
From eyes to ears, the coven did pounce
taking short passage from mouth to nose
O terrible those voices singing out
words so awful, in truth, I froze.
Torch thee this book, beseated in thine hand.
Curse thee this wretched memoir that remains.
Teach not its loathsome secrets to your lambs.
Forsake this chant, it drives mankind insane.
I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond all this fiddle. Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers in it after all, a place for the genuine. Hands that can grasp, eyes that can dilate, hair that can rise if it must, these things are important not because a high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because they are useful. When they become so derivative as to become unintelligible, the same thing may be said for all of us, that we do not admire what we cannot understand: the bat holding on upside down or in quest of something to eat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a tireless wolf under a tree, the immovable critic twitching his skin like a horse that feels a flea, the base- ball fan, the statistician-- nor is it valid to discriminate against "business documents and school-books"; all these phenomena are important. One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the poets among us can be "literalists of the imagination"--above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, "imaginary gardens with real toads in them," shall we have it. In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand, the raw material of poetry in all its rawness and that which is on the other hand genuine, you are interested in poetry.