#VSS365 Prompt: Arm

We’ve now established using the #vss365 tag on Twitter as a daily warm-up exercise and, it must be said, this is generating a distinct up tick in traffic. That was the plan, to drive engagement, and it appears to be working. We’ll be doing #haiku for a while too.

There will also be a new graphic every few weeks as we proceed along this journey 😀

#VSS365 Prompt: Animal

We’ve now established using the #vss365 tag on Twitter as a daily warm-up exercise and, it must be said, this is generating a distinct up tick in traffic. That was the plan, to drive engagement, and it appears to be working. We’ll be doing #haiku for a while too.

There will also be a new graphic every few weeks as we proceed along this journey 😀

#VSS365 Prompt: Address

We’ve now established using the #vss365 tag on Twitter as a daily warm-up exercise and, it must be said, this is generating a distinct up tick in traffic. That was the plan, to drive engagement, and it appears to be working. We’ll be doing #haiku for a while too.

There will also be a new graphic every few weeks as we proceed along this journey 😀

#VSS365 Prompt: Materfamilias

We’ve now established using the #vss365 tag on Twitter as a daily warm-up exercise and, it must be said, this is generating a distinct up tick in traffic. That was the plan, to drive engagement, and it appears to be working. We’ll be doing #haiku for a while too.

There will also be a new graphic every few weeks as we proceed along this journey 😀

#VSS365 Prompt: Polyandry

We’ve now established using the #vss365 tag on Twitter as a daily warm-up exercise and, it must be said, this is generating a distinct up tick in traffic. That was the plan, to drive engagement, and it appears to be working. We’ll be doing #haiku for a while too.

There will also be a new graphic every few weeks as we proceed along this journey 😀

The Craft: Performance

Let me tell you where I went yesterday.

The Room above a Pub will be where many a poet of a certain age began their reading careers. In the five years this has been my life I’ve read in a Leeds college building, a small downstairs room underneath a café (and the home of a poetry institution founded in 1909), in a large building in a park and in a theatre in the Lake District, but never until yesterday in a boozer. All those evenings on the Internets using Zoom are all well and good and everything, but honestly, you understand why real people are a Thing. I can’t see an audience without my glasses, but can’t read with them on, so last night I stood, read some poems, and a bunch of blurry shapes clapped. It was GREAT.

I want to write this down now because so much happened yesterday, and if I’m not smart it will get lost and warped in the process of my often unreliable memory. There’s a list of things to remember, too, so let’s do that first:

  • Work out where to park BEFORE you arrive. The one-mile walk to and from the Hotel with badly thought out baggage choices can, and should, be refined;
  • The seagulls in Brighton are cannibals. I hope the one that swiped my half a Hoisin Duck wrap enjoyed his illicit scran…
  • If you turn up for an event, and it is clearly not to your taste, and you then decide to fuck off at the Interval, I will assume the worst. To the couple who sat with me and then left? I am assuming you lied, and didn’t have an early start, and the poem about Gordon Ramsay and turds was the last straw. If I am incorrect, please let me know in the comments…
  • The same goes for the bloke who turned up with his GF and Grandad, read his poems in Part One, and then left. You stay to the end, and you respect the space. It’s not rocket science;
  • Marc Coverdale‘s a fucking GOD;
  • Hazel Davis deserves a publisher.

I’m putting this here because something happened last night which will change the course of this journey. It’s all about change and growth, after all, and last night was fucking shedloads of both. I am trying to remember the feelings and experiences for as long as possible as a result. This was a rare and special night for me. I felt invincible, and I managed to sell something to someone who isn’t an IRL friend or family.

That tenner might need to be framed as a result 😀

#VSS365 Prompt: Powder

We’ve now established using the #vss365 tag on Twitter as a daily warm-up exercise and, it must be said, this is generating a distinct up tick in traffic. That was the plan, to drive engagement, and it appears to be working. We’ll be doing #haiku for a while too.

There will also be a new graphic every few weeks as we proceed along this journey 😀

#VSS365 Prompt: Acid

We’ve now established using the #vss365 tag on Twitter as a daily warm-up exercise and, it must be said, this is generating a distinct up tick in traffic. That was the plan, to drive engagement, and it appears to be working. We’ll be doing #haiku for a while too.

There will also be a new graphic every few weeks as we proceed along this journey 😀

#VSS365 Prompt: Munch

We’ve now established using the #vss365 tag on Twitter as a daily warm-up exercise and, it must be said, this is generating a distinct up tick in traffic. That was the plan, to drive engagement, and it appears to be working. We’ll be doing #haiku for a while too.

There will also be a new graphic every few weeks as we proceed along this journey 😀

Story Time

Once, there was a Poet, who woke up one day and thought long and hard about why it was that poetry was so important to them.

For a long time, the Poet had used other people’s imagery as a prompt, and it worked very well. The visual nature of such pieces unlocked something basic inside their brain, and allowed them to write freely and without issue. Having to work with a single word was… well, a lot harder, especially if the word had multiple meanings. It made life more problematic.

Then came a period across several weeks when many situations that were previously difficult to discuss in reality emerged in poetry. This was why poetry had been worked on, after all, and the results were a distinct step forward from previous work. The Poet’s mental health however began to suffer, which seemed odd because so much of this was necessary. To have these experiences in the open mattered a lot.

Why was it causing them so much anguish and stress?

Then it dawned on them: the problem was time itself. As ideas began to stick, as other poets’ means of communicating with the world finally began to evolve within their own brain, time was altering a finally fertile, internal landscape. This had never happened before in the entirety of their personal experience, because there had never been the comfort and safety of a space in which to do so.

Trauma defined so much of what they had previously been, but as it was finally brought out into the open and considered, their shame at what had taken place in the past began to soften and shift. It will never leave, and that is a truth that can finally be accepted for what it is. Sometimes, you don’t need to get better. You just need to accept what it is that is actually wrong with you.

This weekend, therefore, is all about the movement of a whole in a different direction. The Poet is well aware of the process, and the importance of editing… but sometimes, their spontaneity is what matters most of all. Everyone has to start somewhere, and this is a good place to begin. Also, just because you work on the weekends, doesn’t mean everybody else should. Let them be. Start again on Monday.

Take the time to relax while you can.

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