Hunting for Poems

Had a workshop some time back with the lovely Tongue In Cheek peeps Jennie Bailey and Sarah Pepin. Unfortunately at the time I had just finished reading Hannibal and my head was full of gory murders, so when we had a line about a stag hunt it took me to strange places. We took the line from a poem in The Rialto and wrote from it:


Had a field day with the stag


Alone on a peak of hill that spoke of rain

They circled him like school children

Form a ring around the child whose knees are on the cement

Cursing jostling crowd that mutates from one child to the next

We all share this need to prey on what is fresh meat

Fresh hands to the worker’s house, fresh eyes

We’ve seen the same things and the way we saw them builds

To a type of pain. It spreads.

And the stag ran and they leapt the taste of blood

The grief of the horn’s faint beat through the misted grass

And a woman somewhere bends over and holds her sides and laughs

As the men pile in to count the plunder

All was chaos


Also ‘we’ve seen the same things’ is actually a line I’ve stolen from No Country for Old Men. Most excellent and depressing read.


The next line we wrote from should have been a change in tone, but wasn’t. Short and bleak.

Samuel Beckett:

Bright at last close of a dark day the sun shines out at last and goes down


We tip over, the world is still round rather than flat

the drowned bodies of murders wash up on the banks

of grey British rivers along townsides.


Just so I don’t end on that note, here’s the rest of Beckett, Fizzle 5: Still :

Bright at last close of a dark day the sun shines out at last and goes down. Sitting quite still at
valley window normally turn head now and see it the sun low in the southwest sinking. Even
get up certain moods and go stand by western window quite still watching it sink and then the
afterglow. Always quite still some reason some time past this hour at open window facing south
in small upright wicker chair with armrests. Eyes stare out unseeing till first movement some time
past close though unseeing still while still light. Quite still again then all quite quiet apparently
till eyes open again while still light though less. Normally turn head now ninety degrees to watch
sun which if already gone then fading afterglow. Even get up certain moods and go stand by
western window till quite dark and even some evenings some reason long after. Eyes then open
again while still light and close again in what if not quite a single movement almost.




One thought on “Hunting for Poems

  1. I like your mini-fizzle. I’m a great Beckett fan, and I love his Fizzles. I just recently found them. Always a great source of inspiration, I find. Thank you! .

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