Saturday, 29 April 2017

poetry 2017 / 088

Today, I’d like to challenge you to take one of your favorite poems and find a very specific, concrete noun in it. For example, if your favorite poem is this verse of Emily Dickinson’s, you might choose the word “stones” or “spectre.” After you’ve chosen your word, put the original poem away and spend five minutes free-writing associations – other nouns, adjectives, etc. Then use your original word and the results of your free-writing as the building blocks for a new poem.

Benwell Boys

Our mam was still alive
when we were a skinhead;
bleached jeans, polished Docs
buzz cut over a tee shirt
(and no jumper – they was for southerners).
We listened to the bands what made us pop
Ska and Punk and some of the Glam gurus
Ziggy Stardust and Alice
and we hung around Granger Street
playing coins-against-the-wall
and wasting tens on the Asteroids machine
in the warmth of the chippy.
I never went a bundle on the racist shit
but them lads from Gateshead
were the scum of the earth in our books
we'd be belting down the back streets
looking for a bin to hide in.

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