Eddie stayed sceptical. He stretched, threw up his head, yawned, and tested the air with his sensitive nose. A trapped turbulence, as if the wind had solidified. He helped her to her feet. “Come, darling,” he said. “Come.” “You of all people,” the Void communicated. Scanned him with his quick black eyes. The only thing she could make out in the dark was the gravel forecourt in front of the house. “You ain’t talking to me.” He called her back to pay for the cognac. He closed his book and drew out a bleating kid. the cultural context in which it was offered, the phrase “act like a man”.
An online collaborative found poetry experiment, composed of the first line from page 50 (up to the full stop or end of line, whichever came first) in books taken from the shelves of 11 poets around the world. Submitted by Winston Plowes.
Contributors and sources: Winston Plowes, The Five People You Meet in Heaven; Andrea Reiser Perkins, Sequoia; Sonja Johanson, The Future of Ice; Sarah Nichols, ‘O City of Broken Dreams’; Catherine Nichols, Valis; Sherry Steiner, Midnight Cowboy; Laurie Kolp, Inkheart; Jenni B.Baker, The Sound and the Fury; Beth Ayer, The Unbearable Lightness of Being; Sheila Sondik, The Whispering Muse; Mildred Achoch, Raising a modern-day knight.
I was born when you needed me,
my life what I make it.
The constant smack of wet on wet
Trains rush by, boy on a bike
skimming stones as far as
Brindley’s heavy mitred gates.
in bracelets of fog.
There was a fatalism
as she walked along the towpath.
Black luck, slams hedges shut
in a dark space.
The bruise of blue on bone.
Rigid and dead – silent.
seal our fate.
Don’t cry for me dear father
I bow my smokestack slowly
The canal is deep enough.
Lines from 19 poets whose work contributed to the Rochdale Canal Festival 2012 were reassembled in a cento. Contributing authors – Connie Ramsay Bott, Janine Bullman, John Darwin, Sheila Stretton, Jeanette Lomax, Eileen Wright, Andy N, John Betjeman, Ann Oxley, Annie Wright, Paul Blackburn, Diane Cockburn, Gaia Holmes, Anne Caldwell, Julia McClay, Jo Bell, Pat Trythall, Greg Freeman, Eileen Earnshaw, Val Chapman. Submitted by Winston Plowes.
I would shape myself into your pocket.
I will shake, sneak, shrink, slip
I was shapeless infant to your pocket.
I was shaking and I disappeared
I was thinking I would disappear
I would shrink and
I will sink and
I wish ink and I would disappear.
I will slip into the groove and cut me up.
And cut me off. You cut me off.
There’s an empty space inside my heart
Where the weeds
Where the wings
And it won’t take root
And there I’ll
So now I’ll
Tonight I’ve set you free.
Just to feel
Just to feed your fast ballooning head.
We would shrink and then
We will shake and we’ll be quiet as mice.
Take the lotus flowers into my room.
The bird lights float
The bird that’s flown
Put this flower
A bird has flown into my room.
Mm, moments float into my room.
‘Cos all I want is the moon upon a stick.
A man upon a stake.
I dance around the pit; the darkness is beneath.
Dancing round the pain. The darkness is relief.
(Compiled from fans’ transcripts for Radiohead’s Lotus Flower, released Feb 2011 with no lyrics)