Writing. Some basics. Use ‘em or lose ‘em.

Not many people got to see this post. I think it’s worth a re-blog. Steve 🙂

Steve Still Standing

I’ve been writing for a short while. Obviously, I am now an expert and need to share my accrued wisdom with the world. Yes, that was a joke.

Like anyone who enjoys to read, I like particular authors for their creativity, their characterisation, dialogue and the worlds their characters inhabit – all part of a writer’s style. When I read, I apply the things I’ve learned when critiquing another’s work. This is not always a good thing, as it can distract from the pleasure of reading.

Nevertheless, here are some writing “rules”, by the great writer, Elmore Leonard. He was a huge fan of Ernest Hemingway, an author whose ‘lean’ and ‘muscular’ approach was a major influence on modern writing:

Never use a verb other than ‘said’ to carry dialogue. For example, “he berated”, or “she rebuked”. There are good reasons for this. Strong, well-written dialogue is the basis…

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Edgar Allan Poe and the First Exegesis

Edgar Allan Poe is considered one of the foremost exponents of the Gothic horror genre and is also well known for his poetry. His poem The Raven, published in 1845, was his most famous and successful work, and his short stories include The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Fall of the House of Usher and The Pit and the Pendulum. Despite his years of success as a writer, poet, critic and editor, he died broke and was buried in a pauper’s grave, the location unknown to this day.poe

Poe’s essay The Philosophy of Composition, published in 1846, is considered the first literary-oriented exegesis. Poe uses the exposed rear of a theatre stage as a cogent metaphor to allow readers to glance into the workings of a writer’s mind. Poe’s variegating theatrical metaphors about a piece’s personal literary history are valid: “the cock’s feathers, the red paint and the black patches, which, in ninety-nine cases out of the hundred, constitute the properties of the literary histrio.”

The exegesis is a way for writers to explain their process, to intuitively describe the spark of personal creation, to enlighten readers regarding the meanderings of draft and re-draft. As Poe puts it, a look “at the true purposes seized only at the last moment, at the innumerable glimpses of idea that arrived not at the maturity of full view, at the fully matured fancies discarded in despair as unmanageable”.

Poe was a dedicated and brilliant writer, and his work continues to yield treasures to both those familiar with his work and the uninitiated. I am a fan, as this post will no doubt attest.

And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted—nevermore!
Edgar Allan Poe

Cheers

Steve 😊

Another post from a uni subject I completed many months ago. I thought it was a useful, if brief, introduction to the concept of the exegesis, which new and aspiring writers might find interesting.

Still Standing. A poem.

Still standing.
Waiting.

Where are you?
When are you?

Your bus is long, long overdue,
but I will wait, anyway,
wondering if my timetable
is completely out of date.
Hoping my ticket to ride
is still valid, not expired.

Still standing.
Waiting for you.

Poets are facing extinction.
Please keep the dream of poetry alive by supporting this worthy cause.

Steve’s first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors. For more information,
click here.

Haiku Friday. ‘Watery Kiss’, a haiku trilogy.

Watery Kiss. A haiku trilogy

1. Concrete
My feet are concrete.
I swim the depths of my heart.
Ocean bottom calls.

2. Goldfish
My lungs filling up.
liquid in mouth, on the brain.
Goldfish down, am I.

3. Calcified
Funereal bliss.
Watery embrace, you call.
Calcified love; gone.

Poets are facing extinction.
Please keep the dream of poetry alive by supporting this worthy cause.

Steve’s first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors. For more information,
click here.

Beached. A poem.

Here, amongst a billion tiny souls
crunching below my feet,
sticking between my toes,
a first kiss of many.

Furtive, restless, heated,
fingers and palms hitchhiking
over a bountiful landscape.
A tsunami flowing through the fields,
disrupting your trains of thought
and once rational mind.

As the sun sinks lower and evening falls;
like time, we shall come to pass on these dunes.
Here, amongst a billion tiny souls
that crunch between our feet
and the small of your back.

Would you like to read more poetry and prevent Steve from starving at the same time?

Steve’s first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors. For more information,
click here.

Upstart Photographer #2. And complementary poems, to boot.

Some more photos from my ongoing amateur photographic journey. These ones are many months old. About time they saw the light in some unfiltered, unaffected glory. Or some semblance of glory, anyway.

I’ve written some short poems to accompany them. I don’t know why; probably to make this post seem less boring.

church (cropped) - stevestillstanding
Church. A poem.
Towering, cascading walls and spires.
Dreams of saints and gorgons
all in one.

fort (cropped) - stevestillstanding
Fort. A poem.
You stand alone, forlorn,
neglected by time and tide.

Once you surveyed
the ocean with needy eyes,
lost in paranoid bliss.

Today, you mourn your loss
amongst rust, cracks and loneliness.

view (cropped) - stevestillstanding
View. A poem.
The view from here, looking up and down:
shades of today and yesterday,
visions of sun dresses and flowered hair,
offset by cell phone and emoji conversation.
 
The wind brings glad tidings
and I whisper thanks in return.

window (cropped) - stevestillstanding
Windows. A poem.
Just outside, a better world?
Perhaps the glass has
skewed your vision
enough to imagine roses.
 
Until next time,
 
Cheers

Steve 😊

Would you like to read more poetry and prevent Steve from starving at the same time?

Steve’s first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors. For more information, click here.

Dust. A poem.

Billions of microscopic particles
coalescing in the infinite.
The void in my heart, a macrocosm
blessed with spacial vertigo,
engulfing the dust of reason
and goodwill.

Pearl pinpoints provide minimal
illumination to highlight my
hope and perspicacity.
I float amongst the atoms,
dreaming of dark gravity
bending light to fulfil my dreams.

Would you like to read more poetry and prevent Steve from starving at the same time?

Steve’s first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors. For more information, click here.

Christmas. A poem.

The lights shining on the tree,
the streets filled with gaiety,
presents, goodwill; how it’s meant to be,
not always reflecting reality.

He was born on Earth, a miracle being.
He lived and died, for us, you see.
His loving grace, it set us free,
so rejoice in Him, on this day of peace.

Faith, Hope, Love: is all we need.
Faith, Hope, Love: will always be.

.
Merry Christmas, everyone! May your Christmas and new year be filled with life and love.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Would you like to read more poetry and prevent Steve from starving at the same time?

Steve’s first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors. For more information, click here.

‘The All or the Nothing’ – My first book of poetry is available NOW!

The All or the Nothing - Stephen Thompson (c) 201762 poems to make you laugh, cry, get depressed or get drunk by!

My first book of poetry is available as an e-book for $5.99 from the following distributors:

Please support me, a literally starving artist, in my quest for truth, justice, meter and rhyme.

Cheers

Steve 😊

Narrative. A poem.

The gracious crucible of light
that spawned my shambling steps,
dangling that golden carrot
through a narrative
ill met.

The owl glides over darkening fields,
I’m the mouse skirting its kill zone.
I duck and weave, just out of reach,
running and crawling
prone.

The view up there, it must be good,
a riot of jocularity.
But I don’t share that shade of blue,
while navigating
uncertainty.

So, I will stumble blindly through
the midnight of my storied tome,
relating a narrative so familiar
until You decide to call me
home.

Some Leibster Award Goodness: I’d like to thank the academy…

Hey, hey, hey! Thanks so much to littlemissbearpaw for nominating me for the Liebster Award! I am honoured, humbled and somewhat stumped, as always, as to why I got nominated. But thanks for liking my stuff, anyway!

The rules for the Liebster Award are:

  • Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award
  • Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gives you
  • Give 11 random facts about yourself
  • Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their nomination
  • Give these blogs 11 questions to answer.

My answers to littlemissbearpaw’s questions:

  1. What is your favourite blog post that you have written provide link and why?

My blog posts are my children: it’s too hard to choose which is my favourite. They get envious and squabble amongst themselves when I do.

Maybe I could use this to my advantage. Use their self-loathing, petty jealousies against them, turn them into an army to take over the world. BWAH HA HA!!!!

Oops. Sorry, got a bit distracted, there.

  1. If you could travel to any time period which one would you go to and why?

I would travel back to yesterday so I could finish the things I was supposed to do then, and thus have today free. Then tomorrow I’d have to go back in time again to today, to finish what I didn’t get done, today. And then I’d have to…

Damn these paradoxical time loops! Like fruit loops, only not as sugary sweet…

  1. What is your favourite holiday and why?

Being a lay-about, mature age student, almost every day is like a holiday.

Except for all the manic depressive episodes that bring me back to earth…bummer.

  1. What is your favourite holiday treat?

Occasionally, I like to eat. Nothing in particular, just food. A bit of gruel and some water. Maybe an occasional crumb of bread.

Actually, dark chocolate. Mmmmmmmmm…

  1. Do you read? What kinds of books? Which is your favourite?

I’m a big reader. Not exceptionally tall, but reasonable size. (Oh, I’m so funny. Not.)

As to books, my fave of the moment is Breath, by Tim Winton. I reviewed it a few weeks back (shameless plug for blog and link!)  

  1. What is something you ‘nerd’ out about?

How much Star Wars has changed and how much I despise the big corporate mouse for making a mockery of my childhood. Damn you, Disney!!!!!!!!!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (in the style of poorly acted Anakin Skywalker’s initial Darth Vader Scene in Revenge of the Sith)

  1. What is your favourite kind of weather and why?

I like rain, as it matches my mood and provides me with lots of inspiring and morbidly depressing ideas.

And it’s wet. Which provides me with all sorts of sexual innuendos to fuel my sexual innuendos.

  1. What is your favourite Christmas memory?

When the whole family got together to celebrate Christmas.

Now the family is separated by distance, injustice and the tragedy of years, and it’s just not the same celebrating with friends and strangers. But it’s something, at least.  

  1. What is your go-to comfort food?

My go-to comfort food is…food. But never junk. I’m a health nut who works out four times a week, after all.  

Oh, and dark chocolate.

Did I mention that earlier? Maybe I’m reliving my previous day? I must be a Time Traveller!!!! Oh, wait, no I’m not.

  1. Introvert or Extravert?

Introvert who manages to manically leap into extrovertedness (yeah, I like to make up words) when he’s coming out of a major depressive phase.

I thrive on loneliness and longing. Oh, that’s not introverted, that’s just sad. My bad.

  1. Do you have special plans or a direction for your blog in 2018?

My plan is to be alive.

Aside from that: more sadness, longing, whimsy, plaintive moaning and bitter regret. And the occasional joke. And maybe a few sexual innuendos.

Sorry, but eleven is too much hard work, so here’s less than eleven blog nominations and less than eleven questions:

 Noms:

 Questions for Noms to answer:

  1. How far can you throw a ball? What do you mean, ‘what size ball?’ Just a ball. This isn’t a freaking physics dissertation.
  2. If you could throw a ball at anyone, who would it be? Why? I don’t know, maybe you don’t like them. Or maybe you think like a child and it’s the only way to get the attention of that girl/guy you like.
  3. If balls ruled the world, what kind of world would it be? Ball-like, I assume. But I’m not answering the questions, you are.
  4. What’s the biggest ball you’ve ever handled (is that a sexual innuendo? Possibly). Was it heavy? Soft? Hard? Round? (Okay, this question has just gone totally sexual innuendo. You can choose to skip this if you’re offended,)
  5. If you were to invent something, using only balls as your main component, what would it be (Trick question? Or not?).
  6. Why does this person have balls on the brain? Lack of insight? Run out of ideas? You tell me.

Thanks again, littlemissbearpaw!

Cheers

Steve 😊

PS My spelling is English, not American, which is why there’s an occasional odd ‘U’. That’s life. Just when it’s going well, the odd f’U’ appears when you least expect it.

Haiku Friday. ‘Judas’, a haiku trilogy.

Judas. A haiku trilogy.

1. Judas
Please, don’t put your faith
in a Judas such as he.
He will always fail.

2. Wanting
He betrays himself
in every scattered thought
and comes up wanting.

3. Better
Better to find one
who will love you as they should,
and not as he would.

Dinosaur. A poem.

Here amongst the mammals shuffles the dinosaur,
all rippling muscle and strident flanks.
As he lumbers around the errant, tiny creatures,
he wonders why he’s here,
and what brought him to this place.

Here and there the animals pair off,
the hum of spring announcing itself
on the pollen-filled breeze with little fanfare.

The dinosaur wonders and wanders,
out of place and out of time.
“Perhaps there is another dinosaur out there,” he thinks.
“Perhaps I hear her now.”

Spin. A poem.

I’m spinning in a vacuum,
lost in
zero-gee.

Point and counterpoint,
continually rolling
free.

I try to gain a foothold,
but my world’s a churning
sea.

Spinning in this vacuum,
until I hear from
thee.

The Sale. Part 15.

Aisha and I swore simultaneously.

Silas gestured to his slavering doberman, straining at the chain he held. “This is Goering,” he said. “I think he would like to make your acquaintance.” He unleashed the beast and it catapulted down the hallway, chain flailing behind.

Aisha and I ran back through the doorway we had exited. Further down the corridor on the left was the entrance to the maze below, at the far end was the other door. We bolted as the dog barked and bounded after us.

Goering caught me about five feet from the end door, its weight knocking me to the floor, teeth finding their mark in my wounded shoulder. I screamed as it tore into the already-bloodied flesh. Aisha stabbed the dog, which yelped and turned to attack her. I have to hand it to the girl, she’s a psychotic when she wants to be. The knife was a flurry of movement as blood and canine yelps filled the air. The doberman dropped at the same time I rose to grab the doorknob.

A bullet cracked the wall next to my head. “How dare you kill my dog!” screamed Silas, running toward us, revolver raised.

Aisha and I leapt through the entry, slamming the wooden door behind us and ducking as bullet shots punctured the panels. I clicked the lock on the doorknob, and we glanced at the stairwell behind us. Stairs headed up to the second story we’d visited earlier in the night. Silas was swearing and straining at the handle on the other side of the door. It wouldn’t be long before he produced a key or shot the lock.

Aisha and I took the stairs, blood from my shoulder trailing behind me as we ran.

To be continued…

Missed earlier instalments? Click here to read more.

What is The Sale?

The Sale is an unplanned, multi-part short story I created to challenge myself as a writer. My intention is to write an episode as often as possible, generally (but not always) ending with a cliff hanger, then work out how to solve the issue and continue the story.

Only you can tell me if it’s successful, or not. I hope you enjoy my little experiment.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Corners. A poem.

I’m driving home, too fast, as always,
around curves on too narrow roads.
My headlights pierce the darkness,
painting the surrounding trees in lily white.

Each trunk beckons lovingly,
a world-stopping kiss and a
permanent embrace.

I am so tempted by each offer
lying just beyond the guard rail,
in wood and leaves and twisted metal.
My wheels squeal on each corner
as I ponder fate,

as I always will
and always won’t.

An upstart photographer.

I used to take LOTS of photos. Well, I did when I was happier, better travelled, less single and less skint. I take less now. That doesn’t stop me from loving the odd bit of amateur, upstart photography.

IMG_0500_cropped

Nowadays, it’s easy to take photos. There’s no wait or development cost involved (unless you have a real hankering for excessive numbers of photo frames around the house). Digital photography is a Godsend for those of us who love to capture moments (and, unfortunately, a narcissistic one for those who prefer to constantly photograph themselves). And the cameras in phones are better than ever.

IMG_0534_cropped.jpg

Lately I’ve been out and about in nature, attempting to get teenage Padawan nerd-in-training a little fitter. His Xbox controller only provides so much exercise, after all. Along the way, I’ve taken a few snapshots, some of which you would have seen as headers adorning my recent poems.

Here are some of them in all their memory-chewing, unfiltered (i.e. natural light with no effects applied), slightly cropped, grace.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

IMG_0645_cropped

P.S. Yes, some of my shots skew to the left. That’s a thing I like to do, and not a sign of early onset Alzheimer’s or stroke 😉  

IMG_0597_cropped

 

Reveal. A poem.

My smile is always tinged
with sadness and regret,
because even all this love I have
can’t change what’s done and said.

I’ll reveal to you my everything,
be the oracle of my shame,
Entrust you with my deepest hurt
my mires and my flames.

Your forgiveness, if it comes,
will make this pain subside.
For it’s then and only then,
that my life will be worthwhile.

Crowd Pleasers. A poem.

We all, a crescendo
of broken hearts,
slivered by degrees,
like fractured performance art,
played out in front
of voyeuristic crowds
for residual affirmation
and a single denarius.

Come join me in the circus round
so that we may hug and huddle
and consider matrices of
dulled theatricality:
that every cheering onlooker
should feel as rent and succinct
as the saddest Mozart note.

And we will shine, despite
the shattered dignity we carry
like crosses through the throng
to our private Golgothas.

Small Talk. A poem.

It’s just small talk.
Idle conversation.

But every sanguine movement
of her mouth
and every captivating word
that passes those bewitching lips,
buoys me like the drowning man
lost on a tormented sea.
She is the lifeline extended,
dragging me from the rip
flushing water
from my sponge-soaked lungs
and saving me, despite myself.

Suddenly, my fires are
renewed, coals restoked
and embers bellowed.
I’m screaming
from the battlements
of this crazy mind’s towers
“Love me as you will;
I would sacrifice my soul for you.”

Back to reality:
It’s just small talk.
But I’m floating on air
and the clouds around me
in their buoyancy
somehow seem to care.

Haiku Friday. ‘Sands’. A haiku trilogy.

Sands. A haiku trilogy.

1. Beachhead
Beachhead: we arrive.
They abscond over the dune
sea, we soon give chase.

2. Flight
The flight of the few.
Seeking life beyond the dust,
they long to escape.

3. Lost
The sand shifts under
foot, the minuscule grains flow.
The chased are soon lost.

WRYT. poem.

What are you thinking?
A pen and pad displayed
When the mind is set ablaze
With notions of notoriety.
All literal conventions will
pale into non-consideration:
a parley of truth and lie.

What are you thinking?
All this concordant bliss
has left you here amiss,
wandering through tattered
halls in a mall without end,
hankering for a bargain
to make you more complete.

What are you thinking?
What distortions do you receive
A bright and puissant reprieve
from all the empty googling
that makes up your days
and leaves you none the wiser.
And poorer, much more so.

What. Are. You. Thinking?

Fell on fell days. A poem.

Fell on
fell days.
Coaxed
anxiously
from the storm
that rages mutually in this
misconceiving heart.

Fell days,
fallen,
overtaken,
redistributed,
emotions cascading like
misdirected
energy streams through
angst-filled fibres.

Fell days,
in here,
somewhere.
No return?
No matter, better to wallow
in self-regret
then continue to pretend.

Fallen on fell days,
but better
than self-delusion.

Paradox. A poem.

I am me and me is the quantum of you and me and you and I

%$&#

HATE

This

World Earth Terra Planet People Society Civilisation Virtuality

So

Much.

BUT

I was me but I’m not sure who I am now maybe I’m not who I think I am

%$&#

LOVE

This

my World your World their World our World whose World no World

So

Much.

The Sale. Part 14.

My fingertips were worn from scraping constantly against the inner wall, tracing our way through the maze. The electric bulbs in the stone and earth ceiling flickered dimly and our shadows gently danced on the surrounding walls as we stumbled on.

My right shoulder lanced with pain every time I jarred it. Every thirty minutes or so Aisha would rip another piece of cloth from the bottom of her tie-dye dress, remove the old dressing and apply a new one to the wound where the bullet had passed through. Her face and arms were a mess of bruises and scratches from the fist fight with Crazy Junifer. Aisha held the knife she had taken from Junifer at the ready and I gripped my Maglite like a club; we were both a little twitchy. Occasionally, we would glance at how dirty, dishevelled and drained we were and laugh. What else could we do?

Finally we found another door. It was steel, much like the one on the lab/torture room, but unlike that one, had a regular handle and no lock. I leaned against the wall, breathing a sigh of relief.

“Ready?” I said. Aisha smiled grimly, nodded and took position beside me.

I pulled the door open. Beyond was a set of wooden stairs leading upwards. Aisha and I hugged and laughed. We took the stairs slowly, the slats creaking with each step. At the top was a conventional timber door with a standard doorknob.

Aisha opened it quietly and glanced into the hall beyond. “We’re back in the house,” she whispered. We exited into the unfamiliar hallway, lit by small glass chandeliers in the ceiling; the door we opened was in the middle of the corridor, with single doors at either end.

“Where to, now?” I said.

Aisha shrugged, gestured eeny-meeny-miny-moe, ending on the left door. I grinned. We tiptoed to the door, and Aisha opened it slowly.

It was the main hall that led to the lounge, kitchen and front reception, where all this had started.

And standing at the far end was Silas, still dressed in his lab coat, his snub-nosed revolver held at waist height. By his side, restrained with a chain Silas held firmly, was a huge, growling and salivating Doberman.

“We really have to stop meeting like this,” Silas said.

To be continued…

Missed earlier instalments? Click here to read more.

So, What Is The Sale?

The Sale is an unplanned, multi-part short story I created to challenge myself as a writer. My intention is to write an episode as often as possible, generally (but not always) ending with a cliffhanger, then work out how to solve the issue and continue the story.

Only you can tell me if it’s successful, or not. I hope you enjoy my little experiment.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Machiavelli. A poem.

You are my Machiavelli,
tug my strings until
I scream.

Your ceaseless manipulations
keep me dancing to
your whims.

While I smile and play along
as I always will,
it seems,

be my lonesome Machiavelli
and spend some time
with me.

A Poor Poet’s Cause

I’m putting together a book of poetry to self-publish, hopefully before Christmas. I’m working on whittling the two hundred plus poems I’ve written over the last nine months down to about fifty, as that’s the general size of most poetry books. The book will include some poems I’ve published on this site and new work not yet seen.

Why self-publishing? Whilst self-publishing your own novel can negatively impact your chances of getting signed to a publisher (unless you’re a particularly high selling self-published author a la E L James or Amanda Hocking), self-publishing a book of poetry should have no negative impact at all. But, why, I hear you say? Let’s face it, poetry, even when it does sell, generally only has small print runs. In other words, it’s probably not going to make or break your career unless you’ve already won a Pulitzer for poetry or something.

I know Amazon allows you to self-publish for free, but that means you’re restricted to the Kindle platform, and I want broader distribution on multiple platforms, so I’ll be going with either Bookbaby.com or ebookit.com. I just need to check out the reciprocal tax agreement between Australia and the US, to make sure I don’t get additional tax withheld by these American-based companies.

Because I’ve left this all a bit late (as usual), my book of poetry may not see the (blue) light until early next year. Either way, at least it’ll be out there at a low and reasonable price, available to all.

I’ll keep you up to date on how it’s progressing. I hope that you will support this poor poet on his journey to further obscurity.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Abraxas. A poem.

Abraxas, find me
sullen and
scathed.

Take thy mighty vengeance
and bury my
soul
with all the rest,
deep below whence it
won’t be
found.
And bellow my name
from your golden walls,
cast my pain in chromium steel
upon pilaster
seeds.

Curse me forevermore.
And here I will
sleep
In misery.

Pain. A poem.

Pain is my best friend.
He lurks in fibre and ligament,
playing hide and seek
amongst time-worn bones
and weary blood.

He enters my thoughts
and hopscotches through my brain,
tugging on discontent
and dreams better left alone.

He wanders through
my cells, arteries, and veins,
grasping at the walls of my heart
in a gentle bear hug of regret.

He is the one friend
who will never leave.
Eventually, he will set the table
and dine upon the last of me.

My first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors. To find out more, click here.

Haiku Friday. ‘Renewal’, a haiku trilogy.

Renewal. A haiku trilogy

1. Passage
Please, grant me passage
that this testament should see
another sunset.

2. Buried
And here I lie, buried
underground. A cadaver
for your amusement.

3. Daybreak
I will claw my way
back from this intransigence
to taste the daybreak.

.

Haiku, I love you.
Let me count the syllables.
Five-seven-five. Mmmmmm…

See what I did there?

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Bliss. A poem.

Today, she gave me bliss.
I was confounded but content,
my feet mired in tar, holding me firm.
My mouth unfrozen this time,
heart quickened but not expired.

Conversation played across a court;
a sporting event, a contest of champions.
I would send the ball, she would receive
returning service like a tennis pro.
So perfectly matched,
like two people moulded
from the same supple clay
of our sculptor’s eloquent fancy.

How can such beauty be real?
Does it only exist to haunt
my dreaming and waking hours?
I wanted to profess to her ghost
my wants and needs,
how I missed these opportunities,
these games of hope and fear.

No matter how much I deny,
she is the apple to which I aspire
Heaven’s gate and Eden,
all as one, combined.

Cel. A poem.

Each day in this cell
passes like a film cel,
a moment captured in acetate,
rinsed and repeated,
on perpetual loop.

The subtle changes in aspect
of each textured frame,
a motion blur of constituent parts,
every event a cinch mark.

If only we could edit our dailies,
to make sense of the narrative,
to remove the chaff that haunts
like a dime-store critic
in the background of every shot.

The emulsion soon grows thin,
the script is pure melodrama
and the cues are overly-theatrical.
It can’t be saved in post-production.

This life, winding in 35mm,
fed through perfs before the gate
until the spool finally hits the floor.

The end. Curtains.

Finish Line. A poem.

Down again, in November showers
that wash the sin from my crown.
Out walking my black dog in the rain,
skirting hills and wither deep.

Just another day in here,

Under my skin
Under the hood

Where the engine strains and groans
as it drags my weary chassis
to the finish line.
Where I’m content to lose again,
to choose again.

And choose life this time.
Even with its witless overtures
and empty virtue,
it holds the one thing
that burns like fire
and wakes me from my bitter sleep.

The Search for Everything. An album review.

Being a poor student I don’t often buy new CDs (how times have changed—in my previous middle class existence I would buy two albums a week). Being a guitar player I (sometimes) gravitate to guitar-oriented music. Such is the case with John Mayer’s newest album, The Search for Everything. (I’m going to refrain from commenting on Mr Mayer’s purportedly douchey private life. He’s a great guitarist and song writer and I admire him for those things, rather than his tabloid exploits.)

After a few country-tinged albums, Mayer has returned to his blues-funk roots. The twelve songs showcased here are sad and remorse-filled tales of heartbreak, love, drunkenness and loneliness (hmmmm, my four favourite things, it seems). The lyrics, like most of Mayer’s other work, reflect a deep personal melancholy that obviously strike a chord with me.

Still Feel Like Your Man is the funkiest and best cut, and had me grooving out and marvelling at Mayer’s tasty and ample riff work. Other faves included the punchy Helpless, the tasty instrumental title track, funk-filled Moving On and Getting Over and poignant piano strains of You’re Gonna Live Forever In Me.

Mayer’s singing and playing is top notch throughout, and as usual he surrounds himself with top musos to back him up, including regulars Steve Jordan on drums and Pino Palladino on bass.

I know Mayer is not the mega-selling artist he used to be, but The Search for Everything demonstrates aptly that he is still an amazing song writer and musician, who struggles with his personal demons. Just like the rest of us.

Heartily recommended.

All Because Of You. A poem.

That overbearing, all pervasive
dark matter,

the swollen river that floods my
heart and breaks my banks,
chokes my throat and pierces my
brain stem, that sticks it’s bamboo
needles under mental fingernails, creates
tattered meat from perilous fortune, twists
my will until my spine shatters like crystal
and leaves me

a pointless fool.

All because
of you.

Two John Green Books. A review.

I recently read two John Green books, Paper Towns and Turtles All The Way Down. For those of you who don’t know, Green is a top-selling writer of literate young adult (YA) novels with a flair for smart, sassy characters and quirky humour.

Paper Towns features straight-laced Quentin Jacobsen (Q), who has lived most of his teenaged life next door to the high spirited and unreachable wild child Margo Roth Spiegelman. When they were nine they discovered a dead body, and although they run in different social circles now, they share a bond over that event. Margo decides to let Q to be her driver on an amazing night of payback, then promptly disappears. Whilst her parents are unconcerned, Q and his friends follow a trail of deliberate clues (including a Walt Whitman poem) attempting to find out what happened to Margo.

Paper Towns is a fast-paced mystery and road trip that touches on the reality and unreality of suburban life, the facade of personality and the lengths people go to find their real selves.

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Turtles All The Way Down is Green’s latest novel. It features terminally anxious Aza and overwhelmingly exuberant Star Wars fan fic writer Daisy as two teens who decide to pursue a missing businessman on the run from police, in the hope of claiming the reward. Aza used to be friends with the businessman’s son, Davis, and reuniting with him ignites a love complicated by her anxiety issues.

Turtles All The Way Down is about friendship, loyalty, first love, the incredible difficulty of living with mental illness and coming to terms with profound loss.

Green’s books are always humorous, well written and paced. He’s a smart writer, utilising his precocious teen characters to tell love stories with deeper meanings than most average YA lit. Often (at least in the three novels I’ve read so far) his leads tend to be very similar—unusually smart, funny, quirky, well-read middle class teens with a significant issue and loving parent/s—but his stories are so engaging I can overlook it.

I love that Green’s books are short. I can knock them over quickly in between uni texts and other, more weighty tomes. He is not an ‘overwriter’ (yes, Stephen King—I love your writing but your books can drag at times) by any means.

I have another couple of Green’s books on order. I guess that makes me a fan.

Haiku Friday. ‘Lost Muse’. A haiku trilogy.

Lost Muse. A haiku trilogy

1. Purpose
When it takes its leave.
Gone: the purpose, the will and
the testimony.

2. Black
Where do we exist,
now that the sun is dimmed,
fallow and so spent.

3. Steps
What I would give to
hold her hand. Another step
beyond this despair.

My love for the 5/7/5-syllable majesty of Japanese haikus will never dim. As will my longing for my muse, no matter how hard I try to extinguish it.

Steve 🙂

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