Naked – Georgina Norie

7 Feb

I was sitting alone,

lacing my fingers between ribbons of wet grass, when

you came over.

We sat with the sunrise and felt the rays cut out our shadows and

stick them to the red brick walls, stayed up and watched the bin-men in their green overalls, smelt that roughraw tanginess and talked about the stench we’d leave in eachothers lives

And then,

maybe in a year or two, we’d let ourselves be translucent

because we lie stripped together but never naked.

Not really.

I’ll remind you of that moment you made on the river,

the one that even the boats were grateful for,

where the orange lamplight trickled into the water and the moon was playing shy behind an indigo duvet.

That night could have been a Van Gogh painting.

(Or the reflection of a beautiful girl with thumb-smudge lipstick – not sure about!)

Silently disturbed like we are now

Standing with 6 other people witnessing a man playing his anger and sadness on a gold piano, as if no one can hear the pain

And wishing we could all go back to being children again

Before thinking became something that we wished we could stop doing

Before acting with feeling was named ‘too impulsive’

Before speaking with your heart on your tongue was dubbed ‘irresponsible’

And ok, one day you might hear this,

but I’m not thinking about the long run because we’re still young

and if we could build our foundation from the depths of the Earth-up,

then we could start again by just scraping the surface,

not digging any deeper.

We could have fun.

Because we already know one another’s cores and flaws, already know we’re insecure just like everybody else.


We both know that crisps aren’t 20p anymore

and hopscotch isn’t chalked onto the floors anymore…

but the naughty pictures hidden in your room still exist

and Janet next door’s figure will always be a perfect sphere

The only different is, you don’t need to look for things to blow up or dissect anymore

Or be scared of letting yourself fall anymore

Because I am more naked than you are now, even though we’re both fully clothed

So let’s just take our sleeping bags and slide down the stairs and remember what it’s like to feel careless

Even if it means we get a few bruises

Because we’d rather that than our skin show no proof that we’ve been living.


4 Responses to “Naked – Georgina Norie”

  1. mouthypoets February 8, 2013 at 12:33 am #

    Hey Geeg,

    I think it is a shame you didn’t time for the other piece, is there no way you could? I felt like something excellent personally and professionally could have been achieved with that and it is a shame you didn’t move forward with it. At the same time I know that can be hard with deadlines etc. so whatever happens please make sure you read the feedback and push the other piece forward, it was definitely worth it.

    Now on to this piece…

    -The movement of the whole beginning of the piece up to “maybe in a year or two,” great specificity and build up of the relationship between two people.
    -Nice use of the word lacing! I see what you did there!
    -Love the image of shadows being cut out.
    -Great character building specificity: “stayed up and watched the bin-men in their green overalls”
    -Amazing poetic phrasing and specific character building: “smelt that roughraw tanginess and talked about the stench we’d leave in eachothers lives”

    -I think these initial two characters are endearing and I am excited to hear their specific story! So much so you could push that further!

    -I don’t understand this bit, what is actually happening and what are you describing?
    “we’d let ourselves be translucent

    because we lie stripped together but never naked.”
    …It feels too metaphorical and wordy in light of the amazing specificity before it. Coudl you make it more literal?

    -How do you consider the page layout? I think using stanza’s and really thinking about your line breaks could do a lot for the poem here! Maybe try two line stanza’s of a similar length. I have played with it here and it felt like it really lighlighted the content and also guided me in saying the same thing but with less words. (have you dont the redundancy exercise? Do you think you could try putting the whole thing into this form and also use punctuation and line breaks to be more concise?

    Alone. Lacing my fingers:
    ribbons of wet grass.

    When you came over.
    We sat with the sunrise

    cutting out our shadows
    stuck to the red brick walls.

    -Can you summarise the plot of this poem in 5 bullet points and then make sure this poem follows that narrative clearly? Because I feel like at times you go off on a tangent and I forget what is going on

    -Sometimes your lines are two wordy and I cannot follow the images you are trying to give me. I can tell you are following your amazing natal musicality, which is great in early drafts but I think now we need to strip that back a little bit and keep the best parts of the image. Here is a line I would like you to do that with: “where the orange lamplight trickled into the water and the moon was playing shy behind an indigo duvet.”

    -For the same reason I think you should cut the thumb smudged line.

    I hope this helps?


  2. roger February 11, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    Poems that are about everything are about nothing at all. Have a subject, write about that. Your images and reflections are fantastic and poignant, but they’re wasted in this endless wash, going on and on in aimless concatenations of whatever you happen to think of next. Do some work, get a grip and a meaning.

    • mouthypoets February 12, 2013 at 10:59 am #

      Hello Roger,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read Georgina’s piece and also give feedback. The pieces that the young people of Mouthy are currently developing are for a upcoming show, Say Sum Thin 4, which is this weekend. As a result, there will probably not be any heavy text edits happening this week because they need to focus on the memorisation and performance of the pieces.

      Feedback will always be appreciated. If you could be more pragmatic and specific where possible it would be useful. These are young people, working hard on their craft and the more sensitive and practical that feedback can be the better.

      Warmest Regards
      (Director of The Mouthy Poets)

  3. Juan Hall February 15, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    All writers know they should read as much as possible to continue their development. If he is reading a novel by an existentialist writer such as Camus or Sartre , then he really should be in a small room sitting on a wooden chair with no other furniture, and with a naked light bulb hanging from the ceiling with a 100 watt bulb creating a stark atmosphere. Perfect.

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