Tshaka don’t edit this, edit my more recent one please! A place to run to – first draft for SST5

14 Apr

Here is a first draft for SST5 – trying to get some ideas out and thought I’d stick them on here to see what you thought – any comments would be great – on content, language, what it’s about… Not certain this is what I want to use… Thanks,

Anne

A Place To Run To

This is the place I used to run from,
packing two small kids into a car,
to drive anywhere but here,
weekend after weekend.
And yet, this is the place where we have remained.

I’m that bloody seagull,
the one we found in the skip outside the B and B.
I told them stories of a princess and a prince,
just like them, brother and sister,
running from the evil King of The Ravens,
protected by their faithful gull familiar.
They cried because the big, beautiful bird,
so menacing in the sky,
with it’s brilliant white and soft grey plumage,
wing span the size of a house,
yellow beak and brittle eye,
lay reduced in spirit,
dead amongst builders’ rubble,
an old chair,
and chip paper.

Well, I was that seagull.
I was their protector.
Still am.
Like in that Chekov play,
not the guy from Star Trek!
A seagull, shot dead, for unrequited love.
I could have soared high,
I should have.
Instead I protected this place.
This sorry place that we ran from,
to anywhere but here.
But here,
is where we stayed.
And here,
is where they venture from,
in short forays.
Returning here,
to the safety of my wing span
this sorry house.

And if,
I used to think,
if I could have this house,
this house that is our home,
in that other place,
any other place,
beside the sea,
breathing with the tides,
skitting like tossed pebbles
across the surface of the days,
we would have soared.
We would have lived a different life.
We would have made a different home.

If I could press on the touch screen of our life,
with my index finger,
SELECT and CUT,
I could lift these people,
hold them in the tip of my finger,
and gently PASTE us where I choose…

If I could have done this,
our lives may have been measured out in successes,
not dissappointments.
And yet,
this is the place we remained,
this is the place they run to.

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One Response to “Tshaka don’t edit this, edit my more recent one please! A place to run to – first draft for SST5”

  1. mouthypoets April 26, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    HI Anne,

    Really exciting to see you already have a first draft up – especially after our brainstorm last week. I feel like you have created the cornerstones of the piece but it definitely feels like there are some gaps. There are some more detailed points below but overall I feel it would be helpful for you bullet point the action you want in the overall piece (as many bullet points as possible in prose) and then I think you should write for all of them. Then I we should work on cutting and ordering from there – how does that sound?

    LOVE
    -“ I’m that bloody seagull,
the one we found in the skip outside the B and B” … I love how concrete and original this is. So much so I would suggest maybe try using it as the beginning image of the poem?
    -I love the story of the prince and princess bird family, but it is a little hard to follow. I think finding the right form might address this relatively simply. Although it also might be worth doing some research into folk stories about bird families or something? I often find research really helps me move a metaphor or whole poem forward.
    -“ Well, I was that seagull.
I was their protector.
Still am.
Like in that Chekov play,
not the guy from Star Trek!
A seagull, shot dead, for unrequited love.”
    ….I really like all these references however they feel to far apart from each other in connotation, can you connect the dots for me a little? I want to get to know the protagonist, scene and other characters a little more so that these references feel more relevant to the overall narrative rather than random references that become a little jarring (I hope that makes sense?)
    -“skitting like tossed pebbles
across the surface of the days”
    -I love the part about COPY and PASTE… but I am not sure I would get it if you hadn’t explained it to me before, get the opinion of those who you haven’t explained this part to.
    -This is a really strong skeleton for the piece, it feels like this is a massive step forward in fleshing out the movement/narrative of the poem.

    QUESTIONS
    -Is this a provisional title? I am interested to know how you came up with it, it feels unoriginal especially in contrast with the content of the actual piece.
    -I am really not sure what you are talking about in this section, but this might be because of some of the vagueness I have elaborated on in the SUGGESTIONS section…
    “This sorry place that we ran from,
to anywhere but here.
But here,
is where we stayed.
And here,
is where they venture from,
in short forays.
Returning here,
to the safety of my wing span
this sorry house.”

    SUGGESTIONS
    -Why have you chosen this prose-poem structure? I realize this might have just happened naturally whilst you were writing but even so – retrospectively why do you think the poem might have taken this form? Do you want to keep it? I actually think playing around with stanza’s could really help you make this poem clearer, more concise + probe you for detail where it is needed… E.g…

    This is the place
    I used to run from,

    packing two small kids into a car,


    to drive anywhere
    but here,
weekend after weekend.
And yet,
    this is the place where we have remained. I’m that bloody
    seagull,
the one we found
    in the skip outside

    -I am not sure about the use of the phrase ‘this place’, I think the ambiguity of it and the unoriginality of the phrase is a very weak start – it doesn’t grab me and I feel like I want it to. I get the feeling that you want it to be ambiguous but maybe there is another way of doing that, select some concrete things that represent ‘this place’ or maybe come up with a pet name or colloquial name for ‘this place’… does this make sense?
    -I also think this ambiguity is reflected in the use of ‘them’, who are they? It all feels to unclear. Why have you chosen not to be more specific in who they are? Is this deliberate? And if so, why? Is there a way of sustaining the ambiguity but still giving the reader something sensual to engage with?
    -‘this house that is our home,’ … ‘We would have lived a different life.
We would have made a different home.’ → can you show me these parts instead of telling me it?

    I hope this is helpful! Missing you lots (from Italy). See you soon,
    Debris

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