Poetry isn’t my thing, really. Flash fiction, stories and so on, yes. Poetry no. If you don’t like it as poetry just think of these two things as flash fic. Or blame Stevie Smith for inspiring the first one, if you remember her ‘Not Waving But Drowning‘. Though mine isn’t as good. Oh, and yes, they’re about real people. But you don’t know them.
He’s waving but drowning
Sinking in crashing and speedy surf.
He wants to be saved.
From the sea? From himself?
He waves like he’s giving the finger.
I swim against hard swell.
He fights as if his life depends on it.
As if it’s all he’s ever known.
On the beach exhausted, wet and cold
I watch him cough water, spit blood,
Soon he’ll stand and walk
to the end of the jetty
Jump in again. And wave.
If this is a test, I’ve failed.
If he’s testing himself, it’s to destruction.
If I try to save him again
Both of us will drown.
We all die sometime
But medication speeds the process.
She needs enough to cope with the stress
But enough is too much for her body.
The medicine helps her stay together
When tragedy unfolds around her.
And yet it makes her fall apart.
Her skin grows fragile, and bleeds.
What will happen when it’s as weak
As a dried-out leaf in autumn?
No, I’m not mad. No, it wasn’t really my thing. But neither of these opinions is important.
What is important is that on a rainy Monday evening in January, without very much in the way of publicity, it was possible to get 70-80 people to a pub in Leicester to attend a poetry event. I only found out about it a couple of hours before it happened – the event was Hearing Voices and here’s the Facebook notification I got. There’s almost nothing about it on the web yet (pages still being developed) but the overall one-year project is for three issues of a magazine, of which the first is now out (at least I think it was the first, in which case their stated timetable appears to have slipped?). Hence the event which was a kind of launch party.
The event included scheduled poetry readings, some open-mic poetry and a few short stories though poetry dominated the event.
Two quick thoughts.
First, massive congratulations to the organisers, the not-for-profit group Crystal Clear Creators, on a really successful event.
Second, given the evident popularity of poetry and the fact I’m struggling away writing horror and SF and ‘urban’ and ‘alternative’ stories, I’m obviously in the wrong game. I shall have to study this poetry thing more carefully!