Writing poems in the morning’s not going badly of late.
I had forgotten how good the poems were that I submitted for this Zine. However, that pales into insignificance when placed beside being in the same publication of someone’s work who I totally adore. That’s the moment you can never plan. They are precious.
This is significant progress.
It was inevitable, of course, after last week’s 200 plus views triumph of video making and poetry reading that there would be a plan. I’m going to post this and then spend my Friday night making title cards for the next two projects in the series. Without giving anything away, they will be called ‘Wander’ and ‘Golden Mile’, both of which will have a connection to water. They coincide with journeys to two different locations in the next couple of months.
September’s is provisionally entitled ‘Fast as You Can’ and has nothing to do with Fiona Apple. This is me, using my free time as a means to create content, and it helps establish a routine that will get me publishing five poems a month with videos to accompany them. If anything, it will show potential organizations that a) I’m not fucking about and b) I can do my own promotion. Maybe one day someone will pay me for this… who knows?
Whatever the outcome, I am having fun organizing it all…
Tomorrow, I read a poem in a Book Launch for the first time. It’s not just me, there’s nearly 30 other people involved in this, and my single poem is, as are all the others, about being neurodivergent. I’m still no further forward with a diagnosis with my Doctor, and it has been almost a year now. However, when I realize it took my daughter three years to get even seen for NHS treatment on waiting lists pre-COVID? I’m not sure when you start complaining, if indeed you can at all.
Anyway, it’s a busy week, and I am slowly beginning to readjust to a new way of working. The physical changes to a body that’s now accepting both intermittent fasting and more exercise, that there’s strength in places where it never really existed and that I feel more physically confident than I have for some time are all good, positive steps. Other things are still lamentably awful, though. You can’t have everything. The trick really is not to moan about it all too much, or you become stereotypically British.
I booked myself an open mic on Thursday with some new people in Coventry. It’s always good to see how other people do it. It’s not long now to June and having to do it in an actual physical space with real people, and that’s already looking a bit scary. We’ll cope, because we have to, as that’s the next logical iteration of the project. It is a project too. Some people might not like what I do, but that’s never my problem, and always their loss. Let’s keep moving forward.
For the last three weeks I’ve been working on a project which is (almost) put to rest now, there’s just the small matter of subtitling it and checking I’ve not fucked anything up terribly. It’s the next step forward in my poetry journey, too. A proper narrative. Actors, and locations. Big undertaking with only me as production team, writer and director. It takes me back to when it wasn’t video, but film production that was being learnt.
I have no idea how any of this will be received, either. Criticism is fine, there’s no worries about people telling me what they think. This isn’t just about the content after all, more whether it is possible to make something from nothing. Once upon a time, I’d struggle to be organized enough to get through a week as a mum without having the ability to do anything else. This is a whole different world, and I am so pleased to have had the time and space to inhabit it.
The timing of this couldn’t be better professionally, either, because a job opportunity has emerged where this stuff can actually be used as credit. That’s not why it was done, of course, but the point remains that if people are going to take me seriously, this is the kind of content I need to be able to output. For that alone, this might end up being the most important thing I do all year.
There is a LOT on at the moment and juggling all that I have to do with the time available in which to do so… the stress is manifesting as it always does non my body. There are boils, and skin rashes, and generally this is pushing out bad energy through my skin. Each time this happens, how to deal with the issue gets forgotten. This is not the case this time: there are plans and organization and, late last night, came a realization.
A new project is, in this case, not new work. It is old work that never got to see the light of day, and therefore requires me to start playing around again with the old and new. As a result, a space is set and some work has begun, again, at getting the party started. Of course, it’s not ‘popular’ until other people play, but in this case there’s little or no fuss over that. I’ve given myself until July to make it work. That’s plenty of time.
There are a lot of people doing the same things out here right now. I do not want to be them. I wish to be me and nobody else. Time to see if that is conducive with the current climate.
As the World turns, change is inevitable. For me, that means an advocacy gig this morning that’s taken probably over half a decade to properly align. For nearly three years of that, Dean’s been finding pebbles to post on Twitter. I couldn’t tell you exactly *when* I started using them as prompts for poetry, but it’s been a while now. It’s hard to understate just how significant this has been in my evolution as a poet.
Like any skill or ability, poetry requires practice. It’s demanding and exacting, but simultaneously asks for freedom that is often impossible to properly encapsulate. A restraint of six lines was imposed, every day, until this morning when the moment demanded it wasn’t enough. I needed to say Thank You and this seemed like the best way. I will miss this part of the day terribly.
As a result, we will substitute Dean’s early morning wakeup with blogging. It’s not the same, but will ensure that the good work he helped me begin will be maintained. Even when the familiar leaves us, we must endure and move on. Dean’s legacy for me will now last a lifetime, and I can never really find the right way to thank him, except in verse. When a poetry book is finally published… he’ll find himself in my Acknowledgements. That’s a cast-iron guarantee.