Monday, October 14, 2013


(Fair warning - **


Do you know what I have been doing?

Reliving my youth, that is what.  Well, on a strictly part-time, quality basis that is but very rarely afforded in the present life.

It is currently the local Arts Festival  (Crush Festival).  This year, I actually KNEW about it before it was on.   And got my act together enough to get the family organised - ish.


On Friday night, I had the great pleasure of participating in the "Holding Worlds in Your Words" workshop with Scott Sneddon.  (courtesy of Queensland Poetry Festival)

One of the great things about poetry workshops is you often come up with poems that otherwise would never have seen light of day.  Sometimes this is a good thing.  Either way that you take "this".

For example...

Strawberry Jam
                I am not tempted by you
                Sticky.  Red.  Juicy.

No, for I am strong.

Nuts crushed between my teeth definant
                At the balancing act of me
                Twice as large as once I aimed.
                And the pull of red sugar syrup.

That was a "one minute purge" poem - the  second one we had done.  The first was for no-one's eyes, this is the one written with the concept that it would be read by everyone in the whole world.  I don't think it is quite there.

Dusted white across the brow
Wrinkles where a thumb pressed down.
Once – I was hot
                I was admired

Oh sure.  Some may not have liked the sultana slant
But my sweet, gluten kiss
                To your lips.
Oh once, you would have reached.

But now.  Now plucked from amongst the pile of
A life class drawn by words.
A technique for the fastidious of hips
                To erupt the thoughts within.

A panacea with cream and jam.
Make me yours.
I shall be whole again.

We were to personify an inanimate object - our table OBVIOUSLY got a scone (the other tables had 2 paper coffee cups or a blue whiteboard marker - you should have heard some of those - it is a great exercise - you should try it)

I was interrupted by organising 'Salina's social life and repercussions - it seems motherhood isn't completely suspended - and so came in on the tail of the instruction for the next exercise.  I wrote two poems from it - guess the technique?

If the Sun was in my pocket
                I’d be a rocket.

If the Sun was in my pocket
                How hot would you find me?

If the Sun was in my pocket
                It would kick your cancer’s ass.

If the Sun was in my pocket
                I would hide behind the moon and
                sing Bonnie Tyler songs.

If the Sun was in my pocket
                Sizzle would be my sound.


Yesterday, for the first time in - too many years, I cannot remember the last time - a very long time, I got to go to a Poetry Slam.  This is where you have two minutes ****** to read/perform/recite your poem and there are judges who determine who wins and who nearly wins.

*******  The poem I performed was very much an oldie.  It was my "go to" piece at the very beginning of my time doing performance poetry when I was in my 20s and living in Sydney.  It never used to be considered for Slams as it was over a minute in length.  And double bonus - for the vast majority of the crowd, it was a new poem ********!


          I look at you and regress years.
My maturity dies,
And the desperate devotion
Of a teenager surfaces.
Illogical, but so in lust!

          Your eyes, surveying your surrounds,
That I have forced into,
Meet my face and pass.
I read a thousand meanings in that glance,
          My mind in turmoil.
Turgidly it fights for realism -
My soul destroys such thoughts
And builds a castle on this foundation.

          Your smile - so complete,
                So sexy,
Rips my resolve.
But it was for another
And I crumble.

          Sweetly secure behind the cake counter you pose.
I scribe my desire,
Hoping passionately you can read minds;
Hoping fearfully that you can’t.

          I want.
And my want is fervid.
The hormones rush and settle on fragments.

          Oh!  The casual toss of a tea-towel
          over a shoulder
Takes the place my head would fit.

          Your hands plunge into the warm, soapy water,
Were that they were mine.

          I sit and stare.
Your hair!  Your eyes!
Your movement a sublime ritual,
Your face in concentration
          Over a stubborn milkshake container.

          You turn.
I turn away.
My spying eyes burn in shame.

          But this teenage bout
Of lust a fantasy
That I fear
Would not sustain any maturity.

          So I sit
          I stare
          I dream
          I drool
Yet I realise that
If, and when, perhaps we meet
You shall be well protected
From an onslaught
Of ravishtation
By the tentative hold this woman
On the girl within.

It went well - I got a "nearly win" prize, which is the story of my Slam career ###.

* (Edited Journal Extract)

(With extra bits)

** for those new - hello - word of warning.  I use lots of words.  Very few pictures.  I do occasionally post lots of pictures - but this isn't one of those posts.  Lots of words.  Ask yourself, do I enjoy reading? Do I enjoy reading lots of words?  There is no refund at the end of the post.)

(Please realise that I have actually taken a lot of originally written words out.  True, I have added a few in also - case in point - but you are only getting edited highlights of the original "regurgitation of the soul" - true, it was actually a phrase used in some of the stuff cut out.  Dodged a bullet there, didn't you.)

(See - took out a whole paragraph there and you didn't notice)

*** Ahem.  As I was saying, I have been sleuthing around and actually discovered that there was the possibility of

***(No, I didn't cut off that sentence- that is how some of it went.  Left that in there so you could see it)

*****(I took out all of the drivel surrounding "to the taste of my refined palate".  Phew!)

# I know - it does LOOK like I am obsessed with food in poetry - I swear, food is only a device.

## (I am only posting one - the other one didn't make the cut) 

****** Wusses - we used to only get one minute.

******* The last time I went to a Slam - I was not a mother.  I was barely a partner.  To a different man.  In a completely different set of circumstances. I was also pre-menstrual - I apologise to V.  Let us say the lead up to the Slam was not pretty, but we survived the organisation of such and actually made it.  
Will do better next time honey.  Thanks.

 ******** Not bad for a poem first penned - eek - about 22 years ago - half my life. Eek!

 ### The first ever slam I entered (I got a "nearly won"), the lady who won was a bit of an enigma - even more so when she won the second ever slam I ever entered (I got a "nearly won").  I asked her why she didn't go to other poetry stuff - she said "I am a mother".  Now I understand, Amanda.  I never saw her again.


Kelly said...

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with poetry.

Your table was lucky to get the scone, in my opinion. Food would be fun to personify. (even though I'm having interesting thoughts running through my head about the other two objects!)

jeanie said...

You would be surprised then, Kelly, to have heard the awesome poems that those objects raised.

One regarding the blue whiteboard marker was incredibly evocative.

By the end of one of the coffee cup poems, you regarded love and intent with whole new eyes.

That is the best bit about doing a workshop where you can suspend your "its got to work and fit a formula" sort of pattern.

Anonymous said...

I am loving and laughing. Fab post. I sing to my dishwasher. (I do!)

jeanie said...

Thank you Rhu - I appreciate.

Hmmm - I am thinking perhaps my current dishwasher needs a little more serenading to renew his zest for the role, double win as the washing up would get done with more speed (and accuracy - the man is a perfectionist) AND there wouldn't be a chink in my thinking that invited the PM rage against the drudgery.

Does it work on both factors for you?

Debby said...

I sit in darkness all alone and read your poem about the scone, and realize with sharp sting, I've not yet tasted such a thing. The world seems suddenly filled with untried, with new, and I am changed into an adventurer with so much to do.

There's more in store.

jeanie said...


It seems as though, with scone untasted
Your talents are definitely not wasted

Sure, doughy treat remain un-et
For the treat you have not yet met

It seems that you can rhyme and scan
And do seem willing to hatch a plan

So a recipe will be yours to try
Lets see if it makes your taste buds fly

Yes, eating them you have not yet done
But with poetry you definitely used your Scone.

BB said...

On. Fire!!!

Pearl said...

Oh, how wonderful! I LOVE your stuff!!

I always find these kinds of workshops/get-togethers to be so liberating.