Thursday, June 30, 2011

"As a memory"

He sat down on the chair in the middle of the kitchen and tilted his head back. His hair was wet, hanging in long curly strands above the floor. He caught it all in one fist and then the other. "About this much."

The scissors made several scrunching sounds, hungrily biting at the curls. The strands fell limp on the floor.

I looked a bit sad towards them. Half frightened that maybe it was too much, maybe he'll regret it after seeing himself in the mirror. He was very proud of his long curly hair and hated to cut it. He did it about once every two years, always careful not to have too much trimmed off. I looked at the floor. Half of the thick mane was gone.

He got up and went to the mirror and looked at his hair. He ran his hands through it, turning left and right to capture all the angles. "I like it." he smiled. Some of my worry dissipated. "You do?" "Yes, it's nice and bouncy."

He played with it a little more, trying out the new, smaller pony tail. He then went back to the heap on the floor and picked up a thin strand. I eyed it curiously.

"I want to keep this. As a memory." he explained. A memory flashed through my mind. Last year, I'd watched his mother cut his hair for him. She had also kept a strand, telling me she always did that. "As a memory."

He smiled at me, playing with the strand. I think for a moment, he turned into a little boy again.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My poetry book has been published

Good news, I have finally published my poetry book! It took a lot of hesitation on my part and a lot of encouragement from my friends. I was about to give up, when my fiance said "You have everything, right? Just go ahead and publish it." He helped me with the cover and so, it's out in the world: "The relativity of a corroded mind".

Here is how it all happened...

I have over 100 poems typed up on my computer, written over the years. I have posted a few of them here and there on the internet and I have received generally good feedback. Last year, I decided to publish some of them on the internet on one of the self-publishing sites.

After an unsatisfying experience with one site, I chose Blurb. It looked professional and their book making software was very easy to work with.

I had the poems, I had the means to publish the book, my fiance would help me with the cover... All I needed was the courage.

So, one day, I decided to make the book, working my way through all of my poems and choosing the best ones. Since I could add my own fonts, I used a nice elegant one I had on my computer. I liked it so much, I redesigned my blog with it, as you can see.

The cover image is an old drawing of mine, which I had edited in Gimp. My fiance helped me with it, fixing some technical problems (the nose was too big and the eyes askew), added the title and author name and, voila! I had a cover.

I must admit, putting the book together meant a nice trip down memory lane. I was sometimes amazed at how interesting some poems were and how bad others sounded. I asked myself if my readers would enjoy them, if they would understand. I hope they will.

I want to thank everyone for all of their own contribution, in one way or another, to the making and publishing of my book. I might not have done it without the support and kind words of my friends and occasional readers.

"Come with me into my Train of Wonder,
The only one that comes from Nowhere
And leads back into Void."

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Broken pencil poetry. Non-poetry

I used to hate poems. School made me believe that all they were ever good for was memorising and then reciting them in class. They were invariably syrupy and whiny. And they often rhymed too much.

When we got older, we had to explain the poems we learned. Some were easy, straightforward. Some were extremely intricate and we could almost feel the poet's ghost standing behind us, grinning at us racking our brains to solve their mysteries. I got pretty good at it. I started liking it. I even found a poet whose writings I really liked.

One day, I thought I'd do it myself. My first poem had a simple paired rhyme and consisted of a lot of clashing elements. To put it simply, it was horrible. I hope I've come a long way since then...

This is my one experimental poem about poetry, which they call "ars poetica". The whole poem is a protest against the daunting white paper and against all the expectations people have of poetry. There is a rhyme, but it is covered. It's my little "rebel piece" and I'm rather proud of it.

I wonder if you'll guess whom it is addressed to...

25th October 2005

It's cold. This paper I'm lying in
Is burning inside my skin and this
Enormous pencil descends, about
To tear my mind to shreds, impaled
Into my skull with all the words bled out
Of my screeching heart, my brains scattered about on
That immaculate white surface to be written upon. I
Lie there, watching my ideas die, something
I never had, yet to which I fought to cling, the mind
I thought had been my own, that time my eyes were blind. Standing
In front of me you watch me straining, the wreck,
You watch as the rhyme slides around my neck, slit,
A trochaic rhythm for a heartbeat, grinning
At your contempt; my helplessness marring this pure,
Pure image of perfect, sweet and demure poetry.
You sneer and turn away from this cavity, appalled,
You're me, you're black, I'm mad, we're cold. See,
You have no more place to flee to -
I hurl my existence at you and hit
You with it on your head, hear your shell split in two,
See you fall dead, smile and drawl 'you innocent fool'.

Epilogue: Maybe now I can get some work done...
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