Aha - another song lyric that I have tried to convert into a poem! A silly one to spruce up your Tuesday morning. Please note that this is not based on real events...
A scorching 31 degrees, I stand here alone.
A European paradise compared to back home.
A suitcase and guitar in hand
Hunting adventure on foreign land
Soon I’ll be stripped down to the bone - left naked in Rome.
In early siesta hours she caught my eager eye.
Her coffee skin, her LA smile left me mesmerized
Her words I couldn’t understand
It all came clear when she took my hand
And down some streets nobody knows to get naked in Rome.
She then force-fed me some chardonnay
That she had smuggled from Calais
But wait – no tannins in its taste-
Her glass doesn’t look the same
She cackled as I passed out on the floor.
Woken from a drugged up haze-I’ve been out cold for hours.
My clothes and cash have been removed, my sweat now tasting sour.
My limbs are all that I have left
To get me out of this sodding mess
I’m penniless, nowhere to go, stuck naked in Rome.
If you enjoyed this poem, and I hope you did, please leave a comment or give it a like and share on Facebook or Twitter. You can also check out all of my other poems here.
Call me crazy – but I don’t enjoy working or writing in complete and utter silence. But I also don’t like getting distracted. I need to get in a Zen-like zone every time I try and write a poem.
Music helps me whilst I attempt to express my genius and wit. But it certainly does not help when I have to change the song every few seconds – most of time it’s because a rubbish pop or RnB number starts blaring out of my laptop speakers, one that my brother downloaded eight years ago (Peter Andre’s Insania comes to mind). Therefore I want to share with you my quick tips on how to make the ultimate writing playlist that will keep you scribbling until the cows come home.
It does NOT have to include classical music
They say classical music is good for concentration, but I don’t always find that the case. Everyone is different and maybe you don’t even want to listen to music – that’s no problem! But if you do want music to help you focus, it’s okay to have songs that have lyrics. Every song does not have to be performed by the London Symphony Orchestra without a vocalist. In fact, if anything you should...
Pick songs you actually like
You should pick some tunes (probably around 30 in total) that you always enjoy listening to and not feel tempted to skip. Skipping is where the distractions start – get your finger off that next button. You’ll need it for super speedy typing.
No loud songs please - or anything else distracting
It might sound obvious, but having songs that are loud or make you want to get up and dance the funky chicken is a NO. NO SERIOUSLY. STOP IT NOW. Get it out of that playlist. It does not belong here. Sorted? Good, let’s continue.
Keep it mellow
Your playlist should be nice and easy to listen to. The less you pay attention to it, the better. Think about the music they play in coffee shops – it’s easy to ignore. You don’t hit up Costa to rock out, do you? If you do, get help.
So with these tips in mind, I came up with my own writing playlist that I think that I’ll start to use from now on. You can check mine out now on iTunes here. Hopefully you can also create a playlist that you can use to get the creative juices flowing. Hope you have fun making one and enjoy your writing this weekend.
And hey – if you found this blog useful or thought that it exudes brilliance, why not give it a like or share on Facebook or Twitter? It would make me warm and fuzzy inside.
Two posts on a Tuesday? Yes indeed - to make up for my poor blogging last week, I thought I'd share a blog post AND a poem. Here's one that took a while to conjure up, but once I did the first stanza, it was written in minutes. If you want to to make me feel like doing backflips around my living room, please do share this poem and maybe give it a like or comment. Thanks for being patient!
The coca-cocaine parties
The weekend spews at 10
The cycle of sleeping and shagging
Repeats itself again
The brown, the crack, the weed, the smack
The remedies of her world
Are a far off cry from the glamorous life
Promised to the matchstick girl
A head of hair thatched upon
Walls of weak foundation
The chic new style to fill the aisles
And sweep entire nations.
She’s Bambi on ice in a dress so tight
It would make your mother hurl
But we live in a time where all women pine
For the look of the matchstick girl
The big old Pappa Razzi
Guard her every step
From the same hold-hand fanatics
That crave her vinous breath
The punks, the queens, the teenage dreams
Who buy their love with pearls
Stick close to her side and somewhat abide
They’re friends with the matchstick girl.
The Sunday evening voicemails
The daily text of pain
From a desolated mother
Who begs to see her again.
The pleas, the cries, the tears don’t dry
While apologies unfurl
For the sins, the aches and major mistakes
Made by the matchstick girl.
We have finally arrived to the epic (okay maybe not) conclusion of this three part series. You can remind yourselves of what's come beforehand in in Part 1 and Part 2. But for those who have, let's crack on.
Ballad of a Hero – Kate Tempest
I have already given high praise for Tempest in one of my first blogs, but “Ballad of a Hero” is a great one to learn for its emotion and rhythm. It’s one you can feel the hurt and suffering in for all the characters involved: the inconsolable father, the distraught mother and the innocent child. Tempest performs it superbly – dig around for it on YouTube and you’ll find yourself a poetic treat.
A Subaltern’s Love Song – John Betjeman
This is a poem about hot days in the South London sun and a flustering middle class romance – and in my mind – one of the best poems of the 20th century. It tells the tale of a man besotted by a tennis player. Sure I’ve seen this tale before in a rather average rom-com....
The Charge of the Light Brigade – Alfred Lord Tennyson
This is another one that stuck with me from when I did LAMDA classes at school. The theme that hung onto me when I learnt this was blind optimism, 600 soldiers trying to cheat death in the field of battle. It’s basically 300, but a bit less heroic.
Prayer – Carol Ann Duffy
I’ve never been an avid reader of Duffy’s work but I do enjoy this sonnet (yes it is an English sonnet – look closely children) for its smart rhyme and rhythm. It’s a poem to hold dear and remind you that we have a lot to be thankful for. Like a fresh wedge of cake on Sunday afternoons....mmm cake.
Nightsong – Adrian Henri
Inspired by Lord Byron’s “We'll go no more a-roving”, this is just a nice poem to read out loud, despite it being about reminiscing the good times with an ex. Okay if you are going through a break-up, don’t learn this one by heart. Seriously. I don’t want to be blamed for rekindling thoughts of your failed relationship!
Coffee in Heaven – John Agard
A short and sweet poem to finish this list. I’ve added it not just because Agard recites it as a sweet little song, but also because its about coffee. I like coffee. Especially when I am writing. And now I’m craving coffee at 9pm....and cake dammit!
And there’s my list of 20. What did you make of it? Have a missed out anything so glaringly obvious that it makes you want to slap me in my sleep? Then drop a comment and let me know what you think.
It's been a pretty busy few weeks - so I thought that this week I should let you know what's going on in my world. All in the space of a few hundred words. Right ho then. Let's crack on!
Best Man Duties
I write the blog whilst travelling to my brothers wedding rehearsal, with the real deal taking place next week. I'm pretty excited about it - it's the first family wedding I've been to since I was a wee one. But the most exciting part is that I'm the best man. I have already done one of my two main duties: the stag do. But the most daunting one is still too come: the best man speech.
I've spent the last few weeks writing it and practicing it whilst pacing around my flat like a Gary Busey on crack (much to my girlfriend's amusement). I'm not nervous about giving the speech, but more worried about if it's any good! Fingers crossed it'll go alright. Some tears and a standing ovation wouldn't go amiss too...
Submitting my stuff
Over the past month I've decided to grow a pair and submit some of my poetry to various magazines for publishing. As expected I've had a couple of rejections already (the editor of Acumen magazine let me down gently and gave some encouraging feedback - thank you!). I'm awaiting to hear back from a couple more and find myself refreshing my Submittable account far more than I should.
If I do get anything published, you'll certainly be the first to know about it. A song and dance will definitely be in order should the day come.
Slack-lining and sandleball
With the summer coming to a grand conclusion (it's been damn hot recently don't you know) I've been very lucky to make the most of it by taking a few escapes to the countryside. My last trip was to catch up some of my school mates in Suffolk which was a great laugh. We managed to get a game of sandleball in (it's a bat and ball rally but with flip flops for bats) on a trip to the beach. With 12 people involved, it all becomes a melee of bodies flying about and frantic calling but all in all, a recipe for fun.
I also had a go at doing some slack-lining. A sport that requires balance and grace. Sad thing is I have neither. I just ended up darting across it like a gibbon until I eventually fell on my ass.
So you're here
Great stuff. Feel free to have a gander at my poetry and blog entries to the left. If you want to know why on God's green earth this page is here, click on the 'About' tab up top.