(Hour 24) 21.30pm-22.30pm. PROMPT, 70s or 80s pop song 

all night long (all night)

Well, my friends, the time has come
Lower the roof and no more fun
Throw away all the words to be wrung
Let the music be turned low
Everybody rest, everybody entrance
Lose yourself in bed romance, we going to
Depart-y, varooma, siesta, forever
Come on and snore along
We’re going to depart-y, varooma, siesta, forever
Come on and snore along

All night long (all night), all night (all night)
All night long (all night), all night (all night)
All night long (all night), all night (all night)
All night long (all night), ooh yeah (all night)

People sleepwalking in the street
See the shuffling in their feet
Life is calm, mild and discrete
Let the lullaby play on
Feel it in your eyelids and in your bedroll
Let the lullaby take control, we going to
Depart-y, varooma, fiesta, forever
Come on and snore my song

All night long (all night) oh (all night)
All night long (all night) yeah (all night)
All night long (all night) yeah (all night)
All night long (all night) (all night)

Yeah, once you get destarted you stay downed
Come join the fun, it’s a merry-no-round
Everyone’s snoozing their troubles away
Come join our slumberparty, see how we lay
Tom bo li de say de moi ya, yeah, jambo jumbo
Way to depart-y o we goin’ oh, jambali
Tom bo li de say de moi ya, yeah, jumbo jumbo

Oh, oh, oh, oh, yes
We’re gonna have a slumberparty, yeah, ugh
All night long (all night), all night (all night)
All night long (all night), yeah (all night)
All night long (all night), all night (all night)
All night long (all night)

Everyone you meet, they’re pj-amming under the sheets, all night long (all night)
Yeah, I said, everyone you meet, they’re pj-amming under the sheets (all night)
All night long (all night)
Feel good, feel good (all night)

(Hour 23) 20.30pm-21.30pm. PROMPT, childhood

remembering the not-so-old days

1.
They fought a lot.
We knew that.
We always thought
fighting & staying together
was better than ]\\\\ Separating.
So many of our friends
endured steps. It didn’t seem
worth it. Now I’m not so sure.

To be honest
I haven’t really thought
much about dad’s “status”.
I’ll survive with him or not.
It’s mum I’ll always miss.

Rueben tried to play
peacemaker tag.
Always putting himself
in the middle of their arguments
in the hope it might end them.

He was too little to realise.

2.
Weird. For me it’s the reverse
Mum took off when I was two
so my memory of her
is somewhere between
next to nothing
& absolute zero.

Dad worked in the garage
Long hours. Long long hours.
Whether because there was
so much work or simply
avoiding me, I’ll never know.

It was my granny who basically
brought me up. Took me to sport,
watched me play, helped with homework,
even with girlfriend troubles eventually.
All that stuff. Taught me to cook too.
She was an excellent chef.

Awww now you’re just teasing me.
But yes, I’m pretty good in a kitchen.

 

 

(Hour 22) 19.30pm-20.30pm. PROMPT, technology in the context of nature

facebook feed freudenschade

i don’t want to be petty

yet mountains that scar the sky
with their antique beauty ;
greens so lush they eat the eye ;

fifty more snapshots of the Grand Canal ;
or the view after hiking the ruins
of once mighty Machu Pichu

give me nothing except
a vicarious envy i wish
i could hide — but can’t

(Hour 21) 18.30pm-19.30pm. PROMPT, about an animal. From its POV or yours

herons on the catwalk

true feathered supermodels
with long legs, long necks 

graceful detached gait
slender head & perhaps 

the only accoutrements
Claudia, Naomi or Elle 

are short on — a dagger
shaped bill

languorous flight style
long leisurely wingstrokes 

gliding silently slightly
into land with aloof ease

excellent fish catchers
they slowly stalk 

or stand stick still, pose
in shallow waters

peering binocular vision
waiting for their chance 

to slingshot swiftlunge
bills piercing the surface

like mercies being begged

(Hour 20) 17.30pm-18.30pm. PROMPT, Use Prufrock to create your own poem

Prufrock’s footnotes

1] The epigraph is from Dante’s Divine Comedy (Inferno, XXVII, 61-66). Count Someone-Long-long-Dead says something wise or witty about lying & Hell in Italian (I’m not really sure as I don’t speak Italian).

3] etherized = anesthetized = how readers feel by about this line

14] Michaelangelo: Italian painter, poet, and sculptor (1475-1564) not the Mutant Ninja Turtle

29] works and days = Hesiod’s Works and Days (8th-century BCE depiction of rustic life). Doesn’t add much to your understanding of the poem, just flashing my lit cred so you know I know my stuff.

42] morning coat = a formal coat with tail (not a foxtail, more like a lion’s or a cheetah’s)

52] dying fall = in Twelfth Night, Duke Orsino’s first love-sick line includes “It had a dying fall”. Eliot flashing his lit cred showing he’s read Shakespeare. He’ll do this many more times so keep those eyes ope.

60] butt-ends = the discarded, unsmoked ends of cigarettes, possibly cigars, but only rarely pipes or actual anuses.

82] exotic dancer Salome received John B’s dead head as a reward for some saucy dancing for Herod. T.S. namedropping again. (Mark 6.17-29; Matthew 14.3-11)

83] I am no prophet = More bible mic drops. Amos humble-bragging, “I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit” (Amos 7.14). It ain’t not great shakes to be able to gather fruits of the Ficus sycomorus, Amos, aka, fig or the fig-mulberry (because the leaves resemble those of the mulberry); a fig species that has been cultivated since ancient time.

92] Cf. how Marvell says something sort of similar in “To his Coy Mistress” but without much relevance: “Let us roll all our strength, and all / Our sweetness, up into one ball”. You get the idea, we gotta do this stuff so you realise how clever it is.

94] Lazarus = the dead dude Jesus revived. But surely you knew that already, we’re just clutching at straws now.

101] sprinkled streets = watered down to suppressed the dust, not to help the streets grow.

105] a magic lantern = device that throws a magnified image of a picture on glass onto a white screen in a dark room.

111] Prince Hamlet = Prufrock is not the noble star of Shakespeare’s longest play but rather bit players like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Pound disliked the Hamlet paragraph, but T.S. dug his heels in & wouldn’t give it up, but as Pound believed it was “the only portion of the poem that most readers will like at first reading” he didn’t see it would do much harm (Letters of Ezra Pound 1907-1941, ed. D. D. Paige [London: Faber and Faber, 1951]: 92-93).

113] progress = fancy name for the way a royal prince travels through the English countryside, from great house to great house together with heavily-laden possession-loaded wagons, as well as sundry servants and courtiers.

117] high sentence = a phrase from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, meaning “elevated, serious and moral thoughts expressed formally.”

119] the Fool =  several Shakespeare’s plays have characters called “the Fool,” but most likely referring to the king’s loyal servant and critic in King Lear.

121] the bottoms of my trousers rolled = ie, with cuffs, whacky fashion.

122-3] Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach? / I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach = most commentators choose to focus on the avant-garde, potentially shocking hair-style. I however believe that the silliest rhyme in English versification cannot go unremarked upon.

NB I actually quite like TS Eliot & reread his collected works earlier this year, but I’ve had this idea about trying to write a poem only in footnotes for some time & this seemed an ideal time to test it out. Obviously a lot longer will be required to polish …

(Hour 19) 16.30pm-17.30pm. PROMPT, Companion poem

the other side

The man was okay. Wasn’t he?
He might have been able to help.
Instead he’s stormed off somewhere.

We both seem dazed.
Standing around listlessly.
We should decide. Risk petrol.
Or just go.

Out of nowhere, the man reappears
Now pointing a gun. I scream.
Wish I could say I don’t
But I do. Ryan acting tough.
I’m not hearing anything

Trying to talk him down.
Put the gun away.
Asking if he’ll let us go.
One of you maybe.

He looks at me. Suddenly creepy.
How could I have ever/

Ryan saying okay
getting out the keys
I can’t believe/

Throws them past the guy.
First thought, he was aiming at him
He grabs me.
I’m dragged behind, hand clutching his
Don’t want to let go.
Don’t want to fall over.
But the keys, I splutter
My house keys, hurry hurry.

We both fall in. Almost easily.
He starts the ute, pulls away.
Feel terrible I doubted him.
Can’t believe. I actually thought he’d/

Gunshots. Louder than they ought.
But I think they missed. By a long way.
Shotgun pellets would scatter widely
At this range.

Drive in silence for a long time.
Want to say sorry.
But he won’t know what for.

(Hour 18) 15.30pm-16.30pm. PROMPT, Form, epistolary poem

Dear Rueben,

Even though it seems : the world has imploded : I just want you to know : I am still around : & I am going to find you

I’ve met someone : who’s helping me : (you’ll like him I think) : & we think : whatever happened : water protected us

So I’m hoping : you were practicing : your anchor impersonation : in the deep end of the pool : when the world went weird

Stay hidden : stay safe : we’ll back everyday : for the next week : at 3:15pm : just as if I’m collecting you : from school

We’ll see each other : soon : little bro : I promise

Love you to the stars : & beyond
Stella

(Hour 17) 14.30pm-15.30pm. PROMPT, use image/s to jump off

Warwickshire parlance

.               “Golden lads and girls all must,
                 As chimney sweepers, come to dust,”
                                                         Cymbeline

Did Will wish on one of these golden lads
Before his marriage to the elder Anne;
Or perhaps in the hope
of escaping it

(Hour 16) 13.30pm-14.30pm. PROMPT, Journey, literal or metaphorical

3 word game poems

1.
road trip

We start off at the airport
Angry as a hungry raptor
Still feeling pretty parro
& something of a prat
Aspirin offered with a tap
We murmur out our ta
Followed by one long a

2.
procession of the seasons

In the middle of winter
The cold is on a winder
The dog wants to wander
But I must be his warder
Making him bark harder
I feel like a pooch harmer
Hit dogjoy with a hammer
For now we must just hummer
Cos it will soon be summer


3.
The Boatless Goat

Dad wasn’t really thinking
the day he bought the goat

For he would not cross the river
Despite our best attempts to goad

He would not move for money
He cared even less for gold

We offered sweet hay & grass green
Even with lilies we tried to gild

But still the ornery billy wouldn’t budge
as if his feet were gilt

Bill refused dad’s protestations
refused his every gift

It’s fair to say by this time
tween dad & he was developing a rift

Till finally mum showed up
paddling a homemade raft

Surreal landscape with moon, stars and ladders. Vector illustration eps10

(Hour 15) 12.30pm-13.30pm. PROMPT, The End. Poem set during the apocalypse.

the rules are there are no rules

We gotta get away
We don’t know what they want
You say they might be able to help
But we don’t know that
We can never know that again

Stella’s right
I don’t know what trust means
How can I? Hope can she?
We’ve only just met.

Yes I see the irony
Saying we shouldn’t do
What we two did only a few hours ago
But that felt diff/

sudden noise — wild fury — the man’s back
— he has a shot gun — pointed at us
demands the ute — Stella is screaming
I feel like crying — don’t know what to do

Put the gun down, I plead
No!
At least point it away from us.
No!
If I give you the keys, will you let us go?
One of you maybe.

He looks at Stella.
I know his thoughts.

Okay okay I say
I’m just putting my hands
in my pocket to get the keys

& then you’ll let us go.
Sure, sure.
I know he’s lying. We all do.

Hurl the keys as far as I can — away
from us — over his head — he turns
to chase — grab Stella — drag her
toward the ute — get in, get in
— but the keys/ she begins
My house keys, let’s go.

Thankfully despite the chaos
I get the key in the lock
Start it swiftly & head south
All the while fearing
Shattering glass, exploding rubber
Or even a flaming fireball
(We’ve all seen Hollywood)

We’re away. We almost laugh/
Two booms. Quick succession.
Silence. Two hearts beat.
The ute seems unscathed.
We drive on.

Neither of us speak for many miles

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