Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Poets Perspective

The poetry depot in the Milk Market started, for me, with a little boy in a football jumper, first pushing his sister towards the poets gathered at their tables, then coming in himself. He asked me for a poem about an ·army man·, who saved the world. A few questions elicited images of this army man climbing cliffs, leaping out of planes, and generally kicking a lot of ass. I wrote it for him as a kind of rap, with a lot of rhythm and repetition, and he was delighted with it. By the time I´d finished his poem there was already a bubbling queue of people going out the door, and all of the writers were either talking folks through the poem they wanted, or had their heads down writing. From then on we didn´t stop for a moment. As soon as one person had had their poem read to them, and expressed their delight or amazement, sometimes their unexpected tears or laughter, another one was clearly waiting for the nod, up they came, "Hi, my name is......I´d love a poem for my father/husband/wife/puppy/disneyland trip/marathon." What struck me with everyone was just how incredible it was for them to watch their own lives give birth to poetry, just like that, how happy they were. For my own part I was surprised how easy it was to keep writing and writing; the lines flowed endlessly out of me, and a lot of it was good stuff. Two and a half hours of non stop poetic productivity, and I felt like I could have kept going and going with it. Writer´s block seems impossible when you´re doing for the sheer fun of seeing people´s faces light up.
Dave Rock

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