Saturday, 29 August 2009

Postcard power

It's been a funny week. But then maybe they're all funny. Anyway...on with it...what of poetry? I've been reading quite a lot of it (in the form of pamphlets by Anna Dickie and Tom Duddy and books by Liz Gallagher and Margaret Atwood...more of all those later). Of course I've been wondering on and off about my own output too (as you do...backwards and forwards...right and left...pacing about the room...as you do...).

After a year or so of thinking about my poems in their pretty green book this week I have been considering instead their somewhat forgotten older brothers and sisters (my poetry postcards). The cards are something I'm really proud of (though done with lots of tech and visual help from Mark as usual...I couldn't lay out a picnic on the computer never mind ten beautifully designed postcards). They all look great and they've all sold well and I still like most of the poems I chose for them (in one way or another). Card no 2 ('Diving') will come into its own in September because the friend I wrote that love poem for is getting married and wants me to read it at her wedding! See the power of poetry! The poem 'Diving' by the way is on the website under 'poems' (under 'love') if you're interested (it's in 'More about the song' too - on the 'love' title page).

Also recently I've had more orders for the cards (whole sets) and I've sent some off here and there too as swaps or gifts (the whole purpose of them is dissemination of poems...why keep them in their box in the dark?). A lovely New Zealand blogger even put them up at her place and the photo she took is so great that I'm going to borrow it! Here it is (thanks Andrea - her site the Rainbow Notebook is here).




I suppose I am half thinking now about whether to do some new cards and if so then which poems to choose. I have a few ideas (suggestions people have made in the past) and I may put some thought into this now Lovely Girl is back at school. I love the freedom of poems on cards...they really can go anywhere.

I wrote a little poem about postcards and photos and bits of newspaper (and indeed anything people might keep in a drawer/in their bag/by their desk/in a file somewhere). Maybe you'll like it. Maybe I'll even put it on a card. It's a couple of years old but I've never done anything with it. Here it is:


Little art


Carry it with you
Close, secreted
A card from a gallery
From way, way back when
A photo of a time
Things were better
(Younger anyway)
Now hanging on faintly
To pieces of then

A drawing of something
Especially significant
A splash of the past
As the new days go by
Thin comforts we keep
We treasure
So blindly
Graphic mementos
Prompts for the eye

RF 2007


What old cards and photos and scraps of paper do you keep in your secret stash? Though of course if you tell me they won't be so secret anymore...

x

36 comments:

Jim Murdoch said...

Postcards, eh? I went through a phase about twenty years ago of collecting postcards of women – old women, young women, the famous, the infamous or just kids in the street. There were conditions though, they all had to be monochrome and the women had to be looking straight out at you. Once I had a decent set, which took me months by the way, I arranged them above my desk in a flurry of little frames and very striking they were too. There was a great deadpan one of Debbie Harry and one of Laurie Anderson hugging her violin, oh, and one of the angriest and dirtiest little girl you ever did see holding an old-fashioned Coke bottle. I still have them all but they're sitting in a pile on a shelf of my bookcase at the moment.

Rachel Fox said...

Sometimes, Jim, I think you're not a man living in Scotland at all but a character in a French movie!

I had an old postcard that I loved. It was a still from 'Desperately Seeking Susan' and it had Madonna (before the diets and gyms) on the bed reading Susan's diary. Every time I moved house it came with me...I could never quite bring myself to throw it out. I still have it in a box of favourite postcards (some written on, some not). It was a very happy time when I first saw that film (even if it was in Spain and the film was dubbed into Spanish!)...and it was definitely Madonna's finest hour or so on celluloid. I don't think she's looking straight at the viewer so it wouldn't suit your collection but you might like it anyway.

x

The Weaver of Grass said...

I used one of your cards to send a note to a friend only this morning Rachel - they give me much pleasure. I keep old photographs and snippets I don't want to lose in a big tin - all well annotated so that when I pop my clogs people know what they are about.

Rachel Fox said...

What is this talk of clogs and popping, Weaver? No, no, no.

If you ever want any more postcards just let me know which ones you like. I can hand deliver them in October! The only one I am more or less out of is the 'Pluses and minuses' (the handwritten one).

x

hope said...

Your postcard "Auchmithie Road" rests in a shadow box, along with the "bits of Scotland", on the wall over my computer desk. To the right is Shug's map. :)

On my bulletin board is a postcard from Susan [stony river farm] from her home away from home...the state of W.V. and the other is from hubby. You, music person that you are, will get a good groan out of this. 3 Golden Retriever puppies are lying on the grass.

Dog #1 "Thought that love was only true in fairy tales."
Dog #2 "Then I saw your face.."
Dog #3 "Now I'm a retriever."

Go ahead, groan. :) Have a great weekend!

Rachel Fox said...

Oh no, I love bad jokes! Well good bad jokes...with dogs.
x

Dominic Rivron said...

My stash? My stash (if you can call it that) is distributed all over and includes your poetry cards. It also includes cuttings - often in the form of obituaries of people I've admired (the price of being 51), stuffed in their books.

Man goes into pub and sees Van Gogh sitting in the corner. Runs over and says "Wow! you're Vincent van Gogh! I love your work! Let me buy you a drink!"
"No thanks, says van Gogh, "I've got one 'ere."
(Apologies if you know it).

Rachel Fox said...

I don't think that's the first joke you've put on 'ere, M. Rivron. I think you're a closet comedian!

I have had phases of collecting lots of newspaper cuttings. Every now and then I have to go through them and throw some out otherwise the house would be full of them. I particularly like articles about people who've walked round the world and stuff like that...all kinds of odd bits and pieces.

x

Poetikat said...

I am pretty neat and organized, but unfortunately that tends to result in things being hidden away and out of mind. I want to redecorate (it desperately needs this) my office so I can have a big cork board where I can display some treasures.
Never fear, Rachel! Your postcards are safe in a box awaiting their place in the scheme. I haven't sent them off (I'm too selfish and can't let them go--yet).

Poetikat said...

I may be thick, but I don't get Dominic's joke. Can somebody help me out? (She said, feeling really stupid.)

Kat

Rachel Fox said...

Maybe it's the accent, Kat. 'Ere/ear...does that help? 'Ere short for here...

Anyway, send the cards out, send them! I can always send you more. In return maybe you'd know a shop over there that might stock them for me? I'd love to be internationally available (no bad jokes 'ere please!).

x

SUSAN SONNEN said...

I LOVE your poetry postcards, Rachel! In fact, I've sent a couple (duplicates) out to Postcrossing friends. It's neat to read about your postcard endeavors now as I am trying to put together some of my own.

Rachel Fox said...

You'll have to send me a set of yours when they're done, Susan! And thanks, I'm glad you've liked the first lot.
x

Titus said...

As a proud postcard owner I can only say "Do more". They are great.
Like the poem very much too, you had me by the second line.
My secret stash all husband related, and in my handbag.
1. Note he wrote me a while back (private).
2. Photobooth photograph where he is actually looking down, obviously to see why it hasn't gone off yet (funny).
3. His 1980 Student Card from Glasgow Uni (hilarious).
Lord, I never realised I was so romantic.

Niamh B said...

We got a great page a day calender with little works of art on each page, and couldn't stand the thought of throwing them out as the year went along. Plus we didn't like our yellow painted stairs all that much. Developed a tradition then, of reviewing the week's art every friday, and sticking the best ones up on the stairs.
Lovely poem - and such a perfect thing to put on a card like that!

Rachel Fenton said...

I have postcards of Paris at sunrise - mostly rooftops, the odd romantic ones...a black and white very young Keanu Reeves...and two shoe boxes stuffed with old letters/postcards...and I roll around laughing when I re-read them now as they were all written to me in my teens and are hilarious - full of teen angst and preoccupation, with music references thrown in to date them even more. I had to leave behind heaps of books when I moved to NZ but I could never leave my shoe boxes!

Andrea said...

I'm glad you liked my picture! The poem is cool too. I'm a bit of a collector of old papers and things. I have a lot of great old postcards my grandparents collected which I really love. Also ones friends have given me and now your poetry ones!

Rachel Fox said...

Titus - being romantic about a good man is completely sensible. It's only when a person is romantic about a dickhead that it's...anything but!

Niamh - thanks. That poem may make a card. It's the right length which does help!

Rachel - yes, what will we do if they ever stop selling shoes in shoeboxes?

Andrea - the card images on the website were never as good as the cards themselves...your photo is more like it!

x

Crafty Green Poet said...

that would be a perfect choice of poem for a card.

I have boxes full of paper, snippets from magazines, scraps of nice wrapping paper etc that I use in collages.

Rachel Fox said...

Hi CGP - I didn't mention this in the post (I feel like I bang on about it a lot!) but the cards are of course all made from recycled card. I like them better that way...and can't really understand why anyone would do anything else!
x

deemikay said...

My "secret stash" consists of bits of paper gathered around the world. It is also spread all around the room I'm currently in - so my stash is a room, currently. Lots of it, though is concentrated in the large box my camera came in.

There are a few postcards in it as well...

I like postcards. Where did you get yours printed? I'm having ideas...

Rachel Fox said...

Mainly I got them printed by a little local printers here in Montrose. It was sometimes quite hard work...but the results were good. Then they got new digital equipment and the results were not so good (to my taste anyway) so I moved elsewhere (another local place). Still not so pleased with results there though so I'm in between printers as far as cards are concerned (one reason I haven't done any for a while perhaps). I was very happy with the printers up north that I used for the book (they specialise in green/eco-friendly printing) so I plan to use them for any cards in future if possible. Obviously that would have to be done all via email/post but I did the book that way and had no problems at all with them so a few cards should be OK. The company is Big Sky up at Findhorn.

x

Totalfeckineejit said...

LizGallagers book is wonderful.These postcards area great idea,rachel and it's good theyv'e sold so well.The poem you just posted is lovely

Thin comforts we keep
We treasure
So blindly
Graphic mementos
Prompts for the eye

Rachel Fox said...

Yes, I'm doing the blog tour thing for Liz's book so I'm trying to think of some interesting questions!

Glad you like the poem, TFE. Might yet join in with your writing thing on Monday night too.

x

swiss said...

i'd like to see frisge magnet as a postcard because then, somehwat obviously, i could stick it on my fridge!

Rachel Fox said...

I have thought about it, Swiss, but it's just a tiny bit too long for a card. Titus did some lovely bookmarks using just excerpts of poems (something I had not thought of) and I suppose that would be one solution. Still...I'll think on it some more and see if I can squeeze it into the next batch.
x

deemikay said...

Thank you for that! May be used in future... :)

Dominic Rivron said...

It's a shame Let me be your fridge magnet won't fit on a fridge magnet. Did you know you can get talking fridge magnets? Unfortunately, you can only record 10-12 seconds on the ones I've seen.

Rachel Fox said...

I know Dominic! I have thought about it from time to time and wondered what I could do with it. I even thought of 'Let me be your fridge magnet' as a title for the book for a while too.
x

Eryl Shields said...

So, now I know about these postcards (missed them before) I need to have them in my possession: how much?

Love the poem.

Rachel Fox said...

Hey Eryl - just checked my website and it's £3.50 for a set of ten. Site is here and go to postcards page (buy through paypal). Who knows...you might get a free gift!
x

Eryl Shields said...

Yipee!

Eryl Shields said...

Went wild and ordered two sets, one for my best friend whose birthday is coming up.

Rachel Fox said...

Yes, the order's come through. All in the post tomorrow.
Thanks!
x

Poetikat said...

I'm popping in for a wee visit. I may know of a place for your cards. Actually, you can visit the website here: www.jammedlovely.com (if I recall it correctly). The proprietor is a lovely woman and the shop is wonderful - not your typical kitschy stuff. It's in a Quaint town called Elora which is a big tourist spot about an hour and half north-west of Toronto.

(It's not the accent in the joke, by the way - I'm pretty good with British accents, having watched more British film and television than most people over here. I just don't get the joke. Silly me!)

Kat

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks for that, Kat. I'll look into it.
x