Monday, 21 September 2009

Monday poem – here we go again

Post on holiday.
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36 comments:

Niamh B said...

That's horrific, but brilliant, really like it - the mark burned out with the cigarette, and everyone's name being loser! nice and dark, but with a bit of fun to it.

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks Niamh. It was a bleak mid-week. These things come and go, luckily.
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Sorlil said...

Really, really like the second verse.

Liz said...

Hi Rachel,
Agree with Niamh about the darkness and fun mix. Thought of Beavis and Butthead (have a feverish head so this might account for that association)Like the defying pride element...

Sorlil said...

Just checked out the blog and I'm tempted to try the Tracy Chapman, I adore that song!

Rachel Fox said...

Sorlil - thanks so much. You'll need a new profile photo soon, eh?

Liz - yes...darkness and fun...that's life really isn't it?

As for which of the songs on offer to work with...I stuck with the Bruce one because I have been writing and thinking about home quite a lot this year and I felt there was a poem just about ready to pop out on that subject (and there will be more to come I'm sure). Maybe one with more fun and less darkness!

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Susan at Stony River said...

We went through a few old coaltowns in WV this summer that would illustrate your words perfectly. You caught the mood; nailed it really, and I love the visuals you used.

A Cuban In London said...

Curious choice of song. I love that song, by the way. But the manner in which BS (I love that acronym, but I can see why a Springsteen fan would have problem with saying it :-D) sings it leaves little space for ayone else to work on it. However, you had a good stab at it and pulled it off in my humble opinion. The cigarette burn line was sublime, but given that there's been a ban on smoking in public places in the UK for a couple of years now, your poem will become either obsolete or a museum piece very soon :-).

Greetings from London.

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks Susan - glad you like it. I'm not really sure who, what or where it's about in my head...some poems are very clear and some much fuzzier and this is definitely one of the fuzzier ones (bit like the idea of home for me, I suppose). I'm one of those 'not really from anywhere' people.

Cubano - yes, it's funny how the cigarette came into it like that. It just appeared. It is interesting though - the whole change in attitudes to smoking...it's all been so quick really. Also I have a scar on my hand from a cigarette burn (an accident)...I suppose that came in to it too.

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shug said...

The tourist board will have a contract out on you

Rachel Fox said...

Ah yes...but which tourist board? I've lived in a lot of different places (some of them imaginary I fear).

Angus tourist office should love me - I've written lots of good things about places in Angus. Of course over time that may change...honeymoon periods and all that.

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NanU said...

so very powerful. this one is burned into me.

Uiscebot said...

Brilliant! I loved the chickentown reference.

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks, NanU. It was a fairly wild experience writing it last Thursday...it made for a very intense day (internally at least). I sometimes wonder (in that chicken and egg way) does the bleak mood you're in make the poem or does the poem coming out of you make the bleak mood? No clearcut answer probably...but I still wonder.

Thanks Uiscebot. I was writing about that John Cooper Clarke poem not long ago (here)and so it was in my head.

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Jeanne Iris said...

stark...raving...mad...love it! Thanks, Rachel.

Titus said...

Oh, this is good. Love the structure and repetitions, the whole mood and sparseness of it, and for me the last three lines are to die for. Use of "citizens" brilliant. Bravo!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Your best one so far ,Rachel,you nailed it as someone has already said.Hard to single out the best bits but the cigarette burn singed us all a bit I think.Any poem that references JCC (chickentown and possibly Loser?) is always okay by me.Thanks Rachel. You make life a fairy tale- Grimm! :)

mrsnesbitt said...

Tell it as it is! Wow!

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks Jeanne. Stark raving mad has always been one of my strong points.

Titus - I think the citizens came partly from the novel I read about the French revolution in the summer ('A place of greater safety'). Poems are such patchworks aren't they?

TFE - thanks for all that (and for all the prompts - you've really put us all to work).

Mrs N - hello. As it sometimes is anyway.

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Red Bird said...

Oh, I loved it- snarky and fun all at the same time.
:D
Well done, Rachel.
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swiss said...

chickentown!!? lol

hte last line reminded me of some song in my head somewhere that i'll remember later. uncheery for you i thought. but not the less for it!

Rachel Fox said...

RB - a lot of people have used the f word today (fun). Weird! It had me in tears last week. A few times.

And Swiss - yes I'm not always cheery! A lot of my cheerier poems are me trying to force myself into a happier place! Or something like that.

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Dominic Rivron said...

Good poem. Pleased I don't live there, wherever it is. :)

Emerging Writer said...

Reminds me of Garrison Keillor's description of where Lake Woebegone is on a map

Rachel Fox said...

It's OK Dominic...you can't live there...it's nowhere. Unless you are the nowhere man and I really don't think that you are...

Hello EW and welcome. I love the idea of Lake Wobegon...a fictional place that people try to visit.

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Jim Murdoch said...

Very good. I like the mark on the map metaphor very much. Do you think 'Folks' would work better than 'Citizens'? It feels more 'small town'.

Rachel Fox said...

No, no, no! Citizens has everything - the syllables, the atmosphere, the complete change of direction.
But thanks for your contribution. Your comment is really important to us...
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Rachel Fox said...

And the thing is...although this seems about a small town I'm really not sure that it is. It is about lots of different things.
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Eryl Shields said...

God, this is good! Love the cigarette burn image, and 'chickentown' which reminds me of the joke about the town that was so small its zoo had to close when the chicken died. That's where I live!

Titus said...

Do not touch citizens. Brilliant choice of word. Sorry Jim.

Rachel Fox said...

I don't know if you've read the comments but you do know I nicked the chickentown from someone else (John Cooper Clarke) don't you, Eryl? I wouldn't want to take credit for someone else's word! I heard the poem recently on the Sopranos...of all the unlikely places.

Damn I miss Tony Soprano.

Thanks Titus...for the back-up.

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hope said...

1. It seems the cigarette burn made the biggest impact on most of us.

2. What Titus said...sorry Jim.

I like that you even encapsulated how BS sings....short, sometimes [oh how un-American I'm about to be] dark to the point of depressing. But such a town would be.

You've done it again...nice!

Jim Murdoch said...

Maybe it's just because I've just finished reading The Master and Margarita and everyone is called 'citizen', those who aren't called 'citizeness' - I didn't even know the word existed.

Rachel Fox said...

Yes, that cigarette burn...why do we cringe so? Actual burn experience? Newspaper reports about people torturing children in that way? Both?

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McGuire said...

Some town - I understand that bleak place - a town called nowhere or nothing. Common place misery of the same buildings the same walls the same averted eyes.

Inner city life - it can drain you if you're not careful.

Nice Monday misery, rachel.

Rachel Fox said...

Yes...is it a town? Is it a city? Is is society? Is it just the inside of my head?

...
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