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A Short Course in Suicide Writing

I've been asked, by people following my blog, to include the poems I read on my recent poetry tour, so I'm putting them on here, then will be providing links back here from the blog. Hence...

 

A Short Course in Suicide Writing

 

Remember

that short, punchy phrases are best.

Say 'I can't take it. I will kill myself.'

Do not say: 'I cannot take the endless pain,

and now will do myself away.' It will sound vain.

 

Use concrete detail, and not abstract nouns.

Don't talk about cowardice, hatred or rage.

Name the pills that you're necking, the vodka

you're washing them down with - small details

like these help your readers imagine.

 

Do not be afraid to experiment

with form - try writing your note

in third or even second person;

adopting the tone of a coroner's log

creates distance, shows detail,

and makes for a good use of tense.

 

Above all, be clear about what niche you fill.

Are you a needy adolescent,

in skate pants and long fishnet gloves,

or a suicide bomb boy

raging against the Great Satan?

Consider your audience: writing like Kurt

will not go down well with the Hamas crowd.

 

And remember that theset things take time.

Do at least two drafts at first,

leave in a drawer,

look again in three months. Too many people

rush suicide, and lose the chance

of coming back to their notes with fresh eyes.

 

And one last, minor point - always remember

that 'Goodbye, cruel world' is a cliche,

and should be used, if at all,

just for ironic effect.

◄ Eggshells

On looking back into the mosh pit ►

Comments

Adam Fish

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Sat 9th Oct 2010 00:33

Thanks for checking out the blog! Yeah, the ride back from Middlesbrough to Newcastle did practically kill me...I survived though!

winston plowes

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Sat 9th Oct 2010 00:28

Hi Adam, This went really well in Hebden. A clever angle on writing. Had a look at your blog and in my experience the pacers of the north east and far more bum-breaking than the lesbians of Hebden bridge, but then again they would be I guess! Winston.

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