Poetry Blog by Jo Mayers
on The Elephant Dance (Wed, 14 Sep 2011 02:00 pm)
on Between the Page and the Day (Wed, 14 Sep 2011 01:58 pm)
on The Elephant Dance (Tue, 13 Sep 2011 08:53 pm)
on The Elephant Dance (Tue, 13 Sep 2011 08:52 pm)
on Between the Page and the Day (Tue, 13 Sep 2011 08:51 pm)
on On not writing (Wed, 7 Sep 2011 04:00 pm)
on On not writing (Wed, 7 Sep 2011 11:15 am)
NB the title is undetermined as yet. Something about getting the glow, or taking the edge off, or both.
We’re having fun.
The collective mood must be
a good one, because there’s
a laugh after each phrase.
Also, the drinks seem to be
going down. Invisibly soft,
not by increments.
Sly levels of spirit; getting
into our systems and upping
our little ga...
Wednesday 30th November 2011 4:24 pm
If you have ever done things –
walked home, watched the stove, sang –
as if from the bottom of a pond;
you’ll know this already:
It starts when you look up from thick text.
Raising a sleepy yet also thrumming head,
coming out of a word-pressed coma
into recovery, a strange room, a waiting.
This is the short time following time spent
with the best-...
Tuesday 13th September 2011 4:31 pm
This is part of a new thing I'm quite enjoying; writing poems that children might enjoy. Not children's poetry as such, because I think there's a massive crossover, and I would never alter my semantics for the sake of genre. Anyway, have a look.
The beat can be heard before they arrive,
because they’re very heavy
and coming in droves.
Doom-bah, doom-bah. They seem to...
Tuesday 13th September 2011 4:27 pm
If I haven’t called
it’s due to trauma.
Some foot or other
came through my window
and I’m still picking
glass out of my hair.
And this silence might
be dull to you but
to me it’s colour.
Full blown sheets
on a line, dyed like
real life, but quiet.
Remember, I tried it
once before, the talk.
We had long, taut
Tuesday 6th September 2011 3:01 pm
Don’t tell anyone. Just regret each moment, each turn
to the other side and breathe reluctantly through
your mouth and wait.
There is a heat that takes its time, almost as much
as getting to sleep, before it stakes full claim.
Once there, it’s like tar. Thick, non-cha...
Sunday 10th April 2011 5:02 pm
I've done some work on a previous blog entry, entitled 'Mammy Wata'. I hope it's now a little more complete, and makes more sense. I've a feeling it's going to be one of those projects that NEVER really feels finished.
The Yoruba verses
I - Constance
Who comes to visit me,
when the sea is fat with breath
and streets are quiet?
Who is it hangs, one-hande...
Sunday 10th April 2011 5:00 pm
I am a Pritt Stick (tm)
I love your hand.
The way it encloses,
and folds, it's perfect.
Designed, it seems
for my purpose.
I am a plastic keyring
Pride in my own ability
to hold and to keep.
Acceptance of my
and pocketed life.
I am a rug
Supporting all kinds
of step. No judge...
Thursday 20th January 2011 12:07 pm
You’d best shoot the messenger
if you like flowers in clear plastic coats,
or sugary hearts. This story contains
bleeding, dripping engine parts and gears
repaired by an English mechanic in May.
He has a thick tongue and something
big to say. And it’s bound to be tricky.
Today, he’s bending his will around;
bullying it to get this great lump
past his t...
Sunday 2nd January 2011 5:24 pm
It's been a disgustingly long time since I blogged! I'm not quite sure why I've been so remiss. But I HAVE been writing, so I'll share something now. This is a little mini-narrative I concocted, when asked to write a poem on the theme of either 'violence' or 'silence'. I think that the following falls into both categories. But see what you think...
“I’m not waiting for you”.
Wednesday 29th December 2010 3:17 pm
Ever observed this phenomenon?
A language thing, simply done
that can make people stop, mid-step
and mark the page they’re on.
And that’s right, I did say phenomenon.
It’s two words together.
Arranged, or rather allowed to fall
recklessly like rain
onto a page, or a sign,
or some aggressive lips.
There must be two, more than one.
Thursday 11th November 2010 3:50 pm
It’s a shame to waste strands of hair
on a hard-backed brush. No.
Strew them across bus seats,
let them career across canyons
while you dance –perhaps violently
in the dusk.
And let your skin elope,
if it must.
Take it to fairs, show it
to the fans and allow each
cool touch from a cotton sleeve
to fill up your day.
They will say that y...
Thursday 11th November 2010 3:49 pm
To explain: This is the entirely fictitious story of an African woman, who becomes pregnant by a man she loves, but does not marry or even know very well. She comes to term, but in childbirth she loses one of the twins, a boy. It is stillborn. In the Yoruba culture, the term ibeji means a totem which represents a lost twin, so after several years, this woman prays to the water goddess, Mammy Wa...
Tuesday 19th October 2010 6:12 am
Boot blood tastes the worst.
It’s like licking pure metal ore
from a hole in the ground.
We got him home, took off
his sodden shirt and had to peel, slowly
each sock from his engorged
and pulsing feet.
By the way, this wasn’t
the follow-up to a tragic night.
There’d been fun, twiglets
in bowls at one point,
and gentle fondling
of some ...
Tuesday 19th October 2010 6:02 am
This poem is from my new pamphlet, Yes, I have Laid the Table, which is all about FOOD.
I made cake,
nearly six minutes ago now.
It rose carefully, safe
in a greased embrace.
A car backfired.
I put the tin down
on a wire mesh. It needs
to cool or I’ll burn myself.
So I climb the stairs to wait.
Sit on the landing,
bite the rough skin
Sunday 10th October 2010 11:13 am
Sometimes I like to try and be Frank O'Hara. This is just one of the various outcomes:
It seems that some have a
sparkling, nearly sinister
ability to guess at tones
and immediately know their colour,
in an instinct, as though they
were born with the lesson
I got from Lisa the painter
who had brown hair
in a bandana and also
a small tattoo of a crow...
Sunday 10th October 2010 11:11 am
I may read one or both of these at next month's Freed Up.
We talk, all the time, about annoyance.
I cannot understand yours.
While it’s true that a clerk
favouring the phone customer over you,
loyal you in the bloody queue,
is a problem,
how about when a tree has to grow
its trunk around a wire fence that’s
been strung too close. Folding metal
Saturday 25th September 2010 2:18 pm
It is faulty logic
to sit on a
But we do,
to be polite.
It is churlish
to find new snow
But we don’t
need to build our
own men anymore.
We always have
that anonymous sense.
Oh I want.
And we stare at death
like a cat
at the washing.
But it’s funny how
Saturday 18th September 2010 12:49 pm
This is something I wrote during a 'funny few months' in my very early twenties (perhaps some of you have experienced the same). There is LOADS wrong with it, but it seems pertinent at the moment, so I thought I'd post it.
Here is my seat.
Small leaf carpet moans forever.
Autumn slips away in a trance.
You can have cake.
Feet in a circle endless bothe...
Sunday 12th September 2010 6:32 pm
Since y'all were so nice about my Meleager poem, here is another tale filched from Greek myth. This one's about Phaedra, whose older sister Ariadne ran off with Theseus, the Minotaur slayer. When that all went pear-shaped, Theseus came back and helped himself to Phaedra (well, you know, he married her). I always thought that sister dynamic was interesting. After all, Theseus didn't love Ariadne...
Tuesday 7th September 2010 8:06 pm
I've been wondering if this poem has got legs for a while. It's worth clarifying that Meleager was the one from Greek Mythology who fancied Atalanta, and organised the Calydonion Boar Hunt. When he was born, it was prophesied that he would only live as long as a particular brand remained unburnt. On the hunt, Meleager managed to kill two of his uncles, who took issue with Atalanta claiming the ...
Monday 6th September 2010 12:34 pm
This is very new. I'm thinking of reading it at a 'family friendly' poetry event next month. The title is very much provisional.
Yesterday was ordinary.
I went in search of you
wearing a mail-order rocket suit
complete with little toggles
to control the flight.
And a cape.
It didn’t take.
Halfway across the divide
the engine gave up (...
Saturday 4th September 2010 5:28 pm