The Rules

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Do not describe the sunset, regardless. Never
write about the buttery moonrise,
especially near the beginning: everyone
just switches off, and if they don’t
they should.

Do not mention war; any of the many.
Those possibilities are nothing to do with me.
They belong to others, to a family friend
who knows mountainsides blooming
great mushrooms of dust.

Everyone has had enough of trees/
flowers/ bees/ returning migrant birds, though
already, in autumn,
I miss the cheery pragmatism
of housing-estate house martins.

Don’t discuss the poor,
definitely not poor children
with Coke for blood, thin hair, cartoon thoughts,
giddy with particulates: that’s not fair of me.
It is not my place to think these things.

End rhymes, swear words, Oedipal stuff … mother
fucker! Who cares about the skull I can feel
when I prod into my face?


And don’t start going on about
where all the time and money went,
how much we could have saved;
it doesn’t scan. And it is churlish
and pedestrian to muse how I want to change you,
bit by annoying bit, and keep changing, till it’s not you.
And you –avoid punch lines – likewise.

contemporary poetryGraham CliffordPoetrywriting

◄ The Hitting Game

Comments

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Rose Casserley

Wed 27th Aug 2014 21:04

oh!and heres silly me,thinking there are no rules to poetry.

Only chain pulling Graham-nice one-Sir!

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Greg Freeman

Tue 26th Aug 2014 10:30

Very enjoyable, Graham. Thanks for posting it here.

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