Thursday was the induction day at Clifton. Rory Waterman, David Belbin, Georgina Lock and Andrew Taylor introduced themselves to the students and the course structure was laid out. I was impressed with the layout and I have quite a lot of work to do…deadlines are good as I would default to laziness if did not have them!
We got a sense of the interests of the tutors and there was some joking about the similarities and differences especially in ‘poetics’. I immediately had a sense that a lot had happened in poetry since my extended ‘absence’ especially in academic poetry so when given a reading list and an empty library (all the students off being ‘welcomed’)I set about rounding up a few books and also finding out a couple I had heard about but not purchased like the Ludwig and Fietz ‘Non-Metropolitan perspectives’. I also came across the Hazel Smith (Australian) book which seemed to do a good job of exploring all the new’territories’ whether I wished to visit or not.
Finally I spent so much time delving through the shelves (ex-librarian syndrome) that I completely forgot to go to the social and missed the wine…and the social…oh well there plenty of events coming up to meet people.
Here what I snaffled up and hopefully I will have got through the ‘creative writing’ histories by first Poetry session on 5th October. Oh the How Novelists Work (Maura Dooley ed.) is my own copy rest in Library I also came away with the Eisner book as found a Graphic Novel section:-)
Well that has made me think…..after a thorough trawl my entire ‘fictional prose’ output amounts to three false starts and 1500 words. That is all there is…
So maybe choosing the’fiction’option as second choice of a range of pathways on the M.A. may have been a mistake. The other option is ‘Script for film and stage’ and the more I examine my past writing especially the outcomes for the songwriting the more it seems they may fit into a transmediale kind of box…..in thinking about the course I been drawn to Willy Vlautin’s novels/songs…..Nick Cave’s Bunny Monroe App. My role in the Trailer Star CD was as writer (script-writer?) for a project that delivered by others (actors?). I have the space to choose and think I will attend the first sessions of both before making up my mind. Any transmedia project needs good writing…content is king but how one approaches that content can be different. I have written poetry for 25 years so a new area is daunting and as the following shows there been plenty of false starts…..I keep seeing this intro to ‘Trailer Star’ as a graphic novel in black and white…maybe I should draw it out…literally 🙂
Looks like the M.A. already challenging my preconceptions..good….
Trailer Star: Moon over the Downs
intro..first page…script for a graphic novel..prose poetry…flash fiction?
Each drip off the corrugated plastic sheeting made a tinny sound that he could hear from deep within the damp sleeping bag and layers of blankets where he was trying to sleep. He could picture the 1953 Coronation picture tray (each royal face worn to a rusted halo) where it lay propped against the side of the caravan under the makeshift porch. He saw each drop collect in his mindâ€™s eye as it hovered on the broken edge and then fell from the cracked sheet. It was too cold to get up and do anything about it so he pulled the blanket back and in the dark caught a glimpse of the VHS recorderâ€™s timer a blurry phosphorous lime green glow. 3.12. He groaned and mumbled a curse about February weather groaned again and was gone. Sliding in his dream back to the childhood garden behind the biscuit factoryâ€¦crumbs of comfort on a crimson tableclothâ€¦sugar in a bowlâ€¦iced gemsâ€¦antsâ€¦blankness
The mangy mongrel from the next door caravan woke him up with a wheezing bark more like its ownerâ€™s cough at 7 a.m. From deep in the damp cocoon he could hear it dragging at its lead as the postmanâ€™s footsteps on the gravel path and the swish of his tyres trundled off to the far caravans. Some muffled words, case a banging door and silence again. The cold had seeped into his sleeping bag and through the sagging and wrinkled skin to his bones. He stayed wedged inside the dark cocoon not wanting to freeze his head even more in the brittle light. Then the old sod next door started turning over his old Roverâ€™s engine for what seemed like eternity before it sprang into a half-life of churning rusted pistons and oil leaks. It crunched off across the gravel road and onto the tarmac road that ran by the river and was soon a faint hum on the edge of silence.
7.10 blinked repeatedly from the recorder as he finally peeped one eye out from the sleeping bag. A cloud of steam marked his breath as it rose up to cloud the inside of the frosted and dirty window above his head. God he hated February. Ice that formed on the inside of the windows would puddle on the sills before dripping in grey lines down the walls. Still sleeping in his coat for warmth he slowly shed his covers like a butterfly emerging from its caterpillar skin. He tottered half upright and half awake-half asleep on the edge of the sagging bed and fumbled instinctively for where his lighter and Rizla papers were. It took ten minutes for his frozen fingers to roll the meagre tobacco into something like a decent â€˜rollyâ€™ that crackled as lit it. Yellow fingers shook as he brought it up to his mouth. February â€¦Jesus wept ..another winter like this and he wouldnâ€™t see the next one and no tours, no money in the overdrawn account..he was living on borrowed time..he knew itâ€¦theyâ€™d turn up one day and find him frozen to the inside of the caravan and have to chip the ice from his eyesâ€¦.maybe even carry him out stiffer than that guitar case propped against the door to stop some bastard getting in at nightâ€¦.he grimaced licked spit from his fingers and hacked his first clean breath of the morning deep into his lungsâ€¦so deep it hurtâ€¦