Monday, 2 April 2007

Wins the National Poetry Prize...

Before I start, found this, when I could still get in my office.

and this, an exercise in vanity or a reminder that yes, it really DID happen?

(Good?) Morning

Had a remission from this bug for a few hours late last night, crawled off to bed after 2AM and the wife (further into the same bug) was coughing so much it made her sick. Oh joy! So (we) barely slept last night.

Up early for the station run and then working on my subs/rejects spreadsheet. Realised I hadn't won The National Poetry Prize (came as a shock, I mean there were only 10,000 entries, probably half by poets who've published collections) how could they have not picked my three? I expected 1st, 2nd, 4th at least (given Seamus Heaney a token 3rd to show it's not fixed.)

Henny Weigh, if you fancy yourself as a poet. (I don't fancy myself as one, and yes, the above was a feeble attempt at humour) then it's well worth going to HERE (The Poetry Society's main site) as there are links to the top 13 or so poems this year.

I bet I came 14th, 15th, 16th...

(humour again folks)

Nice to see that the winner is accessible and readable.

Incidentally, I started to copy them into my word-processor intending to print and study (Study? Moi?) but some of them came across without line-breaks. I looked to try and see WHERE the line-breaks should be and it was hopeless. So often LBs seem arbitrary... but these are (apparently) seriously good poems, so the fault must be mine.

This is an old one of mine that appeared in Buzzwords Magazine (1999 I think.) In the following issue someone wrote that it benefitted from repeat reading.

Poetry remains a mystery to me. Doing my admin I was shocked to find that I've published twelve times (eight poems and two pieces that editors called prose poems that I thought were shorts.) I even won a prize for a rude poem about oral sex (whatever that is.)

But I know I'm crossing some dangerous wetlands just to get to the forest that I have to hack through to get to the bottom end of the foothills of being a poet, and it's raining really heavily, and the winds up, the temperature's dropping, and I shouldn't be out, but I like being in the position of being a neophyte (not unlike newbie short-story writers in Boot Camp) and I WILL get there.

Here it is...


Tell me the truth about sex, Jackie,
Tell me
the truth
about sex, tell me Jackie, the truth
about me, and sex, about me and sex
Jackie, the truth.

You've told me facts,
you've done it all,
three in a bed, you, another girl, a guy,
you, two guys,
but tell me the truth about sex, Jackie,
not facts.

I can't tell you truths,
I know no truths
I think it's true, I know
but what I know are facts
my mistakes are always one at a time.

I can talk about truths and think
about true things
(not including being true)
to you
but truths from me, they're facts
and it's the truth I need
so tell me the truth about sex, Jackie.

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