Projectile dysfunction in humans

POETRY

THE PREMATURITY OF HUMANITY

Dehorned Rhino Poem4
‘Memorial to a Species’ Brent Stirton, (EcoWatch)

Stay home and do subtraction

THE WRITER’S LIFE

“It’s a subjective term, an elective one; something in your shoes, or on them. Do you want to walk it into your house?”

blood film strip

There’s nothing especially wrong with talking to your reflection in the mirror, but when you begin by addressing it, “Look…” then perhaps you know you’re talking to yourself because there’s no-one else around. Sometimes the man in the mirror finds poetry the best reflection when alone on a very cold planet.

Down here below the mirror, in the blind spot where a kid gets crushed against the railings by a council dustcart, I write prose for the anxious souls who have to venture out and engage with society, because authority requires them to do so, even the surrealists.

I write poetry for those who’d rather not invite community into what society conditions civilised humanity to consider convention; verses for those who have to get up and dress themselves before they go anywhere; and pages torn from the book of entrapment.

Letters from personal imprisonment, where visitors are discouraged; notes discovered in a pocket. A message from a lonley planet to whomever might be listening, some horror writers find poetry to be their best outlet for that which spans their real and fictional worlds. With its minimal words, the medium of the verse paints portraits and landscapes with bridges in the background. As if anyone hadn’t worked out that the world isn’t safe in human custody…

TEPID HANDS

Hands_of_hell

Life on earth attending a friend’s funeral then escaping before the wake, wondering if as many people will turn up at theirs and who’ll provide the sandwiches; or leaving a party when you’re less conspicuous by your absence; the art of subtraction and division is fucking off and talking to yourself about the mess you made.

It’s impossible to invite people home when you have no home to speak of, so you write about what it was once like when your world was cooler.

“Look, there’s no-one else around. Let me see you in the mirror. It means I’m not looking at you directly. The underfloor heating will keep us warm.”

Staedtler Noris 122

And all the surrealist can do is support his fiction on crutches, and hope there’ll be elephants in the room, knowing they’ll be floating in the air so lightly that they don’t crush the eggshells on the floor while the clocks melt.

Something a confused writer questioning reality with poetry can do, is keep a personal diary. The only way to make sense of it is to leave it open on the last page. Then I’m something. 

Takifugu sushi rhyming slang

POETRY

If you cook it, it tastes like fish…

ANATOMY OF A GHOTI

Fugu poem2

Open your ears. All we need to do is keep talking, and listening.

They’ve gone away on holiday

POETRY

We’re only gone when we’re forgotten, but when we remember, sometimes they visit us. They still walk among us. You just have to keep your eyes open to notice them.

BLINK

In a moment3

Le père de cet homme est à moi

POETRY

That man’s father is my father’s son: A poem about parenting, and about changing generational roles, from the big ones (nearby) to the small (far away); about absent dads, where the Marmite goes in the middle…

GHOST DAD

Shadow monkeys Fathers Day

A million baggage tags

POETRY

This was inspired by a friend who’s moving home. As someone who was transient for a few years, I can empathise. Starting life in a new place can be daunting, but often we’re moving away from something else, where the wallpaper’s peeling. Home is the cloakroom for hearts…

WALLPAPER SKINS

Peeling wallpaper

For some of my more recent poems, when I’ve posted them as images (better for Instagram) I’ve positioned the text so that the poem can be read either monologue (down) or as though in harmony (across). I wonder if this is working?

No empty bench at Sainsbury’s

POETRY

I write poems for the people, I write prose for myself, and I write for everyone. Sometimes I write in one form about writing in another. Poetry is often made of shared memories…

Monkey Black heart Sid and Nancy

Words © Steve Laker.

Nominative determinism in life

POETRY

I’ve called this ‘What’s the matter with us?’

Nominative determinism 2 columns

These are the streets…

POETRY

On my head

Words © Steve Laker. Photo by Ellen Rostant. September in 2016 My London calendar (CafeArt)