In 2006 my A-Level drama group created a half-hour piece of theatre based on the 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment of Dr Zimbardo. A lot of time, sweat and tears went into the production, and so did this poem, which kicked off the piece (this version is edited, as the original was filled with mistakes in meter and rhyme):
During the summer of 2006 I saw a particularly rubbish snippet of a television show called Brainiac Test Tube Baby in which a child made a funny face for 15 seconds of fame, and thought, “I could do that”. I emailed the show, saying that I could do at least 5 interesting things with my
A university essay I produced for a module on representing the self and representing others. Researching this piece truly opened my eyes to the narrative-driven, entertaining, and deceptively well-planned world of American professional wrestling.
I cannot tell you how overjoyed I was to rediscover this poem. First written to be performed at a student open mic night, I gave it a thorough edit and submitted it a year later as part of my final Creative Writing handover (hence the rationale, which is about as good as explaining a joke ever is). This poem is in no way dirty, so take your filthy mind out the gutter.
Another 500-word creative writing challenge – write something based on real-life events. When I visited Minsk almost a decade ago with a student theatre group, I kept track of everything in a leather-bound diary (snarf snarf snarf – what a nerd). The one momentous happening that never reached the pages of my journal was when Simon had to go to a Belarusian hospital, where a burly nurse administered an injection to his rump, for which he was expressly thankful. I used this opportunity to write down Simon’s experience, from the time-damaged memory of his own recount at the time (plus a few embellishments, natch).
The first hand-in for a 1st-year-undergrad university course on Creative Writing I took in 2009. I couldn’t bring myself to read all of it again, it’s so badly informed (notice the complete lack of critical perspective in my bibliography). I assume that I’d rushed this last minute; choosing instead to dedicate the weeks I had in preparation to partying and playing megadrive. That first line even – eurgh! “EVERY film and play has at least one defining theme”?! What tosh. Past Monty is, and always will be, an imbecile. Well, enjoy…
A friend of mine (hi, Paul!) recently held an anti-poetry evening with some like-minded fans of verse (sporting a “Poetry is Shit” t-shirt) – it’s quite fitting then that I should stumble upon this little poem that I quite like. As with most poems that I’ve neglected in the past, I don’t truly recall what manner of hard times or thoughts spurred me to write this, but I like it all the same. I might even read this to myself when I am old.
A poem from my student years, discovered deep in my hard drive. I recall that I had attempted to write something that would sound good with the tempo of a runaway train, but that would slow to a gentle stop in the final line. I implemented dactylic heptameter to achieve this. Did I succeed? Read it out and let me know!
A poem from 2009, that I seem to have written a rationale for; I attempted to write a love poem without the word ‘love’ in it. This one’s fun out loud due to my choice of Dactylic Tetrameter; the nature of the structure is that it rolls off the tongue as an ever-flowing list.
A Creative Writing set task from 2009 – we had to write a short narrative in a fantasy dreamscape. I assume now that my lecturer at the time was a Twin Peaks fan.
I have since tried writing ‘better’ dream logic (the futility is not lost on me), and I even had a dream diary for a while. You can check out a more recent dream piece here: Hypnopomia
In March of 2011 I churned out this short piece from an idea that my friend Ces brought to me (I’d previously written a one-act for her A-level drama group about the women in Alfred Hitchcock’s life, which seems all but lost to the ages). I honestly do not recall anything else about this, but I might consider polishing it in future.