Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Freewriting more and more

After Saturday's freewrite and with chapter 13 full of freewrites for raw material for poems, I've been rambling in my increasingly full notebook. The one I'm working on at the moment just splurged out onto the page this morning and has haunted me all day. It was an animal I looked after when I was just 18 and newly married. I hesitate to call him a pet, he was a wild animal who had decided, through some identity crisis, that he was my baby or partner, and lived with us for three years.

Jackdaws on the chimney, jackdaw in my hand, on my shoulder, whispering into my ear. turning sharp beak to look at me, one grey alien circle after the other. Butter pecked a hundred times, pools of melted butter vomit on the window sill, bad JJ, light reptile legs holding, click clack claws land on the back of a chair. Hairy feathers project over a greasy beak, 'Chack' in greeting, beak deep in breast feathers for me to brush fingers over his crown, tickle soft feathers, croon to him. Part of me, wild playful mischief-full part of me, constrained by the new house, new marriage. Me and JJ wind in our hair, wild in our feathers, barefoot in the frost, staring down people, not caring, rough woollen man by my side, walking by me but not quite with me, drawn and repelled by my madness, my freedom, my rage, my passion. I am bold dark sweeps of colour, long dark symphonies, crude scary words, the wordless poet in him is drawn to that. He reaches under my clothes on the stormy beach his teeth grazing my lips, clamped on my neck and I am shivering as much with cold as with anticipation. I love it, the power of the storm, but he's sorry for the tiniest bruise. We walk along the cliff, bird and woman, deciding whether to jump, fly, picking berries, calling to the jackdaws dancing overhead. JJ looks, but clings to my shoulder, sheltered in my neck.

The freewrite captures, for me, part of my past but also my sister's point of view, bipolar and prone to extremes of passions and actions. Now I have to turn it into a poem with a syllable count, but I think it will end up in free form. I'm so enjoying the poetry bit of the book, and thank goodness for Stephen Fry's book explaining the way!

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