Archive for the ‘experimental’ Category



Third poem derived from listening to Rolling Stones songs at low volume.
There’s an Islamic flavour to this one. As if Mick had become Mohammed.

Dissatisfaction

 

Shiny skinned and cherubic

A fat man wins first prize

in the baby show

 

Goats are astray

In the nation’s capital

Devouring stray pedestrians



Pressing prose is a chore

Counting words provocative

But I’m high on pagination

 

I’m clad in a PVC burka

An Islamic man turns up

In a hair shirt just for me

 

But he can’t be an Imam

‘cause his mosque don’t have

the right minarets for me

 

I’m driving at the world

I’m trying to dance

and I’m deep in debt

 

I’m trying on fake pearls

Hoping to charm the ladies

with my boozer’s cheek.



Copyright Mike Hopkins 2014

Any excuse to mention Robin Trower, who was NOT one of the Rolling Stones, but is, in my opinion, a great guitarist. Here is his great song “Too Rolling Stoned”:

Like many rock and pop songs, the lyrics are somewhat opaque. For instance:

“A stitch in time / Helps to unfold me /Circus starts at eight so don’t be late”

Which sort of justifies the opacity of these ‘poems’ derived from listening to Rolling Stones songs at low volume. This one’s based on “Paint it Black”

Paint it Black

I’ve been a force fed thing
A pin cushion for you

Heaving in the sack
My stealer’s race is up

I’ll vomit rum and snot from high
onto a sea of plaintiff hacks

Hunting the parking zone
Cliff side nooks are for sale

Icy steeples turning red
And stick men looking gay

I flaunt it on my back
A hook inside my vest

Copyright Mike Hopkins 2014

Adelaide Oval Stones Concert (ABC)

 

The Rolling Stones have been in Adelaide. I didn’t go to the concert at the Adelaide Oval, but friends who went say it was brilliant.

In a podcast recently, I heard a poem which was the result of listening to a song at very low volume, and writing down what the poet thought they heard.  So I decided to try it on a few Rolling Stones classics. The initial results are quite weird, so I thought I’d post some examples over the next week or so. This is raw material. I intend to cull it and maybe turn the pieces into a single ‘poem’ if that’s what it can claim to be.

The first one is based on “Honky Tonk Woman”


Honky Tonk Woman



Arm in arm we enter

a harmonium scene

a dentist plies me

with steak and kidney pie

 

we plateaued, evenings, nights

sucked croissant soldiers

lusting for pink

tossing rhymes

 

I was a long conquered human

looking for a long conquered muse


later, inner blues

sated with chilli pork

my cousin shoots up

to some kind of high


our ladies came in

covering their noses

threw red roses

from colder climes


I was a long conquered human

looking, looking, looking for a long conquered muse


 Copyright Mike Hopkins 2014

 

cohenincuba

Final poem for April 2014. Today, for I think the first time, I’ve used the prompt from the NaPoWriMo web page. Actually, it’s yesterday’s prompt as they are a day behind Australia.  It gives a complex 20 step recipe for a poem e.g.:

1. Begin the poem with a metaphor.
2. Say something specific but utterly preposterous.
3. Use at least one image for each of the five senses, either in succession or scattered randomly throughout the poem.

etc.

I followed the instructions closely, and then massaged the results. For instance I relocated the poem to Cuba, which I visited about 8 years ago. The result does not necessarily make sense, but, as an experimental poem written within specified constraints, I think it’s sort of interesting. Only after finishing this draft did I find that Cohen actually went to Cuba during the Bay of Pigs invasion (read about it here) – don’t know whether that came from my subconscious or is pure coincidence.

Leonard Cohen in Cuba

Over Havana

the sun is eclipsed.

 

In the false dusk

the cab-drivers

are like porn stars

 

The street beggars yearn

for the touch of skin.

Their beds are of cardboard

scented with cheap rum

 

In the bars,

there is salt

on the rims

of the glasses

 

but the punters

can only taste collapse

and endure the complaints

of disappointed women

 

Leonard comes to town.

He corrects me:

“It wasn’t cardboard,

it was newspaper.

They stank of urine not rum.

and these cigars are utter tosh”

“Llame a la policía!” he shrieks

 

The bars are flooded

in a freak storm.

The cab-drivers go home

for dinner with their families.

 

On Sunday,

the ceiling collapses

from the weight of expectations.

 

The embassy recommends

we move to a monastery

safe from the police

and the constant

attentions of the jineteros

 

Leonard sneers

at his entourage.

The boss is unimpressed.

“It will end in tears” he warns

 

The belligerent nuns

whisper that the drunken priests

are the only ones

to be trusted

 

 © Mike Hopkins 2014

Not much gas left in the tank of ideas, so today I’m doing an ‘erasure’ poem. This involves taking a random slab of text and erasing words to produce a ‘poem’ from the remaining words.

I’ve used a great web site called “Erasures” to automate the process. The source text is History of the Gatling Gun Detachment by John Henry Parker, and I’ve called the poem “Erasing the Box”

Erasing the Box

 

erasure

 

 

 

 

© Mike Hopkins 2014

const

 

This morning I cycled 22 kms and ran a 5km race before breakfast. Then I did a load of washing, spent the afternoon sanding and painting. Then went to the library, did my week’s shopping and picked my son up. And you still expect me to write a poem today? Well don’t expect it to be a complete one.

 

This Poem Is Under Construction

it needs a better title

and a first line that says

something the reader

doesnt already know

 

the middle is coming together

but the format

is

still

a bit

all over the place

 

it then meandars

without adding anything meeningful.

before coming to a faltering end.

 

That ending definitely needs a rethink.

And it needs a spellcheck too.

 

© Mike Hopkins 2014

f-35

“The Government has given the go ahead for the purchase of 58 more F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) at a cost of $12.4 billion – making it the nation’s most expensive Defence asset.” (ABC News, 23/4/14).

 

Reasons to Spend $12 Billion on Fighter Jets

 

  1. Saves on medical bills – less Viagra needed by politicians and military top brass.
  2. Loud, fast, impressive flypasts at motor races
  3. Avoids arguments between bureaucrats about whether to spend the money on health or education
  4. Sounds really impressive in speeches – sexy words like ‘strike’, ‘JSF’, ‘fighter’, ‘f-35, ‘hornet’
  5. Exciting daily rides for large numbers of Australians – well 58 of them at least
  6. Wonderful vote of confidence in those great, great people in the armaments industry
  7. You can get somewhere really fast – if you’re on your own, a qualified F-35 fighter pilot and the ‘somewhere’ is an air force base or aircraft carrier
  8. Got to love those vapour trails
  9. Easy to park – can fit into just 4 normal car park spaces *
  10. Gives lots of our money to a really needy country … the U.S.A.
  11. Stimulates jobs … in the U.S.A.
  12. Shows how independent we are from everybody (except the U.S.A.)
  13. Scares the shite out of boat people when you fly really low over them
  14. Big boost to the sales of plastic model aircraft kits and glue
  15. Video stores get increased demand for rentals of  “Top Gun”
 * car park spaces must be at the end of a 750 metre runway

 

You know it makes sense.

 

© Mike Hopkins 2014

Today saw a case of severe writer’s block. The harder I tried, the worse the ideas became. The more I searched poetry books, the web, old notebooks, the less inspiration I had.

Eventually, getting sick of it, and just wanting to eat and relax, I’ve gone back to the earlier idea of a google search bar poem.

This one is loosely inspired by recent events in New South Wales, where the Premier has had to resign over a gift from a corrupt businessman of an expensive bottle of wine.

 

google corrupt

 

© Mike Hopkins 2014

interrogation

According to a not very reliable website I read today, humans are different from animals in 15 ways. These include crying (really?), farting (I know that’s not true because I’ve smelt dog farts and heard elephants fart), hiccoughs (maybe), blushing (likely), shaving (obviously), pins and needles,  risk taking and daydreaming (how would we know).

I started this poem as a list of those ‘weirdnesses’, and then turned it into the record of one side of an interview. I’ve given it the number 1 – the inquisition may continue.

Interview 1

How long since you last slept?

Have the hiccoughs always been this bad?

And when did the tears begin?

Have you measured their volume?

Do you usually blush this easily?

And this shade of red?

Why did you take the risk?

Now that you are here, do you think it was worth it?

How did the pins and needles start?

Why did you laugh so hard?

But nobody else did. Why do you think that was?

Do you usually kiss her on the mouth?

What about that particular morning?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad is the pain?

When did your ‘personal’ problem surface?

Did it affect your relationship?

What about the deformity?

Why did you blink at that question?

What was your daydream about?

Was it in 3-D?

And colour?

Which side of your face do you usually shave first?

Wet or Electric?

How long since you last had sex?

Man or woman?

When did you realise you were the only survivor?

Are you glad?

 

© Mike Hopkins 2014

New Age Bull

 

This one came from a Facebook post this morning, about a “New Age Bullshit Generator” (here). You press a celestial button on the site and it generates a page of New Age bullshit – you know, rebirth, unicorns, the cosmos, chakras etc.

So I challenged fellow Poem A Day-er Tracey Korsten to a duel – write a poem out of the New Age bullshit.

So here’s mine:

 

“The Universe is Buzzing ….“

…with bio-electricity” she says.  “We exist as bio-feedback.”

 

-          I am reminded I haven’t paid my power bill.

 

“The solar system is calling to you via vibrations.” she says “Can you hear it?”

 

-          I cup my ear, but the vibrations are overwhelmed by bar chatter and the cash register

 

“We will be reborn at a crossroads of power and discontinuity” she says

 

-          I had a Robert Johnson record once, but I scratched it.

 

“Who are we? Where on the great mission will we be reborn?”

 

-          I hadn’t realised she was one of the Stolen Generation.

 

“We are in the midst of an event that will remove the barriers to the cosmos itself so that we will enter into infinite space-time”

 

-          I see myself as a young Captain Kirk, in an early episode of Star Trek

 

“Bondage is the antithesis of growth. Desire is born in the gap”

 

-          I think she’s trying to hit on me

 

“Reality has always been full of adventurers”

 

-          She IS trying to hit on me

 

“Imagine a maturing of what could be. It is time to take aspiration to the next level” she says

 

-          No, she thinks I’m too old

 

“Astrology may be the solution to what’s holding you back from an epic fount of potentiality. Confront the things that can exterminate” she says

 

-          Astrology instead of Viagra? Or maybe it’s Dr. Who.

 

“Our chakras are engulfed in the wonders of curiosity” she says

 

-          “I’m skint. I was wondering if you could buy me a pint?” I say.

 

 

 

© Mike Hopkins 2014