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Sunday, 22 August 2010

On Waking on the Poetry Bus

Very challenging, this week's journey on The Poetry Bus. Driven by the demon driver
Chiccoreal, I can't wait to see what the other passengers are up to!


First thoughts on Waking

First thoughts on waking up this morning? Same
as any other day, the same routine. Same
questions:"Time. What is?"
A metaphysical conundrum, that.
Far better brains than mine. Too early for.
Stay practical: "How long 'till morning cuppa time?
How long 'till I can shake a leg and make the brew?"
"Will bathroom visit wait 'till then?"
"Ought I be getting back to kip?"
"5.20 - ish..." that's "40 minutes - ish..." and then
a problematic "Yes... relax" before the final "Nope!"
But relaxation brings new issues in its train:
"What did I think of as I died last night?"
Another metaphysical whatever! Did
something find a resolution as I slept?
Some lines somehow composed, perhaps?
"Should I be writing something down?"
Give answers in reverse, last first, first last -
as it will be in Heaven, so we're told. So, "yes" and "yes".
They're fading fast. I'll write them down.
Not Wordsworth, granted, but you should have been around
when yesterday's conglomeration of odd words
did damage to the ears - no, preferably not!

Re-reading Ulysses last night for the third time - ah yes,
most lovely book of all books and most difficult to read -
did I not say how hedonist and masochist are met in me?
All masochists are hedonists, I've heard it said. Maybe...
Scrub that: I dropped off thinking: nightmares --
Mr Breen's, in point of fact, as told by Mrs B, in which
The Ace of Spades went walkabout and climbed the stairs --
though how, we are not told: might it have tiptoed, crept
or scrambled, flounced or strode? Joyce doesn't tell.
Slipped up, I'd say. Now me: deliberate,
the way I seed my sleepy mind with thoughts to influence --
to see if I can influence -- the course or content of my dreams.
Don't think I dreamed at all last night... I must have...
Can't remember. Inconclusive that, or what?
Instead, I am reminded of some childhood nightmares.
Still vivid, some. One in particular, a shop, quite bare,
save for a long, curved counter disappearing to infinity,
behind which stood my mother smiling her warm smile.
I walk up to the bar and peer across. I see
the floor is home to countless crocodiles, a mass
of scales and writhing legs and snapping teeth and jaws.

Crocodile shoes... Favourite songs I do not do,
but if I did, this one would be there too.
I cut my teeth on crocodile stiletto shoes.
All ended badly. Floods of tears.
You've guessed it now.
My old croc' shoes were crying too
Crocodile tears.
Then Jimmy Nail revived it all. Maybe I'll try tonight
to seed my dreams with them.

23 comments:

Rachel Cotterill said...

Interesting stream-of-consciousness... you lost me a little at the end (but so does Joyce)

jinksy said...

I was just glad to find somebody else waking up to another oddball day! :)

Jim Murdoch said...

It’s a while since I’ve tried stream of consciousness writing like this but I quite enjoyed this, the first stanza especially. BTW I woke up at 5:20 this morning too. You know I’ve never read Ulysses. I stole a copy from the first flat I lived in in Glasgow and I’ve carted it with me ever since but I’ve never got past the first few pages. In fact the only thing by him I’ve read was Dubliners.

pilgrimchick said...

Interesting style; I like the subject.

Windsmoke. said...

I haven't read Ulysses. Would be more like a nightmare dreaming about crocodiles just the thought of those big teeth is enough.

Titus said...

I enjoyed this Dave; a little trippy and a little recognisible. It particularly came alive towards the end for me - I liked the poignancy of the mother section, and loved the progression from crocodiles to Jimmy Nail!

Dave King said...

Rachel
I've not tried it before. Seemed like a good opportunity to experiment. Thanks for the comment.

jinksy
Well, guess you know by n ow: if it's oddball you want you can always trust me.

Jim
Interesting... The first stanza was the one I had trouble with - and infact, rewrote it as I was posting. Never done that before.

Our reading experiences are perhaps not that dissimilar. I bought a copy of Ulysses for a couple of bob, from a second hand Chelsea bookstore when I was at college. it had all the original typos in it and smudge print. Like you, I read a few pages and gave up. Kept it until I retired when I made it one of my projects to read it. Which I did, without too much understanding. Recently I bought a new Penguine edition, which is so much more enjoyable to read. Interestingly, i also spoted out for a book of notes and commentary, which has not proved very helpful. In fact, I am using Ulysses to illuminate the commentary! I have never read The Dubliners. Must do something about that.

Thanks pilgrim chick

Windsmoke
Yes, it was a nightmare. Probably the most vivid one I ever had. Certainly the most vivid in memory, though it must have been over 70 years ago.

Titus
Interesting comment, particularly so in the light of Jim's remarks and my response.. Thank you for it.

Erratic Thoughts said...

"What did I think of as I died last night?" I liked that metaphor very much:)
I enjoyed this...very dreamy yet so real:)

Dave King said...

Erratic Thoughts
I wonder how much like dying it really is - and vice versa. Thanks for commenting.

Gwei Mui said...

H Dave good grief what a mind you have. I loved the initial section. Got a little lost in the second but as others have said reading Joyce also got me a little lost.

Dave King said...

Gwei
I am finding these comments fascinating - especially the comparisons between the early and late parts. Many thanks for yours.

Doctor FTSE said...

I get the feeling that all blogPoets wake at 5.20 a.m and go straight into stream of consciousness mode, with Dave here leading the pack.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I often have this kind of thought process in a morning Dave - my mind flits on from one thing to another - it is rather like word association games, isn't it. I like this very much.

AP said...

Very, very engaging.

Peter Goulding said...

Interesting experiment - not really the kind of thing you can rework or revise or you lose the spontaneity. It worked (mostly) for me though its difficult to express the rapidity of thought in words.

oldmanlincoln said...

Walking has a rhythm of its own. I like your post and the theme too.

Totalfeckineejit said...

I like this one Dave, it's different,almost abstract,part rambling part neat construction, but it all works well and captures your thought processes really well, a fascinating insight...But 5.20am?? Ouch!!

Dominic Rivron said...

"Re-reading Ulysses ...
most lovely book of all books and most difficult to read".

Funny, isn't it? Joyce seems unreadable to those who don't know him, but once you "get into it", it's unputdownable.

Dave King said...

Doctor FTSE
Welcome to the blog.
I've often had the first part of that feeling - not the first, though!

The Weaver of Grass
It's exactly that, I agree. Thanks.

AP
Welcome and thanks.

Peter Goulding
Welcome.
In fact I wouldn't have had time to revise, having said which, I did rewrite part of the first stanza as I posted it. I had thought it too impenetrable! The rest was posted more or less as first written down - which has made some of the comparisons very interesting to me. However, I agree with your observations. It was very much an experiment.

oldmanlincoln
It does indeed, which is why poetry works best when composed on the hoof - I think. Thanks for your comments and a warm welcome to you.

Totalfeckineejit
Many thanks for that - and for your part in the poetry bus. 5.20am is kinda latish for me. I do a lot of my best composing before 6.00 - putting together or extending what sleep has bequeathed me - notwithstanding what I said above, both of which are true!

Dominic
Absolutely agree with that. Wish I'd persevered more much earlier.

Padhraig Nolan said...

This really works!Intersting and enjoyable read, thanks.

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

I have read Ulysses. Your writing is great..and reflects many vivid images! I'm impressed!
Thank you for this piece.

Have a lovely day!
B :))

Dave King said...

Padhraig
A warm welcome to you and thanks for calling and for the comment.

Betty
Many thanks and welcome to my blog. Thanks also for the generous comment.

Argent said...

A rich fast-moving feast of words here. Really caputred that 'thoughts whirling' sort of feeling I get sometimes on waking.