Thursday, January 29, 2015

2015-0047 (Jan 29 2015) 10:45 (Thursday)

Boot Camp
January Flash Blast
2015-0047 (Jan 29 2015) 10:45 (Thursday)
1151Sometimes death just happens, without the act of dying
1152 The Kafirs have a predilection for killing
1153 Who Made You? God Made Me!
1154 The point she was making was that you just have to be and do
1155 Everglades
1156 Like that day you understood and knew what you should do, like that
1157 The kitchen floor all slugs
1158 Pictures in a JCB
1159 She seems to go on a bit too much about black snakes
1160 Two Serbs, two Croats, it's still dirty coats and staying alive
1161 Bullets, shiny, they just seem, I dunno, nice.
1162 I think of my weak heart and yet it continues
1163 Bluebottle
1164 I like the way the beavers can stay if they are healthy
1165 Washing the glasses in the toilet
1166 and what a word is that, anyway!
1167 So Selma, but someone said "coloured" (oops)
1168 I'll need to lock you in for half an hour, OK?
1169 I know fuck all, but more than you
1170 When I'm waiting for you to come to bed
1171 No it's not been a happy life. I'll probably live to be a fucking hundred
1172 My mother would have made a lousy acrobat
1174 My mother making porridge
1175 It hasn't been that long. The sun's still there

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Important Note

Important Note. 

All of the prompts I am generating are Alex K "originals", none are
actually from other poems or stories. If I use a quote or title directly
I will always put it in "inverted commas"

But it's occurred to me that if ten people generate, say, a poem from
the same set of prompts, they may well have couplets, even stanzas
that look remarkably the same - and might be accused by a third-party
of plagiarism.

My prompts are themselves prompted by IDEAS in other poems, or thoughts,
or moments. Sometimes I may bastardise a line but I always aim to be at 2-3-4  
removes from the original.

So, when using prompts, please remember there is NOT a requirement to use All of a prompt
or the prompt exactly, or a portion exactly. We are not saying "This must be in the text!"

You read the prompts like you might read a series of poems or "great lines" and "wait
to be hit"... You may, on being hit, write something unrelated.

Just be careful that you and I don't produce the same poem, or be accused of
something undeserved.

2015-0046 (Jan 27 2015) 12:10 (Tuesday)

Boot Camp

January Flash Blast

2015-0046 (Jan 27 2015) 12:10 (Tuesday)

1126 Aeroplanes, thick as flies, moaning, droning
1127 How will the spaces fill, and what is substance comes from where?
1128 Continue, Reverend, full of shit
1129 The traffic cop, gleaming white, pretty enough to eat
1130 We are almost ready, but we are never ready

1131 How can your absence fill a room?
1132 I turn back to my own journey and will arrive later than expected
1133 All atoms but the egg is not the omelette
1134 Your death is in everything from a pebble to the sky
1135 Hold my eyes so I may hear

1136 Eventually I will have gone. Think of me now and then
1137 Her knees up to her throat, her crazy hair
1138 Surviving is a form of punishment
1139 Charred toast, broken yolks, bacon like leather
1140 They said you were sick. You look all right to me!

1141 There must be pain. Why?
1142 Poems about funerals and lofty speeches
1143 The way she sat upon a chair
1144 I cannot wallow in your despair 
1145 But the water can only find the sea

1146 Death is an anchor that makes us faster
1147 A puff of scent, then gone
1148 A foot of earth, another foot of snow
1149 You weren't here long enough
1150 There are things we live with, but we shouldn't live with

Monday, January 26, 2015

2015-0045 (Jan 26 2015) 18:20 (Monday/Tuesday)

Boot Camp

January Flash Blast

2015-0045 (Jan 26 2015) 18:20 (Monday/Tuesday)

1101 Talks are described as positive
1102 Believe!
1103 Some people live on their wits
1104 A glass of water, some whisky
1105 I fancy a low-wire act, or smoke-eating

1106 I'm a little fuzzy on the ghost thing
1107 Wireless
1108  On the corner of Arsehole Street and Shite
1109 If the tide went out and kept going
1110 Pity me, the bastard

1111 I am the walk-on in Gunsmoke
1112 Bulldozer
1113 Killing Gran
1114 We stole some bikes to ride to Mass
1115 Ten babies in a bombed-out truck

1116 Rabbit skulls in his pocket
1117 The story didn't start with you
1118 The child from rubble
1119 I will reflect on this and give it some respect
1120 Lost diaphragm: I'm going in!

1121 I have lots of spare manure
1122 A rusty key, corroded lock
1123 Plough my furrow
1124 You can see from their faces: not funny
1125 I can award you various medals

2015-0043 (Jan 26 2015) 06:45 (Monday)

Boot Camp
January Flash Blast

2015-0043 (Jan 26 2015) 06:45 (Monday)

1076 A bayonet-polisher from Eccleshall, a draper's assistant
1077 A sky with the colour of squid
1078 The dead grey general in the park is wearing a tall white hat
1079 On the canals, the junkyards, the stores
1080 There's a telecom mast in every cemetery

1081 When the dream lingers
1082 Spinning the wheels and digging deeper
1083 It depends on you point of view
1084 Come hold my frozen hand
1085 Fuck them all, fuck them all, fuck, fuck, fuck fuck them all

1086 Press the right buttons and in the right order
1087 It is Hush Hour, mouths backed up to the Highway
1088 I live just up the lane, and down the lane
1089 Float With Me
1090 A hundred commuter trying to move the train. Don't Laugh!

1091 The underground rattles below us
1092 Lorry loads, shed-loads, train-loads of boys
1093 This is a dead-end street
1094 Steam
1095 No-one goes hungry here

1096 A small, ordinary party
1097 Men came to see her by appointment, by charabanc and special trains
1098 The puff of cold air just before we hear the train
1099 Five days a week and often Saturdays
1100 She was nothing special but she knew three secret words

Sunday, January 25, 2015

2015-0042 (Jan 25 2015) 18:25 (Sunday)

Boot Camp

January Flash Blast

2015-0042 (Jan 25 2015) 18:25 (Sunday)

1051 We walk like extras in a movie
1052 Darling, Darling, Will you please fuck off?
1053 Sometimes things get complicated
1054 Let's watch something that makes us cry
1055 Spitting out your teeth

1056 A man in short flannel trousers, boy in a suit
1057 Put your chair against the door and be quiet
1058 You have passed, with distinction
1059 The sympathy of vinyl
1060 Wrist, blade.

1061 Our ankles chained, our tongues pressed
1062 Afterplay
1063 In the best seats, holding hands
1064 Bloody women are like bloody taxis
1065 The unfolding of your body

1066 The Normans are coming!
1067 We started out pushed for time
1068 Listen to how a man explains
1069 Slim, dark-haired, a wicked bride
1070 The later it is, the more expensive they are

1071 It was crowded. I didn't see you
1072 The Milk Train, smelling vaguely of fish
1073 And it depends how desperate you are for a ride
1084 Tall grass, hot and yellow
1075 I'd like to be that old man who smiles with his eyes

Blast Update

Our Band of Brothers is rather small at the moment. Seems every December a few move on to do an MFA or write The Great British/American Novel.

But to date the blast has reached 135 pieces, and we have an outside chance of reaching 200 by the close (February 5th)

Boot Campers are also subbing like crazy to fill their "Out There" pot.

In my own case, 56 pieces, about 50 publishable, about a dozen a lot better than that, 27 subs so far (will go to 35 this week.)

I try to have about 50 items circulating, and when I'm working hard I'll get up to 70 and then just keep topping up as the hits/rejections start coming back.

Quantity Begets Quality

The most common criticism of "output-output!" is that it "must be" at the expense of quality.

I find the opposite, and most BCers report a certain "stiffness" in their writing which disappears about a week in. They then see steady improvement over two weeks (weeks 2&3) before either a plateau or a slight fall in mental acuity (ideas-wise) in the last week/ten days.

But, let's face it, if a one-month blast produces ONE really good piece and you win a competition or place at a level you've never reached before, isn't that worth it?

I will probably get to 80 pieces by Feb 5th.

I will be disappointed if I don't place 65 and win 1-2 competitions.

The test results will start landing in March and let's see where we are in December 15

Watch this Space!


Boot Camp

January Flash Blast

2015-0042 (Jan 25 2015) 07:45 (Sunday)

1026 The eroticism of perfect pleats
1027 Horses, their dust rising
1028 Lists, and lists of lists
1029 And I was desperate for somehow just a kiss
1030 A fresh, cream, perfectly ironed bed

1031 How cops begin with Sir, end Motherfucker!
1032 I was a crazed and unknown thing, something mothers said
1033 I am in a pod, a handsome pea
1034 But she knew nothing of this
1035 Lost in the Woods above Montreux

1036 You are your own forest and I cannot penetrate 
1037 Sunday Bells
1038 The CDs we hid from prospective lovers
1039 A toffee Yum-Yum
1040 When you are frozen, mere cold is light relief

1041 You were at church
1042 What is messy in the heart
1043 Pretend the TV is on and you have sherry
1044 Why the calf slips out easy but women scream
1045 First, learn to love ironing

1046 Scooping Elephant shit is an art
1047 What a few crystals can do
1048 Spreading butter thick on toast
1049 When I grow weary and unhappy
1050 Knowing at four there's a game on TV

Saturday's Prompts

Boot Camp

January Flash Blast

2015-0041 (Jan 24 2015) 14:38 (Friday)

1001 I neither hope nor expect to turn around
1002 There is always time, though it sometimes hides
1003 I am happy; we can build on this
1004 The sky is too small and very dry
1005 How the desert calls us down

1006 The cruellest season
1007 We were warm then, deep in feathers
1008 All of us playing in the sun
1009 A mirror broken
1010 The sound of water over stones

1011 Something filthy beneath an innocent rock
1012 Throw the baby away and we'll talk
1013 Some part of London, heavy in fog
1014 We will plant the corpses and hope
1015 You treat your armchair like a throne

1016 The light upon the table
1017 The way joy withers as time swells
1018 A giant fire, a massive oak surround
1019 I am having trouble with my nerves
1020 The sponge to wipe our arses

1021 There are rats in the ginnel
1022 The wind beats against the passage door
1023 She was elegant, intelligent
1024 I'm washing my hair
1025 National Service

Friday, January 23, 2015

The 1,000th Prompt for 2015

Boot Camp

January Flash Blast

2015-0040 (Jan 23 2015) 08:15 (Friday)

0976 The men on banks with rods and nets and something else
0977 Don't be afraid of any of them
0978 I dream about icebergs
0979 You may arrive, you may not, but wake, walk, experience
0980 Rowing in circles because it's MY oar

0981 Nothing ever happens here
0982 Imagine a woman, then go find her
0983 Let the horses out, pause, begin crying
0984 A Poxed Blanket
0985 Overnight fucking on The Orient Express

0986 Let's be honest, Godot is an arsehole
0987 I simply cannot understand
0988 Let us stay in and admire the new kitchen
0989 You said it could not happen twice and then it struck
0990 I am fluent in BS ans studying spin

0991 Hull stinks but not as much as Grimsby
0992 We can, but do not choose, to videophone
0993 A thousand mewling pups and snuffling
0994 I might be a hawk
0995 Wheelbarrows full of manure

0996 The snow fox using earth to catch its prey
0997 Is the flower in the bud?
0998 Primroses, Bluebells, Snowdrops
0999 I am obsessing on this sparrow, it consumes
1000 It feels as if we've reached some kind of goal

Thursday, January 22, 2015

2015-0039 (Jan 22 2015) 21:47 (Thursday/Friday)

Boot Camp

January Flash Blast

2015-0039 (Jan 22 2015) 21:47 (Thursday/Friday)

0951 I am a fisherman, that's all
0952 Bucket
0953 Arrangements are being made for my imminent demise
0954 Ladder
0955 You seem to want, one day, to meet the hangman

0956 We might as well clock out
0957 Something rotten, some dark, disturbing smell
0958 It is night here
0959 Cheer up. It might never 'appen!
0960 trying to walk the dogs

0961 The cupboards open and empty
0962 I don't expect you to understand
0963 The Native English
0964 I will be  juggler or eat fire
0965 Too close to the end of the month

0966 Picnic in Soweto
0967 A jury of FaceBookers
0968 Note this carefully
0969 We are pursuing our investigations
0970 How the negro cries

0971 Cut it all down, then burn it
0972 Alchemy
0973 The call this the known world
0974 A light round you
0975 There's a shop selling poems in the High Street

2015-0038 (Jan 22 2015) 08:15 (Thursday)

Boot Camp
January Flash Blast

2015-0038 (Jan 22 2015) 08:15 (Thursday)

0926 Skimming through Clifton
0927 And rise again, and live in caves again
0928 We do not all come to wisdom at the same time
0929 With blood upon a wall, the scratch of stone then dusts
0930 And if we ever fall, if we can forget all this

0931 Watching the scissor grinder in the street 
0932 The first brooch, the first bracelet, the first time love, not sex
0933 Perhaps China, or climbing from the Rift
0934 Our colour was the sky and given us
0935 I am pressed against the window

0936 No unborn babies, no more dead trees
0937 When at the cave mouth suddenly was smoke
0938 What ate, what we would eat, the poisons, the water
0939 When we grunted, fucked, fought for food
0940 But held our babies close and slept as one

0941 And us, unknowing, hurtled into the future
0942 You fell somewhere but did not die
0943 Savannah, swamp, alive in the shallows of the lake
0944 Let us run naked and black through our own streets
0945 And a white animal came from there, rapacious

0946 The smallest could not run and I could not carry
0947 Come back to the black and pure
0948 Playing Ray Charles in the heat
0949 And God say, I cain't promise you nuthin'
0950 We were at the bottom of something and as we climbed, went down

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

2015-0036 (Jan 20 2015) 17:35 (Tuesday)

Boot Camp

January Flash Blast

2015-0036 (Jan 20 2015) 17:40 (Tuesday)

0876 We are beasts, too, and slaughtered in our way
0877 I did not hear the start of summer
0878 It's just a dirty vest
0879 The flesh that came as I became a man
0880 A ploughman beside the vee

0881 The death-white shine of fish
0882 He flew, but for such small times
0883 I am not holy or from a holy place
0884 A hundred guitars, a trumpet
0885 The long slow mud at low-tide

0886 All the trees burned
0887 We stole a boat
0888 The way blood pours and makes us more alive
0889 No longer on the island
0890 One spring day green, the next is flowers

0891 Swinging from the tree, falling into water
0892 A soft story, a sparrow, conversion
0893 Apples, Pears
0894 O'Brien was a gentleman, at least at a glance
0895 The poor little thing, so skinny...

0896 That thing about a grain of sand, the world
0897 No water with it, for the taste
0898 Four dirty cowboys, looking for trouble
0899 Dusk fills the shadows first
0900 I don't intend to keep you long

2015-0035 (Jan 20 2015) 08:50 (Tuesday)

Boot Camp

January Flash Blast

2015-0035 (Jan 20 2015) 08:50  (Tuesday)

0851 OK, I'll say goodbye, but frankly, I'm pissed about dying
0852 The crowds upon the sidewalks, before the sniper settles
0853 What's the score with your PPI?
0854 I'd say more, but I can't stop laughing
0855 me want be your pretty, me be sexy

0856 The carved names, the crosses
0857 Don't you have a home to go to?
0858 The soft heat of a pulsing dick
0859 Off, fuck.
0860 Collecting glass eyes and horsehair wigs

0861 A fine bag of meat indeed
0862 Read about me in The Times, a snippet in The Sun
0863 A Happy Hearse, Ice-Cream Van Music
0864 A Slated Tenement, Slick with rain
0865 off you go, no help here

0866 Poor Little rich Boy, that'll do
0867 Like crabs from crotch to crotch
0868 That's me, full of it, life and soul
0869 How warm the water is here, how shiny the boats
0870 Field after field after field

0871 Sung by West Country Witches on their birthdays
0872 Plastic on the slab
0873 You can twirl your bloody skirts till suppertime
0874 When the door of the furnace is open like a magnet
0875 Mad or sane, dead is dead