ColetteB….

not exactly work in progress…


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Remembrance

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In Loving Memory of our wonderful Nans, RIP – I chose this photo from the few I’ve taken so far this morning to accompany my poem posted here today.

 

If rhyming couplets had their day

and free verse won the New World Order

I’d bet the Limericks sure gonna stay

the best remembered by the poetry hoarder.

A sonnet! A sonnet! I hear ye bequeath

but I have to confess I’ve not written one yet

as inherited form it somehow falls beneath

my aspiring limits, still I fear no regret!

Heck who says a haiku’s not poetry! Why?

It’s much more than maths, did you give one a try?

It’s only a literary game – write a motto –

It will soon multiply, makes – vice versa, then ditto…?

A pantoum’s not a pantun unless it’s in French

and a villanelle’s form in binary rhyming to be wrenched

is quite a far cry from the original verses –

the audacities of lit’rary High World, and so, curses!

A ballad is too sing-song? Too remind of native tongue?

Best to say it’s French derived, for all it’s said and done?

And please speak in iambic – don’t be so anapest!

When dactylls bring such terror, poetry sure needs a rest.

You said, ‘pick out a spondee’ – I went looking for a sponge

to set about pot-washing, ‘cos there’s plenty to be done!

Should I spend my days in dribs and drabs some hip-hop to try then scrawl?

Just to please MIssieurs Academia? I beg, I’d sooner crawl –

for that would be pretentious, quite obscene and frankly, lame

to jump on that cool bandwagon claiming all’s Poetry’s fine game!

© Colette Bates, August 2017 All Rights Reserved [usual Fair Use terms apply]

I wrote this poem with four line stanzas and the final stanza of six lines for practise extension freewriting during week 3 of UIowa’s IWP MOOC Power of the Pen (Poetry and Playwriting), unsubmitted and previously unpublished. We were learning about the pantoum in particular for poetry that week. I’d submitted a quite dire pantoum effort  and decided to play with the villanelle form and free forms… sadly I fizzled out and didn’t complete my MOOC work for that course, although I achieved the creative writing unit in July. I’m having dreadful difficulty obtaining my poetry certificates for neuro-burn-outs and failing my third try at ModPo so going with SloPo again and hoping to achieve that NEXT year now! If it even continues that far. Fingers crossed it will!

(NB: Be aware, (an)other person(s) has been gaining access illegally and unauthorised to my home and very recently stolen my current account debit card and recent utitlities documents. For some reason the card stolen from me last year has been actively used by someone else unknown to me (including abroad and in France last Autumn according to my bank and that card should have been cancelled by my bank once I was aware it had actually been stolen from under my bed by an unauthorised trespasser and not simply misplaced and had reported it and it should have been cancelled by my bank!) and this old previously cancelled card has been replaced to my purse in place of my actual debit card and it has been used locally as my own receipts have been removed from my purse after my last essential outing and replaced with another persons’ transactions for prepayment electricity to a nearby household. Either that or I’m having cognitive processing faults and hallucinating visible words and numbers on  personal effects and suffering extreme paranoia. My automatic/direct debit/bank transfer payments should still go through as my bank account so far still functions and I have not moved from my home address nor do I have any plans to. Hounds of hell and their bitches can take a running jump and have as nice a life as they like anywhere else in the world that they please, as they aren’t actually local residents and have their own homes to return to! I happen to live HERE at home! Air B&B should be made illegal and criminals should be prevented from entering our country and from travelling abroad when they stir up such vendettae against innocents. I’d bet 95% of criminal convictions are so circumstantial and SOC instigated that I don’t believe barely a word of most news reporting for a good many years now! And no, masons are not allowed their crimes scotfree nor for all the money in the world! Twots!

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Having another go at poetry…

Week 5 ‘Ongoing poetry game’ at #ModPo ~ but not sure i’m unblocked from posting poems there yet – dunno what that’s about, clearly i can’t write a poem to save my life!

constraint: to use the ten prompted key words in this thing called ‘ottiva rima’ – and no i won’t capitalise the term! that’s so unnecessary…

i probably failed for not writing in regular meter (should be spelt metre, but it confuses people with measuring! we don’t learn formal meter in general UK population because language does not work like machine code and we’re meant to develop natural language and our humanity!) So this is my first attempt at the challenge and of this particular form:

[untitled, free verse attempting the ‘ottiva rima’ form]

There’s no time for rhyme in a world gone mad why

reckoning while no king – no patriarchy –

bourgeoisie to decline – resist and deny –

our birds tear at torn skies, creatures all born free

determine red – green – gold-blue star upon nigh

– so – little that’s polite in hierarchy

to remind it’s obscene, when facts show as – farced –

so much that’s not true in the present and past.

© Colette Bates, October 2017 All Rights Reserved [usual Fair Use terms apply]


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Taking IT to the cleaners

On the way to readying winter outerwear, I called in for coffee and elevenses and poetry/art elucidation with a wacky artisty friend.

Had she heard…?

Well. No. No, nor me. So that made me feel better then. A bit less ignorant. Good!

Although there might have been a risk of having forgotten to get out of slippers and looking alike somewhere crossed between Michelin Man and Sulley from Monsters Inc in my onesy over half a dirty dozen of underwear layers hiding middle-age spread and bloomers of all things keeping me nice and warm without even a coat on yet, on my way home with shopping I got some snaps away from the yard for a change.

“Ruth Lechlitner” I’d said. She’d launched into stilts and Glastonbury remembrances and we paid no heed of either’s lack of attention for the other’s aside reflections.

Then something dawned. Noted. And forgotten.

On a scrappy coffee-stained notepad page she’d passed me this to bring home and ‘prove IT’ … she can write a ‘N0 Chance Operation’ poem from thin air too.

“yes, of course I can post it as soon as I’m… well, if I forget while passsing, it’s not that far to a post-box, really, is it!”

Do you know it’s still wherever I left it when i arrived through my door. hopelessly…

… and now two days later and hasn’t time flown as if it were only yesterday and I didn’t even put it on SPD for the pair of them! So here’s a poem from an anonymous no-one of some of ours esteem (posted with permission, guaranteed, special delivery, first class)

Repeat after me to write, leaving the left Sleeve in the uptight no fear don\\ ‘ t fight many small prediction can\\ ‘ t right rear sight site courtesy site mercy no mercy Now

I didn’t see who the translating helper was. A Ukranian virtual assistant in another virtual part of our world I believe. I’ve no idea of the poetic presentation but it’s as agreed a single line and in one breath. There may be countless versions of various poetic essences and deliveries in the making anytime durign the next century or three. We’re all such snails and so unconcerned for any rush “even if the whole world depends on IT…” is apparently our next elevenses workshopping writing prompt to prepare and be ready with.

Now did i drop my dry cleaning receipt on my way home? No idea. did I slip through one of them odd angle portals and I’m sure I was still in Nottingham or did I step out in Portsmouth in error? And without even realising…

here I am forgetting to post one of my several ModPo reflective poems from readings last week around Gertrude Stein, Jon Peale Bishop, and Dada, including the amazing and wonderful Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven and her fantastic rebuke “A dozen cocktails – please” (maybe I should’ve capitalised, can’t remember and can’t be bothered to check…

in a hurry then

So far untitled while i’m working on Lechlitner and trying not to be too LOLling around as things to make and do like afternoon tea and fooding for dinner…

a poem (all mine, of course – Modern poetry, aka #ModPo and so:

~~

even Stevens starts again

red w’ther days P’cock tales

back when

~~

w-hoosy-wore the trewzees

Willy win a skirt

wonderful when wars end wi’none of’em gettin’ g’hurt

~~

cure it as y’cuss it

calm it while y’can

can ‘e call a cuppa cold contagion conception

~~

zuccini in a zeppelin?

Zoology in zeal

zany zee-zee-zeeing x-o-phobic de’ts-z’ept’s. Reel.

© Colette Bates, October 2017 All Rights Reserved

(of course free to share! aren’t we all zillybillyGoatsGruff about IT! doesn’t that usually mean for personal and education use only and Fair Use always being applicable?)

I forgot to post a pic! Random grab from my snaps quick then…

Not so random actually… and although I do love my WordPress-iNG…. well, you can sometimes find me #skywatching elsewhere, like my latest post here: coleebeatsabout.blogspot.co.uk

One day IT will all make better sense… (tbc/ to be contd.)


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Remembrance

I was deeply saddened this morning while trawling my email notifications to arrive at my copy of a June posting allegedly made by the sister of a respected blogging acquaintance/virtual-neighbour, Paul M********, a US citizen believed to be working and living in or around New York.

While attempting to pick up my lingering blogging habit I’d realised I’d not seen anything from Paul’s blog (www.palfitness.wordpress.com) in quite a while. So I’d dredged back through multitudes of links in my email inbox to find a trace.

Paul was a generous creative spirit and as well as posting on fitness he composed poetry and shared lots of interesting reblogs leading readers to other blogs he admired. The notice apparently posted by his sister informed his followers of the very sad news that Paul had died of undetermined circumstances on 29th May 2017. I have to assume that the poster claiming to be his sister was genuine and that the information is authentic. Unfortunately Paul’s blog has been deleted and perhaps that is in keeping with his wishes.

(Personally I feel it’s outrageous that relatives left behind might choose to delete a person’s online presence and remove their traces from the virtual world. I hope no-one is ever legally allowed to do that to my stuff even if it embarrasses the hell out of them! That’s not meant as a jibe to Paul’s family – nor my own – were they even to be reading, which I doubt.)

I deeply regretted not seeing that notification earlier, nor his more recent  blog posts leading up to that date. Paul had been encountering very difficult circumstances securing employment and navigating the pitfalls of temporary accommodation and some of his posts had eluded to himself and his friends/associates being victims of crimes including theft and violence against them. Quite sometime before Paul had spoken out against an incident of online bullying among/affecting specific members of the international online community and hopefully those individuals engaged in trolling etc had no bearing on the difficulties he encountered nor his sad demise nor the circumstances of his death as reported in that post claiming to be from his sister. Maybe we’ll never know the truth and that’s a sad reality for so very many peoples suffering the intolerable blights of a troubled world.

It’s four months to the day that Paul last posted to his personal blog. That feels such a long time to have passed before realising he was gone. His presence will be sadly missed but fondly remembered by many of those he interacted with online, even though we probably remain ‘strangers’.

How do you remember Paul?

I can’t say I knew Paul closely at all but I’ll remember him for his poetry and his spreading goodwill and positivity and his good sense of humour.

Below is  a screenshot of Paul’s penultimate six-word story found in the backlog of email notifications in my inbox this morning:

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Yes, he was known to sometimes occasionally have vented emotionally-vexed rants on his personal blog. Many of us using personal blog spaces and/or social media might be likely to write out our rants now and then. We’re all hopefully human, after all. Better out than in, as we might say. Some of Paul’s posts during the last few months had been deeply concerning and it’s awful to not be able to help people when they seem in need. However he always seemed to bounce back and never gave up trying. New York must be an awfully difficult place to sustain everyday living. I don’t know why anyone would ever choose to go there as a tourist given the problems tourism is causing there and elsewhere.

Yes, Paul once quite rightfully called another blogger a ‘bitch!’ as she undoubtedly was. Yes she was getting away with some hideously insulting and outrageous behaviours. Yes he was condemned by some for his ‘outburst’ and refusing to tolerate such social injustices on behalf of another blogger who Paul had chosen to stand up for in their absence and for using such an innocuous regularly used word as ‘bitch’ in response to a deeply insulting remark made against him that was edited before other readers came across the conversation. That bitch hadn’t realised another online reader was present witnessing her attack in the moment of it happening and that it hadn’t been the first occasion but a repeated deviance preying on the vulnerabilities of others. Maybe I shouldn’t dredge it up here. Paul would worry for my own personal safety in alluding to it, given that bitches’ alleged reputation for dangerous trouble-making. She might also happen to be a well-respected and influential member of blogging communities / professional circuits.

And it might all have been hot air blown cold a long time ago. Murky waters under someone else’s shoddy bridge. So it’s time to let sleeping dogs lie then, maybe, cos bitches like that one might never lose a case they can pay through the nose for and can carry on regardless.

Paul, aka Palfitness, apparently gone, but not forgotten. R.I.P. Sincere belated condolences to Paul’s family and friends in light of their sad loss.

 

 

 

 


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#Author-story ~ Contemporary Writer #3

John Berger, born 5th November 1926, died 2nd January, 2017

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There’s something in this page shown above that is very resonant of work seen during British Art Show7 in 2011, particularly those shown at Nottingham Castle. So maybe one day I’ll tie up some loose threads and get something down. For now, this post is a re-working of a draft from January that was almost lost to the ether in some kind of failing / crash.

Why ‘Ways of Seeing’?

[Originally, I drafted this writing for an ‘Authors who made history’ post for BW so this fact was pivotal:]

For many years now, John Berger’s book, ‘Ways of Seeing’, has been on the compulsory reading list of almost every British art and design course. I’d either somehow missed that fact back in my art student daze, or glanced it over and dismissed it out of hand. During a W.E.A. class a few years ago now (how time flies!) I spent a while browsing this book in the gallery reading room. I still couldn’t quite see WHY is it such an important text in relation to appreciating or creating art? Sadly, I remained completely oblivious to his other works as a poet, writer and artist until researching for this post following news of his death.

I appreciated it- ‘Ways of Seeing’ –  better, from a distance, via some limited preview chapters in an online PDF. The book was developed following the BBC’s four-part television series presented by John Berger and credited with changing the way the nation received, or thought about, art and art history.  I had never even heard mention of the television programme until I saw it was the basis of the book. Apparently the programme may be available to purchase as a video download, although even so these days UK viewers will still need a TV licence. I don’t know if that means such products are with-held from consumers elsewhere in the world.

It’s said to be based on and influenced by Walter Benjamin’s essay ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction[wikipedia link].

“The most uplifting thing about Ways of Seeing is Berger’s optimism about the age of the mass-circulating reproduced image, which, back in 1972, meant images in newspapers and magazines, on advertising hoardings and television. These days of course it also means on Facebook, Instagram and the internet at large. …”

[quoting Jonathon Jones in his article discussing Berger’s language of images at The Guardian, published 3rd January, 2017]

Here’s a small excerpt from page 150 of Ways of Seeing, where, in relation to publicity, Berger tells us:

“…The world smiles at us. It offers itself to us. And because everywhere is imagined as offering itself to us, everywhere is more or less the same.”

In the BBC Radio 4 programme, Front Row, broadcast 3rd January 2017, writer/broadcaster Lisa Appignanesi and art critic Richard Cork discuss Berger’s work (audio file still available to listen at time of writing opens, at approx. 21minutes with an audio clip of John Berger speaking. The second link skips to that segment, or to see programme info and listen to the whole 28min+ click the first link.

 

After serving two years with the army from 1944 to 1946, assumedly compulsory conscription, in the late 1940s Berger trained as an artist at the Chelsea School of Art and the London School of Art; he exhibited in London and taught drawing until 1955. His first novel, ‘A Painter of Our Time’ was published in 1958 and his first published collection of essays, ‘Permanent Red’, in 1960. Among other awards in his lifetime, he is probably best known for controversially donating half his Booker Prize fund to the Black Panther Party after his novel ‘G’ was selected for the prize in 1972.

“For me there were too many political urgencies to spend my life painting. Most urgent was the threat of nuclear war – the risk of course came from Washington, not Moscow.”

John Berger quoted in an article by Michael Glover published at the Independent on 3rd January, 2017.

There are lots of articles about John Berger to be found online and the British Library archive for John Berger and the wikipedia entry for his bio and list of works could keep me (or you) .out of mischief for an interesting while enough.

I haven’t yet bought a copy of ‘Ways of Seeing’, I’m still thinking about it, maybe until one shows up at a knock-down price I can’t refuse. I did however buy Berger’s 2016 book, ‘Confabulations'[ISBN:9780141984957], published in October by Penguin shortly before Berger turned 90 years of age, sadly not in time to help the old man out with some return. I might well journey in exploration of those delightful writings, and more, another time.

A final quote to close, from the first page of the text in John Berger’s Ways of Seeing, at page 7:

“The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled. Each evening we see the sun set. We know that the earth is turning away from it. Yet the knowledge, the explanation, never quite fits the sight.” [John Berger, Ways of Seeing]

 

 


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RBRC 2017 – restarting ‘The Zen Gun’

Hoping my WordPress doesn’t crash this time (almost twelve hours later)! I’m having some helluvatimes with all kinds of issues again right now. Not WP issues, just generally! Anyway…

Mliae’s Recycled Book Reading Challenge

I’m going to try and keep up with this this time round! Here’s a book I have read before, a long time ago now. I restarted it a couple of times already. (I should really try finishing the new book I started reading before I get back to this one!)

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I’m not going to try and write ‘book review’ type posts, I’m no good at them for one thing! I find it incredibly difficult to not only be comfortable to read but also to hold a book to read and then to even remember the storyline enough to keep reading linear texts! I tend to dip in and out and read fragments of all sorts rather than read properly. But I loved this story the first time round. I never even knew what a chimera was until I read this. The American version of this book has a different cover and looks stupid! It also looks like there might be some factual discrepancies around potential misrepresentations or questionable representations. The English author of this book is reported to have died in 2008 of bowel cancer.

“Under the vast spans of Archway City all apparently was at peace. The sky boulevards, beneath which gentle clouds floated, sparkled brilliant as ever…

But within that tranquil architectural grandiosity was an atmosphere of uncertainty and dismay…

…Still, it was lucky they had not bought in the two Star Force fleets, as had been planned. With one on the side of the Council and one on the side of the Biotists, well…”

 

[fragments extracted from pages 120 to 121 of the UK edition of ‘The Zen Gun’ by Barrington J. Bayley ©

 


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Another post in/for a Brave New World?

Where is everyone? Busy celebrating inauguration? I was very glad to see there is still somewhere that LOOKS like Washington – and not surprised to see it so quite quiet. Quite surprised to see that an apparent extortionist can actually proceed to such circumstance. Maybe I should be begging forgiveness for my bare English cheek but I wouldn’t waste my breath! That man has no authority whatsoever in my mind’s eye and I shouldn’t waste my breath even giving him a mention! I do try to remember he is just an old man from another place, a father and grandfather. Just a man. Shoddy as any other. And worse besides…

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m just a shoddy woman too! But I’m not a bully like some appear to be – and I won’t put up with it either!

I assume to be as entitled to freedom of speech and creative expression as previously but…

This is what happens when my energy supplier blocks my online account and forces me to trek to the store to get prepaid electricity to feed to my meter. I bought newspapers. Just in case the world collapses overnight and there might never be anymore. And I’ve been using my Facebook as if it’s a blog in the most unwise ways lately – like answering that ‘what’s on your mind?’ question … in bits and pieces and all at odds, with…

In some parts of the world,for many people, their world might have collapsed. Anytime between now and then…

Not so long back, pre-November 2016, online news headlines was suggesting that the British public should NOT be going online, as if there were some great threat and that we should only be receiving our news from our newspapers. How do you get a newspaper if you can’t get out to the shop and WHY would anyone not wish to check the propoganda campaigns against other sources for some measure of reliability? Not long after, and having ignored the ‘stay offline’ suggestion, there was a more sensible headline about hoax news stories. There seemed to be plenty of them. For decades.

I should get about reading blogs more. But everything’s changed at WordPress. A reflection of how the world has changed? How the poor have no equal rights even to an online blogging platform that previously encouraged amateur use, simply as humans, blogging for enjoyment and community and a sense of being human, connecting with other humans.

All of a sudden there’s this ‘premium’ with the ‘best for Freelancers and Entrepreneurs’ slant to it. That’ll get a lot of us Brits in trouble as hobbyist-bloggers, just passing time. When it’s your only way of having ‘social contact’ with the outside world it’s a very precious thing. In some cultures we’re not worthy enough for their sense of elitist privelege and should be weeded out – is how it feels. Maybe that’s why Brits should have been staying offline? Until it’s safe? Or what was there to really be scared about and why should we hide our online natural selves when propoganda instructs us to do so? The real world seems far more dangerous and abuse usually occurs from someone known, rather than from strangers.

Apparently we can ‘build a business website in just 10 days’ and with no offence intended to the Blogging U team, there’s a lot about that notion that flouts English Law and risks devastating deprivation to UK bloggers who might then be assumed to returning £250 weekly income as a minimum. Some of us blog to learn and practise and communicate and would NEVER wish to ‘monetise’ our blogs with advertising revenue. [If that’s what monetising a blog means, because there’s no clear info anywhere.] Some of us are fussy. Monetisation? That’s not BUSINESS!

I’ve not seen any statistics for quite a while, but a couple of years ago something like 94% ‘small businesses’ were failing within their first year in Britain. That’d be for these vague ideas of how easy it is and for inappropriate ‘support’ from Employment Services. Wondering how many made it to their second full year?! No doubt online service providers are getting more than their fair share of the blame for that too – although individuals should always accept responsibility for their own choices and actions. It’s been an oppressive and pressured experience for many tens of thousands of UK welfare claimants to ‘just start a business’ while set up to FAIL and having no viable alternative choice.

It maybe ok in some parts of the world to ask for donations as an individual in need too. But in the UK it’s illegal to beg, or even to give to someone who’s starving, homeless either money or food, or we risk a fine or arrest and a criminal charge. Crazy as that seems. I tend to ignore that law on the rare occasion I get anywhere, but with due care. And aware of the risk for myself and the other person. But I don’t have an active PayPal account and so can’t even buy anyone their coffee online and no way I’d risk that charge! And it’s a bit sickening seeing (local) professionals with a salary asking visitors to their website to donate by PayPal when you were expecting to find a method for giving an item for their art project!

Now it feels like it could be risky even visiting to read some blogs I’d normally visit, for the association with other individuals engaging in what might be entrepreneurial or professional writerly progressions. I’m not knocking them at all and mean no disrespect.

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My poem inspired after reading Cid Corman in SloPo last week and doodled this alternative presentation of it, just for fun. [I don’t write poetry often. I’m not a writer.]

But my blogs here are my personal creative space. If whenever i were to start self-employment, there’s no way I’d be bringing it into my personal /our community spaces.and it’s gonna take me maybe about five years to regain my health and maybe get my own Empty Plan together somehow in the meantime. There’s a lot of very complex issues to take into account. And I know it might not look like it, but still…once upon a time and every fairytale begins and ends in a nightmare of a tale.