A Little Prompting #13

THEME Faithfulness/Faithlessness
RANDOM LINE PROMPT With one phone call a decision would be made; right now the dial tone reverberated consequences.
PHOTOGRAPH FaithlessnessThe Faithlessness of the World – Pieter Brueghel the Elder

 

 

SONG/MUSIC VIDEO Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals – Steal My Kisses

SENSORY SUGGESTION Rubbing a cigarette paper between thumb and forefinger  like the page of the Bible
QUOTE Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.” 
― Confucius, The Analects

More Collaborative Poetry

I wrote another haiku yesterday, posted it to twitter and copied in Sean (@SeanBlogonaut) to see what he could add to form a tanka.

fading amber leaves
blown into the courtyard corner
lovers’ forgotten kisses

Sean added the final lines:

fading amber leaves
blown into the courtyard corner
lovers’ forgotten kisses
would that my love return
like the green leaves of spring

He also played with the second last line

fading amber leaves
blown into the courtyard corner
lovers’ forgotten kisses
how I wish my lover would return
like the green leaves of spring

We were playing around with this on Facebook, on a private page for our small group of writers, and after reading through Sean’s ideas, I added my own versions.

fading amber leaves
blown into the courtyard corner
lovers’ forgotten kisses
I wait for my love’s return
with the green shoots of spring

*****

fading amber leaves
blown into the courtyard corner
lovers’ forgotten kisses
I wait for my heart’s return
with the green shoots of spring

This is the fun of collaboration, learning with each other the intricacies of a new art form.

Into the mix Jodi Cleghorn (@JodiCleghorn) added her own version using my original haiku and added her own final lines to form another tanka.

fading amber leaves
blown into the courtyard corner
lovers’ forgotten kisses
left to decay
with the memory of you

As she said, “Thank you for new ways to play and collaborate.” 

Ultimately, this is what it is all about: new ways to play and collaborate. The apparent simplicity of haiku and tanka reveals a deeper, more sophisticated art form that while simple to learn is difficult to execute and takes years to master.

But the evening’s fun continued. Jodi wrote two haiku while out at the shops and posted them for us to add two final lines to form a tanka.

an autumnal drift
shedding selves compost
buried beneath

*****

frost-bitten feet
walk from the place
I forgot to leave

I took the haiku and added my own final couplet

an autumnal drift
shedding selves compost
buried beneath
resurrection of the dead
in someone else’s life

*****

frost-bitten feet
walk from the place
I forgot to leave
in the hope
your heart will thaw

frost-bitten feet
walk from the place
I forgot to leave
in the hope
your heart would thaw

In the last two, the change of a single word, “would” for “will” creates two very different meanings and both a valid.

Here’s a challenge: take my haiku and write two final lines to form a tanka.

fading amber leaves
blown into the courtyard corner
lovers’ forgotten kisses

Collaborative Poetry

Recently I tweeted the following haiku:

child denied play
snow softly patterns the floor
house without a roof

and tagged a friend, Sean (@SeanBlogonaut) who is another poet and writer. He is particularly fond of haiku, tanka and renga. He has given my wonderful insight into how haiku should be written in English (focus more on the imagery, the phrase and the fragment, rather than the counting of syllables. It is one of the vagaries of using a poetic form which has its origins in another language; the Japanese use sound units which are different to English syllables).

He added the following two lines to form a tanka:

in the courtyard of love
loneliness gathers in drifts

Creating a new poem

child denied play
snow softly patterns the floor
house without a roof
in the courtyard of love
loneliness gathers in drifts

I am used to collaborative writing and I want to further explore it with Sean, particularly as he raised the idea with me a couple of weeks back but we haven’t been able to catch up yet to write renga.

Collaborating with a new writing partner has benefits:

1. You learn new skills

A collaboration can be of equals, or a master and novice. In the case of writing renga with Sean, I would be the novice. But the collaboration is one of exploring a poetic form and learning more from each other.

2. The sum is greater than its parts

Or, two heads are better than one. New eyes, old heads, different perspectives, new ways of writing. You learn from another about your own writing from the writing of others. You learn how the other person constructs a phrase, sentence or image, and you get to explore why. It’s another skill/technique you can add to your own writer’s toolbox.

3. It’s fun

Yep. It’s fun. Creating a piece of work should be fun. It’s also hard work but the fun of creating something together, a shared community and body of work is a fantastic feeling.

image

Find a creative partner and create something new. It may only be a one-off piece of work or it may lead to a long term collaboration. Try it. Invite someone to participate.

The Selfie and Art

The Selfie Generation and The Misunderstanding of Art
 
While away on holidays the thought of the ubiquitious selfie struck me as an indicative misunderstanding of the way art functions in society.  Without giving it too much thought I put the random thoughts to twitter.Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 9.37.14 pm

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 9.37.25 pm 
There has been commentary on the narcissism of the selfie, and the selfie generation. Self portraits are nothing new in terms of the history of art but the selfie has predominated in a digital age and the shift in societal thinking. It is nothing more than self-aggrandisement.
The selfie misses the vital point of art and its function in society as a whole and the community on a smaller level, leading to this statement:
 
Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 9.37.35 pm
 
Ultimately I don’t care about the photos of yourself, or of your food, or your beverage, or any other piece of ennui you care to photograph and post on social media. What I do care about is the image you have carefully and thoughtfully constructed in order to tell a story.
It can be a photograph, a drawing, a doodle, a sketch, done with crayons, pencils, textas, salt and pepper, the spilt milk on the table and played with to create a pattern. 
The fact is, the art is deliberate and has a purpose. The fact a company can sell a book of Kim Kardashian selfies says a lot about the disposable artistic culture we live in. We have monetised narcissism which diminishes the value of art as a whole and what people are willing to pay to contribute to a vibrant arts culture. The same thing can be said for reality tv celebrities and their ‘biography.’ It cheapens the literary culture and pushes publishing to look for the next quick cash cow they can milk then slaughter. 
If we want art to have longevity it must have purpose, definition and an audience. A selfie has none of them.
Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 9.37.44 pm
There is a place for art for the individual and the self. But it is not art to be shared publicly. It can be shared with a few select people but not for the whole community. I don’t show the scraps of sentences found littered in my notebook or my practice pieces to the readers of my blog (unless I am using it to illustrate a point). This is the art for myself. Only when the piece is completed, edited, refined will I show it to my audience. I know what is done for myself and what is done for my audience. 
By all means, take selfies and share them with your audience. Just don’t cal it art.
Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 9.37.58 pm

 Feel free to disagree with me in the comments; I would like your feedback on this.

What’s your opinion on the selfie as ‘art’? 

Mending the War – Flash Fiction

This was a piece I submitted last year to a competition. No result. Another piece to help me practice. 

But I’d like you to have a read and tell me what you think.

She looked up from the sock she was darning, needle paused mid-stitch, and watched the missile burn across the blank expanse of blue sky, rending it in two.

“Where is it going?” asked her granddaughter.

“To war.”

The smoke trail began as a small tear, slowly expanding, making the rift wider, ragged. Slowly, imperceptibly at first, the blue pushed through the vapour trail, dissipating the smoke.

“There will be another,” said the grandmother.

“When will we have peace?”

The needle wound through the fabric and pulled the two halves together.

“When we have learned to mend our hearts.”

A Little Prompting #12

Pens at the ready? Paint squeezed onto the palette? Pencil sharpened?

Ready. Set. Go! for this week’s set of prompts

THEME Ego is not a dirty word
RANDOM LINE PROMPT She felt like a slowly deflating balloon; as fast as she patched the holes new ones appeared. 
PHOTOGRAPH  apple-watch-gold

http://www.iphonehacks.com/2015/02/apple-installing-safes-retail-stores-gold-plated-apple-watch.html

SONG/MUSIC VIDEO Living Colour – Cult of Personality

SENSORY SUGGESTION The gentle pressure of a shirt collar against the neck as a tie is adjusted.
QUOTE I fed my ego but not my soul – Yakov Smirnoff

A Little Prompting #11

In putting together these weekly prompts I am finding I have new ideas for stories or poems. Must remember to write them down.

What has been pushing your creative buttons?

While you wait for an answer, here’s this week’s prompts.

THEME Reflections of the Inside
RANDOM LINE PROMPT “You’ve never seen me for who I really am,” she said.“Because you hide it from me every time I get close to you,” he said.
PHOTOGRAPH Neural Brainhttp://integral-options.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/research-neural-activity-associated.html 
SONG/MUSIC VIDEO Sick Puppies – All the Same
SENSORY SUGGESTION The sound of knuckles being cracked while flexing fingers.
QUOTE I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection.
Leonardo da Vinci