Monday, 18 January 2010

Why, Cut Out & Keep - is that a new haircut?

I said I'd give the old girl a lick of paint in the new year. Feast your eyes on my efforts. I feel like a clueless DIY mechanic emerging from under the bonnet of a vehicle with oil on my hands. I can proudly demonstrate that the engine starts OK and the doors shut nice and tight, but any professional looking into the engine will immediately spot the paperclips holding the wires together and conclude that I've constructed an unroadworthy death trap.

Still, it was an enjoyable diversion. Not coincidentally, tinkering is also the part of writing poetry that I enjoy the most. As a machine, a poem isn't a factory conveyor belt for moving plot or developing character, like a novel or a film; it's more like a watch. You have to make sure all the little cogs fit together properly to make it work. Unlike a watch though, you can't be sure of its exact function, so it's more like shifting the cogs around inside a small alien device, not knowing exactly what will happen when they all line up. It's very involving, slightly secretive, a little anxiety-inducing, and something that has to be pored over while in a particular state of mind. And as is the case with other small objects I pore over - including origami and my Nintendo DS - it can get incredibly frustrating as well.

I'm not a watchmaker. I don't know anything about cars or heavy factory equipment. I apologise for the crapness of these metaphors.

No comments: