The richest events occur in us long before the soul perceives them. And, when we begin to open our eyes to the visible, we have long since committed ourselves to the invisible.
My mother’s blog entry on the Magma Poetry site starts with the above quote by Gabriele D’Annunzio, before offering advice on finding your poetic voice that’s weaved into the kind of ‘hoke’ she describes below:
The word means to root about and delve into and forage for and dig around, and that is precisely the kind of thing a poem does so well. A poem gets its nose to the ground and follows a trail and hokes its way by instinct to the real centre of what concerns it.
I’ve started to add her A Toffee Pig for Christmas memoirs of her Lancashire childhood on this blog which you can read here, or there’s the potted version from her Magma Poetry blog post below:
Born in the middle of the Depression, money was short, but there was a freedom which now seems unthinkable, and I too grew up as an in-between: between two world wars; between a rural community and the chimneys of the nearby textile mills; between the sounds of farm animals and shunting trains; between the speech patterns of my family and the rich Lancashire dialects of the neighbouring village and mill-towns; between a Catholic mother and a Protestant father and between their two gods: my father’s Our-Father-Which-Art, who had the Power and the Glory, and my mother’s Our-Father-Who-Art, who did not.
I’ve created a category for her poetry on this site and you can read all the ones I’ve added here so far. There were a couple I found on the Magma site which I’ve included below. There was also a review by Rob A Mackenzie of her Dirty Work book of poems here.
Singles Night at The Madrugad
All right, all right, if you insist – third turn on the left into Deadpan Alley, any time
after midnight, knock twice, whistle the first three bars of, say, the second track on
The Return of Dr.Octagon, and Rat-Butt Billy will let you in if he likes the tune and the
look of you – don’t try too hard, he’s got a nose for the prick, the prat, the poseur
and the ponce – just take things easy, a nod’s OK, but for God’s sake don’t smile –
Billy has this thing about guys who smile – his wife dumped him for the drummer
from Hot Black Stardust, the thin one, with the sea-snake tattoos, who’s had his
teeth fixed – and watch out for the strobes, they may reveal more than you’d care
for, hard to describe – let’s put it this way, I’ve seen sights in there that are best
forgotten, so don’t say I didn’t warn you – one more thing; you can trust Chitty
Moll, Bang-Bang and the Siamese twins but if a baby-faced tranny turns up in a
silver shift and high-heeled sneakers, and she offers you a white rose, get out of
there fast, I mean fast and don’t look back – believe me
She was allergic to blue –
if she looked into his eyes
it brought her out in a rash.
He changed them
only to find that brown
just one glance, she said,
could put her back on Prozac
but when he tried green,
because it was unlucky.
At last, he glued up his eyelids
and took her into his arms
but she struggled free,
that she could never live
without all those dear
of eye contact
so taking her at her word
he strangled her.