Date/time: Thursday 23 May 1-2pm
Max number of participants: 18
What participants will get out of the class:
Looking at the work of poets including Frank O’Hara, Tim Wells and my own work we will be exploring the role the stuff people love plays in poetry. From Coca Cola and Northern Soul to vintage clothes and bric-a-brac we’ll talk about how ‘all the stuff they’ve always talked about still makes a poem a surprise!’
My experience: I am a poet, editor and events organiser. My first collection Luxe is forthcoming from Salt Publishing. I edit the online journal Poems in Which and co-organise The Shuffle poetry reading series. I tweet @msamykey.
My poems (what someone else said):
“If we are living in the material world, I want Amy Key to be my material girl. She makes her pleats and flounces move; she crowds the surface with color and texture right where it needs to be to draw the reader in like a bee to the velvet bell of the foxglove; or like the silverscreen beauty who eats bonbons from a satin box, she wills our gaze to take it all in and to crave more. These poems are worn on the body, and like all great ensembles, they show just enough; they are hot and memorable.” DA Powell
Colourwise I’m more meadow than hedgerow
though I have wooden clothes pegs and underneath
it all I’m comfortable as a smock. Less wild than a meadow.
I expect you will wonder what this is all about – well it’s wrong,
like giving names to the eggs in the box.
Here is a picture of a horse very proud of itself.
Here is a drawing of a flower, from hundreds of years ago
– you will still find such flowers in the garden! There is something
you will want to understand in these pictures,
so you spend time with them. Perhaps that’s what it’s about.
I would like to be able to make a very nearly complete list,
of everything that matters to me, leaving nothing out.
Is that what it’s like to be afraid to die? Also
to have the most inquisitive eyes and see beauty beauty
beauty pick away at the wallowing mortar.
To know the composure of a closed clam.
and if I could for just one minute lift my head from its dead daffodil slouch and stop delaying life I might find the magic chink in my self doubt that its possible to walk straight through and I’ll be hydroponically charged drowned in UV light and I’ll feel only in the merest possible terms and my eyes will flourish like ranunculus friends will be waiting for me at the party in the form of a human pyramid and at the shore when the boat sets sail we will sing Nick Drake’s ‘Northern Sky’ and it’ll seem as though we could eat the starlight and starlight tastes like sorbet and inflorescence and less like snow than you’d think now it’s mandatory to travel after dark and for once you fall asleep in someone’s arms without what next
Coquelicot! That’s how I’d describe your hair,
like how I’d imagine a cosmocrat’s to look –
absolute pigment, primed for plumes and space minerals.
I love how I can always locate you in a vociferous
room and that you’re more costume than wardrobe. Not
everyone can be as you are, and that’s as well as a tucked in sheet.
Tell me I’m buttoned up the right way. That we will never not
reason it’s okay to fall asleep on a stranger’s shoulder before the projection
ends and we’re blinked into being. We both know what’s more
virtue than obligation and there’s always a stash of gin
in the teapot because at times the obligations necessitate
endurance. Not once, but three times I have thought to call you at
night. Check I am still the way I am, and need not be.
I am writing these acrostic poems to raise money for Comic Relief. Please sponsor me here.
Hocus and Pocus died not of over-feeding (as we’d first thought), it seems
every goldfish in town went that night – pouf! – and no one, not even the
academics, have reached an agreeable hypothesis as to why.
Tiny’s lips set against me. Apparently, I was blame not just for this but all
heightened drama so keen I was for anything. Still, the Great Goldfish Demise
entered our cosy folklore and we rarely passed months without
relating the story to each other The Goldfish! we’d squeal, as though it were
possible to save them. At the Macintosh-makers’ Fete, we won three more –
Hocus II, Pocus II and Splashy. I’ll admit
it was hard to tell who was who. We
looked at them elaborately, measured then
listed their quirks and flourishes.
Isolde also drew portraits, so as to supplement our
photographic records which has failed to capture the
singularity of each. Pocus II was akin to a 1960s
orange wallpaper print. Splashy has a needier, more contemporary look.
Not that it made a difference which was which, if I am being honest.
walk too fast without checking where they are going and wander off without their mummy they are not allowed to do that they must be able to see their mummy at all times and little girls will one day become big girls and when they are they will let their little sisters wear their clothes because they will be in big girls clothes and when they are a big girl they will be allowed to have hot drinks and will be allowed to go to the shops on their own but little girls must always look where they are going and not let their mummy out of their sight and they must memorise their address and must not talk to strangers and little girls sometimes get sick because they eat too many sweets and then their mummy doesn’t like them to have sweets anymore and says they can only have a sweet if they finish their lunch first and even then only fruit and if they are naughty they will be sent to bed without anything at all little girls must sit properly this means knees together and they must not twirl their hair gawp snort they must wash their hands and tidy up after themselves sometimes little girls take things they’re not supposed to and wear mummy’s jewellery without asking they make their eyes goes square by watching too much tv and its greedy to ask for more little girls sometimes tell fibs it’s wrong to lie it’s not polite to eat with your mouth open and it’s wrong to tell tales and it’s wrong to shout and it’s naughty to take things that do not belong to you