Tuesday, 4 September 2012


Woody Guthrie was an interesting figure of American culture and music, a folk/country singer who tried to live the troubadour lifestyle, and it doing so became the troubadour lifestyle.  Aside from his songs, he left us with a little 2-page spread of his new year resolutions, one of which was to write a song a day (http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2011/12/27/woody-guthrie-1942-resolutions-list/).  I’ve stolen this #guthriechallenge from Richie Blitz (http://richieblitz.wordpress.com/), a very talented acoustic folk-punk musician whose songs always get me fired up for activism and politics.  I’ve adapted it to poetry. 
Basically Edinburgh Fringe taught me that this year, I need to rethink how I write.  Not because I’m unhappy with what I currently write/perform, but I need to take my stuff to another level beyond simple gag poems, politics or relying on nostalgic poetry about comics and cartoons.  I had long chats with my ace girlfriend about new writing techniques, so I’m going to try and write a new poem very single day.

I don’t expect that these poems will great, and definitely not a completed standard, but it will get me into the habit of writing and forcing ideas.  Things might ‘ping’ that might never have ‘pinged’ before in my head.  Anyway, I might try and post some up here on the blog; some I might not depends of the quality.  But for now, I was reading Grant Morrison’s essay/biography SuperGods and at the time he was talking about his Arkham Asylum comic, so here’s a little thing called The Asylum

The Asylum

Good evening.  I am the doorman to the Asylum.  Welcome to the story.

This is a retirement home for students whose dreams faded.

Cell door #1 is your basic style of madman.  The gibberers, the one’s who talk to themselves, the ones you wouldn’t trust with the truth or the lie.  The moaners, the cynics, the mistrusters, ranters.  Who stole themselves away, decided to murmer without purpose.  They dictate to themselves, they are secretly their momo and conversation rolled into one sublime self-heckle.

The next floor is the violent ones, the aggressive in tongue and mind.  Blind to who they damage, savage and unrelenting in their output, overfilling to the point of besieging the sense.  A menace to normality.

The next floor is the quiet ones.  The silent thinkers, drinking up the no-sound of the lack of noise.  The most dangerous ones.

Welcome to The Asylum, the New House of Gold.  Scarred tissue and homely minds directly schooled and dipped in a terrifying wine.

When they don’t require a prison or the electric chair, they send them here.

The inky hotel of the lost, damned and forgotten, all of those who need protecting from society, front pages and wages.  Hear their sound echo down the corridors.

All roads lead to Rome, all corridors lead home, pick a cell, any cell.

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