Sunday, 15 February 2009

Press to Print

Next week I have been invited to do a poetry reading at an art gallery on the theme of the history of communication. This piece came to mind as a possible.

Hostile Correspondence

My grandmother's bingo pal was easy to frighten
Possessing an absolute fear of anything type-written.
Only officialdom typed letters and they was never good news.
The powers-that-be, authority, they all had control over Dilys.
From the Gas Board with their cut-offs to them that ran things
And she'd never forget those three wartime telegrams
Even if Dilys had read better, understood more than the gist of each letter
Handwritten meant friendly, usually family. Type-written just upset her.
Sometimes she stared for days before opening at arm's length,
Dropping typeface to the floor to read from a safe distance.
Test results from the doctor went unopened for ten months
Resulting in more typeface in local paper announcements.
Now there's Times New Roman italic on her headstone
And my grandmother goes to bingo alone.

© LS King


Steve said...

Glad to see the poem in reader friendly Ariel...!

Anonymous said...

Oh but I want to hear you read them!

Dilys was such a popular name in Wales that it always makes me chuckle when I hear it.

Do another podcast Laura - PLEASE. I am missing English accents (and you do sound very English despite your background). Pretty Please!

Tessa said...

Great piece! Would be perfect for the reading event and its theme.

Lucy Fishwife said...

I love this. Definitely appropriate for the event. Well done for getting a decent gig!

Brother Tobias said...

Laura, this is a cracker. Poignant, pictureable, 3D.

Wisewebwoman said...

I love how this reads, I hear the clack of keys underneath it, the rhythm pushing it forward.
What a perfect performance piece!
Try and podcast (maybe live?) so we can all be virtually at your reading. Pretty please?

garfer said...

Reminds me of Lowell's 'malignant surf of unopened letters'.

Can Bass 1 said...

And what imaginative rhymes - 'letter' and 'upset her' is my favourite. Bravo!

Jimmy Bastard said...

So nice to be back amongst some culture at last.

The Sagittarian said...

I really liked that one Laura, and like everyone else here would love to hear you read it yourself! (Since I didn't win lotto at the weekend, a podc ast from you would be pressure, but....)

O said...

Excellent. And I second the comment about Lowell.

moi said...

Good stuff. I'm curious, though, do you get paid to send these marvelous words out into the art gallery air?

Dan said...

Where is the venue? Modern Art Oxford? Might pop along to see it!


The Poet Laura-eate said...

Hi Steve, well the podcasts will get a little friendlier in due course!

RB - thank you for your lovely compliments. I will try another podcast the moment that time permits, but I did find it an incredibly time-consuming process, let alone trying to make a good one!

Tessa thanks - it did go down pretty well last night, which was good.

Lucy thanks - for a while I was racking my brains trying to think what to read and then all of a sudden my first new poem came to me since Christmas. However I also managed to find a bunch of other appropriate stuff for last night's reading, which was a relief.

BT - thank you so much. It's grown on me since I wrote it, I must admit.

WWW - thenk for for your gorgeous comment. As I said to RB, I need to get some time to try podcasting again, but I did find the first one incredibly time consuming. However I've just bought a proper headset with mic, so maybe next time will be a little easier. I need to invest in a data recorder to record live events.

Cheers Garfer.

Thank you Can Bass 1. The audience seemed to like it.

Jimmy Bastard - welcome. Nice to know that Glasgow's finest philosopher (since Rab C Nesbitt) appreciates a bit of culture!

Sagittarian - aw shucks - how can I resist so much pressure. Perhaps when I am shortly on the dole I will have time, but at the moment it's all I can do to post and visit once a week.

Welcome O! I must admit I visited your blog and didn't know where to put myself! Beautifully written though.

Cheers Moi. Some of my gigs are paid, some are not (though they are never lavishly paid of course, hence the need to maintain a day job. This latest one was a freebie as we were trying out a new venue.

Dan, sorry, I have only just found your message. It was called Art Jericho and is a lovely new space which has opened up behind the Phoenix cinema in Jericho.

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