First published on www.downrightfiction .com © Trevor Maynard 2012


Instant Poetry


Tough copy, small print

I looked to the sky and saw you scowling

Maybe I should be happy

But I am blank; divorced from you


The secret to writing is not really a secret at all, if you want to be a writer the thing you must do is … write.  If you want to be a poet, the thing you must do is … write poetry.  So, the four lines above, I just sat down and wrote.  But if you do just sit down and let flow, what fills your blank screen or if you’re old school, sheet of paper?  Pearls of genius, or the imbecility of swines?  Which one is the poem above?


Some may call this stream of consciousness poetry, where the words emerge from the chaos, finding form and style, and then becoming about something.  The words begin to mean something; they begin to express your feelings in a way that communicates with others.  Stream of consciousness poetry can be a pure outpouring from the heart, and could be regarded as the most truthful and relevant to an expression of our humanity because it has not been moulded, or filtered by rules.  It can also be rank drivel, self-indulgent, and in fact, exactly a reflection of how society has conditioned our minds to discrimination and banality.   But you will only find out which it is if you actually write it down.   Does the poem above have veracity or is it trite?


For me, one of the interesting things about writing that come from chaos is that in order for something to be truly chaotic there must be harmony somewhere; there is an equal probability of a diamond among the rough as there is a pile of garbage.  For example, ask a poet or a factory worker to write a poem and the factory worker may, in all likelihood, pen gibberish - but only MAY.   Or to jump to another kind of creativity, who out of a pre-eminent professor of physics and a patent clerk came up with the theory of general relativity?    


Back to the verse above; is it an instant poem that is pure, truthful, a diamond in the rough?  For me, no. I re-read it several times but as an intrinsic piece I could not ascertain its meaning, its human connection.  So, apparently I am no DH Lawrence or Einstein; however, the re-reading did spark many questions I felt needed answering. Why was there “small print”, who was “scowling” from above, and why am I “blank”?  The word “divorced” triggered a clue to a possible narrative theme.


The revised poem is below, given the title “Breach”, and it took about four hours to complete. Is it finished?  Probably not, but the moment of inspiration was captured through a stream of consciousness.  Is it better, worse, more truthful, a purer work of writing than the original at the beginning of this article? For me, yes; but you can make up your own mind.




Tough copy, small print

I looked to the sky and saw you scowling

Maybe I should be happy

But I am blank; divorced from feeling


I caught you in a lie

Made you confess; I made you apologise

So as I could throw it back in your face


Ten years later I am alone

You have three kids with someone else

I should have remembered our vows

For better or worse


But I was caught in my own lie

I entered our contract in bad faith

It was never love that took my central place


Tough copy, small print

Our actions bind us good and true

Maybe I should be happy

But I am blank; in love, without you


If you are a member of LinkedIN this poem will be available to critique at the LinkedIn group Critique, a subgroup of Poetry, Review and Discuss.  



© Trevor Maynard 2012