Stop Making Sense! is a poetry project I’ve just finished making in collaboration with talented poet and performer Kirsten Luckins, enigmatic yet irrepressible artist Logan Hanbury and others. It’s a small contribution to one of StAnza International Poetry Festival’s 2021 themes – ‘No Rhyme nor Reason’.
Stop Making Sense! is a website with light-hearted activities spinning a dizzy birl around the fraying threads of poetry and not making too much sense at all. There’s a collection of contributed nonsense to rummage about in (and contribute to) plus – it’s entirely FREE and anyone can join in, without actually having to go out!
Thanks to those worthy souls who’ve already contributed a verse.
Have a look, have a go, but most of all, have a laugh!
This post is a bit of an experiment! The idea had a couple of starting points…
I was looking at some Lady’s mantle flowers in bright sunshine. This started off a chain of thought which had a lot to do with the process of branching – how we see it in natural growth, echoed in man-made patterns, and also in mathematics.
Not long after I read about a free piece of software for game developers called Ink. This is a lightweight tool aimed at authors writing stories where the reader gets to make choices. Ink is made by an award winning Cambridge based game development company called inkle. If you’re interested you can find out more about the company and download ink software from their website.
I decided to try to make an interactive poem, where your choices can affect the flow of the poem. To begin with I chose something quite simple, and fairly structured. I wrote three short threads of poetry about my Lady’s mantle ideas, then developed a page using Ink that allows you to choose how the poem branches as you read. So in the end I had a poem about branching … that could actually branch!
I’m not able to embed the resulting poem here on the blog, but I can host it on my website, so I’m going to add a link to show it in a new window, but if you’d like to come back here and like this, and/or leave a comment about it, I’d love to hear from you…
Click to open a new window with the interactive poem ‘Branching’
In the UK, if you’re over fifty, every couple of years you receive an excellent little test kit from the National Health Service. It does rather bring you down to basics. Before continuing can I raise a quick cheer for cancer screening. I know it’s a faff, but really, it does make sense – so if you’re in the age range and you’re contacted by a screening programme where you live, I would encourage you to get over the ick factor, and get on with it 🙂 !
Although the kit does come with excellent instructions, you do have to figure out your own method for some of the fine details (so to speak). I suspect that the kit has probably seldom been an inspiration for poetry, but I have always found the versatility of cardboard a very marvellous thing…
The same cloth
Dragon chewed edges chart
My cardboard construction skills,
Once creased castles to house plastic
Knights and errant imaginations.
Or a two foot Arc Royal flat-top as,
Floor bound navigators on our knees,
We projected playtime power.
The throne of easement today requires a
Temporary transom to stage my fifty something
Three day perforated tournament of poo sticks.
So salvaged corrugated cardboard,
Will again be pressed to unfold a counter,
And jury-rig a diagnostic flight deck.
My rhumb lines of luck or doubt.
About screening for bowel cancer in UK:
Bowel cancer screening UK (includes a very helpful video)