Sunday, 15 March 2009

she imagines... a writing prompt

I had a wonderful afternoon at Formby with artist Gemma Lacey. We collaborated on some poetry and images last year and created a small hand-made book Dusk, which you can see on her site. We are working on a new secret hush hush project involving words and pictures.

I am posting one of our photographs as a writing prompt, and offering a prize for the short short or prose poem I most like.

The prize will be a copy of Catherine Eisner's inventive novel/connected short fiction Sister Morphine.

So, prose poems and short shorts of around 150 words or less in response to this photograph...


Michelle said...

Love this, Annie.

And you got to play on the beach!

annie clarkson said...

Yes, I so loved it.

I'll keep this one running for three weeks I think. Until April 8th (ish). I might even write my own, she imagines (no prizes for me...!)

Michelle said...

I'm working on something!

annie clarkson said...

I don't know whether anyone else has had trouble posting in response to this blog. I'm posting this for Eileen Carney Hulme...

She Imagines

With every in breath she imagines his walk
towards her, the dark and light of thirteen years spilling
over rooftops in Tinsel Town, how he left with sea
in his pockets and waves swallowing goodbye. In Oxfam
shops she whispers to wind-chimes, asks about a man
carrying an ocean. She leans towards the second-hand books, wonders
if his words have washed up on city streets, wonders if he stepped
into tomorrow, remembering to count stars, to slip Orion’s belt.
Someone with a backpack and his eyes bumps into her shadow, she looks
twice as a twist of scent gathers up her heart. She pushes through
the door, follows pavements where footsteps have burned into dust.

(Tinsel Town is a reference to Glasgow)
©ECH 2009

annie clarkson said...

Calypso Waits

She imagines Odysseus will return to the island leaving Penelope at the loom in Ithaca. Rowing across the whispering black sea with his hands, he will abandon his kingdom to fall exhausted, penitent, at her feet, a golden conch coughed up on the sand. She deserts her arching cavern and cypress grove, forgets to eat ambrosia, drink nectar. Silver mantle floating around her, she spends her days in the burning sun beneath the limestone cliffs gazing at the horizon, consulting hedgehog entrails, interpreting burning laurel branches and the flight paths of honey buzzards and marsh harriers. At night she converses with stars, swims in the moonlight, weeping below the waves, her tangled braids writhing like copper sea snakes. Sick with mortal longing, she does not sleep. Her heart lists and founders. Hurling secret curses towards the lambent palace aloft Olympus, she despises herself for this violent hope.


Returning home to Ithaca from the Trojan War, Odysseus is shipwrecked and washed up on an island. Here, the sea nymph, Calypso, falls in love with him and holds him against his will for seven years until the gods on Olympus insist upon his release.

Michelle McGrane