Skylab Stories

Poetry, Performance, Participation, Possibility. Based in South-West England. I write and perform poetry, and run workshops to get people writing poetry together.

Keep following on www.couldbethemoon.co.uk February 21, 2015

Filed under: Writing — skylabstories @ 5:55 pm

This site will shortly go out of orbit…

So if you follow here, please do follow my new site blog as above :-)

Thank you, see you there.

Caleb x

 

www.couldbethemoon.co.uk January 7, 2015

Filed under: Writing — skylabstories @ 11:34 pm

Right then: new year, new website.

I’m moving to http://www.couldbethemoon.co.uk – where you can read my writing, about my projects, and an archive of posts from this site.

If you do follow this one, please follow my new one – which should be hotting up over the next few months with some new projects…

Happy New Year!

 

Eyedrum Periodically: Backwards October 15, 2014

Two of my poems – as well as an array of splendid work – are in this edition of Eyedrum Periodically, on the theme of ‘Backwards’.

Of my two: one poem relates to upside-down art (or does it?); the other to topsy-turvy time (or does it?). OK, I’ll stop that now (or will I?). Yes, I will.

I hope you enjoy all the work included – looking forward to reading everyone’s work in the publication.

 

Bristol Death Cafe October 13, 2014

Here’s a short piece I wrote about my experience at the first Bristol Death Cafe.

The next event is at Cox and Baloney on Sunday 29th November – hope to see you there.

 

Joy’s Kitchen October 6, 2014

Filed under: 2014 Projects,Poetry,Publications — skylabstories @ 7:13 pm
Tags: , , ,

A poem of mine, in honour of my late Granny Joy’s compulsion to collect, has been published by The Moon Magazine, here.

 

My Phone Instead of an Onion: Video Poetry September 24, 2014

New Life (created during a videopoetry workshop at Liberated Words 2014) from Marc Neys (aka Swoon) on Vimeo.

On Saturday, I joined a splendidly energetic and fruitful workshop with Marc Neys, who makes video poems, as part of the Liberated Words festival.

The video we made is embedded, through Marc’s excellent Vimeo site, above. We wrote, recorded, and edited this film in about 3 hours – so the title of this post refers to one of the more baffling lines I wrote (and am still not really sure what it means, apart from being a reference to Sylvia Plath’s poem ‘Cut’ – you can make up your own mind!). But we worked fast, which can be immensely liberating…

As I learned, it’s a broad and brilliant genre (if it is a genre, as such), which can mean creating film to go with other poet’s work (perhaps by using the Poetry Storehouse project he told us about).

Or – more interestingly, I think – to gather images and sounds, while creating poetry alongside them. The two processes then start to interweave and interact, rather than one bolting onto the other.

So I’m all fired up about making work through writing, but also through gathering curious images – and creating soundscapes (Marc told us he has has a big bag, ‘only of children’s instruments’) using my never-really-played musical saw, and stylophone, and whatever else I have lying around…

This could get noisy. And rather fun.

 

CaCaPoMo: “My Boat Won’t Bend” August 5, 2014

Filed under: 2014 Projects,Inland Odyssey,Poetry,Writing — skylabstories @ 11:19 am

Rant away, sir!

Here’s something inspired by the end of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and an encounter with another boater.

An admission: I am infuriated by discourteous boaters. Those who are in a weird rush (don’t go on a narrowboat then!) or want to speed past moored boats (it’s not a race and our stuff falls over!) or put a lock down when you’re coming up to it (it’s a waste of bloody water!). And so on.

There was just such a boater at the end of the Huddersfield Narrow, who was quite uppity about getting past our boat, having just come up the lock, while we were waiting to go down (and assisting with the lock). 

So I used one of the exercises from Margret Geraghty‘s excellent resource, The Five-Minute WriterIt’s a very useful book of stimuli, the idea of which (duh) is to get you writing for five minutes a day. The thing I love about the book is how she gives an example from literature, as well as some background to it psychologically (having also studied psychology) and then sets you an exercise putting these thinking skills to use. 

Geraghty explains in one exercise that Delta Airlines won a customer services award for their ‘genuineness’. They trained their host/esses, when dealing with an ‘irate’ (a ranting, irrational customer) to make up a story as to why they were that angry: their wife left them this morning; they just found our they’re losing their job. That sort of thing. In doing so, they could maintain empathy and not lose their rag.

So, with that in mind, here’s something in the voice of that rude boater. I don’t anticipate winning any customer service awards for it, mind:

 

“My Boat Won’t Bend”

 

He’s in the galley before I notice him stirring,

already holding out that mug of tea.

The duck hatch wide open.

There they all are, treading water,

that bloody blank quacking look

as they sup the bread he’s chucked.

Only twenty to go today, he says.

Always counting down. Always

staring, expecting.

 

I pick up speed just to see

if he’ll tell me to stop, scrape

through the lock so the bow, front,

head – whatever – butts slimy green.

At the top, two blokes are waiting

to come in and they’re in my way

so I say, My boat won’t bend.

But they insist, so I shove it

forward – they’re fault if it bangs.

But it doesn’t. So we slide by

and one of them says,

Have a nice day!

 

And he’s swinging his windlass

approaching lock number

six of thirty-two. Six of thirty-bloody-two.

I ram the boat through and there, half-

sunk, at the bottom of the lock,

a laminated sign:

Out of Order.

 

 
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