Sunday, March 24, 2013


I tried my hand at a verbatim poem the other day. The idea is straightforward. Take text from a non-poetic source and arrange it, word for word, into lines. The only changes I made were to line five adding a fullstop and in line six omitting and.

I passed my eyes over her as a cannibal views his dinner,
my gaze sharp enough to pick the meat off her bones.
I felt that such was the force of my devouring curiosity
that the party had dematerialised and the walls melted
and there were only two of us in the vast room.
Such was the hard power of my stare that
Her Majesty turned and looked back at me,
as if she had been jabbed in the shoulder;
and for a split second her face expressed not anger
but hurt bewilderment. She looked young:
for a moment she had turned back from a figurehead
into the young woman she was, before monarchy froze her
and made her a thing, a thing which only had meaning
when it was exposed, a thing that existed only to be looked at.

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