Wednesday, 31 October 2007

SHOT NO 12, by Bertram Karrasch

Oxford Road long after mid-night

A police siren chases an ambulance car.
A CCTV camera watches the scene.
People queue up in front of a cash machine.
A beggar calls them names.

The traffic light changes to green.
A taxi turns on the empty road.
A cleaning vehicle collects beer cans and bags of crisps.
And leaflets, wet from the rain.

The 24h Spar across the road has a delivery.
Trays hold bread in plastic bags.
Carton boxes contain bottles with fizzy drinks.
The driver wears a hat.

I go to bed now,
Still time for a wank.

Monday, 29 October 2007

SHOT NO 11, by Bertram Karrasch

Now I sit in a house made of ice and snow, on a thick layer of sheepskin, in a warm pyjama and drink a cup of tea. The candles on the small wooden table flicker and make our shadows dance on the shiny walls.

It is absolutely quiet and peaceful in the snowhouse. The skin in the entrance hangs still now, doesn't move at all. Only a few hours ago it was thrown in to the room when a strong storm swiped across the peninsula. We had to bring the dogs in to one of the snowhouses. It was already dark outside and there was no moonlight, which could have made our task easier. ...

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Intro to Shot No 10

I wrote this today. At the moment the title is Amuse Bouche.

Ex 2

You can do this easy exercise to start some new writing. Write

When we got there the sun came out, so

and keep writing - loosely and enjoyably and following any changes of subject, and only coming back to your first idea as much or as little as you feel you want to. You can start and see what happens.

SHOT NO 9, by Elaine Speakman

In the middle of the night
It came,
Hard and fast
Jolting me out of sleep
To the painful realization
Of being alone,
With the hours
In to the grey emptiness of knowing
That dawn will bring no relief,
Will only gather the clouds of despair
About me,
Maybe the moon tomorrow,
Or the day after,
Or the day after that
Will gently tease me free,
Maybe not,
Maybe the little red pills
That firm my grip on life
Will need to be shaken
From their hiding place
And swallowed.

Ex 1

Your turn to have a go and have some fun; you can get a coffee or what you most enjoy drinking, and some paper and a pen, and relax and write

The train stopped at the station

and follow on from that and keep writing for 10 minutes - or 5 minutes if you want - writing what comes out and letting it happen and enjoying it.

You can leave it and read it later and make it better if you want. It may be beautiful or horrible or anything between; I write pages like this and then only ever use one line from them - though I wrote the bad pages to get to the line I like. Other times you find you've written a piece that works with no or few changes - like rolling the perfect pizza base .... (I would imagine).

You can write something if you want to, and what you've written you can keep a secret or show to some one or to every one, and you can send it as a Comment to this page. I manage comments before they appear, so you can even send me what you wrote as a comment and ask me not to let anyone else see it.

I would like to read anything you write from this exercise - Espresso Shots is not muffins a monologue, it's like coffee and a conversation.

The first line of this exercise is similar to the first line of one of the books in the Have You Read ...? box on the left: have you read it, and do you recognize it?

Thursday, 11 October 2007

SHOT NO 8, by Adam Grant

I feel jilted as a dishevelled beauty leaves my lover's lair,
Her eyes full of sleep and health from recently left lust
The smell of sex does not linger in the air, but it should.
My lover looks seriously in to my eyes, hers dart
Feverishly they try to stay upon mine.
A half hearted introduction discloses only that she knows no name
And the warmth of soft scents ... morning sun kissed cheeks
Leaves my senses be, and I grow cold.
She'd laid it on the line from our start -
"Sleeping with a girl is only a lustful action,
Like watching pornography, it is not love,
For I only have love for you."
It seemed like fun then ....

Friday, 5 October 2007

SHOT NO 7, by Dave Puller

I gave her everything.

And she took it.

SHOT NO 6, by Anthony Sides

You were still asleep when I pressed the cushion on to your face. I tried not to wake you. You moved your head slightly in your sleep when you felt the cushion cover and I pushed my two hands down with all my strength from my shoulders down through both my wrists and held my breath praying.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Intro to Shots No 5 and 6

Peter Sansom ran a writing work shop in Huddersfield in 2006 and asked the group to write something beginning with the line You were still asleep.

Steve Waling wrote a poem, and a few days after he showed it to me I wrote some prose with the same first line. Steve's poem is in his new book Travelator and I appreciate his permission to include it here.

In The Times Ian MacMillan listed Travelator first in his "Five to Cherish" and wrote:

Waling was once poet-in-residence at a chip shop and his poetry has a salty quality that makes you want more. [Steve's publisher] Salt churns out quality books like there's no tomorrow.

Thank you again to Steve for the poem, and to Steve and Ian MacMillan for this opportunity to use square brackets.

SHOT NO 5, by Steve Waling

You were still asleep

as light came in through the curtains.

The first bus crawled up the hill. I made this

from a dream of my childhood.

This is the house on the corner. Bought

by an absentee landlord, kept empty

for when the price goes up.

Not in this town. The garage next door

was arsoned. Mum lives up the hill now,

I don't like going back. Nostalgia's

a type of arthritis for the poor

who live in the present. The future's

a new block of flats in Manchester at

a hundred grand a room. C-cold. Blinds

at the window and the traffic at the roundabout

never stops. You were still asleep and I

had the horn for you.