Poetry: “Nostalgia” and “Everything Builds On Everything Else”

2015 Artwork Poetry Nostalgia and everything builds on everything else

As I mentioned yesterday, one of the problems with scheduling the articles for this blog so far in advance is that occasionally I miss days. Thankfully, it doesn’t happen very often, but it does happen.

Anyway, I suddenly realised that I somehow accidentally skipped three days’ worth of updates. Today’s post is the second of the quick updates I’ve made to fill the gap (because it didn’t really seem right to just not post anything).

Anyway, for today, here are two “never seen before” poems that I wrote in 2009/ 2010. They certainly aren’t the best poems that I’ve ever written, but I hope that you enjoy them nonetheless πŸ™‚

By C. A. Brown

Dust-covered cassettes, yellowed leaflets
whirr and purr against scratched magnets.

An inert pile of action figures,
Power Rangers, Action Men and Biker Mice.

Midday re-runs, faded and absurd.
With shoulder pads, suits and fancy dresses.

Hip and modern a decade ago,
Sandman and Nirvana win mainstream awards.

Childhood photographs in a shoe box,
show a much more dull and different background.


“Everything Builds On Everything Else”
By C. A. Brown

You see these piles of books,
these strata of old documents,
these mountains of forgotten clothes.

You see my favourite book.
It’s cover a deep chartreuse,
it’s spine cracked.

I first found it at fourteen,
in a bookshop horror section
on the top shelf.

I casually read the blurb,
then stood on tiptoes and replaced it.
It wasn’t really my sort of thing.

Six years later, I sought it out again
the memory stale, but vivid.
The timing was finally right.

You see piles of my old stories,
withered seeds of lost books
picked for value, scavenged
like vultures on carrion.

You see these clothes,
this old T-shirt from 2002
rediscovered. Now my favourite.

These everyday artefacts,
are not junk. They aren’t a waste of space.
Because everything builds on everything else.


Anyway, I hope that this was interesting πŸ™‚

Two Poems: “The City” And “Last Train”

2015 Artwork The City and Last Train

Unfortunately, I was feeling slightly uninspired when it came to writing today’s poems, so here are two more old poems from 2010 instead.

The first poem here – “The City” – was the first poem in an unpublished collection of narrative poems I wrote in 2010 called “Switchblade Shadows”. Whilst most of this collection had a rather nonsensical and badly-written murder mystery plot, I’m still quite proud of the atmospheric opening poem.

The second poem – “Last Train” – was an attempt at writing a descriptive poem I made in 2010 that was based on a train journey from Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth that I took one evening in late 2009s. The original poem didn’t really have a proper title, so I thought that I’d call it “Last Train” (after this song by Ghost Dance).

This is also the last day of poetry week and normal articles will resume tomorrow. All in all, I quite enjoyed poetry week and – despite not feeling as inspired as I hoped I would be, it was still a lot of fun. So, I may well end up posting more poetry on here at some point in the future. I don’t know.

Anyway, enjoy today’s poems πŸ™‚

“The City” By C. A. Brown

Bird’s eye visions from a precarious window
blended into an impressionist wash
by raindrops, running like trains.
Streetlights merge into darkness,
highlights curl and distort.

Somewhere, a bordello closes,
women in overcoats leave clutching
film canister aerosols of mace.
Men in leather jackets look on,
their cigarette ends glowing like
a swarm of fireflies.

On the roofs and spires, crows
gather like the souls of the dead.
A few chimneys breathe out
dragon death rattles of smoke
as church bells clang lifelessly.

A man almost steps into the road,
his trainers almost shredded by
jet-black blurs of type treads.
Neon signs drown out their painted
neighbours with cries of
“Absinthe “XXX”, “Open ‘Til 4”.

Policemen in regimental uniforms bark
orders, the refrain to a drunken
song forgotten by morning.
Rats dodge crystal sculptures of
broken glass in the gutter.

A woman in a tattered hoody
breathes her last breath.

Miles away, inside a dark drawer,
a switchblade clicks open.


“Last Train” By C. A.Brown

A town on a hill,
sparkling like Christmas
card pictures, like
1990s videogame gemstones

Held aloft in a rich
dark cupola of trees,
a needle forest
on a leaf-strewn sea.

All these thoughts
come to me
in the split-second
I look out of the window.


Anyway, I hope that this was interesting πŸ™‚

Four Ways To Fake It As A Poet

2015 Artwork Fake Poetry article sketch

So, you need to write some poetry quickly, but you don’t have a lot of practice or experience. What do you do? Well, I thought that I’d give you a few quick tips that can help you to make something that may just about pass for a poem.

I should probably point out that this article is aimed people who have no interest in writing more than one or two poems to impress someone. If you want to learn how to write poetry properly, then you probably shouldn’t read this article.

But, remember, you might be able to fool a few people into thinking that you’re a poet if you follow the tips in this article – but don’t expect to fool other poets.

Anyway, let’s get started:

1) Don’t rhyme: This is a classic beginners’ mistake and it’s one of the easiest ways to tell that someone hasn’t had that much experience with poetry. I am, of course, talking about trying to make your poem rhyme when it shouldn’t.

Trying to shoehorn a rhyme scheme into your poem when you don’t actually need one will not only annoy your audience, but it will also waste your time too.

Repeat after me. Poetry doesn’t have to rhyme.

Yes, there is quite a lot of well-written rhyming poetry out there. Rhyming can be a great way to both enhance your poem and to give it more rhythm, but it’s a totally optional thing. And, since learning how and when to rhyme properly can take a bit of practice – it’s probably best to save it for later.

If you really must add a rhyme to your poem, then just make sure that only two or four lines of your poem rhyme. But don’t waste too much time thinking of a rhyme.

2) Line breaks: One of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to make something that resembles a poem quickly is to either write a very short story or to write down some random thoughts that you’ve had and then just add some random line breaks to it. This is basically cheating, but it can be a good way to come up with a poem quickly.

Ideally, each line of your poem should be roughly the same length – but it’s ok to make each line a slightly different length.

For example, here’s a very corny old joke: “Did you hear about the mathematician with constipation? He worked it out with a pencil.

Now, if I want to make this old joke look more like a poem, all I have to do is to think of a suitably pretentious title and add some line breaks to it. Like this:

“Blocked Logic” – A poem

Did you hear about
the mathematician
with constipation?

He worked it out
with a pencil.

Just remember to come up with your own ideas for these types of poems. I used a copy of an old joke as an easy example, but you should never copy someone else’s work and call it your own poetry. Not only is it bad form, it’s also very easy to detect. So, don’t do it!

3) Fake haiku: Writing real haiku poems is one of the most challenging things that a poet can do. After all, you have to meticulously count the number of syllables in each line and stick to the “rules” as closely as possible.

However, unless you’re showing your poem to an experienced poet or someone who has read a lot of haiku poems before, then these kinds of poems are extremely easy to fake.

All you need to do is to write three short lines. The first and the second lines should be a description of something and the last line should either be a profound thought, a totally different description or something random.

As long as the middle line is slightly longer than the first and last lines, it will (to the uninformed anyway) look like a haiku. Here’s an example of what I mean:

A leaf drifts,
on a sirocco wind.
Life is short.

Technically speaking, this isn’t a real haiku (since the syllable count is something like 4, 6, 5). But it certainly looks like one…

4) Total randomness: As the name suggests, one of the quickest ways to write fake poetry is to just write a bunch of random words or sentences and arrange them in a way that looks like a poem.

If anyone asks you about it, just tell them that it’s “avant-garde” poetry or that it’s “cut-up” poetry.

Seriously, just let your imagination go wild and come up with something totally random. Like this:

Rising prices,
a perfect ovoid,
palm tree sap,
unleavened pizza,
old raincoats,
lost in cartoons
of Spanish dubloons.

There are infinite nebulae
in my bellybutton fluff.
Lost languages scream
for more whipped cream.


Anyway, I hope that this was useful πŸ™‚

Two Poems: “Treasure” And “Tool Duel”

2015 Artwork Poetry Treasure and Tool Duel

Well, for the fifth day of poetry week, I thought that I’d share two all-new poems that I’ve just written. The first one of these poems (“Treasure”) is meant to be a slightly “serious” poem.

But, the second poem – “Tool Duel” is much longer… and sillier. It’s also written in hilariously terrible doggerel verse too. Although it’s probably only truly funny if you read it aloud in a terrible approximation of a Texan accent.

I’d originally planned to put a recording of this poem on Youtube, but I eventually decided against this (mainly because my approximation of a Texan accent was just too terrible). Anyway, enjoy πŸ™‚

“Treasure” By C. A. Brown

In the old days,
I was always looking
for treasure
in all the wrong places.

In right-wing tabloids,
in run-down shops,
in cheesy movies,
in old forums.

In badly-written stories,
in dull computer games,
in random TV shows
and faded magazines.

But, the funny thing was
I still found it sometimes.


“Tool Duel” By C. A. Brown

It happened one starry night,
Billy Bob and Old Joad got into a fight.

“I tell ‘ya”, said Billy Bob
“You’ll need better tools than this to finish the job!”
Joad was shocked. His tools were his pride and joy.
Listen here, Billy Bob! I had these here tools when you were just a boy!“.

Billy Bob laughed and called Joad an old fool.
Old fool, you say? I challenge you to a duel!

Now, Billy Bob and Joad were a liberal sort,
to duel with guns just wasn’t sport.
So, with a grin on his face that bordered on cruel
Joad said, “I’ll whup your ass with these here tools!

Back to back, they stood.
Joad with a chisel, Billy Bob with a plank of wood.

Billy Bob went first and struck a pathetic blow.
Plywood ain’t good wood for fightin’, wooden you know?
Joad dropped his chisel and reached for a hammer
Dangammit, Billy Bob! I’ll slam ‘ya!

Billy Bob replied with something unprintably vile
as he parried Joad’s hammer with a nearby file.
That’s fightin’ talk!” hissed Joad
and once again swung his hammer’s heavy load.

Metal clunked and sparks flew,
Joad’s buddy Clem joined in too.
“Hey! Two on one just ain’t fair!”
Shouted Billy Bob as he clouted Clem with a chair.

Alterted by the commotion, Billy Bob’s old buddy Hank
charged into the work station, flailing a crank.
By accident, he caught old Joad in the spine
That ain’t fair fightin’, ya cowardly swine!

Gripping his back, Joad reached into his overalls
and stabbed Billy Bob with a cleverly-concealed awl.
Clutching his ass, Billy Bob yelled.
“Ah give up! That hurt like hell!”

Now listen up and listen well,
’cause there’s a moral to this story that I tell.
(It’s really nothin’ fancy, just..)
…Awl’s well that ends well.


Anyway, I hope that this was interesting πŸ™‚

Two Poems: “Puzzles” And ” 1896″

2015 Artwork Poetry Puzzles and 1896

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s poetry week here this week. And, for today, I thought that I’d dig up some old poems that I originally wrote in late 2009.

I originally thought that I’d lost these poems during a rather serious computer crash that I had in 2010. But, of course, back then I often used to handwrite things before I typed them. So, I was able to find my original notes from the time and I thought that I’d share two of them with you.

Since these are based on my original handwritten drafts, they are probably at least slightly different from the “lost” typed versions of these poems.

Plus, if anyone is curious, “1896” is a poem about this mysterious “sea monster” carcass that washed up on a beach in 19th century Florida. I don’t know where I read about this at the time, but it seemed bizarre enough to write a poem about.

Anyway, enjoy πŸ™‚

“Puzzles” By C. A. Brown

You can live in a room for a year,
and it will still surprise you.
Whether it’s a tape in the old
VCR in the corner,
presumed broken.

Whether it is a gap
in a boarded-up fireplace.
A message scrawled into
a secondhand book, covered
in dust.

Whether it’s a hidden room
in a famous videogame.
It’s been there all along,
unknown, undiscovered.

So, search your rooms,
scour your decks,
open your books.
Things may not look so familiar.


“1896” By C. A. Brown

It washed up on the beach one morning,
lay bloated and rotting on pristine sands
for several hours.

It was found by people,
scientists crowded round it,
came up with theories.

Dragged it further to shore,
with men, horses and
coarse rope, almost tearing it’s surface.

They planted it on boards,
examined it, photographed it,
cut away a few samples.

The tests were inconclusive,
journalists said that it was an octopus,
a sea monster relic.

They cut, they probed,
through swollen and stinking
tissue, unknown organs.

Decades later, the samples were found
in a vault, discovered afresh,
yet they still could not solve this puzzle of flesh.


Anyway, I hope that this was interesting πŸ™‚

Introducing Poetry Week (Plus Two Poems)

2015 Artwork Poetry Time and FPS1995 article sketch

I am very proud to introduce “poetry week” on this blog – yes, every article posted here this week will either be about poetry or will actually be poetry (probably a mixture of both new and old poems that I’ve written).

I’m not quite sure why I came up with this idea, but this is the first time that I’ve really done a themed “week” of articles on here, so it’ll be interesting to see how it turns out.

At the moment, I’ve planned to write three articles about poetry and four poem-based posts, but I don’t know if this will change over the coming week or not.

Anyway, to start things off, I’ve written two short poems for today that that I thought that I’d share. Enjoy πŸ™‚

“Time” By C. A. Brown

Ticking away,
seconds and hours,
the universe devours
another moment
without pause.


“FPS 1995” By C. A. Brown

Pixels and sectors,
vertices and vectors,
linedefs and sprites,
split-second fights,
second-rate frights,
Another night in my room,
playing “Doom”.


Anyway, I hope that this was interesting πŸ™‚