Old Octopus

Part of a Series of Poems about Films, and After the Film “Oldboy” (2003)

A mosaic of things to compose your halo,
an octopus on a plate
in parts,
under a sun
that is secretly Gaudí’s Greek cousin,
fashionably late to the celebration,
amid whispers of his maddening.

Bow-legged and troubled from recycling breath,
and television in the same box,
sleeping the entire room.

You wonder how the creator of this scheme
got away with it,
you wonder how it stays up,
about the lizards that the design can support.

In a frame of mind,
Gaudí, like Walt Disney, doesn’t belong,
and I can’t convince you of a different film;
I only have six arms and
two legs,
cut with a cared-for blade.

But the Sagrada Famílias are popping up like mushrooms
to dress the set,
the unfinished and sunny salad,
where tomatoes blaze alight.

The table,
first refracted by as much water
as wild hair that streams before your eyes
– that river is just the flow of days,
and you wake up in a different style,
sometimes enough for tears -
every morning

a fraction of that sea;
in your glass,
or glasses,

like the light,
that extends many running legs
on vivid grass,
and wide arms.

Old Boy,
of the movie,
I know
we can change the seas
in front of our world’s noses.

I know your angry
taste for octopus
is matched by your furious
memory of living,

and it’s not good to be an octopus sandwich
post-Moses,
a two parter.

I would like to
share a smile with a stranger,
more not knowing what to do when our overrated
paths cross
before this squid ink becomes
a leaking biro to stain a jean pocket.

And roll the squid
into contortions
of sushi,
in the House,
its heritage staircase,
when square topiaries are rooted outside by volunteer angels
and gardeners, behind us,
where we didn’t
miss each other.

All the inter-city passengers turned to comparisons with jelly,
watching things pass downwards
slowed inwards by fear.

The giant octopus,
could take the yellow bus for a petal,
wave it around a bit,
wonder what you are
as your body slides
from one traveller to another,
in the joy of being safe and alive,
passing through ghosts
collecting pocket change and
puzzle books
to the sound of my
trying-to-be-kind.

The problematical Enigma machine of sums
for the mathematician I’m not.
Adverse to cutting the wires of a bomb
though he must;
apparently the blue.

The machine
that in a spot of frustration,
the American Ensign says is “busted”,
under sea level,
with the last double bass player on a cruise ship
not to float.

Curl a cup around my suckers,
to drink the bitter saltwater,
and I just might be the spirit of an octopus,
and just as envious of a wash-cloth.

I can just imagine a chorus line of
us octopuses
high-kicking in a Studio System musical,
but useless in our hallway,
where we hang up our coats.

These are the notes, that the angels,
have me writing in margins
of a remake’s screenplay:

before I say something like “Rosebud”, or perhaps “donut”
there is never anything wrong with a donut,
as a reward
instead of an octopuses’ punishment for being alive,
instead of food that won’t go quietly.

Peter Reading The Poem, “Folk Song”

I have made a home recording of me reading the poem, “Folk Song”.

It should please fans of the resolutely lo-fi.

It is free to listen and download, or available to buy on a “pay-what-you-want” basis (!)

This is the first poetry reading I have recorded. On the bandcamp page, I have also provided an optional intro bit. Those with an eagle’s eye will note that I have also sneakily unveiled the working title of a new collection!

Please enjoy!

Folk Song

Atop a towered collection
of records, desert clouds.

The tower too audacious will topple you over
if you don’t
listen in good time -

don’t sing like the skyscraper, crumbling on the hungry.
It’s magic-dust is bread crust from a distance of the stars.
Be like the cracked green bowl for sharing
before you hit the wood of the door,
and go madly.

Taste the spoon that drips
the black message
on the morning
that breaks to complete our circle.

What have you got lightly, under your sleeves?
The disc of Winter daylight settling when it’s too cold to get the nerve,
finger pickin’ though freezin’,
callin’ on us to forgo dreams.

When a cannonball played the Free Trade Hall
and the American Library of Congress to a ladybug,
the people at back there huddled to see,
through heads,
a man standing
and his travelling guitar.

I’m running with horses of muscle an’ limber dogs
across fields,
with horses and dogs,
my legs newly weak.

Across the fields,
as England’s sky knits complaint,
but I’m going home,
where to America
he plays.

Over tea,
over the steam of a cup,
and the droplets on a kitchen window have a
blue Chinese scene,
and leaves swirl in a loose storm
to galvanise a worried brain,
for lips that have not seen another’s for some years,
but another cup poured to sit in silence
about such things.

Submissions Wanted for a New Publication – AndThe Project Presents…”Peformance”

Draft Cover For New Magazine

AndThe Project are calling for submissions for a new Chapbook/’zine publication for artists of all kinds inspired by the word, “Performance”.

I’m also asking for comments, suggestions, feedback, and anything to gauge how this sounds to you, whether it’s something you’d like to read/take part in, and pointers for now and in the project’s future.

More information can be found here:

call performance pdf

As well as a cross-discipline art, poetry and prose magazine, it is also intended as way to share insight and advice across all different kinds of experience.

Email me submissions at the stated address, too.  Questions and Enquiries welcome too.

- Peter And The Hare

In case any one has trouble reading the document, click on “Continue Reading”, below:

Continue reading

Stand-Up

You reordered fear to shifting organs.

You’ve heard of the cold epidemic
running rings around us.

Your smile is
spot-lit helplessly but
you get on like
your house, engulfed.

In the baroque interior of your thoughts,
after all,
was a theatre,
and a setlist for five-hundred seats
asking for wiser stages
from your agent.

Famous under your sun
for anecdotes I couldn’t begin,
in-betweening some with laughter
in our tough-crowded room.

I hope you understood
that if we could
we would
brew our doppelgängers
out of malt, water, yeast and hops
to fill fold-away chairs
with lopsided, spewing froth,

in those unfunny catacombs -
the basement of this bar,
which was
not even tragic enough
for comedy.

You spoke with teeth given freedom,
tongue and body without trying,
punctuating a joke, an exclamation,
ejaculation,
like I’ll just have to imagine
a funny lady where Ian Curtis stands -
but I love you, more than my creation;
I was wide-eyed
on my ticket.

Now I come along with
fake moustaches,
a smile up the slow stairs
and a tour of the city.

I called it a night.

Peach

You’ve an old stone
to discard,
from the tilting bridge,
within uncertain distance of
an English windmill.

A stone that rolled around a tinted bowl,
imitative of Art Nouveau,
with yellow and sun-blown glass,

and a planet,
foolishly in orbit,
occupying
a clockface with work

with the tick of a carriage’s two o’clock horses,
arriving down a cobbled path,
to rest
outside a lodging house
of pebbles and pulp.

You’ve a heart to regain
for your still life,
a dimming shade of pencil line,
that rasps for spirit, however it is made known,
or an industrial clause,
finite as a life;
punctuation not given to blinking.

The fruit still tells of
time in storage,
unable to wrinkle plastic peach skin
when the news that morning
ticks officiously along
the bottom of the Sanyo flat-screen.

Notes from the Dream-Confused Polar Bear, Oxford

Passing cars of different makes and colours
carrying rain from other islands

If I was to die
in the downpour of a well-loved red vintage car,
the tsunami of the 1965 Chevrolet
carrying us off the roof terrace
where we were watching an
antique parade

someone said,
crossing myself,
“you’re not coming away from this one”
I’m fine with this,
and do not expect to walk away but fly,

Or something the movies haven’t thought of yet.

Trees sit
passing each river to the ground,
parting curtains,
the sea-sky of straight unbroken lines,
into a million shot glasses
as an inadequate measurement, for the
annual precipitation
above a person’s
average head of soaking hair

the room that spoke,
the woman dressed up as a polar bear with splashes of joyful paint on her fur,
the emulsion on a canvas afterwards.

Waking up well is rare,
as an endangered bird somewhere, knows.
It is good to wake up ready
so surround yourself with pictures,
when it is the end
you will have to show not tell

The Military man of high standing
I don’t know,
clawing like pets were
his cats and his feet,
at scratching-post fir trees,
looking for a forest that is only represented
on behalf of the trees.

The sun rose over the voice that housed her,
melted glass.

And this is what I learnt from the polar bear.

As the polar bear is white
because she likes the snow,
to be seen out to sea
visible only to me
because it reflects the light

And I was happy to enter
past the ocean
where a polar bear,
where ice once stood
at her feet,
walks the horizon,
looking for,
equally confused and diminished
schools of fish.

I want to be weird and in love
and go with you to Oxford
to remain with our friendly strangeness
beset by the better spirits
like candle flames
sheltered by cool stone
in an old town,
with a wise, satirical sense of the truthful world
and its lies,
to leave any anxieties and paranoias behind
spitting over their own skeletons
in attempts to cool
the uncertain skins they shake in
in punts
as we board others,
aflame and in the opposite direction,
vomit one last time
under bridges
and pass through arches
of a fast food restaurant in an historic building.

Hello,

Our workshop at the SPRING! event on the 24th was such a great, exciting day with a staggering array of ideas, inspirations, and acts of poetry swirling around. It was great to meet so many new people in a room with such energy and creativity! I must thank my lovely, awesome superheroes for joining me for my first workshop, and my friend Bobba and everyone involved in bringing us together.

Now, to celebrate our success in creating and becoming superheroes, I have a limited number of copies of my book, Peter And The Hare’s Fireside Companion at the special SPRING! price of:

£5.00 + £1.00 postage

Image

btn_buynow

Click Buy Now to purchase a copy of “Peter And The Hare’s Fireside Companion” via PayPal.

Also available on Lulu

Amazon.com (US) and Amazon.co.uk (UK)

And also very occasionally available on eBay

More information about this, my first illustrated collection of poems and stories, can be found here.

I will package your order brilliantly and send it promptly.

This way one can avoid both the extortionate postage costs of Lulu and the inflated price of Amazon. You can pay securely via the trusted and widely used PayPal platform in a snap. PayPal, as you may know is the same payment method used on eBay and numerous popular on-line stores, so many of you will be already familiar with its use. What’s more, you don’t need an existing PayPal customer account to make a purchase.

I’ve sourced the books directly myself and you would be buying from me directly, through the PayPal platform. This may well become a permanent solution to make things cheaper and easier for my readers.

We had a few unforeseeable hiccups at my book stall at the event, so I hope this will make up for it, and that those of you who couldn’t purchase a copy at SPRING! and were hoping to, will be able to take advantage of the reduced price here.

 

book info sign - available at this special price where to get 2 we

Join us for “Spring!” – A Day of Poetry and Dance Events at Embrace Arts in Leicester

Dear Leicester people,

On the 24th March at 3.30pm, fellow creator and awesome person Zara Dillinger  and I are collaborating on a dance/poetry workshop entitled “Wheelchair Bruisers” as part of the “SPRING!” spontaneous poetry event,  at Embrace Arts at the Richard Attenborough Centre, Leicester.

The workshop includes some themes relevant to disabled people and wheelchair users I suppose, but you absolutely don’t need to be one to come along, as it will be mostly an excuse to have fun.

The workshop is superhero themed, and we’ll be spontaneously moving and poetry-making around the idea of the superheroes we are, even in our ordinary daily lives, the things we can do, and how we can overcome any obstacle, however fantastical. Our workshop is in the family-friendly segment before 6.30, so will suitable for anyone of all ages.

“SPRING!” will be a wonderful event, thanks to the organisation skills, energy and enthusiasm of Leicester’s renowned “Grey, Gay Poet”, Bobba Cass. There will be workshops featuring esteemed local stars on the vibrant, always inspiring Leicester poetry scene, such as Pam Thompson and Magnus Gestsson, Carol Leeming and Rob Gee, and many others from a line-up truly bursting with talent, who promise to make the day a very special event indeed. I’m naming but a few for the sake of convenience in this post, but the full timetable of of what’s happening at the event can be found here. A finale from the excellent Jean Binta Breeze is sure to be especially spectacular.

Please feel free to come along to “SPRING!” and our “Wheelchair Bruisers” workshop, so that we have some lovely, awesome people to workshop to :)

I plan to continue trying to magic find  in the everyday, and I have more alter-ego themed hijinks and, yes, some surprises planned for my very first attempt at a workshop!

Here’s a brief description of our workshop so you know something of what to expect:

Based on the concept of “All-Powerful Invisible Capes of Us Obscure Superheroes”, in this workshop we will discover that we are all superheroes, capable of amazing things. We are also tiny dots in the universe, but that’s okay! Also, we don’t have to do amazing things all the time, because your power is in being you! And going to the shops is AWESOME! (When the aisles are wide enough for all of us and there’s a ramp into the entrance!)

In our mission as superheoes, it would be foolish to deny that everyday obstacles exist, but we’ll discover how we can do anything we want, and overcome any of these in many different ways!

Peter Buckley, a.k.a. Peter and The Hare, is the unexpectable Leicester-based purveyor and believer in the magical, the surreal and the silly, and here at “SPRING!”, he makes his workshop debut. Drawing from his experience in the use of alter-egos, he will ask you to imagine a garment or object that will instantly activate your super powers.

Our superhero gathering will create alter-egos and think about how you use your powers everyday. The gunpowder-stench of pulp fiction and the yawning mouth and eye-bags of reality will blur more than Mo Farah running-on-the-spot atop a freight train. If you’re an accountant by day, and an accountant by night; if your special power is making a wicked lamb tagine, if you have money-off coupons for hands, ready to dispense to poor and needy citizens… If you can’t stand this immature superhero nonsense; whoever you are, we need you in our team. If you can’t dance for toffee, I promise not to offer you any toffee. A team-like atmosphere will be cemented by a range of activities and surprises, that will assist the group and disrupt expectations. We’ll be in a place where you can be anything, which is not actually the stuff of comic book fiction, but of everyday reality. We’ll imagine into being an alternative, and certainly attainable, world where boundaries don’t exist, and we share an imagination that is more cool than controversial, but radical in its intensity. The poet Charles Bukowski said “Opening a can of sardines can be an art”; The Flaming Lips sang, “With all your power/what would you do?” ; Batman said “Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb” – Our spontaneous movements will superpower the everyday with magic. Once we get to know each other, we’ll be unstoppable. Check your common sense at the door to save a world that doesn’t necessarily want to be saved, and don’t hold out for a hero a minute longer, Bonnie Tyler, because “tag, your It” this SPRING! It’s a free-wheeling vehicle heading your way. We’re a few superheroes from downtrodden, depressing Gothic metropolises looking for something to dance about. Participants are invited to wear ECSTATIC DRESS and enjoy an atmosphere of “going with it, whatever it is”.

Please join us for “Spring!” – a whole host of exciting events combining spontaneous dance and poetry, happening from 11am to 8pm on 24th of March at Embrace Arts, Leicester! Full Schedule of the day here