As I had an exam, I could not attend the last class. It was a pity, because I had the chance to read the poems they read in class and they were beautiful. Some of them included important elements of the city (not necessarily London), that could inspire us to write about the city. It is important to remember that not only is our poetry project about the city and London, but all our MA is called Writing the City. London must be an essential part of our own writing, and therefore, reading poetry that is set or about cities is really helpful. For example, I was amazed by the many images that I found in Praise House: The New Economy by Gabrielle Calvocoressi, with many characters, food, animals, plants, objects that form the great “choir” of the city. And I really enjoyed the Seven Views of Cork City, about a city where I have been but that I don’t know and remember very well, where the speaker describes very different moments and aspects of it.
Then we read a moving piece by Claudia Rankine, where she talks about the violent death of Mark Duggan. The issue of violent deaths of black men is one of the important issues that we may want to consider. It is not like we need to write about London: we need to write about something in London, something important, that responds to the city of London. I know what the issues I write about are, and I am not too unhappy with what I have come up. The last poems Ron wanted us to read were all by Ross Gay and were published in the same collection. They seem the same poem, but actually they are very different, with a complete different tone, atmosphere and ending. I really liked this idea, it was the sort of clever ideas that I never have in poetry.
Still, I want to say positive about this project. It will be fine. I am going to use some of the obstructions, but most of all I am going to use some sentences, some images, some lines, and I will build up completely new poems. I am satisfied with two or three obstructions, which anyway need to be edited and shaped. I will write about London and about being from another place, it will be about the sea, about my fears and my idols. It will be about David Bowie, who died last year. It will be about drugs, and coming back home, and going away. It will be about sex and about love. About the body and about water. All these themes were important parts of my obstructions. Without the obstructions, without this process of constantly trying to re-read everything, to consult my notes, to consider every single inspiration, I would have never tried to write poetry.
Now I have a final project before me. I have gathered a lot of material that I am scared and excited to re-read and to shape. I will do it. I need to be daring.