Surrealism: towards originality.

 How can we write poems that are alive, exciting and most of all original?  I believe it’s about leaving what we know out of our pure expression and drilling down into the subconscious. I like to turn to the surrealists for inspiration.  The poems I write may not always eventually be surreal, but reading the surrealists and using surreal techniques can lead the way towards writing something true and fresh.

“The word ``surrealism'' having thereupon become descriptive of the generalizable undertaking to which we had devoted ourselves, I thought it indispensable, in 1924, to define this word once and for all: SURREALISM, n. Pure psychic automatism, by which it is intended to express, verbally, in writing, or by other means, the real process of thought. Thought's dictation, in the absence of all control exercised by the reason and outside all aesthetic or moral preoccupations.”


Andre Breton.

Some favourites of mine below and suggested reading: 





The Box of Books 1

I

Where to start in a box of books

on the floor, is where 
the gin of your lips exactly
as pillows are, as curtains are
when missing: this is Maximus 
Poems IV, V, VI

we are nowhere, there is no I

if two on the floor, with gin on your lips was
enough, we’d be three?
       Gin
For Gin
       For
       Gin
Back in the box of books I remember
mystery, the full-clothed

offer, the daily tea of grace
drink, has made us, brave:
I count such shapes this evening in the universe.





paradise alley (some country roads 
have trees growing and the road 
turns in such a way it is special  
for a few feet
from A NOTE ON THE ABOVE by Charles Olson


I: II

Some country roads can't cry for the dead they make
I saw a badger
never did I see one alive and this country road
turns out dead things a fox,
a small baby
rabbit of fur and no eyes left

slow down the country road and get out

a badger is hiding from you a rabbit
will show itself and the fox
is the perfect shape of a fox stands still
runs to the wood of cars
and brick to be demonised for scratching
a baby, a baby, a baby

there are no women running
away from foxes

One Daughter
and Each the Father
of Him-Her-Self

unless they're born in Texas.

I: III

A (       ) thing in the forest -

all the women, all the women
of Texas flock towards it

they think a (         ) thing is just what they need

they believe men are filling them up
in fear and isolation without
such necessary mountings

we are here, we are here, they cry
through a word so (        ) they dare not spell it
or it go (        )

the women of Texas are not only from Texas

the (       ) thing in the forest
is a church
it plays music in its graveyard
it plays music in their (          ) as they arrive
like priests
to be visited by sin/s

the (      ) thing pulls back
it shows them the soft dead
it shows them men

cannot fill their graveyard (          )

or forgive them for
everyday confrontations
such as cross my path.

I: IV

You haven't asked about the dress I'm wearing?
Why would you ... you
have other thoughts in your car diving

towards the end of the world.