April 8 – Day Eight: The OFFICIAL entry: verbatim

So after the chopping & changing mentioned in the other April 8 entry, I finally got back to the main idea that had caught my attention during the day.

One of my HairyFooted One ring destroying Big Bellied Innocent Tiny people buddies (goes by the nick, RhubarbCrumbles) & I were chatting on Line about houses, where we grew up & whatnot (her & her husband, RL nickname Blokie, are soon to start building one of their own) when she mentioned she was on googlemaps. Actually on it. She even sent me a picture.

This intrigued me & I asked her for more info.  So she proceeded to tell me the story of her google mapping experience.  As she told me, (& by told, I mean typed in conversation with me, like an extended text message exchange) I begun to consider her story as a possible source for Found Poetry.

Now having friends who are playwrights, I was aware of the relatively recent theatre form, Verbatim Theatre (in which plays are constructed using the precise words spoken by people interviewed about a particular event/topic). I thought I could apply the same techniques to Poetry (I also hadn’t heard of it being done before in poetry. Naturally a later google search reveal it had; although the way I was proposing was closer in approach to Verbatim Theatre, than the more traditional Verbatim Poetry seemed to represent.)

So what follows is pretty much literally, word for word, Rhu’s story – presented in poetic form. The only minor tweaks I have made are: 1) taking out all my interjections (which, unusually, were relatively few); 2) even rarer, made slight adjustments to grammar, usually to better structure a reply to a question I asked & to make Rhu’s response flow fractionally better; 3) removed a few unrelated chunks where we talked about the game; & 4) twice moved a line to a different position within the poem.  Now if any/all of these break any cardinal VP rules, I care not. I was more interested in the final product than the process/technique by which I got there. That said I know I can confidently say, “These are at least 95% Rhu’s words, Rhu’s voice, if not higher”. The sculptors knife was only used very lightly.

As always, keen for any thoughts? responses? critiques? of this never-before-tried-by-me, poetic form.

google mapped
or the Alcester Rut

Amusingly I am immortalised in google maps
[Photo]
Taken the week I was leaving the UK (though I didn’t know it at the time)
I know it’s the week before I left because of the shirt I was wearing
I wore it once to paint the hallway
We sold it after my father died.

We left as we needed a change.
Alcester is a small town.
A very small village, technically a hamlet
Kind of like the Lou Reed song
Small Town
It might have been John Cale. Or one he recorded with him.
But the lyrics go something like
Growing up in a small town x3
You just wanna get out
We were stuck in a routine
And had always talked about moving abroad

US wouldn’t have been our first choice, but its where blokie had an opportunity
Yes. We have one brother each. No parents.
Friends are diversely spread across the globe and UK.
And those in Alcester were part of the rut.
We’d watch the footie in the boozer on a Sunday.
Blokie would play darts on a Tuesday.
And quiz league on Thursdays.
We’d still be doing that if we lived there.
So we moved.

It wasn’t a huge wrench.
I’m fairly pragmatic.
And it was exciting.
No tears.
Maybe a small lump in my throat for my bro.
And an odd drunken conv with one of my best mates who declared his love for me.
Like 1 day before u leave, what was I supposed to say to that! Other than awkward.
Probably better for him that I left I suspect.
I don’t want to be anyone’s unrequited love.
And no, no quickie.

US is pretty much as u expect it to be.
Inherently right of centre.
Money orientated
Family orientated.
More religious than I appreciated.
And a complete lack of understanding of anything outside their own shores.

How? Um.
Blokie loves google maps/earth.
If he sees a sports stadium or landmark on tv,
he likes to locate them and see whether its a good place to visit.
I guess he was just having a gander at Alcester, and there I was.

The first thing I bought with my inheritance
was a copy of the Times Atlas of the World for him.
That was a while ago though.
It props up the PS3 now.

 

*****

 

photo

Image: googleearth & RhubarbCrumbles

 

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