They both set me thinking.
Robin’s post resonated because it mentions writing poems about the work environment, workplace culture and career-path politics. I know Robin has written about this are herself in her excellent last collection, All The Relevant Gods. There’s also Robin (I see a theme here) Vaughn-Williams’ The Manager, Neil Elder’s Codes of Conduct, Being Present and The Space Between Us, as well as individual poems by the likes of Roethke’s Dolor, Betjeman’s Executive, Alison Brackenbury’s Bookkeeping*
It chimed with me because I’ve been encouraged to write more poems about work, to use the language of the environment I find myself in on a daily basis and to a degree that’s happening. I think the language of marketing is rich and ripe for use in poetry.
To date I’ve managed:
- An experiment with the language of online advertising
- A draft of a poem called A Manifesto for Big – written after a discussion about the strategy for a particular advertising campaign. It never made it beyond the meeting room, but these two did and I think they’re both brilliant – Patriach & The Guv’nor
- A poem in the style of questionnaire types
- And one about the Gartner Hype Cycle1-3 are all sat in the drafts or rejects folder. 4 is out for submission now and I hope it finds a home eventually. I remain unconvinced that it will be accepted by the current mag that I’ve sent it to…Watch this space…or one very much like it.
His blog piece led me to the content of OODA Loops
You can read Wikipedia as well as I can, but essentially OODA Loops (aside from sounding like a character in the shit trilogy of Star Wars films – you know the ones I mean) are a military idea based around the concept of observe–orient–decide–act.
The more I read of John’s post the more I thought it made me think about the act of writing. There’s a bigger post to be written on this one day – perhaps when I retire or can find the time and money to go back in to Academia***
In the post, John writes about Boyd (the creator of the OODA Loop) and how he tried to avoid writing things down as final, never settling on the definitive version of something. This resonated with me on a couple of levels.
As artists or writers (God, did I just write that? Don’t worry, I’ll probably end on a knobgag to balance things out) we’re meant to observe the world around us, orient ourselves by filtering these observations through cultural trends, our experiences, etc, before deciding how best to represent this and acting upon this by writing it down, painting, singing, etc.
I hope so. Especially as it’s in, it’s bloody in. The running poem has been submitted and everything. In the spirit of revision, the title got changed and a line cut at the last minute. Hopefully there won’t be more.
But I’m sat at home warming down, attached to an oxygen mask and somehow enjoying a delicious chocolate milkshake from my local cafe. *****
This seems have become a Sunday ritual—without the oxygen mask. That said, tomorrow ******, I’ll be tucking into some delicious booze and running the Wimbledon Craft Half and so may need the oxygen mask.
******At the time of writing
The week in stats:
1 reviews published – Thanks to Mike at London Grip and Mike Barlow for writing an excellent pamphlet – Some Kind of Ghost
2 poems worked on: The running one, and Clearing My Dad’s Shed
1 submission arrived in magazine form – Thanks to Poetry Salzburg for taking two poems
1 PB – Best 10K time (54 mins)
1st ever Tempo Runs