My Pixie Boots

At my local Writers Group, part of the session involves an improvised writing exercise. We are given a writing prompt and then we have approximately ten minutes to write something and then have to read it out. Last time, we had to write a poem or story on boots or shoes, that were important to us in some way.  I’m in awe of people who can write improvised poems, or indeed any creative writing that is ‘off the cuff’ and under pressure. Also, people who can just take out a notepad on the bus and start writing. I normally need a good comfort zone and lots of time to write, with no time limits or restrictions. I’ve done improv acting but never impro writing, until lately. I’m learning in that sphere and it’s interesting. Didn’t know I had it in me to be spontaneous.  It’s scary but I think practice is the key.  If you keep doing something, you get better at it and one day, hopefully, it’s not scary at all. So here’s an impro writing exercise I did on boots. My first ever impro poem!

 

Pixie Boots

I am but a thimbleful

I roam in strange hours

I sip from buttercups

And abseil from flowers

I climb to the top

Of the ivy on the wall

There’s not many pixies

Who can do that at all

I saddle a slug

And we ride the soil

Jump over cabbages

It’s not much of a toil

I’ve not lost a feather

I’m full of spice and pep

My pixie boots

Have lots of mileage yet

And when the sun is tired

And I feel sleepy too

I snuggle in the moss

And say goodnight to you.

 

 

 

 

5 comments

  1. I knew a pixie once. It may have been bad luck for both of us.

    Like most of my poems that one came to me spontaneously and apparently out of nowhere. Though it was immediately obvious what part of my past it refers to I wasn’t consciously aware of thinking about it when the poem came. The whole thing came at once and any differences between the original and what’s written down is due to delay in recording it and trying to reconstruct it from the bits I could remember. They’re generally so spontaneous I don’t really feel a sense of authorship over them – which is fortunate as they also tend to be pretty crap. It’s like they’re flying around and just bump into me regardless of my intent or opinion. But crap or not, check out the structure, rhythm and internal rhymes. All of that came at once with no conscious effort whatsoever. I dunno how that looks to you but it’s always seemed fucking odd to me I can tell you. A lot of my songs were like that too, but I’d deliberately induce them by ‘earworming’ scat lyrics, sometimes with a few seed phrases, and just letting them emerge over a day or so. I had more of a sense of having ‘created’ them.

    When I was more interested in my poems I used to carry a notepad and pen around because, yep, they do come on the bus. And they have the ephemeral quality of dreams so if I don’t write them down quickly they’re prone to fading away.

    Most of my other writing is nothing like that. I sometimes attain a kind of stream of consciousness in prose but mostly my stuff is carefully thought out and structured for a specific effect which I rarely attain to my satisfaction. But it’s not spontaneous and it’s definitely ‘me’.

    I hear voices too, BTW. So if you can’t do it you’re probably just not nuts enough yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I envy you the notebook-on-the-bus-thing. I can wake up and have to write something down before I lose it, so I get that part of it, but I’m usually so stressed when I’m out in public, that I can’t engage my mnd in that way. What I’m starting to realise is, creativity is essential when you are feeling suicidal. It’s make or break. In the last few days, I have had to be creative to counteract powerful suicidal thoughts. It’s human nature to express ourselves. It’s like going to the toilet. It’s that base and it’s that crude and it’s that essential to health. When you express yourself, it will help you and probably help someone else too. So, I’m looking forward to your next poem.

      Like

      • I know what you mean about feeling forced to self-articulate or die, even when you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about, but mostly the poetry’s not like that. It’s not something I do. It happens to me.

        I once had a spell of almost a week of continuous ‘poetry’ flowing into my head every waking hour (in some of my dreams too). Sometimes it referred to something in my attention, sometimes other stuff, sometimes I didn’t know what it was on about and sometimes it was about itself. The style, rhythm, meter, etc changed regularly and seemed unrelated to the content. I never knew what was coming and I was occasionally shocked or cracked up laughing. Another time a religious poem arrived in a rush while I was waiting to see a counsellor. When I begged a pen and paper off the receptionist and began furiously scribbling it out before I forgot she probably thought I really needed counselling.

        It’s not like creative writing. It’s like the voices. And like the voices I’m fond of it. But I don’t think of it as me or mine.

        You might have a long wait for the next poem. I don’t bother carrying a notepad these days and I rarely feel compelled to record them. But if you scroll down my blog and click the ‘poetry’ tag on the right you’ll see a few. Most happened a similar way to ‘tangle sprite’. The haikus are spontaneous in a different kind of way and I have more sense of volition over them.

        I’m sorry you’ve been suicidal lately. Naturally I’ve an impulse to try to generalise my story about myself to you then come up with some kind of dogmatic prescription for it, but we both know that’s BS. It’s not as if everyone else doesn’t drive you crazy doing that. Oh, shit. I just did it, didn’t I?

        Liked by 1 person

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