Unless stated otherwise, all poetry on Swimming in Lines of Haiku is Copyright Kirsten Cliff and may not be reprinted in any form without written permission from the author. kirsten(DOT)cliff(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Longest Title I've Ever Used For A Poem

...Is on this found poem I wrote in 2008. It was the first found poem I'd ever written and I really enjoyed playing with the words from the book On Writing Hits Songs, which I never would have otherwise picked up. (The challenge set by my former poetry group was to choose a book on something you didn't know about to write your found poem). I'm very pleased to say that this piece of found poetry has finally found its home within the pages of Takahe 75 (Issue 1, 2012). 

One place a good song doesn’t come from is the brain
By Kirsten Cliff

Your hit song needs a tune:
geek rock, pure pop, short-back-and-sides
teenage craze, cocaine cool, extra firepower
primitive blues, cultural cringe, glam-rock chic
scurried around the stage like nervous kittens

It needs a rhythm:
spiky, rock and roll, one-man jukebox
piss-take, half-baked, shoe-gazing outsider
irony, heavy-handed, half send-up, half celebration
echoing a police siren going past his house

It needs a verse:
moptops, British skiffle riff, too-clever-by-half songs
straightforward popsmith, stream-of-consciousness
tap into the hoon in us all

And a chorus:
repetition, repetition, repetition
short, hit-filled, sound from another planet
wordplays involving spooning under the moon

It needs a title:
shrewd musical operator
dislocate all the styles, bundle them together
big fat hit songs that the whole world wants to sing

And it needs to sound as if it’s about something:
whatever works, perfection isn’t the point

Notes: A found poem based on On Writing Hit Songs by Simon Morris (Wellington: Four Winds Press, 2003), from the Montana Estates Essay Series edited by Lloyd Jones. 

You can read another of my found poems here called "Receive Dreams as Messengers from Another Realm", which is the second longest title I've ever used for a poem! :)


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