Pastiche Poetry

Do you ever revisit things you’ve written in the past and turn them into something new? Snippets and thoughts that started life as something else, only to be repurposed. I do. Especially with my poetry. In fact, most of my poems are curious little Frankenstein’s Monsters of lines and ideas I’ve pasted together — stealing parts from previous works, rearranging them into a brand new creation.

Well, it’s not exactly thievery when the words are all your own.

I notice themes and strands of consciousness which follow me around a lot. Or bitter symbolism that rears its ugly head quite regularly — on a predictable rotation. I am tied to the phases of the moon and the energies therein, but more than that, I am beholden to my expectations and anxieties. I can’t escape them, I merely tidy them away in heavy boxes in the hope they stay corralled for a while.

As is usual for me I’m working through my thoughts through writing, and it’s always interesting to see what kinds of things pop out. How my inner voices whisper things, and I simply have to take a moment. To stop. Be still and listen. That small voice, quiet voice, the one which speaks carefully and authentically, honestly and without fear, that’s the one I try to channel and embrace.

So I’m revisiting old word friends and cannibalising their bodies. I’m chewing them up and spitting them out into shapes and forms that better suit their purpose. Which is not to say their previous form was undesirable or incomplete, merely that their change and progress are essential driving forces for my creativity and self-analysis.

Little Monsters riding roughshod on the page.


Words stick like spinach between her teeth —

Picked out, examined and discarded.

A healthy diet of apologies. An unfamiliar taste.

Like Mother said, I’ll eat my greens.

But while these boundaries, expectations,

Taste so strange and bitter in my mouth,

I am determined I will swallow them.

For I have nothing to be sorry for.

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