The Bed at the Boiler House

So I went to a slam poetry writing workshop yesterday. It wasn’t the best workshop I’ve ever been to as the planned facilitator was taken seriously unwell so someone else had to step in at the last moment. The venue wasn’t idea either, we were in the public mezzanine level at the Theatre Royal and there was some fairly hideous 90s music blaring out making it difficult to focus. The lady who ran it did her best though and I’m glad that I went.

She began the workshop by asking us to picture a place that was memorable for us. I took this rather literally and thought about the bed that my exe and I shared until we split up in November. It had been on my mind as she told me in the week that she was getting rid of it. Fair enough of course but it had always been a special place. A safe place where I could hide away, but also a dark place that enabled me to keep hiding and not confronting my mental illness.

She then asked us to draw the place, adding in the sounds, people, places, etc so here is what I drew. The idea is that the bed is in the bottom left, then it zooms out to the room, then the flat, then the street.

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Once we had finished our maps we did a free writing exercise where you just keep writing for 10 minutes never taking your pen off the page, and doodling when you cannot think of anything to write. From this, we refined and edited our work into a poem. Here is mine


The Bed at The Boiler House

Locked away in the womb that we created
Safely we hid ourselves under the quilt that I conjured from another lifetime
The loose wobbly stitching tickles and teases with the rise and fall of breaths in sync

Press pause for us
Whilst outside the rickety aching windows
The dawn screeches in on time and the river cackles and cracks, snaps and slips below

Traffic, like flotsam and jetsam bobs by on the road up top
Like the river, permanent, immovable
But bending slightly as the hours march on like soldiers on a mission

Bleeping the crossing outside ushers the children
Metronome of red and green
The world turns without us darling

In the womb, lavender lingers
A gentle reminder
Of a candle who slipped into slumber long before us

Suddenly snatched away
The safety net shatters and the womb bursts open
Distant like memory, flickering florescent

Today she sold the bed