Listening to and reading all the messages that people have sent in has been fascinating, affecting, humbling and occasionally hilarious – thank you to everyone who sent a message in. I’ve found twelve Mixed Messages poems in the messages and sincerely hope that I’ve succeeded in being true to the original messages. My intention was not to change the messages but find the poetry in them and amplify the their meanings.
My role in finding the poems is now complete but with National Poetry Day fast approaching, it’s over to you! In my role at the Scottish Poetry Library, I’ve created some learning resources for schools so that teachers and librarians can run their own Mixed Messages projects with classes and writing groups.
If you work with an adult writing group or are an individual who’s looking for a new poetry challenge, have a look at the resources. There are ideas and advice that could be easily adapted to suit your needs.
So have a go and have fun. We’d love to read the poems that result from your Mixed Messages projects. Send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and maybe we’ll share them here on the blog!
They have put Katie in the basement at work. X x x x x x
Crikey. Have you got any fingernails left? Xxx
She is an adult, and, unlike you, probably has a sex life.
Otherwise I’m fine. Just a bit sore and itchy.
Bloody squirrel has dismantled my nut fort!
Just to clarify we don’t go out so don’t get any ideas
Have put chainsaw and cable indoors out of rain.
Told him to stick it and found a Chinese
Running late but on my way now
I am never without monkeys.
dental appointment with Mr Chan at 08:10 on 17/05/16
An amalgam of infinite, unique, essential particles.
To accompany monkeys is my purpose in life.
(inside of tomato puree tubes are gold)
‘URGENT’ is the ninth poem in the Mixed Messages series. As with all the other poems so far it has been created as a found poem from the messages that were sent in by the public. The messages used in ‘URGENT’ were responses to the Twitter request to send us a random text message from your phone – very random they were too! To see other Mixed Messages poems click here.
Mixed Messages was conceived as a project of three creative stages. The first step was to call for and collect messages from the public. You all responded by the (mail) sack load – thank you! Stage two was, and continues to be, the finding of the poems, both as excerpts from individual messages and mash ups of combined message elements.
But poems really come alive when they are lifted off the page or screen and into our mouths and ears so for stage three we are recording volunteers reading the poems.
With the original messages, there were no back stories or contexts provided which is both a joyful mystery and a challenge when I am writing the poems! Similarly the poems were given to Ellie and Craig without back story so their performances reflect their own interpretations.
We are planning to record audio for more of the poems. If you have taken a shine to one of them and would like to try out for a chance to be its voice, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more. Everyone who participates in Mixed Messages is doing so on a voluntary basis – we have no funding and make no financial profit from the project. As such we cannot pay for your voice artistry but would love to hear you!
This poem, like all the others in the Mixed Messages project was created using found text contributed by the public in voicemails, texts, emails and tweets. If you missed the earlier poems in the series, you can catch up here.
The velvet lawn of sky, is daisied over with stars,
I can only navigate without a map, taking routes
into unknown terrain, on clandestine wings,
hoping that words
are enough to bind us together.
I could dig into the subtext of all these words unsaid
I could find clarity.
*We’re not sure if our messager was knowingly inspired by Neruda or if it was a happy coincidence but ‘alas clandestinas’ (‘clandestine wings’) feature in ‘Aqui termini’. ‘Acqui termini’ is part of Canto XV of Pablo Neruda’s Canto General (Ediciones Catedra S.A., 1990).
At Mixed Messages we’re celebrating the 2016 National Poetry Daytheme of Messages by using texts, emails, tweets and voicemails sent in by members of the public to create found poetry. Catch up on our earlier poems here.
you managed to direct my bus pass into the coin box.
2pm: you made me misfire
when I tried to talk to a colleague who has been avoiding me.
5pm: You have exhausted me.
I’m weak now, all because of you and your daily friends.
You made me realise
I still have one more working day to go.
Thank you, Thursday, I hope you feel good about yourself.
This is the seventh poem in the Mixed Messages project. Mixed Messages aims to say it with a poem by using texts, emails, tweets and voicemails sent in by members of the public to create found poetry in celebration of National Poetry 2016. Catch up on our earlier poems here.