Mixed Messages poem #6:’Lost’

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Have you seen this animal? ‘Brown rat’ image by Jean-Jacques Boujot shared under a CC licence, available at flickr.com

I took your Millie out in the garden to play

She wasn’t unfaithful, your little brown rat

 

I let her smell freedom, floral scents so strong

they stung my nostrils. I let her smell freedom,

 

she embraced it, and at the accidental moment

I looked the other way. I shouldn’t have.

 

Sun shining and floral scents so strong,

that’s no excuse though, I lost her.

 

I let her smell freedom, she embraced it,

Millie, your little brown rat.

Mixed Messages is a project which celebrates the 2016 National Poetry Day theme 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.

Mixed Messages poem #5: ‘Sorry, sorrier still’

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Image by Timothy Brown shared under a CC licence, available at flickr.com

 I want to tell you I am sorry

I need you to know

I’m just so sorry. I know

how much you need the time.

I’m sorry

I couldn’t see you again,

I still don’t know if it was the right call.

I am sorry I didn’t come.

Sorry that I wasn’t my best today,

that I couldn’t take you home with me.

I am sorry you took the tablets

I am sorry I didn’t come.

I wish I were the one

so I could have seen you one last time.

I’m so sorry,

sorry you were alone at the end.

I think of us

in parallel universes,

and I am sorry.

I just keep making the same mistakes.

‘Sorry, sorrier still’ is the fifth poem in the Mixed Messages sequence. In May and June we put a call out for the texts, voicemails, tweets and emails that people had wanted to send but for some reason hadn’t. The resulting poems have been ‘found’ in the phrases of the messages that were sent in. If you missed the first four poems, why not catch up here.

 

 

Mixed Messages poem #4: ‘Suddenly’

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Now featuring an audio recording of Ellie McKay reading ‘Suddenly’. With thanks to Colin Waters and the Scottish Poetry Library for sound engineering and hosting on their SoundCloud page.

Suddenly

I don’t quite know what to say,

                                    what I should say.

I wish I’d told you

                       all that I could have said.

I wish I’d told you how much I loved you

instead of quarrelling about my short skirts

and wearing make up to school.

                       all that I could have said,

                       what I should have said.

11:20

                       No goodbye. Nothing.

Never to be repeated.

 

‘Suddenly’ is the fourth poem in the Mixed Messages sequence. Like the others, it is a found poem created from texts, voicemails, emails and tweets sent in by members of the public. You can read the other poems in the series in the ‘Poems’ tag.

Mixed Messages poem #3: ‘Mild Concussion’

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‘Aura’ image by makelessnoise. Shared under a CC licence, available at flickr.com

Now featuring an audio recording of Craig McCorquodale reading ‘Mild Concussion’. With thanks to Colin Waters and the Scottish Poetry Library for sound engineering and hosting on their SoundCloud page.

Mild concussion

The autumn sun made a golden aura

around you. For real. I saw it

and I knew I was done for.

 

‘Mild concussion’ is the third poem created from messages sent in to the Mixed Messages project. Missed the earlier poems? Why not catch up with ‘Japanese Cranes‘ and ‘Stupid Passing Fancy‘? More poems coming soon…

Mixed Messages poem #2: Stupid Passing Fancy

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‘Eyes’ Image by Anderson Mancini shared under a CC licence available at http://www.flickr.com.

Now featuring an audio recording of Craig McCorquodale reading ‘Stupid Passing Fancy’. With thanks to Colin Waters and the Scottish Poetry Library for sound engineering and hosting on their SoundCloud page.

Stupid passing fancy

All the air has been pulled from my lungs –

you make me forget

                    how to

                                breathe

                                              when you

                                                               look at me.

Look at me.

Beautiful, full of wisdom,

I look like a good time.

              I’m not a good time.

I’m sick

              with what might be,

                            what it might be like to kiss you.

Look at me.

                           Make me forget how to breathe.

Look at me.

            You’re sad and lonely –

in the strange light that casts,

I look like a good time.

             I’m not a good time.

I don’t love you.

I need the scales to fall, that’s all.

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 first poem in the series, you can catch up here.

 

Mixed Messages poem #1: ‘Japanese Cranes’

 

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Origami birds, South Bank, London, July 2016

Now featuring an audio recording of Ellie McKay reading ‘Japanese Cranes’. With thanks to Colin Waters and the Scottish Poetry Library for sound engineering and hosting on their SoundCloud page.

Japanese Cranes

Do you remember when

we folded paper cranes?

Folded paper into Japanese cranes.

I wish I could still believe

in the efficacy of my fingers,

folding, smoothing, opening

without thinking.

 

I wish I could still believe

but I can do nothing

and all that I can think

is that I have not yet learned

to write last letters.

 

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be posting the poems that have been found nestling in (or in this case nesting in) the voicemails, texts, emails and tweets that have been sent in to the Mixed Messages project.

Missed our original call for contributions? Catch up with the project aims here.

Back soon!

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Image by Infrogmation of New Orleans shared under a CC licence, available at flickr.com

A HUGE thank you to everyone who sent in messages. The Mixed Messages inboxes are packed with lots of texts, voicemails, tweets and emails. Some angry, some loving, some heartbroken and some funny – a cornucopia of varied wonders!

This month, I’m mostly working on found poems, using the messages as my source material. It’s a big task but certainly an enjoyable and inspiring one.

The poems will be published online here in early August. I’ll spread the word on Twitter and Facebook when they’re up so check there or here. If you don’t already follow the project but want to be kept informed, we’re @mixedmessages1 .

See you in August with shiny new poems made from your messages!