Tag Archives: english

#GloPoWriMo 2018 9 – Lesson I

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should I tell you how to
shall I tell you how
can I tell you
I’ll tell you

when she takes
when he takes
why you & I give

what is
what isn’t
what these are in context
out of context they are not

how to be in
how to go to
who to go with
& how to stay

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#GloPoWriMo 2018 6 – Homework

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For next week, then,
I want you to fall in love
with someone who doesn’t
speak the same language as you.
I want you to explore
all conjugations of the verbs
to feel to stumble to fumble.
I want you to analyse
the syntax of their collarbone
and the irregular construction
of the skin on their belly.
How their intonation rises
with each questioning look
in the way that their voice
does not. How the structure
of their arms has possessive
qualities, and it calls to you
in the singular and the plural.
How there is no need for a third
person. How the present
might or might not seem perfect
and the rules behind it follow
no rhyme nor reason anyway.
How tongues are the least
important part of the conversation
when the punctuation is made
by the sounds of your study.

What you will learn is
for you and you alone but
share the lesson wide.

based on a conversation almost had during teaching

#GloPoWriMo 2018 4 – e oggi facciamo English

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ecco il giallo per fare
il sole
così lo porto alla mamma
ed è bello.

io ho fatto il yellow
il rosa e il blue
perché piove ma dopo
c’è il sole.

il mio tempo preferito
è il drago
perchè la Viola è coraggiosa

e sono io la scala mobile
e non voglio fare il marrone
e oggi sei ritornato da noi

(found poem with bits of a kids’ English lesson)

#GloPoWriMo 2017 19 – wug

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how is it that
we can say one wug
and we can
assume two wugs
but we cannot
learn how to wug
we cannot know
whether the wug
believes in more
than its wugself
is there life
beyond the wug
will the wug
inherit the earth
why do we ascribe
our plurality
to its unique
wugness
why do we not
question the rules
we find so easy
to apply to a wug

this is a wug
now there is another one
now there are many
they contain wugtitudes

#GloPoWriMo 2017 7 – a day in the life of

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start. waking up to
a new cycle of stories,
wheels are shuddering

at the holes you made
(there is news that we can pause)
is this fulfilling

or have we fallen
into another routine,
waiting for. the end.

London, July 2016

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Frame me here
pin me to this evening
of summer dresses and topless
joggers running from business
into a bustling busy city
that wakes at the close
that gathers its strength
that swipes the day clean again
loses its filters and sheens
that walks close to its lovers
its friends its followers
make this night a hashtag
make it viral in its living beating buzz
make it sing make it dance in the street
make it jump to reach its signs:

the world is not ending
any time soon
we have more nights to write
more walks to write
more books to write
more smiles to write
more plans to write
more to write
than we possibly can
in just this one worldful

BCLT Summer School – Day 2

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Day 2 – Workshop led by Henrietta Rose-Innes, with a fascinating discussion on South African English, its relationship to Afrikaans and the multiple official languages of the country, and how South African authors (such as Antjie Krog or Nathan Trantraal) use, bend and crash the rules of all of them combined. We were then prompted to tell a very brief story in the voice of 13 year olds (mine became bilingual Tuscans, somehow..) not wanting to be understood, as by someone who uses English as a lingua franca, in a high-calibre interview setting, and in response to someone being judgemental or snobbish of our own accent or variety.

1. Mate! mate! Oh! OH! CAHAMI! ..iobonino outside mate look -right?! yeah i know right! it’s like mate don’t even – fucking ledge yeah? no don’t look now. that one’s like – and that one’s like – and I mean like checazz. eh. (DU IU ANDERSTEND) Yeah but — no miss sorry miss just two birds outside. Yes miss, sorry.

2. Excuse me I am not very good my English but what is happening outside please? Excuse me there is two birds I think but I can not see what it is happening do you know? Do you able to help understand do you see that is happening outside? The birds? Why is the birds doing? Please?

3. What I do hope the story suggested, if you’ll bear with me for this next slide, is the following: the interaction between the two specimens, i.e. the birds, can easily be interpreted in the metaphor of collaboration between our respective fields of expertise, as was my aim in the presentation. The end result I am suggesting, however, goes a little further, as a variation on the adage ‘two birds with one stone’ – please excuse the wordplay – in which the synergy of our collaboration is, in fact, redirected and channelled into a strong, focused approach, i.e. the stone, effectively attacking that collaboration from a lateral, yet central, perspective, leading to a striking result. Thank you for your time.

4*. Oh I do beg you pAAhdon – are my birds not specific enough for you? Would you rAAther I used a more specific example? A pheasant, or quail, perhaps? Would you rAAther prefer they were on the grAAss or a pAAth, or the grounds of a cAAstle..? Toodle-fucking-loo, you twat.

(*where AA stands for [aː])