Flim Night Die Hard Tryptych

I did three sculpted poems for tonight’s Flim, a cabaret night where a film is retold in various artforms. In my usual mode I sculpted these poems from film reviews by Roger Ebert.


DIE HARD (1988) 2 star review Rated R 132 minutes|  Roger Ebert July 15, 1988   |

The idea has a certain allure to it: He is all that stands between them and their brains and a personality, and you’ve got a movie. shortly after makes his surprise entrance well-dressed and has a neatly trimmed beard and talks like an intellectual and thinks he is superior to the riffraff he has to associate with. He has a plan that has been devised with clockwork precision On a technical level, there’s a lot to be It’s when we get to some of the unnecessary adornments. As nearly as I can tell, only one purpose: to be consistently wrong at every step of the way. Thrillers like this need to be well-oiled machines, with not a single wasted moment. Inappropriate and wrongheaded interruptions reveal the fragile nature of the plot and prevent it from working.With him, it’s a mess, and that’s a shame, Here’s a suggestion for thrillermakers: You can’t go wrong if all of the characters in your movie are at least as intelligent as most of the characters in your audience.


DIE HARD 2: DIE HARDER (1990) 4 and ½ stars Rated R 124 minutes |  Roger Ebert July 3, 1990   |

enters in a decathlon of violence, and he places first in every event, including fighting with the authorities., that I categorize as Bruised Forearm Movies, because when the movie is over your forearm is black-and-blue from where your date has grabbed it during the moments of suspense. Maybe because he combines a relatively athletic physique with the appearance and manner of Everyman. Here is a man who will not give up, who will not admit defeat, who doggedly carries on in the face of adversity., there is no choice. After all: “My wife is on that plane’’ so skillfully constructed   develops a momentum that carries it past several credibility gaps. Would anyone have the means Even if he does bear an uncanny resemblance to Fidel Castro? On the other hand, I don’t care. during a summer when violence and mayhem are allowed to substitute for imagination and good writing, this is an especially well-crafted picture. It tells a story we can identify with, has a lot of interesting supporting characters, handles the action sequences with calm precision, and has a couple of scenes that are worth writing home about. This is a feature that will be severely edited before it becomes an in-flight movie. Watching the plane burst into flames on a runway, I knew intellectually that I was watching special effects, probably a fairly large and detailed model photographed in slow motion. But no matter. love it when a director finds a new way to show me something. has taken Hollywood commercial moviemaking, shaken it and given it new energy. They did the right thing: This is terrific entertainment.


DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE (1995) Rated R For Strong Violence and Pervasive Strong Language 130 minutes |  Roger Ebert May 19, 1995   |  3 stars

Now there are movies that are essentially nothing but sensational stunt sequences, one after another, each one a feat of staging, until we’re reeling in our seats from input overload. the kind of movie where, toward the end, you start looking for the kitchen sink. “Does this mean I’m back on active duty?” I heard knowledgeable chuckles in the audience from those who appreciate the fine old traditions, such as that all hero cops are rogues who are either under suspension or heading for it. ordering him to stand on a Harlem street corner wearing a sandwich board bearing a motto that one would particularly hope not to be wearing in Harlem. seems to be everywhere and see everything, He has a purpose behind his behavior, it turns out he has a motive for singling out even has to decide which wires to snip. (There could be a little film festival on one of the cable channels, consisting of scenes where experts defuse bombs.) The motivation is ingenious, and I will not discuss it, uses a certain clipped precision of speech that makes everything he says sound basically a wind-up action toy, cleverly made, and delivered with high energy. That seems to me like a sane response.



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A Poem in Spite of Things

The upstairs flat’s bathroom has sprung two leaks again

and later at the university water falls from up above

I can only think I am an urban water nymph and my

volume of tears has brought forth water from plaster

cycling here the rain from the sky which lightly misted

and as it warmed on my face it fell and joined the fog

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The Living World Workshop Part Two

The following are poems that I wrote during yesterday’s workshop. They need further editing/line breaks/punctuation but that will happen.Full workshop will be available on the Stirred Blog soon.


12th September 2016

I take up the knitting I put down months ago and am surprised my hands remember the action unfaltering  my eyes return to the film without looking at them the simple way I spool out the black yarn like a good writing day when I wake and can find the words in bed without my stopping them it will be a headband the hair shorn by myself needs it always a late decision to take up the scissors in the bathroom in the moon mirror I can’t see the moon from there the door is open as I live there is only a street lamp visible in the window I am taking up knitting, a small project to be finished quickly a sense of accomplishment as it gives my hands something to do other than chew them worried at by my lack of employment and deadlines If I had forgotten how to hold the yarn create the tension it could be unpicked mistakes can be undone by my own hands unlike outside and regrets like poetry it can be picked up at any time I think of the roads outside their potholes that are never fixed and the drivers who are all haste and no mind when I am on my bike this city is anxious making the road is often all I can focus on shards of glass and laughing gas canisters are puncture fears I get agitated by the selfishness of those drunk on the obvious and summer who fling these items on tarmac and forget what heavier vehicles and sunlight will do I want to ride on smooth roads and look up at the changing tree canopies like spooling wool into scarves like writing on a good day.




















August a Month Riven

I spent half of August travelling to an office in Bramhall

to talk to strangers on the telephone about things I know nothing of

nearly an hour to kill before my shift I riffled charity shops, new shoes

in the box donated by a richer woman smart/casual that rubbed raw my heels

hefting my bike on the short journey to have it there at both ends get home fast

the small sainsburys where I parked it, the kind where people buy meals deals

on their break had half price cherry brandy I drank alone with coke grey-bored

the rest in Norfolk I camped by the sea the wind on land was intolerable it blew

clouds fast across on the often empty beach we carried a bucket with cava and

chambord there was smoke and plastic flutes of bubbles were raised in toast

to unbothered seals and the ever changing sky scape the dog-walking waterproof

from my step-father was whipped on and off left a bottle opener and sand in the pocket


















Girl Takes Photographs


the weather changes in minutes

sun largely persists


I am wearing a long dress

I will only wear it here


in my city life

it would catch in the gears


of my bike it’s digital

snake print scrambled by oil


I load a camera older than I am

with film clumsy


mum remembered it when I packed

but not the shutter saw


if it was Dad or her who clicked

more than thirty years ago


when I make the film spool

back on itself


my friends are spooled back

by the analogue sound of it


I don’t know when I will develop it

or where anymore


I had a thought while looking at

the endless sky through the viewfinder


I took these only to

anchor myself in the memory


not to see the prints

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Sculpted Poem Flim Nite Titanic

You can find out more about Flim Nite here

It is a monthly cabaret where performers of all stripes retell a film.

Last month was Titanic I did my usual routine of using a review or interview and deleting words in order to create a new poem.


December 19, 1997   | Roger Ebert Five Star Review ‘’It is flawlessly crafted, intelligently constructed, strongly acted and spellbinding’’


Like a great iron Sphinx on the ocean floor, faces still toward the West, interrupted forever on its only voyage. We see it encrusted with the silt of 85 years; a remote-controlled TV camera snakes its way inside, down corridors and through doorways, showing us staterooms built for millionaires and inherited by crustaceans. Calls from its grave for its story to be told, smoke and mirrors. She was “the largest moving work of man in all history,” neatly dismissing the Pyramids and the Great Wall. until an iceberg made an irrefutable reply.We know that certain things must happen. be convinced we are looking at a real human story–probably a romance-. a subplot involving arrogance and perhaps courage and dignity. Everyone had time to know what was happening, and to consider their actions. pistons as tall as churches, He seeks precious jewels but finds a nude drawing of a young girl. “I can still smell the fresh paint”). the story can focus on the characters. How everyone behaves The image has haunted me, ever since I first read the story. The night sea was quiet enough so that cries for help carried easily across the water Still dressed up in the latest fashions, hundreds froze and drowned. What an extraordinary position to find yourself in after spending all that money for a ticket on an unsinkable ship.

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Fear Before the Storm

So I have already written three poems about the EU referendum here is the first written during the women beats Stirred Poetry workshop. I include the exercise below.

  1. Free Writing from a line from Janine Pommy Vega ‘’I could travel around the world/sending you postcards’’ http://www.jhwriter.com/?p=6826


And the poem:

After a Line from the late great Janine Pommy Vega

I could travel around the world/sending you postcards


21st June 2016

I’d lose all my stamps or royal mail would lose the cards or a man drunk from the closing down on the corner (the king’s head there’s always a king’s head) would piss on all my missives and my want of you would all be wasted I could write you postcards frommy home city the ironic crap tourism ones from Norwich with puppet man who still lives and dances with his balding hand puppets and marionettes with a tape deck I could send you postcards from Manchester I would make my own show you the beautiful graffiti Bowie with a secret in the northern quarter the remain posters in the windows how the whole area was thronged by vote labour signs before the general election and I felt hope today I am worried I will struggle to send you postcards from anywhere but England after tomorrow there will be no more postcards shaped like the Eiffel Tower the Leaning Tower of Pisa and I will not be able to drink champagne kir royals eat reblochon and the borders will all require vias and I could no longer decide to pick up a copy of the rosetta stone and live among the light and eat red peaches in the Loire Valley.

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Stirred A Forest

Stirred last night was wonderful and very leafy. The zine is available online http://stirredpress.bigcartel.com/ and you can do the writing workshop for free here: https://stirredpoetry.wordpress.com/2016/05/18/workshop-silver-birch/

I include two of my poems from the workshop below:

Thetford Forest


May and it is boiling

my partner for orienteering

has the map upside down

insists it is the right way up

as a result we are dead last

later the headmaster has to

find us on his mountain bike

the pine trees are very tall

at their height and concentration

they block out the sun for

large distances we are running

in shadows into clouds of fat

bodied may flies it is too hot

and the map is upside down

I am trying to enjoy being lost

the searing injustice of knowing

the map is upside down is filling

my eleven year old mind

at this age being away from adults

is thrilling we are so supervised

that any time to wander in

places that are green and feel safe

is welcome this day there are

thick clouds of fat bodied mayflies

that I have swallowed and

the map is upside down.





There is the fact that the silver birch

is closer to paper in its natural form

reminder of all the trees decimated


by me in the name of poetry

and maintaining my sanity


I would peel them when I was small

I liked to mark things with my fingernails

open them up touch


I have killed cacti

and chopped down trees

to give reed banks a chance


I have planted trees a handful of times

how it feels to have roots in your palm

not enough


I have no land of my own

to plunge my hands in


I plan a later garden sometimes

the fat leaves of magnolias

their decadence

and the unreal silver birch.






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19th April 2016

I smoked a cigarette last night it burned I felt unfamiliar large and wanted/unwanted half way down the burn.

Today I saw clocked and unclocked dandelions cracking concrete curbs.

The sky was unclouded and the air was warm in my throat.

The daffodils are crumpled already the blossom is lines the streets in all the palest shades of white and pink the tree outside my house shed its blooms in one windy day and I did not see the petals fall.

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