Last week in my group with Off The Record, we looked at Andrew McMillan’s poem ‘TODAY’ from his great collection Physical (which you should buy too)…
Having read and reflected on it, we then thought about a space we know really well – and let our mind’s eye (‘floating camera’, as it were) loose around the space, writing about it (as McMillan’s poem does) in direct address (‘you’) and future tense (‘you will…’).
I thought I’d share my piece of writing that came from this exercise – it’s fascinating how changing tense and first/second/third person can affect the way one writes.
Perhaps inevitably, echoes of McMillan’s poem entered all the pieces of writing – so this is absolutely an exercise, response, and poem inspired by – and not something I’ll be taking ‘credit’ for as an original approach! (So thanks, Andrew, for the great poem and inspiration.)
NOT TODAY – after Andrew McMillan
Today, you’ll step from the door and into some chewing gum the seagulls will serenade the pigeons; the weather- vanes will all point West.
Today you’ll see that all of the bricks are spelt the same, that everyone’s faces rhyme.. You’ll regret going to bed so late, but you’ll do it again.
Today the binmen will curse the randomness of the Lane, saying They think glass is plastic and cardboard is clothing and you’ll drink coffee as the break lights glare at you.
Today the waiters of the Grand Hotel will polish cutlery and their wit the man with gnarly fingers who collects the bridge toll will run out of change and meet his future wife as he seeks 50p’s at the Crepe Affaire stall.