The Big Arts Day, July 2011
Barry and I were over the moon to make the front pages of the Swindon Advertiser yesterday with our jiving routine to the rhythm of William Carlos Williams by the main stage.
Barry Dicks was a popular replacement for poet Ursula Pitt at ‘Swindon Big Arts Day’, writes Barry Dicks, in the shadow of Mabel Watson, Barry brought hi-visibility to the Artswords Literature Zone.
Barry astonished too, including double takes his teeth were seen by over 45,000 people.
In a dreamy glade behind the walled garden Artswords Literature Zone enticed the curious with words, flamingos, cherries and fizzy cherryade served from a china tea-pot. Local poets Tony Hillier, Cristina Newton, Eve Marshall, Emily Harrison and Katherine T Owen all took to the specially constructed ‘Cherry Stage’ making people’s days from a bright red dais.
The general public thronged and many left no more general or public, but special ‘Big Arts Day’ poets having conquered their verse terror to proudly peg their own unique words on Mabel’s washing line. Children marvelled at Edward Lear read by a brilliant Spanish poet and were entranced by the taste of fresh cherries all the more delicious for being included with the entry ticket price (FREE).
Domestic Cherry came to life as Barry and Mabel broke free from the Artswords Literature Zone and trawled the rest of the Big Arts Day site in search of the astonishing and fascinating of Lydiard Park. Hugs were given, a sly kiss from Barry here and there, main stage jiving and some much needed Heart FM deckchairs.
Evoking memories of Ursula and Father Samuel on the Cheney Manor Industrial Estate late one Friday night, Mabel and Barry crammed into the back of a car in front of the main stage to watch a StandandStare.com production of Robot Love; it was a perfect moment of Dolly Parton sound tracked romance.
Joining the two Domestic Cherry stalwarts was an unsuspecting SwindonWeb photographer who when it boiled down to it was taking pictures of children’s toys on a wooden pole inside a car, crammed up against two characters from a women’s poetry annual, he legged it pretty sharpish when THE END came up. All in all a fine day, only slightly sullied by Ursula’s constant banging on the other side of the padlocked shed door keeping Barry awake when he got home.
The Great Domestic Cherry Bus Trip to the Honey Pot Cafe, Wroughton.
You're Wearing a Pinny!
It was a long walk this afternoon in shoes that didn't quite fit and surprising how Barry and I fitted right in at the Outlet Mall. I was able to have a brief chat with the pan man .... 'Jamie Oliver or Le Cruset?' I asked. 'You just can't compare them,' he said. 'One's cast iron, the other is really made by Tefal.' Imagine my disapointment. I thought Jamie Oliver made them himself. Barry explained that he is really just a front-man celebrity cook, that he doesn't actually sit out back putting pans together. 'Can't even cook really, that's his wife that does all that, see.'
In the tunnel between the Outlet and the Mechanics we were pleased to find a very nice looking green dustbin. How decorative Swindon had become. We arrived at the bus station and found the 72 with time to spare and chat with other hopeful Wroughton bus riders. How nice Swindonians are! I was given advice about how an apple a day was certainly a good idea by Grace of Wroughton. This backed up what I had been told by all my grandmothers rather than what The People's Friend have been printing: 'An Apple a day...isn't nearly enough, according to John Taylor.' (People's Friend, June 2011). Nice poem in there this month though...There was also time to reapply rich cherry red lipstick in the kind reflectives of the front window of the 72, to keep my lips supple and prevent bus diesel dust discourchment (a well known phenomenon of avid bus travellers with exposed lips).
We arrived at The Honey Pot in Wroughton a little late with kisses waiting from the lovely poets Katherine T Owen and Elinor Brooks. 'They didn't know you were coming,' said Elinor, 'I nearly left.'
'That's because we didn't tell them...this is pop up poetry you know. And we are popping in! Thank you for joining us.' After discussions of June's People's Friend, Elinor read a poem from the that latest edition and Katherine T Owen read a poem of her own writing, 'The Hare and the Tortoise.'
Cups of tea were ordered and shared, waitresses upset by Mabel's over enthusiasm ('understandable' said Barry) and we left for the Coop in disgrace. 'You have really done it now Mabel, you fool! Can't just barge in with poetry fluff when the lady is taking orders you know. Learn some blinking manners.' shouted Barry by the traffic lights.
'I was particularly pleased to be re-acquainted with The People's Friend and delighted that people of discernment are still reading it (my grandfather worked in the industry in Dundee). I enjoyed reading the blog - though I think it's a shame Mabel caught the Honey Pot ladies at a bad moment - they were disappointed afterwards not to have had their photos taken! Must try the M and S cafe on M's recommendation. Suggest Barry carries a packet of those coloured plastic bendy straws so he can enjoy the hot tea with his teeth in. Upwards and onwards, DC.' Wrote Elinor afterwards. Bravo Elinor!
Back on the bus we met some lovely young people from the Ridgeway School. Bravo Ridgeway! You turn out some lovely folk you do. They read us poems, giggled, used interesting language that Barry understood more that me, and discussed the joy of the written word. We hope they follow this through by googling 'Domestic Cherry' as was requested. Pop up poetry at its best this!
Now for the joy of the day! Marks and Sparks cafe. Bravo Dale! of Marks and Sparks cafe. What people skills, what coffee art and joy he spreads. Actually, all those cafe people are a credit to the company...Bravo Marks and Sparks for providing Swindon with a comfortable spot, good coffee and most of all lovely staff. Esther & Salvador awaited us and joined us for frolic and fun that included cake. Salvador did a bit of entertaining and I met Carol of the Great Western Hospital...lovely nurse lady. Don't we love the nurses girls?
'Are you a comedy act,' asked one lady. 'No', I explained, 'we are serious poets!'
Later, in the YMCA charity shop (Sorry ROY, we didn't make 'Blue Cross' because my shoe split) we met up with Julie Bradslatter. Oh how I love that girl...she's got it all as far as I'm concerned: friendly, kind, chatty, full of wisdom...'Radio 4,' she suggested, 'a life story of Germaine Greer. I think you will both love it.'
My shoe totally let me down and split completely as we boarded the number 8 to West Swindon. We got top deck front seats and met with Jacki three seats behind who shouted, 'I love your glasses, where did you get them?' I stood up to show her the whole attire, my 'total look'. And she gasped, 'you are wearing a pinny!' Brushing it down and realigning the pegs clipped to the pocked I answered, 'Yes, I always wear a pinny to the cafe, in case of spills.' 'Hmm', she pondered, 'how sensible, I might just start doing that too.' Mabel is a trend setter, obviously.
And homeward bound we went. Me to Westlea, and Barry to Eastleaze to visit Ursula who hasn't been getting out much lately. Our only regret is that due to shoe problems, we didn't make it to 'the Harvey' just outside of Asda, a favourite 'Domestic Cherry' writing spot.
FEBRUARY 2012: AT THE DIANA CAFE
This photo of Cafe Diana is courtesy of TripAdvisor
On Wednesday, writes Ursula Pitt, we sat sonnect dissecting in the 'Diana Cafe' on Bayswater Road with our friend Audrey. As the beautful people of Notting Hill fragrantly wafted past Holland Park's pre-eminent icon themed caff, we had a really good natter about iambic, pentameter and was she carrying Dodi's kid? You see, Ugly Aud as she is known and loved spends every evening (late afternoon Sundays) Mr Sheening the 500 or so portraits of the worlds most hunted woman that adorn the walls of this shrine. She says if it was Cafe Camilla she's just spit on a J-cloth and be done with it, but with the Queen of Hearts she won't ven use own label, she says it would be cleaner treason to defile the frames with Smart Price or Value. I asked Mabel and Audrey if they could see any irony in the number of photo's in the cafe.
'Mabel and Audrey, do you see any irony in the number of photo's in the cafe?'
Mabel just chomped her Apple Turnover down, but Audrey said,
'What do you mean Ursula, she's was a beautiful person?'
'Well in the end it was those paparazzi that did for her' I replied,
'Unless you've seen that conspiracy theory about the Duke of Edinburgh
swerving in front of the Merc on a Vespa' I continued.
With that, the waiter starting tutting in Arabic and I suddenly felt the bonhomie graph go flat and Audrey went very pale. The tutter had a badge on saying Theo, he marched to the back of the cafe, took a picture from the wall and brought it back to our table, he said nothing but then he didn't need to. Audrey gasped and dropped her muffin, Mabel coughed flaky pastry off of her lips and I said,
'Wow, who's done that?'
'We don't know' said Theo,
the Diana picture in the frame, the one with her in that see through dress, had CAMILLA scrawled across it in marker pen and the Duchess of Cornwall's face had been torn from a magazine and glued over the People's Princess.
Audrey was reeeling with shock, but at that moment my clutch bag began to vibrate, it was Barry, phoning from a stewarding job he had at Clyffe Pypard, I explained the whole horrid saga to him, it seems he knows Theo and offered to come right up with some meths and a pairs of tweezers, I handed the phone to Theo, who told Barry not to bother, just to call in the next time he was in London. Audrey, Mabel and I stepped out into the street, it was spitting with rain and a ginger haired kid rushed past whistling 'Candle in the Wind', us two Swindonians bade farewell to Audrey and made our way back to Paddington, confused enough to need the assistance of a lovely bearded American couple who kindly found us a quick routeright to the back door of the station.
It's been a long time since I had a decent ice-cream and Daljit Nagra has invited me to the launch of Tippoo Sultan’s Incredible White-Man-Eating Tiger Toy-Machine!!! with the promise of a Mr. Whippy!!! He's promised this pleasure before mind, so I'm going to keep him to it. I don't tend to leave Swindon on a whim. 'Bring rolling pin just in case the ice cream is too lumpy and needs smoothing out…'said Daljit, ah, there's metaphor in his madness me thinks.
Yesterday, Barry informed me of the new naked poets calendar out on the wordly shelves and asked me to guess which poets are in it...'you know one of them.' he grinned. My inner twin tub started to spin and I guessed Daljit, with a gobi gobi covering the glory. 'No,' he said, 'you are absolutely wrong. Why don't you stop fantasising and think straight?' Of course! I should have known, Alan Buckly, who else? Barry tutted, he always tuts ... I'm left wondering what Alan is not wearing and where.
Whatever, I shall wear my best pinny for the launch and perhaps a tiarra...
Tippoo Sultan's Incredible White-Man-Eating Tiger Toy-Machine!!! review
But does ice-cream beat Belgian Buns?
and get your wild cherries around this ladies...
Naked muses calendar
Over the next few weeks Roy of I AM ROY PHOTOGRAPHY will be taking snaps on his camera phone of his favourite places in Swindon. He'll upload them here with some 'Stories on the Bus' by Mabel thrown in - amazing what happens on that 1A between the fabulous West Swindon Link (where one can also shop at Asda) and the town centre. Mabel's favourite bus is Prometheus...what's yours?
I have just found this great link...a new friend:
Swindon Centric: Top Ten Poetry Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 103
This is the favourite deli of the Domestic Cherry team. Roy took this snap when Ursula was reading poetry at Open Mic in the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery in March.
There was no better way to launch Domestic Cherry into the world than at 5:30am, the Dawn Chorus for the 18th Swindon Festival of Litrature, hot on the tail of Robbert Stredder (oooh) under his Greenwood Tree, with cherry puffs on the picnic plate and a drop of champagne in plastic tea cups. Maudy and Ursula did us proud with the adorable community man and poet Tony selling Domestic Cherry like hotcakes! We could all keep warm by the poetry pod of Alison Brumfit with our bunting blowing in the wind. I'm a bit worried we won't have enough Domestic Cherries for launch as they sold so well and above expectations. I also hope Ursula gets out of her dressing gown and rubber gloves back into her usuals. Perhaps a visit to the YMCA charity shop will cheer her up...that and a nice cup of tea I expect. Do come to our main launch tonight, the Arts Centre, 7:30 pm.
SWINDON: POETRY CAPITAL OF THE WORLD!
Swindon is twinned with Ocotal but it is also tenuously half-rhymed with Chicago.
Swindon is challenging global poetry inequality.
Swindon Zoo contains the last known thesaurus in captivity.
All our pavements rhyme.
There is irony in our skyscrapers.
Swindon has more imaginary buildings than anywhere else in the world.
Work will soon commence on the Oasis Leisure Centre to create the Swindon Poetry Dome.
Poetry books are secretly making love in Waterstones and are about to multiply.
Claire Trevien writes 'Swindon' with her red pen with a heart above the I!
Swindon supermarkets stock alphabet spaghetti that pours out in sonnets.
In Swindon, people are throwing poetry to the ducks.
Real ale might have dried up at Archers but real poems haven't.
T Shirts are available in all poetic forms.
Poetry pan pipes are being played in Superdrug.
Our clouds move in iambic pentameter.
All poems fly here for the winter.
Carol Ann Duffy once read her poems here and may do so again.
The bust of Virginia Woolf in the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery reads silently out loud at poetry open mic.
The position of the hole in the ozone layer above Swindon means that poems are automatically shared with the universe.
You can recycle your boring poems in a box at Asda North Swindon.
Poetry spawn is waterfalling down the steps at Brunel Plaza.
Most poets have Swindon as a backdrop to all their dreams.
We, the undersigned, declare Swindon to be the poetry capital of the world at 15:03, 18/10/2011
We take our inspiration from the Christmas lights of the 2008 Magic Roundabout Christmas tree.
some Write Out Loud responses,
Great fun! I never realised Swindon had so much going for it. But no mention of the infamous roundabout? ...
Would agree with Greg here - you simply have to have the magic roundabouts in any poem about Swindon. Have driven over them many a time - you really do take your life in your hands cos no-one seems to have a clue - a bit like driving in France when you just get off the ferry...
And how about the soul-less outlet centres? All the soul poured into poetry no doubt. And everywhere you go the the sound of polish verse...
A fun idea for a poem. You could be poet laureate for the town.
Some great thoughts here - here's to world domination - by Swindon! (Don't you have railway museum? Surprised Greg didn't mention that!)
From Lydia Lunch
A genuine icon gets in touch with Domestic Cherry, the delectable Lydia Lunch, star of the New York underground and high priestess of Goth.
Dear Michael, Ursula,...
may read this -
performers of the real alternative
I have finally summoned a few late summer minutes
in sunny Spain to drain my brain across your pages...
I'm about to pull something out from the depths of this infernal
machine which links my fingers to your eyes and send something
But please inform...is this for the online edition, your blog, or
your yearly print release....are you looking for poems?
essays?... photo montages?
A DNA sample....(for that I'm afraid I do charge...)
And how do I muster an invite
to these wild spring affairs
of poets and raconteurs
you crazy cats seem
to gather each May
somewhere of in the wilds
of the UK?
Dear Mr. Daljit Nagra,
My name is Barry and I know that Ilda Sheen from Swindon, she told me you had a book out soon and that you liked a bit of dialect. As well she said that you were having some sort of buffet to drum up a bit of interest. Well the upshot is that I'm coming with her because if I don't she might never make it back, half the time she doesn't know what language she's speaking herself you know. Anyways I'm sure we'll keep her in line Mr. Daljit Nagra.I don't do a lot of poems myself but as it's you and dialects are in fashion here's my 'mash-up' (my niece Courtney told me that one) of a very famous Wiltshire tale and some of my doings. Looking forward to a Mr Whippy with you on the 7th (chocolate sauce but NO nuts).
Barry Dicks’ amazing yokel-fraud-scam pond cheese Moonraker
After Gwen Ellis – The Wiltshire Moonrakers
They think we daft them clever buggers up the smoke
but they doesn’t know the night sky twinkle in us yokel buoys blood
for some caskies of spirits the Smugglers would bring
down by Devizes on thee pond wid them ganders
when the moon were at full, shining bright.
those chaps wuz after zum smugglers dumped thay barrulls
long 'fore they heard Zizeman coming
‘an ‘ere be the rub
so they sank 'em in Crammer, right quick,
we ain’t wazzocks they dun fink
they tied on some blooming girt bricks.
them buoys laid it on all a bit fick
we be trying to rake out this dapper girt cheese,
but it dun the trick dinnit?
but whatevr 'ee do, don't ee tell".
see this there official type thunk he was smart-alick din-ee?
"you'm a right lot of Ninnies," said Zizeman,
clever bugger sed
"that's the 'flection of moon, not a cheese,
then coined us yokels a right pretty moniker
you'm a stupid girt bunch of Moonrakers," he laughed,
then he galloped away on his steed.
and we dun got the caskies an’ piss’d um up a wall
so that smart pillock from Lundun town
wurzels thought ee’d found
but what ee’d got was Wiltshire lads
and you carn’t keep us buoys down.
Yours in words,
Ursula's Letter to the Guardian:
Dear Guardian People,
I'll be brief, I know you're manning the barricades and locking horns with the toffs and I do not want to distract you from that. I am writing to you as co-editor of a new women's poetry annual called Domestic Cherry, here's a link to our blog and a sample copy http://domesticcherry.blogspot.com/
I know that the Guardian is relatively poetry-friendly so I wondered if you would be able to give us some coverage, we have secured an enviable roster of poets so far, including Rhoda Janzen, Leela Gandhi and Myra Schneider. We are very excited, should you wish and are organising and demo's for the upcoming Summer of Discontent, we are not averse to marching on the corridors of power with poetic diatribes pasted to our placards 'Do not kettle, let asylum seekers settle' and so on. Anyway I digress, our submission guidelines and a bit more taste of cherry are at the end of this mail. One final thing though, does anyone seriously expect to be served brown bread sandwiches these days? Apologies for asking, it's just that I'm organising the launch buffet and can do without wilful diversification. I am sure with your broad readership that you will be bang on trend as regards to wholemeal, don't flim flam we with that 50/50 stuff, I just don't get it.
Domestic Cherry welcomes previously unpublished poetry, flash fiction and playlets by women writers. Also, black and white ink/crayon/charcoal drawings with a touch of red to celebrate cherriness.
Mrs. Watson enjoys being astonished and believes the word 'domestic' should not be a dirty word in literary magazines. She marvels at any woman who can write whilst scrambling over her kids or gasping from the bottom of a washing basket! (she's been there). She also marvels at women who write with vibrancy, energy and originality. Let's celebrate the minds of women and not marginalise them out of fiction and poetry, let's tip up the imbalance. Mrs. Watson also believes that more fun needs to be had in the publishing industry so feel free to be playful, happy, experimental, mental as well as dark and thick as treacle (Mrs. Watson loves treacle).
What else needs to be said? Mrs. Watson needs your intelligence because at times she doubts her own like lots of women numbed by too much to do. If you have anything inspirational to add to her submission guidelines then please do share. Mrs. Watson would like to celebrate sharing!
Please send to email@example.com:
Poetry – of any length sent in the body of an email
Flash Fiction – up to 350 words sent in the body of an email
Playlets – one side of A4 in one act sent in the body of an email
Black and white line drawings – sent as good quality scanned in Jpeg attachments.
Yours ready to proof-read any article you write, in fact I insist,
Me and Ursula are doing the car boot at Blunsden (outside of Swindon) Any advice?
Vultures in the car park at Blunsdon Stadium
we got there about seven
because people bogoff from eleven
when the market opens at nine
buyers throng from hurst of pine
a bit later, roundabout ten
you get the hagglers from hill of pen
keep your eyes on all your stuff
as customers go these are quite rough
you sort of have to do it to know
the oddness, strangeness that's on show
just be sure, react to them quick
this lot would steal their Grandad's stick
I suppose the most useful tip -
decide how much your price can dip
they like round pounds or 50p
but some of these punters want it for free.
Take a table. Take some sweets. Don't take a book. If you think it's worth a fiver at 7am it's worth it at 11 if you see what I mean. There's a bloke who comes round at about 7.30 to collect your pitch money. Don't look at other stalls, it's just your shit on someone else's table. Take some change and a place to put your money.
And most of all ENDURE!
Great news from the Swindon Festival of Literature, writes Ursula Pitt, Domestic Cherry family member, brilliant poet and Google Translate fanatic Hilda Sheehan beat off stiff competition from six other finalists to win the inaugural Swindon Speakers Short Story Competition at the Arts Centre tonight.
‘Back from the Moon’ is a detailed a chunk of childhood from an unforgettable reunion. Mundane sounds and sights are given vivid permanence by the power of the experience. A gas hob is lit, curtains drawn and Dad is at the door smelling of something put away for too long, back from orbit and a lonely journey.
Humour, innocence and emotion weave through Hilda’s story as a father and his little daughter re-connect, through truths, half truths and some footprints gathering dust way up there in the sky.
A fabulous, fantastic tale told in an accessible, authentic way gave the Swindon Festival of Literature an extra cherry on the cake for all of us at Domestic Cherry, so warm congratulations from myself Ursula, Mabel, Barry, Mrs Hongo, Elisabeth Yonkers and Roy.
Roy said that Hilda used Elmore Leonard’s 10th Rule of Writing perfectly,
the legendary author (Elmore not Roy) advises writers to ‘Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip’, Hilda did just that.
Letter from Burkino Faso
Ursula and I get letters from all over the world. I leave the replies to Urs as she has such a way with words and always likes to try and meet up. She's still awaiting a cheque for £1,200,101 though from Lybia to be paid directly into her account by that rebel leader. If anyone has any suggestions or experiences to share...please do!
I am Mr.ibrahim danjuma am the manager of auditing and accounting department BANK OF AFRICA (B.O.A). in Burkina faso. I would like you to indicate your interest to receive the transfer of$10.5 Million. I will like you to stand as the next of kin to my late client whose account is presently dormant, for claims.
(1) Full names:
(2) Private phone number:
(3) Current residential address:
(5) Age and Sex:
BILL & EXCHANGE MANAGER
FROM. mr ibrahim danjuma
I wonder, I wonder, I wonder if you have seen 'Charlie & the Chocolate Factory'?
No matter, I've got something for you that would give those little oompaloompa's something to fiddledeedee about. It's not my bank account details. Sorry to be so blunt but read on. Go to this address www.aldi.com, purchase some tinned peaches for delivery to Burkina Faso. When they arrive, peel off the label, on the inside will be not only my address details but a golden ticket to THE ROYAL WEDDING, you may even have won a commemorative foot spa, but I can't guarantee this. Look forward to seeing you on the 29th, meet up at Brent Cross Shopping Centre OK? Outside Wilkinsons 10am.
Ursula's Letter to Mr. Mackmin at the Rialto
Dear Mr Mackmin,
First of all as a lady poet I want to thank you for all of the female poetry you have published in your fabulous magazine lately, especially that lovely Hilda Sheehan.The Parting, not many people can make a dandruff flecked line on a middle aged man's head sound beautiful, but that girl can. Anyway, my friend Mabel keeps saying 'what news on the Rialto?' so I am here to make you aware of the exciting women's Poetry Annual we are launching at the Swindon Festival of Literature in May. Any chance of a mention in Rialto? It's quality stuff, Myra Schneider and others are contributing and it looks just beautiful. Your support would be much appreciated. Just one more thing, if you are taking random people's photo's do you ask them first? It's just that I'm coordinating the buffet at the launch and wanted some 'table shots' and I'm not CRB chacked or anything like that. I'm sure you've attended many such events yourself and will be able to share your wisdom.
Dear Ursula Pitt
Thank you for your letter.
There won't be an issue of The Rialto before your festival takes place - otherwise I'd offer to put your letter on the Letters page and in the hope that you'd benefit from the publicity.
I asked our media person about the 'table shots' and he says he assumes you mean do you have to ask people's permission to take photographs if you are attending an event, and if so no you don't - but he advises that you should use discretion.
Ursula's Letters to Leela Gandi
I am writing to you as a great admirer of your work and co-editor of a new women's poetry annual Domestic Cherry. The collection will be launched at the Swindon Festival of Literature in May 2011 and will feature many well published poets, including Rhoda Janzen and Hilda Sheehan. We would love you to submit a poem for publication in our precious project, we promise to take care of your words. Here is a sample http://issuu.com/mrswatson/docs/domestic_cherry_sample
We hope that you like it. We have a deadline of 31st March in order to get the annual printed in time. As I said, we admire your work, 'Copula' is a particular favourite of mine. Just one more thing, do you think it is acceptable to put cutlery & serviettes in a mug for people to select from at the business end of a buffet? Apologies for asking but I am organising the buffet launch and I don't want knives and spoons taking a poets eye out. I'm sure you'll know the best way to approach this. Hope to hear from you soon.
Yours choosing conversation over bibliography,
Dear Ursula (if I may),
Thank you very much for this generous note and for your kind invitation. Domestic Cherry looks wonderful and I'd be delighted to submit a poem for consideration. Indeed, may I submit two I can't decide between? Both repeat a conceit each from 'Copula' for which I apologise in advance. I'll leave it to you to decide which poem is more appropriate for the project.
With regard to the buffet matter: I can see how the careful arrangement of cutlery might help encourage non-violence amongst hungry poets. I am always a little squeamish about the mug as receptacle though, as it sometimes gathers detritus from vertical objects (toothbrushes for example?) But then again that in itself might further restrain the wild rush for cutlery at launch-time and thence promote non-violence. I hope this helps.
Thank you again. This really is a lovely invitation. I look forward greatly to the publication of annual.
Yours with all best wishes,
Thank you for your email, I was buzzing with excitement by the time I got to the end of it, your words have come as pure joy and nectar to me because I hadn't thought about the toothbrush mug until you mentioned it. How can I thank you for this laser accurate piece of buffet knowledge. I am now erring towards pre-wrapped cutlery, this would at least delay any armed combat between our ladies.Anyway, there is another albeit less important reason for my mail to you, we like to think of Domestic Cherry as a torch carrier for globalisation of consumer poetry and as such are keen to offer our readers a 'READ ONE, GET ONE FREE' offer on our absolute favourite poets (a hairs breadth thick elite group of which you are a member). In poetry parlance we would like to publish both of your poems because we liked them so much, I will also send you a free copy of the annual when it is published and also pre-launch priority information for my exciting 2014 part-work project 'Ursula Pitt - A Poem A Week for 80 weeks (with free lavender drawer liner)'. Anyway I digress, if you could let us know if you are happy for us to publish both I'll get on with it. Just one other thing, would you put a Black Forest Gateau out overnight on the worktop to thaw or inside the fridge? Apologies for another buffet question, but it is vital that our poets don't get half frozen cherries, sub-standard cherries are not what we need at the launch Oh no!
Once again thank you for your lovely email.
Yours drowning not waving under a deluge of SUPW,
To the Telegraph (For The Queen)
.From: Ursula Pitt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Mabel Watson <email@example.com>
Sent: Mon, 7 March, 2011 18:15:31
Subject: A favour
Sorry to be a bit impertinent but as you're in Buckingham Palace Road, do you reckon you could slip this email to one of those chaps in bearskins to pass on to HM The Queen? She's not got email so far as I can see, all her social networking looks like window dressing to me (actually, don't hand them the whole of this email just the bit that starts Dear The Queen, don't want any problems, I bet she'd get the chopper out of Big Yellow Storage and drag me into the tower given half the chance).
Anyway, here goes (and I'm sure your paper is the first that Prince Phillip looks at in the morning, it just is isn't it? So you've got the inside track).
Dear The Queen (this is the bit you can print out from)
Greetings your holiness.
I am writing to you as co-editor of a new women's poetry magazine, specifically written and launched to coincide with the forthcoming Royal Honeymoon. Here is a sample of the magazine http://domesticcherry.blogspot.com to show I'm not making it up, why would I? If your poet laureates have given you a bit of a strange view of poets, fear not, we write from the stance of poets who believe in proper white dress, nice church, afterwards in the Ferndale Club type of nuptials, unlike your laureates: one of whom saw off two wives c/o the kitchen, one who sounded like a visit to the bathroom, and the most recent who certainly won't be getting measured for any white taffeta any time soon. Anyway, I digress Your Majesty, Domestic Cherry is a magazine that aims to write the wrongs of public poetry perception (that's called alliteration if you didn't know, you may know of it as consecutive words starting with the same letter, it's all just jargon. I'm sure as a pensioner like myself, all this Txt, Tweet & OK gets a bit tiresome. I am writing to enquire if we would be able to put one of those shields of yours on the back of our annual when it's published in May. I know that Kellogg's have one on their Cornflakes and Heinz on their Ketchup, to signify that they supply to you and all the gravitas that goes with it. Well I'm going to put Issue 1 of Domestic Cherry in the post to you as soon as the ink dries, that makes me a supplier right? And if I'm a supplier .... you got it, that Brain Training on your gold plated DS is paying off ma'm. I hope that you are able to help us in some way with our project, we have famous poets involved. Perhaps you would be able to record my poem 'The Three Tena's' into my answering machine to play at the launch? If you can, get in touch and I'll give you the number, I live in Box, Wiltshire. The Windsor of the West they call it, there's that much blue blood down here. Thanks in anticipation. Good Skills Liz, that was just to remind you of Harry, or do you always think of him in that Nazi outfit, I know I do. Just one more thing, my colleague Mabel was helping me tie my corset today and I noticed her hands were filthy, how would you approach a person close to you with a personal hygiene issue? It's just that I'm running the buffet at the launch and if she sticks her grimy thumbnail into one of my vol-au-vents I won't know what to do with myself. I'm sure with your vast Garden Party experience you'll know, surely your Andrew has put his fingers somewhere he shouldn't from time to time, pray tell.
Look forward to hearing from you. I'll ask the chap from the Telegraph to call in couple of days to pick up your reply.
Your solemn subject for better or verse,
Ursula's letter to Rhoda Jenzen
I'm co-editor of a brand new women's poetry magazine about to launch in Swindon, UK. We've already got some great work by some great poets but would love some sort of contribution from yourself, our favourite influence. Even if it's a simple good luck that's fine but a poem would be fantastic, I guarantee we would look after it.
Just one more thing, what do you think about condiments for a launch buffet, should we have salt, pepper etc. already on the food or should our guests do it? I know that you've probably got lots of experience of these sort of events and can probably help me. One things for sure we won't have a pot of that Raz El Hanout on the buffet bar, sounds like powerful stuff and some of our ladies are quite elderly.
Yours from the tip of the bone,
What a nice invitation. I'm all for cherriness, as a general principle. Is Domestic Cherry a virtual zine, or is there a hardcopy counterpart?
I'm traveling all week. Perhaps I can look through my files when I get home on Saturday--I'll send you something then.
I would salt and pepper the food according to your own taste, and leave extra out for the salt fiends who walk among us, like the undead.
Be well and more later,
Ursula's Letter to AF Harold
I am writing to you as co-editor of a new poetry annual for women called Domestic Cherry which will be launched at the Swindon Festival of Literature in May. I realise that you are a man but let me continue. We were wondering if there would be space at one of your open-mic evenings in Reading for myself and Editor Mabel Watson to appear, read our poems (one each, we know the score Af) and generally raise awareness of Domestic Cherry. Here is a sample for your perusal http://issuu.com/mrswatson/docs/domestic_cherry_sample we hope you like it. We are planning quite a splash for the launch and wondered if you would consider appearing yourself, well not exactly yourself because you'd have to be a woman otherwise we'll have POCOM the poetry watchdog onto us won't we and that Carol Ann Duffy looks like a bit of a bruiser to me. Anyway, I note that you are hirsute of chin (beard) and maybe you consider that to be an insurmountable problem, fear not, we are skilled facial hair concealers, I am sure you would blend in just right with our ladies. Hope you can help up with your wisdom, bonhomie and poeting Af. Just one more thing, Do you think British people like olives or do they just eat them to be polite/superior? It's just that I'm organising the nibbles for the launch and I don't want to waste my time with foreign food that no-one will want to eat, I remember the Yam sandwiches that Ted Hughes left when he was down here, crows would have eaten them I'm sure, miserable Yorkshireman. Anyway by for now AF and I look forward to hearing from you even if it's just a good luck note.
Yours Af expecting you not to reply,
PS Mabel loves you and she's cultivating the same sort of chops hair in tribute.
Of course, you’re more than welcome to come over for the open mic. There’s no need to book that in advance, just turn up on the night and make yourself known to me. And I will wave the thing around and raise awareness as well and we’ll make it ever so popular.
As for appearing at launch, I think my days of drag are beyond me these days, so we might give that a miss. And I think you’ll find the appropriate ombudsman is OFFPO, not POCOM.
I don’t eat olives, but I believe I’m untypical. in that regard. People I know seem to like them.
Ursula's Letter to Melinda Messenger 2011
Greetings from Swindon! My name is Ursula and I am co-editor of a new magazine by Mum's and Women from Swindon and beyond. It's a poetry magazine called Domestic Cherry, do you like/write poetry? Could we persuade you to pen a line or two for our launch or send us a message of support? You can see a sample here - http://issuu.com/mrswatson/docs/domestic_cherry_sample Domestic Cherry will launch at the Swindon Festival of Literature in May. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're still really proud of you in Swindon Melinda. One more thing, which sort of disposable tableware and cups is best, paper or plastic, you see I'm organising the launch party and am terrified that it will all go tits up, I bet with the swish events you been to you'll know how to help.
Yours from the Paris of the M4 Corridor
Ursula's Letter to Pam Ayres 2011
I'm Ursula, co-editor of a new magazine for women poets 'Domestic Cherry', based in Swindon, just up the road from you. We were wondering if you had a couplet or some poetry off-cuts you could send our way to give us some gravitas. The magazine will be launched in May at the Swindon Festival of Literature and we are very excited. Maybe even a nice quote of encouragement would be good, in fact, don't send us a poem, send us your support, that's what gravitas is all about isn't it. So, no poem, nice quote, there we are. Here's a sample for you to look at http://issuu.com/mrswatson/docs/domestic_cherry_sample I can be contacted at email@example.com. Just one more thing, if you were organising a buffet launch for a book of poetry how thinly would you slice the cheese or would you just put a knife out? It's just that you've probably got stacks of experience around that sort of thing so maybe you can help.
Yours Steradently (I wish I'd looked after me teeth)
Ursula's Letter to Sharon Olds 2011
Dear Ms. Olds,
Hold it just there, I'm sure you're busy but I'm writing from England with news of an exciting new Women's Poetry Magazine called Domestic Cherry launching in May this year. I won't take much of your time but we would like some help, We are huge admirers of yourself and wondered if you could contribute something to our project (not money), I'm sure you get requests all the time but rarely from your cousins over here eh? We are based near the beautiful Roman city of Bath in the South of England much favoured by your countrymen for their holidays (sorry VACATION). I won't insult you by sending our submission guidelines as you can send anything at all and we would be ecstatic, a poem maybe (uncrumple one from your waste bin if you like), a haiku, a line, a word, a piece of useful punctuation or just a sentence of encouragement. Thank you for your valuable time and we hope to hear from you soon. Excuse me for asking but do you know how long a small parcel would take to reach you from Europe? I would love to send you some of our Celebratory Launch Cake. Just one more question - sponge or fruit?
Yours, Ursula Pitt
Reply: Sharon Olds is unavailable via e-mail. Please fax her, care of the Creative Writing Program, at 212-995-4864. Thank you.
‘We are making birds
The history of all hitherto existing poetry society is the history of word struggles
Squeeze words until they spurt their sweetest bitterest
Write the ejaculation of your heart not the grind of your brain
Reach out, gently pull people towards words
Enjoy people, celebrate motivation
Do not make lists
There is no right or wrong
Don’t give up, try it different
Subvert the normal, pervert words, curdle expectations
Share love of the fantastic
Meet to talk words not fill boxes
Spread word wherever it can fly
Whim draws the map
Startle straight faces
Encourage, develop, inspire, confuse
Ugly beautiful wins
Beautiful ugly wins
Choose fun over fundamentalism
Words are not dictated by money
Walk towards strange, run from safe
Add ideas to ideology
Only you know the answer
Enjoy all ages, colours, backgrounds, seek out poetic humans
Try it you might like it
To be a unicorn
By sticking a plunger on your head
POETS OF ALL SWINDON,
Mabel said ‘let there be cherries’ and Domestic Cherry planted its name.
Domestic Cherry exists for reasons already known to you.
Meetings are to meet people, procedure with caution.
Cultivate cherries, take years, decades, lifetimes, don't take minutes.
A cherry planted by committee will grow into a red tasteless apple, with a maggot in it.
Dark is for mushrooms and hiding, spotlight the cherries.
Mabel is the cherry picker, but you are invited to fill your punnet, sharing is compulsory.
Meetings must always be extraordinary, never annual or general.
Stay true to the tree, never budge it with slaves.
If you hug the tree in the morning do not poison its roots with weed-killer in the afternoon.
Remember, cherry is a juicy, shiny word, not made from concentrate and free of artificial.
If a man in wellingtons carrying sawn cherry wood approaches you, fear not, he is fully cherry checked.
Cherry is just for.
Cherry is special and special is you.
No tying people to the tree.
The rules are already in your head.