Creative Work: ‘The Forge’ by Alex Brinded

Creative WorksKingston MFA student Alex Brinded returns to Words, Pauses, Noises this week with a piece which confronts the raw power of nature.

‘The Forge’ is all about sound and sensation. We encourage you to read this one aloud to get the full effect.

The Forge

Wind-pulled, world-spun waves
crash, a golden
scimitar of shore
glinting in the late morning sun heat.
Raging breakers rain hammer blows and
beat, down
upon this land’s frayed hem.

Each minute
grain
millions of years old,
twenty three quintillion atoms across.

Mere stone particles that
once were fused as crude formations—
a millennia of barrage has pummelled this coast
line into fundamental
parts.

Now, an acute banked blade of golden grit,
no longer breakable,
perfected
in the spouting forge.
White water rollers fracture into white noise.

My burrowed palm and fingers are swaddled in the sand.
It gives easy as I dig down,
it’s cool
and soft
down here.

Bold images and strong sounds match the broad scope of the poem’s subject matter. Brinded takes us from the large expanse of time—the world’s creation—down into a single moment all in the space of several short stanzas.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to stop by again next week for more great work from around the world!

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Creative Work: ‘Twist and Shout’ by Alex Brinded

Creative WorksThis week we have a fun, energetic piece from Kingston MFA student Alex Brinded.

‘Twist and Shout’ straddles the line between forms, using the structure and form of fiction but the rhythm and feel of poetry to capture a memorable moment at a family wedding. Is it prose poetry? Is it flash fiction? We’re not sure—but whatever it is, the energy of the dance shines through.

Twist and Shout

They start wheeling like a hell-train steam-bent on absolutely nailing it.

Him in a little blue waistcoat, sleeves rolled up, her in a white dress, a typical little number. The drum-beat hollows out my chest. The crowd whoops as people recognise the refrain—it’s bassier, louder and rawer than the original. This isn’t a typical little number.

Arms and legs flail and spin. The singer imitates John Lennon’s end-of-the-night, rasping, nearly-lost-his-voice voice.

No slow, shoulder-holding, soppy sloppy, love-sick makes-me-sick schmaltz. Forced grins drop and the crowd cheers them on. We won’t indulge in their indulgence like emotionally voyeuristic bottom feeders. We can just watch the show.

He picks her up and they spin, around and again. Sweat beads on his forehead reflect what little light there is. Her white dress billows out from her legs as she holds herself up on his shoulders. Then, she drops to the floor and their forearms brace – they roll united around the swelling and contracting oval space. Women in heels and cocktail dresses and men in suits push forward and back. Hands hold an array of glasses—champagne, wine and beer—whilst bodies bop on the perimeter.

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