I don’t know if anyone else out there has ever put together a mix-tape of “cool” songs as a gift for someone they were attracted too or going out with. And if anyone ever found them a particularly succinct way of expressing emotions, but I do remember trying my hardest to put to get the music right and then to put the tracks in the perfect order.
I’m not sure if the mix-tape was a particularly successful weapon in my romantic armoury, but as there was no Happy ever after that has ensued from this strategy maybe the answer is no. But then I didn’t always hand over the mix-tape I remember at least one occasion where I was so pleased with how it had turned out, I didn’t want to hand it over to someone who I wasn’t sure I liked as much as I initially thought I did. Who said romance was dead?
I think the thing with a mix-tape is you are trying to say something about how you want yourself to be seen as much as you are trying to communicate to someone else. While Wake me up before you go-go by Wham might have been the perfect song for a mix-tape put together for someone I’d met at Friday night youth club, the teenage me with angst and acne would not have felt that such a song would have presented me in the right Joe Cool light!
I think a more honest selection of music would be one you would put together to listen through earphones, such as a playlist for when out for a run. Only you can hear the music and the effect of the music is on you alone. If you want to run up a hill to Running up that hill by Kate Bush or sprint the last 500 yards before collapsing in a heap at the side of the road to Thunderstruck by AC/DC then no one will think badly of you because they are listening to Mozart instead.
And if you are motivated by what you are listening to you will feel good in Lycra, even if you are honest enough to realise that you are probably never going to look good in Lycra.
Many moons ago I set myself the task of putting together a collection of my poems for release as an e-book, initially I thought getting the poetry together in this way would finally get the poetry bug out of my system, so that I could get back to writing fiction.
I’m not so naïve anymore, poetry is just one of the ways I communicate and I need to communicate. The initial act of writing is almost always for me, I might be inspired by something I’ve read here on WordPress, or I may think a certain person will be moved by what I have written but initially it is for me.
So while I have really enjoyed putting together my collection of poems, and the longlist has been whittled down to a nice tight shortlist. I still find I have a little teenage angst. I’m not worried about how the finished product is received, there is no teenage crush who is going to break my little heart because I’ve not included Rick Astley in the mix, my concern is more creating something that makes me proud and reflects my inner workings.
Also in putting the poems together in any order they start communicating with each other. Which sounds incredibly pompous, but what I mean is some poems just don’t want to be seen together. Thinking about songs for mix-tapes again Harry Nilsson wailing I can’t live, if living is… doesn’t hang around in the same gang as Captain Sensible singing Happy Talk.
I’ve found out I could not have both a poem for kids and the one erotic poem I’ve written that does not make people nauseous instead of aroused. I opted for the erotic poem only to find out as the rest of the collection formed around it that it appeared hopelessly out of step and had to cross another one off of the shortlist.
Of course with the blog, I can move from writing about a natural disaster, to the half-life of a commuter, to whiskey soaked melancholy. If that is how the thoughts move from subject to subject. But I’ve found putting the collection together I’ve needed to focus on fewer subjects.
You also find out how often you return to specific themes or have a preference for particular images. That really shouldn’t come as a surprise given that all over the world emo teenagers are successfully managing to romance each other to emo songs. But hopefully there is some variety in the collection and hopefully now that I am announcing here on the blog that I’m publishing it at the end of January 2017 and it is called Wreckage, that that is what happens.
But please don’t buy it because I’m not very good at accepting compliments and I would get all embarrassed if I had to change my Twitter profile to say I was a New York Times Bestselling Author.
© 2016 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.