MARK G. PENNINGTON
Thinking about the question of what I write – the message, hoping I have something to say, then the question of how I write – presenting the idea, even though it is probably only a reimagining of an event, in explanation: the same story but from a different perspective or another angle, leads me to the question of why I write. I suppose it is this very challenge mostly – the reimagining of events or some grotesque act of nature, or it is finding words or a place for things that were previously neglected growing up. It is the naming of things – a creature, bird, an object, a rock, a river, and so on.
I always admired the writers who produced a great quantity of work as well as quality. Take Bukowski with forty plus books or the sheer weight of Ginsberg’s howls, as well as the romantic ideas of terror and pain of Plath – so turbulent and wonderfully beautiful, confessional and visceral. I like to write in this way – with the addition of nature’s war against us – the us being the occupiers of Earth always posing questions and figuring how we both fit in it together.
A motivation is perhaps a new way of seeing. I read as much as I write or think about writing, every day for hours on end. After a mid-morning walk I tend to read for a few hours, absorbing the language, the word play, the ideas until it sparks something. I find rereading after a break can surprise and motivate a rewrite. I have to say that rewriting is the most important part of the process. Working the rough draft into something publishable is the part I gear myself up for. Imagining an audience reaction – a writing group, an editor – works to situate the writing into a belonging and reading aloud helps work out issues.
I write for those aches in life, the itch that couldn’t be scratched previously, the places that never left me, all reimagined in a poem or a novel.
I’m currently writing new work drawing on one specific event, one place that haunts me like no other has. But it is purgative to breathe all this in and expel it to the page, and wonder what is coming next.
Mark G Pennington is the author of Barren Stories for Moonlit Mannequins (2017) and That Summer they broke the Birds (2019), both availible from him, from amazon.co.uk, from bookshops and from https://www.dempseyandwindle.com/markgpennington.html
This is a blog written by Dempsey & Windle poets about their inspiration for writing poetry