Month of Poetry: Holding the Philistine

photo 1For the Month of Poetry I committed to creating 31 hybrid poems combining two techniques–fold-in and erasure*–with the view to submit three of them at the end. I am intrigued by the fold-in, at creating absurd juxtapositions or combining writing with common threads (especially when those not immediately apparent) then unearthing what the collision brings.


It’s day five and so far I have mashed together:

  • The Cure’s Pictures of You with Henry James’s Portrait of a Lady to create the poems ‘Wickerchair’ and ‘Painted in its Contents’.
  • Bertram Russell’s Why I am Not a Christian with the opening page of the New Testament (as per the suggestion of my partner) to create ‘Before They Became Holy’ and ‘She Shall Bring Fortians’.
photo 2

All the wild creatures. (c) Jodi Cleghorn 2015

While I am keeping some poems aside because they are good enough to consider for submission or too crap to inflict on the world, today’s poem was too far removed from the original intent of both pieces of writing that it would have been a travesty not to share!

‘Holding the Philistine’ is the end product between David and Goliath (as told in the Old Testament) and Robinson Crusoe (as told by Daniel Defoe). These were chosen by my son. I used the verse number (40) to pick the page number of the novel.

I take full responsibility for what happened next!


Hope kept close,
going out to meet him.
My usual design was little more
than best calculation.

I knew not where to look.
Handsome and despised
he entranced monsters,
lying under the shade
with gods and wild beasts

He took off the sword and spear.
Lie still, the world will know nothing.
The smooth shepherd bag.
Hear nothing, Judah.

Our hands battled,
ran quickly.
Reaching in,
I left this place.
Came to,
anchored beneath the tide.

*Adam Byatt has suggested “mashinout” as a possible term for this type of poetry!