The Found Poetry Collaboration #4, featuring: Lydia Allison, Kate Garrett, James Gidding, Joanna Lee

24 Apr


The Found Poetry Collaboration 2014

For the last 4 weeks poets Lydia Allison, Kate Garrett, James Giddings and Joanna Lee have been writing 1 piece of found poetry per fortnight:

A found poem is created when words in an existing piece of writing are lifted from that writing and rearranged to create a greater emotional response. A found poem is shaped from a collection of words or phrases found in one text or a selection of texts to shape an entirely new poem.  

The poets were free to use any texts they like, and I  have thrown in one found text of my choice per fortnight just to mix it up a bit. For the Week 4 poem I chose a section from a  novel by Iain Banks called ‘The Bridge’ (you’ll find the section at the bottom of the post, should you wish to read it). 


the physiology of bursting

by Joanna Lee


a threshold is not a point
a huge handless clockface
formed by stone-remembered
rooms full of whispering
glass. test the walls,
no matter how close.
the thick, white-
tiled passages
converge like
fast current: rapt &
rusted. lightwells hold
to the saddle,
to the boundary defining
a patient shadow
cleaning a window full
of the damp footfall’ed equilibria
who refuse to leave.
if the precise initial condition
is a cradle’s pulse,
small perturbations
will certainly push
the limit cross grimed flags
to one side or the other.
find the keyholes.
dust the hinges.
walk spiking and
of great length. glow.


found from
a section of The Bridge by Iain Banks


Dynamical Systems in Neuroscience: The Geometry of Excitability and Bursting by Eugene M. Izhikevich. Section 4.3.2: “Stable/Unstable Manifolds”


To leave the cradle

by Kate Garrett


I ran away and joined a group of gypsies
pawned silver beneath apple hung branches
safe from respectable society, and wrapped
forged letters in half a Romany scarf. I had
a lover of uncertain temper, no greater rogue –

he rubbed gunpowder into his wounds,
twisted, like a shipwrecked smallpox victim.
His sins caused this plague. Our rickety
dwelling sold, his throat cut. I was taken
by wandering monks from the tangled woodland.

I cheated the hangman’s noose
not once but three times –
between stone-remembered messages
my ghost haunts many places: open moor,
wild heathland, ancient passages,
a patch of light in a house called maudlin.


Source texts:
The Bridge by Iain Banks
Strange Stories from Devon by Rosemary Ann Lauder & Michael Williams
Cornwall: Land of Legend by Joy Wilson


 The earth

by Lydia Allison


Beneath the ancient age-grimed flags,
between the niches
its sheer physical variety is dry and open.

Stone-officials, whispering clerks,
pass under a complex jigsaw.
Dim white-tiled lightwells,
rickety cross-corridors,
keyholes whose floors are deep in dust.

Test the doors, the hinges.
Living and non-living matter.
Living things are thinly scattered,
they fill the space.
A corridor. A large round patch of light
glows ahead, broadens out.
The air, I’d swear, forming
complex webs of life.

A length of wall which ought to hold
lush forests, mountains, rainfall.
The patch of floor has a rainshadow
I don’t recall.

I reach the great round river
polishing the glass with a rag.



Animal ed. David Burnie (2001) p.36

The Bridge by Iain Banks (1990) p.131


In The Café Of The Airport Next To My Psychiatrist’s

by James Giddings


My wife is having an affair; it doesn’t feel like I thought
it would: rooms full of whispering, our telepathy
losing signal behind tall pot-plants, our shouting at each other
with the volume stuck on full. The carpet squelches
with each footfall. ‘Life is what you make it,’ the scratchy
tannoy says.  ‘Life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much
to smile about.’ Mr. Johnson stirs confetti into his coffee,
swallows a stale sandwich. Dr Joyce’s patient cleans
a patch of light on the window, polishes the shadow
from the glass at its centre with a rag. The air smells damp.
I drink so much my mouth tastes of pencils. ‘Over here Don
broke up with Emily for the second time; they were eating
omelettes with dry bread, sucking on cigarettes.’ Pretty much
all of them are going to break your heart: the atheist
in his chinos and well-fitted salmon shirt, the novelist
with her red-brick pencil skirt, her lap you want to nervously
rest your head on; how, in the light rain, they both love
and fail at everything. Just remember, some come, some go.
When her plane takes off my head swells; the weightless
moment usually makes her think about snow-globes,
white sugar landing softly, as if on the moon; she thinks
about sex, my hands being dropped ticket stubs fumbling
for loose change in a train station. She thinks about pancakes,
dreams rooftops on the seabed. She is submerging herself
in the pool of the pilots voice, how a toad might in cold water.
I deserve so much less than you. Don’t give up, Sweetie.

Extracts from:

The Bridge – Iain Banks
The Flat Battery of Flattery – Luke Kennard
The sunken Diner – Luke Kennard
Quote – Marilyn Monroe

 To find out more about Lydia, Kate, James and Joanna please visit:


Lydia Allison:

Kate Garrett:

James Giddings:

Joanna Lee:


Sadly the found poetry collaboration with Lydia, Kate, James and Joanna has concluded  but without a doubt you will be seeing them again in future collaborations on ArtiPeeps. It’s been a pleasure to work with all 4 of the foundlings. 

Tomorrow, you’ll find our Weekend Showcase featuring singer Beth Allen.  As always, thank you for your interest.

If you missed out on the previous found poems you can find them here.


*Full text of the piece I sent the foundlings:

I walk beneath the ancient, age-grimed flags, between the niches occupied by stone-remembered officials, past rooms full of whispering, smartly uniformed clerks. I cross dim, white-tiled lightwells on rickety cross-corridors, peer through keyholes into locked, dark, deserted passages whose floors are inches deep in dust and debris. I test the doors, but the hinges have rusted.
Finally, I come to a familiar corridor. A large round patch of light glows on the carpet ahead, where the corridor broadens out. The air smells damp; I’d swear the thick, dark carpet squelches with each footfall. I can see tall pot-plants now, and a length of wall which ought to hold the entrance to the L-shaped lift. The patch of light on the floor has a shadow in the centre of it which I don’t recall. The shadow moves.
I reach the light. The great round window is there, still staring down-river like a huge handless clock-face. The shadow is cast by Mr Johnson. Dr Joyce’s patient who refuses to leave the cradle. He is cleaning a window, polishing the glass at its centre with a rag, an expression of rapt concentration on his face. (131, published by Abacus, 1990)




29 Creatives, 1 Contemporary version of Ovid’s Metamorphoses

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2 Responses to “The Found Poetry Collaboration #4, featuring: Lydia Allison, Kate Garrett, James Gidding, Joanna Lee”

  1. Lydia Allison April 24, 2014 at 10:55 pm #

    Reblogged this on Lydia Allison.


  1. To leave the cradle | forgotten blue bicycles - April 25, 2014

    […] Source texts: The Bridge by Iain Banks Strange Stories from Devon by Rosemary Ann Lauder & Michael Williams Cornwall: Land of Legend by Joy Wilson * This was originally posted as part of the final Found Poetry Collaboration on ArtiPeeps. […]

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