Gibley Finds: Poetry

The stream of consciousness technique, perhaps most famously used by James Joyce and Virginia Woolf (Ulysses, To The Lighthouse), allows the reader a real sense of thought process. If you were to write exactly how thinking works, it’s sporadic, mad, and from the outside it’s easily seen as random and chaotic. However, like Joyce and Woolf did, there’s a definite skill to making these thoughts coherent in writing, granting us a rare, priceless portion of character. Today’s find, no stars, shouting lights, is another great example.

I love how this piece starts: ‘i’m cold and don’t / know what to do.’ There’s no set up, there’s no introduction. The writing is quick to grab you by the collar and thrust you in with the problem. As well, there’s no capitalisation; clearly, this isn’t the start and we’re catching the midst of anxiety. Reading this is like walking onto a treadmill that’s already racing at top speed. There’s no acceleration and you’re immediately sprinting, joining the narrator in a lost and confused state.

The use of enjambment, too, is excellent. It gives a real feel of intoxication and disorientation. It’s like spinning around, and as one image leaves your sight, another has already begun to take its place. With the lack of punctuation, fast pace and repetition, we get a proper sense of thought process. As well, there’s an air of adolescence, where the narrator has somehow found themselves, possibly again, in a hopeless situation; the surrounding world is relentless and unforgiving and we can’t help but to sympathise.

Author T.M. Puype kindly let us share this piece and I think it’s brilliant. This poem may seem to be a simplistic style, but it’s truly deceiving; there’s a lot going on here, and the multitude of poetic techniques together piece a relentless image of what it’s like to be shaken.


no stars, shouting lights

i’m cold and don’t
know what to do and
neon lights are shouting that
the night is still
open for business,
and I’m tired and lost
but still hoping
that some good might come
from this night
that it will not be like
yesterday night
or the night before
or the one before that
and i’m drunk
but not enough
never enough
and the sky is clouded
and i can’t see
any stars
and the moon isn’t out
and you aren’t here
and i don’t know what to do.

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