About a year ago, I began using twitter to promote a now defunct business. I quickly realised its potential for connecting with like-minded others, and put it to work. I found the immediacy of its feed both addictive and seductive.
As a struggling poet, creative writing was never very far from my radar. So one day I had an epithany ‘what if I used the tweet as an experimental platform for poetry.’
It wasn't long before I found out that there was already a seam of creativity out there. It was called, among other names, #microfiction and there were quite a few people at it. @echovirus12 was one of the first nuggets I found.
EV12 is the brain child of @jeffnoon. It is a constantly changing evolving narrative that involves a number of different writers. In simple terms, each writer/member has the choice to respond to the previous tweet by echoing some element within it, and there is one golden rule: you cannot follow your own tweet. It’s genius, a kind of modern day exquisite corpse. I immediately wanted to be a part of it.
In my searching, I also found the amazing @virulentblurb by the incredibly prolific @kneeledowne who uses twitter like no one else on earth.
‘Originally starting life as an experiment to write an ongoing fantasy novel via the medium of Twitter, the Blurb has now mutated into its own website. ‘
I started writing, what I hoped were absurd, strange and darkly-humoured tweets and it wasn’t long before my work was noticed by the extremely talented @jamesknightbad, whose creation ‘The Bird King’ I had just discovered. His alterego, @badbadpoet had created this mythical character.
‘How did the Bird King come to be in James’s head in the first place? Maybe Loplop planted him there: a bad seed sown in the soil of dreams. Maybe a mythical being called Crow was responsible. To this day, James is unsure. We will probably never know.’
James and I seemed to share a similar proclivity for the absurd and the surreal and it wasn’t long before we were regularly communicating and RTing each other’s outpourings. This mutually respectful appreciation led to James inviting me to contribute to his latest project, an anthology of writing by poets & dreamers who were using Twitter as a portal through which they could birth their latest ideas; like me, they were using Twitter as a testing ground/sounding board.
A few months later and the dream has become a reality. Amazingly, James coordinated, collaborated and self-published the book that is now called ‘Time Lines’
Self-publishing anything always involves risk but above all it requires ‘guts’ and a belief.
‘Time Lines’ is ambitious, it is international. It combines the writings of poets from the USA, UK, Australia and Mexico.
Five of the writers, including myself are members of @echovirus12.Yes my desire to become a contributor/member of EV12 came to fruition.
‘Time Lines’ is ‘out there’ literally and figuratively. I don’t want to say too much about it here, other than, I am proud to be a part of it.
Not being one for self-agrandisment, I hope that if your’re reading this, you’re curiosity has been aroused and that you will make the step towards supporting our venture by clicking on the link below.
Finally, James and I are now collaborating on another project @cosmologgorhea. In short, it’s an ‘epic’ mythopoetic, prose poem inspired by creation myths, surrealism and the big bang theory.
We take it in turns to tweet, building-up an imagistic wordscape. Each tweet has to include 3 words that have been chosen in advance by the person who last tweeted. We have no idea where it will lead us. Who knows, perhaps one day we may actually shake hands but if we never, ever physically meet it doesn’t really matter, our minds have, our words have and our cyber-selves have. In today’s social-networking age, remarkably, this can be all we need.