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'Reality is a cliché from which we escape by metaphor'

Whilst some might say we are in the age of the sound-bite it could be equally true that the new age of social networking, blogging, text and twitter have opened up spaces for us to express ourselves in a more spontaneous way that reflect the reality of day to day living. It may be less important who - if anyone - is actually following us but what is more important is the medium of social networking forces us to address the audience within ourselves and thereby relate to our own experiences differently. In terms of spontaneity Malcolm Gladwell in his best-selling book 'Blink' (2005) noted the concept of 'thin slicing', about how there are often intuitive methods of knowing that require very little amounts of data but which capture a central truth, 'a blink moment' . My poems are written in the spirit of spontaneity and with a wish to thin slice to the heart of the matter which for these works is about the everyday tasks and trials of life - I am also drawn to the cliché because after the age of 40 you tend to appreciate that this word is maligned mostly by the young who don't as yet understand the sense of lived-in nostalgia that becomes part of being middle-aged. What seemed a cliché in our youth to push against becomes in older years more a description of the narrowing choices available to us, a realisation that there is nothing new under the sun and a mixture of nostalgia and resignation. Using this motif my poems also have a strong dialectical element of antagonistic drives of where one is and where one wishes to be often leaving the central character with a sense of dissatisfaction about how best to carry on. Unfulfilled wants are a constant part of living but as we leave the opportunities and potential of youth behind the issue of what have we done and what is left to do become a little more pressing to address. This probably defines the mid- life crisis and cliché apart whether we acknowledge it or not this lives within us and colours our life choices as we become bit by bit more aware of what it means to be mortal. It is the realisation of these narrowing choices that my characters start to face in some of these poems and its starts to become clear to them that the dreams they may have rehearsed to to keep themselves afloat are starting to become increasingly hollow. This doesn't happen overnight however and its slow but steady progress can be measured through some of the themes that mark most of our lives as we grow older, growing independence of children, caring for and the passing away of family members and friends, awareness of our ageing bodies, fragments of which can be seen in the everyday occurrences that I have tried to capture in rhyme.