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Disrupted Blue and other poems on Polaroid
Vik Shirley
paperback
due March 2021

more poems from Blue were recently published at 3:AM Magazine, you can read them ︎ here

These Polaroids were taken by my mother, who died unexpectedly at the age of 52 back in 2003. There is nothing written on them to indicate where they were taken. I have deduced that they are either from her travels around Europe or her time living in Canada, in the early 1970s. These snapshots (there were around 20 in total) got separated from a bag of family photos, perhaps as they had no people in them and were more focussed on the structural. Whatever the reason, they were put to one side. The family photos were later lost, whilst under my care, during a turbulent family time and a hedonistic period in my early 20s. So these cast-offs, of sorts, are all that remain.

I recently came across them again in my belongings and started to think about texts that might work well with them. I thought about travel writing and novels about journeys etc. Then the lyrics of one of my mother's favourite albums, Joni Mitchell, Blue, sprang to mind, for multiple reasons, themes of travel, tragedy, love and loss being some of them. So I started to experiment with words used in the lyrics of the album, defamiliarising and disrupting these songs I know so well, to fit the unfamiliar places in the pictures, that, in some way, at this time, represent my mother.

Vik Shirley is a poet from Bristol. She is currently studying for a PhD in ‘Dark Humour and the Surreal in Poetry’ at University of Birmingham. Her first collection, The Continued Closure of the Blue Door, will be published by HVTN Press in 2020. Her work has appeared in such places as Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Shearsman magazine and Dostoyevsky Wannabe Cities: Bristol.

Vik was interviewed over at Minor Lit(s) about her work in DW Cities: Bristol anthology, read it ︎ here


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