Liz Venn’s new blog “July Exercise: The Glorious Ugly”

My friend Liz Venn has started a new poetry blog and her post is a zinger of a challenging writing exercise. I’ve reblogged it below. Have a look! Have a go at it.


Here’s a first draft of my attempt:


Boulder-shaped and sized
but buoyant like rainbowed
hot air globed balloons
or beaching giants
from depths, perhaps
Cephalopoda, contorted
by massive ocean currents,
perhaps a chunk of coral reef
washed in by tidal waters,
polyp tentacles stream,
waving in perfect tunes,
their voice, thin miles of longing
like whale song. Will you
come or will you go
from this Pacific sand-place
— appendages hold
tiny ukulele to their breast
like a day-old kitten.
You are a kind of mountain.
i.m. Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole

Liz Venn

Up a couple of days early, this is my writing exercise for July.

Sometimes I find myself feeling a strong connection with a complete stranger on the train, just because of their pink hair or their tattoo – a shout-out here to Kim Moore who has a fantastic tattoo on her arm. It’s not normally the girl with the perfect hair and latest fashion, it’s someone whose personality comes across, wearing themselves on the outside. That’s what July’s exercise is all about.

Look around the train, or out of the window, or through old books of photos. Pick a word like “ugly” and do an internet image search. What you’re looking for is something that doesn’t fit society’s idea of being beautiful. It could be a scar or a tattoo, a comb-over, someone’s weight, shape or height, but it should be something something that speaks to you, that you can…

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