Shoot the clown


Sheffield graffiti. Photograph by J.Mellor.


There’s been a lot of discussion about the parallels between poetry and song. Same but different is my stance (a cop out, I know). It’s the creative process that has the most in common, I  suspect. I watched Nick Cave’s 20, 000 Days On Earth last night (second time, I might add, but this time on my own, which makes a difference). Cave gives a fascinating insight into his creative process. He talks about needing to get deeper into his imaginary world/s in order to write the lyrics. At one point he says creating these narratives is like putting a child in a room with a Mongolian psychopath and just seeing what happens. If it needs more tension, send in a clown on a bike. If that’s not working, shoot the clown. I’m paraphrasing, of course, but in the end it’s about making something happen. And isn’t that what we’re aiming to do with each line of poetry? Writing’s not about letting ideas drift (although I do lots of that). It’s about working them, working on them, in order to make art.
So what about my photograph for this post? Well, it occurred to me that someone had a desire to make something happen when they climbed through this disused factory in Sheffield to write LOVE. And they were prepared to take a risk.. That’s why, for me, this is art, not defacement. Someone took a risk with a single word, wrote it large, made something happen.
If you don’t believe me, ask the pigeon perched up there curating the whole thing!



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