Saturday, November 17, 2007

Concrete poetry

On concrete architecture

Many fine buildings
Are constructed from concrete.
Some are in Russia.

Beauty and concrete

Concrete, that sublime
Mix of cement and pebbles:
It makes my heart sing.

My favourite bit

My favourite bit
Is the bit where they put the
Pebbles in it.

That sweet word

When you say 'Concrete',
That sweet word, I want to dance
And sing hymns of praise.

Concrete has some slight drawbacks

Once, my car got caught
In wet concrete. But that was
More my fault than its.

A heartfelt wish

I would like to make
My bed out of concrete, with
Slag for a blanket.

Need I say anything more?

Concrete. Concrete. Con-
crete. Concrete. Concrete. Concrete.
Concrete. Concrete. *Sighs*

101 Poems About Concrete, published by Harper and Snellsbury, is available in all construction poetry vendories now. The above poems, 'The concrete haiku', were written by labourer Bob Slugdman, who earned minor infamy for his much-publicised and controversial 'The Love Sonnets of a Brick'. They will be published in serial form on this blog on the 31st of this month.


nailpolishblues said...

Slag for a blanket?

You make me laugh.

TimT said...

What, you mean as a feeble excuse for me to make a bad pun in my title about an obscure 20th-century genre of poetry, it isn't good enough?

Well, that's quite true, actually..

nailpolishblues said...

I think we can safely say that I have no idea what you're talking about.

Now, for my next display of ignorance....

TimT said...

'Concrete poetry' was a genre of poetry which, mostly, had nothing to do with concrete. I think it's something to do with the shape the poem makes on the page, but am too lazy to search wikipedia and find out.

Steve said...

Concrete for his shoes
Slurry in his underpants
Tim is dressed for work

Steve said...


Concrete underpants
Cement shoes, slurry hair gel
Tim is dressed for work

But: I find myself still preferring the line "Slurry in his underpants". Amuses me more than I should admit.

TimT said...

Richly evocative poetry, Steve. A government grant is coming your way...

Martin Kingsley said...

While, indeed, there are some in Russia, there are (also) rather a lot in Mexico, where New Brutalism (read: building things almost exclusively out of unpainted concrete blocks) took off like a proverbial cute animal with hindquarters aflame.

Having increased the concreteness of this discussion by several orders of magnitude, I shall now return from whence I came (a pile of cinder blocks in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, also the victim of Brutalism, as evidenced by the horrid fucking multi-level carpark featured in Michael Caine's Get Carter [1971]).

TimT said...

Brutalism - one of my favourite names for an artistic genre ever. And concrete buildings and car parks can be quite richly evocative of emotion and atmosphere in their own way - albeit, the emotions they evoke are those of ugliness, and the atmosphere they are redolent of, KGB-induced paranoia...

Martin Kingsley said...

Here, here.

Email: timhtrain - at -

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