A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Lawrence Moore

with Lawrence Moore

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Lawrence: I played around with words and wrote the odd poem as a kid, but it didn’t take off in any way until I was a hyper-political college youth with vague dreams of being a singer-songwriter. I would leave little scrawled scraps of lyrics around the house (a nightmare for my minimalist husband to be!). I felt an affinity for John Donne’s poetry early on, but didn’t become a bookworm until my early thirties, so took my influences from artists I loved such as Indigo Girls, Levellers and Kirsty MacColl.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Lawrence: I’m into some well known poets, like Wendy Cope and Seigfried Sasoon, but I’ve delved deeper down the rabbit hole of Twitter, where I am continually inspired by Kristin Garth (lolaandjolie), c m taylor (@carma_t), Susan Richardson (@floweringink), Annest Gwilym (@AnnestGwilym) and many others.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?

Lawrence: I’ve lived my whole life in the working class coastal city of Portsmouth, rarely traveling. The people I’ve met and experiences I’ve had left their emotional mark on me (particularly as a kid in school experiencing friendship, bullying and unrequited love) but that’s true of most people in most towns. It has given me a love of football and the sea. Perhaps the roughness at the edges helped to make me an introvert, but I’m very fond of the place.

Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?

Lawrence: I guess ‘Holding Hands’ – a pared down, free verse poem I wrote about the difficulties my husband and I have felt as a same sex couple wanting to show affection in public. I am a big fan of form poetry but sometimes, when I have something to get off my chest, it flows out quickly in free verse.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Lawrence:

Since my late teens at least, I’ve always sought some sort of creative outlet, but mostly as a dilettante, flitting from discipline to discipline (with zero discipline).
I often looked to make something happen with poetry – on MySpace in 2007, then in 2010/11 and 2015, but then I tried quite hard to be a singer-songwriter for a couple of years. I found the whole concept pretty intimidating because it has so many aspects – for example, production, melody, lyrics, vocals and instrumentalism. I partook in a grade 4 piano exam with grim determination but was a mess because of nerves.
In 2018, I spoke at my dad’s funeral, where I read the poem ‘High Flight’ by John Gillespie Magee Junior to some thirty people, and despite the strains that come with such an undertaking, it dawned on me later that I’d handled it a lot more calmly than I had the piano exam. I saw nothing in poetry that could unnerve me and felt ready to wave my dilettante days goodbye.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Lawrence: Reading, listening to music, going for walks and playing Elder Scrolls games.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?

Lawrence: I’ve made several poem videos, for accepted pieces, that I’ll be putting up on Twitter upon publication. I’m also working (I hope) towards a first collection, so that is occupying my mind a fair bit.

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem/writing of yours or others?

Lawrence:

My place within this scheme is very small –
I am no Gandalf, I am Radagast.

From my ‘Radagast’, to be published in Sarasvati (Indigo Dreams Publishing)

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Lawrence: My mum helps me quite a bit. She wrote poetry herself and is a very qualified teacher. She got me using more line breaks for effect and has read and commented on everything I’ve had accepted, which concerns me a little as I may get something really lewd or terrifying published one day and then feel obliged to show it to her!

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Lawrence Moore

3 poems by Lawrence Moore : “Over the Trees” “They Sang For Me” “Tethered”

Poetry mix by Lawrence Moore : ‘My Dream Playground’ from Anthology & new poem ‘Plumb the Depths’

3 poems by Lawrence Moore : “Battle-Hardened” “Ghost #2”, “I am a Tightrope Walker”

https://dailydrunkmag.com/2020/11/30/two-poems-by-lawrence-moore/

Twitter: @LawrencemooreUK

https://www.greeninkpoetry.co.uk/poetry-submissions-all/lawrence-moore-resolute

3 poems by Lawrence Moore : “Over the Trees” “They Sang For Me” “Tethered”

Aircraft, Flight, Sunset, Clouds
Over the Trees

Never was an R.A.F. pilot -
out of two hundred, made the last seven.
Held your breath the requisite minute,
disappointed in terms of aggression.

Back from Fratton Model Shop
with your kit, your miniature pots of paint,
set to work in the makeshift hangar,
slowly assembled the balsa frame.

Four months later, stood by the river,
take-off, eyes full of hope and glee.
Drifted beyond the scope of radar,
vanishing gracefully over the trees.

Underwhelmed for a puzzled moment.
Started to dream of a task renewed.
Anecdotes over Sunday dinner,
told them you didn't crash, you flew.

They Sang for Me

I lived alone the longest while.
I spread my wings, I sometimes smiled.
Though thermals bore me on my way,
the wind complained as if to say
‘There must be something more.’

I screeched and squawked to birds unknown.
For half a day, I must have flown
till limbs seemed spent and voice had cracked.
Then, on the verge of turning back,
I heard the sweetest score.

A distant chorus swelled and stirred,
the smallest speck became a bird.
In loose array, she led the skein.
They sang for me and thus became
one greater than before.

Tethered

The kite a Christmas gift,
bright orange,
functional but swift.
I’ve lazily awaited such a day.

My dad the flying nut;
silently,
he sends her up,
then carefully,
the reel is sent my way.

The line extended tight;
the wind is mad –
it wants the kite
and suddenly,
this doesn’t feel like fun.

Responsibility
is stifling,
can I be free?
And must I always end what I’ve begun?

I dream of letting go.
The kite
it winks
and down below,
I envy its ascent above the roofs.

Soon, I’m waking up.
My dad takes over,
I’m in luck.
The wind and I decide to call a truce.

Tethered was first published in Driech 4 Season 2, March 2021 Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Lawrence Moore

Lawrence Moore has been writing poems – some silly, some serious – since childhood. He lives in Portsmouth, England with his husband Matt and nine mostly well behaved cats. He has poetry published at, among others, Dreich, Pink Plastic House, Fevers of the Mind, Green Ink Poetry and The Madrigal. @LawrenceMooreUK

Poetry mix by Lawrence Moore : ‘My Dream Playground’ from Anthology & new poem ‘Plumb the Depths’

Swing, Playground, Swing Device
My Dream Playground

Innocence spent,
stacked with children.
Hues of amber,
my dream playground.

Clever get by,
bullies prosper
Scabby hungry
weak in corners.

Big get big,
small get smaller.
Never an upset,
games decided.

Don't interfere,
nod with approval.
Watch behind fences,
stone-faced parents.

Let the market regulate itself.

Stone-faced parents
watch behind fences,
nod with approval,
don't interfere.

Games decided, 
never an upset.
Small get smaller,
big get big.

Weak in corners,
scabby, hungry.
Bullies prosper,
clever get by.

My dream playground,
hues of amber.
Stacked with children,
innocence spent.

Plumb the Depths

Unspoken feelings mingle at the bar
with scuppered trysts and promises withdrawn.
Forgotten, in the corner, plays guitar,
Rejected holds the mic for Weather-Worn.
A group of skeletons are dropping hints
to worry dolls and children's marionettes.
Such clumsiness will breed no fingerprints;
they've heard it all before and placed their bets.
Our dwellers and a few itinerants
anticipate the day you plumb the depths.

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Lawrence Moore

Lawrence Moore has been writing poems – some silly, some serious – since childhood. He lives in Portsmouth, England with his husband Matt and nine mostly well behaved cats. He has poetry published at, among others, DreichPink Plastic HouseFevers of the MindQuince Magazine and Green Ink Poetry. @LawrenceMooreUK

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Lawrence Moore

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Lawrence Moore has been writing poems – some silly, some serious – since childhood. He lives in Portsmouth, England with his husband Matt and nine mostly well behaved cats. He has poetry published at, among others, Dreich, Pink Plastic House, Fevers of the Mind, Quince Magazine and Green Ink Poetry. @LawrenceMooreUK

3 poems by Lawrence Moore : “Battle-Hardened” “Ghost #2”, “I am a Tightrope Walker”

Battle-Hardened
Cold and battle-hardened,
cast the drawbridge from my heart,
may the waters never part.
The border spare and sterile,
let no creeper bear its fruit,
make me barren at the root.
A world within my chamber
painted vivid and opaque.
Soak in dreams, all else forsake.
The bold knight probes the fortress,
courts a torrent of abuse,
keep it in but what’s the use
when the music he belongs to
is a song from whence they came?
Same fresh face, a different name.
Hurt but not defeated,
he retreats beyond the moat,
picking daisies, writing notes.
Alone and battle-hardened,
past the point of nothing lost,
how I long for peacetime-soft.

I Am a Tightrope Walker
alone in a crowd,
balancing on a thread so thin,
sometimes I forget it’s there.
I try my best,
two half shoes on either side,
s t e a d y a n d s a f e
u n t i l
the lurch
when the crowd snaps to attention,
baying for blood,
yet afraid to bleed,
four laser beams of unspoken will
imploring me to make their world
my final destination,
but I am a tightrope walker,
stalwart of obstinacy,
comfortable in solitude
and try as they might,
it’s hard to break the constancy
of a man with his head in the clouds.

Ghost #2
The gentle hum of distant traffic curls
the dormancy within him, till it swirls
and blends into the background, loses hold.
He peers into the restaurant from the cold.
His jealousy no good to man or beast,
he leaves the happy couple at the feast,
heads early for the theatre’s gaping doors –
romantic fiction Saturday’s reward.
The teenage boy who works behind the till
distracted, doesn’t notice (no one will).
Two hours pass before him in a blur.
The critics weren’t impressed, he might concur
if only he could hide his joyful grin.
The night-time crowd are slowly traipsing in
and he should limber up and head for home
to work upon a fiction of his own.

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Lawrence Moore

photo by Sean Benesh