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Work / Illustration

Poetry and illustration “ping pong” in Damien Weighill and Daniel Cockrill’s brilliant book

In The Beginning Was The Word, Then A Drawing, Then More Words, Another Drawing, And So On, And So On is the name of illustrator Damien Weighill and poet Daniel Cockrill’s book. The result of a “word and drawing-based game of ping pong” the two have been playing for a while, it features Damien illustrating in response to Daniel’s words, and vice versa, quickly roving off into bizarre and hilariously inventive territories.

Covering topics from men’s urinals in The Pisser to divine queries in Questions for God at Bedtime, the poems and their accompanying images are seamlessly interwoven, cleverly brought to life by Damien’s intricate and imaginative line drawings.

“It’s a sequential chain that alternates from poet to illustrator, [taking] each artist on a path they would not have discovered on their own,” Daniel says. “Responding to each other’s original and sometimes witty thoughts, we explore the darkness and the light, asking ‘why are we doing this?’ and ‘where is all this leading?’. We journey from the beginning of time and through unexplored space to an unknown destination in an uncertain and peculiar world.”

Read a few of the poems below, and more in the book out now, published by Burning Eye Books.

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Damien Weighill and Daniel Cockrill: In The Beginning Was The Word, Then A Drawing, Then More Words, Another Drawing, And So On, And So On

The Pisser

Some people might not know what goes on at the men’s urinal.
Well, it’s pretty much eyes down like bingo, face the front, piss.

Don’t look left, don’t look right, don’t judge.

Keep it completely straight. No banter.
Unless you are drunk and in a friendly boozer.

That is the rules
That is the urinal etiquette.

But me
No, not me
I’m like
Grab a cock to the left of me
Grab a cock to the right
And whizz it all around
Make some shapes
You know
Up and down
Round and round
As if holding a sparkler on bonfire night
Sometimes I spell my name in urine on the porcelain bowl
Sometimes, if I’m feeling daring, I cross streams as if I’m in the scene from Ghostbusters.
Sometimes I slam it in reverse as if doing a handbrake turn in a car chase from the French Connection.
That’s what I do.

Then I quickly zip up and swim for it.

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Damien Weighill and Daniel Cockrill: In The Beginning Was The Word, Then A Drawing, Then More Words, Another Drawing, And So On, And So On

Questions for God at Bedtime

Do you smoke in bed?
If you do are you worried about setting fire to your duvet?
Are your pillows stuffed with cloud or eiderdown?
Is your mattress firm?
Do you sleep in a Single or Double or Kingsize bed?
Is your bed comfortable?
Do you own a teddy bear?
Do you get tucked in at night?
Do you wear pyjamas?
If you eat toast in your cloud bed does it get covered in crumbs?
How often do you change your sheets?
Is there anything that keeps you awake at night?
Things like ‘have you forgotten to lock the front door?’
Do you get up to check or just leave it till the morning only to discover your television and credit cards have been stolen?
Do you have duvet days?
Do you keep porn under your mattress?
Do you masturbate into a sock to save the sheets?
Do you have wet dreams?
Do you have a recurring dream where you are falling or flying or your teeth are falling out?
Do you wonder what the dream means?
Do you appear in your own dreams?
Are you a dream?
Are your dreams really nightmares?
Do you struggle to get out of bed in the morning?
Do you wonder what you have created?
Do you think to yourself, what have I done?

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Damien Weighill and Daniel Cockrill: In The Beginning Was The Word, Then A Drawing, Then More Words, Another Drawing, And So On, And So On

The Girl Who Swam With Submarines

When she was young she dreamed of swimming with dolphins
By the time she was old enough all the dolphins had been maimed and killed
Their carcasses washed up on beaches around the globe

So she organized a movement
Of open water swimmers, surfers and old sea dogs
To circle the warships and submarines
All united in their vision
All swimming in the same direction
All speaking the same language in a thousand different tongues
A Peace On Earth Movement
In short
A P.O.E.M.

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Damien Weighill and Daniel Cockrill: In The Beginning Was The Word, Then A Drawing, Then More Words, Another Drawing, And So On, And So On

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Damien Weighill and Daniel Cockrill: In The Beginning Was The Word, Then A Drawing, Then More Words, Another Drawing, And So On, And So On

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Damien Weighill and Daniel Cockrill: In The Beginning Was The Word, Then A Drawing, Then More Words, Another Drawing, And So On, And So On

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Damien Weighill and Daniel Cockrill: In The Beginning Was The Word, Then A Drawing, Then More Words, Another Drawing, And So On, And So On

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Damien Weighill and Daniel Cockrill: In The Beginning Was The Word, Then A Drawing, Then More Words, Another Drawing, And So On, And So On