Lost Boys

October 31, 2006

We are like lost boys,
running round inside a lost house.
Lost in a place that folded like a note,
has been mislaid.

Someone, somewhere-
was meant to get a memo about us
but something went wrong and the paper
dissolved like water- and now we are here.

I don’t know what this place is.
It is a white cave of blind electric light
with lots of things in. It’s like a place
I half recall-like I’ve been here before-

but not here. This place is colder.
There are no doors and the windows
are frosted up with dust. We do not clean
them. We are just children. Lost boys,

a boy and a girl, you and me, we
have forgotten everything. There is mess.
We pick our way through it like goats
traversing rocks: Yellow eyed and hungry

making more with every step and our
corridors have collapsed with the weight of
clothes hooks. There is an upturned bag and
a dark red raincoat, pooling shiny

like heavy blood. This place has no rules.
We make them up then break them
Once, there was a place where even air smelt good.
A place like this, but not like this, a place that

Wasn’t lost. There was order, rhythms we could
understand. There was safety and reason and
context, like a compass, like a timepiece, like a
small brass metronome ticking in our hands.

Here, there are no clocks.
It gets dark and we know to sleep.
It gets light.

Must. Not. Work. Late…

October 31, 2006

Buggery. Worked late. Got home late. Had dinner late. Started writing late. Too late. Got to get up early for work in the morning, so now have to go to bed.


Halloween Post

October 29, 2006

My boyfriend Damien has just exposed me to the most horrific thing I have heard in a long time. He’s a regular listener to a pod cast called Pseudopod. Every week they transmit a short (alternative fiction) story. I was halfway through dinner and still in the room with the laptop, when he flipped on the latest edition. It went on for 20 minutes or so and resulted in (look away now if you don’t want the same horror inflicted on you-though I’d never do it in such ghoulish detail ……..)  a man losing ALL his fingers.

He was a thief who’d cut the ring finger off this old girl who’d had a heart attack when he’d burgled her house. Turned out she wasn’t actually dead, when the bolt cutters did their work and her eyes snapped open. Also turned out that she was this voodoo lady when she cursed him with a smile and he spent the next few weeks of his life losing all his fingers. It was horrible. More than horrible. I hold my boyfriend entirely responsible for subjecting me to it and from now on will stick to the tame version of the show: Escape Pod. Incidentally, both these pod casts pay for stories, so if anyone out there writes alternative fiction, perhaps look it up…

Gonna be wearing gloves and hugging my hands for hours. 

Emergency Anti-Depressants

October 28, 2006

You say
You take
emergency anti-depressants
I say:
I hope you don’t mean
an overdose.
You say no,
it’s impossible to overdose on
they’re made of bits of moon
and would only give you
strange dreams,
like cheese would
and you can’t overdose on cheese.

Emergency anti-depressants:
Like cheese
only chalkier
and tasting of
table dust,
or licking
the back of a frog.

Emergency anti-depressants:
taking one more pill
than is perscribed
when your feeling
even more crap than usual.
I ask if it works.
You shrug.

and I never went to university.
I’m crap at being tidy
and regularly break things.
I might never have children,
one day will look very old and
not have surgery
or have surgery,
might have left the cooker on.

So far this poem a day thing seems to be going pretty well – most likely for two reasons: blogging and workshopping. The blog has been really good for creating discipline through routine. Sit down, write and eventually write something that either starts off as a poem or turns into one. The workshops I’ve been sitting in on have so far helped me loosen up. Short writing exercises mean you can’t be precious and allowing yourself to be weird makes for (surprise, surprise) strange results. 

I’m wondering whether I should try scaling up my light bulb piece. Some of the other words I picked for the exercise, would build quite nicely around it. I do still find myself thinking why though?, but think that’s probably unproductive. Why not I guess. If a poem has to have clear meaning to justify itself, then it’s actually quite disimilar to life.

I’ve got this nihilistic friend who writes Dadaistic stuff and is passionate in his alienation from all things. Earlier today we were down The Orange Tree and he was saying how he felt the belief in meaning to be no more than a necessary self deception. We need meaning to carry on. In some ways that’s quite a bleak view: everything’s actually pointless and we just pretend it isn’t…but then if everything’s meaningless that’s also quite liberating. Half the stuff in life ends up meaning too much. To turn around and say actually it’s all really bollocks is a bit like saying life’s too short. I’m not a size 8 and I don’t own my own house…and? Mm, might be there’s a poem in that…


October 27, 2006

I love your hair
how it grows across
your body
in different places

on your belly,
around the button
and on your chest,
spreading out like

thick black grass,
shadowing the centre
in a triangle of fuss.
I love the way it sprouts

around your nipples
in tufts like seedlings
grown inside of
paving cracks,

or like dark strands
of wire wool:
shiny and mettalic
and alien.

They smell like you.

Brightsparks Workshop

October 27, 2006

Yesterday I attended the second of the 4 Brightsparks Poetry Workshops, kindly being funded by Leicester City Libraries.  Below’s what I generated. For more info visit brightsparks.wordpress.com

Light Bulb

The light bulb reeks of fish and
everytime it flashes (as it’s broken)
it cuts back on and you can see
a small filiment of plankton
crackling with electricity
still alive.


Purple Twigs.
Dyed purple by the people of 
Purpue-la, in the fifth century BC
and the basis of the deep

and mysterious faith
of Purple Twigesence.
The Godhead being
Purple Twigs.

The Purple Twigs
are woven into many coloured
mauve carpets
and are used

to cover over the city
of Purpue-la. Sometimes,
a Special Twig is found
and invested with

Deep Purple Magic:
The magic of Tranformation.
Thus transformed
it will be lifted by

generation upon generation
of Purple Warlock,
and raised on high
above their flowing manes of

Purple dyed hair.
A Magic Purple Twig 
can inspire men
to live or die.  

Back at work and suddenly busy with so much stuff again. On one hand this is good as it means having more to write about than just Lemsip and insomnia. On the other, I’ve got too much to write about and don’t know which lines to follow. Like buses eh?

Thing number one: My brother and his family came to visit. They stayed overnight at my parents’, so I went home aswell in order to see them. The last two post poems are the results of the visit.

The first is about the strangeness of revisiting your childhood situation. Spending time in my mothers pristine show home, then coming back home to my own sworded little grief hole (one of the more amusing descriptions I’ve been given of it!) really pushed a few buttons. At the same time, staying in my family home as an adult, is very different to living there as a child. A bit like trying to wear clothes that are too small. Wishing they’d fit. Glad they don’t. If you see what I mean.

…Think the poem probably only captured the longing though. Not sure. Might go back and put some structure into it though. Started writing it in word, but when I pasted it into the post box it fucked the lines up. So I just experimented with it as a prose poem. Leave it, not leave it, leave it, not leave it. Mm.

The second is about my beautiful gorgeous twin niece and nephew, Kitty and Zak. I’m not really that maternal, but they just drive me crazy. They’re so incredibly amazing! Like these tiny little machines made of this soft, warm, perfect stuff. I just can’t do them justice in words. Having said that I don’t know how their parents manage. The twins just don’t seem to sleep. At all. Like, they go to sleep at 12pm and wake up at 5am. Then run around. Non stop.

Also, they do this thing where they’ll start to cry about something at random (and it’ll be like some Hindi Epic Tragedy) then get distracted and be all smiles-and the tears will still be standing on their faces. Quite often they’ll cry about something if they think it’s something they can’t have. If they could have it they wouldn’t want it. Then, after a certain point it won’t matter if it’s actually offered to them, because they’ll have forgotten that it was what they wanted and why they’d started crying, and just be inconsolable. But I absolutely love them and find everything they do absolutely adorable. Sickening eh? 

Kitty and Zak

October 26, 2006

There is sand. Soft and downy
whisping through the crown,
skirting their two pairs of

huge dark eyes and
lifting with static when ruffled.
They make amazing sounds,

vowels that have been
three and a half years
in the making. Halfway between

words and the noises made by
birds, small lions,tiny
blond haired cave men.

They are tireless and changeable
as light. Ecstatic and
inconsolable. They are

two warm beating hearts
of want and need
and must.

They could break a man
between their little finger
and their thumb.