Come the Revolution

March 31, 2007

Come the Revolution,
only the mad will survive
with their decades of training,

intensive confined
and used to the most
trying of circumstance,

the most limited of space
the mad with their
mad house training

will win the day.
Come the revolution
only the mad will survive

coz they’ve been getting the link
between diet, exercise
and world domination.

With their superfit regimes
of serotonined motion,
their regular meals

and omega 3
and lifting weights
to beat the shakes

at lifes dissapointments.
When the cities start to burn
and the towers start to collapse

It’ll be the
whippet lean mad,
vaulting over bannisters

and getting safely out.
Come the revolution
only the mad will survive.

Practiced in-
occupational therapy,
horticulture, meal cookery

art and design
it will be the mad
who are able

to make their own food,
paint their own shelters
and generally thrive.

Come the revolution
the mad will survive.
Everyone else

will go
quite mad
far too attached

to a status of fine-
it’ll be pencils up the noses
and pants on the head

but the actual mad
will be living like kings.
The madman in his bedroom,

the mad girl in her loft
they’ve been planning for collapse-
since the 911 bombs.

Come the Revolution
they’ll be ready for it
They’ll be there with their

banners
and their whistles
and whirly gigs.

Come the Revolution
when the world goes mad
The mad will be saying:

we told you this would happen
you told us we were mad.
Come the revolution

Paranoia will be insight,
delusions of grandeur
will be-

quite justified.
Come the revolution
the sane will go mad

the nurses will be raving
the doctors need sedating-
And the mad?

Come the Revolution
the mad
will survive.

Time for an Adventure

March 31, 2007

Right. It’s Saturday in the UK. 10.08am and sparkling with crystal cold sunlight. Sky is blue, if birds are not singing – I live in the city. I can smell coffee and hear cars. I have decided: I am going out.

I was going to go for a run. That was the plan. But, I don’t think that’s gonna happen. Not immediately anyway. Main reason: in the last half hour I’ve remembered the fabulous RAC (Richard Attenborough Centre) is having a jolly arts open taster day today. There will be printing, storytelling and jewellery making taster sessions!I did mention it to The Sparkplugs (poetry group I run there)-but don’t think everyone was there/listening. Ah well.

Sparkplugs/anyone else you might be interested: if any of you are out there in cyberworld and wanting to share an exciting hour or so with my fabulous self, ion non cyberworld – why not come down to the RAC today? I shall be there between the hours of 11(ish) and …who knows! If I go and it’s full, then I might leave…so if you are interested in the bit that involves my winsome company, maybe text me first;)

Did I just write an advert? Should I get paid? I’m inclined to think yes…if we all think about Lydia getting paid for long enough, maybe it’ll happen..?

Right. Enough of my mindless gabbing. The teabag in my tea is overstewed.Must remember to take them out before starting to drink the tea. Ick. The bottom of the cup is never nice. It’s time. I’ve got to do it at some point if I want my shiny plan to happen…it’s time to get out of bed.

Hoops

March 29, 2007

…Ok I’ve been experimenting a bit with some new ways of writng and performing. This piece (intended as an idea in progress for my Freedom Show) is meant to be semi sung. I’ve tried to indicate the sung bits with italics-but without the melody I’m guessing that doesn’t help too much! If I can work out how to record onto my blog, I’ll do a rendition;)…till then, here’s more of my one women mission to irritate men. Guys. It’s not you, really…

You’ve got me jumping through your hoops now baby.
You’ve got me jumping through your hoops yeah baby.
You’ve got me jumping through your hoops now baby.
That’s where I’ve been going wrong.

Me? I’m free
Gone are the days of the Fem Mystique
1950s ginham pleats and
Mrs Beeton, Fanny Cradock
books on making homes complete

Me, I’m free
No waiting with a home cooked meal
No pipe and slippers, whisky fix
No days spent silent hands in sink
Singing madly to the brink of
desperation.

No drinking gin to hide the ruin
of a life
sunk into
my husbands
shadow.

No. Me-I’m free.
Except..

These lines
They started swimming round my eyes,
Just last year,
the year before,
some time after
26, 27, 28
A little worse,
with every year.

And I know I’m free
But something seems
To make me think of
botox
and maybe one day
surgery

And I know I’m free
but all the glossy girls
in their glossy magazines
in their high heels
and their skinny jeans
not Fanny C
or Mrs B
cause they are only
16
but they make me think

of dieting,
of dieting,
of dieting

so I’m glad I’ve got

equality,
equality,
equality.

So glad I’m free.
From all that 1950s shit
So glad I’m free
in this new way
to be oppressed
so glad we took the time
to give me this new set
of hand cuffs

thank a lot
thanks a lot
we’ve
got

me jumping through these hoops now baby
jumping through these hoops yeah baby
jumping through these hoops now baby

that’s where I’ve been going wrong,
I’ve been going wrong.

Drunk

March 29, 2007

Drunk,
I’ll have two muller rice
‘fore I’ll dive
my drunken bones
clear into bed.
I’ll nearly throw them up
but no, I’ll drink a cup of tea
instead.

Drunk,
It’ll be like I’m swimming
when I find my rest
I’ll curse myself for being inept
Before I’m even drunk
My sheets will be a mess.

Drunk,
I’ll know that I am lacking.
I’ll know
if only I was neater
my drunkenness would then
be easier.

But I am not.
And I am drunk.

My way to stop myself
from throwing up into my throat
is simply just
to write a poem.

And this is it.
Sorry
it’s not more interesting.

Like Suffragettes

March 29, 2007

Once,
we threw ourselves in front
of running horses.
Once, we were
man handled,
by men with whistles,
shiny shoes and hard hats.

Once,
we were cuffed and walked
and thrown in cells
and something was just
so important
we starved ourselves
until they let us go.

We starved ourselves
until we could have
slipped the cells ourselves-
we were so thin.

Once,
we starved ourselves for freedom,
for getting voices heard,
emancipation.

Nowadays,
we have emaciation
but we have lost the reason why.

We know,
that something’s so important
some of us would risk death-
but we can’t remember what.
We want acceptance-love.
We think if we’re just
thin enough….

But when we are
so slender
we could slip our bars-
we can’t.

our cells are all we know.
We are like suffragettes.
But we have lost
our map.

In case any y’all interested, I have an article up on Poetry Thursday. Here’s the link…

http://poetrythursday.org/2007/03/28/road-to-freedom/

Up and About

March 25, 2007

Hello again, time for a Lydia trying to sort her head out post.

I’ve been up and about performing – much more than I would normally. I guess it’s because I’m trying to take all this poetry malarky a bit more seriously. Performing makes me appraise my work much more critically and lets me know whether something actually connects with it’s audience. So, it’s good for upping the quality of what I’m producing. Of course – this sometimes means finding out the hard way whether something works – and isn’t always pleasant…

Last week I read in Nottingham, at a kind of bear pit of a venue, with no mic and lots of jolly, up for it people. I’ve read at this particular night before (about a year ago) and completely bombed. It was a slam and I lost control of the audience. I was too quiet and too nervous and they descended into a hoo-graa of a self entertainment. However, this time, the up-for-it-ness of the audience worked in my favour. They responded to the content of what I was reading and this helped me get with the comic timing.

So, fresh from the positive experience, this weekend I did a gig at Leicester Uni. I read the same Nottingham -crowd-on-side piece…and it bombed. I tried a follow up piece to it-and that bombed even more. When I went to finish on a final piece-I clocked the organiser weaving her way to the front to get me off!

Now, I’m not the most experienced of giggers. I have friends who make their living doing this and have 100’s on the clock..but still, I have a feeling that this type of gig will not be for me. Reasons:

1. The exclusively student crowd were there to get drunk, not listen to poetry. Other acts were music based. When it came to the poetry they appeared to be mildly confused.

2. The direction was hazy. Partly my fault, for not clarifying, but partly not. No time limit for reading was specified. So, when I did what I thought was reasonable..3 shortish poems, I didn’t expect the indignity of being ushered off! Luckily this was narrowly avoided as I began the third with an ‘and to finish’ nod, which seemed to give the organiser some kind of clue. Still…when, someone else (apparently a friend of the organiser) did approximately 6-7 poems…with NO gentle ushering from the organiser…I did get kind of irritated.

3. The P.A system was shite. The venue was shite. You couldn’t hear yourself properly on the mic and the space was so sprawling you couldn’t make decent eye contact with the audience. Hell, you couldn’t even SEE the audience.

No. It was not a great gig. Having said that, I’m really glad I did it. From the two very different reactions to my first piece (Fury) I’m not sure whether to persist with it or not…but when it comes to the follow up piece (Solomon’s Child) I think I’ve learnt enough to shelve it. Yes, it bombed-but I didn’t enjoy hearing myself read it either! When it comes to the third piece (Down the Phoneline) performing at the uni gig, also made me think. This, a more serious piece got a better reaction.

So, I learnt alot. Mainly that I need to get a proper set sorted out – and I need to stop trying to write ‘funny’ crowd pleasers.  I have a very successful friend who does whoop, whoop, furiously funny stuff. He could bring a corpse to the brink of hysteria. I could not. But perhaps there are other ways to build intensity and draw an audience in. Lets hope so!

Final Draft?

March 21, 2007

A Bike Called Fury

What makes it worse
is that My Fury was probably stolen
by a man

A man – with bolt cutters.
wearing a hood and heavy gloves,
dodging cameras on the run. Yes-

In all likelihood,
it was a man
that took my Fury from me.

My Little Fury.
You were fire engine red
and smelt of oil with

Fury painted on your pole
in silver letters.
My Little Fury.

You moved like lightening
Monday mornings,
slamming rain and

dodging panes
like shattered glory.
Fury. Your tires never broke.

You fucked with four wheel drives.
and caught their eyes,
like new glass marbles.

You made grown men cry
with lust and longing,
and wanting Fury

like a substance.
Fury.
Do you remember the time

we beat a track
down Central Railway
Cycle path?

Sunshine pouring on the trail
weather hot, like a pail
of boiling vinegar.

Fury. Remember that November
we went to Wales?
Freezing rain in liquid gales?

Remember the day
I brought you home?
Remember the man

who stroked your nose?
The one who told us
Fury was my sign?

Fury.
We were like
Gwen Steffani

and Madonna,
Sappho, Kali,
Cleopatra.

My Little Fury.
We were Torvel and Dean
without the fights,

Robson and Jerome
with spark and bite.
You were nimbler

than a car,
You were fleeter
than a horse – Darling Fury

not insured

and giving the come on
with shining pedal and curving guard.

You were almost actually asking-
but you were not actually asking.
There was no permission given.

No free rides.
No undone chain.
No begging tires.

Listen
We don’t take kindly
to being riled-

we don’t like punks who think their fly
and don’t much care
for thieves with knives

Listen.
Fury.
Here’s my sign.

If he’s still with you
take what’s mine.
Pull your break cord.

Fan your fire
My little Fury.
Break the bastard

Solomon’s Child (2)

March 21, 2007

Shortly after bike number 3
was taken from me, I saw
stolen bike number 2 –
tethered in town,

It was only a shopper- but there
was the headlight, the fragile trace of
doodled scratches, the wonky brake cord,
rusted latch.

Me and my friend we waited with it
and rang for back up – we were thinking:
crackhead, desperate, shifty-
could do anything – best take care.

We braced ourselves.
Tongues licking lips, like thin lines of melon.
Palms like netting, ready for a fight.
When she came round the corner, we nearly died.

She was in her first year -missing parents,
not from here. She was tiny, pretty,
lots of hair. She was not-
a drug dealer.

She’d bought my bike on Narborough Road
the second hand place, with the fridges
and the wardrobes. She’d got it in October,
had it 6 months. Only 7 – since I’d got it myself.

This was a case of Solomon’s child.
The bike locked up.The owners riled.
She rung her hands, I chewed my lip
Neither of us knowing what to think.

I took her number and let her go
and two days later the coppers phoned.
They said the law was on my side
they called me quite within my rights

Did I want my vehicle seized?
The nice blonde girl, with small white teeth.
The girl who’d meant my bike no harm,
Who’d never have wanted any part.

Tell my bike
I’ll always love it
It’s got a good home
and that counts for something.

Tell the girl
that she can keep it
I’ll send it postcards,
Birthdays, Christmas.

And if it questions
when it’s older
Tell them –
they can always phone me.

And if it asks
why it was given
tell it that I’m-
always with it.

A Bike Called Fury (3)

March 21, 2007

Think this version is stronger…but a little too close to it now. Constructive crit welcome!

What makes it worse
is that My Fury
was probably stolen by a man.

A man – with bolt cutters.
wearing a hood and heavy gloves,
dodging cameras on the run.

Yes. In all likelihood,
it was a man
that took my Fury from me.

My Little Fury.
You were fire engine red
and smelt of oil with

Fury painted on your pole
in silver letters.
My Little Fury.

You moved like lightening
Monday mornings,
slamming rain and

dodging panes
like shattered glory.
Fury. Your tires never broke.

You fucked with four wheel drives.
and caught their eyes,
like new glass marbles.

You made grown men cry
with lust and longing,
and wanting Fury

like a substance.
Fury.
Do you remember the time

we beat a track
down Central Railway
Cycle path?

Sunshine pouring on the trail
weather hot, like a pail
of boiling vinegar.

Fury. Remember that November
we went to Wales?
Freezing rain in liquid gales?

Remember the day
I brought you home?
Remember the man

who stroked your nose?
The one who told us
Fury was my sign?

You made dogs
chase like wolves,
doves break cover,

ravens hide.
My Little Fury.
We were Gwen Steffani

and Madonna,
Sappho, Kali,
Cleopatra.

My Darling Fury.
We were Torvel and Dean
without the fights,

Robson and Jerome
with spark and bite.
You were nimbler

than a car,
You were fleeter
than a horse – Darling Fury

not insured

and giving the come on
with shining pedal and curving guard.

You were almost actually asking-
but you were not actually asking.
There was no permission given.

No free rides.
No undone chain.
No begging tires.

Listen
We don’t take kindly
to being riled-

we don’t like punks who think their fly
and don’t much care
for thieves with knives

Listen.
Fury.
Here’s my sign.

If he’s still with you
take what’s mine.
Pull your break cord.

Fan your fire
My little Fury.
Break the bastard