The Best Monday Morning, Ever,
appeared at first to be no different
to any other Monday Morning.

At 7am, we were lifted
from the dark blue loam
of Weekend bed like

frost forced vegetables.
My back was bent from awkward sleep-
and your hair curled-

like a mollusk,
reluctant to leave
its pillow.

And it was the same
as every other
Monday Morning ever was, except-

The Best Monday Morning, Ever,
was not just any
other Monday morning

On the best Monday Morning Ever
There was no work,
but rebeling against it

like oil dropped into
vinegar. The Best
Monday Morning ever-

was you and me,
shuttered in the bell of a hurricane
distant from the ringing of

phonecalls and emails and all the
cold water creeps
of leaving Sunday evenings.

There was toast
and tea and
hot brown chocolate,

drunk with crumbs and clean pressed sheets.
There was apple and blackberry jam
spread on slabs of thick brown toast.

There was Radio 4 and a
book of Billy Collins’
poetry-with a black Alsatian

and a floppy earred rabbit
bounding on the cover
and there was blue sky seen

through a rectangular mirror of
windolene. There was a
black winged raven

gliding like an eagle
and a red brick tower
shining in the sun. On The

Best Monday Morning, Ever,
there was no going to work
and I did yoga cobras in bed

while you surfed the internet
and it was better
than all the rare and shiny

Christmas Days,
than all the summer holidays,
all the Saturdays and Sundays

On The Best Monday Morning, Ever,
it was:
The Best Monday Morning, Ever

and then-
it was Monday Afternoon.

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At first,The Best Monday Morning Ever
appeared to be no different
to any other Monday Morning-

lesser, in the usual way
of brutal Monday mornings
from all across the world.

At 7am, we were lifted
from the dark blue loam of Weekend bed,
like frost forced vegetables.

My back was bent from awkward sleep-
and your hair curled like a mollusk
reluctantly leaving its pillow.

And it was the same as every other
Monday Morning always is, except
The best Monday Morning ever

was not just any other Monday Morning.
First, sickening for the summer cold
that you had borne like a package

of pressed white tissues,
like a the letters of a virus,
etched in invisible ink –

you rang in sick.
I consulted my diary.
Deciding that if I just swapped

my A for B, my Monday Morning
could be replanted – I rang the office
and talked of

lighthouse Thursdays
shining with appointments
while Mondays, dull and boring

were not to be noticed by anyone.
And suddenly-
it was The Best Monday Morning Ever.

There was toast and tea
and hot brown chocolate
drunk with scattered pillows.

There was Apple and Blackberry jam
spread on slabs of thick brown toast.
There was Radio 4 and a

book of poetry by Billy Collins
with a black Alsatian and a
floppy earred rabbit –

bounding on the cover
like real live pets.
And there was a blue sky

seen through the rectangular mirror
of window. There was a black winged raven
gliding like an eagle and a red brick tower

shining in the sun. On The
Best Monday Morning Ever
I did yoga cobras in bed and you

surfed the internet
with gold and steaming lemsip.
On The Best Monday Morning Ever

it was better than all the
rare and shiny Christmas Days,
than all the summer holidays,

all the Saturdays and Sundays
of the weekend. On The
Best Monday Morning Ever

it was like missing algebra
and PE
and Home Economics.

On The best Monday Morning Ever
there was an open bathroom door
and a whole flat

that smelt like dewberries
and rainbows
and flowers.

And then
at the end of the
Best Monday Morning Ever

There was Monday Afternoon.

Steamy Stuff

April 29, 2007

Hmmm. Lately, Lydia appears to have been running out of steam. Today this is particularly ironic. On less steam wanting Sundays, she would normally be going for a run. Not today. Not right now. No. The only running will be the running out. It will be purely metaphorical. It will be done from the comfort of her Mausoleum Sofa.

I need a new sofa, you know. The one I’m sitting on was formerly owned by my parents and when they decided it was too decrepet to keep, I was first in line to inheret. Now, me and Mauseleam have been together in One Bedroom Towerblock, for almost a year and a half.

Someone once told me that major physical changes often become visible like the skins of an onion. So, the skin is worn down very gradually. On a day to day basis you just don’t notice. However, one day the last patch of onion skin collapses and the devastation is there for everyone to see.

That’s what’s happened to my sofa. One moment it was fine and I was bemoaning my parents needless consummerism. The next I was sitting on the sofa equivalent of a  90 year old donkey.

What with the lack of steam and no running, me and Donkey make a very sorry sight. At least we have tea to keep us company. Also, other peoples blogs. We read Ivory Fishbones a moment ago and that cheered us. It cheered us so much that we went on to read another blog – a new add.   In the latest post of Karen McCarthy we were able to discover another person (besides ourselves) to become stongly incensed at the wickedness of toilet-less eateries.

This particular issue has been eating at me (excuse the pun) every since encountering the Birmingham Train Station. It has many eateries – but only one pay to use public toilet-located not in them, but in the station. At the time, I nearly wrote a letter of complaint. In the end, I didn’t (this running out of steam actually happens quite often) but I can nevertheless well understand why Karen would have been sufficiently motivated to research trading standards policy.

You know what else gets me? Escalators. Escalators that take you upstairs in big department stores – but only offer stairs to take you out. It’s like they’re doing everything they can to get you in touch with the stuff-but couldn’t care less how comfortable you are if you wish to leave. Bastards.

Nothing like a little letting off steam. And there I was thinking I had none to loose…

Prose Nose

April 26, 2007

Just experiementing with different forms for this…is it maybe really a prose poem, not a poem poem? Do prose poems exist? There was a Poetry Thursday prompt about them once-which I didn’t do…maybe this would have counted, if I’d done it at the time….

I’ve never noticed my nose before now. Other people, they’ve filled their heads with thoughts of nose jobs, working 9 to 5 to find the dough to shape the thing they think is: crows beak, hook, bulbous root – me, I used to laugh at them, think: Beverley Hills, self obsessed, more money than sense and having run out of space for clothes, turning to parts of their bodies instead. Yeah…I used to think neurotic and on my more charitable days – maybe damaged, body dysmorphia; the nose that knows too much about the human condition and is simply wishing to self destruct, snorting coke, taking blows. You know, the surgeon has to break your nose before he makes it better. Fixes it. Gives it the final job. The nose job.

Anyhow, I’ve never noticed my nose before now, but recently I’ve had some pictures done: profile, semi-side on and guess what? All I can see is crows beak, hook, bulbous root.

My mother, she says I’ve always had a slightly Jewish nose, like my father; like my nose knows Hebrew and can read the Cabala while I remain godless. My father, he says she doesn’t really understand but never liked his mother – my Jewish Gran, ever since she called my mum a fish wife – and of course, my mother she’s from a different generation.

Recently, I’ve been looking at my father’s family albumns – and I think I see my nose, longer than I thought it was, maybe slightly horsey, curving gently out. But I’d never want to get it broken. I’d never get it done.

Nose

April 26, 2007

I’ve never noticed my nose before now.
Other people,
they’ve filled their heads with thoughts of
nose jobs, working
9 to 5 to find the dough
to shape the thing they think is
crows beak,
hook,
bulbous root-
me,
I used to laugh at them, think
Beverley Hills
self obsessed
more money than sense
and having
run out of space for clothes
turning to parts of their
bodies instead. Yeah…
I used to think
neurotic and on my more
charitable days – maybe damaged,
body dysmorphia;
the nose that knows too much
about the human condition
and is simply wishing
to self destruct,
snorting coke,
taking blows,
you know-
the surgeon has to break your nose
before he makes it better-
fixes it,
gives it the final job.
The nose job.
Anyhow,
I’ve never noticed my nose
before now, but recently
I’ve had some pictures done-
profile, semi-
side on and guess what?
All I can see is
crows beak,
hook,
bulbous root.
My mother,
she says
I’ve always had a
slightly Jewish nose
like my father,
like my nose
knows Hebrew
and can read the Cabala
while I remain godless.
My father, he says
she doesn’t really understand
but never liked his mother –
my Jewish Gran,
ever since she called
my mum a fish wife-
and of course,
she’s from a
different generation.
Recently,
I’ve been looking at my
father’s family albumns
and I think I see my nose-
longer than I thought it was,
maybe slightly horsey,
curving gently out.
But I’d never want to get it broken.
I’d never get it done.

Toby Litt-Part 2.

April 18, 2007

Dear Reader,

Cast your mind back a few months. Do you remember the Toby Litt saga?

Brief recap: Toby Litt sends me an email. He’s asking me to be his Bebo Friend. Bebo is the site that alerts you to the birthdays of friends, giving you the chance to purchase appropriate E-cards. I am sent into a joyful tailspin of uncertainty. The result of this joyful angst becomes the Muttering Lydia blog post “Does Toby Litt want me for a Friend”.

Now…earlier today, I was just looking through my blog stats and discovered an unusual referrer. I clicked on them to see who they were-and THIS is what I found…read through the author profile…I’m the fluffy bit they end on.

The internet is a scary place.

Incidentally…though ultimately I never got round to accepting Mr Litt’s offer of Bebo, I did agree to be his Myspace friend. Not that that makes me look in any way well connected. I could very easily also have Nicole Kidman and Doctor Who, as close and personal.

Still, just in case…Toby – are you reading this? Toby?….Nicole?...Doctor…?

Poorly Girl

April 18, 2007

Those of you following my Myspace Twitter, will know that I’m currently ill. It has it’s benefits. I get to write poetry in nightwear. Very slowly. Of course it has its lesser benefits. Coughing up ‘small quantities of phlegm, roughly approximate to a half teaspoon’ (my doctors analysis..I saw a med student..she was very thorough;)

Anyway, there’s a point to this shameless sympathy seeking. I’m meant to be running a poetry workshop this afternoon (Leicester’s Richard Attenborough Centre) would anyone be interested in any kind of heroic stepping in to cover it?

I’m thinking mainly of suspects already known to me – but that my man flu is making me too exhausted to contact individually. However, don’t let that stop you if you’re over from America, facilitate poetry (makes it sound so grand doesn’t it?;) and are at a loose end….;)

Let me know!

xxxxxxx

New Draft

April 17, 2007

Hmmm…seems that last ‘fragment’ post ended up containing nearly enough to be the whole thing. This is the fresh version of it-I’ll carry on tweeking it in this post, so I don’t take out anything from the last I might need later…

I don’t want fame
impossible to say and not sound false
but I never did and just as well,
I don’t expect
you’ll know too much about me now.
Doesn’t matter-never wanted fame;
fame was never what we
ever cared about. We wanted-
justice.

In the eyes of God all men are equal.
Ha – all men, not
all wo-men
and not jews
and not blacks.
We knew a bit about oppression,
we knew a bit about
second. So, no –
fame? it never really
ever had a chance. We wanted-
freedom.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Must slow down. My name-
is Elizabeth,
Elizabeth Heyrick,
wife of John, John
who never did a great deal
worthy of distinction –

dead now.
He was old and I was young –
heart attack and me at only
26-but when he went
he let me go –
like a dove


Dear John,

It’s Elizabeth, your little Dove,
John, I’m dead now,
but thought I’d write and tell you
what’s been going on.

Hello – pleased to meet you.
My name,
is Elizabeth-
Elizabeth Heyrick-wife of John
born in Leicester, 1769.
You won’t know me
Don’t be embarrassed,
we’ve never met-
you might know William though –
William Wilberforce?-
yes?

William Wilberforce.
1769-1833.
Politician,
philanthropist.
Leader of the
parliamentary campaign
against the trade in slaves-

William hated me. You see,
after my good husband’s death
(god rest his soul)
I began to get
much more involved
in all those manly things
like politics and public life-
the immediate end to slavery,
was one if my major fights.

Heyrick believed that women
were especially qualified
‘to plead
for the oppressed’

Well I rather think I did-
I guess I lacked a little patience
when it came to
woman being raped,
men in chains and
babies being sold
like they were slabs of meat.

I wanted it all to stop
immediately

William-
he wanted to take things
much more slowly.
Just the trade in slaves,
for now. But he
didn’t get the urgency. He’d
never been forced
to sit in church
with his head down.
Forced to marry a man
twice, thrice,
four times old.
He never knew,
what it was like
not to have the vote.

*****
In the early 1820’s
Heyrick shocked those around her
By openly sympathizing
with the West Indies

slave revolts

and I’ll tell you something else I did.
Back home in Leicester
I went door to door
calling for a boycott
on slave grown sugar-

and I mobilized the woman-
the ones in the kitchens
buying the sugar
to fold in the puddings,
to stir in their husbands tea-

And they understood.
And they stopped buying it.

Are you listening to me?
I know I’m probably going on a bit
but I’ve been so cold
for quite some time…

Elizabeth Heyrick,
helped to form
the Birmingham Ladies’ Society
for the Relief of Negro Slaves.
The group would subsequently change its name
to the Female Society for Birmingham.

John,
when all was said and done
I did miss you-
it’s just,
for the first time
in nearly 30 years
I finally felt free.

In 1824
Elizabeth Heyrick
published her seminal work
Immediate not Gradual Abolition

It was in stark contrast
to the gradualistic position
of the mainstream society.

William
Do you remember what you did?
you stopped your men
from coming to speak
at any of our meetings

William,
do you remember?
You tried to block the
distribution
of my pamphlet.

What were your words..?

“for woman to meet,
to publish,
to go from house to house
stirring up petitions..
these appear to me
to be proceedings
entirely unsuitable
to the female disposition.”

William-

when it came to woman
you really didn’t get us-
did you?

In 1830
Elizabeth Heyrick submitted a motion
to the National Conference of Wilberforce’s Society
She called for it to demand
a direct end to slavery.

Dear John,
we begged and we pleaded
we used all our female ways-
but when they didn’t work
we pointed to the money.

Heyrick’s network was the 5th largest donor
to Willberforce’s Party

and when our 73 different cells
threatened to withdraw that funding-
William Wilberforce, had to take us
much more seriously.

In a time of male dominance,
Elizabeth Heyrick succeeded
in assuring the abolition of slavery.

But I never lived to see it.
the bill we pushed was passed
in 1833 – I died
in 31 –
just too early.

John,
I remember you-
but even back in Leicester
very few remember me

Hello out there-
had any of you even
heard of me..?

Google me.
Go on, Google me:
2 silhouettes,
4 photos of my pamphlet
and more pictures of Wilberforce
than you’ll find of me.

A woman is a woman is a woman
and no one even thought
to keep a drawing.

Still-
I never wanted fame.
We wanted Justice
We wanted Freedom
We wanted liberation.

And here we are
you and me-
free at last to speak

It’s not the end
but we’ve made a start…

-haven’t we?

Fragment 1

April 17, 2007

My name,
is Elizabeth-
Elizabeth Heyrick, wife of John,
Born in Leicester, 1769.
You won’t know me
Don’t be embarrassed,
we’ve never met-
you might know William though –
William Wilberforce?-
yes?

William Wilberforce.
1769-1833.
Politician,
philanthropist.
Leader of the
parliamentary campaign
against the trade in slaves-

William hated me. You see,
after my good husband’s death
(god rest his soul)
I began to get
much more involved
in all those
mannly things
like politics and public life-
the immediate end to slavery,
was one if my major fights.

Heyrick believed that women
were especially qualified
‘to plead

for the oppressed’

Well I rather think I did-
I guess I lacked a little patience
when it came to
female slaves being raped,
men in chains
and babies being sold
like slabs of meat.

I wanted it all to stop
immediately.

William-
whose official society
was boys only-he
wanted to take things
much more slowly.
Just the trade in slaves,
for now. ButHe
didn’t get the urgency.he’d
never been forced
to sit in church
with his head down.
Forced to marry a man
twice, thrice,
four times old.
he never knew,
what it was like
not to have the vote.

*****
In the early 1820’s
Heyrick shocked those around her
By openly sympathizing
with the West Indian
slave revolts

and I’ll tell you something else I did
Back home in Leicester
I went door to door
calling for a boycott
on slave grown sugar-

and I mobilized the woman-
the ones in the kitchens
buying the sugar
to fold in the puddings
to stir in their husbands tea

And they understood.
And they stopped buying it.

Elizabeth Heyrick,
helped to form
the Birmingham Ladies’ Society
for the Relief of Negro Slaves.
The group would subsequently change its name
to the Female Society for Birmingham.


John,

when all was said and done
I did miss you-
it’s just,
for the first time
in nearly 30 years
I finally felt free.

In 1824
Elizabeth Heyrick
published her seminal work
Immediate not Gradual Abolition
It was in stark contrast
to the gradulistic stance

of the mainstream society

William-
Do you remember what you did?
you stopped your men
from coming to speak
at any of our meetings

William,
do you remember?
You tried to block the
distribution
of my pamphlet.

What were your words..?

“for woman to meet,
to publish,
to go from house to house
stirring up petitions..
these appear to me
to be proceedings
entirely unsuitable
to the female disposition.”

William-

when it came to woman
you really didn’t get us-
did you?

in 1830
Elizabeth Heyrick submitted a motion
to the National Conference of Wilberforce’s Society
She called for it to demand
a direct end to slavery.

Dear John,
we begged and we pleaded
we used all our female ways
all our feminine wiles-
but when they didn’t work
we pointed to the money.

Heyrick’s network was the 5th largest donor
to Williams Party

and when our 73 different cells
of Women Against Slavery
all threatened to withdraw that funding-
William Wilberforce, began to take us
much more seriously.

*********

In America,
Elizabeth Heyrick
Is sometimes remembered
as the first one to speak out
in favour of abolition..

Google me.
Go on, Google me:
2 siloettes,
4 photos of my pamphlet
and more pictures of Wilberforce
than you’ll find of me.

You won’t find my painting
Hanging in the British Library

I never wanted fame
but still, it’s strange
isn’t it?

*****

In a time of male dominance,
Elizabeth Heyrick
endeavored and succeeded
in assuring the abolition of slavery.

I never lived to see it.
the bill we pushed was passed
in 1833. I died
in 1831-
just too early.

Lovely Pam

April 16, 2007

Lovely Pam (as she is officially known, to at least 2 other people that I am aware of ) has been giving me some great advise regarding my Lizzy poem. At heart, I am a reasonably lazy person, so at first the prospect of working the piece further didn’t fill me with a great deal of Sunny D..but you know, good advise is very hard to come by and Pam knows her stuff.

I use to know someone called Pam (not this Pam ) that I had great respect for (though, obviously, I also have a great deal of respect for this Pam too) (as I do for many people, so don’t go feeling excluded;). Anyway, this other Pam – I was fond of calling her Auntie Pam, or Pammy. Not to her face though-as she also scared me a little. I will try very hard not to call this Pam, Pammy.

Anyway, there is a point to this post…I’ve decided the best way to ease myself into any potential redraft is going to be a piecemeal one. What I mean is, I’m going to try and organise Lizzy’s thoughts in blog posts as they occur, that way I won’t lose them. You don’t even want think about how disorganised my Word docs are getting (loads of copies of the same sections, historical information, cut and pasted from Google, more cut and pasted stuff…) – they’re a nightmare.

So, here’s something-addressing the audiance (as Pam has very sensibly suggested). I’d wanted to mention it before, but so far haven’t…

You know – in America
I’m remembered
as the first one to speak out
for abolitionism- but I –

don’t want fame and-
don’t get me wrong,
this is hardly that. Nowadays,
you be hard pressed
to even find my picture up-

Google me.
Go on, Google me:
2 siloettes, 4 photos of my pamphlet
and more pictures of Wilberforce
than you’ll find of me.

I don’t want fame
but that’s not the point-
is it?
Not really.