Jess (2)

July 30, 2007

Not sure if this piece is going to work. It’s meant to be another monologue, this time, a modern da reworking of the ressurection story-with Jesus as a spurned woman. It’s only the second draft, but it definately needs something more if it’s going to worth it. I
was half thinking interspersing with sections of the bible – but that seems a bit too Lizzie Heyrick- must be another way round it. I do, of course, stand to receive accusations of blasphamy. The ending is also, I think a bit glib.

If anyone has time to look at this and give constructive crit, it would be appreciated….

The day he left I stayed in bed for 2 whole days.
For the first 4 hours – I did not move.
I stayed on my side beneath the duvet
and listened to the thud as the door to the flat
banged repeatedly, against itself – that day,
it was unseasonably breezy for summer.

I slept for a couple of hours-
and the wood on the latch was a lullaby…
but when I woke it was dark
and the thumping was loud
and I thought that he might have returned –
but he hadn’t. And I think I must have cried

for hours…but I really can’t remember
how long it went on; it was cold,
my skin was hot, my face was wet,
I could not breathe for the mucus in my throat,
and my bed – had stuck to my skin
like a death shroud. Of course,

I did not sleep that night.
I watched the light from late day grey
to midnight black, I hugged a sack
like pillow – and recalled how I thought it a cleche.
And on the morning of the second day-
I wondered if I’d been forsaken.

I think it was around about then that I gave him up.
I remember the moment: it was like-
a wish bone crushed, a synapse cracked,
a fine skin of bright white milk
split like blood – Trust, is a fragile thing
and that was the moment that I think I stopped.

I stopped waiting. I got up – wiped the
dry black stains beneath my eyes
on wads of snowy cloth. I made myself a cup
of tea – read a little in my head
soothed my mind with the T.V guide,
distraction like a salve, for love and

all day I tidied up. I filed away his things,
His books of words, his clothes his
frames of images. I took them in my arms
and calmly let them drift – that night
I slept like one who’d never slept before
I slept right through to a Sunday morning

sun filled room of new light –
and as I opened up my eyes
sunlight streaming through the blinds
I remember thinking – this
is what it means to be reborn.
I wasn’t expecting the knock at the door.

A sudden gust of wind
that seemed to cause the door to break its back –
proved in fact to be my love –
standing in the hallway like a hero –
returning from a war
and expecting to be thanked.

He seemed surprised
when I told him to pack. Even now,
I can remember his chest –
bunched like a sackful of apples
heaving impatient and seething with
frost – Love,

I said, it should not hurt-
and it’s not about sacrifice
and it’s not about loss.
I’ve never liked tests.
and I’ve never liked bluff
and I really,
I told him believed –
that what fails to kill you
can only make you strong.

When he finally left,
I broke my fast on a plate of bread
and a cup of wine.
I’ve never liked sardines.

I’m in France…

July 21, 2007

Damo’s just kicked me out of bed. I’d been dreaming of David Bowie. He’d just come round for Christmas. He’d brought his two black labradors. They were greying around the ears and huge. David was just needing to nip down the post office before settling in for the day. I can’t really explain why the post office was open on Christmas Day. Anyway. Damo completely destroyed it. We leave for France in an hour or so and he has it in his head that we both need to be up for 8.30. I’ll just say that again. Eight Thirty. I miss David. I miss his startlingly real dogs. Ahh. David.

So, we leave for France in half an hour.  This is just a spot of binge blogging. There’s no internet where we’re going. I will miss you blog. Quick round up: everything is done…The big arty job interview, the museum workshops, the Leicester Slam, the next 5 months of acts for WORD, The Freedom Showcase…all done! I’m away for a week, then I start the new job, 2.5days a week, on the Monday. Just as a side note.

If you happen to be a new visiter to this site, just bear in mind that everythig on here is new. That includes the last post. As a first draft it has a lot more work to be done to it-but at least I’m writing again after Freedom:)

Jess

July 20, 2007

The day he left I stayed in bed for 2 whole days.
For the first 4hrs – I did not move.
I stayed on my side beneath the duvet
and listened to the thud as the door to the flat
banged repeatedly, against itself. That day –
it was unseasonably breezy for summer.

I slept for a couple of hours-
and the wood on the latch was a lullaby,
but when I woke it was dark
and the thumping was loud
and I thought that he might have returned –
but he hadn’t. And I think –

I must have cried for hours,
but I really can’t remember how long it went on.
It was cold – my skin was hot, my face was wet,
I could not breathe for the mucus in my throat,
and my bed -had stuck to my skin
like a death shroud. Of course-

I did not sleep that night.
I watched the light from late day grey
to midnight black. I hugged a sack
like pillow – and recalled how I thought it a cleche
and on the morning – of the second day,
I wondered if I’d been forsaken.

It was around about then that I gave him up.
I remember the moment. It was like
a synapse crushed – a wish bone cracked –
a fine skin of bright white milk
split like blood. So I wasn’t expecting it –
but on the Sunday morning – he came back.

A sudden gust of wind
that seemed to cause the door to break its back –
proved in fact to be my love –
standing in the hallway like a hero –
returning from a war
and expecting to be thanked.

He seemed surprised
when I told him to pack. Even now,
I can remember his back –
bunched like a sackful of apples
heaving impatient and seething with
frost – Love,

I said, it should not hurt-
and it’s not about sacrifice
and it’s not about loss.
I’ve never liked tests.
and I’ve never liked bluff
and I really,
I told him believed –

that what fails to kill you
can only make you strong.

When he finally left,
I broke my fast on a plate of bread
and a cup of wine.
I’ve never liked sardines.

Heyrick Hell

July 16, 2007

Ok, so I’m being melodramatic. Not exactly hell, but definitely, at least, mildly difficult. There’s just not enough time left in the run up. I’m working through some some changes in emphasis to how I’m playing her – but they’re not quite hard wired enough to feel tight. Maybe I’m having a bit of  a crisis of confidence too. Silly really.

Me and the film maker went to film the first two verses yesterday. We ended up at the rambling old house of my oldest friend – literally, Cecelia Geary: 90. I sat in her garden, on a wobbly stone seat, surrounded by a wooden arbour. Tom, looped an assortment of cables around an assortment of trees. I made like Elizabeth Heyrick. In an ideal world I think I’d actually like to re shoot. The inflection to this bit had changed as of the night before, so I’m not sure it appears as naturally as I’d like. I’d also like to wear different jewellery on the night-which would mean having to re shoot. Hmm. Not sure the production team will go for this though…

How do you say ‘Heyrick’ anyway? If I’m honest this has started to bother me. Right from the off, I’ve been saying it: HERRICK … but a small doubt says it’s actually HAY-RICK. This would not work as well in the piece. Hmmm. What do you out there think?

There should be a porch. An open
cube of wooden boards, raised by stairs
above a prairie, maybe farmlands, rolling.

The sky, which is still ink pot blue,
the blue of a navy uniform, the blue
of night – trying to change it’s mind

but too far gone to make it-the sky
should have some paleness shining,
shouldn’t be this early. There should be

a cat on my lap or an dog smelling rain
there should be candles – maybe tealights-
maybe storm lamps swinging on an awning.

There should be tea cups cradled
and a chair that rocks
and a shawl.

There should be more –
than this.
But this is what I’ve got.

Blog-sick

July 8, 2007

Language is funny isn’t it? It’s governed by rules – but then, suddenly those rules can change. It’s like loads of different people have been making up their own sets of official rules and spreading them around without bothering to check whether they’re in conflict with each others.

Take double barrelled terms like Car-sick/sea-sick/travel-sick…the sick after the subject refers to the thing you’re sick of-the thing that makes you ill-that you need to avoid. So home-sick…that should be the same deal-your home makes you sick-you need to get away from it…but it doesn’t work like that. In the case of homesick-it’s the lack that makes you sick – absence not the presence.

So, take a made up term like ‘blog-sick’ and it can go either way. Blogsick could mean I was sick of my blog-or it could mean that I was desperately missing it. Confusing eh? In this case, it means the latter.

I miss my blog. I miss having somewhere safe and lovely and mine to write in. I know my wordpress blog is public-but it feels private-it feels quiet and hidden and safe enough to speak frankishly in. And of course, even when I remember that it’s NOT private-that’s a good thing too-because at least with this kind of blog, I know people are actually reading what I write-I’m not alone like a typewriting primate in space-I’m personally connected into my real networks-and to other people, whose writing I also actually read.

MYspace has come between me and my wordpress. I’ve become so seduced by it’s new networky charms, it’s flashing slide shows and promise of instant gratification, I’ve barely even stopped by here recently-and now I’m blogsick for it. I miss this blog-I miss the other people’s blogs that I read through it. I need to wean myself off Myspace and back on to WordPress. Fingers crossed that I’m not too far gone…

So, the other day I dragged our poor, highly skilled film maker/production designer off to find a dress. Not just any old dress mind- THE dress – for Lizzy Heyrick to wear at the Freedom Showcase.

In retrospect, yes, I can now see what a shameful waste of resources this was. You’d have thought after 28 years I’d have had more than enough experience of shopping for clothing. But, y’know, just thought – two heads one, an all that…poor man.

Needless to say the costume shop I dragged him to was wildly inappropriate. Naturally we found nothing suitable, but the experience was still an interesting one.

The two, wildly implausible looking women did not immediately endear themselves to me. The slightly madder of the two (high theatre look with a tape measure looped around her neck) sized me up thus:

‘hmm..broad chest, long body, short legs’

..you know, I wouldn’t have put it quite like that – and I’d like at this point to make clear that I was wearing hipsters. I DON’T HAVE SHORT LEGS! It was just the angle…and the cut…hmph;/

Anyway, the things they found were quite hideous. too short to be long, too long to be short, scratchy, starchy, velvet dresses…or things bursting with pink underlayed lace and ridiculously high waisted…obviously, to compensate for my apparently, ludicrously long body.

It is perhaps a mark of the poor designer’s horror at his ‘shopping for dresses’ situation, that he seemed quite positive about most of them. When I declared that I would not be reserving any and instead wanted to leave and go look in Debenhams (3 hrs left to late night shopping!;) he may have actually blanched.

Don’t worry I let him and his baby go home.

I did however find the dress. Tucked away in a department store, it’s now one of the few things I own, not acquired from a thrift shop. It’s amazing. It’s long and black and simple and elegant and makes a swishy noise when I walk and I never want to take it off. I want to sit and watch crap TV in it and go down the shops in it and out on the town and off on my bike and maybe even to work-all wearing this amazing thing. But I still recognise that that would be silly. It’s hanging up in my bedroom at the moment. I think it may be talking to me in my sleep….

Chicken Ship

July 1, 2007

Once,
Long ago,
in a place
far, far away from here
I knew this girl-
who tried to
make a break for freedom-
by making herself small,
thin, inconsequential-
so tiny she’d be able
to slip through nets
and weave escape
like tuna.

That was the idea.

This girl,
she made her body narrow-
like a ship of sticks
and pitched herself
into the mint green water.
She set her head against the wind
and let her dry hair lift.
she folded up
her spindly arms,
her legs, her feet
like broken chicken wings,
but she forgot –

chicken cannot fly.
and chicken do not swim.

This girl she sank.
Misplaced maps
of calorie counters
and scales for weighing fish,
pills for di-eting
floating up like flotsam,
like the debris
from a wreckage.

This girl – sail like skin
stretched tight across
her skull and
crossed bones-
cracked and bleeding
like a crushed stone,
reeling from the impact-
belatedly
– this girl she got to thinking:

maybe this was not the way
to getting free.