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November 9, 2008

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Me Monologue (2)

September 11, 2008

Slightly revised draft….

My name is Lydia. It was decided on by my father, who had been going through a bible bashing phase at the time. He subsequently converted to Judaism, then Buddhism, but by then it was too late.

I feel safe sitting in my mother’s living room, drinking tea that she had made and watching her, watching Coronation Street. My mother is addicted to soap operas. If she goes away on holiday she records them, then watches them back in bed. She can watch up to ten episodes in succession. She is capable of staying up till two or three in the morning doing this.

When I turned 28, I wondered what I’d do when I grew up. I wondered aloud to my mother and she told me that I had better decide soon before it was too late.

Here are two things I know about myself:

1. I have excessively flexible fingers.
2. My favourite fruit is the lychee.

Together, these facts might mean that I would be ideally suited to a career in fruit picking – each digit curling limberly and reaching upwards towards the best specimens. Fruit growers – from England to Indonesia – might ask for me specifically – and by name.

Lydia, was once the name of an entire country, known for its two rich kings, Midas and Croesus. Lydia was also a Christian woman who sold purple fabric. There have been many famous Lydia’s, including: Lydia Taft, the first female voter in American history and Lydia Lili’uokalani, the last reigning monarch of Hawaii. Lydia Sigourney was a famous poet. There has never been a famous poet called Lydia Towsey. Lydia means noble in Greek and chaos in Hebrew. I met my first other Lydia 2 years ago. She was nothing like me, but her father had also been a Christian.


I wish – I could know something about you. Just something small – something sharp and bright – something that maybe, nobody else in the world would know. Like…

How old were you you when you had your first orgasm? Was it good? Did you feel like you were dying until you realised what was really going on? Or was it different for you? What was it like?

Where did you go on your first ever holiday? If you can, picture it in your head. Was there sand? Were there birds circling? Was the sky like a slate or like a clear blue lagoon? Can you remember – or are there only fragments? I can remember my mother’s swimming costume, the way it tied around her neck. It was navy with thin white stripes that ran diagonally. Try and think back. What can you see? Can you see it? Can you remember?
What was your first soft toy called? What did you want to be when you grew up? What’s the longest that your hair has ever been? Can you use your hand, right now, to indicate the point on your body? Look around you, see how far our hair has reached.

What would you do if you could do anything? Put your hand up if you’d fly. Put your hand up if you’d be able to swim underwater without needing to breath. Put your hand up if you’d be able to solve all the cross word puzzles in the world, just by looking at them. Put your hand up if I haven’t really said what you’d do. If the answer, would just be – too private.

None of this matters, but all of this matters. The answers to these questions are our answers, your answers, tonight, in this room – and the air is full of them like migrating birds. Can you feel them as you breath in? The weight of them? Of all our silent thoughts? Can you sense your own? Can you draw them back, lay them down, fold them up and into your quiet places, where they’ll be safe again – where they’ll be your own again, but different, because now you’ve let them out, now you’ve let them fly, now you’ve let them breathe, breathe – in, out, in, out, in, out, in….

The tide was a roll of feathers
and the beach was a sea of coins
and the sea was a plate of dark blue silk
and the sky was an orange robe.

The moon was the glow of a lighthouse
the rocks were singing girls
the tower was a rod of lightening
the lightening was an undone pearl

The pearl was stone in a scallop
and the scallop was a spade in the sand
and the sand was a wish for the water
and the water was planned.

The plan was for waves full of dreaming
the dreaming was bronze like a tan
the tan was sprayed onto bodies
the bodies were sculptures on towels.

Take me to the beach in the winter
Take me to the beach in the spring
Pull me through the sea in the summer
Let me rest in it.

First Pet

July 30, 2008

When I was nine
I wanted a dog,

but I got a budgerigar.

It was blue and small
and didn’t talk

but I tried to make the best of it.

First, I tried to take my budgie for a walk.
I made a small lead, with a loop for it’s beak

but my budgie wouldn’t pay no heed.

Next, I took him to the park –
but my budgie wouldn’t fetch or bark.

I tried to feed my budgie lamb,
Winalot – out of a can –

but it was useless.

My budgie wouldn’t budge
my budgerigar was budgie-stant.

And so we took each other home
agreed to talk no more of bones –

we got on much better
after that.

Budgie-Dog (kids gig)

July 30, 2008

When I was nine
I wanted a dog,

but I got a budgerigar

It was blue and small
and didn’t talk
but I tried to make
the best of it all.

First, I tried to take my budgie for a walk.
I made a small lead, with a loop for it’s beak

but my budgie wouldn’t pay no heed.

Next, I took him to the park
and asked if he would fetch a ball,

but my budgerigar
just pecked the grass.

I tried to feed my budgie bones,
Winalot, and biscuit bows-

but nothing like that ever worked

Eventually I gave it up –
bought a mirror for his cage
a perch, a feeder and some games

and it was only then and at that point
my budgie barked

and wagged his tail.

This Cloak
is a cloak of invisibility.
When I put it on
no one can see me.

I won’t put it on now
because I don’t want to scare you
I’d dissapear into air
and no one would believe you

But this cloak
is a cloak
of invisibility

Look If I put it on my arm
you can’t see it anymore

If I put it on my head
you can’t see my face to talk

This cloak
is a cloak
of invisibility

But ok
I’ll tell you what I’ll do
I’ll put it on and tell it not
to make me go invisible.

Bad Days

July 2, 2008

Don’t tell me that you’ve not
had days like these,

when sun’s come up
and you’ve been

dead in blankets,
breathing dark

as sky’s blue,
shines a fist of morning hours.

Don’t tell me that you’ve never felt
your insides twist like plastic bags

your heart hammer
in its rags, your breath thicken.

Don’t tell me that the world is safe
that nothing bad will ever happen,

no ones ever left you,
that you’ve never felt

your centre crack, but –
don’t tell me that there aren’t days

to lift up in like open parks.

Where sun hangs
a golden charm – and you

won’t feel it on your skin.
Don’t tell me that sometimes

you won’t hear beats,
or cups of tea or soft sheets and

people that you love
who love you back.

Don’t tell that there’s no point.
Or tell me that –

but don’t tell it me forever.

On Route

July 2, 2008

These photos
were taken by Red Riding
on her way across the forest –

they start in summer,

(lizard green and yellow
like a salamander’s gullet)

end in Jan,

(bright teeth, lodged against the
black mouths of curved paths.)

You can’t see the girl
in any of them.
She was behind the lense.

There’s one –
that’s opened up a bowl
of tangled roots.

She took it as the wolf
had got her by the throat.

But can you see the shadow in the last?

It’s a photograph
of the blossom scattered ground –
and the detail is lost in the twigs,

but there she is –

she’s a dark shape
picking the fur
from off his skin –

sewing it in-
to a bloody coat.


June 29, 2008

She eased herself into the chair
like it was the palm of a giant
and she was the drawing
of a china doll. Days like this
they left her feeling old
but like a child and then
she’d think of school:
sharp bells – pulling into rooms,
down corridors, up stairs,
the bell for fire, that also meant
the massed crush of blue clothes,
her place in lines of classroom groans,
only leaving more exposed,
the beating bells
of inward breaths,
raised lungs,
straight chests. The bell
ringing in the morning,
too early for safe in the world.
She always thought the bells would stop
She should have known
She should have heard them
ringing then.

Child Escaping

June 28, 2008

Mostly I’m fine. But then
someone says your name,
asks me how I am, without you,
in the flat – and I break as easy
as hard chalk
dropped on flagstones,
weakened glass, pressed.

Last night, I met a guy – tight curls
like massed particles of sleek darkness-
who talked about a French theory
for being in the world where
places that are new
may unfold like open grass,
where one may walk easy,
straight backed, free from fear
and with one’s inner child –
wide eyed and ever curious,
never anxious, hopeful in the world.

But what if
the child you used to be
was never like that?

What if
you closed them in a room,
because you had no choice?