Thursday, December 6
I'm too wary about this to leave it up for long, for fear of people reading it and making assumptions. But I would like to hear any reactions/ comments you might have; else I'll send it to a few poetry friends who live a safe enough distance away.
Wednesday, December 5
Poetry news? some useful comments off a poetry mag ed (nice mental kick in the right direction), and some possible work experience poetry-wise (I heart, heart poetry, and would especially love to do something like this. Let's hope my not drinking coffee/ tea personally won't mean my skills at making it are crap; I could always try giving them hot chocolate... but, in all seriousness, I would love to go away and just be surrounded mainly by poetry-ness. It sounds most appealing.) Oh, and my French seems to be getting better. Normal radio-speak is comprehendable. Yipeeeee...
(And guess what? I spy an exhibition of Blake's artwork coming up North soon - shall be going, at least once, for sure!)
Monday, December 3
Our ideas of masculinity and femininity seem often so confined, so limited that it must be impossible for us to do our own identities and others' any good. How does it help to define a woman as one who is less sporty/ quiter/ less aggresive/ more passive/ more 'bitchy', or more 'chatty'? Or to define a 'man' as protective, strong, sporty, aggresive? None of these things help us, yet we resort to them, right from when a new child is born, and we choose colours as well as labels. Is is actually possible to move away from this? To what extent can we resist the ideas we're handed down? These are things I'm trying, bit by bit, to work out, and things I'm sure will keep me occupied for a long time.
Saturday, December 1
Hmm... I've had a recent reading binge. Like, staying up till the early hours, addicted. Most recently, I reread the end of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, read some poems, and then a bit more of The Great Gatsby, which I've been wanting, really wanting to read, but not feeling in the mood. Considering it was one of two books given on loan by someone whose opinion I do generally think is rather on point... to be continued...
Sunday, November 18
Spark Notes fails to account for the importance to the structure of Hard Times’ class archetypes of Gradgrind finally learning the necessity of the 'heart', and its inclusion of 'fancy', as opposed to an industrialist society focused merely on the tagline 'fact, fact, fact', where Utilitarianism is taken out of the initial suggestion and used instead for selfish self-advancement, regardless of the pain of the 'hands', or the lack of 'love' which only Sissy and her circus family (a marginalised part of society) show from their very introduction. A warning, certainly: let us not rely upon Spark Notes’ oversights. (Far too dull, anyway, for essay fodder!)
Do not read Spark Notes... make your own notes, or read some decent criticism of the text...
Wednesday, November 14
Should I get some more reading and thinking done, I would like to enter this. [literary quote] + 'discuss' = fantastic derailing of AS level work, opportunity to take the essay where you want.
What I find most difficult, typically, is working out exactly where that is: it reminds me of the struggle to decide GCSE and AS level subjects; you don't want to narrow, and enjoy a lot, so which do you plump for? I suppose I can always write more essays, solely for me, but this one seems like a particularly good idea. Victorian poetry, too, is something I've been meaning to look at more. Plus, there's money up for grabs. Why ever not?!
Wednesday, November 7
People would inevitably reply with saying how there are things more important, with a wise look intact; how I shouldn’t let me get it down (I’m not, but it does piss me off; there’s a difference, which a lot of people don’t seem to see…); how he can buy a new one if he really wants, and if he doesn’t buy a new one, then hey, he doesn’t really want a new one. I just don’t understand the motivation. Were I to steal (not that I would), but hypothetically, I would at least try ensure it was off someone who wouldn’t be too affected, who wouldn’t feel my tugging their bike away, who wouldn’t sit wondering where it’s now being sold off to.
Plus, I know I’d be angry if my bike was nicked: I like to ride my bike, like to ride my bicycle… (smile?)
Sunday, October 28
Room repainted = cool, looks clean, is cleaner, even if the colours aren't changed. (Hadn't made up my mind.)
PC = photos won't upload, apparently 'not enough space', which is utter CRAP. Some yummy program which I used for editing photos and art etc has been taken off and put on someone else's laptop instead, so I can't even edit or lighten any of the wonderful photos I have from France (I have a lot.) Plus, I've an inept version of word which is really old merely because it has the ability to use accents, whereas the more modern version makes it more difficult to type with accents (???)... Yehhh...
Desk = complete tip. Piles of work/ paper/ books/ notes were left around room and have now been stacked haphazardly on my desk, in no sort of order. Okay, my room is usually a mess, I admit - but it is an ORGANISED mess - I know where to find my stuff. Now it is a mess where I cannot find my books, college work, poems, or much else.
I haven't painted, collaged, made big art for months, played music, or gone for a run - I miss it. I think it is time.
The happy things: visiting a French castle, Paris (despite strikes, the metro is still better than the tube), French chocolate, that it is easy to listen to French radio now, far easier than it was, and that I can still understand German, even though I hadn't listened to it for a while. Plus new poems. Oh, and knitting; I'm making a scarf.
This should probably be written in my little black muji book, instead.
Sunday, September 30
Some learning to drive stuff/ theory. Not because I'm overly enthused about the actual reading of the book, more the actual driving and... FREEDOM. Finalement? peut-etre?
(I thought of lots of other books last night when I'd read some poems, but now my memory seems to not be working too fast.)
'Crush' - poems by Richard Siken. Everyone should have this book, as well as The Catcher in The Rye. I'm borrowing the book off a friend but found myself making slight pencil marks on it last night, and concluded that I need my own copy. Actual need.
Some kind of tourbook/ alternative tourbook on Berlin. (Albeit in advance, as this is not actualy planned, although it is planned in my mind.)
'To The Lighthouse' - Woolf. Again, own copy needed.
'Some German Poetry anthology' (this is not the title.) which I saw in the big W, which also has fabby English translations which seemed quite good. And it is in nice hardbook. Which is always a delighful surprise, even if a planned on surprise. (Does that make sense?)
'Ariel' - Plath. Siken is compared with her book Ariel; therefore it is to be read.
I am now going to give you some delightful Siken tidbits, b-b-because I am so lovely. and appreciate what it is to be entertained and delighted by poetry. Of course. And because it is almost edible.
Stop scratching whatever itch you have, and please enjoy.
... Your name like
a song I sing to myself, your name like a box
where I keep my love, your name like a nest
in the tree of love, your name like a boat in the
sea of love -- O now we're in the sea of love!
Your name like detergent in the washing machine...
It's a bed of straw, darling. It sure as shit is.
...and here is the centre
of me, which is a lake, which is a well that we
can drink from, but I can't go through with it.
I just don't want to die anymore.
this is all from 'Saying your names', which was possibly my favourite poem out of the ones I read last night.
Is it really that necessary to be bored once you've learnt to appreciate not being bored? I already appreciate not being bored, not being bored = more fun, happier, all round life is better... yet apparently I need to learn the value of being bored a bit more. Bullshit, me concurs.
I'd like to shove boredom in a box, parcel it very tightly, and give it to them to eat.
Saturday, September 29
bit of a what?
work-addict? feminist? pendant? bitch? (-who isn't?) lazy person? tired person? sleep-deprived person? geek?
Please wait - I'm not intending to describe myself. I'm really, really not, although I did find myself saying the last one today (& at the same time laughing)... the person pointed at me, smiled at her daughter, smiled at me, then said: 'don't you know? that's what a geek looks like'. I pointed to the ueber cool specs. The woman smiled a bit of a bit more.
I'm not really trying to say anything; only that it occured to me how much we try to understate things - to ourself, and others. A bit of a geek? by most people's definitions, I'm the height of geek-ness and all it entails. What did you say you're a 'bit of' today? (Other than hot stuff, to yourself...?)
They deserve capitals, indeed they do. They deserve clapping and laughing and inward turning of the head and feet shuffling awkwardly and then some more laughing, and wanting to look at them and tell them how much their performance made you want to live. Sweeping statement, you may think? How can an hour and a bit stuck with four men and some other strangers and a friend in a room at the back of the exchange make you want to live? Make you physically jump? Easily, I tell thee. Oh-so-easily.
Number 1: these boys/ men/ male-species be poets. Yes, they write. They read. They rhyme, they laugh, they live.
That is all. Number 1. Top. The best for that time.
They write poems which make me despair and do all that face turning to the side scheebang, and also make me jump up and down in St Ann's square, full of possibility.
I ask you to go and see them, for your own sake. For your own stomach aching afterwards. Go and play along with their games. (Really, we actually played games. Spot the Ford Escort...)
It's generally under a tenner, and you even get a free CD, with some of their stuff, which includes a track called 'Embrace the Wank'. And who wouldn't want that?
PS: ever tried explaining why you like essay-writing? I tried; people didn't seem to get what the hell I was on about.
Monday, September 17
I have a new email (see profile) for writing-ness. Plain, simple; boring. Serves the function well.
I have been writing new stuff (eek, eek) as well as redrafting/ completely rehashing old things.
Does it sound so awful to have a poem split into three sections (without the purpose of designating voice/ speaker), where the 1st and 3rd are three sets of 'couplets', and the middle an uninterrupted sort of flurry? Flurry to mean fast-paced, lost-in-it (without abstraction, and hopefully without losing the potential reader) sort of thing.
I found Farley's 'Tramp In Flames' from down the side of my bed (?!) last night, and began reading. Wasn't sure what to make of some of it; take the last poem in the book, 'I Ran All the Way Home' - every single line (of a long poem) began with 'I remember'. Part of me got fed up, the other part of me thought how much it reminded me of a nursery rhyme, through variations on a repeated phrase. I liked it though, it made me question my ideas on what 'poetry' is, and whether that counted. One poem I really did enjoy was 'Night Swim', which reminded me of certain parts of Vikram Seth's 'An Equal Music', where he describes swimming in the lake early in the morning... The cover is also a little weird. Sort of grainy to touch. I suppose it's meant to be easier to hold. Anyway, it earnt some notes, some thinking, and some post-its.
It is currently about 8 degrees C here. I went out for a walk this evening wearing four layers round my torso: a tank top, a jumper, a thick jacket supposedly for the final layer, and a mac-ish coat. Also a silk scarf which, whilst looking nice, didn't really help. Plus some trousers, underwear, etc.
Sunday, September 16
Sunday, September 9
Saturday, September 8
Friday, September 7
Basically I am just lazy and do not update my links. Pardon me. (Those on the right I do tend to read quite regularly, when there is writing to be read; the thirty or so under 'blogs', I sometimes check, sometimes don't.)
Wednesday, September 5
without anywhere to go to in particular, with comfy shoes and clothes, maybe with a book or a camera or a doodlepad, with a dog (if you have one and like it), and maybe with no-one to meet (all depends who you'd be meeting, really...)
Free therapy... I'm surprised it isn't taken advantage of more... maybe doctors could prescribe it. Or people could just take it.
Saturday, August 25
It's a sensible, simple idea, isn't it? Who wants to be Miss, or Mrs, when males have the privilege of not having to disclose (or be asked to disclose!) their marital status?!
I am writing/ thinking about this this because I now realise that all my bank details, etc are under the title 'Miss'. Yeuch. Although considering there was a point when I thought 'Ms' meant that a woman was a lesbian (thankfully I'm more up-to-date on basic Feminist 'issues' now), perhaps it wasn't so peculiar that I must've always used Miss. Eurgh. Why did no-one educate me about this when I was younger?! Why was this missed off the school curriculum? (Yes, I DO believe it should be included.)
People worry about metre, rhyme, scansion, references, form, so many technicalities. They worry about not knowing much about them, or not knowing what they actually are, what they 'mean', or how they're defined. There's some kind of instinct with poetry, I think. And it's okay to leave the technicalities, just as much as it is to know a lot about them, to appreciate them, to be learned about them. Only it's not always needed, not if you're reading poetry in bed, a couple of poems a night, before you switch off the light. Why not concentrate on the poem, the sounds, the pleasure you can derive from it?
I'm going to just write, write, write, some sorts of questions or wonderings which I find myself asking about poems when I read them. No doubt you'll have your own, if you do read it.
- Does it make me laugh/ cry/ almost cry (ie. particular ear ache)/ uncomfortable?
- Does it linger in my mind, even when I try to push it to the back because it's making me uneasy, because it's taking up my concentration, making me lousy company? Does it take up even more space, demanding thought, demanding mental space when I try to ignore it? Does it refuse to be ignored?
- Do the sounds echo in my mind; the patterns, the variations allowing it to cement easily?
- Are the words, the punctuation, the language, exciting? Is the poem as a whole exciting?
- Am I compelled to return to it?
Sunday, August 19
The art stuff has been relegated to another, smaller shelf (and also tidied up; it is purely 'art stuff' there, atm), whereas I'm making room for more books, to put my shoes somewhere, to try and make sense of what I want to use, what I am going to use, and not just what is comforting to open the wardrobes and look at (besides the poems, and other things - flyers, etc - which I've stuck on the insides of the doors...) I've also concluded, quite happily, that it is time, and I am certain it is time, for quelque chose to be stacked away at the back of the wardrobe, or put in a plastic bag (maybe entitled, maybe not), and then lifted away into the loft.
Arranging is relaxing.
Friday, August 17
Probably the following:
- read less
- go out more
- be less pedantic/ annoyingly choosy/ awkward
- have less extremes of mood...
there is a catch, with that last one. With the elation, glee almost of literature, comes the apprehension of tipping over the edge, of dipping one's head too far into thought or pondering so that it never comes out quite the same again (they do change us, books, poems, stories; of course they do; even if we dislike them, even if we don't think much about them, they do nevertheless change us, somehow...), and perhaps we end up soaked too much.
But I am glad. So very, very, very glad, for being able to dissolve into someone else's world, much like Will into Lyra's.
PS recent enjoyment: listening out for when people say things, in the hope of provoking an outburst of reaction, and then reacting so fantastically calmly that they end up pissed off. Try it, go on...
Rereading, I realise I ought to qualify 'literature', oughtnt I? I'm not going to; at least, not today.
Thursday, August 16
Friday, August 10
- watching cold air coming in from the window to colliding with hot, showery steam
- eating the cake mix, raw egg included, rather than the final baked thing
- pulling grass up. (Hayfever can be ignored.)
- a nosebleed after a headache (the pressure goes, so it is relaxing to an extent, bar the health side-effects of lots of blood suddenly running out of my nose.)
- walking barefoot after a bikeride
- cycling very fast, or cycling very slow
- knowing exactly how low the trees hang and not getting scratched by them
- when strangers say hello, hi, goodevening, etc or even a simple smile (but only, only if it's obvious they actually want to do this.)
- sitting on the swings in playgrounds and kicking my feet up high
- pulling leaves of bushes, and petals off flowers, then portioning them (despite thinking flowers cut off are a bad idea because, essentially, they are dead things. Hypocritical? maybe.)
- doodling anything when I'm stressed
- folding paper, cutting paper into small bits, tearing paper. Paper, in general.
- finding random objects around (a book, a ring, a pair of lovely leather gloves...)
- walking too fast, too far, or both: either way, so that the muscles ache.
- the sound when you purse your lips and blow through them. (crap description...)
- spinning on office chairs, particularly in places like Ikea where there's lots of space.
- the thing where you hold someone else's hands and spin round crazily fast so that you end up fantastically dizzy (advisable to try this on grass, or some relatively soft surface, where there aren't any major rocks around. Unless, of course, you have intent of harming them. Generally I don't.)
- diving underwater, feeling the oxygen run out, and pushing it as far as possible.
Monday, August 6
I've been carrying a story for what seems like forever; in poems, sections of prose, cut out things, photographs, ideas, many walks and a lot of time spent cycling, in the bits I've picked out as with mixed salad, and have skewered, forked, prepared to exhaust; the characters are solidifying themselves, the traits, the sayings, their expressions stamping and refusing to move... it - everything, seemingly - has almost brewed, I think.
Wednesday, August 1
Friday, June 15
Were this blog anonymous, there would be far more spiel (is that the correct spelling? Is there even a correct spelling? I am too lazy to check at this very moment.)
Perhaps the wine will be some sort of thing to dull my 'argh'. I think it is mostly the idea of having nowhere to piss, having drank, which quite worries (read: terrifies) me. (Overly precious? I do wonder, too...) The moths, I can cope with; the crazed hayfever which is so inevitable I can drug myself up against.
I shall let you know...
(someone is trying to convince me. You're doing surprisingly well. Only because I trust you, though. Beware that depending upon the outcome, this could change... and don't say I never warned you, because I know you read this.)
I hope to be a convert. Then I can return and write lots of blogs and give you all much interesting poems and writing things to probe, in an attempt to flush this post from my mainpage.
Onto other matters... has anyone heard about Mark Halliday? You can read an interview with him here: http://www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazine/record.asp?id=15317 and one of his (I think; there seem to be two 'Mark Halliday's who are poets...) poems here: http://timtim.typepad.com/exultationsdifficulties/2007/06/a_song.html
(I sort of didn't want to give you that link because of my blah at the bottom. But it's worth it. For knowing a few more people who might read this will hopefully read that. And tell me what you think?)
It is quite addictive; pulls you in and makes you concentrate. I shall print it out and stick it somewhere prominent in my room. (Only a few poems get this special treatment...)
Thoughts are brewing over: 1) the utility of letting ideas 'brew' 2) Feminism. (and why so many people decline to call themselves this, despite seemingly supporting it, bar the term...) 3) the productivity of anonymity (sp?) 4) how thoughtful people who I've only met once or twice but talk/ email a lot can be.
Poems need scribbling over... (editing). I look forward to it.
Saturday, June 9
all these little dots show my brain cells working so very hard in the cerebrum to decide where, where in the tiny scrap of room which is my bit of our darling Earth, ought I to rearrange things? Oh yes, indeed.
Wine, risotto, long phonecalls, maths spread out over my bedroom floor, and cycling way too fast to French songs. The joy of relaxing days. (This is not true. It is a big, big, fat, squelching self-lie which I perpetrate most fantastically, but still, it is, a LIE.) After all the silly exams (who are they for, really? an 'investment' into our future, when our future is then paying off bills, and saving for retirement? what if we don't even reach the bloody retirement?), I am looking forward to summer. To reading the rest of the books which surround anyone attempting to cross my room, to enjoying the simple days again. I'm not trying to devalue work, I do enjoy it, but when it is so mundane and ' ' [the word is blanked. Can you guess? It's not too difficult, I don't think...) as GCSEs are (let's face it, everyone knows that even the best teacher has a hard time making them have a facade of even slight challenge or personal development...), then it is understandably difficult to make the self enthused.
Why is it that on MSN people feel a need to declare their 'hearting' someone else? Or winking at everyone on MSN? (Do they have no family contacts on msn? Don't call me old-fashioned...). Perhaps I should just delete it.
Monday, June 4
I like the phrase; the thought of parts of it, however, is extremely unappealing. How we crawl from living in the 'I would', 'I should' into the 'I could', 'I am doing what I could do', remains to shrink from my grasp. I suppose that personally, living in the thinking is often a lot easier than actually doing what you want to do. (Reminds me of a CA Duffy poem I read the other day. Can't remember the name, nor any specific lines, just the layout and the feeling it left me with. When I'm next at that person's house, I'll make a note...) People talk about it being because of others' reactions, and I don't doubt that image has a lot to do with it, but it also seems like in some way one part of ourself holds back a lot, the one with the expectations. That's why it's fun to go away (to the Beach? to Berlin? to watch The Waves?), to where no-one knows you, or be with people who have the most fluid expectations you can manage as a human in society.
Sunday, May 20
I have so many books I must read, it’s an extremely exciting prospect… knowing that there will always be books. The quote on the waterstones bag, which I saw today, clattered neatly (can that happen?) with my thoughts. By Hemingway: ‘There is no friend as loyal as a book’. I’d like to say I like most people, or that I honestly don’t agree with the quote; but I do. Humans are so stacked up with self-qualms, that loyalty can never be certain. Nothing can, but that’s a central force for another time, another post.
Two recent smacking-me-in-the-thought-area revelations:
1) I like late nights, and
2) I like early mornings when everything is twitching… ‘twitching, twitching, twitching [hopefully not]/ to the set beat’.
These two things don’t fuse overly well, I know. Unless I return to my insomniac days, but I sincerely hope not. Maybe, I will make the effort to have some earlier mornings, perhaps I could balance the late nights and early mornings with a little sleep sometime mid-afternoon. Quite appealing, actually…
Another thought: I am hoping that I will be able to use my tactical/ persuasive skills after the exams (and through, when blagging absurdities fits the game); to have lots of trips to places I’ve not been. Because, with a job, I will have the money to, and I will also have the time! (Lovely long holidays…)
I owe many people emails, letters, & phonecalls. If you are one of these people, reading this, wondering how I have the time to blog, to try and pacify my meandering thoughts, please note that I am actually doing you a favour. My concentration levels (as probably proven by this post) are pathetically low. Seriously. I’m tired. Not angry, irritable tired, but strangely more docile than ‘usual’.
Saturday, May 12
Friday, May 11
Letter: got some poems rejected for a magazine, but also got sent surprisingly helpful constructive criticism from the editor. Not sure whether this is normal, or not, or whether it is only normal when poems get to the so-called 'short leet'. Whatever -- sending them off was just a chance, like everything else, and the comments have helped me gain a bit more objectivity -- which is, of course, good!
There is a writing competition for which I should work... I also need to revise (photosynthesis, cosine and sine rule, and write an essay...), shower, go for a cycle, and do some music, eat (I am looking forward to this!), and then go to a friend's house, which I anticipate gladly.
Knowing that I am leaving school feels strange; but well overdue! If I had a school beret, I would most certainly chuck it up, fantastically, to whirl in the air, amongst the shrill voices.
Tuesday, May 8
There are some things I've been writing recently, which seem more true than other stuff, less shackled, less controlled in the sense of trying to achieve a certain structure, or shape; more allowing the poems themselves to evolve. But is is scary reading them, and although I want to put them on here, there are people who know me who read this; and people, they have that habit, often, of presuming. I assume their presumptions will be something, which, with time, I shall learn to slowly keep a distance from.
I also had an idea: many stories, stowed stories, converged last night.
Children should be allowed to write stories how they want. Maybe, maybe then we wouldn't all be 'fucking idiots' to the same extent, where our thoughts are a constant mangled mess, wombing pregnantly as they poke us.
Saturday, May 5
It was not this, though, which made me thrilled to find Jo Shapcott and Selima Hill (both of whom their work I’d previously read on the net, but wanted to hunt out more of) on the shelves of our little local library. In a way, reading whilst being aware of the glitch (that thoughts will bug you, like it or otherwise…) and sort of welcoming this, makes me feel happy. Contented. It is a dialogue, if not a dialogue in the sense of immediate conversation. Sometimes it feels even more private, because it is only between you and your selves, and even when you might try to explain to someone about this ‘dialogue’, they cannot, cannot break into it. Possessive somehow, yes. Maybe in a similar way to why I sometimes do not want someone – say a friend or relative whom I am familiar with – to read what I have just read. Or why I thrust the book upon them, or print the poem out, ensuring they definitely read it.
Thursday, April 26
I swear there is some addiction to the word kaleidoscope. It's just 'hmmm'. I like it a lot. Muji is shutting down in The Triangle. I wonder whether I am too late to go and buy pens & notebooks & soap. Considering I cannot go this weekend (unless I hijack previously-made-plans, and drag someone along with me, who I doubt would appreciate that...) It'll be sadly missed.
This http://www.radiofrance.fr/chaines/lemouv/home/index_flash.php presides over all other choice of listening now. It is quite addictive. Listen to the French laughing and babbling... & that fabulous 'bah'... maybe because I don't understand a lot because it's too fast/ slang is why it works. I really ought to learn how to make 'nice', clean links. I should.
Reading: 'Human Traces', Sebastian Faulks. Try it. One page in and you know it's going to be one of those you fall into - whether you want to fall into it or not. You will, I promise. Maybe I'll read some more tonight. Or find a recipe for something. Cooking appeals, en ce moment.
'Would you like this wrapped? It's not a problem...' [smile inc.]
'No thanks, it's for myself.'
---- Katy has a plant. It is yellow, plain bright yellow.
Saturday, April 21
Before I went out last night, I felt knackered. Muscles aching, wanting to just collapse and go to sleep right then sort of tiredness. Suffice to say, I was not overly enthused about going out. I was looking forward to it, certainly, but after a week of being out every day for at least a couple of hours, on top of being back at school after weeks off, it was tiring. Getting home just after 12 I suddenly felt awake. Not even overtired and hyped, but just very awake. Anyhow, this morning I woke up at around quarter to 8 (normal getting-up-for-school time). Strange, considering a lie-in was expected and needed. One good thing that came out of it was going to the park before 11 (normally not even being up by this time at the weekend,) -- it was less busy, the air still thickly dewy, and everything seemed to be rustling, rousing.
Have so much work to catch up with, loads of emails to reply to, people to write letters to, writing to begin, and scales to attempt to learn.
Last night was enjoyable. Poetry, new people to meet and listen to, wandering round in semi-dark, cheap train rides (ahem...), discussing travelling, other languages, politics, three pieces of chocolate I found in my bag (wrapped up, don't worry), reminiscing over Germany, and being absorbed. Bar some alcohol, a little pixie to do all the work which bores me, and being able to distinguish my nighttime scrawlings (who has a hope with my handwriting if I myself cannot work it out?), what more could I ask for?
(& I have a new poem!)
Wednesday, April 11
What are days for?
Days are where we live.
They come, they wake us
Time and time over.
They are to be happy in:
Where can we live but days?
Ah, solving that question
Brings the priest and the doctor
In their long coats
Running over the fields.
The first stanza seems stronger: I don't like the 'Ah,' which niggles at the rest of that stanza for me. But, arguably the images of the second stanza are needed to ground the poem, give the reader some tether?
I cannot read this poem without thinking of 'The Hours': try reading it if you've not yet, you'll see what I mean.
Whenever I lend a friend a book (even if it's something I've only recently reread, and hence am likely not to want to reread straight away), I find there's a certain possessiveness associated with my books. I will think I want to check them, just to ensure, that they are there. Ridiculous, especially when I'm palming them off on a certain person so I can hear their 'gah's & wonders about the book... but it exists, still, it punches my lending books out freely.
'truth. Gobble it, think
of that dribbling silk
tight over eyes;
for the crack – of the
upturn of my gob.'
Too close? I like the relationship between the two people by the use of 'Gobble' and 'gob', though, it's integral to this poem. Whether the association would be there enough should I use 'upturn of my mouth', I'm undecided. 'Gob' jarrs, resists a bit more.
Saturday, March 31
Saturday, March 24
How many people have some sort of happy family in their head? How many kids draw the 'perfect', happy family standing outside a cute, little house? How many people used to draw the moon or the sun with a smile? I wonder.
Thursday, March 22
I would get bored of watching, and go to sit down on one of the benches. The sort of benches that are really very comfy, but without a back, and so there would be the temptation to lie down, and sit on my side, scrutinising something. No doubt I would be asked to sit ‘properly’ should I try this, so it is more likely that to resist the temptation I would have to get up and do something else. I am of a fidgety disposition, after all. To the window, to look out over the city and the people hurrying. But not hurrying like Londoners, no. The window would be an old one, hung quite low to the floor, the sort of windows I always wanted when I was younger, imagined putting into our house (despite the obvious ludicrous nature of such an idea), and I would think about maybe putting a window seat in (they really would add to art galleries)… Then it would be back to people watching, to the families, where one kid was interested, or one partner, or perhaps not really anyone, but the parents thought it would be a good, educational idea. In theory. Not when their kids begin trying to open stuff that’s encased in glass, or terrorising other visitors, or running into other people’s legs, mistaking them for their parents. (Oh dear.)
I might then actually look at the art, and maybe if someone who seemed interesting or pretty was also looking at it, I would smile at them. And then if they were to smile back or comment, a conversation would evolve. I love conversations with strangers who are mildly bizaree, or knowledgeable without pushing it onto yourself, only revealing it so much when you get really into a discussion, and when that discussion confirms your initial thoughts/ excitement. Especially when they initiate them… then we would drift apart again, easily, and perhaps, as I wander around, I would here someone speaking another language. I would try to get the gist were it French or German, or maybe just enjoy listening to it, the fall and rise of the sentences, the words they miss out but that we are taught to say, their accent, the way their mannerisms vary, the strange sounds which only their language has, which I miss when I’m not in some way involved with French or German. I would watch, amused, as people mull in and out and through and inbetween, and as the security people patrol.
Tuesday, March 20
running down, running down, trickling
away from memory.
There is ocean in me
swaying, swaying O, so deep
so fathomlessly black
and spurting suddenly up, snow-white, like snow-leapords rearing
high and clawing with rage at the cliffs of the soul
then disappearing back with a hiss
of eternal salt rage; angry is old ocean within man.
It's interesting how there is no 'an' before 'old ocean', and how he develops his ideas through repetition and addition with each repetition, like 'swaying, swaying O,' and 'snow-white, like snow-leapords'.
His work may seem uncomplicated compared to some other poets, at least if looking at choice of words, but the way he develops his images, building upon them (from 'rain', we grow to meet the 'ocean') as if you are in his thoughts - thoughts which are natural, which flow with a natural rhythm. Personally, I adore this, and I put aside my qualms over our 'soul', over the use of the word 'rage' (it seems so recurrent in older poetry!), to simply enjoy it.
Friday, March 16
I need a hot chocolate. In dia need. I have just sent about 26 poems off, as a very-very-verrry near final submission for my chapbook. Somewhat relieving, if not intensely scary. I am happy with them, for once, as happy as I can be with them. No doubt when it is all finalised there will be a myriad of things which I am exhaling blasphemous words and phrases and awful concoctions over, but, for now, all is good. Smile.
Not being able to find poets' work!
is a problem I have been enduring recently. How awful to manage to find some fabulous stuff which makes you feel rather exhilarated and then not be able to get more of it!!! Outrageous! I am on the hunt for work by the following:
- Swithun Cooper
- Colette Sensier
- Dean Young.
(Sometimes when I read things I think I would quite like to marry the person... just then. I'm a hypocrit, given what I think about marriage, but hey, poetry does strange things to me, and I can't control what!)
Saturday, March 10
walking, of allowing
time to tumble
between nets, of
acrobating to roost, listening
to squealing squalor
of order, urgency
and that –
of our middle ear
to clocks’ manipulating
(this ear itself
in limbo, an epiparasite,
a necessary evil, a
playground whistling –)
comment? (the italics is me tilting my head, you know, 'thinking deeply', or 'trying to be persuasive' style...)
Should I get some of the work done that I have to do today (ie. a LARGE amount), I shall reward myself: new books (the novel I was reading has gone missing!! Horrendous enough to warrant two exclamation marks…) , and a French DVD; ‘L’homme du train’, which has a glorious Guardian recommendation (difficult to resist… but, where has the ‘Living With Teenagers’ gone? I used to use that to try and coerce my parents into agreeing that they need to be more liberal, that liberal is good, and that having a load of rules is only going to make teenagers (apparently ‘searching for their self’) be… R-E-B-E-L-ious. (You knew it was going to end in ‘ious’, no point me exerting more effort over capitals etc.) Finally the PC is working properly, so stuff will actually play on it. (Spent ages last week trying to get ‘Trainspotting’ to play. Worth it, I’ll add: a film which restores some attempt at will to continue in a world where existentialism seems to roam quite crazily…)
Thursday, March 8
Would we be better off without it? Just for a little while? (I know it's not going to happen - people have places to be at certain times, deadlines, work, trains to catch etc, etc...) We would eat when we were hungry not just because there was a designated time, we would sleep when we needed to sleep, we would surely be less stressed? People would learn to wait when they met people without instinctively reaching for the little bugger of a mobile when five minutes too far had passed, intruded, started greedily ploughing away into their time.
(Can you tell I am someone who is often renowned for being late? NB: I am not actually late if I am that bothered, unless I have slept through my alarm, but that is quite rare; so if I do really want to be somewhere, I will likely be early... the rest of the time? No comment...)
It's something that's even begun (horrendously, or merely inevitably?) slipping into my writing. Something may appear soon. May.
Sunday, March 4
More in the way which reminds me of 'Rage, rage against the dying of the light'! You can hear a fantastic reading by Mr Dylan Thomas himself of 'Do not go gentle into that good night'. http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15377 (Do have a listen, you don't even need realplayer, so most people should be able to hear it. And don't you think when he says 'forked' it sounds rather different?)
Some lessons for poor students attempting GCSE speaking and listening could be learnt from the way he savours his words himself - how, if the poet/ speaker themself cannot put weight upon their own words, can anyone else be expected to?
Thursday, February 22
Have you noticed I sometimes use '&', yet also use 'and'. This is a vain attempt to make myself delight more in writing - I do not naturally use '&' often (! it has, surprisingly, crept into a few timed-essays recently!) - yet the shape of it delights me. As does the word 'yet'. And 'wonder'. So yes, purely a silly tic on my behalf; because it delights me. Yes.
I am going to go and get my red notebook. It is quite gorgeous. From paperchase - I expect ridiculously expensive, despite being unable to recall the precise amount. Anyhow, to the red book. I will write some things I meant to write here a long time ago - I wrote them in the red book - as I so often do with early-hours-of-the-morning writings.
'Often [cue head tilt...], I reckon one of the most fantastic [read, 'purely selfish'] things would be to have someone to lie with and talk to just as you are falling into the lull of inbetween asleep and awake, neither quite here nor there. Not when you are recognising your dreams - for that is another lull - but certainly, a lull.
Yesterday (which was 'V' day - more about that later.) [there might not be more, depending on my laziness/ care for your boredom.] I went swimming. With my new goggles. Very exciting: it meant I could sit cross-legged on the bottom of the pool (as I enjoy doing), look up, &, see clearly. Plus they have an interesting [read: 'pointless, but amuses me'] sort of clip at the back.
Then we went to a French cafe where I ate hot chocolate, half a croissant (well and truly soaked in the river-like - wait, that sounds awfully unappealing now I reread it... - froth) and half a strawberry tart...'
And so it goes on. & Then I rant about Valentine's day, for the majority, being an excuse to attempt to put a pretty front on their relationship(s?), superficial, and where teenage girls are delighted if they get roses and/or chocolates. (How unoriginal and dull can you get? Plus they've probably not even found out *which* chocolates and/or roses they really enjoy. Urgh... pass the next sick bucket type moment.) I suppose though, most people don't recognise the idea of idiosyncrasy most days - with the consumerist machine of V day, we can hardly hope that they will...
There was also an Armitage poem I was going to put up here, because he 1) is more likely to produce amusement, and can write far better, and 2) even my desperate attempts at writing recently are... well, that, quite simply: desperate. Nevertheless, shall I submerge myself in reading, I will be learning something, so, once I am done with what I am making at the moment (top secret... *drum rolls*...), I shall do so.
Now let me find this bugger of an Armitage poem, for it really is worth reading. Gaaaah... I cannot find it. It was on a Guardian unlimited thread, & talked about some kid in science. (poems with stupid kids & science & Armitage are hardly likely to be dull, are they?)
OK, you get this one instead, enjoy! (& discuss/ comment?)
I'll leave you with a Baudelaire quote (from one of his intros to ‘Fleurs du Mal’)...
'But I have one of those happy natures that enjoy hatred and feel glorified by contempt.'
Monday, February 19
(I like these meandering blogs. Just being able to solidify our thoughts, or feel that we have. I wonder if it's why the whole blog schaboom has been able to happen to such a mass extent. I should probably qualify that 'mass extent', but I don't know how to... The selling of egocentricity?)
Sunday, February 11
sitting on swings; walking and walking and walking until you get past aching; kneeding dough with little thought for the finished product, but simply the enjoyment of the kneeding dough; speaking in foreign languages with the joy of not being able to rant or debate in that language, yet removed to being more simplistic due to an ignorance of that other language; whatever it may be, being able to have someone else simply 'get' what you're on about, and being able to 'get' what they're on about: it makes you want to live, takes away the distance. I'm sure I've attempted - and failed - to articulate my own ponderings on the idea that we are unable, psychologically to fully understand ourselves, therefore no-one else can have much hope, but if there is an acceptance, in a way, that is enough.
This weekend I read some poems I'd not read for ages, from a children's poetry book. Some of them don't even seem like 'poems' to me really now - in the way that I wouldn't recognise them as a poem unless I was sort of instructed that they were. Anyway, the route of attempting to define poetry is one I am not going to try walking down today.
There was one poem which my aunty showed me because she knew my reaction: it was basically a praise-song of words, touching upon some of the delightful things they permit us to do. It was a raise-the-shoulders-and-half-smile-in-contentment moment.
This was a pointless post. Sometimes points occur, more often they simply don't. Humans like 'points', I think; without them there wouldn't be much.
Wednesday, January 31
- The Time Traveler's Wife: (I am very grateful for a certain friend's persuasion about me reading this; also, finding the book in the library lead to an intriguing encounter with another of the one-who-writes variety. Began whilst I was babysitting, finished the next day. My mum is also reading it - it's a strange feeling when my parents are reading the same book at the same time as me - perhaps I am just overly possessive of 'my' reading habits. I admit I was concerned that there might be a large 'cheese factor', initially; but my doubts were swished through with gorgeous writing from the first sentence.) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Time-Travelers-Wife-Audrey-Niffenegger/dp/0099464462
- The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: (This had been dipped into and out of too many times. I put it in my bag this morning, with the intention of finishing it. Read with my feet up on my desk for a little while when I got home, fully delighting in Sacks' writing & his patients drawings -- see the latter chapters...) http://www.oliversacks.com/hat.htm
- The Essentials of Psycho-Analysis, by Freud.]
In the proccess of reading/ dipping into and out of (as is best with poems):
- New Poems on the Underground (a great present! I love the way 1) it was such a well-chosen present, 2) it reminds me of London. My post-it is currently on pages 78-79, where 'The Two Apes of Brueghel' - Wislawa Szymborska (but translated!) and 'Once' - Carol Rumens, lay. Go google if you want to read them - I'd recommend so.)
- New Blood - an anthology edited by Neil Astley (one of the *two* books I got in my Foyle's bag. This is quite worthy of space in my room too, I reckon: there's a lot from 'modern' poets, it gives you some background info about the poets; generally helpful, and, as with any anthology - like 'Poem for a Day', incites further reading & research.)
- Slyvia Plath - poems selected by Ted Hughes, to whom she was married (I read this through in a night's babysitting, too. My favourite? 'You're' & you'll see why if/ when - whoever says I'm not optimistic, stop & take note here! - you read it. I'd previously come across it, but it still makes me grin like a toddler - a grin which would probably scare the south, but hey... )
There are others, but those are the main ones. &, do check out http://www.poetryarchive.org/poetryarchive/home.do - it's a decent site, with - allegedly - some fabulous recordings, including those of ones who're far gone. Do note, however, if you enjoy the site & it's supposedly glorious recording, remember not to rub it in that my computer is a bastard to not allow the poems to play.
Happy reading/ exploring...
PS: the poem in my last post, 'How to Remember' is indeed mine.
Monday, January 29
Hurl reminiscing away. Smash it up,
the photographs, spit out that saliva
you suck inbetween your teeth – spit it,
on rose-tinted snaps, which had you –
stomach shaking, eyes stinging.
The cochlea echoes, a voice
which tossed over past waves.
Show willing – for once,
just this once, put out the reeking bins
again. Watch from your windows, peer around
the apple tree, spying with permission.
They take the bin bags out,
empty your stuff into
a gross churning machine.
And let’s listen to the metal, chomping away.
With some luck, it won't seem like molten hatred pouring fresh out of the pot.
Monday, January 22
There was also a snow angel on the path. & given where it lay, presumably by one of the kids I babysit for.
Sunday, January 21
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
I don't, & won't profess to know much about Yeats, despite having a little book about him which a relative once 'forgot' to return to their library, and somehow got away with it. But I remember the first time I read this poem a couple of months ago: & reread, & reread.
The way he hasn't wished to spread his dreams under her feet, but already done so, the way he compares her to some sort of heavenly being, the repetitions of 'and' which lead themselves to the list of extended & fast-flowing descriptions about the cloths, & his actual choice of words. They're commonplace, ordinary words, which makes this poem have even greater effect.
& his rhymes: he's capable of rhyming 'cloths' with itself, 'light' with itself, &! 'feet' and 'dreams' with themselves. Not many poets could do this without it sounding horribly forced.
There's also the not so small matter of the last line...
'Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. '
Saturday, January 20
A decent break, even though all northern-places now seem to be familiar. I either think 'Newcastle!', 'Manchester!', or 'Sheffield!'.
Never quite worked out what the accent is though - is there a Lancastarrrrr...ian accent?
Isn't life disappointing? Not as if unborn things can have expectations; more that our expectations of being a certain age, the 'awe' of that, when you reach that age, vanish; and they have the cheek to do so without so much as a sniff of purple smoke!
Monday, January 15
with him, his new-found friend
at first it grew slowly, and then,
after a while, accelerated, growing
until it was cutting off
Left him to dangle
shuffling in his bed –
slim cuttings of soft paper
bundled into a ball, a
cocoon, a coffin already made.
the days we didn't need
to worry about bulldog
clips on the cage, because
he wasn't going to
crawl up the chimney, not today,
and cleaning would only disturb.
I remember holding him, a baby
again awkward in my hands,
massaging the fur, slowly, so
slowly, circling, urging him
to warm up.
We passed him between us, his
last minutes, seconds, split
into a myriad of diamonds the size
of the last of his eye. My turn;
I took him to the radiator,
kneeled down, nudged him,
waiting for him to wake up, warm up,
stop pretending to give up.
Sunday, January 7
I found it amongst the bags, under the shelf of art, within the depths of the huge wardrobes which near-enough line one entire long side of my room. Then there was the piss take of trying to get it to work; it was apparently unresponsive to my gentle attempts at nudging it to get the ink to warm up (much like the hamster, really...) and also my drowning it in the glorious tapwater which is from the north. Finally, after lots of scribbling, it began to work. Hurrah, or what?
Let's just hope the little bright pink fountain pen doesn't go walkabouts from the realms of my memory as to where I placed it again.