Friends and funerals


Come on with me and we’ll have a little fun,
It’s not too dangerous, yeah, and we won’t hurt anyone.
Yeah, we’ll cause some havoc between the birds and the bees,
We’ll paint the town red and we’ll shake the trees.
Oh, come on with me and I’ll show you a good time,

-Kate Nash, Little Red

Sometimes things get so polluted and overcrowded in my head all I can fathom is the inevitable pointlessness of us all and the millions of problems and suffering each person alive is in touch with. Acid attacks in London, ice glaciers melting and refugees sleeping on Paris’ pavements. This world stresses the fuck out of me, but I am not without joy or hope. Happiness always returns, in fact it never really leaves- just comes out of hiding, peeps it’s bedmessy hair from under the covers and smiles it’s morning breath cheeky and alive.

One of my closest friends, Daisy (aka-Tough Sirloin) just came to visit me and I feel so grateful to know people like her exist to help people like me. Daisy and me got wine-drunk then wore summer hats to go on the park swings in the cool night. We went to the museum- trying on Roman soldier hats and marvelling at Dinosaur bones. She brought candles of Orchid and purple; I got the drinks at the pub.

But of all the things we did together, I value us in my room; her elbows propped up on my bed pillows whilst I sit surrounded by a halo of photographs and old diaries on the carpet. I talked for a whole hour, and not once did she tell me to shut up. I read her snippets of my 5 year old numbers written back to front and at 17 thinking I’m falling in love. Daisy’s name truly suits her- she is the tenderest flower for putting up with my haphazard ways.

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DAISY AND ME DA BOOKIE GRRRLS XOXO

Today’s poem was read at my pets’ funeral, Tilly and Gravy this Saturday just gone. Daisy had never been to a funeral before, but I’m glad she was there to help us say goodbye. The poem here is about my cat, Matilda xoxoxoxox

A Cat’s Life

Elusive to the last-
when first we took Tilly home, she and Mog hid themselves
under the wardrobe;
Daisy and me cried. We thought they didn’t love us,
we were half right. She slept with her guts wherever
able, and ate and ate and ate. Matilda knew what to do-
keep calm and carry on. I named her for intelligence,
after the well-thumbed favourite Dahl book.
We all three share birthdays. Named after
cleverness, wit-
power. Tilly all these things, even if
we didn’t see it. Chasing mice in moonlight,
or sunning herself on our roof. Pleasure simply.
That is life’s call. Meow and mew,
we really love you.

Just because …

I’m not really sure what to write about, but I want to write anyways. I want to try to continue with this even when I feel bland and content with the facts my eyes process each second- because you have to. That’s it really- some things you keep going with even if seems like a scream in the dark.

Screaming in the dark can be fun I guess- like a game to see who will actually hear, or actually care once they’ve even heard you. It sounds depressing, and it can be; but that’s why you’ve gotta sit tight and wait for the silver linings to illuminate what you forgot again. We always forget, but the blessing is to always remember again and again and again.

Just because I don’t know what to write about, Here’s simply a little list of why I am so glad to be alive and exuberant and eternally budding and dying on this confusing and dirty gem of a planet:

1.) The look on my dog’s face and how their tails wag like protest flags when they see me put on my trainers and pluck on their leads ready for a walk.
2.) Those moments you don’t plan and will never be able to for how they linger on for no particular reason- making mugs of tea in filthy uni kitchens when the sun hits air motes in a 4pm golden wash, humming privately in odd socks.
3.) Dew drops on my grandmothers rose which she says opens out most beautifully; the way she calls me her “giddy kipper” and lets me get pints with lunch at the pub despite the fact it’s “un-ladylike”
4.) My loves, my romances minus the kisses. Flo being the human manifestation of how honeysuckle grows; makes my smiles twitch up at the corners by just only seeing. Zab and her boss ass bitch tenderest acts of riot along with Literati antics and sprees. Tough Sirloin and me, dancing whenever during the day, wearing our favorite hats in the bookie wing for absolutley no other reason than we are silly babygirls! My sister, with her outrageous banter and fondness for marmite and disciplined bitchiness.
5.) The fact I am free to read what I want. Dress how I want. Write how I want and fuck who I like (with consent DUH). I am free when others are not, and I have a chance to help others and help myself.

Today’s poem is about a simple and fundamentally important emotion/ action in life, I hope you enjoy it xoxoxoxoxo

Laughter

Sherbet tastes and
raspberry colours.
Exposing truth in the face
of grey Friday afternoons-
Exposing teeth. Side-effects include
aching stomachs, crying and
breathlessness;
the holiest malady.
A worldwide miracle-
bus stations, airports, supermarkets and
streets are all
drenched in this alibi of life.
We are all of us tyrants,
all hurting-
But listen, listen…
The people love each other.
The world is not desolate.

In favor of the ‘poetess’

Today has been yet another laurel in the wreath of my life spent in the sunshine smelling roses and honeysuckle with my strawberry girl grandma. This morning I helped her shop at Waitrose; made sure to put the sugar snaps on top of the tins and the mint leaves above all else. Then we drove down to Morden Park in her car Freddie.

There was a bookshop there, and I did damage! YAY ALWAYS SPEND MONEY ON BOOKS IF ANYTHING AT ALL!!!! I brought a novel by Eurydice about the loss of her sexuality in Manhattan and how she must reclaim it; a book by a native American woman of poems and stories about her Arizona planes and heart aches; and finally, the Penguin Book of Women Poets.

Reading the Penguin introduction, something inside me twisted a pale knot of shame to know some women poets loathe to be called a ‘poetess’, and refuse to be put in all-female anthologies due to fears of being over-romanticized into fragile dilettantes.

Yes- I totally understand the frustration and complications of trying to reach the truth of emotion and feeling in poetry without anxieties of being labelled as cliched, love-lorn and over-sentimental. Let alone actually trying to get people to read the actual poems themselves, and not my ego without getting fraught up in generalizations of gender- that all woman poets tackling the erotic are somewhat too sluttish to prudish men whose dicks are as uninspiring as their grey pencils; or women writing of war as being purely fantastical- for, how could a women know anger and pain the same as man with a nation’s blood in his hands and ready to press the nuclear button?..

NEWS FLASH!!!! THE FEMININE DOES TOO!!! THE ONLY DIFFERENCE (in my opinion) IS THAT FEMMES ARE TAUGHT TO EMBRACE AND ACCEPT THE CONCEPT OF FORGIVENESS AFTER HURT A LOT MORE THAN THOSE ALIGNING WITH MASCULINITY ARE!!!!!

I have no qualms being called a poetess- i fucking love that beautiful word; it’s “ess” a kind of flowing robe of flowers or claret silk to its blunt, yet essential prefix. If people want to reduce the soul of a poem into merely human attributes and labels, then I shall let them do so. But, the life span of poetry is so much stronger, so much more mutable and deep than one single author’s gender identity could ever contain, be them poet OR poetess.

I know all my views are coming from the ‘luxury’ of my 21st century western and liberal education- but no one can lie, gender bias in all sectors, not just the arts still dominantly prevails :((((

ANYWAYS!!!!! Today’s poem is from the penguin anthology. I just felt such a tender entwining of moth in my rib cage that the writings of women, from across the globe and still centuries ago could reach out to me now; with  iphone fuckboys replacing gallant knights, and words inked on blanched paper, not papyrus xoxoxox

What She Said to her Girl-Friend

On beaches washed by seas
older than the earth,
in groves filled with bird-cries,
on the banks shaded by a punnai
clustered with flowers,
when we made love
my eyes saw him
and my ears heard him;
my arms grow beautiful
in the coupling
and grow lean
as they come away.
What shall I make of this?

–  Venmanipputi,
translated from Tamil by A.K Ramanujan

 

Perambulating minds

I’ve traveled down to Surrey again to stay with my grandmother for a few days. Our closeness really does make me believe that time as some linear chronology is a bit twisted- I’m not as old as her in body, no- but we get along so well and talk for ages, understanding things and feeling in similar ways that when I’m here, I don’t worry about clocks. The hours to be lived have already been spent; I feel unafraid of my smallness.

We walked through the woods near her house, and saw silver birches with branches gnarled the same twist as lightning bolts jagger. Grasses swaying golden, tapering off the same formation as paint brush bristles do. My imagination was expanding like hot air trapped in soil, emanating out that fragrance you can smell in evenings sometimes when the plants’ lungs are singing their silent language. I thought the horizon of thin trunks all sacred in their mundane leaved green clouds looked taught as violin strings reaching harmony, climax-pulling tightly up against gravity to tug their blue. Or as tendons, the xylem flexing inflorescence in their synchrony of muscled bark.  I pictured body- my body in this world, enveloped by galaxy of twig and mulch above; then beneath. Like veins of gold through rock do these roots dance and twine darkness. The bluebells were dead and hollowed of fat petals oozing cloche shaped nymph colours. They were skeletal and serene, like they could be used as fairy wands- they just looked alien, like they belonged on another planet where spirits wove sunlight and shadow in filigree movements, similar to how the wind was running above our heads in the canopies.

Today’s poem is not my own, I actually don’t know who wrote it- so if any one does please say! I just think it fits quite snug with my feelings of elevation right now in being able to feel so sure with my grandma in her pink T-shirt whilst we perambulated in the blossomed bossom of Mother Nature xoxoxoxoxo

Women, You Must Learn to Be Warriors

Women, you must learn to be warriors
Now when times are dark and our men
Are afraid to tell us what is in their hearts.
There is so much trouble in our land
That it is up to you to decide
Which direction the wind must blow.

Women, you are our tree of life
Just as you were a long time ago
When a man said: Carry my seed.
If you go forth from this darkness,
Telling our story of courage and survival,
Then our tree will grow strong with your words.

Women, do not worry about tomorrow
Even when daylight is long in coming.
The sun remembers its place in the sky.
Take this blue shawl of knowledge and
Wrap it around your daughters, telling them
That women must not be afraid to be warriors.

Home Alone

My parents have gone away for a party down in Kent, which leaves me and my siblings, lil Neddy and Day-Z to look after our home. I have done the dishes, the washing, walked the dogs and need to make supper soon- I was afraid being in our house so quiet would freak me out, as I’m not altogether that great being left to look after myself with my own devices. I have this tendency to either fall apart into sobs over nothing/ contemplate the unstoppable and seemingly imminent collapse of our world/ get fucking drunk of my nut and wake up tipsy still the next morning.

BUT- I have been different today. I have managed to be responsible and not stress about that, which for me is truly something. I watched documentaries about Romanian witches who curse politicians and make love potions on the Pentecost. I found new music I LOVE by Princess Nokia and Lady Lykez- two amazing angels preaching to love yourself and not let life tear you up. I have been doing poetry things not abusing my body with all the alcohol freely standing in this house, waiting their bottle-caps out for someone to take the first sip and unwind. BE PROUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Here’s a lil’ pic of me being all cute and shit in this confusion of life and everything to celebrate small achievements like being able to transform into a deer on my phone!!!

Today’s poem is about self-love centering on body image, but self love is so various and necessary to practise  for people like me whose brains feel wasp nests a lot of the time. It is important for everyone to have a heart that breeds only love in whatever ways you can xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

My Body

Do you want to be loved?
Beloved from split ends to toes?
Honesty is the noisiest revelation,
so simple once eyes open-
Life should not taste of fucking rice cakes.
Remember? Bathroom mirrors are not morgues.
Pronounced blind, they thought we’d
flat-packed into ourselves with no query. Millions
of girls crushing their own spaced o u t hearts
between lungs static, holding breath in
rosary ribcages. Life is the last slice of toast:
smiles brewed from kaleidoscope mouth.
The game is rigged. Toast is the greatest treasure.
Golden, dazzling with warm butter,
slap and tickled pink jellied raspberries-
or smattered thick apricot. To feel is
the body’s demand- notice a lemon
sun’s peek-a-boo in the theatre curtains of eyes.
Blemishes swell like blossom-bud constellations.
Unlearn this abuse. I saw a stomach fatted up
on all the different ways there are to hate.
Light infests the flesh. I see undulations and pulse-
Green trees could sap on the lush curving domes of
my body

Boss Ass Bitch

I am an up and down person to be with. One moment I’m made of marmalade butterflies sipping tea with pages of Woolf… “For in all she said, however open she seemed and voluptuous, there was something hidden; in all she did, however daring, there was something concealed. So the green flame seems hidden in Emerald, or the sun prisoned in a hill.”

And the next I am volatile. Silent tears streaking glasses over boys who said nothing or too much- over why I write janky or if my excessive drinking habits make me an alcho or sad or both?!?! “LIFE IS SO HARD” I sob, singing along to indie heartbreak songs and reading articles about abortion rights or child trafficking or fucking STRONG AND STABLE MONEY TREES in my world where the eternal She is one shadow behind man for ‘god’.

Without friendship I would be hollow like a canoe on a dried up river. I’d be smarties all sucked dry- that pale white sugar shell after motherfuckers took the rainbow away. Even though today HAS NOT BEEN A WASTE (I managed to start Orlando, find some amazing new songs and walk my dogs to happiness)- it has been improved in the heartbeating feeling of solid earthenware skin that life is not just this body. It kisses other noses and my best friend has a job with Cambridge University doing what she loves best, digging up old bones and lives unravelling time for us all.

ZAB has worked so fucking hard to get where she is. I feel like a frivolous wimp compared to how she rewrote her lost coursework at school without being a diva. She DOES NOT let boys treat her like candy and she wears her make up as art not a mask. She has taught me so many things- angel card sorcery, the importance of Eglantine and how to ride a horse bareback. She is this day’s modern Venus and basically what I’m trying to say is- THE LIMITS BETWEEN OURSELVES AND OTHERS ARE ONLY CONFINES OF THE MIND AND BORDERS OF FLESH. THROUGH OTHERS I FEEL SUCH LIFE AND WONDER EVEN IF MY OIL IS BURNT. LONG LIVE GIRL POWER THAT TASTES OF PARMA VIOLETS AND JANE AUSTEN’S AFTERNOON TEA. LONG LIVE HEARTLINES AND SECRETS TOLD IN CORN FIELDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today’s poem is about ZAB, it is one of my earlier ones, and it is full of soul- i love you ZAB, and if i filled a ship with all the praise that you deserved it would sink right into the oceans deepest sands and you’d have to come save us and dig it up again xoxoxoxo

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In Defence of Monkey Language

I moaned that us dog-earing love poetry was like
monkeys studying NASA instructions to fly
up and away moonwards. We both wanted hands
we could never hold and so secrets ebbed gently
from thought-caverns; I treasured them close to my collar bones,
soft lockets of hair or cow parsley.
She is a bowl full of yellow roses and to think of her
is to taste the pink laughter of Love Hearts
and Parma Violets sparkling tiddly-winks on my tongue, the same
intensity as her welsh-star horse slamming hooves into apple-fresh
grasses. “FIRST LOVE”.
She put me huddled in the trough of her horse-barn, feet dangling
like cherries as John Clare dust floated in the
snug airs of cereals
“I hid my love when young”. Not with her.
She tempered the honey dripping down from my ribcage and onto the
bent-neck poppies below.
She craved kisses and taffeta plucked from Russian novels.
Tolstoy almost clipped her peach-heart from beating, so
we ran to the hymns of evening-river banks.
A splash of ducks in green and the world starts over.
She looks up and grins, tells me that NASA has orbited monkeys through milky-way stars
now, that monkey language love poems are useful.
Her eyes are big blue operas my smiles can’t help but latch onto.

Small victories

Sorry for the lack of posting recently, but I have been a busy bee bumbling around the objects of life in my head and outside it. Walking Nelson and Pogo, composing poems and getting too drunk on cherry cider. These beautiful miracles of my existence were punctured by an unsuspected thrill- I entered an open mic night and won.

My sister came with me for moral support and to make sure I didn’t fall of the edge of the riverboat pub if I got too tipsy. I was so nervous before, and we left before the event was over- not because it was bad (The night was called ‘What the Thunder Said’ , it’s at Charters in Peterborough and is a really great night to go to!) but because Daisy was tired. When I got home plugging my heart up with more alcohol, there was a message on my phone telling me I’d won the votes and a £10 bar voucher!!!!

I truly wasn’t expecting this to happen- I thought I’d spoken my hard-to-understand poems too quietly and made too many slurred cider tongue slip ups for people to hear, let alone like my poems! It feels weird to me; even if I do things right it doesn’t feel right. It’s like my glasses throw an outline onto what my eyes see of a life I could have but don’t. Striving is a double edged sword I guess. Hoping to be better is good, but disregarding what small victories you have in favour of drawing up elaborate plans for self-improvement is something which is painful. One day I will be okay with being two people- the fucked up me and the platonic me who is me all along.

Today’s poem is the first poem from the sequence I read out yesterday, I hope you like it xoxoxoxoxxoxoxooxoxoxox

DRUGS YOU SHOULD TRY

1.

Memory choirs impenetrable blooms-
(mothed lavender, lunar jasmine)
diffusing each brew with clinks of hillside legacies, his name.
How to rationalize if the only crumbed, conceivable trail to
honesty is being drunk or high?
Views cushion feetsouls- endurance with each downwards flight.
I pray reaching from metal hives.
April. It was nightroof smoking and biro black spun.
Ligaments an encore. Half-sketch of cotton at summit.
vulnerable features unspoken, just
cupped hand premonitions.  My chance of desert rain fluting
dahlias from rhythmic burning.
Breath as incense, creeping bullets root to cosmos.
This gauzed monolith boy ambling above sleeping meadows-
the tight-rosed gold of budded city bulbs. Horizon
keeps like tinned peaches, snug
in my rockpooled chain of spine.
Is pipedreaming glitched? Here’s the alibi:
this is not his poem. This is how I feel I feel,
lamb-blooded,
mute.