You make it easier to be who I want to be

07/10/2013 at 05:30 (Personal, Poetry, Writing) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )


What does the end of a relationship feel like?

Unzipping a coat shared by two
Unpicking the seam stitching lives together
Finding ornaments, books, DVDs, games
Wondering what belongs to who
Interchangeable things, slapdash time
Standing in the bathroom staring at emptied shelves
A few hairs, flakes of makeup
Crying your face off at the sight of a solitary toothbrush
Feeling terrified and full of white sparks
Wondering if you can go it alone
Knowing you can (full of dark light)
Wiping your face off
Sniffling at the window ghost
Grin-grimacing at the sight of a year backflashing
A year and two
Three four five
2008 to now
Dialing down
A song, a phrase, a face pulled, giggling fits and scowls
Dagger-chin defiance, silence, shared look
Rum and beer, whiskey for hiccups
Lamplight haven and 3am stars
Field and park, mist and rain
Hike and kite, the plastic and the bird
Downs and Beacon, waiting
For friends facing each other as equals
Independence at last, so far behind peers
So far ahead in mind
So old
So young
Trying too hard to be heard, too hard to forget
Or remember what started it all
Random message
Tart reply šŸ˜‰
Scared of the light
Living in the dark
Not alone with dreams
Knowing another breathspace
Heartbeat
Alone and together, gone and apart
Smile, fate, be brave
These are the days of Now
We were as then
I am that Is.

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You’re looking for that hurt look around my mouth

01/10/2013 at 20:34 (Personal, Writing) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )


So you can make another claim – well, go ahead and make it.

This Friday sees my new life begin. The solitary writer blossoms at last, after a handful of years spent with a partner of trust, love and banter; carer and caring, the two went together like snowdrops and blood, sad to say. Both as vivid as the other, too apparent at first, and our bickering arose from my inability to see every tree for the wood. Sorry became my dying breath, while his rose through lies. Many times I thought we were finished, that the way back was too long and the bramble-talons too sharp; that his hiding around every corner, waiting for me to catch up while seeing further along the path than I was able, would see me stumble once too often. Sure, but it felt like home, and hell, sometimes.

I was a gunslinger with his heart. A bladed touch. Too bad my aim was off most of the time, but hey, I’m only human yet.

Now he moves on, away, and I stay. This city holds my bones for a bit longer, and I’m happy with its rough-hewn stones, its ancient walkways, its Roman tilt to the tongue. Everything ends in -ium and starts with V; has more than a hint of the antiquity that breeds dignified silence, while we cough into our beers and cokes and rum, grin-grimacing in the quick wind that races down the hill, up the park, to the font of the Abbey, where Gods and Masters linger no more. We wonder if they were ever present, if the warmth outside ever made itself felt indoors, for stones harbour chill like a human heart deadened to love. It’s the beating within, the blood of the book, that keeps us alive and aching for new stories.

Mine finds itself at the end of this week. An eyrie at the top of a house of strangers, and I’m perfectly content with this anonymity. I can eke out my days in pleasant silence, when the inside of my head is a maelstrom. Writing can flow, as I watch the sky from three directions (have always wanted a skylight, now I am stoked by the 360 view) and wait for a red kite to angle past one day, my dark-eyed angel. Hooked claws for my heart. Belittle this strange girl-child, for she only knows the way Home by the breadcrumbs of her soul, flaking a bit more each day but still somehow intact.

My brother lives and breathes in my mind, and I try to support his, to glue together the fracture lines. His soul is another matter. I don’t think even mine could face down its strength. He needs no help there (though he doesn’t know it yet, as a sword doesn’t know itself until the cold plunge of water comes, after the tempering.)

My sister, keeper of a small soul placed in her haphazard, beautiful care, is doing what she can for the girl who would dial down her days into screamed silence, food no longer a friend, sleep no longer necessary for those who stay awake long hours to count count count count count count count count count

No, I wish I was talking about Sesame Street.

Ah, time. You’ve got a crooked back, what with all I’ve heaped on you lately. This latest story stands above the water in 7,000 or so words, still incomplete, still beating out the pulse to make walls tumble and shake, liquid black, eyesore green. Two kids who ought to have known better, but the adults are the truth behind (anti) matter.
We’ll see where it goes. If I don’t end up hurling it into the Clock’s heart (Metropolis notes abound) then perhaps it’ll wind up on an agent’s desk.
I always did pun unintentionally. So I left that one in, for our mutual shit-eating grins.

It’s good to return to the base, where the wind cranks through rotting fields of wheat, and trees grow through the roof:
raf edles

raf edles 2

There are some who would look to me for a stepping stone, a purchase, a blade, a Like, a handshake, a fuck and / or a page turned. I say, “Easy, all. I’m a namesake only.”

When I said what I said, I didn’t mean anything –

I was afraid I’d eat your brains (’cause I’m evil.)

Ways part. Water flows. Walls crumble, my heart dies a little more, rebuilds itself on new days, strangeways, a city life renewable and antiquated by turns.
I’m a writer, friend. I make things happen. Even when it hurts like hell, things happen for the want of the world.

All the very best of us string ourselves up for love.

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No one to point the finger

24/09/2013 at 22:39 (Personal) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )


It’s just you and me, and the rain.

As it once was, before our shared time spun away in toxic-beauty droplets. No more the red kites counted, the hikes through all weathers, our faces burned bronze with time spent alone and together and apart.

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It was only one hour ago, it was all so different then. Five years and counting nothing, because that put it to a timeline, a calendar – an End Game. We were younger then, stupid with the world and lust and red wine. We found ourselves in the face of shared life, on and offline, down rail line, up streets fine; lost ourselves in over-priced shopping and London roads and rain-filled afternoons quietly asleep, dreaming of a time we’d be published and famous and aloof and awake and over the hill. Never married. Never childbirth. Never divergence, of thoughts and things that mattered … until they ceased to matter. Until I couldn’t hold your eye. Until you couldn’t keep my feet still.

I grieve for you. You live in me.

The future is a blue rose, full of mystery, the unobtainable and the longing, the shared ice and anecdotes and memories frozen in a place none can follow. We’ll be buried as best friends and confidantes, but my soul will wander, as ever it did in our waking dream of real life. No one would riot for less.
You kiss my mouth.
Hell is here.

You were my All, and thought and dream and time, until none of these seemed apart or a part of myself. Until this year broke us. Until our shared time faded out in mosquito bites of cash flow and supermarket runs and broken hearts and shattered trust. Did I dream this belief, or did I believe this dream?

Grieve for us both, world, and move on. That’s the way of things; when friends become lovers, and back again. We drank to ourselves then, as now, as ever.

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Distance doesn’t count for anything, unless it’s in the heart. Our hills have been climbed, our storms outrun. The Beacon will always be there, waiting. The Downs will probably call us back someday. We’ll pass the barrows of your forefathers, and laugh at the times we fell down rabbit holes and mistook sanitation for cigars and fell asleep with our mouths catching flies. And recall those old-gold afternoons by the wretched train station, when I listened for the Mini’s whine, and the sounds of a weekend-life just beginning. No, distance meant nothing. We surpassed it.

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But when together, we couldn’t overcome distance of the heart, the wandering mind. So it goes. Five years, to me, is a long time … a relationship’s lifetime. Not one memory regrettable; even the hard times were bittersweet pills. We learned ourselves in the face of the world, and each other; though we chose our own times to look away. Now it’s mine, and it’s for good, and somehow that’s OK. Friends part with tears and a smile, not mouths of hate.

I’ll send you North, you’ll keep me here.
I love without capacity. You love without remorse. Somehow, it worked; and through the nightmares and flashbacks and illness, the silent rage and writer’s block and doubts of fidelity, from that first daft kareoke night (when we cried together from laughing) to running for the train, to Evenstar and swords and bad emails and Love Will Tear Us Apart, in the pub that’s since burned to the ground and lies as an ashen stub of its former glory… we part as friends.

There’ll always be the Downs, the barrows and the red kites.

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On an Atom (End of All Things)

10/09/2013 at 20:18 (Personal, Poetry, Writing) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )


So, traipsing around inside my head only recalls echoed footfalls. Trickle and trace, the dance comes around again, and I find myself with sweat-rimed skin and empty eyes. There’s only so long I can breathe.

I tried. I found. I spoke. Flailed and fought, and damnit where do things go when you lay them down for a moment? Around the Nick, I need to padlock my possessions down, as the guys have kleptomania for mugs and coffee. Chocolate doesn’t stand a chance.

I love them all. They drive me mad, like all the best ones do.

I can’t imagine life outside these city walls. I’m frittering with emails, trying to find somewhere new to live, old to exist in. These stones are my mind, ancient and antiquated like good wine, fine bones, knowing eyes. I’d jump off them all into the dark, if I didn’t think it’d land me in a cell down the road. They’d laugh with me, turn turn again.

The night is cold with feelings and air, and I’m at a loss in the face of blank space and time. Stuck inside a circumstance.
The editing went well though.

Sometimes I find my face in a window and forget my name in the absence of things to throw.

LOUD thoughts. Not gone yet, nope. Still there, itching my brain. Bastards with sticky fingers, daemons with claws, and a tightrope to walk. Normal, sane, what’s in a name? Mine’s printed on the back of someone’s hand. They’ll wipe it off in a moment, an ink smear, a loose connection.

Freefall always works best for me when cut to the tune of a diamond song.

Friend or foe? Under the bone-white light, who could say where that word lands.
****
I can always rely on the sky.

End of All Things

At the end of all things, as the sun
Flares brighter, eclipsing the night
While the stars scream death-songs, the light
Shall dwindle and fade in all eyes.

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And in the shivering darkness
Your winter, the echoing sighs
Of battles fought and lost, and won,
Shall pale in the memory of time.

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No longer the soil grows, to be scarred
With reason, with motive or sense
No longer the bellies shall echo, love
As the Horsemen dismount and relent.

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Now watch as the tides draw back, the surf
A brilliant white, in which the sun drowns
Your hand everlasting, warm with regret
Shall find and take mine, as we wait.

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The years and the days in passing, love
Have mocked me as only a clock face can
The silence and stillness now are friends
At the end of all things, as we stand.

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A recessional in the Terminal

22/08/2013 at 21:16 (Personal, Writing) (, , , , , , , , , , )


Well. After three years of drafting, cooling, forgetfulness of self in the face of the world … I’ve published my first short story, “Terminal”, up on Kindle.

This evening has splintered with angry words. My housemate has taken himself down a crass new route, and though I can’t be bothered to list everything that was said / inferred, rest assured that it was the final cutting blow to my patience. I cried. I hate doing this in front of people. But after a doctor’s appointment for a lump in my chest, still growing, and continuing pressures at work … It all made my head scream. Tonight was the closest I’ve come to lashing out and hurting someone, in a long time. I don’t like to think of the damage done, if I had.

Too bad. Too loud. Too much of one thing, not enough of another. I’m not coming apart at the seams, not yet. He had the gall to tell me to “be stronger” in the face of all that’s happened. Yes, because surviving anorexia, and sexual abuse, and parental breakup and a mental breakdown, isn’t enough to warrant being strong in this world.

I had no words in my throat to fling back. I won’t sink to his level of intimidation. I can prove my “strength” in this. He is a bully. But I’m not about to give the guys at work the giggle-factor of seeing ME behind bars for a change šŸ˜‰

Tonight, I made myself a published author. It feels pretty damn fine. I’m finally starting to live up to my own expectations.

And I owe it to this lovely lady, and her song:

Despite everything, I can smile tonight.

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