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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Autumn Instinct, Homeward Flight

29/08/2013 at 12:06 (Personal, Poetry, Writing) (, , , , , , , , , , , )


If this year has taught me anything, it’s that nothing is secure. Things unravel in a breathspace. One by one, the fragments of life I’ve carefully pieced together in the city, are falling away. Maybe it’s not such a bad thing. Maybe my time is done here.

I try not to expect too much of any one day, person or feeling now. With the year already starting to look old in more ways than one, my face is turning to the south, to my old hometown. I fled it three years ago, to escape ghosts of my past.

I’m starting to miss their pale touch. Especially when the geese thrum overhead. Instinct is pulling me to wherever I’ll feel at home.

Now when the light among the trees
Has frayed from summerā€™s gold, to brass
The geese make chevron smiles at me
And I shall wave, to see them pass

But now the hawk, his keening cry
Has sold my soul within the haze
I watch him leave and mourn the loss
Of diamond love, within his gaze

Your hand was warm inside the spring
A green-gold hope, a vagrant lust
I couldnā€™t hope to rein you in
And distance bides its time on trust

But here again, the road shall part
My breath is twisting with the wind
And melancholy rides the grass
Towards the winter chill within

My home, my time within the walls
Of ancient stone and modern face
Are dialling down towards the sun
Lost in the west, his empty grace

And soon the autumn, with his geese,
His brassy sun and fading light
Shall lift the hope and set me free
Where instinct points me home, in flight.

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Let’s get out of the city …

28/01/2012 at 19:24 (Personal) (, , )


.. and get a haircut. After an extensive country hike, of course. Red kites mandatory. Mud, prolific and varied in texture. Slips and slides, anticipated (weary legs – much barre work and stretching required thereafter.)

The kites came quick and fast; at least three shapely individuals with full plumage and hooked wings, and a family of Ma, Pa (B-52 size) and two teens, with their unique stubby wings and mottled brown colouration. Their cries to one another carried on the striking east wind. I got a crick in my neck watching them as we crested the barrows, heading for the quarry, and almost went arse over tit on a mudslide. If I had, I’d probably have gone the whole hog in otter-style, belly to the ground and giggling until my teeth went chequered.

I love how, at the Visitor’s centre, their advisory plaques detail the local wildlife’s activity thus: “If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to spot a red kite.” This was relevant in 201h0, perhaps. Now, you’d have to be bat-blind to miss their V-shape, lazy thermal glide and distinctive keening whine.

One of the greatest sights I’ve yet experienced, was a kite divebombing a pidgeon straight from the sky. Stillness of a pewter sky, lightly swaying treetops as I rounded a corner on a walk past a local farm, suddenly became an explosion of feathers – red blood scattering down in droplets to the road – a snarling shriek – and a kite, bearing a tattered lump of gristle away in its formidable talons. I stood for almost ten minutes on the road (thankfully a quiet one), assimilating all the details of that scenario without airbrushing, to relate later. Cue awed voice.

Watching true predators, almost makes me want to quit being vegetarian, out of solidarity to an ancient, instinctive need. Almost.

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If I should ever come across someone mistreating these birds, I won’t be held responsible for my actions, because my temper will become an entirely seperate entity.

On another predatory note – this is Kaiser:
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He is a red-point Birman, almost 5 years old, currently living with my Ma until I can afford a larger flat with a lenient landlord. And he is a shitbag. He likes to snag toes which pass his nose, curl up around your head while you’re trying to sleep, and press his purring face against yours until the whisker-tickles become unavoidable, and sneezing ensues. He’s my baby. I miss his fur, his huge blue eyes that let me know when he’s in full shitbag mode (dilated pupils) and his way of sitting quietly wrapped around my shoulders as I write, occasionally offering an opinion in my ear. He was my official editor. Also, my greatest confidante.


I can’t stop listening to this song at the moment. I see the band, Camera Obscura, in shades of purple and magenta.

The novel is developing feet, which run away with themselves. The more I write, the larger the fictional world becomes. It encompasses a mishmash of my childhood in Germany, the dark days on the Dole, and my current tapestry of winding streets, vintage scruffles, work and old buildings/new faces. The more people I come to accept in my life, the more colours stream through to add texture to my writing. Pity I couldn’t look into that when I was younger.

If this novel is finished (I’m Queen Procrastinator), I’ll toast myself for just putting the last full stop in. I’m notoriously bad at wrapping things up / seeing projects through to the end. Whether it lands on an agent’s desk, is another matter entirely.

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