And she’s off again, dismantling the treasures from her sweet Camden bedroom. Postcards and posters peeled off, books taken off for light to shine on the dusty shelves. Staring at this four-walled shell one comes to realise how even the scrubbiest of flats can always become beautiful with human inspiration.
Knowing I’m a puppet
bobbing along the canal,
Someone’s pulling on the strings
controlling my wheres and hows.
I feel I have some say
on how to hold my arms.
Even at the mercy and sway
of unforeseen harms.
I can resist
the forces in my wrist,
but not enough to break that solid grip.
I can’t find you in me.
But, I hear your footsteps!
Pounding the balcony.
Somehow it’s much more simple
to style myself in ink
than play those notes,
and hear my voice
in the sink.
I’ll wait for notes – Enter my head!
– but hear these words instead.
I seem to love notes
less (much less)
than muttering words in bed.
Don’t get trapped within yourself.
I’ll look beyond my eyes.
I feel much safer on the page
than in my musical lies.
I feel more present when I write
than when I play violin.
I feel like I can show the world
the girl that lives within
the spectacles and photographs
suffering from lethargy,
until words come to rescue her.
Since I read Kate Tempest
I can’t help but rhyme my words,
and structure them in rhythms.
Pretty chirping birds.
Poise, bend, analyse
disciple with strong knees.
How to best move through the air
to get to where you want to be.
You have your Way,
I’ve my coffee (and cigarettes
zipped in my bag) it’s
all I have,
plus this green pen,
to fly through life
with the skills and brain
and body, we have
to get that ball
to hit your bike
parked in the corner of the world.
Poise, bend, analyse
Trace the process step by step.
That’s technique! Joyce ‘Donato said
to the young soprano, Mix and mix
inside the stomach. Open!
The snake of air whose trajectory
must not, by unnecessary
bits in your mouth
and mind and body, be
Legato vowels, then go go go
and follow through be Ursula the
villain who is you on the stage,
for there is only true
and only false,
and everyone can see when you are true,
and everyone can see when you’re not you,
says, Tap-Tap-Tap the racket and the ground
going ’round the ball to contain it in two
worlds, but the ball just giggles
away, pulls her tongue out and says,
Imma listen to the man,
so let me roll
and let me play!
Come ON, yells the samurai
when he fails to shape the sky he wants.
Gotta listen to the man, says the ball, You see,
‘cos he wants his stripe of movement to fall.
he performs for me now? says she.
Stabs her dagger in the bench,
Smells her own blood’s stench.
Written to be read aloud. Inspired by a man practising tennis in Cartwright Gardens called Tom, and Joyce DiDonato YouTube videos.
Friday 21.04.17 – 10.27AM
I’ve just submitted a law essay which I believe has redirected me onto the path to Enlightenment, and I need to stop everything that I’m doing in order to write down what’s in my head. Brace yourselves…
And then he said to me, ‘Isn’t it funny we’re all just people walking around trying to put on appearances. . .’
‘I’m gonna grow a moustache and start smoking. It’s just another way to meet new people.’
A sheet of silk
A slice of silver paper
Perfect glass at one atom’s depth
The wing of a bee between your index and thumb
It feels as pure as the 0, with 1 being and only ever being the exact opposite: unconsciousness, non-existence.
As flat and smooth as the side of a sheet of aluminium paper, and its binary counterpart the underside. The left to its right; the light in the darkness; the silence that gives birth to sound.
Maybe it’s one of those 20th century post-modern paintings – only one or two blocks of raw colour – by one of those American names who has a load of canvasses in the New York MoMA. I remember a special sharp blue and it was a square.
See how it lingers in the back door of the mind, like an anonymous, faceless bringer of information.
Sometimes if I’m lucky I feel the sheet flutter in my hand and I have the power in my fingers.
The tiny doll in pink glasses and bubbly ringlets looked up at me from her chair, with eyes as bright as the light of summer waters. Her two dainty yet hasty hands fluttered at me. I obeyed and crouched down to face-level.
“Hm?” I said. Even closer! said her hands and eyes, so I leaned the side of my head towards her ready to receive the secret. A whispered gift. She moved forward to my ear and curled her hands into a hollow by my cheek. A few seconds of silence; I heard no whisper. Then, from the stillness came the quietest, softest, smallest kiss in the world.
A cherry-blossom petal had fallen and was floating on the water.
Last week, I felt really proud of myself because I did many things.
- First Pilates class, courtesy of the Law School, with many more to come.
- I started part-time work at the National Youth Orchestra (yes, I know what you’re thinking; will I ever stop talking about them?)
- A moot.
- I cycled to the Royal Academy of Arts and saw the Anselm Kiefer exhibition, which, by the way, is mind-blowing.
Then I realised – surprise, surprise – that these activities added nothing to my actual degree and I was behind on my course. I was exhausted too, mentally numb and emotionally drained. I had a minor breakdown.
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