a girl around LSE
carries great quantities three
offensive boring dams to
the current of her fighting
walk a snail-trail of droplets
whilst the trees falling sorely
out her hands save the trees don’t
let them go she thought as he
asked to help the dam problem
don’t leave twigs behind don’t mix
leaves up as she searched for her
silent library card
Glowing laptop screen –
my thirsty eyes in search of
a fresh cigarette.
It was a few weeks ago that I had the idea of mixing both English and French in a poem, and wowee last night it just appeared out of nowhere from the depths of my difficult slumber. And when I started reading over this patch of unexpected word vomit I broke into a laughing fit, which has also never ever happened to me with regards to my writing. I’ve rarely written something this strange, so please share your thoughts about it with the Noggin.
The events in the second poem did not happen to me personally.
I’m not very good at Haikus. That one there was a last minute addition.
Look after yourself and one another.
Take some time on your balcony.
You grab the frogspawn of the cosy pond and chuck it onto the ground like a bunch of black marbles. You take our friends away with a click of the spiky latch of the door by sucking the air out of their bedrooms; the only syllable I’ll hear from them and not even uttered by a human mouth. Continue reading →
I remember when the word University looked like a big mountain and
I remember when you shouted me into doing this degree after looking at all the Linguistics books I’d borrowed from the Central Library in Edinburgh.
I remember emancipation from music school, a place that flung me into the sky, to blissful, heavenly heights, and threw me back down onto the ground.
I remember how desperate I was to break away from school and everything I used to do, to the point where I was convinced – encouraged to believe – and not entirely by my own hand, that I should change my image and even my own name, for the second time; because having an unusual Chinese name would be an oral obstacle to professional networking and to becoming a success.
I remember during the summer before the great move I had researched, extensively, all the societies I considered joining, even emailing some of them in advance in order to indicate and validate my existence as an enthusiastic, energised new student ready to make her mark in the student community and all that yada-yada.
I remember the day I moved out of home. We packed many, many bags into the car. I had curled my hair with rollers the previous night and my locks had scooped into curls that bounced like the dancers in the flirty fifties. I remember picking utensils from the kitchen in the old house; we were very selective of the number of knives, forks, chopsticks, plates and bowls. My spatula was made of pink rubber with a stainless steel handle. The chopping board was grass green. Continue reading →
I am in a place where I congratulate myself for merely opening my violin case, tuning my strings and fumbling a scale on the fingerboard. If by some miracle I make it any further, my soul seems to shrivel with dissatisfaction and hopelessness into one of those slimy slaves in Ursula’s cave, the name of which is frustratingly hard to find even on such magnanimous search engine like Google.
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.
People ask me how I am getting on here. It has been a month and the initial jitters have disappeared. I am no longer terrified of finding the right ‘Amphi’ (l’amphithéâtre’ = lecture hall) in campus. I have made friendships from a range of different situations, on my corridor, meeting ERASMUS students, organised language tandem nights and classes. In lectures I can understand 50%, sometimes 70% of what the teacher is saying, which is often at such supersonic speed not even the French students can keep up, reassuring for me to some degree. But at least the lecturers I have this semester are decent oralists, all thoroughly engaging and rigorous. I record all of my classes and re-listen at home, which takes hours and is incredibly boring. Finally I am in France and I want to go out and meet the world but in fact I must do this in order to survive the year and enjoy any hope of passing my exams. Oh God. Continue reading →