You fancy me mad

Writer & Editor – 21 – LDN

social commentary

i have a friend who
throws her loose
change into the bin
because all those
coins “clog
up” her michael kors
purse, they annoy her
terribly, “do you know
what i mean?”
(snaps bubblegum)
i told her that
she could really
do with all the change
she could get.

An Open Letter to my Brother

Note: This post has been composed entirely using the ‘free writing’ technique. I was thinking about my brother as I haven’t seen him for a while, and then I have literally just typed this out in one go. It made me pretty emotional so I haven’t read over what I’ve written. So obviously it hasn’t been edited or adjusted at all because I haven’t read it. I’ve just left it raw. Here’s a photo of my baby brother and I at my graduation last summer:

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Bonsoir maggot,

I have just been pondering your existence,
how you lost your twin,
how you were as a baby,
how you have turned out
(now that you’re twenty!)
how you deal with life
and the past so easily
when I struggle to stand
on the ground beneath me
because you caught on
to a trick that I missed:

Delete the past
It didn’t exist.

I can’t decide if you
deal with the past
incredibly well
or in unhealthy ways:
you definitively erased
our private hell.

It kills me that you
have no childhood
to speak of
but then again
perhaps some things
are better left unsaid.

You don’t remember
the bad things,
the bad, bad things,
no child should ever
have to experience.

You buried your childhood
deep in your cranial caves
Dad buried his brother
and
Mother buried letters from the taxman
and I,
I buried all hope of fucking normalcy
for my darling family
at the bottom of the fucking garden
(where the Cornish pixies and skeletons
of our pets reside)
I think we all died
that day I threw all normalcy away.

You’re normal now, little bro.
I cannot tell you my relief. My,
my oh my, my relief
that you never succumbed to
the depths of depression that
Strangled every inch of rationale
out through the pores of our
working-class skin. Thank God
almighty, all mighty
that he didn’t make you sick,
that he didn’t make you sick
like me, like Daddy.
Big Sis escaped, she ran away
when we needed her to save us,
the ran for the hills and while it is
never mentioned, never uttered
I don’t think we have ever forgiven
her for that. Right? Are you with me bro?
Or is the sound of her driving away
in the middle of the night
buried too?

But it doesn’t matter,
it’s just me and you,
just like it was when
we were toddlers
hiding behind the big chair
in the corner
silent
always.
You grabbed out
to reach a fragment
of the shattered plate
to play with, I guess
the china had smashed
at an angle and you cut
your tiny, tiny hand
in my tiny hand
holding on.
I covered your ears
because I had to.

But that’s all dead
and gone
buried in the back
garden of the bottom
of your brain, yeah bruv?
I am so proud of you.

I thank every star in this
smothering sky that
you turned out alright.
You were never bullied
at school (and she stopped
bullying you at home once you
were taller than her)
never expelled
never seen the inside of a jail cell
you’ve managed to use drugs
socially, and get boozy
socially, but never addicted.
Yeah, we smoke, but what
can she do?
She will never hurt us again.
I won’t let her, and I know that you won’t
let her hurt me either.

I’m proud of you.
You didn’t turn out like me,
tortured by the childhood that
I see in front of my eyes each time I blink
each time I think
about how different I would be
if we had a normal family.

I can hear you saying,
‘Yeah, but, like, it’s in the past now
init, forget about it, it’s over.’
But it’s not, it’s not
in my dreams I hear your screams
I see myself age four, leaning on the door
wondering when she’s going to let you
out from the tub full of freezing water.
I’m sorry, man.
I didn’t know what to do.
You were two.

So, you have deleted the first 13
years of your life, fuck the strife
onwards and upwards, teenage
years were alright, right? We survived
didn’t we bro, stealing tins of beans
from Sainsbury’s
stealing cookies and donuts
selling them at school for double bubble
You’d bail me out when I was in trouble
and had endless meetings with the local council
and wherever we slept on those hideous nights
the park
the abandoned electricity house
the gas works
the pub garden
the school grounds
We were alright.
Right bro?
We were alright.

And I’ll be alright, don’t stress mate.
I hurt myself in a bad way the other day
I’m sorry and
in the process got some blood splatters on your wall
I’m sorry and
No, no, it’s not her fault at all
She can’t hurt me anymore
I’m bigger and stronger than ever before!

Ah, dammit, you always know when I’m lying.

I’m so proud of you bruv.
You are my favourite brother (god knows how many others we’ve got!)
You are my favourite male infant child, apart from the baby Jesus.
Right? I just sent you some money through cyberspace.
I am working on getting you a laptop, you need a computer
to finish your studies (and plus your handwriting is shit,
another catastrophic failure on behalf of
“the ‘rents”) —
but
your new laptop will probably have
fallen off the back of a lorry,
but
that’s alright,
right?
Right dickhead,
gotta run
this girl’s done
enough
reminiscing for one day.

Oh shit,
by the way,
I fucking love you bruvver,
forever and a day.

Jane Eyre, Don’t Care

Everything fell apart in me.
How are things with you?

– Jack Kerouac

8 days sober

I have done a week without booze and I don’t know how I feel about it. I kinda don’t want to talk about it or write about it or think about it too much, lest I tempt fate. I am taking my dad to the pub tomorrow night to watch the football, and I know it’s going to be really difficult not to drink. I suspect that it’ll all be too much for me and I will ask someone to take my dad home so I can leave early. That Guy I was sleeping with and the woman who is pregnant with his child will probably be there. As mentioned in a previous post, it transpires that Pregnant Lady knows about “the affair” so we’ll have to see if there’s any confrontation at all. Meh. I doubt it. Although if she attacks me I obviously won’t fight back because she’s 6 months pregnant. So if anything does kick off, I’ll just have to stand there and take it like a woman. Fuck it.

I received some money from the gov!!!! Finally. Thank God. To celebrate I bought a carton of orange juice, a jam doughnut, a 7-day bus pass, and topped up my phone with calling credit for the first time since November. I had lots of voicemails to listen to, mainly from LC and C checking to make sure I haven’t killed myself. They’re so sweet.

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I also ordered a secondhand copy of The Handmaid’s Tale from Amazon, because I feel utterly ashamed to say that I haven’t read it *hides face in hands* Then I started thinking about all of the other great books that I should’ve read by now (being a graduate of English Literature and all) and all these titles suddenly came flooding into my brain. I realised that most of these books that I pretend I have read are indeed the great classics of Brit Lit, and so are available as a free download on my Amazon Kindle (best thing the ex-boyfriend ever gifted me). Then my casual browsing turned into a manic downloading spree and I got lots of new books on my Kindle without paying a penny.

Other than Tess and Jude, I have read nothing else by Thomas Hardy: a crime, I know. To be honest I think that my dad introduced me to Thomas Hardy a little too early (I was only a little girl when I first read Tess and didn’t understand it all that much, a memory which later presented itself as dislike). So, I downloaded Far from the Madding Crowd and The Mayor of Casterbridge, hoping that my apparent disdain for Hardy will dissipate.

Another shocking confession… I’ve never read Jane Eyre. (I’ll give you a moment to let that sink in). This classic novel wasn’t one of my dad’s favourites, we didn’t have a copy at home when I was growing up, we were never taught it at school and it wasn’t in the school library, and I deliberately avoided taking the Bronte course at university. So I guess I’ve just never had access to it or sought it out. But, I’ve downloaded it now and I do look forward to reading it.

I have also never read Voltaire’s Candide so I bought the English translation and original French edition for a grand total of zero pence. I think I’ll read it in English first, then French, although this plan is subject to change. Then I got distracted and read some Rimbaud and Verlaine, and then Amazon’s recommendations took me off on a tangent and I downloaded the following:

The Life of Buddha and Its Lessons by Henry Steel Olcott (1912)

An Introduction to Philosophy by George Stuart Fullerton (1906)

How to Live on 24 Hours a Day by Arnold Bennett (1910)

Responsibilities, and other poems by W. B. Yeats (1916)

The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci – Complete

Human, All Too Human – A Book for Free Spirits by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1908)

I have so much learning to do to keep me busy/keep me out of the pub and away from alcohol. I love doing comparison studies so some of these texts from the turn of the 20th century will be duly compared to more contemporary texts.

And I also downloaded a handful of books containing stories which I can read to my niece. She loves it when I read to her and sometimes I’m too brain-dead to invent new stories (my niece is 4 and her bedtime is pretty much the same as mine!) so when we’re both tired it’s easier for me to read one of the classics from Andersen or the Grimm brothers. Or indeed a few limericks from Edward Lear’s The Book of Nonsense.

On an unrelated note, I had the most vivid dream last night and I can’t seem to forget about it. In the dream, something happened which was overtly sexual. And it was beautiful, not seedy at all, in fact it seemed like something of a perfect moment. If someone features in a dream of mine and it’s particularly significant, I will tell them about it in real life. This sexual nirvana that occurred in last night’s dream was with someone who I’ve spoken to about dreams many, many times before. But when I think of the way to describe this dream to him, words fail me. However I try to put it, it sounds obscene, inappropriate, sleazy, offensive. What happened in this dream cannot be put into “nice” terms (or as Sartre would say, “flowery language”), which is so strange because myself (or, my character?) in the dream felt complete bliss in that moment, the moment which seems so distasteful when translated into layman’s terms.

To be honest I don’t think he’d want to hear about my dream anyway. He has probably decided it’s easier not to be my friend. I have too many problems that he doesn’t seem to want to help me with. It’s always been easy for him to walk away, he’s done it many times before. But I don’t think he’s coming back this time. Ah well. C’est la fucking vie.

I think I’ve had enough of this day; time for quetiapine dreams. Bonne soirée mes beaux petits pétales. xx

[Dug up from Drafts]

I know that I have written about this time and time again, but I feel that I must share my anxiety over starting a new notebook. Seriously, the thought of spoiling these beautiful ivory pages with my self-centred ramblings makes me feel sick.

But it’s not even about presentation, about making a spelling mistake or smudging the ink or getting the date wrong. The problem with new notebooks is that the empty pages hold so much potential, which is what makes writing that first word so daunting. This becomes even worse when you understand that I write in the famous black Moleskine notebooks. Yes, the “legendary notebook used by artists and thinkers over the past two centuries.” Wait, the same one used by van Gogh, Picasso and Hemingway? Yeah, that one… Now do you understand what I mean about the potential that blank pages hold?

When we face a blank page, all those great writers and artists, all that tradition, all the possibility of leaving a creative mark and making literary history weighs terribly on our tired shoulders. But no one’s ever going to read it if I never write it…

Mac ‘n’ Cheese

6 days sober

I have been struggling working on this one fucking poem all evening. I’m really not happy with it. And it’s as if the more that I mess around with it, the worse it gets, but then I can’t even remember which words I thought were actually ok in the first place and which words I thought were totally not right. What a mess.

On the plus side of life, I made a huge fuck off dish of macaroni cheese and it was the best I’ve ever made it, so that’s good. I’m excited for my care-coordinator to phone and check that I haven’t topped myself so I can tell him I made some food and ate it. He’ll be pleased. I won’t tell him the secret ingredients are breadcrumbs and chilli powder.

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I have almost completed my first sober weekend in a long time. I’m anxious because I haven’t done it yet and could still potentially hit the bottle tonight but I don’t want to think about it, I’d just like Sunday to be over so the weekend is over.

It’s strange being sober on the weekend. I watched a film, which is weird because normally I’m too hungover for that. It was called Howl and was about Ferlinghetti’s City Lights obscenity trial over the publication of ‘Howl and other poems’ by Allen Ginsberg. I did enjoy and appreciate the film, James Franco portrayed Ginsberg very convincingly and I liked the trippy animated segments, but I definitely loved Kill Your Darlings a whole lot more.

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The first sip is joy, the second is gladness, the third is serenity, the fourth is madness, the fifth is ecstasy // Jack Kerouac // source

Actually I’ll leave you with a nice quotation from Kill Your Darlings, in which Allen Ginsberg is played by Daniel Radcliffe.

Be careful, you are not in Wonderland. I’ve heard the strange madness long growing in your soul. But you are fortunate in your ignorance, in your isolation. You who have suffered, find where love hides. Give, share, lose– lest we die, unbloomed.

Kill Your Darlings, 2013

I have suffered, I will find where love hides. But not tonight. Tonight I will fall asleep, and perhaps tomorrow I will fall in love. We’ll see. X

stille nacht

the sensation of my eyelashes
as they fluttered upon your cheek
feels the same as the poisonous spider
that crawls on you while you sleep.

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