fleeting series #1
I’ve been thinking about this new series for a while. In the past my writing has always been intensely personal, and whilst that can be very revealing and rewarding, it also has its limits. Sometimes it feels self-indulgent and sometimes it’s just plain boring to go back over the same feelings again and again. Though I’m sure I will always write personal pieces to grapple with my feelings, I want to start writing- and, indeed, viewing the world- from other perspectives as well. I know that found items have been used countless times in art, for good reason- they offer a single piece of information from which one can build an entire character. (Please note that I say ‘character’ rather than ‘person’!) For me, there’s also a question of ethics. This note, for example, is written on company stationery with an address (on the other side). But even when an item isn’t linked to a specific identity, it can still be terribly personal, and I have to ask myself how I would feel if someone found one of my personal notes and used it to create something new. I honestly don’t have an answer to that. I don’t really have an answer to any of it. I found this note inside a book at a charity shop inscribed “to beautiful Alice from a secret admirer”. Who is Alice? Why did she get rid of this book? Did she choose to give it away in the hope of escaping painful memories? Did she lose it on a train? Who is M, by whom the note is signed? There are many, many small mysteries in our own tiny universes and I don’t hope to solve them. I just want to explore the things that remain of us long after we are gone, and what kind of stories they might tell.
8:31 pm • 4 April 2014 • 38 notes
I just have to keep repeating to myself: “You are okay. You will get through this.” And I wouldn’t say it’s working but I wouldn’t say it’s completely failing, either. After all, how much can anything really “work”? How can we even measure that? Sadness is a part of my life as it is a part of everyone’s, and instead of fighting it with alcohol and cheap-quick cures I am going to grow with it this time. I am going to stretch upwards in the mornings and reach further every time and I am going to stop fighting the night with blazing sounds. I will let the darkness settle around me in my sleep. Through it I will dream. I will breathe fresh air deep into my lungs: I will be my own lifebelt and float atop the waves, refusing to drown. I will meditate and forgive myself where I can. I am so lucky to be surrounded by people who support me, and to feel hot peppermint tea slide down my throat to a warm belly. I will remember to love. I will love it all.
3:35 pm • 4 April 2014 • 84 notes
Two pocket-sized gin bottles we’d sneak into gigs take pride of place on my windowsill. Flowers grow there now, in the dust of a friendship that never knew words for birthday cards and spoke only in drunken hands and hungover cigarettes, still silent. My mother said once she came upstairs at 10pm and we were fast asleep already, curled up on the end of my bed, fox cubs. The thing is that night I don’t even remember talking. I remember music, though, Arcade Fire and Pavement and David Bowie and then suddenly radio silence and I think we’re okay. We are far more alike than I ever realised. You don’t call. I don’t call. But I’m sure we’ll get a drink again some day.
6:13 pm • 28 March 2014 • 61 notes
I’m listening to Built To Spill and hearing the end of a long six months of cheap headphones, thin sandwiches, passing the time on public transport playing mind-numbing games on my mobile phone. It doesn’t feel like long ago at all that I took my first bus home from Lewisham, sat on the top deck and looked down over the market wondering if you were still around. But I didn’t call. After that I took rush-hour trains and squeezed myself between tired, suited bodies until I became one too and stopped thinking about how I’ve spent almost my entire life here; as if being born in another city is the only story I will ever have.
Because you taught me stories dissipate and die here. Heartbeats and Beethoven sonatas drown under the hail of newly re-soled shoes slamming, slamming, slamming the pavement, desperately rhythmic, and my bare feet along with them, trying to keep up. Sometimes the harsh stone feels like grass between my toes in Greenwich park, sun on my bare shoulders and our six-pack of shop-bought cider lasts all afternoon. We never move on to wine and get lost and I don’t end up sick behind the library alone. And when I wake up at 5am I don’t stumble a last glance at you sleeping. I just walk home.
Without you the city is a cold machine driving out pulse we can barely live to, let alone set a melody against. When you left, you took your stories, and I realised I have nothing of my own.
7:49 pm • 27 March 2014 • 28 notes
years ago I heard a song at the bottom of a dark river and hummed loudly as our canoe floated downstream, sun breaking on us through the canopy I remember “is that the water music?” and I said no though it was then mine. my water music.
that summer plays in slow-motion sepia as if my feet still slam the pavement of every hot road we walked, but no other part of me was there.
cold beer against my teeth. warm vodka from a plastic bottle and I laughed as my legs shook and stumbled into an apologetic youth still too cold to bear your arms around me. the river was rain and piss.
I am lying at the bottom of that river now.
9:25 pm • 26 March 2014 • 34 notes
you will always be an ocean
you will always crash
over and against me
until I am broken glass
scattered on the sea floor
through my shattering
to the light.
9:35 pm • 18 March 2014 • 185 notes
PLS PLS GIVE ME FEEDBACK I’m trying to write a song for this art pop group I’m in at uni but I’m just too embarrassed everyone there is so talented and I’m a piece of gum on the pavement
7:29 pm • 11 March 2014 • 74 notes
from The Quiet World by Jeffrey McDaniel
first experiment for my next composition assignment (working with text) and also the reason for my constant panic about what I’m doing with my life
my actual degree is chicken noodle soup
9:07 pm • 5 March 2014 • 22 notes
I have been writing down my sadness
for 18 months over 5 years now
and sometimes it helped to burn up reams
of self-loathing and scraps of hope
which served only to hurt;
sometimes it helped to bleed it all-
ink, salt, love, blood-
in equal quantities, but
this morning the rain kept tapping on my window
until I turned around to see the tree outside
full-blossoming love that would only fall
and putrefy, in time, and yet you’d never know it
by the way it dazzled itself now.
After I die, I don’t want my life illuminated
by cigarette butts glowing in back alleys
through the ashes of suffering poems;
I want that light to come from within
when I reach up and say thank you, sun,
for all the tender kisses you scattered
to let primroses bud in the heart of a damp forest;
for your kindness,
for your warmth,
for your patience
with trembling roots who could not cling.
Thank you for everything
you have helped grow in me
even though I am just mud.
— greatest reality
11:21 am • 3 March 2014 • 78 notes
My book is available on Lulu! And yes, this poem is in it.
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10:47 am • 17 January 2014 • 1,092 notes