Lobe do

On your fifth birthday I decided to dance for some reason
(and I never dance)
it felt like a heady stream of phosphorous lighting
and a woman wearing a clown's red hair.

When we stand next to each other in the doorway
seen against the chirping sunlight
we stand there as equals
little girls in frocks and baked flip-flops

And still, we turn in a half wide arc
and shake off those flowers printed upon our dresses
The hem moves forwards and upwards
as you rock upon the balls of your feet.

The room rose in a square spiral
with eyes waiting and peering down like dyed jewels
into crimson and silk black and tapping shoes
as I twisted a toe and arched a foot.

In a big wide kitchen there and not there
filled with white wood white
You made Gnocchi from scratch
herb green edges to its yellow flesh

It floated in the pot limply as we stared down at it
over the top of the silver aluminium pot
A tinge of garlic floating upwards
and wafting away in a ghostly pale.

When we ate it it stuck to the tops of our mouths
How is it, you asked, crossing lacquered nails and long legs
And everyone hesitated before saying "perfect".
Inside your room, the walls are filled

with defiant postcards printed on a spread of stars
We talk and you laugh but I don't when (or if) you will laugh
As you sit sure with impeccable tone
a burgundy jumper over mustard skirt 

When we speak next you stare into leafy distance
cold with a casual disposition 
I have to go now, you say with too many hearts and exclamation marks
and all I can write into the glow is 'okat, i lobe do'

Flint sequins flash as I turn furious tapping
Then there is a breath, a new spiral of silence
as I stop and before people clap, when I catch your eye
in your golden card birthday crown you look at me blankly

And I wish that I had said then,
we grow old and it doesn't matter,
you become beautiful and I remain small
But I can't and I look at you
and all I can manage is 'i lobe do'.

I suppose it’s good to write something new on the first day of the month. I’ve been waiting for about two days for September to start because I didn’t know that August had thirty one days, I guess I forgot to do the month-knuckle thing we used to do as kids.

I’ve been thinking about the image I want to use for this piece and I’ve drawn up a blank. So, instead of an image, I made up a song and recorded it. The recording is terrible, and I’m very sorry for that, but I’ve put warmth and scratchiness into that sound for you this Autumn day.

This poem, as you probably noticed, features auto-correct. Technology is quite difficult to depict and represent in prose, and more so in poetry. It can be quite jarring because writing is a thing that has carried on over thousands of years and we collectively still have a rough, but particular, sense of the ‘proper’ tone and aesthetic of written things which is somewhat removed from our present circumstances of quick swiping. I’ve tried to do that here without it being overly awkward, and I don’t know if it has worked. It grates on me slightly, and I don’t know if I’ve managed to capture the human nuance and balanced the two things together, but here you go anyway.

Room

 

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When she woke up there were strands of hair everywhere. There was a moment of wild panic as she straightened things out in her mind, and then collapsed back into bed. Her eyes stared up listlessly, coated with a dull film.

There were times when I read books about adventure, when I explored forests on my bike.

Her room was a jumble of things that frightened her. She would count the number of boxes it would take to sort everything out, to pack everything in and it would number in thousands. Small boxes for the rocks and shells and a giant one for her bed. Sometimes before she fell into a restless sleep she would see the lid come down neatly over her in her bed. A rubber hot water bottle lay next to her bed within arm’s reach. It was a wobbly and fleshy pink, like the inside of some innocent young animal. There were no pictures of people in her room, only lonely and bleak landscapes. Hope to her was forever a forbidden drug, and hope to her was a deep and encompassing sorrow. It wasn’t truly sorrow, it was sorrow and anger and a cruel pleasure all mixed up together.

I shaved my head when I was seventeen and my mother said what if it never grows back?

A stuffed pig lay next to her. She called it Maurice. She had stopped answering texts, emails, calls, letters. Everything had been stopped months ago. The front door was battered but silent as she lay in a nest of glossy hair. The wardrobe was shut but there were sounds coming from inside it – like slow, deep breathing.

Father is in the wardrobe, curled and powerless. He speaks in Morse and he cannot understand anything. He gets violent and bangs on the walls around him sometimes, but they are too strong. He screams, less and less frequently. He mostly runs on the spot inside the wardrobe now. There is a yellow lamp in the corner which he gazes at and croons to.

She watched him with regret sometimes, connected to him by some primal thread. They looked into each other’s eyes and saw other lives reflected back.

A girl I knew told me once that if you tore a little bit off a butterfly’s wings it would fly faster.

She had never known pain, she just thought she had. The things she created shone dully, peering through black cobwebs.

 

Love in German/but photograph is ‘Paris, je t’aime’

This is the most horrible thing in the world. Everyone will agree. “Badum pam pam” far worse than a song stuck in your head because this is a person. The only thing you can do to somehow gather yourself from the puddle of whatever liquid you’ve melted into is to read and watch and listen. Immerse yourself in the suffering of others to alleviate your own because that’s what other people are there for (you’ve finally realised their importance). You can either convince yourself that they had a worse time than you (eating buckets of ice cream and pining away in bed for several days while slowly vegetating) or you can make yourself into a martyr and believe that absolutely NO ONE in this world and in history has suffered as much as you. Not Dido, not Norma, but you with your velvet scrunchie.

Us with our glass hearts.

Kidney pie you see the world in black and white.

And you at the centre of that vast tragic swirling vortex of monochrome.

Although far from monochromatic, Turner has captured so much more than nature in this painting he has captured the storm within us all and it is rushing into every crevice on and on in a seemingly unrelenting endless flow overwhelming everything everywhere and engulfing you in its colours overpowering invasive acute

Stop.

“I know you *liiiilt* you’re the one I’ve waited for…”

You listen to this Jon Brion song from Synechdoche, New York and write a blog. All the while eating ice cream of course. Mint chocolate chip.