Friday, 17 April 2015

TWO GIRLS // TWO DREAMS

DREAM ONE

Last night I dreamed of you, vividly. It was a Matroyshka dream: first, in the dream, I was walking down the street, thinking of the pleasant dream I had just had of you, of how nice it was that you were in my thoughts, and then you were there, by my side: Surprise!
    I couldn’t believe it. It was as if I had summoned you just by thinking about you. In the dream, I didn’t try to play it cool at all. I told you, again and again, that I had just been dreaming of you, and then, there you were. You laughed as if that were obvious. You told me you were back for the summer—maybe longer. I held the happiness inside me and then I let it go like a flock of pigeons, careening and caw-cawing all over us both.
    Since we had last seen each other, you had been making crocheted bears. And, also, you had become a DJ. Had you always been a DJ? I couldn’t remember. It didn’t seem unlikely. We’d listened to music together before, after all.
    I had become a riot grrl. Or rather, I’d always been a riot grrl, but I’d started playing a lot more gigs. In my bedroom were glittered hotpants of every colour. You were trying to give me fashion advice, but we kept getting distracted. I was already late for the concert, sure, but the most important thing was getting the look right. Did I look good? I did, I’m sure.
    In the dream, I didn’t try to play it cool at all. I couldn’t. I had just thought about you, and bam—you were right there! Was that all it took, all along? A dream about you, and you would be back, looking so lovely I couldn’t stop grinning?
    It was not. I woke up, and I was very far away from anyone that I knew. In someone else’s bed, in Sweden. For the first half hour after I opened my eyes, before I had coffee, I was convinced you must be in Berlin. It didn’t seem possible that the dream hadn’t worked. I had already seen, inside the dream, that it was magic. I already knew I had the spell.
    I thought about texting A. to check if you were there, but then I thought better of it. I would let it be a pleasant confirmation when I returned. Such a nice thing to come back to: You.
    It took until lunchtime for the dream to wear off fully. Gradually, I woke up. Slowly, I realised that, of course, it didn’t work like that. My intent was not magic; I couldn’t conjure you out of the air with desire.
    Still, it was so nice to wake up with you in my thoughts today. It has been too long, and that is why I am writing this to you now. To say: Hey. I miss you.
    Now I am sitting at the kitchen table in Sweden and I am not yet convinced, entirely, that I was wrong. I think: maybe you are in Berlin, right at this moment. Maybe I will get home, and walk off the train, and you will materialise by my side: Surprise!


DREAM TWO

The night was full of dreams again. Last night, in my dreams I cried. My tears were small and petty, so I kept them from falling from my lids. My tears were unjustified, but that just made them hotter. I wanted to have a book, and she had a book, and that was all.
    I couldn’t believe how much time I had wasted. She showed me a big picture book of photographs—her inspiration—and, amongst the willow trees and streams, I was standing in every one in a full length ivory gown. My hair was a violent red. She told me I was beautiful; she was being so nice I could barely stand it.
    I wanted to hate her, but I couldn’t, so I turned the cold light upon myself instead. I smiled at her, and when she wasn’t looking, I smacked myself in the face.
    So many drunk nights not writing, so many pale silver mornings not writing, so many times writing could not compete with the lure of skin. So many trains hopped and cities abandoned, so many hearts broken. So much distraction, scattered all over in the world.
    In the dream, everything seemed imperative. But then again, it was so late, it hardly mattered at all. My book hadn’t happened yet; it might as well never happen. She would always be ahead, like my brother would always be older, no matter how many years I showed up for and lived through. I swallowed; I smiled. My teeth were a harbour wall.
    When I awoke to the alarm with hot, crabbed eyes I thought at first I was still trying not to cry. And then I remembered everything. I lay in the dark for a minute, grinning. Thinking about the week just past, and what I was going back to. It turned out I was right: it hardly mattered at all.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Violent Violet!

Razor Cunts made a video, starring Ambika Thompson, Tom Moore and me. Lo, behold, we present Violent Violet.


Content warnings for menstruation, makeouts, abortion comedy, animal carcasses, reckless chilli-eating and the prettiest boy pout I've ever seen. 

Thursday, 26 March 2015

STENCH

it’s been fourteen days &
already my room reeks

this house has gone to cunt

I come home
from teaching astrophysics
of little words

(I tell them:
de-spell yourself
repent your galaxies
admit the pineapple allure)

I come inside
tripping on wet yellow flesh

all my surfaces
sticky with syrup

already too late
in the day for coconut

I pour rum
in the crescent
of the moon

I come inside and
fuckdrunk particles swarm
my nucleus

barbs catch
in the crust of his cloths

these drawn curtains
are a snare for the stench

that hangs like
rotting dessert meat

thick & wet & pinker

I close my eyes
I open the fruit

I beg: give me
to the tropical gag

Thursday, 19 March 2015

How to get what you (didn't know you) want(ed)

When he breaks your heart, let him. Don’t ask why, don’t argue, do not make your case with manilla folders and filed obligation.

Kick the puppy with steel toe-capped boots. Punch him once, punch the wall, howl your thick & throaty Hieronymous howl. Gouge red gymnastic ribbons in your cheeks and in your thighs.

Practice total acceptance in the form of a blank fist.

Then drink. Drink until you cannot dredge the shape of his ribcage from your own ocean floor. 

Pass out. Wake up. Open your arms to the world, open those long haul legs. Let your lips part like shiny-glass bank-reception automatic doors. Throw away the voodoo dolls, the burnt hair, the vaseline.

Rescind your right to the joke’s punchline and to the narrative arc. This is not your tale to tell. Someone else has subsumed your story.

Cut holes in your pockets for his coins to fall from. Don’t try to untangle the snagged hairs of your heart. Snip them once and let the matted clump sail to the floor.

Become the hero of a thousand stories. Become the witch of a thousand woods. So many tales sent out into the world, you’ll barely notice the ones they send back.

Stop trying to be the skipper of your destiny. Let yourself get distracted by waves. 

If it is meant to be, it will come to you astride the horse with no horn: clip-clop, clip-clop. A silver mane tossed like lathe shavings. Stirrups for your feet.

It would be wrong to call this waiting—you can’t wait at the speed of catapults. He won’t come back, but he might catch up, eventually.

In the meantime, leap through fiery hula-hoops with a neon-knickered princess. Wrestle with gold-furred tigers on the barroom floor. Be cute, be brave, be the punchline yourself. Hurtle through a universe of pomegranate seed stars.

When the past re-materialises with its bubbled lip, do not waste the rest of time with fingered scabs and septic regret.

Ask yourself: am I happy? Am I so happy I can feel my own teeth ache?

If the answer is no, still your grasping claws. Sit upon your hands. Ask not if you’re entitled to the toxic swampland; that marsh will burn the soles of your shoes.

If the answer is yes, you may now helter skelter. Give yourself to skin and stupidity. Unbutton everything. Howl a thick & throaty Hieronymous howl.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Viv


"I can tell immediately by their expressions that the studio engineer and producer are not happy to be doing this session. They keep telling us that we can’t do this and we can’t do that. The same obstructive attitude and closed-mindedness we encounter everywhere we go. If we didn’t have each other, we would have been crushed by guys like this ages ago.

Our guitars keep going out of tune and these two guys act like they’re so superior because they know how to tune them. They think the whole music industry turns on whether you can tune your guitar or not. Well, maybe it has, until now; we’ve only been playing a couple of months and yet here we are in a studio. Nobody’s recording their songs, no matter how well tuned their guitars are."

Viv Albertine, Clothes Clothes Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Playing

It’s good, because the cello is big between your thighs. Big as a torso. You can grasp it by the neck, punch your arm forward like a salute, and spin it around. You can sit, in thigh high boots or gold trainers, tensing all the muscles in your legs. Sticking out your elbows. Clenching your fists. Rocking back and forth on the freakouts, cunt against the drum stool.

None of the boys know how to play. So it doesn’t really matter when you fuck it up. They tell you, in the studio, it would be better if you played in time—in tune—but you don’t and you can’t, so. That’s not really the point in this anyway, and you bet they can’t do better. You show up in long socks and hotpants, too many stripes. You think: the men don't know, but the little girls understand.

A’s been in bands all her life, so she’s cooler, but you played in the classical orchestra, so you know some fancy tricks. Or you did, before you forgot them, but that doesn’t really matter either. You’ve both got kids’ stickers to show you where the fingers go: doughnuts and boats and choo-choo trains. If you shudder the bow fast enough, you can trick yourself it’s in tune.

See also: distortion pedals. Cymbal solo. Shrieking.

You get fingerprint bruises on the inside of your thighs. But it’s been a while since he was here, hickeying the skin. You ponder them in your underwear, and it takes you until the next practice—the twinge—to understand.

When you get too excited, you clamp it tight. 

For the show, you bring the hairspray and the feathers and the lipstick; she brings the cables and the pedals and the snare drum. You book the shows with the queer kids and the anarchists; she, the ones with free drinks and neon lights and a cut of the door. When they hand you the envelope, you feel indestructible. You cycle round the city under a full moon, singing your own songs, loud.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Oh Lux.

 "People think that we're funny, I kinda feel sorry for them because it means that they think it's a joke. We've spent our lives searching out incredibly wonderful things that most folks just don't know about yet."

Lux Interior

a small private decadence

There are things that feel decadent to do when she lives alone.

Such things include: breakfast pancakes, a bunch of tulips on the desk, candlelight, the hob and the oven: both on, using the heated towel rack, using the heating in more than one room at a time, miniature bottles of bitters, owning Tabasco sauce.

Sometimes, she does these things anyway. There are always going to be difficult times and when she treats herself like a rare precious creature—a thing that needs wooed—it is worth it, for the pale orange light it casts upon the rest of the day.

Of course, she also feels decadent for living alone. She feels decadent for working two days a week. Sometimes, she hears her voice complain from another table across the smoky bar and she wants to leap upon and wrestle this idiot to the ground, laughing, her hands entwined in her hair.

It’s not really like that. It’s hyperbole. But still: she might as well enjoy it. She might as well be small, gentle, and kind.

 The days of late have been grey and swaddled, but this Thursday morning is an anomaly: a gaudy clownfish amongst minnows, a startling blue. It feels decadent to eat pancakes in a fleece dressing gown, to sip coffee slowly and think, to curl by the radiator with a stack of books, to slip outside and wander along the frozen canals.

Still. The day is going to turn with or without her penance. The internet will howl and scratch up the table legs, shit on the carpet, no matter what she decides to do. Besides, who knows what inspiration will seep into her brain from this rabid white snow globe?

Her decadent fingers sink into the skin at the top of her arm, and she yanks herself down the stairs.