Monday, 9 November 2009


I woke up thinking about GARISH this word, GARISH

I was writing poetry in my dreams and I had flown to New York, by mistake

I forgot I wasn't quite finished with the bar.

There was a man on the plane who had fallen slightly in love with me. He'd sneaked a look at my passport as we went through the metal gates and had written, on the patch on his arm, Contact In Case of Emergency – Miss Jane C Flett. I liked the touch with the initial.

Once I got there and walking around I was giddy. They were laying new foundations for the start of another world of skyscrapers. I could see long gashes riddled deep into the earth.

They followed the North-South avenues. The city was cleaved apart and expanding quietly. I watched it as if from a helicopter, the angles tilting.

I had forgotten how nice the names of streets were. “Saint Michael of Love Corner”. “The Abacus”. All I could think about was how I would write a poem around the word


The billboards were so bright. I couldn't get enough of all that text. They were screaming and imploring from either side of the road. I was looking for a toilet I knew I could find in a basement. I was going to take my mother to the Chelsea Hotel. We would drink Manhattans (I could already taste them in my mouth). Probably she would meet me there.

I realised I was supposed to be at work on Thursday. I could fly back, or I could just run away from all my responsibility. It came to me, in a dream, that I didn't need to be in Edinburgh after all. It was cheating, in some way, to not have told anyone my plans, but I hadn't known them until I arrived.

I was very happy to be free of responsibility. In the third page of my moleskin notebook I wrote


and I waited for the rest of the words to come.

Friday, 24 July 2009

she is lonely

She is lonely. It isn't fair: she isn't alone, not fully, not enough to go out and hump and grind against the crotches of the outdoors, not enough to clamber into sooty basements and kiss open-mouthed wet kisses with the strangers who dwell there. It is just that he is not where she is, and this makes her crazy. She has developed too many nervous tics; she picks the skin on her feet and tongues the back of her teeth endlessly, probing her mouth for another. There isn't one. She is going insane, she sees a string of towerblocks exploding in a desert, the sand catches fire. Her fists clench, imagine shattering through glass or mirrors. This is how she feels while she sighs and stares and thinks of him: like a fist all weighed up with potential, a fist ready to do what fists do, a fist only-just harnessed and waiting for the catch to be flipped, to pummel and destroy.

How did this happen? Well, somehow it came to pass they fell in love. Everything was sublime. He rolled over and kissed her, hesitantly, and it was all the things she'd been waiting for, all the anticipations of attic boxes and memoirs destroyed by fire. She kissed him back with glee. That was the beginning: glee.

After the glee there was more. A universe drawn out in paper roses and lipstick smudges and furtive hands that found their way into each other, fingers wriggling. She felt as if she were finally home, but it was a home built on on a precipice of ecstacy she could plummet over at any time. She would fall into a jagged pit of excruciating pleasure, rip open her heart and bleed into the cracks. Vultures would gorge on her and swoop into the skies to fuck, their bellies full. She would pass from happiness into something else entirely.

They went for long walks. They made pizzas with goats' cheese and roasted plum tomatoes, and ate them in bed in their underwear. She licked his thigh, and he spilled wine on the covers. Soon, they were surrounded by dubious stains. That was fine.

For entertainment they had spatter B-movies, Bette Davis' films and Andy Warhol documentaries, but they seldom made it to the end credits. There was always something more interesting to distract: the curve of an ear to nibble; a sideways glance to indulge; a whole world of flesh which could, when provoked, rip open the seams of reality and send them cascading into a world of white noise and vibrations. She was a screamer. He never held his hand over her mouth, but sometimes she bit her lip, pretending he was.

He had a ticket home: he left. She didn't cry. She knew he would return.

When he came back it was how it had been, again. Maybe better. They learned each other's soft spots and secrets, and built the private language available only to people who have seen each other ransacked and supine. She asked more questions, she no longer felt as if this was a baby bird or spider's web she could destroy if she wasn't quite careful enough. Her friends liked him. They spoke to him in conversations that didn't always include her, and it seemed a marvel that this boy could have materialised in her world and become something real which existed outside their bed and the scavenging of sensations. Neither of them talked about how it would be when he left. They knew from before it would hurt. When the fortnight was over, they kissed in the station. She felt like the end credits to a film.

To be continued...


I begin to think there are differences between the East and West coasts, tangible ones. If you spend every day watching absolutely the sun rise or set, you are bound to fall into its way of thinking eventually. On the West the sun sets, it disappears at night into a vast and endless sea, and it is the end of the day which is commemorated. You are lazy. You wait for the night to arrive and you plan your way around barbecues on the beach and kisses in drive-thrus. Everything comes later, and there is an orange heaviness that weighs upon the evenings, making everything wait to be technicolour and restful. On the East you bow to the sunrise, it raps on your window and shakes you into coffee and work and things that need done. It rises up over the sea like a vengeful goddess demanding your time and attention for what will come. On the East coast you are wired; on the West, stoned.

I work to align myself with these places: I am, whatever impressions to the contrary, born and bred of the East. I will never wake early, but when I do it is with coffee. And it is the East which carries the feeling on throughout forever, the East of amphetamines and spasmodic dancing. We are not taught to relax, and this is good, forever on edge and waiting for everything to crumble or explode. In the East your cuticles are bitten and you listen to punk music. You prefer flamingoes to peacocks and tornadoes to oceans. You are missing things but you are happy to be this way: you have bruises where you tripped from the abyss. On this side you don't stop, because you know the world will rise up soon. You are leaning across, waiting for it to happen, looking out to sea where it already is exploding into reality an ocean away.

we drank

We drank like it was a mission to push ourselves to, like fasting, or fisting. We drank until the sky span and faces melted.

I couldn’t feel my feet. I wasn’t sure I still had feet. I had legs, this much was certain. One of them was sleeping. Maybe we would never go to sleep again. If we went to sleep, there would be a time for waking up when everything was ordinary again, and our teeth hurt and tasted rotten.

I didn’t want to let that happen.

So; there was whisky, and then kissing. Oh, and Pro-Plus, coffee, more cigarettes.

“I love my friends,” said Alex.

We laughed at Alex, though silently we agreed. Then we agreed loudly, emphatically. Fuck, our friends are cool. What about those normal people, with jobs and lifestyles? What do they do at night when the streets are suddenly quiet and baited with possibility?

We weren’t sure.

From the window we could see into muted bedrooms with Ikea lampshades. We could see Arthur’s Seat and it put in our head ideas of climbing. Sometimes in Edinburgh, drunk students fall from the Craggs and die, or at least break limbs. But we weren’t students and we were immortal. Time for hipflasks and sunrise and magical things.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

dream recorded at 2.47am

Being chased by the silver hummer I am scrabbling up the earthy hill again and again, I have lost my bag somewhere, I have thrown away my jacket and I try to head for the silver fences set up like festival barriers, because then perhaps I can hide behind them. I know they are high-spirited and essentially benevolent kids, but then they are pissed and it is really dangerous and I can't get away quick enough and it turns towards me and roars and goes to ram. I climb onto the fence and grab onto the ribbons trailing from the vehicle and fling myself around the back of it. I use the momentum to scatter away and try to make it to the top of the hill.

The women are there and they are outraged and scared: there is the constant feeling that I must report this, that even though I come from elsewhere I have been a part of it, but although they are watching it happen to someone else with much discussion and horror, they don't much listen what it has done to me. At first I feel safe now, there are things to hide behind here, the weekend party house is painted black and yellow with intricate patterns on the bricks. Maybe it will even be fun now. And they are discussing how this is how it has to be, the girl has a kiwi accent and she is not happy that she has to open her world to these horrid things just because she has this house and wants a party. But they agree she has posted it now and people will come, and we must buckle together for the sake of things.

Then the huge sawn-off bases of trees start to schlump up the hill like guinea pigs or jelly fish and everyone is freshly terrified and says “they might as well be the...” One girl is going off on a mission, and I have just realised that it must be a dream, because this is insane, but then I think what if I have just been catapulted into this world for real? But because I have no context or explanation, I realise it must be dreams (if I were moved into this reality, surely they would tell me). I will follow her and maybe that way I will learn something about the topography of the area and the rituals that go on. We approach a huge anteater mammoth who looks like Alf but more glistening and CGI, and though it's gaping its mouth and snarling its teeth I know it is ok, I am invincible in dreams, so I play smush its face and hug it and swoop up into the air, and I can fly, and it's magnificent, that first updraft, I soar around over all the upturned creatures until I reach the top. I realise suddenly the sky is not endless, it is a ceiling onto which a fake sky is painted, and I realise this is not really the end of everything. I am trying to find out what happens and I am safe in the air and it is good and I want to know, so I cut through the tarp in a long motion but this is a bad idea, this lets the polar bear out to travel along the beams and suddenly I have plummeted way down. After the roof of reality there are beams, and as the tarps of reality bend down, the animals can travel around them, and I am having difficult flying now, and maybe I am in air under water and I need to get up through it

to get up higher
to be out of the reach of these creatures
to be safe.

And then I am in the water 
and I can't breathe
and I am fighting upwards,
and then

I am awake.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

I love taxidermy

come eat with me, my pretties

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

sleep sound and dream of words

soon I will be sleeping here
thank you rvw


"I remember being young in school, being told our bodies would yield enough carbon for 2,000 pencils and enough calcium for 30 sticks of chalk, as well as enough iron for one nail. What a weird thing to tell kids. We should be told our bodies can transmutate into diamonds and wine goblets and teacups and balloons."
Karla in Microserfs (Douglas Coupland)

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

a manifesto of sorts

this is a new home for the ideas which want to stick around: a dumping ground for inspiration and crushes, the good lines which come like a fist in the dark, pitch-perfect images, and other detritus kicking around.  it is a glimpse into the half-considered flotsam of my brain and, as such, is likely to be hyperbolic, nostalgic, ridiculous, and romantic as all hell. 

these are words that loiter.

my next project

will be a dark room filled with EL wire

Sunday, 19 April 2009

you (idea from Jenny Holzer)

You spit on them because the taste left on your teeth excites. You showed hope all over your face for years and then killed them in the interest of time.

You felt lonely so you shot the tide in the ankle. It was a cheap trick, but it was yours.

You thought I was going to leave you. I wasn't. I was waiting for the moment to make an entrance.

You did it first, afraid you'd miss the boat. You shouldn't have. Now you're alone with cigarette butts and cats for secrets.

You sit at home, composing excuses and fairytale endings. You think of me, always.

In your mind I am pliant. I am open and warm and soft, and you crawl, kitten-like, into the tumble drier. The door closes, the drum begins to spin.

You almost cannot bear it. You are close to the edge; teetering, giddy, teeth bared with too many gums.

You are my fucking sunshine.

You have yet to realise this. You think I am laughing at you because I am laughing. When you scream, I think you want to go faster. Ecstasy is a delicate concept.

You end up naked with a polka-dot silk scarf tied around your neck. Reciting blank verse and terrorist threats, writing conspiracy theories on supermarket receipts, stash by the canal for them to find.

They never do.

You start dreaming in parallel sequences. The doors are exploding; the shoes turn to liquid at the apocalypse. The screams unzip your eardrums and your sanity turns to static. It is too late to reach for the remote.

You are going to die, and you are going to die alone.

I can't help you now.