Friday, 24 January 2014

Igloo

Sooner or later, I ended up living in an igloo. It was the attic windows first, besotted with white powder. It was the roof. I didn’t do anything to stop the snow from falling, and sooner or later I was covered.

It was cosy and dark in the igloo. White powder blocking out the sun. Snow insulating the walls. I learned a lot about contradictions. I gave up on just about everything I knew.

The year so far had been strange and I was feeling the onslaught of innuit delirium. Ready to pace into an endless tundra, leave all my babies to the wolves. I was feeling restless but I could barely be bothered to move.

Wouldn’t you like to get away, whispered the fish, and I could understand their point. The fish were frozen in blocks of ice and had none of the options spread out in front of me. The fish were waiting for bears.

Still, in the cosy, dark igloo, it was almost impossible to feel decisive. I drank warm coffee and exhaled on my fingers. I thought about a boy, a girl, a canal, a kiss. I thought about cutting holes in the ice. I thought if I just sat still for long enough, the decision would no longer be mine.

Monday, 20 January 2014

2014

Here I am, learning lessons in 2014.
I open my mouth.
Full of want, I deserve everything I get.
I tell a fable about a tiger who never stopped believing in the scritch.
I scritch.
There is a lesson in the soft spots behind people’s ears and I try to remember it but
I am distracted by teeth.
I discover tinned herring and pfeffer sauce. I rediscover frozen peas.
I realise that if I don’t write these things down no one will, goddamit,
and then where will we be in 2015? No
secrets to look back on, no
confessions, I
confess :

    I thought you all had it sorted, that
    you were all expert queers, I didn’t
    realise how many dorks were blushing
    & figuring it out. I am figuring out

everything
with my mouth open. I am
getting what I deserve. Entitlement is a Persian cat
on a silken pillow that fills my room with purrs and I am more pleased with myself
than I have any right to be. I am so pleased with you and you and you
and you and you and
I am going to place a painted toe between my painted lips
and commit savageries
on the skin.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Promises

I had promised myself I would say yes to everything, so I left the bar with the Greek protest music still playing and followed the anarchists into the spill of the night.

Everyone around me was loose and lovely with booze, and when they handed me amaretto, I drank it. When they handed me korn, I slipped into the fugue.

The train was wider and brighter than anything London had to offer, and I thanked the stars I had found my feet to flee. I leant against the pole and thought of gallops. I thought of all of the places I had ever forgotten to go.

A. was plastering pink stickers across the walls of the train and the train was spinning around the tracks and the night felt like a secret we hadn’t told to anyone yet. I kept mum, I kept my teeth in my lips, I kept humming a song about horses.

Eventually, we reached the road. We started running from nothing and everything and each other, no smoke bombs behind us, just the wallop of feet on tarmac.

I told everyone to piss on discarded Christmas trees, then I crawled between their ankles so they were able to run.

At the intersection, S. became a pony. S. was all hooves and head tosses, gangling into the road. I nursed a crush on this city, this night, this life; all the things again & again.

It was monstrous that I had taken so long to get here. It was inexplicable that it would even matter. Everything was still to happen. We were all, forever, figuring it out.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Dispensation

My life was growing on me
like a soft Scottish moss
like a habit becoming ingrained
like a Hollywood kiss I allowed myself to swoon in
again and again
camera forever racing for the close up.

“It’s just something you fall into,”
said A, as we lay on the floor.

He meant ageing.

We giggled ontologically, thinking
about life. About ageing.
We giggled existentially.

By slaying dragons and spitting into gorges,
we had earned the right to mock
the whims of fate.

By sitting still and shivering
within reach of each other’s palms
we had earned a dispensation

—sit this round out, if need be,
for you must be so very, very tired.


It was true: the months had been
ludicrous. I was almost ripe to nestle
in cutlery drawers and eiderdown.

“Perhaps,” I said, folding my legs
and considering
keeping it all to myself:

lips / grins / tricks & ankles

considering
taking a break from the process.

We were allowed, goddamit,
but then a feather twitched outside the window
a whisper snickered round grate, and
somewhere, in the city, there was kissing.

I sighed, and as the sigh left my lips
it snagged on a rusty nail
and morphed into a howl at the moon, so

I gave myself up to participation.
We gave ourselves to
the tongues of the night.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

The Trick

The trick is sitting down, even when your brain is a thick carbuncled soup, and making playing card houses out of the detritus of your dreams. The trick is recognising your face in the clouds. The trick is refusing to let the whisky win. The trick is facing up to things with complete and utter honesty: there was no whisky, it was just beer, beer, beer. The trick is finding the small sweet moment of the night that will make you grin as you run the tip of your tongue over the sharpness of your teeth. The trick is to keep jumping: trains, fences, thoughts, destinations. The trick is to practice small acts of kindness upon yourself and to never forget that everything you get is exactly the candied treat you deserve.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

An exploration of space

Coffee stains on the desktop look like the rings of Jupiter, look like a promise of intergalactic exploration, look like a sign from the gods. I give up on cowgirls and dedicate myself to becoming an astronaut. When I tell her that space makes me so claustrophobic, I just hope she can understand.

There’s something about being tied up in that space shuttle with nothingness lapping against all the windows. There’s something about depth perception and the endlessness of pure guttural black. I still want a handjob on a rollercoaster more than just abut anything in the universe. In all of my spiral notebooks, I write the word Kaboom.

Testing the mantra of First thought, best thought, testing my mettle at this hour of the day. All of last night’s spiders are scuttering out of their own morning hideouts and I am left holding an empty plastic bag. I am left myself and coffee. The sky is so goddamn blue that I cannot imagine that even a rocket could reach all the way to black.

Still, there’s nothing else for this day but to take the choice between pony rumps and potassium explosions. There’s nothing else but picking a costume to stand guard between myself and the world. I look in a closet that is nothing but polyester and decide that today I will be flammable. I will be drip clean. I will get into trouble all by myself.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Hararghargharghargh

It gets dark before I’ve even got a toehold in the day, but somehow it’s okay. It’s okay because I wake up uncannily invested in all my friends’ grins.

Imagine them now, making out in blanket forts. Be a puppy for the afternoon and take this image between your teeth and say Hararghargharghargh. Be a fool, stay afloat, be glad you are bound to these humans with all those years of string.

I allow myself parmesan in the afternoon and linebreaks wherever I please. I plan to give up on working and throw myself in the bath.

This morning’s hangover is a sweet and loose thing that crosses continents and loops gently round the shrugged shoulders of people I haven’t seen in all too long. I miss everyone and everything, but the missing is delicious.

The distance is soaked in junipery nostalgia and the hurt is a squishy soft toy with their names in the stitches. Hararghargharghargh, I say, when I take it in my teeth.


Monday, 6 January 2014

Dress Up

The boy’s nail varnish is still here from when we played dress-up. A nice gift for afternoon. I paint myself in bright green and purple, delighting in the unprofessionalism of my hands.

Christmas is over but I’m still basking in the gaudy of tinselled neon. The glamour of tiny bulbs. It’s over, but I’m still thrilled by kitsch. I still want everything shiny and fabulous.

I always promised myself I’d install a bar in this room, and you know what? Maybe it’s time. I’ll turn up the heating and mix myself a Mai Tai and drink until I’m sticky and spilt on the floor.

Drinks poured in coconut shells. Hooplah with palms and leis. Summoning the cute ones to climb up those stairs and play make-out with my face.

I paint my fingers and drum them on a wooden surface. Horses hooves crying hurry-up-hurry-up-hurry-up-up-up. I’m not sure what I’m waiting for. The fairylights wink, and I listen for a knock on the door.

T // S

I have been thinking about the size of things, of time, of space that contracts and dilates. I have been wondering how it is possible to spend months on end and idle, in a fugue that a single appointment can loom over with all the defiance of Edinburgh’s Craggs.

And then, I have been thinking about the strange qualities of time once you stop waiting for it. How the moment you quit sitting around wondering about time showing up is the moment it will arrive at your door, unbidden, and squeeze between all the fingers and footstools.

Suddenly there will be space for all the stories to be written. Hours will ooze into your pockets, into your sacks, into all the places you carry. Your nights will stretch out long and languorous, or your nights will gallop by, but you will feel no need to tether them to all of your fence posts because you know in the final calling you have your heart’s lasso and can leap back into the saddle.

I have been thinking about how much easier everything is now that I am clawed by tasks and the reek of the working world. I play Cabaret on repeat:

    What use is sitting all alone in your room? Come, hear the music play…

and I realise that even though it is just January, I am already so bored of being inside. I am going to slip into this city again and again like rice and confetti; I plan to twist into a creature of the night.

We bounce up and down on unmade beds, laughing at the length of the days. It doesn’t matter. None of this matters. Everything still spinning and just in its place.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

This girl

This girl is 98% grin, teeth stacked like books on shelves, books full of stories about feet that dance the cha cha cha. This girl has got to go outside. This girl replaced all of her white blood cells with brown coffee beans and now she just can’t seem to sit still. This girl wrote a letter saying ‘hey pretty thing, I like you’ except instead of a letter it was two rows of teeth and instead of ‘I like you’ it was ‘chomp chomp chomp’.

This commitment to making sense is a slow car for a dull news day and this girl would rather steal convertibles and cackle with the wind in her hair. This girl believes in the miraculous power of hairspray, thinks that bouffant is a password and a verb.


This girl woke up wanting nice things for good people and this girl will run around in circles like a dog with a tail until finally she bumps into herself. This girl is dazzled by good fortune and hyper for electricity. This girl thinks about all the ways in which this story could have turned out and this girl realises this ending is full of sixes, that ‘this ending’ is a misnomer because all the engines are just starting to rev.

Friday, 3 January 2014

too much caffeine

This year: crushing on everything. I don't know what's happened to my bit lips and bones.

You know what is pretty as fuck? You are. You know what I want to do to you? You do. You know how long it takes for the sky to twist from light to dusk? Ages. You know how many square pegs we could fit in round holes during that time? Loads and loads and loads.

This January: dizzy for fictional characters. I want to write myself into all of the black & white movies and red & yellow days. I tell a boy that his shoulders are pretty and jump off a high bridge into a frozen canal. My ankles don't even snap.

It is later than lunch and I can't stop questioning everything. Too much caffeine. The internet: too ripe for refreshing. It is later than lunch and I am needier than baskets full of kittens, ripe for redemption, circle-shaped bruises on all of my thighs.

I click and clamber as if there is a moment like a platform I can find for my legs to rest upon, as if there is a destination worthy of attentions, as if anything I find will let all the air come out of my lungs like restless bees and I will feel–finally–fine.

I need more hieroglyphics to paint my walls. I need a leather glove to slap someone's face. I need to be strapped in the back of Lydia Lunch's automobile, going 330kmph down the freeway, our teased bouffants growling at the night like tigers. I need to record the sound of pinking sheers going snip.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Take 3. Take 2013.

This year: goddamn.

In the grand tradition of this post and this post (in the grand tradition of Januaries everywhere) I wanted to look back upon this year and take stock of all the things. I wanted to look back and say, holy fuck, 2013, what did you do?

Here is the truth: the first half of this year I spent with my head shoved under the surface of a aching, stagnant pond, discovering new and startling capacities for pain. I watched the person I loved more than anything unravel and shatter on the city’s concrete; I watched the life I thought was crafted of steel beams and soft skin drop out from beneath my feet. Like stepping out into a glass-bottomed corridor, looking down and realising just how far it is possible to fall, and the moment your brain accepts this is the moment the floor begins to crack.

If I didn’t talk or write about this much it is because I believe that stories are the spells we use to craft our own realities and that some things are too much to look at directly (if you have no pinhole camera, don’t trust in the eclipse of the sun). And because we’re not supposed to talk about mental illness, because mental illness is embarrassing, because other people’s brains are not our stories to tell.

Well, my story to tell is that I did not slip and shatter with him, even though at one point I thought I might.

Perhaps instead I can tell the story of the second half of this year, when the city opened like a rare jungle flower and I stepped inside to let the pollen dust my naked thighs. I started saying yes to everything and fell into a Berlin that was feral and giggling. I gave up playing housewife and fit into a new role that curled snugly around me like the stitches of silk gloves. (Except, you know, not a new role at all...)

I learned how to pay my own rent in my own penthouse.

I made my way by helping other people write stories while drinking Guinness in the world’s most beautiful bookshop.

I wrote when things were very very bad and I wrote when things were very very good and

I learned roller derby and

got money for playing cello (which still seems like a wild, impossible thing) and

one morning in Sweden I found three four-leafed clovers in the grass outside the summer house.

I swam naked in a Scandinavian lake under a supermoon and I swam naked in the swimming pool of a sex party with glitter in my hair.

There were delicious new friends and even more delicious old friends, friends who brought me all the things I needed when I was cracking, who helped me get back the parts of Jane that went missing for a while.

There were things published in beautiful places and interviews with magazines and collaborations with old friends.

This time around, my resolutions are mainly:

to say yes to everything that takes my fancy

to take more holidays

to give up on recriminations and hangovers and morning regret

to finish a story every month

to publish a book before I’m thirty

&

to find a cure for irony and make a fool out of god.