Sunday, 12 July 2015

Rainbows wept colour all over the street

I love you in the mirror, I love the first thing to touch the thinnest layer of skin stretched taut over my hipbones, the first thing to sigh at the pattern of dents in my ribcage. What happens to the ones who love with such conviction, did you know I loved furiously? It was a rage, it was the blank space, it was the way the grass tickled my ankles and tatttooed pink stripes into my calves. I am the handful of grey things, in the slant of morning, I am bending. Look! You wanker! I'm having a panic attack. What more could I do, darling, what more could I do? Here is all of the blood I own I poured it out for you. I don't expect anything else anymore. Somebody fold me up. Somebody carry me into a clean white space. Come back, where did you go? Come back.

Monday, 8 June 2015

And I love to live so pleasantly

Consider the logistics of beginning an affair with a significantly older man or sourcing class A drugs or starting a fight. Instead sidle to the bar and get ID'd ordering a straight Jameson and sit by the window and convince yourself it's enigmatic. Accept that nothing ever actually happens, but hangs in permanent suspension almost at eye-level until, blinded by familiarity, you just don't see it anymore. You are, after all, a middle-aged woman a month shy of twenty and absolutely nothing else, don't complain. When the day closes remind yourself you are better than this.

  • The one that cried through the speaker of your first cracked-Nokia and unsuccessfully called thirty-seven times after you hung up.
  • The one who cried into your hair when he knew for certain you didn't want him and you noticed the trail of ants crawling up the tree bark and wondered where they were going.
  • The one you flatly told to leave as the dawn clambered cold through the gaps in the wooden blinds and left stripes of light across your body.
  • The one who didn't cry at all, but stepped silently across the stained carpet and let himself out the back door. You lay still pretending to be asleep and spent the subsequent morning guiltless, scraping candle wax from the floor.
At least you've never cried to any man. Stretch and spring back. Resign to the fact that he doesn't love you but wonder why. You just out-masochist yourself every-darned-day dontcha hunny. Pause to notice the couples and families and almost-couples staring at you over g&ts and calamari and stare right fucking back, remind yourself you are perfectly fucking entitled to get a fucking drink on your fucking own, thanks. Turn away and breathe on the window. You did this to yourself, you did this to yourself. Solitude is just a skill to hone like any other, with every month spent alone you improve. You even know how to crochet now forgodsake.

June's Cancerian horoscope warns of change and advises patience. You check his too just in case but then try to read it backwards to counteract the alleged bad luck of reading someone else's horoscope (it only heralded a 'night out with the girls', advised preparations for an imminent 'buzzin party season' anyway.) Touch your neck self-consciously, you do it when stressed. You were a year younger and maybe skinnier and felt surprised by the unexpected safety you felt as he pulled you down and said your name to the hollow of your collar bone again and again like he was scared you'd forget it.

Notice the bartender's wrist as he passes your change, taut and slim and perversely hairless. Feel irrationally overwhelmed by every pair of wrists you've ever actively noticed and make a mental note to start finding other body-parts attractive (but, but, I'm attracted to souls, man.) That stupid boy with constellation-shaped freckles on his wrist, frail and cowardly, who kissed you six-stories high in the carpark and left you and never told you why. And by text! C*nt.

Talk to yourself in the bathroom mirror. It's been such a long time, you say, such a sad long time. Note with pleasant surprise how long your eyelashes look - self-absorbed slut, he probably doesn't even know what colour your eyes are. Cut your legs on the blunt razor and miss patches at the back. Rinse your blood down the hair-speckled sink. You're just vapid, glossy and false; a cup full of empty foam. That's why they always get bored in the end. Wow! There's zero calories in Nytol! The tap creaks. Breathe on the mirror until you become a blur. Rinse 'much love x' down the sink too. Speaking of vapidity. Love for what? Just bland and obligatory as a Clinton's birthday card.

I'm fine, dear. Just pour me some tea. I'll sit still and wait for the next one.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

no falling ribbons

*Different kind of post for a change.* Firstly, thank you so, so, so, so much for all the unbelievably kind comments left on my posts. I don't always respond personally because I'm all over the place most of the time and just generally a bit shit at things like communication, but know that I read each one with extreme gratitude. Really, thank you SO much, I can't express how incredible it is to so often get such incredibly kind, reassuring, life-affirming words left here.

Secondly, my friend and I have started an online arts journal called 'no falling ribbons' and we are currently seeking submissions for our first issue. We are looking for poetry, prose, articles, opinion pieces, illustration, photography and music. If you have anything you'd like to submit that fits loosely into any of these mediums, we'd really love to hear from you! We are particularly interested in work coming from a feminist perspective but it's not a necessity. Submissions are free and open to anyone. The current deadline for issue 1 is the 31st of May 2015 although it may be extended depending on how much work we receive.

To submit your work, have a look at the website's submission guidelines and send anything you'd like to share as an email attachment to with whatever medium you are submitting (ie poetry/illustartion etc) in the subject line.

Thank you and looking forward to hearing from you!
Although the website is still just a skeleton at the moment, you can have a look here: no falling ribbons
and you can follow us on twitter, if you so desire, here.
also here is london looking like the blurry dream it so often is to me

Monday, 23 March 2015

Scrape your knee, it is only skin.

A tender disease is all it is. We've carried it from dublin to london and now to manhattan where the tree-lined streets pour worn out dreams from every criss-cross fire-exit.I'm still learning I am young enough to fix it all or to suppress it enough not to care.  Mourn the memories later, laugh now alligator, do you still sing that song to yourself from your old ashen grave, Phoenix Heart? What is it in you that refuses to be still? Don't you know now that love is just an insecurity? Maybe you called it God or maybe you called it Vodka or maybe it dripped from the tip of your needle, but it's the same thing really.So hush now, the damage's been done to all of us, love, though if it's all the same, listen how my own one sings on, plaintive dischord.
Later now, standing on the pavement outside the Chelsea Hotel (another pilgrimage, what a cliche!) and I do remember you well, how you stumbled through the kitchen and your cigarette smoke clung to my hair and the velvet coat I lost, and I whispered your name to the mirror, to the sky, to the river where a trail of white feathers swam past and I promised the world it was angels' heavenly debris. Prayer and love, no difference really. Prayer, grief, love, death, sex - little rituals. 

I remember the next coward well too, how I thought I might have replaced you and somewhere (from soil or ash, I neither know nor care) you laughed and laughed, winking at us. Just crack open another beer and wait babe, I'll catch you on the other side. (Oh, even for him, I cried for months.) And the next strange stir? Did it come from nowhere? Oh, tender ugliness, isn't it funny how it goes, it glows, how something persists, on and on. You know, he blocked you out completely, I thought I was healing when he threw in a light so bright it filled all of the cracks and I realised how blind we'd all been all this time. I did care and love and pray to him and for him, more than any whispered half-name, more than any still reflection or talismanic angel feather. Did I compromise with a tightness? A taut string, stretching and stretching. I no longer break, but I do bend. 

In the afternoon light pouring out over Brooklyn (why here, why now, do you fit yourself in?) I laugh at the old dirt still in my hands. I wonder if anyone else grinds salt onto their chocolate, lol. I can keep running away if I like, but I'd still have to carry myself around with me. 

Monday, 23 February 2015

I'll stand outside your window and proudly call your name.

You gave me a kind of sadness I have probably known before but must have forgotten.
Like the unique sadness there is to mornings. Like the olive grey light that slants across the walls when I have slept too late. I dreamt of you again this morning (again, sleeping late.) It felt close.
This afternoon, still grey, tentatively February, I acknowledged acceptance of a kind, but it was like sinking into bathwater a few degrees too cold. I have been cutting fragments of my self away bit by bit and eagerly handing you the pieces until there was nothing left, and then apologised for not giving enough. I'm sure there was a precise point that it all changed but it felt like a gradual lethargic degradation. A bow stretching, stretching. A hem unravelling.

There is something sweet around the edges, you know, I would have done anything for you (I would still.) But here I have isolated myself and have nothing to fall back on. I do tell myself to stop using people (oh, men then) as crutches. To stop looking for myself in others. I dreamt you up, if I am honest, I dreamt everything up. I once knew a man who was too alive for this dead world that he let himself out and I've been finding ghosts of him in every man who's ever called me beautiful since. In every drunken slur, in every house that swells with silence.

Some days I wake up and can't move, and only then do I remember that particular strain of sadness (you do not know it until you feel it) only then do I remember the certain kind of hopelessness of knowing the bathroom floor after testing the strength of the shower curtain. But I have my rituals. Awareness of self-fragility is not the same as conscious naivety. I forge a quiet confidence in the fact that I have learned to accept solitude, it is a gentle victory. No one can touch you there. The days press on and stretch out regardless. Last week at 6 am I rode the DLR alone just to see the pink dawn bless the docks, and make silver silhouettes of the skyscrapers. I find a small solace in my ability to see love in everything, it is a gift that no one can take from me.

Some day we might find a soft place together.
Somewhere you say my name to me again.

Monday, 26 January 2015

fifteen minutes with you, well I wouldn't say no

Remember in our living room, someone's hand knocked my drink and glass glittered the tiled surface of an appalling 1970s coffee table. A red haired girl sprawls out gin-drunk on the swirling carpet. A boy, potentially beautiful, is playing Reel Around the Fountain on my guitar, but he's too kind to keep my attention (isn't it always the way) I remind myself only to be hurt by the tangible. In the evenings we traipsed across the grass to the petrol station to buy more wine or coffee or tobacco or porridge. Winter came and there was no hot water in the taps and we did more traipsing under four jumpers and babushka scarves and the rain seeped through our shoes. I remind myself not to be surprised, to curb my expectations but press on despite it all. I used to listen to the sirens and next door's baby crying through the walls. I fell asleep counting the stains in the rose-patterned wallpaper and felt free. In this room it's quieter, I fall asleep staring at the William Morris curtains boasting their old embroidered taunt; 'love is enough, love is enough, love is enough.' And it must be, it must be, I love, I do, if nothing else, I do love.
Are you any happier now than you were that day it rained and your best friend went to the beach without you so you sheltered in the 3-storey bookshop on Dawson street and spent an hour on each floor and bought nothing. Or the nights in that room you spent dreaming to Astral Weeks, and spreading out the tarot deck, knowing there was something out there, and sprinkling salt circles around you, just in case. Or when you took the train to London in the summer and learned how to pray, happier than you'd ever been. Do you remember sitting at the grimey green tables in that cafe, smoking and reading Jean Rhys in your black sixties' polo-neck and your black fishnets with your black fucking coffee, a magnet for the junkies and buskers and acid casualties and sad-eyed forty-somethings searching for the Manic Pixie of their dreams, while she just sits daydreaming at the walls softened by decades of gig posters and graffiti. Speaking of graffiti, do you remember that scrawl you spied on the bathroom door in that pub in Galway that said 'the boy I love just asked me to marry him in the smoking area' and, underage-drunk on cheap cider, you cried and cried. (Please, by all means, drag me to any smoking area anywhere and ask me to marry you, drunk or otherwise.) Do you remember the sunny days you spent wandering from Eyre Square to Quay Street and back again over and over, waiting for anything to happen, and the time you hadn't seen or spoken to another human being for days so you just put on a Talking Heads cd and danced and laughed at it all and prided yourself on your ability to endure and went out to sing to the apple trees. Do you remember all the times you sat in Stephen's Green telling secrets to the ducks, reading in the shade and the time you found the bus ticket in your bag that said 'Adult Single' and you took it literally and cried or maybe laughed, and you first read that Anne Sexton quote that said something like 'I've been lost for a long time now, it's about time I stop expecting people to keep me found' and you nodded with a knowing acceptance and the bus kept trundling.

But do you remember when we first kissed, in the cooling twilight and our hands knew where to meet and for a second I thought I actually had been found, and somehow the clocks kept going, and the city sighed on regardless.

We're all going to die, we're all going to die, we're all going to die! Look how free we are! We're all going to die! Can't you see everything is irrelevant?! We're all going to die! Hold me while you can!