Monday, 8 July 2013

gerda and kai

so james was a gardener but also a centaur and all other kinds of things. you know someone is dying but it never really makes any kind of sense.

james wanted to rewrite the snow queen with me, to turn it into a poem that he could act. i was too young to understand why we should have, and too caught up in myself. we were gerda and kai and didn't always trust each other. i think our hearts were hurt, but maybe that's just me trying to make it glamorous.

perhaps his fish and my archer got locked in a battle, but there was love in it too. james was from the woodlands just like me. there was magic running through him and stories and dancing.

i don't think i can get sad at death anymore. we spend most of our lives trying to lose our selves by being less terrible and death takes care of that nicely.

james has turned to light, or a wisp of mist on a morning field- you can only really laugh at the glitch. goodbye for now happy prince x

'Kai and Gerda sat down, holding each other by the hand; they both had forgotten the cold empty splendor of the Snow Queen, as though it had been a dream. The grandmother sat in the bright sunshine, and read aloud from the Bible: "Unless ye become as little children, ye cannot enter the kingdom of heaven."

And Kai and Gerda looked in each other's eyes, and all at once they understood the old hymn:

"The rose in the valley is blooming so sweet,
And angels descend there the children to greet."

There sat the two grown-up persons; grown-up, and yet children; children at least in heart; and it was summer-time; summer, glorious summer!'

Wednesday, 17 April 2013


this essay explores the mystical implications of the cosmic portal created at exactly 1.48 of ‘don’t stop’ by the stone roses while at the same time trying to wed the author to the song in the same way that mark chapman did with his favourite book (catcher in the rye) by shooting john lennon. i cannot deny this. at the very basic level ‘don’t stop’ says something about my soul that i cannot say myself.

i have offered up the word orgasm to describe 1.48 on occasion but today it came to me in a startling eye-shifting moment that it is more likely to be the actual sound of dying. a kind of grande mort, like being sucked backwards through your (in)significant moments, or a sort of existential hedge that attaches itself to the barnet area and scalps you.

is it coincidence that ‘waterfall’ (which is ‘don’t stop’ the wrong way round) is exactly the kind of song any girl with real soul would like played at their funeral? i don’t think so. it is 1.48 when the coffin is engulfed in flames. it is 1.48 when the pacemaker explodes the body into a hundred different and newly-discovered colours, disintegrating the is into the IS.

‘there is the news for me, useless/ now so much waste’. the song is a kind of vehicle, first taking you towards the moment of death, and then away from it, there is a definite membrane that needs breaking from about 1.38 onward, then from 1.48 until 1.57 god speaks an actual sentence in music. the first (human) words start after this voice: ‘don’t stop- isn’t it funny how you shine?’

the human voices come from the dark, like the red glow of faraway stars- and the bassline is undeniably an upward stairway. this leads me to believe that the song as a whole actually takes place in space. this is an irrefutable truth (the music of the spheres would absolutely be backmasked- you cannot get away from it). 1.48 is the moment when you exit your own body/atmosphere to become a god yourself.

‘ease into my heart/He must be one of us’. Moreover, the song has a kind of insect quality to it, like a giant mechanical butterfly breaking out of a cocoon. another coincidence? i cannot believe it. ‘to steal what she never could own/and race from this hole she calls home’ (waterfall 0.28)

in conclusion, ‘don’t stop’ is a frozen piece of the universal song, captured by mistake like a ghost in the wrong part of the cosmos. i believe the stone roses unwittingly uncovered the voice of god while also revealing the sound and experience of dying using a kind of reverse magic. the lyric ‘don’t stop’ quite clearly refers to the life-source within and without every one of us.

in a very real sense 1.48 may actually be the number of god.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Swimming with Dolphins and the Bus that Never Comes

People talk a lot about being on their death beds and regretting stuff and all that. That's OK if you're into that kind of thing but I'm not sure I like the idea much. Personally I'm hoping for a really dramatic exit.

Imagine instead you're on an out of control train, the countryside streaming past, all the passengers screaming and running about with blood in their eyes. Will you be thinking 'maybe I should have spent less time writing blog posts about how I would like to die?'- I don't think so. Instead your heart will be pounding and your life will be rushing past you- the rubbish and all the brilliance of your fully human life as you disappear down the bear's throat.

It is not au fait to be imperfect nowadays- there's always a billboard telling you that you're WRONG, as if life is a horribly difficult experience relieved only by running marathons and discovering a new kind of orchid or whatever. But not everything is funny, and it doesn't matter. We are better than a quip, small under our sunglasses and anecdotes, there is so much more thinking to do.

When I'm hurtling through the air after the aeroplane has exploded I will be shouting all this into the sky; for we are swimming with dolphins and the bus that never comes- perfect from the day we are born.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Acres of the Moon

Mother's day is not for single mothers. Father's day is mostly for dads in families and Valentines day is not on anybody’s side at all. Really a lot of these days should be renamed hole in the heart day because irl that's what they are.

While all the normal people eat quails eggs and heart shaped puddings with their love-fat fingers you will most likely be cracking open cockroaches by candlelight and wondering what kind of life this really is. You might almost be tempted to think that human relations are beyond complex.

The truth is that nobody leads a conventional life apart from a handful of people who you will never hear say serviette and others who would never think to say napkin- they look at the advertisements and see that mum would like light-reflecting lipstick and music albums by handsome sociopathic singers and they are pleased because they are doing things in the right order.

The road less travelled by but not too far from the path, there is a relationship you must have, there are relationships you must have with people who buy you tulips and gadgets and acres of the moon, and soon you will live together and a seed will be planted in your body which will grow into a wonderful beanstalk, with no less than ten fingers and ok looking as well.

But the secret is that real love is better than the narrative; You could crush those perky tv families with a single kiss. You don't have to live that way and you are an entire world with more love inside you than a church.

Monday, 4 March 2013

The Big Silence

Finnish was the language I was going to learn from Linguaphone. It was Glamorous and also my cat Sid was from Finland, he had his stuffing knocked out of him when the maggots got in him and we had to put him in the washing machine. I think I needed to discuss it with him, and also how the boys had got him in the playground one day and thrown him around until I cried a bit but was brave and didn’t show it.

I was going to learn Finnish, so I saved my money and one day went to the Post Box opposite my school so I could post the Important Forms off and get the tapes which I would listen to on my Walkman. Then I would be able to talk with Sid, about all the things, and he would listen to the things and that would be OK.

The Post Box was all on it’s own on a V shaped verge and over the road was my School where somewhere behind a fence was a shed with a secret music box where a small plastic woman went round and round. Also there was a whole hedge full of Ghosts, but I was the only one who knew and the daddy long legs skipped around them with this Big Silence, I never knew what it was but I did know about death.

I was in trouble. I was always in trouble. I was in Trouble because I didn’t know how to tie my shoelaces or tell the time. No one ever told me how to do those things and I thought I was pretty stupid. Sid came everywhere he was long and his eyes were scratched from where the boys had got him, also a dog had once bitten his ears a bit so he was all ragged but I made him clothes that were Glamorous like his Arabian Nights costume and he wore a Jam Pot frill as a hat and sang songs about being a Pop Star.

I was a witch but no one knew, and there was a witch above my head but also out in the orchard and no one knew about that one except the bats. Maybe I would tell Sid once I was fluent in Finnish, I think he would be interested and that would be pretty good. There were lots of things I wanted to talk about and although I was obtuse I’m pretty sure that he wouldn’t mind because he was not brand new.

All the things in Beauty and the Beast came alive, there was a candlestick that could talk and also a clock, I think he was French. I’m sure that Post Box was alive too- he was black and his mouth was open but nothing ever came out and he didn’t seem as friendly as the little teapot with the chip. In fact if you put your hand in there with Important Forms then it was very possible your hand would get bitten off which would make tying your shoes up even more difficult.

One day they burned the fields around him, and the black smoke rose up and swallowed him and the Ghosts and the little lady all to nothing. I stole a handkerchief off a girl and buried it in the woods. I would have kept it but it had her initials on in curly stitch and in the end it didn't have much to do with me.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Eat me Drink me

The breakfast crepe was a bit disappointing but that might have been the Modifinal. I sat in Soho Square with the other builders and considered the pigeons. People were down on pigeons but I thought they were sort of fine, some of their colours are otherworldly and there's nothing wrong with that.

There is a little house in the middle of Soho Square that no one ever talks about. No one knows what's inside but I do- it is where they put all the visionaries that get out of hand. Slowly they get smaller and smaller, like eat me drink me but on a one way ticket.

A man in bright orange overalls was staring at me. In the olden days I would have thought it meant he was in love with me, but now I knew better. I think he was ruminating on the butterfly effect, and whether if the same butterfly decided not to flap its wings at all whether the effect would be just as dramatic.

If you don't throw a brick in a pond and there are no ripples then is the pond somehow less good? I will have to ask my jobadvisor.
A pigeon looked at me. He knew my game, though he knew nothing at all. Women click-clacked past me on their way to work with heads full of spider diagrams and pie charts, maybe with a very small piece of pie in. My coffee was cold.

Today I had to buy some popping candy and a map of the world. It was a busy day so I had better get going. I smiled at the man in neon and left.


Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The Yellow Tree

I put on my wizard coat and sunglasses and walked quickstep to the jobcentre. In some ways I was an oddball I knew, but in others quite normal. I had green knitted gloves with bows on and felt ok about it. I looked a bit apocalyptic in my head, but in real life I was just a person walking along.

The highlight was a bright yellow tree for which I took off my glasses. My neck did a click when I looked up at it.

We all sat on the sofas and waited. There was a drug addict getting annoyed at the shaky hands advisor. I liked that one best, it was something in his eyes, like a horse in fire. The addict was full of self-pity, I felt sorry for him and hated him too. He was shouting but nobody heard so he shuffled off back to his crappy life.

When I heard my name I was surprised. It’s surprising when someone says your name out loud. I gave old shaky hands my most winning smile and got out my job search. ‘He was interesting’ I said. He went on about it for a bit and I said stuff like ‘you don’t make the rules’ etc to help him along. Now we were friends.

There was a picture of him at a football match pinned on his cubicle, it made me sad I don’t know why. I think he was disabled in some way, he had a special keyboard with big letters on. I was keen and signed the thing and was set free.

Go here for more Job Centre Adventures.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Weeley Festival 1971

I grew up in Weeley- a blank three shop village in Essex with a caravan park, a crematorium and a concrete merchants. It is nowhere, not really countryside thanks to the big road running through it, yet with porn-strewn woodlands and orchards too.

You would think that this odd and listless Sunshine Coast dwelling non-scape had never seen a remarkable day in its life. I had the same opinion that most kids have about their hometown- I wanted to get out. I stared at the three seaxes with a kind of longing, back-combed my hair and jumped fences with the assistance of BASS BOOST.

If only I had known that
in 1971, right there in those fields a massive rock festival had taken place, at which some of my favourite bands had played- bands that I thought existed in an entirely different dimension, then maybe I would have given Weeley a bit more credence. Have a look at the running list:

The idea that Marc Bolan and Rod Stewart nearly got into some kind of brawl near my little house would have been too much for me to imagine- on that day 110,000 people flocked to Weeley thanks to the Alan Partridgesque Clacton Round Table who most years ran a Donkey Derby.

‘It was almost an exodus,’ said Steve Harley of Cockney Rebel. ‘Thousands upon thousands of us coming from all over Britain- hitching, walking, anyway you could to get to a place most of us had never actually heard of.’ 

How did this r&r thing happened? The bands played all day and all night, the Hell's Angels got into fights and the hippies spun round like lawn sprinklers. It was a far cry from white-haired Mrs Starling next door and the cracker lady who walked around with a toy monkey in a pram

I was minus 5 at the time so missed out, but to get with it I've made a playlist. I hope you like it. Even if you didn't grow up in Weeley it's still a glimpse into a time where a small town commitee can organise a huge depraved rock festival. It's this mix of quaintness and hedonism that sums up a kind of Englishness that I'm very attached to. 


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The Beginning

The sunlight shone at me through the blinds. You’re stuck it said and put its finger all in my eyes.

I idly wondered about cutting the grass then immediately forgot about it. It was not for me. Maybe I should sit out in it and drink tea. Staring was ok- not one thing or another, and those were the things that were problematic.

Some old people rumbled by. The cat tried to sit on the keyboard again. I saw my screwed up face in the screen and thought this is not even depression.

I sat in the garden and looked at the grass. It really did need a trim. I’d left the tea bag in the cup- a development. A squirrel ran across the fence and did a spin and stopped, its beady eyes looking at me. ‘Hi’, I said. ‘How is it?’

He didn’t reply. I leant back in my chair; I had found it outside in the street- it was a wicker one with creaks and royal as hell.

The tea was stewed, with those dirty rim bits. The sun was pretty weak and winter was all in my bones but it felt ok, like a sensation. It was the jobcentre later so I should stock up.

‘How real are you?’ they would ask, and I would reply ‘Yes, I am dreadfully real’. Then they would give me some money. If I let it slip that I don’t exist then I’d be in big trouble.

I tipped the tea bag into the compost and headed back into the dark house, I’d had an idea for a poem which was probably a waste of time, so in that respect pretty appealing.

Squirrel, why are you stuck there like that?
What makes you go?

The phone rang- it was British Gas. ‘Hello, is Miss Hammond there?’
‘No’ I replied, ‘I haven’t seen her for ages’.

I hung up and went back to the poem but the mood was all broken. It was obviously time to start a blog.