December 07, 2010

The Last Spiderbaby

I had this idea for a "thing" whilst sitting in the Humanities corridor waiting for a seminar to begin. I'm going to get this down quick while it's fresh, but right now it's just a skeleton of an idea. No idea whether it'll make a poem or a story, probably a story. It wouldn't make a play.


Village at night- someone sneaks through dark streets- supplicant- wanders through graveyard- vivid description, heavy scent, expectant-enters church- no presence? Presence, but sleeping? god does not rise to meet- dead or sleep.- S/he rings the bell, steady tolling, louder and louder- Deafening, panic, bats and birds burst from rafters, disorientated and afraid- they stream out into the empty night- out over village people hear- they are half awake half sleep- they think in floods fire apocalypse gogmagog etc- they are disturbed, but they do not rise- they fall asleep again.

I think there's something in it. I know I resolved to post once a day to inspire ideas, and I did not post yesterday, but basically I was consumed by apathy and could not rouse a single thing. But I genuinely want to work on this, so perhaps mission completed? I am not going to touch Singing In Scarlet again, or Splot, because I have no confidence in them, or my ability to do them justice. Frankly, I'm not a poet right now. Swings and roundabouts.

I had climbed two flights of stairs to get to my room at Westwood today when something rather bizarre happened. I was about to open the door to get onto my corridor when Sam, my neighbour, cycled past. Yes, that's right, cycled. On a bicycle. It is 3.49 in the afternoon and he has a bicycle. He is currently riding it up and down the corridor. Everytime he reaches a corner, he rings the bell.

December 05, 2010

Clumsy Experimentation is my Game.

So, as part of my ongoing rough-draft stream extravaganza, here is a very, very tentative early draft of a poem. Please be gentle with her, she is undergoing surgery. I have included some notes and links that might help anyone interested in subject/context, but try not to read biographically into it, it hurts my feelings. I feel nervous enough posting this as it is.

References have been very carefully chosen. It's probably not meant to be read aloud- I tried to write it to be read, like a secret diary entry, rather than said. Perhaps that is a mistake and all poetry is meant to be spoken aloud, but the is the purpose of certain punctuation and formatting contrivances is to make it difficult, to express something that would be difficult to confess. There's some other rule I imposed on the formatting as well, about linking directions and alignments of texts to each other and to areas of thought, but it's too hazy and unrealised right now to explain coherently. Anyway, here it is:


What small monster is this?

Scraped from a cauldren, Thing,

     Some lovely bean, some token of bliss?

     Some treacherous creature            /sly delight/

Some weird

          Frankenstein       or scattered dream?

Some [moroi alp-begat mære] entwining membranes about my heart

Some shame

Some splot, perhaps.

                                     I greet you:

It is either you or me, splot

       Cancer, minnow, lizard, embryo, prison.

Some vampire

Some single eye tossed between sisters

Snipping hair from my head

      Painted in Rorshach shades of black and white.

I am not ready to wear blue for you.

I cannot wear white with you  

                                                    [Nor black for you]

I cannot sup the poisoned dugs of state

for a splot.

Perhaps, you say, in morse-code kicks

-no-    twinges aches, blackened tongue hacked coughs disgust disgust

              Perhaps you say I am a        chrysalis

                                   dirty husk cocoon.

What then, splot-moth?

What do you become?

My current issues with this are: I don't like the beginning, I feel it jumps in clumsily and too soon into the repetition.

I feel as if the repetition of "some" is at odds with stanzas three and four where the word does not appear, but at the same time the word is distinctly linked to describing the splot, not the subject of these stanzas. I might add on a new stanza at the end once again relating to the splot?

Unhappy with question marks

Feel it should be more obscure. It generally hints towards one reading when in fact several are supposed to be possible.

Ummm meter?? Never understood this. Realise there's a rhyme at the beginning but I do not carry this all the way through- does this make it a bit of an anachronism in the poem?

I worry about it sounding feminine.

Tried to hack away some of my tendency towards floral description- is it now too bare?

Is it even any good???

Possible titles:

Splot (obvious)


Links for the Lovely

I try not to use wikipedia to inspire me, but I do find it is much better at plainly stating things than me. So here's a bunch of wikipedia pages if you're interested in allusions and stuff.

It's been a really pretentious day for me.

December 04, 2010

How Embarrassing.

So for the last week I've been feeling particularly unmotivated and uninspired. Among other things, I blame the snow, falling down in the snow, twisting my ankle in the snow, and looking like an idiot in front of about 20 other people, in the snow. There's some kind of allegory for my entire week in this. Anyway, as a kind of exercise in healing my wounded pride I'm going to do a stream every day, until I hit on something that makes me actually want to write about something. Disclaimer: These are rough drafts if anything, and are not intended as polished final products. No one is obliged to read them.

The Fabulous Death of K Judge, Failed Author, Waitress and Poet, Occasional Librarian.

On the plane, I considered the thousand horrific things that could happen to me travelling alone for the first time.

Firstly, the plane would start lurching with turbulence.

"I'm sorry ladies and gentlemen, we seem to be suffering from a little turbulence, nothing to worry about, please remain seated and secure your seatbelts for the duration." the pilot would say in a debonair, polished, James Bond three-martinis-down-and-gambling-away-his-knickers sort of way.

Then probably the wing would come off. Panicking, the man next to me (a heavy set portly gentleman with a rather unfortunate mole on his chin) will then turn to me and declare that I am to blame for our current predicament. Standing up at the front of the plane, he announces that I am a witch.

Consumed with hatred, the other passengers of the plane proceed to wrestle me from my seat, douse me in petrol, set me alight and throw me from the plane. As they are doing so they steal my purse, deface all my family photos, and piss on my mobile. Plummeting through the air, furiously ablaze, I collide with several seagulls and endangered seabirds of all persuasions. Many species are killed. Momentarily born aloft by their flailing bodies, I have a brief moment with which to reflect on the pointlessness of my life, and to observe the plane crashing into a coastal orphanage. I am eternally traumatised.

An impossibly strong wind then sweeps the birds and myself (still trapped in a fatal dance of avian destruction) away from the coast and into the ocean. There I encounter many sharks, escaped from a nearby military research unit, where they have been genetically engineered to master the art of torture. For the next eight days I am forced to endure a shark re-enaction of Twilight: The Musical. Desperate to escape, I consider suicide, but find that my skin has been burnt in such a manner that I now possess gills and am therefore incapable of drowning myself. I resolve to swim to the nearest euthenasia clinic.

Finally reaching China, I discover that my plight has been publicised and I have become an international celebrity. Begging to be taken to a hospital, I am instead forced to appear on several incomprehensible foreign chat shows. It is during the fifth showing that I realise that I am naked. Unfortunately, I am informed that nudity has become my celebrity trademark and as such my agent will not allow me to wear clothes. Winter falls in China. Staggering out into the snow, I briefly beseech the heavens to return my to my homeland. The sound of my voice enrages some nearby seagulls (whose relatives' deaths I am responsible for) and they peck out my eyes. I briefly receive a phone call from my friends and relatives in which they inform me that they found the defaced pictures, and henceforth consider me their nemesis.

Blind and hopeless, I stagger into a bar full of art students. They assume I am the model for their life drawing class, the few final hours of my life is spent being sketched naked from several different angles whilst each student comments on how ugly this new model is. In my dying spasms, I hear one boy remark that the pictures will be published on Facebook.

December 02, 2010

Teaches of Peaches.

Merry Almost-Christmas non-existant blog followers! I have been infected with festive spirit, it's disgusting. One advent calendar and I get ridiculously excited and have to go sit down. This is worth a look:


November 25, 2010

Hey Internet

Maeve, oils, c1940 Mervyn PeakeAncient Mariner by Mervyn Peake

Maeve, oils, c1940. Mervyn Peake

Rhyming and Reason

If I want a poem to rhyme, does that make me the Devil? Not just in a last-two-lines-makes-the-whole-thing-sound-neat kind of way, but throughout a poem. Is that clumsy and infantile and limerick-like? Am I basically confessing to being the kind of girl who still has some beanie babies tucked away somewhere in a dark cupboard, carefully arranged so that they appear to be playing tiddlywinks with each other? Am I senselessly twee and do I deserve to be shot? Do I enjoy otters in booties?

Okay, so I actually know the answer to the last three questions, but that doesn't make the first two invalid. I am THINKING about experimenting with rhyme. I usually over elaborate and fluff things, might it help to enforce some structure?  I'm also considering sapphic verse a la H.D. or William Carlos Williams? What DID happen to my beanie babies?

You decide, faithful reader (I know I don't have any, but it's comforting to pretend, particularly since this blog is much easier to use than my notebook which is full of doodles of the food I wished I were eating during lectures).

In other creative news, I have a massive creative crush on Mervyn Peake, specifically his nonsense poetry. Have a look at the sexiness HERE:


When Aunty Flo
Became a Crow
She had a bed put in a tree;
And there she lay
And read all day
Of ornithology.

By Mervyn Peake

He also was responsible for some lovely illustrations I saw once in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. I'll post these separately so that people who are bored of this long and pointless post will be tricked into looking at them.

November 23, 2010

Some Ideas

I'm toying with a return to poetry, and I have a few ideas knocking around:

HEEL- Playing with the idea of heel as insult, command, and object of the subjugation/emancipation of women. Dogs heel, heels are like trotters, animal/livestock vs feminine imagery. Empowerment, standing tall, restriction. Contrast between high sensual ideal and low visceral description of animals etc. Inspired by an article in Men's Health suggesting that men buy their girlfriends high heels in order to tighten their pelvic floor muscles. Lovely.

FAIR- As a pair with HEEL- Fair beautiful, fairground, fair and fey, fair as light-haired, unfair and justified fair. See this more as the backdrop to some kind of described incident- used to have one in mind, forgot it??

HELLO, PLACENTA- I just love the idea of freaking out my parents with poems with titles like this. They continually want to read my work, it would be hilarious. On a more serious note, increasing distance between human concept of the self vs actual animal fact- we are basically gross and also monkeys. Have you ever considered how horrible the tongue is in your mouth, a huge slab of salivating muscle? Why is this disgusting? Why are we horrified by our own bodies? Hmmm??

Furthermore, I have an ongoing project inspired by a poem by Sappho, in which she implores Aphrodite to inflict upon the object of her desire an uncontrollable lust so that hers might be satiated. Consider the position of Sappho's would-be lover: Aphrodite is supposedly only capable/ inclined to induce sexual desire rather than actual love. Does this mean the lover's rational mind is then trapped in a body lusting after what she previously considered to be unattractive? Or does the rational mind submit to sexual desire? Is there actually a difference between love and lust in this context? Am I so pretentious that in a second, I will give birth to a tiny beat poet? ALL IS POSSIBLE.

Petit Mal

The cold ache of hospital light has stripped all colour from the hyacinths in my shaking hands. Each quiver releases heady scent into the air, suffocating, sealing up my nose and mouth. But I can’t escape the dank, medical reek that coats her skin. She is so small, the soft folds of her skin have ebbed into nothing and we can already see the skeleton inside rising up to take possession. How lovely your bones are, grandma. We are arranged in triptych around you, we carry false hope, hyacinths and cards. The bed is raised high above the tacky floors and crackles with starch as we sit. A low, omnipresent hum throngs the corridors, as if some huge bell has sounded. The harsh light bleaches us as white as the walls, everything is inescapably white, except the gentle yellow crepe of her skin, shrouded in hospital blue, the birdlike hands that sweep up and say hello. The room is filled with doppelganger women, the place is a charnel house of the abandoned elderly who lie and silently watch. I can taste the bitter machine coffee on my breath and I hope my kisses are not sour.

Danse Macabre

Day Of The Dead Revellers (Inspiration)

Let me tell you a story about three young men. Thomas, the irrepressible dandy, Nicolas, the irresponsible rake, and Ramon, who was merely irresolute and who was forever changing his mind, as Thomas changed his clothes, and Nicolas changed his women.

Now, it was a soupy evening in the slack end of spring, and Thomas, Nicolas and Ramon were lurching inexorably from the rank den of the pub towards some party. Thomas was inspecting his soiled shirtsleeves in the stark yellowing streetlights. They were dank with the beery sweat of pint glasses and had woefully abandoned their original pristine white. Sullen and uncharacteristically silent, Nicolas nursed the livid scarlet smart of a slapped cheek- the price of having numerous interchangeable lovers who inconveniently patronise the same pubs. Finally, Ramon was muttering dreamily to himself, for he was uncertain whether he should attend the party at all or whether it might not be better perhaps to go home and blog interminably about his own indecisiveness. It was raining.

Suddenly, three skeletons appeared, resurrected in a puff of deliquescent smoke. Each was caked in corpse slime and their moist, glutinous remains gleamed with a strange, macabre incandescence. Their delicate bones were luxuriantly draped in fetid rags, indistinguishable from the rotting flesh and sinews that still clenched their cadavers together.

The boys were quite astonished and stopped in their tracks.

“You!” proclaimed the skeletons in hollow, resounding voices, each raising a reeking digit to point at the young men with deathless grins. “You are, what we were.” They hissed, “What we are, you will be!” With this the skeletons cackled gleefully and danced back into the ether, unearthly echoes reverberating about the boys’ ears.

For some time the boys stood frozen with unimaginable terror. Eventually Thomas found himself able to speak:

“Did you see his hat?” The others shook their heads mutely. “Quite horrid, I should say. Absolutely passé.” And Thomas shook the rain off his hat and continued on his way to the party.

There was a long pause before Nicolas offered “That one in the middle though, the girl” (he play-acted worldly rumination) “You could tell she was pretty once… Nice figure, not too fat” With this he flashed an echo of his inexorable sexy smile, stuck his hands in his pockets, and sauntered off to the party.

Ramon remained silent and alone in the street for some time. “I don’t know, though,” he said, to an empty sky. He scuffed his shoes in the dirt. “I’m going home”. And he strode away into the embracing dark.

Day Of The Dead Graveside Vigil (Inspiration)

Flicker Fiction

This is disgustingly short and sort of horrible. Enjoy!


Seeped in developing fluid then hung to dry, she awaits spattered negatives in red-lit darkrooms. Hunting her lost boys, she conceives only the monstrous clotted spawn of Pan. She does not know it, but hooked coils unbirth them, baptise them in crocodile tears, and dampen cotton knickers on the floor of a public toilet.

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