May 13, 2011

Crown of Roses


I have done this for my portfolio and it is utterly dreadful and melodramatic and pretentious now I am going to hang myself from a tree. Comments welcome.

Crown of Roses

Let’s start with ἀν. Let’s taste it with alien tongues, and let me explain to you its meaning: a black hole consuming all that follows, birthing a nothing. ἀν, then, is strange in our mouths; for us, it is difficult to speak in the presence of the other. It manifests in mirrors, in the gaps between words, in the skeletal ecstasy of death. Let me finish with ὄρεξις, appetite.

from thence

He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

May I also tell you of the unfaithfulness of mirrors? At the age of fifteen months, we recognize ourselves in mirrors. Until then, "Je est un autre", I is another, and the mirror is its own thing, alive and devious. In mirrors, I see myself bloated, malformed in castings of elephantine flesh, scarlet and heaving. Mirrors reflect the soul.

A kind of madness then, the other.

I believe               of heaven and earth       conceived by the Holy Spirit

Crucified, died, and buried.

In personal practice: yellow foods are forbidden, they are synesthetic to the number 95, or 95kg. Sunday: 800 calories. You must never eat either 9 or 5 things. Over time, only even numbers are permitted. Monday, 600.

Give us this day

       our trespasses

Lead us not into temptation; but deliver

In Victorian England there were the Fasting Girls. They were saints, miracles incarnate, tourist attractions. Stigmata bloomed on their open hands, they were crowned with the misery and suffering of Christ. I count calories like the beads of a rosary, grazing them lovingly with ardent fingers.

in this valley of tears

life everlasting

Wednesday 400. In the event of there being only one thing, it must be halved. You will only eat one half. Thursday 200. Paper may be eaten in the event of hunger, it has no calories. Friday 800.

the communion of Saints,

the resurrection of the body and life everlasting

world without end.

I am lying in the bath, looking at myself. Reflections are not to be trusted; at birth we can swim in water unassisted. We lose this ability as we discover our image scattered across oceans, lakes, pools and mirrors. The mirror is my shadow as I cast up my hands, incandescent and alone, the light refracting golden through wasted skin.

we send up our sighs,

mourning and weeping

             As it was in the beginning is now.

Move continuously: it burns calories. Saturday, 400. Sleep in a cold room, shivering burns calories. Chew sugar free gum to burn calories. Tuesday permits no calories.

Blessed,

 clement,

most gracious

       eyes of mercy

There once was a girl and she had a mirror, and all that the mirror said was that she was the fairest, that she was the fairest, the fairest of them all.

Crown of roses

Blessed art thou

now and at the hour of our death

In the water, my bones are lovely. Magnified and gleaming, I turn my glorious skeleton in fractious, submarine light. My scars have turned to silver.


For now we see through a glass, darkly.


Crown of Roses by Kirsty Judge




- 2 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Louis Bond

    Goodness, I’ve been here. Counting every single calorie every single day, trying to eat less and less each time… obviously not the terrifically sad ending though. The obsession with beauty and mirrors is so important, and you’ve captured perfectly the way in which we distort what we see to make ourselves feel worse, and to encourage us to work harder to be beautiful. Rather than just slapping “Narcissus” and “vanity” on the story, you looked beyond the cultural stigma and spoke from the soul, completely non-judgemental. The typesetting is brilliant too. It paces things just right. Also, I love the comparison between religious fasting, and fasting religiously. And the last line – perfecto.

    I’m desperately trying to think of some constructive criticism, but I think my brain is still addled. I’ll get back to you. Sorry if that was a load of unhelpful crap ;)

    13 May 2011, 20:45

  2. Timothy Woodham

    Very Eliot, which is excellent. Wouldn’t worry about it being pretentious as you said on facebook. It’s a pity that this form of writing is considered pretentious, because for certain things I think it works perfectly – like this, for example :).

    What’s important is that it is very, very good writing – and the tone of it (i.e. “Sleep in a cold room, shivering burns calories. Chew sugar free gum to burn calories. Tuesday permits no calories.”) could not have fitted better with the form – very fractured and hazy.

    As with Louis, constructive criticism fails me. If I had written this I wouldn’t touch it.

    As a bonus, I reckon Maureen will definitely appreciate this.

    13 May 2011, 21:04


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