All entries for December 2010

December 12, 2010

Escaping For Christmas.

In order to excuse a certain amount of laxness in posting over the next few weeks, I'll just say now that mostly it will be because of Christmas, but I'll also be working on my non fiction assignment which I'm not really supposed to make visible to all and sundry. Not really sure what to do this assignment on yet, I find it highly likely that whatever I find interesting will inevitably bore the socks off anyone marking the damn thing. I am already referring to the project as "that damn thing" on a daily basis, which doesn't bode well for its completion.

Having spent some time puzzling over my feedback for the last assignment, I have worked out that the one bit which doesn't seem to make any sense only fails to do so because the photocopied version has chopped off the end of a sentence. Unfortunately the only bit which has been chopped off is the bit telling me what I would need to do to improve it? Mysteries are pretty fun. It seems such a small thing to bother Maureen with an email during the holidays for.

Other things I will be working on:

The fragment I thought of the post before last,

A short story about a deer,

Practising poetry in preparation for the poetry module, which I'm already terrified of,

Building up some healthy writing habits that don't involve obsessively posting blogs at 3am,

And eating my weight in sushi (just can't find a sushi bar in Coventry, I have a massive craving so if anyone knows of one, please post a comment).

That is all. Here's a fun picture of a magician:

Magician


December 08, 2010

Non Fiction Is Not My Forte

It is 10.20pm in London on the 24th of November 2010 and the first reports are spattered across the Internet. There are pictures: Student, face smothered in a black balaclava, kicks in a white police van. Teens snicker and disfigure the van with obscenities. Head shaven snarling boy accosts police shielding themselves behind plastic sheets. Headlines mourn in words like riot streets policeman injured mob policewoman injured Facebook duty youths damage protect riot riot. The street is clotted with broken glass, burnt ground and abandoned litter. Cigarette butts and water bottles.

It is 9.38pm in London and the protest at Whitehall is dying down. As more protesters are carefully filtered away, students spit insults at police officers. It is bitterly cold. One policeman has been knocked unconscious and one has had his arm broken. 32 protesters are being arrested for violent disorder and criminal damage. Others are set loose on the dark streets.

It is 7.05pm and police begin to set students free from the barricaded area. A number of fellow, unhindered protesters are gathered outside the blocked off areas. They are mostly university students, but among them are school children, mothers come to collect children trapped behind the cordons, and a pregnant woman. They begin to throw missiles at the police.

It is 7.10pm and mounted police charge the assembled crowd. They advance 100 metres, scattering protesters and panicking the crowd who are running away. Some fall over; one will fall to the ground and be trampled by frightened students as she curls in a foetal position on the tarmac. This is the second time the horses have charged on the crowd. Rumours of crushed protesters spread amongst the students, graduates, mothers and schoolchildren. 11 people will be sent to hospitals this night; only two of these are police officers.

It is 6.17pm and dark has fallen on the kettled streets. Away from the edges of the cordon, fires are lit against the invasive cold. Police provide portaloos and water. The protesters burn their banners to keep warm, and some are seen to read textbooks by firelight. A Guardian reporter watches as students gather and begin to sing. She will later compare them to the Children’s Crusade.

It is 3.00pm and “youths” notice the white police van in the midst of the kettled area. On the fringes of the cordon protesters are lying beneath the police officer’s feet in an attempt to preserve the space given to them. Elsewhere others are ramming the line of riot police with metal fences, poles, and they are throwing objects. London schoolchildren attempt to protect the white van from vandalism. They fail, and the police vehicle is daubed with insulting slogans. The boy in the black balaclava takes his place on the roof of the van, and brings back his foot.

It is 12.05 and protesters march through London. They sing songs, shout slogans, and wave banners. There are drummers, people in costume, and children with school ties knotted around their heads. There are anarchists clad in black and red, there are university tutors and girls in short skirts. Disorganised, they stream closer to Whitehall, and someone from the NUS tries to turn them back. It is too late. Those that turn find a line of riot police blocking their exit, and the kettling begins.

It is dawn in London and the cold air leeches feeling from exposed skin. There is only the low, sweet calling of pigeons of the roofs of Whitehall, the quiet hum of police vehicles parked, and the click of riot helmets descending over faces. Light seeps across the clouded London sky. Identity badges are carefully hidden by police officers. We do not know who they are. A lone white police van is abandoned in the street, waiting.


Too tired and snuffly to bother with fiddling with it now. It's a bit melodramatic, but I feel a bit like that whenever I think about law enforcement, the legal system, and anything to do with Tories or the Liberal Democrats, the dirty traitors. Originally had some bits drawing parallels with the Porteous Riots, but I had to cut them out as it became a bit long, blunt and clumsy. Plus with a lack of library book space on my account I had to get my information on Porteous from the internet (i.e. wikipedia) which is very bad for me. I should be on a wikipedia diet.



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.

So:

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:


TITLE???


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.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thing-in-itself

http://lib.byu.edu/sites/sc/files/2009/09/The-Thing.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankenstein

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moroi

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alp_%28folklore%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mare_%28folklore%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moirae

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samson

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rorschach_test

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_hysteria


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:

Dreamy.


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