All 2 entries tagged One
April 26, 2010
Monotony is a lifestyle, but not a lifestyle choice. It is not repetitious but repetition itself, embodied in ritual, in habit, in convention. In one, two, threes.
The kettle bubbled on the hob, and screeched like a rake on red brick when it hit boiling. I took one part milk, two spoons of coffee granules, three sugars. The kitchen smelt of burnt toast and stale cigarette smoke, like a worn-down office, or an old launderette. Except that the taste of detergent was absent, and rather than the steady hum of washing machines and dryers all was silent here. I debated turning on the oven fan just to disturb the peace. But it wasn’t peace. Silence isn’t peaceful. Silence isn’t anything at all. I cleaned the dishes and put the knife away. I counted the steps on the staircase as I took out the bins. One, two, three.
Everything was white. The floor was a pasty linoleum, the desk painted veneer, the plasterboard surroundings ashen. I stayed in my box, the four walls glaring at me, laughing at me. Soon, I thought. Soon. The day would be over and I could return home. I needed to pick up lettuce on the way. I wanted salad with my dinner. The clients entered, and they looked like chickens, confused, their beaks poking their way into my undersized coop. Mother, father, daughter. One, two, three.
The reporter read out the news, her eyes crying MURDER, MURDER MOST FOUL, at the Tuesday Night Club or the Vicarage or somewhere, and I flicked the channels to find something more interesting. I watched the music countdown. Who would be number one this week? Who cared? It enthralled me for at least a minute, as I waited to discover. Three, two, one.
My life ran like clockwork. I was a broken record. I was any Tom, Dick, or Harry. I was a walking cliché. Out of all the gin joints in all the world I walked into hers, and our eyes met across the room, before she turned away. I tried to think of an excuse to approach her, but none sprung to mind, other than the fact that I wanted to. She smiled coy as a chameleon, blushed like a china doll. She picked up her glass gingerly, as if afraid to break it. I wanted to hold her. To breathe her in. I began walking, my feet moving without any conscious thought. They stepped and stepped and stepped. Left, right, left. One, two, three.
We didn’t stay for much longer. I was trapped in monotony but she laughed so new, so sharp, so curiously. Her hair was a faraway kind of gold, and her skin had an olive sheen that made her heritage near impossible to place. It complimented her mahogany eyes, deep as a philosopher on meth. You could count the freckles on her chin. One, two, three.
The lavender Air Wick spray smelt just like you would expect lavender to smell. It hung in the room, like the stale odours had, festering at the bedside. It was better than before, I supposed, as she lay down in front of me. I could see the knife glinting beneath my pillow. She didn’t seem to notice. I sprayed the mist again. Just spray it, smell it, enjoy it for the hour. Spray, smell, enjoy. One, two, three.
Blood was seeping from her like pus, and I washed it away before it would thicken and clot and start to smell. The clock ticked on the wall rhythmically, ritually. One, Mississippi, two.
Monotony plays out in perfect repetition. It is seamless but in this seamlessness is threaded worn-down patterns and deserted narratives. I took out the bins as I waited for the kettle to boil. I cleaned the dishes, I put the knife away. The smells were stale. I needed salad with my chicken. I counted the steps.
One, two, three.
January 28, 2010
I wrote this poem as a performance piece for One World Week, so it's related to World issues. I decided to write a poem against weapons of mass destruction, and linked it to nature to try and create the paradox between humans fighting against nature, and then fighting against human nature. I hope it worked alright, so let me know what you think.
Two days ago it rained like the skies were shattering
It rained, in beacons of trust like blood pouring from an open wound
It rained, and stained the ground
Like dominoes it barely made a sound.
Two days ago it rained, and we put up
Our umbrellas and moved in colourful rounds
Through the crowds.
Two days ago it rained, and we slept
Soundless as children in our beds
Two days ago it rained
And we brushed the water from our heads.
Three weeks ago it snowed, like crystallised diamonds
But soft, and feathery and icy and cold.
Three weeks ago we pulled out old cotton jumpers
And stepped like glass, fragile on the frozen grass.
Three weeks ago it snowed, and we
Caught the flakes upon our tongue
Complained of traffic and moved on.
Four months ago the skies were clear
The air was smooth, our eyes they peered
Into the light. The sun beat bright upon our skin
Upon the freckles on our chin
The days were warm, the nights were still,
And we were invincible.
And in three centuries, or three hours
The rain will go away
But rather than come back another day it will fall
On barren earth, if it dares
To drop at all, and rather than wipe it from our cheeks
It will streak upon our graves
And the sun will blind the hardened trees
The leaves will fall in empty eaves
And the snow will bury what we have done
We can look back all we want and think
God, what a cruel world they lived in
But now we’re on the brink of something
So hard to link to human minds it won’t sink in
We have wars that we don’t understand and
From human hands we have built
Weapons that can kill the world
And what do you want to massively destroy?
We are a game for the big boys to
Toy with until they deploy the final
Stage, the bloody page
We don’t live in an age of war but an age of
We’re all waiting for the final score
Waiting for the last eclipse
We have no idea what’s in store
Two weeks ago the Earth shook like a
Titan it took solid concrete from
Beneath human feet, the streets
Creaked and teetered on the edge as
Mothers clasped babies to their chests.
But at the end we did not fall
The human race stood tall
We would not crawl to
Nature’s call or stall the
Anguish of us all. The earth
Can shake and shake again
But in two weeks time there may be no
Mothers to grasp children near, no
Dear sweet parents to wash away the
Tears there may be no humans left
To walk in fear there may be no
Humans left to persevere
To steer us down the last frontier
There may be
No humans left to hear the Earth
Fall from the sky
As we all die
There may be
No humans left for humankind
For we shall leave no souls behind.