October 23, 2011

Writing Backwards Numbers

This was the result of a weirdly disorientating exercise we did in Writing and the Practice of Literature the other day. We had to count, out loud, from a hundred down to zero as we wrote, trying to go with the flow. Trying to break through that distraction, that obstacle, and just see what words came to us; let the writing form and let the words flow through all the barriers that we had tried to erect in their path. So yup. Was interesting. And weird. And what I came out with was, as seems usual with me, but which I blame entirely upon the effect of numbers being counted down, slightly depressing. So apologies. Anyway, here it is:

This is the way we finish our lives, in an explosion of sound and colour and sight, gasping out our last breath and seeing everything. We find that everything becomes entirely clear to us in that one moment. It's the end and we are free. We are unencumbered by our worries and concerns, counting down to oblivion. Numbers. Nothing.

WPL Free Writing exercise

So, second year of the part-time Masters, and, not wanting to be cooped up on my own doing nothing but my Long Project for a whole twelve months, and because the course looked awesome and lots of fun, I decided to audit Writing and the Practice of Literature. Due to some abysmally slow traffic coming out of Kenilworth on Friday, I was late to the seminar and walked in half-way through a Free Writing exercise, where you had to just write, write anything, go with whatever came into your head first, with George calling out random words to include and telling us to write faster and faster. I have no idea what came before, but at the moment I entered the room, the class was instructed to start writing a paragraph with the phrase "I realised while I was dreaming that..." The words that we were instructed to include, if I've remembered and picked out the right ones, were "temples," "logic," and "violet." Here's what I came up with:

I realised when I was dreaming that I could not feel the earth, all its temples and cemeteries were denied to me and I floated above all logic and thought, apart from any sense of material being. I lived in a violet band between colours of a faded rainbow, the spectrum cradling me in an unreal place. I sighed.

June 08, 2011

So, blogs…

At the beginning of this academic year the IT Services decided to give postgraduates different sign-in and email accounts than we as undergraduates, meaning that my authorial access to this blog was cut off. I started a new blog to carry on posting my work, but shortly after the start of term all the students were switched back to their old accounts for some unknown reason. As a result, my access to the new blog was cut off and access to the old blog restored. Thought, therefore, that it might be a good idea to archive a link to that blog so that people can see what's on it if they wish, including some of my artwork and also some newer writing that hasn't been seen much (even some poems that, for once, are actually half decent and I'm quite proud of!).

So yes, here's the link: http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/cumingsarah/

March 04, 2011

A moment of a woodland life.

I sat at the riverside, the wind floating strands of my hair in the honey evening light, and breathed in. My legs were crossed, elbows resting lightly on my knees, and I raised my head to meet the breeze and watch the juvenile clouds race each other across the gap in the treetops. This was home. The sound of the river leaping over stones was the voice of the land, the shushing of the trees its gentle accompaniment. I breathed in, and felt alive. A sudden gust of wind, tumbling itself to whip roughly at my shirt, brought my attention forward to the land across the river: a regimented, dark and curious place, scented with the sweet tang of pine. I laughed as the wind turned around on itself and pushed me towards it, urging me through the river so the water smoothed my calves until it washed me up on the further shore. I felt the muscles bunch in my legs, that glorious tension sing through my body and thrill my heart. The burn of future movement. I ran.

May 02, 2010

A Room

the wallpaper, the walls of paper, wallpaper of
saffron and celluloid eyes

wallpaper looking, wallpaper seeking,
blank paper screaming the creature inside

April 24, 2010

A Building – Poem entered for the 2006 Tower Poetry Competition

Wrote this in Year 11, entered it into the Tower Poetry Competition for that year. Not particularly good, but came across it when rummaging through old notes and brought back fond memories, so have posted it merely for nostalgic reasons.


April 05, 2010

The Peacock's Court

The Peacock

Leaf Writing

Leaf Writing

April 01, 2010

The Writing Process

I have a blank sheet before me. Letters, unformed, uniform lie upon the page, waiting for me to colour them in. I weigh them up, deciding which are worthy of the black blessing of my inky dye to bring them to life.
         Slowly, the tributaries of black printed letters start to flow together to form streams of words, phrases, broadening out into a midnight river of fluid sentences, punctuation marks glinting like the reflections of stars.
         It is beautiful.
         A force of Nature.
         A torrent of language so pure and brilliant that I weep with it, thinking that it cannot stop – must not stop – and neither must I. And so I work at it, and add to it, playing around to see which linguistic chemicals I can introduce to the mix that will brighten it further, make it luminescent in its own darkness.
         I look at it again: and it is still good.
         And so I carry on, adding colours and textures and taste, swirling round in a sweeping vortex of thought and complexity and character – until I find that I present myself with a shit-filled brown Thames of a paragraph, sluggishly coursing through its concrete-bound banks in a thick tide of infected letters, swollen now into blackened corpses of once breathing sentences.

           I crumple my coloured page and start again.

March 23, 2010


The scented lake quivers: a Moses soup of sensual temptation; a cloying swathe of florid accents and the peacock flag to an idle god. Skin is coated, alcoholic film greased over like a second fur, every filament primed and ready.

And Shining.

The peacock struts - female feathers fanning this time - an age old trick stolen from the men and elegantly refined. Flower colours brighten the senses, trawling back through Neanderthal red into a whole spectrum of scarlets until the brain screams with aortic warmth.

The fragrance lingers still: wafting into every cavity, every open pore; invading the core of being and seeping out in languid swimming -

      the epitome

      of lazy sexuality.

Peacock Perfume

Photo from I series I did to accompany this piece.

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