All entries for November 2004

November 24, 2004

What she said

This is a little bit of fiction I wrote for a short story, most of the story was shit, but I liked this. If anyone reads it then let me know what you think.

What She Said

"It's not fun to be around you anymore."

I can't believe she said it. I never thought she would. I just did not believe she had the cruelty in her to say those things. I guess I was wrong, because that's what she said.

"All you ever do is feel miserable, and when we're together all you ever do is make me feel miserable."

There's a reason I'm miserable, I just thought she'd be able to see it, that's all. I thought she'd be able to see the reason I was unhappy, I thought she knew me. I guess I was wrong.

"I know you're under a lot of pressure, I know you're having problems. But even when you were unhappy then, you seemed to come alive even for a moment when you spoke to me, but recently, after … you don't even seem alive. It hardly registers when Iím around you, you donít even respond when I kiss you. Your skin feels cold … dead. And I can't understand why."

What makes it hard was that she knew why. Even if she didn't realise, or know that I knew. She knew all right. And I can still see the look in her eye when she said that, I can still feel the pain, still bleed from the heart. I retreat from my troubles into my head and see the look of loathing in her eye, the subtle glint that told me how she felt. I can still hear the tiny flitters and fluctuations in her voice that gave away her hatred.

"And I don't think I want to understand anymore, if you're not going to even notice that I'm here, not even going to acknowledge me, then why should I stick around? Why should I stay with you when I donít care, when the only people you seem happy around are people I know you despise, give me a reason to stay Ö please.Ē

The bitch of it is, I wanted to give her a reason. I kept looking at her face, begging me, pleading with me. Asking for a reason. But I couldnít give one. I just couldnít do that. I couldnít do it to her Ö I couldnít do it to us.

ďFine then, itís obvious that you donít want me around. I donít know what happened, but you said you loved me. When did you stop?Ē

I wanted to tell her, to tell her that I never stopped … that I would never stop. I wanted to say that it was not in my power to ever stop loving. But I didnít, because she needed me to be the bad guy, and I didnít have the heart to correct her.

ďSo youíre not going to say anything? Youíre just going to sit there and let me go? Why? Why wonít you stop me? Whatís happened to you, where did your passion go?Ē

What happened to my passion? You happened, my dear. I looked into your eyes one day and saw that you were trying to think of a reason to leave me. Thatís the real question here, not what happened to me, but what happened to you. Do you know how painful it is to look into the eyes of someone you love and see them squirming inside because they donít know why they donít love you? Do you know the agony of looking at someone with nothing but love and passion in your soul, knowing that they are trying to think of a way to leave you?

ďFine then, if you wonít try to stop me, Iíll just go.Ē

And go she did, not understanding why she was going, misplacing her anger onto me. Because the loathing I saw in her eyes wasnít for me, it was self-loathing, because she was a woman who was going to leave a man who loved her. Because she was a woman who couldnít understand why she didnít love me back. Thatís why I let her go, thatís why I stopped caring. She had already decided to leave me.

ďBut please, just remember what I said.Ē

She was my love, my other half, my perfect being. A woman trying desperately to justify what she said.

November 09, 2004

Eros Will – A review

I suppose the real judge of any play; show, book, spectacle or anything involving an audience of any kind is whether or not you enjoyed it. I have to say I did enjoy Eros Will. However, as a play it was crippled from being all it could be by technical problems and an immature audience, and as the story limped along towards its conclusion, the bemused and cruel audience laughed at its pain.

Coming into this show I had high hopes and a firm intention to slate it due to a certain bitterness that I wasn't cast (I'm sure director/writer and Third Year English/Theatre Studies student Robyn Smith made the right choice, I just take rejection personally sometimes). While my hopes weren't completely fulfilled, I am unable to slate a show that was better by far than 3 of the 4 plays I've seen so far at Warwick, being head and shoulders above professional productions of Macbeth, A Clockwork Orange, and the RSC's A Pilate Workshop.

The opening set provided a few problems, a raised circular stage, above an already raised stage meant that those near the front struggled to see the goings on onstage. Set in a student flat, the naturalism of the play became easily apparent as the characters played drinking games as the audience took their seats. While not immediately obvious to those with no knowledge of the play beforehand, gaps in this scene when the lights went suddenly down, then up again, seemed to show the passage of time and moved on to other parts of a heavy night of drinking. However, these breaks were meant to be times when the character of James (a character in a play the main character Tamsin in writing, who has started to develop a life of his own) would be projected on a screen to one side of the stage.

The absence of this character was a huge factor in the audience’s confusion, and in my dashed hopes of the play’s potential excellence. And seeing the play as it was, had the projector have worked, this would have been an excellent play.

The main plot tells the story of how Becca, in a very admirable performance, starts receiving anonymous text messages, starting with the enigmatic “I’ve seen you around, I find you interesting, maybe we can meet up sometime” and getting gradually more suggestive and disturbing. Up to the point where the “stalker” knows what videos she and her friend Tamsin have rented.

Tamsin, played to a tee by a talented actress, is struggling with violent images, most of which occur whilst she tries to write her play. This is not helped by the fact that the minor character James talks to her, trying to convince her to give him a bigger part. She seeks comfort from lesbian friend Rebs, a part acted with panache and vitality, and their relationship evolves into a romantic one.

Tamsin’s brother, the reliable Will, played by the same actor who would have played James who did extremely well with a small role, supports both Becca and Tamsin in their troubles, and it soon becomes clear that Tamsin is very protective of her twin brother, becoming angry with Becca when she shows interest in him.

This provides the basis of the play, and the principles are backed up by a solid supporting cast of fellow students (loud and often crass), and Tamsin and Will’s parents (suitably parent-ish, but looking too young to act that old). The dialogue is very natural and believable, though it’s surprising to think that students really do swear that much, though some lines seemed to lack purpose, and were there to demonstrate the student life. While this was done very well, it had little bearing on the plot.

The character of James’s Father, was also cut from this performance. Which was a real shame as I was told that this character was what gave a more mature sense and message, to what is essentially a very student based play.

A well-written play, that was also well acted with only a few rough spots, I can only imagine what Eros Will could have been, had all the equipment worked. As it was, the audience, whilst immature to act as they did, could not really be blamed as they were missing a very important aspect of the play. Ultimately this was an acceptable piece of theatre, with better acting than most, and an incomplete plot that interested the audience, with only a few flat patches.

I advise everyone who can to go and see the complete performance sometime in June, when I am certain that no longer crippled by failing equipment and with more rehearsals to smooth out the few rough spots, this play will achieve all the glory it deserves.

3*'s out of 5, for a play that shines through adversities.

Hope is

Hope is

On the way home a child asks his mother,
If he can have some sweeties.
She thinks about it,
And says maybe.

Five minutes later,
Body crying out for sugar rush,
He can’t help but ask again,
Not thinking about, she says maybe.

Three minutes later,
Wondering if the sugar rush,
Or nagging would be worse,
She tells him maybe, before he asks.

One minute later,
He asks again. She’s sick of it,
Sick of him, sick of being asked,
In spite, she maybes him.

They pass the sweet shop,
He no longer needs to ask,
Just looks longingly,
She says maybe (tomorrow).

Tomorrow, she will give him,
Pocket money, and say,
If you want them, buy sweets yourself.
He buys a transformer.

Hope is the delusion,
That your mother will buy you

Love is

Love is

I don’t know what love is,
Just how it feels,
Perhaps no one does,
Maybe I should ask.

But I’m embarrassed,
What if they look at me
Funny, Why should they?
Answer me.

What if what they tell me’s simple,
I just missed it,
Because their love is better,
More solid than mine.

Still I ask, as not knowing what love is,
Is embarrassing enough,
That I go red when I try to describe
What it is I feel.

Sexually Repressed (i.e. singe/teenage/young married/living) Male:
“Love is when she doesn’t say no.”

Middle Aged Married Male:
“Love is when my wife says yes.”

Old Married Male:
“Love is when my wife stops minding,
If I have my teeth out.”

Women: “Love is when they don’t ask.”

Married Woman: “Love is when he asks first.”

Old Married Woman: “Love is when I don’t have to ask Him
To put his teeth in.”

Other men,
Top ten:

“Love is when she talks to you, says what she means.”

“Love is when she doesn’t always have to talk to you,
You can’t know what she means.”

“Love is in the morning, you wake up every day,
Thinking last night you got lucky.”

“Love is when she lets you keep your porn.”

“Love is the key to unlocking your own maturity,
By locking up the rest of you.”

“Love is holding her like you did when young,
Yet knowing every wrinkle, and loving them too.”

“Love is in her eyes, reflecting your own gaze back,
To you”

“Love is unspectacularly spectacular,
(Especially if she is)”

“Love is when you don’t have to say it”

“Love is your mutual fantasy,
That you no longer need to fantasise.”

I was still confused,
Asked more people,

Women, top 6 (some laughed,
Or slapped)

“Love is when he actually changes when you nag,
And doesn’t call it nagging.”

“Love is when he says I love you.”

“Love is 24 Carat”

“Love is when he’s as simple as we think,
Or as complicated as we hope.”

“Love is when his only fantasy is you.”

“Love is stupid. So are you.”

In the end I decided, that Love is the answer,
To the question you were too embarrassed to ask.

love is embarrassing.

November 01, 2004

Seven Years

Seven Years

I dropped the mirror of life,
I didn’t mean to,
But I did.

It fell from my hands,
When I lifted a pen,
To make sketch of my reflection.
The mirror fell and cracked,
Shards broke out, a million flying doubts,
In every possible way.

I dropped it when I looked inside,
Myself, to see my life,
Pen fell from first hand,
Mirror from second,
I saw someone standing behind me.
Watching what I wrote.

As shards fled fast away,
I glimpsed some sights inside,
Fragments of reflections held
Behind the mirror’s glass.

I saw the homeless man on the street,
Outside a house that could have been mine.
In an instant light was gone,
Then the sun came up.

Frozen to death, I saw him,
The morning after,
The night before,
I could have helped him.

The house could have been mine,
Could have been,
I wasn’t sure,
Didn’t see the number.

I saw the starving boy in the desert,
jungle, mountain, delta, village,
Thin as a pencil,
Twice as dry and brittle,

Much easier to snap, but he doesn’t,
Not because of a pound a week,
But sheer stubbornness, that keeps him up.
Stubbornness that makes him ignore,

The snapping pain,
That makes him want to weep, fall down,
And instead force another spoonful,
Jealous it isn’t his, into sister’s mouth.

I saw the young woman,
Watching helpless, a mere spectator,
As a man proves he loves his country,
More than her.

Boarding the plane, she cries, he sighs,
Embarrassed by the tears,
That she didn’t have stiff upper lip,
She cries some more.

Having lost him once to a war,
She loses him to war (abstract noun).
Alone, still, she walks the streets weeping,
A soggy mess, a used tissue thrown aside.

I saw the mother trying to decide,
To keep or kill unwanted child,
Wondering what a life she could give,
To a child who could have no father.

Thinking that if all she could give is life,
Why bother?
Split down the middle, like a guillotine,
About to fall on someone’s neck.

She wonder’s too, whose child it is.
The man who left her twice for war?
Or the homeless man who clutched at her for warmth,
On the street, took warmth from her, gave life back.

I saw the old woman, alone,
Knuckles knotted, gnarled and creaking,
Like wood. Indeed she seems to all
The perfect old oak, seedless, clutching to its roots.

With none to visit and shade themselves,
Under her boughs, benefit from having a tree,
With strong roots to protect them,
To put a fence around and protect in turn.

So the rend doctors tore with their knives,
That made her feel the snapping pain,
Is filled by adopted, starving boy,
Who no longer starves, or pains.

I saw the girl that might have been,
Beautiful, but sad, not knowing mother,
Lighting up the orphanage,
Bringing joy to sad places.

Or, joyous and radiant, happy family home,
Her mother caring with all her love,
Love wasted on man who left twice,
Lights up a little girl.

A girl who, motivated by happiness
Or sad, decided to bring joy to others,
Cure disease, a big one, maybe cancer,
A lighthouse, shining healing rays.

In the last shard I saw the man standing behind me,
Saw him reading my work and sneer,
In disdain and pity,
Knowing already what I would write,

Angry that I’d try to match the mirror
Knowing what I’d write would not match what I saw.
He knew, as he was my reflection,
Being opposite, he knew everything about me.

Being opposite he knew he couldn’t change,
What I’d seen, didn’t want to
Try. Instead he did, not write and hope for money, or sympathy,
To change. Things. He did. Whatever.

In the end, I was in the way,
Shards, bright as knifes, sharper still,
Cut into flesh, I feel the snapping pain.
Stomach empty, crying out; for food,
For baby lost, for warmth, for love, for help,
I feel it all, pain all round, neutralised by joy.

After I saw all this I walked out on street,
Saw suffering and love, saw pain and joy,
In perfect chaotic harmony,
Natural hideous neutrality.
Felt it all, and found peace.
I passed suffering and did nothing.
This is what the mirror of life teaches.

My reflection saw this through the mirror,
So he smashed it.

Simple Words – A Love Poem

Simple Words – A Love Poem

Some words are simple,
And some are complex,
We use them to describe,
What colours cannot.

The complex are beautiful,
Elegant and ornate.
They tie up the tongue in tricky sounds,
And stumble out the mouth.

But when they escape,
Trying hard to fly,
Their wings flutter and falter,
Not bearing the weight,

Those long, heavy words,
That now vainly reach,
To be heard by you,
Fall and fail. Unheard.

They could not reach you,
So feelings go unsaid,
You will never hear,
My beautiful words for you.

I will never pompously profess
How where once my lonely arms held only air,
They now reach out into space,
Knowing you’ll be there.
These words would never reach you,
Even if I had the heart to speak them.

But small stream-lined words,
That fly straight to you,
As I want them to,
And as I too would do,
Will always be heard.

The simple words are the best.
Three of them.
Little ones.
Guess what they are.



Written by James Webster and Lucy Ayrton

When all that’s left is sweat stained sheets
When all you are is gone
When all that’s real is incomplete
Whenever gentlemen

Are not,
Go far too far, yet leave you cold
Submit, but will not yield
Yet submitted, still not speak
Too alone to sleep

Eaten like a slab of meat
Still held, and yet apart,
Awake alone,
Eaten up, digested, vomited up,

Treat sluts like innocents
And fend them off,
Defending purity that they forsook,
Defending virtue themselves they took.
They defend what’s there’s,
Not yours.

“You always knew that anything you gained,

*Came at a cost – just flesh, or paradise you lost?”*
“So why no PEACE
_As ugly thoughts dance through my mind-”_

“you slut, you bitch, you whore, you-”
“heartless freak! You willing slave! You-”
“Willing slave, you won yet lost, you-”
"won. But what? A life alone?

I’ll never sleep”

“At least I’m not alone.”
“At least I’m virtue’s son.”

NO, WE’re not.

Things that don't bump in the night.

Hey guys and gals, this is my attempt at writing something in the horror/fantasy genre, if anyone reads it, please let me know what you think.

Dark shapes flitter across your screen. You don’t know what they are. You only catch a glimpse of them, shapeless, dark, the stuff of shadows. They only appear for a moment and then they are gone. You wonder what they are, why dark shapes should fly across your screen. But it only gives you a moment’s thought. It’s probably just the TV acting up. Just a slight glitch in the transmission. And you sit there, sipping your beer, or coke, or orange juice, or water, or whatever it is you drink when watching the television. For some reason however the unsubstantial shapes still float across your screen and as you watch their pace and frequency increases, and you get a glimpse of their shape.

By now you’re worried. This isn’t what you tuned in to see, and there is something about these shapes, something … wrong. The way they seem to float gently across, yet still go too fast for you to see them clearly. The way they are shapeless and seemingly made of shadows and darkness, and yet out of the corner of your eye you can see half formed, wraithlike talons reaching out. Or maybe it’s the way that the only light coming from the screen, the only light you can see the shapes from, is coming from their eyes. You begin to go from worried to scared and for some reason you never think to change the channel. Then one of the shapes flies straight at the screen. Its shape is terrifying, the dark matter it is formed out of seems to reach out and invade your living room, shutting out the light of your lamp and the comforting sunlight from your window. The last thing you see before you fade from consciousness is a not yet fully formed claw, reaching towards your heart. And you feel a terrible coldness; the freezing touch that reaches into your chest and the coldness that storms into your whole body would make you scream if you had the breath.

“A ghost’s chance?”

Suddenly among the ghostly shapes and darkness, a ray of hope emerges, a tiny figure, radiating light, and giving off and resonating voice that sounds like it could make the shadows flee with its purity.

“You don’t know how right you are child.”

The figure gets bigger, striding fearlessly and purposefully to the front of our vision. To one person’s vision in particular.

“You said that. You said I had a ghost’s chance of catching you. But ghosts aren’t defenseless, ghosts aren’t easy foes you can brush away. You can’t hurt a ghost baby; you can’t even touch them! But they can touch you, they can hurt you.”

A man clad in the most brilliant white now stands at the front of the screen, unperturbed by the wraiths flying behind and in front of them. Not even flinching as they move inches away from his face, almost close enough to touch him.

“I fight like a ghost. You can’t struggle against me because you can’t touch me, I will always slip through your fingers, like water, like air … like light. As strong and clumsy as you are, it won’t be hard to find you. Won’t be hard for a ghost to sink its tendrils into you.”

As a ghost darts straight at the man, he twists his body a fraction and the dark form passes a hairsbreadth away from his chest. Another flies at his head and he bends his knees slightly allowing it to pass uninterrupted over him. It is at this point that we notice something wrong about the man who seems to be a paragon of light. Fearless before the darkness that leaves you cold.

“You think I’ve been hiding sweetheart? Ghosts don’t hide. They don’t need to. Why would I hide from you? I know I’ve scared you, I know you’re worried. Ghosts have that effect. And I’m not worried, child, because I have a deluded idea that I’m better than you. I’m not worried, because I have nothing to be worried about! I’ve tested myself against stronger opponents. More skilled enemies. They all fell before they knew I’d come for them.”

His form appears to fade, the ghosts becoming more and more frequent, blotting him out, covering the light that emanates from him, and as he fades he leaves you with this one message.

“You can’t fight a ghost, all you can do is be afraid, because a ghost can appear from anywhere, if you see a shadow … that could be me.”

He fades completely from your screen and as he does you reach out to the pure light that clothed him, and without realising you do it, you make it flare up, blinding you and filling the screen. The ghosts disappear. Then you realise what was not quite right. You realise what scared you about the man. He was too light, too obviously pure. As you realise this the light twists and slips out of your grasp, taking all light from the room with it, sucking away all your warmth. Stripping your being of light. The ghosts seem to multiply each one becoming four more. And like before, your light is extinguished. And just like before an intangible form reaches out towards you, its chilling talons clawing at you. Your strength is gone. There is barely light left to see, let alone fight in. As the insubstantial wraiths fly from the screen you already know what the talons will feel like as they pass harmless through your chest, rending your soul. You already know that they will claim you.

November 2004

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