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every now & then i think about the performative aspect of blogging. it’s just a mild curiosity, not troubling, not really. i know that if i’m really just writing to work through things or to solve things putting the writing here adds nothing.

a couple of years ago for a few months i wrote a series of really personal diary-style blog posts. they contained everything i was doing, thinking, feeling. my marriage had broken up, i was moving house, i was also trialling anti-anxiety meds for the first time. and putting it all out there. i think i stopped going so deep though when i got some emails and phone calls asking if i was really ok. i realised that wasn’t my intention. i wasn’t performing to elicit irl sympathy.

the rationale only comes with some real clarity after time though. i know now i was writing those posts of late 2015 only because paige was reading them. she was basically my only email blog subscriber, meaning i knew every time i hit publish the text would arrive in her inbox. it was a way of communicating personal detail without actually writing that personal missive directly. a silly subterfuge really. i was trying to engage her in my life and elicit a response. it didn’t work of course. i don’t think you can change the way someone might feel about you by writing things. i’m not sure how i feel about that. i want to make everything better with words.

still do i guess. the key thing i came to the keyboard today wanting to write about was reaching one month of sobriety. it’s a small amount i know, people regularly do the month for charity etc, but this is something more concerted. there’s been a number of ‘incidents’ over the past few years. i’ve been very functional but the most recent was very recent & the very worst, & it led me to seek help. i won’t detail it partly because being blackout drunk makes that hard. also i don’t want to. there are versions of myself out there in people’s memories that i simply don’t recognise. anyhoo, i’m happy for whatever limited accountability this blog gives me. one month is good & positive. i haven’t had to face the challenges yet of really socialising (other than with my cat), and of course new romance is something i’ll be particularly nervous of. maybe i’ll write about these things. or maybe not.

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parts

a return to structure:

*

About a week of obsessive practise was all it took to master the art of not thinking. I would make use of every spare moment I could find – as I ate breakfast, as I sat on the bus, as I watched the nightly news – to simply not think. I imagined myself becoming closer to a Neanderthalic man, pure animal and instinct, not bothered by the evolutionary glitch of higher consciousness. This is all I need to do, I thought to myself, during that week, in one of my increasingly infrequent moments of actual thought. Dwelling on the past or the present or the future is pointless. I thought this last thought while looking at myself half-shaved in the mirror. It was Friday. A week had passed and I knew I had mastered this skill. I thought absolutely nothing as my past heart-grievances persisted as a fact of history outside of my body. She would keep on living her life regardless. I did not think this.

*

Without a pre-programmed deadline on waking it takes me an hour to get out of bed. Swaddled and wallowing in the shafts of dust mote. I’ll wear the irrational mulling-things-over in my hair of course – the back now a bird’s nest of minor dreads. It’s a Saturday and so heavy bass is sliding through my venetians again but I try not to judge the life-choices of my neighbour. His electric green XR6 blasts the bass while he wanders aimlessly in the yard, singing off-key. Yes I had to arise to make the observation. Anyhoo, we’ve all been drunk at 10am and have wanted to share that particular joy with the world.. I tell myself things over some unremarkable buttered toast. I feel like my nervousness over next week’s travel plans translate into a small tremble in my teeth and hands, but can’t be sure. Regardless I attempt to smooth that worry and my hair under the shower. While naked and sluicing the steam I decide who I’ll ask to look after my cat. One decision decided. As always I try to leave the house quickly after dressing, retaining the water’s warmth as I meet the wind, briefly un-shiverable.

*

Inhabiting this screen, all I know I is that I no longer feel stoic. I may have, once. My life is now completely melded to the experience of the reader. I don’t just present a reflection to her I feel the things she does. When her brow furrows, as it does sometimes on a particularly early morning, I feel this turmoil. When she prances and smiles before going out of an evening I live that same joy. But all I can do physically is reflect. On those all-too-rare moments, she touches me gently and I touch her in response with her own hand. I only wish I could do more though. I want to speak softly to her. I want to smooth the tousled strand of hair back from her forehead while she looks at me, wearing only a towel, seemingly lost in thought. My life is a  curious prison that I would never give up.

wine quotes

written mainly to bump the last entry downwards

these lines will rove but not drill down, honouring

memory but moving through it, um maybe…

worry fucks me up it’s not a buzzword

 

begun in the office on a squalid wednesday

swimming in a glow of just one kernel of thought

grasped as my car sluices the river fog:

the time you spend alone at a lovers’ house

the first times     absorbing smell, accoutrements,

laundry processes, books

i missed that & why do i keep demarcating

 

is clarity ever gained by this though &

by afternoon i’m already more conscious

of a slight disinclination to kiss

 

nobody wants to pay too much attention to intuition

but it’s hard – this seems a clear marker of ‘things’

bubbling   stupidly in each moment i pour wine each evening

nervous to make each occasion a celebration while

only wanting couches & verse & cinematography &

careful touch

 

so much ‘and’

so much ‘each’

 

picture me carefully adding people & events

even though the shock of joining you at a table

a laughing last supper of unknown guests still

gives a lemon-acid jolt to the stomach

 

repeat the mantra that you have a lot: like

the only ever birthday i’ll need

 

the weekend whimsy of darren’s songline

‘what have i learned?’ feels the opposite of whimsical

as i turn it off & keep doing things – real or imagined

thought hurts, past & still-so-present-tense love

destroys my cadences idk maybe

it’s a good thing, this work becoming

at last understandable even

as you hone relief

structure calm

whittle me away

after time

hello so i’m still in a loop of mental repetition

pronouncing the sounds of your name

 

wanting to get things exactly right, maybe like

trying to name exact shades, down to the micro-tone:

parasol pink? crepe? book-cover blush?

are certain times gilt & more memorable

are we just running caught in entire vast world of rain

all possible worlds and eye-locks predicted

by weather / mood

 

back on country he’ll try to avoid a sore throat & be cool

negating the galactic impression of over-eagerness

(cringe-worthy in its vastness) you know, msg-per-day rates

getting too high     instead observe him stuffing that urge

into images, poems, peppermint tea & warmer feelings

 

so i’ll meet you near the church again (all meetings

should have a memorable gothic façade)

& spelunk out the best coffee in town, objectively

speaking, because experience only comes served in contrasts,

escarpments, wind-speed & skin temperatures

 

when the wanting is a lot i court it awkwardly

 

like vintage pre-mixed alcohol in a ghostly shade of lemon

stuff is talismanic: a flavour of lemon more prevalent in 1996

not like today’s ‘lemon’   instead makes sense to ferry away

boxed wine & escape briskly      out-manoeuvre irate locals

plain scurry into nature’s articulation of ‘brisk’

 

life is performed in-the-round

there is no particular direction you need face

but please effect a giggle just for me & show me

that jaunty smile down the camera lens

as often as forever      in this epoch

crepe pink is so persistent the colour

so non-lemon-like, always solid

soft & gentle

birds draft

you could have cut this with your surroundings & felt

real things, maybe the abandoned train stop imprint

on your roof a freak accident of the lamp’s angle poise

or the spider web gulag around your back shed

or some bed sheets as curtains & a poster for a film

no-one else loves     each real thing numbered

 

because the title was to be the girl’s i’ve really fallen for

who wore glasses like, really needed them to see

& see it would itself fall naturally into three stanzas, each

with a different pace, a different line-fade:

deliberate, messy, or open-ended

 

none of you with a father i can picture

soo all three are Luke Perry, the at-time-of-writing

Luke Perry he who has the acting skills to pull the role off

furrowing his brow as he considers optometrist expenses

listed on a paper bill, then raising his eyes over the paper

bill to consider this bf on the threshold

i mean he is unimpressed yet steeled & ready

a denim shirt

 

um there is just the song of birds instead

& volume of poems on rec we are the latest cartoon

adaptation not faithful to the source text ugh

i cannot see anything so throw on my jughead crown

plan an abrupt ending & effect a jaunt

uneven lines feel uneven

hello welcome to the time of writing framed by a borderline

fantasy of palm trees & green coconut paving

 

where mangrove theory impresses or imprints i was holding

a static hangover gently amidst sheets

 

i guess time is a wide-eyed doe for everyone     when we’re fucking

the deepest sensations are plain fleeting when i’m losing friends

i’m gaining stability & look there are bays of smeared moonlight

 

or smudged radiation? hmm everything a window

on danger & attraction at the same time     mind you

no-one can avoid dread & climax

 

but like he said i am killing at photovoltaic scrabble with ‘now’

placed as every evening tho cropped for incrimination

you’re the dog we’ve all come to love!

the stinging nestles in & in-jokes

feel sage      a key branding decision

incubation

awkward things once thought

can be uttered can become

beautiful not all the time but some

then sentiment elides for my cover-

shot a cracked lamp a recurring game

of lonely landscapes (not to sustain nor

recur) but help it’s ‘pdf’ spoken aloud

no less than three times in a day &

bam no more personifying the years

like it’s 2009 like it’s also monday

in retrospect where it’s twelve dollars

for a pint twelve dollars to

wait for you & think

 

the scratched wooden pub

can come to be a threat confusing

the past & hammering the present

all images will become exactly

your eyes over glass like a 3D hologram

spied through the stained glass window

i can almost make out the ghost’s

disposition you’ll transition nicely

to a cute role without my involvement

or interest observation is measured

precisely in faded beaker marks

i mean i can write things & edit

then i’ll fall into a picture-like-a-painting

down a geo-cached alley again