Cruelty to Enamel

December 30, 2016 § Leave a comment

A wee poem I wrote prompted by the phrase “if walls had ears”. A reflection on surveillance (and the plight of sentient objects).

 

If walls had ears, I’d live outside.
Surely wouldn’t it defy
The whole purpose of walls
And end up being their demise?

If walls had ears, we’d hesitate
When buying a piece of real estate.
I know I would, at least
I know I want my privacy.

Now you’re wondering, I assume
What it is I’m trying to hide
What goes on in there, you pry.
Now let me make it absolutely clear
I would spew obscenities with much intensity
Before leaking any secrets in here

But wait – would they have brains, too?
‘Cause if it’s just ears, my point is moot
And do they have mouths with which to speak?
I don’t much care for abusing the weak.

With ears and minds, a sad demise
For a poor, poor wall who has to stand tall
And have no say in whoever lives there
That sentient wall will learn to care
For its well-being, and that of its ceiling
Its doors and its paint, wait – would it not suffocate?

Hold it a minute, this has gone too far.
A theme built on sheer human arrogance
I say, down with this concept and its extravagance
Pretty soon we’ll be humanising cars!

God knows they’d suffer too, if they had the tools
A brain and some eyes would suffice to prove
What slavery they’ve succumbed to under our rule
I’ve said save the birds, save the earth, save the sea
And now I’ve decided to stand up for machines!

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A painful display on the Overground the other day.

December 28, 2016 § Leave a comment

I was sat in front of a down-and-out drunkard, both of us minding our own business until he suddenly perked up and tried to ask the people sitting next to him for a favour – if they could just text his daughter for him from their phone, for he had no credit to call her with. The three youngsters, all in their twenties and very cool and liberal-looking, understandably bristled in response, for he was drunk and unappealing.

After the initial lame excuse of “I don’t know how to use that phone,” (well, my friend, he’s not asking you to use it – but to text someone from your own), and as he continued to push the subject, they started getting hostile. Which sure got my heart pounding. Thubthub, thubthub. The man was a self-proclaimed Irish gypsy; not somebody you’d want to mess with. I’m illiterate, and stupid, and I’m not well, and need to contact my daughter, he shouted. He would pay them for their help, he cried, very nearly spilling his drink over the distressed young man beside him. Racists, he called them. Funnily enough, they were two black men and a white girl. It may have had something to do with that – travellers are known to be ostracised from the community. It looked to me more like fear of a violent drunk than anything else, but I did somehow enjoy seeing hip modern youths being accused of racism, a term our generation loves to throw around willy-nilly at everybody but their “open-minded” selves.

Surely in an era of tolerance and acceptance we should all be willing to help an illiterate in dire straits? Hell knows I’ve dealt with my fair share of Irish travellers, working in a pub, and they can indeed be a handful, but here was a fucked-up alcoholic who genuinely could not reach help, and his exclamations of self-deprecation softened me. I’m a gypsy, I can’t read or write, I’m fucking stupid, I’ll pay you if you text her for me.

And I could almost hear them not listening. Why don’t you text her? Whatever! Shut up. I don’t want your money. Basically, completely missing his bloody point. I hear this a lot actually: the sound of not listening. When attacked or confronted, people are driven out of their comfort zone and unfortunately with that goes two-way communication skills.

They say liberals are those
Who give sinners a second chance
They sneer at conservatives’ tough-loving policies
Who then sneer right back at the socialists’ romance

Equality for all, righteousness on call
It’s all fine words when you’re at home
The faceless masses, they need our help
Every day more pesky humans stumble out, all alone

Don’t be racist, sexist, or pro-gun
But it’s a-OK to be kinda dumb
Just hide it well until you arrive at
A real life situation with one of those bums
You keep trying to side with
Suddenly you go numb.

Think before rolling your eyes
At the crude young mum at the foodstore
It’s circumstances your society creates
That make her so irate

If you’re going to stand up for unity
Do it by standing up for the loonies
Don’t wait for them to become part of the system
For they go to phony schools, more like juvies
That produce criminals and layabouts
That we can later complain about

For the record, I put an end to my fellow commuters’ misery and texted the poor guy’s daughter, very nearly getting drooled upon in the process. “Tell her code red.” She called him promptly, giving me time to make my getaway from this slobbering, unrequited friendship and sit at the other end of the train – he was a filthy pikey, after all.

(for the record, that last sentence was sarcastic; I’m not qualified yet to make such risky jokes without a disclaimer.)

Self-help nonsense.

December 5, 2016 § Leave a comment

Hows about some poetry? On the magic of self-help.

These self-help geniuses in turtlenecks
They really think they are the best
Crowds of women in their seats
Try to put their minds at rest.

Tai chi, dance, pilates and yoga
Stick to the lifestyle like a soldier
But city life’s not made for unwinding
Or enjoying it at all
Living here is getting older
Rushing ahead of the crystal ball.

“So to find out which way you swing,
You simply must think of five things:
Who you are, what you do;
whom for, whence from, where to.
And when I snap my sweaty fingers
You will know the ugly truth
No matter who you think is you
That dreaded feeling ever lingers.”

They don’t say that, though, you see
Or one may just get up and leave
If it’s all in my hands, what am I paying for?
Give me results or I’ll walk right out the door.

Dedicated to…

August 7, 2016 § Leave a comment

Some experimentation with poetic meter. Not quite regular but staying within 8 or 10 syllables.

I lie again with you tonight
And rub my face into your palmlukalegs.JPG
There’s nothing better to find calm
Than weep and die inside your arms

My limbs are weak, my feet go numb
This living wreck I have become
Is due to life and all its woes
Torments I know have just begun.

You tell and tell me not to worry
How do you do it, you’re so calm
If around other men my mind revolves
You keep it off its guilty pathlukaatwindow.JPG

If a dilemma I need to resolve
Your words will always lead me home
It’s not such a big deal, you always say
Your lips make choices go away

Your eyes of deep, dark brownish hue
Are so immense and full and bright
They know me better even than you do
I could fall into them all night

Enough’s enough, my time is up
I have surrendered to your touch
This much at least I hope is true
That you love me like I love you

Unch-ch-changèd

July 27, 2016 § Leave a comment

I made a few attempts at songwriting… didn’t work out so well. Only thing I was really proud of were my lyrics. So here’s my first.

Won’t you just hear me out
birdshadow.JPGYou know there’s no doubt
All I speak is truth.

You can rate me
By what I create
Well I can tell you now,
I’ve created nothing.

I’m feeling brainless
Feeling grey
Oh, what am I to do today?

Seems pretty hopeless
Still unchanged
Oh, what a happy day.

It’s easy, baby, as 1, 2, 3
All this shit just frightens me
My mind is so in touch with me
Full of self-pity

This is my complaint:
All I can ever hear is my repetitive brain.
Leave me and I will stay
Stay  unchanged for another day.

I wish I was crazy
Wish I was dumb
Why must I have opposable thumbs?
Seems pretty hopeless
I’ll never change
Oh, what another wonderful day.

It’s easy, baby, as 1, 2, 3
All this shit just frightens me
My mind is so in touch with me
Full of self-pity

Woe is me…

Failure

July 24, 2016 § Leave a comment

“Once I was carefree…”
But was I ever?
Light and careless as a feather?
Did I feel the wind brush its way
Through plaited hair as I seized the day?
Doesn’t seem that I could say.

I know it’s dull to hear my whines
My worries and unfounded fears
It’s been the same throughout the years
As far as I recall I’ve cried.

Time and time again
I try and try to clean my slate
But I’d like to thrive instead.
I can’t move on, my past hangs on
To threads of failure
And delusions of grandeur

Clever thoughts and insecurities combined
Make up an imprecise internal life.

More poetry

July 15, 2016 § Leave a comment

Dedicated to, and about, one of my precious regulars with whom conversation is delightfully endless.

I can see in you, J, that you see me as a woman worthy of poetry, prose, and theatre, that you long to write me into your eventual magnum opus. I know that you haven’t created anything yet that may satisfy you, but let me just say in what may seem to be the most self-absorbed way possible, that I hope to be the one to inspire you to write. I long to write but most of all, I long to be written about, glorified like a Muse to some great artist—and I know you have it in you, J, for your strictly refined taste will not betray us. I can fully entrust my figurative self to you, though I suppose you would like the literal one, too. Sadly, my path and yours have not intertwined in that manner, but I think they can still be significant to one another. Write about me, J, I can just see a novel in your name featuring some odd girl oddly like me…

You think you’re too old, J, think again
Don’t know how many times I have to say it
Maybe ten
Thousand, but I know it’ll be worth it when
You actually get down to it and pick up the pen.

Come on, J, give me a novel,loldance2
I don’t want any dedication,
I just ask to be your model!

You think you’re too old, J, washed out
I know the feeling and I’m only about
Twenty-four
Anyway, I can imagine it then cause I know it now
And it sucks, J, I know, but that’s why you need me around

Hey, J, look at this
Am I gonna mention a familiar name?
Well, yeah, I am. Bukowski
He started poetry at 35
And novels at 50
All the women came to him for his newfound glory
Imagine how old he musta been from years of alcoholism
And shame.

Come on, J, give me a novel,
I don’t want any dedication,
Just a bit of characterisation.

You think you’re too old, J? Washed out?
Isn’t angst what writing’s all about?
Give me an “T”, J, an “H”,
Finally an “E” and there’s your first word
You do the rest, that’s all you deserve

You’ve been a naughty boy, you know
Keeping such fresh talent in the freezer
For such a very long time.
Get it out of there, my darling geezer
Pour out its contents with me between the lines

You think you’re too old, J, think again
Don’t know how many times I have to say it
Maybe ten
Thousand, but I know it’ll be worth it when
You actually get down to it and pick up the pen.

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