28 December 2009

All doe-eyed...

Sometimes I feel a bit like Dr Who. I don't own a Tardis (though Ma's temporary car does resemble it a little - unfortunately it is NOT bigger on the inside than the outside, especially when full of tall boys). I don't have an arch nemesis in the form of a Dalek. I don't possess a Sonic Screwdriver (but am asking for one next Christmas). I don't have two hearts. I do, however, frequently wear Converse...
No, I fail in being Dr Who in many ways. Much to my shame. But there are rare occasions when I think we share some powers. In terms of time control. Time can stop for me. I am a Timelord.
I was stomping about in the snowy woods, all alone with my deafening thoughts and my mother's bracken-crushing walking boots, when a moment froze. Across the steep forest flora and fauna, through the framing trees, I spied a deer. It was looking right at me. Eyes connected with mine and time stood still. As time ceased to be, I could not say how long we were locked in this quiet state.
Nothing snapped, nothing burst; the deer merely turned and walked away when moments began to follow one another once more.
And I ran. In a downward direction. Stumbling, tripping, feet disappearing in powdered snow, like a little fearless child. The best kind of running.
A Tardis is not needed with my Time Power. My Time Power and my running feet.

21 December 2009

Postcards from the Past

Hexham eccentricities are my favourite flavour of eccentricity. Nostalgia, with a hint of madness, is delicious and the ultimate winter comfort food. I sought warmth away from the icy streets in the fusty, dusty Aladdin's cave of the labyrinthine antique shop today. Warmth was not found (as the variegated clutter unfortunately failed to make the bare brick walls and stone floors toasty) but sociological treats succeeded to wrap me in the heat of secret discovery.

Postcards were on sale for 20p a pop. They were piled up in a box on a shelf, and lurid colours lured me in. Some were stamped and were scrawled over, evidently donated once received by the relatives of travellers. I sifted through the collection, picking out ones that particularly caught my eye. It was only when I was reading them through later, that I realised I had selected three that were addressed to the same person. The Bramwells of The Bungalow. Two of the three were sent by the same sender. Therefore I am granted an insight into a family...

The first is from Amsterdam.

'I'm staying in Amsterdam for the weekend, with Christine, who was at school with Mum. I just suddenly decided yesterday to come, and rang up to ask if it was convenient. Today I've been to the Rifkamuseum with Stephen - it was great. Then we went on to walk around Amsterdam looking at shops, buildings etc. Thank you for the letter, Grandad. I'll write soon. Love Vanessa.'

The next two are written in a more adult, indecipherable script.

This one is from Australia.

'Dear Auntie Evelyn, We are having the usual good time. Visited Cook Town. Had a superb sea-food meal. Oysters, barracuda, prawns, scallops! Mouth watering! Could barely walk away! Then we had an equally superb meal at a German restaurant in Cairns. The flight up to Cook Town was very interesting, flew low over the Great Barrier Reef. Off to Thursday Island & Yorke Island. All love, Barbara xx'

This last one is from India, and dated 4.12.75.

'Dear Auntie Evelyn, Early morning bathers in the Ganges! Saw sunrise over the Ganges, watched the Hindus bathing & taking blessings from priests. (Priests under the umbrellas!) Saw a body being burnt - only saw a foot! & another body waiting in Delhi now. [Squiggles that I can't decipher] city having lots of ice creams! All love, Barbara'

I think I would like to meet this well-travelled Barbara.

Postcards are so much more joyous than texts, so much more heartening than twitter updates. These supposedly outdated means of happy communication may have constraints as to word counts, but pictures can say a thousand words, and handwritten jottings can lift a thousand spirits.

15 December 2009

Inflecting Reflections

These drizzle-blurred weeks have passed in a mist of withering at tea parties; freezing at dinners; baking at dances; simmering at routs; and repeating the word Tofurkey in my head. Tofurkey, tofurkey, faux turkey, tofurkey. Rhythms that accompany whipped-up thoughts, as I imagine theremins wail...

(I am) a Lotus (Floating on the River (of Life))

Coffee with Kate is never just coffee
The buzz isn’t caffeine
Nor the sugar rush cake.

It’s band names and tip-offs
And costume and customs
And strutting whilst twirling
The microphone wire.

It’s underground murmurs
And what’s up’n’coming
And why a kimono’s
The best thing to wear.

It’s French words that ‘drift’
And prostitute paintings
And undoing apparent
Foundations of punk.

It’s song-swapping snap
And scribbles on paper
And mille fuille allusions
With eye-linered blink.

It’s Verlain, it’s Sickert,
And suave Jean Genet
And bowing at altar
Of Baroness Elsa.

It’s the merits of brackets
And the pleasure of Trash
And maintaining the buzz
That keeps finger on pulses.

It’s Dada and Dada
And dada and dada
And dada and dada
And dada and da…

Coffee with Kate is never just coffee
It’s more than just coffee
It’s more than just cake
It’s Dada and Dada
And dada and dada
And dada and dada

And dada and DA

7 December 2009

Florence Nonsense

Unnervingly, I have discovered that I am Florence from The Magic Roundabout.

Messy crop, a fan of bows, sticky-out skirt, blank expression, terrible posture. Me.

Easily distracted by flowers, wide-eyed with awe in the face of distress, driven by a desire for everybody to be super-duper lovely and happy all the time. Me.

Jerkily graceful as she floats through a stop-motion, psychedelic, technicolour seventies world. Me.

A puppet. Not so much...

Maybe it's not unnerving. Maybe it's actually FABULOUS.

1 December 2009

Once Spent, Be Paid a Visit...

I love Ginsburg. He pretty much wrote each of his poems under the influence of a different drug: LSD, peyote, marijuana, yage... He even wrote 'Yage Letters' when (surprise, surprise) indulging in this mind-expanding illegality.
Of course this is in NO WAY connected to the brilliant story of this beat poet being visited by Blake. Following masturbation, Ginsburg experienced a vision: Blake reciting 'The Sunflower' and 'The Sick Rose' over his contented form. What a happy apparition. Blessed by Blake in bliss.
And, when one thought it just couldn't get any better, our Allen was the one who coined the phrase 'flower power'. Awesome. Listen to his drug-addled genius, with a nasal twang and devilish revelry... http://www.poetryarchive.org/poetryarchive/singlePoet.do?poetId=1547