We danced in an empty room to the song of the moonlight
and the blood rushing to my ears
I heard my knees crack
on the concrete
footsteps were in a seperate beat
I swallow mothballs.
We're just bruises on my knees.
Thursday, 29 March 2012
under the sheet I tangled my little fists in to your dark thick curls. We hid from the sn that burned holes and dotted your face between the quilts. You were beautiful.
I wanted to kiss your eyelids but I rested on your cheek instead.
You smell like sleep and dust on rain.
I wanted to kiss your eyelids but I rested on your cheek instead.
You smell like sleep and dust on rain.
This was for homework in creative writing. Had to write about a poem about a mythological character. I don't like poetry and I can't do it very well, but here we are:
Fighting through a storm of flustering feathers,
I grabbed two in my lean fingers
White, with speckles of brown. No sides were frayed, soft to the touch but they cut me when I thumbed its edges.
They fell into my hair and wrapped themselves tightly in. Embracing me.
They sliced through skin. Scraping.
I saw eyes that were eternity, dark pools that swirled and created warmth, familiarity.
He from his back he took an arrow, red tipped and dripping.
He aimed it at me.
And with a smile he pulled it back, barely straining.
Nothing but feathers and lips too pink, like roses.
I stumbled forwards clutching the stick protruding from my chest
I felt it. I felt everything I could feel.
As crimson was spotting from me a dull ache reached into the stings of cuts
My ribs cracked one by one.
“Your heart opened as you fell,” he sang.
Wednesday, 28 March 2012
Sunday, 25 March 2012
Flash fiction is little stories that only last a few paragraphs or so. Here are a few I done for my creative writing class.
A waste of paint:
I have been sick for a very long time. It is not the kind of sickness that requires me to be hospitalised, or even given special treatments. I do not need needles stuck into me, and rarely a test will be taken to help cure me. I am sick all the time. My bedroom looks like that of a sick person, tissues, and clothes. Piles of books have tumbled and fallen, old dishes left to mould.
I haven’t left my bedroom in a week. It is the longest I have stayed indoors for a very long time. I might infect the family, that if I open the door my pores will open too and swirl through the air and into the lungs of everyone.
Instead I stay in sanctuary, a small space with black and white walls and a little window where I watch the rain pelt and hear the wind gasp. The grimace of winter crawls through the gaps and strokes my arms silently. I will keep my curtains closed from now on.
I have not left my bedroom now in nine days. I have found something I thought I had lost. I feel ideas lace themselves across my mind and my fingers itch. I saw the image of a couple, so immersed in love they gazed into one another as police powered toward them in riots. I carefully draw their outline and pour my own longing into them.
I feel the need to tidy. I bag and bin the clutter I was hoarding since childhood. I find my guitar tuner and decided to play. As my hands grip the cold neck my fingers align themselves perfectly to make a chord. I play until my thumb blisters and my fingers have perfect ridges of hard skin, puckered and bloody.
Day 11: I have been immersing myself in music. With my heartbeat and harmonies pounding the noises make sense to me. I have spent my day collecting lyrics, bits of words that are important, that could even change the world if I could only feel them. I will change my world with one idea: paint and music together. Red and black are the colours that will release me into a creative revolution.
The colours slide into one another, making a neat swirl of solid black and slimy red. Merged together but still completely separate. I had made a sketch, a white portrait of myself in the middle, blank and expressionless. The room of the sick person is material. I use cotton wool and dip it into the paint. The colours never become one, black on top of red, red on black, splodges, dots. I no longer feel dominated by illness; I want to feel the paint. Trembling I rub the dripping cotton on my twig arms. Sighing from relief, I place my index finger on to the plate and feel the cold sensation rise up my hand. One by one my fingers slip into the splatter. I push my palms together until paint starts to surge out of the gaps. I run my hands over my face. I peel my nightshirt off of my lean shoulders. I stand in my underwear and run my sopping hands all over my body. Clavicle, chest, my stomach, thighs and legs. I feel the colour sink into me and dry through my flesh. I feel pity for the canvas in front of me. It can't be art anymore. I am art. I laugh.
Suddenly for the first time in days, I hear a knock on my door.
Over the telephone the squawking and spitting seemed to accumulate in a downpour of incomprehensible drivel. My mother, hanging up had ripples behind her eyes and her puffed out cheeks with violet and blue veins spotting and breaking as her lips curled into a smile.
“Oh I am glad you’re finally home!” elated, she said.
Putting my bag down, I heard my spine pop as she launched into a silvery tale,
She told me she was taking my siblings and moving to Australia with my step father in 12 months. There they would begin romantic new life together going from destitute poverty on the beach to multi successful business pioneers where her two golden haired children would make friends with Koala bears and ride in Kangaroo’s pouches.
“But I have a life here!” I exclaimed as lists of faces, places, my relationships and aspirations swirled around a future that was trickling out of my pores in nervous perspiration. Mid reverie, she interrupted,
“Oh you are being over dramatic,” she replied picking fluff from her dress.
“You’re not invited. For one you are far too pale skinned.”
4 o’clock in the morning:
I feel terribly alone. My calendar has started to curl and yellow from cigarette smoke, each little ink line began bleeding into one another.
I have taken the time to tailor a world just for me on my computer. I have over 300 ‘friends’ on my Facebook page. I am top of the league on most of the games and the best part of it is that I don’t have to discuss my interests with other people, but merely ‘like’ them. And they like them back!
I have even created a blog about the plot holes in Doctor Who and now I have 50 followers who debate and read every word, every line. There is a little button on the side in the shape of a heart that turns red when you click it; it means that you agree with what this person is saying. I think they really do like me.
I have made playlists to share at the push of a button. One for driving, one for walking, one for falling in love, one for breaking up, one for being born and one for dying. Really, there’s something for everyone.
It has been a long time since I first took the tentative plunge online and cultivated a digital world for myself, but even as time passes I still can’t help but feel these strange pangs of unknown desire.
In a caffeinated haze I stuck my USB cable on my tongue and plugged the other end into the computer, hoping that my body would be pixelated and thrown on to someone’s screen, we would travel through internet, them and me. Instead I got a nasty shock and had to have a lie down.
One day, when it all just got too much and the pangs became bludgeon’s in my stomach, I texted my mother for any wisdom she could impart after her years of raising children and interacting in this world.
“Son,” she gently said. “Have you ever tried going outside?”
Confused, I replied “Is there an app for that?”
Thursday, 1 March 2012
First year piece about a memory from childhood:
It was called “The War Den”, a make believe battlefront hiding away at the corner of the swing park. A tree that was never quite in bloom, some buds and leaves would half-heartedly blossom in spring. The bark was almost black in comparison to the shocks of red, mauve, browns and oranges that covered the wood, it’s branches forming almost perfectly in to cradle like shapes and little benches, where the children could sit and spy through the parting of the branches at the dog walkers tripping over the broken patches of grey pavement and sparse dollops of grass which escaped through the cracks.
There were many days where the swing park had a tint of greyness to it. An inherent dullness that could not be explained, the rainbow coloured swing set would look slightly duller than usual, and the opening of the den was a gaping hole into an unknown darkness as the thick branches which blocked the shreds of sunlight from illuminating the safe little spot. Inside the den a trodden dirt path kept the echoes of footprints from the many children which led further and further down to the leafy banks of the burn. Hidden by a wall of nettles and brambles, children would precariously trundle down to the burn, often muddying their trousers and skidding into tangles of leaves. The burn was lined with old thrown away bits of debris, things you could see travelling downward into a barred tunnel. A mysterious gungey substance lined the smooth walls of the tunnel; the children would say it was toxic waste, an alien, radioactive. But it was unanimous that you don’t go near the orange, dripping goo. It was a reminder that they were in an area that they shouldn’t have been in, an area that was a secret to all but the street dwelling children. Instead they played adventure games, using the burn as the seven seas, and old trolleys covered in decaying rubbish and safe way plastic bags as stepping stones to islands and boats. Sometimes a casualty would occur, a child would slip, a foot would dunk into the repugnant water or sometimes a whole body would be covered in the filthy water, dirt clinging to their clothes and the smell of something revolting and chasing their skin, even when they’ve been scrubbed furiously by their mothers who warns them of the dangers of the burn, fretting that they may drown or be struck down by an incurable disease the burn no doubt carries. On some days, especially the days where the world of suburbia was a just that slightly bit greyer, there would be a young red headed girl in the den, her chubby hands and stumpy legs pulled her bit by bit towards the top of the den, where the children said the leader could only sit. She would sit in the perfectly formed circular branches and lean back carefully positioning her leg between another branch that acted as a harness. She would look up aimlessly and thoughtfully at the tumbling grey clouds above her and wonder about what the other children were doing right now, and worry that they may find her and disturb the rare solitude the den provided. Raindrops would tickle her freckled nose and run down her pale cheeks, unwilling to move and find a more sheltered area. Only listening to the noises of the trees, the scuttling of rats in the bushes and the trickles of the burn flowing steadily and constantly.
I wrote this in my first year of university for an assignment. It is the first completely and utterly fictional piece of writing I had ever attempted, and in a lot of ways still needs heavily editted. But it was a start. It was signifcant, because I'd nothing in the well of inspiration, and then someone said hello after a long time, and I've been writing albiet erraticly, but still always writing, since then :).
I have seen many street performers throughout the years. There had been clowns, mimes, living statues that would mimic my grey appearance and my stony expressions. No performers are quite as important, however as the accordion players. More accurately, my accordion player. Generations have passed since then, now an elderly man takes the place of youth. I watched this accordionist deliver melodies from his enchanting squeeze box, time had etched itself into his skin. His eyes were framed with tributaries of wrinkles and laughter lines. Amongst the music was a flurry of dark haired children dancing to their own tunes of innocence prompting life and movement back into the now desolate square. Some parents perched on the ledge at my feet, and leaned against my crumbling legs, waiting for their children to tire so they could carry on with their errands.
The tinny sound of the accordion awoke me for the first time in what felt like an eternity, igniting me the only way the accordion can. Gripped by the spell of the music I tumbled deeper into my memories of an accordionist I once loved.
For as long as I can remember I have stood tall and magnificent in the square of bohemia. Artists and Philosopher’s would bewitch and attract the public, living statues would stand amongst me and frighten passersby. I would watch what I could of the magicians and artists. The square was almost on fire with passion and colour. Flower boxes with glowing violets and periwinkle lined the plentiful obscure shops, little bistros, bars and cafés were scattered throughout. Lanterns would hang from the larger street lamps lighting everything in a brilliant orange glow. Often I would be decorated, real flowers would replace the stone ones that were in my hair and hands, and I would almost look like a real bride instead of a fading replica. However when the artists and patrons went home and the sun set I would be alone in the evenings, with no distractions and no one to observe. In those times I ached for excitement, movement and colour. I wanted to feel the electricity in the air and watch the people express their freedom in ways that I never could.
That was until one day, a day not particular at all, I was not alone. I noticed a strange wheezing musical noise screeching through the night air, stopping and beginning again like it was not quite sure what it was doing. It sounded like an animal had been terribly wounded and was gasping for breath while howling at its attacker. However irritating and distressing the noise was, I listened further on until it changed into a melody, almost quite reaching a full song. I dared to open my eyes to see what creature was before me. Instead I saw a man, my accordion player. He sat crossed legged on a little porch, swearing to himself whenever he missed a note or his timing wasn’t quite right. He was a lean gentleman with very slender fingers and bony shoulders. He was clad in Victorian attire complete with pointed shoes that emphasised his pixie like feature. His face was sharp and pointed and he wore make up like a mime. It would be easy to mistake him as a woman in the dull moonlight but his gruff and gravelly voice gave him away. He was interesting to observe as he would fidget and cough pulling out a polka dotted handkerchief, growling to himself after he had allowed himself to be distracted again.
“Bloody instrument, bloody stupid, stupid instrument.” He would grunt repeatedly to himself, unaware that I was across from him hanging on every perfect note that he could muster, and sympathising with every failed attempt that he made. He carried on playing until the sun came to claim its rightful place in the sky. He looked up, mumbled something to himself and began to pack up his instrument,
“Until next time, my adoring public!” he exclaimed before taking a slight bow and skulking off into the shadows of the alleyway.
Every evening I looked forward to my accordion player’s little concerts. As the weeks went by his mistakes became fewer and his profanities were less. His mood would be elated when he would finish a score with one or two mistakes, so much so he would wrap his skeletal arm around the pole of the porch and swing from it joyously, cackling with laughter in the darkness. I often wondered if he would be the same if he knew I was watching him so intently and concluded that I was glad he didn’t, there was something more honest about his music and his reactions that would be tainted if he knew I was aware. My accordionist may have been adorned in fine threads and his make - up may have been exquisite and intricate, but he was not an observant chap. It took him almost a month of his secret performances to realise that there was indeed a member of the audience present. For the first time he noticed my silhouette facing him. He took a few step forwards, leaving his beloved accordion behind him and placed a gloved hand on my foot poking through my heavy gown.
“Hello madam, all dressed up and no – where to go? Me too.” He laughed to himself. In one fluid movement he jumped on my ledge and placed his arm around my shoulder. My marble heart skipped a beat.
“At least I’m not playing into oblivion, tell me am I getting better?” he asked almost mockingly. I wanted to move my cemented lips and reply; I had so much to exclaim. Instead I said nothing. I did not move. I did not breathe. I stayed in the same position I had been in for my whole life but wishing more than ever I could move freely with my accordionist.
“Never mind petal. This one’s for you” he jumped down, took his accordion and began playing once more.
Every night he would play for me, sometimes sat on my ledge, other times he would stand from his little porch like a makeshift stage. As his confidence grew he would leap and move as if he were dancing. He was able to manipulate the accordion in a way that made every note magical, like it could almost bring me to life. He would not only play for me, but sometimes he would talk to me too. He told me stories of his childhood; he told me about his interest in street performance and mimes, his voice harsh and gruff as he was partial to a cigarette, or twenty. Often he was really talking to himself and I just happened to be there. It was like he was recalling the story of life, frightened that he might forget it sometime soon.
His interaction with me only prompted a terrible yearning to be able to answer him back and dance with him in the cool summer air. I would feel my base tremble as I tried to move my body back and forth, but bits loose rock would merely fall as if a gentle breeze had pushed them over. I had tried this while he was sitting on my ledge and a rock hit him square in the head, he looked up at me quizzically and laughed,
“If you wanted rid of me you could have just said!” he coughed into his handkerchief spluttering and choking violently.
His coughs were becoming more frequent and he often grabbed at his chest as he began to wheeze, like he was now an accordion being played.
“Well, you’re in luck” he picked up the stone that had hit him and flicked it back over me. “You’ll be rid of me soon enough. Bloody appointments, hospitals. You know they won’t even let me take my accordion with me? They’re horrors, they are. I’m getting pretty good too. Wouldn’t you say?”
I could feel loneliness creep up to me again like an old friend I’d have rather forgotten about. I had no idea how quickly my accordion’s health would deteriorate, and how little he would come to visit before he would eventually die. Most of my evenings were held in silence as I stared expectantly into the alleyway my accordion player would usually emerge from. Occasionally he would come and visit but his make – up was often badly done and dark shadows lurked underneath his once sparkling emerald eyes. His clothes were unkempt and ruffled, and his dancing and laughing was replaced by him huddled against his porch almost cradling the accordion as if it was a small child. Sometimes he would wrap himself up into a little ball around my feet and weep, holding onto his ribs like they were going to separate themselves from his body.
Seeing my accordion player stripped of his art and elegance left me burned. I had never before seen suffering such as his. I had only seen laughter, creativity, people brimming with potential and joy, not tears and skin shrinking around bones. I had not seen handkerchiefs spotted with blood or weeping men begging to stay alive. And like him, my body too began to break as my accordion player got weaker and weaker. When an artist had tried to dress me in flowers my shoulder had crumbled to dust in his fingers. Parts of my gown were becoming loose and falling off during day time performances. I was sectioned off to keep people safe. I was quarantined from life going on around me.
I didn’t know he had died; his visit became sporadic and short. It had pained me so much to see him in the midst of death that I began to close my eyes and shut off my ears whenever I saw his frail limp body collapse onto the porch. I only assumed he had gone when a single red rose was left on his make shift stage when I had awoken from a deep, consuming sleep. I often wonder who left it there and wish I could have left something for him too.
As the years went on I was repaired, only to fall apart once more. Eventually the time and effort felt like it was wasted among the artists, and they focussed on their own work instead. Sometimes, however, once and a while someone with an accordion would pass through and play like the old man playing for the children, and I would wake up and feel alive, remembering my jubilant, peculiar accordionist and reminisce about the days where my days and nights were filled with colour.
This was written about a woman I admired in my first year of university for homework. It's quite raw, and I had to change a lot so I wouldn't be breaking any mystery around the womans identity. I asked if I could write it when I did though, and I like looking back on it every now and then.
Here it is:
Here it is:
Every flick of the pen her writing curves, spirals and dances its way across the lined page, every word is like an enchantment that captures a part of me, something that I am willing to succumb to. She has read more novels, essays and journals than I could ever hope to match, and she lives her life unashamedly and fully. She proclaims that her life is not exciting, but I know that down to her roots, every part of her is exciting and exotic. To say that she wasn’t would be like denying a foundational truth of life.
She has great love affairs, and even greater losses. She names her lovers after shapes, the constant in her life, the only one who she has given herself completely to. Never to forget the circles, triangle and hexagons that have gone through her life - sometimes I live vicariously through her relationships and lovers because it is always penned so beautifully, with such passion and joy, no matter how heart breaking the ending is.
An enigmatic character in a mystery novel that is not quite finished. When her letters await me I know that she will make me see the beauty in life again, and the possibility of youth. In conversation about the unfairness of circumstance told me that, “We are young, intelligent and we have hopes. We can do anything that we want” and suddenly I was convinced. The impossible is merely the improbable and even then the most challenging of tasks is always achievable. I admire her, for her life, and for her incredible capacity to love. She is a woman that I aspire to be.