Archive for October, 2005

The Pagan……

Posted in creative / writing, gothic on October 12, 2005 by Khlari

This one just made me laugh…….

the pagan

Roses are reddish
Violets are blueish
If it weren't for Christmas
We'd all be Jewish

– Get born again
Like Ronald Reagan?
No thanks
I'd rather be a pagan
LYRICS © JOHN COOPER CLARKE

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What I’m listening to……

Posted in creative / writing, gothic on October 12, 2005 by Khlari

Strangely enough, what's been inspiring me this morning is Salford's finest…..

John Cooper Clarke

Someone who I've listened to since I was about 14, seen live a few times (including a spectacualr no-show at Battersea last year). In fact that was another one of the things that got me back into writing. they held a performance-poetry-in-the-style-of-John-Cooper-Clarke competition instead, judged by Rosie Lugosi, and I was in the top three, despite not having written for years…….and had to perform it at the Battersea Arts Centre complete with ersatz Mancunian accent……Thanks John! I owe you one!

Something else I’ve been working on….

Posted in creative / writing, France on October 12, 2005 by Khlari

This is one of the pieces that started through the MA course…it developed from a piece of spontaneous writing that I started in class, and developed later at home. We were asked to think of an object from our childhood, then create a narrative around it. I chose a red velvet trouser suit, that I remembered loving with a passion, trying to wear it even when I had grown out of it….this led on to a photo of my mother's of me, wearing it on a trip to Paris in 1971 This turned out to be the last family holiday abroad we had, this mingled with musings on my later time in Paris, and the bittersweet feelings that all of this evoked.

The Red Velvet Trouser Suit

The red velvet trouser suit shines out against the grey Parisian backdrop. The little blonde girl is smiling shyly into the camera, as the Eiffel Tower shoots skywards behind her. The photo, a faded, crinkled, memento.

She puts it carefully back into her battered handbag, as rain spatters down, or it may be tears, who knows. It is almost the only thing left of herself these days. She picks up the heavy Prisunic bags, pulls her Carte Orange from her pocket, and struggles through the automatic barrier, onwards towards the many stairs of Metro Bir-Hakeim, and the overhead line 6.

She mounts the stairs slowly, unwillingly dragging her aching body. She needs the rest, but does not wish to go home. He is at home. He who shouts. He who screams. He who….. She has nowhere else to go.

Finally, heavy bottles of Pastis clinking against her knees, she reaches the summit, the platform. It is chilly October, and the biting wind whistles down the quais, chilling the waiting passengers on the raised platform. The ‘prochain train’ signs empty, swinging idly in the bitter wind.

Then, as she looks across, there it is. The tower. Its sinuous lines glimmering darkly through the night sky. Lofty, exalted. Laughing at her. Mocking her. Always the same.

She sees a hazy, diaphanous image of the smiling little girl, then it fades as quickly as it came…..

“See where you are now?”
“See where your dreams have got you? They meant nothing.”

Silent, enormous, cold, metallic, straddling the city like a giant, crushing the romantic dreams of that eternally smiling 3 year old underfoot. The idyllic fantasies crack, break into smithereens, spiral, and evaporate in the cold winter air over the dark Seine. To join the bottomless whirlpool of broken hopes and ruined lives that hovers over Paris like a vulture, waiting its time.

“Le prochain train desservira tous gares en direction de Charles de Gaulle Etoile.” As the voice dully intones the litany of all stations from there to Nation, the green and grey metro finally clanked into
the platform. Lifting the bags, she struggles with the silver handle until she hears the reassuring hiss, sighing as she mounts the train. Saved in one way- lost in another.

First day at school……AGAIN

Posted in creative / writing, gothic, me and my world on October 11, 2005 by Khlari


You'd think I'd have given up
by now…but alas no. This is
my 'First day at school picture'
First day on my MA…….

More musings of an impossibly infrequent blogger…

Posted in creative / writing on October 11, 2005 by Khlari

This is some of the work I have been doing recently on my MA course….strange what comes out when you don't expect it……

Phoenix

Posted in creative / writing, gothic, me and my world, morecambe on October 11, 2005 by Khlari

“Left to myself, what a poet I shall flay myself into”
Sylvia Plath

What brings me here? The question should be: what has kept me away for so long? I have always wanted to be a writer, have always written, since childhood. Why then did I come to a standstill, a ten year creative crevasse?

I think that the answer lies in experience. When I was younger, it was all too easy, too facile, too glib. I had no problem in writing, but the things which I wrote were predictable and formulaic. I have given to that great oeuvre of miserable teenage woe-is-me- die-in-the-corner goth poetry over the years …..But somehow, all this seemed wrong. Where was the suffering for my art? Surely this wasn’t all there was?

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
Sylvia Plath

This is where I began to doubt myself. I had nothing to write about – well nothing anyone would wish to hear. I decided, with the clear eye of a twenty-something, that I had to go out and LIVE. Yes L-I-V-E in capital letters. I decided that life was just one great rehearsal for the great novel. Everything that I experienced in life would be archived in my head. I too would have a “white alp in my eye to show I’d visited Europe”. I drew every moment to the full. Every disastrous relationship (and there were lots of those), every major crisis, every strange situation I could observe ….storing them all up for the day that they would fly out poetically in a work of great literature…..

If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I'm neurotic as hell. I'll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days.
Sylvia Plath

This is what I did. Kept waiting for the moment to happen, but it never did. Then life intervened. Life, work – everything was the antithesis of what I had expected. The everyday drudgery of working to pay the rent. Getting up every morning to do the same thing until I came home at night, went to bed, and got up to do ..the same thing again……

I really joined in with the rat race, wanted my career progression along with all of them. I even joined in the marriage game, albeit later, with the rest of them. Watch me tripping down the aisle, click clack in my spindly heels and fluffy dress, along with all the other sheep….. Then pop, pop, the little baby as matching accessory.
But there was something wrong. This all seemed like play-acting, artificial, gimcrack….something else kept seeping through, a carmine stain on the fresh veneer of ‘normailyt’

The blood jet is poetry and there is no stopping it.
Sylvia Plath

I still had these troublesome creative thoughts, though. The kind that would get me sideways looks at respectable dinner parties. I thought too much. Dangerous. Why did I need to read so much? Abnormal. Maybe that’s why I could never get into the domestic goddess groove… But the dangers, in some ways, were real.

Dying is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well. I do it so it feels like hell. I do it so it feels real. I guess you could say I've a call.
Sylvia Plath

Rising from unconsciousness, again, examining the fresh cuts, again.
Feeling where he had beaten me under the hairline, again …”so the bruises wouldn’t show”. I broke apart the sham eggshell of normality. I cracked apart the fragile carapace of my “marriage”.
I took myself back, poetry, weird thoughts and all.

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.
Sylvia Plath

This is where I am as a writer. I have flayed myself to the writer I wish to be, arrived at this point via a difficult path. Finally I have the confidence to be myself. Myself as a woman, and myself as a writer. I have taken myself back. Reborn, risen as the phoenix.

Ritual

Posted in creative / writing, gothic, me and my world, werewolves vampires and ghoulies on October 11, 2005 by Khlari

Ritual

I can see her through the window, the street light is out again, and I look though the darkness to the one point of light, her window, which is slightly lower than mine, affording a perfect view. The wistful chords of ‘Transylvanian Concubine’ split the night air.
She lays the cosmetics carefully on the dressing table, piece by piece. She pulls her hair carefully back, and begins the task.

First the face cream, she smoothes this carefully in, neglecting no part of her face. Then, gently, she squeezes the tube of pale foundation onto the sponge, and dabs this carefully on to her face. It must cover her face completely; the flawless masque must be whole. Then, she lifts the powder-puff, tapping it delicately against its silver tin. She softly sweeps her face into porcelain perfection.

Here, the real artistry begins, she takes the eye-liner and paints a careful line, skirting the top of her eyelashes, her hand holding steady. She sets this with the powdery black eye-shadow, precisely brushed over the line. Next, the red eye shadow blended into the black, then the white above. She then takes a feather-soft brush to soften them into an iridescent, flowing rainbow.

Now her lips. The tiniest brush is purposefully drawn from the pot, the dark lipstick collected and the line firmly drawn to a rosebud pout. She then fills this with the scarlet, stippled in until the colours meld gently.

Finally the hair. From the drawers she draws ponytails, hair of many colours. This she carefully adds to her own, combing, blending, for the seamless transition between fantasy and reality. Her ribbons next red as her lipstick, black as her hair. These she twines amongst the locks. Then, her piece de resistance. The roses. Velvety, red, they lie on the dark wood of the dressing-table. Tenderly, she twists them around her bunches, and stands back to look at the results. White face, dark eyes, carmine lips, and the blood red roses nestling in the blackest hair. She is ready.