Thursday, 23 June 2016

23/06/16


I've emptied my head whilst I've been here.
And that's the best thing I could have done.

It's made me a little calmer.
At peace.
At peace with what has, will and is happening.

I'm humbled. And that's the most I could have asked for.


Wednesday, 22 June 2016

22/06/16

Yesterday I didn't:

/ buy wine - I bought beer
/ find a bottle opener - I used a knife
/ eat the fruit I picked up
/ type up everything I said I would

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

21/06/16

Today I will:

/ buy wine
/ find a bottle opener
/ pick up some fruit
/ and finally type up all my thoughts

Thursday, 16 June 2016

16/06/16


It wasn't that their conversation lacked intelligence,
it was just easier
to talk about the habits of pigeons
than why she was crying.

Monday, 13 June 2016

13/06/16

It was quite the marvel really.
These three kids, they'd been here all morning.

Riding down the hill.
Running back up.

They passed at least twenty benches on the way down, along with the expected scoffs from the older generation and the occasional pretty woman.

That was what stumped 'em.

When they caught the eye of a particularly attractive blonde. 
All three hit the pavement and their skateboards flew far.

I imagine that's what love feels like.
Like you're plummeting in to hardest concrete and everything you were sure of flies out of reach.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Her

And she had this habit of ordering a coffee then fidgeting with her stuff until arrived.
As though that tiny espresso was her centre of gravity.

She was bizarre in that way, right up until noon.

Of course she smoked, as her mother did.
And each one always lasted a little longer than she liked.

She kept her ashtray neat. All the ash had to stay right in the middle. It couldn't touch the empty sugar sachet she'd ripped up and pushed to the side or this god awful burning plastic smell would consume the air.

I think that's why I thought she was alright. She had her batshit crazy rituals right up until noon - keeping things where they should be and all. And I think that's how you know a girl's alright, when she won't let plastic burn because the smell annoys everyone else.

She didn't take notice of the news either. In fact, I'm sure she'd been out of the loop for a few months now. It kept her sane I reckon, almost justified her more-than-questionable habits.
I think she didn't pay attention to it because she'd decided it made her smoke more. 
And she didn't applaud the idea of being as miserable as the bastard bank men her father once said she'd do well with.

I couldn't tell you all that much more about her.
In truth, I don't know her.
We stop by the same cafe each morning, I linger nearly all day, except I know she doesn't see me, she doesn't see anyone, she's too busy.
Somedays she stays an hour or so, calls her mother, is reminded to eat, she ignores most of the incessant nagging I imagine.
And other days she's fast as hell. Barely looks up from the centre of gravity.

Either way, she's mesmerising.
Girls will do that to you, they'll drive you crazy with their weird habits.
They don't change though, never do, not really.
Especially not for bastard bank men.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

11/06/16

I wasn't expecting to see you hiding there,
here,
where I am now.

All these years later.

But there you were,
passing those seductive glances
you do so well.

You cut me up so bad,
so many times that
I figured there wasn't much left to destroy.

That killed me.
There you were.

After all this time.

I'd been doing alright
as it goes.
But you passed me
another seductive glance.

And I fell.
Deeper than before.
After all this time.

Friday, 10 June 2016

10/06/16


You seemed brighter that day.
Liked you'd slept more than four hours and hadn't been drunk the night before.

And this rare sight filled me with a little of the good stuff.

I've stepped back, and I now see you can do it alone.
As can I.

I realise now this a movement to be celebrated.
Not mourned.
We can both manage without the familiar. We can both flourish.
We're separate entities and often - in equal measures - I think we forgot this and became so consumed by our own little bubble that we stopped living.

It's taken a few thousand miles, too many cigarettes and the occasional "let me know when you're home" message to let go.
But the hour's arrived at the right time, for once.

I think, after all this, it's now easier to come together when we wish.
And when we do wish it, I hope you chose the bar, as always.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

09/06/16


Saner heads prevailed this morning.
I've eaten more than a banana
and filled my lungs with fresher air.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Here

There is more,
more to see, more to dance with
and alongside.

And on the wine-front,
I am more
than satisfied.

There is more sky.
More time to fill
and more pictures to take.

I notice more options
and opportunities.
It feels close enough to reach
and far enough for longing.

I hear more laughter
and conversation.

It is more alive,
more awake.
Each corner holds more detail than I can comprehend.

Here,
there are more achey feet
and greater impatience for caffeine.

And there's a greater scope for change
and exchange.

Here,
there are more words.
Spoken
and written.

Finally.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Photo Diary | Rome, So Far










07/06/16


It's a funny feeling being a little squiffy, in a big city, entirely on your own.

There are worse cities to feel like this in, that I know.
Scarier. Riskier, not as safe.

Mostly, it feels fine here. Like home.
I reckon it feels safer than where I was before.

I know there are weirder feelings to expect when I am teetering on the edge - like longer for my usual companions, my (previously) normal air, the better known.

This insanity usually lasts about 30 seconds.
At the 31st second, I remember where I am and what's in front of me.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Dear June...


Had you told me a year ago that at this moment in time I'd be sipping wine in the sweet, summer heat of Rome I would have howled with laughter.

Big adventures are coming and happening. It feels free and unpredictable, which scares me immensely, but I think I'm getting the hang of it.

It's this point in my life that's driving me mad with desire.

The desire to explore,
to be wherever I wish
whenever I wish.

I'm at my own dispose, finally.
And it's wonderful.

And I would love nothing more than to babble in my 'air-headed' way further, but I've got a lot of wine to enjoy, and a big city to delve into.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

A Poem For Today | 20

In your next letter,
please describe
the weather in great detail. If possible,
enclose a fist of snow or mud,

everything you know about the soil,
how tomato leaves rub green against
your skin and make you itch, how slow

the corn is growing on the hill.
Thank you for the photographs
of where the chicken coop once stood,

clouds that did not become tornadoes.
When I try to explain where I’m from,
people imagine corn bread, cast-iron,

cows drifting across grass. I interrupt
with barbed wire, wind, harvest air
that reeks of wheat and diesel.

I hope your sleep comes easy now
that you’ve surrendered the upstairs,
hope the sun still lets you drink

one bitter cup before its rise. I don’t miss
flannel shirts, radios with only
AM stations, but there’s a certain kind

of star I can’t see from where I am—
bright, clear, unconcerned. I need
your recipes for gravy, pie crust,

canned green beans. I’m sending you
the buttons I can’t sew back on.
Please put them in the jar beside your bed.

In your next letter, please send seeds
and feathers, a piece of bone or china
you plowed up last spring. 

Please promise I’m missing the right things.

– Carrie Shipers

Sunday, 22 May 2016

A Stumble In The Right Direction


My brain wasn't feeling notably creative or alert that day. Nor was I feeling particularly strong, and the door was somewhat heavy. I couldn't tell you what made me walk in to that little place, but I'm glad I did. 

Before me were a small collection of pretty swell people.
Like-minded. Big beliefs. Radical characters.
They held their own.
Their art was miraculous, and it glowed.
Their presence was strong, but oh so gentle.

They were the kind of people you put your phone away for.

As I enjoyed the company (and too many coffees), a wave of complete calm washed over me. Without warning I had become overwhelmingly mindful and steady.
Believe me, it was a mighty wave.

Nothing felt like it really mattered any more.
The nonsense and empty conversations that were surely waiting for me at home began to seem so much more manageable.

Every word uttered was soft. It felt easy.
Breathe in no and breathe out yes.
I became so acutely aware of every word. Every pronunciation. Every prolonged 'S' and every missed 'T'.
Any one of them could have declared the world was on its last legs and I wouldn't have winced - I was sure no one else would make it sound so sweet.

The more they spoke and the more I listened, I began to realise they were much like many others I already knew. This didn't destroy anything, not the awe, wonder or the admiration that had grown. It shattered no illusions, I still felt safe.
It was all the more powerful. All the more spectacular.

They were average people, with above average ideas.

When my time came to leave, highly caffeinated with a mind well fed, the door was even harder to open. 
Except this time, it was for all the right reasons.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

A Poem For Today | 19

They amputated
your thighs off my hips.
As far as I'm concerned
they are all surgeons. All of them.

They dismantle us
each from the other.
As far as I'm concerned
they are all engineers. All of them.

A pity. We were such a good
and loving invention.
An aeroplane made from a man and wife.
Wings and everything.
We hovered a little above the earth.

We even flew a little.

- Yehuda Amichai

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Entirety

I feel so full.
Full of all things.
Good and not so good.

Worry.
Desire.
Hurt and heartache.
Plans,
ambitions.
Confusion.
A liver still quite intoxicated.
A heart beating a little too fast.

Two croissants and a cup of tea.
My mother's love and my father's gumption.

And a growing fire,
of excitement and anticipation
for what is just around the corner.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

On Stress, Abandon & Everything In Between


That's the thing no one really braces you for. Or maybe they do, but it doesn't really make sense until you're neck-deep in shit, is that stress is not just one layer thick.

Excuse the Shrek reference, but it's like an onion.
It goes on and on, yes in slow succession, still, don't doubt its strength.

Sounds agonising, doesn't it?
That's another thing, it's not, entirely.

Don't declare me a fool just yet. I know, it can be remarkably uncomfortable. And I would always advise that you don't make it home.
The more I grow, the more I believe that it's important, as human beings, to acknowledge that discomfort, and sit with it, comfortably.

And stress?
Well, stress can be pretty useful. It helps us decide what is worth that treacherous discomfort, and what is not.

And some things really aren't worth it.

I spent eight months bracing myself for battle each morning. 8am, sharp.
And each morning, I felt my body tense with an arrogant fear. And that fear, that stress, well, there wasn't any damn value in it.
It didn't make me better.
It didn't make me stronger.
It was to be survived.
And while there was a speck of value in biding my time, there was a whole heap more in leaving.
And leave I did. I abandoned it.
I left because ultimately, I believed in greater things.

That's the other loop hole that's easy to miss.
The truly spectacular process of discovering what you believe in.

There are things I believe in.
Whole-heartedly, without question, without fear.
Beliefs that shake me.
They're mostly simple, but the beauty of simple is that often, it aligns with stress evolving.
That shiver becomes something quite magic.

For me, on occasion, sitting down to write is the scariest thing to face - in fact, I've spent the better part of the last few months avoiding it.
Equally, it is the most important thing I know to do.
It moves me forward, makes me better, stronger.
It is a belief I manifest.

It is worth every ounce of stress, fear and bone-shaking awe.
And that is entirely the point.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

A Poem For Today | 18

We are always asked
to understand the other person's
viewpoint
no matter how
out-dated
foolish or
obnoxious.

One is asked
to view
their total error
their life-waste
with
kindliness,
especially if they are
aged.

But age is the total of
our doing.
they have aged
badly
because they have
lived
out of focus,
they have refused to
see.

Not their fault?

Whose fault?
Mine?

I am asked to hide
my viewpoint
from them
for fear of their
fear.

Age is no crime

but the shame
of a deliberately
wasted
life

among so many
deliberately
wasted
lives

is.

- Charles Bukowski.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Dear May...


You are my last little fix of this place for a while. And you have no idea how pleased I am to see you. 

A hazy metaphorical grey fog hung over my head for the last two weeks of April, refusing to budge and sometimes it was difficult to summon the desire to simply get out of bed in the morning. But the mist is beginning to lift and I think the promise of, as Mama calls it, "a big adventure" has a lot to do with that.

You're the end and the beginning.

The start and the finish.
Hello and goodbye.

Goodbye to feeling trapped. And hello to a dose of free.


Sunday, 24 April 2016

Dear You,



35,000 ft. was pretty high.
And the whole ordeal would have been a lot easier if I'd have been that high too.

That plane was dire.
Full of 'wise' guys, talking about their 'grand' lives.
What a phoney word. Nothing's grand.

The journey made me think of that time you declared me a patient soul. I'm sure you wouldn't have said the same if you'd seen me then.

I didn't feel patient. And I didn't feel 'grand' like my company.
I felt like a phoney.

I listened to every conversation for that torturous hour and twenty minutes.
And I sought a little bit of you in every one.
That riled me up too. I hate you for that.

-

I guess there was a void.
That seems to be the only way to explain the mess we became.

Vacant. Empty. Forceless. Sterile. Blank.

All those words. And 'void' was the only one that really fit.

We did manage to fill it with a few things.

Pride. A sprinkling of ego. Confusion. Remorse.
And a plane, I suppose.

Visiting you that day was stupid. You weren't you and I was someone else entirely.
We absorbed all those bogus feelings and sat in silence - the loudest silence.

It was so goddam consuming that I couldn't hear the goddam tv - you put that stupid show on, you were always doing that. I hated you for that.

I wish we'd both swallowed our pride that day; more so, I wish I had.
It was a rare occasion that either of us owned up to our shitty actions. Damn, it was a real treat if we did.

That's where the void began. I'm sure of it. We both saw it. I'm sure of that, too.

The foolish thing is, when you did fully digest your pride, I couldn't comprehend it. I couldn't get a grip on it.

And I regret forgiving you. It was fear that prompted forgiveness. 

I've been mourning us since then.
Since that stupid day.

And I think I'd been mourning long before it came to a natural end.
I'm pretty sure you were too.

Once again, we were both too full of pride and cowardice to admit it. I hope we can at least agree on that.

That's where the silence became too loud. Too loud to hear the goddam tv.
And that's how it grew. The notorious void.
And boy, did it grow.

This is my closure. I hope it can be yours, too. I won't be enduring any more dire plane journeys, with only a bunch of fools for company. And neither will you. 

This letter will be a crumpled heap on the floor by tomorrow morning - much like me.

All my pride,
always.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

A Poem For Today | 17

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example,'The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.'

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is shattered and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another's. She will be another's. Like my kisses before.
Her void. Her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her. 
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

- Pablo Neruda.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Sweet Something



I was struck by a feeling at 4am.
That's usually the way it goes, a big epiphany when I should be dreaming of sweet nothings.

It hit me somewhere in my scatty head and punched me in the gut, all whilst attempting to manage a sleepy daze.

The feeling wasn't a romantic one, but it felt a little like love does.
Claustrophobic. Illuminating. Dangerous.
With a chance of all your dignity being burnt to a crisp.

I've built this up too much.
It ain't so dramatic.

I just want to write. For the first time in nearly a year.

I suppose that is fairly monumental. I know of at least one person that would pat me on the back for this small victory.
Two, if you count my Mum.

My hope is that it sticks. I've got things I want to say in a slightly poetic way again.
That's cool. 
Hey, it's a bloody revelation.

Now that this feeling, revelation, epiphany is potentially here to stay I want to make big plans.

Big plans.
Little plans.
Big little plans, for me.

Days and weeks and months of just me.
Me and my writing tools.

And maybe some wine. Just to massage the cliché a little more.