Archive for April, 2005

Turning, Burning

April 26, 2005

One moment a piglet
Sucks from his mother’s pink teat
The next roasting
Turning, burning
Licked by orange flame
Over a cauldron that hisses,
That spits
At the country fair
Its juices run down

And the crowd watches,
Salivates, anticipates
The sharpened knife that carves
The slivers of meat
Pealed from the bone
Soon they will be fighting
Over the final piece of crackling
While the farmer stands straight
Stands proud, looks on

Dispatches From ‘Home’

April 26, 2005

Mother insisted on picking me up from Harborne in her car.  She commented on the hospital wristband I am still wearing.  ‘It’s to remind me of who I am and when I was born, you know, in case I forget.’

‘Is that from when he hit you?’

I winced.  Mother’s voice is an assault on the ears.

‘I believe the legal terminology is ‘common assault, Mother.  At least, that’s what they’re charging him with.’

We didn’t discuss it any further.  She would only trivialise and belittle what happened to me.  This is the same person who held a seven year old child responsible for the actions of a thirty something sociopath (Yes, we are talking about my father here.).

And, to this day, I still can’t understand that.

That masochistic gene that seems to run in my mother’s family (at least amongst the women) seems to be absent in me. (Thank goodness). Mother began talking about her sister, M.  (I am hesitant to call her my aunt – not after what she has done.)  She is taking her daughter, J. to court in an attempt to gain access to her grandchildren.  J. was abused by her stepfather when she was very young.  She revealed this in 1999 and her stepfather admitted it.  The most sickening part of this whole sordid story is that her mother chose to forgive her husband. She was waiting for him when he came out of prison.  I find this unforgivable but my mother, as always, joins the exodus from judgement.  M. has labelled J. an evil liar.  She does not deny that her husband molested her daughter but suggests that she is exaggerating the extent of it in order to gain revenge and to increase the amount of criminal injuries compensation she received.  Several thousand pounds, I believe.  In my oh so humble opinion several million pounds wouldn’t be sufficient to compensate J. for the double injustice of being abused as a child and then being abandoned by her mother in adulthood. What I don’t understand is if M feels that her daughter is so evil then why is she so desperate for access to the children that emerged from her womb.

I saw the Living Ghost of Bella in the sitting-room of my parents’ home – sitting on the sofa.  Was she communicating with me psychically? 😉

Little had changed.  Mother still waits on my father and my mother hand, foot and fingernail, as well as paying all of the bills. My brother still treats her as though she is something he has just scraped off the sole of his shoe. But there is nothing I can do about that.  (And, believe me, I have tried).  I cannot intervene and I refuse to even try.

Mr Happy

April 26, 2005

Mr Happy
Originally uploaded by rielouise.

New poster above main (steam driven) ‘puter desk. Hopefully it will have some kind of effect upon my mood. And encourage me to abandon the excessive use of my laptops and get out of bed!

Slow Poison

April 26, 2005

I keep my destiny hidden, my gaze restrains,
Suspends the doped up boys in the auditorium
Oblivious to the way I am degenerating
I clutch at omnipotence for they adore me
Me – the girl who stands resplendent on the stage

I leap into their lives, I occupy their senses
For the duration of the show and in return
They grant me dedication fervent enough
To affirm my status as queen of this scene
They revel in my ostensible magnificence

In my repartee. They strive to snatch
Chunks of me away and my own slow poison
Corrodes my contents and I do not find
The sisterhood I seek in song and the affection
Of the crowd smothers me to death.


April 26, 2005

I met my tutor and fellow members of my tutor group. My tutor was a beautiful Indian woman attired in an elegant silk scarf that floated around her when she walked. This sounds mean but I find OU students insufferably earnest, particularly the supercilious South African young woman who glared at me throughout the entire session.

During the break I spoke to a thin faced, middle-aged man about my plans for the future. I told him I’d be content to be a student forever. My plan is to do an MA (yes, another one) in Creative Writing at the UEA (I’ll be sponsored. I’m confident that my ‘mentor’ will see to that and, with the results, fund my PhD).

‘Germaine Greer says Creative writing courses homogenise contemporary writing.’

Oh, really? And did she give any examples?’

‘Oh no, I didn’t read the article myself. I just heard it.’

I asked him if he’d read her latest offering: The Whole Woman. One critic called it a ‘polemical bomb’. I thought it was an unstructured rant. Oh, yeah, Germaine Greer can be liberating when you’re 15 and your father is a tyrant and you paraded through the house, clutching a copy of The Female Eunuch (‘Hail the Mini Dictator, the Conquerer of Rooms). Life was so polarised back then – rather like Germaine Greer’s world-view.

Needless to say, my interlocuter hadn’t read that either. Then perhaps you ought to explore her works more thoroughly before you presume to regurgitate her views with such pseudo authority. These words remained firmly lodged in my mind.

During the informal discussion afterwards I commented on how much Birmingham had changed. ‘Yes,’ someone piped up. ‘And it was such a dump in the early nineties.’

That was the last time I lived there on a permanent basis. I guess the city became less of a ‘dump’ after it had divested itself of my presence.

All Curled Up

April 25, 2005

All Curled Up
Originally uploaded by Bella the Cat.

She looks so adorable, so angelic. One would never imagine that she uses the bathroom floor as a second litter tray or that she has scratched my beautiful red sofa in the sitting room to pieces or that she is a big bully brat cat. But I love her really!


April 25, 2005

Slime in tangled hair
Smelling like decomposition
Dragging my memories after me
Like a child with a battered teddy bear

I am silent, full of thoughts
But empty of courage. I am hiding
I am good at that. And I plunge ahead
Though terrified. I am a firewalker

Ploughing on. I confess that I am secretive
Scarlet-faced, hands fluttering
Insecure in my own skin. I hurt myself
On the edges of razor sharp days
That cut, that cut

I revel in solitude – those endless silences
I love them, I nurture them
I do not betray their confidences
A spell has been cast
A storm descends
A storm without a cause
A storm without a pause.

Now, Let Me See…

April 25, 2005

Where were we? Ah, yes, Birmingham. Well, not quite.

(In case you were wondering the damage to Lori Gottlieb’s Stick Figure, portrayed in the previous post, was caused by water-damage from the fire. I’d only just purchased it from Amazon too.)

I awoke on Saturday full of anxiety at the thought of having to make the first train journey I’ve made for a couple of years. Mother had convinced me to stay overnight at ‘home’. I was born on the Isle of Wight but brought up in Birmingham. (Not Alabama, unfortunately. No, the one whose car industry has just collapsed.) And, before anyone asks, no, I don’t have that accent.

I said ‘Goodbye’ to Bella as she rubbed up against me. I had arranged for Doug to feed and take care of her. I will miss the warmth of her small furry body against my own while I sleep. I packed an overnight bag in a hurry and left for the station. The train journey seemed to take us all around the world. Three hours to be precise. ‘Are you sure we’re not dropping in on Siberia,’ I muttered as the guard announced the stations at which we would be stopping. I spent most of the journey sleeping, my forehead resting against the window. I had the seat to myself until we reached Leicester when a guy embarked and plonked himself next to me. He played a rather noisy game on his mobile ‘phone for the rest of the journey. The sun shining through the window made me sleepy and my head lolled. I almost found myself resting on my neighbour’s shoulder once or twice. I didn’t do that horrid dribbling thing though. (At least, I don’t think I did. I wish I could take a sign on board trains and buses with me saying ‘I have a Contagious disease. Sit Down Next to Me and Your Life Will Be At Risk.)

I was still half asleep when I left the station at stepped out into the cold (well, to me anyway) air of Birmingham City Centre. I hardly recognised it. I felt like that character Will must have felt in Philip Pullman’s The Subtle Knife; as though I had cut a hole in the air and had gained access to a parallel universe.

(To Be Continued)

Scary Close-Up of Bella

April 25, 2005

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Hallowed Interval

April 25, 2005

A hallowed interval
Between cows munching on grass, on thistle
And the newly opened, freshly exposed
Second front. Embattled, mercury-backed

Bored and blood-soaked
Re-enacting tragedies, heraldries of another age
In the language of another dimension
That seems like the breath of death.

Vapours from another country’s breakfast table
Salt, pepper or some other marinade. Beware! They ensnare.
A smiling soldier stalks forth. His bright blue eye
An explosion exposing the meaning of purity

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