Saturday, 11 December 2010

That Time of Year Again

And I seem to be bouncing from the internal squash-court of my skull more and more as we approach the 'fustive' season. I am sure I am being a right arse with everything I do and say at the moment. It is embarrassing, but dwelling excessively on shame at ones randomness only has dire consequences. To be able to rein in, without the boltgun through the auld nag's brainpan!

Today is good though. Sitting by a fire, talking to the kids as they draw and make mess. Singing songs. Feeling that the glaciers of fate are slipping faster, freely, that next year will be easier.

This year has been both the best and worst of my life. Strange. Simultaneous heaven and hell. 2010 - a mixed-state year. Heavenly love and hellish love. I have had to become my own purgatorio to find some even ground for me to exist in.

But the air is freshening.

I'm trying to find ways to be consistent. I am bloody awful at it. I feel like a bloody kindergarten child, being taught his abc, or how to wipe his arse, or something. I have achieved so much that is positive this year while going through hell, that I feel hope for myself and everyone around me.

But feeling that sense and sensibility are tugging, wanting to take a brief holiday.

Well, I shall not let them.

Hope everyone in the bloggoverse is surviving, and the best of all midwinters to you all. Take care all Dx

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Three

"Memories memories..."

Stardust all tossed across the frosty night
at Chapman's Cross, as I pull in, tears suddenly
blinding, ignition slain with fingers bloodied
still from the birth just heartbeats since, the quiet
entirely gulps - cathedral of moon-ice -
the other boy asleep, car-swaddled, wrapped,
warm-lit, mouth open in a jealous snore,
tied in his law-forced, lonely throne now tumbled.

An owl honks wearily, a coney rips
the heaven's frozen gleam asunder,
caught by the throat by weasel or starved fox,
as Louis croons across this Cotswold night:
witching-time. So I cry for you confined
in flagrant disinfection, and my eyes brim.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Effigies

Sweating sulphates, there they lie
man and wife, in the incensed sty
of some useless chapel to the side
of this cathedral, evil as ice.

Condensation glistens by
the blisters underneath their eyes;
a surfeit of broken stony nights
etches their faces with sad surprise.

If they were sledged, their limbs prised
apart into sullen lumps, and twice
interred in lonely tombs - their lives
so long together vandalised?

Around them, the tourists pry
selfishly to pledge their rights;
and their children lay wreaths nightly
by the sorrowful feet of these effigies.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Snow Fox, Mute Swan, Arctic Dolphin

i

Pattering past the black-lap of the ice-fringed waterside,
the white fox sails close-reached against the arctic breeze,
albescent fur undulating in the flutter of the gale,
quietly scrutinising three cygnets, circling sadly,
regarding not with hunger, but congenial fondness.

A glance caught by the low sun: feather-feet stilled;
within each orange eye, an egg, double-yolked,
separate charms gleaming beneath a single veil,
inviolate, unmingleable, yet both rejects the other,
a strabysmal illusion inevitably coming into focus.

ii

Swan, sullen as you are mute, your small eye peers
as you glide with facility, fury bent beneath your wing;
bullet-tipped tongue sibilates while rousing tired curses,
but on land you show your artlessness: cold, dank feet slap:
blind to what has been, you pass by, more goose than swan.

Did you summon these snows, some eerie swan spell,
white as down, out of kindness, a swansong for me?
Or with a fan of wing on the wind sent flurries
to imprison me, in case I returned singing new songs?
To make a haven in time, or to freeze time, or both?

iii

Under an arctic sky, in a leucous waste of cold,
Pierced by a spear of ivory sun, this ice-block shines,
and down in the bruise-hued gelidity of its depth
the glimmering flank of a dolphin, frozen in mid-flight,
frost-hoared and shining in her congealment.

Then spied across the blue-shine of water between icebergs
cutting curliques from fang of wave to fang of wave
stridulating, whistling, a lunatic song of wisdom,
vocal torpedo as counter-measure to the sea's motion,
a moon-curled grin of wickedness that thaws the heart.

iv

Now, ice swaddles all my newness, but it is vital, clean.
Rooted in place by ice, I watch that swan slip round the bend,
and whistle ensorcellations to my brood, half-fox, half-swan.

This glacial world. My heart held here, below ice-stuffed skies,
singing hymns of thanks to this fatal cold, but warm
in my soul with the click and clack of a dolphin's love.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Poems From the Last While...

These are not in date order because I couldn't be arsed to cut and paste them all about. I think the most important are in the top half regarding explanation of the last 7-8 months, and the second half contains generally light-hearted pieces, and hope for the future. Take care all, Dx

Toad (September 2010)

The stinking toad that croaks his fart-warm music,
the bellows of his throat puff in, puff out.
His jaundiced eyes, drink-hooded, blink and blink:
he is far younger than he looks, yet far
too old to creep and clutch on this fresh earth.

O creeping toad, so scrawny, warty, pop-eyed,
crepuscular and crawling thing, who croaks
vile crepitations, belches, eructations:
your dissipation years your face, your guile
and falseness squirm behind your beaming gape.

That tailless wretch, he crept his two-faced way
into my bed while I had turned my back
and settled there, before my warmth had cooled:
he wastes his joy, though can't believe his luck,
to take at his age this warm nest to clutch.

Skin-shedder, self-devourer, witch's mark,
wart-giver, gobbler of spleen, liver-death,
convulsive, spasm-twitcher, sphiggener,
blinking toad, stinking toad, old crevice-creeper -
I ask: would you jump in my grave as quick?
----------------------------------------------------------------

When you juggled the chip pan. (June 2009)

When you juggled the chip pan
and the baby
hysterical
with two boys circling
at waist level -

When you hurled the candlestick
the iron candelabrum
at my head
and kicked me upsidedown
while my back was turned -

Whenever you hold a knife
or a mattock, or rake
I'm wary:
your violent medicine
measures me.
------------------------------------------

Sphinx (Sep 2010)

Affronted eyes, dot-cornered like the stark
outlined impenetrable gaze in red
figure; your lion haunches bunched to spring

clawing, tail twitching as you wait your riddle's
glib answer; breasts hang slack below hunched shoulders
a succourless refuting of desire;

wings furled into a hump, a burdened back
sullen with indignation, self-contained
to brink of madness, so inscrutable

no passage in or out encourages
this dialogue. Man stares and sphinx blinks not.
Love twitches strangled in the dust between.

----------------------------------------------------------

Abandonment (Sep 2010)

You always were afraid of it, you made
me, mind-created, an abandoner,
who only ever stayed and kept quite true.

Why should I stray? Your sweet abandonment
was quite enough for me: no stolen joys
could substitute those rightfully mine with you.

Yet you abandoned me, you strayed, in heart,
in faith, in lust, the fact you did mere grist
to your suspicious mind: "If I, then you."

And in the end I did abandon you,
in desperate hope I'd wreak some change -
alas, too much - although my heart was true.
---------------------------------------------------

"You Left Me!" (Nov 2010)

It's true, I did, forced out by the knife's threat,
the roll-eyed sight of you still battering
your scalp against the pitch-faced, rough-coursed stones,

our children deftly whitening with shame;
black visitations in the broken night;
you too refused to leave, though would not cease.

Bereaving paradox of loving-hate -
or hating-love: the heart soft-croons while faces
scald; sweet-laughed words, while live souls petrify.

What choice did you leave me bar wrap love safe,
and pray to all the angels bring you peace,
and I, your helpless thorn, unpluck myself?
------------------------------------------------------

Circe (Sep 2010)

The blunt wedge of the falcon, feathered cloak,
sharp eyes darting, a nest of knotted snakes
spell-fastened, grottoed in obscurity,

brimful of laughing danger, careless lover
smoke-curled with care, courageous unto death,
your warm enchantments swine me straight.

Despite my lust to be most upright, true,
unbending to these salty waves assault
my fretted tears keep proving me a fool,

hopeless, undone, a shipwrecked heart afloat
upon a boat of wounded meat, my keelbone
splintered, still floundering towards your shore.

--------------------------------------------

Cabin Fever (August 2010)

Lapping cries cascade across the hollow waters
as the curlews lisp their cunnilingual chorus;
pancreatic memory of gross indulgence
gnawing under my left scapula's blunt wingtip.

Here and now, within the moment, yet without,
time insists on pressing its uncertain visage
up against the glass of our eternal bauble:
liplocked figurines entwined within a snowstorm.

Ah me, time is never constant, always laughing,
speeding precious hours, grinding days of absence
into such a stasis heartbeats pause and falter,
courage fails and staunchness lags and blandly withers.

Latchless, sense of self and time slips through the unhinged
door of certainty, so pin it fast, secure it
with the symbols of the infant, nipples, nappy
pins and pain, hit home to haul the heart back homewards.

-------------------------------
Poised (May 2010)

Poised, not striking a pose,
fetal, fate-furled,
coiled above the bedclothes.

Listening to the miles,
bag packed, the way
scratched on memory.

Expecting earthquakes,
a flock of starlings chattering
behind the bars of my ribs.

Beneath me the black world
creaks on the spoke of my spine.
------------------------------------

Niagaras In a Pedalo (March 2009)

Shooting the Niagaras in a pedalo
I pause and ask, do you think it wise?
You don't reply. You are concentrating,
Pedalling as if your life depended on it.
Why are we going round and round?
Ah, I see, you are pedalling backwards.
Let me backpedal too - oh!
Hang on, let's start again, get in synch -
I calculate that if we flap our arms
At the crucial moment of trajectory -
Ok, I'll shut up! Why are you smil?
------------------------------------------------

Mahu Modo (Dec 2009)

The clustering of words, inkthick, typefraught,
A newsprint tablecloth, crumpled rhetoric
Droning falsehood across the breakfast, outdoors.

The haw-thick roadsides, warm-globelets preening,
Sunshone harvests of ghoul-trees, poor foolsfood
For wayfarers, who flinch when: "Sniff my truncheon,"
Dares Plod who soothes with Lethe-laden tea:

Snuffing gravid memories, that clear and torn
In the chamberlight recall that violence
Undeserved since the first great-brained travail.

Colombcarrion lies beneath the branches' sough,
Poor peacebird, while this feast of crazies chokes,
And tropes grope the groupies of the larchicon.
-----------------------------------------------------

I list the signs (March 2010)

An appetite, gluttonous
as the aloof hog who lets droop
his long lashes across his eye
while feasting on sweet primroses.

Sweet swine - beloved of Venus, rootler,
swindler, garbed in arcane robes,
despoiler of the morning - force
your shame and conscience to the fore.

It shall not help. Before the day
is out this boar shall think he's special,
allow himself to take on graces,
til bacon day unsettles him.

I list the signs: the jester's motley,
the goat-ascendant, a brazen cock
that shocks the dawn, why blame a pig?
Be glad his nature is kept hid.
---------------------------------------------------------

Our Dirty Little Secret - (Lines for a Hallmark Card) (Sep 2010)

Can't live together and can't live apart,
the indivisibileness of our heart
and the divisibility of our minds
poses a question: if this passion binds
us inextricably, yet makes us mad,
then some divine relation must be had
that gives us independence and rich pleasure,
support and strength, and sweet sustaining leisure.

Conventionality goes in the bin,
for being free is not considered sin:
souls that adore in freedom are so light
they make the very angels' faces bright.
Together and apart we'll make our lives
and be the envy of all husbands, wives.
-----------------------------------------------

Hecate, Medea, Erictho (Sep 2010)

"Often too when a kinsman is buried,
the dreadful witch hangs over the loved body:
while kissing it she mutilates the head.
She forces open the closed mouth
then, biting the tip of the motionless tongue,
she pours inarticulate sound into the cold lips
and sends a message of mysterious horror
down to the ghosts in hell." - Lucan


Hecate, Erictho and dark Medea,
it matters not at all which name you take;-
giver of madness, guardian of doors,
rearer of boys, strange mater-perilosa:
so, as the witch who finds her bonds of love
have slipped their victim, casts her spells that slay,
and killing me, killed love by killing truth.

Morning. The flowers, taken from the vase,
and in their place a bunch of dark and dirt,
sticky buds, roughly torn, and crammed, with soil
scattered across the table top in flecks;
brown, blunt-beaked lumps, all touched with beaded dew:
a sign, a horror. I made that same journey,
bearing may-blossom, woke you, loved you true,
brought both us bliss, renewal; ah, but you,
you turned and left in silence, leaving signs.

O, Hecate, Medea, Erictho.
I realised you had been: with pounding heart
I locked the door. My trembling lasted hours.

("Strange, so strange, so strange," attested he,
"that now it's all gone wrong, its plain to see,
that all these years you have detested me."

"You killed it," she said.
---------------------------

Ripe (Sep 2010)

You treated me as if I had no strength of will,
a passive fruit all swollen-ripe to pluck
by any harridan who wandered by,
despite my heart remaining constant still;
negating my volition, made me zilch,
an ornament for any girl to filch;
declaring faithfulness the merest luck
and sweet devotion just the vainest lie.

Since I could never prove my plighted troth
except by absence of those acts that kill
all trust, you watched for me to break my oath
and slandered all we met with vile intent,
expecting me to clutch their hands and fly:
your madness grew: in madness too, I went.

-----------------------------------

Katabasis (set exercise for school-children) (Oct 2010)

Again, as I enact this legendary katabasis
going down to your shores, your laughter growls
grimier than Grimsby as I trace
the anaglypta of your trembling belly.

Cerberus nowhere to be seen, no need
here to placate with song; the imbricated
folioles of your porchway sweetly hide
the source of your dyscratic fevered blood.

I seek a cure for this to come: our sad
inevitable regular diremptions.
--------------------------------------------

Fragment (Sep 2010)

This selfish farce we act in, full of greed
and desperate self-love - oh if we could
in sudden torn humility inscribe
upon the mirror of our hearts, soap-words,
or lipstick scrawls that cut the seamless glass
that separates us, and allows us sight
of all the harm we do them that are small.
------------------------------------------------

Friday, 5 November 2010

Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis, Blockage, Further Synthesis, Murder

1st person: The cause is 'a'.

2nd person: No, the cause is 'b'.

1st: In that case, there must be a cause 'c' that encapsulates both our positions, and explains the disparity between our views.

2nd: No, the cause is 'b'.

1st: But listen, 'c' explains why you think 'b' and I think 'a' - it explains why we both feel differently.

2nd: Fuck off and stop torturing me! It is 'b'!

1st: You are refusing to accept that I have a viewpoint that forces you to think more widely than your defensive position. In effect, you are denying I exist, in an attempt to shore up your own existence. Call this position 'd' - it attempts to explain why you refuse to see that 'c' reconciles the discordance of 'a' and 'b'.

2nd: [stabs 1st] It's 'b'! 'b'! 'b'!!! you fucking bastard! Now leave me alone!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

The Iron Entered Into His Soul

"In an argument over something unnecessary and unimportant, I turned and stooped to pick something from the ground, and was stunned by a blow to the bones of the back of my neck..." c.1987

"Pissing at a pub urinal, I heard the door open, and the first thing I knew was that my head rebounded from the piss-smeared tiles and I realised that I had been kicked in the small of the back with all the force my assailant could muster..." c.1993

"Bent double, kneeling on the floor and weeping into the seat of a chair in complete despair, the room suddenly crashed upsidedown, and I realised I had been kicked in the ribs from behind with such force that I had been catapaulted topsy-turvy..." c.2008


These examples all have something in common: being attacked from behind, being ambushed, having one's soul and trust assassinated by the sheer inimicable hatred of another, and each of these occasions made me assume that someone unknown to me had attacked me from behind; yet every time I was forced in utter incomprehension to realise that it was a loved one, or family member who had assaulted me from out of nowhere.

There is a curious observation to be drawn from this sort of behaviour, namely: "Don't turn your back on anyone, ever!"

Being attacked at any time is not much fun, but at least if one is aware it is likely to happen, or given the human compliment of having a chance to dodge or defend oneself, then the bitterest of poisons is drawn from the strike. But to be attacked when one's guard is down, when it is absent; to be assaulted from the blue space of inconceivability - then one realises that there are no limits for some people, and one is forced to draw, reluctantly, the conclusion that some people could kill you in your sleep. And the thing I find most painful is that those people stole my trustfulness, my faith in them as civilised, loving, human beings.

I've been attacked by strangers: that is nothing by comparison, though horrid enough in itself. But to be attacked by loved ones destroys a part of the most generous nature of one's soul.

It makes me wonder on this question: why do some people find it easier to strike from behind? Does it make it easier to strike if one avoids having to look the victim in the eye? Or simple cowardice? Whatever the cause, it is dehumanising, and if you've ever been dehumanised by anyone, let alone a loved one, then you will know what a disgusting sensation it is.

The horror is at least fivefold. First, the horror at the transgression of social boundaries; secondly, the horror at realising it is a loved one who has done it rather than a random stranger; thirdly, the horror at the realisation that with their cowardly blow they have mutilated one's own love for them profoundly; fourthly, the horror that one is capable at the last resort of despising the ones you love due to their actions; and fifthly because it proves there are no certainties.

It is obviously not uncommon, having spoken to friends and acquaintances. The reaction falls into two camps: either it is unacceptable, or it is 'normal'. The people who do it justify their behaviour by saying "I was angry", "It was what anyone would do", "Anyone would behave like that if they were angry", but I disagree entirely. A direct slap in the mouth may well be quite deserved, but an assault from behind is a far more deadly wound.

It is all poison, poison, poison, poison, and I anathematise it from the bottom of my spirit.

[p.s. This is all written in a spirit of reflection on events over many years - my current lover has not yet taken me from behind. :-) Take care all, Dx]

Monday, 6 September 2010

Demned Elusive

We seek him here, we seek him there,
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in heaven?—Is he in hell?
That demmed, elusive Pimpernel.




Yes, still alive. Just have nothing to say in terms of the confessional at present. Thought I'd leave a post for anyone who was worried.

Dx

Friday, 27 August 2010

Hell, Winge, Tedium

I can't seem to write. Been having a few mild downs. Been trying to write myself out of them. Not working very well. Need a good kick up the hole. Warning, what follows needs a big self-pity and drivel alert. I know it's all a pile of shit, meaningless rubbish, and if I could break out of it I would, but I can't at the moment, or if so, only temporarily. At least I'm upright and moving. And I haven't cried like a big girl's blouse today. So, in lieu of substance and real fight in my belly, have a fortnight's worth of winge and too many uses of the word 'hell'.

Mon. Wales. Tidied, farewells, drove. Quiet evening. Must get my head straight.

Tue. I feel dead. It is not so much some form of anxiety but dread and foreboding. I am hoping it is just the post-holiday blues but it feels rather worse than that. Missing the boys. Later. Bleak. Wept. Feel like a corpse. Want to die so it doesn't hurt. Coward.

Wed. I've been locked out of my own head. I'm in a blank room. I can't see or hear my own thoughts. The walls are completely blank. My heart is in another room. I can sense it is there because it hurts but I don't know anymore than that. It is just a bland and broken-hearted emptiness today. I have no power to open a door, or a non-existent window, or to kick one of these blank walls down. All my thoughts and feelings are on the other side of the walls. The best I can do is write these words and hope they will act like a conduit or lightning conductor to short-circuit me or innundate me with the rest of me. I cannot find anything funny - my sense of humour exists somewhere because it hints to me I should grimace signals of amusement when appropriate. I list things to do and I do not do them. I try to think of good things, bad things, practical things, but all that sticks is the empty cloud of desolate things. Desolate. A strange word. I assumed it means 'of wastelands or deserts' but it may as well be a bad pun on 'without sun' - de - sol - ate: the light has been taken from me; and in fact it actually means to be abandoned - 'de-solus' - to make alone. Well, I feel separated from me let alone everything else, so the word fits well. It is no good. I hoped writing some words might cause enough friction to ignite some spark, kindle some warmth, burn down this blank room, at least put interesting charred-smoke patterns on the walls, but no, nothing, except, wait, at least my face is more mobile again, it has been frozen into a puppet face but now my eyes are roving the room in which I lie here scribbling. I have no urge to think or feel but there is the tiniest chink of light coming from somewhere - if I look harder I might find it is a keyhole, and if so, then it should be a simple matter to conjure a key from my ear or arsehole: if I sniff the air outside the door for long enough I'll gain enough sustanance for that feat. I must stop writing and find that keyhole before the walls crush me dead.

Later. I found the keyhole and produced a key. Once out in the light I could then pull my socks up and the day has gone from horrible to reasonable. What is it about writing or forcing the self to be, to expand, to multiply, to promulgate its tendrils in some chain reaction of bifurcation that can burst these bizarre and banal prisons of complete nullity? How does it work? It's like going for a run when all you want to do is face the wall in bed and simply expire on a released breath: it is impossible at first then gets easier. I suppose it would be impossible if past experience had never shown one it can work. Oh well, out of the vacuum again. I've been missing my boys, horribly. It is worse than having one's legs sawn off. The blank room is no answer nor escape.

Thur. The problem with history is that it only documents the horrible things.

Fri. What is the matter with me? I am horrible. My head is exploding and I need to stick it together. I can't stop thinking about suicide. It started driving back from Wales on Monday and is getting worse. It isn't an answer. But it would make it all go away. I could do anything instead. You could do anything instead. Coward. Fucking coward. They need me alive good strong and healthy. Alive I should be able to manage. The rest can take care of themselves. I am already dead. Keep shambling. Pretend. Mask. Keep being. Head will sort out glue.

NO WAY OUT. It is me who is hell. Not circumstances. Not people. Just me. Enough is enough.

Sun. All these visions of hell vouchsafed to so many so often are of only slight interest in their details: the grim chaos, the mocking juxtaposition of the homely and infernal, the accumulated detail of pain, despair, and black humour; no, all this is incidental: what is of interest is what all these visions have in common, why they work as palliative or solace, why despite their inherent clichedness they still insist on their depiction or description.

Mon. The wind blows hot, the wind blows cold. It takes a special talent to fuck up one's life so spectacularly at my age. Contributory factors? Escape from insanity? Lack of fortitude? Enough is enough? I don't know... Destitute, homeless, broken marriage, broken family... what's left to screw up? No, things aren't too bad if suicide seems like a false solace. What am I to do with my last years? Oh, listen to you, you self-pitying humourless maudlin turd. Where's your courage? Squashed by the side of the road. And it's a dead end. Boring.

Wed. How many thousand miles? About eight. And eight addresses. All in four months. What have I learned? How have I changed, if at all? How am I coping? What will become of me? Where will it all end? Will I create good, or be cast down into dissolute degradation and failure? Am I a corrupt fruit, rotting, fly-blown, fallen from the bough, stinking amid the dogshit and mouldering leaves? Boring.

Thur. How do these straightforward simple people do it? How do they switch from one path to another with comparative ease? How do they live as if they only have one self, one set of tracks, a unity, a consonance? All life and choice entails murdering aspects of the self. Sometimes events mean that a desirable and an undesirable asect of self get machine-gunned together. Perhaps the root of my problem is that I find even my nightmares fascinating to the point that I feel disappointed to wake up. A terminal vacillation. If the self is slow and loth to discard aspects of itself, then eventually it becomes a horrible knot of contradictions. I envy the coherent. Sometimes. Why do some people see their bad manifest as outside? Evil is inherent.

Fri. Why can't I accept sacrifices? Fear? I am like the farmer in the boat with the fox, hen and grain, but with no solution. Idealistic questing for a perfect impossible solution that cannot exist. Pompous prig, with a warm-heart that spreads bile and canker wherever it tries to do good. Having your cake and eating it, you selfish git. Fear of closing off potential fates. Stasis, for fear of praxis. But of course it is all an illusion - all our possible futures are closed off and have already always been so forever, just as all our possible pasts were not possible save the one we had.

Stand up straight, pull your socks up, square your shoulders, accept responsibility for your actions for good and ill, and face hell directly. But perhaps I may be permitted to squint it into vision in small doses, so it doesn't blast my reason.

Life is simultaneously wonderful and awful. Just accept it.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Bored On Holiday

When on holiday, there are always moments of slackness, moments of desultory ambivalence, where all that can be done is to get the pencils and crayons out. I can't remember what the proper name for the drawing game is when one person draws the head, another the body, etc, but whatever it's called, that's what we played.



This first was the hotel proprietor.



This was the woman in the Spar shop.



This was the advertising hoarding in the local village.



And this was the lady at immigration coming back to England.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Opposites Attract ("fookin' 'ell, mate")

"Fookin' ell! Fookin ell! 'Ang on!"

We smiled at the three-hundred pounds of raw mince in the white t-shirt as we walked back from the pub through the city.

"Fookin' ell! They say opposites attract. No disrespect, mate! But, fookin' 'ell! Don't take it wrong way mate, but fookin' 'ell! Fair play, I gotta say mate, fookin' 'ell!"

What on earth did he mean? I happened to be wearing a tweed jacket, and my hair was passably tidy. I may have been carrying a violin. She was dressed smartly and elegantly, and her hair was somewhat outré. Either of us could be taken for the other's carer, or accompaniment, for guidance, support and supervision in strange and unfamiliar places.

The thing is, we see the visual equivalent of our friend's complimentary utterances over and over again. Eyes flick from one to the other, then back again, then faster, and a faint tinge of consternation colours the onlooker's glance. A frown, a nod, a smile, and sometimes a sparkle of laughter in the eyes. There must be something that affronts - or perhaps astounds - the eye. Under the surface the similarities outnumber the stylistic differences ten-fold.

But his glee and delight was heart-warming, to say the least, and he was the first person to actually have the balls to shout it.

(Other news, we're just about to head off for four days of alleged sunshine in the south of france - we were desperately searching the weather sites for the uk looking for something that wasn't various intensities of rain, and ended up looking further afield, and before we knew it, cheap flights and a fleapit had been booked - in fact we're not entirely sure the fleapit still exists in reality, so fingers crossed. Also we have discovered that the pleasant and lonely looking sands happen to be a blooming nudist beach. It should make for an amusing trip. Back anon.)

Thursday, 29 July 2010

I Went A Bit Doo-Lally

I've been up in Wales with the three boys. We were confined to the sheep-shit surrounded house by interminable drizzle, rain, downpours, rain, mist, rain, and rain. I'm ashamed to say I started to lose it somewhat by day three.

However, like all sensible people, I had a plan, and that was to shepherd the boys into the house, and lock the door, and pocket the key so that they were at least safe from drowning, wandering off up mountains in the fog, the yeti, etc. Indoors they could only burn themselves, fall out of windows/downstairs, etc, etc. But once confined, it became hard to leave.

It is hard to explain where mind-explosions come from. I've given up anticipating them. And they can come on so quickly.

I suppose sleep hasn't been that good over the last week. I was getting about four hours-ish last week in Bristol, and then in Wales it went down to about two hours. I didn't feel tired though, and thought little of it.

I suppose also I have been living through a middling amount of stress the last few months years.

Day one I felt extremely angry with K and all the shit that has developed. Didn't sleep. Bathed in torrential stream at dawn while boys slumbered in bed. (I locked them in).

Day two I was seized by an embarrassing fit of the lusts, which was most distracting. Was still ferociously angry. Walked to local village with boys. Anger turning into hate - not an emotion I generally do. Felt urge to mortify the flesh. Was feeling very odd.

Day three I decided it was to be a day of indulgence. Let the boys roam the house like naked filthy monkeys. Lay in bed writing filth and singing the Ode to Joy at the top of my voice. Later something went wrong with my head. Hard to describe, but a sort of hell. Lost track of time. Somehow wrested my brain back into some sort of gear by hammering large nappy pins through my nipples and bathed in the icy stream. Locked us all in the house. Wanted to be subjected to all manner of torments. Had a very disturbing moment regarding my foot in the night - it wasn't mine - it was the same width as it was long - square - most uncanny, and not a little frightening for a while.

Day four I floundered, frightened, unable to do the simplest thing - I wanted to get the hell out of there with the boys but couldn't even work out how to start washing-up and cleaning the house. Couldn't leave the damn door. I lay in bed, in a funk and a state of self-horror. Eventually I forced myself to wash up (took over two hours), sweep up, pack, empty the shitter, etc, and frogmarch the boys back to the car. Then I drove for four and a half hours down to Devon, where I currently am, and feeling much better*.

So a bizarre few days. I found it irksome, worrisome and extremely aggravating that this came on while I was looking after the boys. But that said, that place, and those conditions, anyone would have had a funny turn.

However, through a measure of sense, planning, and luck, and wonderfully patient support by text and phone from TOMGB, I somehow got through it. Now a few days in Devon to recuperate, then I'm off for some much-needed grown-up company, whither I do not know, nor could dare say.

* My nipples are still smarting, though.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Been Yearning For Extinction, But It's Alright Ma, I'm Only Being Weak, Temporarily

Feeling sad, ashamed, angry, revolted, aghast at all the hideousness... well it can overwhelmingly make one wish for it all to stop and vanish, including me. But it's not suicidal. It's just temporary weakness - a lack of strength, a lack of firmness and fortitude. It won't last.

Taking the boys away for a long week tomorrow. I am looking forward to it. It will be a good chance to catch up with them properly. K is off gallivanting, and I hope she has a wonderful time. I'm not an ogre.

I've been busy. Slipping back into the ways of remembering how to work. Damn it, I'm good at what I do. Always nice to remember, or to have it demonstrated by oneself, to oneself. Been in charge of works for the last two days. All hopeful for the future.

But I keep zoning-out when staring at drops. The drops don't scare me; neither do they fascinate. I just keep being sucked into them. They don't exist, and I know I wouldn't if I entered their sphere of non-existence, like a swimmer slipping softly from the side of a lake. But it's not serious; and it's not a cause for worry. It just is.

Other news. Full of a boiling lustiness and goodwill. How can one be like that and simultaneously be an infolding of infolds? Maybe the infold curls like a flower waving to the world as it curls in?

Had a lovely lunch in a low-couched Moroccan restaurant. Spicy beans and spinach and mint tea.

The world moved against me, and I smiled at it. Somedays I feel like a ghost. But it is all fine. Fine? Tolerable. I'll get over myself.

Going out playing music in Bristol tonight. Just heard the ex is in town. She will be planning on going. I texted to let her know I was too, and that I don't mind if she turns up, but it is her with that problem. No reply yet. Maybe I'll have the enjoyment of a public psychotic scene with her. Not me, you understand. Not me. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Disconnected Slices and Slithers

i) When an event of extreme emotional import occurs, no single interpretation will suffice. All the varied explanations are probably true, and none will stand by itself, and many will be contradictory.

ii) Black and white thinking: "It was all perfect / it was all shit." "I am perfect; you are shit." "It is all your fault." "After all I've done for you how can you treat me so horribly?" (~ rhetorical ~ answer your own question: 'What have you done for (to) me, for me to treat you so?' - Real life is a mixture of good times, bad times, boring and interesting, all blended to a farty paste of varied tedium - one aspect never defines the whole, and black and white thinkers always make that mistake, and contradict themselves by the minute.

iii) A long and complex emotional or loving history only makes sense when viewed through a variety of prisms, both modern and arcane. Sometimes contradictory drives or urges or goads combine to push events in a certain direction, even though this seems paradoxical.

iv) Alone. Be hard. Like a stone. A desert quartz, dry, and unblinking. Not the fitful emerald, nor the liquid sapphire.

v) Being homeless with a car is definitely preferable to being homeless without a car, but not by much.

vi) Advocatus diaboli - You have been bored with your wife, with fatherhood too, evidently. All that seeking-out of people. Were you after novelty? ~ M aybe. I'm probably guilty of all manner of things. Easier to declare what I am not guilty of.

vii) Moments of fate. But how to tell the good ones from the bad ones? When is forwards backwards? Or when is an apparently retrograde step really an advance? To act when all seems wrong apart from the insistent voice in the core; to hold back, wary, when all seems right. But take care against over-caution, and guard against stubbornness.

Friday, 16 July 2010

O Sole Mio & Other Tidbits

What necessity truly is in self-consciousness, it is for this new form of self-consciousness, in which it knows its own self to be the principle of necessity. It knows that it has the universal of law immediately within itself, and because the law is immediately present in the being-for-self of consciousness, it is called the law of the heart. ~ Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit, 367.

For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? ~ Corinthians i, 3:3.

In a certain district of a certain city, at a certain hour of the early evening, an ice-cream van trundles up and down the streets, bravely chiming a tintinnabulation of O Sole Mio. It sounds like the infernal soundtrack of an Italian neo-realist film played by an enthusiastic yet incompetent steel-drum band. It has, for better or worse, forced itself upon us uninvited to become our 'theme'. It has all of the necessary qualities: sweetness, nostalgia, sadness, hope, absurdity, and a hint of distant menace.

The ice-cream van possesses a diabolic power of stealth. It arrives out of nowhere, it seems, blaring its discordant music without warning. We never see the driver. We suspect it drives itself. In fact, we never see it entirely whole: always a mere part of it as it creeps out of sight around the corner. A different ice-cream van turned up last week. It has now vanished. Perhaps the Sole Mio van has eaten it as a victorious conclusion to some night-time ice-cream war?

*


Yesterday, during a long and disgracefully lazy day, we were reading Hegel aloud - rehearsing a wonderful idea we had had for an audio-book - our target audience was to be sexually frustrated Phd students who could benefit - so we thought - from a somewhat circumspect addition of a comically erotic frisson to their reading of the itselfs and for-itselfs; later we practiced on St Paul's Epistle to the Corinthians, possibly eyeing up the Christian Bookshop market - armouring ourselves with the understandable rationale that taking the word of that nasty little man in vain was no blasphemy, and hence fair game - but this was before the thunderstorm finally broke over our heads.

Monday, 12 July 2010

One of the Worst Birthdays of My Life.

So hence, there may be some amusement and interest in reading the tales of my woes and heartaches. An edited account, followed by some randomness.

I wrenched myself away from a vision of sweet sleepiness at six am on the dot, and drove down the length of the country in record time, pulled into temporary 'home' for a quick pot of espresso, then out to the shops, bread, butcher's (funny, forgotten how to buy meat, bought too much belly pork), packed everything I thought myself and the boys would need (did I forget to say we were going camping?), then leapt into the car and drove over to the bloody mother-in-law's, to be confronted with enough bags and shit to sustain Napoleon's army into Russia and back. As I had clearly specified in quasi-legalese the need for only one change of clothes, a raincoat each, and some plates, I have to confess to letting a 'remark' slip to the MIL. She querulously replied that "There are three of them you know..." to which I retorted that I firstly could count, and secondly that I had met them before, and bundled them into the car after discarding three-quarters of the bags, and sped off with nary a backwards glance. Then drove two hours across the country this time, over hill and dale, river and afon, through the ruddiest agricultural lanes deeply cleft between heavy hedges, etc, inhabited by red-necked people driving red tractors at every blind bend (yes, this is Herefordshire).

So camped, and a lovely quiet campsite it was too. Boys started fighting as I put up the tent. Took them for a walk to wear off their energy. Found a pub (shut, more's the pity). Walked/carried them back. Set them gathering firewood. After an hour of that, I set them guarding each other and quickly found enough for the evening. Cue fire, spit-roasted gobbets of pig, warm cider slurped from the bottle, and reasonably well-content children when - bang! bang! zap! stab! prang! - spit spit bleargh! DIE DIE DIE DAMN YOU YOU FUCKING WASP YELLOW BLACK STRIPED CUNT OF A ... etc. Yes, stung three or four times on the tongue, and the gum, and the lip on its final exit before I manfully and hysterically slew it in a passion.

It hurt somewhat. Luckily I'm not allergic to the horrible wee blighters, but it felt like a spike had gone through my tongue and RH upper and lower molars, and out of the back of my neck, which simultaneously felt as if a clumsy mason had been practicing swinging a lumphammer against it. There must be a nerve there, or something. Also the tip of my tongue, which was worst affected, being employed in the frantic expulsion process, started leaking a weird slime. Most vexing.

The evening went downhill from there. All the boys cried together, except Nye, who was asleep. I don't know how it started. I just couldn't keep it together. It probably was a good thing, all told, more helpful than our bright and stilted politeness and guardedness of the last two months, with them not knowing what or why. Eventually I rallied the troops: "Is this supposed to be a birthday party, or what?!!" which made them laugh, and we waded a couple of hundred yards of the stream, even Nye, who'd woken by then, though it came up to his neck.

Poor Nye. For some reason I suddenly had this doubt that I was his father. I don't know where it came from. It makes me sick to even think that I had this thought. I couldn't recognise any of my family in his face. And knowing past duplicities, I immediately started working out the dates of conception, and remembered that I was very surprised at the time that he was conceived when he was supposed to have been, etc. But then I remembered that who the fuck cares? I'm still his Daddy.

Later, I was sat by the last of the fire, under plops of rain, listening to the pre-sleep grunts and shufflings of the boys, drinking yogi licorice tea by the gallon. But I still felt like howling my guts out to the gathering clouds. The boys were so sweet, so understanding, and worst of all for me, so complicit.

*


The worm of doubt: squash it and it still nibbles your core. Faggots like two half-rotten bull's balls in gravy, and very tasty they were too I thought, eating them, as we paused for lunch while slowly made our way back across Herefordshire the next day. Tired from the night of wasp-induced toothache, neckache, headache, four bodies lying twisted together under three sleeping bags - a paucity of bedclothes, while outside the wind rattled and spat through the branches and the deafening spatter of the rain implicating its vipurative intent within my eardrums.

Why am I suddenly assailed by conjunctions of dates, doubts, inexplicable behaviours? A mismatch of recognisable features. I hate myself for having even thought it. Even if it was true, I'd not deny my daddyhood. But it isn't true. It's all in my head.

Love and guilt: when I am with the children I love being with them so much, their smell, all all my senses are filled with them, and it makes me unbearably sad for the times together missed, and the times to come to be missed too. Every hint of fucked-up-ness, contrariness, bad-behaviour is now tainted with guilt - is our splitting to blame? Are we damaging them? More than we were when fighting together? I try to be happy in their company, but the two older boys know that is a lie. That is why they seemed relieved when I cried with them, for them. I think they were reassured that because Daddy is so sad not being with them the rest of the time, ergo he does still love them, after all.

I gave the boys licorice tea. They loved it. I said jokingly: "Don't tell your mother. She doesn't like it." The first thing middle boy said on his return to her was: "We had licorice tea - it was yummy!" She replied that she likes it too, but hard to find in supermarkets. An old photograph I took of her, when she was seventeen. She is giving me a black, blank stare.

Two modes of being: life begins anew - Now! - everything is a new beginning. The other, full of regret and doubt for what has passed. One must hang on to the first, hopeful mode, or else go mad. But when the feeling that all new beginnings are the same as what has passed, or that the fresh air of change is frozen in a stale stasis like a trapped fart or when one finds oneself hoping listlessly for death to creep up softly behind you, then there is nothing to do but give a great stretch, oink like a boar, shriek like a bat, leap like an ape, force one's exhausted mind and body to scamper in the ratwheel, onwards, onwards - to keep going to avoid something bad, continual movement to escape the tentacles of the pit... then always make sure one can oil the bearings of the wheel: one doesn't want them to seize and catch fire. But with what should I oil them, dear Lila, dear Lila? What substance suits? What is the sensible lubrication? Alcohol works for a while at least, of course, though it corrodes the very bearings it smooths. The slick wonder of sex; the soporific quality of strong coffee; foodstuffs of many sorts; but yogic breathing is fine in principle, but bores the wheel. What on earth am I blathering about? Shut up! Enough! Shhhhhhh!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Word Salads

Almost ripe, deep in the promised garden, their heads encased in dirt, their hearts like stones tickled up by frost. Paragons of desire, drowsing in their fantasy of growth, ornaments of that gleaming truth that quietly enervates an over-wildness of dreams. Promises breathe forth from this sanguine endeavour. Drench of a summer rain, heavy in its condition, drunken with trustful energy, while the ground sweetens with a sugared understanding.

The air is fresh, full of promises, as strong as wine, and within the hot manure let us observe the sprouting seeds: do seeds dream? If so, they dream that turquoise is the colour of the sky above their lair; they dream their skin blisters the tongues of their shoots escaping; a harvest of berries breathes in the sun.

* * *


Love is an eternal fusillade, an amalgamation of struggles. What does God's trowel represent, but the opaque guile of the gardener? We follow all thoughts, explode solutions, cunningly, with acumen at times, less clever when the night seems full of hazard.


Still, when our courage lapses, then temerity is needed, for frolics; for to lick those influences into harmonious shape, always with the glossiness of the perfect vegetable: ripe, not an hour early nor late in picking.


You and I, woman and man, lie in repose, upon an ocean of whim - we think, systematize, but remember at last to embrace. Our song is not sung by a sly pedagogue, but is sheathed in the bulb as the temperature of the sweet soil rises.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Not Coping At Work

Nauseous with horror. Filled with wild despair. Etc, etc. Not at my situation in the here and now, but of the wider here and now.

Here is swinging on a rope, eighty feet up, at present, staring at a bullnose string, cavetto return, and a roll-moulding, all encrusted with black sulphate blisters. Calcium, exposed to all our pollution, air-borne particulates and acid-gases transmutes into gypsum, but not the sparkling spar one associates with gleaming deserts, but a cancerous black cauliflower textured growth, botryoidal in form, if smaller. Carefully I clean, chip delicately, scrape judiciously, brush with angry violence, yet concentrating for all my life is worth.

It is as well that dust gets in my eyes. An excuse for those strange, over-active, angry glands that spill drops of pure seawater, despite my best intention.

Where is hope? It comes and goes with each cloud that crosses the sun. It is not founded on logic or reason, this ghastliness.

I stop and gaze down through the empty air, and study the small teeth of the gravestones below. What am I doing here? Spider on its thread, or fly entangled hopelessly, just another form of hanging around waiting for whenever it's all over?

The others sense I'm not myself, but I fake it when they enquire with kindness.

Faces everywhere, tiny knotted ones in the black crusts, more swirling in the clouds, with the blank eye of the sun staring through.

Pained, resigned faces do not belong on young boys. I keep seeing them, and my heart breaks each time, and I am thankful for the dust.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Salmagundy

Quiet Carriage, Number One.
"Stick your Maltesers up your arse," shouted the old lady, wheelchair bound, to her son/brother/youthful husband.

"Did you like that bucket of chips?" he replies.

"Fuck off, no! No! What is he saying again? Fuck off."

She falls to sobbing and cursing, quietly.

"You owe me money!"

"No I don't."

"Yes you do! You owe me three pounds!"

"I'll give you two and you give me five and that will cover the taxi."

"No! Fuck off with your taxi! Stick it up your arse!"

"Well, you owed me before we took that trip to Blackpool. It cost me a packet."

"Stick your packet. You stole it from me!"

"Well, we're quits then."

"Yes! We're quits then, so stop fucking griping." 

Quiet Carriage, Number Two.
A bunch of football cunts, out on the tear, Tamworth to Brum. Soft as shit. If a few glares and a sneer and a laugh in their face can send them out to another carriage, then soft as rain-softened, worm-ate stools on boggy, marish ground. 

Quiet Carriage, Number Three.
During the chaos, bloated gut-buckets (male) screaming falsetto grunting aggressive petulancies at the children, and his similarly corpulent wife, turns to the mother and asks in caustic bray (I am ashamed to say they were from the town I was born in): "Have they all come yet?"

"No," replies Gran, brightly surveying the wincing carriage subjected to electronic trumpets, drums and racing cars, "No, dear, they've not come yet, but they soon all will."

Bring on the plastic electric orgasm "quiet-coach" convulsion and let the universe end.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Pass the Bucket

Dear readers - please humour me for using this blog-space as an outlet for my sentimental simperings. I am presently sun-struck and moon-struck hence soft-in-the-head.


What happens when 2 manic-depressives get it together?
There's a punchline there somewhere but I still haven't thunk it.


Actually, what happens is this: They get along like blazing, forget to sleep, run for the hills where they take all their clothes off and do unspeakably silly and naughty things. In a nutshell - they thoroughly and outrageously enjoy themselves (and one another).


The author of this blog - my lover, my confidante and above all my friend - is a seasoned loon of excellent bearing. In fact, and most enviably, he is a paragon of composure and self-control (he will dispute this). If he truly is mad then he does a sterling job of concealing it or percolating it through every available finely meshed filter of wit and drive and productivity.


(- my dear, you can harness galloping wild-horses and command them expertly over the hills and troughs whereas I can barely get my leg over. Thanks for the lift -).


In temperament we are of the same blend; 1 part choler, 1 part black-bile to 3 parts blood (sanguis, sanguinosity or wot-not). Not a gobbet of phlem to be seen. Stir thrice and the mixture is frothy yet soothing - a fine tonic with a hint of green-tea. Together, we are spectacularly silly and supremely sensible. We wove the fridge-door word-salad into an intricate patchwork of wit and absurdity (of course he was far better and quicker at this than me). We put bins on our heads whils reciting rhyme and the washing up still got done! I'm not even going to mention libido (Oops! I just did).


Do two synchronised manic-depressives cancel one-another out? Could it be that the alleged lack of insight specific to maniacs is mutually combined and deployed so that the lunacies go on unchecked? More likely I believe it's a case of abundant empathy, compassion and concern - concern without alarm. We have a fine faculty for recognising each fleeting cloud, each glint and flicker of mirth or madness. It's practically unconscious, quite possibly infectious. Whatever it is we do - unravel one another's fraught knots, distract the other from deleriums or simply offer a share of the warm cloak when feeling exposed and raw - it works. Every possible metaphor or analogy that comes to mind for this synchronised, empathetic, telepathetic cog-work is unpalatably cheesy or cliched or both.


I don't doubt we encourage one another at times. I took my shoes off and squelched through the bog. Thus he did the same. He plunged into the glacial lake naked. I soon followed. Oh there was that moment of prudish hesitation when the hikers appeared. Two pristine, people-less days then, just as I tentatively stripped off my kit, that prat in lederhosen turned up to pitch a tent. He (D) has convinced me that it is perfectly reaonable, not to mention refreshing, to submerge oneself in freezing waters almost to the point of cardiac-arrest. As for snow-bathing - I doubt it somehow. We'll see - come January.


I'm not sure what I've done in return; talked, smiled, mocked, consoled? I certainly didn't rescue him from the wretched marital purgatory. I just offered some space, a quiet corner of peace and quiet, a cup of tea. And it has been a privilege, a delight and sometimes a worry to embrace someone recently released from a protracted and thoroughly undeserved house-arrest. It's none of my business to speculate on the sins and crimes of the past, but I'll put money on his future prospects of enduring happiness and sanity. Mine too I hope.


So long as I'm about to enjoy it, I don't believe either of us have the heart or mind or the bad-manners to drive the other mad.


X ? - Oh come on! As if you haven't worked out who I am ;-)

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Angst

What causes me anxiety? Dread? Angst? That sick and boiling feeling of complete flittering despair in the belly? When one flaps and prevaricates over the simplest of things, such as leaving a room to go for a piss? It is immensely aggravating, when it seizes, as I am generally very good at overcoming those feelings and crushing them before they unfurl and bloom into the vile corpse-grey, moth-dust-pollenated blooms of ghastliness that they have such a thuggish prospensity for achieving. Even when I am not confident, I can usually do an act of it. But sometimes I can't.

What causes it, in me? Or what has caused it of late?

  • i) the threat of random violence from people emotionally close to me

  • ii) not knowing where one is living / not having a room to escape to / no privacy

  • iii) the sheer ignorance and stupidity of people who don't understand what mental illness can be like, and being forced to live constantly in their company

  • iv) sympathy


All right. So a random selection there. The first two are completely understandable. Anyone would find those stressful after a while, especially if they rely on doses of peace and quiet to keep their galloping faculties in check. The second two are more interesting, and related either in similarity or difference.  Take the last one first. Sympathy is deeply disturbing. I find it is a horror, because it can break down my delicate barriers that keep my ghastlinesses in place. True, heartfelt sympathy is bearable. Uncomprehending sympathy is horrible, because it is always missing the point, and attributing some other alien reason to one's misery that needs to be refuted as well as the well-meaning of the sentiment acknowledged. I wish people would just fuck off sometimes. Actually, there is another point: the malice that often comes out in people when they sense you are having difficulties. They say people with mental illness are often attacked and abused. I can well believe it. There must be a psychic-fart-smell that begs for a verbal or physical kicking. It is so irritating - because any attempt to counter it involves baring one's heart - and that makes the situation worse, more often than not.

So much of being well involves telling yourself you're well. It gets tiring. And sometimes one can't convince oneself. This is only a very minor blip. I am keeping myself to myself because I tend to reply with far more dislike in my voice and manner, or perhaps too volubly. The woman on the phone from the jobcentre who I was consulting over the exact rules of permitted work under IB was treated to far too much information regarding my life-history. She seemed to be somewhat entertained, at any rate. But easier by far to stitch one's lips, draw the curtains, avoid, avoid, avoid.

I went out earlier. Only nearly got run-over three times in ten minutes! Damn it, I will make them slow down! I wish I knew what has got into my landlady. She has obviously taken an intense dislike to me. She won't say why. Oh well, soon be out of here, and whither, who cares?

Hmm. Two posts in a day. Like the buses. Take care all.

Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien

Slowly hearing the word on the ground from various friends and acquaintances. So it is all because I am 'mad' or 'ill' is it? All those years of making the best of a deceitful, abusive, paranoid and controlling relationship were only in my head, were they? Well, strange how since we split I've felt obscenely sane. Hands up anyone who feels half their problems were propagated by their partner (or parents)?

Random question and answer: Q: What action in my life do I most regret doing while drunk? A: Proposing to my wife when we should have split up in 97. But... non, je ne regrette rien...

Other news: I'm about to become footloose again in a couple of weeks. Footloose is a much nicer word than homeless, don't you think? I'll survive. And it is the summer, after all. But what would I give for my own kitchen?!!! Reminds me of a silly purchase - having left my favourite kitchen knife behind, and getting so fed up with using other peoples' blunt ones, I've just ordered this:


Other news, rather stupidly, as I'm feeling ok, the DLA finally got round to awarding me middle rate til 2013. I won't grumble or feel guilty, but will think of it as owed for the last years when I really needed it. Pragmatism? Maybe. I've had enough of my own stupid idealism and doing everything by the book when I only end up shafted every which way.

Health? Ok, apart from the occasional crack. I've been under a fair bit of pressure I suppose, the last three months. Maybe being 'mad' actually helps me handle it, when many people would have lost it completely? Who knows. Maybe there is something wrong in me that I haven't lost it. I don't know. I don't know if I care, to be honest.

And last but not least: love and hope. I have a feeling in my marrow that it will be a wonderful summer, despite any vicissitudes that the world may throw at me.

Take care all,

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Five Random Incidents, Sunday 13th June.

We set off on the long and tedious drive back from paradise, even if paradise seems hellish and incomplete. Immediately we hit a trail of cyclists, triatheletes, racing. It takes twenty minutes to pull onto the main road. They are all going our way towards Bala. I overtake, heedless of the admonition of the double-line, a buffeting and concertina sway of speed and slow, speed and slow, an eye always on the sudden overtaking manouvre of the racers, another eye on the blind bends and hills, a dance of sorts, a cha-cha, a strange mixture of danger and consideration. I wish them all the best as I pass each one. One chap is a mass of scabs and scratches. He must have taken a fall, or been unlucky in the swimming, or something.

Standing beside the car, the children sleeping, I roll a cigarette and smoke, gazing over the valley that extends from Bala towards Corwen, between Bethel and Glan-yr-Afon. The trees are moving strangely: there is a breeze, but the trees move in slow-motion. They undulate and whip as if the wind was strong, but the wind is not strong, and their motion, although exaggerated, is unduly slow. They are not trees, they are underwater fronds, strange coral-tendrils, or anenomes, seaweeds, curling and swaying in the bellydance of the waves. The light too, is subaqueous, despite the sudden honey-coloured sunlight. A grey-green-yellow, dappled, chill. The wind pushing gently on my back has an insistent tangibility that is incommensurate with its force, again, a push and swash of spectral water. I cast my eyes down, expecting to see my clothes defying gravity, and rising and falling around my limbs. It is true, and not-true, simultaneously. It is beautiful, and terrible too. It is the precise sensation of watching a gorgeous animal that you know could turn on you and you would be helpless to defy its rending. I take a deep breath, finish my cigarette, and stare through the windows at each sleeping child in turn, focusing my attention on them. Glaucous angels, in their submarine. Drive safely, or steer thy boat to shore.

Another halt, the dreary miles between Oswestry and Shrewsbury. I leave my phone on the roof of the car and roar away, and recollection hits me twenty minutes later. Damn and fuck and blast. My whole life at present is stored on that damned bit of plastic and silicon. I pull a ridiculous u-turn: the boys loved it. Any cheap seventies crime series would have smiled on me. I speed the way back to the lay-by. Not quite the ton. Don't know the cameras or traps. Another screeching turn to spin at rest to where my scrubbed into brown-smear fagbut humiliates me as I stare at the empty tarmac. I hunt the verge, well past the distances of likelihood. I restrain my headbutts to gentle backbutts on the headrest as I swear at myself sotto voce again and again, before setting off. An hour and a half later, through squally showers, wipers flicking furiously, I see the first phonebox between that point and this. I decide on the offchance, that whoever had picked up the phone from the lay-by was worth a chance at calling, even though I knew they would be the most malicious blackmailing bastard in the whole of christendom, who also would dedicate their entire life to phoning everyone in my contacts, reading my texts out loud on the radio, publishing my entire drivel stored there on the internet... The phonebox took neither cash nor cards. I did not vandalise it, but stood and stared it into its elementary particles. I walked back to the car, and there, balanced on the hub of the rear wiper, my telephone. It had stayed there, poised, for over two hours of violent driving. One touch and it slid down to be caught by my other hand.

The children greet their mother. I have already said my goodbyes. I hand her the car keys. She hands me a rose. I planted the bush. Complicata. A pink bloom, fragrant and heady. I tuck it in my moleskine, and note it neighbours  a pink hairpin.

Home, hungry, I open the fridge. Something is dead. There is an evil spirit in the house. I investigate and discover a camenbert, sun-cooked for over a week, and now distilled to vileness. I wrap it in clingfilm to the size of a football and put it in the bin. It feels at home.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

A Cornucopia Of Delights

Hot black peat, oozing between toes. Sphagnum, spongiform, welling cold water underfoot. Rough sedge, reeds, abrasive heather, bastard thistles. Rock, oven-hot, burning soles. Sheepbit grasses, gentle to the tread. Bare feet, winged at the heels, flying up mountains. Breezes, neither too hot nor too cold. Your eyes, dancing in the sunlight; flickering in the candlelight. The gurgle and plash of the stream as we bathed our feet, warm and well-stretched by the day, soles gashed and prickled, sipping whisky and water, feet scoured clean, calves tanned with the ferruginous juices of a hundred marshes. Buzzards and curlews, yelping and sobbing by turns. Newtspawn, frogspawn, dewy flesh-eating flowers. The unbelievable clatter and clap of an irrepressible bed. Coffee and calvados as the dawn creeps bluely against the window.

Monday, 7 June 2010

A Sudden and Startling Pang of Overwhelming Desire

My god, I want my tongue against yours, against your nipples, grazing your belly, and curled around your clit right now.

I take a deep breath to calm myself, but it shudders with the wrongness of distance.

I pick up a shirt I wore with you and intentionally unwashed, and breathe in your smell.

The teeth of love are sharper than razors.

X

Back To Work & Random Musings

Train, morning.

Back to work. June 7th, 2010. First day since December 2007. First day dangling up in the ethereal godspace of church towers since September 2007. Over two and a half years. My god it feels good, striding down the sunny street, head high and a bounce in my toes.

I suppose looking at the bare facts of the last two months I could be accused of exhibiting mild symptoms of hypomania. Finished my twenty-year old marriage, found new love, energy, less need for sleep, occasional stressy breakdowns, running over hills and mountains barefoot, swimming in freezing lakes (so what is new, I hear you ask... precisely, I reply...), inappropriate risk-taking I suppose. Nothing that cannot be better accounted for than the summer, freedom, and love.

Life is still difficult. Was assaulted on my doorstep on Saturday by the shrieking banshee that is my ex. Had to throw her out and threaten to call the police if she behaved like that again. And my children are being used as weapons against me. Sadness and regret are sometimes overpowering where they are concerned. But I feel no guilt, no shame. I've made a healthy decision for once in my misbegotten life, and by hell I feel healthy with it.

Sometimes it is better to stop bailing and abandon ship. The water is often warmer than it looks.

Life is lived at many levels. Think of a stack of plates, or tiles, or a victoria sponge, multi-layered, tectonic slabs, greased with every variety of jam the Womens Institute can muster; or the painted arcana of the tarot pack, slipping and sliding in motions both complimentary and contradictory, antagonistic, skewed, shrewd, and twisted and straight. Most people only see the top card of the stack. Others are aware of all of the undercurrents, the undertow, the reversed-tide, the treachery of false water, the twin rivers of certitude and doubt. Perhaps that is why faced with this plethora of choices and acknowledged motives and influences, we find it too easy to stick at stasis. Action can become impossible when faced knowingly with a multitude of possible actions and interpretations. Yet not-to-act is an action of its own sort, too. So act, and the world can go to the devil, and to hell with it!

Train, evening.

Well it felt as if I had never been away from the ropes for all that time. I remembered everything: all the knots, safety checks, best practice, procedure, - everything was there, instinctive, innate.

I got over the parapet without feeling the flutter of a single butterfly, and gazed down at the yawning space below with a smile that I'd use to greet an old friend. Did I say it was as if I had never been away?

Somewhat knackered physically: it takes a lot out of your stomach muscles dangling in a harness all day, but pretty damn satisfied with myself.

It makes me wonder now if I was ever ill. Yes, there have been many times when I wouldn't trust myself to go anywhere near a hard object, let alone a high church tower, but all that is by-the-by, in the past, done and dusted, forever, I hope.

I remember around the bad time in 2008 realising that I could always leave my intolerable (as it was then too, most insistently) marriage rather than exit in a rather mortal fashion (oh so strange how suicide can be more attractive than giving up - illogical I know). Now I have left I don't feel fucking ill in the slightest. What is going on? What went on? Misdiagnosis? If I haven't lost it now, during current events, I don't believe I'll ever lose it again, never, ever, ever, never. Touch wood.

Keep safe all, Dx

Sunday, 30 May 2010

I'm Off...

... to do unspeakably wicked and pleasurable things for a week. I'm amazed in fact I haven't gone mad with the anticipation. Back Saturday. Keep safe all. Dx

...and I shall be sure to bring my crochet and a leather bound, annotated edition of the King James bible. After all, how on earth otherwise will we occupy ourselves during those long secluded nights?  !!

TOMGB  (Transparently Obvious Mystery Guest Blogger)x

Friday, 28 May 2010

Continued...

That last was too terse. I had just settled the boys down for the night, and was in one of those strange moments of life when you feel that although you knew the ground had shifted, suddenly you feel it confirmed by the way it unexpectedly gives under your feet. That happened to me once: a crap job, strimming the cemetery in Bourton on the Water. I was stood on a grave, and suddenly the ground gave way. Only by about eight inches. But I worked out what had happened long ago: the coffin had collapsed, and there was a gap somewhere in the soil above. Oh well, maybe an apt metaphor, or reminiscence. Does that sound cruel? It's not meant to.

Ever since we'd been together 'longer than anyone else' pretty much, this myth started developing among all our friends, family, etc, that we were some mythologically perfect couple. Lies, all damned lies. And a fine pair of liars, too. It got to the point where it felt the universe would have to shatter before we would be able to part. Strangely, in the end, it was very easy. Tipping points... flocks of starlings turning on a nine-pin, so to speak... a seemingly inexorable projectile that hurtles on until you shift focus and realise it's only a squash ball just about to hit the wall. My camel's back broke, and I realised I wasn't a camel.

Oh well, I'm raising my cup of licorice tea, and toasting the evening. Yes, a sadness due to history, like a building that fell down, and had the weakness built into it. A relief that a sign has come (even if it was abstracted) that she is beginning to get her head around things. Happiness, well that is all for other reasons too.

Take care all, I'm all right. Dx

Facebook

I don't know whether to be relieved or irritated, happy or sad. All four at once, plus a few others seems a natural and healthy response. But I have just discovered, through the wonderful medium of fb that my ex now considers herself single. I'll believe it when she stops behaving as if she owns me, body, life, and soul.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Skinlessness

More-than-naked, peeled, flayed, excoriated, transparent, able to feel more painfully, exposed... all words for the same sense of acutely sensitive, unprotected, all-on-display internal self. I have been feeling it somewhat of late. I keep using the term, I keep coming across it used by or about people with various degrees of difficulty in inhabiting the world. But what causes it? What is it for? Why and how do we develop it? (Or should that be how did it happen that we ungrew skin?) How does it affect us? Does it have good to it as well as horror?

Genetics? Bad luck to have been born without a mental skin? Or trauma? 90% burns from some hellish psychic fire of childhood? Or something from inside, that for the hell of it one day sloughed the whole thing off for some reason, leaving it pale and glistening, like some gigantic discarded condom, and then shambled off, trying not to bleed on the carpets?

How does it feel? If on a skinless day I have the temerity to leave the house and walk down the road, then I know that other people know everything about me just by looking at me. I can cope with that by not giving a damn for their opinion. I have a misguided suspicion that solid objects could simultaneously pass straight through me and cause great pain. Noise, light, babble and confusion are all hellish and make it impossible to think clearly. I remember to walk around solid objects, and close my senses to the noise, focusing exactly on what the hell it is I was supposed to be doing, assuming I can remember. Conversation, especially with strangers or worse still, people I only half know, is particularly trying. I have to conjure some spirit to encase me in a dead layer of animate matter: something that smiles, nods, makes words sound, gestures... but it is a clumsy golem-suit, and doesn't behave with grace and ease.

Why does it exist? I suppose there must be a continuum of ability to feel from nothing to far too much. Somewhere there must be an ideal socially advantageous point, just as a pinhole has an ideal distance from the image where diffusion and diffraction of light cause least blur.

But apart from the day-to-day, have-a-normal-life, rub blithely along with one's fellow man (and woman), apart from this being far more difficult when suffering from an intensity of feeling, are there any consolations to it?

Well, I suppose there is a terrible beauty to be experienced, or perhaps a beautiful terror. Great distances and minute details simulaneously seize the heart. Everything feels charged with fate, portent, meaning, good and bad alike, or together, or irrelevantly. Everything feels as if it is spectrally surging through one's being. It both intensifies and dissolves the self. A consolation? Sometimes. Other times a hell.

And what is the best remedy of all? A peaceful, quiet, airy room, white, with a mild sun shining through an open window, and a fresh sea breeze on the air. But that is just me. I'm off to become a lighthouse keeper. Preferably one without a foghorn.

Keep safe all.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Overheard Parenting That Made Me Shudder

Ok, so next door over the high wall, the mother and the two children are in the garden. The children are playing a game, or it might have been homework. The task was to start with a word, and change one letter at a time, and a different letter each time to make new words. We're all familiar with it. The word was WORDS. The mother managed LORDS. Then got stuck. What ensued was firstly her reducing the children to tears by baiting them and offloading her irritation onto them - they sounded about five or six years old. Then completely lost it and ordered them in for their bath, while they tearfully protested the injustice of life etc. Then the vile dad came out. I've got his number. I've had to listen to the sheer evil vindictiveness in his nasal weak voice when he orders his children about. It makes my blood turn to black pudding in my veins and my temples throb. After a brief and vicious argument with the mother, he tried to do the game too, and he could only think of LORDS as well. Then he started being so completely undermining to the point that the kids were sobbing again. I cursed "For God's sake!" loudly. Then started loudly moving garden furniture. He then ordered the children in for their bath. So I sat down and I wrote down WORDS:

words / wards / wands / hands / hinds / hints / hilts / tilts / tilth / filth / filch / felch / belch / beach / brach / brack / track / trace / brace / brane / crane / crone / drone

(ok, so felch was a bit of a disappointment to have to resort to, and brach is a type of hunting hound (as in brachet), and brane comes from membrane theory, but fuck, all words I know.)

Firstly, can anyone improve on 22 new words, and secondly my god if I had ever, ever allowed things to get even half as bad as they seem to be in that family, I'd have killed myself for shame.

I was sorely tempted to write the list on a paper aeroplane and fuck it over their wall. But saw sense. Existence is precarious enough. I'll save it for when I have somewhere else to go to.

Take care all.

p.s.
"But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matthew 18:10, KJV).

A Gleam of Good News

Neighbury Vets and Farriers,
Horseville,
Chocolateboxshire.

To whom it may concern,

Re: Old Nag 101666, Male, previously of Hellstables, Barkington.

I am writing this letter at the request of the above named patient who I have looked after for the past 6 years. In 2008 he developed a serious mental illness and has been under regular specialist supervision from the psychiatric team until April 2010. He is now in fact discharged from their care as a result of consistently improved mental health for the last 12 months without any form of medication. Old Nag 101666 has good insight into his illness and is fully aware of the type of things which should prompt him to seek further medical help. I am sure that a supervised return to work will also prove beneficial to his continuing improved mental health,

Yours sincerely,

Felix Randal, Farrier and Horse Dentist.

Well, slightly guarded, not quite as ringing an endorsement as I was hoping for, but maybe a step in the right direction. Will it convince the insurers? We'll see. I did laugh at the conditionality of 'should' in: 'is fully aware of the type of things which should prompt him to seek further medical help,' but all in all I feel hopeful.

Take care all

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Group Dynamics, Arrogance, and Humility.

Well, yes, it seems a very worthy title, but I'm sure I'll just write a load of half-digested rubbish about it. Had a visit from fellow blogger Morte, who I haven't seen since Wales last August. And bloody good to see him it was too. While we sat in the corner of a noisy pub, being given a wide berth by the rest of the clientele (perhaps it was the subject matter of our loud conversation that was putting them off), we fell to talking the about way we find ourselves working as a member of a group or team (when well, in 'remission', or pretending to be well, or not realising we're ill, etc, etc), or not, or even just interacting with 'the herd' (baaaa baaaa), as the case may be.

The first thing we agreed on was that our habit of seeing things more inclusively, more extensively, who knows, maybe more deeply led to a certain kind of humble arrogance - we knew we could sort things out better, faster, more efficiently than others, but also knew the consequences of allowing our behaviour to be over-influenced by that 'arrogance'. We both agreed that we often found it easier to step back and allow the 'slowcoaches' to 'fuck it up' in their own good time - not necessarily a positive tendency. I recalled occasions when I used to try to help people find my solutions, as if they had come up with them themselves - again, a chameleon instinct.

Of course this same intensity of seeing and analysis has its downside - other people can sometimes simply be hell. And the instinct is to avoid them like the devil. And of course, sometimes one over-sees, and I don't mean being the boss! People's actions are interpreted wrongly, motives attributed that they hadn't dreamt of, etc, bad feeling, suspicion, paranoia, the whole big bucket of poo.

We also amused ourselves by staring at all the various categories of monkey-behaviour on display in the pub.  Eyebrow flashes, bouncing on the spot, idle scratching and grooming to avoid eye-contact, that ape dominating that ape, that one happy to be dominated, that one bored, that one avoidant, that one aggressive, etc. It all seemed so absolutely boringly obvious, and generally pointless. Sometimes I feel an almost crippling disgust at the whole seething mass; other times I feel indulgent towards it - after all, it's not as if they can help it. (edit: it is definitely a thing I get when people are in groups - never with individuals)

I just tried to think of the typical types one meets when trying to work with other people. The Prick in Need of Validation, the Useless One Who Gets In the Way, the Willing but Dim, the Practical One, the Aloof One, the Irrelevant One, The Useful Grafter, the Clever One, the Status Junkie, the Tedious Joker, and the Jobsworth. Not a particularly positive list, but (un)fairly accurate in my experience. Obviously one focuses on the practical, hard-working, and intelligent individuals, and give the rest of them something harmless to fight over. Maybe it's no accident I prefer to work alone, or to be in complete charge! (Personally I'd describe myself as a perfect combination of the three positive types, but I suppose I'm biased.)

In practice, during planning meetings, I generally would state how I was going to solve a problem, invite objections or suggestions, and either refute them, or include them, depending on their merit. I would never give an inch on matters that involved compromising either safety, or the well-being of the artwork or sculpture that I was being asked to conserve. Minor matters, such as not being able to work around a certain ex-prime minister's funeral, for instance, I was happy to defer. (Too many bloody armed police, for starters. But if I recall, I still billed them for the lost day, and spent it making fair copies of all the marked-up drawings.) But generally I remember being rather bloody-minded in most things, and it was a fairly useful skill to have. I never once negotiated my price, for example.

I have strayed from my subject. So I shall continue! Got the boys staying with me tonight. Lovely. They are curled on the sofa, watching a film about tigers (they've had no television for a while, since the pc went kaput at home). We've just eaten fish and chips in the last of the gorgeous sun, peaceful, calm, and really sheer damned pleasant. I'm writing this while grabbing a cigarette, and now, I shall stop.

Friday, 21 May 2010

An Echoing Room

Closed for business. No noise or sound here. Gone. Send an email if you want to find me. Or leave a comment here. Farewell, and keep safe all. Dx

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Right. Fresh start.

Who knows, I might have more to write about than mere self-grumbling and headstuff.

Welcome to Confutatis Maledictis. Yes, it's a dreadful name. It's from the requiem mass, and translates as 'while the accursed are silenced/confounded'. It was the first thing I thought of because I happened to be listening to it at the time.







Confutatis maledictis / Flammis acribus addictis: / Voca me cum benedictis. (Once the cursed have been rebuked, / sentenced to rancorous flames: / Call thou me with the blessed.)

From the Dies Irae.

Take care all

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Five Sonnets

(i)

Your face and eyes were once beyond compare,
your body was delicious to my taste;
upon your supple limbs I found no waste,
and many blisses I had taken there.
Your quiet mind, incisive, quick and clear,
was quite an ornament, and when we speak,
(though sometimes all our speech may well be Greek)
I prized our subtle conversations dear.
Fiery, deep and dark, as brisk as wind,
your spirit, of all elements compounded,
did never cease to leave my heart confounded,
my heart that always was with your heart twinned.
Just this remains that atrophies the whole:
Despite my best, I hate your jealous soul.

(ii)

How many nights in the dark were you slaving
at your creation? From a hundred fears
you shaped a nightmare; just to please your craving
for the worst certainty, to prove your tears
meaningful; to make false fates true. From years
long gone, recall your father struggling, waving
while haring down the street - your mother raving,
infantile;- while your future disappears.
More-fool-me tried to save you. You broke me
until my pieces formed your foretold shape;-
You never would be happy til I fell -
No.- Not so: "Never would you happy be":
you feared fidelity more than escape;
and my warm chasteness you made into hell.

(iii)

It is like apprehending infra-red
and ultra-violet: shades the human eye
can commonly but fail to descry:
this seeing meaning in my bones is bred,
and I for one can see when something's dead;-
through all the blinds of humdrum I can spy
the essential fact - I do not have to try: -
the invisible words are clear as plainly read.
But you, who see less, cannot understand
these truths on which I break my broken troth,
and ignorant, you eye my wedding band,
and hate my reckless striving for new growth.
So it is, so it will be ever thus:
this misconception standing dark twixt us.

(iv)

Great sinners are great liars chasing truth:
they lie out of necessity, as one
who braves himself to leap recalls his youth
and strength and kindled thus flies to the sun.
Meanwhile the audience complains and frets,
wondering what they've witnessed here tonight:
a dissembling fraud denying his regrets,
or miracle of diabolic flight.
A guiltless pose, or smoke and mirror trick,
it makes no odds: he lives by different rules,
the truth for him is hidden, queer and quick,
and not to be gainsaid by simple fools:
So leave him be to chase his saintly dreams;
he does not mind if he's traduced, or evil seems.

v)

On a cusp, desert stretching far all sides,
a bleak peak, lonely, uninhabited,
a few blue flowers, miniscule between stones,
a hint of an oasis somewhere over
the far horizon, in the dusty air
fly scavenging birds, black as evil crosses,
a broad, inspiring hollowness of space
is their imperial and bright domain.
But in this waste resides the strangest hope,
despite the seeming desolation of the world:
a dry sloughed snakeskin cast upon the sands;
I see the skids of coils sliding down
the drifting dunes, and surely making straight
for an imagined garden and a famous tree.

So, Mental Illness or What?

In light of all the previous, how has my mental health actually been? And in light of all the previous, how would I interpret previous 'episodes'?

First off, how have I been? Well I've been sleeping reasonably well since mid March, averaging my usual six hours. Since the latest family horribleness kicked off and before I finally accepted the inevitable, I was consumed with anxiety, anger, fear, sadness, despair and a strange growing dissociated strength. Once I had made the decision the marriage was over, the predominant feeling was just horrid stress and anxiety - a fear that I would be clawed back in, sucked back into my socially conventional role as gagged and bound useless ox - fear of the MH services being used against me too reared its ugly head. However, as you know, I kept myself together, and secured my discharge. I've since been phoned by a friend who is a psych - he was checking up on me under the guise of friendly support, and he agreed with me when I told him I felt saner than I have for years, and nodded that he found it surprisingly common when tempestuous relationships finally end.

Things were pretty bad when I stayed at my coz's - another high expressed-emotion household!!! - too close to both K and myself - I needed neutral ground, hence my current stopgap playing lodgers shuffling beds at my old landlady's from 20 years ago.

Now I'm pretty calm, though still subject to stress and shaking when vile strife gets flung my way. Learning to ride through that with calmness now. I'm holding my head up. Currently in the phase where friends drop away like flies fearful of being infected by the poisoned turd that is yrs truly. They're waiting for me to back down and do the decent thing. I've done that too many times before, and then I did it some more. Never again.

Practicalities: I need to get on with my life, can't afford a car, a car is essential to see my boys - can't afford deposit on a flat, and a flat is essential to have boys over to stay - therefore I'm taking the plunge back into work whether it's a good idea or not. No choice! I hope without the marital stresses I will be up to it again.

And as for the past. What, if anything, was actually wrong with me?

Yeah, I don't deny there is a manic depressive 'type' - but as you know I don't subscribe to the 'illness' model. For me, I've always been friendly, gregarious, generous, adept, versatile and kindly - always have been prone to 'enthusiasms' and probably always will be - always had a nihilistic streak that is a support as often as a curse - suicide has always been a companion since my childhood - I've always seen vividly and experienced things that aren't de facto there, but if a hallucination has any validity as illness it should cause distress and be mistook for reality - I know things aren't real, and they don't bother me. I don't think any of the above makes me mad.

But pile a steaming heap of traumatic stress on top, and I'm not surprised I go manic now and again. I strongly suspect there is a grain of truth in the 'manic defence' theory.

All of which makes me doubt my diagnosis. I'm discharged, been off meds for over a year - not lost it over the last twelve months either. I think I've been reacting to various degrees of social intolerableness to differing degrees.

Oh well, hope all are well - a pain having this private - anyone know how to make the feeds update?

Take care all, x

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Status Report

Yes. The split is final. Irrevocable. It's over. Done and dusted. Dead and buried. My god, the feeling of freedom when it takes you, wracks you, makes you wonder who you have become, and who you will be in the future, after twenty years.... is both intoxicating and most curious.

There is still going to be a pile of hell stretching over probably years as we come into contact through the necessity of arranging who has the children when, how, if

I am moneyless, carless, mostly friendless, but have a safe haven for a couple of months.

I can't begin to describe how sane I feel now I am out of that relationship. Sad, true, maybe tainted with bastardry, but still true to my heart and soul.

Breaking up is so easy to do when you've wanted to for eighteen years (maybe a slight exaggeration here...).

I blame my own crap splitting parents for my fortitude when I shouldn't have been patient.

But still, I regret nothing. Anything different in the past would mean my lovely boys wouldn't be here, and I would never wish that they weren't in a billion decades.

But what is done is done.

Shakespeare summed up my situation best. I've read this to so many people. Let me do the tawdry blogger version and c&p it for you lot:

SONNET 121


'Tis better to be vile than vile esteem'd,
When not to be receives reproach of being,
And the just pleasure lost which is so deem'd
Not by our feeling but by others' seeing:
For why should others false adulterate eyes
Give salutation to my sportive blood?
Or on my frailties why are frailer spies,
Which in their wills count bad what I think good?
No, I am that I am, and they that level
At my abuses reckon up their own:
I may be straight, though they themselves be bevel;
By their rank thoughts my deeds must not be shown;
Unless this general evil they maintain,
All men are bad, and in their badness reign.

CXXI

Take care all.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Stolen Warning

(A sign, too good not to steal, found on a walk):

"ANY DOG SEEN OFF A LEAD IS LIABLE TO BE SHOT ON SIGHT.

"COWS AND CALVES ARE GRAZING IN THIS FIELD.

"STAY ON THE FOOTPATH AT ALL TIMES."

(Hope all are well.)

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Going to make this invite only

So, if you want to read, add your names here, or send me an email at dckalcock@googlemail.com - and if it comes to your attention that someone else wants to read - then pass on the email. Ta.


Desolation Row

They’re selling postcards of the hanging
They’re painting the passports brown
The beauty parlor is filled with sailors
The circus is in town
Here comes the blind commissioner
They’ve got him in a trance
One hand is tied to the tight-rope walker
The other is in his pants
And the riot squad they’re restless
They need somewhere to go
As Lady and I look out tonight
From Desolation Row

Cinderella, she seems so easy
“It takes one to know one,” she smiles
And puts her hands in her back pockets
Bette Davis style
And in comes Romeo, he’s moaning
“You Belong to Me I Believe”
And someone says, “You’re in the wrong place my friend
You better leave”
And the only sound that’s left
After the ambulances go
Is Cinderella sweeping up
On Desolation Row

Now the moon is almost hidden
The stars are beginning to hide
The fortune-telling lady
Has even taken all her things inside
All except for Cain and Abel
And the hunchback of Notre Dame
Everybody is making love
Or else expecting rain
And the Good Samaritan, he’s dressing
He’s getting ready for the show
He’s going to the carnival tonight
On Desolation Row

Now Ophelia, she’s ’neath the window
For her I feel so afraid
On her twenty-second birthday
She already is an old maid
To her, death is quite romantic
She wears an iron vest
Her profession’s her religion
Her sin is her lifelessness
And though her eyes are fixed upon
Noah’s great rainbow
She spends her time peeking
Into Desolation Row

Einstein, disguised as Robin Hood
With his memories in a trunk
Passed this way an hour ago
With his friend, a jealous monk
He looked so immaculately frightful
As he bummed a cigarette
Then he went off sniffing drainpipes
And reciting the alphabet
Now you would not think to look at him
But he was famous long ago
For playing the electric violin
On Desolation Row

Dr. Filth, he keeps his world
Inside of a leather cup
But all his sexless patients
They’re trying to blow it up
Now his nurse, some local loser
She’s in charge of the cyanide hole
And she also keeps the cards that read
“Have Mercy on His Soul”
They all play on pennywhistles
You can hear them blow
If you lean your head out far enough
From Desolation Row

Across the street they’ve nailed the curtains
They’re getting ready for the feast
The Phantom of the Opera
A perfect image of a priest
They’re spoonfeeding Casanova
To get him to feel more assured
Then they’ll kill him with self-confidence
After poisoning him with words
And the Phantom’s shouting to skinny girls
“Get Outa Here If You Don’t Know
Casanova is just being punished for going
To Desolation Row”

Now at midnight all the agents
And the superhuman crew
Come out and round up everyone
That knows more than they do
Then they bring them to the factory
Where the heart-attack machine
Is strapped across their shoulders
And then the kerosene
Is brought down from the castles
By insurance men who go
Check to see that nobody is escaping
To Desolation Row

Praise be to Nero’s Neptune
The Titanic sails at dawn
And everybody’s shouting
“Which Side Are You On?”
And Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot
Fighting in the captain’s tower
While calypso singers laugh at them
And fishermen hold flowers
Between the windows of the sea
Where lovely mermaids flow
And nobody has to think too much
About Desolation Row

Yes, I received your letter yesterday
(About the time the doorknob broke)
When you asked how I was doing
Was that some kind of joke?
All these people that you mention
Yes, I know them, they’re quite lame
I had to rearrange their faces
And give them all another name
Right now I can’t read too good
Don’t send me no more letters, no
Not unless you mail them
From Desolation Row