I saw my mother
her arms stretched wide
as she welcomes me.
I sink into her skin
and breathe in her scent
feel her heart beating
close to my face;
I’m a child again.
My innocent eyes
search her pale face
but she’s in shadow
hidden by the darkness
that took her.
I’ve missed you.
White-wash walls surround me
Padded cells encase me
My own subconscious traps me
Voices muffle around me
Whispers echo within me
My fingers throb before me
Get me out of this fucking library.
We’d argue until the early hours of the morning.
I’d sit in the 6am rain with a cigarette and a glass of water, spitting blood onto your patio.
The neighbours must have become concerned
for the crying girl in her Calvin Klein’s.
I told my mum I’d fallen.
I told my friend it was ‘a funny story’.
Your forearm would pin my neck against the wall
whilst your tear-stained lips told me
how much you loved me, you’d die without me.
Your forearm would envelope my chest
in a furtive attempt at hiding my assets from prying eyes.
Your lips would brush my ear
People are looking, you would say
People are looking, put them away.
Why did I stay?
Four years later you asked to see me and you cried the entire time.
Thick, salted tears that stained my clothes.
You’d been a block of ice in my life for so long
but that day I breathed my summer sunshine on you
and you melted.
rewrite of my poem Naïve.
Is it the heels over my head
or the hammering of my heart
that’s keeping me awake tonight?
I begin to yearn and wonder
cry and pry
deep into the depths of
a troubled mind;
Why can’t I be the rock in the river
that’s standing strong when
the world around is shifting?
‘There’s T-shirts! We get T-shirts!’ Kaitlyn’s excitable squeals rose above the chatter as we emptied the contents of the box onto our assigned table. She held the emerald T to her front, admiring the stitching of the golden logo on the chest. University of Winchester Foundation Music, with a shining treble-clef and the words MUSIC MAKER on the back, in the same shimmering thread.
‘Oh, it’s gorgeous. We’ll take it in turns to change, I’ll be back in a minute.’ And with that, she flew out the door, practically tugging off her clothing as she went.
Kaitlyn and I had both been asked to represent FM at the Applicant’s Open Day that Saturday morning, and had arranged to meet at reception to retrieve the box of leaflets and instructions for the day. I arrived at six minutes to nine, bleary eyed and yawning, expecting to have a couple of minutes to grab a cup of strong tea from the machines; living in student digs means being kept up until 2am by the flat upstairs playing beer-pong or deciding to hoover their room above your head in the early hours of the morning. To my surprise, Kaitlyn bounded towards me with the box already clutched in her hands and a large grey bag, much like one that carries golf clubs, slung over her shoulder.
‘Are you excited?’
‘I am. Come on, you can carry this.’ Continue reading “Mother Knows Best”
This piece of writing stemmed from a guided-write that I participated in during the second semester of my Creative Writing degree. We were played a selection of songs and each one inspired where the story would be taken. Two songs that jump out in this piece are Hall & Oates’ You Make My Dreams and David Bowie’s Life on Mars.
Really interesting and inspiring technique for those struggling with writer’s block! Enjoy…
Continue reading “The One Night Stand”
When I was younger, my favourite toy was a cardboard box. If I was faced with a Barbie, a remote controlled car, a bear and a box, I’d choose the box. I once made a cash machine with individual cardboard debit cards for each member of my family, their little faces painstakingly biro-d on as if they were also ID cards. I made paper bank notes and advice slips, which read somewhere along the lines of ‘eat more greens’ and ‘trim your toenails’.
I would slip my cardboard creation over my head and sit inside with a torch and all my paper ready. Each slot I’d cut had a post-it on the inside telling me which one needed money, an advice slip or a returned card pushed through. I’d wait for my mum’s card to be slid into the wonkily cut line marked
INSERT CARD HERE
My tiny robotic voice would ask for a pin and my mum would make beep boop noises as she tapped four numbers onto my carefully drawn pin pad. When my dad said he didn’t want an advice slip, my robot voice replied ‘No daddy, you have to take an advice slip!’ He laughed when I pushed trim your beard through the gap.
Another time I made an oven. I didn’t need no Eazy-Bake, I had my cardboard box. There was a car and a boat, a television and a laptop, complete with a cardboard mouse on a string and little paper screens that I would interchange, depending on whether I was playing ‘important business lady’ or ‘kid on Miniclip’.
Here I am, 21 years old and stood in my kitchen, confronted with a cardboard box. My initial thought was to flatten it, crush it down into the recycling bin and wait for the bin-men to decide its destiny. But before I’d pulled the tape from the first seam, I stopped. I remembered my ATM and my oven with its opening door and extractor fan. I smiled at the creative I used to be.
So, here I am now, 21 years old and sat on my kitchen floor with a cardboard guitar in my lap, smiling at the creative that I have grown into.
I thought I was in love with you. You haunted my life for five years with your words, your eyes, your hands and your tears. I was too young and too naïve to leave, too scared of loneliness, too empathetic to abandon you in your ball of depression. I covered myself up, I ignored my makeup, my friends didn’t know me anymore. I didn’t know myself.
Why did I stay?
I thought I was in love with you. You manipulated my mind, warped my beliefs and made me think I was the antagonist, I was the devil in our cat-and-mouse relationship. We’d argue until the early hours of the morning. I’d sit in the 6am rain with a cigarette and a glass of water, spitting blood onto your patio. The neighbours must have become quite concerned for the crying girl in her Calvin Klein’s.
I told my mum I’d fallen.
I told my friend it was a funny story.
Your forearm would pin my neck against the wall whilst your tear stained lips told me
how much you loved me.
You’d die without me.
Why did I stay?
I had that dream last night –
My fingers were long and twisted
My mouth bruised and blistered
I bow my head and spit my teeth into my shaking palm
They land like shining white pearls
Perfectly imperfect in their warm bath of blood