29 Jan 2019

IT

I can feel it
Clawing
At my veins
Making my blood run cold
I can hear it
Whispering
Black nothings
Seductively into my ear
I can taste it Kissing
Bittersweet lies
Lovingly onto my lips
I can smell it
Wafting
Fetid perfume
Clinging to my clothes
I can see it
Staring
Back from my reflection
Wearing me like a costume
I'm already forgetting who I am
I don't know where it begins and I end

24 Jan 2019

God Loves A Trier

A house
Two kids
Three beds
A wife
Forgotten dreams
An abandoned life
Broken phones
And wedding vows
Dead-eyed
Smiling photographs
Nights of screaming
Days of silence
The death of love
Mourned with violence
A broken heart
 A shattered soul
Ice cold water
Tramadol
A cry for help
A desperate plea
Despite my best
You 
Never
Truly
Could
Love
Me


Love

Love is a wondrous thing
It can pickle your brain
It Can make your heart sing
It brings light to the darkness
Shelter from rain
It brings strength
It brings kindness
Yet it can also bring pain
It can end in sorrow, heartache
Loneliness, shame
But a life without love
Is a life lived in vain
Go out into the world
With love as your aim
Love with sincerity
This isn't a game
Love freely
Love quickly
Love one and love all
If you feel love calling
then let yourself fall 

Empty Mind, Empty Pockets

Clear your mind of all your thoughts
Let it wander free
Picture yourself in a meadow 
underneath a tree

Forget about your troubles
Your stresses and your strife
Just keep on breathing deeply
Start to reclaim your life

Think about the bright blue skies
No grey storm clouds or rain
Think of yourself as a bath
Washing your troubles down the drain

Don't worry about the subscription
The monthly recurring fee
For as little as ten pounds a month
Your mind will be clutter free

16 Jan 2019

Trawling Social Media in the Dark

My black dog used to be a wolf
I tried to run and hide
It was never quite enough
The wolf was always faster
Always smarter
It never gave up the hunt
We all get tired from hiding
Even if it's from ourselves
You can only run so far
Before you have to stop
So I stood my ground and beat it down
I made the wolf turn tail and run
While I may have won the battle
I still have the scars from getting caught
The war is far from over
It's always threatening to start
Now the wolf is just a puppy
But its teeth are razor sharp
And it always hungry
It's so very, very hungry

Before I even opened my eyes
I knew how today was going to go
I knew it's going to be painful
Every time is exactly the same
Yet I still go back for more
Sometimes I just need to see her face
To see if she is happy
One of us deserves to be
I'll always pick her over me
She's got her mother's smile
She's got her father's eyes
My brown eyed girl
The exact same shade as mine
She's been to Paris
She's learnt to drive
She's got a puppy of her own
Mine is so very hungry
So I let it feast upon my bones

The Accidental Poet

I never set out to be a poet
This isn't a deliberate thing
Just how I didn't want to be homeless
Sometimes you just have to follow the spring
I've always been good with words
getting them out, down and onto the page
I've not read any of the classics
My rhythm is all over the place
This is really all quite cathartic
I'm finding it all a little bit ace
It's also cheaper than therapy
Another bonus, I think we all agree
So maybe I'll try and be a poet 
And see if I can start to like me

I Can't Paint

I can't paint
Or sing
Or dance
Or draw
I'd like to play guitar
I bought one off a mate once
I couldn't lean the barre'
I tried to write a sonnet
I struggled with the time
And no matter how hard I try 
I can't find words that sound the same
I don't call  myself a poet
As I haven't got a clue
If I could teach myself just one thing
It would be to stop thinking about you

Taz

I told her that I loved her
And even meant it at the time
We were young
I was old enough to know better
If I try hard enough I can still see her smile
I can still hear her laugh
I can still smell her perfume on my Deftones hoodie
If I try hard enough I can almost remember her real name
We were young
I was old enough to know she deserved better than me 

The Home

John stalks the corridors
Searching for a way out
No idea where he is 
No idea how he got there
He did it all day yesterday
He'll do the same again tomorrow
He's my grandfather's cousin
But he doesn't remember me
He doesn't remember anyone
He used to be a coalman
You can still see the useless strength in his shoulders

Iris sits in her chair
The one they brought from home
Her body betrayed her and she had a fall
So now she lives here with John
They move her from the bed
To her chair
From her chair 
To the bed
Her mind is still sharp
She doesn't miss a trick
She sits in her chair
The one they brought from home
She watches the birds
She watches the horses
She sits in her chair
The one they brought from home
And waits for the end to come


14 Jan 2019

poet (small p)

Here we are two weeks into 2019 and what have I achieved so far?
Somewhat surprisingly the answer isn't "fuck all" and believe me I'm as shocked as you are.

For Christmas, the Mother In Law, God bless her, got me a 2019 journal. She saw that I was writing something every day last year but didn't know that I was totally planning on destroying the thing at the end of the year - It's a long story but I didn't destroy in the end, instead, I gave it to Richard Archer to do with as he pleases. His first task is to decipher it all as my handwriting is fucking awful.

Last year's journal has every single piece of poetry I had written up until that point in it. It also has the beginning of some short stories I'll never finish and some weird ass bits about my life that maybe could have been stretched into spoken-word pieces. The thing they all had in common is that they were all "one and done" I set myself the goal of writing something every day for a year and I did. What I didn't do is edit them or even re-read them. I did perform some of them at open mic nights so those pieces got a bit of a cursory edit... once I realised I couldn't read them straight from the book (as my handwriting is so fucking awful I can't always read it)

So what I have learnt, or at least am learning to do is edit, rewrite and rework my poems. I am still writing something every day but what it might be is the poem from the previous day slightly tweaked. One of them took four attempts and is far, far better than the first effort that I would have given myself a big old pat on the back for last year.

Another thing I have learnt/realised is that while I might throw words out and onto the page, I am certainly not a Poet (big P) I reached this conclusion after going to Yes We Can't last week (first Sunday of the month at The Pretty Bricks in Walsall doors at 19:00 show starts at 19:30) and seeing Emma Purshouse and Willis the Poet blow the roof off the place. They were both phenomenal on two totally different levels. And I still find myself humming the theme tune to the Pink Pather on a regular basis.

I bought Emma' new book "Close" (that's Close as in near, not Close as in shut, BTW) It's a brilliant collection of poems all set in the same street (or Close if you will) and reflects on the lives of the local characters. Even the canal gets a say in my personal favourite "Two Sides of the Cut"  - I used to work with a bloke who told me every night to stay out of the Oss road and I didn't have a clue what he was on about.

I have also read Polarbear' "The Second City Trilogy" this came out towards the end of last year and I sort of put off reading it as I knew I would only be able to experience it for the first time once. I love Polarbear and while he is someone you can keep going back to, the magic of hearing/reading his stuff for the first time is glorious. The way his words flow is so annoyingly effortless. They are all so painfully honest and relatable as well, one of my aims for 2019 is to see him perform live rather than just hammering his excellent album At Home With Polar and fanboying over him on Youtube.

It's because of Emma, because of "Close", because of Willis, because of The Pink Panther, because of Polarbear and because of The Second City Trilogy that I have realised I am not a Poet (big P) I am a poet (small p)

And I'm ok with that, for now. I just need to keep doing what I'm doing. Keep learning, keep performing and at least try to keep getting better.

Peace

BFJ

2 Jan 2019

Once


I’m old enough to remember how stories used to start with once upon a time and they all had happy endings. I’m wise enough to know that real life isn’t like that at all.

Most of the old stories finish on the big grand wedding as that’s what you used to drum into little girls as being the primary goal of their life. You will go and get into some strife and then a noble prince will ride in on a stallion to save the day. You will promptly fall madly in love with him even though you don’t actually know his name or where he’s from. Then your happy ending will be being taken to a castle and becoming a baby making machine. Birthing the next generation of helpless girls that will need rescuing or, even better, brave princes to do said rescuing. 

All I’m saying is I don't believe in astrology or any of that horseshit but I’d like to at least know what star sign a bloke is before I ride off into the sunset with him. I mean we tell the kids all of these stories but then we also tell them not to speak to strangers, I just want a bit of consistency in my life.

I was an amazingly boring child. I sort of floated through school. Both clever enough to not get picked on for being dumb and dumb enough to not get singled out for being a know all at the same time. I was never picked first for netball but I was never picked last. I was deliciously average.

I never liked ponies, dolls, skipping, country dancing, cooking, needlework or any of the other pink frilly activities deemed appropriate for our delicate little girly brains. But I wasn’t a tomboy either so I never roughhoused with the boys only for them to find me stunningly attractive one hot summer’s day when I shook my ponytail loose during a dusty game of baseball. 

I stayed home and read. A lot. I devoured books as fast as I could get my hands on them and got to thinking of the people trapped in the pages as my friends. And I still do I guess. It was through reading that I thought I knew about the world and how it worked.

I thought I had experienced and learned all about both racism and sexism from Scout and Jem Finch. Lenny and George taught me about how cruel the world could be if you were different. Holden Caulfield taught me that... well, I was never really sure what it actually was he was trying to teach me but it always came across as vaguely important anyway. I knew what horrors awaited me in room 101. I cried for Piggy and knew that four legs were better than two. What I didn’t know was anything about the really real world. 

The summer after I left school I ended up taking a part-time job in the local library. Helping with the summer reading programmes for young kids, putting the returns away, occasionally I was even trusted enough to read the afternoon fairy tale to the gathered crowd of future damsels in distress and prince charming's. And then somehow I just sort of never left. 

My prince charming never came to rescue me from peril as I was never did anything that caused me any bother. He wasn’t riding a tremendous stallion either. The first time I saw him he was pushing a shopping trolley. 

If this was a movie I’d have been in the store buying cat food for my feline army to really hammer it home that I was a lonely spinster in need of a man but the truth is I was buying wine as I was re-reading The Three Musketeers and that is obviously a pinot noir type of read. 

I’d like to tell you that something fittingly cliched happened, that our hands brushed together as we both reached for the last jar of pesto and there was a spark. Or that maybe I reversed into his car in the carpark and while we exchanged numbers for insurance purposes he was secretly smitten with me and offered to take me out on a date instead of destroying my no claims bonus. But nothing like that happened at all. The first time I saw him, we didn’t even speak. He doesn’t even remember me being in the store that day. To him, it was just another uneventful shopping trip.

The second time I saw him was at work. I had just finished reading The Ugly Duckling to a group of disinterested preschoolers and he had come to collect one of them. If this was a movie he would have been a widower struggling with losing the love of his life. The child in question would have been a devastatingly cute brat with freckles, ginger hair, a lisp and no resemblance to either of its parents. But this isn’t a romcom so he had just come to pick up his sisters fat and slightly grubby looking child and looked thoroughly awkward while doing so. Safeguarding procedures meant that I already knew that someone new called Uncle Matt was collecting Briony, he never asked me who I was. 

The third time was in the pub. I was out with people from work as someone was retiring. He was out with his friends seemingly just because it was a Friday night. I was at the bar getting ignored by the barman and Matt kindly pointed out that I was before him in the queue when he was asked what he wanted. I thanked him as I was always told to be courteous, he recognised me from storytime and we got talking. His mates moved onto the club, my workmates slowly drifted off home and we stayed in the pub until it closed.

I went home with him that night. I’m not ashamed of it, it wasn’t really out of character, he wasn’t my first and it certainly wasn’t magical or anything like that. We were just two adults who had met and hit it off. It wasn’t a whirlwind romance, there were no wild declarations of undying love, elaborate dates, picnics in the park or a comedy plot where I fell pregnant and we were thrown together. We just sort of ended up as a couple. 

Matt had followed his brothers into the family trade of painting and decorating. At first, I hoped that this meant that he was artistic or at least had a yearning to paint still life that he would slowly realise and then go on to be the next big thing. Or that maybe the family business was a front for them being a secretive graffiti collective. He never asked me to pose for him and I never found any stencils in his van or the garage. 

In the end, I found out he worked for his dad because it was easy money. He never once came home with an exciting story about something that had happened at work. When I asked him about it he told me his favourite thing about his job was how he didn't really have to think about it at all. 

If we’re being honest that was the day I started to fall out of love with him. After that, I never quite looked at him the same way again. I always knew he wasn’t a big reader but he liked going to the cinema and never really moaned about the films I picked. Or at least he didn’t moan about them all that much. I used to think he was joking when he said he prefers films with car chases in them. 

Our break up wasn’t terrible. No plates were smashed. There was no screaming. There wasn’t even another woman for me to hate. It was all amicable. We just sort of drifted apart. We still see each other from time to time and while it’s all very pleasant and I’m happy for him, all I can ever think is that he used to be my happy ending. Once upon a time.

We Are 138 #65 - Level Crossing

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