Friday, 31 January 2014

An important message

I want to catch you early. You're 15 and this is a pretty important year. It's the first time you truly contemplate suicide.

You don't get that low very often. We're talking two, maybe three times in your life so far. And you're really lucky that your depression combines apathy with despair... The more desperate you become and the more you want to end it all, the less able you are to even move.

Your pits of despair are one and all characterised by absolute stillness.

I can't do anything about that, but there's a song around today called Little Me and when I heard it I got to wondering what I'd say to you if I could.

There's only one thing I would say.

Forget everything you think you know about yourself. You're wrong.

First, the easy ones: You're intelligent. Right now you're third in your year and all you can see is that Barry is number 1 and that means you're not good enough. Your year has approximately 240 people. 3/240 Do the fucking maths.

You're funny. I mean that. When you talk, people laugh on cue. That doesn't happen much outside of your family to begin with, but there is a time where your success at work literally depends on your skills as a speaker and entertainer, and you fly.

You're creative. It's something you lose when you're hurting, but there is a fire in you that is made of fantasy. Your life journey will be to take that fantasy from within and put it out there. So far it has helped you often, but you have so much farther to go. This is a long, long journey.

You're beautiful. No, don't skip this. I mean it.

You're so beautiful. When you are in 6th form, in 2 or 3 years, a photographer will come to take the pictures of everyone in your year. He does them alphabetically so you're almost at the end of the queue. You don't have many friends there, so it's inevitable you become interested in what he's doing. As each girl is photographed he tells them: "You're Kylie, you're Mariah, you're Alicia Silverstone" Each girl smiles and wanders off. It's false, you know that, but you begin to wonder who he will think you look like. You decide you'd like it to be Catherine Zeta-Jones, but you know you'll be happy with any woman you think is pretty.

It's your turn, you're excited. You turn your eyes to him with anticipation. He looks at you, pauses briefly then takes the picture. No name. No comparison. As he glances down at the display your heart freezes into a ball of shame. He takes another shot and waves you on. As the next girl sits down you close your ears to whatever he tells her as you cling to the pathetic remnants of your dignity and refuse to burst out crying.

Even a guy who was paid to say it couldn't lie to you and pretend you're pretty.

When your mother sees the photo a month or so later she comments how it makes you look so much older than you are and your last hope that there was some reason he didn't tell you you're beautiful dies.

Since you turned 12, you've drawn your face so often you can't see it any more. Just the bits and pieces. So you can't even look and see the truth for yourself; you are wholly dependent on the external validation that never comes.

For six years that picture gathers dust. But then you move house and you pull it out. You've had different hairstyles, different glasses, contacts and you've switched to a different style of makeup over the last few years so the face you look at is of a stranger.

And she is so beautiful.

That guy, your mother, everyone seemingly thinks there is no point mentioning the obvious. They all think you know. And that doesn't make it any easier for you - it hurts and you feel so isolated, confused and you can't figure out what is wrong. But now you know.

And more importantly, you know it's worth jack. "Before" and "after" you were pretty - you were exactly the same person. People didn't treat you any differently. You didn't become better or worse. You didn't even stop beating yourself up about being unattractive.

The point is, despite everything you believe about how self aware you are and how you constantly re-evaluate everything you think you know about yourself; you are doing it all through this filter of lies. Without knowing these fundamental things about yourself you cannot possibly be right in your ideas of yourself, thoughts, plans or in fact anything.

One more thing you need to know. And this is truest of all.

You are loved.

And you deserve to be.

Alicia

Saturday, 25 January 2014

It's all you

Did you know that how you react to things is a very good indication of who you are as a person? [EDIT FOR CLARITY SINCE I WAS OBVIOUSLY TOO ASLEEP AT TIME OF WRITING: This is because when you hear something ambiguous you substitute what your meaning would be if you had made that statement.]

Imagine for instance you're at a buffet and you've been at the cheese board. As you're returning to your seat someone says to you: "That's a lot of cheese."

Do you A) get upset because they're implying you're fat or B) agree and comment on your personal feelings for cheese?

Other responses are available.

In this instance I would always go with B because reasons related to cheese. But several people would go with A and it's because the only reason they can see for someone commenting on their choice of a buffet is a reflection upon their weight. Where does this come from? Yes, insecurity, learned behaviour blah blah.... But.... actually, those learned responses govern *who you are*. So all those responses that you blame your upbringing for? It's not your upbringing any more. It's you.

You're a grown up and every move you make (in the absence of disorders) is under your control. Every thought you have can be developed. Every single thing you think about every single thing that happens to you: that is YOU. That is who you are, who you have become and do you like that person?

Next time someone says something to upset you: ask what they've said that upsets you and I can almost guarantee that it is an interpretation of the actual words that were spoken. Consider other interpretations. It's worth it.

And now I'm going to sleep.This blog post was brought to you byzzzzzzzz

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Mr Darcy

Dear Josh,

I can't help noticing that while you've sold multi-million copies of your albums, a very small percentage of those were in the UK. Actually, that's an assumption based on the places I've seen your albums being retailed, the absence of Josh Groban fan-chandise in stores generally, etc. and I got to wondering why. After all, if One Direction can make it everywhere, surely there's space in the global consciousness for a soloist?

As a result of my cogitations, I would like to offer you some free marketing advice:

Release a video of yourself singing while climbing out of a lake wearing a light cotton button-up shirt and tight trousers.

You're welcome.

I just checked and my phone line is still working so as it's not ringing off the hook from your endeavours to express your gratitude, am I to assume you don't understand the value of this information?

In 1995, the BBC produced a mini series, a new version of Pride and Prejudice. For six weeks the entire nation was gripped by the story, the action, the men in tight trousers and the repressed sexuality of it all. In the first three weeks we were titillated with manly men doing manly things but other than a single scene of bathing, everyone was covered in several layers of starchy clothing. There was lots of passion, but kept tightly buttoned up, just as we Brits like it. The apex of this... this formality overlaying a poorly concealed desire to just rip each others clothes off came in week four when we were treated to the following and women across the country fell in droves to the smouldering sexuality of Colin Firth climbing out of a lake.


3.3 million views indicates this is still popular and I think it's just possible you might be able to make this more effective, but we'll have to see how many waves of collapsing females you induce.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have about 9 hours of BBC Pride and Prejudice to catch up on.

Alicia

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Fan Fiction

I am what some may consider a voracious reader (what, the woman who writes fictional shorts as a hobby also enjoys reading other people's work? Nevah!) and often my income is inadequate when required to supply fresh material. There are ways around this: multiple readings of the same story, charity shops, second hand book stores, libraries and, of course, making friends with people who are about to move house.

There is also fan fiction. Almost all fan fiction online is freely available - there is often no site membership required and you can basically read whatever you want. I used to read a lot of it back in my pre-career days, but at some point I stopped and I'm not quite sure why. Recently I revisited the fan fiction world (I realised that my Groby stuff is effectively fan fiction, although that took some *serious* coming to terms with, and I wanted to see what the rest of the world was doing) and I think I found a reason. A vast swathe of it is unremittingly shite.

Let's establish the scale by which we're measuring fecality here. I download free Amazon books to my Kindle and read many of them with enjoyment, although sometimes it's just bewilderment. I sustain many charities through my continuous recycling of their Mills and Boon (Harlequin Romance to my American audience) section. I DO NOT require any of the following to enjoy a story:

  • plausibility
  • originality
  • likable characters
  • perfect continuity 

What I cannot handle is a story which has absolutely no plot or point, no coherence between the characters whatsoever and utter hypocrisy. Also, teenage dramz, but as that is probably something that has come with age I won't be too harsh.

I was going to break a few offenders down for you, but honestly, they are too gobsmackingly bad.

Not all of them are bad though: one girl (woman?) shows promise and I actually hunted her down to see if she's taken her writing any further (apparently she's a fan of almost all the same TV that I am, but not a big writer at this time). Although this story is Josh Groban fan fiction you can rename the characters and it still holds water. It's unfortunate that she felt she needed the framework of the people she did, because honestly if she wrote her own characters I think she could be onto something. Don't get me wrong, there are flaws and it needs some industrial polishing, but she actually has a cohesive plot, a decent MFC (please note: I disapprove of the notion that because a man persistently grabs your ass you should eventually cave and accept it as his right) and a reasonably well rounded support cast (a mix of her own friends and famous people, I think, although there's a band and I'm not sure which category they fall into).

Interestingly, she plays the same card as the other JG oriented fan fictions I've read - "Josh Groban" doesn't fall in love until a girl has proven herself to be as good or a better natural singer than he is and I think that's a weak spot in the story. "Josh" demonstrates that he doesn't respect her as a listener until she can compete with him as a performer, but when she sings he suddenly accepts all her opinions without argument. It doesn't really hold with the rest of the character as she writes him; or indeed her MFC. Her singing ability isn't actually crucial and it would give them a more solid relationship if he was able to hear her opinions because he loved her, not because of some implausibly good vocals (she has *no* training and has avoided singing for years due to reasons. Why does she have to be good at singing, as well as writing music, playing music, photography, being funny, smart and popular and apparently irresistible to men?)

There are scenes of strife - real strife, that might reasonably happen - and they're dealt with in a sensitive, realistic way. I really like that.

My one bone of contention that kept bothering me (and again, this might be resolved if the writer took Josh Groban out of the picture and created a MMC that isn't there to be worshipped) the relationship is very uneven. She gives and gives. He takes and takes and then recognises her sacrifices then gives her a token reward then she is happy until the next time. It's a lot like a puppy being offered a treat and although it works initially the two characters spend a lot of time apart mid-story and it's made clear that she is much stronger and more independent when she returns, yet she still has this placating, accepting personality where he is concerned. Although verbally she argues with him and stands up to him, in her everyday actions she's consistently implying that he is so much more important than she is.

In short, although it's a long story, probably many years old: I believe if she invested the time in building new characters for the story she'd have a good novel at the end of it. Personally I'd truncate the end (it's written in two parts and the end of the second part is meandering with little or no reward for completion) but that's just my taste.

Anyhoo: TL:DR; It was really nice to find something I spent a whole day reading because I really wanted to. Especially since previous experience made me pessimistic. I hope you (kiashyel) keep it up and write your own stories soon.

Alicia

PS: when  I say "your own stories" I don't mean you stole this one, I just mean that your own characters make a story more your own than borrowing someone elses. Hope this makes sense!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Sunday morning

WARNING: HERE BE SMUT! Definitely adult content, but not all that explicit. Basically, if you don't like sex stories you won't like this. If you like your sex to be graphic, detailed and wholly exposed, you're not going to like it either.

________________________________________________

She remembered during the night that she had felt uncomfortably hot and rolled to hang off the side of the bed with one arm and leg sticking out from under the duvet. Now she felt chilly and lonely. Blinking blearily she saw the clock that informed her it was 6:45am. It was also Sunday and she groaned, hauled herself over and snuggled up to the warm mass of her lover who lay on his side facing away from her.

He smelled good. Yesterday's chemical smells - aftershave, mouthwash, shower gel - had all dissipated overnight leaving only his natural scent. She wriggled closer, running her hand from his hip to his ribs before sliding it forward into the matted hair on his chest. He grunted softly in his sleep as the coldness of her fingers disturbed him. The sound made her smile lovingly and she propped herself up on her right arm, freeing her right hand to stroke back the hair on his head while the other remained on his chest.

After a few moments, the warm air arising from his neck and shoulders lured her, and she leaned forward to brush her lips against the soft, delicate skin on the back of his neck. This close, she could clearly see the overnight stubble which covered his face from ear to Adam's apple, coating his jawline and creeping into the hollow of his cheekbone. The change in texture fascinated her and she raised her hand from his chest and reached up to caress the jawline, following the grain of his hair and stroking down to his shoulder. As her hand passed her own face, she leaned forward once again and her lips followed the path her hand had traced.

She couldn't kiss him easily from this position and she wasn't yet awake enough to move properly, so she very soon retreated and lay back again. Her left hand continued its gentle meandering as she pulled her right hand back and tucked it under her own head. It was only a few moments before she once again snuggled closer, bringing her lips within reach of the expanse of his back. She dropped gentle kisses, licks and nibbles as the mood took her while her hand continued moving around his chest - first caressing the soft smoothness of his side, then the coarse hair of his chest. Here she lingered as she discovered a nipple and she delicately traced it as it stiffened. Smiling knowingly to herself, she moved her hand downwards, flattening her palm against the warmth of his belly, where his hair thinned to a soft trail.

She paused here and was rewarded with a slight hesitation in her partner's breathing. She chuckled and moved her hand down to his groin.

"Good morning," she murmured as she took his burgeoning erection in her hand.

He groaned, rolled over and pulled her to him for a long, deep kiss, trapping her hand between their bodies. When he broke the kiss, he said, in a voice scratched and husky with sleep; "At some point I'm going to remember how much I like to lie in on a Sunday."

With her arms pinned down, she wasn't able to caress him properly and settled instead for undulating suggestively in his embrace. She chuckled again as she felt him stiffen in response. "But not right now, right?"

Alicia

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Park Life

It had started five days ago. Greg had seen a beautiful woman doing Tai Chi in Central Park - he'd left his office half an hour early for lunch and gone his usual route to the sandwich shop, then back through the park.

She was alone, her whole world enclosed in headphones and she smoothly moved through a collection of moves. Every now and then a smile flickered across her face. Too soon the path he was walking along curved away from her and he reluctantly turned away and carried on with his life.

The next day, he happened to finish his work and glance at the clock to discover it was half an hour early for his usual lunch break. Justifying it on the grounds that he had nothing else to do, he went to the sandwich shop. Soon he was walking through the park and he just happened to glance over. She was there again. Her clothing was the same as the previous day in style, but she had exchanged her neon pink top for a blue version. Taking more notes this time, he observed her blonde hair was scraped back in a pony tail. She was wearing no jewellery and her skin was slightly too pale to be called tanned.

She was wholly absorbed in her activity however, so he never even considered approaching her, he simply walked on and returned to his office with a smile on his face.

On the third day, he left for lunch twenty minutes early and reached her place in the park later than previously. He was looking out for her now and the second he saw her he realised she was being approached by another woman. This woman touched her on the shoulder, and the two briefly conferred. Then she took her headphones out of her ears and stretched while the other laid out her mat. Once both women were set up, she handed over her MP3 player to the newcomer who plugged it into a portable speaker. The second the contact hit, he saw the shock in the newcomer's posture, but she placed the speaker and player on the ground and the two women restarted the session.

As Greg neared, he diverted onto another path that took him nearer to the two, feeling bolder now that someone else had disrupted her isolation. Soon he could hear the music and he suddenly understood the newcomer's shock. He was close enough the see their faces and both women smiled as they extended their arms upwards as the lyrics proclaimed "Trust in my self righteous suicide".

Slightly bewildered, he watched the two women and realised that they both moved in time to the music, but very, very slowly. Every now and then there would be a synchronicity between the lyrics and the move and it was a pleasure to watch and understand the smiles that lit up her face.

Without realising, he'd stopped and propped himself against a lamp post as he watched the two women. It was only when he became aware he wasn't their only audience that he was recalled to a sense of himself and returned to the office.

The next day it was his normal lunchtime before he left the office and Greg reluctantly told himself that there would be no sign of her. Instead, he was startled to observe that there were now ten people gathered in her spot, moving through a tai chi sequence to the sound of, unless he was very much mistaken, Rage against the Machine.

Today, he was determined to meet her. He'd arranged an extended lunch break and, requiring moral support at the last moment, he called up a friend of his who, as an artist, could be relied upon to be available at short notice. Only giving instruction to the other man to put on workout gear and meet him at the large fountain immediately, he nervously made his way to the park. The two men met and Greg hustled Frank to the Tai chi area. When they got there, the woman was alone and stretching with her headphones in. Frank admired the woman, but questioned Greg's purpose. He merely shushed him and looked for the other woman. Soon she arrived and the two women went through their setup routine.

Greg pulled Frank forward and as they neared, he called out. The two women looked quizzically at the pair, but Greg apologised and explained he'd hoped to join them. They simply nodded and finished their setup. He was a little disappointed that they started by playing Fireworks, but the crowd built up around them regardless and the routine itself was still fun and relaxing. The next song was a Foo Fighters one, followed by a rap piece which had a particularly stand out line "Thou shalt never question Stephen Fry" - the rest of it was a little indistinct through the speakers but he made a note to Google it later. Next was a bit of MeatLoaf until finally the blonde ceased her routine and began stretching out to the words: "This is my Earth". It was a completely different sound to the rest of her playlist - not that there seemed to be any connection between the pieces generally - but he listened more to these lyrics and decided that it was simply an illustration of how eclectic her taste was.

Frank, however, had been mouthing along to the words and he and the woman both sang along to the third verse: "This is my body and I live in it". At the end of the song, Frank went straight over to her, shook her hand and enthused about her music tastes. Gutted, Greg watched as Frank asked her out to dinner commenting that if she didn't he'd probably find someone else instead. Hoping she'd slap him, Greg was surprised when she laughed and Frank did a peculiar hip wiggle.

They rapidly made their arrangements and Greg sighed, but before he left, asked if he was welcome to meet with the women on the following week for another session. Thus began his introduction to the most random collection of music and people he would ever meet.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Three tries, two dances, one question.

It had taken her three songs, two drinks and the absolute certainty that everyone in this room was single to work up the courage to approach him. She'd been propping up the bar when he arrived, casually scanning the roughly 70% female crowd for someone who looked like her type of man. All the orange men were immediately discounted. The guy casually flexing his biceps was not her type. The tall, spiky haired David Tennant style were all too fragile looking for her. When an average build, dark haired guy with no obvious fakery or bling came to the bar and ordered a drink, she turned her head and smiled at him. When he immediately grabbed her arse, she struck him off the "potentials" list, caught the two pressure points in his wrist daintily between finger and thumb and pointedly removed his hand. As his face whitened and he bit his lip, she stared disdainfully at him and dropped his hand before wiping her fingers clean and turning away.

Returning to her previous stance and pretending her unwholesome neighbour had ceased to exist, she was gazing straight at the door when he walked in. This, she knew, was the one. He wasn't particularly distinctive - no part of him screamed "Look at me!" - his clothes were jeans, geeky t-shirt ("Time for some thrilling heroics.") and smart casual jacket. He was Oriental and slimmer than she normally looked for, but he was about 5'7" so his proportions were similar to those of the taller guys she'd dated. His hair was short, but he had a bit of a fringe which hung to the left without products holding it rigid. He was with several other men and the group moved as one to the bar. 

She took a deep breath and almost walked towards them to introduce herself before she panicked and darted onto the dance floor. One or two of his friends soon hooked up with some other girls on the floor, but he remained casually indifferent to the crowd and chatted with the remainder of his friends. The song finished and her drink was finished, so she walked over and, once again, ducked out at the last minute and slid off to the side of his group. As she returned to the dance floor she managed to peek up and smile at him as she rushed past, embarrassed. When she had finished that drink, rather more quickly than the first, she still had to build herself up to it.

Finally, she sashayed pseudo-confidently across the floor, smoothly ducking around groups of girls dancing and the occasional fast-moving pair who'd coupled up almost immediately after the event started. The music was too loud to talk easily, so she simply rested her hand on his arm and when he looked at her she nodded to the dance floor. He raised his eyebrow. She felt the weight of several gazes on her and began to flush, but wasn't going to run away this time. She mimed a few cheesy dance steps; car wash, underwater, mashed potato and paused to beckon him onto the floor. When he smiled, but shook his head, she pantomimed a sudden realisation and raised her arms before dancing a few awkward, unrecognisable steps with an invisible partner. At the end of her few steps she was facing mostly away from him but bent backwards and turned her head to finish in a perfectly replicated dip from a Viennese waltz.

Still he smiled, but he shook his head again. Showing her disappointment, she decided to bow out with a smile. To him, she was offering another style of dance, and she saw his smile dim as he thought she was continuing to pester him. When she did the chicken dance he was startled into laughter. She grandly curtseyed and as she was about to walk away he placed his drink on the bar and took to the floor with her.

She was delighted by her sudden and unexpected success, but she'd never been great at flirting and she felt a bit guilty for pressuring him so she didn't try to start a conversation. She simply let go and experienced the kind of joy she only felt when she was dancing with a partner. The two of them danced freestyle for a while, barely touching. It was almost the end of the song when he caught her wrist and gently guided her into dancing more as a pair than two individuals.

At the end of the dance she was wrapped in his arms and smiled up at him as the rhythms in the air changed to a fractionally slower, more undulating beat. He smoothly picked up the new rhythm and, holding her close, began to move around in small circles. Initially surprised - she'd expected him to cut and run, not start up a new dance - she soon picked up the beat. She stumbled early on, but his arms, apparently casually draped around her with only the lightest grip on her waist, were utterly immovable, even when her whole body weight fell onto one. Nobody saw her slip up and she felt suddenly assured that as long as he had hold of her she wouldn't be able to go wrong.

She melted into his arms. He wasn't plastering her against him, their torsos weren't touching, but their thighs constantly brushed together and she soon felt her arms tightening around his neck to pull herself towards him. When they were close together and she was relaxed, he began to guide her into a new set of steps. Relaxed and trusting, she followed his lead automatically. On turns he began to lean her one way or the other and, after some hip shuffling she felt his leg insinuate its way between hers and the back of his heel ran up her leg, then lifted hers. In response, she flicked her heel up and he placed his foot back down and, with her leg wrapped around his, he was able to start into a new set of steps. Soon she had those and began to respond more quickly. Suddenly, he picked her up entirely, pirouetted a few times and then dropped her into a dip. 

The song had ended without her even being aware and when he released her and kissed her hand, she felt a twinge of disappointment at the same time as a frisson of excitement. She watched him step back and cocked her head, unconsciously questioning.

He smiled, and made a quick hand gesture. "Drink?"

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Translation

Now the aureate dawn breaks
The golden dawn breaks
As the malingerer nests
As the woman who pulled a sickie curls up on the sofa
Macerating alone
wasting away alone
Upon every surface a plant etiolates
Gasping for light
There are plants on the shelves going yellow because they haven't got access to light
in the carceral environment
In the prison-like room

The tightly drawn curtains
seal out the air
but photons nudge their way through the weave
particles of light filter through the fabric
until
exhausted by their journey through the ecotone
the transition between the environments uses up all their energy
they briefly enjoy a terpsichorean freedom before falling
they dance briefly before falling
to the floor

Beyond its frame the incohate conurbation
Beyond the window frame the city that has been a slumbering shell
of ten days lies sequacious
for 10 days now succumbs
to the demands of commuters, the clerisy and canaille
to the demands of commuters, the intelligensia and the commoners

The longueur of her holiday was
Her holiday had been long enough to get boring
behind her
But her effrontery had wangled this extra
But her cheek (in pulling a sickie) had bought her an extra day
longing for an opportunity to suffer again
Because she'd rather be bored than at work
before returning to the banausic state of being
before going back to working for a living
to playing deuteragonist in her own life
where she feels she plays a minor role in her own life story

Her extemporaneously delivered excuses had been thin
Her off the cuff excuses were rubbish
as paper
but were accepted by her venal manager
but her manager is easily bribed
who took mythomania alongside regular cake supplies
and allows the exaggerated claims of illness on the understanding she'll get cake
now the vorago between her and the return to her factotum role
Now the chasm between her and her dull general office busybody role
seemed harder to cross than ever
this time she had snaffled must be worth it
this stolen time must be spent well

Reluctantly active, she takes up the masscult billet-doux
Lazily, she picks up the newspaper (literally mass-media loveletter)
from Rupert Murdoch
dismissing the retrodiction and fanfaronade
She doesn't bother reading the news or opinion pieces
turns to the crossword
for her regular cathexis to cryptic chaos
for her regular commitment to figuring out the cryptic crossword
Within moments her MacGuffin
This is a pun: the cat is called MacGuffin, but a MacGuffin is also a secondary character that makes things happen
recognising the signs
takes advantage of the ailurophile's stillness
The cat notices she's settled
to advert his own presence
and jumps on her to get attention

Startled by the arriviste
startled by his sudden arrival
into an alterity
she changes from relaxed and bored to startled and sweary
her Billingsgate mutterings
her foul language
inform the beast, sub rosa,
tells the cat confidentially
that there are no styptic qualities
among the paper's many others
that she can't actually use the newspaper as a plaster

He flees to display
a temporary interest in philately
tearing through her mail
as she reapplies herself
The cat runs away and plays with her mail while she returns to the crossword

Finally dissuaded from the chthonic ratiocination
She gives up on the hellish logic of the puzzle
by a fey understanding of her inevitable failure
she knows she won't get it anyway
with no oriflamme to uphold her
with no moral support
she flips instead through the briefer articles:
the corrigendum for the previous day
instead she reads short pieces in the paper including the corrections
various ekphrasis
and a few short pieces on art
amused by a malapropism
amused by a badly phrased sentence in a piece
committed by an Apparatchik of the cubist movement
that a devotee of the cubist movement has written
missed by the editorial camarilla
missed by the editor (camarilla is secret and powerful team, not strictly true, but it's a poem ;) )

The cat has tired of the nudnik woolgathering
the cat thinks the woman is being boring
disregarding the veridical hypocorism it generates
ignoring the names she calls it
he attacks the pen she clings to
as a colporteur would his bible and
he jumps for the pen she's still hanging onto in the hopes that the crossword answers will magically appear
when it lands beneath her
attempts to dig it out
with vermicular burrowing beneath her forcing her to stand
When the pen rolls under her, the cat wriggles like a worm to get at it, forcing her to stand upright and cease being apathetic
"Tu quoque?"

“You're a cat. How can you possibly think I'm being too lazy?”

It is January 2nd

Friday, 3 January 2014

Pretentious Word Challenge Poem response

Word challenge - to use all words issued in a word of the week thingy within a short story. Now, this is actually always do-able. The only issue is that writing a short story where anything up to 10% of the words used are obscure or unusual requires a lot of context to clarify meaning or the kind of pretentious snobbery that assumes your readership are responsible for shining their own light through your obfuscation. Therefore I'm cheating and writing a poem.

Before I begin can I just make it plain: I know I'm not a poet. My poetry is always a story which has very little punctuation and random line breaks and that is it. In this instance it also has a lot of words you probably never use.

Now the aureate dawn breaks
As the malingerer nests
Macerating alone

Upon every surface a plant etiolates
Gasping for light
in the carceral environment

The tightly drawn curtains
seal out the air
but photons nudge their way through the weave
until
exhausted by their journey through the ecotone
they briefly enjoy a terpsichorean freedom before falling
to the floor

Beyond its frame the incohate conurbation
of ten days lies sequacious
to the demands of commuters, the clerisy and canaille

The longueur of her holiday was
behind her
But her effrontery had wangled this extra
longing for an opportunity to suffer again
before returning to the banausic state of being
to playing deuteragonist in her own life

Her extemporaneously delivered excuses had been thin
as paper
but were accepted by her venal manager
who took mythomania alongside regular cake supplies
now the vorago between her and the return to her factotum role
seemed harder to cross than ever
this time she had snaffled must be worth it

Reluctantly active, she takes up the masscult billet-doux
from Rupert Murdoch
dismissing the retrodiction and fanfaronade
turns to the crossword
for her regular cathexis to cryptic chaos

Within moments her MacGuffin
recognising the signs
takes advantage of the ailurophile's stillness
to advert his own presence

Startled by the arriviste
into an alterity
her Billingsgate mutterings
inform the beast, sub rosa,
that there are no styptic qualities
among the paper's many others

He flees to display
a temporary interest in philately
tearing through her mail
as she reapplies herself

Finally dissuaded from the chthonic ratiocination
by a fey understanding of her inevitable failure
with no oriflamme to uphold her
she flips instead through the briefer articles:
the corrigendum for the previous day
various ekphrasis
amused by a malapropism
committed by an Apparatchik of the cubist movement
missed by the editorial camarilla

The cat has tired of the nudnik woolgathering
disregarding the veridical hypocorism it generates
he attacks the pen she clings to
as a colporteur would his bible and
when it lands beneath her
attempts to dig it out
with vermicular burrowing beneath her forcing her to stand
"Tu quoque?"

It is January 2nd