Monthly Archives: April 2015

Rain City

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I spent the early part of the afternoon after my paper sitting on some concrete steps in a shopping centre, nibbling a taiyaki ice cream. The place was cavernous, deep-based and high-ceilinged, with a gaping entranceway sealed with a screen of rain.

A fantastic lightning storm was going on outside by the time I decided to head home. On the way to the train platform I stopped to look over the canal, with its gushing torrents of brown water. I watched a bottle get stuck, hitting against the slope of the channel repeatedly before finally being washed rapidly downstream. A yellow construction worker’s hat came by, floating like an overturned turtle shell, slowly sinking beneath the surface as water splashed over its edges. And that’s life, I thought to myself. I took in a deep breath as a cool breeze blew in my face.

Getting off the train, I walked by the street to the bus stop, feeling the white spray against my ankles and my face, like a million tiny crystallized butterfly souls. Reflected in the rain were the vague colours of quiet and disquiet, the orange of windows and the reds and greens of traffic. I imagined behind its screen a thousand butterflies hiding sleepily in secret places – Little gems of confidence, roosting quietly in every corner.

 

Quiet

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The river in the morning – it surprised me as I emerged from the cool, shadowy interior of the Esplanade and met with the river bay. The water is different in the morning light. In the softness of it, one can take in the whole expanse of the water at once – wide and shimmering, blue and clear.

The Starbucks at the Boathouse was empty and smelled of wood and rope and coffee. The past few days I have begun to feel a little more right with the world – I’m better able to keep calm and curb my unproductive hyper-analyses, and I feel like less of a stranger to myself.

Tomorrow we begin our papers. We’ll grasp with our hands those fragile structures of words we call rules, watch the way they come together and fall apart when faced with the irony and whimsy of daily life. And I’ll think of the way thoughts drift through our minds, each one as delicate as a snowflake in its random beauty. Think of the way it can overwhelm when out of control, in torrents of white.

Tread softly, softly, through words, through thought, through the little worlds you move through by the push and pull of language. And always, stay bright.

Mosquito by Alex Lemon

You want evidence of the street
fight? A gutter-grate bruise & concrete scabs—
here are nails on the tongue,
a mosaic of glass shards on my lips.

I am midnight banging against housefire.
A naked woman shaking
with the sweat of need.

An ocean of burning diamonds
beneath my roadkill,my hitchhiker
belly fills sweet. I am neon blind & kiss
too black. Dangle stars—

let me sleep hoarse-throated in the desert
under a blanket sewn from spiders.
Let me be delicate & invisible.

Kick my ribs, tug my hair.
Scream You’re Gonna Miss Me
When I’m Gone. Sing implosion
to this world where nothing is healed.

Slap me, I’ll be any kind of sinner.

– Alex Lemon

 

There’s a war raging on, in our brains, in our bodies. In our day, turmoil is something which is most alive on the inside.

Have you felt it?

Wit’s End

photo_2015-04-10_20-38-35     “The trouble was, I had been inadequate all along, I simply hadn’t thought about it.” ~ Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

I woke up in the evening feeling as though I had been overthinking in my sleep. It’s a sickening feeling, to get up so uneasy, feeling like something is unresolved and you don’t even know what it is.

I wish I could drift through the days peacefully, just taking in what’s around me – the lights, the sounds, the colours – a sense of place.

Wake up in my room with the smell of the sheets, sound of the fan whirring softly, coolness of the air, slight dampness on my back, and gently crawl to my table to work through some more words, thinking puzzles.

Sit in the library, in cafes, not thinking too much about anything in particular. Smell the coffee, the wood tables, the density of words, and the lightness of thought. Satisfy myself with a drink and a task.

Walk through the airport, big-bellied planes moving slowly amongst blinking lights outside, think of the way it feels to be gazing out from behind one of those little oval windows, huddling in a blanket, everything vibrating.

I could probably use more calm spaces now – both outside and inside myself. I keep twisting my mind over, through anxious moments and overexcited moments, trying to find a suitable state of being that I can settle in. I’m no longer sure if it’s my agitation that is the real problem or it’s my overthinking about the agitation that’s the real problem. What is a good day supposed to look like? I ask myself. What can I do to stop myself slipping into these flights of fancy, or falling into cycles of rumination? Is work an answer? Is creation an answer? Is focus an answer? Being with friends? Being present? I feel sick from running through the same thought process over and over again.

We’ve been through this before, haven’t we? At every stage in the process, I get myself tangled in thought. I make problems that are really non-problems seem so much bigger than they are. Really if I just keep moving forward, all these obstacles will probably reveal themselves to be nothing more than mist in the air. But sometimes the hardest step to take is a step back.