Playlist: May 2020

Playlist: May 2020

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These paraesthesia days where there is a thing like too much or less of light, continuing to know ‘what went wrong’ with the license. There is a Crispin Best poem about your inbox filling up lightly, your inbox lightly fills; but the word he uses is gentle. I like it when I’m looking for a line from ‘a poem’ and I can’t find the line, and the poem gently eludes me because it is a caterpillar already cocooned, and you have to pluck the caterpillars from the wriggling tree of the book, or is it a forest before thought, because pretty soon it will be swaddled in the transformative and what comes next is too much to give wings, it’s anamnesis, intangible, the pines in the wind. Max says Red Bull got their asses sued for claiming their drink gives you wings and I want to attest to a singular experience in which I spent pocket money on a genuine can, silver and blue, and the sugar made me fly from one end of the period to another, during which such time piled up in triangular grains at the side of the rainbow road. Is this the same as the sugar elixir you give to save bees? But I can’t go back, my wings are wilted, there’s less appetite. I write this with rainbow spectres spilled on my fingers through polished crystal; like I ate the apple from the old Apple logo like the one on the old computers at school. And we’d sit on those stools in art class writing for hours on machines where a thing could not be ‘saved’ except to desktop, where it would chill very lightly for a dusty season or two, and then be removed by a cursorial drag of September instance. I want to go again, be there, drink cheap vodka at lunchtime and write my magnum opus on radio design and fall into the white-tiled toilets crying. Later I would do the same at work. Lorde sings ‘It feels better biting down’ but the bite was out of the apple already, like the bite from your arm. Marks we have shared of our flesh. I have been sitting at windows again, waiting for caterpillars to appear in the floats of my vision. They are gentle and beautiful and ripe for the pluck ‘and that’s love’. I can’t find the poem about the inbox that gently fills (whose?) but I like the bit in Best’s ‘Nature Poem’ where ‘you can hold a tiny leaf and say “leaflet”’ and ‘you can tell me “don’t worry your sadness isn’t going / anywhere let’s just be alright together awhile’ because it is so gentle towards the sadness, subjunctive, cradles it into a lessness, that’s why the line folds just so, with us just there before ‘anywhere’ because we go in the going, that’s crossing a line. Why do my toes buzz when I sit too long and is this what people in novels call ‘cramps’ and when I say people in novels I mean primarily men because ‘pins and needles’ is too feminine, domestic, except I knew men could sew and I knew sailors and waiters who could stitch up in no time and once I was wounded and let them hold me on the planks or the bar with red thread to stitch up my sorry knee and each stitch was a tiny vicarious kiss and the thought occurred to me there isn’t a word for that, a tiny vicarious kiss the way you can say of a tiny leaf, ‘leaflet’, or of a cat, a kitten. Maybe you just say ‘feather’. Well anyway, your inbox gently fills where I can’t find it, the petals for roses, not of them, and I sit here looking for synonyms while the world can’t sleep or burns and I can choose to cocoon myself in the almost not-knowing of other fevers. Sifting through the less of each other, days pass into messages, like people used to say for a trip to the shops. I see things shuttered and strangely detached from their context, objects afloat in the space of what was. You would fly over all this, laughing at me with your endless, sanguine energy. Turns out the poem is actually called ‘your inbox gently fills’ and maybe it’s like the making of love is like looking for a title, you want to complete and not complete, you want it to go on or finish forever in this one whole thing, still rippling, this ‘big and spooky’ world again which is always the outside-in of it, the best you’ve had, asking about the mouthfeel of Hegel or something. It’s not about names though, right?

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Feels like the hospital inside the hospital inside the poem. Feels like you disinfected the irrelevant conversation to make it clean again, whole again. Her voice feels clear in a way I can’t explain or speak to, that’s not the point or why I would squeeze more juice from the aloes for the sake of my cuticles. When the caterpillars start harmonising, high pitched squeals of light, I know it’s like saying which of us is speaking to the violent affirmation of nothing like rainfall? They die in your tread if you let them. I want this to stop like the world, and helicopters fly over the scene of writing which is my little head, or a sonnet by Ian Heames. In the dream it is September and already ‘over’ in the ladies basement, washing our hands for the atmosphere to the tune of ‘drink water / good posture / good lighting / good evening’ which always made me think of shortcuts to a Schuyler poem, like saying I love you, like how many times Prynne gets away with saying that in The White Stones is super beautiful waking up at 6am with this huge yellow hardback bruising my chest and it’s only that ‘good morning / I see you’ in this place which is less than air, but sirens. And a slant of light he had said I would know, even with everything over, the memory strays in solar resonance. I had never done such lines as the posture of quartz in the month’s end, gloss hair, cut with lace, a noted conditional; but I am selling these paintings to support the purchase of salt, shadow and one day a purple diamond in general. It’s nice The New Yorker noticed the amphibrachs. That’s my name and it’s not. I once told Callie it sounds like a Pokémon. The air here, glistening, is super effective. 18 degrees with a 0% chance of rain. I pedal the loop like I haven’t before, then / Celadon coloured scrunchie, release huge hair and the special aporia of all this falling. 

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What if thoughts are snacks. I carry them around and worry their edges, like peeling the skin very gently where the body just gapes because it is tired and sorry and your hair is long and I tuck myself behind the prospect. ‘Socially distanced tins’. When you give up the fruit of the internet and the caterpillars lap at the sugar and they have cascaded from the breadfruit tree in the song called ‘Barbary Coast (Later)’, ‘a dancehall there / where the sick folks go’. I gather up such caterpillars, when strong sometimes / a waltz is made… in the rain that you play in, in the lozenges sucked of the sunsets thick in your blood and another apology for ‘clogging your inbox’, a gestural stretch of the arm is pattern. If your thought is a peach and the slice of the peach and I open the tin very slightly, prise you out, and you slick there in syrup all over my internet. Such limbs. And I would cry at this kindness as the wishes allow. Wherever the mail arrives there is starlight. Dancing to Peach. Syncope. Little heat in my foot. Imagine all the email was fruit, the gentle pile-up of apple peelings, my laptop hot from the former resource wars (is brutal). ‘The more I see / the less I scream’, soft feelings, soft feelings.

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After school, she would cut us the apples. After the scholarship, I would cut up the hours for the tree D&G say is Chomsky’s, acid-hard, and I find myself in the trespass of yesterday. Whose node goes there. Snacks please. Crispest, best. I like the bits where he (Best I mean) steps back and lets it happen, like ‘i let summer take over the house / for however long it needs’ (‘Don’t Call It A Dream’), which is how this feels, small-caps sense, which is a title that makes me think of a Crowded House song and maybe this is played somewhere, Freaks and Geeks say, did we watch that the heartbroken night before Christmas where I walked to Dennistoun to eat dinner and it didn’t snow but it could have, why not, make love. Life’s bad teen comedy is a situation tragedy of the not-going-forward, into the absolute and the man who has walked five times past my window this morning, now he carries Sophia’s cereal. Summer is crawling across the bad efficiency of risk assessment and I miss trains, even buses, mostly the lightfast feeling of passing by an evening sea. Bluest of green and bluey greenness a mad men would write in the advertised plural…Like a praying mantis, this is a common species of pain. 

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If you fold into a leaflet. If you let this go. The caterpillar crawled into the last of your Tennents, yellow can left by the river, distant tin, and it grew on that fizz into the county sensation of other nostalgias. The cough syrup afforded by terminal contract, it sticks us to base and we want to go further, cherried, flex our last before cutting season. If I spread my wings for however long it needs to be summer all over, the clairvoyance of airborne diseases and how we began as larva is just wage precarity. I look at such attic moths across the moon as is permissible in lyrical chrysalis / fruit pickers required in the north / and you choose not to kill One hour after the other, starting to hatch. I feel not gnat. Summer takes over the longest passage in To the Lighthouse and it is choosing to not read, milkweed all over your throat, it is choosing the patience of the old cicadas. But I am thus plucked and I float. What does Alice Notley mean by pastly?

   (6)

To be known for spirited performance, the caterpillars fuse in devious multiples. The past is a margarine tree that you climb and I wait for you there in the climbing, spreading myself on toast like stars or tiny seeds of pollen the cataclysm would otherwise eat, being as selfish as saying ‘my brain was glowing’, not same as before, my friends just pretend to be ants on facebook. Big <3. Guitars collect sex at the gift shop. The light vibrates in the loss and it’s lemon and green, it’s in major key, it’s trying / you can’t treat it.

   (7)

Whatever / fuck modernism / if it can’t be in favour of insects / I can’t feel the blood inside my capillaries. Better to sit beneath the breadfruit trying to describe paradises you’ve never even been to or won’t or can’t. What he said of lightspeed and photons, bright infinite pop, answer the question, the little ellipsis in O’Hara’s ‘Now It Is Life…’ and I’m pulling all away, the fuzzy excess of the cygnets, the dog that refused, the picture not taken. The additive lyric, the flash of ‘Vanished’, the casual vernal sensation of having been here before and loved it. General keyboard smash and it’s all there is now, here, you can have the nothing that turned…

~

Manic Street Preachers – Peeled Apples

Bright Eyes – One and Done

Katie Von Schleicher – Brutality

Spellling – Under the Sun

Björk – Venus as a Boy

Arthur Russell – Love is Overtaking Me

Yo La Tengo – You Can Have It All

Belle & Sebastian – A Summer Wasting

Kacey Musgraves – Butterflies

Dolly Parton – Light of a Clear Blue Morning

The Velvet Underground – I Found a Reason

The Mamas & The Papas – Safe In My Garden

Coma Cinema – Marie (No Sleep)

Kath Bloom – Come Here

Jason Molina – Shadow Answers the Wall

Angie McMahon – If You Call

Lorde – Ladder Song (Bright Eyes cover)

Phoebe Bridgers – I See You

Conor Oberst – Barbary Coast (Later)

Fleet Foxes – Third of May / Ōdaigahara

Matt Berninger – Serpentine Prison

Caroline Polachek – Look At Me Now

Snail Mail – Pristine

The 1975 – Nothing Revealed / Everything Denied

Yves Tumor – Dream Palette

Perfume Genius – On the Floor

Soccer Mommy – I Think You’re Alright

Muchuu – Getaway Train

Ghost in the Water – Cardinal Red

Parasitic Party – Shifted by a Phase

FKA twigs – Glass & Patron

Bing & Ruth – Live Forever

Modern Studies – Shape of Light

(Workshop) I Need to Start a Garden: Journaling the Crisis

i need to start a garden insta banner

Running a workshop on Friday 15th May, 1-2.30pm as part of the Stay at Home Fringe Literary Festival. Free & all welcome.

In his book Modern Nature, Derek Jarman refers to his home in Dungeness as ‘the idea of my wilderness garden’. Suffering with AIDS-related illness, Jarman tends to his windswept crop of plants and flowers as a way of staying in time, planting for renewal, resilience and tending to the cycles of the seasons. As we find ourselves confined indoors, this workshop asks how we might cultivate our own wilderness gardens in writing. What arts of noticing can we practice to keep attuned to ‘nature’, our bodies and the tiny changes of daily life occurring alongside the monumental dramas of our contemporary moment? We will experiment with journaling, free-writing and asking what it means to write, dream and feel through crisis.

RSVP here for Zoom link.

Taster playlist:

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0jRnDh8vz7x1eNjPEutI74?si=9Ks_8pffRQyxX7o4oETSDA