an intensification of silence

December 23, 2019

The night. Melanie let herself into the night and it sniffed out her daytime self at once, between two of its dark fingers. The flowers cupped in the garden with a midnight, unguessable sweetness, and the grass rippled and murmured in a small voice that was an intensification of silence. The stillness was like the end of the world. She was alone. In her carapace of white satin, she was the last, the only woman. She trembled with exaltation under the deep, blue, high arc of sky.

Angela Carter
The Magic Toyshop

writing essentials

December 12, 2019

I can’t write poems anywhere but in my study. My desk usually has at least three book piles on it, but I was feeling claustrophobic so things are looking extra tidy (can’t work with desk clutter).

My writing essentials depend on the project. When I was writing A New Language for Falling Out of Love I required: whiskey, the hours between 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm, a colour-changing Jesus light, and a small selection of songs on repeat (can’t remember the songs anymore, but rest assured they were sad).

Even though Notes on the End of the World was my second publication, it was actually the first manuscript I wrote. The writing process for that one is a bit hazy, but I do remember there were a few songs on repeat: “No Quarter” by Led Zeppelin and “Eyes on Fire” by Blue Foundation (don’t judge me).

The poems in One God at a Time also had a specific repeating soundtrack (I find that repeating the same song over and over helps me chisel away at ideas), but required less alcohol (although alcohol is always welcome). I know I listened to The Leftovers soundtrack on a loop, as well as Mozart’s Requiem in D Minor.

Meghan Privitello
Seahorses, Gods, and taxidermy art – an interview with Meghan Privitello

9th August

I keep a diary: a day-to-day record of my thoughts, activities, and impressions, handwritten in my spidery script that no one can read. I’ve done so most of my life. Here my most sordid secrets are laid bare. The Sapphic loves of my partners, the intense physical and emotional relationships I have experienced over time, and even the tempestuous passion I felt for Claire P all those years ago. All this and more is recorded in a series of black, hardcovered notebooks.

My secret life. Erotic, nebulous in parts, full of clichés with great lapses into flamboyancy and ecstasies transcended. Here is recorded my first lovemaking with SAM:

12th March

“Skin honey and scarlet, blouse the colour of pale wine. She wore a front fastening brassiere and her fine, pale breasts tumbled easily free – only to be trapped by my waiting palms.

“Fire & ecstasy.

“I turned a corner in space as we sought each other’s hidden soul. She came so very quickly, unexpectedly. Later she came again when I went down on her, licking her wet, puckered sex.

“Afterwards, I escorted her home. High, full moon and wind and light rain. Waited an eternity for a 138 Northwood bus at the stop beside the photographer’s studio.

Then, returning to my tatty flat, experienced intense loneliness and a sense of terrible loss. Masturbated aggressively in bed, the scent of her hair on the pillow beside my face. Felt myself outside of time. Tiptoeing through chaos, in another, alternative dimension. I tried to persuade myself that SAM’s love would endure, but knew it wouldn’t. My head full of fire and suspended stars. I couldn’t come until I thought of Georgina – her big eyes and nutbrown skin, my favorite fantasy girl, her curvaceous young body. I moaned her name aloud, over and over, as if casting a spell of protection against SAM’s encroachment on my life. Finally came imagining Georgina acting in a most lewd and provocative manner – which in reality she never would…!”

In time SAM became my wife – my first wife. I was deeply in love with her; or rather deeply in love with who I thought she might be. Hence this two years later:

5th December

“Blank days. So much dull work. Looking forward to a short break. Walking with SAM in Claraden Road. Snow falling and whiteness spreading around. Christmas lights in all the shop windows. Snowflakes on the collar of SAM’s grey overcoat melting. We kiss and her nose is ice cold on my cheek. She is so childlike at times, so in need of protection.

“I ask the question, straight out: ‘Will you marry me?’ By its suddenness, I surprised even myself. After all, what did I really have to offer her?

“The falling snow became millions & billions of falling diamonds in the streetlight’s glow. Pure white diamonds descending in silence –

“ ‘I haven’t a ring yet,’ sez me. ‘I thought we could go to Spivack’s in the morning and you can chose one you like.’

“Still she remained silent, contemplating my proposal, its ramifications and future complexities. Then, finally, she said: ‘Yes, I’ll marry you…’

“And the whole world came alive in me. White magic prevailed. SAM was happy too – and oh so very amorous. We hurried to my flat which was as cold as the North Pole in deep winter. We had each other on the living room floor, both still partly clothed – ”

Once SAM said to me that ‘There’s not more than thirty-six ways of doing it.’ Her own technique was one of virginal innocence. A child in a world of nasty lust and unspeakable desires. It was a technique that had its attractions, and a number of other admirers beside myself. Bruce, an American service man and Jazz musician, who lodged with SAM’s parents, practiced eight of those thirty-six ways of doing it, the night before our wedding. The child was a bitch on heat who believed her knickers were ankle warmers. But I was totally blind to this at the time. None so blind as those who will not see –

18th June

“Love, art, wine. Read the Kama Sutra. Fuck T’s wife in revenge for SAM’s many betrayals over our five years of marriage. Lust is all exposed nerve endings. It permeates every fiber of my being. As if every nerve in my body is pulled taut and stimulated by an almost continuous series of short-circuits.

“T’s wife, Pam, Pamela, a name invented by the poet, Philip Sidney – perhaps from the Greek, meaning “all honey”? Certainly, she is ALL honey. I pollinate her honey pot at every opportunity. And she is intoxicated by Pan, a thing of pandemonium, with a sex urge too violent for her body to sustain.

“Tranquility is no longer a possibility for either of us.

“Instead there is anguish, spasms of hate, terrible depression for me – which I cast temporarily aside in fleshy acts of revenge on Pam’s pale body. Clawing hands. Exhaustion. I have her in shop doorways at night. In alleyways by stinking dustbins. In her husband’s bed – even once in a toilet cubicle at Debenhams. Repeated humiliations. Only ever half-gratified, we both come back for more.

“But today SAM talks of a ‘Fresh start’. Forget the other men in her life, they’re not important. Temporary aberrations. In the past. It is me she really, truly loves…

“Words, words, and more words. Mostly lies, too. Heard it all, so many times before. Our love is fucked and there’s nothing I can do about it. What she “feels” is no longer “love”. It is nothing more than attachment, the habit of having someone familiar to touch, to hold, to control. A safe option. I did everything in my power to keep her close, everything in my power so that love would not disappear, not fade away between us. But I was living in an imaginary relationship. I was a fool…

“She tells me to give up Pam but I say, ‘Perhaps, we’ll see – ’

“We visit Al and Di this evening. We go in a black cab to Ealing. I finger a supposedly repentant SAM roughly during the journey’ She will do anything to gain my forgiveness. I make her “finish” herself off in front of me. She sits on one of the pull-down seats opposite, legs spread in compliance. After she comes, I make her kneel on the floor of the cab and suck me off.

“Eros crucified.

“The hate I let lose is equivalent to all the hate in the world. Behind the hate is love. Damaged, distorted, but not finished with…

“I can only think of all those evenings spent together in mutual silence, wrapped in love, the two of us in front of the fire. Her skin smelling faintly of buttermilk and baby powder. A unique small, this, like no other woman in the world. They were times we were both happy –

“Yet that too is probably a lie. Even during the best of times Sam was seeing other men. I know that now…”

So, in the pages of my diaries, I’m able to experience again the ugly haemorraging of love from my first marriage. I can witness afresh the sins, negligences, and ignorances of my earlier life, and gain fresh inspiration from them. I can see exactly how time distorts my memory of such long ago events, too. These diaries stand as witness to everything, warts and all.

#

“It takes a woman years and years to unlearn the things she’s been taught to be sorry for.” Yes, but in unlearning these things, she may become a monster. Most men are uncomfortable with sexuality that is not made for their own consumption. And this new, superwoman will display many male traits – a propensity for violence, for example. And like most men, the ability to see things not as they are but as they think they should be –

You have been warned.

#

The one thing that really, really turns me on. The most sexy thing in the world –

Kindness!

And one of the most exquisite experiences in the world –

‘Lying in bed on a summer morning, with the window open, listening to the church bells, eating buttered toast with cunty fingers.’

#

Who the hell pays any attention to the world ending? It ends for me every single night. But it begins again next morning –

End of the World Sunday

January 31, 2016

End_of_the_world_sunday_apocalypse
Although he was a young and virile man at 37, he was not inexhaustible. In addition to food and drink, he had better lay in a couple thousand tablets of viagra. The drug would probably remain potent if he vacuum packed the pills in groups of 10 and kept them in a freezer. That would work unless civilization completely collapsed and power companies were unable to function. Fortunately, Jim had a propane-powered backup generator with half a dozen tanks of fuel already on hand. If Henry added to the propane supply, and he used the generator only for essential maintenance like keeping the viagra freezer operating in warm weather, he would be happy here on the farm for a looong, looong time. Unless, even now, dead Jim was out there in the generator shed sabotaging the machinery.

Dean Koontz
Breathless

end-of-the-world_Sunday-the-end

“The End is Nigh!” the man shouted.

“Is there still time for hot chocolate?” Riley asked.

The-End-is-Nigh guy blinked. “Ah, maybe, I don’t know.”

Jana Oliver
Forbidden

End_of_the_world_Sunday_suffering-seals-carlos-caetano

It’s the end of the world every day, for someone.

Margaret Atwood
The Blind Assassin

End_of_the_world_Sunday_Putin

The worst threat to man is man himself

Bangambiki Habyarimana
The Great Pearl of Wisdom

End-of-The-World_Sunday_Titles

fllakes

‘Darkness’

I had a dream, which was not all a dream.
The bright sun was extinguish’d, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;
Morn came and went – and came, and brought no day,
And men forgot their passions in the dread
Of this their desolation; and all hearts
Were chill’d into a selfish prayer for light:
And they did live by watchfires – and the thrones,
The palaces of crowned kings – the huts,
The habitations of all things which dwell,
Were burnt for beacons; cities were consumed,
And men were gathered round their blazing homes
To look once more into each other’s face;
Happy were those who dwelt within the eye
Of the volcanos, and their mountain-torch:
A fearful hope was all the world contain’d;
Forests were set on fire – but hour by hour
They fell and faded – and the crackling trunks
Extinguish’d with a crash – and all was black.
The brows of men by the despairing light
Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits
The flashes fell upon them; some lay down
And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest
Their chins upon their clenched hands, and smil’d;
And others hurried to and fro, and fed
Their funeral piles with fuel, and look’d up
With mad disquietude on the dull sky,
The pall of a past world; and then again
With curses cast them down upon the dust,
And gnash’d their teeth and howl’d: the wild birds shriek’d
And, terrified, did flutter on the ground,
And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes
Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawl’d
And twin’d themselves among the multitude,
Hissing, but stingless—they were slain for food.
And War, which for a moment was no more,
Did glut himself again: a meal was bought
With blood, and each sate sullenly apart
Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left;
All earth was but one thought—and that was death
Immediate and inglorious; and the pang
Of famine fed upon all entrails—men
Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh;
The meagre by the meagre were devour’d,
Even dogs assail’d their masters, all save one,
And he was faithful to a corse, and kept
The birds and beasts and famish’d men at bay,
Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead
Lur’d their lank jaws; himself sought out no food,
But with a piteous and perpetual moan,
And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand
Which answer’d not with a caress—he died.
The crowd was famish’d by degrees; but two
Of an enormous city did survive,
And they were enemies: they met beside
The dying embers of an altar-place
Where had been heap’d a mass of holy things
For an unholy usage; they rak’d up,
And shivering scrap’d with their cold skeleton hands
The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath
Blew for a little life, and made a flame
Which was a mockery; then they lifted up
Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld
Each other’s aspects—saw, and shriek’d, and died—
Even of their mutual hideousness they died,
Unknowing who he was upon whose brow
Famine had written Fiend. The world was void,
The populous and the powerful was a lump,
Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless—
A lump of death—a chaos of hard clay.
The rivers, lakes and ocean all stood still,
And nothing stirr’d within their silent depths;
Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea,
And their masts fell down piecemeal: as they dropp’d
They slept on the abyss without a surge—
The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave,
The moon, their mistress, had expir’d before;
The winds were wither’d in the stagnant air,
And the clouds perish’d; Darkness had no need
Of aid from them—She was the Universe.

Lord Byron

As relevant today as it was in 1816.

This is very worrying for those of us who wish to live long and prosper! See HERE. And Chinese report in English HERE.

“A new infectious disease is spreading in large areas of Mainland China. Symptoms are similar to AIDS but it spreads faster between family members, even via bodily fluids like saliva. Mr. Lin from Yunnan Province caught a disease last May, unlike anything he had seen before. “This disease destroys immunity cells just like AIDS. The lowest amount of immunity cells of some patients is only 200, mine is 400. The doctor couldn’t find many antibodies, so he called it ‘Fear of AIDS’ disease.” Preliminary research shows that patients have symptoms of fatigue, chronic diarrhea, swollen lymph nodes, and weakened immunity. But doctors cannot find any sign of the HIV virus. “A huge number of people caught the nameless virus but the doctors cannot make a thorough check. So they make a conclusion that it’s a ‘Fear of AIDS’ disease. The symptoms are very much like those of AIDS.”

Because the Chinese Ministry of Health doesn’t recognize the disease, it has not carried out any investigation. However, patients feel very horrified and sad when they see their family members and friends become infected by coming into contact with their saliva or sweat. “We hope that media reports can pressure the relevant departments to pay more attention to the disease. Do not make any irresponsible conclusions and say it is caused by fear or psychological effect – it is a real virus. Many doctors, including doctors from Beijing also say this is an infectious disease.” Doctors from mainland China also believe patients might catch the disease. However, the exact number of people infected remains unknown and what the mortality rate is, and how many have died from it.)”

RSOE Emergency and Disaster Information Service
Budapest, Hungary