Sunday, 1 November 2009

The Women In My Life #1

For some reason I feel like, "Now have a custard fucking cream, and SHUT THE FUCK UP!!" is directed right at me. Like Julie's personally telling me off. From then on in, I just calm down and enjoy.

God, she's a legend.

Bloggin' hell, I appear to have gotten carried away!

Bit of an announcement.

I've decided to split my blogs. This one will stay as it has been, a place for general comment, story telling...basically, the bit where I can be a bit disgusting and my thoughts can be a bit half-baked. I'm probably going to put most of my efforts into my newer project though. You see, I'm currently diving head first into the world of journalism and I need somewhere to practise and showcase my serious, more professionally directed work.

I was told recently that I could do to choose a specialist area on which to focus my writing. "That's great" I said, "I'll write about the arts". "What? All of them?" asked the lecturer, baffled. "well, yes," was my reply. I then went on to explain that I believe that "no art is an island" and that music is more successful when there is an element of theatre to it, Lady Gaga's next album would be nothing if it weren't for Hedi Slimane's artwork.

It was then that I came up with the idea of CONglamourART!! It's a forum for me to showcase and writing on the arts. Ideally it would focus on instances when different creative practices are fused together at once, but in reality it will be a mash of lots of arts writing. I have a nice idea that at some I'd like an opera review to be followed by a review of a stripper...but i seem to have quit leaving the house...


Thursday, 22 October 2009

The Nick Griffin Question Time Drinking Game

When I was young and my parents would argue, I would become very upset. I would sit on the sidelines and listen for a bit (Kermit style - "halfway up the stair is the stair where I sit") then when my emotions took control I would tear down the stairs and shout at them both for being 'aweful parents' who should 'get a fucking divorce, cause im fucking sick of you arguing' etc. To this they would both redirect thier anger at me and forget thier differences. When I eventually pointed out this messed up situation to my mother, she told me that I need to learn not to - shove my oar in.

Occasionally that woman says things that stick with me for life. Since the Nick Griffin thing has flooded cyber space I have decided to keep my oar out. Perhaps because:

A) There are more than enough people out there capable of making what I believe to be intelligent points about the show/the party/the consequences of freedom of speech? Yeah that makes sense.

B) I'm concerned that the show might be underwhelming after Griffin waters down the party's ideology? For instance, they have a commendable policy about protecting NHS workers from being attacked. That's fair enough. A bit odd. I sort of think it goes without say. But nice anyway. It's true, he might dilute himself, but that's far more dangerous. He might actually charm people.

C) I lived in Leeds for three years and have secretely aligned myself with them? no...probably not. I would never deny that I've had problems with the Asian population in Leeds. We haven't always seen eye to eye. But then I had the same problems with all the inhabitants of Leeds. If I will prance about a northern city covered in sequins, an hours worth of make up and my hands down some local art student-boy's trousers, I should expect some problems.

D) I'm bored? Yeah, maybe. I've been aware of the BNP all my life. I know they're a bad thing. I pity people who need to be told. Where have you been? Crawl out from your rock, turn off X-factor and wake up to the world!!

E) I prefer to take an abject route? True. Sometime soon I might treat you to a Joe Nockles Missal in defence of patriotism. Tread that thin line that Morrissey made famous of loving a country, lamenting its changing identity and trying not to cause offence.

However... I couldn't resist getting a little bit involved so I bring you this:

The BNP vs LOGIC Drinking Game (copyright Joe Nockles)

Ok, so its not revolutionary to suggest that the BNP might be a tad racist/biggoted etc. So lets have some fun with it! Gather your friends, get some WHITE rum. Make some WHITE russians...[insert further drink puns here]...

Drink upon hearing the following:

- "liberals"
- "the silent majority"
- "unsustainable population"
- "It's high time..."
- make our streets safe "again"
- "Common sense"
- "we speak on behalf of ordinary people"
- "For too long now liberals have..."
- "brainwashed" our children etc

Drink LOTS when:

- you dispair because you are reminded that: The British National Party has over 100 parish, district, borough and county councillors, a seat on the Greater London Assembly and two seats in the European Parliament - That's right, your country is stupid.

So, conclusions:
*I failed in my persuit of not "putting my oar in" (sorry mum).
*I'm getting pissed tonight.
*There are a lot of stupid people in Britain. Honestly, the general public is, on the whole, fucking stupid. Unfortunately everyone gets a vote.


Why I'm not tidying the boyfriend's flat today...

My boyfriend's bin is one of those Ikea generation, "designed-for-the-office-but-its-cool-cause-I-have-a-city-apartment" bins. You know the ones. They're fine for surrounding with scrunched up balls of paper at the end of a montage to suggest that you've been struggling to write something, but beyond that they're useless.

The fact is, they aren't bins at all. They're waste paper baskets. Designed for the office because in the office, the majority of waste will be paper.

Darling, I want to tidy the place up while you're out, but there's rice on the work surface and it will just go through all the little holes in your contextually challenged waste paper basket.

At this I retire to your bed. xoo

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Unfinished Poem #1


Major context inducing time! I have recently met a gentleman who has transformed my life. I could write about him for hours but I think there are only two people who would enjoy reading that.

I recently got into a discussion about romantic poetry and became attatched to the idea that "a love poem fails as soon as it uses the word 'love'". I was tempted to agree, but undecided. However, I was inspired.

The story of me meeting my husband, friend and keeper isn't at all romantic. So I decided I wanted to tell it. The problem was that I set myself up with a ridiculous pattern of alliteration, emphasis and rhythm and gave up on it quickly.

This is what I produced:

Ode to Bacchus

The subtle supple simple slut bounded up
and bound their fate by binding their lips
so luscious lithe and liquored that
in the morn, the names they moaned
were guesses.

[potential intermediate verses]

The amnesia-d amnesty in the arms
Of a semi-anonymous, amicable assailant
preserved a piece of peace
in their pierced plexus,
Solar or otherwise.


A North London Odyssey


This is the product of a hideous morning after a wonderful night out. We're new in London and still getting the hang of its intricacies or whether in fact it has any.

Long and Short of it: My best friend/housemate and I had a terrible journey from a flat above a pub in N1 and had to somehow find our way back to our lovely safe calm abode in E15. Unfortunately, we didnt know the way, we weren't feeling nearly intelligent enough to approach the situation with sense or logic and all went rather disasterously...oh yeah, and it was midday on (i think) a saturday. So our journey took place THROUGH civilisation.

When I got home, my first instinct was to write it into a semi-factual novel. This is what occured:

A North London Odyssey

Joe fell into the street. Spat out of the comfortable squatty den above The Queen Boudicia. He felt fine for a second. For one second. A second which was rapidly followed by a series of terrible seconds. There was a severe crushing in his central nervous system. His legs buckled. His eyes seared. A tyrannous cocktail of anger, fear and hopelessness cascaded through his being. Curiously, his innate devotion to social convention and the maintenance of demeanour somehow stood firm and he endured this physical and mental blight in an impressively English fashion. It took every remaining fibre under his control to stand, wince and wave goodbye to his loving host.

Will was less composed.

The door closed on them. Their mother goose was gone. No more could they cling to her bosom for security or gaze in fascination at the unintentional asymmetry of her hair, the product of a gram of ket and a candle that got out of hand. They were exposed to the outside world. They had no choice now but to attempt to find their way home. There could be no more procrastination. The journey to Stratford had begun.

Will had Clubmasters between him and the scorching midday sun, yet it wasn’t the sunglasses Joe coveted. Will had the advantage of sleep, although only an hour or two. They were hours which Joe had spent with his eyes wide open detesting every grunt and wheeze to emanate from the tranquilly sleeping six foot gothic-man-child. Hours in which Joe was forced to evaluate his life, because what else is there to do between the hours of nine and ten in the morning? The party has finished. Friday has yet to end. Saturday can’t possibly have begun. He exists on impossible time. A fitting time to realise the impossibility of the years ahead. What was once an ambitious leap of faith into the unknown with both feet forward and Optimism as a guide now felt like a plummet towards some form of hostel or at best a rehab clinic.

Neither knew the way. They were aiming for Angel tube station, with the ambitious possibility of making the extra trek to Islington and Highbury to minimise time spent underground. For some reason the underground seemed a thousand times more psychologically damaging than meandering through the uncharted streets of North London in a state in which tying a shoe lace seemed Herculean. As was often the case with Joe and Will they didn’t discuss this lack of plan. Rather than take a second to discuss the situation, Will laughed at a dog whose body appeared to be much larger than its own face.

Joe couldn’t handle this. They turned left.

On walking down the greyest of streets, framed by concrete beasts and lorded over by that oppressive blue sky, its sun a lingering memory threatening to attack again at any point, Joe became aware of a person on the other side of what he could only assume was a road. Possibly male. Possibly human. Facts had taken on a more fluid subjective form. Or lack of form. Or something.

The person appeared to have given up on the world. It wore loose trousers and a white vest. Both were dirty, but neither insulted Joe so much as the horror between. This person had an extra quantity of flesh attached to its stomach, which made it unlike any of the other stomachs in Joe’s life. It hung over the waist of his stonewash jeans and forced the vest out of the way.

Baying for attention.

There was a centre piece of a large cavernous navel with long black claws guarding the entrance. Joe couldn’t fathom why this security was necessary. Surely there was enough about this demon to scare off any approaching predators.

His eyes were drawn in. Towards the navel. Down the rabbit hole.
What were its secrets?
Why had it been allowed out today of all days? Was it personal? Had this stomach found itself in this place at this time purely to torment this fragile traveller?
What was there that Joe couldn’t understand which seemed so obvious to the man wearing this flesh extension?

Both stomachs convulsed. The man’s in time with his nonchalance. Joe’s in response. For a second it crossed his mind to turn away, face the wall, lurch over and attempt to expel these memories all over the pavement. He determined instead to convey his fears to Will as calmly as he could.
- Darling?
- Yes
- How is it that even when we feel like death, have on dirty clothes and can barely see straight, we still manage not to be the most disgusting people on the street?
- I was just asking myself the same question

Joe suckled on the bottle of water he’d clutched onto now for about eight hours. It wasn’t the elixir he’d hoped it’d be, but he felt a little safer. They continued on their journey and the man’s stomach continued his, probably with more purpose and confidence than Will and Joe were capable of that day.

As they neared a main road, Optimism returned to Joe’s heart. He’d been to Angel tube station a long time ago. He convinced himself that somewhere in the back of his fragile mind, among the shards and real life bits, outside of impossible time, he could piece together some squidgy shadows of faded photocopies of facts. As he searched, he was repeatedly confronted with his ex telling him effortlessly that it is home to the longest escalator on the underground. That information was no use.
- Someone once skied down the gaps between and called it “art”
- No Matt! No! That’s useless information!
- It was the first place you saw me charge an Oyster card and you had a hissy fit about how it was “witch craft”
- I know that Matt. I fucking remember! I do. But that really doesn’t help me find the fucking place!
- There’s a bunch of bus stops outside. You once stood and watched a woman pace up and down shouting at the screen. She tried to speak to you, but you were scared so you wandered down the road and sat in a park smoking multiple cigarettes and reading Brideshead Revisited. I arrived late, but you didn’t mind because you’d become lost in your book. You wouldn’t even come and meet me. I had to follow your aweful directions to find you. I then spent the rest of the day insisting that the SnM cafĂ© nearby stood for Sausages and Mash and not…
- Oh, shut up! There’s a map over there. I don’t need your help.

Joe steered Will towards a map of the area. It soon became one of those situations in which the more information you are provided with, the less you feel like you know.


Subtlety in the Shower


Ok, so this is a bit of chapter two of a novel I started writing a few years back. I wrote two chapters...well one and a half...anyway. I had a short attention span! I spent ages planning the novel. It had 4 main characters and one semi-silent protagonist. It was Picaresque - I was reading a lot of Irvine Welsh at the time. I've omitted chunks because in retrospect it isn't great. I wouldn't mind rewriting one and two at some point and bringing the whole story to its conclusion of unrequited love, heroin showers and rape, but not any time soon.

I liked this one because I set myself the goal of portraying a guy wanking without being explicit with it. I think it worked out.

Also, its worth saying that the first four chapters began with a shower. I had recently read something about Psycho and the opening scene where you zoom through a window to find Janet Leigh in her bra. I liked the instant intimacy thing...anyway:


That’s where it started; a chemical attack on the senses. My motto has always been, “Anything for a climax” and that particular Friday it would become my mantra. I’ve always seen a house party as a night in the pursuit of climax after climax after mother fucking climax and all without even a seconds consideration for the consequences and I wouldn’t have it any other way. If I didn’t have to waste my week in a society that promotes sobriety and coherence, cobbling together the funds to maintain a passable lifestyle, I guarantee you that I would be out of my head every second of every day. Isn’t that everyone’s dream? Constantly warding off the hangover or the comedown and just maintaining a constant state of euphoria.

That night, I didn’t really need a wash but I had half an hour to myself and I never let valuable alone time go to miss. I had one hand secured on the clean white tiles with my index finger lodged in the groove for extra stability. Shower Gel. I started to think about Kate. She’s amazing. Out of my league. I remember when we hooked up. Mentally relive the night s if I’m watching a movie in my head. It’s an awkward hazy memory. A smokey lens. We kissed each others faces, groped any body part we could find and scratched at buttons and zips in a drunken frenzy and all the time I was trying to suppress the thought that I might any second be horribly sick from the cocktail of vodka, coke and terror that was racing through my body. I remember one of our arms flailing into a lamp and sending it crashing to floor. We had been descended into darkness. Minutes before, in the low-lit bedroom, I think it was someone’s younger brother’s, I’d been telling her about my mum in hospital and what started out as a sympathetic kiss on the cheek very quickly evolved into a raging frenzy of sweat, lips and teeth. All thoughts of the family had been abandoned and my mind was overcome by passion. Or at least that’s what I had expected. What actually came over me was an all encompassing fear, but I can’t think of that now. I need to stay focused. The way she smelt. The way she tasted. The way she grabbed my head and ran her nails down my scalp in a way that no one could have ever predicted of the sweet natured Katy that everyone else knew. That night Katy died. She’d become Kate. Kate the sexual monster. My sexual monster.

I slipped a bit, but found my footing again. Rewarding myself for past triumphs. The film in my head skipped a bit. Past our drunken attempt at foreplay and now all I could think about was the point of the night where she was on top of me, moving to the rhythm of whatever crap they were playing in the next room oblivious to the magic it was making between me and Kate the sexual monster. The movie starts to intensify. The shots cutting at pace. My face. Her Face. Her tits. Our hips. The point at which we were connected. Like one person, sharing in something amazing. Amazing. So fucking amazing!

And all of a sudden the film stopped and I was sent flying back to my shower. Drenched in water where there had been sweat, bubbles where there had been shower gel and the product of my memory could be seen swirling around the plug hole resisting gravity’s pull. I had been presented with the revolting reality of my situation. Nothing to be proud of here. I finished off washing, paying close attention to the underside of my foreskin, and turned it off. After clambering out, very ungracefully due to a weakness in my legs, I attempted to wash my face. The mirror was steamed up and no matter how hard I tried to wipe it with my still damp hand, all I produced was a ghostly image of a brown haired guy looking at me through a speckled window with an exhausted face. A combination of pity and solidarity lay deep in his eyes. If there’s anyone I can read, it’s myself.