Message in a Bottle

Message in a Bottle

This is my message to you it bobs on waves in a bottle so green you will think it is made from early summer leaves you will want to drink the chlorophyll feel it will nourish you. The message is something for you to consumer with your eyes and mind and heart. It is a message I need to hear I am repeating it turning it over tuning it to music a joyful refrain. Something that will calm you and stop the want you knew it once and have forgotten this is self-love repeat this often enough and your heart beat will sing it to you ‘’you are enough’’.

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Merpeople x 2

Below are two poems written several months apart that I had left languishing in my notebook until now which prove I am really a mermaid.

You are most of my length and rightly admired

Even down to the too narrow ankles

You look dazzling in fishnets you are

Sinuous as a mermaid’s tail

You are a siren call with your thighs

You have been known to entrap men like seaweed

You dance like a wave full of jellyfish

You are the pull of the tide

There are hidden treasures in this deep fishes with no name merpeople and things with so many eyes and whiskery protrusions you cannot count. Some make jewels part of the shells hermit crabs and their ilk are known to scuttle off with a tiara and build a sparking carapace before discarding the whole thing to the depths. The wrecks are subsumed by the merpeople like the hermit crab into their palaces. There are hulking wrecks of steel twisted into beautiful towers and Elizabethan oak bellied vessels form vaulted ceilings. They laugh at the figure heads simulation of merpeople the breasts and lurid paint work amuse them they place them in galleries for them all to laugh. There are not many now who rise up above the surface for long the new ships are too fast submarines gave them a fright until they realised they could not reach their glittering junk palaces. The pressure too great from anything made by man they never seem to reach that depth remain many fathoms above and still debris rains down. They do not distinguish between televisions and diamonds all are precious objects and fashioned into something useful. Twisted by their hands and tails and the depth pressure into stair cases they have no need of windows use portholes as decoration they make tiaras from silver spoons and keys they find watches smashed, stopped some kind of beautiful moon-shaped mystery. There is no sound that you or I would hear they pull percussion from oil drums and feel the vibrations to dance in their aquatic way, make xylophones from the ribs of the bodies of humans decayed by salt water. They have no reverence for our dead they are merely calciferous as coral.

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Flim Night Jumanji

did the open mic at Flim night for Jumanji and thought about Sarah Wittle who was left behind the poem below was written by using quotes by her character and writing around it. Quotes are obviously in quotation marks.

‘’ last time I played this game, it ruined my life.’’

there are elephants of doubt stampeding

in the mind of the girl who was left behind

strangers wonder could she have been so wicked

as to kill her friend? it was the sixties imagine outdated forensics

‘’ I was a little girl, a bunch of bats surrounded me and chased me down the street’’

at night the bats find her, she wakes screaming

a moth found its way into her night gown

its then he appears on the end of bed no days have passed for him

‘’ I thought I lost you again.’’

Sometimes he walks beside her all day

She can feel his small hot hand in hers she keeps it in her pocket

Goes to the park strides off near the trees so they can talk

‘’ You just saw three monkeys go by on a motorcycle, didn’t you?’’

She knows better now than to ask anyone else

Her eyes and ears are unreliable

‘’Don’t ever call me crazy, Ever!

‘Cause everyone in this town has called me crazy ever since I told them’’

She could cope if all the children weren’t afraid

Frisbees and footballs slowly deflating litter her yard

The fence lolls and peels no one will come to fix it

‘’I was afraid. No one believed me. I was all alone.’’

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Dear Mr Cameron

I have been sitting on this for a few days now and still not sure about but feel like getting our immediate responses to this new government is important. My response was sheer terror of what is going to happen.

Dear Mr Cameron,

On the 8th of May I woke up with a hangover, a headache and an angry uterus compounded by the fact that you won’t take the tax off tampons. I waited at a bus stop for a delayed service on an expensive dirty crowded bus that rattles. It nauseates me.

I tried not cry at the bus stop with sheer fear because I am a woman with a misfiring brain.

I can’t swap one of my chromosomes, rearrange my faulty helix or rewire my grey matter.

I got some things right. I am white, paler than you the kind of white you would claim as Anglo Saxon not European.

I am middle class, my voice is enough to convince some that I am more like you than them but I know Mr Cameron you’d hear the Norfolk, the failing comprehensive and defunct art school education in my  voice.

I know a smattering of latin but not enough to joke with you in a dead language.

You changed the rules on part time work during your last term I have less money of my own than I did on the dole you tell the lie we are all better off in work.

Then penalise those of us who work less because of course it is because we are feckless and not disabled because you have made it nigh on impossible to get disability benefits and those of us who cannot score enough points or get a job starve and die.

Dear Mr Cameron have you looked at Calum’s list? Do you know how many have died because of decisions made by ATOS and the DWP? Have you considered we work part time because we are artists or our pension wasn’t enough or we simply can’t find the hours you deem as acceptable in this recession?

You have never thought about walking into traffic just to get some rest from the relentless grind of your existence.

I will never pay enough tax to be worthwhile in your eyes and I have already cost the NHS thousands with my broken arm, asthma, eczema, tonsils, all that orthodontistry, and of course the biggest ongoing expense that faulty circuitry in my head.

You can’t imagine thinking you will lose the medication that gives you peace of mind, that keeps the pieces of your mind together to be scared of this because there is no one in your life to act as your unpaid carer and the hospitals are so stretched the mentally ill are locked up in cells like prisoners.

That would never happen to you not even if you were unlucky and I say unlucky because I would never wish an unquiet mind on anyone not even you.

If you were unlucky enough to have a breakdown no NHS psychiatric unit for you, no waiting times and talking therapies with the year long waiting lists all the most up to date medications no palming you off with Chlorpromazine or amitriptyline. No risk of tardive dyskensia for you.

The day after I made myself eat a banana and oiled the chain and got on my bike to commute for the first time in months after I was so bone tired too scared to cycle in traffic and could not face the lack of cycle lanes and the potholes which cause me constant punctures. The state of these roads is your fault Mr Cameron this city  which overflows with ideas and art was cut so harshly during the last five years and still we keep making most of the television for all the country.

You don’t care about this Mr Cameron you don’t have time to watch television you wouldn’t know that nearly every programme pretending to film in London has at least one scene recognisable to any Manchester resident because we are cheaper and it is easier to create an empty street up here.

I know that you hate bikes Mr Cameron I know despite the photo op I seem to remember. My bike Is from Thatcher’s first term 1983 it has the flag on its frame when the factory was still open in Nottingham when this country was still a major manufacturer before she closed all the factories.

You remember that Mr Cameron better than me I hardly remember when made in britain made in the uk stopped appearing on everything we used and wore and relied on

Bikes don’t pay tax and many of us like me favour the older models despite their faults for their reliability their quirks. We fix their broken parts and carry on we become attached to the bikes in a way you never can to a car we are self-reliant you can fix a bike or find someone who can cheaper than a mechanic. We need no insurance there is no serious collateral damage you can do on a bike and I know because I have nearly knocked over several pedestrians and they have all walked away with bruises or less.

On that ride I let the familiar squeak of the seat and clanks of its frame and gears play a melody while my legs pumped out a rhythm to the tune of I will endure and I watched the clouds part and I thought you cannot take this away.

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Today’s Slam Poem From Word Cup

You Are More

You are more than the space between your thighs

you are more than the physical mass you currently occupy

you are more than numbers, calories, tape measures, scales,

charts, clothes labels, BM fucking I,

you are more than every insult you have memorised about

your face, hair, skin, legs, arse, breasts

you are more than the latest hatefilled buzzword

cankles, muffin top, saddle bags,

you are more than the body parts you mentally cleave off

as in a butcher’s shop ranking them as too fatty too lean

or past their sell by date your neurosis

wrapping them in cling film starting the rot

you are more than these same disjointed body parts

accessorising advertising breasts with beer with perfume with ice cream

and a wet always open empty mouth and never an eye

to stare accusing just packaged women’s flesh processed for consumption

you are more than a world that considers disfiguring women with acid

as the worst punishment they can cook up for saying no

If you think this doesn’t happen in the UK google Katie Piper

you are more than the one stitch facelift

string your face up every eighteen months

no yawning smiling or emoting during recovery

you are more than getting a fucking chemical burn on your breast

because that mouselike fur under your arm makes you feel like an animal

you are more than changing the colour of your skin with fake tan or lightening creams

that may be carcinogenic

you are more than deodorant which promises to lighten your arm pits

you are more Hollywood’s rolling merkin trade because all actresses wax or shave

you are more you are more than designer vaginas and defenders of FGM

you are more than googling ‘’fat mons pubis’’

you are wit and kindness you are the recipe you carry in your head

in your head for scones and all the things you make and grow with your hands

you are your capacity to love breathe and reason.

radical self love or why I don’t tell you I feel bad about my body

that black and shimmer dress you all thought I looked amazing in last night

I tried it on last week and took it off before I went out

decided it accentuated all the parts of my body that are wrong

according to the magazines I don’t read and the adverts I can’t help

but see  felt it made my body wrong changed it for something less clinging

I have a full length mirror this is important I know exactly what I look like

I know before anyone else calls me a fat cunt or a fat slut or a fat slag

I know exactly much of legs and breasts are showing I bend and turn

I know what I look like from all angles and tell myself that I am good enough

I put it on and told the mirror that my waist to hip ratio puts Jessica Rabbit to shame

that in platforms and fishnets my legs are astonishing look at my glorious knees

I didn’t tell you about the dresses failed first outing because I don’t want to

add to all that fucking noise about how my body is wrong, your body is wrong

any body that is strong and existing just the way it knows how is wrong

you are beautiful and giving and funny and your brain your talent

your poetry is worth so much more than worrying about dimensions of flesh

I have seen too many powerful women clutching at their body in front of me

hoping they could diminish themselves I never wanted you to think I do that too

I never tell you about how hard it is to leave the house some days

how I am late because I changed my clothes and make up a dozen times

till I felt like I was acceptable like this body at this size and height

and this skin is acceptable with its veins and its eczema rashes and spots and blemishes

That the silk scarf hides a flare up on my neck and that without make up I avoid mirrors

I know the mirror self lies to me when I look at it for too long

I see decay that isn’t there my face starts becoming strange

And I have to go do something with my hands to remind myself of who I am

I walk tall with my back straight because I want everyone who sees me to know

I think this body is alright this body is gorgeous this body is beautiful

I want all the other women I see in the street to feel that way too and

that dress that didn’t make it out of the house last week is my new favourite

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Feminists on Bikes

After the day’s dressing gown in the street embarrassment

as the carpet fitter whacked the fire alarm set it off and

I being too sensitive to noise was forced to leave dressed as I was

still mortified by not being properly dressed in my own house

when I live alone that they might not realise I am working, writing,

typing in this fluffy pink monstrosity of a garment

that I work cross legged on a sofa or on the floor over a laptop

a note book scratching, over the ancient type writer

later I dressed for the theatre in a dress spattered with tiny daisies

and lycra so I could cycle to contact theatre through Alexandra park

I attempted to reconstruct the glass conservatory exploded by suffragettes

remarked how much more bearable wind is when filtered through trees

thought that this moment while the uncertain weather held

and my beautiful cloudy sky framed bike didn’t get a puncture

was a small offering of how I hoped life could be.

I went to a sold out show about body hair and feminism

drank cheap merlot with witty wise women with large hearts

and fierce politics cycled back through the park with one of them

recounted how we had come off bikes and got back on

wanted to tell her that’s the trick of everything take a spill and cycle onwards

I whooped ‘’I love this park at night look at the glorious lake ripples’’

and we were not afraid together.

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Body

radical self love or why I don’t tell you I feel bad about my body

that black and shimmer dress you all thought I looked amazing in last night

I tried it on last week and took it off before I went out

decided it accentuated all the parts of my body that are wrong

felt it made my body wrong changed it for something less clinging

I have a full length mirror this is important I know exactly what I look like

I know before anyone else calls me a fat cunt or a fat  slut or a fat slag

I know exactly much of legs and breasts are showing I bend and turn

I know what I look like from all angles and tell myself that I am good enough

I put it on and told the mirror that my waist to hip ratio puts Jessica rabbit to shame

that in platforms and fishnets my legs are astonishing look at my glorious knees

I didn’t tell you about the dresses failed first outing because I don’t want to

add to all that fucking noise about how my body is wrong, your body is wrong

any body that is strong and existing just the way it knows how is wrong

you are beautiful and giving and funny and your brain your wit your talent

your poetry is worth so much more than worrying about dimensions of flesh

I never tell you about how hard it is to leave the house some days

how I am late because I changed my clothes and make up make a dozen times

till I felt like I was acceptable like this body and this skin is acceptable

I walk tall with my back straight because I want everyone who sees to know

I think this body is alright this body is gorgeous this body is beautiful and

that dress that didn’t make it out of the house last week is my new favourite

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