Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cardigan

Tonight, I couldn't speak to you. So I fixed your cardigan. Is that why you left it behind? I wondered if you were cold, right then, at that moment, wishing you'd taken it with you. I took it off and put it in my lap. I got out my sewing kit and spent a long time closing up all the holes around the neck. Lots of tiny stitches, more subtle than words are. While I was sewing I thought round and round soothingly, "that's better... That's better... that's better." It will be hard to see it was ever torn at all. I was sad when it was finished. There should be a way to stitch the night closed. Nights without you are a slow unravelling.

Inshallah... inshallah... inshallah...

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

cake, pie, and the beat of life

The terrible irony inherent to blogging is that, invariably, one will tend to blog when one has the least to say. By 'one' of course, I mean 'me'.

I usually blog when I am bored or, at the very least, quietly miserable. Occasionally I blog when I'm annoyed, but only by the world - never by people. I can manage a cold and coherent anger toward the world I never achieve on a personal level. Rage when it's hot, much like love, completely spins me about and pushes me over and makes me useless to the English language. When I have much to report, my head is so awash with words I am reduced to dead silence. And you know what? Not only in the virtual world either... I say very little in general.

So, yes, as you must have guessed by now, I've been very 'spun-about' of late. I don't know where to begin. I don't know where to begin to separate what is for my personal emotional digestion and what's appropriate to share with a (potentially) infinite audience of strangers and almost-strangers. But here goes....

Since last 'confession':

I have suffered the strangest and most virulent case of 'writers block' ever. Usually I consider 'writer's block' an indulgence. In this case, it more closely resembled a week-long, soul-eating virus (although it should be observed that anything that stops me writing I first classify as 'writers block' before any further analysis, even when the 'thing' could more accurately be described as 'depression', 'having a job', 'falling in love - again' 'having a small child' or being 'severely sleep deprived'... lol). Anyway. Usually when afflicted with an inability to write, I am spending my time on less worthy pursuits, like reading, socializing or watching films. In this case I did none of those things. Outside of the daily motherly grind, I did nothing. Literally nothing. All day, I did laundry, cooked, shuttled Isaiah back and forth to nursery, played with him and cleaned up his 'accidents', half-heartedly took calls from friends and then - at the end of the day, after I'd put Isaiah to sleep - I would slump down on my bed and stare at the ceiling for 3 or 4 hours til my own bedtime. Sometimes I would take a break by staring at the wall. Or closing my eyes and staring at the insides of my eyelids. I didn't even listen to music. Everything felt dead. I felt the way an ice pole must feel when all the juice is sucked out and it is forced to confront the reality that it is, after all, just a lump of ice.

And then, in the midst of this leaden immobility, I received a phonecall from my mother. The tone of her voice right away put me on edge. The tone of her voice told me to 'sit down' without her having to actually say the words. In fact, what she said was, 'please don't take this badly but...' My mum can never bear the idea of any of her children being hurt. Nevertheless, she couldn't get around the responsibility of telling me that my cousin, first-cousin, my dad's brothers' son, had committed suicide the day before. He was dead. He had killed himself.

And all at once my head went from cold to hot.

In my free-write the following week, I wrote something like 'every youngdeath is a chunk out of eternity'. I felt like the very stuff of my childhood had been rearranged, everything was different in the backwards light of this happening, everything my cousin was became a life capped by suicide. I didn't know he was depressed. I didn't know he was suicidal. I didn't know him that well at all, in fact. He was just one of the warm and comforting mass that constituted my 'family', bonded by blood and countless family functions and snatched conversations and subtly mirrored facial features. But in some ways it's harder to grieve for someone you don't speak to everyday, month, or even year... There is no obvious change to your everyday life because they are gone. However, because of this, the pain you feel is right away deep. It is right away a blood-deep, bone-deep pain at a child you grew up with, a part of the family tree hacked away, with no surface-pain to distract you from the agony and no-one to really understand what you are feeling. It is hard to articulate even to yourself why this loss rings so loud. I suppose part of the horror is that we always think we'll have a chance to know these warm faces properly - someday at one of these gatherings, you'll have a chance to find out who they actually are. But no. He is gone, and taken all his secrets with him, and he will be at no more gatherings.

The Lord giveth, and He taketh away.

Hurricane Tomas raged in the wake of my cousin's passing, laying the land low in time for his funeral. Such Destruction hasn't struck St. Lucian in my father's living memory. I sat in London, helpless and afraid, as my heartland was rearranged by death and the elements. I struggle (still) to make use of myself and plan a fundraiser, despite my jangled head. (But it will be done! watch this space for details and also information on where to donate). Thankfully, my extended family suffered no further losses of either people or property.

A long on-and-off affair found itself in a cul-de-sac and I, in the cool clarity of despair, declared it finally OFF.

And then, the way earth is sometimes made more fertile by being burned to ash, a few shoots sprang out of this blasted landscape. A new book idea, fully-formed, vibrant, began flying out of me... Creative opportunities turned up - highly unexpected and exciting.... romantic opportunity - highly unexpected and mind-boggling... and most of all, the opportunity for my son, my beautiful, mischievous, clever, robust little boy, to meet the side of the family he'd never seen before. A beautiful and giving grandma sent us tickets so we could be officially absorbed into the family for Thanksgiving, and what a wonderful tribe it is! He fit. He loved them all immediately, and they loved him. He came back with his Ghanaian grandfather's drum clutched under his arm, whispering "shake your booooooootie! shake your boooooootie!" LOL. St. Lucian (mother's side) British (2nd generation) Guyanese (paternal granny) Ghanaian (paternal grandad) and American (where entire paternal family lives) cultures are all his to express and enjoy!!

Oh, and all the pie! Wow. The pie. Sweet potatoe, pumpkin, pecan... and then the cake! Baked cheesecake and black cake and most killingly of all, red velvet from the cakeman in Brooklyn... my mouth would have cried if it could!

Giving thanks for thanksgiving... :-)

And then we arrive back in London to a tube-strike and snow, a freezing flat and an implausibly big electric bill... ahhhhh.... no place like home. Lol. C'est la vie, eh? :-D

Giving thanks for everything. There have been losses and gains, but through all of it, under all of it is the beat of life itself, all the complex rhythm of humanity, joy and suffering, and love. Deep in my soul, I know my cousin is cradled in death the way every living thing is cradled in life. As Rumi says,

'The soul at dawn is like darkened water
that slowly begins to say Thank you, thank you.

Then at sunset, again, Venus gradually
changes into the moon and then the whole nightsky.

This comes of smiling back
at your smile.

The chess master say nothing,
other than moving the silent chess piece.

That I am part of the ploys
of this game makes me
amazingly happy.
'

:-)

Gem xx

Monday, October 25, 2010

Compelling content?

Dear You,

Someone just tweeted an article about 'how to write compelling content' or somesuch. It's 4.49am. I'm annoyed. Why aren't I working on the book. I have no compelling content for my blog, I'm afraid!! I'm not compelling content. I'm sitting here in a massive cardigan. It's freezing. I'm just struggling with my craft and getting up and going to sleep and trying to stay on top of my cleaning and do some half decent parenting and trying not to kill all the losers in my life while trying to show love to the people who do actually care. I feel like an alien today. I wonder sometimes what this place is, where I've arrived? This culture, these times... they are so odd. In an earlier post, I said 'weird and pale in the guts' and thats exactly how it feels.

On the one hand, amazing things can be accomplished via technological advancements! Art, ideas and information can be disseminated instantly. Like-minded people can link thoughts all around the world. All of this is tremendously powerful but, on the flipside, I feel we are becoming more and more 'virtual' in our outlook, and there's pressure to become 'compelling content'. I'm an artist, so I sink or swim on whether or not I can attract attention to myself and thusly to my product. How healthy is that? Twitter, again, can be a powerful resource but it's also a 140-characters-or-less shouting contest. I go periods without feeling the earth. Where is earth in virtual world? Everyone has an online avatar, a collection of witty soundbites and flattering pictures, and we're all trying to prove what 'compelling content' we are as individuals, :-)ing our faces off at each other. LOLing to the point of throwing up. How can it not make real life seem less exciting in comparison? Everyone's tweeting every move and uploading pictures and unless that happens, it's almost like the event didn't happen. Does it give anyone else a sense of vertigo?

Life on FB is like the smell of popcorn - the smell of popcorn in theatres is how they get you! It never tastes as good as the smell! I feel like I'm Lost in Space sometimes... So many choices and so many bells and whistles everyones got commitmentphobia and attention deficit disorder. So much choice about all the things that don't matter. You can watch anything right now, know anything, google anything! But your government isn't listening to you, you can't remember the last time you had sex and you don't have a partner because 'you're not ready' and/or 'they're not ready' and we're all waiting for this magical day when we'll be perfectly aligned and Oprah-ed up (self-help is another post!!!) and we're all hurtling full-speed toward death with no awareness of our own extinction.

I am going to die. You are going to die. We are all going to die. I don't how much of that time I want to waste waiting for the red PINGs on FB or more followers on twitter. I want to throw my heart into life. I want to love. I want to cook and eat and dance and do 'it' loads and write things not cynically designed to be 'compelling content' but things that are beautiful and hard and elevate me while I'm writing them and wring me dry of all pretense and transport readers to a place of deep feeling and experience. I want to really BE here!!!

Gosh, but I AM already here.

I'm right here, in a massive cardigan that itches a bit. Speaking to you really early in the morning, via a medium I love/hate. And you'll know about this because I've synched my blog to twitter and FB.

Gosh, isn't it all so bloody complicated? Contradiction, thy name is wo/man!!

[throws resigned hands in air]

Love, passion and purity,

Gxx

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"Britain just became a colder, crueller country - and for nothing."

The time for complacency is over. Being quiet and keeping our head down isn't going to work anymore. Silence in the face of tyranny is extinction. I have a poem I've been working on lately, and in it I use this image that has been surfacing in my head over and over, of the government as an abusive spouse. First it's the flowers and chocolates, and then it's the paranoia, watching you every second of the day, the manipulative devices to make you feel trusting/dependent/disempowered. And then, when he feels the wife is under control, the smile slides off his face and out come the fists.

The shocked silence after the cuts are like those minutes after an abusive husband comes home and the door slams shut. This is it. Subservience won't stop you getting hit. You must fight! Nothing will work but resistance, and letting these people in government know that they work for US, and without our co-operation, nothing can be done. Everything in me is disgusted with what is happening in this country, but I've not been able to express my thoughts as lucidly or as convincingly as in this article below by Johann Hari... check it out!

http://johannhari.com//2010/10/21/britain-just-became-a-colder-crueller-country-and-for-nothing?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook

Rebel!

Gemx

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Heart


My Heart - Free-Write 20/10/10

I am not afraid

I am not afraid to stand all alone

I am not afraid to stand all alone with everybody

I am everybody

I am everybody's love

I am everybody's love tearing open

I am standing

I am standing with my feet in the soil

I am standing with with my feet in the soil of the earth

I am standing with my feet in the soil of the earth that is my earth (mine!)

I am standing with my feet in the soil of the earth that is everybody's

earth all alone with everybody's love tearing open

with my feet in the soil with my head in the clouds

puffed up and floating all a-mingle with everybody's

vapourish dreams of thunder

crying rain down into the soil of everybody's earth

soil of everybody's love

dancing to my heart

everybody's heart

My heart is sweet, scarlet music.

I am not afraid!

________

Every so often I get a leap in understanding, a leap closer to myself, and everything in my life becomes clearer.

An actor/writer friend wanted me to take a look at a play he'd written, so in return, I asked for a little help with my performance technique. This was the day before yesterday, and it was all very informal. We just went through a couple of poems and he told me what he saw in them, and how to access the emotions of my work. As often happens in life, this exercise was illuminating in ways that extended beyond my performance technique. I realised that I try to shrink all the time, apologize for myself. I pull back when I long to go all out, I flake when I need to commit. I realised that I spend a lot of my time half-trying to express myself and half-trying to disappear. I had that little tutorial and it all clicked somehow. My entire being said: "ENOUGH!"

So the next day(yesterday), I did a poetry performance that was filmed for an internet TV show, Manorlogz. It was a poem I'd done before, but something had changed in me. I wore red heels. I stood up straight. I didn't bother with my habitual 'look at me, I'm a poet but I'm like, soooooo retarded' schtick but just paid attention to the piece and allowing myself to be alive on stage. It was liberating. It seemed like a microcosm of my life! All my shrinking had to stop!

Fast-forward to today and I did my Free-write Wednesday offering, and the feeling crystallised into words. Every so often, I read something back and I get that feeling, 'yes! that's exactly what I meant!' And it's almost like being understood by somebody else. My eyes welled up. It seemed to mean something. No dexterous wordplay, I haven't excited myself with form, but I've shocked myself with the epiphany that I am full of joy - from nowhere, from everywhere, just to BE here. I got that feeling again where it seemed there was a clue to the order of things inside me, and that everything was connected.. I think maybe all artists - maybe all people in general - are stretching their fingers toward the light, trying to feel the pattern, order and beauty of the universe under the suffering.

I am here. I'm here and I want to be here, deserve to be here, and need to be here exactly as I am, doing exactly what I do, feeling exactly what I feel. And you too!!!

Jeez, I'm such a hippie... lol!

Peas and gloves!
xxx

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

23.17

the scream. edvard munch

It's 23.17. It feels later.
It feels like everything and everyone everywhere is asleep.
Isaiah is in his cosy, childish dreams.
My feet are cold. I still have my jacket and scarf on, and I've been back home for over two hours. I've made my tea too sweet. I think it was a subconscious effort to mother myself. I should be writing some book, but instead I'm doing this. I think perhaps it's the best thing though, because I've gotten into this weird place lately.
I have this thing, you know, that I do every week on facebook? Free-write wednesdays? Well I've missed it a couple of weeks, and I've not read anyone elses either. I've not read anything at all. It's like I'm trying desperately to keep still, and I don't know why. It's like I'm a predator waiting in the bushes for the right time to pounce. I have a predator's vulnerability, the last thing we generally think about in predators. I am all hunger and exhaustion, and my muscles ache from stillness. I don't know what I'm waiting for. I'm writing every day, but most of it doesn't feel useful. The parts that do seem useful are like a painfully beautiful glimpse of something, a fast fish under water, silvery then out of sight.
I'm feeling something, yes. I'm feeling something.
I can't reach myself though.

I'm listening to a poem in a foreign language. The rhythm is beautiful. Oh but does it say..... eh?
I tire myself like this. I'm not fit for public consumption. My facebook mostly falls silent as I scroll glumly through the events of others lives, smiling weakly sometimes, laughing, but feeling outside of it all. It's all so fun. I have nothing to add.
Who wants to hear about this crap all the time?
The loneliness. The work is bloody lonely. I barely understand what I'm trying to make, much less anyone else.
I'm jealous of everything outside of myself, just because it's outside of myself.
It feels like I'm shooting past a book, like the book is actually on the way somewhere. Home? I don't know.
It's the work, the actual intricate work of the thing that feels like a form of praise.
(Goodness, I am such a Catholic. I really am. (I originally went to write "God, I am such a Catholic". Lol. Wow. You can take the girl out of the church...))
I wrote on FB and twitter, cause you should stay current with these things, even if you feel all weird and pale in your guts, I wrote: [phone-call interruption - talk about that later] "as I grow up, I realise that so much in writing is about learning to live with tension and silence. All day I try to create peace and then when it arrives in my living room, full of promise, I start to splutter and choke as it closes over my head, swimming madly for noise." And then I felt a little embarrased because the next post on my twitter timeline was from a musician, some shadow-less exclamation about what he was doing, and I thought - THAT'S what twitters for! Not the endless silly musings and meanderings.
I texted that same post to a comrade scribbler of mine, about the silence and the drowning, and he rang me (surprise! He's been MISSING lately) and he said, yeah! he said, it's exactly that tension and silence he said
remember that system I had of writing for 45 minute segments? well, I've not been able to stay silent for 20 minute segments not even 10 minutes I can't - he sighs I tell ya. It's ridiculous. And I replied, it's ironic because the more important the work is the harder it gets sometimes because it matters so much you just fucking choke
and then he started talking about his hair and it made me laugh how he dropped it in
like it was an existential tragedy akin to the solitude of man
And my hair! he said. I'm really worried about my hair! Its dreading into one big fucking dreadlock! And on and on we went talking about hair maintenance and matting and locking and
detangling with glycerine and water and I said why don't you come round and I'll sort it out
and I'll give you some money and
nah I can't take money and
so and so forth and I just kept laughing at us, building this ridiculous conversation
on the jagged bones of that empathy we share about loneliness
and silence, all full of laughter now,
so obvious what we're doing
swimming for noise!
but -ha! - sometimes noise is the only way to live with the silence and
ha! 'Vanity is my favourite sin'
(spot the reference!)
;-)

I think my self-pity is all spent for the evening. I think it's back to work now for the 52 seconds I have left awake.

[Gemma + silence exeunt]

Friday, September 24, 2010

...and how are you?

Evening lovelies...

Here are a couple of recent pieces from my Free-Write Wednesday group on Facebook! The one below was written in minutes, inspired by a twitter conversation. And the one below that was a slow-burn - ie. write 2 lines, have a biscuit... write 3 lines, listen to a song... and so on... and so on.

Hope you enjoy :-)

Gem xx


*** *** ***


(time/slow/heart/mind) - superfast free-write 23/09/10 - almost forgot!!!
by Gemma Weekes on Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 11:46pm


@PetePhilly said
Hows London, my lady.
@gemmaweekes said
fast (time)
book (slow)
luminous (heart)
shadowy (mind)

how fast? Fast as motorway traffic and no jams fast
as adrenaline soaked heart fast as
thought fast as Ramadan fast as break fast as
soundwaves fast as weeks days months years
lived in I of the storm passion and head
splitting ambition fast as light fast as death so fast
dancing fast as you can the kind of jig
you dance under of a hail of bullets the kind of
sprint you run when the finish-line is wonder the kind of
chasm you leap when the space is God this is how fast
this is how fast this is how fast

slow as love made in the
afternoon slow as sunday dinner slow as wisdom
slow as progress slow as a smile hard-won
slow as a watched sunset a watched kettle boiling a watched
phone to ring and a watched blessing to bring slow
as beauty slow as faith slow as the world when the
turning is understanding slow as the wing when the flight
is landing slow as the walk when the terrain
is self-knowledge slow as the tide when the beach is
grace slow as the knowing the knowing the knowing who
you are at last

Luminous as the sun poking a slice out from behind an eclipse.

(Here I am!)

Shadowy as the intricate leafy shade on a really
really hot day.

@gemmaweekes said

And how are you?


*** *** ***



FLYING - Free-Write 16/09/10
.by Gemma Weekes on Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 6:39pm.

(4booboo)

Oh sookie now. You've caught yourselves
smiling all over your faces
hearts gone to the races
cards laid – all aces
She's been waiting in the station since before
her gran was born. 10 minutes, she says. Ages.

the chest-rise the look-away the mouth dry as hay
her eyes are dreaming eyes her sighs say
dreaming you beams her clean away –
oh what did she mean to say?
adjusts her scarf
I’ll be down from the crack in 15 minutes
never have crack for breakfast! she
laughs up at you - laughs
from her hair to her old-school shoes. Ha ha
pouring in her embrace all the colours its impossible to say
All the anticipation of her days all the religion in her desire
All the silence of her faith the pride in your courage your
Ocean-hopping be-bopping free-wheeling ways and
She’s lit up just like a city at night time
you see it
Under all the concrete steel, and glass
is earth and rocks and magma
Under her fashion and words and laughter
Is a big heat - big light- future forest- lava.

This is it
the barefoot dance on bare ground the
Harp sound of hearts found
the spin round and dip-down
The l-verb and l-noun
the chest pound the dewed crown
The hot breath of Kate's* hounds the big town is
silent
Now

And so.
You know that she knows that you know what you both know…
You give her hip-hop. She gives you oil for your afro.

The station's caught you smiling all over your faces
Words dispersed like birds
Sky full of flying
Soul-silent

And she says and she says – wow
And she says and she says – it’s ok
And she says
We don’t need to know

-handsqueeze –

How!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Changing my ways

You are always here for me.

In you, I can start again fresh. Everyday. Any day!

You don't stand in judgement. You don't snicker behind your hand or ask me what the hell I think I'm wearing. You don't ask me when I'm going to get a proper job or a proper boyfriend, or why little man still has problems getting to the loo on time. You don't contradict me, and you don't correct my spelling (unless I ask you to). You are always here to listen, and dearest, dearest, dearest blog - I confess I dont speak to you enough. But honey, I'm writing today just to let you know that I can change.

Want some greatest hits?

Hmmm...

Well, I've had ups and downs and ups with the book. A good friend of mine, MB, told me I should simply abandon it. He said, you're just going to end up hating yourself if you carry on like this, banging your head against that proverbial brick wall. Do something else and go back to it! (Gallant, right?) So in the interests of helping with my stress, he instead challenged me to write a 100-page novella in less than a week.

Yep, that's how writers deal with stress. In pretty much the same way that masochists deal with pain.

Suffice to say, it's been 8 days and the novella hasn't happened. I got a cracking good start but must have actually been on crack to think I was going to be able to conceive an idea and then write that many pages in a week with a visiting mum, a toddler who's intent on marking every corner of the house like a tomcat, and a serious problem with computer screen-induced narcolepsy. (Or perhaps if I actually was on crack I could have pulled it off, but anyhow....)

To add insult to injury, I left my novella (nowhere near target) at MBs office, forgetting to send it to myself, and then couldn't reach him! So in the interests of sanity, I went back to the book and the wonderful thing is - it's been flowing again beautifully! Mainly because it occured to me that if I put the work in that I intended to put into the novella, I can have it blooming FINISHED in no time. Oh gosh.... imagine, imagine, imagine!!!

Dude, when this thing is done, I am going on The Bender of The Ages. Please believe me!

Anyway, I have massive theories brewing in my head about the sheer ubiquity of modern-day commitmentphobia (laymen's terms - too many waste-men and-women!), consumerism and the aimlessness of modern life, and about how we all need to take responsibility for it! I can't do it now cos I have to get on with the evening schedule (cook dinner, bedtime for bubs, testing some new work at an open-mic, more writing!) but soon, bloggy baby! Soon! Remember - I can change!

Work it, bloggy. Loving your fonts!!

Tomorrow, promise! Or Thursday. Friday latest.

Gem xx

Friday, August 20, 2010

Tipshy

Right so I'ma bit swayish upon my tired feet right now and a bit muddled within my tired brain right now but all day I've been lucid and sober and that's done nothing for my book whatsoever, so perhaps now is a good time to try and get some work done.

Spent some time in the shiny central capital this eve making merry at two bars, the first at a birthday and the second at a little joint that did jazz and some rather fetching cocktails. I talked about love and writing a bit of a lot and got steadily drunker. I realised a very true thing which is, the work really doesn't give a f**k about a writer's plans - plans for the plot, plans for the characters, plans for her year, or plans for her life... the work is temperamental as a toddler, and if it doesn't wanna move then honey it will not be moved. Two separate people have said to me today that maybe it's worth getting some distance on it. But I can't afford distance, dammit! I got kid to feed!!! Sigh.

Anyway, anyway. What else?

I think I want to do a spoken word album and get some voice coaching (why not?) and (finally) record all my songs and chuck them out into the world with all my strength. Out, out, out all of it f*****g OUT so there's space in my head and my life for a real, genuine, no notepad, no laptop, holiday!!!

(Ahhhh, but there will always. Always be more projects.)

Smh. Drunken work time!!!

Buenas noches muchachos!

Gem xxx

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

To Whom it May Concern

Dear Everyone,

I am sick of writing. I would rather do anything else instead of writing. Writing makes me very scared and tired and leaves not very much time for speaking with friends or watching television. It makes me scared because it's so big, and I am such a small part of everything, and it feels like life is speeding by while I sit in a corner with a dunce cap on turning words this way and that to catch the light and going 'duuuuuuhhhh'.

I'm sick of constantly trying to find the right words to say things when there are so many words and so many things but at the same time too many words and not enough things and too many things and not enough words. I'm afraid that life is going to speed over my head like rush hour traffic.

I'm afraid that everyone is forgetting about me and talking behind my back and saying "where is she? Dead?" and saying what a rubbish friend I am because it doesn't seem like I'm ever really around and I barely go anywhere or do anything and what a weirdo and what exactly is she trying to make, anyway? I am sick of writing because so far it has taken me 432 years, 6 months, 2 weeks, a day, an hour and10 seconds to do this one draft. Or at least a year and a half.

I am sick of writing because everyone else has much more interesting things to say and report on Facebook and Twitter about all the shinier things they are doing and all the cooler things they are doing with words on various stages and theatres and even on TV instead of alone in ratty exercise books. I'm very scared a lot that I'm not big-brained or deep-souled enough to say all the beauties I'm desperate to put in this world.

I'm sick of writing because it creates this weird compulsive seeking of loneliness where you pray someone will call but then if they do, you don't pick up, and you're not sure what call it is you're really waiting for because it's pretty certain that God doesn't need your digits to reach you. Or really what you want is a warm, re-grounding hugging and loving and sweetness that's unavailable on a regular basis as yet because Things Are Not Established even though there's this guy who completely abolishes you with light like having the sun in your eyes.

I am sick of writing because my back is really painful from hunching over and falling asleep in my notebook and as a consequence I am never comfortable in any position apart from maybe in a hot bath which I very rarely have time for. I would rather be racing my son in the park and teaching him how to count with cotton balls. I would rather be listening to music. I would rather be eating pizza. I would rather be kissing. And I am sick of writing because no matter how sick I get of writing it is always the only thing to do because it's the only way I get to keep all of those things, the running and the kissing and the pizza, turning them this way and that to catch the light and going 'duuuuuuhhhh'. Even if I one day get senile dementia, or when I'm completely extinct or even if the world has ended I will have written those words and writing is the only way I get to say things like 'being abolished with light' which makes love always an especially beautiful thing no matter what becomes of it because this way I get to keep it all even while I'm giving it away and maybe now I've said all of this I can [sigh] finally... get back to work.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Free-Write Wednesdays

To help ease the feeling - neck-deep in my second novel - that I'm accomplishing absolutely nothing and will witness the complete collapse of Western Civilisation before even a first draft sees the light of day - I started a little group on Facebook called 'Free-Write Wednesdays' where members post/share a free-write every Sunday. Okay, I'm joking. Every Wednesday. Check it out here if you want to get involved: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=21727182150&ref=ts From now on, I'll be sharing mine on this blog as well as facebook, but here are the last 2.

Enjoy...?

Gem xx

Freedoms and Hungers - Friday-written Free-Write Wednesday 13/08/10

by Gemma Weekes on Friday, August 13, 2010 at 1:11pm

Now let me tell you about Johnny, do you know Johnny? Me, not so much. Johnny most of his life has been a free-wheeling, shiny-shiny man with his body always sky-angled and every movement in life he takes in the pursuit of open spaces. I don't know what to write about him except there is a lot to be learned from this man about freedom, what freedom is and what freedom does. It's a slippery word, he says. If you've pinned it down, then you've lost it, if you chase it, then you're a slave to freedom. And to be a slave to freedom is an oxymoron, no? He has an interesting turn of phrase halfway between an academic and a madman. He tells me the problem with human beings. He says the problem with human beings is that all human beings want a home, and all human beings are natural runaways. Sometimes they just want a home to runaway from. Sometimes they just want to runaway so they can feel that pull and tug of home deep down in that deep down swamp of their hungry bellies. He says to be human is about hunger, and that freedom is one of those hungers that sometimes directs you away from food. There's that pull always between the man who wants love, a wife, a room, a house, an ideology, a passion, a life-work, a God, and the man who only wants the freedom of wanting nothing. But what the hell do I know, I say to himself. I'm not Johnny anymore. I'm just a pile of rags piled up in the subway of Old Street Station. I've not been Johnny in a long time.

Love - (late) Friday Wednesday Free-Write - 06/08/10

by Gemma Weekes on Friday, August 6, 2010 at 4:22pm
Your profile over there, waiting
eases my face open, smiling, eases
my chest open, loving, and the night open
with dreaming, that universal dreaming
of embraces and homecomings.
We lead each other through the dark,
blind and deaf to the noisy cityscape. All is hush.
So good to see you. Good, right, true -
affirmative. I don't have
much more to give than words
but I cooked you dinner
I like watching you eat. I would do much more.
many days of conversation have piled up.
Gestures, insights, complaints, enthusiasms
and steep drops sometimes between words
when I am just -
looking at your face. I know this face
with more than my eyes. Our kisses are
too much joy for one body. I'm meltiiiing! I joke
Gosh, didn't God knit you beautiful
I'm clever just to make you laugh
so He can hear you.
What a sweet tangle we are
the smell of your neck makes me cry secretly
i haven't cried many years just
from awe! A great love is in me, bigger
than the sound of rivers or the
depth of sky outside my window
big, and deep, and quiet
I don't know big enough things to do with it
my mind is an orchestra of silence
the quiet after goodbyes with you is
like a blanket of snow on christmas morning
all is hush and sacred, and a train platform
becomes the scene of great humility and
passion
I surrender. something has happened to
me, is happening to me, and maybe we are
happening to each other
maybe -
i want to write something clever but my my mind
is drunk, all real love is mystical
all real love is God's -
(thank You)