Poetry was my first writing love. As I’ve grown old & weary my poetic juices have dried up a little. The mood does still occasionally strike. Sometimes only poetry offers the chance to sweep my feelings out.
It’s not necessarily impressive, but it is completely effective. Reading it writing; words are a beautiful thing.
I’m off to an excellent start with doing things that make me feel good. After months of things getting in the way I managed to get a last minute tattoo appointment.
The whole tattoo process makes me feel kinda wonderful. I love the sensation; it’s a nice pain, if there is such a thing. I adore the results even more. My tattoos are mostly words that stir me. The latest addition follows that theme.
It’s a little section of e e Cummings’ In The Rain. I’ve wanted these words on my skin for a long time. They’re beautiful and touch many of my sensitive spots. Cummings has always made my heart thump and it’s amazing to carry his genius with me.
I can’t praise True Colour Tattoo enough. It’s such a warm, friendly studio with incredibly talented artists. Chrisse was super lovely and her work is fantastic. Bring tattooed by a woman always improves my experience.
This is my first colour tattoo. I swithered about it, but green was definitely the right way to go. The tattoo is gorgeous. It’s aided a tiny bit of healing. Oh & it’s helping me tick off one of my 40 before 40. Not bad for a spontaneous Wednesday decision.
It’s been a rough couple of weeks. Extra illness, extra stress & very little sleep have taken a toll. My mood has taken a nose dive. I’m battling a fairly substantial wave of anxiety & the urge to just hole up at home.
I am fighting, though. One of the things keeping me going is how far I’ve come. These lows will probably always hit, but it helps to know things are not as bad as they once were. On days like this reading my own dark words shine a tiny light through today’s depressive fog.
I’m hoping some sleep & resolving some of the stress inducers will alleviate this bout of blue. In the mean time I’ll be digging deep in my chest of resources to keep myself focused on the light.
Last night I pretended I was a hip young thing & went to The Twistettes album launch. Of course I am in fact a tired old thing so I didn’t stay until the end, but I did have a very good time. Also, today I’m broken.
The Twistettes are a riotous two piece. Before last night I did not realise they are sisters, somehow this knowledge increases their cool factor for me. The launch party for their new album A Strange Play was exactly the loud feminist event that I expected. Housed in the cellar club space of Stereo (excellent vegan food FYI). The night kicked off with Quotes of the Dead, a very enjoyable cross between 90’s girl attitude & early 00’s goth rock. Their set was followed by the most excellent Leyla Josephine. Her angry, amusing & awesome poetry really made my night. Give me 3mins of non earnest spoken word on the vagina & I’m sold.
Next to take the stage was The Honey Farm, possibly Scotland’s only female rap group. I didn’t expect to enjoy them quite as much as I did. Rap isn’t my preferred genre, but I suppose intelligent women with attitude can make anything agreeable. Girobabies turned out a buoyant performance & then it was time for the main act.
The Twistettes were absolutely worth tarting my old arse up for. For a two piece they create a tremendous onslaught of sound. Riot Grrrl influence was definitely in evidence with an undercurrent of 90’s indie rock chick. Their lyrics are captivating & I particularly loved the slightly spooky bent of the title track. Original material is intriguing, their encore covers were large & in charge. If powerful talented women are your thing, give this punkish duo a listen.
I have been plagued with another bout of hardcore insomnia & my mood has taken a little tumble in general. I’ve been fed up & feeling pissed of with world, which is not my beautiful life. So, I decided to take affirmative action & book myself a little bit of fancy.
There was a distinct lack of planning & I was trying to do last minute booking for a holiday weekend. Thus, it become more of a grab what you can than select your perfection. I did well, regardless. I secured the historic & fairly recently renovated Grand Central Hotel. We had plans for Sunday night so properly getting away wasn’t an option, but I was determined to be a luxury bitch even if I was doing it in my hometown.
If you feel kind of blah spending some time in a fancy hotel is good medicine.If you have a silly man to accompany you, the resulting carry on will perk you right up. Grand central gets points for massive bathroom, impressive staircase & general, well, grandness. The Toyboy gets points for remembering to get me an easter treat, drunken nonsense & carrying heavy bags.
On Sunday night we nipped over to Inn Deep for some drinks & culture. Overheard in the Westend was an elective mix of live music, comedy & spoken word. The venue was perfectly suited for the event & the acts were top class. I highly recommend you keep an eye out for upcoming happenings. Also, Inn Deep do vegan bar snack, big thumbs up!
Suitably inebriated we returned to the Victorian splendour of our hotel & enjoyed our huge bed. I am big proponent of just treating yourself. Waiting for other people to fulfil your needs (or wants) is a fool’s errand. If you have the means to make yourself happy, do it! Whether that’s buying yourself flowers, cooking yourself a 5 star meal or indeed booking a fancy hotel. Don’t hope other people will satisfy your whims; please yourself & then anything else is a bonus.
Rested & full of hotel breakfast I sprung into the new week. Productivity lasted until around 7pm Tuesday night when my stomach decided to revolt. Spoonie life, eh?
I didn’t have time to mark World Poetry Day through the week, but it would make me sad to ignore it all together. I’ve been smitten with the art form for as long as I can remember. It has basically provided me with a literary landscape to wander around with my feelings. Thus, I must pay homage to some poetic masters & share a few lines of my own.
What better place to start than with Plath. I suspect Sylvia Plath is probably a favourite of every girl who’s had a brush with crazy. I actually read her prose before her poetry, but obviously fell hard immediately upon discovering her poetic genius. This is one of my favourites because it mixes prime fucked up Sylvia with some classic romantic imagery.
Melissa Lozada-Oliva is new discovery, but I can’t get enough of her. Her work covers feminism & race & more. She gets right to the nitty gritty of the female of colour experience with both clarity & humour. I love the structure of her poems & the words she chooses to place her emphasis on.
Maya Angelou is another writer whose poetry came second to me. I read her autobiographies first & once I had begun reading her words I never wanted to stop. Every single line she ever put to paper is so utterly & completely Maya. A women who knows who she is & embodies herself in everything she does is the ultimate inspiration. Her poetry gives me life, which I believe is exactly what she intended it do.
Which just leaves me. I wrote a lot more poetry in my darker days. It seems my mind reaches peak poetic prowess when in despair. So, this one’s an oldie.
I’ve had a rough couple weeks. Ill health (myself & others), unavoidable obligations & insomnia rearing it’s ugly head have led to an incredibly stressed out ly. Alas, the blog has suffered. Normal service will be resumed soon. In the meantime I offer a small poetic interlude.
I find poetry incredible cathartic. I often attempt to write away my troubles. You’d be surprised how often it helps.
Last weekend I was in Edinburgh for the closing days of the festival. I had such a good time, but as is the spoonie way, it took me days to recover. I also had some exciting going ons keeping me busy this week, so it’s taken me a while to put a post together. Obviously the fringe is over, but you can catch my recommendations performing around the country all year.
I have been a Neil Holborn fan for a while, but this was my first opportunity to see him perform. He did not disappoint. His poetry is stunning; words have so much power when manipulated correctly. Much of his work packs a punch, but he can apply a light comedic touch too. Neil has been receiving some well deserved acclaim recently & I hope his star continues to ascend.
The next two shows were the toyboy’s choices. I’m going to give him credit for content, but a big fat zero for the venues being so far apart. Lost Voice Guy tackles inspiration porn, tory welfare cuts & his own experience of disability all whilst being highly amusing. Chris Coltrane continued the political stand up with his Make Love and Smash Facism show. If like me, you’re a left wing, bleeding heart liberal who likes a lot of swearing, this is the show for you. If like me you also have a very dodgy knee & often faint in hot rooms, The Banshee may not be the venue for you. Edinburgh is possibly the least accessible city in existence, so when I say I had a good time, you know the shows were good.
After drinks & dinner & more drinks we hit a late night comedy show at The Mash House (another contender for hottest spot outside hell). Two girls one cup of comedy was a show that guaranteed at least two female stand ups every night. We caught the very last show which, to my delight, was an all women line up. The stand out for me was definitely Samantha Baines. Her compèreing combined quality puns, hilarious audience interaction & a tiny bit of man mocking. Turns out I’ve been under a rock & Baines is already rather well known & loved. I am glad to have joined the party, even if I am very late.
We saw some other bits & pieces and visited a few non fringe related spots, but these are my picks. I recommend you rush to them should they visit your vicinity.
The end of festival fireworks were really beautiful too.