Her State (Poem)

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She, the bitter wind which blows from the east
or whatever direction witches sweep; arriving late.

She, ego bursting with bitter poison,
bubbling hot from her cauldron of hate.

She, the former queen
whose throne; now in debate

She, whose loyal breath is breathing
her twisted fate.

She, who knows too well how to discriminate
against those who negotiate.

She, longing to destroy
those who create

— imagination makes her irate —
she only knows the facts;

she plays it straight
she loves to dictate—

see her pupils as they dilate:
they fixate on my incongruous state.

She fears I’ll mutate—
ruining the stagnate.

Too late to aggravate, I’m here to articulate
to calibrate, communicate, and fix this; her state.

© giorge thomas

This is another ‘Character Poem;’ a way for me to interpret a certain character I am forming in a fiction piece I am working on. To see another example of this, visit my poem Break In Bits

So about insecurity

One of the elements contained in my as-yet-named (all right, it is named, I’m just not willing to reveal it yet) manuscript is insecurity. 

Insecurity is something I’ve suffered from my entire life. It has shaped the person I am, the experiences I’ve had and the choices I make. 

Questions continually swirl in the my head due to insecurity, and because of this, answered are quickly fired by my subconscious. 

Am I pretty enough? ‘No.’

Am I smart enough? ‘No.’

Do people like me? ‘No.’

Am I kind enough? ‘No.’

Did I say the right thing? ‘No.’

Insecurity does way me down, particularly in day to day life. Yet as it is something I draw on (as Mr Thomas frequently points out) I am unwilling to try and heal myself from my insecurity. It’s what drives my writing, it’s what pushes me, it’s what flows out of me in my poetry (when I am, of course, feeling just secure enough to write about it.)

As I am in the middle (okay, very close to the beginning) of editing the as-yet-named manuscript, I thought it would be a good opportunity to ask:

What are you insecure about?

More than that, though. How does it shape your life? How does it affect the decisions you make or the situations you put yourself in?

Tell me your tale of insecurity. 

Life goes on (part two)

Back in November I finished work on a manuscript. So began the arduous task of editing.

November quickly folded into December, and with that came the usual festive season obligations. No time to write. Certainly no time to edit.

And here we are in January, and I’ve only managed to work my way through eight chapters.

For me, editing is always the longer task. Writing is easy. I let the words escape me, scribbling everything down as quickly as it forms into my head, leaving me with a foundation of a story I hope to be excited by.

I take that manuscript and begin pulling it apart, scratching out entire paragraphs, sometimes entire chapters. I’m rarely pleased with what I have written. There’s always the hope that it can be better. That my writing can be better. More polished. More readable.

I lie awake at night thinking of the characters and the direction I’ve made them go, wondering if this is the best direction for them. This results in frustration, knowing I’ll be required to rewrite the majority of my work.

Yet with that comes excitement — I get to step into this world I have created once more.

So I wonder — do I decide on these changes to benefit my story, or because I long to stay in this world?

Regardless of whatever it is, I’ve not had the chance to make many changes. Life goes on. Life is hard and long and leaves me with little time to edit my manuscript.

So I’ll keep trudging away, even as we head into February. Yes, there will be a result. I’m determined of this.

For those of you interested, here’s a visual clue of the story:

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Life goes on (Part One)

megrandad

So this new year hasn’t been the best. It has blighted me with death so far. I hope along with everyone else who loved and appreciated the work of David Bowie and Alan Rickman that this isn’t an omen for the year to come.

There has been personal death for me this year. My grandfather passed. We knew it was going to happen. We visited his bedside, watched as the life slowly slipped from him. Yet prior knowledge does not bring any kind of ease or goodwill. There is always a hope life will continue, even in those who have had ninety-one years of experience with it.

I didn’t handle it well. I’ve been tetchy and forlorn and without patience. I know this reaction come from traits embedded in my family genes — the deep-seated endeavour to remain stoic, to keep all emotions at arms length. Which is why I suffer. Because this trait meets and fights with my over-emotional Italian side. It crashes and explodes into other forms, not the grief I am longing to express.

As you do, I turned to my uncle, telling him how sorry I was for his loss. He replied with a tale that bit at my bones, reminding me of the reality of life.

Years ago, his baby daughter had just died. He was called into a meeting for work, still overwrought with his grief. As he left, he stepped out of the building to a busy road. He watched vehicles approaching from the left; vehicles approaching from the right. And he realised — life goes on. Those who we have loved may have gone, but for the rest of us, life goes on.

Cars still travel down busy roads heading to their destination. People still sit behind their desks in offices, working to provide for themselves and their family. The radio continues to air music I’m now too old to understand or appreciate. Life doesn’t stop.

Life goes on.

 

my new favourite

Circa Home wax melts. 

I’m so into all things soy candles at the moment. 

With their reminiscent scents, Circa Home takes you from childhood kitchens, first loves and holidays spent lazing by the beach. There’s a year to entice us all. 

Now that I am living in a two storey house, I can use the Circa Home electronic diffuser upstairs  without concern.  

Circa Home uses only soy waxes. For more details, and to fall in love as I have, head to www.circahome.com.au

 

Break in bits

 

His eyes are too blue
and strained by years
to be interested in me.
His fingers too long,
his head too filled with an intelligence
I do not possess.

His words too well spoken.
His body too far traveled.
I am an opus of confrontation
While he is too calm.
I am too closed to the world
while he is too open.

We don’t fit.
We would break in bits.

© Giorge Thomas

 

often when I’m writing a piece of fiction, whether it be a book or short story, writing a poem helps me to better understand either the plot or a character. This piece comes from a piece of work I’m currently working on.

Editing’s a bitch

But I’m trudging away at it. Or should I say chipping away at it. Cripes. Who knows. Like me, the characters in this tale have problems with analogies and metaphors. There’s nothing as hilarious as a muddled metaphor!

So I’ll keep at it (hashtag can’t stand editing) amongst all the other stuff I’ve got going on. Like having no to deal with kitty litter for the first time in ten years as we’ve moved house. Like having to renovate old house. Like looking for a new house to live in. 

As they say in Almost Famous… ‘It’s all happening!’
  

So that’s done

Last night at precisely 1.41am I finished my book.

A little sad to be leaving these characters behind (although I will be with them for another few months at least due to the editing process) but I am glad that it’s done.

There. I’ve put an end to something. I’m usually quite shit at that. As in, I’ll get half way through a story, decide it’s a disaster and then delete to start again. I’d then get halfway through that draft, decide its shit and delete and start again. Again.

I’ve basically been doing that for years now. My manuscript corpses could fill a library.

However. I like to think that’s part of the learning process.

It’s fitting, I think, to finish this piece the same week we’re moving out of Newton. It’s the end for some things, the beginning for others.

Right now, I have immense self satisfaction which has never been felt before. I kind of enjoy it.

So about African Violets

Only once in my life have I had an African Violet flower at a time other than when I bought it.

It’s false advertising. You buy these things with their lush dark-green, furry leaves and clumps of glittery flowers and you think that’s how they’re always going to be. You know; beautiful.

Yet within weeks the flowers have died and the leaves, once pert and upright, begin to sag before decaying into a slimy mess.

I’m not sure how I did it, but once I managed to persuade one of these plants to flower for a second time. And honestly, until today, this was my greatest achievement.

Mr Thomas wonders why I bother. In the eight years we’ve been living together, he has had to share his home with these often on-the-brink-of-death plants. Once he asked me why I bothered. Probably after I’d parted with my hard-earned cash for, once again, two new plants after the previous two had died.

If I recall I got a little angry with him. Because I couldn’t explain it. These plants, they’re a part of me. They are my life’s challenge. I keep them because they’re a challenge. They’re the plant version of cats. You know, you can give your cats all the love and attention you think they need, feed them regularly, make sure they’re healthy and all of that and the buggers still look at you with the peering, evil eyes of something that wants you dead.

What annoys me most is that I’ve managed to keep two cats alive for sixteen years but African Violets continue to be a mystery to me.

And yes, I’ve done it all. I bought the proper soil and the proper African Violet fertiliser (though for many years I found fertiliser as a form of cheating) I don’t over-water them or under-water them. I make sure the leaves don’t get wet. I do everything the dozens of websites and YouTube videos I’ve perused over the years say to do.

Still, more times than not these plants defeat me.

My Aunty Didge, the woman I was named after and the person I have most admired in my life kept African Violets. She had one on the windowsill of her kitchen, always. More often than not it flowered with those traditional sparkly purple flowers. If she could do it — and the woman was as clumsy as ditzy as I am (must be in the name) surely I can?

But then… maybe she was doing the same thing as me. Buying plant after plant when each died in succession.

Now there’s a thought.

Today I’ve had a success of sorts. About eight months ago, just before my last African Violet was ready to die (and by this point I knew the signs), I cut the final two healthy leaves it possessed and planted them in seedling pots. I nurtured these bloody things for eight months. Yes, it was a gestation period. I sat them in a tray in my bathroom, watering them when they were dry, fertilising them every month or so.

And then, just this week, the last week we are to spend in this home I’ve had for ten years (another story; the thought of leaving this place is far too depressing for me to discuss it) a miracle occurred. Each cutting had given birth to a clump of baby leaves.

Here they are, the bastards: GROW!!

Here they are, the bastards: GROW!!

Because we are moving (again, too sad to discuss this) I knew I had to repot these beauties. This despite being in the middle of packing, because I have the attention span of a two year old, it seems.

So now my two fledgling African Violets have new homes, in the pots where dozens of their relatives have died before them.

Part of me wants to see this as a sign of ‘new beginnings.’ Fuck that. With African Violets, it can only be luck.

Seagulls #GTUK2015

Did I mention seagulls in my last post? Big beasts of animals, they are here. Double than those back home. The kind of bird my mum would look at with a keen eye, ready to wrong its neck, pluck it, and serve it up with sugo. They squawk funny, too. A kind of harrowed whelp of a cry.

So that’s what I’m thinking about right now. Seagulls.

Currently, we’re in Wales. As beautiful as always.

To follow Giorge’s journey around Britain search for the hashtag #GTUK2015 on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram

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