Wednesday, 27 April 2011

David Harsent


As I entered, she had her pinking shears to the backbone,
having dropped the gizzard into the kitchen bin,
and barely looked over her shoulder to see who it was

when I gave the door a little back-heel
then ferreted round in the fridge for an ice-cold Coors
before slipping up from behind to cop a feel.

Another hot day in September, and that the cause
of her half-baked look, brought on
by lying bare-assed in the garden all afternoon,

a flush coming off her, the veins so close to the skin
I could trace the flow like sap, could tongue-up the ooze
of sweat at the nape of her neck: and this the real

taste of her, like nothing before, like nothing I ever knew.
You have to go hard at it, either side of the spine,
all the time bearing down against the sinew,

then lift the long bone entire and get both hands
into the cut, knuckle to knuckle, and draw
the carcass apart, and press, till you hear the breastbone crack.

Looked at like that it’s roadkill, flat on its back,
sprung ribcage, legs akimbo, red side up, and sends
a message (you might guess) about life lived in the raw.

So then it’s a matter of taste: herb-butter under the slack
of the breast, perhaps, or a tart marinade,
to flatter and blend, spread thinly and rubbed well in.

She favoured the latter—that and a saltire of thin
skewers driven aslant from thigh to neck,
which might, indeed, have said something about her mood.

That done, she stripped off, gathering the oils and the balm
she’d need for however long the thing would take,
and went back to her place in the sun. It did no harm,

I suppose, to watch from an upstairs window: a hawk’s-
eye-view as she lay there timing the turn
(face-up till you tingle, then flip) to brown but not to burn.

The marks of the griddle, the saltire, the subtle flux…
We ate it with lima beans and picked the bones,
after which we took to bed a bottle of bright Sancerre

and I held her down as I’d held her down before,
working her hot-spots with a certain caution and care
as she told me not here…or here…but there…and there.

I left her flat on her back—flat out and shedding a glow,
or so I like to think, as I slipped downstairs
and lifted, from a peg-board beside the hob,

her mother’s (or grandmother’s) longhand note on how
to spatchcock a chicken, or guinea, or quail, or squab,
or sparrow, even, with emphasis on that ‘crack’;

and lifted, as well, before I lifted the latch,
myrtle, borage, dill, marjoram, tarragon, sumac,
all named and tagged, in a customized cardboard box.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Date a Girl Who Reads

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.

by Rosemarie Urquico

Friday, 15 April 2011


Just ordered this velvet trim blazer from the Urban Outfitters sale:

excited now (:

Thursday, 14 April 2011


A little bit of creativity that came from 'getting lots of rest', and also 'not forcing it'. I was researching the work of a local tattoo artist, I've always wanted to get a tattoo on this wrist to symbolise change and growth and beauty, and suddenly got this idea.
I think this also counts for 'writing down ideas', even if it is a drawing.

29 ways to stay creative

Make lists
Carry a notebook everywhere
Try free writing
Get away from the computer
Quit beating yourself up
Take breaks
Sing in the shower
Drink coffee
Listen to new music
Be open
Surround yourself with creative people
Get Feedback
Don't give up
Practice, practice, practice
Allow yourself to make mistakes
Go somewhere new
Count your blessings
Get lots of rest
Take risks
Break the rules
Don't force it
Read a page of the dictionary
Create a framework
Stop trying to be someone else's perfect
Got an idea? Write it down
Clean your workspace
Have fun
Finish something

I've always used my tumblr for creative inspiration, not really specific ideas, but looking at other people's work puts me in a creative mood. But I found this list today so I'm gonna try and do all of these over the next week or so, probably starting with 'get lots of rest' because I'm ill, and document it on this blog. Perfect timing as I'm supposed to be in the middle of my final major project right now, but I've hardly done anything yet :/