Hachi’s monologue

Hachi is wearing a moth-eaten bathing gown. The room is dark and in the centre of it is an ancient marital bed. She walks about the room, agitated. She stops and stares at a wall behind the bed.

Suddenly, the wall is lit by an overhead projection of a man. He appears to be in his late 30ies and has a black moustache. Hachi turns to the audience.

Hachi: I was married once, you know. Every time I had to fill out a survey I checked the box, MARRIED. Now I don’t know what to do. Single. Widowed. Domestc partnership! There’s no box for cheated on and left to rot.

One day somebody in that parliament will wake up and do something, they will make that box available because…there are too many of us.

We’re pretty when we’re young. They admire us, wolf-whistle, ask us out on dates! Dates!

 

Pause.

 

They take us out to dinner. We spend five hours getting ready then sit in front of them, carefully drinking out of a glass so we don’t smudge our lipstick. They ply us with wine, hoping we will get tipsy enough to let go of inhibitions and our knickers.

We’ve waited for this moment all our lives so when they propose we let out a high-pitched yes. We diet for months until the big day, and fall into a carbohydrate coma the night after. Too much cake. They bring up marital duties. We laugh and say we’ll cook. It’s still funny then.

Pause.

They stop shaving. They sit at home on the sofa, demanding lunch and where is my shirt honey? We reply, I am ironing it, dear. We are beginning to sound like our mothers. We clean while they go to the pub and come home late. They look at other women. We don’t know what to do anymore.

So we fall pregnant. A child. How different will things be.

Pause.

They cook, clean, do all the work around the house, so THEIR child can grow unharmed.

When their son is born and nurses place him on our chest, still sticky with blood they pet our hair, tears streaming down their cheeks.

MY son. My son!

They paint the nursery blue, they learn how to change diapers. They get up in the middle of the night to feed the little one.

They tell all their friends, I HAVE A SON.

And so the child goes on.

Killing the neighbour’s cat. Oh, boys.

 

(Hachi raises her voice here and turns slightly. Every time she says “he” she points at the picture of the man behind her)

So HE comes home with big news. Job in a different country. Good money, wipe your tears, pack. The kid will learn Spanish, their brain is like a sponge at this age. Just shut up crying, will you?

We move and I don’t speak Spanish. I have nobody to talk to besides the stray cats I feed in the garden.

He is always working late.

I stop brushing my hair.

I lose a tooth.

He says I’m ugly.

There is another woman. I know because I smell her perfume on his shirt.

He denies it.

At night he rolls far away from me until one day I ask, can we have another child.

He says, I’m leaving.

Pause.

 

I don’t cry. I still have a child. My life.

 

(She looks at her ex husband’s picture, her voice slowly starting to break as she speaks)

My life, a piece of trash.

But you know. I still have a child.

I am past my best. But he will go on. (she nods in her husband’s direction. The overhead projector switches to a photo of him winking at her)

Lights out.

Nina Kovac

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The Word House Review

            I have a reserve about poetry events. Even at its most oblique, poetry must be one of the most personal forms of expression we have. And since there is a current trend of poetry being confessional, these events have, even with the bravado of slam, become a place where people expose themselves to an audience. In essence, we go to see people’s truths- putting them in a vulnerable position. Still, I can handle the truth, but what if I don’t like their poems?

Recently I attended The Word House, a poetry night organized by Amy Yoko Stratton and hosted by Dan Simpson. I wondered how I would feel during the performances. Whether I would be sitting uncomfortable and slightly embarrassed for the person confessing their everything, with no real skill or tact. And then Dan came on, and everything just happened.
            The three feature acts, Emma Jones, Sabrina Mahfouz and Mark Grist excelled in their performances. However, the open mic slots were just as stimulating. I’ve been trying to think of a way to describe what poetry does and why I enjoyed the evening so much. I came up with: poetry is a way of communicating the ineffable. The void between emotion and rationale. But I fear I miss the point with this. The poets on stage reminded me that poets are just people, talking about being people. Showing they take the time to put down their experiences in bright, illuminating and poignant ways. To craft the things that make them.
            Aside from the high caliber of poetry, the night offered a great atmosphere. The people were warm and engaging and the room had energy. Clearly the night had been as well put together as the poems themselves. It was one of the best poetry evenings I’ve been to and I would recommend it both to regulars on the scene and newcomers to the spoken word. Perhaps the only problem was space, but with rumours of a change of location, let’s see what’s in store for next time.
For more details on The Word House visit:
Seki Lynch

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For The Hell Of It

I enjoy watching the blossom fly up, up, up, high into the air only to hit my window and fall back, back, back, down-down again-to hit the hard and heavy soil I’ve been trying to drown for weeks. My books are painted with gold leaf and green and my rings are starting to turn the tips of my fingers yellow. My rabbit is eating a carrot and it is orange. Sometimes I feed him ripe fruits and we walk through the park together. I am free whilst he trails along on a leash. Life is but a moment, a moment which is to be lived. Unless if I strip it of all its significance and magnify my neuron in this sentence. Stop. Breathe.

Air.

Is.

Good.

Maybe I’ll grate chocolate for a while until all the silver melts away from the pans. It gave my parrot food poising last week and he hasn’t moved since then. He lies upside down like roast pork the right way up waiting for Henry the Eighth to pull-andripat a chicken’s leg before he takes a bite out of the apple sitting in the pigs mouth-

Why?

Just for the hell of it…

Dilpreet Kaur Walia

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My Mirror Lies To Me

My Mirror lies to me.

Honest.

Instead of showing me my face, it shows me a

Forest.

Full of hyacinths, daisies and daffodils, a veritable Garden of Eden

So why aren’t they all there when I need them

Roaming the streets of London

Westminster, Angel and EC1,

The ears stand down to Gould, Ravel and Lennon

The eyes have it: as they pass there is a moment

Of the everlasting approach, as they encroach

On my person.

Look down, look left, look right

But even using all of my might

The image I remembered

So full of smoulding embers

Is long gone: every one a faceless judge

Until my brain turns to sludge

And my fears and worries do their star turn

In rubies, emeralds and Armani

My own creation, my own evil army

Hey remember, remember when you cried in the street?

When you tripped over your own feet?

Once again, my brain, now sleet, turns against me.

Dances, pirouettes around me, wearing my face of Eve,

Wiping my eyes now on my sleeve,

Poking, prodding: the judges have long since disappeared

And yet they were just the appetizer, what I honestly feared

Takes it’s bejeweled bow, shimmies, winks at me

Honestly and truthfully, my mirror lies to me.

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Fitness

Jack slept in their bed on his back, arms and legs stretched out like a big cross. Like da Vinci’s ‘Vitruvian Man’, that perfect anatomical man as decided by nature and noticed by the genius artist. He took up the whole king-size so Sonny never had any room.

Some days he wore tight T-shirts that touched him all over – queer little T-shirts, though he didn’t know it. Ribbed. Sonny liked those days, they made him look like a nineties boyband man. Worn with Adidas sweatpants positioned below his hipbones, it was trashy. He begged to be allowed to show him off at the Sweatbox, an elusive Soho gym with moisture-frosted windows where steam piped through the walls and out onto the streets, attaching itself to the lingerers outside, making them hot. He would be the star attraction. He would be stripped in seconds, the tight T-shirts undoubtedly seen as a preview, and after a preview there’s gotta be a show, the regulars would say, peeling him. But Jack said he wasn’t ‘about’ all that. He dressed for work, not attraction.

But he must attract himself, Sonny felt. To wear tops like that which marked out his ribs and muscles, he must love to see the shape of his own body. And it was understandable – if he liked looking at men, why wouldn’t he like looking at himself? Maybe he hadn’t acted on his sexuality before him simply because he was content fancying himself.

While Jack was da Vinci’s man, Sonny was Hogarth’s. A dirty caricature with no hope whose life so far could be drawn in dingy vignettes with crosshatching. Looking at Jack on the bed, he knew that people would always do whatever they could to save a da Vinci’s man, the nice angles, the bumps and the smooth, everything was right, all balance and prospects. Looking at himself in the mirror he knew there was nothing people could do for Hogarth’s guy. A stumbling, black-eyed loser whose place was the curb, not the king-size.

Every morning he felt futility, that he might as well leave, put his shoes on and run away. How could Hogarth’s guy ever satisfy da Vinci’s?

Mich Sanderson

Extract from Queer As Coke

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Gomme

     The street was filled with worn spheres of gum. Thousands. Millions of gumdrops across man made streets. Gum sticks on lips. Lipstick. How many mouths is that? How many cocks sucked? Cocks crowned with lingering lip-gloss residue. Gloss carefully applied, wiped and reapplied. Touched up in mirrors and window fronts at Christmas time. While mulled wine is made in bars. Armies of Santa’s migrate in fancy dress flocks. Bands playing. And gum chewed before a kiss under the mistletoe. Discarded while entering the bar.

     How many cunts licked with a gum tinged tongue? For the first lick of the night and the last lick of a last licking in a woman’s life. On a hot night in June when all that was left after that was penetrative sex in a soft way. How many Mothers kissed? In deathbeds and on first days outside school gates. When it was inappropriate in front of friends or passed up because it was would have felt strange to kiss your mother after you had just got off with a girl or a guy, or both in the same night.

      How many words spoken by those mouths? When not chewing and while chewing. When chewing the chocolate in the end of a Cornetto and while chewing the stubborn fat from undercooked bacon. Words shouted in an ear at a concert and words whispered in the attic of a house party. Words tossed about without meaning. Words drunk up by masses. Words chewed up and regurgitated. Words which have been said over and over but now have new meaning. Words which cut. Words which cut away and cut a way- a new path. Words which sound false but are true. Words nonsensical. Words diabolical. Words obscure and hiding. Words which dominate a prayer.

Mouths which have drunk water and beer. Lips that have been coated by the invisible dust of a moth flitting round a room. Mouths cut by fish bones. Or busted on slide sides. Mouths which have blown up balloons and deflated egos. Words which have disgusted the elderly. The few. The majority. Mouths which scar mouths with words and communicate scar tissue. Mouths that have tasted snot on a cold morning. Or laid on the sofa in a hot evening with flu. Mouths that have asked to “Leave the light on” or “Open wide”. Mouths that have eaten grass… Just to see. Or licked the leather of a baseball and  a belt but at different ages. Mouths that have been bust and bled. The same mouths that have tasted something of blood in oysters.

Seki Lynch

A piece omitted from a work in progress.

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First Piece

So, my ever egotistical self has posted up the first piece. You’ll find it under the Prose category. Enjoy!

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