Monday, 15 February 2010

admit that the waters around you have grown.

Well, I hope everybody had a good Valentine's weekend? Slash chinese new year, slash any other holiday I've forgotten, etc. Mine was generally lots of fun, but distinctly odd.

For the first part of it, I went to stay with my best friend, who lives in London, and we had a lovely couple of days of milling about in the capital, which we filled mainly with drinking, comedy and excellent Japanese food. Joy! The always-excellent Karaoke Circus was a particular highlight; I'm never normally a fan of karaoke, but I love every inch of this charming and rambunctious bi-monthly evening, and cannot recommend it enough. Love Will Tear Us Apart (as performed by Robin Ince, with some Smiths lyrics thrown in for good measure partway through, because, as Judge Dan pointed out, Joy Division clearly aren't depressing enough alone) and Two Princes (from Thom Tuck, one third of the Penny Dreadfuls) were perhaps my favourites of the night. Absolutely class.

Got back up to Liverpool in time to be thoroughly puzzled by the state of our kitchen, which took up a lot of my time/energy yesterday. Two of the ten people in our flat are international students from China, and one of them had a gigantic party for new years, which is all very well and good, and we ate dinner at the pub round the corner so we wouldn't have to get in their way trying to cook (the kitchen's our only communal space), which is a whole other story in itself, probably. Still: less cool the next day when nobody cleared anything up, including the vomit on the other corrior's bathroom floor. HMM. A party's a party, but my god, this was something else! There was food everywhere, there were stains over all the worksurfaces, cigarette butts and seeds all over the floor, which itself had been stained black somehow (??), a fish head in a bowl on the windowsill and some very odd smells coming from the bin. So me & two flatmates spent an interesting half-hour or so mopping/sponging/spraying etc, because otherwise we wouldn't have been able to eat in there. An unusual way to spend the afternoon of Valentine's Day, but we're all single anyway so none of us particularly minded, and in the evening I made a jolly good bean & vegetable stew to celebrate.

Valentine's Day's causes a lot of discomfort to a lot of single people, but I'm quite lucky in having several close friends up here who are also, as I said, also single, and we plumped for a terribly wholesome night, not of getting drunk & weepy, but rather of popcorn and Casablanca. It was lovely. Valentine's Day is, if nothing else, a perfect excuse to watch good films with good people.

So that's my incredibly shallow thoughts on the day of love, and now on to this week's piece of writing! I realised today that I have literally never posted anything up here by a female writer - and frankly, what the hell is that about? It just won't do. So have a poem I'm rather in love with by an excellent American writer.

Intensive Care
by Heather McHugh

As if intensity were a virtue we say
good and. Good and drunk. Good and dead.
What plural means is as everything
that multiplying greatens, as if two
were more like ninetynine than one,
or one were more like zero than
like anything. As if
you loved me, you will leave me.

You (are the man who) made
roadmaps to the ovaries
upon his dinner napkin.
I(‘m the woman who) always forgot
where she was— in a state,
in a sentence. Absently stirring
my alphabet soup, I remember
childhood’s clean white calendar
and blueprint of the heart.

As if friends were to be saved
we are friends. We talk to ourselves,
go home at the same time.
As if beds were to be made
not born in, as if love
were just heredity
we know the worst, we fear
the unknown. Today we were bad
and together; tonight
we’ll be good and alone.

The last stanza, and the closing lines in particular, give me chills everytime.

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