I’m a speakin weird live wire…

Aye. Ah dee spikk weird.  Especially fan ahm spikkin in full Doric.  That’s not the point of this blog however.  I refer to my FIRST EVER reading as a performance poet last night at the Speakin Weird event at Underdog. The event is really welcoming, friendly and not at all intimidating – please do come along to the next one (They are hoping to have one every month).

With my long suffering bestie at my side for moral support, I was nervous but determined to do it. I read 3 poems from ‘Hings Beginnin wi P’ and didn’t get booed off the stage. They even asked me to come back! I was buzzing straight after it and very proud of myself for facing the fear and doing it anyway.

Today was the class LiveWire event at the postgraduate conference in Dundee.  The theme of the conference was Deja Vu and I couldn’t resist the allure of writing something new on that theme. We all totally smashed it. I am very privileged to be amongst such fine writers and performers.

I’m working on a couple of poems at the moment and just started a piece of prose for the Scottish Book Trust’s Nourish theme. I’m also considering submitting extracts from ‘Hings…’ for the new writer’s award since I got an A for it. I am super chuffed times infinity right now. Exciting times!

I’ll love you and leave you with the piece that I wrote for the conference today since I haven’t posted anything writing-y for a while. I’ve been keeping it all to myself for submissions and portfolios. Hope you enjoy.

The Cycle

I am dog tired. My feet hurt. Getting in the door is a relief. Kicking my boots off and peeling my bra from my skin feels wonderful. For about a minute. I am hungry. I eat the remnants of a large packet of crisps and seven little cakes whilst my pizza cooks.

I crunch my way through the cheese and pepperoni quarters, one, two, three, four. I feel satisfied for less than five minutes. I play solitaire to prevent my mind drowning me in loneliness. I do not allow it to drag me to the dark place. Getting my win percentage up to 46 boosts my self-esteem.

When I was with you, it was only between 26 and 38.

I pause for a minute to do a favour for a friend. I lose a couple of games. My percentage drops to 45. I am too tired to be stubborn. The gas meter is on emergency. Numb fingers demand I retreat to the bedroom. The electric blanket and a woolly hat will have to suffice. I tell myself that I will not eat the rest of the little cakes, or fall asleep too early.

I eat the rest of the little cakes and fall asleep.

My eyes blur open. I see it. A shape scuttles along the ledge of the Perspex windows built into the partition wall.  It disappears.  I remember.

Stifling heat forces me to switch off the electric blanket. I fold the quilt over as a barrier and squint the pillows to portrait. I return to the dream without checking my phone for the time.  I know what the numbers are.

I wake up freezing. My sleepy brain is becoming more alert. I know that I will not return to the dream so easily. I check my phone. It is 4:49am. Fuck.

I watch an episode of a programme that I know will unnerve me. I feel disturbed and heartsick. I watch a more digestible show. The screaming of Kurt Cobain rips me from the dream. Sugary, plinky-plonky tones have never possessed the power to wake me. My covers are upside down and back to front. The pillows are on the floor. I have been unconscious for over ten hours, yet feel like I haven’t slept a wink.

I reset the alarm for an hour’s time, waking half an hour before the screaming. My head starts from the second my eyes open. It says, go back to sleep, don’t go to work.

I get up. Switching the radio on drowns it out. If the debt people come this morning, they will catch me. I will not answer the door, even when they know I am in. My head screeches above the radio. It says to hide. My head says not to bother changing or washing, going back to bed will make it all stop.

Make it all stop.

These words set alarm bells ringing inside my skull.

I have been here before. Nothing stops the pain. I have tried everything but death. Something keeps saving me. I reel into the kitchen.

I make tea in my favourite cup. This is just how I like it, strong but with lots of milk. Hot, sweet tea reminds me of things worth living for. Heading for the sanctuary of my desk, I pick up my pen. It is from a dear friend. I believe in you, the gift tag said. I begin writing. Each day, an ever-increasing circle. Familiar phrases jump from the grey routine. Wake up!

I think of you. That too familiar feeling comes, a stab in the chest.  My heart swapped out for a chunk of granite. I wonder if this is how you felt, when the blade your father raised pierced yours. Were you thinking of me as you choked on your own blood?

The dream comes for me.

My eyes blur open. I see it. A shape scuttles along the ledge of the Perspex windows built into the partition wall.  It disappears. The dream is always the same. I remember you are dead, and the cycle begins.

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