Thursday, 30 July 2009

A Fagment of Lesbian Wisdom

When a dusty tome recently fell into my hands (I can’t tell you my source because then I’d have to kill you and I just did my nails), I was amazed to have found what seems to be the beginnings of an encyclopaedic work by a lesbian writer. The following was written by hand in an ornate, leather journal covered with dust and mould (eww). Try as I might, I cannot find a name for the woman who was writing this book. I believe this may be a significant literary find. It is but a fragment, which is a shame, but whoever the author was, she is not forgotten; she lives on. I am but a humble servant offering to my sisters the wisdom set forth by her.

Behold: The enDyklopaedia

Darwinian dyke: A dyke who is dangerously close to her primate ancestors. This form of dyke is often observed to scowl, grunt, burp, fart and scratch her crotch; to be avoided by all but the most dedicated animal lovers.

Dastardly dyke: A dyke who is mean-spirited; to be avoided.

Deadpan dyke: A dyke who is without a variety of facial expressions, the most likely expression being a lost, heavily glazed.

Decadent dyke: A dyke who wants it all; a high maintenance dyke; to be avoided.

Decaffeinated dyke: A dyke who has not ingested the requisite amount of caffeine to render her human; this is a highly dangerous form of dyke and must be administered coffee with all haste.

Decent dyke: The beloved form of dyke one wishes to present to mama and papa.

Decisive dyke: A dyke who knows what she wants. Meow!

Decontaminated dyke: A dyke who has sought medical help and is now rid of that nasty bug; proceed with caution.

Depleted dyke: A dyke who lacks funds.

Depreciated dyke: A dyke who is on the way out.

Deputy dyke: A dyke in the employ of law enforcement.

Dextrous dyke: A most excellent friend to have in times of need.

Diabolical dyke: A dyke who upon break-up sews day old prawns into your curtain hems and seeds your carpet with something fast-growing; to be avoided.

Dialectical dyke: A dyke who likes to argue for the sake of argument.

Diaphanous dyke: A dyke who is easily seen through.

Diligent dyke: A dyke who works hard at all she does; likely to be a pleasing lover.

Dinky dyke: A dyke of less than five feet in height.

Dire dyke: One’s nightmare dyke.

Disco dyke: A dyke who finds enjoyment in dancing, whether or not their talent is appreciated by others.

Discourteous dyke: A dyke who is rude.

Disengaged dyke: A dyke who is no longer engaged; an available dyke.

Dishevelled dyke: A dyke who has not made acquaintance with grooming tools, clean clothing, or soap.

Disobedient dyke: A dyke who requires a wider collar and more diligent correction.

Diversified dyke: A dyke who has a girl in every port.

Dizzy dyke: A dyke who is most often of the blonde persuasion.

Dodgy dyke: A dyke who uses one’s toothbrush without first obtaining permission.

Domestic dyke: A highly sought after dyke who possesses the skills and knowledge necessary for housekeeping.

Dramatic dyke: A dyke who thrives upon living from one crisis to another.

Dream dyke: The elusive dyke of one’s dreams.

Dry rot dyke: A dyke who suffers a lack of orgasmic activity.

Duplicate dyke: A dyke who has a twin.

Dusty dyke: An aging dyke.

Dysfunctional dyke: A dyke who is not right in the head.

Dysmorphic dyke: A dyke who thinks she’s hot, but clearly is not.

After the last entry, nothing more is written. We can only imagine the wisdom meant to fill the rest of the pages. Thank you for allowing me to share this important part of our literary history with you.

Your servant,

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Saturday, 25 July 2009

deja vu?

My words from the Jackie Kay quick write exercise were...

branches, wind, storm, field, warning, leaves, secret, mother, cherries,
fall, help, scattered, levitated, gale, rooted, flew, picture, landed

The result reads like a kids story, and can you guess which famous movie I took inspiration from?


I was scanning the orchard from my bedroom window. I'd heard the wind throwing leaves against the panes, jumped as branches creaked and twigs snapped outside in the yard. The weather was closing in and the once stagnant air was now pushing and pulling its way through the cracks in the window frames and under the badly finished doors.

I could see the storm heading this way across the barley field. To the left was the orchard where mother had gone to pick cherries for a secret birthday cake we would bake later for father. A siren was raised in the distance, a gale warning. I saw mother fall from her ladder. I hoped she'd landed softly but my fear took hold and I imagined her lying there with a broken leg.

Suddenly the most amazing thing happened. As I called for help (not that it would have been much use, as the nearest neighbour lived miles away), I saw an incredible picture; my mother was uprooted by a small tornado. She was levitated, along with the cherries which were scattered all around her; she flew a hundred yards or so and landed, splat, on a great big piled high compost heap.

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Sunday, 19 July 2009

Accidental Meanings

I found Nicki's Jackie Kay exercise powerful, and was surprised how what started out almost as a nonsense poem began to touch on some deep stuff, as if something was freed by the necessity to experiment. Try it, it may take you to unexpected places!

Here, completely unedited, is what I came up with:

My words: feel fine mercy forgiveness silence whipped light hearts field song seven missed cherries stone feet lifting help geese flying buffeted rooted anthem dove soft


i feel fine
fine as goosefeathers
fine as crystal
singing, ringing

i feel light
light as whipped cream
weighed down with cherries
laden with their stone hearts

i feel missed
my soft feet unrooted
buffeted by
their lack of mercy

i feel seven
flying above my body
a dove lifting me
above the field of silence

i feel my song
into a broken anthem
reaching for words like forgiveness

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Friday, 17 July 2009

As requested...

Here is the poem I wrote at last Monday's meeting... with a few amendments!

The words I selected from Jacqui Kay's work were:
trees, feets, mercy, bend, witness, field, song, others, bass, she, stone, feet, door, floor, wind, small, hour, roted, time, leave, dead, down, branches.

And this is what I did with them...

The wind winds around the trees,
branches bend down,
leaves fall, dead.

A small sapling pushes through
the litter, caught in time,
yielding to the hour.

She feels the song that others knew,
witnessing the bass notes
of wood and stone.

Now rooted in this place,
seeking the door to mercy
and more perhaps beyond,

feet welded to this field's
floor, always fixed
in time's relentless hold.

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Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Take three poems, choose your words and ...

Jackie Kay inspired many of us recently when we had the pleasure of hearing her read (perform would be more accurate) as part of the Lowdham Book Festival last month. She is a star! So it seemed appropriate to select Jackie Kay's poetry collection Darling to spark our writing exercise at this month's meeting.

Three poems were chosen at random from the collection by asking group members to suggest a page number. Everyone noted down between six and 10 words from each poem as the poems were read aloud to the group. Members then had 15 minutes to write in any format as long as they used all their chosen words. I've participated in this exercise on a number of occasions now and always been surprised and excited by the results. Not just in how it frees my own imagination, and creates interesting new associations between words. What's great is hearing everyone else's contributions. Did we choose similar words or different ones? And what did we make with them?

This is what I came up with. It may be the beginning of a short story, and I aim to work more with the persona/character that 'appeared' on the page. I'm encouraging other members to post their writing from this exercise here. Come on - you know you want to!

Words selected::
trees, whipped, cotton, scream, bass, landing, happen, telling, keep, missed, trousers, toffee, skin, bones, revolutionary, gulls, waving, learned, returned, soft, down.

There's nothing revolutionary in my trousers.
It's just the way I like telling it in a full
bass voice: "See what I can make happen".
And I did. All those years ago, when I was
skin and bones and I couldn't do a press-up
for toffee, you thought me soft;
tried to keep me down. While the gulls
would scream, preparing for landing
on yet another bag of chips, I was patching
myself with cotton. There's a turn-up
in these jeans. I learned what I missed
under that pier, rolling off you as the wind
whipped my backside raw. The crack of
the boards was trees splitting. The only joy
in waving you off imagining what returned.

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