Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Irish lit

I can feel my stomach, swollen with the need to urinate pressing against the waistband of my trousers. The atmosphere in the seminar is strange today. People are sniping at each other for no reason. The older lady in the class, definitely married - possibly a mother - is always pissy. She is twenty years older than everyone else here. She has started wearing colourful bits of chic vintage ribbon around her waist and wrists. Her lipstick forms rivers in the cracks in her lips. Her glasses are expensive and fashionable but ultimately she is striving toward something she will never capture here.
Beside her is a black kid with a hat on. He attends class even less than I do. He has a huge note book and no pen to write with. He looks happy constantly.
Beside him is our depressive. She is always starting sentences with "Maybe it's the Prozac but I think..." this makes me smile every time. Either she is genuinely on anti-depressents or she is not and instead feels it gives her an aura of being an outcast. Personally I think she is probably not on them. Prozac is too common, there are millions of breeds of anti-depressant out there and the likely-hood is she would be on one of those and could brag about that, taking even greater pleasure in her difference.
Beside her are the cute couple who scoff at every vague moment of humour that our tutor creates. They smile and shake their heads, delighting in showing off their understanding of each and every literary quip Prof. Vance makes. One of his favourites he trots out every week and every week they laugh and smile and nudge each other and the boy normally winks at Vance. The girl wears a pearl necklace and her long honey coloured hair is always wrapped in a loose bun. I could probably imagine her naked and pass my time that way except for that horrible fake wrinkle of laughter. I blame her boyfriend. His worn loafers and beige socks are annoying because they have only appeared in the last two weeks to replicate Vance's own. He asked Vance to sign a copy of the text book he wrote and solemnly swore he would treasure it always.
I am obsessing over this boy. He is the car crash I can't stop staring at.
Beside him is the girl I have named 'Claire' who I wrote about in my previous post.

Studded Leggings in Irish Lit

Claire wears studded leggings
she flicks the little silver studs
with short bitten nails
and the sound pierces the silence.

Her shoes are flattened against the chair legs
and the tartan pattern is stained with red sauce.
They don't have laces.
You couldn't kill yourself with those shoes.

Her jumper is green and knitted,
a giant yellow cat face smeared across her breasts
nipples for pupils and her spine for its tail
it fits her badly all the same.

A military print mini skirt,
dirty with a chocolate wrapper sticking from one pocket,
sticking into her fleshy hip, accusingly.
Faded. A broken resolution no doubt.

These are observations of a girl
possibly named 'Claire' They are stupid but ...
Anything to stop me noticing the fluffy haired Jock
making 'bed me eyes' at our tutor.

Thursday, 2 February 2012


An experienced taxidermist goes to bed and has a dream in which a happy, prosperous duck removes her liver and replaces it with padding to pay the phone bill, and swaps her eyes for lovingly selected rounds of white and blue glass to keep her pretty and put food on the table. She wakes in the morning a happy trainee-carpenter with no idea how to pay her council tax, hoping she won't one day dream of trees.

The grass don't stay greener for long Son.

As a young boy he watched men walk away from obligation freely and without apparent stuttering of conscience. It intrigued him, how his elders could ignore the lessons they drilled into him day after day for as long as he could remember. Now, a grown man himself, he is sick of his own obligation and the nagging sense of waste which haunts his journey to the office everyday. His life is comfortable physically but emotionally he is in constant pain. Making the descision internally before he registers his movements he is running away from his beautiful middle-class suburban life. He jumps eagerly over his prison fence, and in that brief moment of flight he feels all the optimism of his youth return to him. His limbs work in perfect harmony as he vaults the pretty, white sticks which have caged him for so long. His beer gut bounces joyfully at the prospect of brighter days. The cramp in his hand from constant repeated clicks of a computer mouse is all but forgotten as his fingers splay out in anticipation. He is leaving behind him all that has ever gone wrong with his life and the neighbouring emerald carpet stretched out before his eyes seems eternal. He is doing what his glorious fore-fathers have done! He is finally learning what it is to be a man!  He lands with one pristine Nike-capped toe in pedigree poodle shit and cursing, shuffles back through the gate his money paid for.