in flanders fields

Two minutes silence alone today, for my ancestors – the ones who died in the Great War and the ones who have died since, but always remembered their deaths, for my mother who made a pilgrimage to Ypres to pay her respects and for nextofkin and me, who are the only ones left to remember. For the many men who died at the whim of the few. For the South African soldiers who died at Delville Wood.

Thank you, Canada, for this beautiful poem and for the beautiful man who recites it.

Fuck war. Fuck death.

armistice day

Dulce et Decorum Est
Wilfred Owen, 1893 – 1918

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime…
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

And death shall have no dominion
Dylan Thomas

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead man naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.
And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
And death shall have no dominion.
And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

title

It’s my mother’s birthday and I started to feel miserable and fragmented and jagged yesterday. I’m having some solitude, which is possible because I have two guests till Tuesday. I’d be lousy company anyway and there’s every chance I’d feel agitated and trapped and turn into a (more) grouchy asshole. It feels as though every molecule is vibrating. There are tears queueing up to punch their way out, but I’d rather that happened later if I can stave it off. Hollow gut, faint feeling of RLS, nausea – I feel so lost. Every time I get teased (and it’s truly kindly meant) I have to walk away with a fake smile so that I don’t snap or howl.

Douchebag neighbour is away (hallefreakinglujah) and her daughter and family are house sitting, which is lovely. I get on really well with her and I escaped there for coffee earlier today. I’ll probably talk to nextofkin later if we’re able to speak. I get very silent when I’m feeling very fucked. Don’t know whether I’ve already told you, but ol’ douchebag popped in one day; she said that her homophobe had sent his regards and that she had said well why not do it yourself? I said, with a saccharine smile, “I haven’t invited him here and he isn’t welcome.” She did what she does, which is to look like a rabbit in headlights and scuttle off like a gecko. (I can’t begin to tell you how fond I am of mixed metaphors.)

I had blood drawn yesterday for white blood cell levels and something else I can’t remember. Then I’ll be on clozapine and apparently off chlorpromazine. Tomorrow I’ll take my two guests to an arty and old village. Tonight I’ll read blogs until I pass out.

Tell me how you are?

you’re never too old to be emo

TW: sh, suicide, ill-tempered sadness.

When I can’t speak and I don’t want to feel, when I can’t concentrate on reading and all music sounds discordant, when the slightest provocation rattles right through me and when I remember it in the first place, I slope around the Internet, head down, a smoke in my mouth and a mood like a thundercloud, looking for poetry. I have many, many, many volumes of poetry, but that’s no good for this level of storm brewing. Why not? Simple – I need to be able to copy/paste it and smash it unhappily into a post so that I can weep and bleed and mutter all over my blog. The day afterwards, I’ll be blowing my nose on it instead.

Continue reading you’re never too old to be emo

by the time you read this it’ll all be ok

I just don’t think I’m that interesting. I don’t think what I have to say is that interesting. To hear me go blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I mean, who… cares? James Gandolfini

(Thanks beeps and Jas for the 3 quotes 3 days nomination.) I wrote this post while my WiFi was down, so it’s not a snapshot of now.

Continue reading by the time you read this it’ll all be ok