Thursday, February 01, 2007

Poetry, flash fiction and hoses

As it's the beginning of February today, I performed the ritualistic changing of the calendars last night - which is much like the Changing of the Guard, but less frequent. I must admit I'll miss gazing at the January picture of adorable Andy on my semi-naked firemen's calendar, but I now have Stuart, Mr February. Who isn't quite as sexy as Andy, but makes up for this by having a very big hose. And a nice smile. Meanwhile, Lord H has the redoubtable Uhura for February in our Star Trek kitchen calendar, so he too is smiling. Though I think he wishes they'd included her legs as well as her heaving bosom. She was always a great leg woman.

And, as is customary for the beginning of the month, I did my usual sending off of a selection of poems to the next magazine on my list. Which happens to be Smiths Knoll so, as they're renowned for returning work at the speed of light (at least in my case, sadly ...) I'm expecting my rejection tomorrow, though I haven't yet posted the envelope. I think this is what Uhura would call a temporal anomaly in the poetry world. Ho hum.

I've also written another piece of flash fiction for the Writewords ( Flash Fiction II Group competition which, this week, is on the theme, "Lie for your Life" and has to include a vehicle. I've come up with this:

She hadn’t wanted him to go. Not in her brand-new BMW. He smiled but his eyes were empty. ‘You don’t mind, do you? After all, I paid for it.’ She shook her head in reply. She wanted her life back. With the memory of what she’d done to the car, she knew she’d get it.

Interesting how all my flashes seem to focus on strong women - as elsewhere I write about them so rarely. Women? Love 'em but I couldn't write a whole one ... Hmm. Oh, and I've been thinking about sex scenes again today (surprise!) but haven't written one (I'm not sure sex writing and Lemsips mix, to be honest, at least not for fiction). But I have come up with a strange piece which I suspect may well be written in Michael's voice, with more than a hint of Paul from "Maloney's Law" - well, both of them are much better at this sort of thing than I am and, besides, it's probably time the man in my head had a word in edgeways (he doesn't like sickness):


Wish I could touch you
you look so cool
there at the bar
the lights pulsating across your hair
the muscles in your arms
as you reach for your wallet
buy yourself a drink
one for your mates too
another night with the boys then
I wonder which one you’ll take home
or go home with
when you’ve danced and drunk

wish it were me
though I know it won’t be
no hope of that
not when I’m alone
a man on the hunt
and you surround yourself
with a wall of playmates
I can’t break through
and even if I did
you’re too good-looking
too sexy for me to dream for
you’re not even noticing
I’m here now
are you
your eyes slide across me
every time you glance this way
so no chance

by wishing for me to unhook the buttons
of your designer shirt
release the smooth skin of your chest
to my eager mouth
no way on earth
for my tongue to touch
your lips your throat your nipples
while all the time
my fingers tremble at your groin
hardly able for excitement
to unpeel you from denim
and silk
for oh yes for a man like you
there would be silk
and then the taste of you
fire and salt
and a way of carving your shape
into my skin’s bright memory

all this and more wished for untested
and still the music plays

wish you’d smiled my way just once
it could I think
have been good for you
but now even before we’ve properly met
we’re through

As you can see, Michael's not very hot on punctuation. Ah well. Nobody's perfect. For the rest of the day, I've been fairly lazy - still not 100% really. Though I'm pleased I managed to eat breakfast - the first time since Sunday, hurrah! And I've kept inside once more, which meant cancelling Counselling this morning and dance tonight. In fact I'm beginning to think that the outside world doesn't exist at all, and that I will be forced to stay indoors for ever, much like Emily Dickinson or the chap in that old TV series, "The Prisoner" (does anyone remember that apart from me and Lord H??), who could never escape the mysterious village he was in. Also, astonishingly, I actually enjoyed today's DVD romantic comedy offering! - "Along came Polly" with Ben Stiller (who has a very nice bottom indeed) and Jennifer Aniston. Hell, I thought it was sweet, and funny too. Or maybe my critical faculties are being drained away due to lack of social interaction? It's hard to say.

Oh, and good news on "A Stranger's Table", my poetry collection - it's going to be self-published via Poetry Monthly ( Phew! I've just had a conversation with the editor, Martin Holroyd, who tells me he is thinking about the cover and will try to get the proof copy in the post to me tomorrow. So he must think it's worth advertising on his website then. Phew, again. But, bloody hell, that's certainly cut out the years of waiting before the rejection comes through, which is my usual experience. Why can't other publishers be like that? Self-publishing certainly rules the roost!

Tonight, I might try and scribble a few words of "The Gifting" down, but I really do need to finish the ironing at some stage. I am wearing unironed clothes again today, but don't tell Lord H and I should be safe ...

Today's nice things:

1. Writing
2. Watching my DVD
3. Beginning the publication process for "A Stranger's Table".

Anne Brooke

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