Tuesday, 28 December 2010

The Love Song of Alfred Prufrock - TS Elliot.

When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats 5
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question … 10
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes, 15
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap, 20
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes; 25
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate; 30
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go 35
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair— 40
[They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
[They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”]
Do I dare 45
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:—
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, 50
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all— 55
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways? 60
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
[But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]
It is perfume from a dress 65
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?
. . . . .
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets 70
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
. . . . .
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully! 75
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis? 80
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head [grown slightly bald] brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, 85
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while, 90
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”— 95
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: “That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all.”

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while, 100
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen: 105
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
“That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all.”
. . . . .
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use, 115
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old … I grow old … 120
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me. 125

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown 130
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

The fire is slowly dying...

Christmas is over now, and it was all very lovely. Right now, I am facing the lull between Christmas and the new year where the boiling excitement is over, making way for relaxed afternoons spent drinking endless amounts of herbal tea, listening to the radio and watching exceedingly long, old films. Nights are spent on dancefloors and slipping around on icey pavements followed by taxi gossip; either that, or with cups of mulled wine on the sofa...

Thursday, 2 December 2010

The snow starting falling

We were stuck out in your car (listening to Bon Iver is compulsory when there's snow on the ground.)

It is absolutely freezing, there has been snow on the ground for days. I've been obsessing over layers and layers of knits, pale grey eye-shadow and dark red lips. Although the snow is pain, I rather enjoy wearing my favourite winter coat and cautiously entering the kitchen of a morning to see a bright white garden and full pot of hot tea.After the rather heavy last blog post, I had always intended to do a follow-up post with lots of pretty pictures. But, I was busy working at the BBC by day and sick of looking at computer screens by night, so my evenings were mostly spent lounging in my underwear and watching tv before going to bed very early. I had my best few weeks since graduating, working long days is actually alright.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

That far off feeling,

That far off kind of ache. (Monsters of Folk.)

The clocks went back over the weekend, and my body has yet to get used to it. Locking up the shop in early evening darkness and tripping to my car in the still, relatively, mild weather fills me with anticipation as the long night approaches. Cold weather always seems to warm hearts, and the drinks of the season.. I realise that there is never a bad time for red wine; there is summer time wine' held carelessly on airless evenings; opposed to the bottle shared between two on a chilly evening with bundles of clothing and the anticipation of getting warm.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Do You Really Know That I Can't,

that I can't afford you. (Zola Jesus, she's awesome.)

We are now amidst the depths of Autumn, and I can tell because the days are colder and the nights are longer. Over the past week, I have been bundled up in layers of knitwear as the tiny art shop where I work is housed inside a very old building, which is freezing. I have brought my (fake) fur coat out of storage and have been stocking up on thermal tights.

This time of year stirs nostalgia; it's the smokey smells and drinking lots of locally brewed cider and glasses of red wine to fend off the cold on chilly nights; and going for walks for the soul purpose of getting rosy cheeks. The night air may be piercingly cold, but it doesn't stop us from wrapping up and getting cosy in pubs.

I am taking inspiration from 'toast' catalogues, a continuing theme from last Autumn. This requires red lips, dark eye-shadow and hearty knitwear. I can only assume wholesome appearances of these women are contradicted by filthy underwear (not in a literal sense.) Very few would ever guess such a thing.

All the pictures are from Toast.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Things go together better than others.

Like manic depression and hyper sexuality.

Some big news took place this week. The club I have been attending since the baby like age of eighteen, is closing down.
To the naked eye, a run-down hovel. To the seasoned youths of Luton, a glittering path to vodka shots, lots and lots of beer and cider; where there's music and dancing til the early hours, seedy happenings and many memories which are best left in the unearthed file entitled 'what happens in the edge, stays in the edge.'

It can be summed up with empty bottles, swelling hearts, lightweight feet and troubled minds. For most, it is the scene of many crazy choices, inane and pretentious ramblings and the most fun in the whole world. A place for reckless and youthful behaviour only, I will be visiting for the last time tonight and I will be toasting to very good friends and memories and to being twenty one. Not Eighteen.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Beauty comes to those who have been waiting..

For something bigger than themselves...

I graduated last week; and that night I got drunk and stayed up until the early hours writing a nice blog post, which I subsequently lost in a drunken state of delirium.

The day of graduation was very pleasant. Although sitting down with my housemates once everything had settled was probably the nicest thing. I had awoken very early that morning in order to iron my clothes and take my shoes to be re-heeled by a nice cobbler. Everyone's parents arrived and there was a lot of photo taking and queuing. I ruined most of the photographs because I was suffering from a cold and so had a red nose and blurry eyes in 94% of the shots.

That night me and my friends did not attend the spectacle of the grad ball, opting instead to drink beer and smoke cigarettes with the only company any of us cared for. The feeling of the eve was that of celebration, however it was tinged with the sadness of leaving and the inevitable future struggle of the unknown.

The way I think about my future can be summed up like this:

"to live life in a way that if a photograph were taken at random, it would be a cool photograph."
(taken from a book I'm reading, which I relate to all too well, called 'One Day' by David Nicholls.)

I spoke to a handful of people who were content with their proposed image of the near future; a marital-like home with their long-term boyfriends, an OK 9-5 and a nice sit down in the evenings. A middle of the road existance is fine for the people who lack the energy to strive or creative intellegence to escape.
What I appriciated more was the honesty of my fellow graduates who admitted they didn't know what they wanted, all they knew is that they wanted to escape and refused to settle. I like that, aspirations for a totally 'cool' and exciting existence throughout their 20s if nothing else.

Monday, 12 July 2010

They'd Say That's OK...

As long as we can celebrate.

"If you are smitten with obsession then you will survive and the world will be larger for it… If not, you might simply make a living or simply go broke." Larry Fink. (these photos are his)

Graduation's comming up, so there will be lots to celebrate, but once it's over some people are going to settle for average. I'm not.
Are you?

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

I've Been Following You For Blocks

And I wish that you'd stop and tell me your name..

Back in Luton... and a few days I got jeered at by a group of children for wearing 'boys' shoes. It brought back painful memories from the last time I owned a pair of brogues. I was in primary school and it was the first day back after the summer holidays. I was feeling proud of my new uniform and especially my brand new, black patent brogues. I had chosen them myself from John Lewis and my Mum complimented them enormously. The children at school didn't. I probably cried about it, but in time I got over it.

Just over a week in Luton and I'm already itching to leave. I could indulge in 'Flâneur'-ing about the place. According to wikipedia it means 'a person who walks the city to experience it.' Whilst in Luton I don't think it would do me any good. I fear it would resign me to the life of a misanthropist, a fate which I am rightfully terrified of. In any event, a flying trip to east London has made me mournfully tired of Luton, leaving me with itchy bones and in a permanent state of entrapment. Never the less, i have been thinking a lot about the comming months and how I intend to spend my life as a graduate... a nice kick in the arse.

Friday, 25 June 2010

I wrote my name in your book..

Only God Knows Why.

So, this begins my new summer resolution to post more.

I have been living half in Luton, half in Norwich for the past few weeks. Although a part of me is deeply shamed to enjoy Luton as much as I do.. it's a nice change. I like the way Luton doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is. Unlike Norwich, which conceals it's boring state behind a shroud of twee pleasantness.

Norwich has been great to me for the past three years...but a natural alteration in my perspective of it has occurred, so now I'm fairly certain that I'm done here.

These feelings have been fuelled, perhaps created by, the sudden, uncomfortable action of 'shit hitting the fan.' My Dr Zhivago discretion of a month ago has returned to plague my day. Not wanting to give too much away... I love Dr Zhivago but hate the way he comes off so well despite his constant infidelity. His doting wife comes off as such a pathetic and pitiful character, not without reason of course, she's painfully desperate. If you know the story of Dr Z.. then read between the lines, if you don't... you can guess. I know I'm being cruel and inviting terrible karma.. but there are few things I can't stand. One of those things is people who like to lie down in life. I would like to tell them to grow a spine and/or a pair of balls and stop simpering.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

'Love Lost'

I don't normally direct my many readers to outside links because I don't want people to stray from my insightful musings and delightful deliberations... but this is too good. My tumblr has been littered with his pictures today...

The man in question: Paul Barbera. His series, 'Love Lost,' documents his travels and the ladies he meets. Based on the photos, I'm sure this is more than a meeting of friends because the photos are hot. Really hot.

The series makes me want to swan about in my underwear and t-shirts, occasionally look pensive and stretch every so often. I also love the houses these women live in. Jesus, it's all so achingly cool.

Friday, 7 May 2010

please tell us why...

you had to hide away for so long..

I have finished my dissertation now. For the past two weeks I've been chained to my desk... Getting to uni at about 9am and sitting in front of my computer, surrounded by books, until about 7pm meant that my brain was mush by the end of the day. Me and G had some very silly walks home from campus. Of course, it wasn't all fun and games.. the week wouldn't have been complete without some tears the night before the deadline. There was panic, there was crying, there were headaches. But it all got done.

Having a coffee with G whilst our dissertations were safely being bound in the library was such a nice feeling. There was celebrating and treats for the rest of the week...

All of it has been rather stressful. After a couple of heavy nights and days of wandering around town without any direction.... my brain is still scrambled. I can't focus on anything. I want to carry on running about the place in a frantic rush. So now it's the end of the week, and i still can't remember how to breathe slowly again. There's been butterflies under my skin for too long now, getting rid of them is proving tricky.
So, for the next few days, I intend to get a few things straightened out... maybe get my feet back on the ground. Just for a little while though.

Monday, 29 March 2010

If you were here...

winter wouldn't pass so slow...

It's pouring with rain, and after the clocks springing forward last night I thought it was time for summer and getting excited about doing things like eating strawberries on the lawn with a glass of rose, maybe even champagne, as this summer there will be a lot to celebrate. Walking home barefoot and staying up and outside under blankets until the early hours in a debauched state of merriment fuelled by cider and wine. Painting chairs and planting flowers. Talking about guys and going on picnics.

But, it's been raining all day, and I have some big library hours to put in over the comming days; luckily when it got to 7pm it was still light outside.. I was reminded that spring is never really that far away...