Thursday, 23 September 2010

Where were you when...

*this is from a free writing we did in a group meeting, with the above title as our lead in*

I was in traffic. Not just traffic--people were sobbing over their steering wheels, ignoring the fact that they weren't moving, ignoring that people in other cars could see their red cheeks and snotty noses. The morning had started so cheerful, so quiet. Why hadn't anyone called? Why didn't anyone knock on the door to say, "have you heard?" No one did. And I was in traffic for three hours on the freeway, listening to radio announcers over and over and over again, and then screaming some more as a second plane careened through glass and metal, through bodies and hope.

I sat there, unmoving, knowing he was on that plane, he and his fiance'. For three hours, with no cell phone and no company but other drivers lost in their own misery and loss. By the time I got to work, frantic, there was already a message:

They missed the flight.

They were stuck in traffic, running late.

They missed the flight.

The boss said no one could take time off because the world went on. So tears were shed over the little black and white television in the staff room, screams bounced off sterile white walls as all that metal and glass came crashing to the ground, tales of desperation, of heroism, of loss, of hope, of confusion, of need, of help, of bravery filtered through the terror laden broadcasts.

I was stuck in traffic that day.


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Tuesday, 2 February 2010

My Gay Icon

Hello there everyone,
Here's my first tentative contribution to the blog (though I posted this to the group already)...I figure if I can't come to meetings, it doesn't mean I can't be inspired by the themes you suggest. And when I saw the idea to write about a gay icon, I just couldn't help myself. I was writing it in my head ages before I actually typed the first here it is, my description of my discovery of a gay icon and personal hero. A moment that changed my life. That sounds melodramatic, but it's true! If this piece is a little rambling it's because I wrote it based on flowing feelings rather than any logical plan.
(my gay icon is the fabulous Joan Jett and this moment took place at the Trent FM Arena, on 11/11/07)

Bodies pressed to my sides and back, the cold dividing rail in front of me. Abrupt darkness produced a hushed, reverential silence, heavy and tense with expectation. Thunderous chords heralded the appearance of dark shadows moving onto the raised platform, vague and shrouded. Excitement erupted around me upon the first glimpse of those shades, but for what? My expectations were muted, bewildered. I did not realise that the momentary gloom masked a goddess.
Sudden bright illumination revealed her, clothed in brutal black leather, hips jammed hard forward against the instrument strapped to her body. Supple, scarred hands caressed its length, strong fingers flexing. Ecstasy erupted around me, screams of enthusiasm, encouragement and undisguised lust. Bodies surged forwards, twitched and writhed close to me. Only I was still. Transfixed.
For the most desperately fleeting of moments the dark, knowing eyes of the goddess connected with mine. It was impossible that she could see me, surely she was blinded by the light that shone white in her face, and yet I felt exposed and raw before her.
She flexed her knees and bounced, in a way a true goddess never could. She was of this earth, a creature like me, connected by our joint humanity, a bond of womanhood that was unique between us and at the same time shared with half the crowd around me. We shared a secret, which was not yet private.
The music rumbled suddenly from the instrument and filled the high-ceilinged space with rhythmic thunder. It penetrated through my skin and into the depths of my body, wrapping around my hidden soul and drawing it out. She drew in a deep breath between pink lips, which I saw in the expansion of her latex enclosed chest, and then she began to sing.
Her voice was not that of a goddess. It was of the real world, of pain and struggle and heat and lust and sex and love and going beyond limits. It was liquid filth and joyful rapture, the snarl of an animal but tuneful as any man-made instrument. It was the grunt of an engine and the purr of a tigress. It was defiance and protest and insurgence condensed into words.
One song merged into another. Rebellion became passion became lust became challenge became revolution became exuberance. The energy around me swelled in surges, voices rising with hers, echoing hers, moving as she commanded. I could not join the words of the virtual chants, they were unfamiliar. I was crushed between hot bodies and yet isolated and motionless, transfixed still. Sweat poured, glistening over her skin and drenching the floor below her. Still the music thundered and there were cries all around me. The heavy drum beat altered the cadence of my heart and made it beat to her unique rhythm.
I was apart from everything around me. There was only her in the spotlight of my gaze. Inside me a transfiguration occurred. I had not expected or invited it, but with every chord, every snarled word, the confusion ebbed away. My uncertainty waned. Mystery evaporated and the world was suddenly clear and bright. I knew, as I stared at her, I knew.
It was so short a time she was before me on the stage, before she retreated, leaving her platform for the unworthy act to follow. My cheeks burned the rest of the night, feeling her presence and her absence all at once.
Later, in the chill of the night air, I was warm still. I knew, at last. I knew what it was to have an icon, a hero. And I knew what it was to know myself, my desires, and my truth.

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Sunday, 31 January 2010

Invitation to The Fifth Annual Brigid in the Blogosphere Poetry Slam

Hi All, I recieved the following and thought I'd pass it on...

Feel free to copy the following to your blog and spread
the word. Let poetry bless the blogosphere once again!

WHAT: A Bloggers (Silent) Poetry Reading

WHEN: Anytime February 2, 2010

WHERE: Your blog

WHY: To celebrate the Feast of Brigid, aka Groundhog Day

HOW: Select a poem you like - by a favorite poet or one of your own - to
post February 2nd.

RSVP: If you plan to publish, feel free to leave a comment and link on
this post:

Last year when the call went out there was more poetry in
cyberspace than I could keep track of. So, link to whoever you hear
about this from and a mighty web of poetry will be spun.

Feel free to pass this invitation on to any and all bloggers.

This is now an annual event, started by Reya.

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Sunday, 24 January 2010

January Meeting

Hello fellow scribes,

It was a heroic coterie of women who risked life and frozen limbs through Nottingham’s early wintered streets and tucked themselves snugly into Minxy’s plush apartment this month. After making sure that everyone was seated and sated with tea in teasing mugs (you should have seen them), and a barrel of baked biscuits, we proceeded to attempt to complete the now yearly task of producing relevant writings for February’s Notttingham Rainbow Heritage exhibition.

The suggesting themes were as follows...

1. Gay icons – inspired by the London exhibition, who were your icons?
2. That’s so Gay! – any piece of writing inspired by this popular denigration
3. Write about something that has happened to you, relating to your sexuality, that you would either love or hate to see happening in the future
4.Imagine yourself at age 80, looking back at the differences, good or bad, that your future world has with the current year 2010.

The following was my 15mn freewrite... there were many other inspired pieces, and it would be great to see more added to this blog, so please post yours here soon :-)

I stared out of my window as I do every morning nowadays. I love to watch the birds swinging from the feeders. They’re so rare these days that I sometimes wait half an hour before glimpsing a single one. Once upon a time I’d find whole families of blue tits and sparrows fighting over a ball of fat. These days a bag of food lasts all winter. Anyway, there I was, dreamily soaking up the dazzling winter’s sunny snow rays, when a couple came gliding out of the church opposite, swallowed up soon into the fold of family and friends. People were throwing confetti and capturing the event on the life recorder. Their virtual relations, beamed in from abroad, were observing from their Holoslates, foot-square sheets that emanate a reconstituting light from their position on the ground.

My thoughts were propelled back to fifty years earlier, when marriage was legal for friends of mine. It had taken fifteen years of couples using the commitment ceremonies successfully, year after year, before the government agreed to allow commitments to become marriages, and there’d been much questioning about whether this was the right thing to allow, or whether any single-sex couples even wanted marriage anymore. Then, all of a sudden it was allowed, and there were a few years of celebration before it really sank in that this was now an accepted process for all to be able to demonstrate their love, no holds barred.

All was well until the food started running out during the big freeze, and people were looking for scapegoats.
See you all next month... and don't forget, come to visit us at the exibition in February at the Broadway cinema.

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Haven't we all been quiet

Sapphist Writers appear to have been in hibernation for the winter, but I assure you this is not so! We've been connecting beautifully in the real world and neglecting cyberspace. At the moment, all energy is going in to the Nottingham Rainbow Heritage Exhibition at the Broadway, starting February 23rd. More about this soon. Meanwhile, I just wanted to write my own little tribute to what has turned out to be the most magical coming-together of women.

Ode to Sapphist Writers

Some who show a tendency for linguistic contortions;
Some who give their lovelorn angst Shakespearean proportions.
We all get a kick with taking words and messing around,
Found ourselves hooked by a poem about a dressing gown.

Some readings kept us warmer when the women’s centre froze;
We shared our hearts so easily, and loved the words we chose,
Blushed and smiled and cried and laughed and nibbled on our biscuits,
Talked about the secret worlds that make us feel like misfits.

Their writing gives me goosebumps, their writing makes me pensive;
Sharing with such talent, then, should make me apprehensive
And yet I find their gentle warmth allows my pen to flow;
I share my thoughts, however small, in their accepting glow.

Okay, it's not really long enough or, for that matter, poetic enough, to be called an ode but I hope it brings a feeble smile to those who read it, in which case it was half an hour well spent!

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