SOLITARY POET

sat on a bench, i ate the apple right through to its core, the pips come loose -
fall to the floor 
i often wished, growing up 
for a companion
that wasn’t fiction 
someone to share the bench with, in a companionable silence 
on a Sunday afternoon 
i was eaten and i was bare 
shown to be a solitary creature 
and i don’t think anyone considered 
that i would care 
after all, my voice was hardly heard 
could have been the wind 
to this present day, i now have a companion
but they are not here on this Sunday afternoon 
on days like these 
watching the shoppers 
and sat beside nobody 
i feel as if i am a lonely child again.

Kate © 

I wrote this poem when I was 17 or 18 and I didn’t feel like I got it right then. It wasn’t a poem I felt compelled to put right. I guess I have always been a solitary person. I was a pushover as a kid and so shy and sensitive, it was painful and not having a great deal of personality or confidence, I probably wasn’t the easiest of kids to be friends with. It isn’t something I find is easy, making friends. I learnt to do as I was told and bend over backwards to accommodate somebody, because that’s how I thought friendships worked and to keep them, I had to do shit I wasn’t comfortable with. To be honest, I didn’t want to be friends with half of the kids that I tried to be friends with, but it’s as if it is normal to have friends, like a requirement. Books and movies and popular culture said it was so. It’s pathetic if you don’t have friends and hang around with yourself. It’s a lot of work covering up who you are and faking a whole different personality, that’s against who you feel you are or want to be. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realised this, the relentless drive to fit in when you don’t even want to fit in is pointless. Especially if you have lost yourself in the process. Because what are you left with? Nothing. Literally, nothing. No sense of self, self-esteem, confidence, friends.

writing as a superpower

what power do writers hold -
there’s something magic in the telling of stories 
a record, attached are so many memories, hopes and experiences 
frustrations and fears -
the unburdening of truths - 
a means of entertainment, of spectacle -
of passing on a shared history, the language of your community -
a communication, conversation -
a vital part of being human. 

Kate © 

Book Review. Innocent Blood by P. D. James.

Philippa’s parents both went to prison for the murder of a twelve-year-old girl. The father died in prison, but her mother is alive, and just about to be released. In the book Philippa has turned 18 and is on a mission to find her birth parents.

The other character, and element, crucial to this story, is the murdered girl’s father Norman. He wants revenge, and plots to murder the mother.

Philippa offers to flat share in London with her mother, because understandably she wants to find out who she is, for a few months.

I actually enjoyed the viewpoint of Philippa, going into to London to find a cheap flat, and buying furnishings, and cleaning the place out (even if I did wonder where the author was going with this) It’s an exciting time moving into a new home, and with all the possibilities of new beginnings. This book was published in 1980, so the prices, and the little details of London are different from today. Which was pretty interesting.

With Philippa, and the mother, installed into a flat in London, Norman proceeds to stalk their movements, and tries to figure out how he is going to murder this woman. 

I didn’t like the characters. I don’t think you’re supposed to in a book of this genre, are you? With everyone having their own dubious motives. I liked the dialogue, the way the story has been set up, and its setting.

This is a character study, an exploration of blood ties, and family. It is not a pacy book, and the ending fizzles out disappointingly.

The character of Philippa, and her adopted parents, are well educated, wealthy people, and I personally felt that they were looking down on the peasants as it were from their lofty position. I’m working class, and certainly have not had the opportunity to study at Oxford, or Cambridge, so I wasn’t likely to be a fan. There is also a line ‘someone had said – he couldn’t remember who – that an artist should suffer in childhood as much trauma as could be borne without breaking,’ Philippa wants to be a writer, and her experiences with her mother are referenced as could be used for material to write about. Come on. Do you have to suffer to be able to write something good?

No.

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