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I wrote a poem today. It’s a poem I really needed to write, I think. Today was a bit worse than other days because now the raw pain has gone away, it’s left behind with it some anxiety. So I took some valium, see if that would help, and it only sort of has. Strong stuff, that. This poem is called An End to Any Suggestion.

When we looked at the menu for the cheeseboard
We wondered if we could just order all of them.
Oh, prodigal you, stood up stiff as a board and
Light as a feather in country cottons, sommelier
Matching my moods, when you stand on your
Tiptoes peering up to the top of the fridge 
In a house not half an hour away from my family’s
Making whisky macs in the familiar kitchen, you
Pass me one to taste, with a small bowl of olives
And we try to guess who else we know is going
To get unceremoniously dumped. I did it to you, you
Did it to her, then she did it to the journalist who lived
In Bethnal Green, but not before you returned for
The full throw-down, illicitly, on the palatial
Borrowed bed. Were they not your glory days! Work
Still paid well, we had no resistance to valium
And I was delightfully batty in your spare room. Now
We’re two Summers older. I just stopped being happy.
wasn’t Catherine Earnshaw meant to be dead by my age?
You’re nursing me through heartbreak, he “wasn’t good
Enough anyway”. He’s returned to an easier life and you,

You are suddenly present. With your pictures of your
Little one. Old enough to talk now, you tell me.
This evening, you flew back from the foreign past. Well,
Don’t get ahead of yourself chum. I never did miss you
The way I miss him. Cathy was told: “Honest people
Don’t hide their deeds”. It is true. I am slumped on the 
Familiar settee. You are just a nurse to the unbearably
Dulled. You have no idea

Of who I really am. 

I’ve been really good at leaving the house this past couple of days, and today I managed to get myself some actual clothes. The clothes are really functional, I haven’t been looking for anything beautiful. I don’t feel very beautiful. I’ve been doing this really cliche thing of just wearing ALL BLACK. Not because I’m in mourning, but just because I don’t want to draw any attention to myself. So I bought this dress, and then I put it on when I got home, and I thought dang, I look nice. Not great, just okay. I don’t today look as dead as I’ve looked this past week. The ex has made a wise choice and decided to block me from all communications. He has taken the decision to stop dangling the vague possibility we’ll get back together in front of my face before snatching it back again. Now I look at it, that’s really mean. I’m in the anger stage. He keeps ignoring me, then contacting, hopefully getting me so low that if and when he does decide to tell me he’s changed his mind, I’ll be overcome with joy and go back to him. That won’t happen. This morning I was really into the idea we should get back together but I’ve gone through so much hurt and raw pain this past week that I couldn’t take it any more. If he’s capable of it, he’s not someone I would want to be with. 

Other Ex is still being SIMPLY DELIGHTFUL and I do find that QUITE COINCIDENTAL. It’s nice being able to chat with him, realising that actually, he’s not that bad of person, but much like why my recent ex left me, I had to leave him because he became far too much to deal with. I know now what he went through when I chucked him and I guess the sympathy element is what I need at the moment. Ironic though, to talk about heartbreak with someone who says, “Yeah I felt like that. You know. When you broke up with me.” so i can see that getting pretty uncomfortable pretty quickly. A few of my friends keep saying “Why don’t you just go back out with him, he LOVES you” but no, that is not enough. And I do not love him. 

I cannot entertain the idea of ever being with anyone else at the moment. I think in the future i need a very sensible man. Someone who can be stable when I can’t, someone who can be the anchor when I’m floating off out to sea. Someone with direction when I don’t have any, someone who is willing to weather the storms, rather than blame me for them. 

I’m learning a lot through this experience. Mainly i’m learning a lot of you have been through similar and you’re all being very sweet. I’ve stopped needing to talk to him, needing him back, because he is not the person I assumed he was, he’s not that man I spent a year with. He has such capacity to be so cruel, and is now making me feel guilty for a relationship that I did not single-handedly break, that I did not end, and that I was willing to fight for. Maybe in a few months we can be friends. But it could never be more than that. And that’s pretty healthy I think. I’m still so, so sad, that all that love just went ignored, and that someone who was such a huge part of me left without warning, leaving me to deal with the whole thing on my own. The biggest part of this of course is simply: I love him, and he doesn’t love me. That’s the crux of it. 

So yeah. The dress looks alright on me, though. 

So, I became single recently. He left me. He’s a man in his thirties who lives at home and has a Saturday job, but he left me, because I just wasn’t quite good enough for him. I’m sure he can do better than a 24 year old graduate poet musician, I am SURE of that. Yeah, he made the right decision. He’s done a good thing.

So because of this, I’ve been hanging out with my ex a lot because I dumped him at the peak of our love, and he managed to recover from it. During my last relationship I couldn’t be friends with this ex, but I’ve recently thought fuck it. He used to always be at my aid with wine and gin and cake, and now he is again.

When it first happened, I went to his house. He lives (or used to live) on the moors. He said he would take me to the top of Penistone Crags, and I could scream loudly and that might alleviate some of the very true, very real, very sore pain. Now I’ve had a few days. 

The ex emailed me today. Does he want me back? No, he doesn’t. He wants sympathy or something. If he wanted me back, I would listen, but he doesn’t. He’s being a tormentor. 

So I’m at the OTHER ex’s right now. Things just got a bit heavy. I was walking up the stairs, I was about to use the bathroom. My hair is pinned up, I am wearing just a slouchy grey dress, I haven’t worn make up in days, I haven’t slept in days either. He said:

HIM: My god you’re just so naturally beautiful aren’t you
ME: Not really, can’t you see how fat I am?
HIM: No, not fat, not fat, but fleshy, indulged, perhaps
ME: What if nobody ever indulges me again? What if I’m always just that fucking fat chick nobody wants to dance with? Oh god *cries*
HIM: Hey, hey, god, no, god, you know what I think of you?
ME: WHAT *cries some more*
HIM: I think you’re the most beautiful person I ever met, I think I’ve never met anyone so NATURALLY gorgeous, I think – I just think I could lose myself drunk on the tips of your eyelashes.

 

For me, this doesn’t mean a thing. I won’t hook up with him. It does not cross my mind. But did he say these things politely? Did he mean it? Was I cruel to cut him out a year ago, is he punishing me for that now? Huh. No matter what he said, I am lonely. I remain lonely. I will be lonely. For a long time. 

As you all know, my heart was broken less than a week ago. It was so badly stamped on and ignored and laughed at that I am starting to doubt the validity of the claim that I ever had a heart to begin with. My mum has been taking good care of me when I keep bursting into tears over nothing, eating nothing, pretending to be a part of conversation. The way I am behaving is so cliche but for me, it feels fresh. It hurts me. I feel a genuine physical pain my chest, where a heart that used to beat through the emergency of love has found no reason to beat. I have a pain in my stomach, it’s the needles of anxiety. I have a cloud over my brain so that everything now feels unreal. The sureness I have of being deeply in love was pulled from under my feet, and now I have to readjust. The loneliness is palpable. The pain, is unbearable. The wine, Quetiapine and now Valium have all stopped working because he’s gone and not given an answer. I am worried about him but I am angry about him. I have so many questions, the main of which is: when did you stop loving me, and why did you continue to lie about the fact you wanted to be with me?
So fucking dramatic. I am 24 and my heart has just been shattered. This is *normal* right?
It doesn’t feel it. The worst part is, we lived in eachother’s pockets. He ran my lit zine with me (I SO regret that now), we have the same publisher, our books come out on the same day, we have events to attend — but no, he is too important to consider that. Let’s all take a moment to consider his fragile feelings, and how it must be really hard to be a misplaced child, having to live as an adult. 

But god, I love that misplaced adult. 

However all things must come to a close. I used to say to him, when you see married couples, you know they must have fought for hours at a time, sometimes days, but are still together because they never gave up on eachother. I never would have with him. He easily did with me. 

So here’s my poem, again it has no title. 

A bottle of 14% Shiraz, 2 new ciders
And my daily tranquilisers
Haven’t worked. 

In the doorway I see my sister’s
Posters on the wall. Unimpressionable. 
A single bed
A reminder – 
Because, I keep forgetting that

I’m going this alone, now.

I imagine you at home, taking
Small pleasures in tasteless Cup-a-Soups
Because you don’t believe in larger
Victories, they’re perhaps
Too *big*. 

I tried to leave the house today.
I listened to music for the first time
Since you left me, on the phone
Now, like an anchor, I found me
Grabbing for dear life onto a park bench

And I hoped someone would see me
And ask what’s wrong
Anyone, everyone –
To tell me “This is 
Human”
I wonder how much you are crying.
Not at all?
A bit? 
I won’t listen to my friends who say
You deserve stringing up. 
It’s me, after all. 
It was always me. 

Nobody prepared me for this happening.
The palpable loneliness has started now
Courtesy of you.
I have started to again look at the percentage
Of wines, before I buy them
For the first time in my clinicised life today
A doctor gave me a tissue 
And patted me on the back.

I need somewhere to howl.
I have started to avoid music that isn’t
About devestation. I have a desire to
Feel better —

It might not take much
Once I’ve celebrated myself devoid of you

Maybe
The next time the full moon gives an eerie
Daylight to this country kitchen

I will curl into an ever expanding
Ball, over and over, 
Until I learn to walk again? 

God, I write about heartbreak a lot. I thought I had experienced it, maybe I really had, on some lesser level. Maybe my heart before had only been bruised, but today, it is broken. All of the poetry I’ve written, all of the sincere love poems, written in vain. I have been rejected, fiercely, by the only man I’ve ever loved completely as he is. And the worst bit? All of my friends and family telling me we’ll probably end up back together. No, we won’t. He’s told himself to love me is too difficult. So here I am, and I thought I’d write a poem. I expect I’ll write a lot. I don’t think they’ll be any good. This poem doesn’t have a title, I wrote it tonight. It’s mixed metaphors and abstraction, it’s fucking awful. 

 

i didn’t have to watch you walk away
That’s not how we’re doing this, it’s 

A very modern approach; our love,
two seas of bliss caught stuck

behind a dam. a little click. a pop,
my book’s back pages bent. the

endless burn of early morning
it is not all okay, you have told me.

why am i so changed? how best
to cradle the heart, alone – how

to know myself anymore? what
is left, are you the cork bobbing in

any number of my wine bottles
i simply sold myself on the idea of you.

life, today and onwards, it seems
will squeeze me blue. 

When I first started out writing poetry and getting into poetry, I listened to a manifest by A E Stallings on the Poetry Foundation website called The Presto Manifesto, which was an apologia of rhymes in poetry. My word, I hated it. I had before that listened to the Futurist manifesto and if we just forget for a second the horrid fascistic implications of that, it was a fascinating thing to hear, and in any case I am normally one for improvement and progress, concept and process, than I am about rhyme (see what I did, I rhymed when I was making a point. I bet you sometimes read this blog and are quite astounded by my astonishing wit aren’t you?). Anyway, I was at a “do” that Luke Kennard was reading at, this is the first time I’d seen him perform after *years* of waiting, and he read a poem he’d written called Men Made of Words which was in rondeau form. I thought it was amazing. It still sounded fresh and new and had the elements of the surreal and the contemporary that I loved but it still was wrapped up in this rigid form, and I love that dichotomy between Tradition and The Individual Talent. 
So, I wrote a rondeau of my own that’s actually on this site, if you remember “Falling Outside Normal Moral Constraints”, and now I’ve written a poem in a different form I can’t remember the name of. I don’t have a name for it yet, and this is my first draft. It’s written in response to a weird conversation I had about an old friend with some ostentatiously dressed people I recognised from years ago, held recently, at an exhibition preview. This is a person I very rarely talk about in poetry, I think maybe I wrote one poem about him when I was 18 and then as far as I’m aware there’s only one other one. The person committed suicide, and suicide is something that still scares me so much I tend not to write about it. I think I also wrote it about how when you’re young, everything always seems a lot shinier and brighter and more exciting than it is now. I remember once in a restaurant when I was 16, I ordered fillet mignon and it was the first time I’d ever eaten it. I took it rare and all the way through what was – looking back – a mediocre steak, I made so many noises of sincere pleasure at eating this meal, and someone at the table remarked it was nice to see I was still young enough to be excited by everything. 

Shifting the gearstick in bloodied, white cuffs
When a pothole propels you to resist the wheel
I sit in the back eating marshmallow fluff.

Half-cut on Claret we slur as we scuff
Through the gilding the afternoon serves to conceal
You suck on a Lucky, and I take a puff.

Tonight you’ll reintroduce me to that snuff
That we took every night with our evening meals
A drag queen will grab you by your bloodied cuffs

and I’ll laugh – and pretend what we brought was enough
As I finger the rim of my glass and you kneel
At my waist, and our friends (and me) swear it’s a bluff

Insincere, or a joke, or that I might rebuff
For a laugh – just a crack – before the great reveal
Of my answer, one word, watch it gleam from the rough

Of these people we know, of those nights that were tough
When we’d argue, like grown ups; and i found it surreal
When I tugged, like a child, at your bloodied white cuffs
And you spoon-fed me mouthfuls of marshmallow fluff.