New Bella Basura posting

Maxine and Bella Merged - Bella Basura 2018

Maxine and Bella Merged – Bella Basura 2018

TOGETHER

Once long ago we were connected, all together, gathering in a circle, outward facing, covering each others backs. We were solid and safe in three hundred and sixty directions. We were whole wholesome together connected. But I don’t remember, do you remember?

And yet again eyes connect across canyons of misunderstandings. That must have been some other time.

We were our own human barricade, strong in limb, Amazonians, muscled women of plunder, not war, just necessity. Swooping in the dark, together, finger-wings tip-to-tip, touching. The storm comes around again flashing jolt and thunder-crack. Eyes meet and connect in metallic shadows, forked in lightening. But I don’t remember, do you remember?

I search your face for explanations, but your eyes don’t speak to me. Your facial expression caught in the frozen photographic moment, is remarkably composed, held peaceful and distant in placid compassion. Your eyes are numb they do not speak to me. Aloof in life, that’s me.

And yet again eyes connect across canyons of misunderstandings. That must have been some other time.

It must have been some other time, another place, it doesn’t look the same, it’s so different. Only your silent eyes are the same. I catch a glance into them and everything shifts, somehow slightly bigger. Your empty eyes are the constant axis through which consciousnesses turn through gyrations of immensity and I know we were connected, once long ago. But I don’t remember, do you remember?

Clutches of Love

The Skull Collection

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Jean Dark

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Sweet Surrender


Today I wanted to check I knew the difference between “Satsang” and “Darshan”, so I headed to my faithful old dictionary to look it up. My solid reliable “old skool” paper dictionary – three inches thick, bound in tatty blue faux leather, machine-blocked in brass-coloured foil, thumb-indexed A to Z, and fossilised stopped dead in its tracks when it was published in 1988.
When I write that out it sounds absurd, a counter-intuitive act of self-sabotage. Why didn’t I just go “google-satsang-meaning”? Easy as pie.
In my defence, it was early morning and I don’t use any electronic communication devices until mid-day because I am writing.
So I thumbed my way through my big old tome, with it’s foxed corners and cranky colophon. After several minutes I came fruitlessly to “Satsuma”. I slammed the book shut.
“google-satsang-meaning” I barked.

Bella Basura 2018

Clutches of Love

The Skull Collection

Archive

Psychogeography

Jean Dark

The Short Answer Chapbook for sale here

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Clutches of Love

Spent today working on my next solo chapbook – Clutches of Love – due out early  February…

Here is a Boxing Day taster to whet your appetite.

Lost Again By Dave Challis March 2017

At the looking glass rotunda
In the centre of the city
I swear
I saw you
Sidling sharpish
Invisible-like
Under billows
Of covering smoke
I swear
I saw you
Slipping off sideways
Thin through the mirror’s edge
Disappearing from sight

 

Clutches of Love

The Skull Collection

Archive

Psychogeography

Jean Dark

The Short Answer Chapbook for sale here

Clutches of Love

By Dave Challis March 2017Clutches of Love is a new chapbook of my flash fiction that I am preparing for early next year, I thought I’d give you a taster with this brand new story below

Go Suck Lemons!
You sit there with the spilling pint tippling, dribbling down your trouser leg, and slurring you moan “Oh poor me. My life is so terrible. So traumatic. I’m so destroyed”. I pity you, so say something reassuring, something cheering, a glass half-full in the early afternoon, some everyday shaft of sunlight through the dust in the gloom of an unloved room.
You slam your half-empty beer on the bar and snarl personal insults at me, digging deep for intimate confidences, laying bare my private nightmares to the glare of the public bar, “And you don’t no nuffink” growled. I want to cry, your mates laugh, you plough on with this character assassination monologue.
Until I say “Go suck lemons!” and walk away.
And you shrink back , like a slug from a flame, and slurring you moan “Oh poor me. My life is so terrible. So traumatic. I’m so destroyed”.

Bella Basura December 2017

The Skull Collection

Archive

Psychogeography

Jean Dark

The Short Answer Chapbook for sale here

 

Making it Real

Jean Dark’s new posting from Creative Writing at The Edge blog at Oblique Arts

MAKING IT REAL

What a great feeling to have reached the point in a project when the long nurtured ideas and plans begin to form and take tangible shape in reality.
The progress of the Edgewords Anthology seems to me to be just at that point. The moment when thoughts turn out to be things.

Last Friday we used the workshop to collectively proof read a rough copy of Edgewords Anthology, and at the weekend I reworked the document. I am so grateful to Munizha for working with me to finalise the text.

Proof copy, Edgewords anthology. Bella Basura November 2017.

Proof copy, Edgewords anthology. Bella Basura November 2017.The proof copy is looking pretty tatty, but quite authentic and very real.

This week I’ve been preparing individualised hardback cases for the contributors (Edgeworders) complimentary copies.

Hard back copies, Edgewords Anthology. Bella Basura November 2017.Hard back copies, Edgewords Anthology. Bella Basura November 2017.Next Friday’s workshop will be a bookbinding session, we will sew and bind our own personal copy of the Anthology.

Hard back copies, Edgewords Anthology. Bella Basura November 2017.

Hard back copies, Edgewords Anthology. Bella Basura November 2017.

Today I spent time with my friend, Simon Mullen, at ASH Co-op. We were doing complicated copying things and printing out the content, the innards, the guts of the Edgewords Anthology.

Printing Edgewords, Bella Basura November 2017.It all went remarkably well, Simon and I seemed to get a system going and produced several dozen copies, pronto!

Printing Edgewords, Bella Basura November 2017.

And so an ephemeral idea steps closer to manifesting materially.

Edgewords Anthology is Launched on 12th January 2018 at The Edge Cafe, Cambridge.

Jean Dark 2017

Thanks to Cambridge City Council, The Edge Cafe and Oblique Arts

A Menopause Monologue

“A cyclical shape/structure ( as opposed to linear Aristotelian male orgasm shape/structure) is a female shape/structure, like the Wheel of The Year, like the cyclical menstrual cycle.

What else?

This circular repetitive structure is ubiquitous in paganism – Wicca etc. Like the Maiden Mother Crone cycle, like the Wheel of The year. Paganism perceives life as cyclic, circular, repetitive, coming around again. Connecting with menstruation, and  menopause is the ending of that cyclic life structure.

Do you remember your last period?

Menopause is something that you only become aware of after it has happened.

Do you remember your last period?

Panos by Carina Úbeda

Panos by Carina Úbeda

Our culture makes menstruating women invisible – tampons conceal the blood, sanitize and…what is the word? …Sanitize and deny the existence of menstruation. So that when it ends nobody’s any the wiser.

During the last 3 or 4 years of my periods I consciously chose to use reusable sanitary towels which had to be washed and dried and folded between uses. There was a kind of flappy thing with press studs that popped into my knickers and the clean towel was tucked into this sling. I had to change the towels every time I bled – like every little flow or drop stained the towel. In order to cut down the mess and to stay hygienic  each towel  had to be soaked in water immediately after removing it – or they became permanently stained. They were made in a fluffy kind of brushed cotton, and off-white – they stained easily.

Because the towels had to be changed and soaked at every drop and drip it was difficult to leave the house, a job of work was impossible. I managed a bookshop at the time – a front-facing customer service role – and I couldn’t have just left the floor, gone to the loo, put the soiled towel into a bucket of salt water and left it in the staff toilet, so I arranged to stay home during my periods, I used my holiday allowance visiting ‘auntie’. This made it important, it made my periods  important, it made me aware of them , to respect the blood flow. I felt I got to know my body more in those few years, how my cycles and needs shifted, than at any other time. It was very empowering, very empowering. I made my cycle visible, acknowledged, not denied, not hidden.

Do you remember your last period?

What else?

Invisibility. Invisible if you’re pregnant, invisible if you’re a mother, invisible if you’re childless.

This is all fitting together. Invisibility, invisibility of periods, cyclic periods, cyclic structure, cyclic time, cyclic pagan-time, cyclic pagan-year.

Do you remember your last period?

Is Paganism feminist? It can be goddess-oriented, but I’m not sure it’s Feminist. Is goddess-worship the same as Feminist? Pagan feminists? Feminist pagans? I don’t know. Just because my Paganism is green, feminist, goddess, earth, animal welfare oriented, I don’t think most Pagans are. In fact, the vast majority of Pagans are…I don’t like this train of thought. Think something else.

What else?

Maiden Mother Crone

(chants) We all come from the Goddess and to her we shall return, like a drop of rain falling to the ocean. Hoof and horn, hoof and horn, all that dies shall be reborn. Corn and grain, corn and grain, all that falls shall rise again.

Cyclic.

We are a circle within a circle, with no beginning and never-ending.

Starhawk, obviously, Spiral Dance. Feminist Pagan Eco-Warrior, par for the course.

What else?

What else?

I remember my last period.

It was Lammas sunset seven years ago. I hadn’t had a period for over six months.

I was at a Pagan Ritual Camp with 200 or 300 other Pagans. It was the last night  of the camp and we had built the Wickerman , processed him through the fields and were taking him to the fire-pit to be burned and I remember passing the Priestess, Carol, skyclad under an Oak, welcoming the procession into the field and I felt SO happy, So fucking happy, so completely at one  with it all, In that place, in that ritual, in that time.

We were casting the circle, and they lit the Wickerman, and suddenly  I burst into tears, I couldn’t stop crying, couldn’t stop. I had to leave the ritual circle and go cry in my tent. I cried hard night long.  I cried a cosmic grief in the pain of the childless mother.

Next morning I woke up and there was blood in my knickers and I thought “Oh wow! That’s what that was all about”.

Lammas is the harvest  ritual, is about reaping what you sow, is about reward.

My reward that year was infertility, barrenness, I don’t like those words – I wish there were more positive words for childlessness.

What else?

Is it over yet?

Has time run out for this monologue?

Or is it just my time that has run.”

This piece was originally written during a week of theatre workshops with RashDash physical theatre group, and was subsequently performed with Scramble Ensemble -women’s theatre collective, on 6th September 2017 at J2 The Cambridge Junction.
The image is of Panos by Carina Úbeda, a chilean artist who created an installation with used cloth sanitary towels mounted in embroidery hoops, embroidered with solgans.

Bella Basura 2017

Poetry

Archive

Psychogeography

Jean Dark

The Short Answer Chapbook for sale here 

Thee Telepaths

Thee telepaths logoWhen I was a child I dreamt of running away with the circus, but now I’ve seen Thee Telepaths I want to run away with a psych rock band. Last Friday they played at The Cat Basket Psychedelic Delights  event at The Blue Moon in Cambridge, alongside local stalwarts Psychic Lemon and Warning Shadows. As I was  to compere the event I spent all week  listening to their Neon Spiral EP online, but hearing them perform War In My Head left me gasping “Oh, its just like Sister Ray said!”. Needless to say, they credit The Velvets  as influences, alongside  The Stooges, The MC5, Black Sabbath, Suicide, The Modern Lovers, Can, Neu!, Billy Childish, Loop, Mudhoney, Spacemen 3, The 13th Floor Elevators, Hawkwind, all these distinctive sounds smear through their music.

Seeing them live I was swept up in their raucous energy, and I was reminded most that they name-check Nuggets and Pebbles ’60s Garage Band compilations on their Facebook page.

Added to this Thee Telepaths have a heart-lurching stage presence that gleamed in the backroom gloom of The Blue Moon. A Wilko Johnsonesque wide-spread low-slung sprawl from bassist Tim often overspilled the space, at times he straddled the stage and dancefloor, so wide did he spread his lean thighs. Singer Dean seemed lost in possession, veering around the tiny stage like Ian Curtis on acid. Clasping his head in the crook of his elbow, grimacing, gurning, jerking a hand-jive that shook his whole body, crouching on the ground, staccato movements that wouldn’t look out of place at a Voodoo ritual. The Singer Loa-ridden called forth Papa Legba, and Baron Samedi on keyboard at his side. Tom, on keyboards, guitar and effects, was strutting confidence, spinning  on the spot, manipulating piano keys, effects pedals and guitar strings with assured dexterity. The drummer, Vincent, an eight-armed Hindu god blurred in motion, beat out insistent in the gloaming upstage.

The whole a heavy writhing spellbound pandemonium, while pinprick coloured lights swept across my eyes and the ceiling.

Thee Telepaths are clearly a band with social media savvy, they are visible on Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, Soundcloud and Youtube, but as they are touring  right now, you would be doing yourself a big favour to catch them live.thee telepaths poster

 

Poetry

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Jean Dark

The Short Answer Chapbook for sale here