politics

emotional blackmail & totalitarianism

The UK government and right-wing media have returned to their classic ‘migrant blaming’ as some refugees have crossed the channel this summer – with Farage mid lockdown filmed on the empty beaches of Kent waving at the invisible ‘threat’, and Priti Patel now setting up plans to ‘protect’ our country from innocent refugees with naval warships!
 
You would hope that something like a global pandemic would instil more empathy in people, but it’s also the perfect time to play on people’s fears. As we face mass unemployment, the long told narrative that these people are merely coming to the UK to ‘take our jobs’ and ‘drain our economy’ rather than fleeing war and persecution, is going to be used to affect people emotionally. It is the government’s favourite distraction, a voiceless and stateless ‘other’ to detract blame in the wake of their failings and corruption.
 
One of the highest coronavirus death tolls in the world, corruption within the government. It seems that a global pandemic is also perfect timing for the Tories to secure more money and power for themselves. How much are they
talking about the £250m contract wasted on ‘faulty masks’ by an offshore company with links to International Trade Secretary Liz Truss? What is being done about the 50 million pounds in tax snatched from the poorest borough in London, Tower Hamlets, by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick’s deal with billionaire property developer Richard Desmond? What about Boris Johnson’s dodgy list of nominations of those who will be given lifelong patronage in the House of Lords, that includes his own brother? Just a few things that have happened over the past few weeks, but the focus is on a few hundred helpless refugees, who have a legal right to seek asylum in this country.
 
Divide and conquer is a power grabbing move that totalitarian states throughout history have adopted, and it is a favourite of the UK government; make us fight between ourselves and blame those who have nothing, whilst behind the scenes they secure more and more money and power for themselves.
 
There is enough to go around, but it is in the wrong hands.
 
The main argument given against refugees coming to the UK to seek asylum, is that they should seek asylum in ‘the first safe country they reach’. This article from the independent outlines some of the reasons that France is certainly not a safe country for many refugees.
 
 
Under international law, people have the right to seek asylum and safety in any country, however there are not currently safe routes for people to access this legal right. Northern France is a treacherous place for many refugees. When I was there in 2016, there were children being swept off the street in Paris by gangs, with no-one to protect them, and people lived in fear of the police.
 
The idea that the UK is a soft touch when it comes to accepting refugees, is incorrect. This year we have only accepted 4000 refugees and in total just over 125,000. Lebanon, a country now torn apart, has welcomed 1.5 million, Germany over a million. The UK has a moral obligation to accept and welcome more refugees, and we need to change the narrative around it.
 
Asylum seekers in this country are given less than £38 a week to live on, and do not have the legal right to work. It is about safety, not money. What lengths would you go to, to keep your family safe?

 

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Poetry, Uncategorized

April

The pain of our mothers is not something that bears thinking about

The sun has shone endlessly since this began, great brilliant blue skies and buttercups and forget me nots, dandelion and wild roses and burdoch. The sun hits a patch of my skin that sits on the patio, the sun hits, the garden blooms, and i wonder when i will feel human

I smoke a cigarette. I had told myself i would give up but just living is a cross to bear at the moment, living the most precious of states
Blood runs through my veins.

It is extremely warm for april
Hot.
I spray sun tan lotion on my skin
The trees glisten
Its unreasonably warm
I listen to the still beating drum of cars passing on the nearby interchange

after the flood the tide creeps in
and I’m on hands and knees, on all fours, in the eye of the storm

The sun sets over 1000 cities
The roads run still
The motorbike engine whirrs and i fasten my feet into the stirrups
I dont recognise myself or my body
These days the moon sits in solitude of the sun
Beneath my feet i watch the asphalt rushing by, shifting multicoloured through every shade of grey on gods green earth
I dream tonight of a world where all people live freely in harmony
Dragonflies buzzing around my head
Swatting flies from my gaped mouth
Gasp

Closed my eyes and imagined my body turned to dust, bones in the desert, flesh rising like flames licked, a waterfall, an ocean

Ran till i couldnt breathe anymore

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Uncategorized

Donate – Self Educate – Write To Your MP – Protest if safe to do so –

if you (talking to those living in UK, White) think this is not ‘our problem’, you are wrong. The very foundations of the UK and America are built on racism. The project of whiteness that we were born into depends on ignorance and acceptance of the status quo. We need to get colonial education on our curriculums. We need to understand how and why and who made this ‘so’, and what work is needed to undo and unravel these systems. We need to take responsibility for our own wilful ignorance and stop thinking that it’s someone else’s responsibility to fight for change, to do the work. We need to stop accepting the state of things & understand that we are complicit in all of this – we have stayed in our comfort zones because we have been privileged enough to live in a world that gives us comfort, molly-coddles us. ‘Privilege is not what you have been through but what you didn’t have to go through’. Yes you may have grown up poor or disadvantaged in some way, but you have still had the privilege of being white. You may think, ‘I’m not racist’ but we were all born into a racist society and told the story that we have conquered, we are great, and we can do anything. You need to consciously undo these stories and not just accept what is given to you. The foundations of what this society are built on are rotten & we need to uproot them in every way.

The police are the teeth of the state, used to keep people in their place. . In America it seems worse & it’s important to support the civil rights revolution that’s happening there now. The state retribution that is going to follow this is going to be devastating so that is why people are suggesting to donate to bail funds. In the UK it is bad too, it always has been, its not a new problem and it persists as we speak. During lockdown black people have been 54% more likely to be fined due to an increase in stop and search tactics by police. Since 1990 there have been 1500 deaths in UK police custody, including more than 500 victims from ethnic minority backgrounds, despite only making up 14% of the UK population.

Read history books, read books by black authors, educate yourself, educate your kids, donate if you have money to do so, talk about it with your racist family members, don’t stop caring about it when the news story changes

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Uncategorized

january 6th 2020

I run with my heart gripped between my thumb and forefinger, my muscles ricochet off of sand dunes- following the blue line into forever
Cold winter sun fills my lungs, chalk crumbles from cliffs dug out by ancient smugglers
There is something holy locked inside,
There is white noise in my head like the crashing of ocean waves inside of a locket
There are birds murmuring in unison – their last chance at freedom

The other side of this pearly globe is in flames
There are forest fires burning in the winter sun
The skies are glowing, red, screaming like there is something holy locked inside
There are birds murmuring in unison
A ravens wing caught in flames, tears on a childs cheek at the destruction of a home

The other side of this pearly globe is in flames
There is white noise in my head
Screaming like there is something holy locked inside

Lick the flame off the root of the ancient tree, drive the hoof into the burning sand, Suck the sap from the chalk that rots, Kiss the belly of the bark that leaks, Twist and turn through flaming waters; hear the reeds sing their last lament before

Everything turns to dust

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2019 dream depository

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this might have been one of the worst years in history, and yet I can pinpoint many moments of joy and beauty amongst the pain.  I keep coming back to something I wrote in 2016 when I was volunteering in Calais: The promised land is within us. Heaven and Hell are to be found in the same place.

——

8/8 – grateful for: freedom to choose, freedom to take part, freedom to deflect, freedom to learn, freedom to love, freedom to move your body

30/10 grateful for: changing seasons, children, curiosity, cities and all their nuances and hidden corners, that which is open and free, family and support, friends and support, art sans art world, feeling the breeze on ur face, warm cosy clothes, grime, a blue sky on a cold day, tea, london parks in the morning, coffee and a cigarette, always listening, always learning and unlearning

13/11. grateful for: friendship, comfortable silences, connection, rest, that feeling when you have walked so far your legs burn, snowtopped mountains, for sunshine through fog, for respite, for just being, for caring for one another.

——

last night i dreamt of a gigantic tidal wave rising. I watched it from the beach as it rose, once, twice, out of nowhere. then i ran away as fast as I could. I dreamt of a tidal wave that came from nowhere and engulfed us. I dreamt of death and all its friends. I dont understand how to deal with grief and i can feel it sitting in the pit of my stomach and reminding me of my own failings in its selfishness. last night i dreamt of the tidalwave that swept you away from the living into the sea of death.


 

The End

 

This one was my lungs filling

(or) This one was the reflection of my lungs filling 

                                                                              in 

The stillest lapping of smoke on the dashboard of the silver renault clio smashing through thai summer rain. 

 

Taxidermied. Stopped Dead. Temp-Mort, Dead-Time

The last frame flickers, the cellulose nitrate disfigures and burns like a cigarette butt pressed into the cheek of the car interior, of a loved one. 

Just out of shot, out of the frame, the iphone camera blurs, zooms in; a nostril, a chin, the endless grey of a motorway, and murmurs

 

An exploding sky. The day you turned to dust

                                                                       I learnt to read the constellations and you were making fireflies out of the greyest, bleakest, shittest of evenings. The flattest landscapes turned mountainous, corrupted and erupted. This was the corner which I found you that bleak night w/here, w/hole, 

my eyes adjusting to the darkness making constellations from dust specks on the blue office carpet in my shoebox apartment. 

 

How can the dead be so perfectly alive

– on the bathroom floor

– in the shower

– cold tiles against thighs

– Inside my swimming goggles which left an imprint on my cheeks for 3 hours

– In the swimming pool 

– in the swimming pool changing room 

 

The corners of the pool are filled with detritus, bodily debris, sand and grit, dust and plasters. I find it oddly comforting to focus on – blurred and softly shaking like the atoms in my belly that glide through the thick water, ‘I am detritus’, ‘I am detritus’, ‘I am a piece of shit’ I repeat to myself like a transcendental meditation. Ahh. Thats Better.

 The winter light was so bright that the water became nothng but a glow, and I was hurtling at fullspeed through a tunnel of night, upstream, downriver, to the top of the hill, the deadzone, with zero sound or wind or wifi to be felt for miles, that exhilirating freedom of nothing-ness in the otherwise -oversaturated,and,accellerating,swipeswipe,deadend,loveless,minimumwage,illegaltenant,barelyscrapingby – better on drugs – pissed – up – life-

Oh, beauteous power of nature, I roar into the airwaves – to delve into the deluge of the slips and slime under the mossy enclave of a 1000 year old tree where weird and monstrous creatures are fucking and flourishing. Thats where I wanna be. All slippery and sublime and out of this world. 

—–

All Power To All The People ! 

—- 

 

My lungs expand with smoke rot, the belly carve, my name into the fleshy underside

Of a tree we planted in your memory

The soil packs around my bones heavy underneath damp skies

 

Fires are sparked from dead wood

 

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uncle

sitting on the boulevard eating cold noodles, its late september and summer has crept away. the sea is full, swelling and pounding against the wall with growls like great thunderstorms; spraying and folding over itself, straining at the barriers that hold it in. At Hellsmouth a great black wave rises and falls into grey and green gradients. the debris of summer teeming with flies black and buzzing. everything melts away. i woke up this morning with a cosmic wound.

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poems for this 2019 (broken bones)

_____

Its passed down, the hole >>>> I used to play in a hole at the end of the garden, my hidden spot, the moss growing on the compost bin, the cracked glass of the dusty window on the shed lit with morning light. I would hide & spit worlds into stones with sticky baby fingers and primary coloured plastic blocks covered in specks of dirt, I would bury them deep in the ground with my secrets. 

— 

Buried deep in the snow were my secrets; buried deep down under piles of ice. I forgot that a place could be so white, so heaving with thickness. White ice piling like soft pillows reflects the spots in my eyes. I’m eating lukewarm bread and peeling eggs and everything is frozen around me. The whites of my eyes are reflected in these great puddles, like round white eggs fried on the ice. I’m trying to remember my insignificance, surrounded by tiny shards of cardboard picked apart by nervous fingers, here and here and here. Tonight I sleep restless in an attic room. 

—-

In Iceland, I felt so bad I wanted to die.

—-

Undulating 

___

Warm wriggle against skin, I dance inside you

Your rhythm moves with my breath

Grey, blue, white

The moon pulls you off of my skin

I haven’t got anything left

My lips fall apart like rainwater crushed against skin crashing with seafoam

My bones turn to sand underneath you

—-

 

Im not turned on by anything. flicking through the TV channels, the night is alive outside, dark and teeming with the kind of life that surfaces on the streets of london after 12pm on a Friday night. I got stoned and crashed out in the hotel room. The ceiling was painted with fake clouds underlit by that same blue hue emitted by a sleeping laptop, or rather the blue hue that keeps you from sleeing. Fuck, the clouds were so realistic. I ate a whole bag of jellybeans and fell asleep with the television on. I woke to a text from a girl on Tinder about sunshine but there were no windows and I felt like I had been pushed through a time capsule, my head was dense with sugar and nicotine. The maid kept knocking on the door and I just couldnt get off. I woke up again a few hours later to the tv blaring and emitting an orange hue.                                                                  >>>>>>>>

Sticky walls, water. Babyfish, swimming upstream, I Dont Give A Fuck About Your Art World

my head is full of cotton wool I self medicate to eradicate

——-

His hands are black, dirty fingernails and he shouts at me in the street and grabs my body and calls me a bitch. My tongue is heavy in my mouth heavy slippery stuck erupting sensation tingle reverberation across my back shoulders shockwave shaking muscles low key pain undulating belly rot heavy and expanding flutter dance black liquid seeping through my skin pushing against my sea wall. The belly undulates. The belly undulates

(give my another chance baby, Ill never hurt you baby)

———

I wanted you

To rip me in two

Like petals in the wind

I wanted to be carried on 

The waves

your body

Stretched over mine 

Until I disappear 

Into Dust

—–

My lungs expand with smoke rot, the belly carve, my name into the fleshy underside

Of a tree we planted in your memory

The soil packs around my bones heavy underneath damp skies 

—–

Relapse

I never thought I would be here again squealing for my morals 

skin stretched under

Yours like a horse corpse

Shed on the bathroom floor

My fucking body quaking

Under yours the bullet

Slung from sinking ships

Red lipstick kissed the rim

I dont trust the boy

Who breathes life in lips

Sun kissed the windowpane

Silver lips walled up

Shining curve of light

—–

The sky went grey before i had a chance to feel the water licking my body

—-

She is made from stone and gold-plated. Flies settle on your legs hairs sprout from roots. You are uprooted – deep –

breath – 

Waves lap and children scream as cold water shocks their diving bodies

Stationary boats rock to the beat of the ocean current

I dug down deep into the sand beneath me to find gold plated stones 

Flies circle my body waning

Sails flying a crisp breeze like biting into an apple

Bellyflop, 

I worked to the bone. 

Under the undergrowth, the piles of seaweed rot

Your muscles flex in milky waters, 

Give me something to believe in. 

_____

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reading lists

> Everything has been so potent over the last few years, the political backdrop to our lives unravels into chaos and we slowly slide, hiding, into digital worlds that map our thoughts into timelines & unearth curated selections of memories. Meanwhile we navigate growth and becoming, personal lives, (un)/employment, lack of clarity, love and heartbreak, depression and joy. You may imagine it as two interlocking timelines.>,>

> I can trace these years through books read, instagram posts, tweets, people encountered/loved/fucked, bouts of depression, and moments of joy. Memories become so important. I don’t know if everyone does it, but I relish in them, glamorise them, repaint them over and over in my mind as details fade and dissolve into sketch-marks. When I think of the time I have spent depressed, it makes me feel like I’ve not been fully alive, and so I want to hold onto every moment of life I can, and keep them in this special gilded box in my brain. Because when it’s lifted and it’s happening and it’s life and I can feel it, everything is technicolour and I want to throw my body on the waves and hold strangers and everyone I ever loved near.  

> All of these texts are stuck in my memory, as traces of the last 10 years, voices read aloud pinpoints of an event, a moment in time that managed to slip through the cracks. 

Remembering being read aloud to, or repeating it back to yourself like a mantra, or passing it daily in the street. 

All of these texts are stuck in my memory, I share an intimacy with them. 

They hold me, as I may hold their weightyness in my hand, it is a comfort.

 

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