Monday, 15 February 2010

The Porcelain Doll

He was preparing some monstrously indulgent breakfast as I sat picking at a slice of dry ginger cake, whilst my feverish mind recounted the night before. 

“It’s valentine’s day” he eagerly reminded me, perhaps hoping to provoke a reaction.

I couldn’t react even if I wanted to. I was paralyzed and poisoned, my throat swelling and starving my lungs of air, as I thought of The Porcelain Doll. Every synapse seemed to be under siege by luscious portraits of her. This was not a feeling that made me inclined to buy roses, or perfume, but to slip out into the night and search every inch of the Earth to find her, and collide with her in some nuclear reaction, in which we fused into a writhing and pulsating ball of energy and flame. Each second that our flesh wasn’t entwined was like an insult, an unnecessary dilution of my life, and one in which I considered death as a preferable alternative to existing without that ghostly ceramic skin at my fingertips. 

“ I’ve bought Michelle some chocolates, you know? A card too. And I’ve got to cook for her later, so can you make yourself scarce for a few hours?” he chimed.

What I wouldn’t give to be so easily pleased. If only I could operate on some uber-functional level in which I just celebrated love on one day a year and took it for granted the rest, instead of being pursued and terrorised at every moment, knowing she is somewhere where I am not, and that a minute I could have spent worshipping at her vivacious altar had been wasted on merely imagining it.
Still, at least I never found myself panic buying confectionary from a petrol station...

I found this short piece last week, and toyed with the idea of adapting it into a topical St Valentines Day post after seeing a man angrily stomping around the local convenience shop, trying to find a cheap box of chocolates. I had originally written it about 9 months ago, and like a little baby it seemed ripe for the world. 

Sometimes you struggle for inspiration, and you chase shadows looking for something to express. I heard that the actor Harry Dean Stanton has the words "Be Still and know..." written above his fireplace, and that is something I'm beginning to understand more and more in terms of why we often have the desire to express, but only sometimes the clarity to do it.

©2010 Copyright Daniel J. Fiasco

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Lonely Hearts - Man Seeks Woman

   Indecisive man (full of conviction) seeks woman ( or girl, depending on which you consider most flattering) who is not necessarily ‘the one’ but who is open to wondering if there really is ‘one’, or if it’s more important to give everything now, and hold nothing back, just in case there are many others, and  life wouldn’t be defined by failed relationships and maybe a lengthy successful one, but more a catalogue of beautiful memories of people you deeply admire and respect but had to move on from (like houses, or cities). I would be willing to spend the rest of my life with you, if it turns out that is better, but never because it would be too painful to end, or because we got stuck in a rut, only ever because our lives had become entwined to the point that we enjoy sharing them more than keeping them separate. Maybe we’d have dinner once and feel awkward and never speak again, but that’s fine, because we tried, rather than being paralyzed by fear and what ifs.

Appearance is not that important, but sometimes I think it’s ok to find certain things attractive despite the complete lack of rationality. I mean, if you have gorgeous eyes, it’s not because of anything you did, it’s just lucky genetics (except for when people get older, and the shape of their face can seem to reflect inner warmth, or evil etc, although maybe that is just a lottery too, because I once saw an old man who looked cold and bitter, and he was the most generous spirited man you could imagine). But when we find features to be pretty I often think it’s like nature tapping us on the shoulder saying “hey, your genes might want to get to know those genes better”.

Must have good sense of humour (although, I understand that some people’s sense of humour is like a hidden treasure, and it takes time to find). If you don’t have a good sense of humour, then I know it’s not really your fault, and there might be deep rooted reasons why you can’t let go and laugh, but I just don’t think I’m the right person for you (although I’m sure there is somebody who can either make you comfortable or is equally uncomfortable), and if I’m honest, I’m too hung up on this idea that we don’t know how long we have left to be investing in you for the long-term.

I don’t really mind what you’re interested in, so long as you’re interested in something and passionate about something (even if it’s a thing you think would be off putting on a first date, like antique birdcages or collecting newspaper clippings about strangers – I won’t be put off!).

If you have definite plans, like children, or marriage, or swingers parties, then please understand that I’m not AGAINST your plans, but I don’t have any and I’m not open to being sideswiped into yours, although that’s not to say I wouldn’t come around to them in time (it always kind of offends me when people decide they are going to get married before they have even met or consulted with a potential partner...)
Please call if your interested, or write (not that I’m old fashioned, but I am a romantic, and I’m not sure that any good story could start via email).

People who write lonely hearts ads are great poets. You have such a brief space to make your impact on somebody who you hope will become one of the most important people in your life. 

For the record,  I'm not a sociopathic Lonely Hearts scourer  or a genuine Lonely Heart (?) but this was inspired by a brief conversation with a friend, and I couldn't resist. I'd like to imagine this ad placed between these two real examples from a local source...*

30 year old female, looking for a caring and lasting relationship with a good man age 30-40 anywhere in the UK. There is no ideal man for me but I like an old fashioned gentleman who opens doors for me, well I am 5ft 2 I do have trouble reaching them door handles.

A single guy, 31,  looking for chat and who knows what else, easy going, looking for similar qualities in a woman.

* Humour aside, I hope these two people find eternal happiness (maybe with each other? )

©2010 Copyright Daniel J. Fiasco

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

(Please) Send Word

I sit on the porch, a mute satin wind sliding across the sky with a sinister discretion.
My ears are on stalks, grasping for distant harmonious voices,
In vain so far, but I can feel vanguard vibrations, 

Echoing forth in reconnaissance, excited, ill disciplined.

I can hear neither sound...

...nor silence

Words wander across plains of shattered glass in my imagination, hopeful,
Perhaps she whispered into a vacuum,
Or sent hushed messengers, 

Struck dumb by the vast journey.

I can hear neither sound...

...nor silence

Maybe crackling on the line... ?
Or a voice sad stricken, out of breath.
A faint hum, or a dull rumbling that could be external or internal,
The cogs of ill reason grinding?

Whenever you talk to people about horror movies, somebody is almost guaranteed to explain that "the ones where they don't show the monster are the scariest", and it's often true that our imagination is much better at building something that we are afraid of than any screenwriter. And really it makes perfect sense, as we have all the ammunition in our minds to tailor a creature perfectly geared towards our own unique fears and insecurities. 

 But it's not just fear. Helen of Troy was described as having "a face that launched a thousand ships", and that vague description is probably responsible for igniting perfect imaginary faces, all unique, in the minds of generations. A photograph of Helen would disappoint all but a few.

And so in a roundabout way, I'm trying to explain that this poem is about the imagination, and how the silence between two people is never really silent at all. When your anxiously waiting  to hear from somebody, their voice, inside your minds says the cruelest or the kindest things. 

©2010 Copyright Daniel J. Fiasco