Tag Archives: Music

“Setting fire to our insides for fun”

Image: Kinga Chichewicz

Hi,

I’m back…for now I guess. We can’t say how long this is going to last because I’m really bad with commitment. The only thing I’ve ever properly committed to has been a 1 and a half year relationship that ended about a month ago, so hey, there’s your answer.

That’s also roughly the same amount of time in which this blog has been briefly abandoned. Weird. I think it’s because I’m not very good at writing when I’m feeling happy.

My mother actually asked me last night why I only write when I’m sad, my answer was simply that happiness is not an interesting enough emotion to comment on. Think about it. When I’m happy I wake up early and stretch and greet the hobos milling outside my window like I’m Snow White and they’re the little forest animals. I skip out of my flat and down the road and I fist bump car guards and breathe deeply and stare up at the blue sky and grin widely into the universe.

And it’s all very boring.

The real shit. The interesting, mind-bending, gut-wrenching, soul-searching shit, is when it’s 2am and “Daughter” has been playing on a loop since midnight and everything feels a little too real, too uncertain, too wild. And when the dawn arrives there’s a certain victory in surviving that shitstorm of emotion and adjectives. That’s how Plath wrote “Daddy”, and Eliot wrote “The Wasteland” and Spike Milligan wrote “On the Ning Nang Nong”.

Don’t try to tell me Spike Milligan wasn’t deeply emotional when he wrote the line “And the teapots jibber jabber joo”, I will fight you.

Anyway, I wrote something at 2am the other day and it was moderately good. So here it is:

Hey, I know you’re tired, and scared. Life is awfully fresh and raw and uncertain right now. You’re not too sure where you fit. Here’s the thing…in a few years time you will be a little less immortal. You will be sitting on new sheets in a bigger bed, with more money in your savings account and more stability in your heart, and you are going to miss this moment.

You are going to have more of your shit figured out and you are going to wonder why you didn’t cherish being 23 a bit more. There’s so much youth still on your side. The world is beckoning you with its fingertips and all you have to do is leap.

You are going to miss being this young, this unsure, this devastated, this inspired.

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Filed under Average Advice, Brain Poetry

Romanticising other things.

snow

Source: weheartit.com

I haven’t written anything on here in over 2 months.

I totally get that these moments of total writer’s block happen from time to time. I’m only human, my brain can only spew out so many melodramatic metaphors before it gets tired of itself. There’s only so many cliches I can avoid before I become a walking one.

I’m not sure why it’s been so long. I’ve been writing things down, obviously. Disappointed little scribbles in my journal. At one point I experimented and wrote out an entire paragraph whilst under the influence – there was a lot of wiggles and a lot of pent up angst, wow.

I lost my muse…well, my muse lost me. So I’ve had to kind of learn to romanticise other things – like the suffocating smell of festival toilets and the feeling of new socks on cold feet. But over my brief hiatus from publishing anything on my favourite corner of the internet, I’ve managed to write down a few short little blurbs.

So here it is; Harriet’s random 2am/ every day thoughts: an anthology.

On places I’d rather avoid:

“I equate places with feelings. And if it were up to me, the train station where I last saw you would be simultaneously the favourite and most despised place in my entire world.”

In an email from my grandmother:

“I went to New York when I was 20 to see if it was any different from Nottinghamshire. If it was the same, I could always come back and settle down. Instead I found your grandfather and no, New York was not the same as Notts.”

I went to the edge and found you.

On weekends that turn into melodramatic moments:

“It’s almost tomorrow and I don’t want to go home.

Ever have one of those weekends? The spell-binding, soul-searching, over-the-moon kind of weekend? I am at the end of one and I’ve got this sinking feeling that I’ll never feel something so definite, so completely euphoric. I feel my youth creeping up on me, I can feel the fire start in my heart and I can feel my toes curl as I yearn for moments that last.

I don’t want to stop being 21. I want nights that beat the sun and glowing embers that don’t know how to die.

I want to carry on living this spontaneously forever.

It’s almost tomorrow and I don’t want to go home.”

“I’ve had a weekend.

A destructive, ridiculous, incredible weekend; filled with sobbing and catchphrases and loving people despite it all.”

shhh

Source: weheartit.com

On people who don’t know how to stay:

“I can’t blame you for walking away. How can I possibly? We both know I burn too brightly to be extinguished. There’s a ‘no vacancy’ sign just for you hanging over my vibrant, unbelievable, explosive life.”

“Because our entire existence was me trying to hold on to what you used to be, and you trying to show me how much you’ve changed.”

“I hope when you retell our story, you describe me as ‘the girl who screamed poetry at you when you told her to run, even though she was never yours to walk away from.'”

“I’m glad you’ve found ways to smother your grief for humanity, but don’t you dare do it at my expense.”

On what they never taught me in school:

“In 5th grade English class they told us to write down everything with as much detail as possible. They told us that parts of speech were imperative, adjectives meant something.

They never told us that, in reality, adjectives are just as superficial as their intentions. And some people will say anything just to gain a piece of your soul.”

On how much can change over several months:

“I am not the person I was last November. I am nowhere near the girl who blushed electric at your empty cosmic promises.

I am not who I was last November. I got ripped from that body by circumstance and change. I got pummeled into this shape by disappointment. I am not who I was last November.

I am not last November. I haven’t written poetry in months. I don’t believe in shutting out the world any more, I let the cold seep in to wake me up and chill my bones.

I am not who I was last November. I am not a Mississippi sunset, I am not burning up as I race down a wooden dock towards you. I am not superlunary, I am not yours.

I am not who I was last November. I have run out of time; you wasted it. You, and all those after you. I have run out of time and sand and clock hands.

I am not who I was last November. I have an iron soul that can’t be thawed and eyes that flash sunlight. I will burn you up. I will make you miss me. I will drive you insane, kiss you catatonic and then leave you to combust.

Because I am not who I was last November. I am not who you pretended to love. I am not even myself.”

On how much better everything has turned out to be:

“If I end up living a life that is anything short of vibrant, I won’t survive. Tonight I braided a man’s hair whilst sitting on the floor of a bar. I drove around my neighbourhood yelling promises at strangers, I kissed my friends goodnight and flopped onto my bed. I am blissfully surprised at how wonderful everything has turned out to be.”

The bit about festival toilets:

“There’s nothing more carnal or cathartic than finally having a poo in a festival porter-loo.”

And despite all these ridiculous metaphors, here is my final WTF moment:

“Squeaky swings sound like children screaming.”

(What the fuck, Harriet?)

Think of this as a farewell to all the moody posts about something that is now a nothing.

There you have it. The sneakiest peak into my drafts folder.

Not much else to say, except goodbye.

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Filed under Brain Poetry

Musical Finds: Another Story

“I hear your voice and it seems as if it was all a dream, I wish it was all a dream.”

Sitting cross-legged, cross-armed, cross-hearted on my bed, listening to this song on repeat and trying to stop it from meaning so much.

It’s been a long weekend, a long 6 months, a long existence. I’ve filled the past few hours with poetry and hardly-known songs in an attempt to feel less exhausted.

“Every time I hear another story
Oh the poor boy lost his head
Everybody feels a little crazy
But we go on living with it”

I am a melancholic, water-colour bullet shell. All my psychedelic shrapnel is lying at my feet – every piece of my cadmium soul has been swallowed and spit out by you. We exploded into a hurricane of colour and tones and this song is currently the only thing to make sense.

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May 29, 2016 · 11:24 pm

Musical Finds: Spirit Cold

tall heights

I love indie folk music. I love how nostalgic and dramatic it makes me feel- like I’m staring out of a train window with tears rolling down my face. My relatively tumultuous and over-thought soul needs it to survive. The sadder the lyrics, the more high-pitched warbling that occurs, the closest resemblance to Bon Iver, the better.

This one made me nostalgically happy. It made me miss snow and people I’ve never met before. Because I like to make my life as poetic as possible, I guess.

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November 25, 2015 · 11:28 am

I am cursed and blessed with feeling everything so intensely.

large“Can you see me? All of me? Probably not. No one ever really has.” -Jeffery Eugenides

I’m currently on a strange journey of self-reflection. I think it’s healthy to indulge in such things every once in a while.

I like turning off all the lights in my bedroom, lying on the floor and thinking about my place in the universe; how I’m supposed to impact the world and the people around me, how I expect myself to behave in certain situations and wishing I could behave differently in others. Lying on the floor probably has some deep poetic meaning behind it that I’ll come up with at a later stage when I want to make my life seem more like a novel, but really I just like the feeling of a different perspective and how worn the carpet feels under my fingers.It’s as if people other than me have lain down on that exact spot and felt as misunderstood as I do.

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That’s the teenage angst talking. I think I’m more ordinary than I think I am. There are probably millions of 19 year old feelings out there who lie on their backs and cry over songs and carpets. It’s an unspoken rite of passage.

Tonight I’m lying on the floor and thinking about a conversation.

“You thought quite deeply about that” he remarked

I pause, “I think about everything deeply.”

I haven’t decided yet if I like this about myself. Often it feels like I live in a world where showing emotions is a weakness and yet the very core of my being demands to feel. This makes me too emotional, too insane, too passionate. Nothing I do or say is meaningless, in this fast-paced, cold Earth I don’t believe in brevity or being numb. I agonise and overthink every misplaced semi-colon, every pause in a sentence, someone’s tone of voice and the underlying intention of their actions. I am cursed and blessed with feeling everything so intensely.

That, in a nutshell, is what I am lying on my bedroom floor thinking about.

Can you see me yet?

No?

You probably glanced over me, heard how I talk about things like they’re incredibly important, noticed how I like to burst into people’s lives with poetry and how I force them to have feelings or how I pry something beautiful from their mouths. I like soul searching, I like learning how dark the deepest parts of people’s souls are and then adding some light to it. You probably skimmed over all this and decided I’m crazy. I’m not crazy, I just think too deeply.

I look for people who see at least some parts of me, who look past the superficial, who want to sweep away my inner cobwebs and let in a little sunshine. I look for people who don’t ask me my favourite colour or my favourite food; they ask me if I had an imaginary friend, ask me what my biggest regret is, figure out what makes me sad and the things I’d change in the world if only I could.

These are questions I ask myself when I’m listening to Youngblood Hawke and trying to figure out who the fuck I want to be when I grow up.

When I grow up I want to be understood.

k

 

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The Universe Isn’t Kind To Dreamers

fight11:30 in the middle of the night and I’m screaming across the road at some guy.

Okay, the guy was my boyfriend who I never scream at. In fact, I hardly ever scream at all, it’s like I was born with an extra “chill” chromosome. Nothing fazes me, you could throw a slipper at me with a letter attached to it conveying a stream of profanities and I’d probably ask you to throw me the other slipper so my feet don’t get cold.

But at 11:30 on a Tuesday I found myself screaming, which alarmed both myself and my S.O, who had never actually seen me show an emotion other than typewriter1“happy” and “chilled”. I don’t feel bad about my outburst however, because he was yelling back, but I am a little disappointed to say that the entire debacle looked like a trashy fight scene in “Big Brother” or “Geordie Shore”. Neither shows are on my list of desired realities, but I guess every stupid University student gets lower class at some point in their studies.

I’ve reached the point in my studies (and my relationship) where the entire concept of “future” scares the pants off of me. S.O is unemployed, musical and the biggest dreamer I have ever met. Half of the surprises he’s promised me have yet to happen as they’re too wild to pull off on time, the other half are ideas he still has to put into action. It’s what I love about him though, I am surprisingly practical and straightforward, I put a situation through hypothetical and very possible occurrences before I do anything about it and due to a parental divorce situation out of control I have been forced from a very young age to be cautious and practical about money/safety/the future.

There’s that word again “future”, I get a tingle down my spine every time I have to type it: future, future, future. Oooh, I can’t take it.

S.O doesn’t think like I do. Of course he’s worried about getting a job or finding something to study, the man’s going out musicof his mind not having anything to do, but South Africa’s BEE complex and the fact that there’s not a lot of realistic opportunities out there for a 21 year old multi-talented musician does not make the situation look very dandy. He’s sure that the universe will provide, I’m planning on blackmailing and holding the universe ransom if it doesn’t “provide” in a week.

S.O’s situation has me in a bit of an frantic slump. My degree is, in the opinion of the world, pointless. Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English and History; what the hell is a person supposed to do with that?! I have no interest in teaching, no desire to spend my life pouring over old tomes, the only thing I want to do is write. And write and write and write and write and write until my fingers bleed ink and my clothes are made predominantly of scrap pieces of paper.

How is the universe supposed to provide for a zealous musician and a confused writer? Writers and musicians should logically be dating accountants and investors so as to have a little economic security in their lives. So the writer got pissed with the musician and told him he had to get off his bum and find a job ASAP, then the musician got defensive and told the writer he’s been doing everything he could and if the writer wants someone boring and unhappy then the writer should find someone else, and then they both yelled a lot and things got dramatic and weird.

But the writer doesn’t want anyone else. The writer needs a dreamer so she can be pulled off thetypewriter ground a little bit and the musician needs a bit of logic to stop him from floating away.

I want to write, he wants to sing, we both want to love each other for quite a while. We’re both scared, we’re both uncertain, we’re both under-appreciated by everyone but our moms, we both don’t want to have a trashy street-fight ever again.

We’re running on luck and hard work and the faith that our talents aren’t just dead ends and someday we might run out of our luck and someday we might give up on the talents we know we have and there might not be a someday someday.

But the universe provides right?

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Filed under Romance or something like it

Don’t be Yoko: My Adventures With The Rock Band JackValve

joeastevo Everyone needs to have a rock ‘n roll phase. You can be certain your parents had one, yes, those lovely law-abiding, picket fenced, blue-jean, summer day folk you call “Mom and Dad” ,those guys were hardcore once upon a time. Gramps also rocked the sock hops in his day. It’s impossible not to have a rock ‘n roll phase, it doesn’t matter how long it ends, it could be a 2 hour gig-frenzy or a lifetime of headbanging- it’s just got to happen, the cycle of life depends on it.

My rock ‘n roll phase started rather abruptly, with half-price cocktails on a Monday and the commitment to introduce myself to our music-exhaling neighbours if I got home with enough Dutch Courage to spare. 10:30 pm and I’m yelling at the top of my lungs, trying to get the mysterious and edgy rock stars to come outside and let my roommates and I in. They obliged, and showed just how hardcore they are by promptly making us tea.

2 sugars and milk…how very Axl Rose.

Thus acquaintance was made with “JackValve”. A bunch of tea-drinking, video-game junkies who just so happen to know a lot about their craft as musicians. I’ve been sucked into my rock ‘n roll phase with the sudden appearance of gig invitations on my Facebook events and the sounds of Monday and Wednesday band practice making their way onto my front porch. The fact that I’m dating the lead singer means I get acoustic concerts in my bedroom and,upon occasion, get threatened to be attacked with drumsticks if I “become Yoko”.

Playing Blink-182 is also taboo in the JackValve house.

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Their latest single “Baby Blue” is apparently a tribute to me. I am skeptical as it was written and recorded months before my existence was even known, but the sentiment is sweet. Every groupie wants to pretend a song is about them, I get the privilege of bragging about this one:

I might even say I find it better than Blink-182…but don’t tell them that.

Go like their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JackValve and start your rock ‘n roll phase.

Do it for humanity!

IMG-20140602-WA004

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Filed under Adventures, Rocking Tunage