She is travelling on the Megabus, knowing that she is going to leave him…
My story, The Megabus, has been included in Papaya Press’s WHAT SHE KNEW ZINE, which is a collection of responses to the work of Lydia Davis.
This letter was originally written for the LUNAR Project screening of films by Jennifer Reeder, THE YOUNG-GIRL IS NOT ALWAYS YOUNG, AND NOT ALWAYS A GIRL
Dear Cat Madden,
I’m sorry I’ve overlooked you for so many years, but I am close to the child, she is easier to understand and I find you hard to pin down and embarrassing. I have wondered why you never learn to play the guitar, choosing instead to grow your nails long and paint their tips white with a little pen you have read about in a magazine and buy from Boots. I don’t know why you scrape your hair back like that and still fancy the boy who burnt your arm with a lighter. I hate those scraggly hair extensions that you click-in on the night you’re sick at a club opening your friend’s uncle took you to, after two drinks. He is annoyed, but later turns out to be a paedophile. That is your fault. And why do you just stand there smoking when the two men talk about how tight it would be if they fucked you in the arse? I suppose you do tut, and not to be underestimated is the excitement of a stranger wanting to fuck you.
I do things that you can only dream of on a lonely weekend: I have my clitoris licked, I sit under a duvet watching TV with somebody who loves me a lot. These things are more boring than you think.
I don’t think people think I’m as clever as you, and I’m not as well read in comparison to my peers. I don’t masturbate as successfully as you who have a free and easy mind, to spend all morning thinking about a woman with no personality touching me up in a shop’s changing room. Infeasible now when I feel guilty for not craving sex for weeks.
I don’t smoke any more. You started so that you wouldn’t look so young and that boys would like you.I don’t look old, but my tits are bigger.
I suppose you are just as pure as the sad little girl you tried to give the slip, just as vital, an overly optimistic oracle of un-tired sexuality. Come and sit with me and we can talk about things you’ve read, poetry by men, after all you are one of the mothers of my woman.
These two poems were published in SHELF HEROES‘ A and B zines about films, they’re inspired by The Aristocats and Bambi.
Thomas O’Malley Well, we almost had a father but instead we have this father figure father away, but still here and teaching us, so we don’t have to know he’s just for her, our mother, beautiful and unsuspecting or unsuspecting enough to attract a philanderer that us kittens want to love. Bambi Realises That His Mum Has Died It’s not so much the shot that does it, but when you turn around and see that you might have been running alone for a long time. and when my moth-urrrrr fast forwards over death she omits this stag that comes down from the mountain to declare that all moth-urrss are transitory and, just this once, to call me son.
Here we all are at The Feminist Library for the launch party of Exchange, a collaboration between me and my pal Louise.
Photographs by Morgan Hill-Murphy.
Visit the Exchange site to find out more info, and buy a copy.
Poetry@The Talbot, or Catherine Madden&Friends as it came to be known, was my first venture into organising a poetry evening, and it went very well.
In the photo you can see me, Rory Porter, Alan Zapata and Tracy Mathewson. Johanne M. Hauge also read and we had an impromptu performance from Danny P!
Extra credit goes to Rory and Tracy, as these were their début appearances as poets.
Belated thanks to everyone who came, Nick Tatch for the printing, and The Talbot guys, Clare, Phil, and especially Rich Clarke who is an endless inspiration to us all.
The next event which I am helping to organise and reading at is something, also involving Alan Zapata.
On the 2nd August Alan and his partner Samira are hosting a fundraising even at Dig, Lewisham to raise money for setting up a volunteer project of English teachers for primary school children in a small village in the Amazon.
See here for more details about the project and this particular event. Sneak peek – it will involve barbecued fish.
So, I should be reading during the open mic’ session at this event, but I’m not sure what time.
It looks good anyway.
In other news, the collaborative project with my friend Louise is coming along nicely, and we should be able to tell you about the book launch soon.