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Monthly Archives: September 2015

Portrait: Hulme Park, 7th September

She walks across the grass, dragging her heavy feet: rollerblades. Ten minutes ago she was gliding, looping around me (and the park) in great rings, smooth and quiet. She’s streamlined: black leggings, black vest top, shaved head; she looks like someone you see in the background of an indie film, too cool for real life. Yet here she is, lying smack in the middle of the green, scrolling through her phone, untouched by the breeze.

Her rollerbladed feet cross at the ankles as if it’s the most comfortable thing in the world, as if they’re not heavy at all. And that brazen pink strip of sports bra, stark against the black of skin and cloth, is everything. It is an island of extraordinary in the ordinary, and so is she.

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Moment

A perfect moment-
Watching the death of summer
From beneath an oak

The Polyglot Within

I’ve recently resigned myself to working from home again, which means managing my own time (which I’m terrible at). However, it does mean that I will be dedicating myself to my Duolingo account.

Recently, I set myself a challenge- be able, by the time I am 30, to be linguistically capable of travelling anywhere in Europe and be understood. That means, objectively speaking, to know either the first language of a country, or something it is mutually intelligible with. All in all, I could probably do this by learning 12 languages to the degree to which I currently speak Spanish, i.e. a 20% score on Duolingo (I’m rusty; leave me alone).

To me, that sounds very doable. I have just under six and a half years to complete 15 topics’ worth of language learning in 12 languages. At an estimated average of four lessons per topic, two lessons per day, that’s actually doable in just under a year.

Okay, that’s not what I expected.

I was expecting, “Well, it’ll be hard, but by June 2020 you should just about be done”, not “In less than a year, all of Europe will be at your feet”.

I’ve never really understood why English-speakers don’t take more curiosity in languages, and now I’m absolutely confounded. I mean, I know I’m one of those moronic monolingual English, but I still have a decent smattering in five languages.

Okay, I’m going to put out a challenge to anyone: join me in learning an utterly obscene amount of languages. Duolingo currently has 13 languages available for English speakers, with eight more on the way. Let’s do this, learn more about language and interaction and open ourselves to interacting with a whole new bunch of people. Language is fantastic.

My duolingo achievements will be posted to Tumblr, not here. Follow me there if you want to challenge me.

Ripe Fruit

Let’s pretend this poem
is about ripe fruit
rather than your arse.
No matter how good it feels
under my hand I know
it would be better
between my jaws.

The flesh tenses at that.
Good; I know it’s wrong
to play with my food-
But why should I
even try to hold back when
I know that bruised fruit
is all the sweeter?

Poem: This is my gun

In the playground,
I learnt how to make a gun
with two fingers:
Bang! Shoot ‘em dead,
running round like any other boy
like a boy

boy!

But

I was blooded; boyhood shifted,
left me behind. Just
a girl, they thought
in boys’ trousers
-not boys’, mine!-
just a girl

fuck!

Yes

I made a great fuck
Loved men with my body
This woman’s body
-not woman’s, mine!-
Side-by-side compared:
still no man

But

gun!

I may not have a rifle
But these two fingers
Still make a gun
Try telling me otherwise
When they’re in-
And I beckon-

come!