Rite of Passage

In my day jumping the trains to London was a teenage rite of passage. As outlandish and mythical as it may now sound, there once really was a magical spiral staircase at Finsbury Park, and it fed directly down into the London Underground. Truth to say everybody knew about it, everybody used it and everybody took it for granted. Like a down-snake, or a disused helter skelter, it was a ride, a trick, a trick of transformation. All you  needed was a bit of vim and nerve and you could transform an invalid overground rail ticket into a newly-minted 3-zone London travelcard.  In one quick downward dive you could fall from Finsbury overland, spiralling right down into the tube network, and so into the throbbing veins of central London itself, and all for th price of a 3-zone travelcard. Jumping the trains into London was a veritable teenage craze, in my day.

Having said all that, the charm only seemed to work going into London. We overstretched ourselves mortally when we tried to dodge out, away from London. Notable was the time we tried to jump the trains as far North as we could get, and were apprehended in Birmingham, after Leicester Central had telegraphed ahead, with our descriptions and modus operandi. So when we did our handbag-drop-bum-rush routine on them for the night train out of New Street, they were already wise, and held us in a holding cell while they waited for the Transport Police. We had to phone my friend’s big sister. We were only set free after she finally showed up, gave some uniform some money, smiled winningly and flirtatiously at the right people and was heard berating us as she stomped us to her car.

“Next time” Big sister snarled “Phone someone else instead”.

New Bella Basura posting

Maxine and Bella Merged - Bella Basura 2018

Maxine and Bella Merged – Bella Basura 2018

TOGETHER

Once long ago we were connected, all together, gathering in a circle, outward facing, covering each others backs. We were solid and safe in three hundred and sixty directions. We were whole wholesome together connected. But I don’t remember, do you remember?

And yet again eyes connect across canyons of misunderstandings. That must have been some other time.

We were our own human barricade, strong in limb, Amazonians, muscled women of plunder, not war, just necessity. Swooping in the dark, together, finger-wings tip-to-tip, touching. The storm comes around again flashing jolt and thunder-crack. Eyes meet and connect in metallic shadows, forked in lightening. But I don’t remember, do you remember?

I search your face for explanations, but your eyes don’t speak to me. Your facial expression caught in the frozen photographic moment, is remarkably composed, held peaceful and distant in placid compassion. Your eyes are numb they do not speak to me. Aloof in life, that’s me.

And yet again eyes connect across canyons of misunderstandings. That must have been some other time.

It must have been some other time, another place, it doesn’t look the same, it’s so different. Only your silent eyes are the same. I catch a glance into them and everything shifts, somehow slightly bigger. Your empty eyes are the constant axis through which consciousnesses turn through gyrations of immensity and I know we were connected, once long ago. But I don’t remember, do you remember?

Clutches of Love

The Skull Collection

Archive

Psychogeography

Jean Dark

The Short Answer Chapbook for sale here

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Sweet Surrender


Today I wanted to check I knew the difference between “Satsang” and “Darshan”, so I headed to my faithful old dictionary to look it up. My solid reliable “old skool” paper dictionary – three inches thick, bound in tatty blue faux leather, machine-blocked in brass-coloured foil, thumb-indexed A to Z, and fossilised stopped dead in its tracks when it was published in 1988.
When I write that out it sounds absurd, a counter-intuitive act of self-sabotage. Why didn’t I just go “google-satsang-meaning”? Easy as pie.
In my defence, it was early morning and I don’t use any electronic communication devices until mid-day because I am writing.
So I thumbed my way through my big old tome, with it’s foxed corners and cranky colophon. After several minutes I came fruitlessly to “Satsuma”. I slammed the book shut.
“google-satsang-meaning” I barked.

Bella Basura 2018

Clutches of Love

The Skull Collection

Archive

Psychogeography

Jean Dark

The Short Answer Chapbook for sale here

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Poem

I Got My Mole-Jaw Working Bella Basura 2008

Looking Askance
With a Nod to Brain Eno

Do something boring
Discard an axiom
Make a short circuit
Use unqualified people
Take away the elements in order of non-importance
Emphasise repetitions
Don’t be afraid of things because they are easy to do
Use filters
Reverse
Emphasise repetitions
Imagine the piece as a set of disconnected events
Always first steps
Always give yourself credit for  having more than personality
Emphasise repetitions
Always give yourself credit for  having more than personality
Emphasise repetitions
Emphasise repetitions
Retrace your steps
Name the sections
Consider transitions
Mechanise something idiosyncratic
Remove ambiguities – convert to specifics
Cascades
Emphasise repetitions
Tape your mouth
Cluster analysis
Ghost echoes
Emphasise repetitions
Lost in useless territory
Is it finished?
[blank white page]
What mistakes did you make last time

Bella Basura 2017

Poetry

Archive

Psychogeography

Jean Dark

The Short Answer Chapbook for sale here 

Bella Basura Live in March

Two performances for Bella Basura coming up this month…

Scarecrow Corner Springtime Benefit Gig, Cambridge
At The Devonshire Arms, 19th MarchScarecrow Corner S[ringtime Benefit Gig

Poetic Springs Bury St Edmunds

Poetic Springs, Bury St Edmunds
Anselm Community Centre, 23rd March

Limited copies of The Short Answer chapbook will be on sale at both events.

Short Monologues and Plays

Do What Pirates Do 

A Gratuitous Cat Photo Bella Basura 2016

A Gratuitous Cat Photo
Bella Basura
2016

“Yohoho and a bottle of grog, me hearties” Enunciated Jonny Depp in pure mid-Atlantic Mockney, arguably the worst pirate accent in Hollywood. Amber rolled her eyes, inwardly.

He stood, elaborately piratical with black eye-liner, leather tricorn hat and sailor tattoos. His eyes gleamed intensely beneath his kiss-me-quick seaside rasta wig, he twirled his waxed moustache.

“Shiver me timbers, mi’lud, don’t send me down to the stripey hole. For I am a Pirate of the Cariby-anne and must do what Pirates do – robbery on the high seas, rape pillage cattle rustling and the smuggling of small domestic dogs into ecologically-sensitive Antipodean Continents.

Amber held up her hand. “You need to take this seriously, Jonny. Please just read the statement they wrote for us”

Jonny throws his cutlass to the floor in a fit of pique and reads the apology in a contemptuous sing-song voice “Australia is a wonderful blahblah Island with a blahblah treasure trove of unique plants, animals and blahblah…”

Bella Basura
July 2016

Written specially for the Cambridge Storytellers nautically themed Story Round.
Hosted by Marion Leeper – The First Bard of Cambridge.