I used to hate performing but now it is the only thing I do that makes me feel alive. Without poetry and shit-talking I am a mere shell, a wasteland of a human being. Derby Poetry Festival was an intense inspirational beautiful event and performing 3 times during was more concentrated performance than I’ve ever done before in my idle life. And performing at Sophie Sparham’s book launch was such an amazing honour. Hitting up the capital and opening a night of absolutely excellent performers, to celebrate a brilliant poetry collection that you should buy right now.

Basically I’ve been doing this for like, a year or two? Thanks to City-Zen One Mic basically, I got a sweet intro to spoken word and standing on small stages saying things to real people. Everything come from there. Then we got some hosting skills going on as well and I found out that I quite like chatting bollocks and I’m not 100% terrified of everything really.

This could be viewed as an inspirational story of a shy frightened girl overcoming her fears and self-consciousness to stand on stage and express True Feelings in the cause of Art.

Or it could be a tragic tale of rampant narcissism and ludicrous hats. Hubris nemesis, etc.

Anyway I need to step my game up and become the rampaging poetic beast the world deserves.

 

I’m feeling down and seasonally affective disordered today. Self-reflective blog rambling is a coping mechanism. Some bullshit inspirational Facebook thing was asking me to focus on my strength and that was the only thing I could think of and even that was somewhat conflicted. Reality is incredibly contingent so knowing what is objectively strong or weak, positive or harmful within the self is a bit of a crapshoot, in my opinion. The worst traits can be used and transformed. The best traits can twist into the noose that ends you. Black and white thinking is meant to be a problem for borderline people, but I think extreme ambivalence is more of an issue right now.

 

Life is ok though, I finally fulfilled my teenage dream of seeing Marilyn Manson. Dripping sweat and moshpit bruises,  sleazy decadence love and adventures. Only ten years late but better late than never. This is an extreme case of arrested development or perhaps perpetual adolescence. If I’m going to find myself I have to look everywhere.

(I recognise that the self is illusory.)

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How to use up 2016 and become better. (A goal setting post)

From bitter experience, I know that New Year’s Resolutions are destined to fail. A year is an unfathomably long time, and there is no possible way I can plan that far. However, this year is different in that a lot of it is already planned for me. I will be living in Derbyshire, and doing Dialectical Behavioural Therapy twice a week. Which is probably going to be exhausting and take up a lot of my power. It also means that I want to look after myself a bit better. I can’t very well fix my brain if I’m tired, sick, or hungover.

I last made a set of goals in September. Of those goals, all I’ve managed to do is the dentist one. I got 4 fillings but think I need to go back because the most recent filling hurts. The pain has actually kept me awake a couple of nights. Oh, I also got a bike, because Daddy bought it for me. I rode some, but I admit that my lack of fitness and lack of road confidence have led to me not doing as much as I ought to. Also it has rained for the last 6 weeks so I refuse to go outside.

Journal writing has been up and down. I was doing well until December, I think. I did submit something, and got published! Now to submit something else… I also managed to take a massive backwards step by starting smoking again. Maybe that’s why I now have a hacking chest cough.

So, here are some new goals for the first bit of 2016:

Get Fit

  • Bike more places. Maybe do a cycling course so I don’t die in traffic.
  • Train up for half marathon in July, 3-5 days/week.
  • 5k & 10k runs. Like the Parkrun.
  • Find a yoga class or similar.
  • Eat in a sustainable way with actual nutrients and not just cheese.
  • Quit smoking, again.
  • Drink once or twice a week, at most.

Writing

  • Complete editing and design cover for poetry pamphlet, by April.
  • Polish and submit poems and short stories I already have.
  • Write more stuff.
  • Keep blogging.
  • Get some work experience/do some journalism/something something professional writer.
  • Do NaPoWriMo in April.
  • Daily freewriting.
  • Journalling

Social/Activism

  • Get in touch with local groups and see what I can do.

Mental Health

  • Do the therapy and homework (without constant sarcasm).
  • Fill in mood diary sheet every day.
  • Go to hypnotherapy that the amazing Si is giving me for free!

Other Stuff

  • Tidy my room. It’s getting serious in here.
  • Paint some stuff.
  • Learn to crochet.
  • Plan some actual holidays and adventures to do during the breaks.

 

OK. That’s a ridiculous amount of goals. I’ll check back in 3 months and see what’s happening. Positive thinking says I will have made great progress in that time. Experience says “HAHAHAHAHAA!!! Get to fuck will you?!”

How to use up 2016 and become better. (A goal setting post)

Weekend was good

I performed and I sucked. But saw some amazing poets and artists. Spent time with a bunch of my bestest friends. Boat times, Hive times, flat times with little hypoallergenic cat so I didn’t die!

I didn’t take any photos at all. I never do when I’m actually busy having a good time. Hopefully someone else took some. Also I wish there was a video of Karoo Chanti, amazing spoken word artist who left the room weeping, I’m not exaggerating here, she bared her tears on stage and brought our tears out also, baring witness reading eyewitness accounts of genocide in Serbia and how the ‘International community’  and UN fucked off and left humans to be slaughtered.

LoudSpeka and Cosmic HipHop were brilliant, the whole night was amazing. Apologies, I know I’ve not mentioned some people but my brain is mush right now. I’ll just say that the performers were amazing, the space was amazing, and the audience was incredibly giving and inclusive. Such an amazing atmosphere, I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve realised a whole other world exists, and it’s better than the one I usually inhabit. May there be many more events like this.

Just sad I didn’t stay to sneak into the Burning Man Decompression After-Afterparty, which from eyewitness reports was a sweaty glittery genderfuck unicorn fairy cuddle orgy.

***

Good news everybody! We raised enough money from Spoken Word, for the soup run to carry on until Spring, including some Christmas presents for these folks who would otherwise be looking at a pretty bleak Winter of fuck-all. It’s been blowing a gale with this Hurricane Barney or whatever  it’s called, but the soup volunteers went out last night. Nights like that, imagine living on the street. Just the simple gift of warm soup could save your life.

God Bless Brian, who organised the poetry night and who runs the soup run with his church. He’s fighting cancer and fibromyalgia and should be in bed but instead he is running about kicking ass and helping so many people, as well as being a good friend and looking after my stupid ass.

Thank you Brian, thank you Hive for hosting us and being generally cool, and thank you performers and audience alike. You made beautiful vibes, a night to remember, for a cause never to forget. Love. ❤

 

Weekend was good

*Mind blown*

This has really opened my eyes. I’ve tried to abandon my vulnerabilities. I feel ashamed to have emotions, I’ve spent half my life trying to not feel like me/feel like something better. And weirdly enough, I still feel. Bad.

Half of a Soul - Life with BPD

So I went to individual therapy extremely frustrated last week. Not only had my therapist cancelled last week (cue angry abandoned borderline feelings), but recently I feel like I’m getting nowhere concrete. Even though I do find myself able to think of things in a better light most of the time, all it takes is one really horrible day – even one really horrible moment or mood – and I lapse so easily into bad old habits and thoughts: nothing is ever going to work; nothing is ever going to change; something is wrong with me, etc. etc. I decided I was going to try and be up-front. By which I mean I wasn’t going to lose it, but I wasn’t going to mask my every emotion and self-invalidate by saying everything was fine. Here’s how my initial dialogue with Karen went:

Karen: How are you?

Me: … not great.

View original post 1,554 more words

*Mind blown*

My Author Bio

So, one of my poems is going to be published. In an actual physical magazine. This requires a 30 word author biography, a byline summing up my worth, achievements and personality. If I was a successful writer, it would list my prizes and bestselling works, or at least a few well-known magazines, but as this is my first outing, I’ve got to be a little more creative, and a lot more vague. I also have “identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self” as one of the few diagnostic criteria I 100% totally identify with. I have never successfully described myself in 3 words, so I don’t know if 30 words will be much better.

My author bio – some ideas:

Pippa is a poet and short story writer from Derbyshire. She has a First Class degree in English Literature with Creative Writing from the University of Surrey. [Who cares?]

Pip is a newly fledged creative writer currently living in Derbyshire. She has a BA (hons) in English Literature with Creative Writing, and a varied collection of mental health problems.

Pippa has no outstanding achievements; she writes poetry to escape the yawning void that is her life. Her work has only been published here, so consider yourselves lucky.

Pippa is a traditional mad, sad poet and will probably die of alcoholism at a young age. Her work will be posthumously feted, so you should probably ask her to sign things, and maybe commission something if you’re rich. The investment will pay off.

Pippa is severely personality disordered and aims to spread sorrow through poetry. She attended Surrey University for an Eng. Lit. with Creative Writing degree, and the Royal Surrey Hospital for dehydration.

Pippa has no stable sense of identity and so is unable to supply a coherent biography. She is a poet and a fool.

So, what do you think? Tell me in the comments, what’s a great bio? Any of these ones? If not, why not write me a better one if you know so much about it? Come on, do my job for me. Please. I may be slightly overthinking this. Do people pay much attention to author bios? I personally love them, a witty or interesting one really makes pay attention to a writer.

My Author Bio

Internet Service Resumes (for a limited time only)

I was doing so well at blogging, until I left my parents’ house and went back to the boat. I live on a rented narrowboat, sharing with a friend. It’s on the River Lea, in an unexpected green space hidden behind the inhuman desert of the North Circular. Boat life is fun, and has definitely made me more healthy. However, there is no internet, and any time you want electricity, it has to come from the generator. With both my phone and my laptop being old and knackered with terrible battery life, I’ve basically stopped bothering. It’s no fun being tied to a chugging generator, desperately trying to angle a dying phone into that one magic place where it will allow tethering.

It’s amazing, being offline. And because my phone is dead half the time as well, usually I’m unreachable. If anyone wants me to do anything, well, they’ll have to find me. And good luck with that, I’m hiding.

All that irresponsible avoidance is great fun, until I go visit somewhere with internet. Which seems to be happening a lot lately, what with family parties and therapy appointments and sporting events. (Yes, I am doing a Sport Thing. This improbable turn of events will be explained in my next post.) I came up to my parents’ place on the train today, and have sat down in the luxurious surroundings, reveling in the squashy faux-leather swivel chair and multiple, always-on plug sockets, connected to the internet for the first time in about a fortnight.

My email inbox is up to 3,400 unread, and that’s just in the main folder. Activist discussions and alerts pile on top of unanswered eBay questions and graduate job alerts for positions that I never apply for. Something I sold on eBay got mysteriously returned to me by Royal Mail, and the buyer is wondering where the hell it is. Evictions have been resisted, meetings held, books launched, all without my knowing.

Instead of blogging, I’ve gone back to scrawling in a notebook while I’m on the boat. But every time I visit civilization, I bring my laptop with me. It’s heavy as hell, but I’ve carried this machine up and down the country probably hundreds of times, not to mention to India and back. I don’t generally get emotionally attached to machines, but this one has been with me a long time. It’s nice to be sat typing this.

Punk laptop decorated with stickers including 'No Gods No Masters' 'Punk - not dead yet...' and a diplodocus
And it’s so beautifully decorated.

I don’t think I’m cut out for the off-network life. Time to get a wireless dongle that actually works? I know I can’t live well in the modern world, or do the best at my writing, without the internet and electricity. I need to make myself at least drag myself to pub or cafe with wifi a couple of times a week. But my bike broke, and computers are heavy! Not to mention the bulky cooling fan mat I have to take with it, because even when it isn’t 36 degrees like it was today, this thing has a tendency to melt itself.

Eventually, I’m going to have to get money together somehow, and spend it on technology instead of drugs. Much as it pains me to to do so, the investment will be worthwhile if it lets me draw a balance between idyllic off-grid boat life and the social life and writing impetus I get online.

Internet Service Resumes (for a limited time only)

I am…

I have no stable, internal sense of identity. I pick things up and drop them again. I read voraciously but without the concentrated depth necessary for true academic analysis.

I usually live on a narrowboat in North London, but right now I’m in Derbyshire at my parents’ house. I move around a lot; to travel is better than to arrive, but that does make it confusing when I have to put an address on official documents.

Interests that may appear in this blog include anarchism, environment, human rights, leftism, post-leftism, going out and getting wrecked, literature, Literature, poetry, art, performance, DIY haircuts, canals and boats, morbid curiosities, drugs, alcohol, mental health/mental illness, superstition, postmodernism, The Future, the struggle, the tentative hope that we can do better than this.

I plan to share reviews and opinions, research and creative writing, as well as my usual misery, snark and sarcasm. I’ll try and keep things on track, posts tagged and categorised, but this little corner of internet may collapse into chaos, just like any physical space I inhabit for more than ten minutes.

Just hope this blog will be neater than my desk.
Just hope this blog will be neater than my desk.

 

I am…