Archives for posts with tag: advice about relationships
OldDesignShop_YoungLove

Image from Two Children by F. E. Weatherly, illustrated by M. Ellen Edwards, circa 1884, and via the Old Design Shop.

It’s complicated” posted this time last year proposed a point-blank assessment of The Relationship Drama, especially as recounted by heterosexual women (as this encompasses most of my experience). It’s the “He loves me, he loves me not, why doesn’t he love me?” tune. The poet/narrator declares, none of this is complicated. Either it moves forward, or it doesn’t.

I noted in the accompanying write-up to the post:

“My younger sister prophesied that one day I – à la Carrie Bradshaw – would be sitting at my laptop in my apartment typing up many a misadventure. This evening almost fulfills her premonition, bar the fact that I type this in my little rented room.”

The likeness to Carrie Bradshaw has veered even further towards uncanny fulfillment. Over the last couple of months I have once again dabbled with dating, partially because I thought it would be interesting to meet a potential partner and partially because I sought new writing material. Previously, I had written about love, attraction, dating and relationships through Emily, the sister and sweetheart of the modern boy.

Not this time ’round. My current note-taker in the field is crazier, quirkier, more abrasive. She is yet to be named and she is yet to make her observations public, but watch this space.

Keep up-to-date with BQ’s news on Twitter (@BeadedQuill) or Facebook
Read all twenty-five poems gathered by Emily “for edification and amusement” in Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys

A year’s worth of poetry, 104 offerings in total, make up In the Ocean: a year of poetry.
Shining in Brightness: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012, BQ’s first title, charts her youthful travels and life observations.

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512px-Bicycle_two_1886

See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. c. 1886

While it’s going for a song,
let’s play this dalliance.

It’ll knock wind from our sails.

That’s the hazard of entanglements.

Over the weekend I watched a movie about a song-writer. Many of the songs featured dreadful clichés. This prompted some fiddling of my own with clichés.

The poem’s title is thanks to an associative trigger courtesy of the illustrative photo. “Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do…” was a song from my childhood.

Interestingly, one of the few words of dating advice that came from my father was, “One does not have to be the village bicycle.”

Associative triggers. They’re a funny, possibly Freudian, business.

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
In the Ocean: a year of poetry
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012

Chorui_Bird_in_Mymensingh

House sparrows in Bangladesh (cropped) courtesy of Audree at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons.

For some reason hymns, sermons and church architecture invigorate my creativity. Yet the result usually explores a counter-narrative, such as in “Just Punishment“, a poem written this time last year which re-imagines the scene of Proverbs 7.

The standard interpretation of this chapter is that the pursuit of wanton desires results in people’s downfall. The femme fatale is an adulterous woman, whose “house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.” (Proverbs 7: 27) The seductive woman is the danger; the wayled is the compliant man.

I watched the minister grow more red-faced as he brought his emphasis – a rail against internet porn – to a crescendo, and at that moment for some reason I saw a tiny bird hopping on desert sands. Alone, naive and in want of comfort was the little bird. A pretty lady, alluring and soft-voiced, takes the little bird into her heart. But this is the downfall, and for their transgressions they are punished. She is stoned to death by the tribe and Little Knowing is hanged.


A few months later, I wrote a poem about the forgotten raven in the story of Noah’s Ark.

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books

 

Image courtesy of clker.com

When I first posted this poem, it elicited some strong responses.

“Blatant manipulation. Far better to say what you mean.”

Ah! Love chess.

This poem, along with 24 others about life, love and the modern boy, are collected in my book Emily’s Poem for Modern Boys.

The radio station holds
a ‘phone-in about How to
Seduce Every Sign of the Zodiac.
Every star-sign, says the guest expert,
has a romance silhouette.
Taurus to Scorpio sound good.
Pass on the Virgos
and Cancerians.

22/12/13

Anything to do with signs and symbolism pulls at my imagination. Just today I was thinking about the symbolic resonances of my first, middle and sur- names.  The fascination is with how humans try to make sense of the world through words, images and parallel realms of meaning.

I seldom read astrological predictions, but identify in myself qualities that could be listed as quintessentially Cancerian: homemaker, moon-ruled, tidal (i.e. excusably moody), quite happy to hide away in my shell or under a metaphorical rock, a little sensitive and, as required, more than ready to whip my crabby pincers into action. Zodiac signs, especially in romantic pairings, may be hooey. Yet, it might be worth knowing that in love Virgos are regarded as pernickety, over analytical with a leaning towards rescuing, while Cancerians are supposedly sensitive, moody and armoured by their shells. Taureans and Scorpios must also have their faults, but for the sake of a poem, we shall let them pass.

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness

Actually it’s very simple.
Either it’s in motion
or it is not.
This bears the signs
of not.
That bears the signs
of motion.
Words to-ing and fro-ing
And actions
Everything bears
the mask of nonsense.

13/1/14

A liberating revelation in my younger youth was the concept of He’s Just Not That Into You (HJNTIY). The rule-of-thumb is if someone in whom you are interested is not pursuing you, they’re really not that interested in return. In the  book  (and movie) and common understanding, the pursuit is framed as man pursues woman. I have found it a useful concept for relationships of all sorts, including job offers and even dealing with estate or travel agents. Brutal, un-nuanced and woefully marginalising of women’s agency, HJNTIY is however a great counter approach for those with too much headspace for pining, mooning and generally idealised, but unrequited, romanticism. This imaginative energy can then be better applied to creativity – playing halting Romantic Lieder on the piano, dancing Argentine tango and writing bad poetry.

It has been ten years since the book proposing HJNTIY (and its Sex in the City dialogue cameo) entered popular discourse. This probably dates me. I still consider myself more a younger sister who looked up to the SITC quartet than a peer of the Girls generation. (In fact, my younger sister prophesied that one day I – à la Carrie Bradshaw – would be sitting at my laptop in my apartment typing up many a misadventure. This evening almost fulfills her premonition, bar the fact that I type this in my little rented room.)

Many of my lovely, often truly heartbroken friends as well as my aforementioned sister have been subjected to my less than sympathetic dismissals. It’s not complicated. Either it’s happening or it’s not. Next topic. On the other hand, I have had many a patient friend listen to my timed and dated litanies – there was this, then that, then this other thing. And, he left his cigarettes behind!

“As a smoker, I can say that truly means nothing. I’m always forgetting my cigarettes and lighters in places.”

Ah yes, that was a good misadventure from eight years ago that I’d almost forgotten. Nope, never did hear from that one again. Nor from the friend who offered the advice. But this much I know and it isn’t complicated – HJNTIY.

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness

Little Knowing, a lonely desert bird,
was small and light of wing.
Along the road he saw a woman.
She smelled of cinnamon.

“My bed,” she said, “smells of more – 
of myrrh and desert aloes.
It is richly covered, soft – and ours –
in colourful Egyptian linen.” 

Little knowing saw the tent
to which he now was bidden:
a desert plain in bloom and blush,
a-sighing after winter’s hold,
in lighter joy  ‘fore summer’s ambush.

The lady then held out her hand.
“Little Knowing,” she whispered, “come – ”

He hopped into her painted palm.
Her veils fanned him with her scent.
Her eyes cupped his restless wings
and said, “Little Knowing, be not afraid.
Tonight we drink deep of love.”

Next morning Little Knowing shared
his bursting heart with all. 
“My love,” he sang in sweetest tune,
“has brought me joy. Let all rejoice!”

This called the people to the tent
and there, the woman now found out
was dragged to meet deservéd death
and Little Knowing – stupid, foolish bird 
to be seduced by scent and desert blooms,
those kindly eyes and gentle words –
was placed correctly in the noose.
Little Knowing – stupid, foolish bird –
darted into that snare 
and such it did cost him life.

The moral of this tale is thus,
young man and maid forget it not:
your lusts will take you far from god
and with them reap all death, damnation, loss.

I don’t want to write too much about this poem at this stage. I sincerely hope that it does not offend, but I do hope it stirs some mulling. You may find a reading of Proverbs 7 will add a layer to engaging with today’s piece. In tone the above is actually similar to this poem about success, which I wrote in August.

For more of my poetry, see my first published book, “Shining in Brightness“.

You can also add “Shining in Brightness”  as a  “Like” on your list of Facebook reads. Simply search the title in the Facebook search box. Your support would be much appreciated.

I tweet as @BeadedQuill. Please follow me.

I told her

      Because modern boys ought to know the advice given

 

Hold out until Tuesday.

You know you can. No public

communication whatsoever.

If necessary write it out.

But do not send.

(Especially, do not press send.)

Sit on your hands, girl

because you are waiting for move 5

in love chess.

Another poem earmarked for my forthcoming mini-collection, Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys.

If you enjoyed my poem, I invite you to preview my first volume SHINING IN BRIGHTNESS.

Follow my observations of modern boys, love chess and modern communication on Twitter. I am @BeadedQuill