Love song for house parties

I glide between

the revellers

who laugh and

sing:

ringing and aglow

in the warm-washed

gold

of pure, clear

fun.

I feel the

chords between

them all,

the symphony

of descants,

basses and

dissonance

that mould

and melt us

all together.

There’s the

delicate push-

pull of

exchange

as they float,

they don’t see,

that they crest a shining

sea,

ceaselessly;

and their vessels,

beaming,

hauling and rolling

are the sturdiest

and safest fleet.

The stars blink,

sighing, at

rest and at

ease.

Essential

but, in this moment,

at least,

not desperately prayed for

when a cosmic

radiance

dances and surfs

from lips, eyes and

guts,

unseen,

but palpable,

pulsing.

Darkness visible

The sadness
is sweet and sharp:
a cacophany,
a Universe
of ocean
that rages and
rocks
of which I
can only
provide glimpses
through
the glints of
salt stars.
The cavernous
pit, and expanse
of echoing promised-pain
makes all the darkness
terrifying
even the luxurious
shadows of safety
that beckon
softly.
A refuge, a
sanctuary of
stillness and repose.
This doubleness
conflicting
commingling
is mad
madness
maddening.
But it is
ancient,
as old as Moon
herself.
Bedded in me,
my soft peachy flesh
of limbs and heart,
there is space
and containment. And
I hold and keep the
embers
that makes this
darkness visible.

I squirm and thrill

I squirm

and thrill

with sherbet

in my mouth

as I dip into

the inky pools of

irony.

Black,

hilarious,

that

I long to sit

cross-legged

at the feet;

feel

inequipped

besieged

at the front.

What a

mockery

a show

that I

should sow

seeds

when the

soil

feels more

like my soul,

in limbo.

Not

ever-so-

-young,

but feeling

more and more

like a novice

each day.

This life,

experience,

so vast

at once

mountainous

fluid and

fragile:

made from nothing

signifying it all.

Dusk is for fireflies

Dusk is for

fireflies and

lime liminality:

night cushions

and enraptures,

no mock stars.

I gasp

then fold in

and in.

The plunge

is breathful and

receptive.

I lay there,

my back finally

unwrinkled,

and I didn’t

wince or yearn

from myself.

Bathed in breath

I listened:

I heard

a whale song,

a lament.

Mournful, sighing

for children

who have lost their way;

who supped on milk,

and forgot how

to dance in starlight

and kiss the Earth

with grubby, curious hands.

Dreamers, with indigo souls

as deep as the

murmurs of night,

distracted by

false light

absorbed and obsessed

with their own

shadows.

The owls are coming,

their eyes bright,

with wings

ready to

shift and glide

over the currents

of torment.

Clear-seeing,

rich is silence

cutting through

the chaos, illusion

and deceit,

to gentler

enigmatic shores.

Moon baby

The channels run silver,

Moon baby.

New moon

I bloom

in the black,

ready to receive;

listening

to the whispers

of the stars,

now that

our glowing orb,

pale,

is in darkness

transfixed.

We kiss.

Enveloped in

softness

I turn

my hopeful face

to the vault

as I dance

on the threshold

of the twenty eight.

My dreams

run like trains;

planes hit by

waves;

caught in a

building

burning

and fashions

march by.

Saint Campbell,

Mother’s son,

what initiation

is this?

Of the body,

my body,

that rings

when we kiss?

The first was little and apple green

The first was

little and apple

green

I beamed to see it,

as it coiled around

my fingers

neat

playful:

my friendly

Messenger

with a pink fork

and a smile.

But then,

the next night,

another came

(I was ready for bigger

leagues?)

a wider face,

not mean,

but I was

trapped in sand

up to my waist

and I was

afraid

that it moved

beneath me.

No cute coils,

but a waxy

olive head

with penetrating

eyes

like it knew me.

And the sand was

trapping

as I felt it move

and heave.

Dusk was falling

and my hips

wouldn’t budge.

I wanted to

befriend it too,

but it felt so big

and all I could do

was kick my feet.

Then,

as though

the decision

was made for me,

I coughed

and scales

and a head

fell out

of my mouth

dry

olive green

and the thing

was dead.

I grieved,

I grieved,

I had done it

all wrong

I feared too much:

the crust of

skin

lay in the

brittle sand,

as the sky turned purple.

I just didn’t know how to be,

friend

or pupil;

I couldn’t sink into

surrender,

celebrating

the mystery

by the shores

of the sea.

 

They wore flannel

They wore flannel

Scarlet red.

A riot

against a green

Impressionist’s backdrop,

Van Gogh’s colour wheel

whispering

yearning in

Roerich’s ready moment.

A theatre

heaving:

the systems and

structures rattled

and bellowing,

like a giant ship

thundering from steam.

Primordial screams

from the mouths

of elderly elites,

pagans, all,

and a quivering

bassoon:

a vision

bursting from the

confines of its

frame

admonishing and wry

lit in ancient blue light.

Circles, circles

and rounds

and ground.

A sinking incorporation

with a marble mask

and limbs

out of joint.

We ravishers

our flesh made fabric

In flannel, flannel

to cool

to slow

to remember

our pounding

relationship with

the expansion and

contraction,

the soils of our

lifeblood and its

freshness and

sweetnesses

long lost

long found.

A kiss seals,

stamping certifies

we are knit

awaken

awaken

awaken:

the rip-roaring

of a womb’s

subjects

partying and prancing:

whilst the void, it

lurks,

and bears abound.

There is fire burning

There is fire burning

in the world.

Forests are collapsing and crumbling

Ablaze

With human hellfire.

The animals and cultures

of feathered, furred and

Chlorophylled life

terrified, perishing.

The heat rising everywhere

Pregnant women labouring under

the heat

No escape on the beaches

A mobile eruption of heat

Scattering ash confetti

Sanctifying the destruction,

years in the making.

The sacred lands, buckling

Drowned, burnt,

Tortured.

It groans under the weight of

greed:

Made manifest by scarlet flames

The sacrificial fires

are out of control

Punishing sacrilege

And yet,

it is the vulnerable

who suffer the most.

Ancient communities

and barbarised peoples who are hurting

the most.

And I sit here.

I greet the swan family every day,

tripping with joy and wonder

at the sanctity of kinship

and little ones.

On my narrow strip of rubber

within my four walls

I reflect

I try to go inward

so as to help with the struggle

outward.

And I do not do enough

And I cannot do enough.

I find refuge in my breath

and yet,

There are black people

In Minneapolis beaten and oppressed

and the injustice rolls on and on

and on.

I watch the canal

tenderly flow.

This haven of trees, grasses and

animals,

singing, honking, whispering and

breathing,

rippling and ever so, ever so

alive

as these dying days

drag on:

It is a glory.

The crescent moon

Pale

peeks through

our canopy of

tentative, ringing

Covid blue.

‘Tender is the Gelignite’ eBook launch

Merry fucking Christmas bods. My novel Tender is the Gelignite is now available to buy as an eBook.instagram post_ebookw

Get your copy here >

First and foremost, thank you to all those who have supported me so far by purchasing the physical edition of the book. I received lots of photos of Tender is the Gelignite on people’s bookshelves and breaking free from Amazon packaging. The whole situation literally made my heart sing. Thanks as well to those who have written reviews on Amazon, I really appreciate all your readings and perspectives. If you’d like to add one and haven’t already, please feel free to do so.

As a special treat, all those who have a physical copy of the book should now be able to download the electronic Kindle version completely free. This is true for anyone who plans to buy the physical book in future; you’ll also get the eBook for free.

Nothing screams Christmas like a foul-mouthed down-trodden young woman setting her workplace on fire. For the rest of December, the eBook of Tender is the Gelignite will be available for just £1.99, after which time it will go up to £3.50.

Publishing the novel as an eBook was pretty much a no-brainer because I want Tender is the Gelignite to be as widely available and accessible as possible. There were also a few other things that we needed to consider and which I want to share with you:

1) Making physical books is expensive, and Amazon likes to take a lot of credit for it (by way of $$$). Buying the eBook is an equally valid way to support me, your new favourite author, for the price of a coffee.

2) The eBook can be lent to a pal through Amazon for up to 14 days – share the joy/pain of reading my novel with others.

3) Whilst the book is a pretty thing, having the eBook available means you don’t have to lug your copy around everywhere. If you do not have a Kindle, you can still download the digital version of Tender is the Gelignite from Amazon’s Kindle Store and read it on a device that you do have. Amazon has Kindle reading applications available for Windows, Mac, iPod Touch, iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7 and BlackBerry.

Thanks again for all your amazing support.

Download your copy of Tender is the Gelignite here >

 

‘Tender is the Gelignite’ – 0.5 preview

Introducing the first chapter of Tender is the Gelignite

0.5

Definitely not the best idea to stare at the rain when you’re crossing the road.

First, no matter how calm and relaxed and dreamy you feel, your mug will form a snivelling sneer. Second, it’s likely that a pretty-car will knock your block off. Unintentionally for once.

A black shiny pretty-car screeches to a halt right up by my hip and I blink and jump back onto the pavement. It careers off again straight away, with a tuneful ‘fucking stupid, miserable, crazy, fat, dick-flapped cu-…’ stringing out of the driver’s window. I wrinkle my conk. The watchtower looms over the dim and dingy rows of red warehouses, prickly coils of barbed wire lacing over obtuse bleacher roofs.

In the UK there’s what I call UMAY, laws where you literally may pick whatever Uniform you like. Any clothes any style any arrangement. Which is great. Freedom and choice and all that. I like knowing who and what I am. Just so long as you stick to it afterwards mind, that’s very important.

Me

Feet: Laced-up bovver boots.

Bod: Black jumpsuit. Jersey.

Coat: Woollen, blood-coloured.

Choker: Scarf, like a blanket. Black, white, yellow.

I crunch my way through the downpour, the chopped fragments of glass, grit and sodden cardboard, squishing, mingling and munching in the thick soles of my bovvers, a firm barrier between my digits and the grindy, grimy slop. Careful: scantily scattered used condoms are a slippery risk, always best to avoid splurting skins.

Completely out of control Conscript.

This creeping crisis always begins when I first start walking to my Employment. At the beginning, I step into the hustling muscling city Centre-For-Work. Buildings are tall, sleek and clean. Dull sky is reflected beautifully, pavements are fresh and clear, streets are pedestrianised for bods, odds, sods, Conscripts, capitalisers, Employers and bods. Not many Poor Ones but they constantly hang about unseen. Clacking from the soles of hard-heeled shoes clash with snaps and spits coming from the Autogrammers, their portable ze-cams and ze-phones capturing the commute. Autogrammers aren’t just some nuisance bods that you need to dodge with their flashes and their cracks; they fill the city Centre-For-Work, providing photographic evidentials of everything and every bod all the ploughing time. That’s why you’d better stick to your all-important Uniform, especially during the day. Otherwise you’ll be Unrecognised and, well, that’s always a mess waiting to mong.

Walking through the city Centre-For-Work is void and impersonal; bods autogramming, staring at hologrammed ads or news stories on the roof tops or plodding along in a misshapen and miserable manner on their way to some office box or other. But there’s some comfort in seeing other like-feeling shittos living out the communal curse, no matter how vapid and sophisticatedly superficial the surroundings.

But crossing the ornate nineteenth century old old cold bridge into Strangeways, like I do and did every sodding day, you want to see as few bods as possible. You can never trust anybod driving them BMW, Jaguar or Mercedes Benz around a god-forsaken No Bod’s Land shit-hole dump like where I work. But you see them there a lot. What has a nice pretty-car got to do with a place so crap? A place so measly, oozing with muck, sweating like a foul ponging cheese or cold sore on the way out? Them BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes Benz form a clean, cool contrast to such a mildewed patch: the rotting decaying roads and alleys; prozzes clopping about in puffer coats, flashing over-worn underwear and grotesque kitten heels as they perch on corners or fumble after these luxury-wagons, these fill-your-bovvers cock-on-wheels succulently-leather-arsed motor machines. Drug dealers dally at an angle to the prison, the tell-tale trainers lobbed over the disused ze-phone wire, hanging in a still brooding manner over the grids of warehouses.

I hate to see those cars. I hate being mistaken for a prozz. They crawl up alongside you. Even though you can’t see the toads inside you can feel the goggly woggly globes scanning your bod like you’re a slab of meat hanging in a blood house. Except they want to fuck you instead of eat you. Same thing really though, no? Tell me I’m wrong. I fantasise everyday about smashing them up. In my head, I take one of the slippery slimy waste bricks that has been lying chucked about round here since who knows when and pummel it into the pretty-car. The windscreen doesn’t stand a chance against my bricky blows, with Odious Toadious inside bricking his denim dick-casket as glass shards are cast in all the directions. He screams and shouts ‘you crazy betch’ and I shriek with delight at his panic, taking my big booted bovver foot to the hood and kick kick kick.

TAKE THAT YOU FILTHY FAT FUCK

No pretty-cars lurking today. I crunch on unwatched.

I pass the same bod every day. I think he must actually live in Strangeways or something because he’s always hurrying down the hill, every fucking day. He’s Asian, with a kind pleasant mug. We glance at each other every morning. I get the feeling he’s a nice bloke. You can tell who the nice ones are around here. The ones who keep their heads down and plough on; not the serial strutters, the swaggering shits who are proud to be a big-shot in a piss-pot like this.

Welcome to the hub of the UK’s fashion industry, the old Hell by wholesale.

*

Final Coer JPEG

Tender is the Gelignite is now available to buy from Amazon. Get your copy here >

Copyright © Elizabeth Harper 2017