(until proven) Innocent

binary semantic poster 3

Pastor: How long were Adam & Eve in paradise?
Child: Till autumn
Pastor: …?…
Child: When the apple is ripe

binary semantic poster 3
I like the inevitability of nature here; the apple will fall. Must fall. Mitigating circumstances for our female evil-doer?

I could formulate it another way, bowing to our friends across the pond. I could make the whole idea more compact:

Pastor: How long were Adam & Eve in paradise?
Child: Till the fall.

Warming up to the spiritual-theological-erotic aspects of my novel Verses Nature, and yet, somehow, still shying away:

Away in a manger
no crib for a bed
she eased back his swaddling
so she could give head

binary semantic poster 3

Someone told me (hand on heart) that he remembered his very first fellatio. He was a baby. It was his mother. He’s been partial to soft fellatios ever since. No erection. Nothing to do with sex. Much more: the performance of an act of worship. Like drying His feet with her hair. There are those who will insist on downplaying that scene but the bigots’ve got hold of the wrong end of the stick. Again. It’s worship. Like the fellatio on the son. Worship. I’m not the mother of sons, so I guess I’ll never know…  but I LIKE the idea – its tenderness rings true –  and I’m going to use it. (practise first???)

No longer have the time to be afraid of my own ideas. Want to complete this novel within two years. Time’s running out in other ways too. So just do it.


Brosnan forming trust face
I am a blast bursting brains

I am a thousand different wings

lanes & games

Brosnan bust
Brosnan waist


dancethedance of pepper      thorns


give in to                   the lilts of                end/less/ness

frame to change & color & suffocate & bother &

Brosnan pubis



(illustration:  Naomi Brosnan)

Les Animots: A Human Bestiary (in conversation with Gordon Meade)

spider's web
Taken from my window, 8a.m. So fragile, yet tenacious. The perfect writer’s emblem. Joan Barbara Simon, Luxembourg.

GORDON : Joan, a poem from my next collection, Les Animots: A Human Bestiary, out in September 2015. Hope you like it…


Spider is very seldom
seen at the centre of her web.
She is happier lurking

at the edges. It gives
her victims a larger area on which
to land. It is only after

she has felt the vibrations
that Spider rushes in. Life is lived
at the edges; the dead

centre, left for the kill.

JOAN: Hi Gordon. I love this poem; the concentrics of it; spider not at the centre, though she must start at the centre (why is she always a she, and depicted as a killer? just a thought…); vibrations (I think, too, of water, rippling away from the stone thrown into it…); dead centre (bull’s eye), still-living prey ready for the kill… struggling, thus provoking vibrations, SOS… message received… here she comes

GORDON: Glad you liked it!

JOAN: more than liked it, Gordon. Would you allow me to cite it in the critical analysis part of my Ph.D.? I can (begin to) see how it relates to themes I’m exploring; themes on structure, layered reading, hypersemia, movement, even brushing Derrida and certainly relevant to my take on Faulkner (e.g. ‘Caddy uncaught me and we crawled through’: The Sound & The Fury), even the notion of prey.

And maybe it’s just me being pervy again, but I also pick up a whiff of something vaguely sexual there, not just the spider as she-predator, but also in the structure of the web itself (getting well and truly pervy now…); could be a nipple, could be THAT orifice, sticky, waiting, dead at the centre…?

But it’s also a great metaphor for the meanings that ripple off individual words (Bakhtin), whose centre, origin (in pops Derrida) can never satisfactorily be traced…; there is a hole at the heart of (the) language (trap). That your poem brings all of this together, structured semantically (as I see it) like the very web it describes, gives me goosepimples. We’re verging off into French, so I’ll say frissons. 🙂

GORDON: By all means use it, Joan. Funny you should mention Derrida as one of the quotes that I’ll be using as a sort of introduction to the new book is from him:

The animal is a word, it is an appellation that men have instituted, a name they have given themselves the right, and the authority, to give to another creature.”

I’m very pleased by your response to the poem. The book, which will be illustrated by a Scottish artist, will consist of four “galleries” of creatures which, hopefully, will be both animal and human, or for the reader to find out for him- or herself.

JOAN: Derrida also explored the notion of hymen. And violence… Of the struggle at the borders, which I see as fitting in neatly with Bakhtin. In describing the animal as a word – as BUT a word is the echo I hear when I read the passage anew – I sense the injustice done onto the living thing by the authority of Man – by his ab/use of language. This BUT opens up realms where ideas may merrily breed and shapes may shift: Animots, anime les mots…(I think of Jacques Prévert…) man, striped of his husk, becomes which animal? Do we err on the spider’s web, eventually to be pulled toward a dead centre? Just thinking out loud. And deeply impressed by your poem, Gordon!

GORDON: I think a lot of your impressions regarding the poem are definitely there… the sexuality, the dead centre, language as a trap etc. One of the things I’m trying to do in the poems from Les Animots; A Human Bestiary, is to use a pared down sort of language to open up a lot of different interpretations.
Encouragement is good at any time, but your timing is impeccable with this poem, as I am meeting up with the illustrator tomorrow. I haven’t seen his sketches on the Spider poem, but we had talked about having the web encompassing the text with just a glimpse of the spider at the edge of the page.

JOAN: and if the spider were off the page??? If we see her, we know which direction she’s coming from. This makes her less dangerous, to me. If we don’t/can’t see her, we have no idea where the danger is lying in wait. And it makes the poem, and the web, spill over the border of the page – pages are rectangular, webs are not… – into a space that only the reader may enter. Not sure if you want to go that far. I’ll definitely buy a copy of the book, so I’ll find out 🙂


Screen shot 2014-10-25 at 12.49.10 PM

between the virtual and the real, between knowledge and doubt. Between the meaning, and consequences, of the ‘I’…

mutatus revised front cover

‘This is quite simply one of the most extraordinary and brilliant books I have ever read. Dark, disturbing, and forensically brilliant at dissecting twenty-first century sexuality. It has everything Anais Nin and Brett Easton Ellis have, wrapped up in the same incredible package.’ (Amazon)

‘Of all the books I’ve read, this has divided me against myself more than any other.’

‘This goes beyond erotica, beyond the culturally censurable. It is sheer beauty as was Henry Miller at his most liberated.’  (Authonomy)

‘I jumped at the chance to read more by this obviously talented and original authoress. I was not disappointed – ‘blown away’ would be a more appropriate description. This is an abridgment of a novel which pushes the boundaries of women’s literary fiction to its limits – a D.H. Lawrence type moment (…) I can’t say enough good things about this novel. This is a haunting work which will stay in my head for a long time.’

‘This is such a surprise! Wonderful writing, scintillating ideas and rich use of language and character. This is something I would happily read and buy copies for all my friends (maybe not my Mum, though).’

‘I don’t know what tablets you’re taking, but do, please, keep taking them. They seem to be working wonders. If you can get them on the NHS, please let me know.’  (Brian L.)

UK’s leading magazine Female First finds out more.

MUT@TUS.  available at bookstores including:


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Long time: first date

She looked away, annoyed that he should have seen her looking up and down the street. Looking for someone. His grin got wider with every step he took, teased by every novelty he was able to detect about her, even from that distance — new hairdo, make-up, nails, new clothes (nice little figure), my God — so that by the time he had reached the bus-stop, James Dunbar was brandishing the irrepressible smile of an admirer.

“Good marning.” She could hardly keep her smile back, either.

After swallowing, “… who’s the lucky man, then?”

“Is wa yu mean?”

“You off to get married, or somefing?”

“Me? Married? Yu too styupid! Yu tink if me going to get married me would stan up here at di bus-stop?”

“That’s right. A Rolls for you… anyhow I’m glad to hear you’re not getting married.” He couldn’t tear his eyes off her.

“So am I.”

“Emily… you… you look absolutely stunning. Took my breff away when I saw you just then.”

She chose to say nothing.

“I think about you quite a lot, you know, Emily. I know I don’t stand a chance, but I like to think about you.”

She remained silent.

Jack: We’ve been meeting all these months, and I really look forward ta seeing you every time. Seeing you warms me up so much, it makes me start the day on a good note, know wot I mean? Anyone who had you for a girlfriend should think himself lucky…

He’d been practising for ages, all the things he might say, he could say to get her to go out with him. He had worked out how he would stand and what he would do with his legs, with his hands and that. And now that she was standing there before him like some beauty queen, he could feel himself bursting to say something, but dammit, he couldn’t remember his lines.

Jack: There’s a mixed couple round where I live they look so good together. They’re the other way round, mind. She’s white and he’s –

He’d never actually said the word black to a black person before. He didn’t know if she would like it.

Jack: Well, they’re the other way round. Not like –

and that word us got stuck in his throat.

Jack: Always holding hands, they are. Real in love, like. (sigh) Lovely, innit?

Then, wetting his lips,

Jack: Emily…

Jack’s inner voice: Go on, Jack! Get it out. Now or never!

Jack: It’d be so nice if I could just take you out one afternoon. You know, we could go for a walk somewhere nice and have a nice meal somewhere… the summer’s over, we won’t have that many sunny days left n it’s already getting darker quicker in the evenings…

Jack’s inner voice: There! You see! Weren’t that hard, was it? Give yourself a pat on the back, mate (laughing proudly). A whacking great pat on the back!

Jack: Emily, what do you say?

Emily (in a no hurry): I’m a very busy person. Me don’t have no time for tings like dat.

Jack (panting): Whenever you’re free, I’m free. What about weekends?

Emily: You tink me gwine go out wid some white man me know notting ’bout part from him name Jack?

Jack: What about a Sunday afternoon?

Jack’s inner voice: She hadn’t said no outright, had she? She hadn’t said no…

Emily: Must tink me no have someting better to do wid me time…

Jack (persisting): Nobody works on a Sunday afternoon…

Emily: … tink we let go and loose like fi unnu woman dem.

Jack: Emily?

Their bus chugged its way up to them he ignored it they could catch the next one –

Jack: Emily?

Emily (irritated): Cho man, me ears deh eat grass! (shrugs her shoulders at some botheration)

Jack: Beg you pardon?

Emily: Say me fed up a hear about it!

Ding ding! The conductor rang the bell twice. The bus, obedient, tame, pulled away. Jack hopped round to the other side of her.

Jack: Wot is it you’re afraid of, tell me. You afraid you might actually like it, perhaps?

Emily: Me nat afraid a anyting you can do me. Me got me Protector.

Jack: Then why don’t you come! (imploring) Emily!

Couldn’t she see what she was doing to him, couldn’t she feel that he would walk the earth for her – could she really not?

Jack: It would do us both the world of good…

He could think of nothing more to say as he stood beside her, staring ahead sullenly, irked by the mindless chatter of the people around him why the hell didn’t they just shut their traps!

Battle break out on Emily Thompson face but she keep her mouth tight shut, yaa. The next bus just turn the corner and she can’t afford to miss it –

Emily: When?

Jack: Shall we meet at one?

Emily: One is too early, man!

Jack: What about at two?

Emily (brief pause): Where?

Jack: Wot’s wrong wiv ’ere, at the bus-stop?

Emily: Good.

Ding ding!

“Two please, mate.” He held his hand out for the tickets, “Taa, mate.”

Both stared straight ahead, their bodies erect, not saying a word to each other, like a couple after a quarrel trying to play it down in public.

“Pollard’s is the next but one,” he said, still smiling. “Shall I get off here?” his head inclined a trace in her direction. Red fingernails, she had. Just like a lady.

“Not if yu don’t want to.”

“Oh, right,” he whispered.

Rose tug on the cord and it go Ting-ting!

Jack scurried to his feet, holding his unbuttoned jacket against his chest, out of her way, his eyes on her the whole time.

Rose looked down at him, wanted to say –

then made her way to the back of the bus.


‘when I fell into an armchair at my gran’s place after work, in her over-heated, over-furnished council house where the telly was almost always on, and in between my gran would tell stories, I started looking at her anew. I discovered a singer. I looked closer. Saw the warrior. Looked closer still, and there she was; the heroine. Once she told me about this English man at the bus-stop who fancied her. It was out of the question. She never mentioned it again. But my mind seized upon the potential of a Rose Thompson, Emily to her friends, and a James Dunbar (they call him Jack, from the 7th floor) unimpeded by the values transmitted by their respective cultural backgrounds. Long Time Walk on Water was born.’

(Joan Barbara Simon, interviewed by Lucy Walton for Female First)

‘Words dance, breathe, rejoice, titillate, pulsate, quiver in this brilliantly crafted volume of what may be her best-loved novel. Couldn’t put it down.’ (Amazon)

From Long Time Walk on Water


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Long Time: Waiting

SHE’s: young, fresh over from Jamaica, looking for a new life in 1960s London. She coudln’t be bothered to learn the national anthem. They let her in anyway.

HE’s: got red hair, blue veins, she’s got no idea how old he is but he looks like a fish. In his ordinary life he lives on the seventh floor with a wife who cleans spud juice from her fingernails with a knife.

THEY: happen to meet at a bus-stop. The rest is history.


“Jack!” Monica prodded him, “C’mon, you’ll be late for work. Jack… you playing wiv yourself?”

“Wot time is it?”

“Time you stopped wanking and brought some money in!”

“Know wot? You’re as common as muck.”

She leant over, squashing her breasts against his arm, said, “Give ’ere, let me do that for ya…”

But he yanked the sheets back and marched his cheated hard-on out the bedroom.

They hadn’t done it for ages. There he was, wanking off next to her and there she was, only too willing. Monica fell back onto her pillow, wondered what she might be doing wrong, but then thought fuck it, she snatched her cigarettes from the bedside table.


“Hello again,” said Jack as he reached the bus-stop, wearing a grin so wide almost all his teeth were on show. “You and I must stop meeting like this or tongues will wag, you know!”

“I don’t know what yu mean!”

“Don’t you, now. We’ve met here at least a dozen times… wot’m I saying,” he interrupted himself, “dozens! And I get a glimpse of you almost every day, or every other day. You never have a friendly word to say to me though I know you don’t dislike it.”

“Is what yu tink I can possibly have to say to someone like you?”

“Well, you could smile once in a while and say, “Hello, Jack, fancy meeting you here,” or “Hello, Jack, nice to see you again,” you know, something like that. Nice n friendly, like.”

“Nice an frenly me back foot!”

“Wot have you got to be so defensive about, eh? I don’t hiss or whistle as you go past like your lot do. Well, do I? No, I most certainly do not! I’m just nice n friendly, as I said. So wot’s a young girl like you got to be so uptight about, anyway, eh?”

“If is woman yu deh look go look inna yu own kind an inna yu own age, yaah.”

“I beg your pardon?!” It was far too loud to be a real whisper. One or two heads turned. Jack put his back between them and Rose, “How old d’you fink I am, then?” Did he look a mess? He knew Monica could look a damn sight better but he thought he wasn’t doing too badly.

“Yu old enough to be me farda, yaah.” Rose turn her face the other way look down the road.

Wot? Don’t make me laugh!”

But he did. “If I started having kids at fifteen like your lot seem to then I could be your father, grant you that.” She had a nerve! Old enough to be her father indeed! “I’m only -”

“How old you is don’t interest me.”

“Wot does interest you, eh?”

“Wat me do is none a fi yu business.” Is wat mek im no go weh an leff me alone, im is a blasted nuisance, she thought. An where di blasted bus deh?

No blasted bus, near or far, but Lou, as luck would have it, a little up from the bus-stop, Lou stepping out of the newsagent’s and heading their way, hunched over her cigarette.

“Oh ello, Emily! On your way home, are you?”

“Yes, see you.” Rose managed a meaningless exchange for a second or two, but glanced up only briefly at the voice that had so stabbed into her privacy.

“Wot you looking for, then? In a bag that small can’t be too hard to find anyfing, can it? I mean there’s not a lot you put in your bag when you’re going to work not like when you’re going out somewhere special I’m off somewhere nice tonight. Fink I might pop out again this aftanoon n see if I find somefing to doll me up a little bit noffing I hate more’n a woman who lets herself go, can’t be surprised if her old man’s eyes start doing the walkies, know wot I mean? Course, me n my old man we’re just like we were from the beginning, wouldn’t change im for the world n he wouldn’t want no other woman, either, I see he’s alright. No-one goes running after a bit a scraggy chop when he’s got steak at home, know wot a mean? Anyhow I must be off, listen, you fancy coming out for a round of bingo sometime? All girls togevva, we don’t half ’ave a good laugh I got noffing against you lot. My Michelle had a golly when she was little got it from her auntie Diane. Loved that little golly, she did. Really, must go, got a fousand n one fings to do before the day’s done. Cheerio, Emily. See you tomorrow!”

You know them people who talk non-stop? No business if you show no sign of interest, just talk talk talk without them even stop to draw breath? This is a kind of person Rose could never stand, like a whistling woman and a crowing hen; they were an abomination. For one long moment, Rose stood with her eyes closed, her head tilted back, as if knocking back some nasty cough syrup. Said,

“Here yu bus.”


“Emily -”

Rose jump. He had said her name so sadly, so painfully, but never the pain which she had felt.


Emily Thompson (Rose to her friends), the protagonist, epitomizes the strong, funny, suspicious nature of the Outsider daring to go for a new life in a foreign country. She epitomizes the strength of dreams. She’ll reveal to us a lot about how the Jamaican family works and although she’d never use the word feminist it’s still true to say that she is all about independence, equality and betterment.

(Joan Barbara Simon, interviewed by Sezoni Whitfield for Writer’s Kaboodle)

Beautifully written. Joan Barbara Simon is a wordsmith par excellence. (The Sunday Gleaner)

A magical reggae-type experience full of pride poise & grace (Amazon)

Intelligent, humorous, tragic and sensual. Contemporary British literature at its best.   (A.A., London, U.K.)


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My Prison Without Bars

Award-winning author Taylor Fulks, talking about My Prison Without Bars

This book and its subject matter has consumed my soul for the last three years. I’ve endured cyber bullies, AMAZON and Goodreads trolls, hate mail, and death threats, as well as a Welsh author trying to have my book banned. I’ve had to defend not only my book, but also myself as a person (child pornographer was some of the mud thrown at me).

taylor fulks tweet 1

I’m tired and weary of the fight… tired of being victimized all over again. Writing this book (my way) has lifted a weight from my shoulders. It has removed the rage I have kept bottled inside of me for 40+ years. I’m finally free. Listening to it in audio takes me “back there,” which invariably brings on the nightmares. I have to keep reminding myself while listening to my wonderful narrator, that this is giving that little girl from the trailer park a voice for the first time.

taylor fulks tweets 3

Death threats???

Yes… death threats. Some came from the UK, while others were here in the US. My biggest issue was a Welsh author who tried to have my book banned on Amazon, and rallied about fifteen other authors to join in her quest. I had nine weeks of hell, fearful of my inbox and its contents. I have the misfortune of not knowing who my friends are… all because she thought my novel was a memoir. I still fail to see the significance of the genre.

May I share this on my blog?

I don’t have a problem with you sharing my email on your blog – what an interesting concept! I do want to warn you that you may be pursued by some of my haters. They attacked any and everyone that retweeted, tweeted, or supported me in any way. They were relentless and over the top. I wouldn’t want you to suffer any ill effects. But, you’re a big girl and I don’t doubt you can handle yourself, so if you wish, be my guest.

taylor fulks tweet 2

I also support and tweet quite a few erotica authors. I find we are treated much the same. We are judged by what we write, not the person behind the avatar. Most people feel that if you’ve been sexually abused, you hate sex, you don’t have sexual urges, and God forbid, you certainly wouldn’t ever read about it!

Anyway, authors of erotica have been among the most gracious and poignant reviewers of my book. They get it. You do too.

Thank you so much for reaching out… and for reading my heart, Joan. Thanks for the kind words and encouragement. I get stronger everyday.


2014 Global eBook Awards: Gold Medal Winner

2014 eLIT Award of Excellence: Gold Medal Winner

2013 Indie Readers Discovery Award: 1st place

2013 Readers Favourite International Book Awards: Gold Medal Winner

More about Taylor Fulks and her book, My Prison Without Bars

Long Time: the better life?


In 1950, 1,700 people emigrated from Jamaica to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Twenty years later, in 1970, the number of emigrants had reached an alarming 23,000. The total number of immigrants in the UK in the year 1970 constituted, nonetheless, less than 5%.

On the topic of immigration, Enoch Powell (Conservative Party) delivered a controversial speech in Birmingham -1968 –  after which he fell into disfavour and was dismissed from the shadow cabinet.

Edward Heath:  elected Prime Minister, 1970. The 68th Prime Minister in the history of the British parliament, the conservative Edward Heath replaced Harold Wilson, the only labour Prime Minister in the last twenty years. Enoch Powell, dismissed, disgraced, was most saddened by the fact that his participation in the party’s victory could only take the form of his rather vocal support in front of the television set in the lounge of his comfortably furbished detached house.


What a naughty boy was that
To try to drown poor pussy cat
Who never did him any harm

And killed the mice

Hickory tickory…



He winds his way through the estate; past the first two low-rise blocks, past the newsagent’s, the fish-n-chip shop, the launderette, the post office, the betting office and the off-licence. A short queue had formed in the chippy, and through the fluttering multicoloured strips of a plastic curtain hanging in the entrance to the betting office, men’s voices joke, shout, hope, swear. Post office being next to the betting office and the off -licence, a fair amount of welfare probably never made it through a man’s front door, thought Jack, such is life. He turns another corner:

A couple of houses in the block are boarded up. Amazing, how quickly a place can run down. It hadn’t been that bad when they’d moved in. If everyone were to plant a few flowers on their balcony in the summer and make sure their kids went to school, he didn’t want his kids turning teenagers in this environment but what could he do? His feet smack the concrete floor. The sound carries far, far enough for gangs lurking behind pillars yards ahead to know you were on your way but he lives there and isn’t afraid of boys trying to be men, he’d smack their bloody heads together if they ever tried to mug him or anyone in his family. In a parallel house an old lady’s sitting by her window, her curtains pushed aside. Elsewhere, a mother, fraught, fed up; “Daniel! Come ’ere before I give you one! Come ’ere right now… you fink I’m joking?” Silence for a while, then, “Daniel!” Impatience brewing. “Right that’s it, you’ve had ya warning.” Whack! A toddler’s wet, gargling scream. Father storms into the room, starts effing and blinding, but Daniel’s mum gives as good as she gets. Maybe it will come to blows. The old woman shakes her head as she withdraws from the window. From the profanity. Jack takes a shortcut past the playground; two car-tyre swings mope from the branches like carcinogenic fruit, a metal slide, a see-saw and a sandpit, or at least it had been, before the sand’d been pinched. Another left turn, and Jack is home. Lift’s not working again. He begins to climb the stairs to the seventh floor.

“S’at you, Jack?” She was in the kitchen.

“No, it’s Father bloody Christmas.”

“Hello, love.”

A peck on the cheek, “Nice day?” She wipes her hands on her apron. Pushes her hair into place. She had been beautiful once.

“Same as usual.”

Jack sits down at the kitchen table in the hot, small, cluttered place so hard to air on cold days such as these. The paint blistered on the wall around the cooker.

“What’s for dinner, love?” He picks up a crayon. Colours, absent-mindedly, with daughter, Nina.

Jack’s wife stands over the sink peeling potatoes. “Police were round. Door-to-door questioning. Some old lady in Havelock was mugged coming back from the post office this morning, I dunno… Ben got a gold star for a story he wrote at school, didn’tya, darling? Go’n show daddy your gold star…” she dunks the peeled potato into the sink of cold water then plops it into the pot on the cooker. Leaning against the cupboard, she begins to clean the juice, the mud of the potatoes from her fingernails, looking, every now and then, out the window. Nothing ever happened out there, but you look  just the same, like a fish in its bowl doing the rounds.

Jack looks at his wife. How many times had he told her it drove him up the wall the way she kept fiddling around with her fingernails like that.

“What’s for dinner, love?” he asks once more.

“Oh! Sausage n mash. Got a little baked beans left over from yesterday. You can ’ave those.”

‘Setting the book in Jamaica and England allows me to represent the communality of experience in addition to the effects and rewards of rupture. There are no losers in Long Time Walk on Water. Not even the most brutal of my characters. I see the vulnerability caused by need and I honour those who seek a way out. Harsh at times, Long Time Walk on Water is ultimately uplifting and life-affirming.’

(Joan Barbara Simon, interviewed by Lucy Walton for Female First)


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1. Sometimes the two of us sit down together & weep.

Who said: I think you should consider fixing a date for regular intercourse. The routine of it will deflate the tension I’m sorry? Disgust? That’s a strong word…

at some point you’ll begin to take pleasure in the act. Once the sexual tension is removed, you’ll also find verbal communication less troublesome.

2. Sometimes she helps me to my feet.

Who said: After a fight, he busies himself with the children. With the housework. For a change!

3. Sometimes I render her the same service.

Who said: I begin to better recognize his latent, ambiguous, aggressive behaviour though he’s keen to pass himself off as a nice guy.

4. Her around me.

Who said: What set off today’s quarrel?

‘I didn’t come to bed early enough for him.’

Mhm… Thematic overlap: distance, sexual frustration:

“kiss my arse!”…

5. Aura/Halo.

Who said: It cannot but be a good sign that he dared show his emotion in all its purity

‘but can a sign – an act, it acts, we forgive –   ever suffice? ‘

6. No room for her – for us – in my marriage. We left.

One day there’ll be nothing left to breathe.

I couldn’t know that I didn’t know, I can only know now.


Who said: Soul(stoned), yelling at current things: Words, words, yet more words. Find the right words. Warmth, softness and … look. And absence. And mockery. And lies.

7. Understanding about my own understanding? Doesn’t exactly map onto the notion of the silent mind (as I understand it…)

Who said: I ignore his request to come to eat. Table rituals, cover-up, 3x daily whilst his father fucks daughter and mother sings soprano in the choir every Sunday.

8. Every second of my existence is spent at a crossroad & I must doubt & do…

Who said: Pattern recognition:

‘kiss, cigarettes, eat.’

Who said: A dirty weekend? If you’re going with him it’s hardly a dirty weekend, is it? Where’re you going? For your wedding anniversary? God help you!

He said (pontificating): Your accusation regarding my so-called latent aggression,  my insinuations, are based entirely on what I have told you about myself and not on  your… personal… experience.

Who said: When I say that he’s misunderstood, that what we’re dealing with here is his impatience, the signs couched in this impatience,

He said: That’s mere judgement!

He said: You don’t know how to listen!

9. Doubt yet do. The conventional way won’t allow me to show that I care.

Who said: you like to expand. He distills. Problem?

He said: Dependent independence! You think too much. We didn’t come to Paris to think. Come to bed. Make an effort. For once.

(work in progress from Verses Nature. Illustration: L.W.Eden, copyright © 2013)

The working title of my PhD in Creative Writing is:

Dancing with Our Devils: Dialogism Within and Across Reading and Writing Processes.

As a question, it is formulated thus:

How many devils may we dance with in modern fiction? How may dialogism redefine literary genres and reading-writing processes?

And why is the novel entitled Verses Nature? Verses Nature, as I would like to solicit us to relinquish the old ‘givens’ in exchange for a new harmony (nature); a new order (verses) based on the inherent conflicts (versus) of Being and Meaning. News is not a given, however much we should – or want – to believe it is so. News is creative; it is story, an art form (surrealist at times…) so that the larger,  higher,  question is a philosophical one:

What is real? Do I need to know? What can I bear (not) to know?

where truth lies blind you can’t do it easily…

We may no longer argue that we speak, or ‘receive’ in a monolithic way. We know that we don’t. Our thoughts are permanently disrupted by other voices, each with their own history and echoes spilling beyond the horizon. We try to tame all of this if we are to make any sense at all. To ourselves. To others. Disorder feels loud. I want you counterintuitive: not reading to find out what comes next, but reading to find out what the hell’s going on now, then working backwards to patch together a plot that will spill beyond our horizons. My story merely supplies references that are liminal, tenuous; abstract. Impressionistic? Taken together, they solicit us to pull away from and challenge the ‘givens’, in favour of entertaining new possibilities; possibilities to replace, re-place, displace, deconstruct and, ultimately, democratise what Wertsch calls our ‘narrative templates’ (Wertsch, 2002); our genres, and the boundaries we draw between them. Boundaries harbour an imperative for us to decide, to position oneself, to act. As I state in Mut@tus: ‘there will always be a line, as there will always be a beyond the line. Question is: where do you stand in relation to the line?’ The original meaning of I decide is Greek and the word is: crisis.

Where do I stand in relation to the line? I want to straddle the lines. Promiscuity in preference to purism. An opening up and a disheveling of borders. Of sequences. The sample above orchestrates different voices, all only vaguely attributed, speaking from different times and different places. Penstrokes. You will never see what I see when writing these characters. That’s the point. I’m not just giving you a story, I’m proffering a thesis. Your dialogism isn’t my dialogism. You can start where you like, stop where you like. Reshuffle the sequences to create a whole new interaction. You may attribute gender where I remain deliberately vague. You may do what I cannot even begin to anticipate. I may only set the whole thing in motion, but never control how many devils are danced with. You are the key character in my novel. And as one of my favourite writers once said to me:

it doesn’t matter what I meant, I’m glad you saw so much.

and another:

to this day I do not know what I am only what others call me (…)
So I am with them in a way. Learning from them and watching in awe as they conceive of and answer questions to my creations that I never bothered to ask.