Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Truth About Lies

The Truth About Lies


Posted: 01 May 2016 04:37 AM PDT


(for B.)

It's always harder
when it's somebody else's cross
you're carrying.

I told you you were beautiful
and I did not lie
but I questioned my motives.

I need to show I love you
because I fear he doesn't
but what can I give you:

There is no light under my door:
I am at home,
but not to callers.

What will you take
to take the pain away?

25 March 1989
In geometric terms, the eternal triangle can be represented as comprising three points—a jealous male (A) in a relationship with an unfaithful partner (B) who has a lover (C). To use a mnemonic device, A feels abandoned, B is between two mates, and C is a catalyst for crisis in union A–B. Leigh (1985) preferred a nomenclature describing the principles as "victim," "cheater," and "cheatee," whereas Pittman (1987) utilised "cuckold," "infidel," and "affairee," but such terminology strikes us as judgemental to all parties. – Alvin Pam, Judith Pearson, 'The Geometry of the Eternal Triangle', Splitting Up: Enmeshment and Estrangement in the Process of Divorce, pp.148.149
F. observed once than every time B. visited we had sex that night. She wondered if it was more than a coincidence. I denied it—I really had no strong desires that way—but, at the same time, I couldn't deny that B. made me feel… I'm going to use the word 'good' here because she did but she also made me feel bad as well; in my experience most things in this life that make us feel good come with a rider. I never thought about having sex with B. when I was in bed with F. and especially not whilst having sex with F. but I did think about B. constantly; that I can't deny.

I've had a work wife before. I've even had a work daughter. I understand these relationships. But how exactly do you describe the relationship between an artist and his muse?
A secretive model for realist painter Andrew Wyeth, the Prussian-born Helga Testorf became the captivating subject of her Maine neighbour's studies for 15 years without the knowledge of her husband or his wife. Obsessively portrayed in 247 brooding portraits where she is with and without clothing, Helga became an American icon when one of Wyeth portraits of his muse made the cover of Time magazine on August 18, 1986. – The 10 Most Influential Artist's Muses, Flavorwire
Did they ever have sex? It's not beyond the realms of possibility but his wife thought not: "If there is this sexual thing," she told The New York Times, "if he went over the bounds it wouldn't be a painting. He would lose the magic. It would go." Sex isn't everything. You get a rush with sex—endorphins are released by your brain—but you can get a rush when you exercise—endorphins first, adrenalin if you push yourself—but there are other chemicals our bodies use to reward us like serotonin and especially dopamine. Whenever we do something that our brain/body thinks is 'positive' (winning the lottery, eating a cake, finishing a poem) we'll experience a rush of dopamine which serves to reinforce that behaviour/stimulus. Do you see where I'm coming from?

Dorothy Parker famously said, "I hate writing, I love having written." Why? Because you don't get your reward until the job's done. For a novelist that can mean long waits but when you write poems with a couple of dozen words in them then getting a semi-regular fix isn't so hard which is why over the next few months I rattled off so many poems that weren't that great. But we're not there yet.

The "he" in the poem (and the reason the title is in the plural) is a chap called S. by the way. B. was in love with him so even if I had been in love with or lusting after her she wouldn't have seen it. In the end he chose E. and then dumped her for the most androgynous-looking woman I've ever met and moved to Canada but that's another story.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Truth About Lies

The Truth About Lies


Posted: 27 Apr 2016 05:25 AM PDT

Marital Row No. 693

The Batman would never
stand for this.

The Batman would never
have been caught like this.

Not The Batman.

We have a lot in common –
The Batman and I.

We both wear masks
but I don't have his strength.

25 March 1989

I don't think I've ever had even three rows in my life that weren't with my parents, "shouting matches" as my dad called them—good expression. So this is fictitious. I don't think F. and I even rowed once in all the years we were together. We had disagreements but they never escalated into fights. I used to work with a woman called Donna who said she and her husband rowed all the time and she thought that was a good thing; she clearly enjoyed the make-up sex.

As for Batman, yes, he's probably by favourite comic book hero. I haven't seen Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice yet but I will get round to it. I feel like I've been reading about it for years. Last I heard the trailers when spliced together amounted to fifteen minutes of the actual film. I watched the very first trailer once and that's been it. I just don't get the film companies. They're talking about films just now that won't see the light of day until 2020 (Cyborg and Green Lantern Corps). By the time they hit the big screen—let alone the small screen—who'll care any more? I remember this all started with Tim Burton's Batman. I devoured anything I could to do with the film and so, when I finally did sit down to watch it, I was, predictably, disappointed; nothing—and I do mean NOTHING—could live up to the hype. Nowadays I read very little. Mostly I look at the pictures and skip the words.

'Marital Row No. 693' was first published in Psychopoetica #17; I keep forgetting to check before I upload these poems. There is precedence for the use of the definite article by the way. Detective Comics #567—the famous Harlan Ellison issue where Batman has the most uneventful night of his life—is subtitled Presents The Batman. There was also a tie-in to the Warner Bros animated series called The Batman Strikes.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Truth About Lies

The Truth About Lies


Posted: 24 Apr 2016 06:09 AM PDT


(for B.)

So I am a port in a storm?
Who will come into me,
into my arms?

They're tearing me down
but my arms are still there.

Who will come into them?

I held you in Greenock station
until you went away
then I walked the empty jetties
and watched the ebbing tide.

23 March 1989

Greenock is a historic industrial town by the Firth of Clyde, 25 miles west of Glasgow. It thrived in the post-war years but as the heavy industries declined in the 1970s and 1980s unemployment became a major problem, and it's only been in the last ten years with reinvestment and the redevelopment of large sections of the town the local economy's started to revive. 

I only hugged B. in Greenock station—she had a migraine and decided to get the train home—although how I contrived to be the one to walk her there I've no idea. So it's a bit of an exaggeration, a bit of wish fulfillment. She got on the train but rather than go back to the rest of the group I took myself off down the docks which at the time had seen better days. That's where the idea for the poem came and I'm pretty sure I wrote it then and there. I wouldn't swear on it but this might've been the last time I was ever in Greenock. Carrie took the train to Gourock, which is just down the coast, when she first came over here and she also came away from the place inspired which is odd because, as best I can remember, Gourock was an even more miserable place than Greenock back then.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Truth About Lies

The Truth About Lies


Posted: 20 Apr 2016 04:45 AM PDT

Coming Out

"So you are a
practicing poet?"
she asked,
and I felt unclean
and wanted my closet back.

23 March 1989
When did you know you were… you know… that way inclined? I wonder how many gays have been asked that question. No one's ever asked me when I knew I was straight. No one's ever asked me when I knew I was a poet either. Was I born one? Since I regard myself as a natural poet I guess I must've been. I was poetry-curious in my early teens—I guess a lot of us are and for many it's a phase we go through—but once I reached my twenties it was impossible to deny: I was a poet. I didn't know any other poets and it was a lonely time. I wasn't even sure if I was doing it right. Was there even a right way? Occasionally I'd let someone in but most of them didn't know what to do with the information. I'd make up wee collections for my friends who were polite but never said what they really thought. It was hard.

This was all pre-Internet. Now it's so different. A few keystrokes and you can find like-minded individuals no matter what your persuasion or inclination or preference or kink. You'd think that'd be a good thing.