Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Beat, Broken and sometimes Mickey Mouse

This is a pyjama day - my red, white and tinsel ones that go on surviving, a bit like my Purples, or like me. I have been winging it for a couple of months, meaning that I have not been spending most of every day lying down and that I have been seen out and about (shops and stuff, a poetry reading), and with my new short hair people say, oh you look well, you look better, you look - well, whatever, clearly I look brighter. And if someone asks me how I am, I say good, even though there are substantial grammatical issues around this ('good' is actually more correct than 'well' but we won't go into this now) - because while I have ME/CFIDS it is not truthful to say that I am well, but there are days that are, for whatever reason, good. And therefore I am. In my 'winging it' times I can move through the day as long as I keep, in some way, moving. The moment I rest or sit down I feel something more akin to the true state of things. Gravity homes in, sucks at my limbs; electricity, and all the strange manifestations of the malfunctioning body that goes by the name of me, begin to buzz, twitter and growl.

When I write, I can also (sometimes) feel as though I am winging it, as long as I keep going, like Mickey Mouse walking off the edge of the cliff - as long as I don't look down. I have used this image before, probably several times. But it does so perfectly represent how things are when one is like this. It isn't as though the ground (abyss) is not there, just that while in the air it is better not to look down and see it. If I believe I can keep going, the chances are I will get to the other side.

My Dad once wrote a play with a character who had the ability to walk on the ceiling and did so, going against logic and the law of gravity, until someone insisted that what he did was impossible. It only took a split second - the realisation that this was, in fact, impossible - for him to fall to the ground. He lived his life ever after according to the laws of gravity, with only footprints on the ceiling bearing witness to what he had been able to do. Perhaps I should stop before I stray into the murky territory of the positive-thinking self-help manual - when all I really wanted to say is that sometimes I am Mickey Mouse. Ok?

I have been enjoying the Twitter thing, unexpectedly, considering initial misgivings before I understood how it worked and thought it would feel like being trapped in a room with hundreds of people all talking at the same time. It is somehow easier than Facebook, not so much in your face, and one can dip in and out more smoothly. I came across the Railroad Poetry Project there - as far as I can gather, they are a couple of Kerouac-loving, Beat poetry true-hearts who have started an online magazine for people and poets who are "beat, broken and beautiful" and they asked for submissions. Well how could I resist? So a couple of my poems will be there at the end of the month, and I'm listed now as one of the contributors. It's pretty obvious which one is me - and I seem to be the only one who wrote the bio in first person.



'tis I yes said...

"Beat, Broken and Beautiful" is what is – in my opinion – really and truly beautiful. And I choose to interpret "Beat" quite loosely here, so it doesn't just mean Jack Kerouac and Allen Thingy and their lot (although that lot is fine too). No. I like to include within "beat" the beaten, too, you know what I'm saying Signs? The ones who haven't had the easiest rides in life.

So yes. If ever there was anyone Beat Broken and Beautiful, then surely that is you. As for Mickey...well. I recently used the same thing somewhere when talking about acting. Although I used Wiley Coyote as my descriptive character, the important thing remained the same: don't look down and it can maybe be done. So you know. We have the same outlook in life...

Mwah my dear and congrats on the new publication front


Reading the Signs said...

'tis you yes, (I feel like saying gesundheit! whenever I address you these days) not only the same outlook, but the same thoughts, apparently. Well it makes sense.

I think that JK used "beat" to mean many things, including what you said. Yes, the slipping-down lifers - and he saw the beautiful in the broken. Allen I can't speak for, but I saw a film where JK was talking about it - the meaning of Beat. Not sure what his thoughts on Mickey were, though.

It takes one to know one 'tis you (will you for heaven's sake get a name that doesn't sound like sneezing) - know what I mean?

Mwahs - and thank you for being here x

Digitalesse said...

Excellent news, Signs.

Beat, broken and beautiful…love it! Can I be a beat, broken and beautiful photographer/visual artist?

I've just read On The Road for the first time, reading in a continuous linear fashion being a relatively recent ability after years of cognitive blight.

Oh, you should have seen my morning pages—all about life's journey and who we travel with and all these metaphors and well, you know ... all THAT stuff. The stuff we write.

Re MM and the gravity thing: there's positive thinking and there's allowing one's imagination to lead us where it will. It's better than all that personal growth-y shit.

Reading the Signs said...

Digi, I've also to some extent reclaimed the activity of reading - much helped by Kindle for some reason which I can't quite fathom. Love On The Road.

Beat, broken and beautiful photographer/visual artist - absolutely. If ever there was a true-heart, you're one! Welcome.