Scribbles

by candysomething

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Emma
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Emma I absolutely love all of these, a really beautiful collection Favorite track: Sellotape.
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1.
Fish Bowl 01:56
I used to visit you and sit on one side of a sheet of glass, tapping gentle morse code ripples across a bowl. Apparently fish are calming for people like you. I wasn't calm as they swam and every few seconds their memories made new. I wasn’t calm when I realised that this place was a giant fish bowl and you were all floating, inhaling pure oxygen and being kept from the deep end. Let’s not pretend our family has ever shared much more than a name. You weren’t grand and I was much the same. My strongest memories are of your stronger days you’d pick me up and I’d reach the ceiling, what a feeling, you watched me grow. I watched you unlearn how to smoke a cigarette. I listened to your only son telling you where your wife had gone, you both sat as mirror images gone wrong like a bad game of Guess Who. I watched you shrink. I blocked out conversations I shouldn’t have ever had to hear with fingers in each ear. I hummed to drown them out until they were just goldfish mouths. My parents must’ve thought I couldn’t carry a tune. I was carrying you. At the end, you looked into my eyes and I don’t know who you had in mind but I was eternalised as ‘nice girl’. Nice girl you called me, that was how you saw me and suddenly I’m five years old in the back seat of your Ford and I’ve always been told be good or granda will scold. Nice girl. I’m twenty and I sit in a house where you spent your best days and I’d love to know will we end up the same way? A lifetime erased, just a shell with a face.
2.
Sellotape 01:32
I live in a city whose walls are cemented with despair. I see schoolkids with painted eyes, they’re defining the very things they hide behind. They learn from the best. Mum cleans the windows and pulls the curtains. And repeats, and repeats, and repeats. But you know, 20,000 planes take off every day. And you’re only ever a ticket away. Time is ticking. You could be hit by a bus in an instant. But buses only kill 2 people in every million a year That’s a statistic. Call me optimistic, but I say you’ll survive. When you’ve cried for so long that your tears form tributaries and complete a water cycle, you’ll survive. When you know your heart is breaking because you can feel it aching, it’s not beating it’s drumming a funeral march- you’ll survive. Then you’ll realise surviving isn’t enough. Surviving is for dinosaurs and you know that you were made for more. And I hope you find it. I hope you define it and stand beside it and say I TRIED this. Don’t be afraid to try. Because for every broken dream there’s some once broken somebody carrying a Pritt stick, saying: let me fix this. If your pockets are full of pills, or lipsticks, or parables, I say that’s great. Mine are full of sellotape. My life consists of jigsaw pieces and damnit, I’ll make them fit.
3.
I like to think of your voices as colours constantly coming together to make the feather yellow hue I present to you as my accent For two decades, you've been sandpaper. tapering the jagged sides of my geometric mind. To my mother, If I had a fraction of your strength, I could stretch it out to the length of ten lifetimes and even then I'd still be lacking your best bits. It's your blood that pumps through my heart, carrying the good and the bad and it's all I've ever had and I'll make do. I learned that from you. Dad. Thanks for the anxiety, the sleepless nights, the worrying, the added height that lets me travel faster when I'm pacing back and forth and back and forth but when my footsteps sound like yours I smile. and it's your smile and your eyes and your awful jokes and your tendency to be shy. Your creativity. That you locked in an office to afford mine a space. Thank you for the place that lets me chase up all your regrets and say 'hey, we've got some unfinished business.' To my brother. Thanks for teaching me a C chord. Three strings aligned in a beginning, middle and end like a good story. Thanks for everything you've ever told me. And I'm not tolling up roll ups or lifting drinks to cold lips but I never needed a role model. My inspiration's stored in a different bottle but know that my best stories start with you. To my other brother. You can drive anything without consulting a textbook and if I wasn't so impressed I'd be jealous. Your talents are oddities, like the earless toys I just have to keep, even now. They hold our best memories. You see, you and I could pretend in any reality and if I look like my life is sorted now, know that the actuality is that I'm pretending because you taught me how. My family are the recipe that created me and maybe I'm a little too soft in the middle but don't blame the ingredients. They tried their best. To an American best friend, thank you for naming this poem. Yours will always be better because your heart and soul are joined in a rhyming couplet and mine are still strangers. Say hi to your sister. I miss her. And H, you were a peer without the pressure and I thank you for the decade you dedicated to being my best friend when all you got in return were some store-bought treasures and my mood every Monday morning. Consider this the gift receipt to all the words you said for me because I wasn't ready to share mine with anybody. Anybody whose smile has met mine in a busy street, I think I photosynthesise on oxygen and seeing stranger's teeth. To the boy who took my heart somewhere between a song and an unprecedented conversation leading to the realisation that maybe every fingerprint is unique. And I'll never know what you saw in me. But let me thank you for this life. It's with your pen I'm writing so somehow these words are yours and mine combining, tattooed into time in my unfinished lines. I could go on. But there are people in each of my imperfect pores and there are stories on this body, each scar is a door. See, people are play doh til they open their mouths and everyone I've met has shaped me somehow. But I'm not much of an artist. I'd recommend keeping me at arm's length because I'm not strong enough to cause a noticeable dent.
4.
Scars 02:35
When I was two years old I was mountaineering along a tacky brown velvet couch, which ended in a two foot freefall to an unforgiving ground that had sprouted a single branchless bottle of Coke. My forehead attempted to take a sip. I was left with a half moon scar. I don't remember the pain. When I was seven or eight or some tree-climbing age, I was being walked by my dog down a rough country road. It turned out Lulu liked my mum as much as I did. When she ran to catch up, I refused to let go. The rock I tripped on to decided to make a crater on the moon. I don't remember the pain. The dog isn't the only villain; a ginger bundle of feline joy claimed her first and favourite toy as that flimsy skin on the back of my palms. In her head, this was a jungle and I the last remaining mouse. In my hand, a dozen straight lines all dotted with blood. Explaining those claw shaped white marks is a petrol soaked furball of conversation spark. She likes to remind me of the pain. Thirteen years on and our love still plays that game. When I was between two and twelve, I ruined at least four pairs of jeans and there was never a month where I'd have a scabless pair of knees. I don't remember the pain, but I remember the games that got too fast for a garden without grass, and the bike races, and the contorted faces yelling, 'Candice fell!' But I'd remain defiant as I watched stones picked from my fleshy knees, shaking my tear stained cheeks because I did not fall - I was sabotaged by the ground. I don't remember the pain. Not even when I want to wear dresses and my cauliflower knees are shouting look at me and I'm forced back into my skinny jeans. But Somewhere along the line, I found a little balance. I decided that the world had left enough marks on me. Now I intend to leave mine on the world. And to you I'd say one day, you won't remember the pain. But the reasons for the permanent marks will always stay the same. And sometimes we don't get a choice if those are family reunion, projected home video memories, or stories we'd rather keep behind locked doors. And if I could hold your hand we wouldn't be hovering over the curves of your veins, we'd be hovering over the lines on a map as we plan an escape because I want you to forget the pain.
5.
Your Words 01:24
I’m reminded that I fell in love with your words. I gathered them slowly, and carried them always. I sewed them and I wore them but as vests and socks so nobody could see them but I could feel them when I moved. I forced them together and I made a boat then suddenly I could escape if the wind just changed. I laid them on my pillow and inhaled them when I slept, so your words became my dreams. I placed them on plates and I ate them, greedily, as someone quite poor who doesn’t know when their next meal will come. Your words filled me. I squeezed them on a palette and I drew with their colours, canvasses of the world as I saw it then, the world made of your words. I held them in my hands until the warmth from each one crept into my bones and let me face another day. I hummed them in a melody and played that song to drown out most everyone else. Perhaps that wasn’t fair, but your words etched a red ‘X’ on each day of my calendar and each hour of my clock. Sometimes I would scatter them, in places so quiet and places so beautiful that they deserved nothing but your words. And so I left them there, safe and quiet and beautiful. I fell in love with your words.

about

A collection of spoken word poems written between 2012 and 2014.

credits

released June 28, 2014

All poems written and spoken by Candice Cathers
- Recorded by Gary White
- Piano on 'Fish Bowl' by Gary White
- Background music on 'Sellotape', 'To Anyone I've Ever Known' and 'Scars' by Kevin Macleod at incompetech.com
- Album artwork by Shannen Jalal

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