the little black book

black pencil on white paper
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She could take down the town

With the names in that book,

Those names up in lights

Who’ve so much to lose.

But what makes her write

Those names and those numbers

That could shine a bright light

On all that is wrong

With the world that we know.

I’m watching the Ruby Wax programme and in it she returns to all of her most famous interviews from the 90’s. I felt particularly drawn to the interview she did with Heidi Fleiss who I had never actually heard of before.

She was a madame who hooked up the richest and most powerful men with the most beautiful women, for who knows what.

It interested me because they referred to her little black book that could have brought down the town. It was interesting because she was due to go to prison for what she was doing, and when I look at the world today, I wonder if anything would have played out differently now?

I wonder if the #metoo movement would have protected her and uncovered the men? And I wonder what made her get into that business? Was the power and money, really worth it? And would it be worth it now? I wonder what I would do with a little black book that had all that power?

So many questions…

Much Love

Rachel xx

The tv shopping channel

They sell a load of crap, if we’re going to be honest with ourselves,

And yet we sit there late at night before the sleeping pills

Kick in and send us into sweet oblivion,

That time when minds are racing with the worries of tomorrow;

What the boss will moan about, and what the gossips say

Around the watercooler, with their furrowed brows,

Angry at the world for no reason I can see.

And so we sit at midnight watching QVC or Ideal Home

Or yet another channel selling diamond rings and pots and pans,

Then Skechers in five colours with culottes and kaftans,

Rubbish really, but I watch because it is hypnotic to the senses

With those voices smoother than those silky sheets they sell

At 1:26am, when all the world’s asleep,

But us, the anxious and the ill will doze until the sun will rise

And suave presenters come and go, they are my friends

Who keep me company when madness grips my soul.

The KIDs’ party at the soft play centre

The screams can be heard from the car park,

Piercing like someone’s being murdered,

Brutally, but it’s just kids having fun, apparently.

And then they charge us five pounds

To sit at tables, sticky with the residue

Of sweets and coke that sends them to the moon.

The sound is all consuming, cacophonous

As toddlers bump their heads and bigger kids

Run riot, not caring who they knock

With arms spread wide and socks all grey

From dust that gathers in the garish tunnels,

Never cleaned since opening in 1999.

We order food and sausages that swim in oil

Arrive on plastic plates with pictures of those dinosaurs

That kids all seem to love, but then there comes the cake

With sparklers pushed in sugary sponge,

A health and safety risk, among so many others.

Leaving feels like coming up for air,

The wall of sound fading as we skip away

With wailing children on our arms,

We promise we’ll be back one day very soon.

Home

black handled key on key hole
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I need this space like fucking air,

My carpet stained with a gravy splodge

From a roasted chicken dinner with a friend,

And that blackened circle on the counter top;

That place where I burnt the plastic with a pan.

The front door that doesn’t work all that well,

It opens if I ram my shoulder up against it when

I’m coming in, laden with two shopping bags,

(I can only buy two bags worth at a time because

There’s only space for that, in my tiny cupboard,

Fridge and freezer), so just forget a weekly shop.

But this shitty little place, it’s mine;

And coming back from days away, is kinda like resurfacing,

Taking one deep breath, luxuriously.

I need this space to live, to walk the world,

Knowing that I have this little slice of worlds

Carved up by men much richer than I’ll ever be.

But I own this, and for this I am glad.

I’m back from holiday and I feel like I’ve just sunk into the softest bed. This place I call home, is my safe space and it’s only when you are away for a little while that you realise just how much you need that space.

As you may know, my parents are divorcing at the moment and my dad phoned to ask if I want to club together and buy a place with him and his part of the divorce settlement. My heart sank. I don’t want to hurt him but I also want to keep this little slice of the world that is my own.

I’ve worked so hard over the past four years to get sober, stand on my own two feet and get a job that I’m really proud of, and moving back in with my dad will take so much of that away from me. I wish I was tougher and could just tell him that I want to stay in my own little space. This really sucks, but it’s made me realise just how much I need this place.

Much Love

Rachel xx

Under the bridge

What has happened here, under this bridge?

Who has been driven down to the river,

Under the M56, that runs through to Manchester?

What drove them down there to that ugly grey world,

Cement blocks for chairs and graffiti to view

While they share stolen kisses and shoot up their drugs.

Why did that happen to her and not me?

And what fatal flaws has this place sometimes seen?

He’s full of useless information

gravid yellow jacket wasp closeup photography
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What do they teach them at that school?

His granddad ask, sipping at his beer.

It’s the internet, I say, picking at the crisps,

Packet splayed open on the sun warmed bench.

The internet? he muses and I nod.

YouTube videos and Reddit or that Buzzfeed site,

It teaches them what frequency a wasp will hum

And just how many golf balls can be made each year,

But how to roast a chicken or to paint a wall,

There’s one whole generation that doesn’t have a clue.

The majesty of it all

It’s no wonder that those poets wrote the words they did

With awe inflated by the mountains and the lakes

That shimmer black, proving that the depths could eat

Our bodies and our souls, swallowed whole for nothing more

Than fish food, sinking to three hundred feet.

It would be nice to traipse the children out,

To teach them how and why those words still stand,

Where that inspiration flowed, and hopefully

They’d understand the world some more,

The way it works and why us adults show our fear,

The things we’ve seen and how we know

Control is weak and life is fragile in our hands,

And nature is the ruler of it all, no matter how we try to fight

Against the rising morning light.

Childhood dreams on summer AFTERNOONs

They seemed like dreams we could achieve

On cherry blossom afternoons,

Full of warmth and hopeful thoughts

That floated on the starry lake.

But twenty years can dull the space we occupy,

Forgetting worlds of possibility

And falling into shadows called our adulthood.

Today I stepped out from that shade and saw

The sky so limitless, as it was at age sixteen

When I knew the world was mine to keep.

I went to Coniston today and it was the first time I had been there in twenty years. I was a teenager last time I was there and full of hope, probably more so than I am these days.

The house on the other side of the lake was the one I wanted to own when I used to swim up here as a kid. And I genuinely thought it would happen.

It brought back so many memories to look back across the lake. I’m not quite so confident anymore and that makes me sad. I wish I could have more of that colour back but that’s just being an adult, I guess.

Much Love

Rachel xx

The ballet

woman wearing white ballet shoes
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The bodies cram into the space

Where darkness reigns until the lights raise up

And dresses ease into those folding velvet chairs,

Sighing as the weight comes off those six inch heels,

Not thinking of the pain those pointed toes endure

As the dancers leap and turn in white, so innocent,

But underneath there’s all those hours spent

At the barre in twisted shapes made natural

Despite the strain upon those fragile bones,

Their strength is undeniable, be it physical

Or what they deal with in their minds

And all for art, for those of us

In dresses costing half the world

And peering through binoculars on sticks,

Feeling that we’re at the pinnacle

When really it is those we pay to entertain

Who really rule this world.

I did a marathon

I’m a little bit knackered bit it was nice to finally complete something.

I’ve had so many failures over the last few years and it’s really hard to find the motivation when you see all of your friends on Facebook doing amazing things and you just keep coming up short.

Anyway, it was a lovely little loop that took in the site where the Magna Carta was signed in 1215. The Thames Path is such a lovely trail to run on and I got a beautiful Mary Poppins themed medal.

Much Love

Rachel xx