Hold onto your hats! More poetry arising….

OK now I’m not so paranoid about people nicking stuff from here I’m going to put more poems on.  I’ve got loads more that I wrote in a prolific period over the summer.  Psychosis has its uses…

Here’s one about plastic surgery.  I’ve put a video on Youtube of me reading this one.  I don’t appear to great advantage on camera tho the one of me on TV is much better.  Just type Liz Gray in to Youtube and it’ll all come up.

16th Birthday

Your life is almost over

you’ve had your preschool years and ten

Start saving for the surgery

you’ll need for getting men

The candles that you’ve wished for

are burning at both ends

you light one in your memory

You’re trying to make amends

Enrolling for celebrity

you major in derision

your career is almost over

when you flick the television

Get lost along the highway

you’ll be rescued by the knife

as you hurtle towards birth

end the cycle of your life.


As you will no doubt gather, plastic surgery is a practice I abhor.  I have another poem about it which ends:

Imagine a knife


a human face

for ever.

This if of course an echo of George Orwell’s vision of the future (“if you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – for ever”.  He always was a miserable git.  Some of his characters make me want to scream.  Not Winston Smith though.)

lachlan.bluehaze.com.au/books/orwel_1984.html –

I have come to the conclusion that what matters more than anything is to be oneself.  In the deepest sense.  Good night!  Sleep well.  Don’t have nightmares, as Nick Ross used to say.  And how true.

The Sort of Writer I am…

I am feeling very positive about this blog at the moment – it feels great to be able to write things and just put them out, where anyone can pick them up.  And I’m feeling much less paranoid about people nicking stuff because it’s a lot easier to prove when you wrote  stuff than, say, a printed manuscript.

The novel so far has taken the form of a monologue, a woman telling some episodes of her life through looking at photos.  I don’t know why – this is what came.  Unlike other writers, who seem to be a lot more together than I am, I don’t have a clue what I’m going to write until I write it.  I have vague general ideas about my magnum hopeless but no specific ones.  I know who the main character will be in a rather woolly sort of way but not who the others will be.  I just don’t know what kind of writer I am.  I’ve spent the last 20 years not knowing.  I can only know by doing.  Other people it seems, plan their novels.  I couldn’t possibly.  And even if I could, I’d be bored stiff.  If I knew what I was going to write before I wrote it I couldn’t do it – I’d lose interest.  Seriously.  I mean it.  And as for plot!  Can I do plot?  Hahahahaha.  I’m bimbling along (as an old friend of mine used to say) and a little voice in my head says, “something ought to happen round about now – shouldn’t there be an event of some kind maybe?  A happening?”  “mm” I reply.  “Maybe you have a point”.  And I spend half the day scratching my head and come up with some half-baked idea which doesn’t work.  All because I’m trying to be something I’m not.  You know that thing about apples and bananas?

The bottom line is that I am a genius and this gift needs to express itself.  All I need to do is to get out of the way and let it do its stuff (by the second “I”, I mean the ego, which will insist on having ideas and trying to take charge when really it knows nothing at all about anything.

When I think about writing a novel the whole thing seems so huge and unwieldy that I feel overwhelmed.  But I have to begin.  How can I ever get anywhere if I don’t?  I have to do it now, and keep on doing it every day, and see where I get to.

So you, dear reader, can help by posting your comments.  Please note all calls may be monitored for training purposes.

Oh yes, that poem I was going to write about someone on the end of a phone.  That one got away from me.

Back now…

Dinner was lovely. Six of us – Mark and me, Holly and Daniel, River and Jonathan. Daniel ate nothing, drank mango juice. Jonathan said he’d read this blog. When I said it was insane, he didn’t disagree. God knows what people must think. God only knows what I think. To paraphrase Robert Browning, when I wrote those letters to L*****d, only two people in the world knew what they were about; God and Sarada Gray. Now, only God knows. Actually, even I wasn’t sure. So there you are.

Re: Henry James. Turns out the “Beast ” that he’s waiting for is the waiting itself – in other words, the worst thing that can happen is never to live because you are afraid (one reason why I will never regret my psychosis – it took me where I needed to go). The problem is that the story illustrates this ie nothing happens rather eloquently but infuriatingly for nigh-on a hundred pages. Then the woman dies and he realises he should have loved her.  Even more infuriatingly he spends another few pages in useless regret before realising the big mistake and giving up his whole life as a bad job.  I want to take people like this and shake them.  I want to say “You’re not dead yet!  You’re making the same mistake again!  Live now, for God’s sake!”  I can’t stand it when people waste their lives in this way.  And whatever else I may have to reproach myself with when I’m old, I hope it won’t be that.

There is hope for the Magnum Hopeless…

So today I went up to our hut in the woods. Like Proust I have been putting off from day to day the writing of my novel. It all seems so unwieldy and hopeless, I don’t really know why. So anyway, having communicated with the spirit of my genius (this is not a thing of the ego, so it isn’t boasting to say I am a genius, or I have genius within me) I made a start. here is that start. It doesn’t have a title as yet.

Not sure if I put this poem on but it’s always worth repeating:


my magnum hopeless lost between

the armchair and the seat

I watch the sitcom of my life

Alas! It’s a repeat.


Chapter 1/2 or, Prologue

Let me begin now, for now is the only place to begin. Now is the moment of conception, when the egg pierces the womb, when the womb penetrates the sperm, when the sperm leaves the sky and comes down from the sky-gods to vanish upon the earth. Look! The rain has all dried up, our tears are wiped away – and here we are.

Let us begin here, for here is where we are. Here we stand in the playground. The bell has just rung; the sound-waves ripple in the air, we are frozen in our attitudes. In a moment we must go in to our lesson. But not yet. Not quite yet. For a moment let our wilder heads spin, let us dream of worlds in the sky fallen down to live in the puddles on earth. For a moment, let us breathe, hold, and wait. For a moment let us be.

Let it begin with me, for only I am here, though others may be reflected in my fariground mirrors. In my Hall of Ego sits a self-portrait with family; snaps with friends. They grow darker towards the past. Disregard all the images of me alone – I know there are too many.

– Alas! You’re quite right – here is another one. I can’t help it. I only hope it may be more accurate than the others.

Yes. Let’s have tea. Let’s go. Did you notice the coats though? The coats at least were accurate. The coats were all mine.

Is your tea strong enough? Not too strong? Good. So we can be quite comfortable. Move the cushions if you don’t like them. So. Where was I? Yes.

To begin at the beginning is the most tedious thing imaginable, don’t you think?

OK that’s it for now – I’ll continue in the next post. Now we’re going out for dinner.

Pip pip!

On Limericks

Thanks Doug for your comments on my limericks.  Here’s another one which I wrote for someone who was my guide through a dark place:

I walked in the temples of hell

those halls where the famous do dwell:

I said, Let’s up the ante

you Virgil, me Dante –

there’s a market, so get out and sell.

(the last line was a quote from Thatcher, reportedly speaking to arms dealers.  That woman made my blood run cold)