ISSUE 02: SEPT 2017
Â£2.00 (SUGGESTED DONATION)
“Scarlett Johansson” by Ashlea Wilson
Aged 24, Leicester, Prisoner since age 13 Entirely hand drawn by pencil Supported by Soft Touch Arts: soft-touch.org.uk
Issue 02 - September 2017 Contents Front cover: “In My Head” by Will Perry, Prisoner, aged 19 Editorial What is Anerki? GHG2 Tough Love OWL Write_trash Please Dont Leave Me Fuck Brexit Cycling To Save The World Bring Out The Remedies Rowan Gatherer Fancy Soaps, Selfie Talk, Moratorium Depths Erro, Was I Sat On The Coast, Bridges Autumn 1967 Amber Neurology Forward With Asperity Buny Pic Grandma 0606 You Lie In Wait For Me Just Be Yourslef Twenty Six Pounds and 70p Photo For Those Who I Leave Behind Freeze Peach Together In Solitude Four Windows And A Door Before: Ruin Nation Prologue Selfie Reflections Differentiation and Integration Ashes
Submit your work for future editions: submi t@ an e r k i . c o m Editorial Welcome. This is Anerki. Proven and demonstrated. Abundance. When all work together towards a goal, it is achieved with room to spare. Maybe this is some of the spare. The abundance. Without doing anything, except what comes naturally, you have become a working model of anarchy. You are Anerki.
by Jericho Mann
What Is Anerki? Anerki is a multi-disciplinary arts collective. Established in 2011, we hold a monthly event of underground artistic expression: Music, Live Art, Spoken Word, Rap, Dance, Comedy, Film and Free Speech. Always free of charge, it is entertaining, educational and conscious. It aims to break down age and cultural barriers in society and to bring about inspirational change through the arts. Occurring as it does in Leicester, a plethora of nationalities, cultures and languages are represented. Anerki places no restrictions on what a performer might do, boundaries between disciplines need not be observed. It is a format where new experimental ideas can be presented to an energetic, multi-cultural audience without fear of ‘failure’. It harbours a very nurturing environment, which is vital for allowing the greatest art to be expressed. This is our Zine/Zeen/Magazine. To support our monthly live event in printed format! ENJOY!
www.anerki.com Copyright ©2017 Multiple Owners. All Rights Reserved
GHG2 by Chitrank Upadhyay, Delhi, India
CompreHend (Feat. Lindsey Wells) “Tough Love” I’ve got this fire in my heart and I won’t let it die Even though it’s just the start I feel so terrified The realest love can be so hard when you can’t get it right Together we are good and that much We have Testified And I can’t help but feel my brain is like a rollercoaster Cause everyday we go through change and you still Hold me closer Your saying you’ll never be sane and they have diagnosed ya I know you’ve be through pain and your just tryna find some closure I see it when you lie awake that thoughts are killing you I wanna help take that away i’m more than willing to Each time I look you in the face I see what you bin through But you still smile every day the pains too big to choose You showed me love in ways I never thought were possible That was your choice to make and I know it was optional So now my heart will stay with you until we’ve lost it all Cause I would move the waves for you and any obstacle Sometimes it’s hard between us but you know I’m always there We’ve both been scarred with demons we can be an awful pair But there is plenty of reasons why I will always care You give my life the kind of meaning that I thought was rare Theres often times I think that you’d be better of without me I need to find a shrink cause I feel like my head is cloudy It’s like my mind won’t let me in that’s why i’m getting rowdy On you i’d never lay a finger, I respect your boundaries
Best friends will argue, and that’s no different for us You’re angry aren’t you I feel our distant aura’s But I won’t harm you, when you’re mad I feel tortured Frankly that’s the hard truth, that’s why i’m getting awkward I can be sensitive and I know that. But it’s a benefit to have you in my life and I won’t go back And you feel negative when i’m twat But that is relative to how I feel when I react I know that’s bad (ad lib sorry) I often say a lot of things that piss you offBut in my conscience I portray it in a way that I thinks soft. I’ve got the patience so i’ll stay till we’re on top, I just pray you feel the same and that one day my brain’ll stop It’s such a blessing that I found and your here. Cause without your presence my Surroundings are not clearThat’s why I crave attention from you and i’m acting weird. Cause I feel depression every time you are not near I know you’ve got a lot of doubts in your head I’m just hoping that you’re in my house when your stressed. Cause I could never live with mountains of debt But if I had you then i’d be proud till my death I’m needing you more than a humans needing oxygen The thought of keeping you is boosting my whole confidence If someone’s teasing you the truth is I will box with emBecause me not pleasing you is now my only consequence
[ scan code to watch video]
â€œOWLâ€? by Will Perry, Aged 19, Prisoner, Leicester Painted onto a block of dried paint.
“Warlord” Some people A lot of people Have a problem with everything Anything I say Or you do Could cause them to break out into a GREAT WAR Like foreheads and acne They are just looking for any reason to Drop the atom bomb They have a problem with everything, anything Even me writing this.
Pop your zit in someone else’s mirror
SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE THEY ARE BOTH THE SAME THING
SOME BELIEVE WHEN YOU DIE YOU GO TO HEAVEN SOME BELIEVE YOU BECOME NOTHING
I take the lotion I cover every inch of my body and as I do I check for lumps and bumps and any abnormality I've had everything In my head But never been ill On the doctors screen But everyday I check for lumps I make my self Mentally sick But the lotion Makes my skin so soft
[ scan code to view instagram ]
By Asher X www.instagram.com/write_trash
“Please Dont Leave Me” by Indira Skyflower, Delhi, India
by MANATEE TM
Cycling to Save The World Won’t somebody help the trees? Won’t somebody help the Bees? We’re bringing the planet to its knees! Just so we can have car keys... Burning up the oil, causing pollution, Despite the fact that there’s a solution! You call a cab and I’ll hop on my bike. It’ll cost you a tenner whilst I actually like To treat every journey like I’m in a race, Sweating up hills at a respectable pace. While you wait for your taxi, I’m halfway there, You won’t catch me, I can go anywhere! Hopping up kerbs to pedestrian zones, I’m weaving smoothly between the cones, Leaving you in traffic and trapped in a tin, Volunteering for torture, you locked yourself in! air conditioned to filter the fumes like the cool dry wind of egyptian tombs The only oil I use is on my cogs and my chain, And I know that I’ll never outrun a train, But I cycled to skegness using just muscle power, Freewheeling down hills I hit 40 miles an hour, The fuel for me to perform these feats? Six bottles of lucozade and haribo sweets. So hop on a bike, with me, and get fit! But beware, in bad weather, it can be a bit shit. Cycling at night to meet a mate, In the wet, I clipped a grate. Heard a hiss, let out a groan, My tyre had popped and my pump was at home...
By Will “Poetman” Horspool
Bring out the Remedies You are facing down the rock blasted side of my moon yawning, orbiting and afflicting me. Why do you come here again, alone again looking for some mother’s comfort? Laying down your Self for it. Better to heal ourselves heel our boundaries, electric, elasticalways destructive, always empowering. Glare up at me when words disrupt your reading. Equate your experience of the moment with mineLet’s say there’s no cause, call on time and place to explain it away. We retreat, retreading the initial meetingthe most advanced detectives pouring enquiry over past lives. Still, we bring out the remedies for each other’s nature. Not long now until untidy bodies bid a wakeful farewellwater through shattering glass, a gasp of life
By Alex G
by Rowan Gatherer
Fancy Soaps Today I bought the fancy soap that coruscated on television screen that, cost mother a week’s salary that I bathed and scrubbed and rinsed and rubbed but my mousy nut shaded skin didn’t come off and I remained auburn poor-lit wench yet my body wasn’t clean of where and to whom I was born. Your rich moisturiser toner oils only leave me poorer and wealth doesn’t come in magic bottles I’ve collected many and ilk of your silk can’t bandage the khadi of my existence you can call it sanskritization in the library of your fancy thoughts but I can’t even see my mecca so put a tag on me and study my nuances well but the pecan of my wood coloured skin will never burn to white so if they come to survey you, tell them that fancy soaps don’t help the ill-fated.
Selfie Talk Have you ever looked at my selfie seen the dusk dip under my eye or the craters near my temple that udder my veins that I try to contour that still peeps from the bend Do you ever see the edge of my cheek that you once kissed a splendid horizon now a draught in a winter do you see how
I wear your longings and they only tell me I look pretty. They ask me what filter I use, its the wreckage from hope. They ask me how I kohl my eyes, its the night I spent alone and the masquerade follows and the masquerade thrives on damsels like me Fools; I tell you. there’s no midnight resurrection serum other than your text back Alas, do you ever look at my selfie and cringe how you see somethings yours not yours.
Moratorium Half this night I waste in sigh. Ceilings stare back in awe. Blanket hugs me a little warmer. There is no new message. My toes curl up for this cold, cold night The brume also, smothers the sky. But I lay on this chaise and there is no new message. Should you think of me and want me as I yearn you this very moment Dear love, I and this night are awake in a hope in love, in time till there is no new message.
By Isha Yadav, Delhi, India www.fb.com/isha.yadav.355
“Depths” by Shaquille instagram.com/jcdr4ws
Erro (Original Italian Version) Bellezza di una metamorfosi senza soluzione Mi inseguo lungo distanti corridoi con la nausea della ricerca, del completo, e di questi spossanti spostamenti con tanti, tanti tasselli mancanti.
And left with her. When I’m not watching I think I see them catch my eye. Little bursts of colour in glass sand. Solid, the horizon lays in mid air Teal, or coated in seabreeze and salt. Ubiquitous between the spaces of a clock.
Un pozzo vuoto, colmo con la luna di mezzanotte di colli di bottiglie e di ruggine Un posto senz’uscio
The dog sleeps serene Laying in the shadow of a wave. You would imagine, in his dream, a painting.
Vedi, e un teorema circolare, che tende all’infinito Come lo spazio tra le mie domande, i miei riflessi e i miei passaporti le mie case e i miei dintorni.
And incessant rolls the sea Returning old memories of recycled bottles Living a renewed aquatic life.
Errant (English translation) Beauty in the transformation without solution I chase myself down corridors With the nausea of searching Of the complete And of exhausting changes With many missing pieces An empty well, full of midnight moon With bottlenecks and rust No place to leave from It's a pretty circular theorem you see Tending towards infinity Like the space between my questions My thoughts and my passports My homes and my landscapes
Was I Sat On The Coast I lost some marbles on this beach today They caught the sunlight
You sit, in the middle of the coastal land Constant My toes lost like marbles in the glass sand.
Bridges Unawares, here the man sleeps drifting away in his copper tainted dreams Gently learning. His trusted tree In the docile sunset of the chaotic city. Like a standing baba he guards and conceals his wisdom Behind ancient eyes A biker’s dormant vigilance.
â€œAutumn 1967â€? by Grace J
“Amber” We used to wait by the ocean whilst mum cooked dinner; a small plot of artificial land reflected in our own portion of still water. As evenings awoke, iridescent oranges and purples would dance cleanly across it's surface, only shattered as my brother and I would dive in and send circles in all directions, causing glittery chaos to disperse. Mother's island was always by our side, a comforting yet melancholic reminder of our values. On this island stood one single building at a perfect right-angle to our favourite pathway. Though a gigantic window covered one side of her home watching over the beautiful waters through which we would swim daily, mother would always be facing the other way, head down and brain immersed in a harmonious equilibrium between focus and openeness, the zen-like ingredients necessary for concocting all manner of eccentric recipes. After diving into the water, it had become a force of habit for my brother to briefly dunk my head. I would see the paradise above breathing, manipulated through ripples, whilst my lungs swelled with extra air. A canvas for the elements. Here, I was at home. Occasionally, we would venture out onto land, boarding the luscious countryside of Saidel where the horizon appeared to have been pushed back indefinitely. We could holler and dance, whistle and climb without fear of reprimand, and we did so gleefully. Theodore, a portly friend of my brother with magnificently exaggerated facial features, would join us on many of our adventures. As a trio, we waltzed from cave to castle, amassing all manner of fetching frippery with each turn. Theodore's earlobes hung so low that young people from neighbouring villages would sometimes use them to swing across the brook at the bottom of giant's hill. With dry feet, they would skip to Saidel's beloved orchard, to the rows upon rows of aluminium trees decorated with manic children's reflections, and would climb the clanging branches to pluck handfulls of marbles from their tips before skipping to Theodore once more. These hijinks always looked such fun, but our instincts were summoned elsewhere. Flurrying feet and scurrying hands would hastily scramble to the summit of giant's hill where we would breathe deeply and gaze at God from above. Here we dispersed our few pained memories to the clouds, for they too would eventually pass. Even in times where worry would hang in hammocks below our eyes, the refulgent twin moons of Saidel would adorn Giant's hill with a glow that could draw almost every breath from the lungs and cause wide eyes to flicker in awe. Within the rolling marble skies of dusk, my brother and I were introduced to every colour of the universe, and would exist in perfect contentment.
By Jamie Sykes
“Neurology” by Indira Skyflower, Delhi, India
Forward With Asperity When another ten are added on so are layers of convention. Layers also of contention. Layers additionally of correctedness.
with all its glee, this new with its pensive pomposity is, Paradoxically not a monstrosity but perhaps a guide, or at least, Less of a misguide-d ness than the old of which we have already betold,
Then on top ideals and matters of altruism, together with aspects of integrity.
No longer beholden to.
Not to mention the need for asperity, merit, lightening and less load.
Yes hop on tiger, and let us gallop forward,
We seek in age some level of justification, pontification, shoe shuffling, spittle and tide.
No more to giggle under,
We smell up, swell up, throw up lessmore, and give forth to wind of a different fragrance.
So get a grip of these here reigns,
For there is much for all and sunder to do, yes do. And now is neither more the old time any longer,
Our bowels are full of a new tune,
No longer to blunder,
And the old tune, though great, is gone and known to be wrong.
But instead to create from wonder wholeheartedly,
And now a song,
And move from glee to thee, massively and forever,
Recognised for its jewel like value of renaissance and rediscovery, springs only for others, not the originators. For those who began have indeed become lasting for others, To look aghast and askance at their shadow, Which, though small in comparison with the youth-past of this which we were,
Where peace doth reign, And there is no more pain.
by Heinz Jaki-Volvo [ scan code to listen - Sci-fi Hornblower ]
Is nevertheless ten times in vitality what we have before us here-on. But though this may be so, the things then sown now come to fru-it and sit, then ooze much better than that before. And though the old was Gary and his G
“Rabbit Pic” by DD
â€œGrandmaâ€? She's got every right to be here but it feels wrong in every way. British passport she was born with, an Indian on African land. The spotlight on her golden skin, her cases neat and her blouse expensive. She was in a supposed wonderland, and like Alice she spiralled down into the roots of British history and became part of it. "When Indians came in the 70s." The rain did not take long to show its face and her face did not take long to show her feelings underneath. Like the colour showing through on a freshly painted wall. Britain was magnolia, or slates or greys. She painted the walls of her new house that she would raise her kids who would adopt a new mother tongue, different to hers. She watched the rain clatter the window and as she closed her eyes she could hear the monsoon of India, taste the sugar cane in the plantations her and her cousin-sister would sit and play in in Litein, Kenya, Africa. She would see the colours, the animals the culture, the fruit of her two now past homes. She was now an African born Indian living in England. The rain poured and poured and she realises why the food in the U.K was so bland, why there was no colour on the ground and in the sky, why the smell in the air was of a numb nothingness- it's because the rain had washed it all away. She had always wished to go to England, from the times she would sing the national anthem in her small cinema in Litein at every interval. She loves the Royal family and the British in Africa looked more royal and more English than the people in England. So was it disappointment? She worried she had made a bad choice before bed time that night. The morning came and she woke up to the sound of the rain beating and beating the window. She looked outside, rubbed her eyes and ran down stairs into the garden. She was bare footed and it was cold but she didn't care. She saw the beauty in England, she remembered the paintings she drew at school of this place, this wonderland. She remembered the best thing about the U.K - as the rain pours and pours and spring is born. Her garden! So lush and green with blossom on every tree, the grass was greener than Emeralds, this land is fertile! And the riches of the world can be found here. And this is where she had planted her and her family- on fertile, lush, green land. England. By Asher X www.instagram.com/write_trash
“0606” Etching by Jeetin Rangher Delhi, India
“You Lie In Wait For Me” You lie in wait for me, like an animal waiting to pounce on prey, I know you’re there, always watching me, waiting and watching, to choose the right time, the moment when iIm at my lowest ready to tear me and shred me with your vicious claws. You smell like the foulest smell ever and you are the colour of darkness, sadness and fear, always lingering over me, penetrating my skin, flesh and bones, infecting me, poisoning me whilst I lie there helpless, defenceless. I let you in. The sound of you echos in my head, over and over, a wild screech, piercing my brain, mangle and mauling it, and I can’t let you out, can’t expose you to the world, what will everyone think, can;t let you go even though you’re killing me and I need to feel safe, secure, alive. I break and fall with nobody there to catch me, wind rushes past me as I tumble into the darkness and gloom of this sorrowful world, you feast on my self pity and low self esteem, making it harder to smile, and laugh all I do is cry as you drag me further into this misery. You’re strange, but never a stranger, always hung about for years, I know who you are, I’ve heard them call your name like you’re innocent,fragile and lightweight they call you Depression.
“Just Be Yourself” by Charlotte O’Byrne
I don't wanna be owned by corporations, I wanna live with bought off by the USA in on the freebies thought and motivation, and gets cash for owning Lets save the day! I only wanted to go to Lets even blag that they rather than being half our country! Leicester numbed got WMDMAs. Ah this glorious Eurofrom Liverpool lime by their control manifesWell we should know, pean community, street. tations. 'cos if they did it's As I sit crammed in the Not a hint of capitalist I want to have Earth apbecause critique, bike compartment preciation it oversees this corporate we sold them the basOf the train like a sarand live in a world tards! spree dine, where we help needy Tony Blair you talk shit and contrives to screw I wonder is this what it brothers without reserabout Lazarus, over you and me. means to be fast and vation. We need to move away Middle East envoy my free? For years we've had arse. They promised us privat- from America You go where your sent patience With their ideology, ized public services with our supra national by the corporate masreligion and market would boost the creations, ters, perspectives. economy. which have just overseen to make things look Rational they seem to You know what I see? the united economic good have neglected. I see the government devastation We need to stop them, they pay you in cash. selling out of nations. But what can I do? their actions have afyou and me to the corOnly by leading through I'm just a consumer. fected porate machine. demonstration, If I go against the heall of us for too long. I see politicians taking showing we can resolve gemony Our economy's strong corporate hospitality I'll be labelled a looner issues through mediain return for government but we don't belong tion, If I don't watch Matt in their suicidal trade policy does our world have a Damon regime. that benefits multiWe cant trade dollars for and pretend he can act. chance of finding salvanational companies. tion I buy the daily paper to more trees. So now we got British and bringing prosperity They refuse to consider see if airlines his love life's still intact. to all of it's nations. developing sustainable owned by fuckers in But don't hold your We don't protest anytechnologies. Germany. breath, They just wanna drill for more We got Spain creating Like we did with the poll 'cos in the mean time oil in arctic seas, monopolies there's no arbitration tax, do over third world dominating public seror trade regulation when the government vices economies in Latin economies, just chronic manipulatried to axe off some start pointless wars far America. tions more I thought the West was overseas, of imperial infestations, intervene where it ain't of our freedoms and supposed who've got the cheek to cash. our bees to give up its colonial tell me That's what we need wax. ties? it's Islam and Chinese riots in the streets. We thought to empires Remember when they communism It's the only way to be blagged Tony Bliar of old we waved 'bye that are causing sensaheard to use our tax to kill bye.' tions by the government innocent people in iraq Hell they made the UK Twenty six pounds machine and give up ours seventy p. cause a bloody civil war? and the sneering beauafter the second world Fuckin hell, rocracy Brap brap! war. I only wanted to go from Then just bring 'our boys' lurking behind the What was that for? Leicester scenes. So now the EU can fuck back To Liverpool lime street, Thinking how they can But don't worry them over, Ended up ranting about with their leading world Tony Blair's finished now, divert public money the corporate machine. away from its needs. he's nice and relaxed. economy turnover. And how they can mainThe little farmers in the Living off his corporate tain status quo, payoffs By Sammy Nour APC they don't wanna know and buying mansions Ain't got a chance where we think they're down South. against the big three. going wrong. Thanks to the common We gave him the manIf we burn down their date, agricultural policy plush offices we put him in charge. which gives out fancy Our faith in our beloved they'll start hearing our farming subsidies. So the French can make 'Democracy' was large. song.
“Twenty Six Pounds a million types of cheese Next thing you know and the queen even gets he's been and 70p”
“Photo” by Ashlea Wilson
Aged 24, Leicester, Prisoner since age 13 Entirely hand-drawn by pencil Supported by Soft Touch Arts: soft-touch.org.uk
“For Those Who I Leave Behind” Four years ago I embarked on a journey. I moved from The Netherlands to start a PhD-project at the University of Leicester on the experiences of Iraqi refugees living in Jordan’s capital Amman. Jordan is a country in the Middle East that hosts large numbers of refugees from Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Yemen and several other countries. In 2015, I lived there for 9 months and when I left to go back to Leicester I wrote the following ‘poem’ (as I am not sure it counts as one). I am now at the brink of finishing my PhDdissertation. This finish goes together with leaving Leicester, the city that slowly but steadily became home, and people I came to care for behind. I hope this might somehow also resonate with them and resembles the love we will continue to share. For those who I leave behind I am leaving… and all I can do for now is telling you I am sorry from where I am to where you are just because we were born in different places, we are positioned so differently. I am sorry you had to leave your village and your wedding pictures behind, fleeing for savage madmen, who claim to act in the name of religion. And who had the space to act partially because western governments screwed up your country. Sorry to my Iraqi sister who had to leave her village and homeland, while she was heavily pregnant. And to my Syrian friend who gave birth in a refugee camp. I am sorry I couldn’t find you a safe job, so instead you now work in a shop and risk the chance of being sent back to hell. And you tell me it is okay... that it is normal… I am sorry that your grandchildren are growing up without you,
and you have to make do with air kisses over Skype. They grow inches while you grow old. In five years they will have the right papers and Insh’allah enough money to come and visit you. Sorry to the children here, who don’t go to school because parents can’t afford bus fares, or don’t feel safe in this transit place. And those teens who don’t want to go to school anymore because what is the point. Stuck in the house, you play in your apartments, filling them with the occasional laughter and the sounds of computer games, but also with a heaviness that kids should not have. I actually don’t like it when people say sorry for things they are not responsible for. It makes them smaller than they are, but I so often think: I wish I could do more. I am telling myself I did all I could, and that I am actually saying goodbye, just because I need to find the time and space to process your stories. But I am just so angry and sorry for this world you live in, which is so connected to mine, but so different. And yes, I carry the world on my shoulders, but how could I not care? I am sorry that western governments think, that you - a 19-year old - are adult enough to stay behind, while your parents are allowed to travel onwards. And we seriously wonder why people decide to travel illegally?! Sorry to those people who are waiting here, abiding the rules nation-states put on them and talking border-speak. You compare your own situation, and you tell me that it is not fair that those who move illegally onwards are ‘rewarded’ with a life in the west, while you continue to wait here. You are scared that the borders are closing behind them.
And that you will be forgotten… Or what about the elderly lady, who played it by the rules. The only thing she still wants from life is to be buried next to her son, who died in a car crash in Canada overworking nightshifts to support his mother, without enough social networks to warn him about the weather conditions. She was allowed to go and bury his body, but when she came back she was asked by UN officials why she didn’t overstay her temporary visa and stayed in Canada.
I don’t say I have the solution, but I wish that more people could see what I saw, not because I am morally superior, but just because it might make them realize they are not: superior just because they were born in a different place.
I am sorry that your best friend is leaving, going on a one way ‘ticket’ to Europe. How many times did you say goodbye in your short life already? Forcing you to grow up too quickly. And instead of being able to do something about it, I am also leaving you behind. 1001 Goodbyes has become for too many the Middle Eastern reality.
Take care, stay strong, although I am already so often so surprised with how strong you are. I see so much light in you.
And I am so sorry to admit that I am actually relieved your parents and you don’t have the money to travel to Europe by yourselves, because I simply don’t know how I would cope, with seeing drowned pictures of you. I am so angry the world is like this, but I am so happy to know all of you, and for all the good memories that will follow. Sharing love, stories and always… always too much food. ‘We’ in the west could learn so much from your hospitality. While I carry the world on my shoulders, I cannot carry any one of you in my backpack, and I am secretly relieved because I wouldn’t know with whom to start. Please know that, for what it is worth, I carry all of you in my heart.
I will be back, waving with this magic wand, called my Dutch passport, yet I so hope you have found a(nother) place to build a save future.
To Jordan, my love, my life, my eyes, my heart - how I love Arabic romantic exaggerations - I know the situation is tough, but: Raise your head! not because you are Jordanian (nationals/ citizens/whatever): there are too many people in your country who are not and that is where your beauty and strength is. There is power is in the discourse, it becomes a reality in people’s experiences. Raise your head! just because your country is build upon so many generations of refugees, who are first and foremost human beings, not just good, not just bad, but with an entire spectre of human characteristics. and who, I believe, also have so much willpower, to rebuild if given the opportunity. Raise your head… Keep safe… Take care. Until we see again.
By Mirjam Twigt
Freeze Peach (Created from a live looping wordscape, commissioned by Anerki Arts Collective, for the “Free Speech” Art of Thinking event hosted by COTO – Culture on the Offensive at LCB Depot Leicester 14 Sep 2017) So speak, freely. Just use words. But if I speak with the tongues of angels how can I be heard? Or understood. And If I have no love then is my speaking any good? And if I speak my mind, and my mind is conditioned, so every time I talk I’m on a mission to make things stay the same – is my speech free or tame? Does my tongue stab? My lover’s soft enquiry? Mouth watering for the taste of discord, using vocal chords to undermine and override. But how free is my speech if I swallow shit, bite down on lip, choke on it, or let it slide? Hate speakers preach their truth with violence. Do I tell mine? Or do I speak a silent sign-language that disables; aggressive thumbs, passive fingers twisted under tables. Is that what I said? Is that what I meant? Or can I let my words fly free in conversation with honest intention, even in my discontent? Or will I box up my mouth? Slave muzzle round my jaw? Until finally I go to war, and then, is my speech free? If it cost a life how can it be? Do I think or speak or sing or in freedom or am I just spinning traps to catch evidence like hunting spiders, strands of paranoia wrapped around, invisible and sticky, until proving all my theories – is my speech free or deadly? (There I said it. And I’ll say it again). Is my speech free? Or do my words divide worlds? Good from bad, yes to them and no to that, abuses hurled, the diplomat whispering stories, dead-man’s tales, spinsters resentment, murmuring heart harlot trading unrepentant points of view – See Me! See Me! not you!
I’m damned if my speech is free! Who can stop this thuggery? Am I surprised by the voices speaking in my name, using my tongue? To the loves of my lives: Listen to me! I need I want I wish. Baby, you should, do this do this do this. Darling you shouldn’t! Sweet nothings and fuck all. Leave me, help me, ring me, don’t call. What do you mean I’m messing with your head? Was it something I said? Is my speech free or does it terrorise? Is my tongue true or deadened by lies? Am I silenced by the need to say it, say it, until there’s nothing to declare, so I can’t even clear my name or make a claim, I’m just too mad aware of Judas kiss, the bloody cloud of witnesses, the jurors verdict; before it was said, I heard it. Roll on the troll’s comments, the commonly held sense. Roll on the trumpet blast, final judgement, thirty pence. Is free speech a pretense? Is my speech free if I feel tense and bound to say it: how beautiful your child’s cheeks I can’t see any weight gain has it really been six weeks and you look great! Oh yes I’m doing well no I don’t hate! What smell? It’s fine and no problemo! I’m sorry for your loss! oh sorry sorry sorry thanks I love it on this cross! and please and please and please and gimme gimme gimme don’t leave don’t let me leave just see me see me see me. How can my speech be free if I can’t let my self be? But need to go on speaking, monkey minding, hamster wheeling, thunder preaching people pleasing rat racing web trapped fly and oh my, oh my bleeding tongue that runs and runs and runs.
By Mellow Baku Sep 2017
“Together In Solitude” by Chitrank Upadhyay, Delhi, India
“Four Windows and a Door” Here’s where we said our prayers, here’s why we settled down silent for 30 years, the whole world’s a tiny town We had to make it nice, don’t let the devil hear that’s why we compromised. We all have our cross to bear Four windows and a door, small spiders cross the floor, everyone’s looking for their home. Marmite and margarine, bang on a tambourine, nobody wants to be alone. We take the bitter pill, we learn the discipline We let them break our will, that’s why we can’t begin That’s why we go to war, with every breath defend desperate to know for sure, and yet the truth we bend Four windows and a door, small spiders cross the floor, everyone’s looking for their home. Marmite and margarine, bang on a tambourine, nobody wants to be alone. That’s why we never said our prayers, that’s why we couldn’t settle down, screaming for 30 years, my head’s a tiny town That’s why we couldn’t make it nice; the devil is our fear No we couldn’t compromise. It all gets too much to bear Four walls and a small window, where did all those spiders go nobody wants to stay at home. Fruit flies and gooseberries, who are we trying to please? Sometimes we just want to be left alone. [ scan code for show tickets] Lost in the world of men, stories for girls and boys Spinning the web again, thinking we have a choice.
By Mellow Baku Sep 2017 goo.gl/NVCgve Song lyrics written for Mellow Baku’s solo show, Soon Come […] Home, Opening at Upstairs at The Western 6 Oct 2017, supported by Everybody’s Reading Festival
“Still” by Chitrank Upadhyay, Delhi, India
“Before: Ruin Nation Prologue” The Twentieth Century slunk off in disgrace, its knickers in a bag and a carpet burn on its chin. The promised apocalypse stayed home. Jesus was a no-show and, most disappointingly, the Y2K bug failed to detonate Russia’s nuclear arsenal. The Twenty-first Century fared no better, arriving in an expensive dress then passing out in a pool of its own urine midway through the festivities. The misquoted Mayans stayed silent as 2012 came and went and the Aztec Antichrist stayed hidden in his South American hidey hole. The sun kept shining through American carbon dioxide, the sea remained wet and blue around Japanese whaling ships and the Earth stayed spinning in a universe God didn’t create. The great nations faltered, the not-so-great nations fell. We splayed the country’s buttocks for bankers and financiers. They screwed us. Our industries collapsed and pundits noted that the only thing we seemed to export was vomit to European beaches. Oh, and Islamist terrorists. We tarnished our good name with numerous ill-conceived and illegal MiddleEastern wars. The politically correct assimilation of every God-bothering lunatic going triggered the politically incorrect rejection of all the genuine refugees our conflicts had created. They arrived tired, hungry and pre-demonised by a tabloid press that fed on suspicion and vomited hatred. The United Kingdom stumbled and collapsed into the arms of idiots: The Great Idiots. They talked of a Utopian England free from European Union influence. They coaxed us into leaving. We soon regretted it. We pushed through unsafe gas-extraction methods. They poisoned us. Leaking contaminants turned drinking water cancerous and our farmland toxic. Crops failed. CJD, BSE and Foot and Mouth all returned, thanks to increasingly intensive factory farming efforts. Burning animal carcasses turned our skies black. What wasn’t cremated went into feed-mix, rendering poultry inedible. Attempts to harvest domestic pets resulted in a plague of distemper and saw an end to cats and dogs. Mink spread from the countryside to the cities, wiping out every small animal species that couldn’t out-breed them. Pigs got lucky, reserved for organ transplants. Horses didn’t - whinnying their way from stable to staple protein. A nation of little girls wept into their microwave lasagnes. The public proved reluctant to eat donkeys. The vans came and took them anyway. The French, fearing waves of English asylum seekers, mined the shipping lanes and filled the Channel Tunnel with raw sewage. They quarantined us. The Great Separation began. Inspired by Ireland’s example, the Welsh declared independence and disappeared into the mountains. Rumours suggest they may have gone extinct. The Scottish fared better. Their functioning hospitals and non-flammable drinking water proved too tempting for our doctors, who wrapped themselves in plaid teatowels and bowled across the border. Their renewable energy programs lured away our engineers. Scientists, philosophers, they all skipped town. Teachers tired of stab-happy students took up their books and took off. With our greatest minds tucked safely under their tartan wing, the Scotts sealed their borders and rebuilt Hadrian’s Wall. That left us with the desperate and the dumb: The Nationalists. Right-wing factions flourished.
Paralysed by its own incompetence and, politicians being politicians, the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, parliamentary process descended into a caustic cocktail of feudalism, nepotism and behind the scenes beatings. Criminals ran riot. Gypsy warlords pillaged the streets, stealing everything metal and melting it into munitions. Attempts to impose martial law foundered when The Great Idiots’ own trade agreements prevented them from buying realistically-priced bullets. Public opinion turned. The Great Idiots were seized. Their public burning marked a sad day for Democracy but made excellent television. Starving people sought shelter in the surviving supermarkets who, sensing the change in the consumer climate, took advantage of their international supply chains and restructured themselves as private armies. Civil war raged, fuelled by arms airdropped by Tekso and the Warmart group. With our coal, gas and water stockpiles stripped, the supermarkets upped-sticks and shipped out, leaving nothing but shell-shocked veterans shivering in rubble. An irregular militia composed of disgraced military commanders and the dregs of whatever marched upon the capital. They seized power and some kind of peace ensued. The semi-official police force imposed curfews enforced by carnivorous animals stolen from private collections. Leopards, mainly. Their frequent escapes saw a reduction in the homeless population and helped boost the re-legalised handgun economy. Ostracised from the rest of the world, we scavenged resources and rebuilt from wreckage – Frankenstein buildings and mongrel motor vehicles powered by our own shit. Juvenile delinquents took to the air in home-made zeppelins filled with suspect gases. Defecating on foreign air traffic became the new extreme sport. Finally and incontrovertibly, a gene was discovered proving a cast iron link between political ambition and sexual perversion. But we all expected that anyway. Welcome to my world. It’s fucked. Extracted from Dan Carver’s Ruin Nation: Leopard Colony, a psychedelic satire set in the very near future. Paperback and E-Reader versions available from Amazon. For more politicised filth and depravity, follow dancarverauthor on Facebook.
“Ruin Nation: Leopard Colony” Book by Dan Carver
[ scan code for book link]
Selfie Reflections Fiercest dear, put your cheek to mine. Snap. We are the same. Chat. I’d rather do that. But between us there’s no blame. Snap me, my heart in two. I see a broken you. But it’s just my fears projecting self. I know that it’s absurd to try and heal you with my words. Fearful dear, I don’t want to stop a precious moment of your truth. To trap it in a frame and make it change, so they can tell us it’s ok. It is ok. Keep breathing. And every breath we take is privilege. Remember this: we suffer now for misconceptions offered up in spite of view. Sexist is not sexy, ageism not edgy But we know not what we do. Sorry not sorry Conscious there’s no body in spite of you. And you hold a loaded camera to your head, thinking a frozen image could buy love. At best, it’s powerful for some (and still maybe not enough), for she who knows to shape her image and become what she creates (and even this is in debate). But you my fearful dear, were not so privileged by fate. And I can’t bear to see you lost, throwing yourself into the sea of seers at any cost. Your darling face commented on, your breast exposed to Babylon, your anxious fingers seeking out replies. Your crayoned eyes, waiting for stranger’s lies. It’s not for them for to say that you’re ok. You are ok. Keep breathing. I hold the mirror to your face, ‘cause I can’t speak to all of them for you: The guy who says he’s from your school and asks to spill his semen on your tits, the friend who points out zits with smiley face and unicorn emoji,
the boy who tags his friends to come and look. It’s not for them to comment on your beauty and decide if your face fits the book. You are beauty. Keep breathing. But I’m old enough to know you’ll go to meet him. And I’m old enough to know you’ll change your clothes. And I’m old enough to know you’ll answer lol, lol, lol, for crying out loud. Then you’ll send another selfie into a faceless crowd. And I’m young enough to remember how it feels to put it all out there, innocent and weak, brave and insecure and proud. To send our hopeless hopeful souls all shiny wrapped into the ocean world. To feel the empty waves come back and still we are unknown. Misunderstood. Turned into foam, dissolved and disappearing. Reflections of our deepest fearing. My fiercest dear, my dearest fear, it’s not for them to make you disappear, no self you must remember – You’re still here! Keep breathing. But I can only speak to you, hold a mirror to your mind. See how fine you are? And dearest, when I speak to you, I’m only talking to my self. Snap. We are the same. Chat. I’d rather do that. But between us there’s no blame. And it’s not for them to say if we’re ok. We are ok. We’re breathing. When I look at you, I see me. Taking another selfie. Trying to be healthy. It’s only what we all do. See me, see me, see you.
By Mellow Baku Aug 2017
â€œDifferentiation and Integrationâ€? by Harshit Kadia, Delhi, India
“ASHES” It’s not hard. Ultimately it just is. It is bloody hard but at the same time it is not. I am okay. There is little comprehension of references of past, present, future. None of them exist. One must look through a different perspective, devoid of time. Because it is the concept of time that keeps us prisoner. There is no time, there is no pressure, nothing we are slave to. There is always ultimate choice and that’s where our freedom is. Within that choice we can choose to have responsibilities and make commitments and then there is no thing to be a slave to. What I am doing is sitting with the fear instilled in me by society since I can remember, but was not born with it. I have never known wholeness or self assurity or worth for more than a short period of time. I have lived a lie based on making sure the other (or the world) is happy and then somehow my feelings are based on that, a slave to the other. I have had no other way of perceiving or being. I cannot begin to explain the extent to which this is so. Never my own, natural happiness. Most conversation and interaction with any human being has been forced and put on to a greater or lesser extent. When you are in a deep melancholy and have to force a personality or mask onto others its not nice or easy. Imagine doing this for your WHOLE life. It is horribly sickening. Not having your own voice, not being able to say no, not even knowing what the fuck you want in order to say no or yes or even who or what the fuck you are. What’s the point in living like this? Hence now I see love in me and with that love I sit with the turmoil of emotions that has plagued my psyche since I can remember. So it only makes sense to go in and deal with this demon/void/shadow/darkness. To sit with it face to face until I no longer fear it, or in other words until I no longer fear the self that I am. This requires utter quietness and stillness, to be away for a short time from most stimuli, namely technology and to be in deep solitude. To not run, to not look towards any distraction that will allow me to run from it. To tend to myself. To be able to observe the inner movements of the psyche just the same as a movement on the outside perceived with the eyes. I don’t express this really and to others I look peaceful which is a mirror opposite image to what’s going on within. There are volcanos and earthquakes going off all the time in me and at rare times just sporadic forest fires. And I have held a big smile so I don’t have to see that myself. So now I must deal with this that I have ran from all my life. I refuse to run away any longer. I simply cannot. It is not a matter of wallowing in the sorrow of the past, as many exclaim it to be. Far from the truth. This is shadow work. Integration with the shadow to allow all the natural force of the spirit to shine through. There are whole schools of thought on this - social sciences, psychology, sociology. Philosophy spanning millennia. Theology in the east. The spirit, that which what we truly are, is no joke. It is as strong and powerful as the ego - fear, hurt, sorrow. it is one and the same. Therefore one must question and go into the depths of the suffering that there is and walk through that void in order to come through to the light on the other side. Love and fear are two sides of the same coin. You cannot truly know one without truly getting to know the other. The journey is intense right now but when you migrate to a different country, a new culture, language, customs etc, one needs to do a lot of groundwork before one can start living there with a certain level of knowingness. That’s where I am now. I’ve landed in a different place and there is no “old” country or place I can return to because that was no life at all. How can I return to a burnt down house and live in it? I start anew and that’s the hard bit. It’s not learning a different language, culture etc out there, it’s learning all that within. That’s why it’s hard. To question all your beliefs and perceptions and ideals because they have failed to serve you throughout all your life. Almost waking up and realising “fuck that was all false and a lie?!”. That’s a huge shock and now one stands up from that earthquake shock and builds everything from scratch. That’s the hard part. To be sitting here and all of a sudden ones heart is racing and fearing, to be always on your toes and in fright, to have not had a proper nights sleep for 14 years, to have never felt yourself in most interactions with another human being. What the hell is that about? One must enquire, question and act. That’s what I’m doing and that’s what’s hard, not go back to being the old self because that house has already burnt down. There is no residence there. So right now I am without residence. That’s the hard part because there is no place to retreat back to within, that place of limbo, no more wishing for death. Now I am in no mans land. I am building a new residence with love and light on my side, but I must continually choose these faculties to be on my side otherwise it is gory, but ultimately it is the pain of not being able to give up and be in darkness and incapability as it no longer serves any purpose. But if that does happen it’s okay though still. Children learn from mistakes. He may keep putting his hands in fire but will eventually learn. But all fucking philosophy aside, this is a harrowingly dark time. Akin to the dark side of the moon that one never sees. And sorrowful and painful. But I think I now see that it is similar to the pain of a child loosing a tooth in order for a new one to grow out. But it’s still utterly mournful on the level of the heart. But there doesn’t have to be multiple layers of further psychological and emotional pain due to the knowledge of the initial pain. That is ultimately ones own choosing and this boy will eventually learn. A long text message to a friend on 31st December 2015 by Zeropence
“Recrimental Chroma” by Indira Skyflower Delhi, India
“Impundulu” by Kieran Walsh
Published in African Monsters: Volume 2 (Fox Spirit Books of Monsters)