Collected Electric

Ted Hughes — The Shot
August 6, 2009, 17:45
Filed under: Poetry

Your worship needed a god.

Where it lacked one, it found one.

Ordinary jocks became gods –

Deified by your infatuation

That seemed to have been designed at birth for a god.

It was a god-seeker. A god-finder.

Your Daddy had been aiming you at God

When his death touched the trigger.

In that flash

You saw your whole life. You richocheted

The length of your Alpha career

With the fury

Of a high-velocity bullet

That cannot shed one foot-pound

Of kinetic energy. The elect

More or less died on impact –

They were too mortal to take it. They were mind-stuff,

Provisional, speculative, mere auras.

Sound-barrier events along your flightpath.

But inside your sob-sodden Kleenex

And your Saturday night panics,

Under your hair done this way and that way,

Behind what looked like rebounds

And the cascade of cries diminuendo,

You were undeflected.

You were gold-jacketed, solid silver,

Nickel-tipped. Trajectory perfect

As through ether. Even the cheek-scar,

Where you seemed to have side-swiped concrete,

Served as a rifling groove

To keep you true.

Till your real target

Hid behind me. Your Daddy,

The god with the smoking gun. For a long time

Vague as mist, I did not even know

I had been hit,

Or that you had gone clean through me –

To bury yourself at last in the heart of the god.

In my position, the right witchdoctor

Might have caught you in flight with his bare hands,

Tossed you, cooling, one hand to the other,

Godless, happy, quieted.

I managed

A wisp of your hair, your ring, your watch, your nightgown.


Sleep is for the weak. Week?
May 15, 2009, 06:38
Filed under: Uncategorized

From Wikipedia:  Circadian rhythm sleep disorders are a family of sleep disorders affecting, among other things, the timing of sleep. People with circadian rhythm sleep disorders are unable to sleep and wake at the times required for normal work, school, and social needs. They are generally able to get enough sleep if allowed to sleep and wake at the times dictated by their body clocks. Unless they have another sleep disorder, their sleep is of normal quality.

I hoped never to preface a post with a quotation like that, but given that it’s around quarter past six in the morning and I’m in a twenty-four-hour computer lab, having woken at around 4pm yesterday, it occurred to me that I should research sleeping pattern irregularities, and Wikipedia seemed able to sum it up better than I could (scientific lingo tends to make soup out of my brains).

I’ve never considered myself a hypochondriac, nor am I attempting to diagnose myself with the aforementioned disorder or anything like it. But over two months of a disrupted sleep cycle that has evaded all my attempts at correction has begun to spark concern. Not that it’s an entirely new phenomenon in my life.  For the past year at least, my body has expressed its stubborn desire to sleep wrongly in no uncertain terms. Occasionally, I will manage to force it into something resembling normality, but I always tend to relapse into weirdness. Statistically, I have no idea just how common or uncommon this is, but it doesn’t seem right to me.

Whenever I’m still up and doing at insane hours like this one, I feel like sleep is really just an evolutionary hitch that humanity will eventually grow out of. Honestly, we waste so much time sleeping, and while it’s lovely to get a good night’s (or day’s, in my case) sleep, if it weren’t for the in-flight entertainment of dreams, it’d just be a pain.

Maybe I should stop musing on this and really set about fixing it. Also, I must endeavour to remember that Wikipedia is not in fact a trained health professional. Wikipedia will not tell me how to run my life. Wikipedia does not love me. Wikipedia and I should really part ways before one of us ends up getting hurt. Wikipedia’s control over my everyday decision-making process must end. Much like this post.

— Chris

Louise Glück- 4. The Deviation
May 9, 2009, 11:18
Filed under: Poetry

It begins quietly

in certain female children:

the fear of death, taking as its form

dedication to hunger,

because a woman’s body

is a grave; it will accept

anything.  I remember

lying in a bed at night

touching the soft, digressive breasts,

touching, at fifteen,

the interfering flesh

that I would sacrifice

until the limbs were free

of blossom and subterfuge: I felt

what I feel now, aligning these words–

it is the same need to perfect,

of which death is the mere byproduct.

Oh the shoes…
May 8, 2009, 21:06
Filed under: Uncategorized

Wasting time in the library, thinking about my new brogues, a stumbled upon Jeffrey Campbell, who may be the Louboutin of indie shoes. I know, I know, indie is a terrible adjective, but these shoes are awesome. So awesome. AND THEY AREN’T IN MY SIZE:

And there are many more delights. 

I want Jay-Jay to be my friend (although it’s doubtful he’d let me call him that)



Lone Wolf
April 29, 2009, 13:57
Filed under: Music

Anyone who knows me well will tell you that music is a really big deal for me. Culturally speaking, it’s the most important thing in my life, having beaten a fair few contenders to attain that top spot. I value my integrity as a consumer within the music industry, but I’m only human. So when the upcoming album of my favourite artist, Patrick Wolf, is leaked over the internet, is it really so reprehensible for me, who has already pre-ordered and paid for the album, as well as investing in its finishing, etc. via Bandstocks, to download the bootleg? I don’t intend to resurrect old arguments about the ethics of digital piracy; for me it’s a crime of passion. But I couldn’t download the album without reviewing it here.

The Bachelor, Patrick Wolf’s fourth studio album, was written to relate the singer-songwriter’s darker experiences over the past two years or so. Originally intended as one half of a double album along with The Conqueror, an optimistic account of finding new love, The Bachelor is now to be released separately on 1st June 2009. Like 2005’s Wind in the Wires, this album sees Wolf return to a more naturalistic, folk style that suits the mood of the record well. His trademark experimentations with electronics retain a strong presence, but The Bachelor is a far cry from the machine-pop sensibilities of previous album The Magic Position.   Patrick Wolf - The Bachelor

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t biased, but in simple terms, The Bachelor is a triumph. Moving without being morose, and boasting a scale that some have labelled as ‘overproduction’ but is in my opinion perfectly appropriate to Wolf’s immense talent as a songwriter. Far from being only a rendering of his battle with exhaustion and depression, this album endeavours toward the universal on a winding path that crosses many moods and styles. The frantic energy of songs such as Oblivion (which sees Wolf take up an electric guitar, heaven forfend) and Vulture is offset by the choral yearning of Who Will? and Damaris. Title track The Bachelor, a duet with modern folk legend Eliza Carthy is chaotic ballad that charts Wolf’s loneliness of late 2007 with a sound that can only be described as ‘post-folk’. Recorded when Carthy’s voice was lowered by her pregnancy (really), the joint vocal acieves a guttural ferocity that contrasts strikingly with its grassroots fiddle-and-piano arrangements.

Eliza Carthy is of course not the only artist to collaborate with Patrick on the album. Digital hardcore ingénieur Alec Empire produced Vulture and Battle, probably the most aggressive tracks on an album that largely relies on nuanced emotional gravity to relay its message. Most exciting of all the collaborations, however, is arguably the spoken-word contributions of Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton, who takes on a maternal, advisory voice. These spoken epithets serve to reinforce the message of hope that rests at the heart of  The Bachelor, guiding the lost Wolf through the mazes conjured by Thickets and Theseus.

Like his debut Lycanthropy, this album is an intensely personal one, but Wolf also takes time to increase his scope in a way rarely seen on his previous records. Blackdown is a frank and touching appraisal of his relationship with his father and his position within the familial space, while in Battle, Hard Times and Count of Casualty, Patrick takes an unprecedented dive into current affairs, attacking everything from homophobia and the war on terror to social networking websites. This addressing of modern social issues makes a refreshing change from Wolf’s world of unicorns and talking magpies. Nowhere is this more powerful than on The Sun is Often Out, a haunting elegy for Stephen Vickery, poet and friend of Wolf, who committed suicide in April 2008. In short, this song is beautiful. It showcases Patrick’s remarkable new maturity as a vocalist, set against ghostly, orchestral strings that reach a climax with an uplifting choral refrain that effectively sums up just how epic this album is. I cried. Twice.

— Chris

The very very distant past, and the almost present future.
April 28, 2009, 08:37
Filed under: Uncategorized

Goodness me.

It’s almost the end of the academic year.

It’s the end of the 08/09 Inklight Committee (Congratulations to the 09/10 crew!)

It’s the end of my sister’s single life.

It’s almost the end of my youth, and Chris’ teenagedom.

Sometimes, that annoying American-ish aphorism ‘you just need some perspective’ does have some truth to it.


This baby mammoth was found by a Russian hunter, who initially thought it was a reindeer carcass sticking out of the snow. In fact, what he found was a perfectly preserved baby mammoth, encased in ice for 40,000 years.

This tiny, 6 month old mammoth calf was trotting along after mummy mammoth in the last Ice Age- between 1.8 million to 11,500 years ago. 

That vast expanse of time is simply incomprehensible. The fragile beauty of this infant, perhaps emphasised by the anthropomorphising of elephants, is both inherently sad and somehow affirmative.

How would it be, if i were perfectly preserved now? What would be encased in ice? Those marks I chase like poisonous butterflies to taunt others with, the perfect image crafted at the mirror? Even this, this body i carry around with me, would that be the ‘me’ that is perfectly preserved?

Despite the sadness of such child (yes yes i know it’s really an elephant) being taken away from its family and its potential so young… she’s never failed, she hasn’t even had the opportunity.

Yes. An Ice Age baby mammoth, found by someone who was roaming for food and not just going to Tesco for supernoodles, does stretch the perspective more than sufficiently.

Skye lights
April 16, 2009, 18:09
Filed under: Uncategorized

(see what i did there– yep, my punning is dire)

After finally getting Vivian, my long-suffering car, back from the garage today, after she had broken down on a wee break away, I am finally ready to think about the trip. Until now, i’d refused to think about the disaster, but in reality, it was stunning. The people, the food and the scenery were all super-duper, and here’s a wee peak for you: