Publié le 28 Juillet 2011

 

for Caroline D.

 

On the square canvas, the man three quarters to the right, is leaning over the woman, three quarters to the left. He is standing. She is lying. The man’s right hand, under the lady’s knees lifted to rest against her stomach, while holding her in his left hand under her head thrown back he is kissing with passion.

 

The painting looks like a still. It’s not indiscreet. It’s not indecent. There’s no perversion there. No perversity. Only attention. Passion. It seems opportune. A spontaneous testimony to a burning love in a fiery setting. Their flesh coloured bodies stand out. Summon the eye.

 

Who is he ? Who is she ? Strangers. And yet so familiar. They are anyone and everyone. You and I. Lovers. Love. Love at first sight ? A passing romance ? The rehearsal of a love that lives on and on. Of love carried over from the first love ever. Love forever ? Love everlasting. Love neverending. Love for all.

 

Frozen, the instantaneous explosion of a snapshot painted in a few minimal strokes of the brush. The attraction of the apparent crime of love deprived of criminal premeditation retains the attention. It orders a forcible prescription on the stance that makes the room stand still. I remain dumbfounded, voiceless, lost for words at the cry of freedom oozing from the painting. The mere depth of the painting pulls me down, forces me to my knees in awe of the work forbidding any form of retreat, of withdrawal. Caught that I was between the crossfires of shock and swoon. Forbidden to go and yet forbidden to stay. Nothing no one could tear me away from this erotic transfiguration. Crushed between the vertical and the horizontal, between 2D and 3D, between love and desire. Love and passion. Love presses. Love pressure.

 

Love in this simple expression, in this impulsion compels respect. Prudely, prudently, I want to turn my head, take my eyes away but I can’t… mesmerised that I am at the blatant blow of the artist. Is the painter in this painting ? Is he the man prey to a maddened irrepressible need ? Is she the woman with the restrained flame ? Is mere illustration ? Testimony ? Memory ? Desire ? Wishful thinking ? Call for tender ? Crime of passion ?

 

My reason finds nothing but all the more reasons to justify and finds itself in both agreement and disagreement with this art. Artefact. Arty facts of love. Brought, raised, thrown to the attention of the beholder. The feat remains suspended like in limbo, timeless, in this time-honoured celebration thus immortalised. The canvas renews their love over and over. Forever.

 

Feat. Feast of love. Here we are at the private banquet of love. Seated at the very altar of love. The incriminating proof of chastened and depraved love. A tenderising moment in the wild life of man and animal rolled all into one.

 

Animal anima animated by this transcendental growth exsuding an aura of the being to be.

My eyes eventually drop. My stare, my gaze, my gape fades and fails to maintain the focus. Torn between fruition and frustration I turn away. Numb. Benumbed from the experience I cannot but admire, amazed… Emotionally scathed at the fact and the art I fall back to this aberrant world of mine. Washed off and washed on by the watch of this visual trial that my eyes will never forget. Bemused and refused to take on to the work of art I have come back to this world that doesn’t exist anymore. That will not exist anymore. That cannot exist anymore now… as it doesn’t while we’re watching a painting.  

 

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 Jesse CRAIGNOU


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Publié le 27 Juillet 2011

 

Where there’s a will…

 

Fedelma was born into a working class family yet from a very young age she somehow knew it wouldn’t last.

 

Every penny she got Fedelma saved from an early age from her earliest days… She would proudly listen to it clickety-click down through the piggy’s back of her piggy bank. One… Five… Ten… Fifteen… Fifty… pence… Working her way up to her first pound…

 

Given the simple condition of her surrounding she didn’t study very hard nor very long and didn’t even make it to O Levels… Still Fedelma was one of those flowers that soar out of nowhere in a bed of roses to eventually tower over them all unchallenged. Nobody expected them to and nobody ever seems to know nor understand how… How much strength, how much hard work has gone into that…

 

Fedelma didn’t stop at a nine-to-five.

She landed a cleaning job at sixteen and stuck to it, clang to it as though to dear life.

Fedelma had got her first solid gold independence token with this first hard-earned wage.

While all her friends went out to paint the town red she decided not to spend it but to save it. And she saved and saved and saved. But she didn’t spare her energy. It seemed saving gave her energy. And she didn’t bend nor bow to the hardships of life. One… Five… Ten… Fifteen… Fifty… Hundred… One pound… Working her way up to her first hundred…

People studied, her friends had a good time, Fedelma worked…

 

She led a simple life below her means even… for she knew one day her call would come. Her ship would come in…

On her meagre wages she still managed to save for a rainy day… still and rise and shine every morning. One… Five… Ten… Fifteen… Fifty… One hundred pounds… Working her way up to her first thousand…

People studied, her friends had a good time, Fedelma worked…

 

Fedelma dusted, Fedelma washed, Fedelma cleaned, and Fedelma scrubbed every opportunity she was given. Fedelma scraped every opportunity she was given. And more and more cleaning came her way. By then she had lost count of dirty chores and her stardust was mere dust ! To the point you couldn’t see her for dust…

Reach stretch push seven eight ! Work that body !

She often wondered why Diana Ross had never advertised Jeyes cloths…

 

She was living in her own bedsit by now eighteen… and was not to be led astray from her goal. Boys came and boys went men came and men went but she had no time for romance. All she did was work and work and work.

She worked mornings. She worked afternoons. She worked evenings. And sometimes she even worked nights. She worked weekdays. And she worked weekend days. She worked workdays and she worked holidays. Work beat the rhythm of her life and music tuned her work aerobics.

Fedelma sung her days away for she knew that one day… One far day… One day in her life… would be the day to end her old days… Donna Summer’s Once Upon A Time was reeling and turning on the turntable in her head… soon to be found on her Walkman. Cause she believed…

One… Five… Ten… Fifteen… Fifty… Hundred… Thousand pounds… Working her way up to her first hundred thousand pounds… pushing her way to her first million.

People studied, her friends had a good time, Fedelma worked…

 

Days came and days went… Good days bad days all alike… and it was all work and no play still that didn’t make Fedelma a dull girl.

For Fedelma had a dream.

She had a dream that one day her bygone days would be over. Bygone. Bye. Gone.

Fedelma would live in a mansion, Fedelma would raise a family with all those luxuries life can bring. She would meet Prince Charming and he would really be a prince, well and wealthy and all… Money doesn’t buy you happiness but sure can make your life easier…

People studied, her friends had a good time, Fedelma worked…

 

She strove on.

On and on and on she ploughed digging deeper for gold in the dirt… until one day, when she reached twenty-five, Fedelma decided she could use an education.

She took a couple of evenings off to attend night classes and get her O Levels.

She passed her O Levels with flying colours and went on to get her A Levels. Again she passed her exams. That was when she decided she needed to broaden her horizons and introduce some general culture into her world. Night classes found her on their attendance list again…

People studied, her friends had a good time, Fedelma worked… and worked and worked and worked…

 

Nearing thirty found Fedelma ready to take the big wide world on.

Her old faithful bedsit was now the witness of her exercising for tone-up even at the end of her long hard working days working like a dog… Night sleeping like a log… Reach stretch push seven eight ! Work that body ! Again…

One two three four five six seven eight and Pull… Reach… Stretch… and one… two… three… Topping all the exercise she got in the course of her daily work.

 

A solid savings account in the bank, degrees and culture to account for, Fedelma was indeed a serious challenger for all those women born with a silver spoon in their mouths… She had the money, the education and the looks everybody who knew her praised her for.

 

A careful clothes shopping spree and she was off to a brassy classy sassy nightclub.

And did she look a million dollars ! Boy, you should have seen her. All the heads turned… The rain in Spain, they say, falls mainly on the plains… Eliza Doolittle couldn’t have done it any better. Couldn’t have beaten her to it…

This new kid in town was no newcomer...

 

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Jesse CRAIGNOU


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Publié le 27 Juillet 2011

 

In loving memory of Grace Kirkland…

 

 

Diary of a journey

into   nothingness

 

 


I had a happy life raising my family.

 

My husband and I were married when we were twenty-one and, very soon, we had our three children who grew up in our loving family.

They live their own life now each with their own job, partners and offsprings…

 

Grace.

Grace K.

The name suited me and I wore it well.

It rang like magic formula. With a name like that wherever you go you rally beauty. My swan song was the hymn to my final departure…

 

It happened one day while dancing in his arms that I found unusual the colour of his eyes. It had changed. I told him. He just put it down to my party drinking.

 

He laughed it off yet I could feel something was happening that I could not fathom and could not blame on a little excess alcohol. Something beyond anything I could understand.

 

I did not recognize the eyes of this man I had dancing with and yet he had been well and truly my husband all along ! We had been together for thirty-six long years. We had raised a family… and I did not –I could not- recognize him ! I didn’t recognize him anymore. No longer him no longer me no longer us together forever…

I’m aware that as one gets old one’s memory plays tricks yet not like this, not so soon, not so early, not so unexpectedly… that was uncalled for. That was unrecalled… That was unrecorded. That was unfair. So unfair. Not so early not so young, not so fast…

And then not for these things. We must have had so many long years of peace and happiness to live together in harmony.

 

I went to bed as soon as we got home, upset at the incident as well as the incomprehension I was faced with when facing myself and others…

 

Wake.

Awake.

Wake up.

I’m waking up.

I’m emerging from deep sleep.

I open one eye. I open the other. Slowly. Eye. Look. Awareness. Fog. Beyond. Beyond the pillow, beyond the bed, beyond the wall, the door, the bedroom, the world… I’m ready to face the world again. Ready to meet and greet the day. I’m in my world again. My whole world. My home, the town, the world…

My universe, fallen upside down, abnormally so, through the filter of slumber falls back on its feet… reverses back to normal.

 

I return to my whole universe.

All falls back into place. I get up. I move about. I proceed in the world. A universe I know well, very well indeed. I recognize… Everything looks and feels familiar again and still something is missing…

Something is not there…

Something’s gone missing although everything seems there… but then what ? What’s missing ?

The impression that doesn’t recollect a sense of spinning, losing me in its whirling, in my world waning.

Something’s not right.

Something’s wrong I’m sure although I can pinpoint it. I can’t make it out… I feel strangely dizzy and well… Unwell at the same time. Emotions in collision. Clash. Crash… My boat is rocking and about to shipwreck before it reaches shore… and mooring. I try and conjure up pictures and ideas but words fail me. Language is a very difficult exercise. A hard-earned practise too soon gone… I summon memories all to no avail…

 

Getting up found me in a foul mood.

I remain prey to an unwelcomed and unwelcoming impression. A feeling of all sorts. Half a queer in my query for the past.

My husband joked that I was not spring chicken if I still retained my good looks. His humour was none to help me regain my good mood nor my sense of humour. My day then was strewn with all those mental blocks and treacherous memory traps… which didn’t make my day any the brighter.

I found that I lost track of this or that and somebody must have moved the potato peeler or the can opener and who had used up the ketchup without telling me and so on and so forth… Nothing to help me with my quest for a reason or even a string of memory to grasp and hold on to. To cling to.

Darker days were on their way.

 

I was sucked up by a vacuum of gloom pulling me into depression and breakdown as I was breaking up with my life. Clouds of forgetfulness cast dark shadows over my skies, taking over the vast expanse of my life. I felt like getting slowly fogged in and couldn’t find the way out of it. My memory my entire life was evading, escaping me… eluding me. What could I do ? What could I do to stop it ? What could I do to prevent it ? What could I do to to regain hold of things ? Was there a way ? Someone out there who could hear me and answer me ? Help, I’m calling collect…

 

A ray of sunshine. Only one…

Wake.

Awake.

Wake up.

I’m waking up.

Again I open one eye. I open the other. Beyond the pillow beyond the bed, the wall, the door, the bedroom. I find a world again, the world, my world.

My world’s a new world again and again. Never the same.

Everything slowly falls back into place. Everything falls back into its place. I move about. I move around this world that I now recognize, this world that I know. That I knew. That I recognize less and less… In this decor I painted everything  now seems familiar and yet so strange. Stranger. I’m estranged to my own self. Something, someone is missing somewhere. Although everything seems there in the right place, in its rightful place.. Then what ? What is it ? And where if anywhere is it ?

 

My life departed me as soon as my memory was packing in…

 

 

 

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Jesse CRAIGNOU


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Publié le 24 Juillet 2011

 

for my sister Arielle

 

 

What would he look like he who would lay by her side at the dusk of her days ?

Would love have made the appointment ? Would emotion have survived force of habit ? Would habit have resisted the wear and tear of everyday life ? She didn’t know… She could only imagine… For her request was more pressing. She was now pressed for time.

 

What would he look like he who would come and pick her in her bed of roses ?

Her loneliness stretched her sense of time and hours seem to linger to get longer… Passion had burnt and all that remained was cinders… if that. Even the breakup had been consumed. She had fallen prey to a love trough and its void weighed her down even deeper… Emptiness weight like lead on her heart that bled. The diagnosis read fatal : her remedy would be indeed hard to prescribe.

 

What would become of her ?

What would become of hurt ? She kept asking herself relentlessly…

For who and what was she after all ? A woman. A mother to be maybe one day. She couldn’t see much more than faults in herself. Her future looked more than bleak. But no, she had to pull her qualities together ! No one is altogether bad. Nothing was altogether negative. Everything could not be black even though life was not all good. The cup had to be other than half empty. After all she was not asking for any more than mere love. A man who would make her feel whole at last. A man who would recognize her. A man who would make her soul mate. A man she could call Mr Right. It couldn’t be that much to ask for. It couldn’t be that hard to get. Most women had met their match. And so had all her friends.

 

What’s more a single woman at her age was nothing but threat to others.

Why was she still alone ? Was she a rival ? She was no less than an odd ball. An intruder no matter which way you looked at her. She was disturbance. She spelt danger the minute she walked into a room full of strangers. The stronger felt they had to win her over and the weaker felt they had lost to her already. She didn’t invite company. She attracted men while repelling women. At best confession lead to collision. The only confidence she ever got was from those who needed her and not those she needed most. She would mother and smother them all alike. She listened to them all and saw them leaving her better all the while feeling all the more emptied, drained and not drawn. Disillusion for sole companion. Unreason for reason. No sympathy for the devil.

 

She had to get a grip on herself anew but first she had to quench her thirst.

A bloodthirsty vampire now driven by her unique flair for survival she took to the city in a beeline for her manhunt. Her soul mate couldn’t be very far. She might had even met him on occasions… She might even meet him regularly. For all she knew he could be there, lurking all the time watching her without her knowing, being aware he was there already prying on her… preying on her…

 

What the eye doesn’t see the heart doesn’t miss…

Still it couldn’t be long now if he was anywhere about this city. She would meet him she was sure.

She would track him. Spur him down to his last retreat and take him. Have him once and for all. Forever and a day until the twelfth of never.

This very idea of him waiting for her somewhere somehow waiting to be found too entertained her for a while… for a whim… yet she grew tired. Tired of waiting. Relentlessly aching for action. She relented into nostalgic melancholy for the days of way back when… when she still believed… Once upon a time she believed in fairy tales and Prince Charming would come along on his high horse and scoop her up to a land of never never… where they would live happily ever after. She believed in dreams. She lived in dreams. But when do dreams ever come true ?

 

In light and in spite of it all she reviewed her priorities. She revisited her priorities. She redefined her priorities and opened her laboratory to experiment again with trial and error.

 

Revived. Revigorated. Reloaded with a renewed energy. She tried and tested, pleaded allegiance, compromised, ranked and sided with good and evil… flirting with danger even.

If young hearts get broken just like china cups she bore the marks and scars of experience all over. Until she was faced with that wall again.

Having and tested everything. Dating offline dating online dating blind… Hunting high and low. Riding on a horse with no name… Sailing on a ships of fools…

Whatever the means she had by all means meant her aim was true. She was back on the game and she was back with a vengeance on life, which had not always been kind to her likes…

Sharpening her taste, sharpening her blades, sharpening her looks, she went for every opportunity, left no stone unturned… burning her bridges even at times. Never letting time go by without her making the most of it.

Young men old men small men big men poor men rich men fishermen firemen sinner men saints beggar men thieves she brunt them all down. She used and abused her charms rubbing them onto them like brass leaving her mark in their hearts… but all had hurt her. All had left her and she had left them all behind. All lived in the past. She darted for the future. Thrusting forward in her goal for gold. She was by now running on empty and all the same fuelled by that energy.

 

Passion and emotion had been worn to threadbare…

She had ended up by telling herself she had come a full circle with men with love and there was nothing more to it. That she had come to the end of her road to love. That she could now lie down and die.

 

She would put her heart of glass on the shelf. Whence she could see… she could foresee… him. Again, future prospects looked at best bleak.

Shuttered in the stronghold of her reasoning…

She might contemplate coming down again one day… if only one man… that one man would notice her… would revive her… would give her the kiss of life… would fan her flame… would… if only…

 

She was that far gone into her reconsiderations when one day on a grand summer day in a blinding flash of sunlight she saw him.

 

She didn’t see him at first. The glare was overpowering.

Then she saw him. She made him out and his radiant outline was more and more perceivable. She could see him… She could conceive… She could concede again… No doubt. Not the slightest hint of a doubt. It was him ! That man standing before her very eyes… That man walking towards her… She recognized him now. There could be no mistake there. No mistaking him. Although she knew no longer what he looked like the man she had so many times imagined over and over, coming in so many different shapes and colours, hues and tones… So many shapes and sizes… So many different men yet all men in one.

 

She had adorned him with so many attires… She had granted him every credit, every feeling, every emotion, every potion, every caution… And still no he was not there… he was nowhere to be found. Scouting, scanning, scavenging in all directions every place under the sun… And well as to even imagine he could be there hidden by this mere curtain of sunshine falling to her earth in a ray of light. That he would shine all over. That he would shine her world over. No she was light years away from this realisation when it dawned on her. Were he only just then stepping out of a spacecraft that she would be more enchanted… ravished… ravishing as he was… light to a new light in her life. He was all that love should be. And it was love at first sight !

 

Strangers wouldn’t be so strange anymore strangely… In this downpour of light, in a flash of lightning, he was standing before her. She couldn’t get over it and she couldn’t get over him. Little by little, one by one, she had laid down her weapons tooled down her toils and torments… He just shone onto her. Onto her new life.

 

continue reading on

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Jesse CRAIGNOU


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Publié le 22 Juillet 2011

Jean-Christophe

Est mort dans l’indifférence

En France

Même pas un Bof…

 

Il vivait dans l’éther

Il croyait en l’amour

En l’amour à mort

Et il eut l’amour amer

 

Un homme à la mer

Sur les vagues dans la tempête de ses passions

Qui finit par couler et sombrer corps et âme…

Un homme à l’envers

Qui se battait pour son inversion

Au-delà de ses vague-à-l’âme

 

 

Danse danse danse

Toute la nuit

Danse danse danse

Toute la vie

Qui te fuit…

 

 

De la vie

Il en a bu la coupe jusqu’à la lie…

De la vie

Il a vécu de tout et de tous à l’envi

 

Il a vécu trop vite

Il n’a pas connu de limites…

 

 Jesse CRAIGNOU

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Publié le 19 Juillet 2011

 

Pendant l’été

Je travaille

Mais…

Le secrétariat n’ouvre qu’entre 14 et 18 heures

La CAF ne reçoit que le matin

Le laboratoire est fermé le lundi

La Sécurité Sociale ferme le mercredi

Le Pôle Emploi n’accueille personne le vendredi après-midi

 

Pendant l’été

Je travaille

Mais…

Le boulanger ferme en juillet

Et l’épicier ferme en aout

Pour congés annuels

 

Pendant l’été

Je travaille

Mais…

Mon journal Métro disparaît du 13 juillet à la dernière semaine d’aout

Et les transports sont au ralenti et de façon réduite

Entre les ponts et les grèves au pied de l’escalator qui tombé en arrêt

 

Seules mes factures restent pleinement actives

Et je travaille pour les payer… car


Pendant l’été

Je travaille si on me laisse travailler…

 

 

Jesse CRAIGNOU


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Publié le 14 Juillet 2011

I went to attend my mother’s funeral in Douglas IOM -where she lived with my brother- on Wednesday… leaving Tuesday 21 to return Fri 24.

 

I went on line to book flight deliberately making every effort to avoid flybe, which I flown a few times with serious problems every single time, same goes for a friend… and book an Air France flight out and back in… expecting Air France service and quality. Fool that I was !

 

When the flight details and confirmation came out of the printer I realised to my horror that I would fly flybe both ways ! Too late to do anything about it now…

All this is very disturbing as well as devious.

 

Owing to a French public transport flight and problems at Roissy CDG I missed my flight into Manchester…

My suitcase was never boarded and I wasn’t even called !

Still I go to the counter to change my ticket for the next flight.

At the counter there are two agents chatting. They wait to finish their casual conversation before I get attention. I ask about a flight into Birmingham which would have been ideal. ‘We don’t fly to Birmingham’ she tells me. Surprise since on my last trip there I had flown via Birmingham… Well… She didn’t which document it was and eventually couldn’t find it…

That cost me another £ 89 ticket plus a £ 59 penalty (for missing the plane ?) and £ 8 (because I paid my credit card) plus plus plus…

Did I want to go through with it ? (as if I had an alternative)

Abuse to say the least…

I once missed an Air France flight twenty years ago and the customer services attendant put me on the next flight free of charge in three minutes flat ! Now that is customer service !

By then I was murderous to have to put up with such slowness and incompetence !

 

 

30 minutes later I walk away from a counter with a new ticket to Manchester. My suitcase would follow if I just showed my document at check in… Only check in had no idea how to proceed… and wasted more of my precious time.

 

Eventually I walk into the flight departure salon to hear the next flybe flight into Birmingham announced for boarding (which would have made me get my ferry at the other end) !

I don’t think you can imagine my shock !

 

Neddless to say that I got into Birmingham too late and had to buy another train ticket to Lancaster another night ferry ticket Heysham to Douglas making it just in time for the funeral…

Little did I know then that this was only the beginning…

 

On the flight back upon checking in the lady in charge tells me my ticket does not include the luggage fee (not mentioned in my flight out) ! None of this appeared in my original Air France booking documents and with Air France is not charged and you get a free meal (charged with flybe) on board all at a lower price than flybe charges for the same flight.

Did I want to pay the extra ? Again did I have the choice with a flight due to leave in an hour ? Strangely the £ 8 credit card payment transaction supplementary fee did not apply here…

 

To top it all we left Manchester Airport late owing to a problem with a passenger… In actual facts flybe had confused tickets !

 

Some friends have flown flybe and vowed never to use them again.

Another one of my friends has five travel agencies and his answer is ‘This always happens with them… Never fly flybe. We avoid them like the plague’.

 

Question : why is flybe known as fly(may)be ? I know now.

 

My advice is ‘If you want to go to Hell fly flybe’.

 

I am asking for a total refund on all expenses involved and am taking this to consumer associations and the press.

 

I am copying this to Air France, consumer associations and the press.

 

 

Jesse CRAIGNOU

PS : What’s more you don’t even have an email address for contact… I should have guessed.


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