Poetry, Publishing, Writing

Sarah Cave and Ben Smith – Featuring Lost in Books!

Last night, I attended a book event in the cosy and intimate setting of Lostwithiel’s very own independent bookshop, Lost in Books. For the event, published poet, Sarah Cave, and debut novelist, Ben Smith, read aloud from their works, speaking about setting and place, how it’s used, and the tantalising consequence of how the absence of human life can have a deep effect on the confines of our minds when left alone out in the world.

Sarah Cave, who has published two poetry collections (with another on the way later this year!), tells the story of Slava, a Russian individual living in the Arctic inspired by the real-life Arctic weatherman in her striking collection An Arbitrary Line. The poignancy of her poetry, echoing themes of loneliness, humanity and the isolation within a huge and harsh climate, such as Northern Russia, is incredibly rich and evocative in its powerful use of language. While her poetry might be deep and wistful at times, there were definitely several shared laughs between her and the audience as she read her work aloud. Inspired by a reflection of the abstract and the effect the human mind can have once humanity has disappeared, this collection is a prize to keep close to your heart. Listening to her work and being drawn in by her rhythmic words was a pleasure.

SARAH CAVE READING FROM AN ARBITRARY LINE

Ben Smith, whose debut Doggerland, a dystopian exploration of family, fear and ever-prevalent climate change, also read at this event. Again, weaving in themes of loss, humanity and an isolated setting, hearing Ben’s prose being spoken aloud was mesmerising. Surviving in a world where the only two characters interact with each other and the sea, Ben’s debut has been described as a stylistic mixture between Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam and Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic prose. Needless to say, it was a treat to listen to his words and listen in on the details of how he wrote the book.

BEN SMITH READING FROM DOGGERLAND

And where would a fantastic author event be without its fabulous host? Lost in Books, situated along the idyllic riverbank of Lostwithiel, is a gem in itself – and a wonderful find if you happen to be walking that way in Cornwall.

Recently opened, it shares its space with rustic, home decor shop, Atticus & Willow, filled with natural plants, greenery and delicate trinkets and treasures you can just as easily get lost in. The whole feel of the space as you walk in is like stepping into another world. A world of art and books. Doesn’t that sound just like heaven?

The more I visit, the more I believe that this is such a perfect and unique setting for a landscape filled with books. They line the shelves, creep up the walls, and lay stacked in plucky little piles beneath the rustic table centred in the middle of the room. Those books in turn breathe words, and those words weave into much-loved stories. The only thing they need is for somebody to step in, pick one up, and start reading. Did I mention the shop has a cat who visits frequently too?

SARAH CAVE AND BEN SMITH HOLDING BOOKS

Last night was such a wonderful experience to be among the audience for this fabulous event. Lostwithiel is such an ancient town. To know its literary spirit is being kept alive and well is a gift to its community – I hope to be back for many more events to come!

Fancy visiting Lost in Books? You can visit their website here.

 

Poetry

Somewhere For You And For Me

Waiting for the light to pull open my eyes,

I wake to the still morning with you by my side,

While the birds twitter on and sing their golden song,

I’m reminded of things past, of treasure long gone.

 

For there once was a time in the morning light hue,

When I would wake to pen and paper and write only of you,

But now I am lost and stuck for what to say,

Could you come back, just once, and lie where I lay?

 

But, no, you could never for these things are all wrong,

And where glass once shattered, it now stands firm and strong,

So give me a time where I longed only to be,

In my heart of hearts somewhere true for you and for me.

 

Photo credit.
Poetry

Seventeen

Danced in pretty circles

For those four years of your life,

Over hardwood floors, across dimly lit hallways,

Even in hotel rooms too, sometimes


Our love was rather shining

And brilliant once,

Wasn’t it, my love?

Nothing lasts forever, so I guess

We had to break


Count until it’s over,

– Pause –

One, two, three,

Take a deep breath now,

You will be okay


Step, pivot, flounce, break


Have I skipped over it?

Have I missed it somehow,

Perchance,

I’m continually poised,

Simply waiting to fall apart


Wanting,

I want to feel that buckling,

That  b r e a k i n g  inside my heart

But I fear I’ve lost it

Where have you gone?


Bring me back a beat, a pace

I’ll be happy with that,

Honest,

For I’m moving forward too fast

And it scares me


Teach me how to dance again,

And I will be your cause,

One lifetime love to happen again,

I loved you once, I’m sure


I think I miss you

I know I once loved you

But everything is normal now

It’s much too much to bear


A lifetime love

So sorry to be missed,

But I’ll remember you always,

Remembering our first and

very

last

kiss

Poetry

Dark Green Pebbles For Eyes

Dark green pebbles for eyes,

Staring out, out of glass jars,

A naked pond standing for all to see,

Stark, black and green,

I climb out and people scream, they run, they hide,

I won’t hurt them, only him,

I thirst for the water that contains me,

It’s murky, dank and bleak,

I’m drowning in it, see my arms wave and crash,

Still I can still see, see,

Staring, peeping at you,

Rising up, up from the deep black hole,

Because I have been waiting,

And I have dark green pebbles for eyes.

Poetry

Your Daughter

Oh, girl, let your hair down low
All over me, yeah,
I want you all over me. Climb on now, hard and fast
Just let me cram in as many sexual innuendos as I can,
Watch me
And they’ll play it on the radio
They’ll play it to little ones who I’ll mold into one of my very own

Say, who cares if this song don’t rhyme
I just wanna cash in on other girls’ insecurities
Most of them barely even hit puberty
Oh well, we say, this shit sells
Why make the world a little better when
You can make it look ugly?
We’ll make the little girls hate themselves and,
Yeah, we’ll think it’s funny

I know sex sells and
I’m so original for using it in my lyrics, who’d have thought that’s the way to make
Money?

I know it’s disgusting, so please go ahead
Go ahead and tell yourself you hate it
That you abhor it, that it’s wrong
But you’ll still watch it, buy it, and get it to the charts,
Buy it, Buy it, and let your daughter paste it all over her bedroom walls in sparkly little hearts
I may be an image, a brand, and a lie
But only I have the power to make your baby girl cry.

Cry my name and shout it, scream it, blast it through the walls
Go and buy her that cake with my face on it
For I’m the only thing she adores
She’ll find other boys soon to give her a big fat diamond ring
But for now I hold the key, the key, yes, the key
to screw with her own insignificant self worth
I’ll shape her own perception of herself,
And make her feel lost when she realises that she can never,
Ever be with the construct that defines itself as ‘me’.

Because,

really,

just

who

makes

money

being

authentic

anymore?

Cats, Hobbies, Poetry, university, Writing

The Kitten & The Blonde Boy

 

A heavy fabric coat hangs on the doorknob, cowboy brooch fastened on the collar,
Turn the latch,
Once inside, you will drown in the clutter held within,
Eeyore sits sentry on the wardrobe, books are encased delicately behind glass;
Uglies hidden in a lower cabinet, the beauties sitting proud on the shelves,
A tall and blonde boyfriend sits on the bed frame,
Absorbed in the videogame he avidly plays,
Carefully colour coordinated DVD cases stand boldly in a bookcase,
Propped up against the wall: they are standing soldiers,
A kitten, black and white and inquisitive, watches you,
As you turn about the damp, chipped, white walls,
She is full of light and she dances about your feet,
Catching your laces as you wander about the room,
What a sight! The mess, the clutter, the bounding boulders of dirty clothes piled  high!
You sit on the bed, with the kitten and the blonde boy,
You lie back and watch the swirls on the ceiling,
You are happy, with the kitten and the blonde boy by your side,
Next year will be very strange indeed.