it's not the end of the year yet only the end
of my time in london so far
yesterday i was in the kitchen opening the fridge
and i looked down to see that both my hands were
trembling without having even edged near
any thought that would consciously make me tremble
it's like the memory of the memory is enough
still it seems like the only way is through
that's something i keep telling myself
i met up with different people this week
and recounted things i did over the past few weeks
and reminded myself that doing things despite
the initial fears or apprehension is always better
than when i do nothing at all
these are some things i did recently:
saul williams' literary mixtape
on the 29th of november which was a thursday evening
ken and eve and i went for saul williams' literary mixtape
eve bought the tickets for us months ago i think before
we were back in london didn't know what was going
to be happening but i always trust eve on these things
different people read their poems while i ate a salmon
sandwich in the second row felt disappointed that
it was roasted and not smoked which was what i thought
i had purchased the first two poets seemed intense
and rhymed a lot didn't really identify with their poems
but i could appreciate the force of their poetry then this
woman came up and she seemed nervous at first she sighed
or breathed heavily into the microphone before beginning her
first poem and i felt like this was the kind of poetry i liked
best it felt personal and listening to it put me in the kind of
mood which felt like a thick piece of iron placed on my chest
drawn from the kind of emotion that makes it hard to breathe
turned to eve and said oh god i am crying after she read her
last poem i realized that she was warsan shire and that i had
read her poems before except i didn't realize it was her and
now i feel like i had the pleasure of hearing her read and
would go out of my way to watch her future readings
here is a poem she read which i liked
34 excuses for why we failed at love by Warsan Shire
1. I’m lonely so I do lonely things.
2. Loving you was like going to war, I never came back the same.
3. You hate women, just like your father and his father, so it runs in your blood.
4. I was wandering the derelict car park of your heart looking for a ride home.
5. You’re a ghost town I’m too patriotic to leave.
6. I stay because you’re the beginning of the dream I want to remember.
7. I didn’t call him back because he likes his girls voiceless.
8. It’s not that he’s wants to be a liar, it’s just that he doesn’t know the truth.
9. I couldn’t love you, you were a small war.
10. We covered the smell of loss with jokes.
11. I didn’t want to fail at love like our parents.
12. You made the nomad in me build a house and stay.
13. I’m not a dog.
14. We were trying to prove our blood wrong.
15. I was still lonely so I did even lonelier things.
16. Yes, I’m insecure, but so was my mother and her mother.
17. No, he loves me he just makes me cry a lot.
18. He knows all of my secrets and still wants to kiss me.
19. You were too cruel to love for a long time.
20. It just didn’t work out.
21. My dad walked out one afternoon and never came back.
22. I can’t sleep because I can still taste him in my mouth.
23. I cut him out at the root , he was my favourite tree, rotting, threatening the foundations of my home.
24. The women in my family die waiting.
25. Because I didn’t want to die waiting for you.
26. I had to leave, I felt lonely when he held me.
27. You’re the song I rewind until I know all the words and I feel sick.
28. He sent me a text that said ‘I love you so bad’
29. His heart wasn’t as beautiful as his smile.
30. We emotionally manipulated one another until we thought it was love.
31. Forgive me, I was lonely so I chose you.
32. I’m a lover without a lover
33. I’m lovely and lonely.
34. I belong deeply to myself.
the poem which she read last which was also the poem
someone sent me or was a poem i came across after a
breakup last year was one called
'for women who are 'difficult' to love'
you are a horse running alone
and he tries to tame you
compares you to an impossible highway
to a burning house
says you are blinding him
that he could never leave you
want anything but you
you dizzy him, you are unbearable
every woman before or after you
is doused in your name
you fill his mouth
his teeth ache with memory of taste
his body just a long shadow seeking yours
but you are always too intense
frightening in the way you want him
unashamed and sacrificial
he tells you that no man can live up to the one who
lives in your head
and you tried to change didn't you?
closed your mouth more
tried to be softer
less volatile, less awake
but even when sleeping you could feel
him travelling away from you in his dreams
so what did you want to do love
split his head open?
you can't make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that
and if he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.
i recorded a video of it on my phone and
watched it a couple of times as i walked around campus the next day
as usual when i am at a poetry reading or when i listen to
someone reads a poem i think about how that differs from
when i read that same poem on a piece of paper or screen
and am thus able to visualize the poem realize then how important
the body language or tone is in conveying what it is the writer
was trying to say it seems like reading your own poetry
or words aloud is a kind of skill as well
the lost lectures: lost in smoke
on the 30th of november which was a friday night
i met eve after school ended and we headed down to the tobacco docks
at the east end of london for the last of the lost lectures
the lost lectures are a series of pop-up lectures billed as
'enchanting talks with secret locations' we kept receiving
emails that said 'good luck lostlings... keep it to a whisper'
and at the beginning of the lecture the host/founder gave a
summary presentation of what he had learnt from conducting
these events and what he felt made it 'successful' like how
amidst the instant gratification of social media an event shrouded
in a slight sense of mystery and seemed secretive/exclusive made it
a sell-out which seemed understandable like that was what drew me to it
also we had a really tasty box of hot seafood paella then i bought another
really enjoyed some of the speakers like the person in charge of
http://informationisbeautiful.net who makes infographics
and a UCL genetics lecturer who talked about nurture and nature
what seemed like my 'take-away' or what i learnt, which was
reminiscent of what i felt after attending the boring conference
was that specializing or getting very good at one thing makes you interesting
i don't mean interesting in a way that means it is important to be interesting
to people around you although that could be an understandable side bonus
but that you learn so much more from going in-depth into one specific field
like getting obsessed with it, and giving it the time to get really good at it
and that is what i want to do i guess except i don't know what it is
i could be good at seems like that has always been the problem
stayed over at eve's that night before getting out of bed and meeting stace
on first of december which was a saturday we went to brighton
we got there in the afternoon and then hung out in lauren's attic bedroom
watched music videos on tv and drank pear cider and ordered pizza
then went to a club by the seafront and danced to a lot of songs that we knew
at a later part of the night i walked down alone to the edge of the shore
squatted there to listen to the waves crashing on the pebbled front
thinking this is the fourth time i have been to brighton and when will
i stop remembering everything i remember that has happened all the time
i always feel so much when i listen to the sound of water i feel an
affinity with water i think like i belong there and nowhere else
the week between the brighton weekend and the past weekend
was when two of my essays were due and i spent a lot of time in the library
eve today was saying that the library had only extended its opening hours
to 'never closing/24 hours' after the student fees had been increased this year
i like staying in the library past the time when everyone leaves and when i
walk around campus in the dark it is emptied of all the noise that feels
overwhelming in the daylight and that is when i feel as though i
could walk around and be safe in the silence i finished an essay
on entropy which is a superconcept and related that to philosophy it
is an essay i had to do for my core module 'approaches to knowledge'
i got it back today and got a first which i feel good about because i put
in a relative amount of effort in trying to understand it and also proposed
that knowledge of reality is constructed at the point in which entropy is
maximised when you define entropy to be missing information i felt
good about that idea/revelation/relation between the concept and my discipline
this is a little bit of what i wrote:
Applying the concept of entropy to the problem of selectivity helps us to examine it from another angle, and provide insight into possible approaches to solving this issue. If the most likely state of a system occurs when its entropy is maximised, and we define ‘reality’ as ‘the most likely state’ which has or will occur, then we can see that knowledge of reality can only truly be established when we have all additional information needed to prevent ‘distortion’ of information. Phrased in a different manner, it can be suggested that if only it is possible for all additional information about the system to be obtained, then the most likely state can be determined; it is at this point where reality occurs. However, there are obvious complications to this statement. The term ‘all additional information’ assumes that there is a finite quantity to the amount of information needed. Even if we accept this premise, how can we be certain that ‘all additional information’ has been obtained, if reality involves not only the magnitude of the space-dimension, but the compounding element of time, both past and future? If we do not have, or cannot be certain of the amount of information that is missing from our computations, does this mean that there have been inevitable distortions, casting doubt on all knowledge? Entropy thus explains the impossibility of ascertaining complete certainty, as with our finite knowledge, it is impossible to obtain all the information needed to determine the maximum point of entropy in a system that is constantly changing. While this is in no way a new idea, nor does it solve the key epistemological problem of obtaining certainty, applying the maximum principle of entropy does provide insight as to how we should approach the construction of knowledge, in order to minimize the distortions. In contrast to Descartes’ ‘cognito ergo sum, a bottom-up approach which involves finding a fundamental principle which all knowledge can rest on, it suggests the obtaining of all, or as much as is possible, information before knowledge of reality can be constructed. While this may as of yet be impossible, it also encourages a heightened awareness of our human ignorance, which perhaps is far more important—being conscious of how much we do not know and how much there is yet to know, which ultimately drives all knowledge construction.
this is carl our programme director's feedback
carl said he reads my blog sometimes maybe hi carl
met core module tutor today (friday now) for some feedback on basc essay &
for some advice on how i could improve re next essay due on the first week of the
next term and we opened the page containing carl's feedback which i didn't realize
was also on moodle and then i realized i had made a dumb mistake in my essay
which was that i said that i would apply the concept to politics & philosophy
in my introduction then mid-construction decided i didn't want to do politics and
focussed on philosophy instead but forgot to remove the mention of politics in intro
so it seems like i was penalized for that i'm a lil dumb bitch tutor is a french person
studying for his phd in queer studies and he said that he gave my essay
the highest grades in the course he kept touching his hair he has nice hair
i guess the grades is something that's good that means i can keep doing what i am doing
even though i have no idea what i am doing also it was our last lesson and we
wouldn't be taught by him since this module was over so i asked him to recommend
some books he felt he has been really affected by and he said the history of sexuality by
foucalt and another book but i forgot its title but today in tutorial we covered
structural linguistics and semiotic and looked at some of barthes' ideas so i bought
mythologies by barthes as well i feel pleased i have books for the plane ride
on thursday i met jun at the strand and then we had coffee and talked about
what we would like to do in new york on friday eve and i did some
shopping at primark and then she stayed over in my room and had goujons
on saturday stace and i did more christmas shopping and then we met
laurens and giles and then stace laurens and i went to the harry potter studio tours
stace drinking butterbeer which seemed like just soda and cream
outside diagon alley
card model of the entire hogwarts grounds
later when we were sitting in my kitchen drinking wine and reviewing our experience
i think we all agreed that we wouldn't recommend going for the tour it seemed way
too expensive twenty eight pounds for a few hours just looking at things and it
also seemed to destroy the magic ironically although i don't know what i expected
looking at the way the movie was made would obviously 'undo' the childlike fantasy
like knowing that the dragon propelling flames was constructed completely by humans
didn't feel very engaged by anything felt like i wanted to re-read the books again though
after that we went to haggerston to meet a few other people for drinks and then laurens
took a bus home with me and that was very nice of him and the next day i woke up late
and met stacey at oxford circus to pass her the things she left at my place and then met
my sister to pass her some things and then went for eve's christmas party very late
the dress code was ugly christmas sweaters and i had a cool time with these people
eve and esmee and megan always manage to cook up an entire feast
we had brussel sprouts and bacon, roast ham, roast turkey, roast potatoes
creamed cauliflower, steamed broccoli, stir-fried carrots, yorkshire pudding
shortbread cookies, minced pies, christmas pudding, gingerbread house/cookies
we had a secret santa present exchange and my secret santa was laura
she gave me a cinnamon raisin bagel, a bottle of diet coke and a head of broccoli
and i burst out laughing in happiness
just found this picture from eve's halloween party with
the same group of people and when we all dressed up as well
since finishing all my essays for the term i have been reading more
i finished reading 'the no hellos diet' by sam pink
leaving the atocha station by ben lerner
how should a person be? by sheila heti
and am now reading baby babe by ana carrete
and dispatch from the future by leigh stein
want to compile a list of books i'd recommend
that anyone should get for christmas shopping
on monday which was two days ago now
i met andy for lunch at pod at goodge st
i hadn't seen him in two months it's funny how
the months slip by without you noticing at all
i had a falafel & hummus wrap then ran errands
like getting disposable cameras returning items
posting christmas cards off to friends back home and to susie & james
met rowan for dinner after a lecture and gave her this christmas card
we went to icco's and had pizza and talked for a long time feel good
about our friendship she is maybe one of the three or four people
i've met since coming to london after the summer who i
feel completely comfortable around feel like i didn't expect that at all
which is even better i think then there are the people who
are good for you always they never make you feel bad
like today i met zhuoxuan for lunch at planet organic and we had tofu stir-fries with salads
hadn't seen each other in the past two months despite both being in the same school
in the evening i met athena and her boyfriend and we had thai food for dinner
it felt comfortable, good, didn't have to watch myself or feel like i had to hold myself together
like these were the people who knew all the good and bad parts of me and were still ok with me
we walked back to my flat and sat in my room and i read athena some poems that i had read
recently that i liked then read each other's tweets kept laughing and feeling good
and then met jason on the staircase to get back 81 austerities from him lying in bed now
over the past few days i have thought a lot of times 'we are not friends'
about/towards specific people trust issues is not a real thing is it
but i feel like i only trust very few people it's hard to feel safe i guess
something a person i love said to me was:
i want to make a world where nothing will intimidate you
i will use my fists to change it
and use my hands to hold you
the fact that you're different and like
very much an individual but also like the fact
that you won't just be what people want
can make them want to hurt you and that isn't your
problem or responsibility at all you know
like the sex of people, in general, around you
isn't something you're concerned about
complicity or taming like you seem
mentally immune to domestication
i don't know if that's an adequate explanation
or even true i don't feel like that may even
be true but it means a lot that he feels that way
that someone could see me that way
i think means a lot to me
now it is sleep-time and tomorrow it is the last day in london
and i have a lunch with someone and then to finish packing
and then laundry and also
on thursday i have a flight to america
i feel good about getting out of here
i've been sick and shaking for the last few days
but now i know where i am going