Royal Holloway Creative Writing Anthology 2012

Four Poems by Rachel Dakin

I, Maxidress of Egham, to You


Landlocked, by Home Counties hidden in the green
Mercedes & Jaguars, I, Maxidress
A material soft from stagnant water, ask you
What is the distance, who provides the figures for
The car insurance?


the thing you’re after
can be found in Essentials
or the rest (second, third, charity shop! charity shop!

And there! (pensioners) limp, the bargains! flop
(of the shop
o Oxfam, o
Princess Alice
stay low, o bargains

the high-street, the only one, the gentle slow one
on whose benches the locals sit, from which they observe,

And the estate-agents

of my city!


we are informed, and cannot be without
important substance (the price
say, £9,000 per year each one of us, support
our principal’s business
lecture to lecture added
(and what is learning, what
is curling hair, the bag
you carry in your nervous hand, these

make popular, these, in the end, are
the result

(o the campus is good for this
in the forest, in the library

no noise but a carefully carved statue, a painted canvas, a chapel!
an obvious past, is encouraged for recalling


their underwear, though prim, certainly
is for sex, as for money, in fact
this was not the case in the beginning
when college was only meant for women, now we
demand to be dealt with like the sea
beats must be played, said he, hotly in the ear

By ear, he sd.
They cannot hear, what matters is those who persist, those who will dance,
Those! O in the sweat packed people, why shall you bear it, how, why, why shall you listen when all has become bored, when all is noise

When even our voice, my shout
Cannot be heard

When even you, when sound itself has fallen in?

When, on the floor, over the crowd
Where she who used to bring
A different boy
Black, gold, the tide,
Changing, each evening

When girls came like boats
Over the oil-slicks, stiletto heeled
O campus city)






Every human being is fully an artist only in the light of reflections, standing at the window and looking across at the opposite walls, not knowing what to do. When creating the world of dream, and feeling an inexplicable love for this all but complete stranger: the lovely semblance of dream seems a child, a child someone had wrapped in a bulrush basket daubed with pitch and sent downstream for the image-maker to fetch at the riverbank.



I stand at the window and drop a stone on the pavement without throwing it and see the words descend in a straight line. A man watches the words fall to earth in a curve, a parabolic curve that reflects people and things as mere phantoms or dream-images. He takes pleasure in dreaming, understanding the figures without meditation; all forms speak; nothing is indifferent or unnecessary. It is he who kneels over the water erasing the moments of their meaning with no means of testing, as reflected a meaning means differently, and is inversed much like his face gazing into the shallow depths.



The continuous evolution of art is bound up with duality. We turn away blinded after a strenuous attempt to look at the sun, with wine dark patches before our eyes. The heavy burden, real and truthful, or the absolute absence, lighter than air, only half real with movements as free as they are insignificant. The delicate exhalation of breath blows images against the dirty walls, dreaming the same casualty of dreams for successive nights. The idea of eternal return demands this responsibility, like a large and enormously heavy suitcase or a hand firmly gripped by a sleeping lover.



The concept of truth does not match with the assertions of pure dreaming, whose suppleness and luxuriance of movement betrays the unreality. This is what the maker wishes to show us: a higher, magical circle of effects drawn in a new world on the ruins of an old one that has been overthrown. Behind the surface of the glass lies an unearthly serenity, which the needle slowly undoes, strand by strand, yet striking the mortal eye as inextricably tangled like the matted hair at the nape of a damp neck.



It is a matter of indisputable historical record that the only subject matter is the suffering of man, though the great wrongdoing is understood as feminine. So one may say right down to now that all are merely masks of that original, our bodies bear this mark, suffer this dreadful sentence. But I do not cry out, trapped with a false trust in individuation, despite the enormous horror, I cannot sing, I cannot dance on this delicate line how does the body alter its position in time? We imagine two clocks, one in the window, and one on the street, as all appears simple, transparent, beautiful. It is no more than an image of light projected onto a dark wall.











e.lec.tro.mag The pain lingered on for week piece of metal 1 a metal objects)  & tech underclothes for wom – electromagn in art) shops e.lec.tro.mag. nght : adj [Wa n [U] technical disappear : a lingering death exchange posoduces after an accident – ly adv (=bits of mater lin.go n goes sl 1 a lan e.lec.tron lined 2 a type of speech full matter that moreast understand an atom: an ele a pen lin.gua fran EXOD XXV. 38. a language snuffers, sb., snuffers 1 electronic e.g. lines-languages snuk, see snok. (4a) transitor railway up of parts on the electric ayer in lin.gual snurtin, v. cf. L.G. such as televising the P. 462; he snorteP (P alarms 2 usine from movement T. A 4163. –electronicalite to lin.guist snute, sb., = M.L.G. electronic mail sing is good at snout, nose, HORN (I e.lec.tron.ics 4 lin.guis.tic studies the snoute ‘rostrum’ PR. study of making ateing one or 1088; ALIS. 6533; GO 2 the industry coledge 2 co B 4095. equiptment linguistic snutel, sb., snuffers e.lec.tro.plateGUISTICS NUM. iv. 9 (later verb passive] to put a very thing lin.guis.tic snuten, v., C.N. sny of an object, using ELECTRguage in G snuten, O.H.G el.e.gant/adj 1 patterns tall chief intent, instead of intent upon mischief) is mixed up with words so pedestrian & far from archaic as visitors to libraries, a tepid half-hearted jocularity results; see INCONGROUS VOCABULARY.



e.lec.tro.mag.The pain lingered on for week f m
cloth wom omag a sh to.mag. adj [Wa
technical disappear : a lingering death exchange    after an accident - ly adv (=bits
in.go -goes 1 a lan
n atom: an lin.gua EXOD XXV. 38. c.tron.ic guage
snuf sb. electronic  e.g. lines-la ages sn see snok (4a) sistor railway up
of parts on th ctrical ayer in lin.gual  snurtin, v., cf. L.G. such as televising the P.462; he
snorteP (P alarms 2 usine from movement T. 4163. –electroni to li ist =
ele nic ood at sno nose (I lec on.ics s
snouterostrum’ PR. of making e industry
c ment linguistic NUM
guis.ti uten, v., object,
ge uten, O. ief intent, instead of intent
is mixed up with words so pedestrian & far romas visit to librarie
pi h joc results; seeINCONRUOUS VOCABULARLY.









getting on –                                          with it but                      –                                  wanting to see
                          a whole  –                                             product          – as sewing
like a seamstress,                            making                                                       something pretty – or
                                                                             useful – as making up
something –             weaving through –                                                       or being –
his                                                                  mistress –                                              cleaning in a way
that’s                                                                                   easy, tidy, in this
                               space –                                                                                   which they want –
                                                       to keep – strict
stripped by others –                                                   or done by them                                – finished
                                                                                                                         repeatedly –
it taking many –                                             the silly ones, are told to
                                    be quiet        
                                                                           –  choosing one who rolls over                         on
her back –
                                want to – have –                                                  been                           –         
sewing                                                        like a seamstress –                                   a version
                 or not
                                                and – as – my –                                    pretty, or simple
- pattern                                                            and something –
                     spinning – with – a needle                                                                                   the past
              softest                  heap                                                                  of language      
          it being –                                    familiar making                         ready made sampler
                                 all the words are                                      reconstituted:
                                                                                                                                 black thread            
                                              as 'stem': cloth or clothing                                                        
subjugated verb being:                                                       it?                         that?
                                                                                                                          a word – and then
                     embroidery                          in & out                          to be  – 
                                                                                                                          sewing like a seamstress
                       eyes lowered                                            head – bent
submission                             &                                modesty,                                                      silent.
                           Stitch see-                                                         thru over                             lay –                 
mark upon mark –                       her flesh                   –                                      glistening thru text-
ile                         as waiting for a                                                touch                                                                                                                                       
weeping                                                        yes    
                                  & weeping                                             no                                               shit
                                                                                                                 there is a yes and no shut up
                                  silence – is not                                                           the only sub-
                                                                         version                                                             as – sewing
like a seamstress                  packaging          –                                                     menstrual tampons                                                            
                                  in a box                                   masquerading 
as                 fabric                                                                               embroidered
with                                       pastel flowers                                                                   to re-present
            menstruation as            –                         natural & entirely                         non-threatening.








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