Tessa Berring &<br>Kathrine SowerBy

But I like it so much

It is so nice, oh it is so nice, I like it so much!

It took me a while to stop thinking things would explode. The car and the house, the things that contained me

And the papier-mache pear is nice, and the grapefruit, all the fruit! The real and the papier-mache. and the easy maze where no one gets lost, the plug that crackles – listen!

When I visited the old place, the new place buzzed and burned. I ran around opening doors and windows - Extra exits

It was not nice. My eyes blurred and my breath hardened

Put your ears there, low down. You have to lie down to hear it, really flat, right on your stomach, on the damp carpet. Bzzzzzzzzz, did you hear it? Bzzzzzzzz

I didn’t notice when I stopped being scared. One day I must have thought, 'it’s been a while'
And the apples, the real and papier-mache apples, paint and varnish and utterly hollow!

Someone texts me, Now is not forever. I think they want to get rid of me

I swallowed the wooden apple from the tiny tea set, who wouldn’t!

Oh miserable thing. I don't like it any more. It isn't nice any more. What have you done?

The wooden apple was not important. An unimportant apple, and tea set rhymes with pea net! A net to catch the peas in, real peas, papier-mache peas, hollow varnished peas!

See, I'm making it nice again. Are you cheered up?

I am, thank you, though it’s not your job, and the apple was important, so hard and glossy red, it was safe inside me

The jug was beautiful too but much harder to swallow. Let’s be realistic

The tension in my eyes comes back, and under my arms, that tightness of underwear that is difficult to talk about

Or it isn't, it's so easy to talk about. I could talk tightness till the cows come home!
Let’s talk then, compare preferences. I like everything tucked in

Over the fields over the fields. Still cheerful? Still nice? Soft cotton around my ribcage, that’s better

Did you see the lady on the video thing?

My face ached from smiling and she’d had a haircut. She talked about writing letters when she was pregnant because poems make her wired. She showed us her soft toy platypus

Oh dog on the table wagging it's tail. I need to eat something and lock up, yes all of that, fa la la la la la

Stein said you shouldn’t write memory poems. Remember? Remember? And so she did to prove Stein wrong

She said she'd like to be a chipmunk or a whale but maybe not a whale because she’d like to have a memory of the future

I would have laughed! Lets be realistic
Then I bought flour and a samosa but forgot to buy coffee. And walked home the time people who have jobs walk home

I wondered if any of them might marry me, or take me out for dinner to eat lots of glossy red things
Tomatoes, cherries, peppers, apples. Plate after plate! And strawberry jam

My new boots are tight around my ankles with a perfect little stretch, and every other paving stone is my exact stride. How’s that for nice?

I like it so much! But where has all the buzzing gone? We must have changed the subject with the woman and the hair cut

There was fluorescent strip lighting that usually buzzes so much

You have to whack it, or pull it all down

The story about the iguana found on the street that grew to the size of the room (then died but let’s not think about that)

(Oh I don't mind a dead iguana. Things grow all the time, plus rooms are small)

I heard someone say

We are given the children we need

I heard someone say that children are life
longing for itself – nothing to do with us

biology, love, meaning, something, secret, mummy

I wake early and realise I needed patience

something that later in the day feels inaccurate and irrelevant

I need love. I know that. I feel that. I need it. I don't want it

The field is burning. My skin

But I cling to the sensation of clarity like a bottle blown with a single breath
if that is possible

To long for oneself... quite a thought
Simply too long a story and too many verbs to choose from

To long to be more than oneself? To long, simply.

To self

I self, you self, we self, they self. Nothing but self and selfish

I wanted to be the family on the underground
the woman with jeans ripped at the knee
and for all I knew she was desperately unhappy

But my self longed


Impenetrable like a raincoat, an orgasm, screaming, a prayer.

I want to scream a lot lately, but barely talk
muffle muffle, the house and the window listening

Fold paper into aeroplanes and fling them out the window
Someone will find them, will see the screaming

Drawn in orange felt tip pen

So dramatic!
So silent!


About balconies, the pigeons and the presents

The plants that need water
The spidery leaves my children gave me

Here you are you are you are

Are you happier now?

It is lonely eating oranges but no-one is crying

I needed love and patience and a glass of wine
I needed to think hard about how everything works
like pipes and switches and how wind blows in

I needed the sound of singing – songs about going away
(Of course I will cry, of course I'll be watching)

Sex education?

(I read a review)
(it comes up in conversations)

I needed to learn about contraception
About thinking further than the moment. About consequences.

Can't things just, well, end, finish, stop?

I needed to forget I had a body, or just let it get on with life without me
someone else's life, oh baby, baby

and the consequence is mummy

Isn't it boring? I was amazed to begin with

There’s the woman in her coat selling her toys
A little man that spins over the thread that holds him together

When you squeeze the sides

I wonder what she thinks of it all
the tension in her hand – squeeze, release, squeeze release

If she listens to songs in French then wills herself to cry

I bet she doesn’t. Let’s let her be happier than that

She’ll have her equivalent
Private sorrow, fruit to cut, a last sighting

(And I know you're somewhere else right now)

Tiny glasses of alcohol that hit the back of your throat
Make your eyes smart, all wet and alive

'You will never recover' I tell my neighbour, because it’s true

Bloody head coo coo
Now try making music!

Paper planes and I needed to just get home
Feathers, and a stain on the cushion where it's obvious

Always leave the window open
(Ceremony is important)

'I have noticed your uncertainty' she said

How dare she!

Tessa Berring and Kathrine Sowerby live in Edinburgh and Glasgow respectively. Their collaborative work can be found in DATABLEED, Zarf, 3:AM Magazine, The Scores, and A) GLIMPSE) OF). They also produce their own pamphlets under their imprint ‘Usual Shoe Press’. These include Tables & Other Animals and Bazooka.