{ memoirs } about poetry

the first poetry i wrote was around 5 or 6yrs old.
it was about a little bird that came to sing love through a window.
this poem was accompanied by a drawing with a bird and giant flowers.

my grandpa (on my mother side) taught me many a thing, and at first it was how to read aloud and how to write a little, before even going to grade school.
he was the one who first introduced me to many a book and among them La Fontaine fables, and was very proud i could recite so many of the famous rhymes by the age of 6.
i knew by heart “Le Renard et le Corbeau”, which was my favorite of all fables. mainly because i had changed the final verse with a joke, and my grandfather was laughing his heart out every time i recited the final verses in front of some public (either it was family or friends).
long
sadly my grandpa did not live enough to see me recite or write more awkward things.
he left too early, taken away by a rabid cancer, just before i turned 7.
his desk in the dining room, became both a sacred place and a treasure den for me. each time my grandmother wasn’t looking, i went to write or draw at his desk and steal some yellow paper and pens it contained.
somehow, i still have memory glimpses about me watching him writing from time to time, when i was little. he used to be so focused on what he was doing. just like at his work as a linotypist. and before that as a young journalist whom had left Paris when he was 20yrs old to follow his dreams. i later learnt that he loved police and thriller books, and even write some novels too (of all the stuff and novels he had written through the years, i still own one of them).

after my grandpa passed away, my mom stepped up to the plate and we spent hours reading books together and soon it became a tradition between us, for we did this from elementary school to junior high. we shared what we loved or hated most in the books i had to read for school, and so we exchanged our views on how well written or not things we read were, and also the poems we loved too.
one day, my schoolmaster told her i was sometimes writing poetry in class. others kids too and he encouraged them to. and that’s how i began following an optional class with some others kids and this particular teacher (whom also hosted the film photography class, which i’d be following 2 years later, turning 8).

my mom kept some of the poetry i have written at that time, in a small box.
of course it’s not Rimbaud, Verlaine or even my dear Lord Byron’s kind of poetry.
it talks mostly about birds (and for anyone who knows me, it won’t come as a shocker ;).

i then took poetry classes from elementary, then junior high, and even through high school.
apart from elementary, the poetry classes were orchestrated by our french literature teachers. the other kids that were attending those classes, usually i didn’t knew them or never socialized with them at school. the class was about 6 or 8 kids, most of them were what you might call nerds : kids who didn’t fit anywhere, whom seemed most of time astray or lost in the school yard, whom did not catch the eye of any boy or girl, and who seemed to be quite transparent throughout the year though they usually got good marks.
those kids had only one space of expression for an hour or so, per week, and poetry brought them together.

after a short introduction to the class, and showing what poets and works you loved the most, the exercises weren’t that easy and laid back.
learning how rhymes and french poetry worked mainly : metaphors, anaphora, chiasmus, alexandrine and crossed rhymes; the idea that poetry was not only there to describe the beauty or love, but also criticize and even be an act of rebellion throughout the ages.
those poetry classes gave me a sense of belonging to my fellow humans. because there we were, without the pressure of grades or other kids, and we could exist more and be as awkward as needed to express ourselves, without being judged or laughed at.
once the class was dismissed, we returned to our normal lives at school, with our tribes and friends and act like nothing ever happened.

i was around 9 when i first touched Baudelaire’s Fleurs du Mal in my mother’s library. it was intense and at first i could not read many of the things he wrote. it was a harsh and beautiful world, dark intricated words i could not assimilate as a kid. for some poems, it felt like being licked by fire, some words pierced & haunted me for a long time…

“Elle éblouit comme l’Aurore
Et console comme la Nuit…”

and so i went through all of her poetry books feverishly. most of them were about love or romantic poems. i remember reading Rimbaud and Aragon, and felt submerged by mixed feelings: both a high sense of beauty and a deep melancholy.
throughout the years, i carried on reading poetry. whether it was classic or contemporary, whether it was about love, about history or nature, or even erotica. poetry written by well-known authors or major unknowns, whether through books, blogs or even out there, in the living world, on some street walls.

it soothes me to read poems, because it’s like returning to a well-known place, a place where you can feel, ache, be loved, be totally naked and free at the same time.
like entering a delicate warm coat where your feelings can curl up and lay bare without being judged.

i still write poetry in a rather awkward style and i forever will.
because no matter how bad it is, poetry sings what prose can’t.
the truth.

(in order to overcome my nevrotic anxiety, i have create a depository of poems and stuff i wrote in some earlier past lives. a small place for me and strangers passing by. i hope the ghosts of those previous lives will remain silent. i can torture myself whenever i want to, i don’t need a memento mori nor permission to do so.)

{ memoirs } echoes

once upon a time, i stumbled upon the term “apex“.
it was a few months before moving to Paris.
truly, that was one Hell of a creative time…
i needed to create things, even small things, experiment ways to get them out of my mind, by whatever means i could.
i was playing with the word apex and i thought of an acronym and that’s how one of my many small projects got its name.
a small project that first began like many: for fun.

on some cloudy day of winter 2001, a couple of months before moving to Paris, a good friend introduced me to a pretty basic sample software.
i began baby-stepping through it, with samples & loops. but soon, like everything i did, i needed the canvas to be organic, made from some kind of flesh & bones stuff.
i knew what kind of things i wanted to create: instrumental and dark.
what i craved were sounds that weren’t usually heard in a melodic way, sounds that’d be both odd and familiar at the same time.
i searched online for some wind wav files, and that’s when i stumbled upon a medical sounds database of myocardial and pulmonary diseases.
that was it !

crafting things with that audio material, both raw and somehow strangely poetic, was the beginning of the “a.p.ex.” project, and gave birth to a small ep, never to be released.
i became very enthusiastic creating these small pieces, it seemed to fall in all the right places at that time.
nevertheless, i was shy to let my friends listen to those hectic experimental short tracks, even though most of them weren’t judgemental and knew i had fantasized for years about creating my own music label.
some friends told me i should follow through, even my partner in crime at the time told me i should just go for it, start a label and be more consistent with music and stuff, and we knew a lot of people that worked in the independent music scene at that time, that could have helped.

but for me, the a.p.ex. project was for fun, for my own self-centered world, and i knew i wasn’t that good at making music, anyways.
it seemed i had been far more gifted with helping others do their own marketing, or at making graphic stuff like band logos, flyers and posters.
besides, nothing i had done was made to be released in the first place, i just wanted to experiment a new medium, and see what could go from there, while the main goal remained the same : having fun through the process of creating something.
though a.p.ex never made it through the online scene, some tracks were embedded for a limited time on my parano profile.
just a few months before i left Paris for good, the one friend that introduced me to the sample software, insisted on remixing one of my small track. this remix was allegedly played, one winter night, at some small underground hard-tek party he was attending.
after leaving Paris, the a.p.ex. project went back to my many unfinished dilettante creative attempts.

the acronym “a.p.ex.” stands for “a perfid existence
(at first it was “alice perfid existence”, because one of my many nicknames used to be ‘alice.d‘. but i finally gave this name to a now lost track).
of the 10 tracks i had made then, only 6 survived.
(it seems like i have a tendency of throwing everything away, from time to time, part of my tabula rasa way of life).

though i keep listening to those small surviving bits through the years, i’m not 100% ok with them. only 2 still have my favors.
this is one of them.
most of the beats are sounds from myocardial diseases, distorted and reworked to sound like usual electronic beats. the voice sample was taken from a site that used to have lots of slutty phrases taken from movies (mostly p0rn) but that were easily downloadable wav format files.

maybe one day i’ll exhume the a.p.ex. project…
after all, 18 yrs have passed since the making of the first track.
seems like a reasonable time for a come-back.



a.p.ex – “i won’t bite you” (2001)

a.p.ex

{ dance with somebody }

it’s not about trancing, it’s about letting everything go…
these few months have been supercharged, either in experiences or encounters i never thought i’d have. energies adding up on energies. this fuel needed to be burnt, or at least celebrated.
(“but you hate people ! yes, but i love gatherings, isn’t it ironic ?“)
melting with others, feeling the soft touch of people around, all enjoying the music and the electronic beats, one of kind of an emotion, since i consider myself mainly an hardcore individualist who once in a while like losing herself into the crowd.
feeling the music rolling, coming and keeping on coming again & again. priceless moments. my mind addicted to the thrills of the beats kicking in, running all over me, feeling stranded in a blessed & safe state of mind.
when the sound waves come and go, that’s when i feel hyped, my body becomes hyper-sensitive and i finally allow myself to lose grip on everything.
every wave that touches my skin is like an extra shot of a long-gone drug i seem to have experienced several thousands years ago…

it’s not about trancing, it’s about diving into the deep…
dancing is like wearing some magic suit : i let my insecurities and fears out in the open. i peel everything off, and there i am : soft, fragile.
i put my armor to rest and, for a little while, no irrepressible flow of ideas overwhelms me, no anxieties, no relentless voices babbling in my head.
eyes closed, oscillating, vibrating. smiling.
becoming just another human being, swimming through the beats, the bass, the melodies, into the rhythmic chaos that’s swallowing me whole.
dancing is maybe one of the few moments in my life i accept being brushed, touched & caressed by other people. while dancing.
it’s not that easy becoming that vulnerable, every movement of air around me gets me feels i usually try to control or repress.
but my mind knows better than i do: it loves the anticipation of my synapses exploding, delivering all the sweetness they have to offer. every move, every step, is like a pouring rain of soft filaments flickering against the shores of my skin. every assault of loud decibels being draw in, my ears, my nose, like some dense violet fumes.
and there is solace and catharsis in all this.
every time i dance alone, amid some packed-up club or venue, i lose myself.
i lose myself and i am lost and i’m born again.
i can’t control anything, my mind rambling free, my thoughts light as feathers.

it’s not about trancing, it’s about that one moment in time…
when i’m that high, the energy i radiate feels like a phoenix rising.
the only fire that fuels life, that opens up the way to another realm i thought i could only experience alone.
but my mind keep recalling this one night, way back, when i was dancing and suddenly felt being lifted from the floor.
it was a very strange feeling, burning out and from the inside at the same time. the place wasn’t that packed and we were all dancing in the dark, some UV lights blinking from time to time. the sound of some EBM music was flowing. i was so high, eyes closed, smiling, thrilled by the chills on my neck and forearms and legs. the perfect balance between melancholy and happiness. all falling into place, while dancing, at peace with almost everything.

that’s when i felt the soft and delicate burn onto my hands.
my arms were crossed behind my back, and someone had put his hands in mine, and was swaying with my movements.
and then it came :
the rapture.

i can’t explain how strange it felt. i never turned to see whose hands were holding mine. i knew those hands so i just went with all this, with that very soft and silent presence dancing behind me, so familiar, so welcoming, yet so eerie. like returning to an ancient place i knew all along. welcoming and caring, gently applying pressure and giving me warmth. and i gave in, softly. for a few minutes, i felt totally protected, shielded, both known & owned, but freed from everything at the same time.

when the rhythm changed and the song came to an end, leading to a more upbeat one, i opened my eyes, looking at my feet, letting the darkness embrace me.
i then looked in front of me, and was going to turn around, expecting to see my boyfriend, smiling back at me, grasping my hands.
but instead, my eyes glanced towards the dj desk, and that’s when i saw my boyfriend, maybe 10 meters away from me, (he was doing some dj sets at that time) and he was talking to a friend, laughing.
i felt a rush of blood, through the music bumping once more and people passing me by, i asked myself who was actually holding my hands behind my back…
that’s when the warmth faded, the stranger’s hands swiftly retrieved from mine.
i remember turning around, in a gasp, only to see some feet wearing boots, and a tall figure in a dark coat blending swiftly and disappearing into the crowd.

we only danced for a few minutes but it felt like ages.
i never saw him ever again, nor felt that feeling again either.
for years i wondered who the hell he was, why he’d chose me, or if the guy was doing stuff like this every time a girl seemed high or defenseless.
but the strangest part is, after the initial shock, all i ever wondered about was : did he felt like i did ? this rapture, this elation, this comfort of being just at the perfect time in the perfect moment in the perfect place ?
somehow i know he did sense something. i could never thank him for that stolen moment, but i know he knows.
this memory forever engraved in my mind, like a soft scar.
still burning and yearning from the inside, whenever i dance.


it was never about trancing,
it’s about dancing with somebody,
{
spellbound}
and feeling the f*ck alive and home.


{ “l’art de plaire est l’art de tromper” }

“you’re so gifted !” someone once told me.
“you’re definitely gifted and destined to do great things.”

for quite some time, i believed this was true: that i was gifted. 
and that my life was going to be a wild wild ride on the mountains of creativity…
(blessed be the flames of egomania, burning mankind one bonfire at a time).

a few years back, something hit me :
how can you possibly be so gifted whilst your brain can’t help but screw you so deeply, like every minute, every second, that passes by ?
so gifted that you can only glimpse under the thin veil that is the great magical land of creativity, that you can only get a swift taste ?…
so gifted that you feel like miles (*light years*) apart from all your fellow humans and their patterns of ideas ? alien, awkward…
as awkward in life as Baudelaire’s Albatross ? (damned romantic poets !)

thinking of it, maybe i was just designed to be gifted but only as a f*cking introspective persona.

inside of me, there’s a whole frakkin’ universe, full from top-roof to a hundred ceilings leading to rooms & rooms roaming and bursting with high voltage and neuronal disasters, down to a labyrinth of basements (and finally below it: 13 stairways to my personal hellish caves).
and all this universe is overflowing with exuberant ideas & (maybe genius?) thoughts… some deeply colored, some just plain mono, but all delicately intricated in a precious and evergrowing entanglement of webs of thoughts, clothed by the texture of what poetry is made of : the gold of the ancient alchemists.

meanwhile IRL, i’m crying my heart out, every now and then, being either so belated or so sad, trying to uproot some tiny sketch or erratic rhyme, or even some maniac prose, all out of this mischievous mind, that i was granted to bear and deal with.

the final finding being that, 99% of the time, when this mysterious force called ‘creativity’ overflows outside of me,  i’m having a small (ego-tripping) epiphany realizing that i’m just a goddamned imposture, driven by sensations, feelings and even visions that are mostly alien to me.

sure, my inner child (whom i’m so ferociously protecting & nurturing) can lure the adults around me, but not my adult-self : i’m far from gifted.
this flow of messed-up creativity is just a curse (thank you romantic poets !).
after all, it’s just a matter of “matter” :
my brain is hijacking himself in a perpetual movement.
like an ouroboros on an acid test.

and all i can do is watch.
sometimes full of contentment, sometimes in sheer awe or through a kind of hazy fog (depending on my mood swings) what wonders this messy fountain of creativity will spit out of me.
and i nurse myself: don’t worry, all this is only the reflection of a long lost family madness, everything is just fine. go for it, absorb it, & think afterwards when the waves have rolled over the shore.

see, i’m not gifted.
my mind is full of endless spawning legions of thoughts & ideas.
and this ain’t going to end in peace whether i make offerings or not.

and yes : i tried meditation and yoga !
and yes : i can silence all this mess for a while if i really want to.
but do i want to ??
truth be : all i want and can do about it is to smile.
for i am enjoying this wild ride 99% of the time.

i’m not gifted, i’m just playing around with make-believe,
while enjoying the irony and the views,
wondering if all this grey matters turning into cotton-candy actually *is* a present,
or maybe just venom for the soul.


{ “L’art de plaire est l’art de tromper” – Vauvenargues }

Gift / Etymology / Wiktionnary
From Middle English gift (also yift, yeft, ȝift, ȝeft), partly from Old English ġyft, ġieft, ġift (“giving, consideration, dowry, wedding”) and Old Norse gipt (“gift, present, wedding”); both from Proto-Germanic *giftiz (“gift”). Cognate with West Frisian jefte (“gift”), Saterland Frisian Gift (“gift”), German Low German Gift (“poison”), Dutch gift (“gift”) and its doublet gif (“poison”), German Gift (“poison”), Swedish gift (“gift, poison, venom”), Icelandic gift (“gift”).