Friday, 27 July 2012

Poem: The Only Lonely One

The Only Lonely One (in Tribute to Amy Winehouse)

Too much too soon,
Too young to die,
You were not the only lonely one.
You just didn’t know it, did you?
And did we love you as a mess
As well as love you as a star?
What a star. What a life. What a waste.
But you had to know we were
Rooting for you.
You had to know we wanted you,
And wanted you to live.
You had to.
Didn’t you?
I don’t think we told you enough.
And I’m sorry for our loss.

 ©Lisamarie Lamb 2012

Friday, 20 July 2012

Review: The Control Room or The Demands of Heather by Hollis Jay

The Control Room or The Demands of Heather by Hollis Jay is a collection of poetry that pokes and prods at the ideas and ideals that the reader has, and attempts to invert them. And it works.

Once again, reading work by Jay I am made to stop and think and wonder.

In "And Her Mother With Them", the poet offers up an image of the long dead rustling through the 'desert air' and speaking softly to those left behind. It begins sweetly, a memory of the long lost, and yet the last few lines ('Coated in the earth/ With roaming worms to keep/ Them company') bring the reader back down with a bump and a terrible reminder of their own mortality. Everything is fleeting.

"Ben" throws a similar spanner in the works, although this starts on a sad level with a woman pondering lost love ('I wonder if/ You'll ever love me/ Ever again'). The call of a child (we assume) from the back seat of the car his mother is driving jars us out of the expected melancholy and reminds us that there is more than one way to lose a love. And more than one type of love. Is the driver actually thinking about a man? Or her son? Just who is Ben and what does he want? This poem could become a short story - maybe even a novel - on its own.

"Every Whim" is a different take on Robert Frost's "Birches" and gives us an insight into what happens when the playing stops. It is simple, and it is thoughtful.

If you've ever felt the pang of lost youth and the boredom of responsibility then "In Suits and Ties" will ring true for you. I particularly enjoyed the lines, '...Bermuda shorts/ Worn by older men/ With dreams unrecognised/ Who got to work in suits and ties/ Holding up subway platforms/ With their resent'.

In "Mud" I love the idea that the sun is fed up with humanity ('The sun against my shoulders/ Running out of gas/ And patience'). Perhaps, Jay suggests, the end of the world will not be a n unstoppable thing, but rather the sun's choice, when it can see no more hope for humankind.

I can't write a critique of every poem (well, I could, but then where is the fun for you in reading them?); this is a hefty volume, and a good one. Better than good.

I recommend that you buy this, and read it, and soak up the words between the lines, because that's where the power lies:

Friday, 13 July 2012

Frighten Brighton - Prepare to be Scared!

What are you doing on 11th August? Bathing in the great British sunshine? Paddling in puddles? Perhaps you're still undecided. Well, I've got an idea for you.

Why not sit back and try to relax as you watch five classic horror films from the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s? I dare you not to be chilled as you watch blood spilled, and limbs severed. As you contemplate the giant mutant ants in Them! or hide your face from the Tall Man in Phantasm.

That's what I plan to do. Because I'm attending the Frighten Brighton Classic Horror Film Festival. I simply can't resist horror, and I love a bargain, so eleven hours of terrifying, classic films, prizes from Diabolique Magazine, shopping with Hemlock Books, the chance to see scream queen Emily Booth (she's co-hosting the event - read her interview about Frighten Brighton here) all for only £15 for an all day pass was too good an opportunity to miss! 

Intrigued by the whole idea, and surprised that nothing like it had been done before in an area of such diverse culture and horror links (see The Horror House, check out the photos from the World Horror Convention in 2010, and, while you're at it, why not pay a visit to The Horror Hotel to make your Frighten Brighton experience complete?), I asked creator Rick (known as Cyberschizoid) what had given him the idea:

"I always felt that Brighton should have its own horror film festival and was always surprised when it didn't. Every other major city seems to have one and yet not Brighton, one of the UK's most vibrant cultural centres!

"Because I had started running Classic Horror Campaign screenings in London (and occasionally elsewhere) with the lovely Scare Sarah, a Brighton-based horror film festival seemed the next logical step. Sarah is also based in Brighton and had been thinking exactly the same thing for a while, so we just pooled our efforts and had a little brain storming session in the pub regarding the name and content. The name 'Frighten Brighton' was actually thought up by my partner, Niall, and we initially used it for a one-off Classic Horror Campaign double bill at The Komedia last summer."

So where does Rick see this going in the future? 

"If this is the success we are convinced it will be then the Frighten Brighton Horror Film Festival will become an annual event and just keep growing!"

I can't wait! I am looking forward to a fear-filled day at The Komedia (where I'll be watching Mad Love (1935), Cat People (1942), Them! (1954), Plague of Zombies (1966), and Phantasm (1979)), followed by a nervous drive home (complete with the sure and certain knowledge that something is hiding in the back seat of my car and is bound to pop up in my rearview mirror at any moment), and topped off with a sleepless, wide-eyed night, listening to the creature under the bed, not to mention the one slowly climbing the stairs... 

Just my sort of thing! 

Tickets are available here: - go on, treat yourself to a scare (or five!)!