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A Breath She Took

by Frances Livings

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1.
A Breath She Took I savoured that little drop of ink hoping it would spread and weave dainty letters curling into loops of loving words pretty like lace doilies in symmetrical perfection I hung on to those words cupping them in my hand lightly weighing them hoping, in protection they would grow and blossom and magically unfold into cashmere coves. I jumped upon that breath she took, in between kitchen table ramblings spreading like weeds, a mile a minute I pounced like a cat – straight out of that cupboard onto that slot of discarded time swatting that tic of the clock with my claws and pulling each iron bracket bookending that second like an expander apart A slot of vacant space allowing me a cradle allowing me for once to simply speak my mind But I just lost her where was she going? always confusing I would follow – I had to pay attention into the labyrinths of her mind I simply needed Ariadne’s thread hoping for once just to understand should I slip under her skin or prop up a ladder and open her skull? But perhaps, perhaps it was me – perhaps I just didn’t understand Perhaps I was the over-sensitive one the ungrateful one the difficult one, the trouble-maker the instigator just too much imagination always simply over-reacting? So – I watched. And I watched. I watched the bread go stale on that very tablecloth a heavy clump of grains a mould-riddled monument for Demeter on her chariot holding not a sceptre but a sword in hand still hoping it was me who just didn’t understand. That I had misread her attempts to nurture perhaps. She, who is said to love us before she meets us? Frances Livings © 2011
2.
Goldfish Bowl A dish of cloudy water and he laughed at me gazing into the mud of my blue billowing sheets of claiming smiles kissing my forehead, patting my frown reaching for a strand of hair reaching for my beautiful gown – Of silver, gold and turquoise-blue in preciousness I’m clad. But one by one and two by two my scales are itching, peeling – scab dropping into a deep well falling, like copper pennies spinning, tumbling, beyond return – no wishes to follow them though Ghastly green fluorescent light leaking into my globe eyes so sore, a greyish-matt the rays of life – an artifact desolate thoughts, so none of the shore rocks scraping belly, ascend? No more. But daylight is stubborn bundled hope luring falsely cheer-leading and patronizing jeering at me through a magnifying glass that merely scorches my skin – the tide will soon be coming in The waters will clean and wash up the drowned but all I can hear is the seagulls distant voices screaming screeching and accusing me and the world me and the waves accusing! accusing! I am so tired of combing my hair. It should have been golden anyway. Oh, lips? A never blossomed English rose I am tired, I’m tired and grey and wish he would just go away I’m swimming, no, sinking, circling and drowning drowning in a gold fish bowl © Frances Livings 2008
3.
Ink on Silk 04:27
Ink on Silk I just want to say it! but not just on paper no draft in dull pencil not well composed no crossing of T’s and dotting of I’s no chicken feet scratch but into the paper – Hack! Hack! Hack, hack! Onto the page and into the paper with fierce metal fangs H’s and T’s, K’s, M’s and P’s each iron tooth a dedicated shape a hammering clamp, a set impression an instrument of precision, digging its mark, a letter, a number into your flesh, your pretty virgin paper branding, without regret without recall Like ink on silk, I want you to absorb me! staining and travelling branching out in a venography no full-stop, no halt on a page no shiny rainbow island of oil on water I want to be drank by your blotting paper entering your tissue and soaking each cell my pigment ingrained my soul in a tattoo ink on silk not ink in a well. © Frances Livings 2011

about

While sorting through material for my first full-length musical poetry, aka jazzoetry album, I came across three poems I had already recorded with some of Los Angeles finest jazz musicians. Listening back to them with fresh ears, I suddenly felt that they were thematically so different from the other pieces I was writing for the album, that I decided to release these three pieces separately.

All three poems are of autobiographical nature, which is exactly why these three pieces stood out from the other pieces, which are about other women. In these unpublished poems I have been exploring an array of unusual, often imagined stories about women from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. I have focussed on their unique struggles – but not my own. Although, maybe I did in a metaphorical and symbolical way, now thinking of them.

Please read about this album on my website: franceslivings.com/a-breath-she-took-2/

credits

released January 20, 2019

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Credits:
Artist: Frances Livings
Label: Moontraxx, 2019
Frances Livings - vocals
Matthew Cooker - cello
Nick Mancini - vibraphone

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Frances Livings Los Angeles, California

The London-born artist Frances Livings can be heard on a variety of recordings. Besides music, she has worked as a designer, has earned a PhD in art history and is the founder of the music production company Moontraxx.
Drawing from these different life experiences has made her ability to both craft and tell a story very unique.
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