For this week’s ‘Opening Lines’ I’m delighted to welcome poet, entertainer, writer and all round lovely chap- Thom Seddon- to my place.
Today Thom is sharing the first 500 words from his new book – Choose Your Own Mediocre– which is a fabulous collection of both poetry and prose.
‘Choose Your Own Mediocre’ is the brand-new collection of poetry and prose from audacious up-and-comer Thom Seddon. If you love a little bit of everything, from comedic poetry to gritty prose, this could be your latest favourite read by your new favourite writer! What’s the worst that could happen, right? Anything to escape the banality of everyday life.
In this stomach-churningly exhilarating book, there are dangerous ideas at every turn! Who knows, you could get stuck in a dingy flat always full of wet washing, or have a thrilling encounter with a stranger on a train…
FIRST 500 WORDS –
Dearest, darling Destiny
if you don’t exist you have to tell me.
Last night I dreamt of kissing boys.
I dreamt that things were not the same.
I dreamt that I’d returned to Noel Street
and I was just a kid again.
Grey days when our mouths hung all open
procrastinating in bedsheets.
Pretending life’s a book to write
so all the heartache is a treat.
We slipped inside the kitchen cupboard,
we kissed behind the wooden door,
then opened our eyes at 6AM
to find that both my legs were sore.
I wish to sleep again tonight
to dream of kissing boys all day.
I no longer wish to be a kid
but wish that life were not this way.
“I’ve already told you a story,” he says, and
the twitch of his nature
takes root in the undergrowth of his tongue.
“Surely there’s nothing more I can say?”
My laugh is slippery and nervous; I hate it.
As it slides from my chapped lips, he reaches for the glass dish
to take a greedy bite from my bedtime apple slices.
My cheeks burn crimson as the fruit’s segmented flesh.
“OK, one more story,” he says, his mouth juicy, reaching
to stroke the soft heat of my peach pit chin. He gestures, like
I’m watching him strike a match in slow motion.
“One more story,” his reprise,
and he touches two fingers to my throat.
His stare reverberating, blood vessels sizzle in my head.
“Just one more,” he soothes, “but then you have to sleep.
Go back to your own bed.”
We aren’t meant to be so close to the river this late. As the sky relents, only steel blue wisps of cloud remain from a desert dry day. They move along in lackadaisical waves as we throw rocks into the twilight, listening out for the impact. My cracked soft hands are deceitful as they grapple too long in the dirt. You know I’m always rummaging for the heaviest stones. I chance a smile in your direction, show you my nails full of the earth. It’s all I ever wanted; being alone with you.
Two nights before we’d had a party and no one showed up, but afterwards my parents still had to clean. We’d consumed the spoils of war and shoplifting, until the contents of bright, loud packets dribbled and spat from our laughing gobs. Flamingo pink saliva and citrus scented sick all hit the cream living room carpet. A candyfloss haze now haunts beneath the rug, the mark a recollection of shame. With spoons full of sugar, I take my discipline.
We’ve always favoured painting with textures over pigments. We carve sculptures with words; of birds with metal beaks, and houses like jack-o’-lanterns. We suck at making jewellery out of flowers, preferring to plant poisonous root vegetables. We’ll feed them to the neighbouring children, the ones who made fun of us, just for sitting on the garden wall and venturing no closer…
You can buy Choose Your Own Mediocre now from www.bigwhiteshed.co.uk/shop
Thom Seddon is an all round creative type based in Nottingham, where he lives with his husband, their two cats, and watches far too much ‘Judge Judy’. By day he is mostly a writer working in fiction, script and poetry, and by night also works as a drag artist (the infamous Nana Arthole). He has published two collections to date, The Smart Mouthed Victim and Death is Awful for the Living, each featuring poetic content that is both social commentary and personal confession. Choose Your Own Mediocre is a collection of poetry and prose that continues in a similar vein, where Thom writes what we are probably thinking but didn’t dare to say aloud.
Follow @ArtholeThom on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook
Huge thanks to Thom for joining me today.