Interpreting Short Stories: Miss Brill (Katherine Mansfield)

There is a certain art to solitude. One wouldn’t think it, but there is. In my years with no one else around, I can say I’m quite learnt in it. The art, yes. The art of being lonely.

The trouble with it, you see, is not the isolation itself, no. The problem is when you wake up in the morning, put your near blue feet to the carpeted floor, and walk to through the shoebox living room to the kitchen. Confronted by the dull light, and the selfsame scene, the problem is not being alone. The problem is the space that it gives for all the thoughts in your head.

You see, school children can block those thoughts out. With television, and homework and boyfriends and records and telephone calls. When there’s nothing of the like, then all those things you can easily keep pressed down in the dark edges of your mind, they come up, with snapping jaws and pinching fingers. In this way the silence can fill a space as easily and wails and shrieks.

So the days out in the sun are the days that that silence dissolves. You can make friends with the things around you in the meantime. My little fox in the box, is that to me. it’s like a seasonal baby, or a little present from the years ago. Sometimes I pretend it’s from a lover. Some man who I would have loved dearly, but who had died sailing on a great ship, or in a tram accident, or of some incurable cancer.

But my sister gave it to me, and she lives two towns away.

But there you are, the art to being lonely. The art to being lonely is filling the spaces.

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Aspects of Love (III)


On the high hill in the cold wind
On a sunless day
You brought my a bird seeking to unsay
Its vulture moments. Though I was afraid
I felt its warmth undo my startled hand.

– Ruth Miller

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Things I won’t tell my mother.

My beautiful boy
Under black sky, the stop light
You might start to cry.

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Aspects of Love (II)


Love? We should smother it
And push it up the chimney –
He said, half meaning it.
We know now what he intended
For finding love at their door
On a cold night, people – if they are wise –
Will push it up the chimney into the smoke before
It wails at them with such clenched desire
As will bring into the quiet house
The significant ecstatic loss.

-Ruth Miller

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Green things grow in the wrong places.
They unfeather in the emphasis
On noughts in the sum.
Love is no logician, hears the argument
Blandly, never to profit
By the Socratic method,
And puts forth greenness on outlandish stone.

-Ruth Miller


Aspects of Love

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Chemo Limo (Spektor)

Okay, I’m just testing the waters of the web with this one, I’ll delete it again in a while. I wrote it on my phone (god’s sakes) about two weeks ago, inspired by title. 



Crispy crispy Benjamin Franklin, yes. Makes me think of or, rather, feel the years ago. Feel that walks the way into my head through my ears. Bladed grass plants its smell in my nose. The sun sailing in like my eyes are two giant windows.

Right far into my old thoughts. I had forgotten what I wanted earlier. Two years ago? And this moment, I suppose, this moment I have what I wanted then. The big wide want that had no filling. The want was just a desire for a certain feel. And here it is, under my wall-pressed shoulder, under my eyelids. Open or closed.

Once the song is done I will regurgitate. The ending the therapy. Expelling the idea, the cancer. The moment.  And I can start it again if I like.

Glory, ha! No thank you, no thank you, no thank you.

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Fresh beginnings etc.

Hello I’m Claire.

I’m seventeen. A high school student in South Africa.

Natural at English, floundering in art and music.

I don’t have anyone to get high with.

So, internet I guess.

Please love me.

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