Lennie Varvarides

So Slippy

(listen to the poem, read by the author)

The body of language
Unkept, unsaved, unlearnt — those words, so slippy, I, so sloppy… mess — mess around the edge of it, the white — the great white vast open of it; of line, each one ready, waiting for the paper to get heavy —

No rest, no, no rest, no task with a tick, none, no tick, not today, none, no “done,” feeling, not today, no…not today, not here, not on my page or in my cage made of bone, just the struggle to think, to write, to connect to something…

Nothing new left, nothing new comes out, only the same, just the same, the same, same old frustration on a journey to endlessness, to circles that turn the ordinary into dull reminders of yesterday’s words, shaped in the form of a poem —

Same old poem…never satisfied with what was writ, with what there is, always needing more, the feeling never learns to be enough, never learns to be something else, never takes comfort in its form.

It is going away, going elsewhere, into a dark room made of paper, in a book, looking for a fix in someone else’s words, looking for a solution to solve the lack of imagery, the cliche of the void of it —

Everyone is a writer now, new pens, all of us now, proud pens, tall pens, ready… but nothing comes out…yoga tells us to breathe; we know how to fucking breathe, it is living that is hard…living within the movement for long enough to get the words out.

— Breathe…Relax…Breathe/Relax so that something comes, washes over this place called Mind, until a vision hits — a house — not mine — a house — old, ruined, surrounded by grass — high and dry grass, without a walkway.

— — — — — — — — Why have the Words brought us here?

Not mine — not…mine — you know, they do not belong to me …we share them — the way one shares love… or is supposed to share love and in sharing we notice something else…the air, the fresh open… air and how lost in it we are — in word-mist, blinded to it, we are.

The pen begins an exodus, the handwriting tires of its trance until the drift to somewhere new, to music I will not …dance, two left feet less gracious, more unpleasant in their jolt of foot and a mouth disfigured by the moth the frenzy to kill something smaller than myself.

So small and yet so brave, giving birth on the lace, feeding with a sense of entitlement; the same entitlement I felt when I squeezed its breath out…I wonder if it accepts death in its last moments, or fears it… If it died at the touch or felt pain.

Boneless — I accept it is a small loss, a small waste of life, unless its death can start a chain reaction? … No wonder I cannot get any real work done — everything is a distraction… the evidence — left in the shape of a hole I poke my finger through… looking for the right words to save.

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About the Author

Lennie Varvarides is a British Cypriot poet living in North London. She is the Founder and main creative of DYSPLA, a London-based art organisation focusing on creating, developing and celebrating the Neurodivergent Aesthetic, the specific style and perspective that stems from living with a neurocognitive functioning that diverges from ‘normal’. Lennie’s main thematic obsession is her Neurodivergence and how cognitive difficulties and differences inform poetry. She explores how Neurodivergence is made visible in form and if systematic patterns of thought can shape one’s personal Neurodivergent Aesthetic. Lennie’s poetic style is rhythmic with the heavy use of obscure word associations that inhabit a particular Neurodivergence at play. In 2020, Lennie received funding from The Arts Council England to focus on developing her poetic practice and to research the Neurodivergent Aesthetic within her own writing.