Creative Non-Fiction: 'Running with myselves: three reflections'
Written by Martin Kennedy Yates
or Running with my Myopia
There are no lines here; not really edges nor corners… only fuzzy borders where things blur and blend into other things. At this tipping-point of dark night into dull day there is only half-light and half-truth. A silhouetted satellite-dish, seen sidelong, is a silent owl on the ridge of a roof. Pointless aerials rising from chimneys are blurry pulpits for bulbous pigeons, cackling corvids, starlings crackling like something electric. A lone roofer on his scaffolding, starting early, whistles at the edge of streetlight’s gold-glow; a sure-footed blackbird calls from the guttering. A binsack in the bushes is perhaps a snuffling fox or dog. A snuffling dog or fox is in fact a binsack in the bushes. And on some of these no-longer-nights and not-yet-mornings fog will add a layer of mist and mystery, muffling the dog in the dark and muzzling its bite and its bark, hushing and somehow unhurrying the rushing of cars. A passing bike is a whisper; mere words overheard are mealy-mouthed murmurings, morphing to earworms, burrowing to dreams, borrowing meanings and never returning them, never giving them fully back as echo… only weak mutterings, dull soundings way down in the mix with other things. As Stevie Smith, might have said, but didn’t, I’ve been running all my life in the half-light without my glasses on, and not weeping, but frowning.
or Running with my Libido
This early morning sky is up for discussion: is it blue or grey? Let’s throw in silver, with which of course nothing will rhyme, to triangulate the equation. While I’m still debating, the moon – too temperamental for waiting – goes one better and seduces me with the curve of her silver sliver, winking from the silk of her celestial pillow, through the touselled black tresses of a willow stripped and weeping. Moments later, as if I might have mistook her wanton intention or misplaced my wayward confession, she undresses and winks once more in her mirror – her eye shadow glitters, flutters in the dark glass of gutter water. Now, no longer contemplating the sky’s bed linen, I am all desire – all longing and lust – for the one I remember laid beneath these cold covers and still she slumbers; her embers still smoulder. This morning is then a kind of mourning, a cold, fierce kiss. Parting, for us, is sweet sorrow; not least because we also, like Juliet and her Romeo, have no hope of waking in each other’s arms tomorrow.
This. Yes, this; just this.
or Running with my Mortality
I’m learning to love this rhyme and rhythm, this pattern of breathing in even numbers, this soft symmetry, this parallelism, this constant patter of thought and soles on tarmac, the patination of early skies and pavements, the bruise of grey yellowing and giving to silver and the bleed of gold, this rasp of breath, this ache of muscle and bone resisting self and death, this creep of cold, feel of fire kindling in body, mind and soul, the simple discipline of it and, oddly, its restfulness and the relaxation it forces when nothing else is to be done, when nothing else matters more than putting foot to floor, than planting this fragile and perhaps final step in front of the one before. Yes, each step, each breath, each beat of my heart is borrowed and the beat of my feet pounding this street sounds solid but feels incredibly hollow.
About the Author
Martin Kennedy Yates was born on Merseyside and raised in the Black Country. He is a
teacher, tutor and emerging writer who has had work in magazines including, The Rialto,
Poetry Wales, Stand, Butcher’s Dog, Anthropocene, Ink Sweat & Tears, The Storms,
Finished Creatures, The Alchemy Spoon, The Madrigal and Magma.
More information about Martin's work can be found through his X profile: @ArcCreativeArts