So I met up with the Lemon Head’s minions and they were talking about the sea and the things we dump in it. All sorts of things, like giant fat balls, plastic islands and the irradiation of wildlife. We talked about Fukushima’s washed-up eels but not about seagulls with their heads stuck in those plastic beer-can holders. I’m glad. I don’t like seagulls. So I got to thinking about the stuff we abandon to the sea, to drift nation-less becoming part of Neptune’s world, in fear of his trident and Mermen.
Urban exploration has bitten me ever since I visited and snook around an abandoned mental hospital in Beelitz. Its degradation and historical value gave my guts a jiggle (it once housed Hitler – after his stint as a soldier in WW1). It felt like there should be people there but the wildlife was taking over. I half expected a wolf to come and tell me to sling my hook (they doesn’t like hoodies).
I started to do a bit of research on wildlife reclaiming its own. Artificial coral reefs started to bob up and float up including the works of James de Caires Taylor. He installs sculptures under water made of concrete and lets nature take them over. His works now look like marine human hybrids with starfishes smothering mouths, fire coral blazing out of arms, texturing and creating pock-marked art by breaking down the man-made.
I’ve started looking at naturally occurring artificial reefs – that doesn’t make sense – on shipwrecks of submarines and warships. The idea of man creating a vessel that destroys nature and then nature simultaneously destroying and eroding its structure whilst creating reefs, homes for non-irradiated eels, shelter for clown-fish in newly grown anemones, dark places for crabs.
I’m thinking my writing about the sea, which is riddled with mythology and Nordic sagas needs to start reflecting something more modern. Do sea gods get irradiated? Are they covered in barnacles? Or like Hans Christian Anderson’s Little Mermaid have they turned into bubbles because mankind has spurned them. Hermit crabs seem to be a nice little in to my next piece of poetry. If they can live in a shell of Lego maybe they can live in a shell made of human rubbish. There is something in that I’m sure – if you know anything about crab gods please tweet me @becibadgers.
– Rebecca Brookfield
Rebecca Brookfield is a writer. Graduating from English and Creative Writing at LJMU she is now active fingerer of pies. She is a member of The Wild Writers, former editor of IntheRed11 and a drunkard. Having been commended in the Avalon prize, publish in LemonLabs programs and Wild Writer pamphlets, Heroine and previous editions of IntheRed, she is now seeking any other forms of approval she can get. Readings have included slots at numerous poetry nights around the North West and support readings for Andrew McMillan and Helen Mort (short-listed for the T.S Eliot prize).
Currently under the employ of the Lemon Head, as we read, she is crying as zest is rubbed into her eyes and lemonade is funnelled into her ears. Write faster, he cries. Definitely leaning toward collaborative and cross discipline projects, she is writing and spewing her work out to musicians, puppet makers and resorting to her own haphazard DIY skills because poetry doesn’t belong on the page, it should be under your skin.