is a silent auction
I raise my hand
on the deep of your brown eyes
falling each time
we piroet about the other
orbiting stars catching up
for the lifetime we spent apart
I cannot get closer
though each time, I try anew
to become the parts that are not me
when you are absent
my world dims as if cateracts
robbing me of clarity
out of focus
I can stand the temperature
of this betrayed land
the sorrow she buries
beneath each leaden day
If you continue to exist
grace me once or often
with the warmth of your regard
you see, I am born to live
only by your word
and when you put me out and say
make your own way now girl
I turn to filament, to pencil lead
crushed beneath the dismissal
by your gaze
waking me from loss
bringing life in your gaze
like a black cat
convinced the game
of hunter and prey
In the New Year I am going to do something drastic. I’m going to close all my social media down and take the majority of my books/work offline/out of bookstores. The work that will remain is what I’m most proud of; SMITTEN This Is What Love Looks Like (an anthology, 2019), We Will Not Be Silenced (one of 4 editors/contributors, 2018) and Pinch the Lock (Finishing Line Press, 2016).
When I began, I really believed I could contribute something valuable to the world through the medium of writing. I saw many other people trying but I did not know how many and since 2015 I have seen that there is a glut of people all self-publishing, indie publishing, small press publishing, all with the same ‘dream’ of being a legit writer. Mostly wasting hours on social media futilely. I realize 99.9 percent will never be. The only ones who can do it are those on disability, who get a cheque without needing to work, or supported by husband/wife/family or you’re a retiree. If you DO have to work for a living then it’s rare you can put in enough work to even get to the indie publishing stage.
There are exceptions. One of my real friends whom I did meet on social media works full time and is one of the hardest workers I know. She will succeed I have no doubt about it. She goes home from a hard days work and produces consistently some of the best work I’ve read online. People like her are rare. They are one in a million. Others have the talent to do it but it will depend upon if they have the time to make it happen (you know who you are) but the vast majority have neither the talent, nor the ability to make it happen.
When I began writing I thought I was a pretty good writer. When you read some of the stuff online it’s easy to see why I thought that, a lot of it is really poor quality. On the other hand you need to be either absolutely brilliant or someone who is in the know, to get a really big publisher. I am neither absolutely brilliant nor ever going to be someone who is in the know/networked up to the hilt. Even those who everyone talks about as having a ‘good publisher’ actually don’t. They just secretly vanity press pay or exaggerate how much they actually earn. To earn a living wage as a writer unless you are an editor, it’s the 1 percent of the 1 percent.
I don’t want to be an editor. It’s a thankless job and underpaid. I have qualifications and I am going to use those and return to my previous career, hard as it is, it can earn me what I will need to take care of myself in the future. Maybe no job will be different, maybe I will always be taken for granted and used but I want to do it on my own terms. I have always supported myself from the age of 18 and I always will until I cannot any longer. I have never had any help.
Lastly, most of you don’t know but I was recently diagnosed with a very serious eye-condition that means I am losing my sight. I realize I have to adjust NOW rather than when it is completely gone. I doubt I will still want to live if I go completely blind and I have decided if that day comes I will elect for euthanasia as I am not someone who wishes to live as a completely blind person. Especially as I have no family who will care for me. However, if that day doesn’t come or it gives me 20 more years, (which is unlikely) I still need to change my life to ensure my eyes do not worsen.
As some of you know I had battled a serious illness in 2017 which radically changed my life. It was caused by a virus and I am still sick with it but I have learned to live with it and am high functioning despite it not having completely gone. I believe it will one day completely go but it is a long painful battle. I thought that was enough to deal with but in addition to this my mother told me she no longer wanted me in her life ever again. She and I have had our ups and downs but naively I thought as she aged we would get closer. I have always loved her very much even though she was not in my life that much. When she told me this during my illness, effectively kicking me when I was down, it was the last straw. She knew she’d hurt me as badly as she could ever hope for. She succeeded. To protect myself I accepted what she said and have tried to get on with my life knowing she will not be part of it. It has hardened me and I am bitter about it but I will never be as cruel to someone else as that. I will never succumb to cruelty to deal with my own pain.
On a positive note, I am stronger for all of this. But having the eye sight issue on TOP of all of the above, was just too much. I do have it in me to change my life. I have decided to once more change my life. I am not going to carry around the rejection, fear and grief of her hate of me or anything else, anymore. When I began my blog/writing in 2015 I felt it was a chance to try my hand at writing. I don’t regret doing that but I see now realistically I have to move on.
If you know me, truly know me, and have my number and my address and we talk, then I am bound to call you real friend and will keep in touch. When you get sick you realize who your friends are and it is a good clarity. For those of you I call friends thank you for your friendship and I hope we keep in touch. We may not as we may no longer have anything in common but I wish you all much success.
SMITTEN will be my last personal project in the publishing world for the foreseeable future, although I have also been involved in YOU DON’T LOOK SICK and hope Indie Blu(e) recognizes me for that when it is published next year. SMITTEN is a wonderful ending to this chapter in my life. It is a testimony to the talent of women when they come together. Just because we are minorities doesn’t mean we support each other and lift each other up. I hope projects like SMITTEN help future women do JUST THAT because THAT is what is needed. We need to be good to one another! To support one another!
I want to personally thank the following whom I have met on WP for their loyalty, friendship, goodness and inspiration. I think you are incredible human beings; Mark. Eric. Derrick. Bob. Crystal. Erik. Jane. Karen. Raili, Rita. Susi. Anthony. Laurie, Tony. Nicole. Tara. Helena. Philip. Sarah. Tremaine & Monique. Thank you to Christine and Kindra for letting me work for Indie Blu(e) I really hope all the work I did helped and you succeed. Rita.
RIP Natalie Scarberry you are loved.
Thank you to anyone who read anything of mine. I appreciate you. I wish you only the best.
Candice Louisa Daquin
The hand of darkness
Swallowing me whole
Time leaves no trace
Perhaps we were never
Two souls beating in tangent
Urgency flooding veins
A build of want till
All is naught, begun again
My hand outstretched
Your mouth, oh your mouth
Red for pressing closer
Embrace loss before she damns you further
Every day hence
Your eyes in my head
The shapes of trees bending against wind
I ache within myself
For your solace and brand of hurt
Like match struck on earth we burn
Fumes and fire, the careless touched by scour
Here you left your mark my breast bone
Exposed to cold, your lips devouring skin
What colors we make unknown
As moon is echoed in deep dark water
I am restless, destroyed, parched
Without your sustaining force
The weight of your need, absorbing air
They say no one feels that long
We all give in to loss eventually
I turn in my mind to the memory
Only yesterday, only now
Slow removal of touch, still the impression
Like shadowed dream crosses from one place to another
When you are lost
The hide of us
Secreted in promises broken
Still the shards of glass glitter
I see you hold one to our throat
I see you cleanly slice us through
Division and sewn for next season
Deep in fecund earth I stay
Your taste on my lips, your smell infusing
For I am a thing of your interest
Existing when you create
The words whispered in darkness
Come here, come closer, stay
Oh stay …
Last night I scalded myself Mama and as the boiling water ran down my arm I saw you through the pain and you were smiling and everything was wrong how you are alive and yet gone, how you exist and yet don’t, how I was never right and somehow always mistaken If I don’t come […]
I used to turn down drugs with frequent kiss of teeth from 13 years old when they came in the sticky palms of acne faced kids at parties all twinkly and bold, I said I didn’t need them, my teddy and my hope were salvage enough from any monsters, what need had I of medicated […]
Many friends of mine are highly intelligent.
they talk of having to ‘hide’ their intelligence as children, to avoid scaring others
I did not fit in either, but for much different reasons
a contradiction, most who spoke to me believed me to be very bright
but the lore of the highly verbal is just that. An ability to talk circles around people
sometimes the brain is empty behind the Rocky Horror Picture Show mouth.
Unlike my very smart friends, who excelled and won prizes
and knew uncannily how to do things before being taught, even welding, and that was
unlike my first boyfriend who made all A’s whilst watching The Incredible Hulk
unlike my second boyfriend who made all A’s whilst masturbating to Farrah Fawcett
the only way I was ever on top was if I climbed, brick by brick.
I learned early on, not to compete
why would you compete if you NEVER win? If you’re always the slow poke, the last picked on a team, the one who has to ask again and again, the friend who can’t
get the gist of it and stays home reading comics.
Usually the most competitive are those who are naturally good at something and thus, recognize the taste of success
I learned slowly and badly, I couldn’t; knit, use chopsticks, play Atari well, do wheelies, skateboard or boogieboard, or vault over the box without
I had more ‘not good at that’ checked boxes than ‘excels’ and that never changed.
Some say, if you fail, keep trying, but eventually, if you fail enough sometimes you turn into
a kid who is angry for other reasons too and has found a home in building that anger into a straw man
a kid who is fed up of coming last, of repeated failures and shame in sometimes still wetting the bed
being told you are an idiot over and over again tends to sink in
so I became a rebel.
If someone said; You failed that. I would laugh. Literally take joy in it.
FUCK YOU I would shout and run to the park and drink from whatever bottle was handy or climb whatever tree was nearest
I learned, you could get more positive attention from dancing and putting your hands down boys pants than
making an effort to fail.
Part of me knew it was wrong, I didn’t like boys, so why was I spending any time with them?
They didn’t like me over much either, I was; too short, too flat chested, not enough flippin enthusiasm
Then I belonged nowhere
except under the hot lights of the dance floor, shaking out my grief or in a tree house pretending I was anyone but me
I ran so many times away from pain / I began to know the tune and hum it
in a weak moment I would return and feel-up a boy
for 3 minutes of false love
and in that wet, sticky repulsion
hate myself ever more.
sometimes even the child falling off the deep-end can see it coming
but nobody else could; they thought I was just badly behaved / didn’t ask why / didn’t try to intervene
I crashed and burned on the rocks multiple times, like a bad sky diving bird searching for her nest
wanting in one moment to excel, the next to set fire to
everything that rubbed my nose in it.
I absorbed failure like a nicotine patch
I inhaled it like cheap speed on a dirty toilet seat
when I lifted my legs to the ceiling and turned my head away
from the thrashing
the fuck you’s sounded really hollow
drugs weren’t enough to sake
my premature emptiness.
Of course, people are over-fond of
blaming the victim and saying; ‘you have choices’
which is partially true and partially bullshit, as we all know
it takes a village
or maybe just one person
to lift you to the light and when you’re 14
and saturated in pain without knife sharp enough
to exorcise darkness
it’s hard to grab on and ask someone to intervene.
When you came into my life
my first love, the one I lost everything to
including my shadows and a little cocktail sliver of self-hate
I didn’t know then, what an impact you would make
I lost my virginity in your hands and
forgot the ammonia of boys and how they’d beg
to go all the way and almost want to pay you if they had
more than a penny and dirty underwear on offer
leaving you feeling worthless and slutty and defiled and violated even if
you kissed while crossing your own legs the entire time.
In your arms I realized my own skin, the honey softness
of your touch, a new language.
You were, the girlfriend of my best friend
you loved him, you loved me (on weekends when he was away)
I was your little secret and you stripped me one by one
of all my petty rebellions
until I stood before you naked and shivering
telling me; Get your shit together, because nobody
is going to do it for you and you don’t want to be
working in High Street Stores at 40 nor do you
want to squander all your talent on
cheap cider and horny empty-eyed souls.
I laughed then, I remember it, day losing light
your face looked older, wiser, molded by shadow
I wanted to press myself to your breasts and find
that special sound you made when I delved deeper.
But you took my chin and forced me to meet your eyes
a deep blue like the bottom of my grandmother’s swimming
pool where I learned to drown
It isn’t fair, you said, it isn’t right, and it isn’t your fault
but it is your responsibility
defy them. Even if you can’t beat them, even if you can’t
ever be as good as them, defy their expectations of you
make something of yourself anyway, and for those who
things come easy, realize you are twice as strong
for matching their ease with your effort.
I admired you more than anyone I’d ever met
not just for the shape of your curls and the way you stood
short and yet louder than anyone in the room
I admired your tenacity and how you had a really dumb side
that you could laugh at and we’d sit in your friends bar
underage (me) barely old enough (you) and I could
never get enough of watching your lips move and wishing
they could be pressed against mine til eternity.
When you left me for the boyfriend you always knew you’d keep
because I was a phase in your life and you were my everything
I didn’t hate you for it. I felt the terrible absence of your
hand in mine and how life without you was colorless and
drab like someone had sucked out all the joy and left only
skeletons of memory.
But I was young, I picked myself up and tried again
the first time in years, putting aside my acting out and anger
the rebellions, resentment at having so many
impediments and not being one of the golden ones for whom
everything came naturally.
I worked so hard I ended up succeeding, but that success
never made me happy the way you hoped it would.
I still felt a fraud
I still knew, if I didn’t work twice as hard as everyone else I would never
be their equal
I knew deep down my short-comings were
who I really was and that being ordinary is never something we aspire to.
It did feel good to fight back
against things people liked to say in cruel moments
about how I would never amount to anything, how I wasn’t half
the intelligent person they’d thought I’d grow up to be
I proved them wrong.
I did not gain confidence in myself because I knew the truth
sometimes you can tap dance so fast, people start to believe
the tune you are humming, but it’s just a magic trick
and you’re as ordinary and bog-standard as
chips in newspaper and clothes on a line.
Did I want to be remarkable? Special? Unique? Gifted?
Accepting that you’re ordinary, especially when you were never told
is absolutely ego crushing
but I remembered how you laughed at yourself
and didn’t let it stop you
how you might have felt the fear and done it anyway
I took an incomplete leaf out of your book
one that I keep til this day, pressed against my bosom
remembering that people come into your life for a reason
sometimes that’s why they have to leave
for the lesson is rarely learned