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Gingering The World From The Inside by Anna Freeman SAMPLE

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Anna Freeman is a comic poet, creative writing lecturer, prize winner novelist and campaigner for Ginger rights. The poems here capture the comic genius that has made Anna a leading figure on the …

Anna Freeman is a comic poet, creative writing lecturer, prize winner novelist and campaigner for Ginger rights. The poems here capture the comic genius that has made Anna a leading figure on the performance poetry scene. Anna takes us into her world and with unflinching self deprecation lays open her heart. From the playground politics of My Little Pony ownership, the tortuous twists and turns of a relationship on the rocks, the thrill of a new partner and the quiet revolution of Ginger takeover, Anna's comic touch remains deft and perfectly timed. Gingering The World From The Inside is an assured debut and demonstrates that honing work in performance before committing it to the page is, in the right hands, the creative engine of brilliance.

‘Anna Freeman’s work makes me feel like I made a new friend in a warm, leaning, drunk heart-to-heart that left my cheeks sore from laughing and my neck aching from all the nodding. She twists up the awkward, the confusing and the painful, into a slick balloon animal, escaping zoos; makes me wanna spill my guts, hand her my secret side, just to see what treasures she can make from the vulnerability.’ - Buddy Wakefield

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  • 1. Gingering the Worldfrom the InsideAnna FreemanBurning Eye
  • 2. Copyright © 2013 Anna FreemanThe author asserts the moral right under the Copyright,Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author ofthis workAll rights reserved. No part of this publication may bereproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in anyform or by any means without the prior written consent of theBurning Eye Books, nor be otherwise circulated in any form ofbinding or cover other than that in which it is published andwithout a similar condition being imposed on the subsequentpurchaser.This edition published by Burning Eye Books 2013www.burningeye.co.uk@burningeyeBurning Eye Books15 West Hill, Portishead, BS20 6LGISBN 978 1 90913 610 6Printed in Scotland by Bell & Bain, Glasgow
  • 3. CONTENTS9 I Blame The Parents13 Notes On Love16 Purple Elephant18 Survival Situation20 The Peg Dolls21 Whoops24 Ambition27 Notes On Love 2 (Now Youre Gone)30 At The Birth Of My God Son32 I Hope Youre Satisfied35 Cocktail Party40 New Girl44 My Right Hand46 Power Of Thought50 And Then54 We Are Always With You
  • 4. I BLAME THE PARENTSMy dadis a shabby academic,developmental psychologist.My mumis an ex-Maoist,critical-realist activist.They’re amazingfor dinner conversations,or when you want to come out as lesbian –they are the last people you wantto buy your back-to-school wardrobe.I am six.All the other six-year-old girlshave a My Little Pony.They zoom them about the playground,even though only some of them have wings,they brush their tails.I have explained to my parentsthat you have to have oneor you aren’t in the gangand a debatehas ensued.On the one hand,insidious marketing companieswant to get their fingers into me,to turn me into a consumerlike a witch turning a prince into a toad.They want me to confuse product with personality,and probably live in a pond.On the other hand,childhood is about tribalismand rituals of acceptance,
  • 5. and even if in this instancethis takes a materialistic form,principles shouldn’t undermine the importanceof my developing a sense of belongingamongst my peers...I didn’t know I had any peers –I thought that was where we wentto play penny arcade machines in Weston-Super-Mare.It doesn’t matter;the thing about this debate is,I’m winning.I tell everyone at school,I’m getting a My Little Pony today!And they say, Which one, which one?Is it Bowtie, is it Candyfloss?It is neither.The box says,My Unicorn Friend.It doesn’t have any stars or flowers on its bum.It is stuckin the sitting position.This isn’t a proper one, I tell my mother.She says,Anna, branding is a capitalist construct.I explain this to the other six year olds,but they zoom away.It is raining.The playground is full of neat mummies,waiting to collect neat childrenunder polka dot umbrellas.Some of the mummieshave transparent plastic rain hoods that tie under the chin.7
  • 6. My mum has a carrier bag on her head.She is pleased with herself for thinking of it.She is waving at me.It is lunch time.What is that?pointing at my sandwich.Bits fall off the homemade bread when you pick it up,it’s some kind of vegan pâté the same colour as the bread.Beside this I have a juice box,with a prominent, unpeel-off-able reduced-price sticker,a handful of raisins(wrapped in Clingfilm that’s been recycled so many timesit’s turned into an opaque milky white ball of plasticand skin flakes)and natural yogurt,spooned from the big tub into a margarine tub,so that,Have you got margarine for lunch?I have to admit that, no,I have unpackaged natural yogurt,which is probably worse.Between the sandwich and the raisinsa note from my mum,hoping that I’m having a nice day.It’s a deep and confusing ache,being ashamed of someonewho puts a heart around your name.On my first day at big school,we had to have black shoes and a red tie.I had brown shoesso my mum painted them with shoe paint,8
  • 7. which unpeeled into plastic strips –bobbing black tonguesthat licked the air as I walked –and my dad bought me a hand-knitted red tiefrom a charity shop;I had a good time trying to make friends.When I got my first periodmy mum asked me if I might like to have a party.Hello?I know you already think I’m weird,but would it help if I invited you to a period party?My mum’s making a beetroot hummus.My first act of rebellionagainst my atheist, scientist, Jewish-heritage fatherwas to join a Christian youth groupand sing hymns about the house.Later I’d build an extensive collection of Nikes,bring home bags of McDonald’s,convert myself into a capitalist construct –but I couldn’t shake them from my being,I couldn’t un-know what they taught me.If I’d really wanted to rebel,I would have become a Tory banker,but I’m a part-time lecturer lesbian poet –and they’re very proudthat I made something of myself.9

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