Scrivener is also the author of Some of Her Parts, a collection of poems and short stories.
Please give a warm welcome to Natascha Scrivener.
By Natascha Scrivener
For you the words from a salted tongue
Used to pepper pages of precious thoughts
Words shrivel from your tongue
Your eyes a glacial picture of togetherness and sanity
But behind them rots the dream of oneself
An ingénue, a writer
A naive, complicated saboteur,
You are the demon that tempts me
A child immortalised behind the fictional facade
Of a tragic alter ego – Sarah Schuster
A girl washed up on the shores of a daydream
Fastened into place with a full stop.
Words are the best thing we can give to another human being.
They know the reality of your mind.
At the end of your fingertips, the world is sublime
A place of freedom, pontillised reality and realist fiction.
It is only when you look up
That the categorical distinction between brains that know reality and brains that don’t
Comes into play
And the weather vane that points so accusingly in your direction
Takes on a much more sinister charm than before, when the mere sight of it had tortured your imagination with pleasure
For you the fruit of my thoughts
Masquerading as something divine when you want to eat them
And something detestable when you don’t.
Whatever your intentions toward them,
They will always be thoughts,
The rattle of the train next to your own leaving the station
The flicker of something in an empty room.
The creak of something unexplained at night.
You could never have the freedom of a bird,
With the weight of such glorious stories upon your shoulders
The sheer weight of your human body
Shackles you to the ground.
And now you will sit
Forever weaving tales
For the wind to lift you off of your feet.
You have published a collection of poems and short stories, a novella, a short play and a full-length novel. Given your experience with three very different writing mediums, is there one you feel most comfortable with?
I definitely feel most comfortable with poetry. While writing novels gives me more room to explore characters and gives me a greater sense of achievement, I love the absolute honesty that (I hope) my poetry conveys, and I like the rush that it comes in, as if it's bubbling over and spilling out onto the page.
In your poetry collection, Some of Her Parts, you reference popular music (glam rock and classic rock), television (The L Word) and classic literature (Virginia Woolf). Your poem "To Ziggy Stardust," for instance, is an ode to the character from David Bowie's famous 1972 album, The Rise And Fall of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. When you are writing a poem, do you consciously seek inspiration from outside sources or does it happen naturally?
I suppose it just happens naturally. To Ziggy Stardust was never written about him (not consciously anyway). It was only when I read it back that I realized what I had written and then chose the title.
As for Woolf and The L Word's Jenny Schecter, these are both people (characters) that inspire me and intrigue me. I think my writing mainly deals with people, their innermost thoughts, and also the sexual "deviants" (GLBT, transgender, transexual etc).
Your Latest publication, Le Coeur de la Mer, is a novella written from the perspectives of two young passengers aboard the Titanic. One of the young girls survives, the other does not. As a mother, was this particularly difficult for you to write?
It wasn't too bad because I wrote it in short bursts rather than spending too long thinking about it (it's not a particularly nice thing to think about for that long!)
There was just one bit that struck me, where the third class mother is tucking her children up into bed at night whilst saying the Lords Prayer just before Titanic hit the iceberg. If I'd let myself I could have burst into tears over that!
I thoroughly enjoyed writing it though, and getting to go through all of the research I'd found!
As a poet, who are your biggest influences? As a fiction writer?
For poetry: David Bowie, Tim Minchin, Dorothy Parker, Dylan Thomas, Stevie Smith (to name but a few)
For fiction, there are fewer but I feel their influences are stronger: Virginia Woolf, D H Lawrence, Sarah Waters, Joanne Harris and Peter Hedges.
What, if you don't mind sharing, is your latest project?
I'm doing a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing at the moment so alot of my time is taken up with that. But otherwise I am usually found editing, working on my novel, The Patchwork Spider, or collecting together poems for my second anthology.