Category Archives: The Making of Cleo Sparks

Tamsin Joanna Kennard’s blog on the making of Cleo Sparks, a character in Our Share of Tomorrow.

Tamsin Joanna Kennard builds Cleo Sparks – Part 16

Her body freezes upwards from her toes, a new ice age to kill out all the hope. She feels like she won’t ever feel again. She promises herself she must never feel again.

She can’t cry – it’s so icy all over, cold and slippery and tough, icy all over. She can’t cry and she can’t see.

The sky is pink, the air is warm and the clouds seem to dive back from the sinking sun. A flock of birds like rolling waves in a perspective so consuming – scattering across the air, sweeping the evening behind them in sheets.

She needs to be silent, she needs to let you leave her, letting your soul evaporate before she can move. So she stays still and silent.

Life has been a game, a race of who could get there first, a terrifying test of who could escape with the least pain. The only thing to do now is find the one person left who can validate her. And then she won’t need a life. She won’t need a future.

Written on Wednesday, 21st July 2010, during the making of Our Share of Tomorrow.

Tamsin Joanna Kennard builds Cleo Sparks – Part 15

On ocean’s breath, I seek to sail
Frost of winter turns hope pale
And I will trip and bleed and fail
But there will never be another love for me
There will never be another love for me

Oh mother dear, you must not cry
For on the wings of tears I’ll fly
This is my bittersweet goodbye
For there will never be another love for me
There will never be another love for me

As birds that soar through mist of day
Flocks tumbling o’er the salty spray
They soar and plunge in waters grey
And there will never be another love for me
There will never be another love for me

Written on Wednesday, 21st July 2010, during the making of Our Share of Tomorrow.

Tamsin Joanna Kennard builds Cleo Sparks – Part 14

TUESDAY, 27 OCTOBER 2009

Wind whistles through ropes, and the bells tangle with gulping breath. All words caught there. And her heart caught there too.
You can sit on the quay, and stare out at the water. You can sit on the quay and forget you are nobody’s daughter.

Cleo thinks:
I am alone
I am free

She thinks:
“Through the clouds I’ll never float
until I have a little boat
Shaped like the crescent moon.”

She read that someplace, sometime.
The past is just a pile of blank paper.
Her memories are a load of made-up stories.

Written on Tuesday, 27th October 2009, during the making of Our Share of Tomorrow.

Tamsin Joanna Kennard builds Cleo Sparks – Part 13

And

And couldn’t you have tried a bit harder?
Couldn’t you have forced out bravery
and understanding like paste from a
tube – a snake of your courage.

And couldn’t you have loved me
a bit more? Wasn’t there a spell
or a mantra, to chant me into
your affection? Imagine I’m a
kitten or a duckling – does that help?

And why did you paint me
such a rotten portrait? Couldn’t
you have given me away forever
to save this ripe hatred? The
hatred blossoming and burning
through my baby heart.
You stunted me – couldn’t you have set me free?

I breathe but it tastes like coal
And I see but it’s overexposed
And I taste but it’s all aspirin
powder and cigarettes.

Couldn’t you have left me
alone? Because I
touch but the only one that
feels is you.

You numbed me
And all I could do was watch
And all I could do was join in
And we both let me disintegrate.

Written on Wednesday, 29th July 2009, during the making of Our Share of Tomorrow.

Tamsin Joanna Kennard builds Cleo Sparks – Part 12

Cleo’s mother died last night. She took control too much. And Cleo doesn’t even know who she’s angry with anymore.

She thinks;
I am jealous you escaped
I am terrfied
I am alone
I am free
She thinks, I crave to have my mother back, my mother who was never really there at all.

There are a million ways to destroy yourself, you can burn or drown or cut or hang, you can implode, ingest, give up, throw up, jump from, bury, rip, or you can simply disappear.
If you vulture-yourself, how long before you’re eaten up?

There’s a new man now, he must love her, he must fancy her, he must want to screw her. He spoke and looked and gave her a present. Sweat beaded on his temples.
And Cleo was so wrong and sick and broken, but he didn’t seem to care.

Cleo wants a boat to sail away, or wings to fly across the sky, or a fast car to drive into the ground. She is going, going, gone.

Written on Thursday, 9th July 2009, during the making of Our Share of Tomorrow.

Tamsin Joanna Kennard builds Cleo Sparks – Part 11

Bird Guhl by Anthony and the Johnsons

I am bird girl,
I am bird girl,
I’m bird girl now.

I’ve got my heart here in my hands
I’ve got my heart, here in my hands now.
And I’ve been searching for my wings,
I’ve been searching for my wings some time.
I’m gonna be born
gonna be born into soon the sky
I’m gonna be born into soon the sky.

‘Cause I’m a bird girl
and the bird girls go to heaven,
I’m a bird girl
and the bird girls can fly,
bird girls can fly,
bird girls can fly.

Written on Wednesday, 24th June 2009, during the making of Our Share of Tomorrow.

Tamsin Joanna Kennard builds Cleo Sparks – Part 10

Cleo can feel it bubbling, this terrifying furnace underneath her skin, popping and frothing, it simmers and threatens.

She knows she’ll be leaving in a blaze of glory, an explosion, a climax of fire and drums and screams. She thinks, I am outside of this world, I am outside of you all, one day I will be flying free.

Cleo chews the inside of her lip, and thrusts out her chest and worries her teeth with her tongue. Cleo doesn’t know when to speak, or what to say, she forgets what you’re meant to do.

She thinks about her father and desires him too much, and dreams about his hands, and wants to touch his face. She thinks about her boy and his suffocating kindness, she thinks about her mother and how she seems so diluted and so weak.

They say she’s ill, her mother, they told her that she’s not well at all.
Cleo hears but doesn’t really listen, and she knows its bad but doesn’t feel the pain.
If everyone you love dies, or leaves, or disappears, who do you become? Cleo validates herself through other people, other human beings proving her existance. When there’s no one left then she can only fade away, or burn up like a phoenix.

She always chooses fire.

Written on Wednesday, 24th June 2009, during the making of Our Share of Tomorrow.

Tamsin Joanna Kennard builds Cleo Sparks – Part 9

Cleo tears some music paper from the book and scribbles, she writes and rubs and spits, clenches fists and pummels at the page. Sheet after sheet is torn to shreds until it says what she is really trying to say;

It will take a lot for me
to believe you if you ever say you love me
If you even maybe just like me a little bit
I won’t trust you for years
– I will doubt it
until you get so tired
of fighting that you leave me.
And I will be proved right.

But being right is lonely
I would rather be wrong wrong wrong
Every day of my life
if it meant you would stay
and never leave.

She writes his name on an envelope, and his address and puts two stamps on just in case and walks to the post box, red as her shame, and her hand hovers at the slot; the slot is a choice, the slot is honesty and weakness. It is freedom.
But bad people don’t get choices, bad people like her should not speak, should not cry, their breath should not be heard.
So with a lighter all is turned to ash, the ink and ghosts of music rise in flame, the words evaporate to passing thought.

She turns away, she zips her lips, and throws away the key.

Written on Friday, 12th June 2009, during the making of Our Share of Tomorrow.

Tamsin Joanna Kennard builds Cleo Sparks – Part 8

Mother

your spine is a set of piano keys,
each hollow bone tinkles
and plucks
and the tune is your heart beat
and the sky is my home.

In your mouth are teeth made
of smoke
and words false as air
that wrap me up.
they wrap and twist and turn.

on the swing in the park,
boys kiss me and
taste your bitter hertitage on
my gums, their lips burn
because of you.
i pass on the disease.

have you ever really touched me?
i cant remember now
your fingers in my hair.
did you buckle my shoe
or lick my envelopes so
i wouldnt cut my tongue?
or was that someone else?
it must have been

with you
everyday, i cut my tongue.

Written on Wednesday, 10th June 2009, during the making of Our Share of Tomorrow.

Tamsin Joanna Kennard builds Cleo Sparks – Part 8

There’s a boy on the bus. He’s not the same as the girls at school that Cleo wraps around her fingers, he doesn’t let himself get used and moulded into what Cleo wants. Cleo wants people to manipulate, but he is much too stubborn.

She learnt from her mother all the ways to control people, the way her mother controlled her, so easy to learn. But he’s too real, too sharply focused, too nice. Cleo thinks, “Inside I’m dancing”, but her feet are firmly stuck to solid ground.

Written on Tuesday, 9th June 2009, during the making of Our Share of Tomorrow.