Gentle and Fierce is a new book of illustrated memoir essays by Vanessa Berry. 

A Spider in my Cup/ The Cure - Lullaby 12”

In conversation I sometimes start a story by saying, 'When I was a goth...' but it's not really a past-tense state. There's a part of me that is still attracted to the shadowy side of life, and feels an accord with spiders, black cats and bats, those nocturnal animals that are emblematic of secrets.

I'm still drawn to the unnerving, nocturnal, and dream-like, all of which are bound up in The Cure's 'Lullaby', with its shuddering, tick-tock pace and whispery vocals. It describes a nightmare: being the victim of a hungry spider and how it might feel to be consumed by it. Late at night, Rage screened the dusty, cobwebby video, featuring Robert Smith as both the spider and its prey, spooking arachnophobes, stoners, and me, a teenager defying sleep. All the lights were off in the house and I watched what I told myself would be just the next video until hours went by. The tickle of a hair on the back of my neck, or the flicker of television light on the wall would make me jump.

'A Spider in my Cup' is about watching the video for 'Lullaby' and both looking towards and fearing adulthood. Then, The Cure made me hope I could make some kind of life that was part-dream, as theirs seemed to be.

Back to Album ︎︎︎