Thursday, 31 December 2009
It's a sort of partial archive.
Basement Archive Room
Print it off, pass it along. e-mail it out to your friends.
I'd appreciate it.
There'll be more.
Saturday, 26 December 2009
Saturday, 12 December 2009
So I've created a wordpress blog. I'm thinking of moving there as it has more of a 'website' feel. If I do, then this page will become an archive, but sort of dead at the same time.
It isn't quite finished yet, but I would appreciate anybody's input or opinion on it.
Sunday, 6 December 2009
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
The woman in front of me, upright and smart, frowned as she studied him.
Sunday, 29 November 2009
"You're too weak for this."
"It's what I want."
The truth was: I was too weak.
And then you're lips against mine; all cracked and worn. A tight, pinching grip on my shoulder.
Your eyes were fluttering.
In my head I knew. Either it was ecstasy or a death throe.
Friday, 27 November 2009
Thursday, 26 November 2009
You didn't think we'd make it, but we very nearly did. It felt like a lifetime of watches had fallen through my hands, and one of them recorded that moment.
I lost the taste of your lips.
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
I've managed to lose all the nibs to my dip pen aside for one which is broken.
I'm also listening to "Who killed Amanda Palmer?" and Patti Smith. Because I can. And Amanda Palmer is awesome. And Ben Folds can produce an album. Really. Bloody. Well.
It may only be Monday, but I am looking toward Friday and half a bottle of Drambuie.
Monday, 23 November 2009
Monday, 16 November 2009
"You'd think with all this shade, the city would be cooler." The first said.
Their bodies hung low in the muted light: drab without colour.
The second thumped his foot against the dumpster. "Instead the tarmac soaks it right up. "
Thursday, 12 November 2009
As per the rules (sort of), here are some blogs I nominate for this award, some are faithful readers, some sublime writers. Good bloggers all.
Clark Blue. He hasn't been posting all that often, but when he does... This is someone who can use language.
This Is Not An Exit. My favourite commenter, and an honest blogger.
Trouble, Thinks. A self proclaimed artist, musician, photographer, poet, saint at heart, sinner in practice (from her profile). Says everything.
wagner israel cilio iii I'm not sure how to describe this blog. Read it. That's all I'll say.
Pieces of You I think the layout of this blog is great (and the content, never forget the content).
A few creative facts about myself.
- I'm originally a creator of equations. (I studied Astronomy, Space Science and Astrophysics)
- I believe in the novella.
- I draw.
- India ink on paper, is there anything better?
- My dreams often fail me.
- I prefer few words.
- Creation is the result of destruction.
Monday, 9 November 2009
A woman further up peers over. I smile, try to appear friendly. She thinks I'm nervous.
She turns away, then her eyes flick back.
The man across from me shouts to the driver: "You gotta turn right here."
Sunday, 1 November 2009
I had this dream. It was dark and I was pushing through a corn field, you know? The sort where the ears come right up to your chest and it’s like you’re wading through water. The moon lit up the leaves like ghosts.
And where did you go?
Nowhere, I was lost.
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Left to sour.
Her arm ached from his weight and her back urged to buckle. His face though: round, peaceful (perfect), slept an unending sleep.
So she waited on, wrapping the mac tighter about them as the rain pummelled on.
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
He traced a bloody path through the house of things left and turned right, but felt wrong.
The waterfall he had created ran red from the top, warping what he had forsaken.
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
It drowns out all common noise, that situational stuff kept locked up in one's subconscious.
I used to fight, but am now a disinterested shell, trapped up in this wondrous melody I can never identify.
Monday, 19 October 2009
Friday, 16 October 2009
The bare, alien bulb swings like a thief.
“We could change the date.”
Slouched in his seat, he draws on a beer.
“But is that what we want?” Comes the reply from an eclipsed corner.
A laboured sigh.
“Neither of you understand.”
A rippled silence.
“Nor will you ever.”
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
It was bears this time, in my bedroom. I had to hide beneath the covers, hide my breath and my scent.
If I wanted to live I had to become, in effect, dead.
I could not move, could not tremble - could not fear.
But then the wet snout started its way down my spine.
Sunday, 11 October 2009
I remembered then what I had meant to do.
Night was bleeding out and I couldn’t see your face.
I placed my fractured fingertips against the edge of your thigh.
It felt dry and cold, so I placed an ear against your chest and held my breath, for hope of hearing a thump.
Friday, 9 October 2009
I waited by the door most days. On that hard step, where we first met.
When it rained, I wore a coat. When the sun went out, I held my phone up to see by; a little light shining for you.
Whenever the postman came, he would ask: “Still waiting?”
And I would reply: “Always.”
Also, I found this: it looks like the berries are exploding out of her mouth, like she is mother nature.
Monday, 5 October 2009
“Where will you be?”
“At the apocalypse.”
He snorts, and rolls his head back.
She continues to look at him, unmoving; deadpan.
They dangle their legs over the concrete ledge, close to the lapping canal water. Dead scum floats beneath their feet and it smells faintly of a harbour when the tide rolls out. They watch light dancing against the blank underbelly of the bridge, carrying traffic. Around them the detritus of broken industry lies shattered; a burnt out car, rusted steel drums, puddles made iridescent with a thin veneer of oil. A halo of fast food packaging flutters in the wind. Few boats wander past. Crickets chatter.
He thinks about what it would be like, to see the world end. Would it be quick, or drawn out? Would he even have the chance to make a phone call? He lies back a moment and tries to imagine that the sun is now a searing explosion washing over his body. If it was, then he’d be dead by now. Vaporised: burned into the earth as a permanent shadow.
“With my family then, I guess.”
“I don’t think you understand. It’s not about where you want to be, but where you will be.”
“I never thought about it like that.”
“It’s not such an easy question.” She holds her hands out, palms up as though the concept were an object for him to see. Her naked feet form a Newton’s cradle. The sound of skin kissing bounces off the water and concrete. He feels, for a moment, as he did when he was a child at the local swimming pool, listening to the unreal sounds of water slapping and voices ricocheting. Chlorine burning his nostrils.
He draws his eyes down, shuttering them from the sun.
“I’d be at home then, he says: sleeping and it would all be over by the time I woke up, or rather I would never wake up because I miss important events. Always have,” he adds, quieter.
“I like that.” She pulls a loose hair from his cheek and blows it away. “Permanent sleep. I wonder if you’d carry on dreaming.”
She brushes back one side of her hair, tucking it behind an ear. She cranes her head a little. The first audible chug from a pleasure boat rolls in from around a distant meander.
“I think I’ll be in a supermarket,” she says. “And I’ll be the only one smiling. Have you ever noticed that? That people never smile in supermarkets? They all carry expressions of boredom; or else annoyance, or inconvenience. I saw this woman once, in the queue and she was worried, you know? Like something was distressing her. She had the face of a trapped animal.”
“I’ve never looked that closely.”
“Well I have. And that’s where I’ll be, with all those people and I don’t think their expressions will be any different.”
“Why do you think that?”
“Why don’t you?”
“That’s not what I was asking.”
She giggles at him and shakes her head.
“Alright then,” she says. “I think it will be because they won’t realise what’s happening to them, because the idea that they will all die and no-one will be there to remember them, will be too much to handle. They won’t be able to comprehend it, so they’ll carry on as if nothing is wrong.”
“You’re a pessimist.”
“I’m not deluding myself. There’s a difference.”
“But what if they did realise?”
“They’d laugh. Really hard.”
“It’d be too late, the apocalypse will have happened.”
Looking back, it feels a bit weird. If I knew what I'd be doing right now, I would have laughed at myself, and even felt a little shame.
Life is so ordinary, isn't it?
I hope my writing has improved. F&#@ that, I know it has. That was the point, and I have tried not to lose sight of that. At a few points I did. This time last year I stopped blogging altogether, between the start of October and mid December, and then again until January. I blamed writer's block.
There is no such thing.
I now update on a regular basis and each time, I try to push myself a little further up the hill. The funny thing about hills is, of course, that gravity wins when you're too tired. I think I understand Sisyphus a little better now.
His problem was that he was too proud. I have next to none. So I will keep writing, because I have nothing left to lose.
Over the past year I have started two novels, ditched one and now I'm diving back into the second. Maybe by next year I'll have finished it. Whatever happens, these words will feel strange by then.
Up next is a short story I thought I hadn't finished. Why should I let it waste away amongst endless tweaking?
Shed your pride, and you'll stand a little taller.
Sunday, 4 October 2009
I followed his deliberate movements across the limestone to the edge. He combed three fingers through his greying beard.
Against the noon sun his body formed a dark blot on the landscape.
He then collapsed to his knees and allowed his profile to face me, and said: Is this how you would remember my body?
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
It’s this series of dreams I’ve been having where myself, and all of my friends, have children who, rather than being the product of two people, are versions of our younger selves.
One of my friends has a website, the banner to which depicts her bare shoulders and innocent face, while beside her sits her child in quiet malevolence, with those same eyes, turned dark with intention.
The dreams are accompanied by a sense of loss and entrapment; the feeling that I can no longer attain what I had always hoped.
He was my best friend. We were sitting at the top of the stairs with his father, discussing the revelation of my fatherhood. His father left me with a glass of whiskey.
I’ll leave you two to it. And he disappeared down, to somewhere darker and deeper.
How are you feeling?
How do you think?
It’s not over yet.
It will be.
You want a beer?
He pulls one out of a box, dripping and cold.
Yeah, but I haven’t finished this. I hold up the glass.
Hurry up then.
I wince and gulp and force it down.
The mother is someone I don’t know, or half remember. She is veiled in superstition and we share contempt, left to brew.She said to my own mother, at the park while they prepared food and in front of my sister: I knew that he would be the father of my child because he is a demon.
Tuesday, 29 September 2009
On the bus, I'm sitting next to a friend. I'm not focusing on much except sitting. The voices about me sound muffled; I have forgotten that I can hear other people.
Across the aisle, and one row in front, a guy crosses himself and kisses the prints of his index and middle fingers, together, as though they are one.
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
From his bed she stole his jumper; wrapped her hands in wool and about the top of her thighs. Her legs stretched out naked and waiting, for the pale touch of light.
She sucked deep on a midnight light, and played the smoke like it were a guitar. Against the stifled room, she coughed and crimson touched her palm.
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
A guilty smile, you put on eyes that say ‘I’m sorry.’ Heavy lashes and sashayed hips, feet that dance on sand; gets stuck between your toes.
A breath on your ear.
Don’t forget your name.
Was it an accident?
Waves tug ankles.
A shake of the head.
Monday, 14 September 2009
Don’t sit on this side if you have a problem with polluted skies.
The sun splits into sharp rays over the blotted out spires of industry.
How could I? He pulls away his sunglasses.
She pours herself a cup, adds three sugars.
You used to take cream.
I used to do a lot of things.
Never around you.
He pulls out a pack of cigarettes from his jacket and offers her one. She waves it away.
You have changed.
He lights up, snorting streams of heavy smoke across the table. He is a sleeping dragon.
Can we get on with this?
He inhales again and holds his breath. His eyes reflect vermillion as they catch the dying sun.
A car on overload pulls up behind her. The top is down. Some muscle bound guy with wind swept hair, sun-blonde, is driving.
You’re acting like there’s a rush.
That’s my ride.
Fine. He sneers.
Here. He throws them onto the table. The sugar pot rattles and tips over. White grains spill out.
Don’t make this hard.
That wasn’t my intention.
She opens up the file and flips to the last page.
You need a pen?
No. She has one in her hands already.
Her hand scratches out the final line to their story. She slaps the file shut.
He stares away to his right at the late evening haze. The tarmac boils off the horizon.
It’s going to be a hot night, he says.
I’m going now.
He looks her in the eyes. She covers them with glasses and for a moment he glimpses the mirror image of himself.
She runs to the car and doesn’t look back. Her new man kisses her on the cheek and waits a moment longer than he should before pulling away. His smile is laced with arrogance. The car screams away like a bullet, throwing up a plume of orange dust.
Off in the distance, those towers belch black blood.I hate goodbyes, he mutters.
Sunday, 13 September 2009
So why does cough syrup taste like crap?
I can hear boss music from FFVII bleeding through the walls and I like it.
My Uncle came to visit and he reminded my brother about the time he went to see him in Oxford. They were in a pub with said brother's friends and my Uncle had his dog collar on (he's a priest).
He turned to one of the friends and said: "If you down that pint in one go, I'll give you a fiver."
He promptly downed the pint and grinned, holding his hand out.
"Never trust a priest."
I started writing my fifty words and then gave up.
"The door rattled to the base of its bones. The wood cracked, and splintered. I sheltered beneath quivering hands held up, begging for transubstiated bread. They bled and I wept.
Eloi, Eloi, lema sumthinorother."
Friday, 11 September 2009
And I have started to develop the characters into what I hope will feel like real people. It will be a slow burner, and it will be in black and white, and there will be no thought bubbles or captions. It will just be.
Here's a prelim sketch I did in paint (unfinished). I thought that, for one of the covers, it would work. Showing three of the astronauts waiting before launch. She looks right at you, with that serious look on her face. The main character shies away, looking up at nothing, but maybe the bright lights above him. And the third, his eyes are shut and his expression shows only serenity.
As research, I've been sifting through NASA images and sketching those I find particularly striking. It helps that I have some knowledge on the subject already.
As a side note, STS-128 is preparing for de-orbit around 2am tomorrow morning, or if the weather is poor, at 4am. This has been Discovery's last ever mission to the ISS.
Thursday, 10 September 2009
Look at her man, bitch has awesome tattoos.
There: with the Mexican Sleeves.
A dragon rides up one side, a flaming angel, ready for vengeance, up the other.
She motions forward, hair slicked down with sweat.
Oh man, you think she heard?
She’s a somnambulist; her pendulum hips swing me into a dark, dirty sleep.
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
I’m on the bus, returning from work. My body judders with each clash against the pole that I’m forced to clutch to. The engine whines against the hill slope as the sun crests over a line of tall ferns. The sky is a fading blue and the horizon a stubborn orange. I know it will fade to black.
Sunday, 6 September 2009
I’m having trouble focusing on real objects.
Are you tired?
You need new glasses?
Can I get you something?
I don’t know how I’m supposed to help you.
I didn’t ask for help.
So you want nothing.
It doesn’t matter.
Why won’t you tell me?
Because you wouldn’t understand.
Saturday, 5 September 2009
Her name was Mary and she lived in a postcard. Her brother carried her from place to place. He took her to Hawaii and he took her to Paris, before they spent one year in Timbuktu.
Her smile was cut from sunshine; her eyes reflected ocean off the Cote d’Azure.
He liked to remind her of their childhood, when on Sundays they’d go to church and they’d sing in the choir and their mother would wave from the farthest pew.
Her brother was a good man, he’d show her off to anyone who asked.
Six sailors fell in love with her and seven priests prayed for her until the day she died at eighty two.
It was the last day of summer in Warsaw, when the rain came in torrents and he dropped her in a puddle coated with an iridescent sheen.
Her hair turned to ink and her smile faded in a blink and that man cried because his sister was gone for good.
She draws on a tall fast food cup of cola, from halfway down and she doesn’t stop until she reaches the bottom, when she pushes the straw in further so that it scratches against the cheap plastic lid. Then she starts again, and her cheeks suck in as the final gurgle and burp of liquid rushes up the straw.
She pauses when she’s done, frowns, and holds her head. She winces at me in agony.
Friday, 4 September 2009
#2 The phones rings for no more than a second, and I don't recognise the number.
#3 That's it, actually. As I once I heard: once is a fluke, twice is a coincidence, thrice is a trend.
So I think I'm fine.
Wednesday, 2 September 2009
This time I alight a boat - in the full summer heat. The water reflects a jetty made from lacquered timber and all the people populating the waterfront: families and pets, babies in strollers and mothers in summer hats.
This boat feels small, and I am the only passenger. I can't see the driver, he (or she?) is piloting from down below. We set off, plunging into the lapping waves. The bow dips under the water and I feel unsteady; I am a nodding ornament on a car dashboard, rocking about with feet firmly planted.
I have a satchel, tied around my body from shoulder to thigh. The books are heavy and I realise - a moment too late - that my half read copy of 'The End of The Affair' is insecure and it falls out, dropping like a stone. Blue cover hitting blue water.
I try to perform a rescue, but I am too inadequate, unable to reach beyond this unreal body.
As I arrive over to the other side, maybe ten metres away at most, I mention to my friend, in panicked tones, the woe of my loss. He has nothing to say.
I watch the book floating, undamaged and unreachable, bobbing in the reflected light of the water. Light brighter than a bare lightbulb, and as white as blindness.
I realise that I used my Oyster card as a bookmark, and that I will have to get a new one. All I can think of is lost money.
Tuesday, 1 September 2009
Sheets billowing in the wind, on a hilltop: an idyllic view of the downs rolling away to the south. Grass grows between my toes. The wind catches my skin through a thin shirt. Exhilarating.
White cotton rises up and wraps around me, blocking out sky. It is my clean sheet, my fresh start.
Monday, 31 August 2009
The sun is high and harsh, little shadow forms beneath the craning sides of slumped buildings.
We walk on.
His chest is bare, all sinew and slick and bronzed from the sun. A hoodie hangs off his shoulder, too big for his ravished frame.
There’s a kid nearby, cradling a beat up bike. He blocks half the alley and we move into single file. Are they together?
“That man’s trying to talk to you.” He points at the only other person there.
We are forced to accept his attention.
“I'm not begging or anything; I'm a travelling poet.”
“Sorry, we can’t stay.”
“Just a few lines.”
“We have to be somewhere.”
We try not to walk faster.
“Thanks for your time.” He calls out. A thin veil of malice sits in his voice.
“He’s been there for years.”
Sunday, 30 August 2009
A shopping mall: clean, open and sterile, built from steel and glass, reflecting the sun in a prism of mirrors; constructed out of light. Dressed in white, I slip through to the exit, where mouths scream and muscles contort. The people are filthy. Violence has erupted from sleeping paranoia and open desperation. A young woman falls across my path – her eyes are shuttered, her hair hangs over pale bloodless cheeks in a death veil. Her family clutch at one another as I cross over the path of her broken body.
A shadow passes.
The final calm.
And then the true light arrives, and it blinds them all before they feel the wave of heat. Ghosts are seared into concrete as the atmosphere becomes plasma. I bathe in the warmth of the end.
Friday, 28 August 2009
He whispers against the grain of hard laughter; his speech is a knot in the pine, lacquered with unsaid thoughts.
The raucous grows.
She untwists him into serpentine stories spaced with loaded silences.
Humid breath seeps into hearing; a hair rises to attention.
Her eyes flicker in a butterfly’s death throes.
Thursday, 27 August 2009
The roughness of him against you, and the pinch of two bodies clasped together. A hand pressed against a thigh and a sigh, escaping from lips edged with wanting.
Tastes of ocean; smells like cherries and aches from a swollen heart. As spring gushes through you, your cheeks become ripe apples, and flush to a red summer sunset.
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
I know you lied.
The engine shudders, lurches and chokes. It sounds dead. The heater loses breath; our tongues are dry and tingle with a metallic tang.
You said we were not coming here.
I can feel your body pressed against mine through swollen layers.
The edge of the ocean glitters in a brief show.
I’m sorry, you say.
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
You can be whatever you want to be.
Somebody loves you.
The world is your oyster.
You will get there if you work hard.
You are unique.
You are special.
Be true to yourself, and the world will be true to you.
It does not matter what other people think.
Sticks and stones…
Sunday, 9 August 2009
I am a consumer of what I believe to be epic proportions, I know this from the multitude of plastic bags littering, no – populating my living space. Their amorphous, colour intensified forms are a carpet of consumerism, a monument; a capitalist Elysium. Rent free ad-space to all I shop with, to whom I am willing to pay for the privilege.
They crisp beneath my feet like shingle on a shallow beach.
Monday, 3 August 2009
Needles stick at me behind closed eyes. The light is too much for my quiet moments of adoration, so I refuse to squint. Death of sight is clearer than a lack of resolution. I would rather remain here forever than touch the unknown.
Sunday, 2 August 2009
We hope to die, and then fall into each other, like there is no life left except between long-held exhalations, stolen by shameful regret.
Your words are lost in amongst deafening silence - I hear the bursting beat come back.
I burn to dust.
Saturday, 1 August 2009
Shooting stars cross our hearts.
They are invisible at first: distant. And out of a deep night constructed from pinpricks in the void, the light approaches faster and harder, growing ever brighter: dazzling shrieking cascading blinding light. Virgin, unabashed. It fades to nothing.
Our emotions are amputated.
Friday, 31 July 2009
I see only one cloud: a far-off thing signalling failure. Failure to react, failure to receive. The air is thin against my throat and the dust fills my eyes with false tears. You hold on out of ignorant respect. I struggle to care, or even flinch at the onset of pain, of night. I feel cold to it anyway.
Thursday, 30 July 2009
Evanescent whispers escape your voice. Electric whispers cut from promises yearn for a home. Your breath folds into me and slips through to my heart: it crumbles.
I touch a finger to your swollen lips.
Make them words I can trust.
Monday, 20 July 2009
Tuesday, 14 July 2009
I fell to Earth without faith. Life brought sensation. I left, gripping your hand, feeling the deep lines of your palm. Your knuckles stretched through flesh. Numbness is a state simpler than pain: it is an absence, and all it can do is slip in, silent.
Departing tasted bitter.
Your company felt: saccharine.
Monday, 13 July 2009
There is none.
Her brows knitted and cheeks puffed out.
They parted and her eyes shone wide. I could make out the sky in there.
And she grins
I spoil you too much.
It grows ever wider.
Sunday, 12 July 2009
Forty five minutes, marching through rain. It turned out to be faster than the bus.
Earlier, I had been on the train, I was going to meet someone. I forgot my phone.
“This. Is an answering machine…” I busted my thumb beating up the phone box.
The blood looked too red to be mine.
Friday, 10 July 2009
Do you remember all those nuns from when we were little?
They manifested such grace. I loved their hidden smiles and how they used to slip about the school, hands clasped and heads bowed as though they were in a state of permanent prayer.
I hadn’t noticed.
I admired them.
They lived pointless lives.
But they brimmed with all that arcane and mysterious knowledge.
Within the church, yes: but that was all they knew.
I know. I mean: I understand that now. Back then I believed in their power, their secrets, passed onto them by the church – their proximity to God.
They were trophy women for the
Perhaps. I see them more as ghosts now.
A cluster of former women, held by their graces, shuffle past the window. They finger rosaries with a devout force of habit, platinum hoops flashing in the muted shades of encroaching dusk. Their lips, soft and untouched except by the word of God, exhale the heady vapours of prayer. Descended and pregnant clouds make ready to break water on their virgin heads.
Baptism of nature.
Sunday, 5 July 2009
I am back. It is the lavender: it returns all my senses to normal, via memory, or else by the punctuated burn of my nostrils. Outside, a car slips past. Voices dematerialise out of ear shot.
“Can you feel my hand?”
A butterfly flutters.
“You are still waking up.”
Angled slivers of warmth break through the blinds. I think there is a hint of movement behind there.
“Try squeezing my hand.” - “That's good.”
Birds flirt from tree-tops. More voices, low and authoritative, pass me by.
“Inform the family, if they are still interested.”
“Can you smell lavender?”
“You might feel a little jab. It will only hurt a bit.”
My nostrils burn.
“Can you smell lavender?”
“Now look up at the ceiling.”
Coal miners hunched, pointing torches down tunnels: praying for survivors.
“I can smell lavender, like there are flowers nearby”
Dead canaries can’t sing. Scented pillows?
“Nobody has come to visit in quite a long time.”
No. Well almost. Fresh, damp washing that I can bury my face in. So fresh I almost suffocate. The lavender permeates right through past my eyeballs - even there I can feel it burn.
Wednesday, 1 July 2009
Summer hangs in the room like a crucifixion, saline beads drop to the dust, leaving little grey freckles. They are the tears of my frustrated endeavours. The package would hold were it not for my exertion. It levers, some time after I began, onto the temporary platform.
I am going away now, I will be gone a while.
Monday, 29 June 2009
Eat my words. That is what I should do.
“Mind your manners.”
I have been accused of spitting them out, of letting them loose in short, sharp daggers of spite.
So what I will do is, I will swallow them – all, and wash them down with water to mask the bitter taste.
Sunday, 28 June 2009
I sorted myself out: wore a tie, even. You liked that, I think. It was a surprise. I waited all night, replacing the candles when they snuffed out. Around the letterbox clapped. A scribbled note, in your tiny writing, said:
"I'm going now. I want my money back."
I still wait up for you, most nights.
Saturday, 27 June 2009
Friday, 26 June 2009
Jimmy sat miming lyrics to old songs under his breath.
I need to tell you... something.
He clutched onto the mug with both hands and leaned back, crooning his head forward.
Well say it.
I'm not sure you would understand.
You won't know if you don't tell me.
In the way he was now sitting, and as he turned his head to focus those dark eyes, he looked like a teenager.
You sure you want to know?
He took on a crooked smile, worked his body up, looked back at the mug and then back at her.
He downed the coffee. It took longer than it should have. His Adam’s apple plummeted with each, loud, extended gulp.
Her eyes burned wide.
He snaked his face in closer to hers, slipped past and, with eyes still trained on hers, he whispered three words.
She should have slapped him.
Thursday, 25 June 2009
Wednesday, 24 June 2009
Tuesday, 23 June 2009
2. Drinking from the bottle
3. Slurping the last drops of a milkshake.
4. Seeing the horizon.
5. Seeing how sodium street lamps make everything appear brown, like mud.
6. Standing, in the midday heat, at a bus stop when there is only silence.
8. Cats fighting.
9. Stolen cars piercing through the night.
10. Oppressive dreams.
11. Eating noodles.
12. Your hands after you come out of the bath.
13. Lying under a tree and not looking up, only listening.
14. The sound of a cricket ball hitting the sweet spot.
15. Getting caught in the rain.
16. Watching someone talk, but not hearing a word.
17. Struggling to stay awake.
18. Elderly couples holding hands.
19. Sitting with no trousers on.
20. The first time I saw you cry.
21. I knew you were upset, but didn't know what to say.
22. Hiding in wardrobes.
23. Not understanding song lyrics.
24. Understanding poetry.
25. Not knowing whether to grieve.
26. Bright blues eyes reflecting in a camera flash.
27. Laughing, and burping, and then feeling a little sick.
28. Sitting on the steps in the back garden, drinking coffee.
29. Summer mornings that are cold and bright.
30. Waiting for winter sun.
31. Forgetting what to say.
32. Wondering how many stars there are.
33. Knowing you can never count them all.
34. Trying it anyway.
35. Breaking through the pain barrier.
36. Smelling brass.
37. That first, worst, crippling hangover.
40. Realising your favourite moments weren't moments at all.
41. Taking a swig of cold beer after a hard day and not caring how
42. Running out into the ocean.
43. I swam out too far once, and wasn't sure if I could make it back.
44. Watching orchards materialise out of snowy mist.
45. Hearing a twig crackle in the fire.
46. Missing out.
47. Realising I might never see you again.
48. The look in your eyes and you asked someone else to tell me.
49. Being unsure of what to say at the end.
50. Or how to say it.
Sunday, 21 June 2009
Saturday, 20 June 2009
Friday, 19 June 2009
The boy refused to look up, he studied his thumbs with an uncertain intensity. I tried calling to him again. The girl shot at me with vermillion eyes; her chin held up.
What's your problem? He doesn't want to talk to you.
I should have told her it was not a matter of want, but of need.
Fingering that cross like she was religious, chewing through a lip until it bled raw.
Are you sure you want to do this?
A nod - in her silent manner.
Go on then: step over.
Her foot trembled from the floor, a terrified thing. It drew back.
Her fists rounded, she shut her eyes to the sky, and lept.
Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Stranded daylight on our shoulders. Sunburn and freckles straddle our noses. The forest is cheeky - it tickles our nostrils. We catch our laughs in tissues.
The sun is low; I squint a little. You shutter one eye, placing hand to brow: a salute to the sun.
Monday, 15 June 2009
I had been away a short while. A time during which, I believe, I disappeared. Sunshine replaced me yet a shadow remained. At night soft steps could still be heard. Yet I was gone. My friends noticed at first. Later they forgot my absence.
Over time, I reappeared: sightings were reported outside windows and in the dark corners of rooms during large gatherings. Some say they saw me stooped, stalking through a crowd; my eyes focused on my feet.
One friend claimed he heard me call out from high above, but that when he looked up there was a single cloud, blue skies and nothing else.
One day I will turn back and realise that, for all the time I was gone, it felt as though only 100 seconds had passed.
Thursday, 11 June 2009
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
Cuddling through rubber gloves; that is my most persistent memory of her.
I have this image trapped in my head: I am looking up and the vision of her is hazy. Her eyes are dark and lazy, but smile lines are forming. Lines that remind me of warmth.
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Monday, 8 June 2009
He ran a finger through the scar - from the collar and down, across to the left pectoral muscle and to his abdomen, where the line paused. It came out pink, and smooth. He found himself surprised at how cold and numb it felt. He let his eyes close and shrugged it away.
Sunday, 7 June 2009
So, what, they don't get on?
Oh they get on fine; they don't talk.
Internal politics then.
So what's the matter?
But they don’t talk.
They must have problems.
People who do talk can have problems.
That’s not the same.
Saturday, 6 June 2009
Friday, 5 June 2009
Is it a bit like removing a toe nail and taking too much off?
Not really. More like eating chillies raw and still wanting more.
Hmm. Sounds painful.
Do you think you'll ever love again?
I want to, but I hope not.
Thursday, 4 June 2009
I realise now that what I should have done is cut my own palm – created my own fate. The truth is, I still could: it would not be hard. The flick of a razor. But then I am not sure I want to, not this far into the game.
Wednesday, 3 June 2009
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Scarlett buses lurch and roll. White vans - with their blank, identical canvasses - form a train.
Very few people sit, most are passengers in time, carried through by a need to progress.
Take the idea that life is transitory: we are passengers in time. The places we inhabit are clean, clear open spaces. Blank canvasses at all times Because we move on so much, never really staying in any one place. The current theme is to build from glass - open structures made of light. We decorate in white and magnolia: pastel shades. Borders are soft, lines undefined.
The natural order is to descend into chaos. Entropy increases.
I scribbled this down when I was in a cafe by the tube station in Turnpike Lane. I like cafes: you can sit there, drinking coffee and eating a bacon sandwich while watching everything float past. It got me thinking about transience. (Note: in my notebook, I couldn't tell if I had written 'clear' or 'clean'. But then I realised: aren't they just the same thing? So I put both in.) Also, Warren Ellis talked about this idea in his graphic novel Desolation Jones. He referred to it as Supermodernism; I have never been able to find any other reference to it.
On the subject of transience, I made this slow/rapid (I can't remember which) half formed thought while sitting on the back steps behind my house:
One of Paul Pope's essays struck a personal chord with me recently. It discussed, in the most part, Hugo Pratt's "Corto Maltese" and some of the devices he used to portray that character. At one point he flashed upon the idea that life is a transitory thing, but that we attempt to make it static and unchanging for fear of that very thing.
That resonated with me as I was stumbling, and attempting to run, with a short story weaved around that very same idea.
I've made extensive notes on that story, took a break from it, and returned to it today. It feels like it might finally be coming back together.
This will be a line in it (sort of).
"Isn't it funny how, in the English Language, the phrase 'fair weather' has a similar meaning to insubstantial? I think that says a lot about us as a people."
Monday, 18 May 2009
[clicking beer bottles together] Waaaarrrrrriiiorsss, come out to pla-ay!
This is one of the greatest cult films of the late seventies. Everything from the brooding music to the driven themes of a violent underworld add up to a dark film that isboth quotable and memorable despite the obvious low cost production.
There are at least three films that immediately spring to mind due to a shared stylistic and photographic approach: Assault on Precinct Thirteen, Escape From New York and The Thing, which are of course all John Carpenter films. The Thing manages to mainatin the same feel as the other films, even though it had a much higher budget. A good sign, then, that success does not necessarily compromise artistic merit.
Hugh Jackman owes his career to this man. Can you dig it?
I would also reccomend checking out this blog to see the portrait of Luther from The Warriors, shown at the top. Some excellent artwork.
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
I turned: her arms were held up high, woolen jumper snagged. On the bare patch of flesh, where her skirt was now torn, a discontinuous line of crimson had formed.
I tried to set her free, panic knotting my brow.
A shove and I tripped back.
With careful fingers, she picked her way free. As the first thorn came unhooked she stared at me, unforgiving. Her eyes choked gold with the embers of the dying sun. There was a hidden temper held in check by a force held inside, fickle: precarious. And as I often hoped, by love.
Though hope turns so easily to doubt.
Friday, 24 April 2009
Cotton wool, in places, washes out the pastel sky. I can't see the sun yet - I sit in the shade cast by the house overlooking the back garden that faces north. Two wood pigeons, one near and one far, mourn to one another. A car horn sounds. The muted growl of a van and the kiss of a tire dropping the curb.When I strain, I can hear a swoosh, like a knife cutting shallow water - a motorway?
I went to the effort of brewing coffee this morning, but I am clumsy at it and it has come out weak, watery and lacking that kick that opens me up in the morning. I am still dressed in pyjamas and I should shower, maybe. There is a timber yard one road over and the noise and whine of the saws have started up. They interfere with the stream of my conscious thought: as dominating as the rising sun.
Monday, 13 April 2009
They weigh down my heart and often I hope to disregard their spectres,
Still they peer over my shoulder and wake me - screaming - in the depths of night.
They are, I think, my guilt made manifest.
Or else angels: oracles of the seclusion that will define my latter years.
Thursday, 9 April 2009
She hides in the closet, shaking but quiet.
The flashes in this house come often and in bouts.
Throw shards into shadow, make fragile spectres: borrowed.
Clamp your eyes, hold down - wait.
It will pass.
Sunday, 5 April 2009
Saturday, 4 April 2009
Here's the front cover, with Ashley Wood's awesome art. The internal art is done by the very British Rufus Dayglo, who will remind many readers of Jamie Hewlett.
Wow, that was quite a long post. Meh.
Wednesday, 1 April 2009
When I get off the bus, I give them a smile and they return it with a gentle wave of joined, wrinkled hands.
Monday, 23 March 2009
Sunday, 22 March 2009
That serene day in winter?
We spent it on the beach,
Ice cream filling our mouths.
You devoured strawberry
And I stuck with mint.
Our hats kept us warm
And our scarves choked our breath.
We walked for such a while.
I decided to turn and look back.
That distant ice cream truck
Was a speck against the sky.
And seemed to me, alone.
Wednesday, 4 March 2009
This balance can be difficult to hold up, and I struggle to get that bitter-sweet, 'sad even though I'm happy' balance right.
So much so that I thought of tearing the blog down, or maybe apart, ripping open the fabric of the internet so that a black hole forms and grows to super-massive scales and consumes all. Our social lives would spiral in and we would be forced to abandon 1's and 0's and revert back to pumping our way through life using valves and tubes. The event horizon would be pure information.
What a sight. What an improbability.
It would also be the dark path.
I promise to add some sweetness soon.
Sunday, 22 February 2009
Tuesday, 10 February 2009
Thursday, 29 January 2009
I fed my rabbit crack. Addiction came soon after, and before long a real problem developed. He wouldn’t stop shaking. It was as if he had been transformed from the family pet into a living, furry vibrator. At one point my wife tried to use him as one. It was during one of our post-coital arguments and the only way I could stop her from putting on a sex show in front of the kids was by threatening to ditch her for her mother, Diane.
I can say that because I know that Diane has the hots for me. She flirts with a salacious grin whenever her daughter turns her back and I can name at least three occasions where she has attempted seduction. The Johnson’s New Year’s party, Christmas Eve 2003 and Sunday Dinner one particularly cold February. Not to say that she is outright obvious, there is a certain air of subtlety. No, it’s in her eyes. And the way she slides that secretarial skirt up her thigh to reveal her Marks and Spencers.
Anyway, the point I was trying to make is that it is very irresponsible to feed a helpless creature such as a domesticated rabbit crack. Buster (that was his name) became highly erratic, often rifling through draws in the vain attempt to get hold of more drugs. It was as though he had undergone radical personality transformation surgery. He stopped functioning: washing and eating were forgotten. He lost a dramatic amount of weight, turning into what can only be described as fur pulled loosely over a skeletal frame. Towards the end he even stopped using the kitty litter I put down. There were round balls of shit everywhere. My Dad mistook them for Maltesers and ate one. That was a mistake.
The funny thing is, that wasn’t even the last straw. We did our best to rehabilitate him. Even when stuff about the house started going missing (money, jewellery, ibuprofen). The final straw came when it turned out that this helpless creature was not at all helpless. He mugged an old lady with a kitchen knife (don’t ask me how, you wouldn’t believe the story). We sat down as a family and began crisis talks. They went far into the night. Coffee was consumed, harsh words were said, but eventually we came to a decision.
We kicked him out of the house. It sounds harsh, but there really wasn’t any other option. It had to be done, for the children and our sanity. Less than two weeks later my wife saw him in a butcher’s window, stripped of his fur and skin, hanging from a hook. She bought him, took him home and made a stew. I always suspected she was a bunny boiler.
Monday, 26 January 2009
Some time after the accident the three of us returned to our former home; that monument to entropy. Collapsed and distraught, it struggled against a charcoal sky. Beneath its shadow, where only the whistling gate remained, we stood, sentinels at the final outpost of a dead time. I turned to Lucius.
“Should we go in?”
He replied by trampling the last of the grass beneath his boots. He crunched through charred wood and brick. At the top of the steps, from the framed pillars of his funereal palace, he called to Alice and me.
“Well, are you coming in or not?”
Head held in reverence,
I followed the others, holding on to what remained of the whistling gate: it broke off in my hand. I thought of dropping it there, on the scorched earth to rust into the ages, and I should have, but I could not. Inside the guts of what was left, I propped it against a rotten wall, creating a moment of order.
Lucius threw me his flask: the insides were warm and choking.
“There is nothing left here, is there?” I asked, one last time.
Silence and musk. Alice feathered my face with hers, wrapping her arms about me. The memory of a heartbeat came back for a moment - it passed. Her chest remained in permanent pause. She pulled away. I wiped white ash from my shoulder. Back in the end days, she liked to do that for me.
Lucius muttered: “I’m off now,” and dropped through the ruined floorboards. I stared in reverie at the space he used to occupy. Alice caressed a smile of midnight at his departure.
After a time, she surgically removed the cigarette from her bloodless lips, and lit another off the embers. She said: “Me too,” and out of reality, her form faded.
She used to be my dream girl.
Monday, 19 January 2009
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
Seems like life has been keeping me pretty busy lately, despite the absence of work. This morning while rolling around in agony from the combination of a terrible hangover and a bag of undercooked, soggy chips (bleurgh!), I received a phone call from a buddy who's doing teacher training. He mentioned that a place had come up due to someone dropping out before even starting and that he thought I might be interested. Now, I thought about becoming a teacher before, but I had decided I would do it in physics and probably in September. Either that or do it in some kind of fringe science, like Astrobiology. But then fringe scientists tend to wear beards and I can't grow one. So I figured what the hell, throw caution to the wind (to use a cliche): my father was a maths teacher and his father before him. So why not me?
Plus 7 grand tax-free for the first six months.
Back to those soggy chips: yeah I made the mistake of boffing in the sink moments after putting the phone down. It took a plunger to get that stuff down.
Headed back to Canterbury to see a few friends over the weekend, with my new lap top in tow and I managed to get a fair bit of work done on a short story I'm working on whilst on the train. I miss Canterbury a lot. We partied like it was 1908 and then headed to London for Harry and max's gig in Kentish Town.
Harry also poked me in the right direction for Notes From The Underground, a freesheet with a readership of 100,000 distributed on the London Underground. Apparently they like new writers so I sent in "Something Suitable For Skimming" yesterday. Fingers crossed.
Plus: Mark updated the Noir blog so I better start working on my next post. And I had better put up the next part of The Suit.
Right now I'm listening to the lyrical genius of Emily Haines while my Ma watches a recorded episode of Doctors. My Belly is full of spaghetti.
Tuesday, 13 January 2009
Monday, 5 January 2009
Saturday, 3 January 2009
I decided to do some drawing today as a break from some writing (unemployment is great) and discovered that I had lost my brush pen, only survivng HB pencil, and my fountain pen. Not great. Not cool. Very annoying.
I hunted with my torch (thanks to a fresh pair of Duracell), to no avail.
Happy New Year.