Thursday, 31 December 2009

Basement Archive Room

It's an 8 page ebook.
Well, pdf.
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


So this is the beginning of the end.

I've put up a Christmas story at AllTheGhosts.

I have a New Years present planned.

The latest Noah and The Whale album is very good.
And Star Trek socks are even better.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

House Arrest

Lately, I have been experimenting with other blog clients, such as tumblr, which has worked out pretty well as a sort of scrapbook.
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

Fifty Odd Words No. 55

"So why don't we all just sit about staring at each other over mixed nuts and sherry, praying that the other nutters in the room will roll over and die to avoid the possibility we might have to actually talk to each other. Wouldn't that be fun? I think I might hate you and your Christmas."

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Fifty Odd Words No. 54

When he got off the bus he stopped, then dropped and picked up an empty plastic bottle. A few metres on, he did the same, as if to put it down. He didn't. He walked on.
The woman in front of me, upright and smart, frowned as she studied him.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Fifty Odd Words No. 53

I couldn't go through with it.
"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


I have a short story, Apocalypse, up on The Whistling Fire. It went live yesterday.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Fifty Odd Words No. 52

...And the clicking ticks of a clock.
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


There's a new post on my tumblr today, because I'm experimenting and using it as a way to jot down ideas in an attempt to formulate real ideas at a time when time itself is difficult to come by.

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

Fifty Odd Words No. 51

There is a building on one side, fenced off and wrapped in swaddling. Men in fluorescent suits busy themselves, back and forth, bent under the interminable rain. On the opposite side they raise up towers of steel and glass, grasping at a bitter sky and blocking out the light, casting my path into darkness.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Fifty Odd Words No. 50

Two men used the alley as a shelter from the sun.
"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

I would like to thank my cat...

Dave Wills, known as 'Loose Cannon' to some, has nominated me for a blogger award. Thanks.


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

Fifty Odd Words No. 49

Half of my muscles are ready to snap, so I sit, huddled, inside of myself.
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

Fifty Odd Words No. 48

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

Fifty Odd Words No. 47

She felt, in a way, like she had been abandoned.
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

Fifty Odd Words No. 46

He fell out of himself, collapsing through memories and landing face down in his worst thoughts.

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

Fifty Odd Words No. 45

It is a tune playing, endlessly, in my head against which I struggle to progress in the day-to-day.

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


I am going to start placing the posts that are based upon dreams here

Lost Art is a project I'm working on.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Fifty Odd Words No. 44

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

Fifty Odd Words No. 43

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

Fifty Odd Words No. 42

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

Fifty Odd Words No.41 + Berries

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.”

She sighs.

“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.”

“Probably not.”

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.”

“And then?”

“It’d be too late, the apocalypse will have happened.”

#99, One more, and to the next 100

I started this blog in August last year. This is the 99th post.

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

Fifty Odd Words No.40

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

Fifty Odd Words No.39

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

Fifty Odd Words No.38

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

Fifty Odd Words No. 37

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.

You glance away.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Snake Eyes

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.

Like smile.

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.

The papers?

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

F.O.W No. 36 and a half

Warren Ellis has infected me with some kind of horrid man flu via the internet.

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


I have this idea for a comic. It centres around the crew of a small space station sometime later this century. It'll be a meditation on isolation and how, away from the typical constraints of society, people deal with death. I've written the dialogue for the first two pages: they start off in darkness. I've started formulating the series of events and conversations between the two main characters. There'll be flashbacks of Earth, one of which I've made rough notes of in prose form.

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

Fifty Odd Words No. 36

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

Fifty Odd Words No. 35


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

Fifty Odd Words No. 34

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


I just wrote this in the last five minutes. It's a little rough.

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.

Brain Freeze

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.

“Brain freeze.”

Friday, 4 September 2009

Things that make me believe I am losing my mind

#1 I hear voices at night and they keep me up.

#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

Another dream

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

Fifty Odd Words No. 33

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

Travelling poet.

The sun is high and harsh, little shadow forms beneath the craning sides of slumped buildings.

“Excuse me.”

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 very disturbing dream I had last night

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.

Silence reigns.

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

Fifty Odd Words No. 32

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.

He grins.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

50 Odd Words No. 31

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

Fifty Odd Words No. 30

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

False Promises (A List):

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

Rent Free Ad-Space

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

Fifty Odd Words No. 29

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.

Would you?

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Fifty Odd Words No. 28

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

Fifty Odd Words No. 27

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

Fifty Odd Words No. 26

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

Fifty Odd Words No. 25

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

Fifty Odd Words No. 24

You miss a multitude of people and your love is placed on a steeple, for all to see.

You own a rough body.

Cut me a ribbon of your life, sewn out of that place full of sorrow; that town you call home.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Fifty Odd Words No. 23

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

Fifty Odd Words No. 22

Cake please.

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.

Apple Danish!


And she grins

I spoil you too much.

It grows ever wider.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Fifty Odd Words No. 21

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

Long away...

I have been gone a while, where the internet does not exist. as in: I have moved into my new flat and, unfortunately, we as yet have no internet. Hence the now endangered and rare to find blog post. It will get worse as, on the twentieth of July, I am going away for ten whole days. It is unlikely I will get access before then. Expect sporadic posts.


Do you remember all those nuns from when we were little?

Not much.

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 Vatican.

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

Do You Feel Like Yourself Again?

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.

“It tickles.”

“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.

“All done.”

“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

Fifty Odd Words No. 20

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

Fifty Odd Words No. 19

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

Fifty Odd Words No. 18

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 midnight 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

Fifty Odd Words No.17

A chin lost in serpentine scarves, eyes drifting toward the curb and hands lost deep inside her shell. Jeans, faded to grey, worn at the heel, torn at the knee. Canvas shoes, fixed with gaffa tape and stitched back in shape. Her smile speaks moments of knowledge unspoken, hidden.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Sometime Beyond Numbers

Jimmy sat miming lyrics to old songs under his breath.

I need to tell you... something.

Like what?

He clutched onto the mug with both hands and leaned back, crooning his head forward.

Go on.

He shrugged.

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?

Of course.

He took on a crooked smile, worked his body up, looked back at the mug and then back at her.

Tell me!

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

Fifty Odd Words No. 16

Wysteria gripped around the arbor. Cold night crisped the ends of my fingers; I creased them beneath my armpits, maybe I could stay warm. The scent of grass lay dormant, and my mind swam with possibilities. High above that garden, a star fell, descending into the horizon.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Fifty Odd Words No. 15

You blinked in the half light, lids shuttering like the heavy doors of a garage. Slow motion, almost. The corners of a grin lifted up to capture white teeth. A tear crashed with the force of oceans. Your hands cleared away the bad weather. I felt: something akin to a boulder, trapped sideways in my throat.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

50 moments

1. Jumping into a pool when you can't see the bottom.
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.
7. Thunderstorms.
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.
38. Daylight.
39. Moonlight.
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

Fifty Odd Words No. 14

I remember: first day of winter and lost trees grappled with a fragmented sky. She caressed a smile of midnight. Her hair veiled all else. I took back the letter, unopened; apparently she could not bear to read it. As she left I put it to my nose. Her scent clung to me like glue.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Fifty Odd Words No. 13

I slipped my head beneath the water. Silence slipped in through the gaps. A shiver ran through the memory of clear air. Light evaporated, and darkness rose up. My fingers slipped through, proppelled me forward, farther down and deeper until the silence became deafening.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Fifty Odd Words No. 12

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.

Fifty Odd Words No. 11

This belongs to yesterday.

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.

Go on.

Her fists rounded, she shut her eyes to the sky, and lept.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Fifty Odd Words No. 10

He carried it in his pocket most days, read it over when he felt down. The scratchy writing became a safety blanket, a reminder of where he came from. If he muttered the words, they would come out as a whisper, but clear; his lips moving with the rhythm of the hand that wrote them.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Fifty Odd Words No. 9


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

100 Seconds

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

Fifty Odd Words No. 8

A sort of transparency, wrought out of embarrassment, turned you pallid. For a moment I could see right through; your face became a telescope into your soul. It was like looking at difficult seas from a distance: you knew it was violent, yet the white froth and crystalline crests made you, somehow, calm.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Fifty Odd Words No. 7

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

Fifty Odd Words No. 6

There I was: top of the valley, staring down. Mist swelled about my ankles. A rolling carpet of the stuff slipped down the rock face, obscuring the path of the stream I had to follow. Off in the distance I could see you, running; red scarf trailing like blood from a knife.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Fifty Odd Words No. 5

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

Fifty Odd Words No. 4

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

Fifty Odd Words No.3

You should be flying in an aeroplane, throwing stones at mountains, trying to knock them down. In an old Sopwith Camel, I reckon; painted with rust on sunburst yellow. Your dandy hair will beat in the wind, a bit like a flag, only more violent.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Fifty Odd Words No.2

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.

It is.

Do you think you'll ever love again?

I want to, but I hope not.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Fifty odd words

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


There isn't much to imagination: a series of thoughts maybe, a flash in the pan definitely.

I think I'll travel a lot this summer. Been desperate to do something for too long now.

The Cult of Done

I write a lot of ghosts.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009


This is a transitory place, there is a sheen to the floor and a rigid, uniform comfort to the furniture. Inoffensive local radio seeps into your hearing and old songs - those ones you recognise with unmistakeable hooks - loop with rapid frequency. The extractor fan hums. Oil sizzles. The crisp sound of a newspaper page turning hiccups between loud sips. One man circles with a Biro in apparent random bursts. His face is studious and furrowed. His lips pursed and vision narrowed.

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

Things I like that Go Together No.3

[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

Precarious Love

We had been rushing to make it home before sunset. Hot showers, the first signs of spring, had brought the world to life. The branch of a bramble bush weeped over our path. With one arm, I swept it aside, out of my way. Without realising I let it flick back as she came up behind me. A tiny, tired cry came: "Ah!"

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

This Morning

Today is going to be a hot day. I can feel it in the draft about my ankles as already, even this early in the morning, the sun has started heating the air about me: forcing it up and letting the cooler air rush in. The threadbare foliage of our skinny pear tree rustles. The first, delicate blossom has appeared. The air is clean and the morning calls of birds are clear.

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

A haunting

All the ghosts of former friends haunt me still to this day.
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

And then there's a CRASH!

Of Lightning, majestic and frightening.
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


I'm going to eat cheesecake and draw.And write a short story:

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Punk Ain't Dead + Things I Like That Go Together No. 2

I'd like to come up with a good reason why, but that's not going to happen, so here's something better, because people should listen to Patti Smith more:

This also fits in with another 'Things I Like That Go Together', so I've added Tank Girl: Visions of Booga. There are a few connections here: the first being the obvious punk influence in Tank Girl and the general attitude that oozes out of it, reading it makes you want to stick it to the world in general. The second connection is that both Patti Smith and the character of Tank Girl are strong willed and impressive women, something that you don't see enough of these days (Take a look at the front cover of 'Horses' and you can't help but admire Patti Smith; there really is something in her eyes that had never been seen before). What I think is the most important connection is Beat poetry. Patti Smith brings the feel and rythm of beat poetry into her rythm and when you listen to her (especially with headphones) you can't help but become mesmerised. Visions of Booga is a lot different to other Tank Girl stories in that it is a subdued, thoughtful piece and at all times it acts as a homage to the beat generation and it's ideals. It comes out as a much more mature piece and shows that Alan C. Martin is more than just a purveyor of comical ludeness (Although, that is one of his finer arts).

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

Things that make me believe in Love

An elderly couple on the bus in matching outfits: evergreen parkas, brown slacks and white plimsolls. Smile lines mark their faces. Their hands are rough and mottled like bark, intertwined with one another as ivy would. They sit in a passive, comfortable silence: they have no reason to talk, because they have shared a lifetime of exchanges..

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

Things I Like That Go Together

One of my favourite novels - Girlfriend In A Coma by Douglas Coupland. A lot darker and far more sobering than his other books I only discovered it when browsing in my local charity bookshop. There is one part in particular, where everyone starts falling asleep for no apparent reason. A significant point is when this happens in a supermarket, which I found stark, memorable, and disturbing. Something Emily Haines pulls off in her debut album Knives Don't Have Your Back. I'm not sure if the followibg video for Doctor Blind was inspired by this - it is likely a coincidence. But still, it strikes a chord and bears a certain similarity.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

We will never turn to salt

Do you remember?
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

Lighten Up Now

This blog needs to lighten up - it has rutted itself into an awkward, melancholic place and needs to get out or else suffocate. It's like the walls have closed in around it and confined it within itself; causing a loop of irrelevant causality. A Mobius strip all unto itself. Personally, I want too see something I would enjoy reading. So a dark place is not always where I want to go. Sure, I like the dark places, but then I also revel in the light, because without the light, how would we recognise the dark? So once in a while I will make sure to bring a sliver of joy here, and maybe leave a bitter taste behind along with the sweet. We all enjoy fresh lemonade, right?
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

Donut rings. I picked up the reciever and asked: "Hello?"

I ate a whole seven of the little fuckers. It took three minutes and twelve seconds to lick all of the sugar and jam from my lips, fingers and swollen thumb.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Broken Alley

I dredged the alley for time and came up empty. So I waited - watched and, after stripping my soul bare, dived in.

I drowned myself a few moments later.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Crack Rabbit

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?”

I hesitated.

Head held in reverence, Alice floated past. She appeared to me as if underwater; the whispers of her hair shifted in open cross-currents of lost time. Buoyant with melancholy, she passed through what remained. Her smoke rose up in tendrils and became smudged out in the last of the Burgeoning heavens. Ashen trees mourned winter. A far off stack belched black blood. The clouds were going to break.

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

Lone Bird

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


An accompanying illustration to "Something Suitable For Skimming".

Monday, 5 January 2009


If this works, new background.

I saw a light...

Point and shoot and don't look where.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

City: Ripped

Here's a short comic I drew a while back. It's one of those pieces I kept fiddling with because I wasn't happy with it and then one day I suddenly looked at it and realised... well, I sort of liked it.

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.