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.