Poetry

•June 3, 2009 • 6 Comments

I ought to know: fraught thoughts grow taut, chemically unsorted.

Maybe I should go;  leave, cleave the corded excess of murdered words from the sordid mess of crippled phrases that crazy out my brain stem.  But t… what clichès.

Perhaps if I

Arrange, and cook a sentence,

In tiny ways,

So the gaze falls on just,

A

Few, choice words,

A shiny maze,

The moist curds,

Between the warm turds,

This pretention,

Might disguise the lack of invention?

Thought not.

Two weeks without The Internet.

•May 12, 2009 • 7 Comments

Deep inside an office block, between floors, within walls, stuffed in the offal of pipes and wires, in the parts that people never see, sits a wretch of a man. A Jonah amongst the dank dripping ducts and tubes that dribble a viscous disgust, he hunches over an antiquated keyboard muttering obscenities to himself, as prayers. Vile waves of putrid liquid lap at his ankles for attention as he skitters back and forth on an ancient office chair, the wheels squeal like long tortured souls. A red light blinks faintly beneath the layer of filth and dessicated insect cadavers that cover a cobwebbed monitor.  He brushes a lank cloying shank of hair across his greasy skull and laughs – a sickening gurgle bubbles up from his diseased lungs to escape like a high-rise gas leak. He reaches bone-white chop-stick fingers towards an wooden magenta switch marked “Internet” and clacks it to “Off”, coughing blood and mucus victoriously.

I wake.

I am in my room, floating at the ceiling. The instant I spy my body below I feel myself swimming down, sucked like food scraps down the plughole.

Shoom.

I open my eyes. All seems normal until I try to move. I cannot. I am a limbless torso, arms and legs shorn at shoulder and hip. My eyes bulge with terror like egg yolks in a hot pan, yet I cannot scream. I am mute and insensitive.

Days pass.

In my fever, I roll from my bed and face-plant the floor. I chin my way through the hair and skin and pizza droppings towards the telephone.

Days pass.

I wander between worlds, between fear and resignation, but manage to nose the word H.E.L.P into the telephone, and collapse into the irreal, a carrier bag once wafting loose now stamped flat.

Days pass.

I awake. I am in my room, this accursed cell, afoot ; stark and rigid like a storm-struck tree, sharp blackened limbs reaching frozenly, ossified finger-twigs remembering the double-click.

Flick your switch you wretch! I recognise your power… deliver me from this life-in-death!

Days pass.

I am the bumblebee that you step over, briefly shocked, on your way to work, left forgotten and robbed by the side of the road, trying to crawl, unable to find my way back to the hive.

Lives within the worlds within.

•April 26, 2009 • 9 Comments

Get it out of my brain!

The man screamed and fell to the floor clawing at his head, fingers frantically digging as if trying to prise the back off of a TV remote.

“CUT!”

“Ok, nice job Clyde, everyone break for lunch! Anyone not back here in an hour and I’ll be cracking heads myself!”

The squat director trotted off towards the catering bus as the crew fiddled, seemingly busy turning off equipment or stowing cables, but if you looked closely, they weren’t really doing anything at all. Industriously indolent.

“Well, you nailed the take Clyde… I almost believed you had a brain in there.” – the woman tapped a long finger lightly on the man’s temple playfully, but her lips were serious.

“Haw haw. Thanks sweetie-pie. Our love scene’s coming up isn’t it? That might be a little more difficult to pull off.”

“Ha. Don’t kid yourself that you need any kind of acting chops for this grubby little schlock of a ‘movie’.” She mimed the quotes, her hands two wriggling rabbits ears.

“What, you don’t dig sci-fi?”

“Sci-fi yes, lo-fi pie-in-the-sky? Definitively no.”  She had a way of stressing certain syllables in words… an ironic, private joke she seemed to have with herself. He fucking loved it.

“C’mon, sure the script’s terrible, and the director’s a talentless  straight-to-dvd homunculus, ” – she smiled at this, and he felt connected, briefly – ” but it’s realistic. ” – now she snorted – ” We’ll see all this tech within twenty years.”

“Really? Brain based computer chips and whatever?” – she was teasing him, he knew.

” Sure. Not only is technology increasing, but the rate of increase is…” – he reached for a word – “… increasing too. Look at Kirk’s communicator. We had that within twenty years. ”

” Yeah, but we’re not beaming anyone up anytime soon! Earth to Clyde!”

Clyde moved closer to her, slowly, and…

CLICK.

Dave turned the TV off. He’d seen this film before, the two actors inane wittering, the ‘will they wont they’ romance; boring. Besides, the sun was pouring a broad wave of photons through the living room window and onto the screen, a patina of light; he had barely been able see what was going on. The inactive TV stared at him now, a deformed eye, opaque with cataract.

Still, that guy in the film, Clive or whathaveyou, had been right. Technology marched relentlessly on, but gathering speed. Now it is at a jog, perhaps soon to break into a loping run. Not that long ago, Dave remembered, it had been walking languidly. He thought of the cassette tapes that now occupied a place of affectionate nostalgia with everyone of his generation: the days of taping the top 40 from the radio are long gone, that infant innocent piracy. That distinctive sound of the player mechanism clunking into gear, a time when one judged a stereo’s quality and sophistication by the creamy fluid flow of it’s ‘eject’ action. The tape, more often than occasionally, would ruck and crinkle, fold and concertina  in the cassette player, provoking a desperate lunge to ‘stop play’ and gently reel the entangled mess from the player heads. But to Dave this was a positive danger. Only yesterday he had heard a song on the radio, one that had once snapped in it’s tape recorded form and he had repaired with sellotape, and found himself expecting a break before the second chorus, a distorted backwards melange of sound like a secret missive from a Lynchian dwarf. The actual song was not as good as Dave’s remembered, altered version. Suddenly, the stark realisation of…

Smack

I palmed the book down onto the table with what I’ll describe to you as, petulance. All very clever, a book within the film etc. ad nauseam, but I just can’t be doing with it. Coincidentally, the sun is rampant outside, spraying radiation hither and thus. My windows too strain the subatomic soup and shower me with chucklesome amber light nuggets. I’d prefer that it were raining, the right to stay cosied and isolated, but as it is I am obliged to venture afuera, not least because of the constant climate complaints I’ve been venting for the past six months. Then there is the novelty value of just being able to walk around in the world without an Aesopean wind struggling to rid you of your garments… just to be able to say that you were there, once, in England, when the sun was out.

The door clicks, the latch catches.

Trotsky

•April 5, 2009 • 2 Comments

Trotsky sat forward at the table perched like a starling, one fifth of his arse contacting the chair, absently eating his own face.

His visage permanently askew, lips puckered to the left then right as if air-kissing some imagined socialite, he had the habit of chewing the inside of his cheeks. He constantly rearranged his mouth’s interior, sometimes pushing with a distracted finger to give access to fresh grazing.

I imagined that I could hear the audible pop as another chunk of matter was bitten free. How long before he breaks through? Like a Château d’If prisoner patiently nibbling the cell wall with a spoon, anticipating that first glint of moonlight and freedom.

“What’s it got to do with you?” inquired Trotsky.

“Not much.” I conceded.

Take it to the Fridge.

•March 28, 2009 • 5 Comments

A six-pack, a single malt ( make that a double ) then an assault, an attack on the fridge, was always going to be trouble.

Find me a fork, a triple pronged threat, spear me some pork and don’t forget the brie… toasted.

You see I’m roasted, and need me some eats, some savoury treats or anything else that the Fridge has hosted.

Mm, that door swings wide like a bright smile ( cos there’s a little light inside all the while).

Squeaking it open, I’m loping towards the cheese, easing my hip against the frame and freakin’ as I squeeze my palm past the mouldy tomato shame, and take aim at the brie-balm.

Successful retrieval, and I’m calm.

Now, bread bread, what was it the man said? “I knead bread like I need a holy mind read.”

Two slices will suffice, posted angrily in the toaster like bad bills forever unpaid. In five mins they’ll pop, crusty and sooty like Dolly Kincaid.

An obligatory scrape of excess carbon, on with the brie, an anticipatory salival release then dress with basil lychee and yellow pepper, oh sweet yellow pepper: the Prince of foods.

Grilled. Flavour distilled. Savour; fulfilled.

Why I don’t talk to you.

•February 21, 2009 • 15 Comments

The conversation cartwheels, the words eddy and the phrases whorl and spiral like curls of smoke from your sweet lips… it’s a language that I’m barely proficient in.

I’m always half a beat behind, half a step down the incline, crawling in pursuit of meaning, hesitant to interject from a perspective unanchored and undefined.

My reach grasps emptily at the places where you used to be… seconds ago. What do you think? How do you live? What could I possibly have to give to you?

An outstretched hand sends an air wave towards your hem, like a pattern etched in sand quickly erased by the tide: it slips by, discrete, unnoticed, sly. If you were to brake the flow of those verbs, slow the chirrups of the word-birds so that I might osmose their significance and by doing so touch your face and smell your hair and feel your grace… and understand you. If.

But I can’t reach your present; I’m lost and flailing in sentences past, forgotten in quick-bad grammar-sand. And so I withdraw; silent, distant and cynical.

If you’d ask me, I would tell you this… Maybe you’ll ask me. Maybe…

A Secondary Consideration.

•January 3, 2009 • 1 Comment

How to steer this new year?

A lone party-popper goes off in my mind’s ear… the streamers barely unfurl.

They’re adding another second this year. An arbitrary addition it would appear, and by whose permission? It is unclear whether seconds added, or seconds disappeared, would benefit ones condition or alleviate ones fear of time wasted.

For waste it I shall, this seems clear. Small beer these seconds I abuse… see, I cast them from my outspread digits as I choose… like seed among weeds. “We haven’t a second to lose!” they cried, as they lounged irrousable, be-slippered and sherried by the fire.

Borges says that perhaps we procrastinate because we know that we are immortal and, soon or late, will get around to doing everything we ought to. It doesn’t help me. I can feel the days running through my grasp, a quick-mist.

So damn you Life, take thy beak from out my heart! I will hold a daydream’s hand no longer but with my boot upon your throat, wring every last opportunity from you!

Enter 2009, and behold my countenance!