Sunday, 31 August 2014

She was watching Doctor Who whilst her family fell apart

Scribing notes in shorthand, her skinny fingers paused. They pondered the sprawling scrawl of dead letters sitting saturnine on the script. Pushing pencil lead against the paper heavily, they turned the graphite into shivers of lustrous dust. She pursed her lips and lightly blew them, sending shimmers across the page and about her desk. He'd stopped talking. She'd stopped writing. The pencil's nub found itself rolling around in the corner of her mouth. He asked her where she'd learnt to write like that. It was her first day. Her grandmother, she had answered. Her grandmother, she had said, saw secretarial work as a profession, not as a stop-gap before or between having children. His temper tempered, he loosened his tie and dropped his guard. She had seduced him with the lost art of shorthand.

Thursday, 28 August 2014


All is well for him and his, as the laughs escape their lips.
His children skip gaily around him like a maypole with their bodies wrapped in chintz.
And I sit here a muddled fool, slouching on the bench,
A drink in hand and a mouth that fills the air up with my stench

All I'm good for any more is darkening up the place.
I darken stools and corners in the pubs, and darken up the space—
Between the armchair in my living room and this god awful place,
And cast a shadow over photographs of a long forgotten face.

That's not to say that I've forgot, for clearly that's not so,
But everyone that we both knew all left us long ago.
They scurried out the gaping cracks that oh so quickly grow,
When life becomes too complex and raw emotion starts to show.

And so she was gone, and all our friends too,
The madness amidst the solitude grew.
She was alone,
the night she died;
But I'm alone,
whilst I'm alive.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Terrible Toothsome

She looked like a meth addict who had had reverse liposuction. Bits of flab wobbled grotesquely under blotchy layers of worn out skin. She was here for the usual, a slice of carrot cake and a tall cappuccino. The carrot cake, she would always tell the clerk, was part of her '5 a day', since it contained actual chunks of carrot. Nearly always she would drop an inane anecdote, such as: "my dog turns four this Tuesday"; or, "I recently rediscovered cruskits"; or, "I can't wait until my holiday next month". She punctuated the last one by bending her bulbous arms at the elbow, throwing her hands half-heartedly in the air and releasing a sound from her mouth which sounded like "yeeeyyyy". Invariably the clerk would politely push their lips some direction or other, indicating that they'd heard her, but doing their best not to engage in back and forth banter.

She would groan into a chair and spill beyond its meagre attempts at support. The unseen sticker on the underside of the chair had seen better days. It's maximum load suggestion went wholly ignored. The cake would disappear rapidly and neatly, despite its crumbly constitution. The coffee, lukewarm as it was, however was always savoured. She would sit and look at the people going by as she sipped, thinking how easy she had it. Thinking how others seemed so tortured, struggling with this or that, worried about money and family and work and stress. She couldn't remember the last time she worried. Everything left to worry about was long gone.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Watching Chanteuses By Torchlight

If pilots go to heaven, do coal miners go to hell? Do you think he thought about it down there? Do you think he touched himself in his suit and tie? Do you think being in love is a self-imposed lie? Am I simply too honest to be that guy? Should I not even try?

See what they do? They coil their end of the string so tightly round their finger, it imbalances you. Then when they decide they want more they offer you nothing but frayed ends.

Why would I want to put my lips to your lips? I already know what failure tastes like. Why would I want to put myself inside of you? I already have enough holes of my own to fill.


That warm blue sea. That warm blue sea. All that I've lost, it offers to give back to me. All that the fates have taken, it promises to give back to me. It can set me free. That warm blue sea. My warm blue sea. Why are you so inviting to me? Come creep at me. Come sweep at me. Come leap at me. I will close my eyes as you wrap your huge, loving arms around me and imagine I am under a beautiful Irish Whitebeam tree. With father, mother, sister, brother, friends and my favourite lover. I will never be alone again. Fill my heart, fill my lungs and we will forever be young.


That cold grey sea. That cold grey sea. I feel it's become a part of me. I fear it's become part of me. I fear the sea. That cold grey sea. That took my father away from me. That turned my mother away from me. That cold grey sea that swept at me. That leapt at me. That crept in me. It filled my heart and it chilled my bones. It made sure I was all...

...all alone.

The First Sprinkling Of Snow In Ireland This Winter

My imaginary girlfriend looks like Mia Wasikowska and sounds like Mia Wasikowska but I don't imagine she feels like Mia Wasikowska. She's a bossy one is my Mia. I wake up of a day and just let her tell me what to do.

"Go on Twitter. Tell me how many followers you have."


"How many? You'll have to speak up, Brennan. I can't hear you."

"None, Mia."

"None. That's right. And how many tweets have you sent?"

"Twenty-one thousand."

"Twenty-one thousand tweets and the only cunt dumb enough to listen to your shit is me. But make no mistake, I could disappear at any time. At any fucking time, buddy."

And then, as if to prove her point, she disappears for hours on end until I'm taking out my second saddest organ and staring at 15.6 inches of pixelated pussy.

"You don't have to do that," she whispers softly in my ear. "Not when you have me. Come to bed, honey."

So I get into bed and she's gone again. Still I can hear her cruel, mocking laughter ringing around my ears.

"What's the saddest fucking organ in your body, Brennan?"

"My heart."

"That's right. And don't you forget it, cunt."

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Leaving The IRA

Call me suspicious but I've always found it odd that my sister is black when I'm white and so are both our parents. My sister's got a suspicious mind as well though and that's how I know she's really my sister. She would get in from school, change into her pyjamas and climb into bed, clutching her portable radio to her chest. She said she was listening out for signs of extraterrestrial life. She said they would most likely try and make contact via the airwaves. One day I climbed into bed with her and put my arms around her.

"You shouldn't do that," she said, as I pressed myself tightly up against her.

"It feels nice, doesn't it?" I asked.

"You shouldn't do that," she repeated. She didn't move an inch though until she turned onto her other side to face me. "If I was abducted by aliens, would you come and find me?" she asked.

"Wouldn't they take you up into the sky?"

"So you wouldn't even try?"

"I'd try, I just wouldn't want you pinning all your hopes on me," I said as I tucked a loose strand of her hair behind her ear. She frowned. I frowned. "Turn off the radio. I don't want to listen to it or think about this anymore. All I know for sure is that I'd miss you if they took you away from me."

She turned off the radio and smiled sadly. Then she said it. "We can't go all the way, you might get me pregnant."

Years later, after they'd taken my sister and our daughter away from me, I crept past the thicket. Emerging from the shadows into the blinding twin stripes of bright beaming headlights, I paused uncertainly. The car approached slowly. Its window slid down as it passed. It was them and I had a decision to make.

We go so lo

And the ocean laps away at me, slowly eating away at all that I have done. Whilst a thousand miles from me, chattering voices meld into a droning fuzz. Like leaning over a cliff, below me a watery abyss, I hold on tight to him. But he lets go of my hand. And he lets me fall in.

And then he turns and walks away.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Les Aventures De Timtim

I told myself I was picking up the phone to play another hilarious prank on Timothy. Really I just wanted to remind myself what a human voice sounded like. Either way, thank God I did.

By the time the pizza delivery woman had arrived at Timothy's doorstep, he had fallen over the table and was decorating the room a dark shade of red.

It wasn't the pizza delivery woman that greeted Timothy when he finally opened his eyes again though, but rather our friend Dominic. Timothy could see Dominic's beard was wet and softer looking than usual, not from washing though as Dominic had spent the night in the hospital watching over his troubled friend.

"Why Timtim?" said Dominic softly, almost pleadingly.

Timothy cleared his throat. "I'd had enough of you guys trolling me. James is always sending pizza delivery women to my door. And sure I've fucked a few of them, but that's not the point. When you bought me a razor blade for my birthday, I thought you knew..." His voice trailed off.

"Knew what?" asked Dom confused.

"I... I can't... can't grow a beard."

Dom unfurrowed his brow and patted Timothy on the shoulder before reaching into his pocket and pulling out a Swiss Army Knife. He then proceeded to hack off his magnificent beard that he had spent years cultivating and growing. Once done, he carefully and affectionately placed the clumps of hair onto Timothy's cheeks, jaw and upper lip. By the time he had gone over to the other side of the room to lift the mirror off the wall and come back over to place it in front of Timothy, the beard had been made even wetter. But this time with tears of joy.