Tuesday, 29 December 2015

And A Crappy New Year

As I push through life and do my best, I leave behind an awkward mess of memories I can't forget.


Merry Christmas Cunts

I'll let the wound lie open for a while. Let it weep pus and dribble whilst I smile. I've been working on this heartache ever since I was a child. They say 'autistic tendencies' and put a dossier in their file. But being put in a box was certainly never in my style. I just felt that everyone around me was mind numbingly vile. My family wrote me off as hostile. Teachers wrote me off to everyone with bile. Meanwhile, I used my charm and wiles to beguile everything I considered even slightly worthwhile. Exploited people's decency against them and then left them used atop the garbage pile. I'll punch out of life still angry, yelling fuck em all, as I walk through the pearly turnstile.


Sunday, 13 December 2015

Nanus

I created a hole for myself. Dug in. Curled up. Made myself at home. Walled myself away from all the other surface dwelling homunculi and gnomes. But eventually they found me. Exhumed me. Brushed off all my dusty bones. Crushed me into shape and forced what was left of me into selling phones.

Intumescent

I like to leave things unfinished. So my skills can't be questioned or diminished. I like to leave things undone, so the pangs of guilt can keep me feeling glum. I like to wallow in the dissatisfaction of totally controlled inaction. For the alternative path would mean my life is still crappy, but I'd have no excuses so I'd still be unhappy.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

With Thanks To Your Misery

I love the little girls that walk along the sidewalk bawling. I love the men on crutches struggling. I love the little old ladies, bent-backed, with their shopping bags overflowing. They let me fill myself with benevolent thoughts about offering them lifts in my car. It makes me feel great about myself as I drive on by.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Sinless

He sent me platitudes designed to make himself feel better. As if telling me that I'm 'amazing' and that I 'deserve so much more' somehow absolves him from all of his indiscretions. He walks away guilt free. He even feels good about himself for the effort he's gone to in letting me down lightly. I sit with my mouth open, willing my eyeballs to sink backwards into my head. I could get up and do something, but I'd rather be dead. Not because I'm depressed, but because he deserves to be erased from my head.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Getting Hie

Life drags on or flies by, until your memories are completely fried. The stories your grandparents handed down to you, the list of all the little things you've got to do, they all go down the kitchen sink, with your ability to sit and think. Everything just gets faster and harder, like I'm stuck endlessly playing Galaga, or maybe Pacman or Frogger, it just speeds up and repeats itself until game over.

Monday, 30 November 2015

Swelling

It's hard to be brave when you're just a kid and your mum's down below swelling in her grave. It takes a lot of love just to pick yourself up and dig yourself out of your self-made cave. I used to charge around our backyard with a wooden stave, believing I was living in the times of knights and knaves, busting trees and wrecking her best flower beds, I'd yell and scream and bump my head. But now I cannot bear to stray away from the patch of ground that swallowed my mum and took her away.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Swell

One of the bossy teachers with a stroppy attitude and doubtlessly a terribly unfulfilling homelife was yelling at the bad kid of the grade above. His name was Wade, a typical overgrown thug whose testosterone kicked in a few years too early and whose parents had clearly never taught him any manners, and instead exercised either too little or too much discipline upon him to the point of breaking him into the uncaring malcontent he had become. Eventually the teacher let him off with the tongue bashing and wandered off.

A swell of Chinese whispers came tearing toward us and some kids I didn't know told us how he'd called her a bitch under his breath as she walked away. We were shocked. The five of us, all six year olds, discussed it and came to the conclusion that it was our solemn duty to tell a teacher, but everyone was too scared to do so besides my best friend and I. We took it upon ourselves to be leaders and go and tell the first teacher we found. She thanked us for bringing it to her attention and made us wait outside her office whilst she brought in another teacher. 

"What do you think Wade'll do if he finds out it was us who told?" my friend asked me. 

"She won't tell on us," I said. "Besides, he should be the one worried, he said a bad word."

"Well, we didn't hear him... But I guess you're right."

Another teacher walked by with Wade in tow. Wade locked eyes with us as he padded piteously behind her.

My friend's face went pale as he was summoned inside to recount his version of events. A few agonizing minutes went by until finally he was released and we passed each other as he headed out of the room. He looked panicked. I asked what had happened so we could get our stories straight. "I told them you were the one who told me-" he managed to get out before the teacher told him to hurry off back to class. I felt woozy as I walked into the stuffy book-filled teacher's nook.

"Dominic, did you hear Wade calling Mrs Roberts a bitch?"

I looked sidewards at Wade in terror, who was, to my surprise, not looking mean, nor angry, nor even looking back at me pleadingly. Instead he was staring at his shoes in what was clearly a fit of boredom, and probably wondering what, if anything, he'd have for dinner. "Yes," I answered, I couldn't tell the truth now, so many lies depended on just this one more lie being believed. If I answered truthfully the whole series of events would start unravelling, and Wade was a dog who needed to be put down. I swore on it. The teachers looked at each other, "I know Dominic would never lie," said one. The other quickly agreed. It was my word against his, but my word was taken to be superior.

A few weeks later I was playing alone on the oval with my soccer ball. It rolled away from me and suddenly Wade was there, doing some fancy foot work and kicking it back to me. I hesitated a moment and then kicked it back to him. He kicked it back once more and soon we were playing together.

"Did you really call her a bitch?" I asked.

"Who?" he said, oblivious.

I didn't push it. He smiled at me like no one had ever played with him before. 

Friday, 27 November 2015

Burro'd Feelings

I caught my sister hanging my birthday present on my wall - it was a poster of one of my favourite musicians. "Thanks!" I said, "this is awesome!"

She smiled, "it was the least I could do for you, after letting me share your room and everything."

I loved that poster. I thought better of myself for having it. It was the first real band poster I'd owned, as opposed to the usual cut outs from the paper or fold outs from magazine pages. Soon she moved on, and all that was left from her sojourn was the memories and that poster. At least amongst all that weirdness she genuinely went out and did something nice for me. She really knew me. I let go the persistent gloom that gripped me after she gave away my SNES to her addict friend. I let go the middle of the night wake ups as she came home drunk. I let go the weird muffled sex sounds.

A few years later we were moving and I took the poster down. As I went to roll it up and place it in a cylinder I noticed some writing on the back.

"To my darling girl,
Thankyou for looking after my stuff whilst I'm away. I know you'll take great care of it.
Love always, Nathan."

The name of her ex.



Thursday, 26 November 2015

Back When Nobody Believed Me

I was young and my parents were out of town, so I was sent away to a babysitter whose son had downs. She had a daughter too, who sometimes played with me, but she was boring, as girls to five year olds can be. The daughter showed me her latest toy, a music box with a ballerina in it dancing, she was so proud of it that she was going on about it and romancing. I wandered off to the other side of the room, and then I felt a pain in my back, heard a crash and then a boom, and then the sound of a wood-on-wood crack. I looked behind and all the other kids were looking back at me, the music box was on the ground and so I picked it up to see. It was trashed, and the ballerina was very dead, it's legs were snapped off and it was missing most of it's head. The girl started screaming and pointing at me, I protested but her mother said that she knew that it was me. "My daughter wouldn't lie, besides, all the other boys said they saw you do it with their very own eyes." "But I didn't! I would never ever!" I cried.

She locked me in a bedroom and left me to sulk and sob for several hours. She demanded I confess but lies were not within my power. Eventually my dad came and picked me up, she told him how I'd destroyed the toy, and then lied to cover it all up, I promised him I didn't in the car whilst we were riding home, he said "okay" in a non-committal way because it was my word against someone fully grown. It was the first time in my life that I was blamed unjustly, and no matter what I said everyone refused to trust me.

When we arrived home my father handed me a small gift, inside was a plastic wind-up turtle that he'd bought me whilst on his previous shift. We filled the bathroom sink and watched the turtle happily paddle around, but all the splashes couldn't wash the tarnish off my hopes, for they were all already drowned.


Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Jeb's Journey 2

"Get stuffed!" I yelled at him, even though he just wanted to play. "I told you already, you're not playing, get stuffed!" Schoolyard handball was serious business in 1994. The next day I was taken out of class by the teacher. "I want to talk to you about how you treat others. Why did you tell Jeb to get stuffed?" This bitch had it in for me, she wasn't a good teacher. She was one of those teachers you could tell wasn't intelligent. When even a 9 year old can tell you aren't intelligent then there's something very wrong.

The tough kid of the class had told me once, that if you ever got taken outside by Mrs Butlin, that the secret was to cry a little. If you showed some remorse, she backed down and you got off lightly, or so he'd claimed. Unfortunately I just couldn't find the tears for Jeb, as much as I wanted my freedom. I stood there smirking uncontrollably, I couldn't help it, displays of authority made me nervous, nervousness led to laughing, laughing led to the teacher getting more frustrated and getting more angry, which led to more laughing. She assigned me hundreds of lines to write. It was her go to move. My father, the principal, had already told her off about how many lines she assigned to children, but she still continued.

I slunk back into the classroom pissed off and browbeaten. Jeb was sitting there proudly. I stared straight ahead at nothing, trying not to make eye contact. "Are you pondering what I'm pondering?" I sat still, sullen, refusing to look over. Besides, I didn't even know what pondering meant, "get stuffed" I yelled inside my mind. "I'm pondering how I can tell my dad about anything you do and how quickly he'll come here and get you in trouble." My eyes moved over and took in his shit eating grin. I fumed.

After school I waited for my dad. You could always hear him coming from a mile off by the jangle of his keys. That was my father's unique sound, It had a tinge of prestige or importance to it, like a policeman or a prison warden. I used to play with the other kids until late sometimes after school, and often would see my father around. He never left the school before 5, and I never once walked home with him, he seemed to be ever present. I found him and told him that I had left some homework behind in my desk, so he let me inside the now locked building. I scurried up the stairs to my classroom and grabbed a book. As I was walking back out, my eye caught the blackboard - it had been cleaned, but was still coated in a thin veneer of chalk dust. I put my finger on it and swiped across, leaving a barely visible line. I continued, spelling out the letters F U C K M R S B U T L I N.

The next morning I walked in when the bell rang to a scene of much commotion. Mrs Butlin was yelling at the three or four girls who always arrived at class before the bells, they did so to appear as goody two-shoes and to suck up to the teacher. "You're the only ones in here of a morning, who else could've done it?" I sat quietly and watched it all unfold. She took them outside and grilled them. I kept quiet and didn't say a word. For 21 years. Because Fuck Mrs Butlin.


Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Jimmy Jemz

I was once dragged into a chat room with a guy named James. He stuck by me for years after, like an ex-lover with an inextinguishable flame, despite the fact that during our first meeting I'd teased him and called him gay, and despite the fact that I'd immediately sent him every TISM song I'd claimed, even though he thought that they were pretty lame.

He was the first adult friend I'd made in my entire adult life, he introduced me to a magical world that was rife, with kids who would kick and then who'd fall down, girls asking for a sip of your water when you were out in the town, blokes who would bike into walls and then hit the ground, and a magical midget who turned our worlds upside down. We would stay up all night on I.M. just shooting the breeze, we'd write essays for uni and look for Scottish people to tease.

With some of our time he found a forum for writing, named himself Gay Messiah and soon he was inviting me to join him in acts of pure hilarity, we'd write stories about aardvarks or drinking our own pee, as the users critiqued our work and took us seriously. Soon our egos were inflated so suitably, that we forged out on our own expecting knocks of opportunity, but we were wrong, we wrote each other eulogies after working out that we were singing the wrong song. No one cares, and no one ever comes along, but that's okay, it only takes two to make a song, and our song is our song - a beautiful gloomy cacophonous throng, a homeless man on his death throes as he shudders along, hacking up what's left of each of his lungs, as he wipes away the spittle, he smiles, and sticks out his tongue.


Monday, 23 November 2015

It had Been So Long... Too Long

It's been over three months since you didn't email me back. I know one thing, hotmail cancels your account after 30-60 days if you don't log in. I'd like to know why, that's all. I know I'm annoying, I know I write far too much, I know I say stupid things, I know I'm a horrible person. But is that your reason? It's kind of a big thing to go straight from very friendly to blindly ignoring someone. I'd just really like to know what I did wrong. Obviously my apology wasn't good enough before. I've obviously offended you somehow, why else would you do this if not? 

I'd just like to know what I did, I guess you wont tell me, but if I knew, then I could make it up to you or at least accept it and understand. You aren't giving me the chance for either when you ignore me. Perhaps you're just too busy to reply to me, but this doesn't feel like that. You would have at least said one thing to me in three months considering I emailed/bothered you around 5 times in that period. I guess what I need to say is that deep down I'm a genuinely nice person. I may say things that sound crazy and creepy, and yeah maybe I'm insane, but I'm not unbalanced and I would never harm anyone. It seems weird that I am here trying to tell someone I'm not a psychopath, and I am not really sure why I am. I mean, I hardly know you right? So why do I care if you ignore me? Why would you care to reply? I don't really have the answers to those questions. It just seems important to me and it feels very much like I've done something wrong. I just feel really weird about the whole situation, like I've upset you in some way and that really wasn't my intention at all. 

You can ask anyone what I'm like as a person. It just seems so weird to think you're scared of me, I am so harmless, I don't drink or smoke or do drugs, I never have and never will. I'm just that boring, I prefer people to make me happy than substances, so I'm hardly hiding some mental condition that predisposes me to stalking and terrorizing people that I hardly know. If I dream about you it hardly means that I'm obsessive and weird... well I hope not anyway... I rather think that you're just a memory of mine that appears in my dreams from time to time. I don't know why it happens. I don't ask for it. I would prefer to look at it as my sub conscious admiring you than thinking of it as creepy, I never thought of it as creepy before but I guess when you think about it dreams are one of those very personal things. I guess I shouldn't have said anything, but I see that I didn't think very hard. It sounds more creepy than it is. I have lots of dreams about lots of people, they're not some kind of disturbing erotic dreams. For example, I had a dream the other night that my friend and I were visiting you and that you and her became good friends. In the dream you lived up near High Street for some reason, and then all of a sudden I had to go outside your house and fight in some war that was going on, and then I came back inside and met your dad. I mean, they're hardly creepy dreams, they're quite definitely odd, but then all dreams are pretty odd aren't they?

Like I said before, I really don't know what I'm attempting to achieve or prove here, just that I feel bad if I have upset you, or that you have the wrong idea about me. I wasn't trying to bother you by emailing you, I was just being friendly and I was truly interested in what you were doing nowadays, I had no idea you were overseas. I have a girlfriend. Even if I was single I would hope I had more class than to hit on a girl 1000 km away, by email, who is way out of my league, beautiful enough to have anyone she liked and most probably in a serious relationship. I'm insane, but I'm not retarded. I don't hit on people even if I was single, how I acted towards you earlier is just me generally, I'm playful and nearly everything I say needs to be taken as a joke. Sometimes I can't judge very well how funny something is, and things like "Hey I dreamt about you the other night", seem funny and quirky to me, but perhaps creepy and awkward to others. 

I guess I've said everything I wanted to. I just hope that this helps you see that I'm not a creep, and if I offended you, I'm totally in the dark about what I said, but I apologize totally and I'm sure it's just a misinterpretation because I'm so terrible at expressing myself. So anyway, I'm sorry again, but this time I hope you can see that its a serious attempt at an apology. I really did like hearing from you, like I told you earlier I'm doing a literature major and I found the way you wrote very interesting and think you're quite funny. I like you, but I have to disappoint you because I'm not a crazed stalker obsessed with you and dreaming of you every night and plotting how to track you. I'm too lazy to even walk downstairs and get a drink, let alone stalk someone. So can we start again, or is it impossible and pointless now?

It was impossible and pointless.


Sunday, 22 November 2015

Victor 2

Victor and I talked a while and I wondered why we hadn't really talked before. Well, I knew why we hadn't talked before, but he had me wondering about my own self and how poorly my exclusion of him reflected on my character. He seemed okay at this moment anyway, and he offered to show me a great place where we could find some really big ants.

I went along with him, to a corner of the playground that kids rarely frequented. A secret place which he no doubt stumbled upon in his efforts to avoid being bullied. Here an ant mound clung to the side of the concrete retaining wall. He took a single blade of grass and stuck it in one of the tiny holes and tickled it around. Soon some long yellow ants were scurrying around, and even sooner we had a plastic bag full of them. We spent a good half hour there catching a bag of these giant ants. His elder brother showed up looking for him. His brother was weird too, the weird kid of his own class no doubt.

"Hey, goodbye, good luck in your new town," his brother said to me. He knew me with no introduction and was awfully polite. "Thanks," I said. I didn't know anything about him to use for small talk. "I'm not really looking forward to it, all my friends are here. This is my home." I let the conversation die off.

He watched what we were doing a while and asked us if we were going to release the ants. We hadn't thought about it, but "no" we answered in unison.

He snatched the bag off Victor and threw it to the ground. He brought his shoe down on the bag repeatedly until there was not a single ant left moving. "There," he said, "it's better they die like this than die slowly where they don't belong."

That was the last I saw of my school, or of either of them, and so I proceeded to die slowly where I didn't belong.


Saturday, 21 November 2015

Victor

It was the yearly break-up at school. The final day before a two month stint of sweltering hot days and trying our best to think up new and unusual ways to annoy our parents. It was just like any year for most - they'd be back next year with a new teacher, the classroom just next door to this one, with the same school bells and the same old playground. Not for me though, I was moving on.

The teacher suggested people come up in turns to sign my year book - something for me to remember everyone by. One by one they went to sign it, and eventually it came to the class nerd. I slipped in, whispered to the last person to sign it to not tell Victor the nerd, that it was his turn. We sniggered behind his back "who'd want to remember Victor anyway?"

Later on, when the 3PM bell rung, everyone was desperate to get out - they'd been waiting all year for this very moment. The teacher called out "don't forget to say goodbye to Dominic!"

But only Victor did. The rest had all disappeared.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Touchstone

"I hate going there, you know, what with all those old funny women."

"It's fine. I'll just go alone. Like basically every time."

"God you make me feel so guilty, but they're just so miserable about everything - they make me feel so fucking uncomfortable."

"I said, it's fine."

"It's like they're desperately sad about having old saggy tits and a cervix that's drooped so far it's peeping out their snatch like a hungry mussel. It's not my fault is it? They're always huffing cigarettes and being comfortable about being overweight. What kind of example is that for our child? I just want to spend a weekend in peace where I don't have to make polite and I can make a dinner I actually want to eat."

"How about this then, I go out, I attend this barbecue for a few hours, you stay here and make whatever food you want in the world, sit down, eat it slowly and enjoy each bite, heck - watch an episode of your favourite season of Dexter or whatever, and when I get back, we file for divorce."

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Little Dommy's Rehab

There are things no family talks about, there are things they never say, like the time when my sister came home to permanently stay. It was after four or five years of university that she had been away, so there was really no chance at that point that she'd be coming home again. So she was snuck in under the guise of some accumulated strains and the excuse of having to paint the house an orangey-champagne.

We were sharing the same room together, which we'd never done before, not simply because now we were fairly poor, but because there were exchange students in her old room, bunking like a dorm. A week or two prior she had come home to confess. I lay on my bed listening to my parents voices meter out their ever increasing stress. My sister came into my room then, and beside me she lay down. "We're not going to die or anything, you know?" "I know," I said, from behind a worried frown. But I didn't know shit. I was sixteen and my world-view was limited to teenage misery and tits. I waited for her to leave so I could pretend it never happened. somehow she'd gone from hero to zero in front of me and the whole thing left me feeling flattened.

A few weeks later I found a notebook on the floor, in it there were details of several drug fuelled scores. Of overdoses, near deaths, and waking up in houses that were foreign, of a life that was so awash with narcotics it was sodden. She brought home men at night and I would pretend I was still asleep, so then I'd hear things like "put your hand on my cock" and "is it in too deep?" My mother rang the school to tell them why I might be disaffected, but the reality of it all was that I was basically unaffected. By that age the rot had already set in from all the other shit I'd been subjected, all the times I was bullied and rejected, I was long since disconnected, and wallowing on the floor in the dark feeling dejected, I reached out to the internet and wrote in the reflective.


Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Doing The Primo Salami Dance

"Watch out for those bugs, them ones suck your nerves!" He was older than me, six or seven perhaps, so he was bound to be right. I screamed and hit my wrist and rolled into a heap on the ground. "That was close. My names Hugh, what's yours?" "Dom." He didn't say anything else, but I followed him around for a bit anyway, from the gate beside what I presumed was his house into the old school yard nearby. It was a weekend so there wasn't any kids around. I followed him until he turned a corner and shimmied up a drain pipe two storeys onto the roof. That was the last I ever saw of Hugh.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

A Tall Ordure

Two boys had run up to us at lunch, excited and sweaty, they were full to the back of their throats with a story they were desperate to leak. It came tumbling out their mouths a jumbled mess:

"Did you... Did you hear-"

"The toilets?" the second one interjected.

"The turd?" said the first gasping for breath. They were both snickering. We indicated our innocence and they continued. "The biggest turd you've ever, ever seen-"

"Bigger!" said the second.

From what we managed to piece together, before they ran off in search of someone new, was that a mystery person had done a massive poo on the top of a closed toilet lid and left it festering in the boys bathroom. A steady stream of school boys could be seen entering and exiting the toilet block to marvel at its glory. We never made it. An all school assembly was called not five minutes later.

The principal mounted the podium, looking a mix of both wildly annoyed and bewildered, he began:

"It has come to my attention that a sick individual has made a mess inside the boy's bathroom."
A few stifled snorts rang out from within the audience.
"This is no laughing matter, the groundsman is in there right now and he has to clean it up."
A Mexican wave of giggles began rippling throughout the audience.
"No one will be leaving here until the culprit is found."
A collective sharp intake of breath replaced the giggles.
"Actually, that's not true, I've changed my mind. All the girls may leave."
The girls began leaving as I raged against the injustice of it all.
"Obviously this couldn't have been done by a girl," he muttered.
I stared at a poster on the auditorium wall whilst I waited for the pooper to come forward.

Of course they never did.


Monday, 16 November 2015

The Cycle

You're at least two days behind, and you're going completely out of your mind, so you decide to ride your bicycle just to unwind. But the world is pretty unkind, especially when you are legally blind, by macular degeneration the WHO says is caused by eating too much bacon rind. You feel doomed as you speed down that decline, and the wall and your bike perfectly aligns. But not as doomed as all of mankind, trapped forever on this rock we've all been confined. At least for a second I will fly.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

The World Already Slipped Out Of Your Grasp

And now you're ticking things off just counting down time. Over the tipping point rolling down the decline. There's no more experiences new and sublime, just let it wash over, lay back, be supine.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

No Reason Apart From I Love You

She had hitched a ride in the back of our car. The journey was long, and the towns were flung far. When we made our lunch stop at a small town KFC, I decided what I wanted but she said "hold on, this one's on me." She didn't have much money so on a family meal we supped, four people, one fat, on a two person cup. We shared and we split, and I pretended to smile, but I thought 'What the fuck? This is fucked!' all the while.


Friday, 13 November 2015

To The Calaboose Aboard The Spruce Moose

It was a normal morning for a normal man. It consisted of a slow drift back and forth between sleep and the aggravation of waking, for those few precious moments after the alarm was snoozed. It was followed by toast, buttered all the way to the crust. It ended with him watching the morning infotainment news for a few moments as he ponderously chewed. The lady on the screen was crossing to another lady on a smaller inset screen. They were both talking about a prison siege. Martin, our avidly mediocre man, was distracted by the news ticker crawling along the bottom, to the point where he lost all flow of the story being told by the newsreader. From what he made out, there were troops somewhere in the middle east, some kind of hostage crisis in a prison, and rent for apartments had virtually doubled since 2001.

He checked his phone messages after showering and dressing. As expected no one had called, texted, facebooked, tweeted or probably even googled him since he woke up. His ex-girlfriend had once accused him of being a real fourth album of a man. Someone comfortable and uninspiring, but someone who knew what they were doing and with nothing to prove any longer. Plus, just a little bit of extra padding in various places. He didn't take it personally because she said not to, but it was a pretty personal jibe and one that certainly fitted him. They'd split up a few weeks later because he was too shy to talk dirty in the bedroom with her. He could barely bring himself to say sex, and like a 60's crooner, much preferred the term "make love".

He pressed his phone to his ear and called the office. "Right Skip, what have we got today?" he said, same as he said every morning when ringing the office. He had a habit of saying the line he was thinking of before anyone picked up, and then saying a different line once they did. "Hi boss, it's me, any jobs?" he asked, after someone finally picked up. "Nothing yet, but keep your phone on, something will come in," his boss replied. It was unusual for him to not have a job to head to straight up. On the rare occasion he had a bit of a morning off he never knew how to properly spend them. Without a fixed time period and nothing to do he nearly always spent the time scrolling down and down on facebook, days into the past, clicking various links and random people who were friends of friends, and wandering through their photos. An hour could easily drift by until he realized what he was doing, and then the memories were gone. An hour completely wasted.

"Maybe a walk," Martin suggested to no one in particular. His boots were on and he had everything ready to leave the house anyway. No sooner had he closed the front door and removed the key, when a black SUV pulled up at the front of his house. His phone began ringing. "Hello?" he said. "Martin, glad I've caught you, its me again," said his boss. "Look we've got a situation. Did you see the news? I'm sure you've seen it, it's in Tucson. I thought nothing of it at first but, look, someone's got to go there." Martin had no idea what was going on, he had a habit of staying silent in these kind of situations so as not to appear stupid. "Look Martin, I'm sorry, but someone has to... did the police arrive yet? They said they were heading straight over."

"Well someone's here..." he replied, eyeing up the three men getting out of the SUV. "Good, good," said his boss. "They can explain it all, they asked me not to say too much, you'll get paid of course, maybe we can put some of it through at time and a half even. Well, as long as I clear it with the higher ups of course, don't quote me on it!" He said thanks and wrapped up the conversation. Martin stood still, pursing his lips and watching the men approaching. He began to feel a little nugget of worry rolling around inside his stomach.

"Martin?" one of the men said. They were all in plain clothes, the SUV was unmarked. "Yes?"

"Martin Schofield?"

"Yes?"

"Can we come in?" the man said, as the three of them pulled up level to the front gate.

"Yes, yes of course. You best come in," Martin said as he fumbled with his keys. "You know, I wasn't expecting guests so..."

"Do you have some place to sit, this might take a while?"

"O-of course, tea, coffee? Can I get y..."

"Sure, three coffees. Black. No sugar."

"Just like on TV," Martin said, "Every cop always wants black on every..." he scanned the room of long faces, "nevermind."

He brought three steaming mugs back into the room and sat on the chair opposite them in the lounge. They'd all taken seat on his couch and had been watching him potter around in silence. Their suits were well pressed and expensive looking, they didn't gel well with his drab décor. Martin nervously crossed his legs, uncrossed them, and then crossed them the opposite way.

"Mr Schofield, we understand you work for Ambuscade Security Solutions."

"I do."

"And in that line of work you sometimes visit the county jail in Tucson?"

"Yes, I do."

"And how frequently would you say you visit, would you say people might recognize your face when you are working there?"

"Yes, I suppose some of the staff know me there," said Martin

"And what of inmates?"

"Do I know any? No."

"But would they recognize your face?"

"Maybe, I mean, I don't know. I certainly can't recall any of theirs," said Martin. "What's this about anyway, is someone saying I know somebody? Am I in trouble?"

"No Mr Schofield you're not. Have you heard the news today at all?"

"I was watching the news just before you arrived, but I get so caught up in the news ticker... why? Did something happen?"

"Martin, listen closely, this is important. Several armed felons have taken control of the prison. There's around fifty staff being held hostage in the administration wing. We don't know exact numbers of felons as we've no eyes in the building. Electrical power to the site was disconnected from the grid in an attempt to take out the security cameras. We believe the felons were using the cameras to monitor where our attempts to breach the wall were coming from. Unfortunately and as you probably know, there's a large UPS and a backup generator. So we sent a spike - hoping to knock out the comms gear and surveillance."

Martin wasn't really following, his eyes had been drawn down to the coffee mugs that sat on the table along the bottom of his field of vision. It was like the news ticker again, distracting him from whatever was important, but he just couldn't work out why they hadn't even taken a single sip. He wondered if he should have made something better than instant, but then, if he'd gone to the trouble to make something better, would they have not touched that either? He moved his gaze back up and locked eyes with the officer who was speaking. He'd stopped now. He was staring at Martin with a slightly contorted scowl. The jig was up, thought Martin, the officer knew he wasn't listening.

The officer cleared his throat and recomposed himself. "Martin we need you. They're going to start killing people if they don't see someone they recognize, and you're the only person they'll recognize who can fix what they want. And, you're the only person who can do what we want - take control of the security system, hand us remote access. We'll take care of the rest."

Martin smiled and looked around the room, "oh, no. No that's okay. Hah! You see, that's not really my cup of tea." He stood up, still smiling, a loud expulsion of breath occasionally puffed from his nostril to indicate his amusement. "No no, no- but thank-you- but no." The police officers hadn't moved as he'd expected - he was hoping they would've stood by now so he could shuffle them out the front door. Instead they sat there staring at him with their severe looking faces. Martin lost his smile and felt compelled to sit again. The blood began draining from his face, leaving him light-headed and woozy as the police officer continued to explain. Martin wasn't listening again, his mind was awash with mutterings and excuses: they've got the wrong man, I couldn't possibly, I'm sure it'll work out, someone better will come along, what if I were to run out the door right now? How far would I get? Would they chase me down and tackle me onto the concrete? Would they shoot me? What if I jumped up and clucked like a chicken so they thought I was crazy? Before he knew it his absent minded physical nodding had convinced the police officer that he was following along and he was suddenly on his feet being escorted to a car. His eyes bulged and his lips pursed as he screamed internally.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

アタロとエロボ

Their dreams were crushed, then packed tightly into colostomy cups. For thirty or more years they wrote their best, until the only thing that couldn't've fallen further was their crests. They once stood proudly, but now are stooped, they subsist cowedly too scared to even use their facebook group. Perhaps before they die they'll start a trend, but more than likely they'll die alone, mourned only by their example friends.


Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Magicicada

The girl I once loved now has a spine tattoo and she sweats meth everywhere. Out every pore and every follicle of every bleached blonde hair. She parties hard and vomits harder, when we were young we caught cicadas.


Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Meagre Jill Climbs The Bailey

Driving past the house always brought back so many memories. Things that I'd never even taken notice of at the time - like the roughness of his hands, or the way each of his fingers felt different as they fit snug against the nape of my neck. I lost my breath every time I went past, thinking of what could've been. Panting in a PTSD delirium I usually clung white knuckled to the wheel and lost all feeling for the accelerator. Today though, after several failed attempts, I allowed myself a pause. I put the indicator on and pulled off to the kerb. I sat there, outside that house, with my heart beating desperately fast, forcing myself to breathe. Tomorrow I might turn the engine off, and after that, who knows?

Monday, 9 November 2015

Gy

I shed and the water takes it all away, cleansing me with its disinfecting spray, If I could ever feel anything such as sprightly or gay, then I would certainly say, that right now I felt positively grey. Which, don't get me wrong, is quite a long way, from the blackness and decay; the raw flesh chipping away; the jaw stretching feelings of heavy chested dismay; the foul hearted experience of being powerless to keep a prowler at bay; the foetid stink when reading Magic Faraway, while Granny Fanny-Mae touches you with her fingers in an inappropriate way; or the loud ugly pealing as they rip the baby away, and the abject loneliness you feel on each and every mother's day. Thank-you Jesus. Thank-you for all the pain you wash away.


Sunday, 8 November 2015

I Was Languishing, Unpublished, In The Draft Box Of An Unread Blog

I slumbered in. Sunk in. Withdrew and threw insults at every single cunt I knew. Skittish and afraid, all of them I forbade from coming to my door. Dealing with people I hated was such a chore, but the people I liked? Somehow so much more.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Born Free

You forget the earth is beautiful when you're wrapped in your cocoon, eating potnoodle alone in your room, and complaining about life's gloom. You even forget that you're just a tiny dog perched precariously on a rotating ball, doing your best not to fall, and wasting your life worrying about Carrie and Saul. But what you need to forget is the fact you're pointless, and embrace your transition to obsolescence. Forget about when your boyfriend told you that he was going to die, and so you agreed to marriage at the time, and yet mystifyingly he survived. It's time to forget about the four wall cubicle cell, in which you grind your life away inside a living hell, it doesn't matter for shit that the money is swell. Forget it all and fuck off into the night, don't tell your wife, just fly away like a Coca Cola kite.



Friday, 6 November 2015

Does Mark Zuckerberg Have Any Actual Friends?

It sucks the life from me. It takes what little I had and massages it into lethargy. I start and forget when I'm supposed to stop, I just keep scrolling down endlessly from the top. New ways to buy, unique ways to shop, another shared post about beautiful slop, posted by yet another gravestone with a thumbnail on top. God only knows how to make this shit stop.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Not Long Now

I may be only twelve years old, but I have the map to your heart. I know every crack, and every crevice is marked down on my chart. I'd pushed you on a home made swing one night when we were all alone, you were telling me to slow down when the bough began to groan. You skinned your knees when you detached and landed in a heap. Like your bony little body, I was head over heels for you all week. You told me we would never be together, for you loved another man. He was thirteen years old and his name was Robert Samm. I asked how long you'd be together, if in the future I had a chance. You replied that it would be for years - decades even perchance. "We plan to grow old together, so we'll be together twenty years at least." Phew, I caught my breath, I thought I'd have to wait forever, but my luck has just increased.



Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Life's Too Hard And You're A Fucktard.

I'm like that episode of Breaking Bad about the fly - nobody liked me right up until the point that I died. But how do you suppose that made me feel inside? I literally wallowed face down on the floor and cried. For a good portion of my pathetic life I was scared to even try. I was too busy looking down to even know there was a sky. I always figured my best options were to either run or hide. "Boo-hoo, boo-hoo," they all cried. "You're gay and your mother is too wide."  And there was me, too well mannered and witless to be snide, letting it all build up like the surging of a tide.

Simon says go to sleep,
The pills in the cupboard his daddy keeps,
Are all gone now with no regard;
Life's too hard and you're a fucktard.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Encrusted

The world that I knew had scabbed over and changed. Everything looked different though a few familiar buildings still remained. They were like worn out teeth in a once familiar skull, what they were stuck to was stripped away, and what was old now seemed droll. And so I walked down a lane that I once thought I owned, but all that was left were a few exposed bones. A man looked at me and he asked who I was, "no one," I said, after a palpable pause.


Monday, 2 November 2015

Drop Everything And Rede

I might like her to put her lips on my mouth. I might like the look in her eyes as her head starts travelling south. I might like a lot of things. But instead I sit here and concentrate on everything that stings.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Retrovert

Sequins and cigarette smoke and the curl of your hair. Writhing around with another girl in a chair. And we stood in the stillness of the night yet again, the heavy breath and the slight adjustment of chins. We were strapped together with a physical rope, which I used merely as a prop to continue the joke, so that no one would ever possibly think, that I'd ended up here again covered in your stink.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Rend Until The End

She won't know me when I'm young, she'll only know me when I'm old, when my skin is wrinkled, and my heart is turning cold. She'll never know me at my best, only briefly at my worst. She'll watch me wither and die, she'll watch them put me in a hearse. I guess she'll see me then, for what I truly am - nothing special, just a normal human man.

Fading Behind My Amber Shades

I used to wish you'd bring me flowers, but now I just grow my own. For the love we once shared soured, and my heart has turned to stone.

81

When it's gone I long for it. I can hardly put into words how I pine for it. How it fits me, how it stills me. The sound of it. The smell of it. The all encompassing flow of it. How I sink in, with my head just standing proud, and move around in the sea of it. Just the thought of it. It draws me to it, I feel the pull of it. It drains me and leaves me vacant, restless. Dragging me down like a yoke necklace.

You Don't Want Anyone (Viscid Paradise)

When I first found you I had no inkling that something was missing. All my life, up various walls I'd been meaninglessly pissing, and then you smiled and I was wishing that I was the one that you were kissing. I had no misgivings that I was risking what little I had to get my dick a licking, but I pushed past the fear and listened fast to your heels clicking. Each step you take is like a clock ticking, the palms of my hands like needles pricking, as I follow you and think of sticking.

Mary Krissmus

Snippets. Snippets. All my life is snippets. From here to the grave every bit of it is snippets. Like shards of glass shattered into tidbits. I remember a smattering of fragments, family gatherings that would've been improved by my absence. Specks of every part I wasted, culminating in regrets that I have tasted. But now I'm far too old to remember, and well, it's very nearly my December.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

I Was Making Great Time (Whilst You Were Busy Dying)

When the paramedics pound your chest, blow air down your throat and do their very best, I slipstream in behind the ambulance in which you rest, and rapidly progress, like a man possessed, carving my way through the parking-lot-like-congest. And when I look into the other windows with all their faces pressed, against the glass, in contorted looks of barely repressed detest - I really must profess - that the greatest thing that happened to me all day was your spontaneous cardiac arrest. I wonder sometimes: am I simply blessed?



Monday, 5 October 2015

Lattice

I could never smile, or else my dimples would betray the skeleton I had trapped inside.

It snuck in at some point and made itself at home, pushing my eyes into it's sockets and stretching my hair across it's dome. It brought with it teeth, and other surprises, like tiptoes and fingers of varying sizes. I kept my mouth closed so it couldn't come out, so all I could do was grimace or pout. I would say hello through pursed lips or with a nod, I kept it swaddled in my skin like a neat little pod.

Then one day it escaped and left me alone, my whole fleshy mass with nary a bone.  And all that I was, was a soup full of skin, with a sprinkling of hairs but not even a chin. And all I could do, was drip off of chairs, schloop down slopes and tumble down stairs. I could no longer eat, for I could no longer chew, I went hungry and shrunk, there was nothing I could do.

Eventually I pondered, from within my seeping skin sack, whether life was worth living, would my bones ever come back? But I died whilst I waited, and it just goes to show - never rely on anyone, and certainly never let them go.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Jim Carrey Killed Her

I dreamt I was a bee on a sweet Irish flower, but it turned its face from me in the sourest cower. "Why would you turn?" I asked, "why so dour?"

"You just want my body and for less than an hour," it said as it fixed me a chest rending glower.

"Not true," I cried out with conviction and power. "all I want is you - I would never devour the one that I love, but savour your flavour forever thereof!"

She looked back at me with a slight softening lour, she was nearly convinced I wanted more than to plough her. So I peeled back her petals and when I was done, I kicked her in the tits and buzzed off into the setting sun.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Jesus Christ of Nazareth: Gulp

She was teasing my todger with the tip of her tongue. Her brain was barely there, it was clearly unsprung. I'd left my cares in some jars that I'd just smashed to pieces, and stuffed the slivers and shards into freshly picked peaches. I pushed them down her throat once I knew we were done, so she would never love again nor hurt anyone.

Domes' Favourite Microstories Of Jemz From 2015 Schick Quattro 3


A Little Sing-Song Before I'm Gone

James' Favourite Microstories Of Dom's From 2015 Q3

In alphabetical order...

Bottled Up

Jim Carrey Did it

Quietus

The Infinite Expanse

What Cecil Said As He Was Shot Down

Jim Carrey Did it

I dreamt I was a bee on a sweet Irish flower, but it turned its face from me in the sourest cower. "Why would you turn?" I asked, "why so dour?"

"You just want my body and for less than an hour," it said as it fixed me a chest rending glower.

"Not true," I cried out with conviction and power. "all I want is you - I would never devour the one that I love, but savour your flavour forever thereof!"

She looked back at me with a slight softening lour, she was nearly convinced I wanted more than to plough her. So I peeled back her petals and when I was done, I kicked her in the tits and buzzed off into the setting sun.

Monday, 28 September 2015

She Wrote Another Letter to Her Corinthians

I slipped down and followed the wandering vacancy inside my mind. I saw some words scroll by and nearly smirked, clicking 'Like' just to be kind. I'd swallowed more than my share of gristle, whilst sitting here, glassy eyed, reading through each and every one of your epistles. You'd made some food, had sex with a random dude, and then danced and sung about it all inside your room - whilst the crap ingested became digested and the sperm swivelled all up and down inside your womb. I'd had enough of your boozing and whoring, it had long since surpassed boring, and yet I'd caught myself poring over nearly every post, bathed in a white-blue light, hovering through your life like a ghost.

So then, whom out of us is the saddest?

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Requiescat

He was gripped by unfurling terror. His mouth swung open, panic had gotten hold of his throat and seemed to be attempting to pull his whole jaw downward. His head started moving slowly from side to side, eyes staring straight out in front. He was like a clown waiting to receive a ping-pong ball at the fair. I stood there in front of him, waiting for him to catch sight of me and recognize my face, but instead he looked past me, through me, and kept searching the crowd. His heart beat rapidly and the sounds of cars and trains and buses and people walking past were just an incoherent pealing sea of noise, assaulting his eardrums and ratcheting up the tension. I went to him. Put a hand on his shoulder. Sat him down and calmed him. The aged fissures in his weary olive skin were deeper than I remembered. He thanked me in a way that made it clear to me that he still had no idea who I was or what was happening to him. The agitation he'd built up hadn't left him, but it felt like on a sub-conscious level, he was feeling slightly safer.

I pulled out my camera as we sat. Putting it in playback mode I went through the photos I'd been taking. They were pictures of open mouthed clown faces; pictures of him wandering off in unexpected directions; pictures of the shambling body that once grew around and held my father's spirit, but which had long since given up and let it slip out. I sighed. It seemed these photos weren't to show the family back home, as much as they were to show my children in ten years time - in memorial and in lament.


Saturday, 19 September 2015

Trying To Calm Chaos With A Tree And A Teacup


Life is splashing cool water onto your face and into your mouth.
Life is patiently watching the crowds criss-cross by north and south.
Life is sweeping and cleaning and keeping at bay.
Life is wishing someone would bend when they don't want to sway.
Life is chewing and sneezing and gasping for breath.
Life is loud and awkward. A terrible random mess.


Thursday, 17 September 2015

Bottled Up

He was sitting in his truck, thinking about the way the world worked. The way he drove around all day just to see the numbers tick over on a banking website he occasionally logged into. The same numbers that moved from place to place on portable plastic slips and ebbed away day by day as rapidly as his life did.

Innocence intrigued him. He'd been watching the daughter of the family next door for a few weeks. Most days, he'd start his truck and sit and wait for it to warm up. She'd walk by on her way to school and smile, waving a mitten covered hand at him. He thought about various ways he might insert himself more prominently into her life, but couldn't get past the thought that he would corrupt her with all of the baggage he carried. Despite all that driving, and all that time to think, he couldn't come up with any ideas. No matter what scenario he played out in his mind, it would always end up with him ruining everything he liked about her.

And so instead he sat inside his truck and waved, wondering what it'd be like to be laying inside a grave.

Everything Is So Fucking Rosy That Birds Sit In My Hair And Dont Even Shit

I couldn't do much well, but I could make a certain type of man happy for three to five minutes a couple of times a day. I would tap the portafilter against the rubbish bin, shedding the spent husk that was my previous trick. I'd make idle chit-chat whilst I refilled the filter basket, without much care to be thorough, tapped it off, patted it down and slotted it into the group. I was home with my fingers wrapped around that black shaft. Humming, as the conversation died, I would wipe the wand as I waited for the stream to come to an end. It was all about the froth anyway. The milky foam float - a perfect reaction of time and temperature. No one remembered the coffee nearly as much as those blissful little bubbles amidst a good froth.

Today, an awkward guy came in. He was nearly a stranger by this point in my life. I would've once called him a potential, a date-worthy gentleman (my standards having at that point plummeted to a man that was both literate and genial). He crept along the back wall of the shop, scraping his woollen pullover against the brickwork, as if gravity was currently working incorrectly for him and the wall was somehow the only thing keeping him from being dragged away. He called out, "l-latte please," and I nodded nearly sincerely. It was all I could do to stop myself from throwing it at him. My simple protest came in the form of resting it on the counter and waiting for him to try and approach, to take it from my hand. He stood there pressed against the wall, staring at my hand around his take-away coffee cup. He desperately wanted me to walk it toward him so he could grab it and run out the door, but instead I left it there, left it waiting to be taken. He never took it. He indecisively fumbled then slid out the door and walked into the street.

Quietus

Witches and wizards would whip and tear my tattered soul, and ghosts gave me grief from beneath their whitened shawls. I'd bite my lip and skip rapidly through the dark, to miss the eyeful tower of spiders and the rippling carpet shark. If life is worth living, then I'll live it in bed, I'd rather be here than out there in the darkness instead.

Gillian Anderson May Be Old, But I'm Not Here To Form A Gerontocracy

She was standing by the pool table, surreptitiously marking out the stretch of my talent against the pool cue with her hands. I smiled and nodded at her knowingly when she'd just about summed me up. She lent the pool cue against the table and moved the gap between her hands against her lower torso, winking at me with a cheeky twinkle in her eye. I gripped my plastic cup of dull yellow euro lager, held my ring-clad pinky at right angles to its edges, shook my head once in bemusement and then tipped the final swig into my mouth.

"Well," I said, with a sharp intake of breath, "let's go and see."

She smirked and said her son was twenty-three.

I laughed, then told her to meet me out the front once I'd had a pee.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

The "Once I Turned 50 Display Picture (or lack there of)"

I carried myself off to bed any chance I got, because sleeping had become far more preferable to being awake. I picked at the corner of my sheets trying to distract myself from thinking about insomnia. Whenever it entered my mind I began to stress and could never get to sleep. I wished I could just stop breathing. I used to kneel by my bed and pray to god that he would take it all away. But I am old now, and I have no time for make believe. No one can take this away except for me, but even Blind Freddy could see that I am not strong enough.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

If I Wrote Love Sonnets To Jesus I'd Be Famous By Now

The anger takes shape around the root of our tongues, and pushes its way out, on the breath of our lungs. We can take nothing with us, not even these words, which were once wrapped and twisted, yet now are unfurled. The life that we had, that we fought for and won, was being packed into boxes marked over & done. I held onto nothing, since nothing was left, my heart was still beating in a bared open chest.

Friday, 14 August 2015

What It's Like With Your Head Off The Pike

I was all that was left of us. Alone and lonely, insignificant. I was at the end of a cul-de-sac, listening to the roar of life out on the highway. A distant rumble as everyone else passed me by. They all felt they did enough after they dropped me quiches and said cheer up soon. A small deviation from the expressway of their life and then back into the fast lane. A few weeks was all they gave me to grieve, and then came an unspoken cut-off. Suddenly I was hanging onto it, being weird about it, I should move on already. They grew impatient, became short with me. They said I should see someone, a professional, and stopped coming around. Told me I was toxic. I was bringing them down.

Everything is easier out there, when you're hurtling down the motorway, making great time. People don't want to stop by to see the hermit living in his rut. They want to keep going, blinkers on, headlong into a dizzying array of jejune distractions, that fly past, and never stop.

Tesco put me in the munchy mood with ten tasty tea-dunkers

I was pretending to care again. I'd been telling myself I shouldn't. That I should just tell people how I really felt, or I suppose, more to the point, how I didn't feel. Instead though, I kept nodding along to the seemingly distant hum of their voice, as they went through the vast list of their various grievances about whoever it was they were talking about. My eyes had glazed over, but I had a knack for keeping a face that portrayed itself as if still listening.

I'd made too many biscuits again, clearly that was weighing on my mind. I'd written a complaint to Tesco to tell them off - recipes these days just don't understand the realities of portion sizes for people who aren't morbidly obese. And so I have two or three tins of biscuits wasting away in the cupboards, probably being eaten by maggots and weevils and every other various thing... every other thing except for my guests. They never ate them. They were all too busy telling me about their boring lives and tedious troubles. My mind was running up the bill of all the ingredients and coming to various figures that made me feel sick to my stomach. Do they know how much it costs to feed all these maggots? The outside corner of the eyelid above my left eye began twitching rapidly. Just like it did the last time. Just like it did when it all boiled over.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Jeb's Journey

She told me about her desire to buy more toilet paper. Up until that point I'd never considered it. The idea that women had functioning digestive parts was a completely earth shattering revelation to me. Somehow I'd just figured that food went in and only nice stuff came out. Suddenly my head was swimming with various ideas and images that became less and less unpleasant to me, instead crossing a hitherto uncrossed threshold from repulsive to intriguing. "How.... How many..." I coughed and looked at my feet. My laces were untied, I bunched my toes up to swell the tongue out the top of each shoe. "How many times do you go to the toilet per day?" I finally gasped. "Well," she said, without missing a beat or being put off by my nervousness, "I couldn't stop pissing last night. Couldn't get a good stretch of sleep at all. I think I drink too much herbal tea."

I gulped and relaxed my toes.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Medibupa

I thought I'd punch them in the head. I thought I'd punch them until they bled. Until eventually they were dead, and I felt good inside instead of this morbid scratching ulcer that has spread itself along the lining of my guts. I'd spread myself thin with a series of tiny little cuts, as life pulled away my caring outlook with a constant barrage of cunts. What's in it for me, you runts? You squeal and beg and demand from me an increasingly difficult series of stunts. Jump through the hoop and take a punt on health insurance for once - it covers rectal shunts and cancers of the morbidly obese cunt. I looked at today's fifteenth PDS, under extreme duress, and now, thanks to you, I'm far too angry to be depressed.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

What Cecil Said As He Was Shot Down

Life is short, and hearts will break, and bodies will rot, and bones will bake, and crumble to dust in the burning sun, but I will love you forever my son. Your hand in mine and your smiling cheeks, have lifted me up and torn a hole in me. I get a lump in my throat every time you speak, I'll be waiting for you till the next time we meet.
Remember the time that we ran in the rain? I laughed so hard that you thought me insane. But I was so happy, just to be alive, with your little feet matching my stride. Your face flushing red as you kept by my side, I felt a father's pride warming through my insides.

So, my son, I'm sorry I left, I wanted to watch you grow but instead I've left you bereft.
They say that love is just a feeling, but I find that notion unappealing - love is sometimes right, but always left.


Wednesday, 29 July 2015

It's Not Just For Cheese

Everything becomes so boring. Recurring constantly, until life's little nothings suddenly become interesting. Staples of life, like the taste of foods, how many bathrooms a house has, the quality of your exercise regime - become a fascination. You fixate on them and live your life around these dubious pleasures. Even a child hanging its head over the chain link fence surrounding its housing commission bungalow, whilst it forlornly watches the cars go past, can't see the worth in any of it. Life's real pleasures are a temperate day, a kite and some string.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Walk Home James

I peel the street light back and the clouds above light up as if reflecting bursts of flak. The shapes shift into things I've seen. And all the things that I can't ever unsee, are looking back at me with dead eyes and murdered smiles. They beg and whisper me to stay a while, to stay a child and drift amongst them through the wilds. The crooked trees are dead now. They're black on brown against the backdrop of the dusky pre-dawn sky. Like the eyebrow of a black man, stretching out above his eye. Her name was Jasmine, or Jaz, or Jess. She wore her make-up like a whore. I walk on and on, until my legs are sore.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

A Forgotten Sunrise

I cut my teeth on you. I'd run around until my heart fell out, motivated by a mixture of lust and confusion. I took what I wanted, convinced I was caring. I cared for myself and thought jealousy was when I cared about you.

I cared little, often. I care less, still.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

NO COMMENTS

I asked myself if I had anything else and then I decided I didn't. I'd poured it all out until I was empty, on people who didn't care. With shiny eyes I'd read about their lives unfolding whilst I was enfolding my own in upon itself. Encasing myself in my own little inconsequential bump in history. An ant, crushed into the page by a pencil dragging a line between matters of more significance. I wanted nothing more than for everything to end for everybody. All at once...

...And yet life goes on and on and on, and every single song is the same fucking song.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Alois' Baby

We touched and the touch fell through to the back of my mind, where the memories, like sand, slip down through the crevasses of time. Lately the sand pours quickly and I forget. I forget all that I've loved, longed for and all of my regrets. I become blank, and I wonder bewilderedly what or who I am. I've become the walking damned. I'm sure... I'm sure I was a good man... Jesus? God? I try but I am scared. Lord, I just don't understand.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

The Waves Still Crash At Eastbourne, But the Shore Has Lost It's Tongue

The road stretches out and all around. The past is now, and the future is faded and turning brown. I've done it all before and I'm doing it all again. I stood here once when I was turning ten, and excitedly pressed the binocular lens up against my eyes, and then...then I was thirty-four years old. I was snugged up against the cold, and I had my fingers tucked away into my jacket folds. I'd become immune to life's pleasures somewhere along the line, yet another side affect of the marching of time. Yet standing here I was more aware of how numb I'd become, a ponderous numbness and my throat was left dumb. She asked again: "what are we doing here?" and I turned and I walked away from the charred remains of Eastbourne pier.

Jounce upon a time

We wander to the waters edge and you tell me everything will be fine. You lay me down and we drift away to the four corners of my mind. If I could tell anyone anything about you I would tell them nothing, I'd keep you to myself forever, and hide ourselves away. We could be each other's sustenance.

Lemon Queasy

Everything is intolerable, everything is horrible, sleep deprived and out of your mind, with a dreadful sinking feeling sickening you from within the inside. The only path I'm on is the psychopath, the only tick of approval I get is the spastick tick of my eyelid as I stare at the mould creeping on my ceiling. She said that I was unappealing.

Monday, 29 June 2015

You Died, We Danced

It was all we could muster. The sadness crept into our bones and stirred our feet to skipping. We each raised a stick half heartedly and banged it against the other. We turned, and shook our shoes, shaking out the gloom with the heavy chink of a thousand bells. We danced around your coffin, without a word. Without being heard. Your sister had thrown herself in and begged to be interred. They'd taken her away and had her transferred, to a mental hospital we figured you might like. We said goodbye by dancing around your old clay pipe. We dance for you in death because we never had the chance to dance with you in life.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

I wore a bumbag to the fete, when I was eight

Twenty-minute gasps of freedom, or thereabouts. Whilst I push candied eggs into your mouth, and wonder what on earth this is all about. I can't contain my silent raging collapse. Perhaps, I've let my better judgement lapse, as I've taken to poking around the traps, turning off or on random people's taps. I get excited by the wind now, how it blows, the dust no longer affects my nose, so I sleep and so the time it goes.


Sunday, 14 June 2015

God doesn't have a monopoly on hope

I still prey. I cross my fingers. I continue to light candles inscribed with hopes. With all my might I wish, I ask; I implore a nameless, faceless, nonexistent nothing for better things. For myself. For you. For the entire world. I raise my eyes to the blue skies but there is no ineffable and it does not have agency. Not for anyone. Not even for six manically creative days. The futility of my efforts in each moment of silent prayer is not lost on me . Not for one instant. It leaks out my pores quite unwillingly. Tirelessly. Hope.

Monday, 8 June 2015

The Incredible Husk

It wasn't what was gone, but what was left behind; the photographs, the memories, the perfume by the sink. He would squeeze the perfume pump from time to time and think about their youth. He used to climb trees and yell her name triumphantly into the universe, as if his lips were destined to wrap themselves around her name and his arms were destined to wrap themselves around her torso. He used to run along the beach doing cartwheels and walk on his hands in an effort to impress. He'd done a lot of silly things just to see her smile. And he'd followed her everywhere she went, until she went somewhere he couldn't go. And now all that was left, was all that was left, of a life that once meant everything. And all that was left, wrapped around him like a hand upon his throat, as he rattled about with his rickety legs and arthritic hands, trapped between nothing and oblivion.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Where your tears are tucked

We plant flowers in the spring and tell ourselves that we're not fading. Youthful fingertips press earth against the stems so innocently, without agnising that winter will come and claim it all again. We carve out plots to temporarily tame that which can't ever be truly subdued. Then we sit back and admire the fleeting neatness, until the weeds sneak through and our fingers are too frail to hold them back any longer.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Looking for a yes-buoy in an ocean of nope

I read three stories about late blooming love.
Then shed a few tears for the intervening years
and hoped that my time would come.
But a shadow of doubt spread through my mind,
that I might die before it's my time
and waste my life looking for none.

Malevolent Manic Creg's Misadventures at Mating


"Dear God in heaven above - what on earth have you done in here Creg?"

Creg meeped meekly in startled reply to his mother's rantings. He made no other response for fear of dobbing himself in.

"It smells like an old man has died in here. It smells like... have you been eating those frozen Aldi meatpies again Creg? I told you they have horse meat in them and they're only good for the neighbour's cat!"

Creg was sitting at the desk in his room wringing his hands anxiously. He'd only just finished explaining to his female guest, who was sitting on the bed opposite him, that the reason he'd had to duck out of the room so suddenly was to check on a family emergency, when suddenly his mother had started ranting loudly about his toilet habits.

"They're spiced anyway- you know you can't have spicy things Creg, it plays havoc on your bowels!"

Creg stared at the floor, unable to bring himself to make eye contact. "Oh Goddd," his mother groaned from the toilet.

The excuse that Creg's guest had been attempting to think of for the last thirty minutes, now seemed irrelevant. Without a word she stood up from the bed and walked straight out of the room without giving Creg a second glance. The noise of her feet rapidly alighting the staircase were muffled by Creg's mother coughing and spluttering and flushing the toilet. A distant bang of the front door closing was the last Creg ever heard from her. It was followed by a sad sigh from a toilet air-freshener blowing his dreams away.

He placed his head on his desk and closed his eyes. His rating on his Datr app was surely just seconds away from going down another point now. No one would ever agree to a date with a perfect 0 rating. It was all his mother's fault. He had just a few moments to book another date before the nails were hammered into his coffin. He took out his phone and began swiping furiously, his mind racing with ways he could take care of or at least distract his mother. His fingers stalled, his brain suddenly going quiet. Staring back at him was the most beautiful vision he'd ever seen. Her nickname was GORY HOLE but she had the face of an angel. He clicked her to begin a conversation.

"Hell I am Creg," he tapped away without proofreading and pressed send.

"OOPS - I O U N O" he sent.

"Not that kind of O, just an o letter."

"Not that I'm a guy who couldn't or wouldn't give you an O or anything."

"Because I'm very good at it."

"Based on other's opinions, not my own."

"But also my own opinion is that I'm good too, obviously."

"Objectively speaking... not attempting to toot my own horn or anything."

"I definitely don't toot my own horn. Hopefully you will do all the tooting of my horn for me."

The car crash of messages continued for a few more minutes until finally he received the reply:

"Smith Street Park, 10PM".

Creg gulped and put on his trainers. He'd barely have enough time to play a few hours of Football Manager before then. What on earth would he talk to his date about if he hadn't gotten a good game in by then?

It was a dark night, the moon was waning, a thin sliver of silver hung overhead, but it lit no path. Creg could barely see three feet in front of himself, but he knew the park well. He used to come through it after school to visit his father's grave in the cemetery adjoining. Back before he decided his father was to blame for just about everything that was going wrong in his life, but mainly for leaving Creg alone to deal with with the ever increasing psychosis of his mother. He'd walked through this same park on the way to the cemetery with his father once. His father had said to him, in oddly sage words, "I'll be here one day Creg." Creg, being about seven going on eight at the time hadn't really followed, "you mean you'll get a job here one day, Dad?"

His father laughed, "we all end up here one way or another son. Not to work, no. Perhaps in fifty years, when I'm ninety, you'll come here and lay flowers by my grave. Just like I'm doing today for my father."

Creg felt sadness and impending doom enter his tiny nearly eight year old heart. "And mum?"

"Yes, mum too in time, though she'll outlive me that's for sure. Women always outlive men."

"So Charlene will visit me when I'm gone?" Creg looked at the hill, it was full of weary, well-worn and well-weathered headstones, scraping against the skyline. "I hope no one forgets where I am, there's a lot of graves here."

His father smiled. "Creg, just because a person dies and their body gets buried in a grave here, doesn't mean they'll always stay here. I expect my father is out there exploring the unseen universe. I doubt he's even had time to pop in and check on your grandmother. Your grandfather always had distant eyes, a wanderer's heart and an adventurous soul."

This was a lot for Creg to take in. What he managed to pick up on though, was that Grandpa's ghost was right now wandering the universe spooking people. He shivered then, just as he did now, walking through the park in the dead of night.

He zipped his jacket up as the wind began blowing and stumbled his way through the darkness. There was a whispering sound behind him. He stopped, looked back, but couldn't see anything. It seemed to stop as he looked. "Hello?" Creg called weakly into the blackness. The sound of footsteps and scraping came from his right, he walked towards it, stooping his neck and looking, repeating his earlier call, "Hello?"

The footsteps stopped, but the scraping continued. Creg stepped carefully over the graves. His greatest fear was that he'd offend one of the bodies by walking over them, and their ghost would haunt him in revenge. "Hello?" Creg called again. He thought he could make out a fire burning in the distance and headed toward it. "Hel-" Creg felt the ground disappear below him. He screamed as he fell, imagining himself falling into the waiting arms of some well decayed zombie at the bottom of a tomb. He hit the ground hard against his left hip and began rolling and groaning in pain.

A cheer rang out, voices began calling to each other. "Did we get him?", "we totally got him!" Creg managed to silence his whimpering and stretch out his arms and legs around himself. He could feel walls around him. Four walls of dirt. He struggled to his feet by pushing against the crumbling earthen wall. The thin sliver of moon came into view, giving him an idea just how far he'd fallen. About six feet, he surmised, clutching his injured side. That was about twice his own height, there was no way he was getting out of here in a hurry. He dropped to his haunches and pressed himself against one of the walls as the footsteps and voices grew nearer. Shadowy figures appeared around the edges of the open grave, peering down at him. He shut his eyes, fearing the whites of his eyes would give him away; his breathing slowed to a pain inducing pace.

"Is he in there?" a male voice asked.

"Oh he's in there," said a second male's voice. "I heard him screaming all the way down and heard the thump when he hit the bottom."

"What if he's dead?" said a girl. "He could've broken his neck."

"Doesn't matter, the blood will still be fresh enough... I think... shit... well obviously I hope he's not dead. OI MATE, ARE YOU DEAD?"

Creg remained silent, eyes closed harder than ever. He was holding his breath and pressing himself desperately flat against the wall. Blood? What did they want his blood for? Suddenly there was laughter. Creg let himself peel one eye open just a crack. He was blinded by a torch beam, causing him to open both eyes and blink stupidly in fear. They were all watching his courageous display and laughing. Suddenly the light went out and Creg couldn't see anything. Panicked he began yelling at the top of his lungs, "HELP, HEEEELP, HEEEEEEEEEELP." The laughing stopped.

"Shut up kid or, or we'll... we'll fuckin' kill ya!"

"HEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!"

"KID SHUT UP OR I'M GUNNA...."

"HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!"

"Just dump the chicken blood on him! That'll shut him up!"

"HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLPLAAARRRGHHHH!!!! PLARRHRHGHGH!!!"

"Quick chuck in some of the dirt on top of him!"

Suddenly the walls felt like they were caving in, drenched in blood, flailing his tiny little arms, Creg continued to scream as rocks and dirt rained down upon him.

"Fucks sake, let's get outta here before someone comes. Fucking hell what a fucking wimp!"

Creg screamed and screamed until he couldn't scream a second more. Still no one came to his rescue. He struggled to get out but couldn't climb the walls. He tried putting his hands on one wall and his feet on the other and climbing out horizontally, like some kind of extreme mountain climber, but he was too short and the walls crumbled away too easily. He checked his phone, the screen was shattered from the fall, the light came on but he couldn't make out a single thing. He soon resigned himself to the fact he'd probably die down there. They probably wouldn't even notice his malnourished corpse in a week or so, when they dropped the casket in on top. He'd just become an unmarked grave under Mrs Betty Winthrop or whatever. He began to sob.

Hours passed as Creg drifted into and out of fits of nodding sleep. Occasionally he tried to call out for help, but his voice was still too hoarse. After what seemed to him an eternity, the light of morning began to spread across the sky above. It brought him scant hope of being found. It just proved to him just how deep he was, as he could now better see the crisp linear outline of the hole cut far above. It was then, as he scanned the edges of his prison, that he noticed two shoes hanging above him. He squinted at them, trying to make sense of what he was seeing, but it was still not bright enough. "H-hello??" Creg meeped quietly, unable to call out, The shoes didn't appear to move, just hung there out of reach. He moved away from them to get a better viewing angle and saw that they were attached to legs. Someone was sitting above, dangling their legs right over the grave, and right over him. "heerrrppp-meeeee!" Creg tried to call, his voice rasping. Receiving no reply, he tried to jump up and reach the shoes to tap the person. No matter how many horrible noises he made nor how high he jumped he couldn't make the person aware of him. In a last ditch attempt he took his own shoes off and threw one at the legs. "Ow, what the fuck?" a girl's voice cried out. Suddenly the light of a phone was peering down at Creg. "Hhhhhheeeeeellllllppppehhh," Creg called back huskily, looking up at her covered in dirt, large amounts of dried chicken blood and scratches. His arms were out pawing at the dirt walls below her.

Creg heard a loud scream, the word zombie, and the sound of those shoes he'd seen, running quickly back to the path and disappearing. Tears ran down his face and left skin coloured streaks as they washed away his detritus. What would his father think if he was looking down on him from heaven now? He was only buried nearby, though Creg couldn't tell exactly where he was after changing direction several times last night. His father could be the next grave over for all he knew. This horrified him a little, but also gave him an idea. To dig himself out via a tunnel on an angle he could ascend. He began ploughing his fingers and nails into the earth, sheets of dirt fell away around his feet. He cried as he dug, his nails bending and breaking away. It wasn't long of this cry-shovelling, before Creg heard noises above him. His hopes of raising anyone by this stage were completely dashed so he simply continued digging, oblivious to the crowd that was gathering. A news crew, two police officers, and a local nosey parker were peering down at his tiny body, thrashing away pathetically at the side of the grave.

"Reports of a zombie in the cemetery this morning, turns out to be local hooligans tipping headstones and having what looks like- satanic rituals - more after this," the news anchor reported in serious tones with a finger in one of her ears. The camera man shifted from the reporter to begin filming down the hole at Creg. "Ad break guys - three minutes," yelled the producer. "I want a shot of the fire and the dead chickens, I want an interview set up with one of the police to see what they plan to do about the kid in the hole - he's clearly the ring leader of the whole thing. We'll call him satan's moleman - no - mammon's moleman... the body burglar... no, the Redditch rooster ripper...?" he trailed off and then threw up his hands in defeat, "we'll think of something!"

"And we're back in 3!... 2!"

"The Redditch cemetery, a quiet place of solitary reflection, a tranquil place for mourning, now being invaded by satanic cults practising occult rituals." The producer fist pumped off-screen,as the anchor started her spiel - he began mouthing "CHI-CKENS" energetically at the cameraman to get him to move the camera around. "... as you can see they've left a trail of destruction in their wake. A satanic bonfire, used to sacrifice animals, as you can see, chicken carcasses are literally strewn all around us...." MOLE-MAN he began mouthing and pointing at Creg's tomb. "... the leader of the death cult has been cornered by police in one of the open graves this morning. The leader, known only by his alias - Beelzebub's Badger, is right now attempting to tunnel away from police and interfere with another grave." The camera panned down to Creg, zooming in on his futile efforts. "We'll have an exclusive interview with the police who were first on the scene in a matter of moments."

"CREG! CREG, YOU GET OFF THE TELEVISION THIS VERY INSTANT! DO YOU HEAR ME?" Creg stopped, the familiar voice had rattled down his spine and rendered him paralysed. "YOU, WITH THE CAMERA, STOP FILMING HIM. HE'S NOT A SATANIST, HE'S A VERY NAUGHTY BOY!"

The cameraman spun around to take in Creg's irate mother spouting off. The anchor stood, mouth slightly agape, before coming to her senses. "Are you the boy's mother, do you care to say something about why he's in a cult? How could you have brought him up to be like-" Creg's mother snatched her microphone. "LOOK HERE," she addressed the audience, "you should all be watching the Sunday Hour and Songs of Praise instead of this rubbish." She dropped the microphone and kicked the cameraman in the testicles, then turned and walked over to the police who were still standing around the grave wondering what to do with Creg. "I want you to leave him in there," said Creg's mother. "I want him to stay in there until he's had a good long bloody hard think about what he's done to this family."

Monday, 18 May 2015

Heaving Terrible Gasps of Breath into a Rattling Aviary Chest

When I was a shadow, grasping tight against your ankles, you took me places I couldn't stand. Laid back, effortlessly I would glide behind you in your wake. Sometimes we held hands when you dragged your fingers along the bricks as we walked down the sun-bleached city streets. I would listen to your secrets and I would chase your burning feet across the beach as you ran upon the hot sand. Yet my reach was never so much as nearing your thoughts or knowing why you crept, or cried, or carried, or crushed. Nor why you cavorted when you were quite constantly surrounded by all your fears. And still we danced. Chopped and sliced amongst the streaks of light. Cloned amidst the gaze of several spotlights, we all stood together. Heaving in terrible gasps of breath into a rattling aviary chest, awaiting our applause. We suffer solitary no longer.

Friday, 15 May 2015

When I Learn To Breathe Again

I keep putting money in the pig. Grasping every dollar and squireling it away. I want to buy her the sweetest figs. I want to buy her the most redolent flowers. I want to shower her with everything she's never had and make myself important in her eyes. I want to erase all the things I said in earnest that turned out to be lies. I want to turn back time. I want her to be happy. But at the same time, it's hard to reconcile that I want to throw her off a bridge. Just so she can never leave or love another. I want to tear us both apart because love is scary and forces us to rely too much on the willpower of the other.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

I'm going to San Fran but my hair's too short for flowers

I've been leaving since we met. My house is empty and I've a milk crate for a table. I'm flush with cash yet I'm just not able to anchor my heart. My bags are eternally half packed but that's partly because I never unpack them. You see, this city is too cold for me. Too wet. And your heart just a little too full. There are oceans in those eyes of yours and their tides how strong they pull. I never really got used to swimming. It's the unenduring shore where the waves break that I prefer. It's safe. There's no chance of getting tired. I could drown in you.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

The End, Goodbye

There's nothing more frightening than having success. When you pass the test, or come into money to invest, or the feelings of struggle that normally press against your chest subside and digress, you no longer feel depressed because all is going well. That's when there's that swell of doubt in your mind. What if you wake up deaf or blind, or your parents lose their minds, your plane falls out of the sky, or everything you've built suddenly starts to unwind? Success is guilt, and worry and asking why.