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


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.


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.