Friday, 1 February 2008


Fumbling, the tight argument peters out.
See the Blackpool lights in the puddles as we crash through Damocles' daggers of drizzle in the way of my eyes.
She talks of pulling the top down: "Getting wet ‘til we’re drenched!" The insanity makes us wretch with giggles that cease, when the ice shards pierce our tiny skulls and the leather of the seats.
See, I can drive, when she lets me, but we’re still now and the roof’s back. So we dry the seats with our clothes and she won’t let me drive for a while, though not for too long – we must return the car in time.

Thursday, 31 January 2008

The Lord of Pollen

"Don't it smell lovely, Aunt Mar'Lou? Juss lark fla'rs in the meadow. "
"Sleep now child, don't say such things."
And then the Lord of Pollen appeared to the Radish family and nectar rained down about the room. The Pollen King dripped honey onto the girl's chin and rubbed it gently. A bumble bee perched there and stung the girl so that she laughed. Then the great old man glowed and the room was alive with the sound of bees, yet none could be seen.
"Get up, get up from your bed child" thus spake the Lord of Bees. And the girl rose from her bed, rose a foot from the ground. Her mother gasped as she saw the wings that had grown out from her spine.
Her mother tried to grab her daughter, tried in vain to close the open window. The Pollen King opened his mouth and it crawled with hornets. His great tongue lashed them across the room and they tore at the mother's skin and eyes with their barbed bodies.
"All insects come to be this way," he cried, and the bees swarmed black in the sky above.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008


I used to call her my snugly wrapped little bundle of joy. She was everything to me. You could ask me to define ‘everything’, but in this case it would be sooooo difficult. Anyway she was something special, I think you understand that much.
Well, we were inseparable her and I, during those five years not a day went by when I didn’t hold her or push her to my lips, close, yes, that’s the way; gently at first, teasing me with the anticipation before the sudden rush of pleasure. Yeah, I think its true to say she got pretty hot at times.
What’s that, her name? Well I’ve tried to forget it, I mean I never called her by it anyway. There was only one person who heard me use her real name – a mate of mine – works down the paper shop. Anyway I used to otherwise refer to her as ‘Silver’. It was my pet name for her – I hoped it would make her feel special, like she was precious somehow, like she was worth so much to me, and made me feel like a rich, rich man.
Of course I wasn’t rich in the monetary sense of the word. Mind you she didn’t seem to care, and then again it’s probably fair to say that my lack of funds was largely down to her. It didn’t matter to me. I would have gladly spent twice what I earned on her; that’s how much she meant to me. But still it wasn’t meant to be.
It’s true to say ours wasn’t the healthiest of relationships. There was always the flame, the passionate heat; but it was lust, not love. I was scared of getting burned and sought solace in the arms of another, whom I grew to love. Still though I found myself going back to my Silver. She was like an obsession - an addiction some would call it.
But my guilt about my dirty secret grew. How long could I keep this from my beloved? This question would soon be answered when she caught us together in the garden shed.
She was angry at first. She thought it was disgusting. I begged for forgiveness, I grovelled. I got down on my knees and pleaded with her. I even asked her to marry me (I guess you say stupid things in these kind of situations).
Then came the ultimatum: ‘I’ll marry you on the condition that you give her up’ – or words to that effect. Anyway it came down to a choice between the two, my sensibilities took over and the wedding was on.
Since then I’ve tried to stay away from her. Sure I’ve seen her down the pub and that, but I generally try to stay out of her way. Ironic, isn’t it, that I gave her up for a silver-plated manacle, a circular symbol of ownership. Still I do look and feel better for it.
But you know every now and then, when the patches wear off, I just sit there and think about how much I miss those damn cigarettes!

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Under the desk

Last week it was all getting too much for me, so I crawled under my desk during a particularly difficult phone call and hid upon the purple floor.
As I sat under the desk I looked out at many pairs of female legs, gathering around my chair. They were talking about me in hideous whispers. I put my hands over my ears so that I couldn't hear them any more, to little avail.
The whispers became chants which grew ever louder and more raucous. Feet began stamping in obtuse rhythm. There may have been hand claps and then a pair of legs vanished upwards. With a thick thud the bang sounded that announced this woman had leapt up onto my desk. She stamped and wailed and danced about making a cacophony for my poor mind to cope with, crying now, below the desk.
The leader seemed to call her followers' motions with rabid screams. Shatteringly, my earlier telephone caller then rang back and the leader picked it up and vomited gargling inanities into the mouthpiece. Next it seemed like she smashed the receiver down, down, down onto my desk. An excited laughter rumbled around the office until the phone finally was smashed into chunks. With this, all the pairs of feet suddenly held still and I could not hear a breath taken.
I waited in horror, my breath also baited, what would break the monotony of this nothing? Of this puncture in time and space? Was an attack inevitable, would they leap below the desk, clawing for me and drag me out for crucifixion? Perhaps they meant to smoke me out?
The silence moved me with incalculable tension to begin to scream, to begin to blurt out my name. As I opened my mouth every telephone in the room sounded. Every telephone rang it's dreadful call and the blood drained from my brain, causing my faint.
That was the last thing I remember and now, here I am writing this at the same desk, with the same phone next to me, with the same pairs of legs sitting neatly at right angles across nearby chairs with multi-wheels. But the floor these wheels track across - the floor is now violet!

Monday, 28 January 2008

Skimming the mire

Groping is done best without light. Down here we do not see, we feel. We do not smell, but we hear. We never taste.
Sploshing in the middle levels I find bones and guts. Any animal will do: horse, rabbit, chicken or dog. I must, many times, have handled the remains of the elderly and of small children. How would I know when all I feel for is the strength of close vitality, or the brittle of dried seaweed?
I disengage from probabilities and just stuff my sack, it doesn’t matter any more. There’s no policeman looking for such as these.
I sloop through soupy wastes in search of morsels to pick. I wade and stink. The priest does not open his confessional to me, but his bowels? Now there’s a sight to see. From me, he cannot hide even that which he puts inside of him; for I am waiting when the waters discharge from his chambers.
But I am not the first to spy. The holy spring gushes forth onto the strongest vermin, whence they collect the greedy flotsam. Coins, perhaps? Children’s trinkets, once held close to the heart; a lady’s jewels, once clasped close to her breast; a pen; a wig; a soiled handkerchief. All are siphoned and spooned into ragged pockets for later sale and barter. Thus the stronger stay strong, and afford bread and gin for their fetid mouths. They sleep somewhere above ground.
Then we come. The gropers without flame or flesh, even. Sometimes thrashing about for the slimy carcasses. My sack is full of the bishop’s chops and I will soon find my walkway up onto the Operngasse and sell my bones at the soot-belching factory.
I too will have enough for gin.
After come the skimmers. They steal the very life-blood of the city, the fat and grease that settles on the surface of the grimacing, stagnant sewer. Even this can be sold.
Once I found a skimmer, choked with rats, his one eye panicked but glazed. I waited as long as I could before I helped the bones free.