A Bit…You Know? (Draws an ‘O’ Around Temple with Index Finger)

Slamming my head into the desk repeatedly. Ears ringing from every cracking impact. Though it’s soothing, almost. Exhilarating, definitely. Like the tickle from a dandelion upon the arch of my foot before stomping down upon an animal trap.
The scooters whinge up and down the road. The seagulls whine in the dead day sky.
They wait around a table, eager to tear apart the next creature that walks in. Toss in a steak before me lads, I smell death in there.

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Hot Neck, Cloud Man and Dog Poo

Poppy said her neck was hot. So I blew on it. She glared at me like I’d slapped her in the puss.

A man stood about fifty feet away. He was staring at the clouds. He was chanting too. Chanting that he wanted to make the clouds change shape. A rhino? A girl? A hypothalamus?

Poppy undid the top buttons of her blouse and laid down upon the picnic mat. I raised my eyebrows and blinked out towards the boats. They are going to rebuild the Titanic, I thought, in conversation with myself. I thought about telling Poppy. Decided it was best not.

The man was still there, his hands clapping together, silently somehow. An little, old woman was walking her tiny dog. The little, old woman stared at the cloud man. She stared and wore an intense frown on her little, wrinkled face. Rather like how a cat arches its back when it thinks its going to be attacked. She had nothing to worry about though, the man was light years away.

Just then I heard what sounded like a single, muffled note from a trumpet in a mouse orchestra. Poppy cleared her throat.

The little, old woman walked past and mouthed the words “Morning.” I ignored her. I felt like standing up and chanting, just to wind her up.

The man began shaking his head around. If he’s not careful he’ll go over the cliff, I remember thinking. No more clouds.

The tiny dog coiled out a turd into an otherwise pleasant afternoon. The little, old woman picked it up through an inside-out bag. Then she pulled the bag out the right way and tied it off. The tiny dog trotted ahead, not wanting to be downwind, presumably.

“What is that smell.”  said Poppy. “Have you farted?” .

Breif on Icarus and his Molting Garden

I’m still sat upon the hill. The water is still, terrifying. Vast even though it’s possible to see the land.
    There is paint under my fingernails. my chest itches.
    I need new t-shirts.
    The winter feels far away. On the hill, littered with bodies, a man or a woman smokes a cigarillo. The smoke covers the sickly smell of dying flesh.
    Silence.
    Pry open my lunch box and peer inside. A dead fly and a tiny piece of cheese next to a hunk of green bread. Special. Southcote green.
    Invisible.
    Plastic.

Into the Sea

She passed me the thin plastic bottle of cider. I kept looking at her, expecting something else, I didn’t know what. Mistake. “Don’t cut me up…tosser!” she said. Then she nodded to the bottle. I poured some down. She looked back to the pier, then the sea and whatever else was out there. The drink was evil. The smell of sugar, gas and cheap aftershave was overwhelming. Some of it came back up. I drank more to push it back down. Somehow it worked. I passed the bottle back. The plastic clicked and popped. She clasped it with both hands,  like she was holding a baby she didn’t want and wiped the bubbly, green mouth with the grubby sleeve of her purple puffer jacket.

The metal joists moaned under the weight of fairground rides, cafe’s, candy-floss, toilets, 248 shoes, teddy bears, brightly coloured plastic balls, hot dogs, goldfish, a karaoke bar, 85 tonnes of timber, arcades, doughnuts, little rifles and whatever else…

“This is rubbish. Let’s go and flob at the sea.” She said.

I followed. Of course I followed.

Side Effect III

Ash flickers across the street. A face forms in the particles. It wakes, suddenly, and takes in the world, as though for the first time.
The face could be described as:
A man in his early forties. His face is unsymmetrical. One side of his jaw protrudes more than the other side. His eyes, as far as you could tell were fairly straight. One, however, appeared to look beyond, where the other looked through. On the nose, near the tip, was a small, almost indistinguishable bump. The lips were full and moved as though to speak. The only sound created was that of dry leaves whipped up by cold wind.
Few witnessed the apparition. Their interpretations on what might have been said, or ‘mouthed’, varied, and included the following:
‘This is my future, not my past.’
‘Forget fear. The only fear is the last.’
‘I miss you. Where did you go?’
‘The water was still. It was.’
The ash fell to the ground. A radio switched itself on in a car. A few birds fell from the trees. Someone’s phone rang. And they walked away, gesturing with their hands.
A flurry of dandelion seeds caught the new light.
Then everyone went home.

Bubble Pop Bop

This was a dream, so fine; go with it. It’s not going to hurt.

Okay, of course, a robot. On wheels. Heading straight for me. And it had real legs. Hairy, male legs.

Suddenly, he needed to urinate. Then he didn’t.

Are you normal? It said. What? He replied. It ticked him off the list. It’s wheels trundled off down the corridor, fading to little more than a distant hum and squeak. He pinched his body. There was a little fat at the waistline. But that’s normal he said to himself. A young woman sat opposite him, peering over the top of her magazine; her eyes fixed with terror and strong glasses. Idiot, he said. Then he said it internally, realising he’d repeated his mistake. The young woman crossed her legs. His mind went blank. He stood up, walked over to the water machine and pressed the button. Nothing. He exhaled. Like a maniac, he thought. For some reason, he wanted to impress the girl. Or at least, he wanted her to know that he wasn’t a head case. That he was here for a simple thing, nothing really.

Like many similar institutions, the walls and ceilings and floors were all the same colour: silver grey. It was like floating in a boring drink in a bar in hell. The only light was provided by square box lamps screwed to the ceiling. And he could swear he heard muzak. He began to hum along to it, without thinking.

Then the girl started to join in. Added lyrics to his humming. They were often out of sync. Not that it mattered. The words she used were designed, it seemed, to leave little room for anything else. She stood up and belted it out. At one stage even grabbing hold of a tit.

“And she screamed, above an olive tree, with humming birds wings, and satellite stings. Ah, you were nothing but cancer, ooooh

cancer to me baby-boo. My heart ached for soooo long, but

now your gone, I made yoooo

leeeeave

meeee…for….GOOOOOOOOOOD!”

Then the water machine sprang into life and she stopped singing. She swayed on her clogs and shook her head from side to side. Her plaited pigtails made tapping sounds as they hit either side of her head.

At the far end of the corridor, another robot appeared. This one was huge and grey and covered with bars of red lights. At the very front of it there was a hoover mechanism. A rectangle with a metal mincer churning inside it. Two long, comic arms and hands sprouted from the top and carried a dustpan and brush.

The girl froze with fright. The man felt a little wee come out. The robot grumbled along the corridor, making a bee-line for pig tails girl. She closed her eyes. He saw the giant box of whirring death stop dead in front of the girl where it deftly swept up a small sweet wrapper that had been dropped during the performance.

“Hold-out-your-hand…” the robot asked the girl.

She opened her eyes. He could see she was close to tears.

“Hold-out-your-hand…”

And, in her palm, the robot placed wrapped sweet.

“Ah, thanks!” Said the girl.

And the robot glowed redder than ever. Like it was blushing. And in a blink, it had disappeared back down the corridor. Back to wherever it came from.

The girl swung her head to face the boy, he pig-tails swinging with her. Then she poked her tongue out at him and grinned insincerely.

The boy just folded his arms and waited.

And woke up laying in bed like Dracula.

Thin Ice

Red slits for eyes and cold, painful teeth and no place to sit down and be quiet. The whole island stinks of evil. The islanders check their reflections in any and all reflective surfaces. Check bellies, fringes, backsides. Cars swerve to miss them as they fiddle with gadgets and prod their dainty do’s. And the Earth’s crust thins around the island. The dark lord rubs his talons together and waits for the main course. The laugh is truly disturbing. Nauseating.

He finds old letters and remembers when they were going to be together forever. Well, she said that; he never believed it. And deep down he knew that all she wanted was a man to tell her everything was all right. And as long as he ticked certain boxes he’d do. And she wasn’t alone. There were many like her. And he knew it. When it ended, it was more of a relief than anything. He could be himself again. Become a saint, a drunkard, a dog, an angel. Live on his own terms and not feel guilty. Not be reminded day after day that, despite all efforts to make this life bearable, it really all stank to high heaven of shit.

It’s the first few lines that get’s ’em, he remembered someone saying to him. Once. Ah, well, drop a few morsels on the way through the maze then. Oh, what else? Tendon kebabs, served on ice; drenched in petrol; sprinkled with hundreds and thousands, glued to your favourite jeans, which are glued to your skin. Seventeen and drunk in the park. Fireworks fizzing and popping through the streets. You could blind someone if you’re not careful. The taste of sick and cider and ashtrays. Wood chips at my feet and fat chips in my belly. Then she showed me her tits. 

June, Singapore. The air sang from outer space; curry for breakfast, the sounds of the tropical storms. It wouldn’t have been as good without the dinosaur birds. A swarm of them would have run the city. But, the damn bird brains just begged for scraps. Their little, orange legs dusted with pollution. And I saw black spots of old chewing gum stuck to the pavements more than once, so it’s not true what they say.

Now back. Backwards? Forwards at great speed just to go backwards? The speed of light bettered. The sun is already up. My brain is one step ahead. It knew what the last word of this sentence was some six seconds before ‘I’ realised it.

She rolled over and played with the tassles on my boxing shorts. They were white before the fight. Now pinkened by a mix of blood. It’s hard to say who won. I watched her watching her freshly painted nails. I rolled the ice around my mouth. My teeth began to hurt along with everything else.Then she looked up at me and smiled then looked back at the shorts. “Lightening…” she read from them. Then she giggled, sprang up off the bed and walked out. I spat an ice cube at the door after she’d shut it.

She says she loves me but she doesn’t love me.

Wall

Beyond the wall there lay a sleeping giant. One with dreams of enormous women. Dreams of vast beaches with endless sands and waters clear and endless like the universe. The giant’s eyes flutter in the depths of slumber and his heart picks up the pace as his mind fleshes out the women, renders each grain of sand on the beach, stretches at the conception of the endless ocean.
Though he has slept through the passing of numerous kings, queens, wars, floods and droughts; he is, nonetheless, in synergy with the world. And it, too, feels his weight upon it and accepts is as a coastal shelf accepts waters relentless assault. It is a part of the order of chaos that does not upset the stomach of the colossus. He is happy, though his mind now stirs with activity. This activity is simply a dream, an ideal. And signifies that, perhaps, he is approaching the hour of his awakening. The time when he will level the earth; saving the giant women, and transforming the globe into one, huge beach resort.
His enormous eyes flutter once more, and a grin begins to form. The earth rumbles to laughter that seems to come from the heavens and, piece by piece, the world is renewed.

What Kind of Creature

Neon swirls upon the black water in the sink. Soon to be obliterated, archipelago’s of shaving foam circle around the final vortex.

No need to click on the mirror light; no need to alert the three shadowy figures in the alley, one of them, certainly with a blade, as to my whereabouts. All our ears, though, saturated with noise; haemoglobin hued, evil syrup running through the arteries of a dead, relentless heart; thudding, as if some rusty factory machine, abandoned after a split-second war, from the fairground, for who knows what kind of creatures enjoyment.

And I spin, spin, spin out. Yack up an additional, jabbering extensile jaw; rictus, grabbing from the flicker book of the subconscious. A split second; through the ages of my youth, to groundings, to first cigarettes (the aroma left on the fingers), to the smells of girls where I never knew before (the aroma left on the fingers), to the feel of my blood pumping, to the first sign of my blood in my shattered room; upturned and free-floating for three years, seven months, 1 week, six days, twenty-three hours and fuck knows how many seconds.

The photo of her on my cracked and creaked wall still smiles like a dried rose through neon spills and swirls; now cyan, now blue, now magenta; in my black, back room. The footsteps quicken, or is that the vibration of my heart, clacking in my ears?

I smell the blood before realising that I’ve cut myself.

Fuse

He had slept on his side all night. And after a visit to the gym. His muscles had fused at the shoulder and he woke up in agony, popped a few pills and bought some flowers. He’d said lot’s of things that he felt bad about. Like with many things in his life, he regretted it. And he only really went to the gym to get rid of years of built up anxiety and false warning. Where he grew up, there were always sirens going off in the night. Some mornings his very soul was raided by fear of everything: hills, birds, water, milk. So the world became a sinister place, filled with danger; something to be feared. And when he ran to sweat it all out, he knew nothing was going to come of it. He was going nowhere and his trainers were falling apart with him.
He went about the flat as quietly as possible. Put flowers about the place. There would be either a celebration or a funeral later. His head thumped with old wine. He wished that last night was different.