Hot Tea, Cold Space

The remains were left out for the foxes. A man put a pan of water onto the stove and boiled water for tea. Peices of fabric floated in the late afternoon. Winter was on its way. Deep in space, UFO’s hung steel still…balls of light darted around it like plankton. The man sipped at his tea. The flowers sat in the sink. The card had been removed from its packaging. It lay open upon the table. Blank. Like the man’a mind. He decided, finally, that there was nothing to say but “sorry”. It seemed to short; curt, even. “I’m sorry” sounded like he’d run over a cat, someone had lost a child or he’s soiled a party. That he didn’t know how to apologise for ramming into his neighbours car annoyed him. He poured a large vodka and sprite and rolled a cigarette.
She watched him smoke. And what was he drinking? The stara were out.
He staggered. The flowers had wilted. His eye began to throb again.
He blacked out.
Some weeks later he recalled standing at his neighbours door; empty bottle of vodka in one hand and wilted carnations in the other. He didn’t remember speaking; merely stuffing the flowers into his neighbours hand and nodding towards him.
He shuddered, picked around the periphery of a cigarette scab and bit his lip.
Cool pain fell upon the new flesh.
Still, though…and wrapped in the indifferent cosmos.


Grasping Flame, as Ever

The blushed sky crept up without warning this morning. The river ran like it would never end. Like, in the blackness of space, it would still babble on, carrying its underwater carnival off to a cosmic vanishing point, where, who knows, all the reeds, swans and fish might be reborn as fireworks, astral music, birds of prey, songs of the spheres.
The dust sat snugly in the slithers of air in between the well-thumbed pages of a book once treasured, now forgotten.
Wind whistles through the open windows, smashing one shut, yanking one open. Rain hammers down. The music of phantom Taiko drummers surges through the walls of the room, reigniting the beat in the old, grey heart of the masonry. A jam session takes place between the invisible percussionists and the air pressure above this feral offspring of an island.
Half a cashew nut shell. Inside, the wing of an insect. Outside, light floods everything.
Imagine holding such a light. Every molecule in your soul, pulverized instantly. And the dog, the poor sod, would cover eyes with paws at the silent explosion, the pearl blue flash.
Soon, though, its stomach would squeal in harmony with its whining and it would clamber out of the rubble and look for food.  The only remaining evidence of life will be a burning photograph of a young man wearing a graduation costume. The frame is in flames and the day, now six hours and forty-nine minutes long, bides its time. Waits for the sound of traffic to die away. For the gentle trickling sound of the river to return before taking flight to the regions of space where old radio signals lay in heaps. Where rivers curl around bonfires.

Absent Placard Blues

You can see it burst in the clouds like a broken pen in water. The inky tendrils snake out and small stars flicker at their ends. He, of course, sits there in his replica Alpine cottage attempting to sketch it.
The news is still quiet about what exactly is going on but people aren’t stupid.
How many folk do you see out walking their dogs today?
It’s like the cold war.
The best way for everyone would be to know the truth. That’s all. Whatever will be will be. It was going to happen one day. And if it wasn’t some creeping, inter-dimensional puncture (my guess) then it would have been something else. Like an outbreak of pit-bull fever.
I know which I’d prefer.
We should think ourselves lucky that another dimension would want to punch through the fabric of space-time to conjoin with us anyway.
Something odd though; I’ve not seen a placard yet.

Another Day in Space

So I’m driving along and talking to myself as usual. And I’m trying to speak to the air about the dream. I’m back at university. And there’s this girl there and I know who she is but I can’t place her. She’s slight framed with these penetrating eyes. And it seems as though she exists in another dimension. In the dream I find myself having to concentrate hard to get even a tiny glimpse of her. All I know, in the dream, is that I want to see her all the time but I can’t. She slips away from me when I fix my gaze upon her, leaving what look like brightly coloured, smoky ribbons indicating where she was a split second ago; such a small fraction of time, indeed, that it’s as though she might not have been there at all. And I’m really getting vocal in my car, talking it out as I say. And I’m expecting some answers. Thundering down the motorway in the dark, nothing but spots of red and white lights to indicate my surroundings, it’s as though I’m in space. I suppose it went to my head; being alone in the car and alone in the dream. But, there is this girl. And she is everywhere that I am. And I realise, after a while, in the dream, that all my movements are dictated by my desire to see this girl.

Then, without warning, the scene changes, as is so often the case in dreams. And I’m aboard a boat. And it seems to me that the reason everything changed was because I became aware of the motivation for my movements around this approximation of my university created by my subconscious mind. On the boat, which is also a restaurant, it’s as though my memory has been erased. I know that, moments ago, I was looking for something. And that that something had eluded me; lost aboard this mind boat (comprised of many levels and as long as my imagination can fathom) where people busy themselves taking orders and giving them. And I am there, sat at a seat by a porthole with a view out into an immense river. Call it the physical manifestation of my train of thought or lost memory. Through the porthole, on the other side, I see an unknown face looking right through me. I turn away and close my eyes. And, like retina burn, there are these weird ribbons. I press the accelerator to try to get to the point of this visualisation. To arrive at the truth of what is bubbling in my heart. And I’m just wishing that the car had a tongue so that it could tell me that there was some sense to the dream. Because to me it feels more than the usual psychological somersaults of a resting brain. It’s almost as though my heart, whatever that is, had cupped its hands over its mouth until it was too much then screamed a perfect truth in the shape of a girl. Perhaps it was that. Perhaps it wasn’t anything at all. Perhaps I’m just tired. It’s been a long journey and sometimes, when the scenery leaves little to be desired, the mind, or heart, can fabricate that which it needs. Then we arrive at where we’re going, lock the car, get a drink of water and wind down for another day. Another day of red and white lights.

Another day in space.

Germ Propulsion

The rough time of the year. Kicks in with a nailed boot up the arse. Smoking is the only way to stop one’s self tearing off the skin from one’s body. There is peace outside the atmosphere; in that place that smells of burnt rubber and is quieter than the bottom of the sea. The microscopic space plankton cover one’s visor. A quick rub with a clumsy glove and they’re gone. Smudged dreams? Souls? Always on the move as December trundles along, like a horse-drawn cart carrying cold, dead forms. Food loses its taste. Regret stomps around upstairs in the skull, having a party that one is not invited to. Heat rises from the chest and heaves words of unknown origin. Curses to everyone, everywhere. The sky crackles with fireworks. Dogs are beside themselves. Others sink into oblivion in their armchairs.

Then, like a new torture, the words won’t come. And no one to bounce off of. No one to tell these words to. Listen, I love you.

In a distant town, robbers sit in around a table, bloody mouthed, feasting upon the hearts of others. Though, deep within the chest, the new heart germ quivers into life with the speed of a mountain.  Aorta sprout over a time so lengthy that it appears as though there is no movement. Nothing. Then, without noticing, suddenly there is a new heart. As if by magic. And this new heart beats with a new joy, one without memory. The mind, then, needs to educate the heart, tactfully, and without injecting it with fear. Because, once fear enters the heart it will repel it to all other parts of the body until one is a walking tremor; cut off from everyone, yet hungry for their company.

The robbers burp, and laugh at their own greed. Still hungry, and with the milky moon slowly turning red, they set their eyes upon each other.

A rough time, yes. A belly full of chips. Snowed in salt and drenched in vinegar. Curry sauce. More flavour. The space plankton hurtle in their thousands towards the Earth, each of them burning up with a faint, ‘pfft’. Upon the dark areas of the globe, small flickers of light sparkle and disappear.

One hangs weightless before the enormous world. There on the surface lay the performances of seven billion, of which I am 4,239,400,136th.

Deliciously insignificant. A snake appears before me. Its eyes are filled with an ancient message. And, a it lunges in to finish me off, my heart calms; there, at the edge of the world and the beginning of infinity, I let a small fart go inside my spacesuit.