Tick Tock V.39

I dropped orange paint on my jeans. The paint smeared by the right pocket. So now if I need to get my keys I end up with paint on my hand. And on my keys. Or my lighter. Or my snot tissue. And then I end up with tangy cadmium paint on my snot tissue, which ends up on my nose. I scratch my forehead in consternation and smear more paint on my face.

Sat in my comfy chair after work. After dinner. Eyelids heavy; thoughts of the past. Mental slideshow of fun times and a few horrors. Struggle to move in the chair. Blinking takes up the remaining energy I have left. Luckily, I don’t have to worry about expending too much on the painting, not having that great facility for declaring the world my own brushstroke. No, the world isn’t mine. When I sleep, the world will still be beautiful. And when I die, the view of Earth from the moon will be little changed. After people, the sky will busy with wildlife again. And paradise will return.

Then I remember the paint on my jeans and get really annoyed and burst onto the street all rage and hatred and fight and pull out a cigarette and smoke it because that’s what fucking writers do isn’t it?


Paper Saver

Si was a rogue. Going from one relationship to another faster than a holiday. He drank his coffee and wondered whether the papers were ever going to be good for more than lining his canaries cage…”

And throw the pencil away if that’s all you’re going to do with it. Buy a packet of sweets and sit in the park with your boxing magazine. Watch the old men stare at you because you’re holding it upside down. Wait until the sun ducks under the horizon and see if there are any pages left. Greet the pigeons. Try to work out what that burning smell is and where it is coming from. Take your notebook and rip it into pieces. Feed it to the rats. Let it turn to manure. Stand up and face the cold. If your knees hurt, jog on the spot. There, better? Well, you should have bought gloves out with you. The lads want to spar with you because they see sport in drawing blood. And filming it on their phones. And putting it on faecbook. And as you hobble and stagger from one blow to the next, you probe your jacket pocket for a cigarette and a lighter. Robot boy getting his backside smashed in can only think of shortening his life even more with a tab. And when your head stops bouncing off fist, knee or pavement, you see stars.

And little, cartoon birds prance before your eyes.

“Say, this fellah looks like he could use a light,” one of them says. It turns around and produces a flame thrower from its bird behind, setting what is left of you aflame, clogging the already noxious air with smoke from your remains.

And he lived happily ever after the end thanks.

The Revenge of the Customer Service Attendants

The big woman yapped on at her colleague in the petrol station and reached out for my items. It was lunch. Then she burped and, under her breath, said sorry; not directly to me but to someone, or something else; perhaps as a force of habit. It was lunchtime. I had been hungry.
* * *
Have lunch in my car again. On the menu was reformed foam is the shape of crisps, sushi and apple juice. And it all tasted the same just looked different. And when it was eaten there was neither the feeling of contentment or satisfaction. Rather, that my body was part of a larger experiment. Maybe the experiment could be called, ‘What Can we Pass as Food?’
* * *
All the time we spend in queues at petrol stations is less time in nature, more in hell.
* * *
I’ve never seen anyone smile in these. Not, at least, the customers anyway.
In my mind the day has already arrived; we each of us have our heads clamped between to iron bars in long rows. We kneel on all fours and are grazed and our own shit stings, and infects, the gashes. And here they come; the customer services attendants, grinning, with slop buckets in hand. And they are burping and enormous, waddling towards us. They eat chocolate bars and dump a pinkish porridge on the floor in front of us.
And though we know the contents, we are hopelessly programmed to eat it anyway.
Our necks strain at the bars to finish every last morsel.

It’s Alive

She stood before the children. She wrung her hands continually. Her heart fluttered with fear, not of the children but of God. She was afraid of God. Her children never knew what it was she wrung her hands about so much. Sometimes it was as though she’d been crying for hours, her glasses seemed to be made of tears. We watched her and were afraid ourselves. Afraid of what would terrorise us as adults, of what was waiting for us. At least, that’s how it seems looking back.
And of those that are still around the old town, those that did not escape, are postmen, butchers, builders, grocers, single mothers, check out girls, convicts.
And of those who shone like supernovae, there was a terror. A terror big enough to put out the brightness. And it come in the form of television, newspapers, alcohol, women, men, the ‘real’ world, stepfathers, operations, accidents, medication, breakdowns, muddy scars in the front lawn where the daughters boyfriend parks his saxo, a ‘quick’ bottle of wine before breakfast and the doctor who couldn’t; save you, save me, save anyone, the damp walls, the cold shoulder, the clattering fencepost, the dead grey days, the season of murder garnished with tinsel.
What we saw in her eyes was perhaps a fear of the truth. The realisation of deception. An uncaring, all powerful being.
Looking back now it’s easy. It’s easy to see what was going on. Back then we were just children. They made us sing their funny songs about God and how great He was and how lucky we are that He loved us.
We were too fragile to be told the truth. But we would, all of us, find out sooner than we expected.
None of us were astronauts, firemen, prime ministers, doctors.
And none of us had a chance in the beginning anyway.


He has this funny way about him. I don’t know. And what is going on between them anyway? You always see them together. I mean, there must be something going on between them, you know? I don’t know.

He ‘d been having problems with the phone for  three weeks now. He knew all about the neighbours vaginal discharge, that the husband stayed out too late and always came home drunk, that the neighbour, that was me, had funny ways and must have been having an affair with this woman she kept seeing him, or me, with.

His tee-shirt had ridden over his belly and he pulled at one of the hairs there while he listened to the neighbours. Better the devil you know, he thought.

Fried  up some eggs and took his tablets and looked out at the street, the garage, road signs, men, women, dogs and thought ‘fuck this’. He was desperate for a piece but feared that it might fall off. Some people have irrational fears about tsunamis, his was about spontaneously detaching genitals. The thought horrified him enough not to pursue the urge.

*    *    *

“What do you do without a teevee?” Someone at work once asked him and he felt the need to scream. It was as though the world had really turned into the hell feared by some it might become. Somehow, he thought, the ad men have convinced us – by using sinister techniques – to buy things we don’t need, in order to convince us that the world had not died. We were all mourning, alcoholic widows clutching the ad men’s bottle of gin; popping pills and wearing strained, awful smiles.

He imagined these men as a little mournful themselves. But it was their job to lie and make-believe everything was fine. What was the alternative?

The war of despair…a return to street massacre for no other reason than boredom and frustration…anarchy on a level to turn the stomachs of the anarchists…lawlessness…disease…malice…

So, instead, we gaze a our dream-boxes and pray to a god with fake tan and tippex white teeth for a fresh trinket to distract the brain from setting the sky alight with madness, sheer ‘I know that one day I shall die’ madness…

*    *    *

He checked his watch; two hours later; he popped another pill, sighed and went back to bed.

The Mirror

A face in a mirror. There is fear in its eyes. It has become aware of a skull beneath the skin; the brain inside the skull, like a treasure, or delicacy. Hard to get at, unless using the right tool for the job; typically, by bullet or the morticians saw. Prior to death, at its very centre, the brain is home to a small galaxy. At the point of death, however, this galaxy falls in upon itself forming a tiny grain of matter. Like a miniature nut. This nut, or grain, is irresistable to small rodents and insects. And upon decomposition of the body the grain is consumed and excreted by a small animal becoming, finally, a small pellet of mud. This provides the basis for the planet, encasing the burning core of the Earth.

At the centre of the Universe there is a man. At least, there was. Now he is dead and been replaced by another man, who, by now, is also dead. In the space occupied by the men there are nebulae; the remnants of the vaporised men. These nebulae freeze in windless antigravity.

In the eyes of a face that hangs in a mirror in the endless black, resignation replaces fear; a resignation that survives each reincarnation. As the eyes and faces and men change, in the beat of the mysterious clock that measures eternity, the expression remains fixed. Man has finally come to understand the purposelessness of the mirror.