Upon entering, we choose to take or leave the glowing ropes, those who take, choose to be a target in this game, an adrenaline rush. Those who leave the rope be, just wander unengaged. The yes and no’s are split fifty fifty, in the dozen or so as we enter. I choose to leave the rope. Absolute darkness is the first thing to greet us, six glowing ropes hover in expectation, one rope jiggles as its wearer is jostled by unknown assailant in the dark, there is a stifled gasp as the wearer hangs on to bravery. Silence greets us next. Anticipation builds, till a flash of light zips over our heads, drawing a scream from startled throats. A dim light comes subtly, in skeletal shapes bearing pained skulls, that moan their existence to passers by. Scooby Doo jumps from a hidden place, to bark “roobie roobie roo”… at us, a distraction, as another glowing rope is jostled in the corner of my eye. I hear a voice say “Hey! Where the fuck is my wallet?!”. The rope turns to take on some unknown dark figure, they fade. We never see either again. Shuffling onwards a dark door beckons us in, five glowing ropes hover uncertainly towards it. We observers follow, intrigued as to how the volunteers fare. A man bearing a pumpkin head launches himself into our small crowd, he extracts a scream and single soul. Leaving remaining hearts to pound alone. In time and anti climax we watch white sheets waft across our path, in tandem with half hearted “Woos”. A giggle emerges from the group, for this limp refrain, only to be met with ferocious reply. The guttural growl sounds all too real, preempting the emerging beast, it wields a shining axe and bares it’s glinting teeth, the axe falls, a glow rope drops and the victim is silently dragged away. The three remaining ropes are discarded.. One too late, just as she reached to escape from target, the gang of zombies appeared, no moaning, no shuffling, as lightning they seized her, we really did try to keep her to us, but they were too swift, we remained impotent in darkness, unable to tell which direction her turgid screams came from, till suddenly they stopped. We stood in shock, in darkness, till a click. A door opens, allowing light to pour through, flooding our mole eyes in painful midday sun. Glancing across, I spy the entrance, and the line, more glowing ropes are accepted.
I am sat at a rectangular wooden table with five empty seats around it. In a small waiting room, waiting. The windowless walls offer no inspiration for thought, so I must dive into imagination, In the absence of a timepiece, time is strung on my ability to hold off boredom. memories bob in and out of my mind, then things that must be done in the future, things to create, to create a something to look forward to.
The click of the door handle jolts my heart, such minor excitement in a room without interest. A man of average height, average build and average face walks in. He is indescribably average. We give mutual silent greetings in nod, he drags out the furthest seat with a screech across the floor, slouches down and looks toward an imagined horizon through the wall. I take in his face for one moment more than comfortable for his eyes, I self-consciously find interest elsewhere. Glancing back to him I see he is loosening his tie and unbuttoning the top button of his shirt. A literal freeing of binding in an abstract entrapment.
The second click is soft and creeps the door open with less ego. She wears a business suit with pencil skirt, pinning in a body that enjoys itself. Scanning the room, she gives us a glimpse of a smile and softly says “Hello”. I crackle a “Hi” in reply from my dry throat. Another nod from Mr Business. She takes the seat opposite me and holds my eyes to hers in soft confidence, just moments, but I quit first and look away, I feel self conscious heat in my cheeks and busy myself with my fingernails.
The next click of the door is barely perceptible as a man creeps in as a ghost, his face is present, but his eyes are not here at all. He sits along from me, not looking to a soul, intent on taking as little space up in the world as possible, uncertain breaths quietly shiver from him. He fixes the table with a stare that looks beyond to the infinity below. He feels if he does not use time, it will not involve him. Silence remains with us, and is thickening with each moment, it chokes back any words one could produce.
Sat on the beach alone, all the tourists have taken their leave. Leaving me to watch the sand twinkle in the golden orb’s last beams. A cool breeze soothes the burn of a hot day, while the reeds rustle in relaxation. As the last copper light falls into the ocean, I lay back and watch each star take its place in the heavens, before I drift into sleep.
I wake from my night slumber, to witness the sun rising once more, a glorious slow wash painted across the waves. Then the sun says “Wait, this isn’t right, I’ll be back in a minute”, sunlight then washed back down to the horizon. Moments later, I feel the warmth on my back. “Sorry” says the sun, “Its early, cut me some slack”.
Take to the ocean and ride with the dolphins, carefree and dizzy.
The sun sank west some time ago, as I sit alone in the top of the house a scruffling noise from outside alerts my senses, yet I settle, stay sat in darkness, but for one reading lamp. Again a noise, kerfuffle and a knock at the window. I am roused to curiosity. Upon opening the door to the night, silence greets me in silver. Looking up, a million lights are lit, to show the prey to the hunter.
It was not your fault
you hung on to the rope as hard as you could
the rope went limp in your hands.
He awoke at noon and slapped his wife, he kicked his dog and swore at the kids. He leapt from the house to abuse the postman and piss on his neighbours lawn. He raised his flag up the mast, a passing cop smiled a proud smile.
A home without a house, is just a dog.
I watched the charcoal crows glint in the sun, shining brighter than all the white doves. following the same deceit, we believe all beautiful people have clean teeth.
At who knows what o’clock at night, in the pitch black, there is more noise from the house. Banging, creaking and knocking. The spirits are so light and wispy in the movies, yet ours seem to have such clumsy heavy feet. Don’t get me wrong, I am not one to jump to ghostly conclusions, there is reason for hubbub in the house. There is plumbing, grumbling timbers and the scuttle of night creatures. Yet the music in the walls still prickles my senses, it is enough to send shivers up the spine of anyone alone in an old house at night. Those in the walls play the funeral march in adagio. They are playing it on kazoo. Which takes the edge off somewhat.
Elegiac a strung out yarn
unwound laid scattered
having ramshackle charm.
Sight, sound, touch and smell
memories flood our brain
no index, no category
it is an every day miracle
that we can recall anything at all.
Sometimes we must take a stand and kneel down
against those who will not take a stand
and just stand there.
Pablo’s brew would push eyes askew, block colour fall to Salvador’s twisted view, Monet’s chalice leaves me in false bliss blue, Van Gogh twist is never true, one sip left to chance, the darkest dance given from Rembrandt, Warhol ale is just one tease, my aching head blamed on Matisse, I wouldn’t wish to sip a Bosch, that would switch humanity off, to gulp Escher down, fall off the stair and up to drown, into Turner’s high rolling sea, that is enough art for me.
Once every ten thousand lifetimes you get to come. Away from the other world. That land of no sunlight, of no air, no fertility, not one green tree. Not one smile, not one giggle, no glee. Darkness resides there in a land of no dreams, a longing for silence in the moans and screams. No exit from that land till all sand has run ten thousand times. Then to receive one more visitation to here in heaven. What to do with that precious time.
No shackles in feathers all mine to explore
no ceiling to keep me down there on the floor
dancing in heaven waltz through the divine
the wind is my partner forever entwined
When she stalks
note how still her head
how even her eyes
when the bell rings
it is too late.
When January died, February wept. Too long she cried, March did not pity her wasted time. April was born in a blaze of spring, yet died still, May did sing. June just watched over May’s demise, she did not see the coming of July. Yet August won to July’s surprise. August celebrated while September planned. October just enjoyed her coloured span, happily dying in Novembers hand. December took the axe to the year. January born again, in December’s ash.
The flags are waving, high in rows. Hundreds of soldiers march in immaculate time, shiny boots catching the same sun beam, in rows of pearls. Overhead the sky rips, as a diamond of flagged jets trail coloured smoke. A gun salute fires in synchronicity from countless barrels, their ejected smoke twists up into the jet’s coloured cloud. The band starts to play bombastically loud, while the leader’s baton twirls high and proud. Cannons are trailed behind shining horses wearing feathers in their manes. Followed by ever more soldiers. The bombardment of the senses, a mock construct of patriotism from flag and explosive imagery. The primal adrenaline as before the hunt. You are not patriotic, you are bloodthirsty.
Those who whisper truth are drowned out by those who shout nothing.
It’s one fifteen,
but my love has a book to finish,
I’d do it myself,
but I make a lousy sandwich.
Walking onto the desolation of exmoor this morning, among the sheep and the trees, up a hill, a never ending hill to the sky, a pub emerges. A pub not of this age. The pub labeled closed. The landlord does not care for the convention of opening times, he lives by his own clock and calendar. Yet he is a friendly affable character, as he emerges from the door and invites us in. Upon stepping across the threshold we feel ages gone by converge, but not this one. Candles sit on the tables, not for the romance, but due to the hill being too steep for electric light to climb. The carpet is worn to a fine fray that will only stay due to it being the only thing it knows. The landlord is a man barely able to contain the infinite stories he has gathered. They spill and tumble forth, as a river from the mountains. Stories of dead shoes, Royalty and Opera singers. It would seem the world has passed through here, a fulcrum of eccentricity. He serves two glasses of ale and disappears. From the other room wooden teeth clatter as a piano plays. Following the siren we find the landlord is sitting at the piano, hands on knees watching the dancing keys. The ever enchanting pianola shows off. He claims not to play, as ever after they say.. they start to play, and the piano gives melodic replies. Hunger pulls us away, but we will be back on another day, to observe the outpouring of magic from this hilltop font.
A vicarious experience, where folks take responsibility for another’s actions.
Some watch one sport, some a few, some watch all sports, then some none at all.
What draws the sports fan in? Perhaps a family tradition, no choice at all, sat in the push chair with a red woolly hat, bearing the logo of your Dad’s team. Maybe a glimmer of interest while sifting through the TV channels one day. It starts innocently enough, colour and movement flicker across the screen, after a time the rules come into focus. But soon, you have chosen a team, that is that, you are ensnared. Despite having no connection at all. These strangers go play every weekend for their own enjoyment and living, yet they carry the expectations of thousands of remote crazies. A win and the fan’s world flowers, a loss and the grey hangs in their head for days. Longer than the players grief, who use their fame to screw it away. And how ungracious, when the remote parasites win. They will claim the win as their own, the losing fan replies ‘Sorry, I shall shout at the TV harder next time, you obviously are more skilled at watching’.. Mean time, the players would not give them the time of day. The sports fan to them, just a sound over there, a signature, a crumb for imploring eyes. Yet the fan’s emotions hang on the players performance, a player responsible for a thousand bad days, or a thousand vibrant hearts.
Try to remember that when that team whose shirt you wear, stink the place out. It is not your loss. And those who chose a team on a winning streak? Do not let your ego believe you had one single input in their victory. I will attempt the same.
If you enjoy the shiny and new, you will be forever buffing and polishing, trying to hold time. Those who love the creased and the old, there is always worry free joy.
On a saturday evening the crooked pub attracts the crooked people. We stepped in. “Here they are” proclaimed a young doped up kid in a surfing outfit and wearing surprised hair upon his head. This was a confusing ejaculation without context. We are ‘they’? and how did he know we were coming? This kid clearly had his own thought process separate from the world around him. The landlord knew us already, perhaps he announced us through a ripple in the space time continuum. He declared to all in the pub, Just a dozen or so patrons, that Alice was a Shaman and that any sheep that need healing, they should go to her. Adding to Alice directly that as soon as the first sheep is healed, word would get around, she’d soon be up to her ears in fragile sheep.
In this evening’s menagerie of folks, even the supposedly normal had a queer filter, making them look somewhat suspicious, after all, no one normal would be here. The welcoming kid proceeded to enquire about Shamanism, specifically on what could get him high. He said that he had tried most things, that there was a mushroom locally that would carry you to another plane. Mentioning healing just brought a confused look below his confused hair, it was not anything he had considered.
In a nook an old man hid, flickering in and out of existence at the will of a fluttering candle. He decanted a dark ale into a bottle, corked it and said his goodbyes to the landlord before taking his leave. At the window a ginger cat waited to be let in. I thought cats would know better, but perhaps the odd is the normal in a feline mind. The landlord asked how we were settling in to life out here in the sticks. We commented on the peace and quiet, which teased out a sly grin from one land owner at the bar, “Wait till the shooting season starts, it’s like Sarajevo..”.
We sat and soaked in some more odd as we drank a half of ale. Odd drifted out, the next shift drifted in. Or perhaps rolled in. A man of size rolled from one side to the other, to allow his over worked legs to swing a step. He had his own gravity and bent the air in the room. In ten minutes, four drinks evaporated into his mass, barely a sip. My sanity is floating on this hubs twisted wave, I wish to settle it to a normal vibration. So we bid farewell for now and take the tarmac tunnel home.
Life has infinite complexity making up it’s simplicity. Wether this is how we made it, or is an inevitable result of billions of cells tumbling according to each and every code? Well, I think I answered my own question. It is only a simple life from a distance. Take a step closer and it all goes into high definition. Perhaps beyond the greatest microscope, our cells are made of galaxies.
Yet most of what goes on is beyond our control. Automation. So why not sit back and let our galaxies do what is in their code to do, while we make the simple decisions. Who to love, what to eat, where our limbs will wave.
In every room, love glows, that’s just the way she is.
Caught in a power no man can tame
We’re just standing in the rain
Shooting at the hurricane.
Ain’t science great! I just love how we can concentrate every chemical on this planet to such a degree that it makes it lethal, wonderful! Even water, we can twist it in a test tube and have it burn our eyes out. Let’s try it on a bug, on a rat, on your bunny, watch him shrivel and burn, such a riot.
Renew every moment, moments of infinite time
No waiting for the calendars leaves dropping
No pause for the momentous chimes.
Should we know our insides? Most swear, hand on pec. Where’s your kidneys? Where’s your spleen, your tonsils? If you feel a pain, do you know what it is? No your stomach isn’t that low. If we don’t know ourselves, what do we know?
With teeth so bright
and mind so dim
go read a book
let some light come in.
I hear Trump is going to build a wall around the world,
so his followers don’t fall off.
Harry Lempik sat looking at his old laptop again, at the book he has written over many of his fifty six years. It is a heavy tome at eight hundred pages, it takes up most of his D drive. It has sat in there finished for three years. As yet he has never managed to gather the courage to show it to a publisher, only his eyes have read it. It’s not as though it is a bad book, Harry has read many books and knows what makes a good read, just, courage. The book looks back telling him of his failings to commit, to take that chance, to confront the what ifs.
Right! he thinks to himself, its time to prepare, read what I need to do with this. He recalls reading that publishers prefer to receive their submissions in doubled space format. He looks at his closely spaced work and wonders how to go about double spacing every word without having to do it individually. “These computers are so complicated..” he grumbles. Fumbling through options and folders he discovers ‘Format drive D’. He clicks this option and the computer asked ‘Are you sure you wish to format drive D?’. “I am finally ready to share my work”. He clicks ‘Yes’.