I

I read yet another book by the same author and the ink begins to lift from the pages, the type alights into the space between me and the pulp. I am helpless as the font invades my mind. I am no longer reading words, I am soaking sentences, I can feel the thoughts as they were written. So much time with the author’s labour has garnered a connection. I am possessed by this flowing mind, grant me exorcism from this writer’s soul.

 

 

I walk up into the woods to collect dead wood for the fire. The gradient is steep, some forty five degrees in places, the leaf litter adds to the adventure in every step. On my third ascent I am feeling it in my legs, slow pace does not alleviate the burning in my thighs, I start to breath heavily, the cold air stings the stove in me. I think to stop but invent markers in the trees, targets to pass. ‘I must stop,’ I think to myself, but mechanically keep on, to cross another border of discomfort. I wonder what kind of motivation would keep me crossing these borders, how much urgency would keep me till collapse, I wonder how far into discomfort collapse is. Runners do this every day, crossing their borders of distress for what seems to me scant reward. Pushing and pushing till something gives. I cross a final border at the summit and sit before I collect the wood. There is a chemical reward, I can feel it, below the exhaustion, bellow the aches, a rich stream of fulfilment flows.

 

 

There is a gun out there
with a bullet in the chamber
fear that skulking round
neglect the empty chambers
fear it, or take control
take the gun yourself
Put it to your temple
proudly wear your badge
‘My gun went click.’

 

 

If I had the thing I’d be happy. Now I have the thing I realise it was that other thing I needed, so I need that thing. Now I have that thing it looks different from when I didn’t have the thing, it does not look like the thing that will bring me happiness, but I have seen another thing that looks sure to be the thing to bring me happiness. Oh well, it turns out that thing wasn’t it either, those things I thought were going to make me happy now look like stuff. But I have seen another thing, a new expensive thing, expensive equals happiness I read, just look at it! How could this shiny thing be anything less than pure joy to have? At last I have it, but must admit it looks less shiny out of the wrapping, was it worth it? Of course not, it’s just an expensive thing. Now I have learn’t that I should covet cheap things, for cheap things will give me joy for their thingness and their thrift. So, I search for that item where beauty meets value, and I find one, and two, for where there is a bargain I can have more, so I buy three and four and more. Upon their arrival the boxes are scattered everywhere, boxes of potential joy. I unwrap them, casting aside their veils. They shrink in every tear of packaging, till I have a small pile of stuff. I rotate the things in my hand, in search of the joy, but find it is exactly the same as everything else, it is metal, it is plastic, it is wool and wood, it is the passing of earth.

 

 

So I waited for the future, but found it didn’t arrive. The future went to other places, but not here. I was optimistic about something happening, I read a reading and heard a prediction, it’s coming they said, the future is going to be a new adventure, an unexpected journey to a new time. I had faith in these words, optimism resided in my soul. So I waited for the future to play out. I am still here waiting for fate to tow the future to me.

 

 

I am paralysed by
my perception of me.

Never turn your back on a dream

While sleeping I wrote a story. Packed and ready to leave, we are standing in the space between here and there. The jet is shining on the runway, ready to take us out to the island. I can imagine the white sand, the clear ocean and the silence of beauty. I look down and my bag is missing, I turn and look for it, I walk back into the building, the bag rotates on the carousel alone, it looks less important now. I tuck it under my arm and run out to the plane, but it has gone, everyone has gone. Never turn your back on a dream.

 

Draggin

Out into the woods he’d go, his children would stay and play near the lodge. In every time in every land. While playing the children would hear their father’s tussle with the woods. With their father’s return they would imagine a monster in these shapes emerging. A red face huffing and puffing, branch wings flapping, dragging a limb tail through the fallen leaves. In a million minds throughout all lands the draggin was born.

 

Reality

The book tied a ribbon
with every soul,
none were left to wander
into the unknown,
none withered from memory,
each eye contemplated
a sketch of the next step,
a decorative silk, having no relation
to the tattered yarn of our ancestry.

 

Duck ‘n’ weave

Those stiff jabs
at my pacifism,
add weight to
my patient
haymaker.

 

Nowhere is where we be

Out in the woods, sitting among the fallen leaves. The only company are the distant echos of traffic from miles away and a pair of magpies chatting up in the boughs splitting the blue. The day is so tranquil, I meditate upon movement in the stillness. Every flicker in my periphery reminds me of my nature. A crystal dew drop garners my attention, catching the sunlight as it emerges from under a rusting leaf. the dew drop climbs the stalk, reaching up into the glade, disregarding the rules of science.

 

Fashionable folly

Every six months the ‘cool’ words fall like dead leaves. Fickly trodden down like yesterday. Pay attention to those strong branches of language, without chasing those leaves of trend in the fickle wind.

Lace

Different people soak in different moments, small moments, lacing moments. The sight of wispy white clouds in a blue sky serenaded by a blackbird’s morning song, the cats yawning and stretching in a sunbeam, dancing incense in a still room, the tide crawling up the beach sending horses to the sand, the first sip of whisky in the dark, stepping through the inviting flicker of pink neon. We weave moments into lace, to drape upon the world’s woes.

 

I read online

I read online that we are suffering due to being online, so I went to verify this information online, other views refuted the theories put forward online, so I sought another opinion online, where they proclaimed most definitely in graph and factual evidence that being online is terrible for social and physical health. So I bought a book, that I looked up online, to get away from being online, but it would take a day to get here, so I bought a digital copy instead, to read online.

 

Sapphire 

A sapphire evening
hosts a cobalt moon
spying Tom’s ghost
passing in a perilune
soon night will lose
her sunlight twin
the stars will drive
the dagger in.

 

Aliens minding their own business 

They didn’t take me anywhere, take me any way, they just turned up and then they left. I sat watching the light changing, meditating, sitting in now away from there then and when. They aped the cars but without our rules of weight. It took me a moment to notice they had no wheel on their car, or windows, and it was entirely round, like an orange, yet without colour. They waited at the red light, then turned right. I looked straight at them and they slowed, I imagine they were looking right back at me. I held my breath, frozen still staring, they sped back up and continued to float down 3rd avenue. Last I saw them they were waiting at the light at 3rd and Ingrid. I went in and brewed some coffee.

Dreams mean something

The Russian submarine emerged from the lake, No metal to rust, this massive factory of a submersible was made traditionally from brick. Some windows smashed and others I can see where rooms are full of water, where tiny sailers are swinging furniture at the pane, oddly inversely they are sealed into their tank. The bricks outside are soft, falling away like mud slides. Digging and scooping into this stranded machine, I eventually reach the corridors and the rooms, where desks and chairs look through dusty wooden windows splintering the light. A young lady is sat there, blonde and immaculate, I ask how long the machine has been down there, she said for twenty years. She could be no older than those twenty years, yet she looked unmoved by her first glimpse of blue skies through the damaged roof.

 

Should

An occasion we ‘should’ enjoy
and look forward to,
is often a trigger in waiting.
I watch other people smiling
from an uncomfortable indifference,
to be laden with guilt
in retrospect.

 

Neither here nor there

Perhaps the space
between here and there
could be narrower,
as it is hard to get a grasp
on the scale of there from here.
Here it comes and there it goes.

 

Cure

I don’t believe
in saving every soul,
ending every sufferance,
keeping all of our
lights for eternity.
We are many
and light is few.
If there is one miracle
I would wish for,
it is the unearthing
of a cure
to Alzheimer’s.
Everyone should be
gifted the dignity
of only dying once.

Biography

My clothes hang on the branches dripping. The match is striking, across the box ripping. The paper bursts into orange, catching the kindling, beginning the journey to warmth. Shivering and naked I talk to me, try to convince myself to overcome. Watching the flames grow, dancing taller, I see the flames, I hear fire and I think of heat, but cannot stop shaking. The frigid river still chatters behind me, it cannot believe I crawled from her clutches.

It was a fine day when I awoke. Unseasonably warm for November. I reversed the car out of the garage and let her sit warming through while I tied the kayak to the roof-rack. Serendipitous that this perfect day would arrive as a client called to cancel so early. The rich flavour of the morning coffee still lingered on my tongue as I threw my tote bag onto the passenger seat, to begin the drive out and up towards the mountains.

I kept feeding the fire, slandering the water. I felt my face would blister in the flames intimacy, while my back still froze in the shadow. The clear skies, so beautiful during the morning, began to draw all lingering warmth from the day. Icy stars stared daggers down at me, though my friend the fire halted my shivering.

The road remained quiet, a mere scattering of lives commuted upon their days, glancing against, yet not intersecting my own. By the time the trees grew tall, there was nothing and no one at all. Mute rusty redwood sentinels lead me to the bank, where the river runs low and mischievously swiftly through the woodland, between the mountains and down down into the valley.

The stars are a wonderful distraction from the bitter ground, the infinite consumes the small. Out from the mists of human community the colours of the night sky emerge. I continue to feed the fire, tomorrow is so far away.

Putting my bag beneath my knees, I push the oar into the bank and the kayak quietly joins the current, traveling without effort, moving still. The river weaves and accelerates imperceptibly, I am lost in the trees. Barely noticing the babble of foam, of water on stone, in the echo of a curve it sounds for all the world like the wind teasing the trees, till my heart falls to attend a disappearing horizon.

Straining against a blanket of exhaustion, I am wilting before the fire. The crackle of the embers sends sparks up to play with the stars, flickering fleeting constellations, the stars fade as the fire starves. I go with her to sleep till mourning.

Where can I buy these words? I’m glad you asked! Here is one example;

Fog

An idealistic fog, cleared and left the scatterings of failure and changed minds. The man became right and the cause not worth it. The fence jumped, us became them and them became us. Switch whipping the dreamers into a line, comply or step outside. Pile those who quit into a kindling pile, an idealistic fog billows again, not to obscure, but to smudge these impure thoughts of compliance.

 

Dream Valves

Switching off the TV
residual strength
flutters in the valves
as the set dreams.

skinny nightmares
of insurance ads

 

Greasy

Greasing the ladder
we gained equality
but we lost hope.

 

Admirable Automation

A simian machine shucks another shell
impressing the footfall listen for the bell
call him to humanity at the time agreed
the robot is a human pulling out his lead.

 

The unexpected

The stories seemed so important to yesterday, then today rendered them obsolete.
A script carefully crafted and pasted upon the calendar, now mocked by time.

 

Porcupine

Once we were asked
is the glass half empty
or is the glass half full?
Now the glass is a porcupine
and the water is an ash tray.
Full is black
and empty
smells of violets.

 

Rag

Don’t raise your flag
raise your standard.

 

Ash

When out
of firewood
don’t burn
the axe.

Moon Hunting

Up There

Up in the attic there are creatures. It is a tiny attic, not two feet across, but the creatures are large. They don’t scamper or scurry, they step and they stride. They have a weight that belies the scale of their domain. Early in the morning and late at night, we hear them explore the nooks and the crannies in the walls, they then stride the attic, like realtors assessing the space. Unseen I wonder what realm they are are really occupying, perhaps they echo into ours. how leaden the vapour’s feet.

 

Ink

If the ink
doesn’t smear
when I touch it,
my thought is
too old for me
to understand.

 

From wet ink
straight into
the cornea,
freshly picked,
the best way to
imbibe poem.

 

Dread

To look forward to. Events and meets, parties and gigs, socialising. All the things we look forward to, are supposed to look forward to. The soup is so full of these expectant feelings that this cube of vegetable soaks in the same, until the time arrives. What I was sleep walking into was just dread painted in some one else’s colours. My fey momentum of anticipation, dissipates swiftly, like sugar in coffee. What I feigned to myself, falls away replaced with panic, people and people and people siphon me away. I fall quieter and quieter, till I find a place to shelter from what my love thought I was looking forward to.

 

Mask

As long as he was illusive and ambiguous
he would remain enigmatic to her eyes
she would stay to find out who he was
never to open and have her flee.

 

Goss

From many
fathoms down
in thought
I got the bends
from gossip.

 

Moon Hunting

We are going to go
moon hunting tonight,
we will come back with
her bones on our fender
and dust in our teeth.

Family Calling

“It’s nice, I’m happy for you, but it’s not for me,” He said diplomatically about his Son’s art. Eventually the blood dried, lending a somber air to the once vibrant piece. The next Christmas his Father hinted to his Son with potions and elixirs. But they would never slaughter the same way, his son loved the theatre too much to fade into the background. Of course his Son was caught, inevitable, but he did not regret his modus operandi, his precept declared better to shine in scarlet than to wither in grey.

 

White

How crisp and white
the fresh fallen snow
how does the frosty
chill ground glow?

 

Motivation

It is hard for me to write a story, as a character’s motivation remains illusive. What would they want and why? My empathetic self does not see enough need to maintain an ark. Just enough drive for brewing a cup of tea. A cup of tea is a worthy goal, but it does not stretch to a chapter, let alone a book. There is no one to rescue, no thing to recover, no dream to maintain, peace is a hard plot to carry for any length of time. A book demands battle and conquest, no matter how small, there is the fish and the foe, the army and the king, read of the grain’s fate in the rain, of how slow the sun is at noon. Every story falls into the same rhythm, an uncomfortably comfortable tidal stream.

 

I Read

I read that a lethal wet nothing is heading in. It will limply kill, it will impotently slay. Better buy a shot of venom to defend myself from that flaccid summation.

 

Dilation 

Time carries the same
momentum as space,
space bears the same
time as momentum,
more momentum,
equates to more
time in space.

 

Let Go

Firstly, I let go. Then I think of what is letting go. I let go of the concept of letting go. I let go of my judgment upon myself for forming an opinion of letting go. I let go of the humour in the judgement of me. I let go of the weight of thought, I let go of the belief that there is weight in thought, I let go of trying to see me letting go. I let go of the image of me watching me. I let go.

Time Atlas

Looking through my time atlas, I found tomorrow, but not today. Today was nowhere to be found. Yesterday was plain as day, if day were not elusive. Last week’s days scattered and marked with some infinite number I don’t recall. Perhaps today is torn out, it certainly does not appear to be pertinent to the arching narrative. Today is abundant in nothing at all, to use up regardless of tomorrow. Today may have as little impact on tomorrow as yesterday on today, I might create and leave nothing but ash, I might waste the whole of today without the slightest reverberation upon the week, untethered and unwritten.

 

Avatar

I would create
an avatar,
but my heart
is not in it.

 

When

When he finally passed away, we meticulously removed his head with a saw, we skinned his skull and delicately scraped the flesh and sinew from the bone. We drained the nasal passages, scooped out his eyes and gently liquified his brain, to pour out of his ear cavity. We took his skull and we cleaned it till it gleamed. We painted it in a luminescent orange, then painstakingly with gold leaf, we coated his teeth, so his smile gleamed. We placed marigolds in his eye sockets and fixed diamanté upon his scalp. It is what he would have wanted.

 

Art

Artists seek.
They find new avenues,
they plug in their guitar..,
they lose fans, they gain fans,
the exploration continues.

 

Profit

Just because you are not buying,
does not mean they are not selling.

 

Simplicity 

Something
to write,
something
to read,
mono output,
mono input,
one cord of
conveyance,
a simplified
exchange.
blinkered
conducive
to calm.

Giggling

…and the two young men huddle together in the back of the classroom, whispering and giggling, firing vicious glances around the room. I wonder how they get this way, how do they find each other, was there a ceremony, a hand fasting, was there a spark of mutual cruelty? And how are they still giggling in corners together as they leave their teenage years behind. This impulse to cling together, I imagine Freud would call it to be mutually repressed homosexual urges, a bond unnamed and fed on cruelty to punch down that they will not and cannot admit. Or is it fear, the fear of being the lone entity they prey on. Innocently I might muse they are simply lucky to find their soulmate. Just fuck each other, relieve the tension for all of us.

 

Decisions decisions

It is still early,
last night’s dream
is partially
my reality,
I am split between,
deciding
which reality
to choose.

 

Fruit

In the evening I watched the night sky arrive. I sat chilly upon the dew, the clear sky presented every star unobstructed by floss. I was lucky enough to witness over a dozen stars falling. I slept and I dream’t of change.
When the dawn arrived I was drawn to the fields that roll out beyond the woodland, as the sun gained height over the land, I found what I dream’t the night before, a blackened trench, still hot, where the star ripped the earth. I see a large apple split in two, pips strewn, gasping at our thick air. I looked a little further along the ridge, and there lay a large bunch of grapes prone upon the ground. It was only a matter of time till this fruit adapted to our atmosphere.

 

Hippies

I am playing Mr Tambourine Man, an incantation, to recall the hippies.
To dispel the myth of capital progress, to turn fear into love and loathing into curiosity. Return to being the star people we arrived as.

 

More Fruit

I boarded the train, a lengthly trip through the valley, over the mountains and across the river. I glanced across and around at my fellow passengers. A mango looked out of the window, without engaging with anyone. A bunch of grapes giggled and whispered. An apple sat stoic and a lemon shifty. The lime passed the time with an avocado. A coconut argued of origin with a date and a banana looked confused by the whole adventure. All the fruit I shared the journey with, ripe with anticipation. The lower valley passed without incident, chatter evaporated. We approached the mountains, they loomed high, unscalable. A loud whistle wailed, a muted echo as all became black. Just the rattle of the rails and the force of the engine filling the ears full of all the dumb senses listenings. Just as suddenly the light returned, a numb dread resided as we looked to the aisle. A banana lay dead on the floor. That horrible realisation emerged, one of the these fruits is a murderer.

 

Algorithms

Painted as some complex AI system, an invasive thread weaving into your subconscious, a manufacturing of a mirrored avatar of your soul, to play out all facets of your being in an expansive agglomeration, compiled from each and every one of your worldly interactions, amassing a framework of intimate knowledge where the processor can predict your every whim and fancy. When it’s really; “We saw you buy some stuff, here is more stuff like that.”