Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Nobody here is nice

You can call me a lick spittle but that will never stick
Mention anything you want but you better do it quick
There's a hundred ways I'm dead and a thousand ways I live
There's a recipe for hell and that's something that I could give

She said "you're the one I want "I said "I'm the one you need"
My feet never left the ground but I was travelling at speed
I wiped the insects from my face and we met up in a kiss
She said "you're still the one I want but I didn't think of this"

I saw the sun burn down just behind the refinery
The smoky tails and restless whales and that industrial scenery
There was moment when I flinched like footsteps across my grave
While  fossil fuel's fire up the sky artificial intelligence is safe

We cracked devices and then cracked walnuts with our arms
The depravity knew no bounds but they said they meant no harm
Some set alight to books  so we didn't ask for trouble
The barman whispered "drinks on the house" then please make mine a double

You can take the things you like and carry them outside
They won't amount to much and you'll be punished for your pride
Here's some humble evidence here's some terrible advice
Real men only growl and howl they don't use words like "nice"
Nobody here is nice.



Monday, 17 November 2014

in the blue and warm


i'd make you meatballs
and Mediterranean food
we'd sing like we were in an opera
and ride horseback in the nude
i'd make you famous
like a word or a restaurant
on film or stage in some poem
wrecked with mixed up words and meanings
our love would be beautifully deceiving
painted and made up like art and plaster
happy ever after

a pot at infinity


you know that feeling you get
when you're not quite depressed
somewhere not fully stressed
before the black crows and before the rainbows
appetite's shot and the coffee's too hot
nothing seems to be a prefect fit
and the mirror distorts every day with it's 
habitual lies and moaning
stomach groaning 
from sugar rush and digested mush
those who have and have not
push you
you just might take a pot
at infinity.

You know that hunger that comes
when you hang by your thumbs
all cymbals and drums
all sticks and bones
everybody else face down in their phones
face full of fruit and fly by the seat
of your pants like some bitch on heat
you consider your options
you toy with concoctions
and memory plays tricks
like a slowed down eater
who is and who is not
open to taking a pot
at infinity.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Facepunk

A story I once wrote


A story I wrote about the ghost of Thelonious Monk (who the spell checker calls him felonious, it may stick) was built around a picture now reproduced on the skin of a drum. A tight drum skin for hammering or thumping, tapping or just running the brushes over. Soft and low. A painted drum skin showing a dead jazz man. A story about a ghost. New York and the pale forgetfulness of black and white images, drained away with tired music and rapturous journalism, drugs and scandal. Spinning dark disks that create a sound scape fashioned and released new to a waiting world via the latest hi-fi speakers of the day. Deals and contracts, cigarettes and taxis, they wear us down brother. People who talk piffle, pseudo and false, sincere and loving. You can never tell, all the eyes are dark now. Gone back to shadow. All stammered out, broken eloquence and waiting for the latest new wave. It's a tough life being a ghost.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Inspired by Herzog

The small matter of what you should do with the rest of your life assuming that you in a real rather than hypothetical position and one which warrants some study and a little reflection. 

a) Looking out of the window may help.
b) Drink sugary beverages to stimulate the lazy brain.
c) Try on a hat.
d) Google profound words on the Internet and see where their meaning lead you.
e) Hold your breath.
f) Engage a fellow soul in some like minded conversation.
g) Study insects, are they busy?
h) Prepare a dossier containing what you consider to be solid facts.
i) Share some cinematic experience, comment on the highs and lows.
j) You can assume that there is no number 10.




Thursday, 18 September 2014

And so it was

And so I was that the body of the woman found floating face down in the lake was traced back to the incident in which the owner of the black sedan had discharged the shotgun into the air and so killed two geese and wounded the best cow belonging to the irritable old  farmer who had just succeeded in capturing the escaping lion that had been in hiding in the barn following the tragic collision between the circus train and the school bus which thankfully was empty (save for the now badly injured driver) as all the children had alighted in order to attend the annual bread-baking and hog-roasting picnic that took place down by the river where there had once been a sighting of a pike so huge that it was rumoured to have been able to slice a man in half so large were it's jaws and so evil was it's nature that it would from time to time and completely without warning attack the boats of the fishermen who dared to drift out onto the surface of the deep pond where it was also rumoured a great and wonderful treasure had once been lost as the result of poor seamanship and a sudden spell of unexpectedly bad weather that had raced across the surface of the water like the cork from a champagne bottle and caused every vessel to rock and roll and had even shattered and blown out the windows of the country club and bar down by the southern tip of the shore side where every so often young couples would gather in order to tie a blue or a green or maybe even a yellow ribbon around a tree trunk  that was covered in old pennies that had been placed there during the years of the plague by young children and superstitious old folks who had made wishes and from time to time dream all sorts of strange dreams about a future in which there were none of the troubles that currently dog us all because the land was lit brightly with constantly changing coloured lanterns instead of some poor and unreliable sun that might run out of energy any day and mind expanding drugs were free for all in the water supply and their constant consumption and embitterment created a state of perpetual happiness and hope which rained down upon one and all despite the fact that none of these things wee reflected in their daily lives because around here and I don't know if you've noticed this there always seemed to be a serious of serious crimes that were both committed and unsolved and when I say that I am of course referring to that poor woman who was found floating face down in the lake who was traced back to the incident in which the owner of the black sedan had discharged the shotgun into the air and so killed two geese and wounded the best cow belonging to the irritable old  farmer who had just succeeded in capturing the escaping lion that had been in hiding in the barn following the tragic collision between the circus train and the school bus which thankfully was empty (save for the now badly injured driver) as all the children had alighted in order to attend the annual bread-baking and hog-roasting picnic that took place down by the river where there had once been a sighting of a pike so huge that it was rumoured to have been able to slice a man in half so large were it's jaws and so evil was it's nature that it would from time to time and completely without warning attack the boats of the fishermen who dared to drift out onto the surface of the deep pond where it was also rumoured a great and wonderful treasure had once been lost as the result of poor seamanship and a sudden spell of unexpectedly bad weather that had raced across the surface of the water like the cork from a champagne bottle and caused every vessel to rock and roll and had even shattered and blown out the windows of the country club and bar down by the southern tip of the shore side where every so often young couples would gather in order to tie a blue or a green or maybe even a yellow ribbon around a tree trunk  that was covered in old pennies that had been placed there during the years of the plague by young children and superstitious old folks who had made wishes and from time to time dream all sorts of strange dreams about a future in which there were none of the troubles that currently dog us all because the land was lit brightly with constantly changing coloured lanterns instead of some poor and unreliable sun that might run out of energy any day and mind expanding drugs were free for all in the water supply and their constant consumption and embitterment created a state of perpetual happiness and hope which rained down upon one and all despite the fact that none of these things wee reflected in their daily lives because around here and I don't know if you've noticed this there always seemed to be a serious of serious crimes that were both committed and unsolved and when I say that I am of course referring to that poor woman who was found floating face down in the lake who was...


Thursday, 21 August 2014

Cat food omelette #2


I seem to have gone on for most of July and much of August, the long summer months in some sort of denial of writing or producing or creating anything other than those bad, half formed early morning ideas you get (or the drunken ones you get and quickly forget). Yes that is how it has been, unforgivable and reprehensible...but fun, followed by those three pretentious and hopefully meaningful full stops. You see I've been away, in France, in England, here and there. I've been lazy too and too lazy, obstinate, preoccupied and busy with things that are counter productive. The stats have all of course gone haywire, history has repeated and I've slept away the rain, fog and misty days in a haze of, well just about nothing. Excuse me please.

Obvious things from elsewhere  that I cannot fathom No1: 

"If you really want your life to make sense, your bathroom to smell sweet, to be free from pungent human  odours and to deeply relax and revive all those lost souls who may from time to time pass through then don't hold back. Don't restrain yourself, invent and improvise. Cast away the preconceived ideas about cats, cat food, egg poisoning, candles and extraneous shit like that. There is a bright and enlightening future out there, way beyond September 18th, the blue horizon, the general erection and existential mind games. Dip your Yankee Candle Coconut Cake in an empty feline food container and by whatever sane and safe means you can muster let it burn...real slow and strong. The universe can wait, around here we play long games."

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Ramblin'


Burning the midnight lamp. Actually the one thirty lamp, midnight was a long time ago. Here's what the wee, small hours look and feel like. All is blurred at the edges, unfocused and grey. The head feels blocked up, the mind is swimming in the treacle of semi-solid thought. Ideas are stuck in some other far away place and it's all about minor diversions and running down the cruel face of the clock. This is the no man's land of time. No sleep is allowed or permissible, I'm on watch, programmed and committed to stay awake for the ringing of a phone, the blip of some unexpected message or email, a flash of approaching car lights in the dark that might shake or rattle my mind from it's low level of activity.

Night time is tough. You sense the heavy sleep everyone else is enjoying, their distant rollings and snoring. The comfort you are deprived. Sitting in a half, artificial light, looking across and seeing only dark shapes. Keeping alert and staying awake. I could get up out of the chair, make coffee, return and sip it slowly. Elevate that most mundane of things into some special, lone pleasure, an exaggerated high, sipping warm water with a coffee flavour. Somehow that might help the time to pass and might colour and enhance these stalling thought processes. Well it might but I cant be bothered. That's the strange thing, the reach for even a tiny spec of pleasure hardly seems worth it. The effort will own drain the feeble battery and rewards will be fleeing and by the time I sit down again gone. I wont bother.

Neither will I explore the news websites that at this time sit in some nether region between today's and yesterday's news. Reports die back, writers might reflect or review in these lonely hours but they will not publish until their audience starts to stir. The early stories of celebrity clubbers or attacks or sensational tit bits must wait until the phones and devices click alive. The wait until the readers are in a fit state to gawp at the stories and be bemused and enticed by the nearby adverts and product messages. This isn't the time, the sleepers are flat, alone, in pairs, otherwise, asleep and dreaming only of their next moment of exploitation and driven direction.

That poor stream of near drivel killed fifteen minutes, they'll never return nor will I miss them or call them back. They are night time moments. Cheap and devoid of value, passed over by sunny days and bright chattering times, woozy intense pleasures, intimate and coloured couplings and blurs. Here's the time when time really comes alive, when life is lived and not observed as some dead beast or passing cloud. Life is day and light, death is the dark, still and dreamlessly enduring. My time comes with the sunrise. Here's man's natural state, set in crispy breakfast and shining orange juice moments and spectrums that split and rejoin as the rays of a new day pass across and through glass and curtains to warm the world. Those times are a whole night time away. That's the dull dark for you, a pale shadow of life, a secret time when deals are done in the subconscious and the great mystery of who we might be and what thoughts we file and keep or discard swirl in the deep places. We shut these moments away and hide in our sleep. Only I seem to be offering up some temporary and short lived resistance but sleep knows that wont last, it never does. I will capitulate, my head will drop and the ground will rush towards me. 

I read about a car that had been driven over a cliff; reported by a foreign tourist it said. There was a person onboard, the driver I presume. It sailed over the cliff, two hundred feet down, onto rocks, crashing into the sea. The emergency services were duly called and could make little of it. The tide was rising and quickly covered the wreckage. There was somebody inside, dead and still in that crushed metal space, battered and drowned by their deliberate act. Over the edge and into the uncaring waves, broken and rattled to pieces. Birds wheeled around, would be rescuers stood and watched but were powerless. Some soul moved way across a thousand boundaries in that anonymous act. Pressed the pedal and kept the eyes closed, all over in seconds with the silence of the drop and thud of the rocky, watery impact. The untold story, assumed and made up in the many minds that come running and stand on the edge of some other's tragic decision. When the conditions are right a boat will launch or a helicopter will fly. Brave men will investigate and prod at the bear facts for some explanation. Records will be searched and phone calls made, visits will take place. In the deep cold of the night or dawn's chilly beginning someone will hear and feel the bitter shock. The car, the cliff, the sea and the dead moment, all together in the look and the words of a stranger on the doorstep. That is the end of that.

I back away from this line of thinking, I cant explain why I retained that story and not a thousand others, old news about attacks and rockets, dull politicians, breaking scandals, diseases and sporting moments, always the sporting moments. They rise like some strange scum and breed and entice. We, bereft of other ideas take them on, the results and performances and give them a meaning they cannot deserve. Sponsors pay out and gloat, the public chew and spit and the performances build and fade, like art exhibitions or birthdays, paperbacks and background music, over and spent before you know it. Here in the slow cold of the early morning it makes little sense and that it makes little sense hardly matters. That, seems to be the way of most things, not making sense at all. That and seeing the battery fall to 89%, hardly cause for panic but maybe a signal to take some kind of break. It's only July after all.

So there's this whole unthinkable thing, somebody doing something so wrong for them, so out of character. You couldn't explain it or see it coming, it was a terrible shock, a surprise. The person who took their life, who tore themselves away, driving over the cliff and down to answer their calling for oblivion. They did that and we never knew it was in them. It was a black dog, grinning and slobbering their in the passenger seat, stupid and excited as only a dog can be. Then tilted and pushed apart by the forces as they sailed into space, that person and all their black dog or burdens and common experiences, prisoners of gravity like me and you and everybody, unclipping the seat belt and pushing back the feeble puffs of the airbags. Futile explosions in the high speed drop, quick and deadly, over in a crumpled flash. It was all so predictable and all so unexpected and the sleep never came and the time passed more quickly than I'd have believed. So I awoke without ever having been asleep, I felt indestructible, confident and bright; like Margaret Thatcher.

It seems now that I was desperate to fill the space, I'd have said anything, any bullshit, just to get me in there. There to the end of the piece. I scratch my head and wonder what it is I must do, wonder what it is I don't have, wonder where I might get it and how once I get it how I might use it. So I'm this outsider who because of numerous flaws and defects, lack of drive or lack of...a long list of things cannot get the breaks, cannot work or function. I'm stuck in the limbo of obscurity and nothingness. A lifetime tourist, somewhere on the bus but not making an impact, not creating an impression, fodder but not substantial fodder. Here and looked over but not quite registering, here but not quite here. Little do they know how desperate I am, or was, to fill that white, clean and irritating space. The place that I laid some claim to (or so I said), the space that other people chose but didn't quite get to. It was always out of reach. So I stand by as the waters lap around my feet, as the the tide slowly rises. I look down and witness the floating and the moving, bubbles and froth. The white space is still there, the space is attractive, enticing even but the cool, clean water is better for me. Really you just need to get out and do something.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Normal love

Somebody says “you've lost weight,” and you're not quite sure if it's a compliment or an accusation. Then your wife hears the comment and looks across accusingly, as if she knew all along about some dark secret. How seriously ill you really are, how you are in denial and refuse to get a check up and so acknowledge your terrible condition. Then of course it may be a compliment, you've been working out, cycling and taking the stairs, eating less crap, respecting your body an so on. Who would ever believe such things? So the statement hangs there, floating in some twilight place, unable to be taken forward but still living and breathing in a hopeless state of purgatory. The lost weight that cannot quite be explained by your current known lifestyle choices. Will anything be said about better fitting, better quality clothes, your posture or demeanour, the fact that your just sitting up straight and smiling? I don't know. 

“You've lost weight” becomes a criminal sentence, a judgement on your behaviour and habits because clearly they make no sense because right now, in this room, nobody can quite align your physical appearance with the person that they thought you were. You are a misfit and a fraud, some shadowy figure who has dealt in some black and Devilish secret deal and rendered yourself, just for the moment, just in this instant, as a thinner, falser, less passable version of yourself. Perhaps, in the light of this you should just go ahead with new and radical looks; get those neck and face tattoos, shave your head, get piercings, have that gender reassignment surgery you always promised yourself in later life, have a tummy tuck or a gastric band, become a heroin addict, join UKIP, an irritating lung removed or getting a nose job. 

All of these might be more acceptable than appearing to be a little more slender which, a result has propelled you out there into deep and misunderstood space and into oblivion. Am I any thinner? To be honest I don't know, I don't even know what weight I should be. If I look at myself in the mirror out the shower I look the same. I have a paunch, I have a gut, a small one anyway and nothing to worry about. I just eat carefully and I do take a mix of regular and occasional vigorous exercise and I fidget but I'm fine, I'm OK, I suffer an innate and unshakable sense of my own strength and well being. I refuse to be ill, overweight or underweight. I make these choices but avoid all the factual baggage, all the reality, notes and regimes. I am a pillar of self awareness and luck, genetic error and some kind of ongoing applied judgement. All these things work, they come together. They work for me.  

So I'm me, fat or thin me, normal, plump or skinny me. You see it's all in the eye of the beholder and those beholder's eyes do often play tricks and the tricks are complicated by the tongue and the brain and the emotions and drivers that compete and criticise and compliment. People are looking, people are looking out for me and you all the time. They see us in our layers and out of them. They want to see how you're measuring up or if you're not and that's fine but as for me, well I'm moving. I'm moving very quickly in my own personal path, I've established a trajectory, a calculation I made, verified and acted upon. Now I'm accelerating, shifting through the spaces high above, across and through all the words and well meant or casual and cruel observations. It's confusing at times and lonely but it's a direction.


Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Murder


I may have murdered a man on Google Street View, outside of a stranger's home, on a street I don’t quite know, as unfamiliar cars passed by and fellow pedestrians ignored us; but it was done in broad daylight. All unfamiliar except for the all seeing eye of the Google VW Beetle with all that revolving apparatus on the roof. There am I, a media star. Blood on my hands and blood on the street, we left a deep pool I had to step over or was that just a trick of the light? Perhaps there's a footprint. Incriminating evidence, circumstances and complicated data gathering equipment. Perhaps it's all just make believe but who believes in make believe? The street they seem to believe they own, all public space is gobbled up and shared, a view now captured along with me and my victim. Rendered and spun into a mix of the truth, the unrecognisable and the day itself. The hour, minute and second with digital timestamp. My motives remain unrecorded, they can't get inside my head, yet. My crime, a sorry sight that will live on in countless viewings and scattered, fiddling searches, on phones and screens. Most likely largely ignored or just filed under those WTF comments. “Some dead guy.” “Some other guy standing.” “It looks fake to me.” “He looks guilty.” “I'm sure he did it.” “Oh, I heard about this.” “It made the Daily Mail and Reddit.” “What business was it they were promoting?” “Where is that place anyway?” “Next shot will have a dog on skateboard or some party goer struggling home wearing a horse's head and no pants.” “I'm not sorry for him.” “Set up.”

It was a sunny day then, when they stole my image and hijacked my soul in that drive-by way that is neither being witness or following a conscience. Just the relentless capturing of locations and details with no intervention or judgement calls. There's no reverse key or rewind. Why edit out the shit anyway? Why bother about what's there? It is what it is, we made a cosmic tattoo that loops around the sun and everything else in 365 days but never gets dizzy. Perhaps I should hide behind a tree or a rubbish bin. Turn and walk in the opposite direction. Pull my shirt over my head. When the officers of the law come in a month's time what will they find? I hid the body, I put whee only a drone would find it and they're not ready yet. We still have some use for the humans. They can search, they can film and of course they can just get on and kill one another. That's all very uncivilised, just what we hoped for.

I should tell you all about my motive, what led me here. Those events, those unlikely circumstances, what he did to deserve it. What he said and stole. What I lost and didn't have. Why they drove me here and made me do it. Why I hurt so much, my humiliation, my loss. I heard the words inside my head, I couldn't do anything to stop it. They just kept talking and then it clicked on me. Almost an innocent man, almost but for one rash action, almost innocent. That camera isn't good enough to catch the pain etched on my face like laser surgery, no lines or signs. And that black, dense mass in my heart is outside of the spectrum of the polished lens. A heart that colour isn't even a colour. That's what we murders know that the rest of you don't. How fucking black it all is and how badly represented we all feel by ourselves. Even when we're stuck out there, hung up in a real estate display or on the edge of a pamphlet photo. The walking ghost of Street View dispatches another body to the other place where even the www wont easily reach.

There's no sensation of speed, travel or movement. We freeze in the pane, on your screen, caught in the act. Static in a sickly acceptance that petty crime will come along, repeat and, despite the politician's good words and the promises of funding, won't go. So let's just record the footprints on the sound stage, the scenery and the back lot landscapes. They'll easily mask all that social disquiet, the rumblings.  Let the bad behaviour play and turn viral, it doesn't matter so long as you can find your way out, or the plumber, or that rental bargain and as for the story of the murder? Well that just happens in other people's families and other peoples lives. Doesn't it?

Monday, 2 June 2014

Life before death


“We have almost no consideration for profit and that is probably why we are highly profitable. You can put that theory right into your corporate pipe and then smoke it. Some. In fact it's not even a fuckn' theory, it's a fact and that's why I've a Maserati parked outside the building doorway right now and for all I know I may have left the key in the ignition and the motor running. Why don't you go out and just grab yourself a free ride and see how far you can get? And while your doing that I'll have another glass of this fine French Brandy or maybe suck on a Cuban cigar. You see that's rock and roll and that's money.”

“ The thing about art is that it doesn't really exist, it's just stuff brought together, or other stuff taken apart and then along comes somebody and stands it up. Well once it's standing up, there in the public domain you have three choices really. You can ignore it, walk by and just deny it's there altogether, show it an unmeasured level of indifference. It'll fade away, into the background, some geeks might like it, there will income, low rents and crumbs from providers, recycling values, that's about it. Obscurity has it's appeal but it doesn't make you any real money.”

“You can hate it, throw things at it, criticize it, burn it down, run it out of town as the most dangerous thing you every seen, you could just say it's just a piece of talentless shit. There's a lot of it about. You might, if you've got some history get valuable publicity and that's ok, most likely you'll just be seen as a bad investment and then you'll be ostracised. Believe me to be ignored is worse than anything, worse than bullying or violence, but that's where you end. I reckon you get three chances, blow all three, they hate you three times in a row, three turkeys, three strikes and you're so far out you're not even in the same country anymore. That bad. End of that story.”

“But the third way is that for some inexplicable reason (or not) you really like it and they like it, it's brilliant. It's special and unique and work of certain genius and what's more it may well have some commercial value. It's worth money. Who'd have thought that the dumb ass idea of yours mister/miss writer, artist, poet, musician etc. would be worth something? Next thing you know big boys like Apple or Samsung or Ford or Exon want to give you support in your venture, use your sweet image, your sound, your association, you can smile all the way up there on the media free ride. They just come along and shovel you right up like you landed on the street from the ass of a horse and now they want to sprinkle you amongst the roses where they think you'll do them some good.”

“So what have you got to show me?” I sat down in front of his desk, laid back a bit on the chair and put both of my feet on his desktop edge and smiled. He grinned back and nodded. I grinned wider. We were going somewhere now. I took an envelope from my inside pocket, removed my feet from the desk and adopted a more gracious position as I handed it to him. He smiled and ripped it open. There was a folded note inside and a memory stick. The stick fell as he tore the envelope and landed on the desktop with a clatter.

“It's all you really need,” I said. “This is the work you've waited on. Push it forward the right way, bearing in mind profit isn't everything and...we'll make a tidy sum.” I sat back and produced my most winning, confident smile yet. Or so I thought. Ideas have value, even bad ideas, even good ideas badly executed and if he thought that it was all some kind of saleable art then I wasn't going to argue. We'll be dead a long time while the others discuss, write books and film documentaries about  wether or not it all was what we said it was. History isn't a bother to me, I'm content to help make it happen  because I know I won't have to live through it. That's some one else’s' problem.

“Damian Hirst designs a block of apartments, condos, whatever you want to call it, it's a holistic art and lifestyle project. We build it in Los Angeles, that's the first. He designs them inside and out, nobody can change things once they've signed up to our management scheme but they are there, living, breathing, sleeping and fucking in an appreciating artwork that's their home. Their piece of action, their share of the prestige, their investment or pension plan or whatever. Then we build another block in Miami, in Paris or in London, in Sydney. Wherever, but up to a limit...and we control all the business, all the ins and outs, all the transactions and all the media interest. The money will be coming out of all our ears. You need to phone this number.”

He read the note and put the stick into a laptop then dialled the number. I zoned out, my part was over for now. I stood and looked out of the window. I was in a dream. So I watched as the light began to dim, the sky was changing, the clouds running and stumbling, fading into the east as quickly as they were replenished from the west taken back up to some other bulbous, fattened place of fury. Soon the heavy air released the rain and the ground breathed in. I wanted to run out and get myself wet, soak my shirt, stick out my tongue and hold my head back. Do a kind of chicken dance to celebrate another day of rain. I smiled inside myself, I chose not to give anything away. Tomorrow would do, that's a different day and more my day. This day is too damp, too heavy for a show of emotion or uncontrolled happiness. This was all about art after all.