Friday, 17 November 2017

End Credits

As my parents'
black labrador
dances to Surfin' Bird
I think we
can safely roll the end
credits to my life

He's really going for it
really shaking his ass
It's really quite remarkable

Snow That Hasn't Happened Yet

Hit the mattress with the wooden sword
Pour water on the mattress
This isn't a Haruki Murukami novel
These aren't our real lives
Snow that hasn't happened yet
The prisoners were exceedingly polite
I smiled or was it a wince
Put down that Haruki Murukami novel
Someone might see you
Snow will happen
I winced or was it a smile
'I was an infinitely dense dot'
wrote Mark Leyner
& I felt compelled to agree
even if I did secretly prefer to
consider myself a nebulous
cluster of sunflower
& then Jonathan Franzen gave
me a blowjob
which was jolly decent of him
I'm not certain if my gratitude for
said act will ever expire
It's not as if Haruki Murukami
has ever performed a sex act
upon yours truly
Neither has Jonathan Franzen
for that matter;
I invented the whole episode
in a bid to impress you
even though I feared it wouldn't work
Nothing I do or say impresses
you anymore
does it?

Lines Composed in Hollyrood Park on an Indian Summer's Day

Subliminal holistic dosages of poetry
are transmitted via electronic algorithmic feed
Your bouquet blocks my view
of the TV screen
It's difficult
to look urbane whilst carrying a plastic tub of Coleslaw down Leith Walk
at night
But I manage

Dismantle your marquees
I plead, as the breeze picks up
             as a dog swishes its tail
             in the sun

Sunday, 2 July 2017


I won't pretend that living in this crawlspace doesn't have its disadvantages, but at the very least I'm insulated. Sometimes something seeps through, something warm, or something cold. At this point my skin is very sensitive. Hell, it was always sensitive, that's partly the reason I'm down here to begin with. I remember the sky, clouds. Parks, trees. I miss those things sometimes, aye. Cold wine and my favourite music. Aye, sometimes I feel tempted to return. I could live on a remote island or alone on a research station in Alaska. But could I, realistically? At times like this present moment, notions such as these strike me as being utterly preposterous. My crawlspace has warm and cold and a few different colours. The less things you have the more you appreciate what you've got.

A layer of sediment appeared, that's new! Oh well then. Imagine me wide-eyed. Grime on my face. A rueful grin. Should I add oregano to my Bloody Mary? These are the queries that one needs to address, quite swiftly. If you're quite ready to advise.

Hostage Situation

Act drunk – take the matches – dad knows – the lassies regarded him oddly and walked away – grinning, clearing his throat – odd looking in his oversized leather jacket and blue cap – he didn't want that we go to his house – the night was so fucking dark there was a purity to it – an unusual friendship... that's an understatement, I was a fucking hostage.

Gesticulating wildly in a bid to explain.

Later he was morose – gaunt – withdrawn.

An overcast day – laughing at drivers – this was during the early days of the hostage situation.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Ficción #2

It wasn't until I was lower down. That was when the reality of my error began to dawn on me. I remember the distant boom of a drum and the sense that the colours were draining out of everything. Crowds singing in the distance. And that feeling of desaturation. The skies as white as a kitchen. The sheer futility of it all — I barely had the wherewithal to think anymore. A terrible fog had descended.

A dressing table painted white, the paint job crude and hurried. Lit candles overflowing with cascades of hardened wax. The window permits a view of an orange streetlight, its glow reflected in a shallow rain puddle. Persistent drizzle.

A girl is hunched at the table. She is Slavic in appearance. Her posture is appalling. Her skin is wet with oils applied to treat her moderate acne. She is wearing a red fleece sweater and black leggings. Her frizzy hair is tied into a severe bun. Her facial expression is somehow both weary and anxious. The tabletop is cluttered with small glass cosmetic jars which she frequently upsets the balance of with her clumsy, hurried, jolting movements.

An elderly man sits on the bed behind her. He seethes with lethargic melancholy. His palms are resting on his thighs and his damp eyes gaze out the window at the pale grey sky. He is dressed in slacks, an oversized t-shirt, and a cardigan, all in navy blue. His feet are bare. He purses his lips and exhales with a puffing sound several times, for no discernible reason. The room is silent aside from the distant gurgle of a boiler or some other plumbing deep within the house.

Lithuania in autumn. A depressed looking woman drifts past on rollerskates. The sky is white. The street is illuminated by orange streetlights even though it's the middle of the day. The light is reflected in a shallow rain puddle.

A listless woman in her 30s is teaching a high school mathematics class. It's a snowy day. She's moderately attractive but this is dampened by her 'frumpy' dress sense. She recently began dating a poet who is slightly younger than she is. She is constantly late for their dates, a trait which he strives to reassure himself is merely one of her endearing little foibles. He chuckles ruefully to himself and takes a sip of red wine. He's sitting at a rustic wooden kitchen table with cheap plastic tablecloth in a red and white checked pattern. The dining chair he sits upon feels somewhat small and flimsy for his overbearing, lurching frame. It contributes perfectly to the sense of alienness and existential discomfort he experiences on a daily basis. He chuckles ruefully again and indulges in another ecstatic glug.

Ficción #1

The bar I was drinking in used to be a hairdressers. I knew this as I recalled having my hair cut here as an infant. And now it was a gentrified bar. An odd thing to have out here in my rural hometown on the outskirts of the city. And an odd venue in which to be drinking on a Monday evening. The place was dimly lit and empty.

Two dark haired men in their early 40s entered. One was bearded and had shrewd, twinkling eyes. The other was impassive and nondescript, calm. They slowly evaluated the empty scene and then took seats at a table close to where I was seated at the bar.
"Espero que estés bien," murmured the latter fellow.
"Tengo depresión severa," replied his companion, grinning in a most disconcerting manner. They suddenly reached over the table to hold one another by the forearms and began screaming in ecstatic horror. I began flecking my tongue rapidly in and out of my mouth in what felt like a gesture of solidarity.

Outside, behind the building the bar was housed in, there was a path which lead through some woodland, illuminated by orange streetlights. There was something perfectly melancholy about this lighting as I walked the path through gentle mist after exiting the bar. It was after midnight on a cool spring evening. I felt inspired and potent, a feeling which is always wont to wane. After walking for a while I was overcome with lethargy and fatigue. I zipped my coat up fully, slowly lowered myself to a prone position on the ground, and rolled under some shrubbery to nap.

I awoke to the white sky of daylight, birds chirping. An elderly couple were walking past with their tall, slender dog. It seemed as elegant and fragile as they did. I felt overwhelmed by a feeling of total love and sympathy for this couple and their pet. It was a tender, tingling feeling and I allowed it to seep through my central nervous system.

Back at my parent's house I let the dog out into the garden. He sniffed around and swished his tail. Ostensibly I was here to babysit him whilst my parents holidayed in Greece for a week. I was beginning to find his neediness wearying.

That evening I used my father's black and white laser printer to print out an image of a girl I'd been dating for a couple of months. She'd gradually stopped responding to my increasingly desperate text messages. I placed the printout on my bed, lay beside it, unbuckled my belt, unzipped my jeans, pulled them to my knees, and then began masturbating listlessly over the image, giggling intermittently. After around four minutes I ejaculated on it and then sank back into the mattress, descending into a light snooze.

I awoke at dusk and decided to take the dog out for a walk. The son of a bitch was as eager as ever. He dashed on ahead of me, sniffing around and swishing his tail. We encountered a judge who lived locally, out walking his dog. My parent's dog attempted to mount his, much to his chagrin which he expressed loudly. I giggled nervously in response and managed to apprehend and lead my dog away. Once we were out of sight of the judge I admonished the animal and then later felt bad about it.

Back at the house I poured myself an enormous tumbler of vodka and orange juice and put on Wayne's World (1992) on DVD. My parents owned an agreeably large TV screen. I dimmed the lights and then the dog and I settled on the sofa. I reflected on how this film always made me think of 90s American indie rock. The older I became the more life seemed increasingly incomprehensible. Not necessarily in a bad way either.

By the time the film was finished I was attending to my third enormous tumbler of vodka orange. Warm feelings of elation and goodwill flowed through me. I watched a documentary on TV about the Grateful Dead whilst enjoying two more tumblers.

I awoke on the sofa. The sky was white. Birds were chirping. I took the dog out and immediately encountered the two Spanish chaps I'd observed at the bar a couple of evenings prior. In spite of the fact that it was before 11am they both seemed to be drunk. They were cavorting around in a manner that could be described as both frivolous and disconcerting. I grinned nervously. They greeted me with ornate bows replete with hand flourishes. I responded in kind. The dog barked and became animated, perplexed by this behaviour. We began dancing, the three of us, locking arms and spinning one another around in an improvised jaunty jig. The dog swished his tail and bared his teeth, his eyes gleaming, his tongue lolling. We clapped our hands and shook our asses. A bald, bespectacled man in a puffy jacket stood nearby, tapping at his phone whilst smoking a cigarette. He'd occasionally look up to observe us with complete nonchalance, as if he didn't possess any sense of how preposterous this spectacle was.

Memories came flooding through me. I remembered stifling a sob at my aunt's funeral. I remembered mutual masturbation with a school friend during adolescence. I remembered a drowsy afternoon during summer at my high school music class. I remembered the swimming pool at high school, the sound of echoed shouts and splashing water. I remembered orange light reflected in a shallow rain puddle in the school playground. I remembered days of snow. I remembered a bird-watching expedition with my grandparents. I remembered a trip to the zoo with my grandparents.

Things just go away. They go away and don't come back. Good things, bad things. They're gone and that's it, they don't hurt you or heal you anymore or whatever it is they did, if they even did anything at all.
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