November 25, 2008

See the sun rise

Ok, flash fiction here. Basic principle is to take an event from someones life and twist it into something fantastical in some way whilst retaining the heart of what the event was about/signified. This is the second proper draft of this, and I'm not altogether happy with it as I think I've copped out on one or two things and gotten too engrossed in a few others. Still time to rewrite at a later date.

P.S. Formatting stupidity is not my fault but the bloody blogs.

I met a man once in the infirmary; he was waiting to see one of the nurses and grumbled about how they were already behind schedule. He told me a story about a sunset that for his love froze the motion of the entire world.


Now see the sun rise over a scarred desert of blackened red rocks, the glowing horizon of scorching fire, blazing red and molten gold, stretching across the horizon from end to end. Advancing with inexorable slowness; casting deadly light in its wake. On the desert floor the red rocks smoke and pop as the ice and condensation of the night flash away in a haze of tumultuous air that twists the moisture up high into the sky.

High above great herds of floating tents made of skin and sinew float along on the thermal currents, their great jaws hanging open to catch whatever flotsam comes up on the wind. Whilst on their great leathery backs swarms of smaller kites hop about and peck in the deep crevassed wrinkles of skin for the even smaller creatures that live there amongst the mould and dirt. As they peck, they keep one stalk-like eye in constant motion; always looking around the sky, for the flash of light that signals a hunter’s approach.

On the ground once more a flower blooms in the darkness. Delicate sapphire blue petals curling upwards, entwined around each other in a lattice; forming a bulb above the pale green stem. Which becomes ever thicker as it falls to the floor, where it’s roots are like those of a tree, gnarled and twisted bitter by age. Sensing the sun’s approach the plant responds, from its trunk-like base begins to raise a shell made from tendrils of obsidian like fibre that twist themselves with serpentine method around the base, and begin to rise up layer by layer towards the flower, racing once again to beat the onrushing light.

The devastating day pushes on, but in the half light between day and night where scorching heat and freezing cold do not hold sway there is movement. Across the desert moves something with agility surprising for its construction; a monstrosity of clanking iron and steel, covered all over in a film of fine red dust. Great piston like legs loping along and crushing whatever is in its path in thunderclaps of sound and explosions of blood red sand. Around its head a halo of panels are turned to face the sun, reflecting multi-hued rainbows across their shimmering surfaces.

This great creature of ingenuity slams to a halt mere meters from the flower, where the tendrils of armour are almost reaching their zenith, and from it’s face comes another creature, this one smaller and covered in heavy red layers of clothing and equipment that jingle on it’s back and arms. It’s face is covered by a long beak-like mask and it’s eyes are hidden behind tinted black glass. In a few short loping steps it stands above the flower, and drawing a ice-white knife it reaches in with long supple fingers through the tightening web of obsidian black fibre, that shakes with rage at what is to come, and with a deft motion cuts the flower from the stem and scoops it out and into a brass container; which sizzles with some strange energy.

Above the kites scream a warning as out of the sky a great silvered hunter sweeps out of the suns rays, armour plated wings beating great strokes as it’s sword claws slice through the tents, sending great clouds of smaller kites flying about in tumultuous mayhem. Then it’s first attack complete the hunter stops, hangs in mid air before with another great wing beat it arches back in amongst the kites, jaws open to catch its dislodged prey.


I walk out of the infirmary, the man’s story all but forgotten in the picture he had painted for my mind. Still lost in my thoughts I move towards the exit, and step out onto the great steel decked promenade, below I can feel the throb of the cities engines pushing us up and along the desert floor into the night. Towards the sunside I can see the great terraced gardens where the food is grown, a flowering paradise in amongst the clouds, constantly chased by day but never reaching night.

November 06, 2008


I just had one of the most terrifying experiences in my entire life.

I thought I'd gone down with another cold yesterday: so stayed in bed, ate plenty of fruit and drank lots of water. I also read the first 110 pages of Absolute Beginners in between falling asleep. However tonight I went to sleep and dreamt. Now I very rarely dream; or rather I very rarely remember dreaming. However tonight was different, it was as close to insanity as I have ever been. I could physically feel myself slipping away, my mind merging in consciousness with the book, facts and thoughts twisting into each other and splitting down an infinite number of paths that had me screaming in agony and sheer ball-twisting terror. I felt, in short that I was losing myself being subsumed by something unstoppable that would leave me forever destroyed and gone.

I barely managed to wake up again, to push my head up above the waves, and even then it felt like I was still asleep, still trapped in the nightmare as I pushed my wearing, sweat soaked body onto legs that felt like I was standing in the midst of an earthquake. Juddering this way and that and gripping the wall for support I focussed on what little part of me I could still find amongst the confusion and the pain and snatching my cup I lurched into the bathroom and began with shaky hands and blurry vision to drink what felt like my own body weight in water. Whilst trying to force myself through the static of names and places that seemed to dominate my mind.

Eventually I started to feel like a shadow of myself again. But the whole event has left me scared shitless like a little kid. I hope it was simply a fever dream of extreme severity. But I've always felt two points away from the edge of madness and only a little push into the padded cell of the mind.

October 29, 2008

Sleeping Man

There is I suppose a context to this, the poem itself is an attempt to represent our "other" in a dialogue poem. So I looked around and found one of my others who has a habit of rising to the top alot of the time. And here he is.

Sleeping Man

“Go back, back to that homely tomb,

Lie in your bed and sleep through life,

Ignore the fall of sand upon the glass.”

“But rise I must to greet the glimmer,

Day’s first rays peek even now through.

And I must be out and about the world.”

“Why go to that world of pain and strife,

Why rise only to wish you were a slumber

Why walk when you can fold up here.”

“What would you have me do, stay?

Weighed down by ethereal nothings

Like cold steel bars across chest and shoulders

And confined to that black despair of rest

Which gives no respite, no relief, no end.

When I sink into that oily night I do not dream,

A dream requires freedom, and I am never free,

Merely sucked under the slimy sickness of sleep

Clasping my self and suffocating the mind buds

That dwell within.”

“So you sleep sound, away from nightmares,

How hard for you to bare such burdens,

Better to lie still, there’s worse out there

Than oblivions embrace.”

“But I must wake-up Sleeping Man!

The world does not wait for me to wake

If I stay locked in sleep much longer

The world will sprint on by and leave me

Laying there collapsed, consigned to dust.”

“It will abandon you regardless, dump you

Like the sack of self-righteous shit you are,

It’s too fast, too callous, too real for you

To bear. So why try to get back up,

Why insist you run into wall after wall,

Till it has more of your blood on it than

Your heart beats through that sandy breast.”

October 14, 2008

The Politics of Rhyming

Our task shouldn't have been that, hard. Twenty couplets on what we hate, followed by 10 on why we love what we hate. Unfortunately it's difficult to write about what you hate on the spur of the moment, not without something to set me off. And unfortunately the party conferences are over for the year and so my anger at the political spectrum for remaining so homogeneous and sickeningly sycophantic has long since passed. Yet I suppose I had no choice but to pursue the thing that I hate the most in this world, politics and politicians. (Which is not to say that I hate them an awful lot, just that it's one of the few things I get truly passionate about.)

So I made a first attempt.

I hate their pressed suits

And pointless little disputes

I hate their preening disdainful looks

As if we’ve never read a book

I hate their avoidance and slippery wordplay

Why is that they can never mean what they say?

I hate the way they ignore the bad

As if it’s just some passing fad

I hate it that they always lie

And seem to only answer, fie fie fie

I hate the way they mock and sneer

And rant about those who’re not from ‘here’


I hate that they ignore what they want

And claim to fix that broken levant

I hate that they take no shame

In seeking glory and high fame

Which sucked, as you can tell. So talking to a certain someone who shall remain a nameless Cambridge student I tried again, to slightly better success. 

There is no craven craft as vile

No font of more spurious bile

Than the politicians smug grin

Trying to be that most ugly thing

Of amiable friendship and authority

Whilst sneering at the minority

And giving us all happy platitudes

And hope we don’t see the multitudes

Of beaten and broken men and women

Forced down to their knees time and again

Who cares for the downtrodden masses

When the rich have their opera glasses

And pandering fools to help them around

To blot from below that piteous sound

Of a conscience crying in the gutter

As hopes of good die down and sputter

The good go in, and the bad come out

A revolving door to turn the devout

From men of vision and principle

To creatures most abominable

That power corrupts cannot be disputed

Yet it is those who have none that are muted

And dragged forwards to the block

Of public opinions rage and shock

That men in spotless pinstripe suits

Play upon like infernal lutes

To marshal the ignorant and hate filled people

To hang their neighbours from the nearest steeple

And ignore their betters wide reaching failings

Lest they go behind those crowded iron railings

But what truly makes me sick

Is that we all put up with it

That nefarious deed to rapturous applause

Is not seen as a rallying cry to the cause

To take back that house from liars and sycophants

Who in our blood make their dark covenants

Why do we not demand our voices

Act with conscience and not invoices

Or maybe in that house the iniquitous rots set in too long

And should be torn down by our plebeian mob and throng

I still think this one has issues, mostly to do with consistency and the sometimes erratic nature of how my thoughts went. Then again anger and rage are very rarely rational. I also think I could stand to add in a bit more imagery, perhaps trim a few couplets and expand some of the other ones into trios of couplets on the same theme.

But that will likely wait till tomorrow if I have time after writing about the things that I love about politics, and there are surprisingly enough one or two things that I do love about politics, which is I suppose the point, the duality of emotion being what it is we often feel our hatred towards a thing made stronger by our love for some part or parts of it.

And with that I am off to bed, and will leave with a small snippet of a story/prologue that I'm working on at the moment: "Golden arcs, like cherubim dancing in fire, lit the sky above them in testament to the force unleashed in this last argument of two kings."

Edit: Apologies for the formatting here, but myself and this blogging program are having a slight difference of opinion when it comes to transfering things from word and not adding bloody double line spacings. I shall endeavour to fix it soonish though.

Ignore this blog.

For it is full of nothing.

October 07, 2008

On Poetry

So after a lot of procrastination on the subjects of varied avoidance I have finally finished the poetical task set by David Morley last week. That is to say I've given up staring at my fourth draft and trying to think of anything new to say about the subject matter. Which is I suppose my own fault for leaving it so long and losing most of the spontaneity, and so with no further ado here it is:

      ant like men laboured under the harness of polar bears

    whilst a melonbomb mind stood sentinel in the snow

  eyes frozen, emotion stilled, mind burst to leave

scraps of heedless thought in frozen rigor

scattered scarlet across the icy tundra

I think I've done... well badly obviously. The imagery is perhaps a little weak and I really should have searched through my thesaurus more thoroughly and not instead used it as an impromptu pillow (a task for which it is surprisingly comfy). However I don't really want to take another crack at this, at least not in this form, five lines is far too short for this sort of thing, especially for what came to my mind when writing it. Maybe in a month or two when I can bring a fresher perspective to it all.

October 02, 2008

So it begins.

Right, here goes with this blog malarkey.

Having moved into Warwick and been utterly confuzzled and apprehensive (manfully mind) of the entire experience I struck out on Monday morning with the intention of going to my introduction to English. Little was I to know that this meeting would have unforeseen and calamitous consequences for it was here that I found out that I had been lied to with nefarious intent!

Well no not really, it was actually just a little bit of a rude awakening to the fact that we started work straight away, which was something of a particular shock for me having come from a happily lazy gap-year spent frittering away the money I managed to earn and getting carved up by the NHS. Oh and banging my head into walls with regards to a few stories that will not for the love of whatever deity chooses to listen write themselves. But at least I got a chance to read a bit, and the lack of exams was a nice change from the norm.

But like any stoically-lipped Englishmen I have not let that dishearten me, and have persevered, and now find myself settled in and ready to write to my hearts content… or when I finish my other assignments. Gah, I feel some lectures in time management, and perhaps a blunt instrument to hammer them home will be required sooner rather than later in my regard.

Regardless this blog is to do with my writing supposedly, and I shall attempt to show you some examples of it all as time goes on, and maybe some of the undoubtedly small number of readers out there will have cause to enjoy said writing, but for now I shall stick to the moment and the lovely little exercise left to us by David Morley. Five lines of poetry taken from the crème de la crème of what we wrote in the writers’ room.

Here’s what I picked from the writing:

ant like men laboured under the harness of polar bears

Melonbomb mind

As you can see it’s a fairly silly pair things to be writing a poem about, but I suppose I should make the best of a bad situation and soldier on with it. Still, I’m sure I can hammer it into something that won’t make people tear out their eyes in a horrific compulsion.

I hope.

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Most recent comments

  • "only a little push into the padded cell of the mind." That's the opening line to a poem I reckon…… by George Ttoouli on this entry
  • This reminds me of Northern Lights :) by Helen Gaterell on this entry
  • I like the end! Scattered scarlet. Bon choix de mot! by on this entry
  • Depends why you want it, but in general I accept cash, travellers checks and also treasure maps. by on this entry
  • Good to see this happening, and yes, transferring from Word to blog produces W e i R d for MAT T iN … by David Morley on this entry

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