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March 14, 2012

a flash fiction

One day in Paris

Cmon then, let me show you about and point at stuff.

Let me curl my arm round your shoulder, bare damp warm skin (a vine curled tight round a tree) and we’ll promenade together, dead graceful and slow, as our scene unfolds itself - a rope of liquorice, a dying bee:

See him there?

Deep-creased face and hands on hips in the middle of the busy old Place Collette - everybody rushing from metro to work, work to coffee and a cig, and all the tourists and meanderers too. He’s the only still thing about really, the only angry. There’s a puddle round his feet and his shoes and his socks’re flooded from the recent pourings of a large bucket on its side at his side.

He’s gonna let rip yelling in a min or two, swearing intricately - very loud and containing threat. Some of the bustlers’ll glance at him, back and away like a clock’s tick. They need a gander but’re scared if he notices he’ll throw his putains at them stead of his absent target.

He was Larry-happy as well not long since, bless – he loves his job when all goes well and the sun shines. Who wouldn’t love his job;

(Dipping, arched back and very elegant, a hoop on a stick in a bucket of suds. Pulling it out and upwards upwards, waving it round like a hanky but delicate and look, there’s bubbles emerging from the hoop like they’re shy but they grow, and he knows just what he’s doing with his showman hands he does, as he manages the big fat bubbles, shows them where to go and how, and how very multipley they’re coloured, look. Like mercury only rainbowed, shivering about like I don’t know what, them colours on them giant changing curving bubbles that show the powderpale sky behind. Little kids drag on their mum and dads’ hands to stop to stare and in their eyes are sparks, vacantly, and you know they’re seeing more than they’re seeing if you see what I mean.)

an artisan of the insubstantial, you could say if you wanted, with a trilby by his feet for the coppers.

Well some dickhead on skates lost balance or control or something and ratcheted over onto the big bucket, toppling it and catching your man on his shins with his skates as he fell. Then, no sorries, up and whizzing off leaving sudpuddles and sore legs. Who wouldn’t be mad at cold feet and lost takings?

January 20, 2012

Great, grand father

My great-grandmother lovered the sea –

don’t tell granddad,

but his mum shivered, she proper burned cold

at the sight of that sun on that water,

white horses lacing over not-quite-blue.

She dived, bless her,

ankles up, eyes wide and salty.

Fingers raking the waves, she flamed,

and the tide flamed

a deep roaring green.

I was told she whirled like carousels

or little fish,

tangled up in such corally shapes

that her brain turned creaturely with love,

but I don’t exactly know.

But I bet it was great,

something special,

being rolled and rolling

with marine tenderness,

mad to screeching

then silence, and the shore.

She padded home, damply, after and she

cried and she told no one but her sister

why her baby’s eyes held brine and starfish.

October 2023

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  • Really liked this, I loved how you managed to fit two stories into the really short narrative: the s… by James Oyedele on this entry

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