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May 08, 2012

And even more

CHAPTER FIVE

In which your humble narrator flies into a terrible rage, accuses the Rev. R. Mole of heresy and attempts to burn him at the stake.

I must confess, dear reader, that at the commencement of the Reverend’s tale, I was somewhat nonplussed.

“You must forgive me,” I said, rising clumsily from my chair (for the port had been rather good and had sent me into a near-comatose stupor) “I believe I should retire. It has been an instructive evening, and I thank you for it. Goodnight.”

“You needn’t take it like that, old chap” the Mole replied. “It is only a matter of ecclesiastical differences, nothing more.”

I suspected at this that he felt himself snubbed, and went to great pains to reassure him of his own powers of narration, and my unworthiness as a listener for such a complex tale.

“Control yourself, young man!” shrieked the Reverend, clambering up the back of a chair with his great claws. “I am a man of the cloth, I meant no harm!”

At this, I was utterly bemused, and began to wonder whether, during the course of the noble Reverend’s tale, I had in fact dropped off into slumber. I asked him if I could perhaps get him a brandy to settle his nerves.

“MURDER!” cried the Mole, “A MURDER is taking place!” and, fixing his great dark eyes upon me, his pince-nez flashing menacingly in the light from the fireplace, shouted:

“You’ll never take me alive!”

I tried to assure him that I had no intention of taking him anywhere, at which point he pulled a great knife from a sheath concealed under his trousers and waved it furiously in my face, putting me in grave danger of a nasty scratch. I felt rather injured by this show of ingratitude for my hospitality and I am sure that if he had asked for the brandy at that point I would have found some way to refuse him on principle.

Panting heavily, the Mole (who after all must have been exhausted from brandishing a knife much longer than himself) wheezed “I’ll kill us both before you burn me, villain!”

He then inexplicably strapped a small device on to his back, and began vibrating at great speed, rendering him almost invisible but for a small portion of his buttocks that was completely stationary. I showed him out, but, as he appeared to be in no condition to find his way home, I was compelled to call him a cab which I then had to carefully lift him into, receiving several deep cuts for my pains.

It was with a sensation of great relief that I watched the cab drive away, but my questions remained: who were these small Gods? And were they such blackguards as the Reverend had suggested? Perhaps that was the reason for his mysterious frenzy. I retired to my study in deep thought.

CHAPTER SIX

In which the Rev. R. Mole breaks the fourth wall entirely and starts taking questions from the audience


More more story

CHAPTER 3

In which the Rev. R. Mole tells his story without interruption

“The Shrew God and the Vole God met each other unexpectedly in a wooded hollow.

“Greetings, Brother Shrew!’ called the Vole God,

“What brings you here, away from your dutiful foraging in undergrowths, your ritual consumption of the beetles of the wayside, your miraculous appearance before the eyes of small humans, surprising them with the infinite variety of beings?”

“I have been called here, Brother,” replied the God of Shrews. “The God of Foxes has, with great dignity and grace, humbly begged my attendance at a banquet in my honour.

But what of you, Brother Vole? What brings you here, away from the fallow land of your kindred, from furrows among the blessed grass, from the happy duty of startling lady gardeners on neglected plots?”

“It is strange,” said the Vole God, “for I too have been called here by the God of Foxes, and to a banquet in my honour.”

There was a pause.

“I cannot but wonder,” mused the Shrew, “what business is it that disturbs the God of Foxes, such that he forgets the arrival of two most honoured guests?”

The Vole considered. “Perhaps he is caught up in the rituals of his kind? In gruff barking at the twilight hour, in scenting the district of his burrow, in feasting on the hapless creatures of…the…forest?

“Oh balls.” said the Shrew.

At that point, on the same day as he appeared to them last year, as he had each year for thousands of years before, the God of Foxes arrived and ate them both.”

“You mean to say--” I interjected, curiously.

“Shut up!” replied the Reverend. “You are ruining your chapter titles. I have not finished.”

CHAPTER FOUR

In which The Rev. R. Mole finishes.

“…At that point, on the same day as he appeared to them last year, and on many thousands of years before, the God of Foxes arrived and ate them both.

It so happened that Buddha and Jesus Christ were walking together past that very same glade.

“How silly!” laughed Christ, wiping small beads of blood away from his be-thorned brow.

“To think that every year, these poor and muddled Gods, of no importance but to the meagre vermin of the field, are tricked into enacting the bloodied rituals of their race.”

“Ye-es,” replied Buddha, sweating profusely in the close air. “Forgive me, for I have not much sense of time, having forsaken the mortal calendar in my quest for enlightenment, but what day is this?”

“Oh, Friday.” Christ said, carelessly. “Is it important?”

On the horizon, a troupe of purposeful Romans appeared.”


Experiment in Anti–Narrative pt 1

The Gods of Small Things.


CHAPTER 1

In which the Shrew God and the Vole God meet each other unexpectedly in a wooded hollow

There are a number of things that, if you cared to look it up in an encyclopaedia, or consulted your grandparents on, or possibly even asked your tealeaves, you could find out quite easily. Among these things are approximately how many tigers are alive in the wild at this moment in time, whether said tigers are or are not Coming To Tea, and precisely how brightly they will burn, if or when they turn up (this is highly pertinent in the event that you should need to purchase flame retardant chinaware). 

Other things, like How To Lose Seven Pounds in Seven Days, One Single Mum’s Cheap Trick For Whitening Teeth, or the bustiness of any given Russian Girl Looking for Love in US, can be discovered on the internet, often whether you want to or not. On this score, tealeaves can be next to useless, and although grandparents have their own ideas about these things, it is in your interests to never, ever ask them.

If you want to know the waist to hip ratio of a hummingbird, or which celebrity field mice have the best bikini bodies, or to hear Gerald the Corn Snake’s Harrowing Tale of Survival Against All The Odds After His Break Up With Gary the Corn Snake (best not to speculate why all corn snakes have names that begin with G), then you need to track down, or possibly subscribe via the internet, to Okay We’re Really Small Magazine.

It was here that I found out about the existence of the Gods of Small Things, crammed into a tiny advertisement in the corner of a page that also suggested that my life might be lacking fur implants, tail straightening powder, and a tiny machine that, if strapped to my back, would vibrate my entire body at a frequency that would make me 90% imperceptible to hawks.

The advertisement read: REMEMBER YOUR GODS! YOUR LIFE IS BRIEF AND FUTILE! It was signed by a Rev. R. Mole and underneath was a phone number so tiny that I had to barter the use of a powerful microscope from a passing scientist in order to read it. Once I had deciphered the minute script, I decided to contact Rev. R. Mole at once and question him on a number of issues that had come to my mind, such as the number of tiny Gods in operation, and whether the patrons of Okay We’re Really Small Magazine were a multi-faith community.

I wanted to know, if I were to be suddenly transformed into a water vole, or an edible dormouse (which I personally suspected was more than likely due to certain genetic predispositions in my father’s line), what my options were.

It did take some time to track Rev. R. Mole down, partly because he often suspected, due to some defect in my telephone manner, that I was a hawk, or at the very least some kind of kestrel, in response to which I pointed out that hawks using telephones would just be silly. The other problem was that he was a mole and therefore very, very small.

When we finally did encounter each other, it was entirely by accident. I was attending a minor tea party held by a dear friend, which was unexpectedly spoiled by the arrival of a number of brightly glowing tigers. I glanced wearily across the table and happened to catch the eye of an outstandingly large mole, possibly the size of a man, wearing a dog collar and a pair of rather lovely gold pince-nez.

I may have expressed some astonishment as to the handsome stature of the Reverend, who, being a mole, I had expected to be rather a lot smaller. To this he replied with some dignity that God was Great, that nothing cannot be done by those who respect the will of God, and that he was standing behind a particularly large magnifying glass.

Despite this somewhat inauspicious introduction, we were to become fast friends, and he courteously accepted an invitation to dine with me that very evening. When the time came to sit down to our meal, he was not much impressed with my diet of rich beef wellington, fine floury potatoes roasted in goose fat, and a green salad composed of asparagus and deep fried broccoli, he did enjoy the port.

It was with the commencement of the cheese course that we settled down beside the fire and began the real business of the evening. Not without some misapprehension, I began asking him a number of questions about the diet, habitats and breeding habits of small Gods, where they took their tribute, what the rules were on litters before marriage, and the possibility of resurrection from the hawk, to which he replied by gracefully holding up a single paw, and telling the following parable:

“The Shrew God and the Vole God meet each other unexpectedly in a wooded hollow.


CHAPTER 2

In which the Rev R Mole is suddenly interrupted whilst telling his story

“The Shrew God and the Vole God meet each other unexpectedly in a wooded hollow…” The Rev. R. Mole began.

“And each of them—”

At that moment, a number of tigers burst into the room in search of caffeinated beverages. Finding only port, they swiftly left again, morosely incinerating a 200 year-old chaise longue on their way out.



January 26, 2012

Because everyone loves Gordon Brown in a short skirt.


Because everyone loves Gordon Brown in a short skirt, they need to check out this comic:


http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/images/judgekirsty/2012/01/26/outlines2.jpg


Yay for mental scarring.


Pantoum or just pants?


On the roof of the world the bears are waiting


On the roof of the world the bears are waiting,

for when the ice sheets shudder like a wind-shot tablecloth across the land

and we part ice-torn mouths, hungry for the surf, lash dogs to makeshift sleds

and scatter like marbles, rotund with fox fur and whale skin, a feast for sweaty paws.


The ice sheets sweep a loving shroud over lonely cities,

We bind up our children, our treasures, our dead, tote them across continents,

scatter like marbles, glut our frozen skin with fox fur and whale skin, and feast

on the eyeless carcasses of vulture-torn cattle. The birds wheel endlessly in the frozen sky.


We bind up our children, hoist the dead over our shoulders, and hunt

an eider for our bellies, our fingers fumble rosaries over the bones of a narwhal.

The eyeless carcasses watch us toil, endlessly beseeching the frozen sky:

the sea sings a sweetness to the ears of hungry fishermen.


Fingers fumble rosaries over the bones of a narwhal. Wind-bit and bound

the dead call us to the sea; their voices ring hollowly across the lowlands.

The sea sings a sweetness to the wave-licked bones of the wicked.

As the ocean hugs the lonesome earth, the fishes leap at the edge of the world.



Falcons drove us to the sea; their wings squeaked hollowly across the lowlands

and we parted ice-torn mouths, hungry for the surf, as the dogs loped and the wind sang.

Where the ocean hugs the aching earth, our dead kissed the bitter waves; and sank.

On the roof of the world the bears are waiting.

Kirsty Judge


January 24, 2012

Adventures in Anti–Narrative

After a traumatic period of block, block, and more block, I'm finally starting to get things done rather than moping around looking at my brain and wishing it would do things, huzzah. The anti-narrative fun times expected this term are very appealing, particularly for someone still hobbling around on baby deer legs when in comes to pen and paper. So here's a few stories in imitation of a writer whose name I have forgotten but who is rather excellent (will update this entry once I replace my course pack, which dissolved in a recent downpour). Pantoums and yet another Boar comic to come. Enjoy!

1.

Once upon a time there was an old man whose legs were on backwards. Try as he might, he could never walk forwards; his legs would inevitably drag him off in the opposite direction. The harder he tried, the stronger they’d pull, until eventually they never stopped at all and he was swept off, never quite sure where his legs were taking him. He walked through cities and towns, past palaces and hovels, past men and women and children and dogs, over bridges and underground, past rats and cats and snakes and pigs. And then his legs broke.

2.

There once was a girl who was more beautiful than all the other women in the world. Her eyes glittered and gleamed a deep sapphire, her mouth was flush like coral, her skin as smooth as rose petals. When the girl sang, her voice was so sweet that all the birds in the land fell silent, and her song, nurtured by the wind, swept to strange countries. I had her in my pocket for a while, but I lost her.

3.

I met a man on the way to the market who was carrying seven pigs. I heard that he died a few days later.


January 11, 2012

Confusing Uploading Issues

I wished to upload a comic I did for the boar onto this page, but for some reason (possibly due to some new and rather exciting drawing software I've been using) it refuses to upload in a readable size or with any degree of image quality; rather, I seem to be posting an pixelated mess.


SO to get around this, please follow this link:


http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/images/judgekirsty/2012/01/11/draft4.jpg


and then this one to read a fancy article I did on North Korea:


http://theboar.org/comment/2012/jan/11/kim-jong-il-may-be-dead-his-korea-isnt-over/


Thank you and goodnight.


September 11, 2011

Back to Blogging Badly.

Jungle, my dog, in a smoking jacket. By me.

A post in defence of Staffordshire Bull Terriers coming soon! Because I'm fed up of people looking at our dog as if she's going devour all their loved ones and them vomit them up, trample on them, and post them to the EDL. No dog is born evil, although most dogs like having their bellies rubbed for some reason.


May 16, 2011

A Small Death in the Machine.


The cold ache of hospital light has stripped all colour from the hyacinths in my shaking hands.

Each quiver releases heady scent into the air, suffocating, sealing up my nose and mouth. But I can’t escape the dank, medical reek that coats her skin.

She is so

small,

the soft folds of her skin have ebbed into nothing

and we can already see the skeleton inside

rising up to take possession.

How lovely your bones are, grandma. We are arranged in triptych around you, we carry false hope, hyacinths and cards. The bed is raised high above the tacky floors and crackles with starch as we sit.

A low, omnipresent hum throngs the corridors, as if some huge bell has sounded.

The harsh light

bleaches us as white as the walls,

everything is inescapably white,

except

         

the gentle yellow crepe of her skin, shrouded in hospital blue, the birdlike hands that sweep up and say       hello.

The room is filled with doppelganger women, the place is a charnel house,

the bodies lie and silently

watch.


I taste the bitter machine coffee on my breath and I hope my kisses are not sour.


I Am No Poet


On Leave


HE HAS some

licked-silk river bones,

the shining teeth

of heartsease, and shepherd’s purse,

in a cut glass pocket watch,


unable to tick

for fear of breaking time.



Cherry Blossom at the Graveyard.


PUCKERED

with cicada feet,


the blossom sings for the small deaths,

of winter and the fireflies,

and you, Alexander.


Eclipse


THERE IS a fountain,

deep in the ivory claw

of midnight.


Come to me

when the wolf drinks


I am golden.


More of an Unnamed Thing

I can't think of a name for this. Enjoy and comment or suffer my wrath.


Unnamed Thing.

It is an undeniable fact that Paulo Averra’s problems started when he accidentally ate the holy sanctified fingernail of St Sebastien, patron saint of pencil makers and resident holy relic of the town of Sestina. It is another undeniable fact that had he not done so, he would have gone on to spend the saint’s day in a very ordinary and unremarkable way, most likely including prayer, fasting before supper, and trying not to stain his Sunday church suit. As it was, there was much weeping and wailing from his mother, unnecessary ringing of the church bells, and an overly dramatic exorcism performed by Sestina’s resident trendy priest (Father Carlos was young and had a fondness for tight jeans under his cassock and Christian rock songs played on his electric guitar).

It was all rather exciting. His family doted on him, he was excused from school the next day, and relatives kept popping by to ask him if he “felt a presence in the room”. They often brought sweets with them. And so, the next day, in order to secure a lifelong supply of sweets, and because Paulo was probably the most lazy boy in all of Sestina (and possibly the world), Paulo pretended he did feel a demonic presence, inside him.

This is the story of how Paulo Averra began his career as the Miraculous Demon Boy of Sestina: a miraculous tale of lies, truth, the Devil, and Sylvester Stallone.

As time went on, Paulo found that the benefits of being possessed by an evil demon far outweighed any disadvantages. Not only was he excused from school, but he was also able to skip church merely by remembering to act demonically in the presence of Father Carlos, whose leisurely trendiness was being sorely tested after Paulo ate the strings of his guitar. Paulo had been given his own room so that he couldn’t infernally corrupt his brother Hector, whose tendency towards incontinence and nose picking, meant that he was probably more infernal than Paulo. He was also no longer forced to play “Unicorns” with his cousin Maria to gratify her powerful obsession with pink horses (this is compulsory for most 7 year old girls but can usually be avoided by providing your children with suitably upsetting experiences with horses at a young age). In short, Paulo felt that he had never been happier.

Months and years went by, and Paulo established a kind of reign of terror over the entire town. The people of Sestina were highly religious, and kept far away from his demonic influence; in this way Paulo was able to do anything he wanted. His family, convinced he was either being controlled by the demon, or was in a brief period of “salvation” would smother him in presents whenever they thought that Paulo was in control. It was for this reason that Paulo was one of the first boys in Sestina to see Rocky in the cinema, and to own a ???, and to chew gum.

Meanwhile, in Hell, the Devil was in a state of genuine displeasure over the events in Sestina. For a being whose entire existence consists of moping around in a frozen lake, generating evil and eating traitors, displeasure may seem an emotion somewhat insignificant in the general miasma of misery; however, like a man who is carrying his obese brother to hospital on foot, and who is then also asked to carry his obese brother’s obese rocking horse, microwave, large pizza and highly visible and painful-looking sex toy, Satan had had enough. He vowed to bring the Sestina embarrassment to a satisfactory conclusion within the week.

The embarrassment originated in the undeniable fact that for two years now, no one in Sestina had gone to Hell. For the entire town was in such terror of the supposedly “possessed” Paulo that they had become three times more devout than any sensible person ever has the time and effort to be. Priests found themselves trapped in the confession box for hours, listening to the most banal and obscurely sinful confessions: “Father I whistled loudly in the presence of an old man, I told my son he needed a hair cut, I brushed my hair twice before leaving the house.” One woman even broke down into tears and admitted to dropping spoons on the floor and not washing them before serving dinner to her husband. Priests began to take sandwiches and small buckets in with them, a sin that they then had to confess to the bishop, who’d taken to hiding out in local crypts.

Beggars received so many donations that they became rich, began lording it over the other townspeople and purchased expensive watches. Blind people found themselves at the mercy of hundreds of would-be Samaritans desperate to help them across the road, often whether they liked it or not. Everyone’s right hands were exhausted from crossing themselves the whole time, and as a consequence of this the entire town became left-handed. In short, the various actual demons knocking about Sestina were so under-employed that they had started doing charitable deeds themselves just to have something to do. The insult was compounded by the fact that since modern society had invented whole new methods of intricate and painful torture, Hell had recently had to update its repertoire to include bureaucracy. And the embarrassment in Sestina was generating enormous quantities of red tape.

The Devil hated paperwork, as only a being whose sole responsibility used to be skipping around Heaven can. And so he sent his most devious, nefarious, treacherous and duplicitous demon (who was so devious, nefarious, treacherous and duplicitous that he approached honesty and decency from the other side) to go talk to Paulo and put the matter to rest. Mephistopheles, who was also so hideous, grotesque and repulsive that he was almost handsome, (somewhat like Sylvester Stallone) was reluctant to return to the surface “after that Faust business”, but after being assured that it would lead to no further paperwork he grudgingly acquiesced. Thus Mephistopheles stepped into his own monstrous reflection in the icy lake of Hell, and clambered out of Cousin Maria’s glitter encrusted fur lined Barbie mirror in sunny Sestina, shuddering slightly and coughing up bits of pink fluff. Things like this probably shouldn’t happen to any self-respecting demon, but since mirrors are the traditional transportation device for demons Mephistopheles had little choice.

[A note on demons and mirrors: since the beginning of time mirrors have made themselves useful as a kind of inter-dimensional highway of evil, or autobahn, with a few interesting and noteworthy results; for example, this is why any given person’s appearance is more hideous than it has any right to be in any given mirror during the hours of 6-9 am, and also why after drinking alcohol it appears greatly enhanced. Other inter-dimensional highways of evil include: cheese knives, the gleam of sweat on a politician’s forehead, and the M11 between the hours of 5 and 7 pm]

Paulo was in his room picking his nose and carefully inverting all the crucifixes his mother had hung on all the walls when Mephistopheles arrived. It is worth noting that by this time, Paulo had spent hours graphically describing imaginary demons of the most horrible kind to anyone who might have doubted his “possession”, which was probably why Mephistopheles entirely failed to impress him. The puff of emerald demonic smoke emitted from his body should probably have been a giveaway, but in a house of boys for whom hygiene was secondary to mud wrestling this may have not seemed so strange.

“Hullo” said Paulo. Mephistopheles drew himself up.

“I am a great and powerful demon called Mephistopheles, servant of Satan and Corrupter of Souls!” He declared, puffing out his so-hideous-it’s-almost-handsome chest and exuding more turgid smoke. Paulo looked sceptical.

“I don’t know,” Paulo said “To me, you look a lot like Sylvester Stallone”



May 15, 2011

Excerpt From an Unnamed Work in Progress.

Meanwhile, in Hell, the Devil was in a state of genuine displeasure over the events in Sestina. For a being whose entire existence consists of moping around in a frozen lake, generating evil and eating traitors, displeasure may seem an emotion somewhat insignificant in the general miasma of misery; however, like a man who is carrying his obese brother to hospital on foot, and who is then also asked to carry his obese brother’s obese rocking horse, microwave, large pizza and highly visible and painful-looking sex toy, Satan had had enough. He vowed to bring the Sestina embarrassment to a satisfactory conclusion within the week.

The embarrassment originated in the undeniable fact that for two years now, no one in Sestina had gone to Hell. For the entire town was in such terror of the supposedly “possessed” Paulo that they had become three times more devout than any sensible person ever has the time and effort to be. Priests found themselves trapped in the confession box for hours, listening to the most banal and obscurely sinful confessions: “Father I whistled loudly in the presence of an old man, I told my son he needed a hair cut, I brushed my hair twice before leaving the house.” One woman even broke down into tears and admitted to dropping spoons on the floor and not washing them before serving dinner to her husband. Priests began to take sandwiches and small buckets in with them, a sin that they then had to confess to the bishop, who’d taken to hiding out in local crypts.

Beggars received so many donations that they became rich, began lording it over the other townspeople and purchased expensive watches. Blind people found themselves at the mercy of hundreds of would-be Samaritans desperate to help them across the road, often whether they liked it or not. Everyone’s right hands were exhausted from crossing themselves the whole time, and as a consequence of this the entire town became left-handed. In short, the various actual demons knocking about Sestina were so under-employed that they had started doing charitable deeds themselves just to have something to do. The insult was compounded by the fact that since modern society had invented whole new methods of intricate and painful torture, Hell had recently had to update its repertoire to include bureaucracy. And the embarrassment in Sestina was generating enormous quantities of red tape.


Tsuchinoko’s Wife, Part III

Tsuchinoko’s Wife, Part III

And so Tsuchinoko the mythical Japanese hoop snake began the long and arduous task of persuading his wife to fall in love with him. It began with small gifts, those that only a mythical snake can give: hairs from the kitsune, for luck, a breath from the Yuki-onna, for refreshment, and venom-paralyzed rodents, for a snack. All this, along with a fortuitous lie about the number of women he had been with during their separation, brought Tsuchinoko back home, and into June’s affections. Every day he professed a greater and deeper love for her.

Tsuchinoko flopped back on to the teal sofa, and June got him a beer. He slid on a pair of sunglasses. Tsuchinoko was fond of lies, and liked a drink.

Tsuchinoko’s Wife, Part III: Director’s Cut.

And so Tsuchinoko the mythical Japanese hoop snake began the long and arduous task of persuading his wife to fall in love with him. It began with small gifts, those that only a mythical snake can give: hairs from the kitsune, for luck, a breath from the Yuki-onna, for refreshment, and venom-paralyzed rodents, for a snack. All this, combined with a fortuitous lie about the number of women he had been with during their separation, brought Tsuchinoko back home, and into June’s affections. Every day he professed a greater and deeper love for her.

Tsuchinoko flops back on to the teal sofa, and June gets him a beer. He slid on a pair of sunglasses. Years pass. The slither of tiny scales. Rolling home at dusk. June eating the bulbous mulberries in the garden, her mouth stained crimson as the summer tosses freckles onto her skin. Small hands clutching at a summer dress. Hospital light, a bloodied nightdress. Silence. Voices in the dark, called home by the heady scent and crackle of roasting pork. The gleam of bottles, a living room eerily cast in shades of green and golden brown. June asleep, her dark hair coiled about the pillow as if for comfort. A woman’s voice on the phone, hushed and urgent. Tsuchinoko is fond of lies and likes a drink.

And one day, when the children are at school and Tsuchinoko is at work (liars make excellent estate agents) June sneaks into the attic. Light streams through a broken window, transforming the raised dust into a halo of fireflies. June searches, brutally, systematically, until she finds what she has been looking for. A selkie coat. Her selkie coat. Quickly, urgently, caressing the reeking hide in fit of passionate longing, June luxuriates in an ecstasy of fur. In the crystalline salt beads of her pelt she feels the siren call of the ocean. She throws it on. Sprightly whiskers snuffle for the doorknob, flippers lollop across the dusty attic, and June leaves for her selkie home.

In the years to come, the children will ask where their mother is, and Tsuchinoko will tell them she is working with the Rolling Stones. His voice will crack. The carpet is stained with a dark constellation of tears. Tsuchinoko is fond of lies, and likes a drink.


Tsuchinoko’s Wife, Part II

A slight shift in tone here- hopefully it works? Enjoy.


Tsuchinoko’s Wife, Part II

In the days that followed, June scraped the house clean of snakeskin, removed paralyzed mice from the fridge (Tsuchinoko’s favourite snack, after pork scratchings) and turned the heating down to an acceptable level. She wore dresses without fang holes and shattered empty beer bottles with a hammer in the back garden. When she was done she would squat in the long grass, watching the worms and beetles scrape tiny limbs across the broken glass. Their blood was dark like the tears of Tsuchinoko, and she wondered where he was. When a party of minotaurs arrived, asking if Tsuchinoko was going to come out, she swiftly shut the door in their faces, peering through lace curtains as their ringed noses rutted at the letterbox, calling her name. She began to dream in shades of crimson-aubergine.

And then, months later, the growl of a motorbike engine outside.

“I just came for my stuff,” Tsuchinoko said, slipping out of a studded leather cape. “Don’t let me bother you.” As he stepped past her into the house, his scales brushed softly against her skin. Gossamer flakes of skin drifted to the floor, briefly luminous before they hit the frigid carpet. June followed him up to their old room and watched him throw his belongings onto a heap on the bed. His yellow eyes turned to her, the double lids flickering uncertainly. She reached out to him.

“Where did you go? After I…?”

“I, uh, worked in Houssten, for NASSA, you know. Top ssecret.”

“Really?”

“Well, uh, no. I wass cage fighting in Nicaragua.”

“I thought you’d be busy managing the Rolling Stones.” They both laughed.


TO BE CONTINUED (Cue dramatic music, groans as people realise they've spent 7 pounds on a half-finished film and 8 pounds on inferior snack foods)




Tsuchinoko’s Wife Pt I

Hello, kind bloggers of blog land. Here is a short drafted opening to a piece of fiction I am writing for my portfolio. If anyone is willing to tell me if it is worth continuing, I would be extremely grateful for their advice? Pretty please?


Tsuchinoko’s Wife Pt I

June's husband Tsuchinoko was fond of lies and liked a drink. That day, he rolled nonchalantly down the drive, full of Corona, pork scratchings and stories about the time he won the World Cup for Japan (it had to be hushed up to avoid angering the North Koreans).

It was always going to be difficult, being married to a mythical Japanese hoop snake. On days like this June would cast her eyes to the heavens and ask why, even in the smoky glitterball half-light of a Tokyo nightclub, marrying a boozed up fabulist worm had seemed like such a good idea. Perhaps it was the saki, or the way his scales glistened crimson-aubergine under streetlights. Perhaps it was because she liked his flickering kisses, or the nip of fangs on her earlobe, or because he was the manager for the Rolling Stones, or so he said, hissing it hotly into her neck as they slow-danced to Paint It Black: it really had been a heavy drinking session that night. But in the grizzled hoof of Scottish summer, June’s patience was wearing as thin as the pasty skin flakes he left lying around the house. It was time for a change.

It is easier than you might think to flush your mythical Japanese hoop snake husband down the toilet. Rubber gloves are advisable, as is an apron. June ambushed Tsuchinoko as he lay sluggishly on the teal fern-patterned sofa; his crimson scales lit up in the afternoon light like an open wound. Quickly, aided by the kitchen tongs and a sharp stick, and with trembling fingers, she grasped her writhing husband and held him at arm’s length. Briefly she remembered her wedding night. Tsuchinoko wriggled uselessly, his constricted throat producing soft, mewing sounds. A single tear oozed down his scaly face and left a globular stain on the carpet.

“Look,” said June, “This isn’t working for me anymore.”

And she plopped her husband into the toilet.


May 13, 2011

Crown of Roses


I have done this for my portfolio and it is utterly dreadful and melodramatic and pretentious now I am going to hang myself from a tree. Comments welcome.

Crown of Roses

Let’s start with ἀν. Let’s taste it with alien tongues, and let me explain to you its meaning: a black hole consuming all that follows, birthing a nothing. ἀν, then, is strange in our mouths; for us, it is difficult to speak in the presence of the other. It manifests in mirrors, in the gaps between words, in the skeletal ecstasy of death. Let me finish with ὄρεξις, appetite.

from thence

He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

May I also tell you of the unfaithfulness of mirrors? At the age of fifteen months, we recognize ourselves in mirrors. Until then, "Je est un autre", I is another, and the mirror is its own thing, alive and devious. In mirrors, I see myself bloated, malformed in castings of elephantine flesh, scarlet and heaving. Mirrors reflect the soul.

A kind of madness then, the other.

I believe               of heaven and earth       conceived by the Holy Spirit

Crucified, died, and buried.

In personal practice: yellow foods are forbidden, they are synesthetic to the number 95, or 95kg. Sunday: 800 calories. You must never eat either 9 or 5 things. Over time, only even numbers are permitted. Monday, 600.

Give us this day

       our trespasses

Lead us not into temptation; but deliver

In Victorian England there were the Fasting Girls. They were saints, miracles incarnate, tourist attractions. Stigmata bloomed on their open hands, they were crowned with the misery and suffering of Christ. I count calories like the beads of a rosary, grazing them lovingly with ardent fingers.

in this valley of tears

life everlasting

Wednesday 400. In the event of there being only one thing, it must be halved. You will only eat one half. Thursday 200. Paper may be eaten in the event of hunger, it has no calories. Friday 800.

the communion of Saints,

the resurrection of the body and life everlasting

world without end.

I am lying in the bath, looking at myself. Reflections are not to be trusted; at birth we can swim in water unassisted. We lose this ability as we discover our image scattered across oceans, lakes, pools and mirrors. The mirror is my shadow as I cast up my hands, incandescent and alone, the light refracting golden through wasted skin.

we send up our sighs,

mourning and weeping

             As it was in the beginning is now.

Move continuously: it burns calories. Saturday, 400. Sleep in a cold room, shivering burns calories. Chew sugar free gum to burn calories. Tuesday permits no calories.

Blessed,

 clement,

most gracious

       eyes of mercy

There once was a girl and she had a mirror, and all that the mirror said was that she was the fairest, that she was the fairest, the fairest of them all.

Crown of roses

Blessed art thou

now and at the hour of our death

In the water, my bones are lovely. Magnified and gleaming, I turn my glorious skeleton in fractious, submarine light. My scars have turned to silver.


For now we see through a glass, darkly.


Crown of Roses by Kirsty Judge




April 25, 2011

Creative Death, Packing Fail.

I wanted to write some haiku, and pack for Warwick, but instead I drew this crane. I think drawing is probably the best way to relax, if like me you're bad enough at it that even simple objects require your entire brain to draw. This took me quite some time, and I can't honestly say it's the best thing ever, but this is the closest anyone is going to get to creative output from me until essay season is over and I stop chewing my arm off with abject fear.

cranedance, by kirsty judge

And yes, I've been listening to the Decemberists. Crane Wife 3 still gives me the dated hipster shivers.


April 19, 2011

Sometimes Even I Have Opinions On Things.

So what if the Bible doesn't support homosexuality? Technically, it opposes eating shellfish. And yet there's never been a Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell policy on lobster eaters in the army, and no one has yet proposed a law to protect children from any evil, "perverted" knowledge of mussels until they're "old enough".


April 14, 2011

Unconscionable Absence Girl To The Rescue


It's a terrible shame that the only reason I remembered I had a blog after The Great Block Catastrophe of March is because someone shiny and new commented. It's also a terrible shame that they appeared to be trying to sell me panda-related merchandise, having read a satiric piece about capitalist hypocrisy in China as a panda fan-fic. Whilst I'm grateful that my work is reaching strange people through the miracle that is the internet, I have to say that when blogging, it is better to get a response that is constructively critical rather than just commercial, just as when fishing, it is better to snag a large tuna rather than an Argos catalogue. Even though Argos catalogues are so big now you probably could use one to feed a family of five if they didn't mind smothering it in ketchup. I'm not really sure where this metaphor is going anymore.

It says a lot about the human race that we create a communications network of such freedom and accessibility that we can pretty much use it to do anything, and the majority of it is used to distribute pornography or sell the commercial equivalent of gull vomit to idiots. Should an intelligent alien species examine our race via the internet, they would come to the conclusion that the majority of humans spend their time drinking fake weight loss tea and having loud, vaguely misogynist sex in a variety of fetishist outfits, usually with people who have come to fix our appliances. They would also have a very skewed idea about the role of secretaries in our society. It is to our eternal discredit that having been given the ultimate in freedom of speech, we speak in slogans like Find Out The CHEAP And EASY Way This Single Mum Found To Whiten Teeth!!!!

In my view, the most unforgiveable thing about spam (other than it being named after an inedible meat derivative) is its uninventive and somewhat despicable view of mankind. According to spam, your penis is too small. According to spam, you're fat and your teeth are yellow. According to spam, you want to talk to the sexy and suspiciously youthful Candy, from South Michigan High School, who has just broken up with her boyfriend and is therefore primed for predatory advances from strange men on the internet. According to spam, dead girls living on the internet want you to send on this chain letter. According to spam, Busty Russian Girls Want YOU!! and you should accept this because you will never find love without paying for it (probably because you're so fat, unendowed and yellow toothed, and because you like damaged underage schoolgirls). Spam ensnares us by validating the worst things we think about ourselves, and then saying It's Okay!! You Can Fix This For Only $5 A Month!!

What I would love to know is, does this work? Who reads these and thinks, "Yeah, I'd love to attach a bizarre tubular pump to the end of my manhood because an unauthenticated internet "doctor" tells me it'll make me a Real Man"? Who thinks that an unspecified single mother with no other apparent qualification should be trusted with their dentistry? Who really believes that Busty Russian Girls can't find love for themselves? Surely it must work for someone, otherwise spam wouldn't exist. So maybe, as I wander the streets, I am looking at the proud owners of cock pumps, weight loss pills, tooth bleachers, mail order brides and court orders to appear on the 1st May to face charges of possessing child pornography. In that case, maybe we have been cursed by Suzie The Little Internet Dead Girl for not sending on her email. What a horrible world we live in.



February 22, 2011

Desperation, Performed by a Poem as an Interpretive Dance.


Rice Dream Boy


I remember this much

On good days we drank rice milk from scarlet cartons

Cupping the sweetness on our eager tongues,

And sank grateful hands into cereal boxes,

Running granola mulch through our fingers,

Like soft expletives round broken teeth. It was

A better time.


I remember this much

The velveteen truffle hound in a wicker prism,

Snuffling over ankles in the dusky afternoon.

The conservatory veils, intervals in sunlight

flickering across your face; a tinted lantern

Knocking against tarnished glass,

Unbroken.


I remember this much

Painted eggshells on the Easter table

And the whisky-spiced musk of your holiday suit.

Crisp cinnamon biscuits with spun sugar constellations,

Parted lips at midnight, and finding home

In the taste of lucky strikes and raspberry,

Snaring bliss from the precipice,

I remember this much.