All entries for March 2009

March 31, 2009

backlog

Files, and more files. He recognises very few of the documents more than two years old.

           And this is what he wrote, on a brand new laptop, aged fourteen. Not so very long ago, in the greater scheme of things.

           What begins to frighten him doesn’t come from the lapses into obvious plagiarism- frequent sentences carry Chesterton’s exact rhythms- or the tendency towards explicit thematics, to the point of lecturing, repeating in piece after piece ideas like ‘We live in a world of illusion’, as if covering fresh ground.

           Sentences unravel and burst. There’s no control, and the character of an ‘other’ begins to recur, a demonic alter ego who tempts the Christian, hormonal hero into sexual desire, religious doubt, murder, and manipulation. Every story ends with a falling into unconsciousness, into water, into forest. Maddened, adolescent writing. He’s been reading a neurologist’s casebook, and begins to wonder- have I once been insane?

           He is aware, but does not yet fully admit, that his latest story depicts, as if from the outside, a lunatic who transfers one half of an internal dialogue onto a puppet, and who later attempts to gain ‘independence’ from his own psychological creation by diving repeatedly into a murky pool of water.

           What’s the phrase? Against these fragments I shore my ruins…

           A lie. I am the thought of the lichen coating the stone which once thought. Something has passed over. But I’m not the same man today I was before.

           He will not write for the rest of the day; his mind is wide, and he feels like a child.


March 21, 2009

Taken from 'Have Your Say'

NVN18:

looks like you've strayed off-topic once again, boys and girls

ashburyrules:

NVN! Good to have you back among the fold, brother. Been far too long with only the moaners and trolls for company (you know who I'm talking about)

JasonStone:

Good to have you back, NVN. Welcome.

NVN18:

thanks, everyone. it's good to be home. looking forward to some good banter.

Destinyschild:

RIP Dan Brix

AmyJ:

hi there this seems like an interesting debate. i used to enjoy debating until i became worried my iq wasnt high enough. good job i went to IQTEST and sorted it out! link/?ffhdjanmahnj/dj my IQ is 158. whats yours??

ashburyrules:

Who's Dan Brix?

kattykat4:

link/danbrix/obituary

ashburyrules:

Never heard of him. Must be a young person's thing. I'm 44 and I work in a warehouse so I don't have much time for pop music.

kattykat4:

like the internet, you mean? ;p

Destinyschild:

RIP Dan Brix you r in heavn now my frend.i no well meet ther sum day KEEP THE DREAM ALIVE!!!

docmartens:

destinyschild there is no such thing as heaven or 'heavn' as you seem to spell it. you seem to be young so i will warn you now, dont waste your life on religion which can only lead to war and conflict between nations, look up the crusades in your history book.

ashburyrules:

Sorry, kattykat4, did you mean me with the internet thing?

kattykat4:

I think docmartens had better watch out talking like that, he's going to bring the dragon out of her cave!

ashburyrules:

Hahaha she means WANDASSAVED

NVN18:

oh christ is that bitch still around?

kattykat4:

NVN18 you are very quick to call Wanda a b****. I think it's very easy to call people rude names in this situation but I think if you were face to face with her you'd find it very hard to call her a b****.

JasonStone:

Best not to swear mate, they're still moderating here.

NVN18:

nobody's moderated here for weeks, we're totally alone. and if i met her face to face i'd happily call her a bitch. if she wants to meet me (if she is a she and not some middle-aged paedo hunting online for young boys) i'll meet her and call her a bitch to her face.

ashburyrules:

Careful NVN, you don't want to get raped.

SallyJenkins:

hi there this seems like an interesting debate. i used to enjoy debating until i became worried my iq wasnt high enough. good job i went to IQTEST and sorted it out! link/?ffhdjanmahnj/dj my IQ is 158. whats yours??

ilovemygrandchildren:

Hello there Sally, I tried your link and it took me somewhere else and i keep getting things popping up now which is very annoying. do you have the right link? I thought it best that you check.

docmartens:

HAHA at old lady

kattykat4:

ilovemygrandchildren- SallyJenkins isn't a real person, she's an advert. you probably want to check your computer for viruses.

NVN18:

if you're out there WANDASSAVED, i live in cheltenham. happy to meet with you any time, any time at all.

P.S. there is no god and you're a fucking bitch.

ashburyrules:

Stop baiting her lol.

ilovemygrandchildren:

I must say that seems very rude.

JasonStone:

As NVN was saying earlier, now might be a good time to return to the topic.

NVN18:

did the old lady just call me rude? Mind your own fucking business.

kattykat4:

She was talking about the advert NVN, not you. >:(

ilovemygrandchildren:

I was talking about SallyJenkins or whoever she is, but I think you'r being very rude as well. And I'm not old, I'm 65. I had been told this was a friendly place. I must have been misinformed. I think I shall go elsewhere.

WANDASSAVED:

Dear Noodlehead NVN,

Isn't it quite clear that people don't want your foulmouthed language here?? YIKES! And the God you you blaspheme watches everything you say and everything you do and when He comes to judge you you had better have a good reason for what you do because His Son predicted the place, you know the place, you probably read about it in your retarded childresn' books, you will end up in! I'M MELTING, DOROTHY, I'M MELTING!

Maybe stop swearing and sinning and start reading these.

Leviticus 10.2

Luke 22.54

All of Isaiah 66- "The worms that eat them will never die, and the fires that burn them will never stop, and everyone will hate to see those bodies."

Wanda

ashburyrules:

Oh God, she's back. I may go elsewhere for a while...

ilovemygrandchildren:

I must say for a 'community' this seems like everyone simply shouts at one another. it's like a prison for the blind. when did we stop being able to listen to one another?

ashburyrules:

I thought you said you were going elsewhere.

If you don't like our 'community' there's plenty of others to choose from.

docmartens:

there is no god, GET OVER IT

docmartens:

there is no god, GET OVER IT

NVN18:

"the God you you blaspheme watches everything you say and everything you do"

really? does he have a keyboard?

ilovemygrandchildren:

so did you, so don't snipe. it'd be nice to see some of us agreeing for a change.

ashburyrules:

Now it's 'us'? I have to say, some of the people that hang on expecting people to pay attention to their worthless opinions are really very pathetic.

kattykat4:

I know WANDASSAVED is crazy but really the way some of you have a go at her, I think maybe you all just need somebody to hate? :C

ashburyrules:

Don't understand the face you've made love.

onlygayinthevillage:

She's made love? LOL

docmartens:

Lame

JasonStone:

It's kind of funny how many people here keep going on about God existing and not existing as if they have all the answers. I'm guessing docmartens and Wanda are leading theologians?

DEATHOFMYLONELYSPIRIT:

BLACKENED LAND AND DUSKY SKY

HERE ON A BED OF NAILS I LIE

WRACKED AND ROLLED BY SEA AND SAND

FEELING THESE WOUNDS THROUGH MY HANDS

petraluvhappy:

hi my name is petra i'm a seventeen year old schoolgirl and i just want to say you have a really important debate going on here so i think i will be sticking around. personally just to give my two cence i believe there is a god how else to you explain all the good there is in the world and the love that i feel every day as a direct result of JESUS in my life.

onlygayinthevillage:

probably all those pills youre taking.

kattykat4:

Nice to have you here petra, be good to have a fresh perspective on things. welcome to the community.

ashburyrules:

Hi, Petra good to have you onboard.x

docmartens:

i may not be a theologian JasonStone actually im still in secondary school but one thing i know for sure is there is no god he was invented by religions to enslave us and keep us from enjoying sex. if you could understand that you'd know that there is no god.

JasonStone:

I call that a bit of a circular argument...

NVN18:

jesus christ is everyone else here a kid or something?

onlygayinthevillage:

Yeah perv. :P

NVN18:

great, ill bring you all round to my house and fuck you.

kattykat4:

Moderators!!!

NVN18:

For God's sake, there's nobody moderating us.

petraluvhappy:

i wouldnt call myself a kid, im seventeen and ive already done some work modelling so im very much a woman and able to decide what i believe in for myself. docmartens how do you know there is no god? you just have to feel the love He brings us every day that's all I need to understand.

ashburyrules:

Petra! Great to see you back here again. xx

JasonStone:

Sometimes we just seem to end up with the same arguments, going round and round, never getting anywhere.

ashburyrules:

THEN GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. OR GET A JOB.

Why do people complain? It's not as if we have to be here.

WANDASSAVED:

Petra Prostitute,

Maybe instead of modelling you should be READING your BIBLE. God is NOT the happy-clappy, everything-goes gayloving hippie your negligent parents have decided to make him. that is the FALSE IDOL. YIKES! God is wrathful and He is a jealous God and when he comes a'calling you'd better make sure you have your reasons for getting him wrong in line my dear.

Wanda

JasonStone:

Who's she talking about now?

ashburyrules:

something Petra said about a week ago. WANDASSAVED, get over yourself.

God:

Wanda,

That isn't what I had in mind.

ashburyrules:

Hahahahaha!

petraluvhappy:

dear wanda, i am sorry you have got my ideas so mixed up. perhaps i do not read the bible enough as i should but i believe in god as i have seen him.   i own a 2003 youth bible, what is yours?

kattykat4:

Best not to reply to her Petra, you can't talk to people like her.

docmartens:

read dawkins petra. helluva lot more truth than in the bible.

JasonStone:

Why do we never get any people from other religions here?

ashburyrules:

Don't apologise to her, Petra, you're not in the wrong.

How are you anyway? xx

docmartens:

jews are too busy counting.

muslims are too busy exploding.

buddhists are fast asleep.

onlygayinthevillage:

...Sikhs?

ashburyrules:

Sweet Jesus, that's racist.

What happened to NVN18 anyway?

JasonStone:

Gone again.

NVN18:

Hi,

This is Chris' brother. I'm afraid he's going to have an operation next week so he wanted me to tell you he probably won't be around for a while.

DEATHOFMYLONELYSPIRIT:

NOBODY HEARS MY BROKEN WORDS

DEATH OF ANGELS, LIKE A HARP

WORLD OF SHIT AND PLAYING CARDS

CANNOT STILL MY BURNING HEART.

IF NOBODY STOPS ME I'M GOING TO JUMP OFF MY ROOF

ashburyrules:

'Chris' brother'. Yeah, right. It's probably just NVN pissing around, trying to fool us. F****ing joker.

ashburyrules:

Sweet Jesus, DEATHOFMYLONELYSPIRIT

kattykat4:

DEATHOFMYLONELYSPIRIT, i know life can seem hard but there's really a lot of great things going on, family friends. it's important if you're going through a rough time to talk to someone, make sure you don't let the little things get you down. We've all been there, I know I have. Talk to me privately if you like.

onlygayinthevillage:

emo.

ashburyrules:

Best not to pay attention to him kattykat, i know his sort before, they're just looking for people to take notice of them. He won't do anything.

kattykat4:

How do you know that? I've known people who've suffered from depression. how would you feel if he jumped off a roof and you didn't do anything?

ashburyrules:

Well, i don't know him and i don't know where he lives, so i'd never know. so that'd never come up.

kattykat4:

Christ. You really are sickening.

onlygayinthevillage:

OOH-OOOOH.

onlygayinthevillage:

bitchfight.

ashburyrules:

what happened to Petra?

onlygayinthevillage:

you scared her off lol.

onlygayinthevillage:

JOKING lol.

onlygayinthevillage:

Gone quiet.

onlygayinthevillage:

lol.

CathyB:

Hi! i use to be nervous dating until i tried new online dating

link/?sduhfjh13./

very fast and now i marry

check it out!!!

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March 20, 2009

Castle Rising

I could tell you were frightened;
driving home in the summertime
to spread two layers of thick
matt paint across the new wood
where those kids had woken you
at one in the morning
kicking their hole in your fence.

March 05, 2009

Baby & Pop

Baby & Pop

1

HAM:

To be or not to be,

That is the question.

Whether tis better to endure

The slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune

Or bring it to an end, and by ending,

End them. To sink.

But where we go- ay, there’s the rub,

That undiscovered bourn

From whence no traveller returns.

           That’s not the right wording, says Baby, from somewhere beyond the Inner Circle.  You've forgotten it.  Be realistic.

Not helpful, Baby. I continue to trace the words over the cold stone.

           I wouldn’t worry anyway, I add suddenly. Nobody ever remembered how it ended.

           That’s not the right attitude, says Baby.

           Baby is as human as any other baby ever was. When I find Baby’s little fragile body in the darkness, I press moss into his open mouth, and when I twist one of his legs so that the joint itself becomes a gaping plastic arse, dirt spills out over my hand. Baby, I am your father.

           Baby came with me from the open places. There was sky, Baby.

           I remember the sky, says Baby, and his plastic eyelids flicker shut beneath my fingers as he remembers. Pop, there were planes. I flew through the sky once by the seat of a little girl. She may have been my mother. I do know she tried to feed me before my mouth even had an opening. Bread and airline salad, and once her snakelike, curious tongue.

           Do you remember the plane that crashed, Baby?

           I remember you telling me about it, Pop. Tell me again.

A Boeing, a big one, and it plummeted into the water, artless but beautiful, and I thought about the school swimming gala. Gracie Johnson. She was from Singapore, and her body was unformed and sleek and she was wearing a white cap and nose-plugs. Like a fusion of plastic and person when she dived. Shrill whistles blowing. Shrieks and splashes.

           We were watching, me and the others, from the hillside, and it was tragic because it was so magnificent and so helpless. The runways were ruined and it couldn’t land. So it just kept circling and circling. Like a bullfight. And then it plunged.

          

           That’s a great story, Pop.

           Do you need to shit, Baby? I ask. I need to shit.

           I take Baby in one hand and head in the direction of the Smell. When the stone beneath us begins to shift downwards, and the Smell intensifies, we’re heading towards the Shitter’s Corner.

           I squat, feet in their familiar positions. The crevice of Shitter’s Corner, a stained, jagged eye in the stone, has no end. Once, foolishly, I dangled an arm through there, then a shoulder, then found myself trickling downwards. Ever since I’ve only shat into the abyss. It’s an act of retribution.

           When I’m done Baby goes. I’m always terrified I’ll drop him.

***

           Baby, being the adventurous type, is always difficult to find. Sometimes it takes hours, and he’ll sing the old pop songs so I can grope my way towards the sound, in the upper tunnels or simply fallen into a pothole in the Great Circle.

           Feels like some kind of rush. Yeah, yeah. So good. So good.

           But even then I’m often stupid and clumsy and my hands miss him by a hair’s breadth, and I’ll wander on, crying, calling for Baby.

           He’s patient, though, and he always says that soon my eyes will become accustomed to the dark. But it won’t happen, and every time I wake I wake to nothing.

I’ve spent too much time in the light, Baby, I tell him, I’m sorry.

           The only light comes when I lift my knuckles into my eyes and grind them in. Patterns of gold, like fireworks shooting backwards, converging towards a centre.

           You’re going blind, Pop, says Baby.

           I can’t tell.

           Sometimes, when he’s feeling bored or cruel, Baby tells me we can still find the entrance; we can retrace our steps to the place we squeezed into.

           There’s nothing out there, Baby.

           And he tells me outlandish stories of entire nations floating on the ocean, men who’ve grown gills and cities with names like Atloriana and Xthos. The world outside grows seaweed, he says, and subsists on fish rather than on red meat, leading to the end of heart disease.

           I told you, Baby. There’s nothing out there.

          

***

           I trace this on stone with one fingernail, illegibly, shifting backwards along the floor as I write. Sometimes the nail snaps and I have to continue, with difficulty, with my middle finger. The words written with my middle finger don’t seem canon.

           The water drips in odd places. If I incriminate myself, or say something blasphemous, I can splash the stream over the stone where I’ve been tracing and eradicate it.

          

           When I’m feeling a little childish, I imagine I’ve discovered cave paintings on the surface of the stone; those ancestors, thousands of years ago, stumbling out into the light, chose to etch mighty warriors, hurling thin-line-spears at vague, unexplored monsters. And I add to the hunt soldiers with rifles, a chariot, spacemen wielding lightsabers. Or write,

           Pop was here

           a thousand times over, in the dark.

           Sometimes I cry. I don’t deny it. Memories of Before The Cave are difficult to manage. If you let one in, a vague association of the texture of rubbly stone or the wet taste of moss in the mouth, they all come tumbling after. Headlights.  Sweet legs tucked between your legs. Father, chasing me through the garden with a spoonful of yoghurt. Drawing my hand along mossy rock as I passed on a long summer’s hike; a different sensation, a very different sensation to the delight of finding a new strain of soft chewy moss in your grasp. It’s too much.

           Baby, who’s truly selfish, only ever cries when he wants something.

           I know I’ve told you this before. But I’ll tell you it again. When I’m falling asleep I rehearse it in my head and my finger traces the words in the air.

           The Great Circle is the place of safety. At the very centre of the Great Circle lies the Inner Circle, where the stone is smoothest from my body’s pressure. I can only sleep in the Inner Circle. Explorations into the tunnels can only go so far because I need to know I can get back in time if I become exhausted. Nothing could be worse than to fall asleep in the outer tunnels, under threat.

           I’ve found that patch of smoothness. The heart of the Great Circle. Baby has fallen silent. I should sleep. My limbs burn.

           I think I have it right this time.

HAM:

To be or not to be,

That is the question.

Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune

Or to take up arms, bring about an end

And in ending them, end the struggle.

But what dreams may come;

Ay, there’s the rub, Death’s undiscovered country

From where no traveller has yet returned.

2

           Wake to darkness. Already hungry, parched, needing to piss, needing to shit. Needing Baby.

           Baby, I hiss. Baby!

           I stretch out my arm and he’s lying there. Close to the boundary of the Inner Circle, where, he knows, he’s not allowed.

           Get needy for me, did you, Baby? I ask him.

           I’m thirsty, he says. I’m hungry.

           I’ll come back and sort you out, I tell him. There’s some moss down by the Pool. I felt it, I didn’t take it all.

           I’m thirsty, he says. I’m hungry.

           I can’t always spend time with Baby.

           There’s something wonderful in being alone. An empty place, and your continued endurance there.

           I slip down the Tunnel Beyond the Shitter’s Corner. You follow it down for one-hundred-and-twelve steps, occasionally more or less, until you come to an impurity in the stone. A vein. You turn away from that vein and the tunnel tightens. I once stood up, struck my head, and lost consciousness here. At one point you have to watch for the sharp rock that can catch dangling genitals and careless limbs. Then the steep fall, the two footfalls, and you can slide down to the Pool.

           Life prepared me for this, Baby. As we all grew further and further apart, we learnt to love to be alone. Perhaps we knew, secretly, what was going to happen to us.

           There are cracks in the stone that moss flourishes in. Moist, springy clumps that taste of the earth. The last time I was down here my hands latched on to the rubber curves of fungus. I won’t expect that joy a second time.

           When I’ve eaten my fill, I slip down the polished surface. Just beyond the familiar egg-like rock my toes dash the waterline. I don’t like to enter the Pool. There are too many memories, and besides, things float upon the surface and touch me. But I feel for the waterline, every time I come down here, just to make sure it’s in the same place as before.

           And I bring a handful of moss back for Baby.

***

           Tell me again, Pop, says Baby. The story of the end.

           So I trace it.

           We began to predict ends, multiple ends. There’d always at least one apocalypse on our minds but now there was a real market for them. We watched them and we began to feel affection for them-

           Not that bit, says Baby. I hate that bit. Tell me about the gangs.

           Well, they were enterprising. When the flood rose, the emergency services were all tied up. So the gangs began to loot, and got bored of that soon enough. What they realised was that most of what they really wanted lay with the celebrity singers, the celebrity actors. All of these people’s homes and whereabouts were laid out in stunning detail in the press. So the gangs found these celebrities, stole from, raped, and murdered them. It became a badge of respect to have killed a particularly attractive celebrity, of either gender. The murderers would wear clothes imprinted with their victims’ images, and some of them became minor celebrities themselves.

           So were they killed too?

           I press moss firmly into the gash that is his mouth. My penis, pressing against the cold stone, is beginning to flicker outwards and upwards.

           They didn’t have time. That’s when it really began to fall apart.

           I like that story, Pop.

           Baby, do you think you’ll be able to trace the words some day? Like your old man?

           I doubt it, says Baby. My fingers were never separated.

           Bad attitude, Baby, I say aloud. We both need to learn to adapt.

          

***

           Baby helps me remember it.

           My Lord is my shepherd

           With him I want nothing

           He lays me down in my green pastures

           His rod and his crook protect me

           I shall worship him on the drums and cymbals

           I shall worship him on the loud cymbals

           In the house of the Lord

           I shall want for nothing

           And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord

           For ever.

           Baby, did you know a man called Kafka who lived a long time ago said, ‘There is infinite hope- but not for us?’ And H.G. Wells had one woman ask, “Is there hope?” and her son reply, “Not for us.”

           I sincerely believe there is hope for you, Baby.

           I want to try and think of some rules you can live by when I’ve gone away. You need to live your life well, and to the fullest. Something to bequeath to you.

           Number one. Don’t throw your childhood away.

           Number two. Remember me. I know it’s selfish, but it’ll keep you full of hope. A shrine doesn’t need to be anything more than the Inner Circle. Trace it every day and keep it fresh and I’ll protect you, from wherever I am.

           Number three. Don’t sleep outside the Great Circle. In case of things.

           Number four.

***

           I know I’ve told you this before. But I’ll tell you it again.

           The Great Circle is the place of safety. At the very centre of the Great Circle lies the Inner Circle, where the stone is smoothest from my body’s pressure. I can only sleep in the Inner Circle. Explorations into the tunnels can only go so far because I need to know I can get back in time if I become exhausted. Nothing could be worse than to fall asleep in the outer tunnels, under threat.

           That’s why number three is so important. There are more to come.

***

          

           I draw UFOs, shooting thin-line-lasers at the clouds. Did I ever tell you about my UFO experience, Baby? We were smiling, buttoning and zipping up, her standing. I was fumbling into my jeans while still lying down in the dirt. Silly, I know, but I didn’t want her to see I’d become re-aroused. There was starlight. A flash of blue- Look, she says, pointing- develops a corona of orange, and winks three times before vanishing.

           Do you know what that was? she says. That was a UFO.

           I kept bloody quiet. I’d thought it was an angel, and I’d lost my enthusiasm as a direct result.

I’ve found that patch of smoothness. The heart of the Great Circle. Baby, who thinks my UFO experience is for some reason amusing, has begun to hum the song about the year three-thousand. Neither of us can remember the words.

           I should sleep. My eyes burn.


March 2009

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