All 10 entries tagged Prose

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May 01, 2010

Castles and stuff


He had bushy eyebrows. There was an ingrown hair above his lip. He had more hair on his inner thigh than on his shin. His shin was shiny, and smooth, if you touched it right.  


There are birds on top of the pylon. Muted by eighties fuck-rock in the bus. Most of everyone is background chatter, playing on phones, matching heads for love, giggling and there might be some commotion, soon. I see the birds on top of the pylon, and then they’re gone.

white line on the road, again, again, again, again.

We could be here forever. The head on my shoulder stops and starts to snore. I like the rhythm, I like the heat. I like the way our hair touches. Perhaps we will get stuck, and we could be here forever. 

The English Teachers talk about tax and everyone does anything behind them. Once someone got a blowjob in a school-trip bus. Someone told me. A teacher found them and told them to stop, and nothing came of it. 


He had a straggle of hair under both of his knees. There was one long hair above his left nipple. He never touched his armpit hair. His chin was clean, and he never scratched me. 


We’re at the ruins of a castle or a monastry or somewhere people lived and prayed. We are with the rocks. A man in a cossack leads us around, speaking words. 

There aren’t any clouds in the sky. There’s a ditch covered in brambles behind all of the rocks. I think about running and jumping into the ditch, about having dirty palms, about bleeding and tearing into my polka-dot dress, about drinking the ditch water and swallowing and swallowing until

The monk stops and asks if anyone knows anything about rituals. My bus buddy, awake, raises her hand. 

‘Rituals are things that people do over and over again’ 

and I force my fingers into my palm. I look at the sky. I feel the lace under my left shoe. There is hair over my eyes. I can see all the blue and there’s two planes above me. One flies over the other’s jet-stream. It looks like it’s going back in time. 

My tights are sore around my thighs. I try to breathe but my tights are sore

hands clutching the stretch, ripping a hole. a huge hole. and another. they might meet. and cross each other. what then?


He was bald, but hair matted to his chest. My hair lay cold on the pillow. His hair matted to his chest. 


It’s all whispers and a Teacher in my face. Girls with pigtails laugh and the boys are on the ground, away from all of the commotion.

‘Speak to me,’ the teacher. ‘What’s wrong?’

the brambles look thick. I curl my finger. I moan. Through the hole in my tights, I moan. I throw my head back, I open my mouth. I let the sky into my mouth, and I moan. Thinking about his matted hair, his hairy thigh, his stretch stomach, 

‘Christ. Everyone’ but they’re being hurried by the monk, to some more rocks, 

‘Stop it. 

You have to stop it’

his grey eyes, his frown and the way he hummed along to Bach and taught me how to play Liszt on the piano

‘Christ almighty. Stop it.’

and the way he made me love, I didn’t want love, but he gave it anyway, and the way his teeth grinded when he stopped

a Teacher grabs my waist and I am on the ground. I am under a jacket, and on the ground. 

laughing and laughing and laughing

at how the sky is so full and 


He was getting the post. I ran. And I ran. 


March 11, 2010

Graham (as much as he wanted)


There was a birth and a death. And a million more. And none were important. And a million more. Pearl lips. Lots. And white legs peal. Blue fingers and hands and arms. Pink cheeks. Everybody looks for trust eyes. Everybody red flushes.

Graham, trapped in lace. Was a birth. White lace, white birth. Christened in gold and drowning in leather. Graham, in the sex club, drowning in leather. And coated in lace with a smile on his face, Graham, deaf Graham, is drowning in leather. Tight smile, yellow teeth, specked tongue.

And Graham writes, “Je te veux. Je te veux. Si tu ne m’aimes pas, je ne peux rien faire. Tu est tout que je veux, l’amour est ma mortuaire. Je te veux. Je te veux. Tu est tout que je dois. J’ai envie de tomber amoureux si tu te fanera”. 

To pink no-one. And yellow teeth. And lace on the neckline. He wants you, he wants you. Love is his funeral. He wants you, he wants you.  He will want to fall in love if you fade. So fade. Everything is too too close. And in. And in.

Drowning in leather. A cardboard plate on the viscid floor. Panic eyes. Graham always with panic eyes. Away from all love. Lace wrists. Lace neck. Material for men. Black rip. Pink shreds.

Graham never thought about his parents. They polished his glass certificates. They dusted his dusty shelves. They gave his books to charity, and they waited for a call.

And lightning sits on the cardboard. It calms. White legs peal onto Graham’s back. Viscous men with seething bodies peal onto Graham’s back. Eating lightning. Tasting lightning. And thinking about falling in love. 

Graham will be a thousand paper statues. When he dies, he will be made into a thousand blank paper statues. And he will be folded onto a plinth in the middle of a green path for a thousand days. He will eat lightning and taste floods, and be white reborn. 

"Through the hosiery to the armory. To the nothing. How do you feel when you can't feel nothing?"

February 25, 2010

A note on economic circumstances


Someone said ‘shit, this makes no sense’, and the world sunk to its knees again . We exchanged our feet for cake. We ate until we were fatter. We sunk the world. And lower, still.
I could kill that someone. If I wanted to leave my bed, I could kill. With a steak knife. Or a dessert spoon.
The cake was worth it. Not one of us can run. We are more equal than ever.

A man on the TV proposed the sale of our legs for some more sugar. Somehow, someone did something. And we have no legs. So the world grated soft our stronger genitals.
I could fuck that someone. If I could leave my bed, I could fuck. With a steak knife. Or a dessert spoon.
The sugar was worth it. Not one of us can walk. We are more equal than ever.

And lower, still.

Piles of dough.
Pits should be dug for all the shit.


February 22, 2010

Metal pt.1


Metal on metal on metal. And sheets. And noise, an itchy noise. And an amputated hand grip on my knee. Anonymous love and care and boredom. More metal. The hand is metal. My eyes, lips, ear lobes. 

A fan presses air in the background. Killing itself. For nothing. It will clank to its death and no-one will offer finger comfort. The sky a gravestone in its mass grave. With all the other cars. 

Rebirth...either a monster or a storm. Nothing good can come of a metal revolution.

What if Jesus was wrong?

“Darling. Poppet. My love. Dearie. Duck. Sweet-Pea. Sausage. Mate. Mate. Mate. Poppet. My love. Chair. Darling. Nurse! Oh, my love. Oh, poppet. Oh, dear. Oh, sausage.”

light flash



and the fan breathes. It clunks, then breathes. It saw me.

February 15, 2010

My Heroine Pretend

italian futurism

There was a disagreement on the train. Man, mole on forehead, staring into his dog-haired wife/girlfriend/sister’s clumpy eyes. Fountains of stray hairs fail over her foundation. It’s not fair to call it a face. Water, yes. She needs more water.
‘There aren’t any reservations. We’re not moving.’
She said. He looked like he always did. Tired of growing old. Gripping onto everything nothing, because.
‘We’re not moving.’
But he can speak.

Reservation lady. It’s fair to say that she was portly. Red lattice jumper, thinking about latticed sausage and liver pie. And we exchanged several glances. And people might call that love, in another setting. But the modern-day Rosa Parks lovers’ refusal sponged her eyes. She was dry. Water. She needed more water.

And I sat in my red train seat, fantasising about having tea with Julien Soren. Trying to catch the eye of a fat woman. Trying to make traveling to Somerset exciting.
There was a poster in Leamington station. The wonders of the South West. It said. The wonders. The windows here are the same as everywhere. Rain like acne. Perhaps it’ll grow old. Perhaps the windows will crease. Perhaps I will see Somerset through a distorted lens. Perhaps it will be magic.

And I will disappear.

And reappear, again, in New York.

Or Oslo. Probably Oslo.

February 13, 2010

Two Lovers


Two lovers. 

A baby.

There are always two lovers and a baby. And she cheats. And he forgives. And they live, slightly fragmented, together.

And the baby resents. And grows. And resents.


It can either be great, be nothing, or murder. 

And then, then everyone dies. And someone else writes another story about two lovers and a baby.


I had an idea for a story. I was sat on a hill, on the top of a busy hill. People who scoffed at irony puddled the grass. I sat, pad in hand, masterpiece on the tongue. A woman. An abortion. A foetus. A woman. A birth. A boy. A tragedy. Pow. Pow. Pow. And awards and glory and money, so much money. Splashed, no, drenched by the puddles. And I will be a flood. 

Then I threw my pen. No. I stabbed the ground. I planted my pen. My gold pen. It has more worth. I cannot make an ache. I cannot carve a star out of my too-thin strings of arms. I can chop. I can reduce. I cannot, I cannot make and make.

And I walked. And I danced because. And I made friends for months and drank strawberry milkshakes on chewing-gum benches. And I wrote essays about dead people.

Present tense.


Two lovers.

A gun.

There are always two lovers and a gun. And he kills. And she cries. And they live, slightly fragmented, together.

And the police find them. 


She can take the blame, cover for him or visit him. And cheat.

And then, then everyone dies. And someone else writes another story about two lovers and a gun.


You know how this carries on.

You know how this carries on.

Write it yourself.

February 11, 2010

Robert Phillips. Potted.


He found a corpse under the blanket. Stops. And pauses. He remembered breathing. He remembered forgetting how to- digits and fingers and numbers and dials and ohohoh love, to phone, to break,, to break, to hurt. And no-one wants telephones when there’s bad news. Who? Who?
A park. A park bench. A suit. Trees and bins. Headphones. Tin. Headphones. They are inappropriate. They are inappropriate.
‘call on me........on me......’ and beats. He was running.
Without music, breath. And breath. Birds and breath and and church bells. Headphones hanging from his t-shirt. Sweat.
Robert Phillips was nothing if not bland. He refused to add salt to his poached eggs (two every morning, occasionally a kipper if the boat must be pushed out), his 5-piece selection of neck ties were arranged into categories, ‘work’ and ‘formal’. Formal never happened. Newsnight happened. And frowns. And tuts. And a cup of tea at 9.30pm with one sugar, thank you very much.
Which made his death all the more peculiar. He was strangled. He was covered with a milk stained teddy-bear blanket and left on a park bench. He was there to be found. He was there to be remembered. Robert Phillips doesn’t deserve a story. He was nothing.


and they came. Men in Hats.
The trees witnessed his tears and his fall and his guilt and his laugh and his frenzy and his shoes and his shoes and his laces and his fall. They were silent. They looked after the birds. They nested. They preserved.

He was home. Sweat. And bed. And eyes snap. And fingers clutch. And suits and benches. And suits and benches.
The policemen found the weapon in the bin. A bike tyre. Deflated and wet from the rain. It was an odd choice. The murderer must have taken a while to disassemble the tyre from the bike, to puncture it and to strangle everything Robert out of Mr. Phillips’ neck. The manner of disposal, the total failure to hide the crime...there was a rush. There was abandon. There was shame. A prostituted murder scene. Run. There was shame.
It was uncommon. It was exciting. It was everything Detective Brown needed to sweeten his day.
Under the sheets. Too warm. Too warm. That blanket! Teddies and letter squares and was there a child? A baby? Did he miss the baby under the blanket?
And he never saw the face, just the leg thump on the grass and the stomach, under suit and shirt and tie- so straight! that tie was so straight!- doing nothing, and shit and it stunk and too warm. Too warm.
It was a too big blanket for a baby, who has a 6 foot baby? It might suffo- irresponsible parents, send in the Protection?
Not his fault, taste on lips and sweat in hair, still, and fingers too cold body too warm, oh was it fair?
Not this time, not this time, not this time, not this time.
He was supposed to feel nothing.
Lawyers feel nothing. Lawyers feel nothing. Work. And stop shitting, moron, and work and slap and shower and HOT and HOT and fuckitwash and work.
Keys chafe. Two seconds. Suit on. Bed made. Coffee drunk. Eyes square.
And work.
Detective Brown was a stern lover. He arranged his love making meticulously. His grey wife knew not to cook him too much cottage pie on Thursday else he would smell in bed. Thursday was naked day. She preferred Fridays to Wednesdays: pyjama days. Sheets tight under neck days. Thursdays were instructive. Thursdays were grunt and moan and ohfuckyouwantme days. And Thursdays were sleep with eyes open because we are in love days. Because they were in love. Because they were in love.
Death hung on Detective Brown like a ripe perfume. Mrs. Brown tasted Robert Phillips. And she tasted love.
Friday morning, still no leads. Then a man walked into the station and confessed.
It was him.
He wasn’t drunk.
He had no baby.
He just broke and spilt all over the park.
Robert Phillips was there.
The blanket was his grandmother's.
He had crashed the bike.
He straightened him out.
It wasn’t his fault.
It wasn’t his fault.
He was nothing.
And that was that. Robert Phillips was an agent. He was nothing.
Detective Brown sat at his desk and downed another black coffee.
Let the criminals have shaky hands. Tears. Guilt. Let the trees keep their silence. And Thursday will come, again.

Mrs. Brown bought the kippers for the weekend. She went for a walk around the park. She sat on a bench, the ground was disturbed. And she tasted. And she shook. And she tried, so hard, to cry.

And work.
And work.
And work.

February 09, 2010

Andrew. Being cool.


It’s all about the chin and cheek combination. It’s all about listening to music on blogs and pretending that The New Band drips orgasm into your ear. It’s all about calling your friend a dirty jew and laughing about rape. It’s all about aiming high and going home, shots and shots later, with a fat girl on your arm. It’s all about failing exams and doing drugs and being so fucking Skins that the world sits quiet whenever you brood. 

I’m good at learning.

Chillax. And learn.

I am looking swish. Trainers. Jeans. T-Shirt. Hoody. Nothing screams ‘man about campus’ more than a Warwick University hoody. I fell in love once. I met Kieron on a gay cruising website. His profile picture was him, hair over face, lips parched by the camera. He saw me (just a grey question mark on a yellow background) and we spoke about being and doing. We never met. But I loved him. But I never saw his eyes. But he never knew my real name. Jake, he called me. Jake. 

I have had sex before. 

I want to leave it at that.

Because I’m all about being great on World of Warcraft. I’m all about eating ice cream for breakfast and brushing my teeth five times a day. Just in case. I’m all about looking at people smiling, arms over shoulders on Facebook. I’m all about not caring about shaving and, and I’m all about masturbation.

But I have had sex before.

I want to leave it at that.

The ritual. Friday, 5pm. Week over. The boy with the stripy shirt, the boy with worn brown shoes and three girls. Blond, blond, blond. The Crew. Varsity. Drinks and chat. I enter, sit at the bar, a pint of lager and smile. And smile. And one day, I know, one day they will say, ‘Andrew. Hi. Do you want to join us?’ Except. 

I will tell them my name is Jake. 

The pub ceiling should be more yellow. But no-one smokes. But people smoke. But no-one’s raping. But The New Band isn’t on the Jukebox. But it’s loud. But I brood. But it’s loud. 

I’m good at learning. 

Drink. And learn.

January 28, 2010

Before the Bees Came


The hair grows around my finger, constraining my blood-flow. It squeezes blue into the tip. He squeezes blue. I see him at a distance, but his breath still drizzles heat onto my shoulder. “Stop it,” I grit, “stop it.”
I am glass. I am a dirty window. His breath is condensation. It is sticky, slow, viral. After the affair. It’s always after the affair.
Of course I’m naked! Of course!
The bed is dry and cold. I leave the windows open. I want the flies to come and indulge in my shit. It’s a feast, a gargantuan feast. Eyes open, and he’s there. Next to me. Hand cupping my breast, knee forcing a jigsaw connection: I don’t need to see him. He is the other side of the world. If I run far enough, I’ll come back to him. Limp in bed. I’ll come back cupping his droop and trying not to touch his hairsweat arse.
A spider-web threads its way through the flower bed. The spider waits. Nothing. The bees will come. The bees will come. And honey flows. The bees will come.
The wall is too empty. I need photos. I need smiles and friends and proof of the love. I was promised more. My mother promised me more than a walking sack of shit seeping over my ‘well, cream will sell...’ selected carpets. I am always ready to sell my life to the highest bidder.
The cat sleeps at the end of my bed, head facing the nameless-because-it-will-probably-die-soon goldfish. Pinnocchio lies dead next to me. Just a tangled mesh of wood and wool.  Oh, so I am Geppetto. His creator, version: Incest. I made that arse. I made that droop. I laugh. And I laugh.
The thread breaks, the spider waits. Nothing. The bees will come. The bees will come. And honey flows. The bees will come.
The hair around my neck tightens. The whore line. Elizabeth I called it the whore line. My finger is frozen. My hand is numb. Under the weight of my glass body, the mattress sinks. I am glass and hair. I am a wig-shop window. The wood clatters a tribal rhythm behind me. The cat stalks. The goldfish pauses to drown.
My eyes are pearls. They will not shatter. They will roll, roll onto the cream. And he will ignore them. And he will grab his tools, his mining tools, and chase coal. Snow White now. So I am Snow White. In a coffin. Waiting. The prince will come. The prince will come. There is no sin. The prince will come.
I lie, garroted. The flowers rot, the spider trapped. The thread drapes over the branches. 

Fish Eye View

White two white bumps brown metal. Bubbles and castle and hide hide. I have a fin, I want to see my fin. BREATHE. BREATHE. Perhaps I could jump. I see light.
White two white bumps brown metal. White wall, white carpet, bubbles bubbles. Pebbles and pebbles and blue grey. Long hair, stop, stop, long hair. My bowl is dirty. Clean, tail. Clean. I have a fin, I want to see my fin. I see light.
Mist. Mist. Mist. Mist. Mist.
I will attack that brown, hungry. Bubbles and castle and hide hide. Long hair and white bumps. And feet, peeping. Toes curling. Pebbles. My bowl is dirty. I see light.
Material draped around glass, a curtain frame. Up, up, up, up. How did I get here? Snow storm, over there, snow storm.
Mist. Mist. Mist. Mist. Mist.
I hear. I have ears. I have a fin, I want to see my fin. Move there, left, left, right. How did I get here? An arm, in the air, curled fingers. Teeth, brown eyes that. How did I get here? Long hair, snow storm.
Stop. Stop. Stop.

January 21, 2010

Balloon. In the Park. With the girl.


The clouds were bubbles. The grass was Velcro. They were stuck, heel to head, waiting to be ripped. She knew. She didn’t squeeze his hand. She knew.
He looked at the sky.

“It’s too dark, don’t you think? Too dark. Too dark. Yeah. It’s too dark. Pop the clouds with me? It’ll be so very...”
She lay, hooked to the ground. Eyes closed. Waiting for the rain, the rain.
“... (he thought that it was too quiet. He breathed, louder. He dot, dot, dotted.)...”
His fingers opened wide. His arms lay like stockings weighed down by stones. His body, sand. His head, a single, pink balloon. He was strung together with bright blue wool. A knitted, permeable spine. He will sink, in the flood.
“I like...yeah.  Yeah. I like these silences. Silence is beautiful... I bet that I can hear your heartbeat...” The balloon squeaked. The balloon rattled in the wind. He couldn’t hear her heartbeat.
“Oh. Oh! There, there, there! See! Ba-dum-badumbadumdum-dum-ba-dum!”
She thought about him. She didn’t always think about him. She usually thought about tea and snow and -ing. So much -ing. Watching and wearing. Yesterday was all about the lake. She threw her film into the water. Too many photos. Too many pictures. Today was all about the park. All about lying, eyes closed.
Talk kills. He couldn’t hear her heartbeat.
Ba...dum. Ba...dum. Ba...dum.
He thought in shoots. Of air, not plants. He was dead, dead. Caught too many times by some soul-sap camera. A hundred CCTV tapes could tell a million stories. He thought of shoots. In sterile (slightly damp) rooms, not -outs in the Wild West. And she can never know. And she can never know.
More silence. For ten minutes, or more. The clouds haven’t got a watch. It is unimportant.
“So. How are things going at home?”
A question. She had to answer a question.
“..p...hh.” She spoke like she was barely speaking. Like the wind dared to brush past her lips.
“Oh. I didn’t quite catch that. I must be going deaf.”
Blind, she thought. He’s already gone blind. And mute. All she hears is squeak, squeak. Entertaining his ears would just make more squeak, sound running like sticky fingers down his rubber face. Entertain silence. The mantra: Silence. Silence. Snip spines for silence.
“Mate.” Her voice pressed to his cheek. “I want to pop the clouds. With our minds.”  It scraped. It pierced (her, not him. He was still far too buoyant.) “So, if we just lie here. Could we just lie here?” Helium bled from her ear. It was worth it.
He built a castle with his chest.
“We never talk.”


“Why do we never talk?”

Squeak. Squeak. Squeak.

It was necessary.
“I know about...I know about Thursday. I won’t tell anyone. I don’t want to forgive you. I want to lie here, for a while, and pretend. Can we pretend?”
The wind came. The sand was dispersed. Her words, true words, pierced the rubber. And they lay, hooked to the Velcro grass, the eyes-closed girl with a bright blue scarf, two stockings weighed down by stone, a patch of sand-residue and a deflated balloon. The clouds popped and he was nothing. Popped. In the water, in the puddle. He was nothing.

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