life

Misgivings

You know most of this already.

In the car with them, sitting in the back seat with her up front passenger-wise and turned back to me the two of us and talking fast like always like she had something to sell that she knew we hadn’t the cash or care to buy and the rain pelted the windshield and the wipers swung right back and the dark was outside full of unfocused and flickering points of light, streetlamps and headlights and incidental bokeh, while some vague figure in shadow form all the while drove us on.

Afterspiel, when she’d used up all her words and most of the air in the vehicle, I told her in fact no, our problem is we try to do too much too fast, all force and no finesse, just blind dumb vigor and ataxia and too little brains, like these wipers here, perhaps, I felt, reaching for a metaphor, sweeping dismissive overreliance on artificial intelligences built up around sleights perceived and true and entitlements seemingly due, ungrounded emotion and mechanical philistinism with an inarticulable mission like the goons who forcibly removed that doctor from a plane in Chicago and probably went home that night and had the nerve to believe in civil society though in their idiomatics it’s hard to believe any such nerve is needed, they haven’t even the proper vocab for the fact that kids in the same city kill with AK-47s and five people died last Wednesday just because, nothing happening, nothing going on, just a Wednesday in the city and what do you make of that, if you were to stop and sit still and be quiet for a minute.

The other there with us in the back seat with me was compelled to agree with me and I wondered what keywords in her repertoire of principled social consciousness I tapped, knowing for sure she wasn’t packing even the slightest hint of directional allegory, as oblivious to irony as those goons and maybe just as gullible, just as crowdsourced, giving a mere simple pacific piggybacking mhmm and nod of head, pleased that someone had done the thing and spoken out because somewhere along the straight and narrow well-meaning way she acquired the notion that speaking out said something but it at the very least for the moment changed our atmosphere.

And with that, nevertheless, just her up front stillness and quiet and that slight sound and musculoskeletal gesture in the back beside me within the still-floating presence of my words, I’ll be damned if a faint fellowship did not for a moment shine upon us all four road-weary travelers like the immediate aftermath of a photograph flash, a fraction of assent trying its best to be illumination and hanging in the air and draping us in what I can only think to call our common humanity, common and shared and base, and for that instant it felt not as if we were two against her brazen, impudent one, not as if the three of us outshined and consumed his resolute nothing drive-along indifference and better-knowing onlooker’s bemusement, but as if we were actual, and in that actuality a forward step might be taken, an honest word might be uttered, some responsibility assumed, a tide turned, a leaf flipped, a change made.

But it swiftly turned to dust as always tends to seems to happen with everything with vocal chords and no backbone and all was once again rain and shadows and distorted glows and she just looked at me through streaks of darkness and light and a sort of crazed eye blaze on par with Colonel Kurtz and I wished I hadn’t said a thing, wished I could vanish along with the dust of our fleeting fellowship, right along with it be turned to dust myself and taken away by wind and washed away by rain,

but all I could do was shrink from the terrible inordinacy of the space she occupied up front in that fractured darkness, already shaking off my rejoinder like a dog fresh out of water while I began inwardly apologizing by proxy and diminished presence for others’ misdeeds, her misnomers, our great misanthropy, daymare dreaming in my passive defense a wishful little thesis about going beyond thought as if awareness were something cartographical lying somewhere off the edge of the world, somewhere where I might forever sever ties to the false freedom of staying small amongst the throngs and the safety sense that silence might be the way to say what life’s about, beating myself into a backseat submission that like a deep bruise I felt lacked his up front strength and dignity, and yet

And yet there is hope, he said, and stopped us all.

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life

Ladybird

COCKNEY

I balled down the frog and toad in my Barack Obamas to nip in the offy.

“Usual please, Bossman.”

He got a box of rags and an aristotle of Oddie off the shelf behind him and a #5 scratchy out the deck.

“And a Jack The Ripper as well, Boss.”

“Which one?”

“Anything that can cook a Jeremiah.”

“I’ll pick a goodun for ya,” he said.

Most of the fighters had starkers puddings or daffy plugs or footy badges on them. I didn’t give a flying fuck what the fighter looked like as long as it Captain Kirk’d.

He goes, “‘Ere we are!” and gave me a green one with a shamrock and a ladybird on it.

“Cheers,” I went, while having a butcher’s for a nugget in the sky rocket of my Hackett.

“I’ve given you that one cos you gotta stay lucky out there and cos you’re a top bird.”

I thought I was gonna pipe my eyes out:

I’ve always been a lady but never a bird. Now I’m a bird. A top bird. A ladybird.


ENGLISH

I walked down the road in my pyjamas to go to the shop.

“The usual please, Sir.”

He got a packet of cigarettes and a bottle of vodka from the shelf behind him, and a number 5 scratch card from the roll.

“Oh and a Clipper please.”

“Which one you want?”

“Any one that is capable of making fire.”

“Ok, ok, I will choose good one for you,” he said.

Most of the lighters had naked women or silly slogans or football crests printed on them. I really wasn’t bothered about the design on the lighter in the slightest as long as it worked.

He said, “Aha!” and gave me a bright green one with a four leaf clover and a cartoon ladybird printed on it.

“Thanks,” I said while searching for a pound coin in the pocket of my jacket.

“I give it to you because I hope your life will be lucky and because you are very nice lady.”

I could’ve cried:

I’ve always been someone’s bird but never someone’s lady. Now I am a lady. A very nice lady. A ladybird.


Inspired by this scene in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73d6h_go7QI

True story:

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[Featured image source]
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life

Happy

I missed your birthday. Happy Birthday. Please don’t reply saying “it’s fine, silly”, or “yeah, you prick”. Not because I don’t want your reply, I’d treasure that more than life itself, but I’m trying not to exist. Thanks. X

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life, poetry, prosetry

Beneath the curtain

Peter Keetman Highway By Night, 1956 black and white road photograph

A man ate himself nearly to death

a girl starved herself almost dying

a bird hooked on wire by strong feet

sat away from the other birds

her wedding ring impinging on her swollen fingers

couldn’t be removed with soap and hot water

the nape of her neck pulses with effort

a shrill knock on the door of skin

you kneel in drab faux fur in the back of cupboards

smelling of moth wings, cedar and burned toast

charcoal fingers probing your eyes

the circuit fizz of bulb

trying to send messages through

barbiturates

dissolving

drowsy pain

Debussy plays

as cut flowers bow

in reverence and unending severed thirst

you go, I’ll stay

here in vase, waiver and quiver

etching lithograph outcomes of

left-over marks

sweat and tears and violence

villains without cause

beauty missing myth

when they say “you’re so beautiful”

I’d prefer they heat up a needle

stitch their mouths shut

it isn’t true

I have a russet horse for a jaw

a blue mountain for a forehead

my eyes are continually watering

with their attention

some words do not feel like kindness

they are broken pieces of yourself

irreconcilable

don’t call me that, can’t you see beneath the layers?

a scream is

not beautiful

you speak because words have become filler

for silence

and often for truth

the truth is I am an animal

my jaw continually muscular

you chew on this artificial

sweetener

pluck the instrument

hear your chord throaty and whole

a thrust and burst, losing suspension

this outline of who and what was

before condemned to silhouette we rush

into beckoning darkness

a faint smell of amber and myrrh

left on stale air

beneath long curtain

heavy with dust

(Photo by Peter Keetman, ‘Highway’ 1956).

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life, poetry, prosetry

In delirium, in neglect

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“I don’t want to hear a bloody THING about you, you’re a waste of silence, say nothing, speak no more”

“Not even to explain why?”

“Who cares why? What is the truth behind any why? It’s just a deck of cards, spilling into bath water after all, plug-in the radiator and throw it in, BANG BANG now we have something to talk about, electrocution, far more illuminating than fucking human problems … ”

“I want to tell you why I hate myself so much.”

“I don’t give a DAMN why you hate yourself. I’m GLAD you hate yourself.”

“Why are you so hateful?”

Hate, Hate, Hate. Because I’d rather drink lemonade. Because the world runs on it darling didn’t you know? Piss & vinegar inherited the earth.”

“I did know.”

“Then? Why the hell are you surprised?”

“I thought if you really tried you could communicate with someone, make them care. Make them understand. Get connected.”

“Who the fuck wants to understand someone else? We only want to understand when it’s too late, like after a massacre and probably not even then …”

“I want you to understand me.”

“I don’t care to understand you. I like sleeping with you. That’s all it is. The rest is filler. White noise.”

“Okay …”

Three nights pass uneventfully.

On the fourth.

She lit her fuse and shot right up into the sky, upon reaching the zenith she split apart, creating her own science.

All the words she couldn’t say, bottled up and labeled in her licorice heart, sticking together in delirium, in neglect, become infinity and star-dust.

Millions or billions of years pass …

One day after all that smoke they sit opposite on a scarred table with wonky legs.

“Do you want to know me?”

“Oh I want to know everything there is about you, even how it feels to be you.”

“Why?”

“Because you matter to me. Because I care.”

“Do you know why that is?”

“It’s just how I feel.”

“No.”

“No?”

“No it’s not just how you feel.”

“What then?”

“It’s because you are made of star-light and star-dust.”

“Well … sure … we all are.”

“Yes. Yes we are.”

 

(Image: http://www.tumblr_mv8equ1m1o1rmig2po1_500)

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fiction, life, prosetry

After The Devil

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After The Devil

she chose a hermaphrodite

it was quite by accident he did not advertise on his dirty t-shirt

or the filth beneath his bittern nails

something about the sad premature crease

of his grief and a slowness when they sat

drinking in silence listening to Nick Cave, fingers entwined

an ugly cupid with smooth hairless face and small hands

he had more passion in his molten brand of madness

drew her out of herself like a needle filled with blood

why shouldn’t she feel again? she was only

half used up

the finger prints of her humiliation could not

come off in his porcelain bath but there was some comfort

crushed underneath a new lover

her heart after all was deformed

mistake and gore of nature in her grandeur

how unhinged people can hold each other up

understanding the slur of repulsion

he took a photo of her before she knew

her elongated labia was showing

his pot belly and marshy dark nipples

they were horrified to see in reproduction

the honesty of their cavort via camera

disgusting really

to be so young and so

imperfect

and such a relief at the same time 

his wrinkled penis was less than an inch and she

had the smear of Electra urging her entreaty

when he held her down and reenacted

the snuff films of Dario Argento

squeezing almost tight enough to come

she saw a momentary quenching of anguish

like a reverse motion water fall

his urine landing on her flattened breasts

hanging over her rib cage in thin abandon

open your legs he said and show me your filth and scars

and though she had read Simone de Beauvoir

and Luce Irigaray

she found herself widening them

into a vile parody of former shyness

go on then she said

eat me out even though I disgust you

because he was filled with mocking self-hate

his little prick useless for much else aside frotage

he gave the best head she ever had

bar none

maybe it felt that way

because they had twisted and turned

until their skulls lay beside them

watching two ugly creatures

chew on their mutual sorrow

 

 

 

 

(thank you all at Hijacked Amygdala)

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