Friday, December 18, 2009

Great weather for air strikes.


You'll need your umbrella in this weather - Granny Glasgow.

THIS BUS IS UNDER ATTACK! CALL 999! WOO-WOO-WOO!

THIS BUS IS UNDER ATTACK! CALL 999! WOO-WOO-WOO!

A fuck, isn't under attack. Just knocked the bloody sensor off. Now this voice is declaring state of emergency. Jesus Christ. First week on the job too. Lights flashing on and off like Blackpool illuminations. Siren screetching as well. Just knocked the switch – bang! – Orwellian bus shut down. Strictly a security precaution, in case psychos or neds, kick off. Old dears are probably terrified up the back. Think mayhem uncaged up the stairs. Think we're under attack. Think the bloody bus has been hijacked by a rogue driver.

THIS BUS IS UNDER ATTACK! CALL 999! WOO-WOO-WOO!

Need to pull over at this stop: get this fucker off. 'You alright, Son.' An old dear is up at my side as we slow to a stop. Her eyes doe wide. 'What's that voice saying? It's hell of a loud, and the lights flashing. This bus possessed?' Trying to be funny she is. Strains to hear me. 'Don't worry love, I've just knocked the alarm, we're no under attack.' She didn't quite understand. 'O right...well, I hope you get it sorted, Son, the state of things nowadays, the whole town should be ringing like an alarm.' She clung to the door and lowered herself down to pavement. A few passengers jumped off after, heads down, sheepish – half startled no doubt – not sure to run or laugh.

THIS BUS IS UNDER ATTACK! CALL 999! WOO-WOO-WOO!

Pedestrians stop left and right to look at the bus. Lights flash like a disco tech. They've never seen anything like it. The voice of a woman from down south, blaring like she's on a megaphone, sounding a touch like a female robot . You can hear it louder on the outside than on the inside. Maybe they're all thinking she's the one in trouble. Everyone in the whole fucking street can hear this no doubt. Folk peering from windows. Thinking terrorists or the CIA has come to Glasgow. Total mess.

THIS BUS IS UNDER ATTACK! CALL 999! WOO-WOO-WOO!

'Everything all right mate.' A passerby, tall skinny guy, stops at the open door with a look of caution. Eyeing the passengers downstairs. 'Something going on upstairs. It is drunks? Kids going radio? Did they do a runner?' I wish I could say aye, chaos, been getting belted with bricks, woman assaulted, dynamite upstairs. But, I fiddle with security buttons, fingers shake anxious with nerve. 'No, Sir, everything is fine. I don't know how to stop this alarm, you see. Went off by itself'.' He smiles. 'Ah, OK, not to worry then, just the bus crying wolf.' He walks away with a smug smile on his face, looking at the bus like it was a fireworks display or a comedy show.

THIS BUS IS UNDER ATTACK! CALL 999! WOO-WOO-WOO!

Not many passengers on mind, half a dozen up stairs, five down. All deafened by this English woman telling us all to call the police. Jesus. Like fucking Orwell right enough. God help us when something serious does happen. Imagine that. Some nut job with a knife, holding passengers hostage or decides to drive the bus over the bridge on the Clyde. Doesn't bare thinking about. Seriously but, what driver in his right mind, would hit the alarm if some chaos did kick off? What's he going to do? Stay in his seat, behind the Perspex window, letting drunk wolves have a free for all on the bus, until the police come, only to find him cowering under his jacket, and the bus empty. Cringing man. No fucking nut job or a suicide bomber in sight. Just this robot nipping our heads. Maybe folk think I've panicked, I'm lost, can't hack the 7 route anymore, flipped a switch wanting to go home.

THIS BUS IS UNDER ATTACK! CALL 999! WOO-WOO-WOO!

Shit, here comes the 12, pulling up behind me. Driver will be off like a shot, thinking there's trouble, been plugged in the artery. Jesus. Things aren't that bad really. It's the papers. Everyone should get along enough to remain sane. Here he comes, running along the street, panic on his face. He jumps onto the bus – big chap – bit out of breath – eyes alert. 'You OK driver, what's happened?' He steadies himself on the ticket machine. 'I'm a fucking idiot, that's what's happened. Knocked the fucking sensor off, so I did, with my elbow, I think. Canny shut it. She'll have the riot squad down here. Half the street will think we're under siege.' 'Aye, they'll be thinking it's the Middle East. Here, I'll give you a hand, there's a code to deactivate this chaos. Now, let's see if I can remember it.'

THIS BUS IS UNDER ATTACK! CALL 999! WOO-WOO-WOO!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dinner in no-man's-land.



Enough of this man, enough of Corporal Olaf, I want peace today, to come out from the bunker during the carpet bombing, sit down to lunch at a table in Argyle Street and order a starter and a main. I'll have a long lunch of spaghetti bolognese and something sweet for dessert. The corpses will lie around me like children sleeping in the warm summer grass after water fights and too much sun. I'll have just enough time to finish my rice pudding and swab my mouth with a napkin. Hopefully, with no one left, and having avoided sentry duty, I can go for a night on the town, sink a few beers down to celebrate the good life.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Hips made of smoke.


Smoke lingers
and curls like the ghost

of a belly dancer.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Black operation.




Why are you standing at the foot of the lamppost, outside the park, in black pin striped three piece suit, yet you are a teenage boy? It is winter. Bitter frost hangs the night. You trail thin puffs of breath. What are you waiting on? Your hair is lacquered smooth with gel and glistens under the wake of yellow light. You stand up-right in sentry. Your face, pale smooth white skin, bright amber iris's rimming jet black pupils, chiselled jaw line, and straight warm red lips.

You hold a black Oak stick with a silver regal brass knob, by your right hand; tap it, once, twice, three times, upon the pavement. You lift your head to the sky, which is cloudless and perfect jet black, stars illuminating, like frost and white stones sugared upon the pavement, glittering under lamplight. You straighten your lapels with your left hand, and then lift your left arm, toward your face to read the time. What is waiting for you?

Lamp light trembles in threat of going out, you look up, searching then look forward again, unconcerned. The street is silent. You must be very cold. Yet there is no impatience in your manner. You seem, precise. Prepared. Deliberate. Clandestine. Suddenly, like the black bird startled, you snap your head to the right, look off into the darkness; some sound? A call? It is impossible to know. You take three strides outside the perimeter of the lamp glow, untraceable and sealed, by the pitch dark of midnight.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The big gay cliche.


'Sexuality is not the centre of the self' - McGuire.

Let's get one thing straight, I'm not. - Bumper sticker

Men loving men.
Anal invaders.
Sex pests.

Promiscuous Devils.
Seducers.
Opportunists.

Obligatory effeminate,
ball bursting touchy feely
perfumed sons of Adam.

Flaming sodomites.
Sensitive assholes.
Pink as tongues.

Girly, limp wrist
cock sucking
bell boys.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Armies of dictionaries fighting over the meaning.


Words -
sent out on up the line
to face the firing squad
as I sit back and idle.

The tomato and the tortoise.

To be young takes a very long time - Picasso.

We are outside play school in not-to-warm-sun but lemonade-bright-yellow, the wind is sharp, like the edge of an ice cube against your face, but not as cold as the need for an Eskimo. We are going on the 89 bus with Misses Proudfoot and Ms. Lilly. They are the bestest teachers in any mile. I think a mile is a long way to walk without an s at the start of it. Ms. Lilly says that I am a clever boy, to think such a thought, both ends of her mouth got bigger, like a flower stretching in the sun, though the flower is her smile. Me, Harry, Lydia, Jackamo, Joyce, Steven, Ted and Jackie, and Linda, with lemon hair, all are waiting, on tender foot excitement. We stamp up and down, and point at the sky like it's a person. The bus arrives, all hiss and fume and rattle, bright red, like an apple or a tomato. A tomato tastes wet. An apple tastes sweet. 'We are going inside, to sit inside an apple or a tomato, Ms! I can't decide.' and she frowns in a way that means she is happy, but says the word precocious, which is a type of food, but one I do not understand.

Jackamo says, an apple is a circle and a bus is a square. And I said a square is only a circle with edges. And he said, maybe. Jackie, is humming a song, hopping up the stairs, she is good at hopping even though she wears glasses. Me and Harry sit at the front window, Jackamo and Ted, sit on the other side, and all four of us drive together, blowing the horns and skidding round corners. What an amazing tomato to drive in. And everyone agrees. Steven and Lydia are practicing singing to themselves or talking inside their heads. The bus sings with noise sun bursts through onto our faces, everything is bright and it's hard not to feel happy as we go.

We are going to the science centre, because that's were the world works. Joyce says – we are driving an apple-bus. Steven says – no, a tomato-bus. Linda says – a strawberry-bus. Harry says a potato, and everyone falls silent for a second, and laughs as they realise potatoes are the colour of skin, not buses. Mrs Proudfoot is talking about orders, and Misses Lilly listens with head nodding attention. We don't understand. We turn the corner, all of us driving on our chairs, and a bridge appears and we go under the bridge, and Jackamo shouts – 'It's night time!' then we come into the light, and Jackamo shouts – 'It's day time.' It is the quickest day. We all agree. We want to go back and forth under the bridge so we can have more than 10 days and nights in one day. Jackie can't count to ten so she can only have eight days, but we will wait for her, in the other two days. And we keep on driving the tomato, faster, through lights and the serious world. We pretend to lick the chairs and eat the windows, but it is no use. You can only eat an apple from the outside in, so we have to wait until we get off.

We are the seeds inside the tomato, Misses Lilly as her smile becomes Ms. Proudfoots smile. I think, we might be the seeds inside the tomato, maybe the seats are seeds. And Linda shouts, we are the green of the strawberry, but that confused me a bit. The science centre is bigger than a house, said Misses Lilly, bigger than nursery, bigger than five high schools, we couldn't imagine five high schools, and wondered how they could fit a science centre inside a world or even inside a mile. A mile is a long way to walk, Mrs Proudfoot taught us this morning, so we remember. She says, a mile is further than from my front door to the play school. And, Dad drives me to the school, and it takes as long as the bus, so she is right.

Linda says science centre is huge, like a machine, which can eat us. The swing doors are mouths into the belly. We all tremble and shake like it's snowing. I am scared of the idea, everyone is scared of the ideas, but not of the doors, and Linda holds my hand, and says that if it is actually a monster, she will ask Misses Lilly to call her Mother; we look into each others eyes and I promise to go inside the mouth first and check if it is OK, if it is, I will come back and tell her; and Linda says thank you and smiles and this made me grow a smile too. 'Nearly there everyone...' Misses Proudfoot sings out, and we bounce up and down, and wring our hands like they are on fire. And Jackamo messed up his hair and gasped and put his hand over his mouth because excitement made him crazy. And Jackie sang: 'We're driving a tomato, we're in a tomato.' We hissed with joy. And, the building came into view – we could see it – it is like a giant shell, like a tortoise, but grey like metal, and not green like tortoise; but Linda said it's a tortoise, slow and old, like an old man; so me and Linda thought, tortoise aren't monsters, they are nice, take their time and are gentle. And we gasp long like something when something bad has been avoided for something gooder. Much gooder. And we can’t wait to understand how science has invented the world.

We are going to understand science, the place were they made the world. Misses Proudfoot says science was about being sensible, and testing things, and I says, like putting your finger into water to see if it was OK to put in all the hand, and she nods, yes. Science is like that. Like making bubbles in water, smashing red roses into dust, showing the corners of the universe, switching one hundred light bulbs at the same time, and talking to dinosaurs. And everyone shouts yes! Science is amazing, an old slow man, who wouldn't run away but let us play with the toys he has made, and ask us to make some. And Misses Lilly asks us all to hold hands and shut our eyes, and love while we hold them, and then the tortoise, and open them.

(Editing to be done.)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A poetry sleep-in.


The soul is a wild boar - McGuire.

Falling asleep listening to the dull poets

read their dull poems in the land of soul.
Writhing in stuffy halls on hard uncomfortable chairs.
Reluctant audiences exhaust the coffee machine,
stew over stiff silence as one soul is about to
read the last line from a five page epic.
All preparing for perfunctory applause.

This is where poetry comes to die.

Dance us to the edge of love.


It is of course possible to dance a prayer. ~Glade Byron Addams

The desire for love, and to be loved - no idol more hollow - McGuire.


The Bounce man! ...canny beat the Arches ona Friday. Few joints. Coupla sweggers. Botill o voddy before yee go in = holy trinity. Fires yee up fir the dansin. Wee nervous inferno in yir stomach. Heart attack excitement. Love it man, buzzin, everyone buzzin thegither. sub woofer vibrating through thu wallz. Music solidifying the sense of the orgy. Everyone comin the tigether, no fir work or confessin, but fir movement in the primal church. Floor tae yir self, floor fir the crowd, brainwashed by techno. the body wan muscle riding the surf. Endorphin spumes rushin up the spinal like a burst of sherbert powder. Body tingling, like a set o Christmas lights. The bass thudding, four heart valves, pulsin through the marathon. A sea of white noise covering the air like a sheet o metal. Intuitive endolphins swimming the blood stream. All of us - a stampede - all feeling the false love for ten hours - 5 here, 5 elsewhere. Dancin agents wae ir own secret love agenda. Gandhi style. Lie doon or danc the foolhard happy marathon; a joy to be walked over or ran over by anyone good soul. This shit could kill armies man, kill them in oceans of serotonin, melt thum tae a smile, melt the bullets tae tiny tablets, make a good joke o manufacturers o conflict. Caught in spontaneous earth - nay danger o war here - every one puts down their defences and lifts up their arms..

3000 souls under one roof. Electric orchestra of lazers. Hours of chemical dancin' under the false flag of love, but a sense of the love of what could be, if we pulled apart the curtains o our thoughts, brought aw private trouble intae open. Could stop wars a bet. Wars man. Pull down the secret wars. Deframgment yir mind, so comes the empathy, that comes way honesty. A chemical neutrality. A false neutrality, but it lends sense, to the sense, of what could be, if it wiz all aboot pulling secrets through the holes in the wallz, then pulling down the walls themselves. Approach calmly – all of us - dancing our prayers. Hypnosis o the crowd, aw stunned by each uther; hugging stranger prayers. Aw lost tae each other but, really. Selfless then selfish again in that order. Agony aunts and uncles, momentary brothers and minute sisters, spontaneous families, extended, but a false extended family, yet a sense o the family that could be, if all our secrets had been outed and dressed and calmly approached.

Tell yir joy. Tend to yir woe. The syncopated heart beat unifies us aw - artificial sweetener. We are experimenters, an unsound experiment, to get a sense of what it might be like, if we pulled down the walls, the cells, all the strangers, all the unutterables. It's all about how you react to the experience put before you. It's aw about what it could be like if we were all strong enough to handle our shadow alone in the dark. Bouncin man, bouncin, I'm naw going tay sleep, I'm up all weekend, I' m here tay butter up love and touch the telekinetic delusion of our all love together in the orgy of our excess. knock back shadows and sing through the hardcore of the mountains o trauma. Brilliant man everycunt smiling through the seritonin, happy happy, breaking doon aw the fuck barriers, burstin through all the lies o the past, the formalities of the present, and the terror o the future. Music will solve aw the problems o the world yet. With only two arms we canny solve much, save affection, maybe. But this is it, rioting into the night, through the mornin, past rants of seritonin, putting the world to loving right - waiting for the sunrise to shine on our false junk utopia. Wish I didnay have tae always be here on ma own but.




(Work to be done. It's riddled with mess, but I'm mopping it up as I go.)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Guy Fawkes Night (a chorus of crazed baby chicks)



What radicals you are blowing up in suburban streets.
Startling the solemn households from their quiet Sunday
breathing, lighting up thousands of tiny troops of Civil War.

Anarchy! Streets run amok!

In flocks you burst and scream, a chorus of crazed baby
chicks being strangled, a thousand wild light bulbs sent up
into the air fusing,
  exploding
bouquets of flowers, flying out
like burning feathers.

You fizz and whistle like sparks of fat.
Breaking the rude silence of safe
towns, reminding us of a war
    just
     round
      the corner, or
to shut the curtains, lock the door, and always
blow out candles.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Greater Glasgow Health Board.


Excerpt from short stories 'Greater Glasgow Health Board: 'Whit Aldo seen the uther day.'



-->
walkin alang suachiehall street wae JoJo. standin outside burger king wiz big willy the junky fae doon ma street. He wiz hammered. Sawzild. Jitterin on the spot in his blue and white tracky. staggering forward then fallen back. Forward and back. His heed was dripping doon like he wiz fallen asleep, and his legs buckled doon then sprang back up. Thing is, it wiz a busy Saturday efternoon, you cud hear bagpipes buzzin in the distans, and folk oot way thur weans shoppin. Willy has weans as well you know. Imagine that? Yir da, a grown man, a junky, humiliatin himself in the centre. They aw gawked at him like walking by a shite exhibit. Total disgust. Weans thinkin it wiz funny as fuck. Thinkin he thought he wiz probly still in his living room. Poor bastard should be on the methadone or electro-shock. His weans are in care. Cause his wifes a junky, too. bet he wiz just daein a wee dance, so he could cadge some money for a burger. Scum, man.


-->


-->
then the uther day, you wont fuckin believe this, wiz fucking brilliant. a wiz walkin alang the road, as yee day, and I kid hear this junky cow moanin. and guess whit. She hud her hand and a wee bit o er arm stuck in the fuckin postboax. haha! Belter man. She wiz out the game as well, lollin about on the spot. like a dog on its leash. jag bag burd. she was gibberin. probobly trying her luck at bumpin some of the letters in the post hopin tae find a bit of doe. Missed her giro. But I just stood wae Jamie and tam laughin right at her. hahahaha! she was a fuckin disgrace. She wiz makin no sense, spangled oot her mind, moanin like she had downs or sumting. she started saying 'fuck off, fuck off.....naaw! gonnae help us.fuck off, fuck off! naw gonnay help us.' we jist kept laughin then Alsay got his phone oot and filmed it. we just kept pissing our selves and then walked away. and we watched the video. Gonny put it oan youtube. Funny as fuck! Glasgow is a fuckin whole man. Rats man, should aw be put doon. Fuckin love it.

-->

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Certain people.



There are many grey chairs
who do nothing except
let other people sit on them.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Riddled with error.


My book of poetry and prose and short stories is now available online. 'Riddled with errors' (originally called, Important Nonsense) is a collection of over 69 pieces of untamed poetry, bizzare stories, jaw dropping honesty, and dark science. It's available in the U.K. only and costs £5:o0 post and packaging included. The book is signed and contains a personal note too.

The work contained in here is largely from my formative years; late teens to late twenties. Some from years ago, some from just last year. It's brash, brazen, full of holes that are portals of discovery, full of slap dashery and hyperbolic seriousness. Fit for the young, the old, the dead, and the yet to be born.

Comment and criticism for 'Riddled with errors':

'Feral poetry' - Anon. 'Sincere dross.' - Anon. 'Unusual images fight with intriguing and messy brain matter.' - Jenifer Wills. 'A poet, of and for, the attention deficit disorder.' - Anon. 'Part Glasgow, part psyche map, part rainbow explosion and word finger painting.' - Anon.

Order a copy. Have a read.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

As we see it.


My brother and I used to pull down
large writing pads from the shelves
and he would draw a precise earth
lined and squared and I would scribble
bright colours over the page.
We were both drawing
the world from different angles.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Olaf's Yom Kippur.


Head-busy, out delivering the mail, utterly anythingarian with the world, no convictions either way. The sun blaze's through unforgiving, but a glorious butter field all the same. The sweat sticks my shirt to my back. I have a large bundle of mail secure in my right arm and my left arm is free to do letter box slight of hand, all morning. I'm in Belmont Drive, one of the wealthiest streets in Giffnock, a suburb in the affluent south side of Glasgow, home to many orthodox Jews. I post the mail thoughtlessly through the mouths of the letter boxes.

As I walk up the tenth drive way, I see a small congregation of Jewish men sitting in a garage up the top It's Rabbi Kakov's house and I see him, I walk up to him and hand the mail, no offering just a few bills and a parcel, and the men stare at me in tassels and black coat attire. They shut the door and begin to chant in tones that are no doubt directed to that which is God. Chanting on, tongues almost, mysterious on this summer Thursday morning. Chanting mysteries a million worlds apart from suburban docility. They sing to evoke the great Jewish spirit-thing in Hebrew tongues. I know not what they do. No comprehension of God in a book comes easy to me, to anyone perhaps, perhaps, if I was to put I name to it, I might say I'm a lover of the God beyond God conception.

I crunch off down the driveway. I stop to listen once more. I want to hear their chant, their wonder, taking up the moment, this far fetched possibility of something holy in the moment, what magic has captured their spirits or what madness has loosed upon them? I cannot tell the difference. I am not a man with answers. What strange history tradition holds. I do not know who is right or wrong. I stride on, rock upon my back, mailing the messages. My finger has a paper cut, I consider it as I walk, then I think of the Jews in their orthodoxy tassels and fedora hats. I think of Israel and Palestine. All the crossed wires, everyone chanting at the same time, making war out of the noise. I want to sing 'Liberate Palestine!' 'Scrutinize the Jewish Lobby' 'Tell us what you believe...' Everyone link arms.

Fishing more mail into voiceless letter boxes, I carry into new streets, and more indifferent stone houses. My back aches and strains, kilos of messages and pointless junk, kilos of the suns warm glare, kilos the crossed wires pushing on the phone lines. God surrounds me with its earth thing all around me, tree air water. I walk on as ever and know I am saved because I am still alive, and deny nothing. I carry on to Orchard Park and stuff letters and bills and good news into these sacred slots, then I hear a call: 'Excuse me! Excuse me, young man.' I turn swift, it's a Jewish man, he is in his uniform, black fedora, long black tench coat, and short thick black beard. He is God's gangsters. Slightly chubby. Pleasant. He talks with me.

'I don't know if you know but today is a Jewish Holy Day, and I was wondering if I could ask a favour of you?' 'Sure, in fact, I was just round on Belmont and I could hear the many chanting.' 'Ah' he said 'Where you you really? I was just round there myself praying. Well, on this Holiday we cannot use electricity and, if you wouldn't mind, could you come in to the house for a few minutes and give me a quick hand.' I smile all teddy bear soft and willing. 'That's not a problem. Lead the way.' 'Thank you so much, most postmen say no.' We waled into his house He was carrying a blue velvet pillow with golden writing stitched precisely upon it in Hebrew. Clearly this was pillow of or for a God, to sit upon or lay his head. It was beautiful in the sunlight.

'I find all these traditions intriguing but ultimately mystifying, especially when we look into the details of their origin. I haven't done that yet. Have you?' I ask frank but not rude. 'Yes, the world his many traditions , different religious traditions, that's all.' A blanket statement. We walked into the warm house he spoke Yiddish to his wife, saying somethings perhaps like:
I've brought a genteel in to help with the electricity. I could hear the family chattering in the next room, lively and engaged, like Christmas or New Year. 'I was wondering if you could turn the thermostat on our fridge up to 20.' The thermostat sat at 15. I had to move it all but 5 tiny fractions, 5 cosmically insignificant fractions, and then the job would be done. But then I thought to myself - is this some joke? Have I been had? Was such a triviality really forbidden on this day? Or was this some kind of 'get-a-genteel-to-help-you-with-a-menial-task-day? Surely to ask a genteel to disobey the Jewish law would not exempt the Jew himself from partaking in this metaphysical transgression? Should I tell him?

He stared directly at me and thanked me kindly. I obliged a smile and wished him happy days. Then, the second I walked out of his house cognition pulled through: Wait a minute! They had all the lights in the house on, including the porch light, how the hell did they manage to get all those lights on without help? Had the Jews been asking every passerby to switch on the odd light or two out of the kindness of their own Godlessness? I thought further through my mind, couldn't he just of
accidentally rubbed against the thermostat until he had reached the required temperature? A test from God or was the man testing to see if I was anti-semitic - did he expect me to decline and walk away in secular indifference.

I'm the postman with a sore back and strong calf muscles. My God is absolutely anything. I guess the meaning, I live alone, and I don't read books with a fine tooth comb. As far as I can tell, further perhaps, we all live together in God, and die alone in the end. Isn't it obvious? The Universe is Heaven. I'm off to finish this route. What a morning. Yom Kippur to you all. (Which reminds me, I must buy some kippers at the fish mongers) I'll see you in the rebuilt Jerusalem.


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The waiting syndrome.


Joey sat in silence on his couch every evening. He was like a calm patient Buddha but then like a Buddha you began to wonder if he wasn't actually retarded in mind and soul and simply sat there for years because he didn't have the capacity to actually get off his posterior and do something with his ennui. He sat. Said nothing - invited nothing, and I bet he still does, if he is still alive, if he ever was. Maybe now he's teaching teenagers with mania or digging wells in West Africa or shelving it in a supermarket. Perhaps, at least, he finally liberated himself from self imposed exile. Like I did from my straight jacket.

Honest to madness.


Deliver us from evil.

Rab was a narcissist. He liked his sex aggressive. Liked to simulate rape scenes, mock strangulation was his bent. He liked to throttle a little, bruise her, a slap, give himself totalitarian control. He was twenty something - a post man. He usually dumped junk mail in the industrial waste bins at Toryglen ASDA. He was a young alcoholic and not yet robbed of his courage by the drink. He would get into a fight at least once a week. I think he was a closet homosexual. Who isn't? Surely, it just depends how much space your willing to admit is actually left in your closet? Rab laughed deranged. Donkey sound – 'Hee Haw!' 'Hee Haw! A donkey without his Sancho Panza. One day he'll be in prison for rape or murder. He was a solid guy, sincerely damaged, sincerely fucked up. In a world this insane, he was quite the rationalist.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

44A Charing cross.


It never arrives but when it does it's at the last minute. The innards smell of sweat and a faint hint of urine. We lodge beside two by two. Battalions dip heads into newspapers and scroll through the mobile locked in the screen. Everyone rudely brought to life by morning finding themselves here daily.

Passing by Queen's park, the sun spears through the trees, making a greenhouse of the bus; welcome in the morning. A baby startles the air with her primal cry. The bus moans and stretches as it takes a right corner. We sit in rows two by two and someone accidently brushes the leg of another, they flinch as though they had touched something cold and disgusting. They shift gingerly and settle back down again, no eye contact,settling down for a few more paragraphs of gibberish.

At the back of the bus a man and a woman talk nonsense to each other through long awkward pauses. Someone cringes and coughs. Two strangers admire the view from the window but one actaully only stares through the glass. The bus lurches and hisses down Victoria Road, passangers move and sway like audience memebers, the lights halt us, we each say a short prayer - red, orange, green. We play Monday morning solitaire in separate chairs. In ritual. And someone always sends out a thought or two for the angel left standing.

Centipedes crawl the road and moments run like cats under cars. Blurred flashes of headlines as pages turn. Everyone is generalising internal monologue and the brains creepy almanac informs us of a dangerous future. The bus pushes on through the streets. An aging crossword puzzler has dozed off. A lady is blabbering about a recent biopsy and a few of the men over hear and think of their testicles and the women their breasts, and some others, the rectal passage. The sun pours through the glass pure orange juice. Morning stretches and yawns and wedding bells are tolling somewhere for lovers in the universe of a quite perfect mortgage. And the spelling mistakes in the newspaper forgive themselves, a zebra crossing in sub-Saharan Glasgow halts us, a set of lights, again, betray us. Some are running late now.

The congregation shuffle their feet nervously. 'Better to be safe than sorry' says an aging widow wearing a long brown coat. The man beside her says nothing. She is afraid of her naked body. Heliotropic trees inhale their fix of the sun. Everyone is taxed and no one has anything to say and wishes to tell the world about it. And the ego is being fiddled with by signs and beta rays; no one can take themselves lightly, someone farts in divine silence, four wheels make 840 revolutions every mile, five passengers yawn in synchrony.

The arbiters of life sit neatly in their pews. Heads in papers soaking up the inky meaning. All waste and pine against the routine of work. Many hearts beat in time, but it's impossible to know exactly when this is happening. The engine roars. The noise fills the bus like colourless smoke. One rusher is tapping his feet desperate to urinate. Most are sullen and inconsiderate. A prayer it sent up: 'I must be joyful.' And now they enter the city, out of the mountains, down into the valley into the uterus of the business zone.

Someone makes a mental note to re-read the book of John - 'those who believe in the Son are not judged'; someone concludes that 'some things are under our control while others things are under the control of others'. A lady confesses to herself she must edit her diary to take out the truths she is ashamed of. And a man smiles, his face touched by the sun, thinks to himself 'take care of a thing as though it where not your own'. The bus comes to a halt, and the professionals, the marching band and the fingered administrators of practical reality queue off the bus, at Hope Street. They sink into the day, in swarms of fabric and wrist chains, clock in time together under the grey sky of the same nullifying office blocks throughout the city.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Deranged penguin.



A clip from the documentary filmed in Antarctica by Werner Herzog, 'Encounters at the end of the world'.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Holy Water.


The world is out of water.
The last droplet has been drank.
Everyone is so very thirsty.
Everything so very dry.
Everyone hunting for that
miraculous glass of water.
Congregations with cracked lips
kneel and bow trembling
before the effigy of a giant iceberg.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

A lovely read.



Elizabeth: 'Hi Karen! Fancy meeting you here. What books that you're reading?'

Karen: Hi, Liz, it's 'The beauty of being' by A. H. Hart. It's devastating. So moving. Tear filled. I would recommend it. Really plays with the heart strings. How are you doing anyway? How are Eric and the boys?'

Elizabeth: 'I'm brilliant. The family are doing great. I love a good book too, Karen. I adore Emmanuelle Terez, a wonderful Latin novelist, I love to read philosophy, romance, and poetry, in fact, I'm actually in a community book group. Ah yes, such types as we are truly beautiful, peaceful, we won't be dragged by the demands of life. We have an overwhelming sense of empathy. We love the sensitive side of life, the soul, introspection, the passionate life. Don't you agree?'

Elizabeth: '...O Karen, look at the time, I really must pick the children up from school then I must dash to the supermarket and do the shopping. We are having lamb chops for dinner and lychees and vanilla ice cream for dessert. Can you believe they charge one pound and sixty three pence for a single can? I was outraged, almost complained, dear dear, rotten supermarkets. I'm thinking of changing to the new Tescos branch thats just opened. '

Karen: 'God yes Liz, I've started shopping their myself; the smaller supermarkets are just too over priced. It's extortionate. So, is that the book group Susan Redford attends? I've thought about joining actually, it's down at the local library, is that the one?'

Elizabeth: Yes, Susan is secretary. You should come down, it's on Wednesday evenings. I'm sure we'd all love to have you. Well lovey, my jeep isn't parked far from here. I'll be off, see you soon love. I'll pop round during the week with a copy of 'Soft lives of the delicare unaware' by Emmanuelle Terez; it's so poignant. kiss kiss xx.'

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Faux pas

Greasy spoon

The cigarette coughs and splurts ash
into the coffee cup. The coffee
splashes in shock. The table cloth
is ruined and she'll have to wash her
dress. The breakfast was a near miss.
The table had nothing to do with it.
And the chairs, straight backed,
look unimpressed. 'You should give up
those bloody cigarettes George, they're
more bother than their worth.'

When I was a girl.

Memories from my mother's wardrobe.

Once. Only once. Did the tights come out.
The feel of them. The warm all encompassing
caress of nylon hugging leg, thigh, buttocks.
Once. Only once. Did the bra come out.
The feel of it. Tight and secure
cupped around your chest and nipples.
Once. Only once. Did the lipstick come out.
A lick of red across your lips. I was
generally more inclined to be a tomboy.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Summer biscuits


Five children sun about in the sun,
searching for their mother
who has fallen asleep in the
back garden with slight sunburn.
They will sneak into the kitchen
and steal three biscuits from the biscuit tin.

Monday, July 06, 2009

A Peculiar History of the Banana.



Bananas were once shaped like penises and there was once a man who was averse to eating bananas in their ithyphallic form - as he put it. This man had spent most of his adult life running a local fruit and vegetable shop in central London. Every time he had to eat a banana, he would peel it, revealing the naked yellow centre, then quickly slice the entire banana into discs, dispose of the skin, and eat them one at a time or often as additional ingredient for desserts.

'Like a sweetie' he said 'not like a penis at all'. Like sliced daisy heads. This gave him some feeling of security. He claimed that women loved to eat bananas and that a banana was naturally for women. Any man who ate banana without slicing it into little discs was 'highly suspicious', prone to effeminacy, lecherous deeds, and should not be trusted in friendship, marriage or financial matters.

The central aim was to deconstruct the banana in phallic form; not simply in shape, there was a psychological motive at work, the man believed Bananas imposed upon the eater certain perverse suggestions. Possibly, encouraging people to partake in promiscuous acts, the latent promiscuity of bananas was dangerous. He wanted to pull down the obelisks. So to speak. Keep power inside the suit trousers.

The man found ideological interest from Christian Evangelists, The Institute of Absolute Masculinity, realmenarenoteffeminate.co.uk, Builders and Tough Boy Humour Unions. They supported the idea, believed masculinity must be rescued from saturation in effeminate sexuality; some provided funding for the man. While supermarkets showed interest in marketing possibilities the sliced banana would bring to the passive consumer as a sensible alternative to the banana. So, with this interest, he refined the process, creating dried bananas, freeze dried banana, even choosing to coat some with honey or sugar. Now was the time to put his idea to wider markets.

Only after many late night phone calls and arduous meetings with bankers stewing over profit trajectories, projected first years profit returns; then protracted consultations with import haulage companies did he finally secure his backing. After one tough year planning, small premises were bought in India, Latin America and West Africa. The banana chips would be grown and prepared in these premises, then delivered throughout the first world first rate supermarkets of the European Union and the North American Union. With this success, he realised that ultimately, his dream would be for the new banana form to eclipse the old banana form, forever.

It started to work. It took consumers’ time to take to the idea of eating sliced banana, it seemed unnecessary, bizarre. But supermarkets introduced the new product with a massive advertising campaign, giving instructions on how to apply and use the slices. Quite simply, the banana chip was more convenient. In shape and form but most importantly, and most covertly, the erotic quality of devouring the phallic banana had been removed entirely from unwanted unconscious associations. The customers swooned to the idea once it had been explained.

The man became wealthy very quickly. Contracts came far and wide throughout Europe. He was hailed throughout many parts of the fruit and vegetable industry as an innovator in produce consumption. He aims to do the same with carrots, parsnips, and perhaps even architectural structures: monuments, obelisks, lampposts, war memorials. Bring them all down. ’ The phallus is not a sign of male domination but of masked homosexuality’- his maxim.

This has been a short history of the banana and the man who changed its shape. His name is William Shepherd. He remains a wealthy bachelor, now lives in Hawaii and works between the U.K. and India. William Shepherd is now lobbying members of the UN to pass legislation restricting the sale of imperfectly shaped fruit and vegetables across Europe. His company, banana republic, is one of the largest producers of sliced and dried bananas on the world market.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Closing time at Literary Mary bar.


Here I am sweeping the floor after everyone has left.
The boss never did give me a chance to sing.
He said I could. He said I'd have a big night
dedicated to my voice, if I was good enough.

Now I just walk this mop like a woman I'd love.
A woman I'd dance with, cup her thin waist,
lock onto her eyes. And I'd sing into her ear
like all sentimental lovers do.

I'd show her my voice. I'd sway crowds with it.
People would hear the truth of my voice.
But now that opportunity is gone, wasted, lost.

My voice will be known only by a few close friends.
I will sing on hot nights from a bottle of red wine.
They will sing along in those drunk moments.

And here I must sing to myself,
sweep my fortune away with the rubbish:

'Tomorrow.
Tomorrow never comes
What kind of a fool
Do they take me for?

Tomorrow
A resting place for bums
A trap set in the slums
But I know the score

I won't take no for an answer
I was born to be a dancer now, Yeah!'




*Song lyrics taken from Bugsy Malone musical. Song is 'tomorrow' sang by character 'Fizzy'.