30 June 2013

The Man With No Soul


She said she liked the cut of my cliché; suburban dilettante with a splash of druggy mystique. “But”, she said, and here comes the wrecking ball, “You have no soul” The girl with the raven eyes said I have no soul, but of course I have a soul – that’s where the pain lies. She laid the boot in where it hurts – right in the ego – started the downward cycle – spiralling beyond my control.

Any fool can draw blood with the carefully chosen word. Most use the scatter gun approach and just chuck them about till something sticks.This was different – I felt she knew me – that she had seen inside of me and found me wanting. An embarrassed silence was the precursor to deep despair.

I have to report that I got very drunk! I tried to drown my sorrows, but my sorrows float.The flotsam of my life crowded my head with unhealthy vibrations.My clockwork messaging service told of rude change in the either region – either get it straight or go home to sulk. I have no home, just a domicile – somewhere to lie down when lying down is called for. Somewhere I keep my junk – in case I need my junk.

How banal – how very banal - the common place misery, the self indulgent woe. Why should I care what some stranger says? Why did her words burn pathways of shame into my mind? It was a lucky guess that’s all – she couldn’t possibly know that I had no soul.


26 June 2013

Number Seven


I set number seven ablaze. I’m surprised I didn’t think of it sooner. I was stoned at the time – when the impulse took me. I put the chip pan on and went out. It’s the most common cause of household fire, the chip pan. I was standing across the road watching when the fire brigade arrived. It was only then that the enormity of what I’d done hit me. I was shaking. I was in shock. I stood there among my neighbours and watched the smoke fuming from the roof. I could see the flames through the windows. All my possessions were burning. Everything I owned was being turned to cinders.

I was a bit embarrassed when the fireman guessed correctly that I was off my face, “the most common cause of household fires” he said. Fire cleanses, fire destroys and fire renews. Friends gathered around to console me, “At least no-one was hurt – are you insured?” At that moment I just did not give a shit. I would rise from the ashes. I was looking forward to it.

A few days later I was allowed to enter the building to retrieve any belongings that I could. To my surprise my bedroom – though covered in a thick layer of soot – was basically intact. I found a shoe box crammed full of old letters and postcards, a lifetime’s worth of correspondence. They were miraculously undamaged by the fire. I scanned through them – old lovers, friends, relatives – bitter sweet memories. They burned very nicely. One by one they joined with the ash on the floor.


24 June 2013

Feel Free

We ordered locusts, honeyed, from the promised land, but they were not on the menu. All we got was some tortured beast – already half dead – who threw us out into the street saying, “This is a respectable establishment – we serve tea!” 

We decided to have a drink, but it was Sunday cathedral quiet and all the pubs were closed. We noticed that everyone, everywhere, had been fucked in the face for no good reason. So we called the author to demand an explanation, we got no reply. He was probably on a book signing somewhere on Sinai. I demanded a lawyer – I know my rights – but the lawyers were all asleep, it being early on a Sunday morning. 

We gave each other medals instead, gold ones, as befitted our winner status. We were fast – faster than any car – any parked car that is. Slumped on a park bench we pondered our next move while we had another smoke – it stunts the growth, but I was already ten feet tall and rising. I had a special lotion to prevent my errant growth cycle, but I had left it in the car and left the car somewhere where I could not find it. It’s always the last place you look – so we stopped looking, but it wasn’t there. 

Just then it hit us – where everybody was. They were in church – where we ought to be – as God fearing men. Sitting in God’s house with a thousand tabs of acid stuffed into my coat pockets I felt like every messianic hipster who’d taken the wrong turn on the road to salvation – ecstatic. When the minister said, “Let us pray” I gave my consent, “Feel free” I said, and we both fell out of our pew laughing.

19 June 2013



when it’s on me

it’s a speedball

an acid rush

the distilled rays of the sun

burn into my retinas

fuse the membrane

and flood my head

with a rainbow song

then I’m a supernova

I’m a lightning strike

an atomic bomb

I’m the Empire State

and the monster Kong

I’m a gushing torrent

a tidal wave

I’m a rattle snake

with a diamond back

I’m the seventh son

I’m a maniac


14 June 2013

Black Dog

I’m sick to the soul of this shit. My days are long and drawn out in a thin visceral stream that twists around the landmarks of my life. There is a quake in my soul - a quickening of pulse and febrile brow. I am atremble, a candle in a draft. I’m sinking into the mire, I can no longer help it and I no longer care.

It is always a step before and a breath behind me. A miasma of waking dreams played out against my pillow in the constant churning of my incessant consciousness. It’s there in the tangle of my sheets that the turning and returning of my memories break as waves across my brain pan. Every embarrassment, every humiliation, is played out in slow motion for my morbid delectation.

I feel so strange. I’ve felt it before, like something, somewhere, is all wrong. It’s coming from someplace far away and it’s coming for me. I buried something somewhere and some-one is now digging it up. Zombies from the past are trailing me. There are conspiracies whispered just beyond my hearing.
I’ve been here so many times before but I’ll never get used to it – that’s the bitch - I’ll never get used to it. It's an insidious and complex torture, always new and yet familiar. That unhappy shadow is always nearby – and the promise of inclement weather is ever on the horizon.

13 June 2013

Dead Man’s Shoes


Buy me another drink and I’ll tell you a story. It’s set out on the edge – on the hard road to hell. About a travelling man who slaved all his days for a handful of nothing; that’s where it all goes eventually - down the fucking tubes. Virtues turn to vices and vices turn to chains. It’s a hard road to travel for rich and for poor. Over time the luxury of indulgence becomes the slavery of convention; emperors and paupers both wear tin crowns.

I walked those uncertain miles in a dead man’s shoes. They pinched, they chafed, and they left little room for deviation from an idiot course. The path of least resistance led to the bottom of the bottle, more dead soldiers littering the sorry path to hell.

My cause was lost, the spirit had ebbed away, but I made my crooked way to where the grass was no greener and the people were no kinder. Always onward – never back – I kept on until they found a reason to hang me in those dead man’s shoes.

I’ve seen men hang, hang by degrees, with the life choked out of them over the course of decades. Lynched by the mob,  ostracized and exiled to the barren regions. Naked men left out in the rain, men without a friend, men without a home, men starved of love.

There are no second chances for those already dead. They say hope is the mother of all men, but I had no mother, no father, no-one else. I’d nothing much to remember and nothing much to forget. I had nothing much to celebrate, but everything to regret.

Some say that Jesus awaits us at the end of this long road. That he’ll relieve us of our burdens and wipe away our tears. So put the pennies on my eyes for to pay my fare, wrap me in a pauper’s shroud and take me out of here.