My Words, My World

First drafts – A few pages in the large wilderness of the world of writing

Archive for the category “words”

A Wednesday stream of consciousness

An on-off night and a mosquito in my ear and I fumble in the dark and then it disappeared but now the night has gone for good for me as I lay there and think of what I have to do, what I probably should do and what I’d like to do and all the while a soundtrack is playing in my head and it’s Manfred Mann’s version of The Mighty Quinn which is not a bad song at 5.30 in the morning, although I’m yawning but now I really want to hear it but that means getting up and using technology and 5.30’s far too early for technology, after all, I’d only check the news and see big, fat Mike Pompeo bully another sick and twisted little country with sanctions, sanctions and, ah! stick your sanctions up your ass, fatty, so it’s no technology for me, like a smoker avoiding his first cigarette to let his lungs breathe, you see, and now I’d love a coffee now I’m up with the birds but I guess putting on the kettle is still technology but I could really use that coffee while my pencil scrawls my morning scribble across an unwritten page.

And I, alone

4am and the world is unmoving,

until I step outside.

The air is warm and still and

the terracotta tiles are cool beneath my feet

Quietude absolute.

A half-moon headlight casts my shadow

A scattering of stars against a black velvet backdrop

Mars; loud, red and angry

and the owls compete for who can hoot the loudest

and I, alone, breathe the morning

and I, alone, feel the morning

and I, alone, become the morning

and I, alone, am the morning.

Black and white

Black mountain against a grey marble sky

No technicolor sunrise this morning

I beat you to it

There are more than fifty shades of grey

in this sunrise.

This morning is Cagney and Sheridan in

Angels with Dirty Faces

This morning is Bogart and Bacall in

The Big Sleep

This morning is a noir dream

This morning is black and white.

Narrowing options

I woke up a shade after 7 with The Kinks’ “Apeman” swinging through my head, so who knew what type of butt-clenching merry-go-round of a day lay in store.

The night had left my brain feeling like pizza dough.  I sat on the closed toilet doing nothing, staring at nothing; that middle space where nothing exists, probably the same place cats stare at for hours on end, and contemplated the great debate of the hour: tea or coffee.  When I got to the kitchen the debate was decided, there was no tea.

A day of narrowing options lie ahead.

Closure

Christmas passed,
the year thins to an end
and I too seek closure;
of my eyes in the darkness
(well, temporarily at least).

My thoughts flash like festive lights in no order
and my mind considers things like political parties
and grey life under the Stasi,
of free-flowing intellectualism
and cold, uncaring capitalism.

I think of flights and holidays
and rhythmic train journeys
hurrying to their destinations
where destinies await the destined.

I think about the sun
and where the winter has gone
(It will be back to bite us on the ass,
no doubt).

I think about you and me
wind-blown from the sea.
Years end
but the waves do not.

Tools of the trade

The keyboard lies silent, like a long-closed factory, its worker-keys now unemployed, passing into disuse and irrelevance.

The pen lies on its side, like a dead soldier, a used-to-be who has taken an early pension, now laying in the sun.

The notebook lies closed, in a crypt-like embrace, its secrets hidden inside except; here there are no secrets, just untouched pages.

The once-writer lies on his side, a book in his hand, eyes skipping over the words someone else has written; and wonders.

The sea’s breath

Yesterday I felt the sea breathing
as I watched the wind-strewn waves;
some breaths shallow, others ocean deep.
I fell into their rhythm
and breathed in the salt spray
and breathed out my soul in return:
sea salt spray for my soul
or what part of it I leave here.

Today I heard the sea choking
it’s breath no longer a rhythm
but a slow death rattle.
I walked in to it, embraced it
but plastic caressed my fingers,
tightened and gripped my hand
and embraced me, as I wanted to embrace the sea.
I pulled, and the plastic relented
the more I pulled, the more it came
but still the sea couldn’t breathe.

Tomorrow the wind will still blow
and the salt will still tang the air
and the waves still sigh upon the shore
and where once the seagulls cried
the only sound will be the empty laughter
of the few that profited from the many
of those who took from the Earth
and spat back its destruction.

Yesterday I felt the sea breathing
and wondered how long it would last.

Silence

Staring at four bare walls

unavoidable, inescapable

No sound, just silence

Not even the mechanical sound

of time passing

as a welcome distraction

The silence isn’t deafening

but the thoughts are.

If they had colour

it would be grey

If they had sound

it would be a low, lost hum.

The drip, drip, drip of the leaking tap

The drip, drip, drip of the leaking tap,
tightened to the full yet still…
drip, drip, drip,
like some mad aquatic clock
or a water deity’s idea of a joke
and where does all this water go?

Does it race along the tubes and pipes
only to be unceremoniously
spat out
into some shitty sewage treatment works?

Or does it instead splash happily along
those tubes and pipes
and find itself jettisoned
into a little stream,
just a trickle at first
which is then joined by others,
left to the same fate
and together they form a river
which gets faster,
noisy, rushing water tumbling over stones worn smooth
and dancing over rocks and waterfalls
and down, always down until finally,
in the distance,
there’s the sunlight’s reflection on water
and the river’s pace gathers
and drives on
then, finally, pours into the sea
where the drip, drip, drip of the leaking tap
becomes waves upon the shore.

Winter night

A fingernail moon falls down the evening sky
and now the wind has dropped,
from a bluster to a breath
as the frigid night descends.

The trees, immobile in their submission,
silhouette against silhouette,
branches handing like the arms of the guilty
as the frost’s frozen fingers
freeze all they touch;
and even the church bells are subdued.

But lo!
A thousand firesides
lead like beacons in the night,
protesters’ torches in rebellion.

Cold is the winter night
but is vanquished by the hearth of home

Where do all the words go?

So you start writing and you continue, word by word, one after another: 5,000, 10,000, 20,000 and then…you turn your head away and BANG!, you hit the buffers, nowhere to go, no more forward momentum. You open up the story; it’s been two weeks damn it, not two years but when you look inside it’s like taking a straight razor and cutting yourself to see what comes out.  20,000+ words and there they sit, destined for the file marked ‘In progress’, along with half a dozen other 20K’s that came to the same end.  It’s like trying to build a Lego house but someone’s blocked up the holes in the bricks.

The penultimate day of the year and I sit, devoid of ideas and inspiration.

Am I destined for a life of flash fiction and off-the-cuff poetry?  Fuck.

 

 

Somewhere

Clock tick, ticking in the silence of the apartment
or
the apartments because there are nine in the block
and
I’m the only one awake at this time,
in
these hours where I should be elsewhere
and
not writing, or reading or dropping benzodiazepine for sleeping
and
my body aches for sleep
but
my mind tells my body to fuck off
and
get up, get going and do something
and
I’m on the sofa with a pen in one hand
and
a notebook in the other and a book by my side
and
the clock keeps ticking
and
to think that somewhere the sun is rising
and
somewhere else it’s setting on another day
as
the momentum of our forward roll takes us around
a
big ball of light and heat that keeps us here,
alive,
going nowhere except forward;
rolling, rolling
in space time, in real time,
(who’s got the time anyway?)
as
somewhere to the east of me the sun is coming up
and
somewhere to the west of me it’s going down
as
10,000 lives have just left
and
10,000 have just begun
and
we just keep on rolling. Somewhere.

Slow is the night

Night,
split into two:
broken lines
black and white
drawn and then fade
merge
and become grey,
like the dawn;
if it ever arrives.
 
My eyes are heavy
and my face is sliding
like some lost Dalí canvass;
long dripping clocks
leaking slow time:
sluggish minutes
and
creeping hours
in the long dragging night.

It’s the season

The sax-playing Santa
sat in the shade of the subway
blowing his way through Christmas classics
and then just some classics
with no mention of Christmas;
which is good.
I could listen to him all day
or even an hour
or even 10 minutes
but I can’t;
I’ve things to do
and people to see
and places to go
and even if I don’t
I have to be doing something,
buying something,
eating something,
drinking something
and I can’t stop,
we can’t stop
because it’s Christmas
and there won’t be another one until…
well, this time next year.

Government lies and secret files

Government lies and secret files
and prepare to wade through the bullshit
as it flows on down from above

There’s no responsibility in selling arms
to someone else
for them to kill someone else

and so the hands are clean
and the conscious is clear
Everyone’s friend is no one’s friend
and vice-versa
and around it goes

Sanction this and sanction that
and “they started it first”
and “my bomb’s bigger than your bomb”
as if they’re comparing their cocks
in the changing room

and there’s still room to change
but no one wants to
It’s all government lies and secret files
and the dirtiest clean hands
you’d never want to shake.

Petrodollars

Wake up shattered
with bad news splattered
across the headlines,
the world’s deadline
as its hopes lie in tatters

with the continuation
of the transformation
of the sea into plastic
and the forest into sand
and the animals into memory

while the dollars exchange hands
and get sent offshore;
tax nicely evaded.
No answers needed
when no questions are asked.

Who needs a fucking conscience
when the blood-soaked petrodollars
slip so easily
into slimy outstretched palms?

Photo courtesy of: http://creativesci-fi.wikia.com/wiki/File:Dead_earth.jpg

Sunday morning coffee

Early Sunday morning walk,
hungover.

Squinting in the morning light

Cappuccino with a double shot of coffee
and eyes that finally open

with the hoarse caw of the crow
and the hoarse voice of the barmaid
who must smoke a packet

or spend her life shouting
above the noise of the cutlery
being put in its place

as the coffee machine whirs
and the people sit
over their Sunday morning papers

as the cappuccino goes down
and the day opens up.

Observations from a waiting room

The stairs crush my knees and steal my breath

and I get to the top and I ring the bell

and I enter the surgery but the waiting room

is empty except for the noise

because the window is open

and the noise from the street competes

with the radio newsreader’s urgency

to tell me the headlines and I can’t hear them

but maybe it’s a blessing because

I don’t want to hear them because

everyone has a missile pointed at someone else

and it’s always someone else’s fault

and everyone is trigger-happy

or God-fearing happy-clappy

and it’s mine versus yours anyway

and now the smell of the floor cleaner joins in with the noise

and the headlines as they vie for my senses

and it makes no sense and my knees hurt

and I can’t hear myself think

and I can’t feel myself breathe

and then the doctor comes out

and asks me how I am…

I’m here, aren’t I?

Morning workout

I like to feel the cool air soothe my skin
as I stand outside on the balcony
and breathe the morning air.

I like to hear the leaves in the breeze-blown trees
chitter-chatter amongst themselves
in a language I don’t understand.

I like to see the rain roll down the window
and the streams run in the gutters,
now clean and ready to start again.

I like to watch the clouds chase each other
across the sky, racing in the wind,
making shapes only I can see.

Oh, and it’s Friday.

No fun

No fun
having nothing to say
yet you could talk all day

No fun
having something to say
yet no will to say it

No fun
staring at the pen that won’t write
or the keys that won’t type
or the pages that only turn
in the late summer breeze.

 

Morning story without the glory

The deep-water sound of someone pissing from a height at 4.30 in the morning
before the first blackbird has it in him
to wake up and start singing
and no car hums the tune of rubber on tarmac
and the night has its own sound
a no-sound
a “fuck me, well hello again, it’s you” sound
and I join in the silence,
eyes wide open and mouth closed shut
and I breathe in and I breathe out
and it doesn’t do much good and I turn over
on my side and wonder if I should read by reading light
or just get up and kiss the night
goodbye
so I say hi to my pen and paper and I want to write a story,
any story,
about the world and what goes on in it, within it
and all I end up writing, again, is my own.

Sunrise (I wanna sleep)

“The sun’s coming up.”

“What?”

“The sun’s coming up.”

“It does that, in the morning.”

“Wanna take a look?”

“No, I want to sleep.”

“You should see it, the colours and everything.”

“Pink.  It’s bound to be pink.  Go to sleep.”

“How do you know what colour it is?”

“Because it’s always pink.  Clear sky, pink clouds, pink sunrise. Pink.”

“I’ve seen sunrises that aren’t pink.”

“I’m happy for you, really.  So, get up or go to sleep, either way I don’t care about the pink sunrise.”

“You should you know.  After all, it may be your last.”

“What?”

“Well, we don’t know, do we?”

“Well that’s a cheery fucking thought.  Thanks for that. How am I going to sleep now?”

“Just think, it could be your last sunrise and you’re missing it because you want to stay in bed and sleep.”

“So then just think, it would also be my last sleep and I’m missing it watching a bloody pink sunrise.  Go to sleep!”

Summer heat

Damp sheet,
summer heat
I turn my pillow
over and over
and fuck off mosquito, you bitch
(it’s the females that make you itch)
and now the early morning crows
are crowing, or cawing
while the neighbourhood is still snoring;
except me
and I’m turning
like an undecided Brexit MP
as I can’t for the life of me
cool down
so I get up
and stroll on the balcony
in my shorts
it’s just me and the crows anyway
in this summer heat.

Page-turner

This book’s “a real page-turner”
it says so on the back cover.
It’s not though really, is it?
Thinking about it.
It doesn’t turn its pages,
I do.
Pedantic I know.
Maybe I have writer’s envy.
I can’t write a page-turner
I can’t even write a page
Lately I can’t even write
Blocked like a drain;
again.

Noise

Electric light, electric noise 
The TV scream
and noise just hurts my ears 
and tears my soul and

SILENCE! Please…

I can’t hear myself breathe
I can’t hear myself live
I can’t hear myself,

be myself

and all that jazz

Ivory tinkle
bass string pull
tic, tic, tic of the cymbal
as the brush sweeps the beat
toe-tap hep-cat
blowing sax
blow Bird, blow
woodwind winding out to meet me
reviving me
like a cold water splash to my face
or the clink of ice in my whisky

Sunday morning (and Sunday Morning)

Wake up, stuffed nose, can’t breathe
can’t see, light switch, where’s the light switch?

Get up, still house, silence, silence
and the clock tick-tocks the night away.

Walk around, bare feet, cold feet
need a glass of water I’m parched.

Wine and bitter mouth, that last digestive
getting festive on a Saturday, as you do.

Sunday’s here and I’m the only one to see it
and when it’s time to get up I’ll go back to bed.

Not much to do but write and read and
Lester Bangs talks to me of Lou Reed
and The Velvet Underground.

Well, at least it’s Sunday Morning.

Winter, let it go

The black night draped
in mourning
for the morning.
The first feelers of light
yet to be felt.
The first rays of the sun
yet to be raised
above the horizon,
as the long and tiresome
night drags on.

While the world outside
and me inside
wait for spring.

Life. In a nutshell

As soon as I was born
I started living
As soon as I started living
I started dying.
Life. In a nutshell.

Through the haze

The world sags like a winter willow branch
and everything is sick and poisoned
and the air is noxious
and the ground is broken
and the jaundiced sun can’t see through the haze
and the haze is man-made
a man-made haze
the end of days
but don’t worry
it’s the size of the button that counts
and there’s always oil where the buffalo once roamed
I know that haze
it’s 500 million men dancing in the fumes of the dollar, the pound, the shekel.
Don’t forget the ruble, comrade.
What’s next off the production line, Jack?
What other piece of useless shit is being bagged and boxed?
As the hordes unfurl their sleeping bags outside the flagship store
Are they fucking serious?
Is this all for real?
As the jaundiced sun looks down
and tries to see through the haze.
Hand me that bottle, Jack,
at least we can recycle it when we’re done.

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