poetry, Uncategorized

Parallel Satori

He’s my doppelganger

Aside from the scar

On his cheek

Splits the beard like

A fork of lightning

Tells me to put the

Money on

Lester’s Folly

In the 1230 at Kempton

He promises me

A life as fierce and testing

A final masculine riot

Of bruising ecstasy

I spend the money on a coat

A hardback and a good cup of coffee

Feed flakes of a pastry to the birds

Watch the grease shining

On my fingers

And

Bear the joy

Of it all

 

 

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poetry, Uncategorized

Clown Funeral

And sometimes

I’ve been careless

Clumsy with enthusiasm

Following stories to their ending

Still refusing to walk under

Ladders even though there are

People gluing themselves

Back together in my wake

And wishing I would

Offer cake at my passing

And sing made up lyrics

To the songs they’d play

But how I know

They thought well of me

Once and in time’s passing

Might not wish me the

Hurt I’ve caused them

 

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poetry, Uncategorized

A Broken Broom, Sweeping

Jagged, glittering tides

Of broken glass

Piled up before the will

Of the broken broom

Pushed around

As the wind howls

 

The air is still

Atomic silences

Finding relief

In picking through

The aftermath

Seeing what survived

 

Letters ravaged

Into sodden ribbons

Entire symphonies

Of memories reduced

To faint melodies

Carried on the wind

 

Smiling at the detuned

Sky and remembering

The trick of breathing through

Not closing down but open

Even when, no especially

When it hurts

 

He called the storm

Upon himself

Sought to live

Somewhere uncharted

Without memory

Without recrimination

 

It blew the house down

But he stayed inside

Knowing the foundations

Would hold and he came up

Knowing he’d survived and

Would again

 

Clearing a space

Room enough to dance in

Not everything was lost

He cleans up a cut which will scar

But there’s a story in it

Which was part of his gift

 

His curse.

But there’s coffee brewing in the

Pot and light enough

To write by, to live by

And he can breathe just as well

In the dark.

 

He will not say

The storm’s name

It has passed and

In the surviving will live

Past when it’s an anecdote

Told to strangers

 

He will be glad

To count himself amongst them

 

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beauty, creative writing, fiction, short fiction, time, women

Bigger

I keep the tables clean. No one lacks for a napkin when Mike does his shift, no, sir. I keep watch without staring and remember to keep the tail of my shirt tucked in. I find laces difficult so I have these big Velcro straps and I love the ripping sound they make.

They sound like a big fart and I can spend hours just pulling the strap off so I can hear the big, raspy tear of them.

Mom says she should have buckled down and made me learn laces because at least it was quiet. The trainers have big thick soles on them so I can be on my feet all day and it doesn’t hurt. Iris, who does a few shifts with me, she wears special shoes, ortho something because she had a car crash and it hurt her back. I tell her she has a pretty smile and she says it’s the pain pills but it makes her happy so I tell her every day.

Oscar is at the register with his yellow tongue poking out the corner of his mouth as he rings up an order. He has a big shiny head and a bigger, but not shiny stomach. He gave me a job because Mom asked him to, but I work hard when I am here.

Mom says the key to success is showing up and working hard, but I keep doing that and the door stays locked. We sit in our small apartment, at a small table and eating small dinners but she believes in things being bigger and better as time goes on. Last night we had some of the Salisbury steaks which Oscar gave to me along with the money and tips I earned from the shift. Small things but it was nice of him to do. It tasted of wool but it made our money last a little longer.

Made it bigger.

I like Sunday mornings. All the families come in from church for breakfast. I like it when people dress up and they carry the glow from singing about God and Baby Jesus. I go home with less in my pocket than on a normal shift, but they’re nicer people and I feel better for making sure they eat at clean tables. It’s busy with happy smiling people and laughter dances through the sky when they’re here. It feels more like church than church does.

There’s a new couple here today. They arrived before church ended, a man and a woman. He’s tall, stooped over like he’s trying to hide how tall he is and he has a suit on, which is normal for a Sunday here. He doesn’t smile much, but he looks around and takes everything in with eyes which are cold but not cruel. Sometimes you see people who have so much hurt they need to share, but he looks like he’s expecting something bad to happen.

She’s shorter, red hair and moves like a pair of scissors crossing. Snip snack as her heels hit the floor. They look like they’re selling something but they don’t have briefcases as they come in and take a corner booth. Iris takes their order, and I am wiping a table down whilst glancing in their direction.

‘It’s too open here.’ The woman says.

The man sighs and checks the watch on his wrist. It’s too big for his wrist, held on by a worn leather wristband and there’s no numbers on there, just lights blinking on and off.

‘Eighty two percent says it’s here. Stop worrying.’

His voice is smooth like he’s reading aloud from a book he’s read before. The woman looks past him, glaring at me until my cheeks burn red and I return to cleaning the table.

‘Like I said, too open. Should have run this through a few more times before we turned up.’

He sighs and sits back. There’s something behind his ear, like a piece of jewellery and he touches it with his index finger.

‘We’ve got time for breakfast at least.’

She frowns and shakes her head. I look at the clock.

Church finishes in twenty minutes. Iris has given Oscar the order. Two specials with coffee. Oscar has the grill running before dawn, so it won’t take long until they are ready.

Time enough for what?

Mom doesn’t like me watching the news. I get upset when there’s bad stuff happening. If a kid gets hurt or animals, I fight tears and sometimes she has to find my blanket and hold me until it passes but I know things. Bad things happen and there’s nothing we can do to stop them.

I wonder if there’s a bad thing coming here. On a Sunday. Will it be taking a booth and ordering a coffee?

Are they the bad thing coming?

I look around me. Oscar is sweating behind the grill, Iris is taking a pair of plates full with gleaming eggs and bacon over to them and I am wiping the table.

The door swings open and Kenny Ambrose comes in.

Kenny’s face looks like someone filled a balloon and stuck another balloon over it with a picture of his face on. His eyes are too big and white for his sockets and what teeth he has are small and yellow and are loose in his gums. Kenny doesn’t have a mother to make sure he cleans his teeth, but as he opens the stained, torn overcoat, I see he has something else.

A shotgun. It looks mean and ugly, a blunt snout where he has sawn the barrel off and he swings it in front of him. There are five of us in here, and church gets out in fifteen minutes. Iris is putting their plates in front of them.

Kenny and I were in the same classes at school. The eldest kids because school was something we never grasped, like trying to knit with boxing gloves on. I tried but Kenny doubled down, huffing at recess and drifting further out from the centre of the world.

He has battered sneakers on, the laces are grey and dusted with tiny tufts and the ends had frayed into puffs of material like nylon dandelions as he shuffled forwards, terrified and angry at the same time. The skin around his mouth is wet and red like bubble gum chewed too long. He stinks of old sweat and metals as he points the gun right at me. The end of it is a black metal zero, there are rough edges where the hacksaw slipped and they look like petals on some horrible flower.

The couple in the booth watch it all happen with an open and terrible interest.

‘Register.’ Kenny said.

Oscar keeps his hands up as he comes around the counter. Iris is shaking, and me?

I look at him and see his eyes rolling in their sockets. He isn’t a bad person, he gets frustrated because the world is too fast for people like us. It’s why we keep things small.

Kenny hurts because he wants to be bigger.

Oscar opens the register and Kenny walks over to him lowering the shotgun as his forehead drips sweat.

I look down and see the stray lace slip under the heel of his sneaker, tugging to the right.

I try to call out but he lurches to his right, the shotgun turns in his hands from where he’s sweating and he keeps falling.

His head slams against the corner of the table with a damp crack sound, like breaking the shell on a boiled egg and the shotgun turns in his hands.

I look straight into the big black zero.

It rushes up to swallow me and I think about Mum, Iris and Oscar. Looking up, I see the couple stood up in the booth, they have smiles of awe and the look reaches into me, fills me up with a charging, rolling power. My left hand comes out with a will of its own, slaps the barrel away with a flare of pain for my trouble.

The shot takes out the window and Iris screams.

I put my hands over my ears and look at Kenny as a pool of blood spreads out underneath him and his lips pull back over his teeth as he looks back at me.

He looks smaller now and I get down on my knees next to him.

‘Oh Kenny, you didn’t tie your laces.’

He stares at me, trying to figure out what happened before his eyes roll back in his head and he falls asleep. It looks like it aside from the blood on the lino underneath him.

The couple watch from the booth, and I try not to look at them. I cry because Kenny was like me, or could be if his mom had been around.

It becomes a loud, nasty circus with the churchgoers upset they can’t have breakfast. It upsets me too until I see the couple in the booth slip out to the parking lot. I run after them, and no one stops them.

They’re at their car. It looks new and I can see my face in the windshield: bloated and sweating but smiling.

‘You knew, didn’t you?’

The blonde chuckled and shook her head but the man turns and looks down at me with a quiet pride in his eyes. People don’t look at me like I matter, but this is what I imagine it feels like.

‘We pick up on anomalies. You don’t know what those are though, but yes, we knew something would happen.’

I look between them.

‘Kenny died.’ I said.

He smiles and reaches into the breast pocket of his jacket, retrieves a small silver pin and affixes it to the collar of my shirt.

‘You stopped him. This is a reward for it.’

I touch it and it hums against my fingers. It’s not frightening: more like a baby bird or a small insect but I put my hand back in my pocket, still confused.

‘What does it do?’

He smiles and pats me on the shoulder.

‘You’ll know when the time comes’

The woman rolls her eyes as she opens the passenger side door.

‘You’re such a ham, Ryan.’

Ryan smiles at me and gets behind the wheel of the chair. They drive off, the engine is silent and I stand there in the sunshine, my heart thumping in my chest.

Everything is too big to think about, so I go back inside and see if anyone needs help.

 

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beauty, love, Sir, Uncategorized

Sir 2.0 Interlude Part 2.

The skin on your forearms prickles with apprehension, raising knots of gooseflesh which you try to smooth out with your palm. In the twilight, Sir’s eyes gleam with a cold, amused appraisal.

‘You were expecting someone else?’

You shake your head no, cautious and defiant as you stare across the room. He sits alone and the silence he wields stirs your stomach with its focus.

‘You’re not getting the benefit of my discipline today.’

A whispered thank you be the safest recourse for you.

Questions bubble up at the back of your throat, a carbonated silvered rush of withheld desire which has found solace in the rough care of Daddy.

‘There are boundaries here. For your wellbeing. We are explorers on the sea of desire, and it is important to define where safe harbour lies.’

Your heart thumps against your ribs and you wipe your palms against the thighs of your slacks.

‘Do you understand?’

You nod.

‘In laboratory tests, they exposed rodents to doses of cocaine through depressing a small lever. The rodents gave up food, water, even breeding for another hit.’

The implication strikes across your forebrain like indignant lightning. His eyes thirst for a reaction and you keep your face still as he continues.

‘The bonds of pain and pleasure are indistinguishable and addictive without cause. A shitty or clumsy dominant, a confused or uncertain submissive can lead to more harm than good. Do you understand?’

You nod. Caution keeps you present, a perfect bulwark against a vague suspicion.

‘Good. It is why we limit communication and connection, which might seem counter-intuitive but it is for your well being.’

You will yourself not to think of the phone. He leans forward and a smirk makes his upper lip curl in amused curiosity.

The moment hangs suspended. There is no sound beyond the thump of your heart, the rhythm of your breath as you keep the motion even.

He sits back in the chair.

‘If you exceeded those boundaries, you are risking yourself.’

The risk with Daddy is in his absence but you keep it to yourself.  You nod with understanding and he sighs, disappointed by your compliance.

‘You’ve been quiet.’

You run your tongue over your lips and he blinks, raking his fingers through his hair before he smiled and cocked his head to one side.

‘Permission to speak.’

You lower your eyes, shifting from one foot to another.

‘I’ve been good.’

You want to ask where Daddy is, humming with anticipation.

‘You can go.’

You walk out of the chamber. When you are back on your single bed, with the lights out and the blankets turned into sky and shelter and the phone, warm in your hand are you allowed to feel without caveat. Your fingers dance over the screen, shaking with need.

I MISS YOU DADDY.

The phone is silent. Your eyelids are heavy and you slip it underneath your pillow. A small hum travels through the material and you slip the phone out, feverish with need and see the envelope icon spinning in three dimensions.

SLEEP, LITTLE GIRL. I WILL SEE YOU SOON.

The excitement is palpable and your skin tingles with anticipation as you bring your knees up to your chest and try to follow his command.

2.

The trail of lights snakes down the corridor, blinking in rapid patterns. The coconut and cinnamon wash sits in its dispenser next to bottles of shampoo, conditioner, a glass flute of perfume which smells like bergamot, lavender and irises. A white man’s dress shirt with starched collar and cuffs drapes from a coat hanger along with a pair of black silk panties and a matching bra with lace edging. The black heels slip onto your bare feet like a delicious punch line and you turn in the full length mirror, getting used to the ache and the visual enjoyment in how they lengthen your legs.  You dry and brush your hair, apply the make up and look at yourself with a quiet, thrumming pleasure. The excitement pools in the heated, hollow places of your body, every nerve at attention as you prepare yourself.

It is excitement which illuminates you, more than the clothes or the cosmetics.

Messages of prohibition and expectation are a constant litany but your body makes a compelling argument in opposition.

The path of lights blinks in time with your heartbeat as you walk along the corridor.

The door opens with a pneumatic hiss and you step inside.

A leather and chrome couch with tables set on either side, lit from above by single diffused lamps set into the ceiling, the lights changing colour and texture on a random cycle of filters.

‘Did you have to say you were sick?’

Daddy’s voice is cautious but you smile and shake your head.

‘No, but I don’t know who the girl was, Daddy.’

You hear the pad of his footsteps.

The clean coffee-musk smell of his skin makes your mouth water and you force yourself to remain still. Your excitement is an invitation to misbehave and the memory of how he deals with your infractions makes your head swim with lust. There is concern for who this woman is, what does she mean to Daddy and the burbling, turbulent stream of anxiety charges through your veins like fire. His hand caresses your cheek, the rough-soft brush of his palm against the curve of your cheekbone makes you sigh with comfort. He brings his face close to yours, eyes glittering with desire and a warm, careful regard.

‘It’s better for now you don’t. You can’t betray someone if you don’t know who they are.’

You revolt at the use of the word betrayal.

‘What is going on here?’

He rests his forehead against yours and puts his left hand on the curve of your hip. Your skin is warm through the shirt, craving his firm, gentle touch as you close the space between you. His arms wrap around you and you turn your head to rest your cheek on the soft fur of his chest. His fingers stroke the hair on your head and he kisses the crown of your head.

‘Do you want to get out?’

You shudder and grip him, your hands slide up the taut planes of his lower back along to where his back flares out, the muscle full and strong beneath the skin. His lips are soft against the line of your neck and the hot intake of breath through his nose as he smells your hair and pushes against you. A thigh slips between yours as his fingers bite into the meat of your buttocks, pressing through the silk of your panties.  His urgency is apparent in his actions.

‘Not if it means leaving you.’

Your hoarse whisper makes him buck against you, his fingers in your hair pulling a handful firm against your scalp as your mouths find one another. The edges of his front teeth brush against your lower lip and you protrude it forwards, scrabbling for the release of pressure, hurt, anything to feel his attention turned into tangible. His hands remain at your head and on your backside as you rub against one another. He trembles with a withheld urgency as you feel the roar of his breath, the fierce engine of his heartbeat thrumming through his broad chest, conducted through contact into yours. He pulls your hair tight and the flash of pain makes your eyes widen with sensation as you dig your fingers into his back. The primal gravity of his desire makes you both careless, but his hold on you is absolute and you twist against one another until your head pounds with want.

He pulls your head back, firm but careful as he kisses down the line of your neck. His mouth is an insistent verse, a symphony of lips and tongue honed into a single act, to show how the absence has left its mark on him. The ache in your scalp, the dull pleasant marks of where his fingers have bit into you are not wounds or scars but badges of honour as you curl yourself around him. His other hand slides from the small of your back under the shirt over the soft swell of your stomach. His fingertips graze over your navel and then slide past the waistband of your panties. You bloom with a tropical heat between your thighs as his fingers follow the ripe curve of your pussy and ease forwards, coaxing the labia apart and stroking you as a ball of pressure builds in the pit of your stomach, charging outwards from the intimate, delicious friction of his touch. He holds you still, and you relax against his fingers, grazing in tender circles around your pulsing clitoris, dipping inside you to paint you with your own arousal. The tender brush of his fingers sweeps away the doubt and anxiety as you shudder beneath his touch.

He draws back and gazes into your eyes.

‘Traffic light?’

You take a breath to collect yourself, but your body is awash with feeling, imagined and actual at war on the battlefield of your desires.

‘Green.’

He holds your hair in his hand as he strokes you, delicate touches applied, studied and rejected based on your reactions. You’ve known men with boyish hands, scrubbing away as though you were a stain or a screen on a phone, used to being left sore and awkward. Daddy moves his fingers with a pianist’s deliberation, teasing out a smooth series of peaks and troughs, cosmic flares of sensation which live and die before you are flushed and every nerve is one touch from exploding into oblivion.

‘Daddy, please can I come?’

You strain the words out between gritted teeth. You are on the shifting verge between anticipation and oblivion, and it is his permission which will hasten your journey to the latter.

He shakes his head and you whimper, playful but working within a pocket of genuine need. You push your hips against him, wanting him to feel your need, to force his permission, to test his will as he tests yours.

Instead, he smiles and shakes his head. You cry out and cling to him, breathing out pleas as his fingers slide against your teeming, slick flesh. You close your eyes when he eases his index finger inside you, hooking it at the first joint and massaging the tender, swollen pad of your G spot as his thumb moves around your clit. He is artist and brush, you are paint and canvas, asking for permission to become art.

You breathe out a plea and touch his face to connect him to you. You want his permission and you work hard to get it. His eyes bear the weight of your desire and reflect it back to you.

One last plea before you surrender to the sweet defeat of his touch and he shakes his head.

Your muscles bunch up, throbbing and flickering as you are awash with a lightness of being as unbearable and beautiful as life itself. Tears prickle in your eyes as you cry out, the volume and pitch wrenched from deep within you.

It is an orgasm which you imagine takes years off your life, like the brand of cigarette God would smoke.

You squeeze and swell around his fingers but he holds you firm, pressing his palm against your pussy to ground you into the moment as he brings you close to him.

He strokes your hair, whispers in your ear and although you cannot make out the details, he offers the warm, primal assurance of protection. Sir does not frighten you with his presence, but Daddy does with his absence.

The difference is the latter is not something wielded against you. His actions reach you when his words, his body cannot.

You wish these moments would last forever. It has the hard, bright purity of prayer as you weep and he holds you even tighter, petting you as oxytocin drizzles through your body.

When it is time to leave, he holds you tighter than before and you can feel the wounded sadness in his breath. You ask him what’s wrong and he shakes his head before he holds your face in his hands and kisses you on the lips.

‘Missing you already, little girl.’

Dressed but damp and dishevelled, he walks you to the door. You want to ask him if he’s going away again, but the answers scare you. His fingers slip between yours and he kisses you one last time.

‘What am I going to do, Daddy?’

He kisses you on the forehead.

‘Wait and be good. I’m working on the rest.’

Are you a prisoner here?

Are you a prisoner anywhere where you cannot act on your desires?

Your thoughts take you back to your bed, but they stop you from sleeping until his message comes through.

I MISSED YOU MORE THAN YOU KNOW BUT I SHOW YOU OVER TELLING YOU. I AM MY ACTIONS.

You message back and slip the phone beneath the mattress.

YOU ARE.

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Uncategorized

Everlasting

Beautiful and heartfelt work here.

The Darkest Fairytale

I write for you
For the dimples in your flaws,
All the rainbows
Which reflect in your tears.
All the beauty
Shining from your pours,
And for all your love
That blankets me with warmth.
For when I write
I again feel us merge together,
When my ink is spoken
They’ll feel our hearts,
And the promise of forever.

K

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books, craft, reading, Uncategorized

My Favourite Things – Books

Here are some of my favourite books, there are books on the craft of writing, lectures about nihilist philosophy and pop culture as well as fiction and non fiction. For disclosure, if you buy through these links, I have an affiliate account so it throws some pennies in the hat but get these books because I love them and the world needs more sharing the good things in it rather than the bad.

This is what the series of American Horror Story: Freakshow wishes it was. Humane, bizarre and beautifully written. It is one of those books I return to time and  again. Dunne is no longer with us, but this book is. I envy you reading it for the first time.

Percy has produced some fantastic cross genre work and this collection of essays speaks to an appreciation for literature and pop culture without casting either one in a negative light. It has a robust honesty which I find invigorating and useful.

Stephen King, much like Prince, was one of the artists which resonated from me at an early age. I’ve followed his work and example and resisted aping his mannerisms but his working class generosity of spirit and craft makes this book indispensable to me. He offers up a toolkit and reflects on his own experiences, professional and personal to give you an idea of what might be possible if you put the work and energy into the writing you do. There’s a lot on offer here, and if you’re looking for good, solid advice on the craft of writing, then King is your man.

Grammar is an important consideration in writing. A poor choice of phrase rips the reader out of the moment and undoes the hard work you’ve done establishing mood and setting. Don’t be precious, you’re never as good as you think you are, so something like this is worth investing in. Learn the rules in order to break them and Strunk tells you the rules in a pithy, elegiac way which makes it a useful reference work when editing.

 

Holiday has established a niche in mining the wisdom of Stoicism for it’s applications in the modern world and for his fantastic understanding of marketing and media. Here is a united work which talks about finding your own place and developing work which resists trends. He talks about Iron Maiden and The Shawshank Redemption in glowing terms, especially with the factoid that Harrison Ford and Tom Cruise were up for the main roles but Frank Darabont the director went with his own choices instead.

Next I will talk about music, then films with links to them for you to click on and preview/buy.

It’s strange how we will rush to interact with something bad but distrust a recommendation of quality or worth, relative as they are.

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