Wednesday, 22 December 2010

A letter to the friendless and unloved. I propose it is better to be alone forever in a padded cell than isolated in your own home. Loneliness leads ultimately to untimely loss of wits, and no amount of comfort can save you from prolonged exposure to it. Far from it in fact! I believe it may well speed up the degradation of the mind. Things once comforting, familiar possessions, may take on a sinister new sheen come the hundredth double take. Like a word spoken over and over again becomes guttural, unintelligible noise, possessions viewed on an endless pacing carousel shed their purpose. The most simple item can become a frightful artifact without the silent confirmation, which a human can emanate whilst a lamp cannot, that an ashtray is an ashtray.

As a matter of fact, your belongings posses many maddening techniques should you have them as your only guest for any length of time. Furnishings are cunning, tricky and work in packs. Upon attempting to relax on your sofa, you may survey the contents of the living room: soft cushions, cat ornaments and beige picture frames. These seemingly inoffensive pastel fittings can easily lull you into a thoughtful stupor, which only serves to amplify your terror as the wind embeds a door into its frame, or a pipe lets out a anthropomorphic belch.

Being surrounded by all too familiar possessions poses other more subtle threats to the sanity of the lonely individual. Depending on how long you have lived before becoming isolated, many of your possessions may echo with the voices, smells and textures of those you knew and loved prior to your current situation. You would think that the most powerful of these items would be pictures or letters, but this is wrong. Beware of the small and inconsequential things, beads and fridge magnets and the like. Such seemingly innocent items may well be loaded with emotional tripwires. Where a letter can be avoided and shut in the dark of a drawer, something small and forgotten can lie dormant for years, waiting  to catch your eye or snare your heart. The effect may be instant stabbing sadness, as you remember interaction, trivial at the time, yet desperately unobtainable now you are alone. Or worse, it could capture your gaze for hours, a key that unlocks a whole host of images from your past, an unstoppable deluge, as you sit there mute, inert and full of pathos forced to view the soul rending slide-show in its entirety.

There may be those who argue that there are allies in the comfortable house, conducive to a  healthy active mind. This is true in the short term, but only for those with a robust social life! Writing can be therapeutic, but the lengthy absence of interaction may lead to creation of long rambling passages to fictional audiences, or worse, yourself! Reading and watching television are also fine distractions, indeed at the beginning of your hermitage these activities will most likley hold your attention making you smile, frown and ponder. However as time progresses and with nobody to discuss your love of literature or your dislike of a particular candidate on The Apprentice, you will find yourself turning to your own mind for conversation. Thoughts on a subject recently read or viewed, if not shared in good time, can pollute the brain. Your thoughts on a matter become your thoughts on your thoughts on a matter and so on. After a period you will no doubt have the book open, or the T.V on, pointlessly though. You will be focusing intently at the wall, transfixed by your own introspection.

The trouble with loneliness is that it is a silent, creeping feeling. Not like love or hate, which seize and shake you on their arrival, nor longing or hunger, which slowly prod and pester until they reach an unbearable crescendo. You will not know you are truly lonely until you are desperately alone and as such it is difficult to guard against. So what do I propose to those stuck in this rut, solitary, blue and reaching a state of mania. Get out of the house more.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Pills. Never again.
A love, once perfect, has fled.
Left with no substance.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Dear friend, I have something important to share before I leave.
You have the personality of a house brick.
As our romance and my holiday ends, do not grieve,
I'm certain this parting leaves us equally sick.

Old pal, don't hold back the raging torrents of emotion!
Allow bitter pints to spill all, clumsily.
As the coral red sides of lager lout eyes follow each motion.
Bumble through, if you can, tristeful, fistful and lovingly.

My keeper! Though your house grows frosty and your face harder,
Your shallow heart must not follow suit.
For now, my lover, I am full from your larder!
But one cold day I'll be on your step, then through the door,
To wear your socks and rustle your drawers,
Drink all your beer and just like before,
I'll gorge from your kitchen and piss on your floor.
My awful, soulless, spark-less, spineless brute!


Friday, 10 December 2010

Dawn or dusk, it matters not.
Descending down the snow framed street.
Future fiery cold, yet hot!
The sunsets onset warm and bleak.

The road away, the road behind.
A bright orb rises, peaks then dies.
The sun kissed clouds, both noon and night,
Console, question and chastise.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Winter in Newcastle seems to me far more like glorious spring than any of the shivering complainers, busy news anchors or weather worn workmen seem to realise. If only they could muster the courage to face the driving wind head on and square shouldered, they would appreciate the reinvigorating qualities inherent in the North East's particular brand of prolonged chill. When the snow is heavy and driving, they must learn to revel in it! It is as criminal to maintain eye contact with the pavement during this winter spectacle as it is to walk with eyes closed through a spring forest, thick with boundless, budding new growth. Just as the joyous, youthful forest thins towards its edges to allow the pale sun's rays to dapple and dance across the neck and back, so the blizzard eases and snowflakes die tenderly on eyelashes and cheek tops. To some, the allure of springtime is rebirth and renewal, a time to start over. I say look around you! Every house is transformed from a red bricked, mundane doppelgänger sitting cosily amongst identical neighbours to a majestic white beast, with curves of snow and spines of ice. For a month or so each house is covered in billions of unique crystals which collectively announce it's singular shimmering, transitory individuality. The fields of spring are no doubt charming. It is easy to lose yourself in the gentle hum of new life, the drowsy smell of grass very close to the nose. Newcastle's parks and fields hold an all together more captivating charm whilst under winters grip. The stark tundra, when glimpsed with the aid of the low white morning sun provide the most brilliant blank canvass. The mind which could easily grow lazy when presented the scene early on a balmy spring day is, in winter, alert and racing. No insects drone or frivolous birdsong congests the ears and the eyes have even less to occupy them. The result being that every sound is magnified and crisp and each image is clear and sharp focused. So to everyone tucked away, remove yourselves from hibernation early! Spring is pleasant yes, but presently it is winter and it is beautiful. Get outside! Leave your scarves at home, unbutton your coats and soak up every detail. There will be plenty of time for lounging around come the next season.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

What's in the bag, man! I'm on the hunt for the perfect fix and there is little time to waste. Don't give me distortions, illusions and droopy fixtures. I'm not searching for spiritual lifts or empathy, compassionate conversations or time lapse. I don't want to run for miles, hair wild and pupils hungry. I have no use for dancing, talking, fucking or sleep.

Don't get me wrong, man! I will take every substance, discovered or otherwise, as fuel for my quest. Up and down and through the roof if needs must. I think this is the kind of high you need to search out in the hidden, forbidden places. I am driven to distraction for want of this fix, man.

I will visit life's dankest crevices and run my tongue down every terrible ravine. With a gnawing patience I'll sit waiting on any clue  for millennia in the most lonely forests. I will put the torch to a thousand cities and scan each handful of ash with a desperate, roving eye.

I want pure white light, instant and unending and I am willing to pay any amount.

What's in the bag, man? I suppose we will see soon enough.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Waking hours are cold, hard and remorseless.
Distraught afterthoughts constantly battle cruel logic.
Force back constructions of pure white goodness.
Whip the head into line before the heart objects.
Both eyes and best foot forward, resolute.
What shirt shall I wear. Which pub to visit?
Beguile, force smiles, never look destitute.
An awful scam, and your all complicit!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Dancing for pennies. Rocks and hard places! Exhale, close eyes and try. Tory meritocracy encourages success, failure to impress emotionless rat-ocrats! Weather takes a turn for the worse! Snide trout clouts clot, narrow eyes miss well tied early hearse! No news is good news! Poison pen letters proclaim shame, let blood and maim through perfectly aimed paper cuts! The future is bright! Royal blue and choleric yellow congeal to a solid envy green mass: Crass, oppressive and toxic to the fledgling prole masses!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Failed state.
The factory gates swing on rusted hinges,
A solitary light hums atop a blasted tower block.
Melancholic reminder of a bright and blossoming past existence.

Awful failed state.
Lawmen slake thirst through hateful binges,
Literature or spectacles enough to get one shot.
The fields groan under the weight of bodies and unwritten verse.

Inky failed state.
Subversive thinking instantly abated,
By black masked agents intent on pain or,
Atavistic plain clothes wardens and a swift train to the torture gardens.

Tragic failed state.
Beggars faces glimpsed through broken glass,
Old friends, once warm, now twisted, mean and cold.
Souls buckled, bent and sold. Constitutions irredeemably scarred.

Burning failed state.
Molten plastic and hate fill the most benign institutions.
Fire men, ex guardians, torch the streets in angry convulsions.
Bells no longer toll. Eyes sting, filled with tears and acrid pollution.

Hopeless failed state.
Allies smolder or cower behind borders.
Resources long gone, hoarded or burnt by vengeful marauders.
The unburied dead totemic, remorseless, remind the living that death is fate.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Life! The infant is an empty vessel!
A chasm which most fill conventionally,
Work and food and love, potentially,
Pristinely stacked, both neat and level.
Strife and joy are succinctly wrestled,
Society’s laws obeyed reverentially.
Accepted norms form useful allies.
The child evolves to nothing special.
But there are other ways, blank booked bairn!
Civilisation, unnatural construction,
Break to bits and burn in your pit!
Upon hearing you’ve a deal to learn,
Renew with vigour life destruction!
Fill your days with venom, chaos and spit.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Dim rippling light rolls up from wall to ceiling, then back. The bouncer roves menacingly and single minded, like a fat headed shark, heralded by a blue orb which, upon contact with quids, or bodies quivering and rigid, struck mute by agonising biblical visions informs its master who duly devours currency or casualty. Each task is preceded by the vaguest of emotions, the face rolling from neck area practiced in betraying little. Close observation is necessary to establish even a glimpse of humanity. The leer forming on the corner of the mouth perhaps, when crudely acknowledging a familiar pair of thighs, or the hunger in the pupils, just before full dilation, in anticipation of the exertions soon to be inflicted upon the kid, silhouetted in their peripheral vision, grinning and flailing on the bar. These human subtleties are vastly overshadowed by blunt animal instinct. A circle forms in the enraptured crowd. And before even the first futile blow is struck, dense black ghosts and wraiths descend, slicing through bodies like water. Rapidly advancing in perfectly straight lines upon the unfortunates, about to pay terrible prices for vainly leaving the hot certainties of the collective. The venue lights flicker on and these wild, predatory men seem tamed, still alert, but glazed and sated. It is over. The frigid night air seems strangely comforting to the flock spilling out the double doors from the furnace within.

It is a popular misconception that the exits are flung wide when there is no more music left, when the bars must stop serving or when the tired patrons concur that fear and night have closed in too far, and they must hurry back and huddle in half-lit rooms. In fact, no DJ, worker or patron holds sway here. They have no say, they are drawn in by shiny lures, flashes and beats deep in the dark recesses. In turn, on gantrys, stairwells and balconies, aroused by the blood and smell of sweat, dark shadows circle, twitch and wait. The sharks are in control here. It is only when each has gorged that anyone can leave.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

The internet is fickle and pernicious, having already claimed one old band. I read this today and felt incredibly sad, so here it is for posterity.

"First band of the night, AMNESTY from Clitheroe show that a little rural isolation is good for the musical soul. Dressed in matching black shirts and red neckerchiefs with red kamikaze armbands they come over like a warped Boys Own Adventure; Just William directed by John Woo, the home made lemonade switched with tequila. The music is fast and tight, mixing new wave keyboards with post - punk guitars. They are an eccentric bunch (check their website for proof) but original and bloody good."

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The type of girl that I have known,
For almost half my life,
Is coy and kind, a puritan,
An angel-painted Lucifer,
Who helped me twist the knife.

It’s girls like these that take you far.
Doctrinal in extreme.
They’ll snatch a guttersnipe like me,
And with a focused energy,
Will scrub it till it’s clean.

These white, devoted, nunnish girls,
Who see the good in all,
Can find a tramp and scour his face,
But if like me, your beyond grace,
You are headed for a fall.

So heed my warning rascal boys!
All that glistens is not gold.
For when at last she’s polished through,
And sees there’s little more to you,
Than a scoundrel and a blaggard too,
You’ll cry soapy tears, alone and blue,
And almost twice as old.

Friday, 5 November 2010

No writing from me today, instead I decided to copy out this beauty from a programme I caught around 3am yesterday, ending a documentary called Coppers. I will keep my eyes on the internet for any more lyrical gems from this emerging talent, I haves feeling he will have plenty of time to contemplate future works in relative solitude. With a unique style, the never before attempted 'elongated gents toilet scrawl' here is the man himself! Presenting Danny Mack!

Let me out of this faking dump, cos I’ve really ad enough!
The food in ere is fucking shit, especially that duff.
The screws are just a bunch of mugs, they drive me up the twist,
And if I find out where they live, they’ll taste my fucking fist!
You’re such a bunch of soppy cunts, go get yourself a life.
It wouldn’t surprise me you lump of shit, if the milkmans on your wife.
When you’re all together and you’re running off your gobs,
Your missus down the local pub, on pints and sucking knobs!
Every time I see you cunts, I get the fucking pox.
I bet you send your kids to school in a fucking sweatbox.
They kicked you out the army and they bullied you at school.
And here you are trying to tell me that I’m the bloody fool.
Well get this in your ugly head, my name is Danny Mack,
And if I find out where you live I’ll get your kids on smack.
And when they come back clucking and thinking life’s a doss
I’ll take them up to London, sell their arses at Kings Cross.
Now who’s the rudest fucker? Is it me or is it you?
Is it true your mothers in a cage at London zoo?
Brap! Brap! Brap!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Back to nature today. If yesterday I had been told today I had been heading ‘back to nature’ I should have looked forward to a breezy sun dappled wood. I would most probably have been wearing a straw hat leaning on a tree. I expect I’d have been gazing over the haunches of a powerful yet gentle stag, to a naked red haired nymphet, parting water lilies so as to bath in a lake. As it happens I was gardening, planting bulbs in the cold muck, shifting clods with a mole like determination. I still seem to have half an allotment firmly wedged under my fingernails, which will reside there indefinitely as the house is devoid of beauty implements and I have left my toothbrush in the house attached to the aforementioned garden. Although far from idyllic, a few hours with little to think about other than mud, wind and rain was a wonderful tonic after a month considering the same solitary tower block from the limited greenery of Heaton Park. Perhaps the remedy was mixed double strength, as on my return from town I found myself drawn towards the nasty piss and blood of the Big Market. A minor scratch card win seemed to warrant a minor celebration, so I set myself up with book and premium pint in the corner of a bar. With my new shaved head, and by keeping my voice hushed whilst ordering, I had slipped past the brutes and drunks, and was happily steaming of the day’s damp in relative seclusion. However, the cosy nook I had installed myself in was deceptive. It seems I had sat in somebody’s seat. Furthermore, my perceived sanctuary being a corner, I was cornered. There was nothing for it, I offered him a drink and what followed was two hours of monosyllabic anecdotes about the merchant navy, deviant mothers, prostitute school friends and scientology. Had the man been able to articulate the strange events of his life with a little more finesse it may have been one of the best pub exchanges to date. As it stands though it was dull yet absorbing, a little like watching the one show, just to see what they will start going on about next. He didn’t buy me a pint back, and I was left feeling ever so slightly short changed.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

One eye opens, and shuts rapidly. As faces and settings known and unknown fade forever, along with your contented avatar, you both curse. His image and face dapple dark and dissolve as your curse grows instantly louder and reverberates around the now empty skull.  For a half second it seems possible to engage again with the slippery figments of the dream, but inevitably it is too late. Liquid white light has found a way through the traitorous socket, and is now oiling the cogs of the brain-machine necessary for movement, sensation and memory. So it is done, the barricade is breached. Both eyes open in a feeble squint, eyelashes offer a last hopeless plea to the unforgiving winter sun but to no avail and the horde of light pours through and instantly gets to work. Pulling the duvet over your head it is possible to give the impression of night and oblivion, but it is an illusion. The brain, once a loyal somnolent ally, proves itself fickle. The garrison only a moment ago dedicated to serene fantasy is manned by turncoats it seems, bought by the merest glimpse of golden day and now enthusiastically serving their new master. Day rapidly inaugurates consciousness as dictator-king, whose first task is persecution of the body, which the brain sets about with ruthless enthusiasm. The tongue is subjected to drought, to which it responds with a rasping demand of action from the arms and hands. One is dead as stone, yet to be slowly repopulated with prickles and heat, the other hangs limply off the sofa, poking out from the useless sanctuary of the quilt. It half answers the desperate cry of the mouth, sweeping the floor around for liquid of any kind. This task is frustrated by the nervous system, which, revelling in the turmoil and still imbued with the previous nights alcoholic excess, toys with the submissive arm, jerking it erratically. The bladder begins a dull moan, disputing the mouths demands and siding with the retinas to form coalition intent on remaining under the awful sanctuary of the covers. Sensing dissent, the alert and increasingly brutal brain sends paramilitary messengers to the joints, where chemicals inflame each helpless bend, already crippled from the care free contortions of the night’s blissful hibernation. The legs, ankles and feet respond, waking up later than the rest of the body, squirming with horror at the civil war now unfolding. In the body’s hinterland, the toes are brought out of their stupor by capricious, feral muscles pulling each back with cramp spasms, as if to slit ten individual necks. Despite the agonies being inflicted by the conscious mind on every organ and extremity, there are still dissident elements harboured deep within the cerebrum, calling for unconsciousness and the return to dreamscapes, if only now to abate the torture of wakefulness. Realising this, the brain plays its last card, turning on itself. A flurry of explosions blossom at once through it billions of winding streets, combining and amplifying to an unbearable stabbing crescendo. The legs, with enough trouble of their own to contend with, resign and begin the slow slide towards the carpet and the morning. The stomach turns and begins to ready itself for the first unwelcome guest, shuddering at the memory of a thousand other acidic first contacts with water. The eyes lament and prepare for the suns terrible brilliance. The same eye that began this awful conflict is quite rightly forced to the fore. Tentatively, it opens for the second time in as many minutes. After the retinas have shaken themselves into action and the suns resplendent shock troops have dissipated in a bright orderly ring, it surveys the scene around it. Devastation to equal or surpass the body’s internal tumult surrounds: Screwed paper, ash, black tinfoil, filthy cups and glasses, wax, something resembling soup or vomit. The nose, strangely dormant in the first ghastly moments of this new day, awakens with revulsion finding partner smells for each of the eyes visual aids. The majority of the body in motion and wakefulness seeming inevitable, the nose, fresh into the fray, picks up something sweet and alluring through the stench. Rapidly it coerces both eyes into usefulness, and the initial blur is rewarded by a black banner sharply snapping into focus. A charcoal pennant, embossed with white insignia reads Jack Daniels. Surrounding it, eternally welcome auburn reinforcements, their crystal vehicle taking the hurtful rays of the sun and throwing it with distain in a beautiful amber arc against the wall. The last rebellious partisans in the brain cry out ecstatically! The second hand, presumed deceased, leaps to life under the eyes guidance. Before shaky nerves or spitefull consciousness have chance to object or sabotage, it has leapt from its slumber and grasped sleeps new collaborator. All parts of the self now crave to meet this unexpected but welcome guest, save stubborn, reasonable king consciousness, afraid more than anything of being deposed. His position is useless. The mouth craves moisture, the stomach yearns for warmth, the nerves demand rest, the limbs implore haste so as to be soothed and calmed. Most of all, the eyes, the gate keepers, long to close the citadel to the day. After the first draught, they allow themselves to relax slightly. By the third, they have composed themselves and relaxed entirely, perishing all thoughts of light and the things it illuminates. The fourth and final turns the gates twin keys conclusively, and sensing the minds haven truly secured again, the serene dream creatures pull the thick velvet covers from their halcyon orchards. The body sighs then rests. Beautiful order is restored.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Immensely lazy day. I have begun reading a book called 'The Captive Mind' by Csezlaw Milosz. The following appeared on the second page, a reference to 'Insatiability' by Stanislaw Igancy Witkiewicz, instantly ruining my bath and my new book as I am now only interested in reading the latter!

'The whole book was nothing but a study of decay: mad, dissonant music; erotic perversion; widespread use of narcotics; dispossessed thinking; false conversions to Catholicism; and complex psychopathic personalities.'

Perhaps I will put reading to the back of my mind for the rest of today. I have almost finished a short story about the terminally ill and the Irish, so I’ll hurry on with that instead.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!
Fumbling for Ecstasy,
Shells of our former selves,
The realisation hits with a dull thud.

Powerful warfare chemicals,
Laboratory grade and efficient.
The young men of this generation are lost;
Battle sorts the men from the boys.

Gas! Gas Quick!
Once more before the beat kicks in!
Belief in the moment is a powerful aphrodisiac.
The future as uncertain as ever.

Over the top!
Drag queens, strobe lights and terror.
Faces mauled by the intensity.
Total war.

The aftermath,
Corpses shining, draped,
Like dolls. Gaunt, dead eyes.
Useless dental records.

The morning memorial.
Loose change clanks ceremonially on to the dish washer.
Families pay their respects, begrudgingly.
Nothing changes.