Tag Archive: cardiff


::::notes on the Past Tense Kids::::


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always lovely to see that something i’ve written is popular with you guys and with The Past Tense Kids getting 10 likes since last night i guess it qualifies.

Is actually part of a longer piece written for an awesome performance night here in Glasgow, composed in note form on index cards whilst bimbling around Cardiff in an extremely intoxicated fasion with a very good friend of mine then stitched together in longform inside a notebook during which it receieved considerable revision. It went through one more

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::::the past tense kids::::


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You know the past tense kids? Gone on sugar puffs and fairies they were;
Used to own this town.
Now they half life.
Shuffling the pavement,
wearing out the rubber in their converse all-stars.
Turning corners like pages.

::::he gets his patterns mixed up::::


::::He gets his patterns mixed up::::


walkin down the street. pretty chick, she aint my type but not many are and i dont go by looks but shes obviously made an effort. theres at least an hour on that makeup. there are flowery bobbles in her hair and the dress is nice, not that im an expert, but its no coalsack.

As she draws nearer there’ss a strange gurgle sound in my ear, which at first i think might be coming from me but there’s a doppler effect and i realise its coming from this chick. well, i think, females do make some funny noises from time to time and its usually best ignored. but the noise carries on rising and soon sounds like a tractor engine with a stuck ignition. her buccal cavity rumbles like an awakening monster as she drags all the mucus in her skull to one point at the top of her throat. she pauses, takes a breath, and then hocks again. the noise is fantastic, and shes almost falling off her heels with concentration.

Then it comes – a ball of phlegm the size of my fist. just straight down, not aiming at the gutter or anything. about ten percent of it hits the ground, but the rest is suspended steady halfway down by a green cable of twisted protein. all of a sudden she tries to do several things at once: along with reeling back in disgust she tries for a split second to slurp the thing back up, but the tension is shifting and she starts shaking her head trying to dislodge the enormous dangling booger. again, she fails and the surface tension teams up with the vibrations causing an explosive release of pressure from inside the glob, which pops like a stuck balloon. snot splats her literally from the face to the feet, and i am lucky to have been just out of range. bits stick to her skin and settle in her hair but she carries on walking, as do i. she passes, and i say nothing

- there’s nothing to be said. she said it all.

#manIlovethiscity

::::We don’t go to Newport::::



I used to live there, so I know it’s true.

::::via::::


After a forced memory retrieval in the comments on this poem by Pete Armetta I ended up on my old myspace page where I found a few photographs I have decided to rescue for prosperity.


::::Past Tense: Photography::::


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:::::::::::::WARNING: uh, drugs, self-destruction, self-indulgence and isms::::::::::::::::::::
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Way back in the murky mists of time, when townies roamed the land and I had a keen dislike for myself and the world, I was once enrolled on a photography course.

This is somewhat the beginning of our story.

I sucked in the darkroom. I also sucked at doing coursework – mainly because I had a largely apathetic attitude towards it and everything else. I lived on a razor between nihilism, existentialism, hedonism and post-modern bohemia. The city was my wasteland. The city was my playground. Darkened rooms with stacks of CDs and MDMA were my natural habitat. Words and metaphor were my God. The beats’ and the beat went on. And on.

Man, I miss those years. When pretension was just another way of saying “I don’t give a fuck”.

I’d enrolled on the photography course because the previous year I had fallen in love with film after doing a film studies course. As film was just photography 24 times a second I thought it would be a good thing to check out. I had bombed out of my other A-levels through:

A) being in way over my head for reasons I won’t go into right now
and
B) aforementioned psychological states.

We worked with black and white film and analogue SLR cameras. And we worked in the dark, with the film, as was the mode for developing film by hand. As i mentioned, I sucked at it. I’m bad enough at doing things when I can see what I’m doing.

When I finished the course I ended up with an E.

Anyway, over on this old-ass blog you can see all the B&W pictures that I submitted for my coursework plus a bunch of colour ones shot digitally a few years later around the time I was at film school. There’s some nice shots of the freaky shit that you can find in prop departments.

:::Stalking for Dummies:::


Once upon a time I used to make films. I’ve been a little lapse in that regard the past few years, focusing on writing and what not, but I’m sure I’ll get back to it eventually. This short is an interesting example. It was left unfinished at a youth project in Cardiff and I was asked if I’d like to finish it off. I added a few touches of my own to make the protagonist more interesting. It was a great exercise in what can be done with something in post-production.

This started off life as an orphan project. A rough edit had been completed and a draft of a voice-over script. I completed the editing and, starting from scratch, wrote a script that added new depth to the original idea, further developed the protagonist’s character and took it in a somewhat different direction. Referencing an old victorian etiquette manual found on the Gutenberg Project I re-imagined our hero as having a somewhat schizoid personality.

Here it is on vimeo:

And if your device cannot handle vimeo, here it is on youtube:


Back in my film school days I used to kick about and work with these guys, messrs. Hole and Darko. Since my fleeing the city to live in the wilds of Scotland with only the visions in my head and a fine woman to keep me company they have been very busy boys indeed!

This is their entry for a competition to make a video for David Lynch’s ‘I Know.’

from russia with loathe


The poetry of Sacha Karaulov.

crossed wires


I ain’t got a hope today;
all died when the sound flooded in and filled my head with faulty wiring.
My eyes only half open
in this false waking. Choking down stupid little pills for a facsimilie of comfort. Takes forever to leave
Streets wailing with people like caskets constructed from nerve-endings.


poetry month - april 2010

Every cause in the known world seems to have a day dedicated to it but who exactly is in charge of this shit exactly and what gives them the authority to attempt to control our thoughts like this? In newspapers and light and vapid news programmes the call will be sent out that today is the day or the month where we’re supposed to think about these things. International no smoking day? How about international lick my festering lungs clean day? Leave your contact details in the comments and i’ll set it up.

April is international poetry month. Of course, it’s not international good poetry month so prepare for pain. Prepare to have poetry of all description shoved down your throat. One of the books I’m reading at the moment, reality overload, has a number of paragraphs discussing this approach to poetry – a sort of flattening of value and draining of meaning wherein all poetry is the same and is merely a commodity to be consumed. It’s a pretty involved book which I’m going to have to re-read with a dictionary on hand, but I’ve garnered alot from it. I hope.

I used to write alot of poetry, in a completely untutored way, but I don’t like alot of poetry.  I used to do open mic readings alot as well. The types of places that have poetry readings are usually the kinds of places that cultivate culture like one would attempt to conservate an endangered species and as such draw crowds of, well,  a mixed bag. The events ended up feeling quite sterile. I once got a knowing nod of respect off of an acclaimed poet as I got off the stage at one of these quite sterile feeling events – the event being centered around her reading.  Her name is Pascale Petit and she was really quite good but her performance was totally marred by, dare i say it, the ambience of dead air. The poem in question was this one and it’s honestly a total mess, formless and making makebelieve at having a structure. Stil, there’s something about it that I’ve always liked.

In later years, having decided that the vast majority of poetry readings/open mic opportunities carried this same weight of dead air, but still finding myself writing and developing, having this sense in my head that poetry could be vital and full of life (the way it seems to be in Manchester at the moment), I started doing readings at an open-mic night at a club. Obviously, such spots were intended for musicians and I was in fact the only writer who read there. My performances there went pretty well. People used to come up with me and attempt to converse, ocassionally buying me pints of lager. On one ocassion the noise of people talking drowned me out and I started shouting. The moral of the story i guess is don’t ever give me a live microphone.

Since I’ve decided to give being a ‘novelist’ a go my poetry output has dropped a hell of alot. I want to come back to the form, give it a studious attempt for a change, but I barely trust myself to write a novel, let alone write a novel whilst studying and writing poetry, so it’s gonna have to wait.

Which brings us to this post on writers rainbow I found wherein the author encourages the novelist to step away from the keyboard and take on the techniques of the poet for a while.

Poetry, for me, is an intuitive process, very different from my work in fiction and prose, in which everything I do is analytical and purposeful and organic to my nature. I come from a storytelling family, so that has to have had some effect on me. I also continue to have trouble finding poetry that resonates with me. For such a short form, I find it wears me out, all the same. I like a puzzle as much as anybody else, but let’s keep it to jigsaws, crosswords and sudokus, I say. Give me access.

But one thing I admire about poets is their relatively low-tech writing practice. Most poets I know can write poetry wherever they are, whenever they are. A pen, a notebook, and a moment is all it takes to get them writing. Prose writers, on the other hand, are keyboard junkies (to be fair, if I hand-inscribed everything I ever wrote, I would have a terrible case of writer’s cramp!) who need outlets, laptops, perhaps a mouse and a thumb drive, to get their work achieved. Not all prose writers are like this…

I totally get what she is saying here. I used to fill notebook after notebook with scribbled notes and poems like i was shelling pistachios (i have a thing for pistachio shells) but since I’ve been on the prosetrain… My current notebook is like 3 years and it’s still far from filled.  It’s definately something I miss – the spontinuity, the writing by intuition alone. these days notes are thought and grown invitro before even reaching a page or screen. There’s still intuition and spontinuity, but nowhere near as much.

Still, what is said is no absolute. Not all poets work this way. Not all prose writers work at the opposite end of the spectrum. The point is, i think, new perspectives and techniques are always valuable as your never quite sure where they will lead you and any creative process should be something of wandering into the unknown.

International Poetry Month « Writer’s Rainbow.


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I was saying yesterday that nothing was striking me online. Nothing was  crying out to be blogged. Today, a brief glimpse at Dangerous Minds has opened up a whole avenue of connections and pathways fired up in my head, skipping across synapses all the way down my spine, along my arms, out to my fingers. Now i have 12 tabs open for research, waiting to be integrated into this post.

Jason Louv, I’m coming for you man.

At first the thought was just the skeleton of paragraph,  a lynchpin to build other words around, the introduction to this post. I was thinking “This post is going to take hours to write, hours that should be spent on my novel.” and my sense of humour being what it is i thought it would make a good introduction to make out that I was really angry, that i now had no choice but to write the post, and that it was all your fault.

But then something happened. Whilst I was thinking this lynchpin-paragraph-thought I was tamping coffee into my filter to be made into beautiful, gorgeous  espresso. The only tamp i have is the crappy plastic tamp/scoop combo that came with the machine. My mind was not completely on the task at hand and I tamped too hard, pressure perhaps off centre slightly.  The crappy plastic tampscoop snapped, the filter leaped from its holder, plumitting floorwards,  arcs of finely ground coffee cutting parabolas through the air.

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A mess, Mr Louv. A fucking mess. And now my tampscoop is just a tamp. I could of cried.

As far as i can tell this is actually your fault.

So now I’m really coming for you.  I reckon i can scrape the money together for a plane ticket. I have a friend in cali, not sure where, in the south. Maybe an hour outside LA. That’s where you live, right? LA? Can’t be that big a city. I’m gonna find you and then i’m gonna drag your arse back here to ayrshire to clean my fucking kitchen.

Okay, maybe I haven’t thought this through very well. Maybe I’ll just clean my own kitchen. To be honest, it was already a bit of a state before this whole debacle started.

This post doesn’t really start with Jason Louv. This post really starts with Matt Dalby. I don’t know why he keeps popping up, I really don’t, but it was he that first introduced me to the concept of Psychogeography and taught me the name of Iain Sinclair.  Appropriately enough I remember exactly where we were when he did.

We were walking through the Hayes in Cardiff. The Hayes is the home of the oldest record store in the world. It was established in 1894 and is still going today. Fiercely independant and full of musical gems, anybody who professes to loving music shops there. I love that little record store. Shortly before I left Cardiff The Hayes was undergoing some serious gentrification which meant the rent was being jacked up way high. Higher than Spillers Records could afford. The shop was in danger of closing. The people rallied around. Protests were signed and demos held. I kept my fingers crossed. As far as i can tell it all worked out.

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Psychogeography was a concept defined by Guy Debord, founding member of the Situationists International.
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He took his cues from Charles Baudelaire’s concept of the flâneur which, in Debord’s redefining of the concept became The Dérive. The difference between the two, with my lightly skirmishing eyes, is difficult to conceptualise but it may be political. Or personal. Or maybe the personal is the political. Anyway Debord defined psychogeography thusly:

the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals.

Although it has been stated more recently as:

a whole toy box full of playful, inventive strategies for exploring cities…just about anything that takes pedestrians off their predictable paths and jolts them into a new awareness of the urban landscape.

The point is to dig, you dig? Not just to consume your environment as you would a billboard, going from point A to point B, but to let it in a way consume you, going from point A to some point that does not yet exist as a point.

In a dérive one or more persons during a certain period drop their relations, their work and leisure activities, and all their other usual motives for movement and action, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there. Chance is a less important factor in this activity than one might think: from a dérive point of view cities have psychogeographical contours, with constant currents, fixed points and vortexes that strongly discourage entry into or exit from certain zones. – ‘Theory of the Derive

The Derive and the concepts of Psychogeography are a great way to get to know a place. For the artist or writer I would say they are indispensible tools. I remember at the time, when Matt told me about them and Iain Sinclair, that I intended to do alot of research into the subject. I don’t think I did. In fact, I think this is the first time I’ve really dug deep into the subjects, at least in any kind of specific way.

So, they drifted into the unconscious to fester and lay root.

A bunch of years later. 3? 4? I’m done with film school and unemployed. Matt has moved to manchester. I spend my days drifting through Cardiff, drawn to certain nexii. Friend’s houses, parks, libraries. In fact, I’m not drifting, I’m skating.

I’ve skateboarded from a young age. I was never very good at it. Far too clumsy with a poor sense of balance the world of tricks was something that mainly eluded me. But, god, did I love to skate. To roll along on a summers day was a special kind of bliss. To pull off a pop-shuvit or an ollie was, despite being the most basic of tricks, a great satisfaction. I actually miss it terribly and on the verge of starting up again.

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Between all this drifting and rolling along i’m writing. I’m thinking. I’m reading. I’m making notes. I have an idea for a feature film. I have some pages I’d written, mainly dialogue, from years back, but lost in the ether. The idea still dribbles around my mind quite regularly, waiting to be born. One of the main characters is the city of cardiff itself.

It’s a semi-autobiographical movie. It features quite heavily some drifting around cardiff. Actually, it’s more missioning than drifiting – going from place to place with a purpose in mind. To be honest, the film is really a topic for another blog post, so let’s not get too caught up on it. I’m trying to stay on topic here.

One of the characters skates. It gets him where he wants to go faster than walking and it entertains him when bored. I figure there has to be some kind of semi-academic book on skateboarding so I go looking for it. I find it in one of the Cardiff University libraries.

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I couldn’t get the book out so part of my day would be to go to the library and make notes from this book. I still have those notes. Fuck, I’m looking at them right now. Not as many as i would if liked cuz I got caught up on Jung in my head and began making notes on him instead. I shall put these quotes up here at some point. In the meantime check out the google books page for extracts from the text.

My point, within the context of this article, is that psychogeography and skateboarding are intrinsically linked. The skater views and interacts with the urban landscape in a way which reconstructs its purpose. Whereas the derive is about letting the city guide you to places beyond destinations, skateboarding is about taking destinations and aggressively co-opting them for your own means. When you skate you feel the city. Its bumps and contours, its steps and spaces, in a way that most people will never know. From my notes on my notes:

Skate spots are found, appropriated and co-opted. Taken out of their original context and re-imagined within the skater-deck-object nexus. This makes skateboarding almost a critique of capitalist-consumerism, a subversion of the dominant ideological reading of terrain – removing it from one, anti-human/nature/pro-commerce/societal context and integrating it into a more bodynaturecentric one.

and an actual quote from the book:

Skateboarders were here acting in a manner akin to anarchist communities, in that they tended to work with nature (found terrains) and to be spontaineous in their actions. Skaters, again like anarchist communities, also preffered to rapidly replace this spontaneity with the socio-spatial tactic of colonization whenever possible, such that established skateboard locations… generated their own names, boundaries, access conditions and internal culture (p.51)

I found these ideas very exciting, especially within the context of my Cardiff film. Being semi-autobiographical I had already made a caricature of myself one of the protaganonists and armed him with a skateboard. Now I found validation for doing so, opening up the film to further ideas by which it could be influenced. Psychogeography had made itself known through my creative ideas without looking at it directly.

Iain Sinclair was born in Cardiff and thus we come full circle… When he lived there I’m sure it was a very different place from how i remember it. Although he was born there it is not his home. London is his home and it is as part of the London avantgarde poetry scene of the 60s and 70s that began to make his name. With his poetry, films and novels he continues to this day to be known as “the capital’s visionary laureate

Psychogeography is a talismanic term that Sinclair understands to have been cannibalised from French situationism. “For me, it’s a way of psychoanalysing the psychosis of the place in which I happen to live. I’m just exploiting it because I think it’s a canny way to write about London. Now it’s become the name of a column by Will Self, in which he seems to walk the South Downs with a pipe, which has got absolutely nothing to do with psychogeography. There’s this awful sense that you’ve created a monster.

And thusly we come to the article which started this whole mess….

In London, from the first, I walked. As a film student, newly arrived in the early Sixties, I copied the poet John Clare on his feverish escape from Matthew Allen’s asylum in Epping Forest, when he navigated by lying down to sleep with his head to the north. Skull as compass: all the secret fluids and internal memory-oceans aligned by force of desire. Clare returned, as he thought, to Mary, his first love, his muse; to his heart-place, Helpston, beyond Peterborough, on the edge of the dark fens. My drag was cinema, Bergman seasons in Hampstead, Howard Hawks in Stockwell. Or art: the astonishing Francis Bacon gathering at the old Tate, at Millbank, former prison and panopticon. Bacon’s melting apes were robed like cardinals. Naked men, stitched from photographs, wrestled in glass cages.

Motiveless walking processed the unanchored images that infiltrated dreams of the shadow-belt on either side of the Northern Line. I lodged in West Norwood, a house on a hill, like the one I had left behind in Wales. I wandered through mysterious suburbs to the rooms above the butcher’s shop in Electric Avenue, Brixton, where the school was based. Street markets, I discovered, were a significant part of the substance of this place. Walking was a means of editing a city of free-floating fragments. I composed, privately, epic poems conflating the gilded Byzantium of W.B. Yeats with the slap and strut of Mickey Spillane’s California. London was an impossible relativity of historical periods and superimposed topographies.

(“An introduction to Lights Out for the Territory by its author, Iain Sinclair, who loves east London but not the forthcoming Olympic Games. The book traces nine walks across the capital.” via Dangerous Minds & Arthur magazine)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little trip. There are plenty of links to click filled with interesting, exciting and heavy ideas to sink your teeth into. Writing it has pretty much swallowed the productive segment of my day and I now have a whole bunch of stuff to read my way through.

thank you for your patience


tripped over my touchtyping feet into an irc pm… private messaging, that is. this guy i know. he’s alright. Waiting for the stock market to make him rich. Good luck. I say. Anyways, we’re talking about movies and after aronofky we’re onto choke, based on the chuck palahnuik novel. Then i remember writing this prose poem back in 2004, a travelogue of going to toronto and back to cardiff again. I’d posted it on a writing group style forum and someone had compared it to palahnuik. I go looking for it, but it’s gone. Lost in the cracks of the web.

Takes me a while to find the fucker, getting desperate, was hosted on somewhere defunct, thinking that i’d lost an important part of myself. Then i hit the waybackmachine, look up my old blog there, and i find it.

So i’m reposting it here. There’s a few good lines, i guess.  Worth saving i figure.

*

thank you for your patience

(c) Adam Cheshire 2004

Like plum stones sunk in neon
Look so clean
Smell so sickly
Drifting through duty free
People sleep with arms wrapped around their heads
Waiting in limbo for connections.

Wispy voices float in the air
With names on their tongues like cherry bombs.

I want to sit and smoke and drink
so pay £2.99 for a pint of stella
and smoke and sit and drink and write
my second ever poem about being in an airport
whilst my eyes sink further into my skull
and I cry for sleep as if for a lost lover.

*I’m tired and hung over in Toronto.
The air feels like electric syrup
Again leaving me sticky to the touch.

*

Everybody stares here
Eyes like needles
Shooting straight for your nerves
Which light up light bulb wire
And burns just as much
They filter you through their system
Kino balls dropping around pins
punching through your wall
Searching your being for fuck knows what.

In Britain it’s polite to leave you the fuck alone.
Not so here.
Here people get right up in your face, strip you naked
With their eyes
And smile
“How you doing?”

*I used to eat until I was full.
Now I eat until I am bored of eating

*

This fat Rosedale bitch is walking around the perimeter of the field.
Around and around.
That’s harsh.
I don’t know she’s a bitch.
And she ain’t really fat, just middle-aged, and the obvious victim of multiple childbirths, the weight of motherhood.
I watch her across the field, passing a set of goal-posts, walking.
Not even power walking, which is like a national sport around here.
Just walking.
She can’t be trying to lose weight. If she was she’d run, right? You know, break a sweat?
nooooo…
Around and around.

They sure do like their sport around here. Little league football teams, decked out in their kit, huddle around soccer mum coaches (and it is mum, not mom, this is Canada dude) Father and son toss a baseball between them, catching it in mitted hands. Children play tennis. Everyone locked in that healthy living paradigm, living out careful conditioning. Can’t help but think of Canada as a utopian dictatorship.

The American football game I was watching has broken up, the men gone to drink beer and sit around on the couch.
Rosedale is full of nice big houses full of nice big middle class families.
An area ripe for subversion.
Walking to the subway station, the day after I landed, Jennie wondering how much charly they go through around here.
Must be a lot.
There she is again, slow easy steps, her sandals flip-flop in dust.

Me and Jennie saw a racoon the other day
its insides smeared across the road, its tongue flat against the concrete.
Glassy eye looking nowhere in particular. We nearly went back for Jen’s camera, but she wasn’t in the mood for the extra walking.
She never is.

*

This is what it must feel like to be a housewife;
I’ve washed the dishes
I’ve tidied up
Had a shower
Did some grocery shopping
Read a book
Watched a DVD
Sat in the park drinking Bacardi and coke from a plastic coca-cola bottle watching other people exert themselves.
And now I’m waiting.
Waiting.
Jennie said she should be home about 6:30
Is now 7:15
I have no money
And without Jennie, I have no plans.
So I sit and read, listening to my iPod play through tinny television speakers.
Waiting.
There’s not much to eat; Froot loops, some bacon
– no bread
one egg
some cheap noodles…

The bacon is Bob’s bacon. Who the fuck is bob? And is he gonna want his bacon back?
Bob, of course, does not exist. The idea is for you to think he does. He’s a marketing device, the personal touch, to make you think your dealing with a real person instead of just another corporation that takes in people and spits out bacon. And pigs too. I think there might be pigs involved.

Marketing is where writers with no integrity go
That or TV.
“Please mister! I’ll be good! I don’t wanna write scripts for Melrose place!”

*

Downtown. Two black guys dealing in Dundas park. Sitting, Chilling, shaking hands. A guy comes along on a bike, buys a bag, talks a bit, then carries on.
Actually, it might have been a woman.

Got 23 cents to my name instead of the $600 my mum should of wired to me; phoning her at 3am (8am there) stressing how important it was that she did it that day, how broke and desperate everybody was, forgetting to mention the fact that we hadn’t eaten properly for days and Jennie can’t figure out why she feels so sick all the time.
I guess she forgot.

Tried calling her earlier (had a veggie burger last night and a bowl of froot loops this morning) to find her not yet home (9PM there) and my sister not being helpful at all, bitching about how late it was, and how she didn’t know where mum was at, again failing to pull her head out of her own arse and realise my situation.
Doesn’t she know I’m hungry!!??!

No money for subway so had to walk from Rosedale along Yonge rd (long street that) for like an hour. Expecting the money to be there – $1.23 in my pocket, which won’t even buy me a can of jolt cola after tax. My trusty iPod shows me the way. Got to Lush and Jennie hungry and thirsty and standing patiently while she checks her British account to find…
Nothing.
Fuck.

Nearly wigged, my mood plummeting like a half brick tossed in a canal. Then comes the head ache. I moan to Jennie who tells me to shut the fuck up, and she’s right. Gotta Getta grip. Gotta getta some sugar. Buy a can of coke and drink it in Dundas park watching skaters and squirrels. Try to write but realise it is shit even before I put pen to paper. After a while caffeine and sugar flood my system, and with the help of some good tunes from Interzone (mah iPod), causes a positive emotional cascade, propping up serotonin levels.
Ding! I’m cool now. Don’t feel so desperate. Look around a bookshop and pick up a few free weeklies (of which there are many, including two GBLT type ones). Hungry? Drink lots of water and don’t think about phat pizzas with pepperoni the size of dilated pupils.
Jennie finishes work at 8:30.
Not too long now.

*

Each of my words is a weight around my neck
Each word sets me in stone whilst my head remains fluid
Sometimes stuck after people say “But you are this, you said so yourself” and I slowly turn to granite, immobilised by the weight, until I start picking at rock like dandruff, examining each piece in the light, before tossing it away.
I forget who I’m supposed to be and carry on like I’m no-one in particular.

There are constants.
Few and far between
The flotsam and jetsam that sticks to me because I really don’t know, who am I to say? Can’t completely trust anything, too many moth-eaten ideas taken as gospel, sun don’t spin around the earth, nobody listens when you tell them there’s a hole in the ozone layer, because you aren’t screaming with money and boardroom power you gotta be myopic ‘fore anyone even listens like your worshipping your own ideals like they truly are the word of the almighty. Everyone just the sum of how and what they’re told in that special way like a key turned in your brain and then you become so easy to push around and you’ll smile at your tormentors cuz you think they’re saints – even me, I am no different, but at least sometimes I sit up and spit in their faces.

*Sat watching the skaters again Dundas park. Two pidgeons have made a home for themselves in the gutter above a bubble-tea shop on spadina avenue. Watched them building, the male bringing twigs to the female to lovingly weave into the patchwork of the nest. Occasionally one of these twigs drops to the street below. When this happens I toss them back up.

Found a whole bunch of studio Ghibli DVDs in a Chinatown audio-visual shop, including all the classics I haven’t seen. When that money comes through I think I’m gonna have to come back.

*

Everything is spinning but staying very very still. I close my eyes and feel like I’m on a rollercoaster that never stops and treats gravity like human trash.
I can’t stop scratching, fingernails tear through layers of dead skin, collecting in nooks and crannies, forensic evidence for later use, for when I put myself on trial in front of the whole world and whisper my subjective truths like they mean shit, apart from confirmation of my guilt. I am guilty, there’s no denying that. Hook, line, and sinker.

*Toronto International airport lacks the frenzied duty free consumerism of Gatwick, but tries feebly to give it a run for its money. While I wait for boarding I read in a smoking room occasionally glancing up at the Canadian elections running on the tv in front of me. Airline staff come and go, along with the occasional individual or family. On the plane I do not sleep and watch the horizon line separating night and day, wishing I could just stick my head out the window to get a better look. I want to chase it across the sky.

*

“Dirty little maggot, you stealing juice?”
I look up at the security official, my sunken eyes peaking from beneath my hood, and measure his humanity – can I bend his will with pretty words and a sad smile?
Probably not.
Could I convolute his thought processes with overcomplicated language?
He looks working class, down to earth, the common London twang. I just look a mess. I’m not sure he just said what I think he just said, the aggression and condescension, my brain probably scrambled from passing through too many time zones. I decide to appeal to him on his level, slipping into colloquial wordage, kinda cockney -
“alright mate? just charging up me iPod, dint mean no ‘arm…”
He appears to relax; I guess I tend to come across as a bit of a queer bugger, long hair, permenant dark rings around my eyes, missing front teeth… just gotta let them hear what they want to hear, the familiar, non-alien. Just another one of the boys, innit?
“Just watch yourself mate. Management are wankers ’round ‘ere.”
“Sorted man. Nice one.” That weak, sad smile.
I see pity in his face – guess I look a state; all jetlag and sleep deprivation, which is pretty much the truth. Can’t sleep for shit on planes, sometimes takes all my will not to wig and threaten the other passangers with plastic cutlery. “Listen, you little shit. Kick the back of my chair again and I’ll cut you up real good, got that fucker?”
You gotta be careful these days. One wrong move and your being striped-and-cavity searched and having your heritage questioned. Might not see sunlight for months, held indefinitely under the ‘patriot’ act, or whatever. But then, one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter.

*In Cardiff I feel strange. Don’t wanna be here. JetLag sucker-punches me up and down the streets. I sleep so weird, getting bursts of energy and fatigue. Like a comedown without the knowledge that you’d dropped the night before. My cousin mocks this, he does not understand, and does not want to understand. He just wants fuel for his mock-a-thon. Wish I could throw his broken body into a sarCasm.

*

This life is not my own and never was but somehow this is where I find myself, constantly frustrated suffering mediocre static feet stapled for stability. All tied up in Gordian knots, banging fists against fictional walls. Habits like Parasites crawl into my ear while I sleep and try to move into their former homes to find themselves replaced with determination and kinda focus but feast and laugh anyway in gleeful UltraHighFrequency tones on their prey which, so weak, still growing, fight in pointless fits of rage. If I go someplace quiet and close my eyes I can still hear myself in Toronto, eyes popping out of my skull with the possibilities but when I open my eyes instead I see that familiarity breeds contempt and that I don’t want this space/time no more.

*Lying in bed
Pretending to sleep
Wishing I was
So much
Just floating
Eyes squeezed closed
Waiting to dream.

*

Supposed to be hitting the job agencies today but don’t feel like leaving the house. Couldn’t anyway, only pair of shoes resembling sponges. Got caught in storm last night, walking home from grangetown, wind ripping through me, rain like plastic bullets. Got home looking like a drowned rat. Felt like one too.
Took off all my clothes
lay in bed
closed my eyes.

*Converse trainers rattle around inside a tumble-dryer, beating out syncopated rhythms. I push my fingers deep inside and come out with grains of sand clinging delicately to skin;

Me and Jennie sat on a sandy beach on Toronto island. The waves lap at her feet as she stares out into the incomprehensible waters, trying to take them into herself, whilst I stand, knee deep, trying vainly to skim odd-shaped stones along the surface.

*

I met a girl last night
in a dream.
Persephone
Like honey
dripped
Down my ear canal.
Named by her father
who lived in text-books
And dreamt of dead civilisations
Like others did of Hollywood starlets.

When she spoke of him
Her eyes fell
in mousey whispers
like he might be watching

she told me
That she could only
love in dreams
like she was broken
on the outside

And as she spoke
I fell into her eyes
And span in blissful vertigo

We stood in a garden
And blossomed together
sat beneath a tree
eyes roaming
Fingers entwined
She told me her story
And I told her mine

Before I woke
She asked me
If I would
Meet with her again
And I said I would
But how would I find her?

Then my eyes
Fell open like smoke
And she was gone.

*

Trying to find someone
Anyone
Music pouring into my head
Smoke floating around my brain.
A seagull flies over and I tip my head back
to watch it pass over a lamp-post.

*In ‘small man’ a guy on a bicycle races another guy on rollerblades
Around the knotted paths
Whilst another judicates from a pedestal
I sit and smoke
And listen to the blanket of sound
I wrap myself in
Far too much.

*

Snake bite and black in the park vaults
With Sean and Mike
And on old school raver called Dee
And the usual alcoholic poet at the bar
With dreadlock man
Who I sometimes pick up off of.

“Ain’t you the guy who deals smack?”
“Nah, man. Not smack.”
“I seen you go outside with a lot of people.”

*Tonight is black and PVC
glow sticks and MDMA
dropping base and pills
in toilet stalls with friends.

Dancing and hugging
for hours.

riding the bliss till 2am

then falling home
talking and singing
with a small goth girl on my back
named Cass.

When we reach our destination I drop again with Vicki
who makes hardcore seem like silly putty
and whilst everybody else has crashed by 5
we stay up till 8
talking shit
enjoying the morning air.

*

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