Tuesday, January 23, 2018

EXCLUSIVE • open invitation | poems r us


Fourth instalment in this series on the BLEACHERS. In which we throw out an open invitation to all visitors: take a naked reading for a test drive, and create your very own mix. Whether you're quick on the DAW or simply a budding conjuror, there are no prerequisites beyond your enthusiasm for all things dub. All we ask is that submit your end product here for download and potential issue on a strictly limited CDR. If you would like to participate in our project, we will be hosting naked readings on the bleachers for that purpose in the coming days, in addition to selected mixes by the Ghost Men. Originally here, here and here.

SIBLING IB: MONK'S GIFT from "Naked On The Bleachers" CD IB (IBCD 002) (UK)
SIBLING IB: AFTER SIBERIA from "Naked On The Bleachers" CD IB (IBCD 002) (UK)
SIBLING IB: TORRO! from "Naked On The Bleachers" CD IB (IBCD 002) (UK) 2018


SIBLING IB + GUS GHOST: TORRO! (GHOST MIX) from "Bleachers In Dub" CD IB (IBCD 001) (UK) 2018

Sunday, January 21, 2018

EXCLUSIVE • billy the kid's last breakfast | poems r us

The third instalment in a series of readings on the BLEACHERS. Once more, with mystic instrumentation supplied by Gus Ghost. My mixing is still very rudimentary, to say nothing of the actual vocal recordings, but it is what it is. Originally here.

SIBLING IB with THE GHOST MEN: (PAT GARRETT) UNTITLED #1 from "Bleachers In Dub" CD IB (IBCD 001) (UK) 2018

Friday, January 19, 2018

EXCLUSIVE • triage | poems r us

The second instalment in a series of readings culled from the BLEACHERS' back pages. Please bare with me. The naked essence of the recording may drift into the red on occasion. A streaker stepping off of the benches to tango up in blue. Originally here.

SIBLING IB: TRIAGE from "Naked On The Bleachers" CD IB (IBCD 002) (UK) 2018

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

EXCLUSIVE • mon uncle | poems r us

Brothers and sisters. Siblings all. As promised earlier, SibLINGSHOT ON THE BLEACHERS is pleased to present the first instalment in a series of esoteric readings culled from these very pages and brought to life by the magic of an ailing ethos digitalis. Ably backed by Gus Ghost, this first reading is dedicated to the legacy of Joe Meek. In addition, I would also like to thank brother jonder for his abiding curiosity and politeness in the face of rude dereliction. For those of you of a fragile disposition, a subtitled text can be located here. Thank you.

SIBLING IB with THE GHOST MEN: MON UNCLE | LATE NIGHT #2 from "Bleachers In Dub" CD IB (IBCD 001) (UK) 2018

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

kollaps #1


If you listen hard enough you will hear
            the music
it is there in the punctuation:
            the comma, the semi-colon;
most of all it lives, hides, in the full stop
A rosebud unfurling
            runaway cargo in a primed syringe
elastic delay at the junction
            between clenched fist and elbow
A moment of clarity
            where once there lurked cloud
a prelude to a rude excision
            the post-mortem of a kiss
If you listen close enough you will hear

Thursday, January 4, 2018


"To perish there among the crabs and anemone sewn across the dark seabed."
It was the Hallmark spectre of a Christmas looming which officially stamped the demise of one era. The ushering in of another.
     It led him around the corner and into an Early Learning Centre.
     He was tangled in the process of re-education of sorts, the pushchair snagging on the tails of hand-carved wooden crocodiles, when he locked wheels with the mother of a good friend he had once ill advisedly fucked.
     "The Campbells Are Coming" wheezed from a loudspeaker mounted just overhead. Small change, at least, from the obligatory psalm.
     It gave him pause to prepare a smile.
     She waved back at him, her hand fluttering like a stricken Robin.
     She in charge of twins, granddaughters, he his only begotten son.
     They exchanged small talk.
     She looked at him stiffly and asked if he knew that Alan had died. A cardiac arrest.
     He felt an odd discomfit settle in his throat like acid indigestion and wished for a cigarette.
     Alan never smoked in his life. Well, once, perhaps. When they were kids.
     Both of them green. Overawed by phosphorous igniting.
     She asked him if he was alright.
     Neither of them spoke for a time, each of them too ashamed to swap further pleasantries. The game of pass-the-parcel on hold indefinitely, a truce, no gifts in their baskets to bestow upon the infant Jesus.
     He remembered how they had flattened pennies of the railway line running behind their parents' bungalows. How his father took his own life with a rope not long after his own dad had died. How they drifted apart until an awkwardness stood between them as strangers.
     He remembered screwing this woman's daughter one fragile night in December. How she had tasted on his tongue. The trembling in her thighs.
     He remembered how close they once were as nine-year-olds.
     Never less than at home in the Wendy House in the back of her garden.

Friday, December 22, 2017

the night before the night before the night

"Desperation is the raw material of drastic change... Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape."  
- william s. burroughs

"An Experimental Approach to Understanding Burnt Fish Bone".

It was the ballad of the burnt fish bone, an obtuse riddle at best, which took Pablo Dillinger and Jody the Hat over the edge and out to the island.
     The hull of their boat was painted red on the outside.
     Crudely carved out of soot blackened planks saved from the church fire. Pegged together without finesse.
     If the paint was an afterthought then so was the sail, strung rather than rigged through sad masts, the pair of them hunched under it at the oars like two crows in a half destroyed nest. Frantically rowing in spite of a robust wind.
     The Hat peered out across the water and spat into the palm of one hand, the oar falling back in its pivot.
     Pablo Dillinger let out a curse.
     Tortured more by the waves lapping up between exposed channels running the length of the boat than outraged by his comrade.
     Terrified lest they go under.
     To perish there among the crabs and anemone sewn across the dark seabed.

siblingshot on the bleachers

'cause sometimes half-assed

is better than nothin' at all...

Thursday, December 21, 2017

new year's spoiler | 2nd coming, or the return of a spectacular non-event

the chimney ruse is just a con

While there may be scant few who remember, and less still who give a f@ck, it does not escape me entirely that nearly a decade has rushed by since I broke my promise to defile the bleachers with a bespoke reading or two.
     Well. The ego has shrivelled, the eagle never did land, but the idea which first began percolating down through the topsoil all those years ago to where exhibitionism lies buried continues to fester like human papilloma virus nursing a grudge deep below the skin.
     The monkey may be rusty, his performance wavering, but feed it a couple of tabs of Viagra and the organ still grinds.
     And so. This year coming, plans are afoot to resolve the unconscionable and break out the mic. The logistics remain hazy. The physics untested. But rest assured, the programme is scheduled. There will be a gnashing of teeth. Amen.

spek weh

"weh put the wee in weegie."

"thrill to the glottal stop!"

Monday, December 18, 2017

festive fun on the bleachers!

hey siblings!

fancy a little festive fun on and off the bleachers ?

Simply print off as many labels here on the bleachers as ink allows and cut them to size. Watch those fingers, now... Then, using one of mom's discarded needles - clean zone this season ? A visit to grandpa's may be required - carefully prick
a small hole in the centre of each circle and string together. Voila! Your very own XXX-mas decoration! Go on! Fill your friends with envy!! Happy holidays!!!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

66° 32' 35" north in keds

one of these days i'm 
gonna get organized

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

a christmas carol

“Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.” - charles bukowski

I squeezed the trigger and watched the fat cunt take two slugs squarely in the face. All because I did not want to get too close. His card was already marked. Terror. Not so much a stone as a sack of delinquent imps writhing about his throat. Wretched. Jockeying.
     Contagious as an curse.
     The first round, more fortuitously than by design, struck him between the eyes.
    The second hit him just above his right cheekbone, depositing on the wall behind him an inverted triangle of scalp the approximate shape of Barbados.
      It was the closest the cunt had come to a holiday since 1992.
      I felt all warm inside just like Santa Claus.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

and the privileged will eat themselves

“Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I'm not going to make it, but you laugh inside... remembering all the times you've felt that way.” - c. bukowski

Rain threatened. An ugly purple glowering. I was listening again to some Charles - Bukowski not Ray - while my ex-wife dressed the truculent seven-year-old between coffees. '90 Minutes in Hell', via Nothin' in Sacramento. 

     Three short damaged pieces. I did not get so far as 'May Make Paris Yet' before the doorbell chimed.
     The visitors are slick customers. Bearers of gifts. Their sleight of hand when trick or treating is easier overlooked.
     Things are seldom what they seem.
     The outcome is often a far cry from small change cultivated.
     "...red on the outside with blackened channels, charred tansgressions touching 1mm at the bone."
     Swine flu in the mouths of fish.
     The hand-written note on the back of a folded playing card unsettled me. 
     It conjured for me notions of plague. Bubonic transmissions. That "1 mm", though, seemed altogether too modern. Anatomically precise. 
     The metric overture to an excision. 
     Last night I had a dream. The Chinese had invaded. Or maybe the incursion came from dead space. Pregnant realms deep under. Whatever. 
     Twenty-three to thirty of us were detained by day in a 're-education centre'. Permitted home under cover of darkness to complete an assignment. The Chinese were coolly efficient. Suave and clinical in their Jimmy Chu suits. Papier mâché Mao Tse-Tung masks.
     I had a crush on a female translator with obsidian eyes and a bull horn.
     She promised excellent head without once delivering on it. 
     I did not complete my homework. The deadline came and went. I stepped over tables where the privileged dined. Plunged down winding lanes.
     I walked hand in hand with the visitors.
     Slept fitfully on corners. 
     The very next morning I was outnumbered by a gathering of Caucasians slyly unveiling beautifully executed Cartouches celebrating occupation.
     They disembarked from a gaily painted bus.
     Jewelled porpoises rode the wings through an ocean of supernovae.
     Sperm whales the size of trawlers devoured entire galaxies like so much plankton.
     "You, who have done, have done well."
     The charming young woman behind the bull horn beamed.
     I fled for the bus stop with my bottle of Peptic Liquid wrapped in a paper sack. 
     Aniseed. The Peptic Liquid, not the sack. There is a world of difference between heartburn and underlying condition. When I was a young man, I suffered from heartburn a good deal of the time. 
     A little Milk of Magnesia always worked wonders. 
     I sat down to the desktop monitor as soon as I'd made coffee. Punched open a tab. Googled the line as I remembered it. 
     The computer is growing too sluggish to be smartly useful, the beach ball spins and idles. Like its operator, it may require therapy. Psychiatric intervention.
     The search yielded more than one result.
     "illustrate the taphonomic complexity involved in the formation of burnt fish .... transgression, supra-tidal berm building, ... fragments smaller than 1 mm in size. ..."
     "DNA from burnt bone in the early stages of burial. Nicholls. (2000) also considered bone mass as a ...... in the site at all levels, particularly in the 1 mm fraction'. ...... transgression (c.6000 BP). Thus, the archaeological record ..."
     "An Experimental Approach to Understanding Burnt Fish Bone"
     Well. I am no chef. I might occasionally dabble with sauces on the side, but my skills with a griddle are strictly third rate. Tuna. A breaded haddock clumsily tossed.
     I don't remember consulting any recipe. Folded between Mesozoic deposits.
     King Charles' 90 minutes - 12-14 of them, at least - has again given me pause for thought. The finances are not good. I am working up contingencies. Drumming up a sweat.
     The poetry waits on its implementing.
     The telephone rang.
     "Hello ? " a passive aggressive voice intoned. A woman's voice. Crisp. Smouldering. Shot through like a neon frog charred with cigarette burns. "We have your son here at the office. He does not look too good."
     "Well, " I said. "That's a matter of opinion."
     "No. No. He does not look good. Period. You will have to collect him."
      The older boy. His condition, apparently, critical.
      The irony, of course, is that Kerouac - up on bricks - was more often off, than on the road. Visions of Neal. Cody. The train hurtling past his bedroom window as he sat at a desk and fed white paper in and out.
     It was the rhythm which appealed to me, I think. The music of it. Before Eliot. Plath. Camus. Joyce. Stone. Trocchi. Ezra pounding.
     An unabashed exuberance. Sharp creases duly crumpling. Exploding into fragments.
     "Listen," I said. "You'll have to wait. I have bigger fish to fry."
     Well. You are familiar enough with dipping those little squares of paper. The litmus test. Coming up red. Indigo. Occasionally a neutral yellow green. 
     The rainbow in a bruise.
     It's all the forensics I know. 
     Maybe a Pablo could make sense of it all.
     And my older son ? Thank you for asking, he's doing quite well. A lukewarm glass of milk was all it took. 
     A pavement cafe.
     A couple of weeks in Portugal.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


Family Visits


"I'll tell you what i generally do
- and this is kinda crazy -

well, we go round and visit a lot;
we go to people's houses..."
do what thou wilt.
illustration by ib.

Monday, December 4, 2017


He walked down the street and took a bus to the airport.
     No box of lights.
     The sun through the slatted fence blinked at him like a strobe. It made him sick to the pit of his stomach.
     The road once he got on it was uneventful.
     There was nothing to save him painted on the bricks sliding past.
     He got there and did not think to check in. He held no passport anyway.
     He went straight to the cafeteria.
     Watched the planes roll in only to take off again two or three cups of coffee later. No broken wings or supports in splints.
      It cost him twenty pence just to urinate against a wall.
      He got the bus home and disembarked with a sixty a day habit.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

twin decastich for hauf blind fucks on a glesga sofa

fat cunt

The fat cunt upstairs is limping again
through the early hours
a three-legged elephant locked in a trunk
psalms from Postman Pat
recited at the top of scorched lungs
he would go over the balcony as at the Somme
so entrenched is he in his night of the soul
and his doctor has spared him antidepressants
a sick note rubber stamped
on the flat screen rattling like an MG 08

butcher’s girl

I am hankering after your calves
a butcher hamstrung at the foot of his larder
the indecent swell above the ankle of one laced boot
those dimples sleeping behind each knee
I am smitten by the timing of your tide
that erratic flow inside the seam of your tights
girl’s shorts
I am gladly bludgeoned
a servant to your footsteps on the stair
a harvester of unspoiled fats, meat, marrow

Sunday, September 24, 2017

well well well

A torrent. A cloud burst. 
Cats. Dogs. Now and then, spit. 

An oily smear across the t.
A single droplet dotting the i.

The passage of water eats words
the stutter of consonants
a paragraph that can not swim

A voiding of the vowels.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

diplomant 2.0

"Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first, it is ridiculed. In the second, it is opposed. In the third, it is regarded as self evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer
All flight paths to perdition converged on P'Yongyang. A ridiculous haircut.
     He sat snuffling Cointreau like a spoiled little bitch. All that was missing was mink, a shard of ice off the shoulder.
     He sat trailing a long shadow.
     It spilled off the stool and onto the floor. Climbed up the washing machine and ate into exposed brick.
     An inky aspidistra itching to shed leaves.
     The decor was frigid. Magnolia. Baked tile. A tea-towel hanging next to the porthole window. A map of San Francisco in the shape of a heart. Pier 39; Fisherman's Warf. Bleeding out toward the Golden Gate Bridge.
     It was a night for arseholes.
     Buses in the rain.
     He got down off the stool and threw open the door. Fell twice, while cueing up George Jones.
     The cigarette glow mashed across his face.
     Aside from ghosts, he spent Halloween happy hours holed up alone. His left elbow practically in the kitchen sink. Flirting with anxieties.
     He could not wait to buy himself a dog. A Shih Tzu maybe. Teach it to squat in a sandbox in the corner like an infant spilling out its pants.
     The right hand a paddle as eager to chastise as reward.
     Like a bitten ring left in the ashtray, the tail of a dress shirt caught in the closet, he gave himself away. From here, under the ceiling light, he could glance back between the years to count close friends lost.
     He missed each more than he missed his mother, his wife, that was the still pulseless heart of it.
     His legacy was a tumour ducking into a taxi like an engraved folding blade.

Sunday, September 3, 2017


"you cannot shake hands with a clenched fist." - Indira Ghandi
Me and my dick have seen better times.
     I say this, in part, to rattle an acquaintance so anal grammatical treatises are practically dropping out of her arse.
     In the main, I mention it as a nod to fumbled moments better spent.
     That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger, some say. That which doesn't quite snuff out the candle has a propensity to simply maim instead. My pissy old dick is not so much a monument as an embarrassment: wrung out; battered; a stub of rubber cod after years of legally prescribed chemical abuse. The head all scarred and listing like a middle-aged spastic trailing a shopping cart full of kelp home after dark.
     A target for sticks of two by four. Crumbling bricks.
     Well. I refuse to tie it up in latex as a gift. Leaking pearls before swine.
     It limps on as we all do. Tiny wind-up soldiers marching in circles. Straight off the kitchen table and onto the linoleum.
     A runaway jihadi hoodwinked into modelling a suicide vest.
     We are all of us, at the end of the day, survivors of sorts.
     Rewind the tape. Spit it out. The morning anti-psychotic. The gastro-resistant gelatin capsules.
     Doctor Feelgood is in rehab and unable to answer the phone.
     My tumescent appetite trembles on the wire.

Friday, July 28, 2017


"...don't bite the hand that feeds you, it's said. I'll chew the f@cking digits off the first paw that rattles my cage." - ib

Outside in the quadrangles bees hustle atop the daisies.
     Jockey and drone. Inch and fart.
     Strung out. Buzzing.
     Pursuing the amber dust which underpins their shantytown.
     I sit nursing the hole in my tooth while the half shogun slam poet from Negril lays down his Mocha. Chases a crumb from the dreadlocks fizzing onto his lapel.
     His giggle tumbles out the nostril like a finely tuned summer sneeze.
     "Half past four is good," he trills.
     A master at racket ball, he squashes the opposition with a well timed glance to the midriff. He prides himself on his athletic bent.
      Less so, that priapic pilfering waist deep in the bowels of the lower third.
      It's a long way down from the twenty-second floor.
      The smile recedes abruptly and his eyes narrow as if surprised to find me there at all.
      He offers me a finger of shortbread.
      Berates the stricken of heart apropos of nothing and glances at his watch.
      "Hmph," he huffs.
      I look to the spaces lurking between bookshelves. Newspaper clippings. Marley's martyr. Despite ghosts past he is astonishingly far from advanced in years.
      The skin peeking out from under crumpled linen a youthful laundered suit.
      Up here in the ivory nest where the bumbling hover the reception is peculiarly rarefied.
      I vow to flee before he smashes my ball down centre court. But not before I deliver up a map. Surrender it entirely. His head is still dizzy with hurricanes. That perfume etched in the seam of Irene's raw silk knickers.
      Some fool's nectar.
      It's why I read so little, these days. The fear of synchrony.
      Religious intolerance.
      Road rage. 
      Pygmy villagers brandishing torches to light the failing thread from one paragraph to the next.
      "Ah well," he concludes. "I can't promise anything, but let me wish you all the best."
      He reaches across the desk to clasp my hand.
      The old magick.
      Invitations. Ropes which maim and cripple.
      And, lodged in the corner of his eye like an aristocrat in exile, something which resembles disdain.

Friday, April 7, 2017

eat poop

Eat poop! the mimeograph chants. Each letter rippling on the t-shirt's bib where he drops down in his armchair.
     A sackful of rubble upended from the rafters.
     The years, as they are wont to chime, have not been kind.
     Springs eaten at by various body fluids protest and expire. Explode. Cockles and whelks sewn beneath the waterline disintegrating in clouds where fishwives dance in lead clogs.
     Pablo Dillinger, errant choirboy, sibling to that medieval guild, is never hasty. Too rotund by far, a portly disciple, he is slow to respond to flattery or jibe. "Later" is his mantra. A Vedic hymn fallen on deaf ears mostly.
     A sullen mediator. A sulky correspondent.
     A Prussian brat.
     News comes to him that some words or other have been published in Sacramento, of all places. News falls unheralded out a trove shipped across the seas, greedily received, plugged through all the same by this dreadful pause he is powerless to commute.
     Red and black. Well, more of an orange. Dusted with ochre.
     It reminds him of the thirties.
     Bertolt deconstructed in the wings.
     Bottle caps studding the stage where the have fallen on the comet tail of Kristallnacht.
     Even as the first air strikes detonate benignly, the scaffolding has come down. Labourers have fled. Joiners, painters. Bakers of bread.
     Pablo carefully unfolds a yellow slip. Until it occupies the space served up on a napkin.
     8½ x 14, halved.
     No staples. 
     He hoovers up the ballpoint.
     The brotherhood has been busy.
     Fuck, yeah.
     It tickles him immensely to learn that the word is right now in the process of being dispersed, undiluted, to see his initials in print, to think of entire paragraphs dribbling into corner culvert incontinent, or spirited away half torn under the windshield wiper of a runaway blue and silver civic bus.
     Fuck the Ministry.
     The primary content is thus. A 9mm parabellum handgun, fully oiled and loaded, manufactured in 1969, parcelled in a tricolour of vests. A panther on a leash.
     If we are not yet despondent we are disconsolate, nonetheless.
     No fleas on Ahab. 
     He already has paid six years in advance while on remand waiting.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


A watchful neighbour might attest,
he is not one to shout
A watchful neighbour might
be hard of hearing

The whisper when it comes
bubbles on the lips, dribbles off the vest
before it has a chance to form,
evolve into a


A maroon snail backfiring
at the traffic stop
A splash
A mollusc sewn with the bends
An atheist grown secular
as a dung beetle at a donkey convention
An ass courting elephant ears

The shout that is stifled at the straw poll,
the bellow that rattles around the waterhole

The roar that is the exquisite fruit
of assembly lines given over to rust
between 3 and 4 AM.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

once again for emphasis | the only book you'll never need

"I was hungry for words, the anarchist typography of dub..." - ib
The first paragraph had no legs. It fell out my mouth sideways on a stutter, a wad of phlegm gathering in the crotch of a paraplegic with a tic.
     The black dog was busy licking its balls. Under my bed. The sofa. I got up and kicked it two thirds unconscious.
     A thin stream of snot issued from its snout.
     It was only about two inches tall, the cunt, a ball of wool with broken kirby grips for limbs. Much like the rest of us, it was destined for a bad end. I nudged it onto the fringe of the rug and coughed again for emphasis.
     "See you, you little shite," I snarled. The ghost of Hector Nicol eating up the consonants, my teeth not in yet, an old woman's shawl at the shoulders.
     A truck out front dropped its gate and with it several lengths of scaffolding.
     Someone howled. The scream of a child forced out of forty-year-old lungs. It looked like it might turn out to be a fine day after all.
      "Heh." I went.
      The clock winced where I left it wound up on its shelf. I ground the heel of my good foot on that soft part of the mutt. A tiny watermelon sprang a leak.
     The first paragraph of the morning is often wasted on the cheap seats. A premature ejaculation.
     If you have never lived in Paisley, you will not appreciate the irony.
     The middle class on its uppers, scribblers in Edinburgh in the main, do their best to disguise it as writer's block. One off the wrist.
     The small minded will often try to collect it in a handkerchief before disposing of it politely.
     Well. What they dismiss as wank we bottle as an aperitif.
     Where there is muck there is brass, and where there is brass there are monkeys smashing cymbals. Anarchy around the corner.
     I am nothing if not a kindly old soul. I like to think of myself as genteel in my dotage.
     If you are shrewd you might forgive my shortcomings.
     Just like Alan Ladd I need a box to step up on to reach a measure of myself. A splash of colour in those freckles diving between a sweetheart's breasts.
     The mutt stirred. Writhed.
     I shook one toe at it.
     Its head snuck back beneath its paw. Its hindquarters shivered. The tail, tragic, bruised - a choirboy wizard's busted wand - entirely gave up the ghost.
     Gingerly, I picked it up. Popped its backbone between two fingers.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

mickey's monkey

""Shoot," I said." - ib
I was hungry for words, the anarchist typography of dub, but my stomach had other ideas.
     I was waiting for one or other's finger to drop on the letters "h-e-a-v-E", but even those few I still held out for were visibly asleep on the mouse. On the run from the burden of correspondence.
     Heavy, heavy manners.
     One bone after another. Jawbones. Trombones. Hambones. Eventually connecting with the bird-cage nesting cerebellum.
     Left and right hemisphere, hindbrain.
     That lowest part of the brainstem responsible for the art of breathing; the ebb and flow of digestive juices.
     Heavy manners.
     Hangovers. Alcohol. Narcotics. The humming bewilderment of sinsemilla, without seed.
     The entire world seeming for one second to inhale and sit on it, the news not even wholly bad, it is as if our collective bent is on convalescence between one foul atrocity and the next.
     There is a war going on, it is not the war we were taught we were waging, we are out of cigarettes but not yet out of skins.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

See my baby jive

"...we lived on the same page. We shared a certain olfactory bent." - ib
The man hovering in the doorway resembled Henry Chinaski in a suit borrowed from the C.I.A.. An invisible pork pie hat.
     The rain spat into empty flowerpots on the balcony behind him.
     The boys bickered down the hall.
     I don't mean several rude acquaintances deep in a game of cards. I mean my boys. The five-year-old and the teenage delinquent Waffen-SS tank commander rumbling in their turret.
     The Chinaski character pretended not to hear.
     He held onto the demeanour of someone who sets store by tact. A civil servant, for instance, moonlighting for the Agency.
     In less than a month or so all residue of it would have evaporated. Leaving in its place a caustic observance of protocol merely, a standing on ritual chewed up, masticated, coaxed into a line delivered out the side of one's mouth.
     He held out a laminated badge. Pinned to the pocket under his jacket lapel.
     "Good morning, sir."
     Ipsos MORI, the blue and green square announced. G-Man.
     "Shoot," I said. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

the indiscrete art of ass puppetry

"A Stephen Hawking voice said Take it. Share it." - 15.08.2016 18:12
The lemur's keeper read my mail while I sat hatching a plan. Where we diverged geographically, we lived on the same page. We shared a certain olfactory bent. The lemur. Me. His keeper
     An obligation, an irascible itch. An able filcher's predilection for ass puppetry.


LUNAR LEMUR: OM LATTE from "The Indiscrete Art Of Ass Puppetry" Trinket Trance 2016

Saturday, August 20, 2016

silky arachnids | stickbots are go

"One by one, his audience, if that is what they amounted to... stole away." - ib 
The black dog was busy licking its balls. Under my bed. The sofa. I got up and kicked it two thirds unconscious.
     A thin stream of snot issued from its snout.
     A truck out front dropped its gate and with it several lengths of scaffolding.
     The driver hopped drunkly on one foot and howled. It looked like it might turn out to be a fine day after all.
      I snapped the waistband of my undershorts over the cold barrel of a snub nose .38. So the label read. If it still held just one in the chamber I might have emptied it into the mutt. As it happened I was loaded with the flu. A couple of Paracetamol ought to do that trick my night nurse refused to turn. The bitch would not put out.
      Even pumped full of steroids she could not fix a limp.
      The Russians were in no hurry to accept her defection. No one else got in line.
      Just like Alan Ladd she needed a box to step on to reach a measure of her shortcomings. Four feet eleven in socks and only a rose in black and white.
      A blush. Well. A suspicion of colour in those freckles diving between her breasts.
      The mutt stirred. I shook one toe at it.
      Its head snuck back beneath its paw. Its hindquarters shivered. The tail, tragic, debilitated - a boy wizard's splintered wand - entirely gave up the ghost.

Monday, August 15, 2016


"I have grown tired of confederacies I strive to sculpt by rote. I have grown secular as a dung beetle." - ib
After a long, sleepless night the sky was the sweetest of blues, candyfloss, dusted with sugar from a tuppenny wrap.
    An unused toilet roll stretched loosely about the heavens.
    While he waited for the kettle to boil he read several lines from a newly published anthology of poems. Penned by an old acquaintance.
    The imagery was crystalline. The thrust of it not remotely obfuscated as he had led himself to expect. A change of tack. He found himself reflecting on familiar patterns. Terrains. Cellular structures.
    He thought he recognised in it something of his own. A trick of the light.
    Though it was far from cold where he sat near the window, he slammed shut the jacket of the book as if escaping a draft, and moved his fingers to the buttons on his cardigan.
    His hands shook. A marionette's on a trembling wire. This acquaintance was old, but in years a virtual youth still. The issue of a younger island. A Caribbean jewel once the playground of tricorn hats.
     Hushed admonitions thundered overhead. Accordions wheezed. His feet jostled to move him to throw up in the kitchen sink.
     He went out to the veranda instead and sat with his morning coffee.
     He had long fallen out of love with burning flakes of tobacco, but the craving still arose from time to time like a fluttering in his throat.
     The woman was at her habitual spot in the window across the street. Her neighbour sat on the stoop just above the concrete stairs. One ear cocked. Listening to children squabbling on their way to school.
     He raised his cup and in the act of it broke wind. None too cacaphonous, but loud nonetheless.
     His fart had an elegant mellifluousness to it, he felt, trumpeting on the accent, faintly whistling as it tailed.
     Reverberating through close to break as waves against brick walls.
     The scribe was unbowed. He had committed many wrongs in his life, certainly, but always he resisted that old testament notion of original sin.
     One by one, his audience, if that is what they amounted to, calmly shuffled to their feet and stole away.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

zip gun method stuns riot police dunkin' donuts

Dearest vegan,

     Pit bulls and pinheads, bullfrogs and spiny fins,
     brothers and sisters.
     Well. Well. Fuck the punctuation. That bucket sunk in the ground. Fishing for tadpoles, where a more emphatic pause jostles to be received.   
     Rejoice. The abject demolition of the lung, the pin pulled on a nebulizer.
     Better just to dance after the bandages come off than raggedly recite a weather forecast in reverse.
     1976. #7. A dragon. The fire snake asleep at the hearth.
     The summer has not delivered. The promise of a mistrial. The master wind blows ill, a lot of hot air in the bullhorn.
     A Honda backfiring at the traffic stop.
     I have not taken up a cigarette in more than sixteen weeks. What is the point ? Better to give up finally than give in to last requests.
     We are smoked. The bacon fat curls the edges of a knocked off Qur'an. A prop. A counterfeit. 114 units of varying lengths, distressed like orphaned pigs' tails.
     I have not done much writing. I walked a good deal. Then I came down with a virus. A cold. Man flu, a nurse uncharitably quipped. They were all out of nuns. The best of them got eaten up by airstrikes. Dispensing alms to unbelievers, hogtied under hospital beds. 
     The faint rash of a sun tan came to nothing in the end.     
     I have grown tired of confederate effigies I strive to sculpt by rote. I have grown secular as a dung beetle.
     A schizophrenic tried to put me straight and failed to proscribe my meandering. My gums continue to bleed in the bathroom sink of a morning. The teeth themselves remain mostly intact.
     Aside from this, I am quite well, thank you.

Monday, March 28, 2016

doctor benway makes work for idle hands

"It was just that I felt out of step with prevailing weather patterns." - ib
I resolved to divest myself of corpse hair from head to toe. To more accurately calibrate the distance between bruise and wall, the Velcro bracelet of eczema and smooth plaster.
     I did not make the first phase of it, the shaving of the skull.
     I did not make it.
     There was no ritual cleansing of the body. There was no rolling away the stone.
     I stepped out the bath without treading water. I could not bare to hear the sudden rush of it.
     The razor lay where I placed it next to the soap, a pubic curl embedded in the amber translucent heart of it like a fossil or a negligent surgeon's stitch.
     Something happens between January and April. Resolutions wither on the vine, just as yellowed fats asphyxiate the vein, the artery, dislodged like the best of intentions.
     My quit date came and went. The cigarette glued to my lip, the ceramic perimeter of a inexpertly mended ashtray.
     How do you like my emotion tree ? she asked.
     It looks like it needs a Valium, doll.
     I never learned to keep my mouth shut. Even as I forgot to breathe.
     Through the narrowest of tunnels.
     I listened to the radio. The channel murmuring thick invective as I slumbered on the sofa in a rudely sewn together pile. Too sick in my bones to move beyond a twitch.
     A young woman in India had been doused in acid. A suicide bomber in burning dungarees had just detonated his vest in a children's playground in Pakistan.
     I chewed on curdled sours. Spat them back out like Robert Mugabe breaking bread with indigenous insurgent admirers. I fled to the window and watched two dogs squaring up to fight.
     A bitch in a Pomeranian furred parka. A witless terrier.
     The needle grazed fifty while my eyes were resting. My pelvis fell like it was floored.
     My mind had scrambled back in the trunk years earlier but it had a habit of sneaking out to write once in a while when no one was looking.
     There were twelve cunts gathered round the table.
     I pulled up a chair and made it a baker's dozen.
     No-one was going to invite us any time soon to sit down as a jury. You could tell from the errant tufts of hair, the furtive glances, the chewed on hangnails, that we were likely more accustomed to being molested in the dock.
     One of us sported an alarming contusion where practicing Sannyasi daub paint upon their brow.
     He was frigid and unflinching under polite interrogation. He gave no indication as to whether he was tripping out his socks or simply mad.
     He rolled the pen across the table when prompted a little too fast.
     He failed to pass his disability assessment.
     A voice rolled upright and wrestled for clarity.
     Sanders savages Clinton in Washington. Milwaukee pokes its tongue into the corner of green sedimentary blown glass. Garry Shandling dies. There is no encore, no part two.
     The surgeon knits one, purls one just like granny. The barber calmly snips.
     The fat man upstairs is depressed but has been prescribed no pills to alleviate his condition. They throw him out of hospital after just a fortnight.
     Those two weeks are nothing short of a holiday for all concerned.
     The fat man relishes the free dinners served at regular intervals. And, because the ward is all but unoccupied, he enjoys a monopoly on the flat screen television.
      How do I know this ? The fat man tells me so.
      I take in a young Jack Russell to see how far I would get walking the dog. I listen to Emerson, Lake & Palmer just to punish myself and find myself implausibly wanting more. The puppy pisses on my carpet. I do not warm to the neighbourly practice of wrestling its turds into plastic bags to dispose of them discreetly. It escapes and I labour after it in the dark, attempting to lure it away from the genitals of other dogs with rawhide chews purchased from the crappy lime lit corner shop.
     Stop me if you've fucking heard this one before.
     The circus tent is straining under all that political correctness. The global village has been commandeered by terrorists, geriatrics in a national lottery to sock the patsy in the jaw. The barbershops are overrun by skinheads. Merle Haggard is back in the saloon.
     Don't stop me now. I'm having such a good time, I'm having a ball.

Monday, March 14, 2016

president gas

"The point is, you can never be too greedy." - Donald John Trump

The needle grazed fifty while my eyes were resting. My pelvis felt like it was shattered.
     My mind had scrambled back in the trunk years earlier but it had a habit of sneaking out to write once in a while when no one was looking.
      It was not that I felt old. Or more beleaguered than the next inebriated wretch.
      It was just that I felt out of step with prevailing weather patterns.
      The world was fucked. The fat man padding restlessly back and forth upstairs until my brain felt like it might erupt out my nose in a Pharaoh's sneeze.
      America seemed hell bent on electing an imbecile to office, and while I never once fancied to venture far from my island home - to holiday in extremis - the mosques were piling up in rows while the beach huts winced and paddled out into the sea. Just to escape the crowds.
      The niqab had all but eclipsed the ubiquitous little black dress in all the smartest periodicals.
      Going postal was the fashion.
      Strapping on the explosives vest. Posing for Instagram with the pin between thumb and forefinger. YouTube.
      In our schools, the lockers bristled not with sticks of incense but clips and magazines.
      The ones getting stoned had been accused of adultery.
      The KKK shared column inches with the PKK. The ballots were not rigged, they were governed by market stalls peddling trumpery. Tiny hands fluttered like blades at work on a rabbit. Palming coins, shuffling cups.
      I took in a young Jack Russell to see how far I would get walking the dog. I listened to Emerson, Lake & Palmer just to punish myself and found myself implausibly wanting more. The puppy pissed on my carpet. I did not warm to the neighbourly practice of wrestling its turds into plastic bags to dispose of them discreetly. It escaped and I laboured after it in the dark, attempting to lure it away from the genitals of other dogs with rawhide chews purchased from the corner shop.
      It is not that the Donald is some kind of magician.
      The sleight of hand is pure deception.
      The circus tent is straining under all that political correctness. The global village has been commandeered by suicide bombers, geriatrics in a national lottery to sock the patsy in the jaw. The barbershops are overrun by skinheads. Merle Haggard is back in the saloon.
      They might as well share a joint and fuck each other in the ass on stage like people used to do back when Cassius Clay welched on Uncle Sam.
      Obama. Merkel.
      The baby boomers are having none of it.
      They are too close to retirement to countenance their Miami burning down like Aleppo. Beirut. Old Baghdad.
       The Jack Russell packed her bags after just three nights.
       Millie. She was a sweet little thing. Like Michael Jackson's pet rat.
       A week after she had gone I could not get the smell of shit out from under my nails. My balls. It followed me around like a migrant in cheap cologne.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

nurse with wound

"Selfishness is the unwillingness to give up your soul for the rehabilitation of your future." - Michael Bassey Johnson

There were twelve cunts gathered round the table.
     I pulled up a chair and made it a baker's dozen.
     No-one was going to invite us any time soon to sit down as a jury. You could tell from the errant tufts of hair, the furtive glances, the chewed on hangnails, that we were likely more accustomed to being molested in the dock.
     One of us sported an alarming contusion where practicing Sannyasi daub paint upon their brow.
     He was frigid and unflinching under polite interrogation. He gave no indication as to whether he was tripping out his socks or simply mad.
     He rolled the pen across the table when prompted a little too fast.
     There was a hint of agitation in his delivery. A touch of the disorderly.
     A pregnant woman in her forties did her best to pacify us with lure of charitable inclusion while fellating a Subway sandwich.
     "I'm Mabel," she said. Pausing to let this new enormity percolate on down. "Have any of you's done unpaid work before ?"
     A boy with acne raised his hand.
     "Ah did," he volunteered. "But then I got ill."
     "What happened ?"
     " Mania," he said. "I was diagnosed with mania."
     Mabel blinked. "Nae bother."
     Fair play to her. She was not about to let drop. Ball, breakfast or brat.
     She went on briskly to describe the proactive role voluntary work had to play as part of the recovery process. Most of us knew the script.
     It's a side effect of being subject to repeat examination. In court. Detention.
     The dugout at half-time.
     You eventually learn to give a little of what's expected.
     Mabel fed us from the line. Pointed at the spot.
     Two or three of the clever ones converted a free kick down the wing and finished with a well rehearsed set piece. Some dribbled inside the box. The more blatantly injured - the most cunning, maybe - never set foot off the bench.
     I wondered when Mabel got fucked last.
     More recently than me. It was not the reason I was here, but it was part of the conundrum.
     Over time the various medications turn a body flaccid. The tissues hang like an overcoat left out in the rain.
     It runs deeper than appearance.
     I glanced around the table. Most of us looked like we'd never been laid at all. You could almost smell the underlying arrest. The frustration. We resembled a bunch of deviants getting ready to rehearse a walk in the park.
     Even those of us with bread crumbs still in our beards had lost their hard-on for pretending to feed the ducks.
     And the women all nursed menopausal chiselings.
     We just did not tick the boxes.
     Initiation into the "Young Persons Befriending Services" quite frankly seemed absurd. Two tickets for a Sunday matinee. "Accidents & Disasters", while initially more promising, smacked of malingering. On closer inspection.
     "Do any of you's have a bus pass ?"
     Two or three woke up just long enough to delve unnecessarily in anorak pockets.
     It was not clear whether Mabel's experiment in largesse might prove prejudicial to our financial interests.
     Most of the vacancies offered no remuneration for travel expenses. Lunches.
     By the time Mabel signed off, interest in the accompanying PowerPoint presentation had waned to a degree where A&E nurses wheel out little square trolleys and doctors administer atrial fibrillation.
     "All right," sang one of our patrons. "All right." 
      There was an inevitable smattering of applause. All the red crosses had been laundered and folded away. Our facilitators all nursed wounds.
     "Next week is DVD week, so you're all invited to bring in something you feel might benefit the group."
     Thirteen pairs of eyes mildly blinked in unison. Crutches were palmed.
     The boy with acne lit up like Linda Blair on a crucifix.
     "La plume de ma tante," he rasped.
     His face a rosy stepped on welt. The quarter inch of tongue a turd smothered in Peri Peri sauce.
     "Well," one hausfrau standing near the door smiled. "That's not entirely appropriate.
     "Frozen? Have any of you's seen "Frozen" ? I kid you not, it's a fabulous film."
      A tiny shiver waltzed through us, erupting zits and spasms.
      She had recently had her hair done. It hung like sculpted ice cream scallops. Defrosting curl by curl.
     ""Frozen", it is, then. And don't forget to tell your chums."

Sunday, February 21, 2016

high plains drifter | in fear of the cloud

I am not good at networking. I am ambivalent as to the advantage of submitting to a higher rule of thumb.
     By higher, I mean the cloud. Tethered to terms and conditions.
     Some notional island autonomy closely monitored by government agencies. 
     This space on the bleachers is far from perfect. It sometimes lacks a discernible pulse.
     It is, nonetheless, where I lurk.
     Anyone too modest to expose themselves through commentary is perfectly at liberty to send me a private message.

Friday, February 19, 2016

grrravitational waves

"Everybody in the world eaten up by waves blames the [WASP] child for their ills." - ib

When the fat man upstairs starts to singing
where the ceiling bends lachrymose
hornets conspire to swell up his tongue
a confederacy of aculeates
gathered near to blindness sharpening
when the flatworm upstairs starts to singing

The fat man upstairs is depressed. Stricken by a hissing in his ear which entrenches itself all the more acutely when they take away his father. Deposit him in a care home.
     The fat man's dad has grown demented. The fat man can not cope. Merely the act of wiping an old man's arse so disgusts him it eventually drives him to small acts of cruelty.
     Still. Even so, a government cheque goes some way in mitigating the relentless erosion of living alone.
     The fat man upstairs is depressed but has been prescribed no pills to alleviate his condition. They throw him out of hospital after just a fortnight.
     Those two weeks are nothing short of a holiday for all concerned.
     The fat man relishes the free dinners served at regular intervals. And, because the ward is all but unoccupied, he enjoys a monopoly on the flat screen television.
      How do I know this ? The fat man tells me so.
      After the kitchen ceiling begins to let in water. Bulging alarmingly and spoiling those perishables laid out on the counter.
      Some bread. A little pile of chicken. An uncovered glass of Saturday night's wine.
      I drag myself upstairs and stab at the doorbell. He pins me to his doorstep with a mop. His shag pile carpets reek of damp. He has no money to call out a plumber.
      I say he is fat. I am less than charitable. While his jowls blow soft as a woman's shift on the communal green, he has lost a deal in weight. After they stopped his benefits. He is quite exact about those pounds shed. He almost died. On the street outside the butcher's.
      His physician barely recognises him.
      On and on he confides at length. He had spoken to no-one more garrulous than mental health professionals in weeks.
      I am not unsympathetic. It is just that his washing machine is in the throes of emptying its bowels. There is a blockage under his sink. It is his sister's fault. She is probably praying on her knees this minute as the flood unfolds. She is not one to visit. He can seldom reach her on the phone.
     Despite the bucket, the baby blue basin I leave downstairs to gather up the worst of the leak, I confess I vex impatient. Don't worry, he tells me, if it gets any worse it will cost me nothing to fetch out a plumber myself. After all. I am a tenant, right ? He expounds upon the privations of ownership, the power of attorney. They may have to tear down the ceiling to get at the pipes.
     Turquoise irises laced with amber piss swim in circles. Round and round like a floundering fish.
     I remember when the fat man snuck off to be observed quite fondly.
     He has this disturbing habit of rising between four and five in the morning. Every morning. The floorboards wince. The ceiling trembles. He adjusts the volume on his TV set to its ritual blare.
     The muezzin in his minaret.
     It is pointless trying to combat the assault by nesting a pillow over one's head. Escaping one room for another. The sound-proofing is not good. My neighbour makes it less than tolerable.
     After ten or twenty minutes the fat man begins to croon.
     My bladder forces me up off the sofa. The fat man chases me overhead and dives like a ferret into the u-bend. The sound of his pissing drowns mine out.
     The fat man is my doppelgänger. My fragile, disfigured, fleshy twin.
     He is the last stop on the subway. That failing Goering shadow in pastel cardigan and gaberdine pants.
     If I am not careful, we might knit at the hip like two black holes colliding. On the landing between the stairs where neuroses come unstitched. Like Howard Hughes I scarify myself at the spectre of contagion.
     The fat man is a cul-de-sac in surgical procedure. A botched operation.
     The worm-ridden step on the evolutionary ladder.
     He stays up late into the night on the anniversary of his mother's death. He toasts the curtains where they shiver, wipes the mildew from one eye. Far from impervious to the vagaries of do-it-yourself, he makes tiny coffins out of date boxes. Where Mr. Kipling ices individual cakes.
     Where are the swimming pools ? scream disgruntled migrants. Had you not invited us, we would not have come. The colours run unevenly in all this rain. The edelweiss has dropsy. You promised us so much more than this. Where are the balustrades ? The window boxes ? The errant fatwa tumbling off the beard of a goat dressed out for Eid ul-Adha.