Sunday, December 21, 2014


the yule on the hill

For those who still frequent the bleachers, however sporadically, you may have noticed there has been a cull on dead links. Moreover, siblings & reprobates has seen a scythe run through it in a bid to weed out those sites which have not been updated in more than one year. 

Fonts sadly run dry.

Given my own very prolonged absence, this was an exercise I was somewhat reluctant to undertake; as I remarked elsewhere, I find it depressing that so many fellow siblings seem to have tired or simply bowed out. The motherfucker - and I quote Beer here - is in the passing. Should you happen to fall into said category, the world is a mildly duller place, I think, without your continued commitment. You know who I mean.

If I have been a tad too gung ho - and let me confess that I annihilated a host of distant relatives without a second thought - please accept my apologies. If I have inadvertently deleted any site which remains active, let me know by way of comment or email and I will gladly reinstate it.

A proportion of sites which have fallen silent, I suspect, may have found more vocal presence on Facebook or Twitter. Well. Since I participate on the former only rarely, the latter not at all, chances are your footprints there have gone undetected.

But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”
John 11: 39 

And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth.
John 11: 44

Get up. Get on the good foot. Unwrap it, wind it up and watch it go.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

the nursery

The little classroom smelled of energy. Fizz. It was not a smell, I don't believe, immediately familiar to those adult bodies squeezed into chairs several sizes too small. It was not a smell of skin. Finger paint. Cleaning products. Its totality was greater than its parts.

The children came in in pairs. Loosely joined at the wrists.

The murmuring unsettled them just a tiny bit. The raw skirts on the Christmas tree they had helped decorate. The fluorescent strip lights striking baubles; the cotton wool on the walls.

Rudolph's shiny nose.

My son was one of the last to be seated. One fist fluttering up in salute. I waved back.

Hey. Milo. 

The handbell sounded. The children gasped. Santa Claus approached with his sack full of gifts.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

there is no higher power

I went to a place lit nicely for recovering nuts.

They played ping-pong. Some of them frequented an arts lab where one might safely throw paint.

When not flailing over a table or weaving baskets signed off by Jackson Pollock at the corners, a good proportion of souls in transit chose to exorcise demons. In one rehab or another. The place, it seemed, had been hijacked by the twelve step program.

It was a haven for the stumbling. An ark of sorts.

Before rehab kicked off, they passed out bowls of soup to the assembled.

It was not for me, the rabid confessional. I sweated in my socks, hankering after an aperitif. Forewent the pea and ham for a cigarette, finally. Loitering at the wall-mounted ash cans out front with a few of the wary.

Jesus, one said. I'm not ready for this. It's too fucking full-on for my taste.
Amen. Said another.

I smoked my cigarette and said nothing at all. We had not been properly introduced, and I did not feel like making pleasantries. I had just had my head shorn. Every time I caught sight of my reflection in one glass pane or parked car I was greeted not by a penitent but the ghost of Hermann Göering. A nazi runaway on subpoenea.

Rehab's about to begin, boys. If you're interested.

The voice was kindly enough. I had seen the fellow collecting names at the door. Steering the malnourished here and there with a steely kind of reserve.

He had trouble keeping his dentures in place. We had something in common.

My legs wanted to move of their own volition in a similar way. To fashion an escape. Of course, I was not so rude as to begin to run. Not quite yet.

I had left my jacket to steam over a chair back there. A skin jumped out of.

I might as well have been standing up in my pyjamas. Drizzling in the rain.

I stubbed out my butt and went back inside to trade banalities with my escort, who, trapped in a phone call to the office, seemed blessedly remote. I smiled. Secretly glad. Withholding any evidence which might prove incriminating.

I did not make rehab. Nor have I been back since.

CODEINE: LOSS LEADER from "The White Birch" Sub Pop (SP166B) (US) 1994