Friday, November 27, 2015

i sit on my hands

"Pablo had nothing to say on the matter. Nothing of eloquence." - ib
FAUST: ICH SITZE IMMER NOCH from "jUSt" CD Bureau B (bb182) (DE) 2014

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

je suis charlie | infidel

"She stood behind them at the kerb. Hectoring. Bullish, in her taupe anorak." - ib
There was a crater where the news stand once dispensed, a doctor at large, Charlie. Analgesics. Twists of caffeine percolating through the tables, chairs, pavements loitering inches above the cobbles.
     Every time a vest went off it took the wind out one's sails. Just a little bit.
     The baby carriage detonated at the intersection between two avenues. Its canopy shredded like a purple flower where the blast ventured up.
     A wall pocked with holes.
     Pablo had nothing to say on the matter. Nothing of eloquence.
     The lunatics jeered through bullhorns. Mobile devices. Closer than one cared to think.
     It was a little piece of Vietnam, at least, carved and served with all the trimmings. Chickens smuggled home in knapsacks. Ugly orange feet bound and drumming.
     The Americans fought among themselves to ship back home their tired, huddled masses. The Turks grumbled. The British agonised and procrastinated in their peculiar Shakespearean way, like Hamlet sucking on a good cigar.
     The world is fucked, a monk complained, scarcely a heretic, and few consented to riot.
     Pablo walked Seul and Stein for the last time. Black muscle straining at the collar, hocks at heel.
     Together they paced the perimeter of the quarry, sniffing the air for intruders. Rumbling in their throats on the scent of fleece and hoof. Steaming vents. Football scarves of a less than rosy colour.
     Pagans, the three of them. Crusaders in the strictly catholic sense.
     Waging war not on dissenting hoards, but wards of the mentally diseased.
     A caliphate of midget tyrants.
     Seul uncovered something half buried in the dirt. What first appeared to be the handle on a broken vase or jug turns out to be something stripped of meat. Her tail wagged wickedly as her jaws worked at it. Yellow teeth scrabbling.
     "Nya!" Pablo admonished, but he did not have it in him to scold her.
     Stein regarded her enviously out the corner of one old eye, but knew better than to get too close. The shard of limb was not for sharing.
     December is a harsh month for unbelievers. Wise men mingle with fools. The firstborn is cruelly exposed, hair-lip turned against the fold.
     Pablo flirted in mirrors as he walked on down the hall. Stopped at the door to take a piss. In spite of the constant scribbling he had grown fat. Palsied. The century had grown old prematurely. Its children leery. Devoid of charm. There was no caution in his eyes.
     I am Charlie. Infidel. Paunch without a stick.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


"It clung to the silks. A smell of mothballs from the coffin, a crack pipe in an unventilated lift." - ib
Pablo Dillinger was not one to open his mouth much in public. Even when soused.
     It was not so much that hawks and doves continually vied for dominion, that was given - one swooping after the other to nail it at the expense of meaning, fluency - it was more the fear of dentures slipping which prohibited him from flirting with the staff.
     The perforated ulcer in the join between lip and jaw which made him wince.
     The discomfit of always physically gravitating in disparate directions which made him feel he were coming apart at the seams.
     "Thank you," he said. Carefully.
     Watching bubbles rise and burst in token effervescence.
     "You're welcome."
     He swallowed it on down in less time than it took to smoke a cigarette. Sniffed at the two or three busy vaping along the length of the bar. He had tried it. Like a graft on a ravaged limb, it refused to take.
     "Peekaboo." He went.
     Feeling the teeth shift incrementally. Chewing over the burlesque bump and grind of the waitress's hips as she wove between the optics. Antonin Artaud's dead sibling in the mirror above the gantry.
     He remembered leaning out the window smoking on an autumn day. The rain coming down in fits and starts. Deep puddles in the potholes between parked cars. The brothers shaking hands with those departing mass. Sheltering under umbrellas while their priest tilted his head and took it on the chin.
     A man stepped between two vehicles pushing a child in a buggy. He looked to be in his early thirties. He lowered his head not so much to escape the drizzle as his wife. She stood behind them at the kerb. Hectoring. Bullish, in her taupe anorak.
     Pablo smiled and pulled on his cigarette. Turned the dial on the transistor radio resting on the ledge. Diluting the sound of her under a sheet of all hallows staves.
     The man turned to say something and his teeth slipped, the full set, emerging from his mouth before he could raise one hand to stop them. Falling in the road. Lurching sideways like a crab with amputated limbs on impact.
      The infant wailed. Pablo laughed.
      The man stooped down to collect up his dentures and jammed them straight back in his face.

Friday, November 6, 2015


Their guru passed among them a shallow plate
on it arranged some raisins.
He invited the shyest to partake of them.

She dropped hers on the floor
rose clumsily to her feet and collected them up.

The guru, a psychiatrist seemingly,
rang a handsome Tibetan temple bell three times
so they wiped the sleep from their eyes
rolled up their mats and stretched their limbs, smiling.

She stumbled and caught the bell with her toe
kicking it under the chair in the corner to lie there
/ broken.

party pooper

"Water flowed into it. Out of it. It was a place where The Young Team sent off their dead." - ib
Just when the old honest fruit remembered its roots, he was reminded he no longer had any confidence in it. 
     He despised the floral scent which could not quite be expurgated. It clung to the furniture, the silks. A smell of mothballs from the coffin, or a crack pipe in an unventilated lift.
     He could see the divorce coming.
     Sometimes, when he had fallen asleep on a train, for instance, the oncoming weight of it would jolt him awake. His eyes would snap open. His tongue fall out of his mouth.
     His hands automatically climbing to the inside pocket where he kept his cigarettes.
     Even though it had been years since one might smoke in the open without inviting penalty.
     In  hindsight, he supposed he was always aware of its inevitability.
     It was something which lurked somewhere in the near future like an accident which could not be undone. It was the unavoidable consequence of an irascible union, the firstborn coiled in utero, a tiny thumb wedged belligerently in the corner of its cheek.
     Where envelopes were stamped and invitations mailed, it might have been more prudent to remind their small circle of friends of incumbent alliance.
     The trenches were already dug. Snipers deployed.
     To that end, he felt outnumbered from the first.
     All through summer he could not bear to be close to the wetlands. Its fecundity.
     He traveled by day through the stifling heat of public transport just to escape into the concrete cool of the terminus at dusk. Meandering corridors where gusts pulled and nudged and theremins vacillated at three in the morning.
     He drank ginger spiked with ice flakes from a thermos at noon. Traded it for coffee when it grew dark. Brown tea laced with whiskey.
     Only when he was properly laid to rest, goaded in a welter of feral cats loitering between sleepers, did he feel capable of risking resurrection.
    That was the nub of it. Never in the most lucid delirium or temper did he presume to be reborn a Nationalist. Not so thick in middle age.   

Sunday, November 1, 2015

smyrna 2:8–11.2

" the end that vacuous Halloween lantern grin of the junkie. Chiseled in sinew and bone." - ib

Jody the Hat and Pablo Dillinger were just miles into the stretch formerly known as The West Highland Way when they made contact with The Young Team.
     Pablo Dillinger squatted in the road. His guts an oily river.
     Under the brim of a Fedora, the Hat's ears howled.
     The Honda buzzed. Fizzed. A lion of Judah painted on one side of the petrol tank. A blue and white saltire on the other.
     On it perched a boy, a skelf, in oversized headphones. A tumble of filaments. Puffer fish. The ancestral shock of auburn hair partially tamed by the connecting rod of plastic carved into his skull.
     At a distance he resembled a tiny gladiator preparing to cut a rug with Auntie, bring the roof down on the spoiled, but the sounds bleeding over the whine of the engine were pure CT.
     Government approved silt.
     The bike was almost certainly borrowed from the Brotherhood. The dusted.
     Behind them the ground fell away abruptly. Plunging by twisting degree into a hollowed out channel littered with empty bottles. Buckfast. Mad Dog 20-20.
     The Devil's Pulpit.
     Water flowed into it. Out of it. It was a place where The Young Team sent off their dead.
     The boy opened the throttle some more. Balancing the weight of the frame on the heel of one boot.
     Aside from the headphones, the boots, he wore nothing but shorts.
     In another locality, a different time zone, Jody the Hat and Pablo Dillinger might have reached out to him with sticks of gum.
     His mouth a sea anemone blistering in sun bitten pool.
     "Trubba," said Dillinger.
     "Fuck," spat the Hat. Dropping one hand to the Tascam dangling on its strap.
     Like a child soldier caught square in the eye of the lens, the boy exuded a toxic photogenic charm. Pablo Dillinger raised his camera and composed himself for the shot. Clenching both buttocks while continuing to squirt.
     Where correspondents chase awards across a double page spread, Pablo Dillinger was nothing if not diligent.
     Overtaken by a weakness to bludgeon the house senseless with a royal flush of dubs, the bleachers echo with the whisper of melodica.
     The Hat let him have it with a full stream of FLAC. Asbo. Straight between the eyes.
     The boy pitched over. A sheep with the staggers on a barbed wire fence. Sprawled in a tangle of spoke. Engine noise. Rust. The headphones unstuck. The china pelvis dislocated.
     A stream of urine sizzling on the cylinder block.
     Pablo Dillinger leaped to his feet and fastened his pants.
     "You got him," he said.
     The Hat's tiny mouth said nothing. Shut the fuck up, the tilt of felt brim advised.
     He and Pablo covered the ground by inches to where the body sat half upright. Tugged at by ghosts. Those invalid brothers and sisters buoyed by elegy.
     The sky to the south rolled with smoke.
     The Hat seized the boy by the hair and dragged him back on the seat to expose the tattoos on his chest. Young Team Pygmy Death Squad. We have Come For Your Children.
     He looked to be about twelve-years-old. In truth, he was closer to forty.
     Under the blue tattoos, the skin clung like varicose porcelain to rib and joint. Tented over the distended belly where the navel bulged. An eye engraved in cataract.
     A rash of old and fresh tracks wove a dark bloom on both arms. The thread of brown matter issuing from the ear indicated long term abuse.
     Cock in Pocket. A pitchforked nut. A big fat man pushing a little pram.
     The Hat and Pablo Dillinger rolled a joint and shared it.
     Plucking a filtered cigarette plugged like a bullet into the leather belt slung around its waist. First generation Ministry. Shredding it. Pilfering a pinch of tobacco.
     Disposing of the body in those tall weeds at the side of the road with no concession to ritual magic.
     They lit up the Tascam, too, and listened to some Tubby. Worked out those kinks that result from being on the farm too long. They were being watched. Ears older than their's were tuned to the dub.
     Jody the Hat checked his batteries. Exhaled into the encroaching darkness.
     By 1AM the sirens falter. The hammers to the south bed down to a pulse. Pablo never sleeps. Not soundly. The quiet he inhabits is the space between sinew and socket. The dials twitch. The tape rolls. Spooling behind eyelids, the fluttering of moths. East of the Nile. A mile upstream. The engineering nowhere so critical as the end result: chin to midriff, thickening to a river. What started out as an anonymous pouring, a splash from a carafe, a water bearer.