waking from dreams of movie close-ups in side lit bar smoke i list body parts automatically hips lips nips etc like a surgeon preparing an organic build or dr frankenstein doing inventory before he lost his mind and my belly rumbles and turns itself over like a brewing volcano or a sewer after a summer downpour
i wonder what bothers it - what weird night of antirest grows such appetite ? i open the curtains and soft dust dances out there everyone is doing whatever they do under the morning sun
BLOOD MERIDIAN keen to follow the kid / strong rootless drifting / big country beautifully realised / but the kid disappears in a rockfall of nameless characters / then i liked it again - the country is a powerful character / then i was bored for ages / then the kid is back ! gets a weird earless friend / then i'm bored again for ages / towards the end i like it again because i'm near the end but what the hell is happening ? sense of missing the point / being taken for a clever ride / the judge is a classic character creation tho / i picture an epic film looking good on paper but a controversial five hour cut / top heavy / ambitious and NOT bad but wheres the SOUL ? style and content battle for clever points and the reader is left in the cold . . . whereas SERENADE is just plain pure poetry set literally to music
dusty prison yard / gutters thick with clay from rain / football game marked out by torn red flags and boots dragged in the dirt i move my sleeping bag and army stamped blankets away from the young mother / hungry for isolation / and from my new found half-brother / when ever i see him i say WHO'S YOUR DAD ? half-brother - he's ugly / he's a flake / a looser me and john locke got an escape plan / looping inner tubes in secret around the wooden walls guards in the adobe hut in the south corner watching the game / the game is loud / the air wet with old rain / dust drying and rising / mens yells theres a hiss like snakes / like a truck tire burst on a dirt road rock puncture i mend it best i can / the tubes are mixed with underpants and split rubber hose strung out in split strings like kids cheese
i use george harrisons guitar / twist it all back secure and inflated with the fretboard / george sees me from the goal line / stays quiet / realises its for the good of all i move my sleeping bag and blankets back to the young mother and dim half-brother / full of regret and i apologise in tears
she cries too / he is sleeping / lazy / my narrow space next to the old pram still vacant john locke looks on in scorn / beard grown bushy like a mountain man / uses mind tricks to make thethree year old tap dance angrily on my chest / a warning . . . i wake / a hungry cat is gently sliding big claws down my cheeks purring like he'll burst
strange how exhausted a man can be with mind-fog a north wall of dense smudged graffiti and still
all at once can plan evenings of seaside-dinner and cafe-words he might miss and still can suddenly plot crime novels bent on the work toilet he may never write and still can work his heavy limbs for folding money thru the murky muddy troughs of awful 10 AM and still can jot and scribble nascent poems quickly down between dark bitter coffees and spacious abyss moments that reduce All Things from rocky mass to mere paper concept with still the big world-drama banging like jungle telegraph out the radio headlines and dim-opinion gossip mouths that fill full every long slow blink of tiny interrupted peace
the glass is half full when youre half way thru filling it with deep red wolfblass or golden gin like i used to do (tho now its all filtered water and dark bitter teas) and the glass is half empty when youre half way thru drinking it like on a monday night draining warm cider and cheap scotch like i used to do (tho now its all filtered water and dark bitter teas) or am i taking it too literally again ?
that no sparrow compares itself to an eagle this is accepted therapeutic wisdom to enable us to find peace but might not that sparrow compare itself to another sparrow whos younger healthier plumper and sings louder from a higher branch ? or do i miss the point again ?
buzz sided petrified hair with piled tops of sculpted ice cream or yellow cartoon surf waves over baby young white faces somehow startled at what theyve done and all their trousers - pale stretch denim or thin grey jogging fleece are all snug carrot shapes with loose hanging heavy nappy crotches make their torsos long and weak and their legs dwarf stumpy and their feet wear flat fabric things their grandfathers would stroll in brand-new on UK beach holidays or stand in self consciously on Norfolk boat decks lost now they already got a paper in some strange lollipop shop and in bold pattern t shirts with tight crew necks and primary colour baby pockets and rolled cap sleeves showing weak childs arms and pastel feminine cardigans or knitted hoodies washed out and flimsy under englands lame grey and slung awkward and empty-light are small bags of Burberry or Nike that hold iphones in rubber coats and Super-dry velcro wallets no knowledge of the decade they emulate no high concepts or cocaine breakfasts no brown and beige seventies OD for context of the colour explosion and juxtaposition and primary jazz shapes
new-starter clutches beige copybooks, bounces up the top-deck heading to home
cooking, week one under his new George belt.
falls into seat behind like loose lumber, tie short with wide slack knot and strokes
his soul patch, bops a plastic bottle on a silver rail. Backwash swims around in the neck like low
autumn falls to the floor in amber flakes.
A Knife Awareness sticker peels away on the window.
up!’ He bottle-bops kid's bonce.
surprised kid fumbles his fringe back into sleek shapes, lamps innocent.
that sticker? Knives? You heard about Darren Grey?’ Sixth-former says.
on a lunchbag?’
was a unit; got a cautionary tale. About knives.’
shakes and starts out into slow traffic.
careful what you wish for; message straight off! Darren Grey had epic bad skin, didn’t look
anyone in the eye, hunched inside his fleece collar ALL the time. Even summer.
No catalogue-shopper though. More
spot than skin! Clique of wannabe Barbie’s,
mumblers, planned their boyfriends to jump him, bunch of Johnny No-Stars would
have done it; burst the lot but I got Heather, right swamp-donkey, to Skype’n
me on me ma’s ipad, told her it was a bad idea.
Stepped up for him.’
turned round, kneeling up, facing backwards.
Bus babble a background blur to him.
one hardly took the piss neither. Never
seen the blue goldfish even. Untouchable! Skin DESTROYING him. Always alone.
Collar up eyes down.’ Sixth-former
is rumbling between redbrick towns and farmer’s fallow fields.
in geometric shapes! Like alien language! Tried to hide behind his fringe. Hair was TOO fly-away. MESSIER somehow. Frozen in class KNOWING everyone stares - no
EMPATHY; FASCINATED! Nose ALWAYS shiny taut
red. Getting it, Youngblood?’
kid. Suffering.’ New-starter squeaks.
bus shakes into a high street. Nail bars
and takeaways. Second floors feature faded
ads. New flats got sale signs stood
to sit where you are. At the front where
no one could see his face.’ Sixth-former
glances at the garish burnt orange bench.
him in the bogs dodging woodwork gurning in the mirror. I was touching cloth! He’s doing some catalogue pose, fingers
covering up the worst of it. Seeing how
he COULD look. Saw me and said I’M DOING
SOMETHING ABOUT THIS.’
Monday not in. Tuesday, his skin was
bus stops opposite the station. Coats and
scarves scramble thru dragging double doors. Then it dips into traffic, heavy with the day.
Nike backpack. All zips and pockets. NEVER took it off! NEVER OPENED IT! NEVER TOOK ANYTHING OUT! Got arrogant too, bogging everyone in the
corridor. Rumours of a knife.’ Sixth-former draws a cock in window
he do it?’
bus crunches over loose gravel and grit lost by lorries lumbering off the small
in the chemistry teacher’s class at breaks.
She’s all kinder surprise but keg-legs, you know. Saw them drive off after school on the Friday.’
Backwash sloshes in the bottle. Bus opens up into the outside lane.
‘Wednesday wet break, pissing down sheets,
flattening bushes. I was down by science. Darren’s in the demountable with her. I creep up.
Investigating. It’s weird - no one’s
saying much. She opens his bag with it
still on his back. She’s dabbing
ointment inside the bag. I got to see INSIDE that bag. She gives him pills he takes.’
Kid is an open mouth. Bus slides up a slip road.
‘Next - lunchtime in the library. Still raining. Darren’s whispering to this girl never looked
at him before. I trigger the fire alarm.
‘The girl ran. I blocked him. He weren’t happy, moomyang you know? I spin him round; unzip the backpack.’
The bus stops by small semis surrounded by
soggy wasteland, hungry horse’s dobby behind barbed wire.
blazer moved with the bag right? Was stitched
to his jacket! Tug the zip back and there’s
his bare back! Fire alarm hid his squeals.’
Bus turns into traffic steel ticking.
I get off soon.’ News-starters
rocking back and forward.
So, fire alarm’s wailing, windows rattling, Darren’s struggling. I get the bag open – inside of the bag is cut
‘What you find?’ Kid all ears and eyes.
‘Giant-fucking-super-spot! His whole back! Many heavy-headed beast. Red and white. Bulbous and blind. Scabbed and weeping. Dry and wet-fresh. All keggy.
He runs off. I throw up, technicolor
yawn. Nearly boffed up me ring. Anyway – his face all cleared up right? By consolidating his acne in one monster
bitch on his back! Thru chemistry!’
‘Chemistry teacher did that!?’ Kid quickly looks thru the windows at where
‘So, ended up in the bogs, dunny by science
lockers. Wind still fierce, rain
sheeting down loud as fire alarm is. I
say sorry and he SEETHES!
‘Then she comes in. Chemistry Miss. Zips him up.
And he’s well angry, shaking, pulls a knife! Stanley knife out of woodwork looks like.’
She shove’s him backwards quick like she
was waiting for it – his bag goes hard into a hand-dryer. He screamed.
It burst . . . noise like wet leather.
Shotgun blast on a camel hump.’ He
strokes his soul patch. Eyes far away.
Bus stops at traffic lights showing red.
‘Blood floods the tiles. So dark.
Scream cuts off sudden. Falls down
on his face bag all wet flaps.’ Sixth-former
‘She goes, I CANT HELP HIM ANYMORE, YOU
BEST GET OUT, her eyes all wide. I left.’
‘Got to get off. Quick!’
‘Never heard anymore about it. Rumours of him moving away but he had to be dead. Enormous wound. Had to be.’
Beware what you wish for. Don’t
He shot downstairs, out the doors and looked
The bus pulls away. The sixth-former slowly makes his way down
bopping his bottle of backwash.
dawn's sun is Gods Yellow Anus he shows like a cat would and tho now all the Tired Torn Trees glow like Delicate Naked Gold and all the Crushed Tins and Ripped Foil shine like Left Treasure we need not hunt for anymore when
he tugs back up his Dusk Sky Strides and extinguishes his Rectal Laser the trees once more appear Harsh Woven Nightmares and the Free Glittering Treasure just a trail of tramps or drunks
rescue your exiled wonder from the glass prism of opinion faces and diode creations and look with it on the crazy reaching trees and the mad half parts of worms and see the black belts we buckled Mother with and the folding window walls we raised to tease Her with us and us with Her and to keep Her warm soil hands off our ignored origins so we might pretend to be more