Monday, June 29, 2009

A Casting Off Of Albatri 9

Around Each Point, A Full Circle

All know liquids
carbonate themselves
in the heat
of summer’s fizz.

Blood is boiling
in Iran
for want of
what freedom is.

Calmed by foxgloves
and sweat of sun
I wander into
woodlands green —

I will not square
my humanity
with the oppression
I have seen.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Profoundly Cheesed

I feel like having a rant, but sadly, I may only be able to muster the energy for a tepid moan. So if you’ve dropped by today looking for laughs, or at very least the odd swear word, heaven help you. Disappointment beckons like a tired old cat treated to a stuffed toy mouse it can’t be arsed to sniff, let alone play with.

From eight o clock this morning up until half an hour ago, my nose has been buried in a pile of documents of an irritatingly bland nature. I’m not the most avid reader, and when I choose to roll my eyeballs over a roller coaster of text, typically, it’ll be bloggy, booky or newsy — and not some mountainous wodge of crap from the opened bowels of Planet Fucking Tiresome that even a cerebrally-enhanced chimp let loose on a whole new world of possibilities couldn’t fail to interpret as anything other than a stimulus to blow out its miraculous new brains with a bazooka. OK, so this is a rant, after all. I’m feeling a little better now. Grrrrr.

To make matters worse, it’s been one of those oppressively muggy days that makes you feel like you’re squished up inside a souffle just as it goes in the oven. My morning’s perspiration alone could have provided a drought-blighted Ethiopian village with enough drinking water for a fortnight. Even the dry skin around my ankles looked like it had been licked by a relay team of friendly terriers. Worse still, the inevitable parting of the heavens I’d been praying for all morning as I pored/poured over a seeming infinity of drivel has coincided with my planned afternoon constitutional and it’s now chucking it down so ferociously I’ve lost sight of the cars being swept down the street.

So here I am in the clammy June gloom of my study choosing to bare my teeth in a display of sullen-yet-damp ire, rather than my legs in a dinky pair of shorts. Oh, to strut to Tesco for a celebratory can of Ye Olde Wobblethwappe’s Completely Undrinkable, and wander back through the park in the sun.
Looks like it’s curtains for the bottle of wine I’ve been saving for when Thatcher goes...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Is it coincidence or serendipity? Happenstance, fate or chance?

You’ll recall my post about One-arm Barry. The one armed man who probably isn’t called Barry at all?

It’s not that I keep a diary of our encounters or anything, but by my reckoning, our paths cross once in a blue moon. So, to bump into him twice in the space of a fortnight has me thinking: am I upsetting the internexi of some grand celestial plan, or has Barry developed a liking for my aftershave, seeking me out with a newfound sense of sniff like the supposed heightened auditory prowess of a blind man?

To be honest, I don’t care. All that matters for now it that Barry appears to have incorporated into his incognito amputee persona a cunningly disguised appendage. No longer does he gad about the place with his empty sleeve tucked in his pocket, it seems, for now a pink hint of wrist doth he sport from twixt hem and maw of Levi.

Where the hell did he get such a thing? Did he shop online at Fake Hands R Us or lovingly render it at an adult pottery class? Or did he break into the Co-op late at night and half-inch a range of limbs from the menswear section?

More to the point — who else is at it?

That woman behind the counter at Tescos with a face like a shrink-wrapped scrotum? Maybe it’s a bundle of carpet underlay daubed in greasepaint, to disguise the fact that her head was bitten off by a police dog in 1956.

Or the guy in the bank with the goggle eyes who insists on greeting me with a hearty good morning, madam every time I cash a cheque?

Time to reconsider my mothballed boob job plan...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Synoptoid Conundrumroll

Ho hum, I suppose I should be grateful.

I have 80,000 words of novel under my belt, and although it makes sitting at my desk uncomfortable (I’ve split three pairs of trousers this week), it’s a lot more than I had at this stage last year.

But with great power comes great responsibility. It’s not an entirely apt phrase, I admit, but it beats the hell out of Washing Machines Live Longer With Calgon, which was my only other alternative.

Anyhow, yes — the responsibility of having to write a synopsis or query, to be waved in the direction of literary agents some time prior to winter. Ulp.

I’m guessing this must be like the moment on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here when the luxury of gadding about the jungle in a skin-tight bodysuit woven from your own sweat gives way to being invited, by a sniggering Ant n Dec, to strip to the buff and immerse yourself in a pool of whisked maggot innards fifty feet below the ground in a purpose-built tomb and wait for the inevitable onslaught of creepy evolutionary misfits. Or am I understating things a little?

I still have some work to do on the manuscript, of course, but the time is fast approaching when the plot will need reducing to a snappy 300-word synopsis and I know my prunoid wherewithal is bound to be tested to destruction. And heaven help me if anyone demands a bio.

Fortunately, I’ve developed a taste for turnips, and if all goes well over the summer, I’ll have consumed sufficient brain-enhancing vitamins to grant me a decent crack at any known writing challenge. Either that, or I’ll have the shits.

It’s all to play for...

Friday, June 19, 2009

It's Like The Test Card — Only It Isn't A Card, And It Isn't A Test

I seem to be chasing my own tail this week — an odd feeling seeing as I've only just discovered I have one. Must be a throwback to my days as a raccoon. Or was I a lemur? Or simply an unwanted Bratwurst?

Whatever — I'm skimping on my intake of regular blog-fodder this week, and my own posts have assumed the frequency of a cryogenically frozen uberguru's heartbeat.

So — just time to post a picture of my sensational foxglove collection, if only to reassure you that I haven't been abducted or sold on to the Russians for firewood...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Muso-Writo-Soaka-Sprayo (io)

I frequently chance au havehappen dance upon blogs sloshing wild with writerly tips resplendoid, and have often wondered whether I have anything to say in this regard — whether my scriptophonic wherewithal flourishes in a swamp of subjective blob-blossom, or whether I might have hit on anything constituting tips for the benefit of all.

Still undecided: wild presumption so to wonder.

Meanwhile, as I write this (with Geoff sniffing cactus as yet unflowered), I’ve opted to exercise my motor neuron voila to music. Smack my chops for being a softie, but grim experience has taught me that I can’t write to save my life with any kind of music blaring, less with any kind of distraction. However, two songs into Made of Bricks by Kate Nash, I pat myself on the back with a pseudo-rubber back patter for having (at very least) got this far.

So — what’s the problem? I suppose I’m bound to be distracted by the lyrics, and the associations roundabout fuzzed, and if the beat gets in any way funky, there’s every chance I’ll simply down tools, strip to my underwear, and gad le Bop Fantastique a la person too old to be doing that kind of thing like Madonna in her purple leotard (only without the shapely thighs, note). Er...nope...I don’t think there was too much mention of that in the last number — but if it helps, I’ve uncoupled my mithril Write Like A Gladiator breastplate.

Or is it that I might be taken to a world of fancy whose fancitivity meshes not with my previously beheld plot and dialogue wonders — moved to dispensing fluff instead of previously wriggleflung something-stuff?

Perhaps the trick is to listen to something vapid, with no lyrical narrative to trick me asunder twixt glory of anal riff? But then I might as well boat off to Africa, and with legs nestled comfortably in the oar slots, hop across the searing veldt to pay homage to the soothing ambient muse-throb of giraffe stomach linings regenerating themselves in the heat of the sun. Or not.

So that’s where I am with music as a source of inspiration. I’m prepared to have my arse whipped up into my gob by it but it’s only ever the fancifullest fancy.

That said, I’m enjoying Kate ‘just a little too Mock Es’ Nash , and as I gaze out of the window at the foxgloves swaying top-heavy in the breeze like the stonedest of lofted Hendrix fan lighters, I can’t help thinking that the opportunities for being smothered by life’s pre-evident wherewithal are vast compared to the shrill and selfish desire to chop out a narrative (fictional or real) through to some uncertain future.

So — that’s my muso-writo soak ‘n’ spray for now...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Serves Me Right For Being So Obviously Edible...

It appears my offline status has been set to PREY.

Twice this week, I’ve been attacked by wild carnivorous beasts. Okay — make that once (genuinely), and change the other to a nearly. And remove wild from the description of the first, noting also that, in using the word ‘beast’, I’m exaggerating slightly. And think carnivorous only in the technical sense. It’s sapping the narrative, I know, but can you still taste the fear???!!!

Let me fill you in.

My neighbours have gone away. It’s not that they don’t like me (though this may be true, nonetheless), but as it’s holiday time and all, they’ve headed off to Falmouth for a week of playing hide ‘n’ seek with the sun.

The note they left me reads: FEED THE CAT.

Any other cat, I would gladly feed. Any other cat would, in fact, require feeding. But Kashka is a demon queen masquerading as a fluffball and, I suspect, the reason why so many people in the street have been stripped of half their flesh. When I feed cats, I normally make use of those handy tins of Special Food for Cats — not great big chunks of myself.

So, mauled and mutilated (yes, that was Carnivorous Beast Attack #1. What do you want? That my head was ripped off or my intestines shredded into streamers?), I took myself off to the stretch of woods where Maurice lives, to feast on the sight of multiple leaping bunnies gay. And there, coiled up in the grass like a big old clichĂ©, was a snake. Now, the thing about English snakes (apart from their stiff upper lips and impeccable table manners) is that you never, ever, see them — and if you do, they’re so weeny as to constitute fashion-conscious worms. But this one was as thick as a courgette and long enough to slither its way up my trouser leg and bite me on the bum with its tail flapping about my ankles.

Not the most ideal wildlife to encounter when you’re relieving yourself behind a tree, I have to tell you.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Whirl-O-WIP Read-a-Hula

Fresh from her globetrotting exploits, the delightful
Robin S has rounded up the members of Club Vox and suggested they post more snippets from their collective Read Aloud Archives.

This time around, I’ve gone with a short extract from my soon-to-be-done-and-dusted novel, where celebrity escapologist chef, Deano Haloumi, is confronted by the grim reality of his predicament. As my microphone has died, I've had to record this one on my phone, and in the conversion from Weirdo Useless AMR format to MP3, it’s come out a little dull and clicky, I'm afraid.

News of other recordings will no doubt appear in the trail here...