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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Calling America

Calling America is a brand new UK based site with little content at the moment, but I highlight it here because I love the concept: using stories submitted by real people from real place all across the States, the site aims to form an alternative view of life in North America to the main stream media portrayal, which frankly for most non-Americans tends to usually focus on the negative (which of in some cases is of course justified).

I’ll be watching this site closely to see what sort of contributions it gets, I’d very much like to see entries from everyday people. I think it could be quite popular if it’s kept open minded. Why not contribute a story of your own, they run an open submissions policy, so check it out!

Speaking of open submissions policies, don’t forget that we also run a similar setup here. If you’ve want to draw our attention to a cool site you run or something you’ve found on the web that rocks then don’t hesitate to get in touch via this form. Thanks.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Desperate Curiosity



I have moved my blog to a personal domain. Check out the new and vastly improved version at:

www.writerspace.net

It is now officially a theatre and writing blog.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

'blogito ergo sum'

My next story will involve a Blue Robot, a Marble Doll and myself. It will explore my idea: 'I blog therefore I am' and what the implications of this statement are with regard to our current condition. It will begin at A, though it will skip B and move on to C to take a look at future technology, what I will be calling the 'post technological' era, whose main defining characteristic is the paradigm shift from the human 'I' to the artificial 'I'. I'm not sure at this point if there will be a D involved or not, but what is for sure is that the Blue Robot is a charcter of Herculean importance in this story. At first encounter you might be tempted to brush bot (the fourth gender that comes after he, she and it is 'bot') off as a child's toy; but nothing could be closer to a mistake than that. If anyone should be taken at face value it's the Marble Doll, becasue she will remain largely an ornamental exhibition piece who stirs the occasional comment rift in the narrative. The 'me' in this story is not me, as in I the author of this blog, it is the 'me' that has finally given up all organic and natural constitution of body and mind and has become fully artificial. The narrator (the organic me) is the arbitrator, neither important or unimportant, like the road that lies between the most and least travelled by.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Night Drain

So I close the chat session. It's 6:45am. Shit has it been that long? My bottle of Pastis is almost empty. I pull back the net curtains and see sun rays poking holes in the morning sky. The birds are up but they sound like Moulinex food processors. The contours of Guildford cathedral appear crisp in my mind. Why has that image chosen to pop up at this time? No answer? Ok I'll accept no answer but if I can piss that'll be just as good. In pushing the toilet door open another piece of plaster falls on the carpet. The toilet pan needs cleaning, there are shit stains round the rim. How did they get so high up? Is the flaking turd teaching me that gravity is defiable? No, but the old codger in the room next door may well have been at the poppers again. My piss is golden yellow, Pastis 51, aniseed to fill the need of a night without definition. But god does it make your throat dry, milk is the only solution. "I love you 51, I'd drink you all night long!" Twist this with a French Friday night cocktail of wanton boys and girls with money and egos to spare and you have yourself a square named 'victory'. A public square like the market square only the madmen who cross Victory shout "I seek a shag for tonight" and are not concerned with god, well they don't say that really but that's what they're thinking...maybe. Toilet thoughts rarely make sense but shower thoughts? Well they're a whole different kettle of fish! And a kettle of fish? Well that's a whole different story!

I Flush the chain and head for the landing where the descent begins. There's a guardian to pass before I can soak this parched throat in silk gloss. He's black and white and he owns the window by the stairs. 'Cheech' they call him: "Hi Cheech may I pass?" He looks away, that means 'yes'. Down I go and a paper penetrates the letter hole. I flinch and see it uncoil over the bristles of the doormat. "Woman eats Dog" it says in large bold red type. Interesting but must continue to the kitchen and its cold tiled floor, greasy in parts, cracked in others. The fridge sits like a stuffed bear in the centre. I open its stomach and retrieve my antidote. A thin stream of white gloss trickles over my chin and drips onto the floor. Does a milk stain compete in the same league as an oil patch? There's a frying pan on the stove. A thick layer of the culprit oil coats its surface. It smells exactly like you'd imagine old oil to smell: like dust in rain. I contemplate food...perhaps triggered subliminally by 'woman eats dog'...perhaps not. Nothing up here, nothing down there, all empty. Search results=nil. But the codger upstairs has food. Its stacked high in that cupboard on the other side, the space is unfamiliar territory. If I take something I'll trespass and leave traces. He'll find out. Can I deal with the awkward silence later on? But the milk has set my stomach yearning. I give in and snatch the first thing in sight: a can of beans. Low fat economy, in a white and blue striped tin. Out they flow onto my plate, each one testing my conscience as it falls amongst its fellow beans swimming in orange slime. 2 minutes or 3? I'll go for two and a half; the liberal option is wise at 6:45am. So my beans sit on a revolving stage absorbing 2.5 gigahertz of radio waves and I have 2.5 minutes to see the world.

The neighbour is off to work, keys already inserted in the car door. Opel Vectra, his wife is called; a charming lady with well curved and streamlined sides. A puff of smoke a hum up front, the wheels spin and he's away for another day. Oh what's this? Movement overhead. Is the codger awake already? God no! He is! Must hurry! Beans check: one minute and counting. He's in the toilet, I can make it if I go now! I grab the plate, trash the can, wipe the top and I'm through the door, shit! His cupboard door, reverse and close the treasure chest, go back through the door, no time for Cheech, the landing's in sight. Oh so close! The old codger appears: manky dressing gown, oversized boxer shorts and a horrible grin. Our eyes meet above the plate of steaming beans. "Beans?" he asks, "Beans" I say. There's silence then he's gone.

Paper Plane

there's a book called Crash
with an obsession for steel:
cold brushed metal,
shiny, silky, sex-appeal
taming the taboos of fetish
into something playful and coquettish
where moral disorder
is allowed to seep through the borders
and soak the brain
in indelible nausea
it's fiction I hear you say
and not realistic in the way
white man has defined modern social order.

but take away the Ballard surreal,
and it feels cold remembering steel.
there’s no light
cos the windows are sealed
and no night cos
the bulbs stay up late
hanging in rooms
we called ‘triple 8’.
Mother’s womb – death tombs
made for no escape,
measured to scare off all remaining pleasure
8 feet long:
pale green, steel frame, wire mesh oblong
8 feet high:
every day I paint the ceiling with sky
8 feet wide:
it smells like a goddamned zoo inside!
cos the animals that don't abide
don’t get no soap
so they fester and itch
in suits that were stitched
to gag your body, your mind and your hope,
of its instinctive pursuit
to sweat in the heat, oh the infernal heat!
so you lie on your bed,
and try not to repeat the words you’ve been fed

i scream in my dreams
at a boy of just three
his mum and his dad lie down by the sea
he’s licking ice-cream
and it’s sweet and it’s cool
but the next step he takes
leads him to fall
a voice cuts the scene
both, foot and ravine
it’s Jones and his gun
grinning like thieves
cos its time - time for their fun.

bang, crackle, pop!
damp wood on top
of the open log fire
that provides me with heat
in my winter retreat.
the book I was reading
falls to the floor
the TV is on, there’s a knock at the door.
I get up from the chair, turn off the box,
glance at my watch and straighten my hair
it’s three in the morning,
pitch black outside
who could it be?
I’m scared but don’t hide.
so I undo the locks and take off the chains
no one is there but a white paper plane.

i unfold its wings and return by the fire
there’s a message in black
and I start to perspire.
whose writing is this?
who's playing this game?
will I ever be free
from this gut wrenching pain?
i sink in my chair, take a sip from my glass
redo the wings, let it fly through the air
It spirals and falls,
comes to rest in the flames
and I read one last time
while it shrivels and fades:

"we watch, you pray"