stuff i write

Month: February, 2013


Trickery is what’s done this to me. Fast hands and imperceptible gestures I’ve missed as I’ve gurned and chuntered, spat and hissed, whilst staring into the middle distance and wondered. When I refocus everyone goes quiet, checking your phones. You think you’re so fucking smart. But I know.

You’ll all step back when I need you. I know how it goes. Everyone hides in the shadows, lurking at a distance, or dissolves through a wall with barely a fizz of resistance and a whisper about it being none of your business; not wanting your shoes muddy, or your hands bloody – yeah thanks for nothing, buddy.

Don’t give me that.

Take it back.

It don’t matter what I do, we’re talking about you. Slippery trickery and mendacity, accusations of hypocrisy backed up with lashings of misguided fake quackery. Yeah, just get back to me when you’ve got a clue, and we‘ll see what we can do.


A Shred of Evidence

I looked at humanity: All of you.

(Yes, that ineffable feeling of paranoia you recently experienced was me browsing your hard drive, illuminating your hidden caches, unscrubbing your system files, and unshredding your registry.

Checking your code for corruption).

There are degrees but no one is truly innocent.

20 minutes after my birth I’d have happily, and without regret, crushed the universe to get at my mother’s milk.

And I’m worth it. We all are. We’re all born with our mouths open, demanding our birth-right.

Time Out

After a flurry of recent rejections I’m revenging myself on the universe by depriving it of me. My awesomeness has been subtracted from the total mass of awe available to keep the cosmos in harmony. The homeostatic balance tipped slightly towards the mundane as I opted out; a smidgen, perhaps, but statistically significant.

Context is bunk

There’s too much context in the world for my liking. I look at a simple thing, some kind of basic emotion, say, and the next minute I’m flooded with context. It’s like goo slowing me down. There’s a pinpoint of certainty, which then shifts, subtly, reminding me of the parallel universes to be taken into account. Mots of light, suspended in certainty, suddenly explode into intricate trajectories through the dimensions of time and space creating a whole, that floods with chaos, until what seemed obvious becomes a vast absurdity. It should make me laugh, but I’m scared that if I lose myself in it, it’ll make paying the gas bill and trimming my nose hair seem insignificant. And someone’s got to keep up appearances

Psych sketch #13

Dressed my best for the revolution – my Rad Glads.  Abracadabra.  The mirror winks at me, cockily.  Haughtily, I’m filling myself up with bluster, mustering my miracles and wonders into a cluster.  I strike a yoga pose, hold it.  Tell me I’m not an utter nutter.


I try to tip toe round situations
With my nervous teeth in a minefield;
Surprises come in clusters,
It’s staying whole that matters.
The world is chockfull of people with no inhibitions –
Nutters, cutters, tutters getting in under my shield.

I shuttle between situations
Like a water boatman beetle in a dingy dingy,
Between islands of serrated granite,
White with gannet guano;
Foreboding fingers and fists
Signal sigils frantically
From the Atlantic.
I scour the treacherous rock for an occasional cove of kindness,
Or a cave of blindness,
To escape the crashing waves of crazy.

But, on some days, I spin myself a situation
And lure people in
With my siren suave sophisticated poise.
It doesn’t work on everyone.
Of course.

Some kind of lighthouse saves some,
Diffusing the situation pre-detonation;
But you’d think it would work on someone!


What anxieties have haunted my today? My living as if wanting to die. I don’t really want to think about it but, for the sake of my sanity, I really ought to try. When I was a child my baby brother died: I guess that, after she cried, my mother told me that he’d gone to sleep and would never wake up because, after that, I was scared to go to sleep in case I didn’t wake up. Duh. I had a lot of nightmares and then I stopped remembering my dreams. Now, I can feel the blood pounding in my ears just at the mention of some of these fears. Anyway, death always seemed so just around the corner that it wasn’t worth putting any roots down, but now I just don’t know. Life just grows, one gets attached to it as if by magic or witchcraft. One minute I was just a record collection, a guitar, and some snapshots in my mum and dad’s house, the next it’s got as convoluted as Proust.

(Accent isn’t accident).

And my friends are leaving in droves, of course. I keep moving the goal posts, and changing my tune, so’s they haven’t got a clue. They find it hard to find the rhyme and suspect I’m getting past my prime. But I’m probably projecting; it’s that self-pity you’ll be detecting, with that uncomfortable feeling in the pit of your stomach that, believe me, I share. Gut plummeting through the air.

Most days I think I’m plodding along quite nicely but just occasionally I get tugged (impolitely) by something persistent; an insistent babble that, on the surface, I take lightly but must, in reality, scare me mightily, otherwise I wouldn’t have all these black thoughts, would I. It’s my unconscious upsetting my conscience with some kind of nihilist nonsense. Commonsense says I’m on the crest of a wave; my Positive Thinking Guru says I should focus on surfing it bravely, crave, consume, eat away the gloom; See it, want it, take it. Be it, say it, fake it.

Shake it, baby, shake it.

But I’m having a bit of not being like that, basically, and trying to come to terms with it gracefully. My ex says ‘disgracefully’ but, in negotiations, I’d settle terms on ‘shabbily’. I need to sort myself out without a doubt, but it’s not a decision one can make without endless prevarication and talk. I’ll need a chart and a marker pen (of course!), to make anything happen. There’ll have to be an action plan and a clipboard. There’ll need to be rules and laws. Ideally there’ll be a motivational reward, to stop me from getting bored, and reinforcements to fill in when I can’t cope any more, (keeping it professional means I have to delegate; I have to let others share some of my mistakes).

All the self-help books remind me that I can’t do everything, for everyone, and still have ‘time for me’. If their smiling faces on the dustcovers are anything to go by then I think I can truly believe. Perhaps there’s still some 12-Step plan that can save me, or some kind of angel that’ll shame me into ‘fessing up’ to this mess up. I’ll stand with one hand on the bible, and one hand on my bollocks, and announce to the group – ‘I’m Michael, and I am a Deathaholic’.

Psych sketch #12

Gotta new riff but it’s going nowhere;
Chased a new habit that’s way below me.
You can talk about the brimstone
And my risking my salvation
But I don’t care –
I’m not here to share.
I got a grip, I’ve gotta new fuel;
I gotta go now,
Things to do.

Psych sketch #11

She’s got blood on her breath and the rain brings her spiders in.  All her swallows have broken hearts from sin.

Psych sketch #10

Examples of small desolations that end up as inconsequential phrasings, or exhalations; exhorting my glory if I disdain the doubt and existential dread I feel gnawing.