Sunday, March 29, 2009


John sits on the side of the boat, legs over the edge, dangling. Attempting to study the almost blinding light of the sun's reflection on (or in) the water. His heart is racing, but his head is clear. Not even a thought to the delicate processes involved in a racing heart pumping atrium to ventricle to lungs and in/out/around again. Just like how people catching balls don't need to think about the parabolic and trajectory calculus required to accurately plot the flightpath of ball to hand. These things just seem to happen and the why is superfluous in almost all instances. It's strange, John thinks. He can't remember the last time he was able to tear himself from the jumbleheadedness that kicked in about a week after he stopped sleeping. After he realised one night that he had forgotten how to fall asleep, and from that point was rendered incapable. John didn't know whether this was like “insomnia” or not, but did know that it somehow made for an overactive mind at the best of times jumping from thing to thing to thing. An ex-girlfriend had once left him a breakup letter that read “Today you missed the bus because it went by as you were bent over reading the timetable, and I feel like this is generally symptomatic of the way you tend to be more interested in the way things should be rather than the way they actually are. We can't be together any more, obviously, because of the way I've come to realise this”. John wonders if this is in any way connected with the whole forgetting how to go to sleep thing but is never quite sure, and he's damned if he's gonna let some overpriced professional asshole explain the whole deal.

None of this he has mentioned to Mary, the current cause of his racing heart, because at this point Mary is a stranger. Mary is a stranger lying face down on the deck of John's boat, at this point. John had only talked briefly with Mary when they had first set out into the clear blue day.

“Usually when we get these charters it's a group going out, y'know”

“I can imagine”

“A lot of parties too, y'know, with bosses who insist on wearing my hat and spinning the wheel. Plus the nouveau-riche big noters with their gold watches and cases of Bollinger I have to sack barrow on board”.


“But it's just you today?”

“Today, it's just me; that's not a problem is it?”

“No problem at all, ma'am”. They liked him to call the women ma'am on the boat, just like they liked him to wear the hat.

And so Mary is the cause of John's racing heart, and makes this true through the position occupied on the ship's deck, lying face down in only bikini only inches from the slim shadow the overhead sun/sail combination creates. As the sun wanes in the sky she will be engulfed by the shadow, John thinks. It is not the overt display of toned and bronzed skin on this upper deck of this yacht under John's charge that is behind the slamming ribs. Post-pubescent blues, he thinks, he got over that sort of reaction to half naked and beautiful women – oh Plato! Reason must rule! and all that. Instead it is the (nominal) gift of predictability and foresight which has John's heart skipping double dutch.

John is never embarrased to call himself a seaman. He has noticed recently that some of his younger colleagues seem almost afraid of the title. Shy away from it. John is a proud seaman, and likes to think of himself as the type that's not afraid of anything, except:

a) fear itself, and

b) never sleeping again.

John the seaman of beating heart and blessed foresight still sits looking out to sea, trying to trace the horizon's slight bend with his finger. This is something else they like him to do, even though it serves absolutely no purpose. Mary the passenger of perfumed hair and overpriced undergarments lies still. John considers briefly telling her some crock of shit story about the 'healing properties' of the fresh sea air surrounding. This is usually reserved for tourists.

It is strange, thinks John, how many women there are in the world just like this one. But there are no others, he thinks, on the boat right now. John has resigned himself, “blessed foresight”, to the fact that he shall be defeated by this woman. She will initiate, and dick led, mentally a 14 yr old again, he will oblige.

And how she will celebrate! Overjoyed with her catch, readily mentally composing the brunch-story for her circle of friends. “He was a real man! A gentleman! Sea strong arms and a dark tan! Weathered face! Yes honey, just like Robert Redford!”. At this point she is Hemingway's Santiago, John thinks, and he a big fucking marlin. Except without the struggle.

But, thinks John, he is also the spoiler of the catch. He is the circling sharks. Mary's brunch fishermen friends will celebrate the catch, but will not appreciate the trials of the return. And Mary will be left with the skeletal remains of her once proud catch, but will put on a brave face about a situation! Oh yes, she will say, it was wonderful!Because, after the inevitable happens, Mary is no longer a stranger to John.

John the seaman of pumping heart, blessed foresight, a week of sleepless nights and undiagnosed OCD, is ready to even the scales by halving himself. It will be, he thinks, as if the old man's marlin was taken out not by sharks, but eaten from the inside out.

She will have regrets. “Yes honey, I swear he was just like Brad Pitt!” She will tell her friends. She will not tell them that by this she means just like Brad Pitt in fucking Fight Club, that bizarre damaged ranting sea captain son of a bitch, 3 hours of banalities he subjected me to, damaged damaged damaged.

She will be, thinks John, one of that particular breed of fishermen in it more for the stories and the competition than for the experience. John's heart stays pump pump pumping.

Excuse me?”

Yes ma'am?”

Oh, you wouldn't mind putting some sunscreen on my back, would you?”

Of course not, ma'am”

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

in the future (tomorrow) i wrote a poem

Today i realized that i am old and
today it is/was my birthday and
today i realized that i'd rather
suck on ice than get old and
today i sucked on ice and
i was still old.

Friday, March 20, 2009


today, i went to the park.
and there was a guy reading under a tree, and playing with his dog!
and i thought, oh! modern life! how glad I am that you afford such pleasantries!
and then i got closer. and it wasn't a book, but a portable dvd player.
and it wasn't a dog, but his penis!
and i thought, oh! modern life! sometimes, you're not so rad.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

electric lights

NOTE: sorry I can only write about riding buses and people getting punched in the face maybe it is all I know but maybe I am also just really lazy. "Themes" and all that.

I am electric. I am alive with the static kick of feedback buzzing on my brain as I walk home through the sodium lit city streets back home. My mind awash with a night of cheap guitar tracks and cheaper wine on the wrong side of town. A night of conversation as thick as tar, and just as transparent – meaningless. The vaulted sky seems higher than normal, and the dry nor-west wind adds to this. A snapshot of invincible summer1, when “songs will sing themselves”2. We walk down the City Mall and back towards Colombo, spirits high. The streets of daytime commerce are alive with the sound of big-exhaust cars, people and humming neon signs. I walk with Dave and Chris, thoughts elsewhere.

“Hey you fucking faggots” yells a guy in a polo shirt that is (by statistical probability, rather than memory) striped salmon pink, interrupting. I wish Dave wasn't here. Then we might be able to avoid a fight. Stupid violent bastards.

There are five of them. We're going to get Fucked Up. I've never even seen Chris fight before. Dave, many times. Oh fuck. The urge to run is overwhelming but I don't. Could never live that shit down.

“Yeah, you fucking faggot. Why don't you get a haircut?” another of Salmon Shirt's companions.

“Fucking metros, you're all pussies anyway. Why don't you fucking come here and say that” spits Dave. This was avoidable, but now, necessary.

“Look at those gay fucking faggots” yells another guy (maybe the same as before). This is an insult that has me puzzled. Does “gay faggot” create a double negative? Fuck it.

“Honestly, you guys are fucking pussies. Come say that over here or fuck off back to your ugly two-bit whores”. Dave again. He can't let it go.

The group approaches, menacing. Original Salmon Shirt Guy pushes Dave, who pushes him back. They're all big guys, but are just standing back while the two of them go at it. And Salmon looks pretty drunk. A messy fight, like twelve year olds at intermediate – more time spent wrestling on the ground then actually connecting with any solid blows. His friends and us standing round, not really knowing what to do. Should we be fighting too? Is that how these things are meant to go? You can tell Dave's getting fucked off with this, and he's pretty sober. And so he gets up off the ground, quick, and kicks the fucker in the head. We all see it, and see he's still wearing his work boots. That'll fuck a guy up.

'”Holy shit” says one of the Salmon Crew.

“Fucking run man” yells Dave, and we take off down the alleyway from High Street onto Lichfield.

And keep on going past the new bars on His Lordships, almost overwhelmed by people wearing clothes worth more than my rent for two months. I look back and no one's chasing, but still I can't slow my heart and still I feel fucking sick for the whole situation.

“Man, that was FUCKED”.

“Nah man, he deserved that. Fucking metro's. I hate this town.”

“I don't mean what you did was fucked. Just the whole situation. I mean what the fuck, aren't those sorts of guys meant to be the ones we don't worry about? Don't we worry about the ones in the baggy jeans and polyester shirts? The ones with bandanas under their caps and shit?”

“Dude, what? That's like the second time we've been hassled in a few weeks by polo-shirt assholes.”

“I guess I'm struggling to adjust. I mean, do I need to be scared of everyone when I'm walking home now?”

“Nah. You need to be ready for everyone though.”

“What? Where did you get that man? Sounds like some cliché shit”

“I guess dude”.

“But seriously. That's never happened to me before. Not once. In my whole life, that's the closest thing to a fight I've ever been in. What about you?”

“I've been hassled in town before, but never like that. Mostly I just ignore them and nothing happens.”

“I just can't ignore that shit. Fucking metros. Fucking gangsters.”

“Dave, you need to chill the fuck out.”

“I can't man. Something just happens when people talk shit and I can't let it go”.

There is a violence inside all of us, and this is the sort that ruins any night out. I decide to head home alone in a taxi. Paranoia.

Walking up the driveway, the traffic noise subsides. This is my house. This is where I come back to every day after my 9 hour shift at the video store, plus whatever else I've been doing. I don't usually do a whole bunch – I'd say I'm kinda socially retarded, especially sober. So I don't leave the house much. But if these walls could talk... if these walls could talk they'd probably tell me to shut the fuck up and stop talking to myself. They'd tell me to get a real job, and stop jerking off so god-damn much. I forgot to mention – my dad built these walls. I'm 23 years old, and in none of those years have I owned a television to do that weird thing where the wall behind gets discoloured. I can watch all the movies I want at work, and everyone knows that network television is for chumps. But tonight, instead of going for the easy distraction of reading, I think about the day ahead.

Tomorrow, I will serve fake smiles and b-grade movies to the drooling and infantile sycophants who seem to infest the Mall my work is attached to. A whole room full of Godard and the most popular hire is 2 Fast 2 Furious or Wrestlemania XVI. From the ivory tower of my checkout counter, my unjustified sense of superiority will rage. After the days work I will walk to the supermarket, buy some easy food and catch the bus home, the whole time avoiding eye contact with anyone lest, they take offence and stab me. It's that kind of neighbourhood – paranoia abounds. On the bus home I will listen to music which is totally original and cool, and I would start namedropping right now if you were a pretty girl and there was a chance you would sleep with me. 4/4 timing and distortion pedals have come to define my personality – it's an easy fit. At some stage I'll probably call my mother, just to talk. It's nice to catch up some times. I know this is how my day will likely turn out because it's how most other weekdays of my life turn out.


1 Albert Camus - “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. “

2William Carlos Williams - “In summer, the song sings itself. “

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Getting punched in the face: REVIEW

I saw you while I was walking down Manchester Street that one night. I guess we made eye contact on the almost deserted pavement, the scene illuminated by the display lights that shops like leave on so people can I guess go window shopping in 3am insomniawesome dream states or something? Anyway yeah I guess we made eye contact because you asked me what I was looking at and I didn't know so I just said “nothing man, just walking” and I think you didn't like being called man or something because you sure didn't waste time after that. Just straight in with a punch in the face. Your fist a rough circle between my lip, nose and cheek. It was over soon enough but still kinda awkward because you were still there and I didn't really know what to do because well I just wasn't like ever instructed on how to deal with the situation. Would it have been a faux pas to run? Kind of like the first time I had sex with a girl I didn't really know in this respect, confused about the required conduct et cetera, worried. This is not to say I associate the idea of sex and you, dude who punched me. To be honest you strike me as the type who'd make for an overly selfish lover. My lip starting bleeding, like actually pissing blood is probably a good word for it, and you kept staring. Then you ran off and the way you ran stuck me as unnatural – not enough arm movement I think. Kinda just started walking again after that, but seriously, way to do something real weird, punching guy. While I was walking all I could think about was how it would have been totally awesome to know hardout as martial arts and just flipped out and done some like kick to throat sort of thing and just ruined you. Ruined your shit. Or how I could silently follow you and find out where you live and get my friend's Mongrel Mob uncle to go round and scare you with his arms that are bigger than like two normal people's fucking bodies and make you say sorry like a total little bitch. Before you punched me I had just been walking home but also thinking about getting dumped and how I should just take a dive off some crappy bridge or put pencils up my nose and headbutt a wall, and so in this respect you kinda punched me out of myself, onto another track of thought.

So all in all pretty grateful/10, hope the rest of your random punching career goes well but I also kinda hope your dog dies because it really did fucking hurt and I still have a scab / scar type lame thing which looks like a cold sore and is kind of gross.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


This is not a story of “the imaginative” as in the “imagine-if” type of thing you usually associate that whole thing with. It's more of a story about a swift one pulled on a detestable guy. Not like a Tom Swifty-esque thing or anything related to Jonathon Swift, in fact fuck it I don't even know why it's called pulling a swift one which actually sounds like smashing off real fast behind a curtain at some social function rather than getting one over someone but whatever who am I to quarrel with the English language I mean it has served me pretty well for a while allowed me to communicate got me blowjobs etc but yes back on point this dude's name was like Calhoun or Posslethwaite or something equally detestable (again with that word it is a pretty bangin' word so lets run with it) and I can't remember exactly what he did but it was to the effect of talking shit about me and getting my girlfriend to not like me for a while or some such which was totally bogus. Yes bogus. Well anyway the plan was to helms this guy when he didn't expect it. I mean no one really ever expects a helmsing but y'know, do it at some inconvenient point in life where it's A) public and B) MAXIMUM HUMILIATION. So even though yr devoid of the subcultural capital to even understand at this point a helmsing I am going to sell out and explain that, for expositions sake – basically a helmsing is an “atomic wedgie” if you're one of those retarded fat Americans that says things like atomic wedgie and if you say words like that you probably also call your friends “brah” and scream “spring breaaaak” when it's spring break at Cancun Mexico and I'm not even American haven't even been there and I know you are below average humans, on an objective scale. So yeah it was set up this Calhoun/Posslethwaite ma'fucker was gonna get helmsed because he spat some bullshit and upset my girl and basically he wasn't a total dude and people didn't really dig him or the fact that he was just making things awkward and shit so an ambush was planned right. Not like some gnarly over the top “oh lets grab him and skull fuck him and kill him” sort of thing, it was more like “let's wait til he's talking to those babes that he talks to sometimes (and they were babes) and just run up and helms the fuck out of him (we have a lot of spare time but that is not a bad thing because it means A) we can helms this dude at any stage because the reconnaisance + tracking part of things will not eat away at valuable Company Time which would otherwise be the case and B) I have time to philosophize post-event (e.g. right now) as to the significance of that happened.

Okay changing perspective now, excuse me, from now on you're reading from the perspective of that crappy dude with the annoying name that makes you want to punch something and you don't even know why.

“Oh man I was just walking down the road thinking about my sweet hair or something because I like to think about my hair and I was like oh my god I bet girls see me and are like “oh man I would suck his penis if the opportunity presented itself” or something blah blah blah man I have a sweet name I bet no one gets annoyed by it ahahaha yay <33>

“Hey, s'aaapening babes?”

“Uh not a whole bunch man”

“Blah blah blah” fuck my own voice actually sounds pretty cool, wouldn't mind hearing more of it.

“Dude who are those guys behind you?”


Back to the like “narrative perspective” if you would like to call it such I don't really know don't have an English degree eh anyway pretty much just helmsed the shit out of that guy. The sun was setting while this happened, casting an almost surreal shadow, what would in other times by Cecil Woodham-Smith be called a “dim gloom across the battlefield”. It is almost sad that the world is overrun by universities, each offering a department of history, because when there was only one or two dudes who even cared enough to record history (hi Tacitus we should hang or something) individual perspective was worth a lot more. And in this I would suggest that from my individual perspective the Battle of Helmsing Some Crap Dude was of far more significance that I guess at least the Korean War. This is all subsets of the relativity of time I'm sure but don't expect anyone to understand that because I don't myself and really fuck it all this is only about a guy that got his underpants ripped off because he crossed a line. Hardly needs analysis or whatever.