Monday, 31 January 2011


We take turns trying to slide for a while. A flattened cardboard box and the steepish sides of a disused railway embankment, it's pretty shit. There are brambles and clumps of razor sharp grass that impede any smooth descent, too firm rooted to give up when we kick at them with this useless footwear - canvas or sandals or something. So we scramble up there and start tearing at them with our hands.

It's stupid difficult; bare, slick hands slip and get ripped up. The earth appearing is orange dust and sticks strongest in the thorn welts. Our hands and arms mirror the emerging channel cutting through the undergrowth, or multiply it, in miniature. Maybe we spit on these little wounds, like our saliva holds magical healing properties, but we're silent and stoical and the air is thick and weighted.

When this kid, Jonathan, let's out some high, unearthly noise - like a rabbit in the jaws of a stoat - it's a minor annoyance. He rolls on the ground, clutching his wrist and we make some mental note not to play with him again. Until we see the snakes body desperately trying to vanish beneath the depleted covering - then -  wow -  that's pretty glamorous.There's this one venomous creature here, it's kind of shy and retiring and getting one to put it's teeth in you would be a very illusive quest, but there's Jonathan with these perfect baby vampire punctures and a fast moving red stain. We coo over it for a while - noises of concern and admiration with a firm underlay of envy.

"Should we - suck out the poison?"

Someone asks, hesitant but with enthusiasm. Nobody knows. Jonathan looks spaced out now, greying and clammy, so we hold these quick elections and the sturdiest of us, plus the one with the most to lose if Jonathan's adventure proves fatal start to drag him over the field towards his house.

We beat around the brambles with sticks for a while, trying to flush out the assailant. Give up pretty quickly then half-heartedly reap the rewards of our former labour. The potential excitement of the slide is muted by the alluring prospect of assault by a kind of deadly creature.

"He won't die"  one of us mutters, half regretfully and we slope off home to get berated for the state of our clothes and skin and to mention nothing about snakes or bites to whatever adults are doing this berating.

Saturday, 22 January 2011


Here he is: something found, small, insignificant. Something smudged to the point of illegibility.

Here folded between the barrels of salt fish, sleeping sort of, almost.

The deck smells of blood, piss, come. Maybe it's the fish, or the remains of a shower curtain - or whatever.

("Smile for the camera")

"It's too – fucking - small"

This is him: again.
Not for long, hopefully.

He could sleep forever here, with some help.

Slapping his cheek, insistently, repeatedly.

Hey, hey

Slapping his cheek, then here, the crook of his arm, tapping for a vein.

Now he smiles, full of bliss.

Smudge him out.

Beneath this shower curtain the sea, beneath that the universe;

hums  whispers
sweet  nothing

"                   "

Whatever gets put through his veins,(FUCK) engenders some stupidly dramatic revival - a resurrection - pulling him by the hair from the sofa, to the floor.

There's a storm maybe, he doesn't remember - just the cold shock of the water - being pushed, by the sea, onto this shore.

He is furled in this neat ball, he is all survival instinct.

Retching, choking, sea water and bright.


(shakes head repeatedly)

Here he is.


Trying to uncurl him. His toes, inside his shoes, more or less delicately.
Coughing still, blinking,
holds up one hand. It's a really beautiful hand.                                                            STOP

"Please? Just give me a minute, OK?"

 He's talking to a man in a tone reassuring, but firm, close by the man's ear.
It's just a hum, but he can hear everything.

This man listens to him, but looks at him                                                                   Nice

He looks not at the man, but at the ruins of starfish, blue, once yellow maybe orange? Obliterated by - ? Ugh - something. But still recognisable as starfish. Sort of.

He is walking unsteady across the beach, away from the water.

 Looks at the man's cock, first, like it's some victim of a terrible accident, then with the realisation it's wearing a condom the colour of necrosis.
And then laughing because it's funny and because there is nothing: a sweet void where there is supposed to be definition. A gap where the delineation of his beauty and desirability was supposed to be written.

The man shoves two, maybe three - fingers inside him, kind of unceremoniously, now that he's there.

He rests his cheek on the sorry starfish, says:

"I want a cigarette" to no-one in particular.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


"It's a gift"

I feel like Fagin, it's cool. This one is so much brighter. He drops something on the bed and I don't look at it until much later.

"Are you OK?"

I'm always OK. There is a really profound hole in my gum, where that tooth was. My tongue is fascinated by it. It's like the part of the hole my tongue can access is only the tip of some mythical iceberg. Beyond this shallow entrance is some unknowable cavern of infinite proportion. When I open my mouth very wide in front of the mirror I feel faint with possibility.

He's still there, it doesn't seem right.

"You probably shouldn't use it. It's just a gesture"

"So what should I do with it?"

He shrugs, looks out of the window. I still feel like Fagin. Dream briefly about being hung. I mean hanged. I don't know what I mean.

He says: "Should I make you some tea?" and it's terrifying.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011


You are talking of these cities, lost underwater,
Your eyes are marsh lights, my north stars, corpse candles
I know a definitive cure for hiccups: you, laughing as I miss the bed
Wrecker, aleya - I'm looking for buried - fucking - treasure.
Throwing up viscous mud into a plastic bag.
Some broken off hand, glorious
Each finger, burning, spits tallow splutters furious
and is finally extinguished, swallowed.
You are prising my lips apart, iridescent fish-scales beneath your nails
Packing magnesium beneath my tongue.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011


We climb the tallest stone.
It's very cold (my gloves have no fingers)
It's very cold and very quiet. Light too, the snow an effective reflector. There's the sheep, sleeping I think, shoved up close against the stones, the roots of a tree.

In the roof of the tall stone is a shallow pit. CC crouches there - silver and gold,wet shoes. He fills the hole with a handful of stuff from his pocket. Makes a pile of feathers, black thread and shreds of paper. Tight letters, kind of visible.

"Blood or cum?"

and I laugh because the temperature makes it a no-brainer. He smiles, shrugs. My fingers are too numb to open my knife so I tear at my bottom lip with my teeth, already scabbed and split some, ever resourceful. Drool some pinkish saliva onto his soon to be pyre. Pretty meagre -

"Uh - sorry"

He squints at it, shrugs again.

"It's - symbolic I guess? Not like - a chemical reaction"

- but looks unimpressed all the same. He wobbles precariously as he shifts to fish out the lighter. A blurry picture of a demure Vietnamese girl dressed in a smart blouse. Once, when you twisted it one way or the other, the shirt kind of dissolved to reveal some kind of utilitarian underwear. Now she remains resolutely buttoned up but with a ghostly bra permanently superimposed on the outside - like a prim superhero.

He touches the flame to the tiny hearth and it flames instant and bright. A kind of brittle greenish fire. We warm our numb fingers at it.

"Happy birthday" I whisper, and he smiles.