Idiolect On The M6 (Dream 11)

Idiolect On The M6 (Dream 11)

Y’know, we started calling him St. Mina, cos’ of his long, morose face which adopted this weighed down, grey kind of look. His shoulders were slumped, like a scholar’s, and his hands moved in a heavy motion, turning the wheel like he was steering a cruise liner down the long, lazy lines of an African river. We didn’t really see the back of his head, only the frames of his hair around the raised neck rest.
He hadn’t spoken much, we reckoned he was shy, but he did give out a nervous little grin every time we called him a saint/pretty sure he was an atheist – he had that kind of look about him; he was too pale to believe in much of anything, and he handled the car a little too well to be a virgin. He’d picked us up, Machiavelli and me, a few feet on from a bridge we’d been thinking about throwing ourselves off.

He’d been trying to tell me that, once you tried to kill yourself out of hunger, the police’d definitely give us a meal, at least. I said they’d probably just lock us up.
‘Great!’ He said, his handsome blue eyes reflecting the Irwell. ‘That’s three four meals a day! At least! After what’s been going on, they can’t afford to get anymore bad press! Seriously Bull, we’ll be living like kings!’ I didn’t get the American obsession with royalty. He called me Bull cos’ that’s what I was, to him – A bloody John bloody Bull – he called everyone in this country Bull.

We spent about half an hour watching the river, and the optimistic Yank tried to convince me to drown myself for some yellow paste in a tin tray in a four-walled room with a wide door and metal bars in place of windows. I couldn’t stop thinking about Bob Dylan’s solicitor’s pig and a four-star general with a personally engraved bazooka and a plan to murder Jesus. I gotta say, Machiavelli was persuasive, but I’d seen him turning that cheerful charm on more than one woman in the few days since I’d known him, and it’d stopped working on me. Just the night before, he’d been sleeping between some student’s legs, and they only let me crash under the table after it started raining.

Anyway, this lad pulled up and asked if we knew how to get on the northbound motorway and Machiavelli said sure, where are you headed bull and he said Edinburgh and he’d said great bull we’ll show you the way bull and we were cruising along with a Saint in the driver’s seat before we knew it. Machiavelli asked him if his shoulders were hurting and he said no and we laughed and he didn’t know why and he asked us our names and Machiavelli told him and I said don’t you know I studied under Adrian at Canterbury and I told him he was a rip-off of amen hallelujah and Machiavelli howled his laughter out the window.

The American slept after a few minutes and I told Mina not to worry, that he thought he was Paradise and he was just looking for Professor Moriarty. The saint asked me what I was doing following him and I couldn’t think of an answer. I think he forgot I was there, cos he started spit shouting his thoughts like he was singing along to the radio.

‘Oh, these dry, dark days!’ He coughed his way onto the M6. ‘Can you not feel it, feel the heat rising from the cobblestones, feel it warming the palms of your hands? Can you not sense the illicit lightness in the air, and the vague sense of guilt held by those who remain indoors? It is on days like these that the office workers feel trapped in the chairs, that the men and women with good jobs pull at their hair and gnash their teeth and dream of the weekend. In fact, can you not hear them? Listen to their woeful cries; that this weather holds out just a few more minutes, a few more hours; just a few more days! Of course, it will not.’

And I said; I get what you’re trying to do, man. You just need to get yourself an accent, cos’ no one cares for English anymore – hey, maybe that’s what I’m looking for; an idiolect all of my very own; a language for the road, to make the miles bleed into one small room, on the first floor of a terraced bed.

Guilty (Dream 10)

Guilty (Dream 10)

Why Me lord?
Why Me knowing the name of the king as he creeps and crawls through sacrificial alters and whispers in the ears of blood-mad dago fiends and bankers and wankers and pot heads and people wearing American baseball caps indoors cos’ they think they’re Bieber but a more hardcore version of Bieber, y’know.
Why Me lord, Me knowin’ the inevitable blackness that birthed you and loathin’ the thought of it all.
Why Me lord, knowin’ the slave-whip Buddha preaching exhausted contention an’ satisfaction to people with ugly skin colours and flat faces, narrow hungry eyes scrabbling to taste your monk’s boot.
Why Me lord, what have I ever done to deserve awareness – what right had ye to rape me with free will?
What right had ye to birth so diverse a people, and make a fierce world?
What right had ye to make us fiercer still; that we could kill with inactivity and social laziness and a conscience developed through insincere miscommunication through electronic airwaves with no repercussions and we’re all warriors behind the alphabet, thanks to ye.
Why Me lord, watching dystopian poetry flickering across these cities of men in streetlight articles and the yellow light of tender apartment blinds. Why Me lord, with pavement silhouettes and bowed heads by laughing women flaunting stark forms above these sex-ridden streets.
Why Me lord, with ART, the disease, carried by short men who look much taller when they’re smoking online, and who are too slim to wear the shirts they wear and they shirts they print – carried by ugly women who express their individuality through the metal-lipped conformity – by handsome men who ink their flesh with dried out beliefs and prom-queen ladies who howl at the lights of bigger cities than you’ll find in John Bull country.

Oh My lord, why did you make these lightning synapses so easy to love?
Why me and mine pretending to creativity, why give me dreams when I must give them away and live nightmares instead?
Oh My lord, would you have me know the name of the king? Would you have me acknowledge, finally, that I won’t do these things for your love, but for my self-loathing? Will you understand that all the women that I love are not for me, or have been dead for a hundred years?
Why Me lord, playing the seven sins with a pen and stopping every now and then to jerk off like bloody semen rewards? A white Johnson with grim lined lips and calcium-deficiencies and I can’t even lift my foot anymore without howling from a ghost pain I gave myself, cos’ I’m real, y’know – I’ve made these decisions myself and if it kills me than it fuckin’ kills me, but the point is this protracted suicide was my choice.

Oh My lord – why’d you let me make a choice at all if this was the conclusion?

Is it because I’m guilty of wanting someone to love?
I don’t need to be loved, Lord, I just need to explode, glitter for hours at a time like a neutron bomb caught on repeat by some VHS in the 90s.
I need to throw my money at people and say I don’t want anything, I want to be a gold mine and everyone around me can be Solomon and drain me dry of every penny I have and I’ll walk home with other people’s thought blasting from my ears and keeping my own at bay.
I’m guilty of hating woman for wearing high heels when we have a twenty minute walk ahead of us, I’m guilty of resenting her for loving me, for keeping me in chains and shackles, even if I were to wear them anyway.
My arm is heavy with links, and it is only the one inscribed with her name that I assault, whilst black coal iron bearing the legend home sits beside it unmolested.

I’m guilty, Lord, guilty of silent howling at alabaster mannequins in the latest fashion moving down the street, of handsome men in ironed shirts and even smiles and women I couldn’t pick out of a line up.
I’m guilty of reeking with guilt, of tasting of guilt, of sweating guilty sweat.
I’m guilty of the crime of personality, guilty of half-formed and fully-fledged ideologies and of entering art exhibitions with pre-conceived notions.
I’m guilty of not being a blank canvas, but some stained, torn thing with echoes of lyrics.
I’m guilty of Prometheus’ torture, of Odyssean dog-loyalty.
Guilty of torn pages pasted to the tears in my porcelain skin.
I’m guilty of pretension, of applying meaning to those things which have no meaning.
I’m guilty of outrage – guilty of contempt.

Guilty of weaving bloody fragments from these thick, swollen monuments to moments that came by in a flash or never came by at all and, Lord, I just can’t move my fingers fast enough to keep up.

If I Were A Carpenter (Dream 5)

If I Were A Carpenter (Dream 5)

Mr. Benson,

There’s a tragedie to those singer-songwriters who whine into a microphone with great art and mutter of love in clever rhyme and never really know what it is. They agree with their predecessors, maybe with a modern twang, and try to crucify their hearts on their lovers’ bedroom wall cos’ suffering equals wisdom. There ain’t been many who’ve dared to blink in the stage lights of a real war world and have said you people, I’m gonna sing a song for you, and ignored the crowds crying their name and don’t pretend that you love your audience, cos’ loving everyone means you can’t stand anyone.

Shit; you’ve said it in your own songs man, and then there’s always an interview with some handsome shirtless kid with cruel eyes and ‘he’s part of your establishment, you know, he’s god and, you know, who needs him anymore? Forget him!’ and it takes a hell of a man to listen to that and not burst out laughing. I think, if I could play a guitar and spit the fuck out of a harmonica’s high-end, you people, I’m gonna sing a new song for you and tattoo DNR on every spare inch of my body and hang myself with a guitar string tuned to Plain D. Y’know what the worst part is? Everyone’d dig it. And they’d pelt my bodies with an E harmonica and have to blow my teeth out of it when they came to use it next. But what does that matter, right? After all, Punk was only ever used to sell merch to those who didn’t want to be sold to.

You know, I don’t think I ever did thank you for reading us the Charge of the Light Childhood,Brigade and stamping your foot on plaster wooden-planks like blood-soaked battle drums. I know you got more than a few blank stares but, sir, that poem sent more than a few firecrackers down my spine, it blistered more than my back too.

The kid with the hair, usually a golden brown, turning as black as the night, and whispering chaos on an assembly hall recording ‘neath the palm trees on Blackpool beach cos’ they’re the only ones he’s ever seen.

The First Head (Dream 3)

The First Head (Dream 3)

The vicaress of Babel’s picking postcards like cutting flower heads from twisted iron stems, and she has them carted back to her palace by her faithful slave Raphael, who’s still serving community sentence for cutting up that prostitute in the 1980s. She thinks she’s a beat poet, half the time she spends her ink like flinging copper coins into a fountain. She glides up the flesh road in her purple dress, her heels digging the bare backs of chattel – she doesn’t mind blood on her boots, it only deepens the colour, but mud’s unthinkable. Vicaress tosses raven-hair skyward and it takes time to fall like a gift and all her servants fight over it and lick it and one wraps a strand around her tongue until it falls away and she’s condemned as a holy leper and sent to live in the exotic whorehouses, with all the other crippled saints, like the one-eyed woman born without breasts or the black teenager who bleeds at the wrist when fornicating.

Candle-wreathed study splitter quills that dance in disjointed harmony on cheap card – there’s no paper long enough to draw the Road, so she makes her marks in moments. A line or two, how she misses you, how she loves you, how the night sky bleeds like her desire continued on the card with the raven over the mantelpiece and she’s quivering at the thought of the dawn light like you’re cumming in a snow white continued on the postcard looking like a tory manifesto costume cutting the glass grass with its hem. Raphael’s sleeping at her feet and she’ll kick him in the throat every now and again and he’ll say thank you and she’ll threaten him with a postcard until he shrinks back into the shadows but he crawls back and sleeps again when she continues writing – it’s a room of hissing and silent outcry and the drip of her desire on the padded leather chair as she pants out her lust. God, Book,

The vicaress collects stained glass windows featuring King James events, and she’s even got one of that scene which shows David cutting his 195th foreskin from a dead Jew, with an impressed father figure looking down from the clouds and a naked girl lounging on a throne of dead penises and the reversible caption reads a crazy little thing called love and she can’t help but hum the tune when the moonlight leaves the scene on her bed. She’s got one of God mooning Moses too/she doesn’t like it, but it always makes Raphael laugh so it’s over by his bed, a hole she’s cut in the corner and he’ll climb into it until his waist disappears in wooden splinters and he’ll watch her when she sleeps.

She doesn’t stop to eat anything more than ink, and she’s finished the postcards within the time and she thinks about getting them published or putting them straight on Amazon, but she’s got a conscience and she sets up the Post Office and has a postcard delivered to every house and waits for the murderers to come out and collect them all and for blood to run in the streets so Raphael can lap it up and she can dye her cloaks red and wear a beret at a jaunty angle and pretend she’s always been a revolutionary. She sits up in her phallic tower glittering with scars and waits for the first screams, and when she hears them she cries, cos’ they’re screams of laughter and she howls curses at them when she fingers herself and damnation is her orgasm.

And loyal Raphael slopes in his sleeping wound and watches her cry but can’t talk cos’ they took his tongue a long time ago, and he can’t even mouth words anymore cos’ he’s got no teeth left except the teeth on the ends of his fingers/drum drum drum on the splintered wood and blink as spikes find their way beneath fingernails. Every time he looks at her he gets an erection, and he’s heard the name they called her before now, but the laughter’s something new and she isn’t so impossible anymore, she ain’t the vicaress, she’s just a splintered Babylon, and he realises that she’s human and he could rape her if he wanted – he’s an angel after all.

Reading Kerouac

Just a random bit of prose I conjured up on the bus. Conjured looks weird, doesn’t it? Conjured, conjured, conjured; con-jured. Never mind. Enjoy

He isn’t a particular interesting figure. His hair is unkempt and overgrown and bedraggled, like vines, like that of a homeless man recently caught by the rain. His jaw is obscured by a slim beard, shaved at the cheeks and the throat, but still the hairs that cluster there loop over each other and create a wild aesthetic. He doesn’t have much in the way of a chin, and the tips of his beard are in-line with his upper lip, so pronounced is his overbite.

He laughs with the bookseller, says something about his sister and they talk briefly about Kerouac – they don’t know each other, that much is obvious, but instead share the laugh of men who might have been friends. He pays on his card, calls the bookseller ‘mate’ in a voice unsuited for it and stuffs the four books into his bag before leaving the store. I had seen him pick the books up; I knew what three of them were. The Tropic Of Cancer, by Henry Miller. The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand. On The Road, by Jack Kerouac. An eclectic collection and, despite myself, I find myself dropping the book I had in my hand and following him out into the main hall of the shopping centre.

2015-04-06 00.32.25
I tell you, I’ve walked through Wigan on some miserable goddamn days, but this morning was a pretty bad one.

He is already clipping away across the faux-marble. He walks with a strange gait, one that looks almost lopsided. Whilst his right foot does not make a sound, whilst he moves like a ghost and his impact on the earth could have been a whisper, his left lands heavily with every step. It isn’t a limp, but the suggestion of a limp.

His entire body is rigid, firmly held in its position as he moves – his is not a choreographed rigidity, but an innate thing, like he has arthritis in his entire body, like it has permeated his personality and left him stiff – inhuman. He has to wait for a moment at the glass doors to let a fat couple through; they don’t even look at him, but I have to slow down so I don’t walk so close to him. I don’t know why, but it seems wrong to let him see me – there is something about this, a voyeurism, perhaps, to know that I am viewing him and that he cannot see me or, if he did, his eyes would flicker onto someone, something, else.

The wind is hot, like that of a hand dryer in a public bathroom, and the smell of the main street is much the same. It is raining, weakly, and the man buttons his blazer and pulls the hood over his head. He is a tall figure, and easy to follow as he moves through the meagre crowds. I can hear his left foot, every second step it hits the floor like all his weight comes crashing down on it, as though he couldn’t lift it for any length of time.

He turns into a sandwich shop and I take up position on the opposite side of the road. I can see him through the window as he queues, and taps his phone with his thumbs whilst he waits. He is the tallest person in there, towering over those on either side of him by some inches. Oh, that I could know what he ordered – that I could know this figure in such a way! I see him chatting to the young woman behind the counter – they both laugh, but even from this distance I can see a certain wariness in her posture. She doesn’t like him, it is obvious, but he still smiles – he still turns his head to say something as he walks out of the door.

By the time we have walked on some more, his leg has developed a defined limp. I catch up to him easily, though I try not to. I catch a flash of his expression in an empty store’s window as we pass, the darkness and dust creating a mirror like surface. His mouth his a grim line, his skin is pale and his eyes are bright, feverish, and his pupils are distended. He is certainly in pain, that much is obvious, and I pretend to take a phone call, and slow my pace to allow him to gain a few more feet on me once more.

I hold half a conversation, and he vanishes into a small, ugly-looking building opposite a mechanics. It is an office of some kind, I read the name above the doorway as I move past. It kills me not to know what he does, what he is doing; is he a digital marketer, a technical analyst or a copywriter? An advertising consultant, a first-line support employee or a cold-calling salesman?

I wonder, briefly, if I should wait for him to exit the building and exist once more, but no; he has let me down. No man who reads Kerouac should work in an office – I wonder how he hasn’t killed himself, and I consider murder.