Thursday, 18 September 2014

Took Me Ages

Concerns have hatched: Your last entry fell into some kind of hole shortly after its appearance. Could you bother us with an explanation?
It was a durational text not designed to be viewable for any longer than five minutes.
You could perhaps have announced this.
I didn't realise that that was what it was until I realised it was over.
We brim with suspicion.
Also there was a particularly bad comma. And two phrases that seemed to demand a semi-colon be inserted between them. But when the semi-colon was inserted, it looked completely unnecessary. I was signed off work for two weeks with acute perplexity while I added it, looked away from it, looked back at it, removed it, looked away from its absence, tried to think about something else, looked back at its absence, then re-added it, over and over again.
We detect a lack of commitment.
Fortunately a film was made of this interlude, a sort of tedious crescendo which is lapping up the plaudits in niche cinemas nowherewide.
Had you considered either releasing the thing in both versions or choosing to care less about piffling trinkets?
We believe the content of the thing contained regrettable details.
Not true.
And that there was never a semi-colon or (or nor) the glaring absence of one.
Could you then enlighten us on the subject matter of the thing?

Monday, 8 September 2014

To Be A See Also

Here is a few slices of what we did last Christmas. (It's still basically August and you're going on about December already are you, you rotten bollock, while we still owe the butcher a grand for the outdoor meat marathon, and the pineapple wallah's got his wide tangy blades at our necks twice a day saying pay up for Pina Coladamegeddon or I'll really set the fucking juice loose? Sorry. I just wanted to share.)
This Christmas we've formed a cross-continental task force to assault all eleven of your seasonal senses and you'll be like Christ that's nice. In the meantime the rejections from agents make me feel like I'm progressing with the second book, while the third book is still a festival of detritus awaiting a suitable container. I really appreciate you putting these things in front of your eyes. Thanks.

Thursday, 4 September 2014


Outside the front of the train station in a place I wasn't expecting to visit, a man walking a hammerhead Labrador asked me if I knew what time it was. I looked behind and above me, having assumed there'd be a big accurate clock there and that we might then have a terrific little chinwag about how we don't look up enough when we're in cities, it's nice to notice the good bits every once a year or so, isn't it, god you're so right, nobody has ever met an architect. After I'd untwisted my neck and looked into his baffled eyes, I took out my phone, and it wasn't displaying any time because the battery'd gone. I looked at the Labrador's two-foot wide head and back at the man and said no. He said thanks for trying.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

When Public Facing

I put my expensive but not really when you think about how long the blades last and how little blood they shed shaving device in my ear, to see if it could discourage the twigs and parsnips that've lately, sorry, begun to think they live there, because I'm ninety five years old now and this is the kind of thing that happens, or it's a thing that happened ages ago and I only just noticed it after a couple of what may or may not've been ear-directed quizzical micro-glances my way at work, or whatever, I'll take it over wisdom teeth any day or night of the rest of my life thanks.
The blade didn't help the removal though. It helped me to bleed from somewhere I've never bled from before, known to specialists such as myself as the I'm not exactly sure although I studied the bastards at university sir, call it the non-flappy outer ridge shall we, alright yes, this wasn't important to start with and it's only getting less so.

All We Had Was Like Two Pot Noodles

Out the other window, looking to the left, there's the car park of a funeral shop, where sometimes white vans squeak in at night to disgorge unoccupied coffins wrapped in clear plastic and parcel tape. The two men moving them from the van into the shop never seem to get the balance right. It's always a struggle. The wind doesn't help. Neither do I. It's none of my business, but I've thought about wailing some helpful hints at them, such as slow down, it's only a box, I used to drive a van full of items myself you know, and there's a scar on my arm from where I didn't slow down once, while taking the items from one place to another, I was hungry, it's best to pick the items up when at least one of you has exited the van, rather than both of you stumbling out at either end of the item, looking like some kind of unlicensed gothic wrestling fiasco. But the coffins go in and the van goes away, and there's never really an incident that requires my input.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Well and Good

With music on and the windows open it sounds like the playground directly outside one of my windows is full of revellers losing their minds to my impeccable playlists. Or with no music on and I'm reading a book it's like they're whooping every page turn. Tonight someone was shouting let me out, let me out, let me out, and I kept turning the pages and thinking either he should accept what the moment has brought him and think about what he can learn from it, or someone should let him out, though I can't imagine what he might be stuck in, there being no cages in that particular playground, last time I checked. And I haven't checked the others but I assume the same is also true for them. After three more pages he'd stopped, and I took a break from The Golden Ass's ancient ultra-violent whimsy and went for a walk.
Between the playground gate and my front door there was an upturned shopping trolley. I thought about getting under it, to see if being under it might cause me to want to not be under it any more. The playground was empty of screams and people. But I remembered I was a pillar of the community, with a gleaming history, having so far had the sense to not get caught committing any of my many despicable crimes, and mustn't ever be seen doing something not immediately explicable, or they'd take away my squash licence and interrogate my chauffeurs. I carried on to the Polish shop, and took a milkshake to the cemetery.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Subject Matters

I anonymously published, in a quarterly workplace journal, distributed only to members of a particular sub-group within those workplaces, and read by a sub-group of that sub-group presumably in idle moments between obligations, let me be clear, an account of an event: the twice-yearly conversion, by their line manager, of a working human's current value, potential value, and behavioural desirability, into a dot on a graph. The account's tone was one of inquisitive sarcasm. It ended with three questions. The last word of the last of these questions was: sinister. The use of this arguably overly-dramatic or maybe even paranoid adjective was proportionate as a response to the emergence, during the twice-yearly conversion, of a queasy situation regarding the crusading-and-prevailing new business doctrine: if you don't say you love the doctrine, if you say you don't love the doctrine, if you scamper about the office pointing out the doctrine's snags and foibles, your dot will never be placed in the upper third of the graph, because your questioning of the doctrine that produced the graph counts as undesirable behaviour. Never mind how well you perform in the day-to-day tasks, you will never be deemed excellent unless you learn to say you are a fan of the compulsory one true path.
Shortly after everyone'd had their twice-yearly conversion, and before the doctrine's implementation-assessors visited, to convert the whole building into a multi-million pound dot on a self-congratulatory ideological conquest display unit, there was a noticeable office-wide increase in I-heart-the-doctrine pomp and fanfare, and judging the sincerity of this here grisly flag-waving, and those there frantic declarations of fervent belief, became impossible.