Friday, October 9, 2020

2 Minutes. Go!

The cars keep rolling, folks inside them like they aren't driving murder, assured that they will make it from point A to point B. Maybe they're missing the point? Maybe the whole fascination with cars is wrapped in death. Hurtling through space at 90 mph, I am here, now, alive and assured of my living by my proximity to bone-smash, blood-bath horror. Maybe it's all another way to breed complacency.

You don't matter any more than anyone else. The freeway don't care what kind of car you drive. Nor do the paramedics. They just see another broken bag of human.

We tell ourselves pretty stories about airbags and social distancing to ward off the horror. Sure, it's logical. It's also a talisman. Talismans. Charms. Incantations. Religion. Spells. 

Fuck your God or shoot your God. Placate your God and betray her. You will find worship in the destruction you use to honor others.

Maybe it's all stupid, and this is just another two minutes on a sunny afternoon. What do you expect to find here? Truth? Decency? An echo chamber? Misery you can relate to? Come on in. The show has something for everyone. 

Pick a color, red or blue...


  1. Love it. We're all the same. We're all dying a little bit every day and when we go we're all going to go in the same way. The last leveller. I pick blue.

    1. Dan what resonates for me in this is kinda out in field, but in dream interpretation the car is a symbol of the ego...hmmm

    2. Personally, I think the world's gone crazy. We're all becoming anxious and feeling powerless. Maybe I need a god too. I do hope mine will believe in me.

  2. For Leonard & Edward, who died in WWI in France.

    Poppy seeds

    We rise as soldiers,
    taken from our beds as youths,
    stripped from the warmth of family
    to lands we’ve never seen,
    places never heard of before,
    from conversation and cosy silences
    to the roar of guns, planes, bombs,
    scuff of dirt, splintered wood, blind pain,
    a burn of unending endurance.
    We suffer it for the greater cause,
    memories of loved ones we’ve left,
    hiding in the bowels of the underground
    and hideaways not built for this.
    We charge into the face of danger
    not knowing if it sees us,
    not knowing if it will turns its cheek
    and let us return back home.

  3. Shadow at dawn

    He’s out for the kill,
    the hunter in the green,
    travelling the dawn unseen
    while others rest their heads.
    ancient trees bough to the rhythm
    of his soft tred through leaves
    still crunching in his wake,
    a clue to where he is not.
    Nature hears him travelling,
    his prescence a heavy unravelling
    among the lighter beings
    hiding away in the undergrowth,
    swallowing their fear deep down
    lest he smells it on the air.
    For hours the pursued stay still, alert,
    a grim game of statues without music,
    ears trained as the hunter moves,
    ground twitching beneath his feet.

  4. It’s your right

    It’s your right
    to write
    whatever you like,
    pursue your passions,
    dispel the night,
    create a life anew
    within your space,
    reconnect yourself
    with yourself,
    find a way
    to be more true
    to who you are,
    living together,
    breathing alone.

  5. Cobwebbed rooms

    Lives linger on, hidden and unwritten,
    translucent phantoms lost in rooms closed off,
    cobwebbed messages sealing up passageways
    With unread notes to the discordant air.
    A piano plays without heart. A murmur.
    The chaste could not find themselves,
    bare histories clump rusted air. Folded chair.
    laid for dinner, the proud table stands lone,
    empty astride once-polished scarlet stone.
    They steam tea, slice watering cucumbers,
    counting days to the sun and moon,
    wand’ring ancient pathways so overgrown.
    Dank moss and weeping brook blanketed
    by the willow’s green locks. It all flickers,
    disarmed, locked away in another time.

  6. Wake up

    A freefall, sinking, glitter-wrapped,
    enticed happenings, unforgiven
    streaks of memory. Scuffed cards
    shuffle unplayed. Pass them forward.
    time dripped out. White cloud spirals
    shot to the wind. We curve, recoil.
    It eats itself out from the inside,
    no room to turn. A hollow ball
    bounces against the wall. You missed
    the second it impacted. Red card.
    It boils over and over. Cabbage leaves,
    veined, your organic heart line
    bloodless. Cavities seeking to be filled,
    unfilled, always to remain emptied.
    Faces fade, places get up and move on,
    brick walls demolish. Watch the light tube
    flicker pictures, asleep. A conveyor belt
    of ideas you never had. You fade out,
    but you could wake up, turn it off
    and listen to the wide, wild air.

    1. I love this. The imagery and diversity of the snapshots is incredible.

  7. The demons are out again. They’re on the rampage everywhere, thronging on the street corners, gleefully sharing their lies. There’s a cluster of them gathered at the end of our street now, laughing and chewing at their gum. I can’t bear to see them standing there, crowing like loons and pointing at folk. I guarantee they’ll be causing trouble later today. It’s the kind of thing that they enjoy the most. Messing with decent people’s lives is what they live to do.

    Buddy was the first one of us to go. The police said it was an accident; claimed he dropped a cigarette in his room. Of course, Buddy never smoked the one; said they were an instrument of Satan. He swore that was how he got his claws into their souls. Sucking his cancer into their heads one breath at a time.

    The big one with the baseball cap, he’s always the first to arrive. A natural ringleader, his hands fists, his eyes swivelling about, looking for a new innocent to corrupt. He’s got everything they might want if they’re inclined: alcohol, drugs, loose men or women. A whole world of evil readily available. And with an introductory offer, whatever you choose.

    The other one, the one with the phone against his ear. His name’s Leroy. He’s the fixer; the one who provides. He’s the man with a thousand pockets, a walking warehouse, a cornucopia of desires. He’s never been known to fail, his inventory almost infinite.

    Jackson was the one that brought them here. He’s the one in the grey greatcoat; wild eyes, broken teeth, an accident in progress. Buddy was his uncle in an unofficial way. I don’t recall the details; suffice to say I’ll never hear that story again. Especially after the fire down the street. Dead men tell no tales when they’ve been char-grilled into silence.

    But back to the demons. That’s what I wanted to talk to you about.

    1. Ditto. A good opening with good character building and suspense so you want to know more, like why Buddy was the first to go, and who the 'one of us' refers to.

  8. The plague ship made its way across the glassy ocean, streaming colorful banners, plaintive music and celebration, the great long beak that formed its prow bobbing in the waves. As though this were just another ordinary day, despite its odd appearance. The first mate hung over the starboard side, sending along a stream of tobacco juice toward the pod of dolphins that was its escort. To his left hung from a plank and swinging in the ocean breeze, a half naked body of a man twirled ceaselessly in the breeze, his eyes plucked out by the carrion birds, his uniform shredded and torn away by the hungry gulls that sought his shiny medals and bright brass buttons. The pod of Dolphins that escorted them chittered happily as they swam along and farther out to sea, a pod of whales gave a welcoming dance, anxious to welcome this latest carnage into the great womb of ocean. First, however, they would turn another corner around the harbor, looking for survivors. There were always survivors-- children set adrift in leaking rowboats by anxious parents. Daring swimmers, aiming for the great vessel. Women clutching their shawls on homemade rafts, and pieces of driftwood, praying for the miracle that would save them.

    It hadn’t always been a plague, ship yet in this part of the world, at least, it was the last of its kind. It started out as a refuge, a wealthy man’s retreat from the disease that threatened to decimate the coastal cities and beyond. A retreat for fearful painted ladies and unscrupulous, drunken men, a gathering of decadence, each of them sure that Fate might be cheated if enough pockets were lined. Yet in less than a month, it became a sort of floating hospital, thanks to Thomas Hagerty.
    Hagerty, for that was the first mate’s name, had only signed on for reason of his own pockets, and had no regrets. He’s seen enough of the world to know there was no cure for folly, no matter your gold and knew even better that while a man’s soul can be easily bought, an ailing body can’t be bribed to recover. So while the wealthy Captain and his guests had brought along their own physicians, armed with little more than opium and sugar pills, he’d taken the precaution to smuggle aboard four crates of Spanish oranges and a lone Chinaman, toting a suitcase full of medicinal herbs he’d picked up in the port at Saint Charles. In the two short weeks they had been at sea, all but two of the original guests had either been stricken or died outright and they sent the corpses overboard, to the delight of the patrolling sharks.
    Under Hagerty’s direction, it became their mission to rescue what survivors they could from the shallower waters along the coast. Whole boatloads of women and children without so much as a sniffle, foreigners and criminals and daredevils and fools now seeking escape from the pestilence that pursued them and a mainland clouded with smoke for fifty miles as the priests burned the bodies of the dead. In his final days, the smug tyranny of the captain had given way to delirium and he’d staggered through the dining halls and barroom and decks, swearing and threatening revenge. The mutinous crew and passengers, weary of his tyranny, thought it great fun to send him down to walk a plank which ended conveniently enough in a noose. And there he would stay for almost a week, even as the scavenger birds savaged his remains. There he would stay, even as the cheering echoed over the water and fists raised up in triumph as they passed, a signal to all that evil never triumphed in the end.

    1. An eerie beginning with rich descriptions and an interesting storyline. The decaying corpse is in stark contrast to the pod of happy dolphins.

  9. Part Two

    Hagerty himself patrolled the corpse daily, chewing tobacco and thinking hard, making sure he stayed where he was. The truth was, the Captain now presented something of a dilemma and was throwing a off a stink that before long would frighten even the birds. It was bad for morale. So lost in his thoughts was he it was a moment before he noticed the boy standing on the other side of the gang plank, his eyes wide with curiosity as he solemnly watched the body sway in the wind. Yet from the look of him, Hagerty already knew this wasn’t the first body the kid had ever seen, so he did his best to smile and put a better face on things. Fumbling in his pocket with his other hand he emerged with a smallish orange and handed it over.
    “Best eat half now and save the rest. It’ll keep you from the scurvy. And a few other things, too. But take a good look, a long one, boy. You’ll never have to ask again what it means to be hoisted on your own petard, like the bard told us. “For ‘tis the scheme to have the engenger, hoist with his own petard.” You know the bard, right?
    The boy shook his head.
    “Shakespeare. Wiser man than them that wrote the Bible, you ask me. Specially when you consider he was talking about a blowhard like this one was, likely killed by his own farts. But that was his little private joke.”
    Despite himself, the boy snickered.
    “That’s a man, “ Hagerty said. “You’ll make a fine sailor, one of these days. You know how to read?”

    1. Some interesting character development, the surprising introduction of Shakespeare and realistic bites about the current time, like scurvy and how to ward it off and the fact that not everyone could read.

    2. The detail in the scene-setting and characterisation is phenomenal. It's like watching a movie. Pass the pop-corn, somebody!

  10. Some interesting character development, the surprising introduction of Shakespeare and realistic bites about the current time, like scurvy and how to ward it off and the fact that not everyone could read.


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