Tag: <span>Random</span>

And so he starts again, the silence punctuated by the staccato tap tap tap of the keyboard. He moves in his chair to find a comfortable pose and starts to ponder what he might write, what prose he may be able to dredge from his flaccid imagination. Prose indeed, he thinks. Another helping of scorn to add to the pile.

He knows he has to start, that the act is as much a part of the outcome as the words, that until he starts he won’t know where it will go nor where it will end.

Every step is a journey.

No, every journey is a step.

As ever he enjoys playing with naivé imagery and constructs, twisting and pulling to find something between the cracks, weeds of ideas that may have been growing there and maybe, one day, a wildflower will bend into view, gloriously colourful and new.

But not today.

Today is not for the new, but for the act. The tap tap tap of the keyboard gathering speed as he realises all he needs is to keep writing.

He ponders the story of the building, the King like nature of an untold and sinister power. Basic, rote, not worth following but worth revisiting, perhaps there are some seeds there he can cultivate.

Faltering already? It seems so but he remains happy that he started once more.

He is never sure of where it will take him. He knows he enjoys the process regardless of the outcome, most of which remains hidden away, trashed.

He is writing again. For now.

I am happy with this.

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Somewhere in a suburban town, in a slightly unkempt semi-detached house, a man, alone in a darkened room, sits hunched over a desk. Spot lit by the desk lamp, he is surrounded by scrunched up balls of paper, broken pencils, the debris of his ailing mind.

He writes.

The dark creeps in, smothering the light and blurring the edges of ..

He stops and with a resigned sigh, once again drives a deep score through the words.

Staring down at the page, the lines and lines of scored prose drive him further toward failure and, with the tiniest of shake of his head, he tries again. He draws the pencil across the paper, the subtle textures vibrating through his fingers, the gentle pleasure that he knows and craves, the kiss of the muse, bittersweet.

He writes of an outing.

Jostling in time to the movements of the carriage, thermos tea sloshing in plastic cup lids, the couple stare out of the window. The morning sun plays on their faces, catching the creases of their smiles. At their feet the picnic basket, laden with food and drink, reminds them of another era, a time neither knew but they are happy to try and recreate, hoping to capture the a notion of those romantic times gone past.

He has a beginning. He leans forward to scrutinise the words, the life breathing on the page. He sits and stares.

And stares.

And stares.

He is lost, directionless after so long without direction.

He looks down at the words, again and again. Are they real? Where did they come from? These are not his, he decides, but stolen, plucked from a place he doesn’t recognise. He is a thief or worse, a fraud. He has long suspected it thus, and with only fragments of evidence to the contrary what else can he be?

He sits back in the chair, defeated. A deep breath. Concentrating on relaxing body and mind. In his hand he still holds the pencil, gently now, forgotten, unforgiven.

He closes his eyes.

With a soft jolt the train slides to a halt. The couple, childlike in their excitement, bustle their way from the carriage and out into the fresh sea air. They rush over the old wooden footbridge, slats creaking and clunking under their feet, and out onto the sand. They’ve talked of this, planned where they will go, what they will do and how they will do it, but that is forgotten as they dash and stumble for the sea in a frenzy of euphoria. Finally they are here in the abandon of the moment.

The gentle scratch of the pencil pervades his thoughts and he smiles as the words tumble on to the page, the pencil drags itself dull as it captures his thoughts, gentle loops, swooping dashes and exclaimed marks. He realises, finally, that he is writing.

And at the same instant, with that self-same realisation, comes the sudden stop. He tenses, hoping he has reacted quickly enough to catch it but he already knows it is lost, gone in the same instant it was created, the flare of the extinguished match. Once more. Again. Again.

The pencil is motionless, the paper remains virgin and untainted by his sordid outpourings.

He sits there a while, gazing at the space before him, the blurred edges of the page, the faint outline of long forgotten words. Time gathers around him and, eventually, the pencil crumbles to dust.

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“Ying this” said Yang.

His name is Maudlin.

He can’t help it, he did not choose it, it was given to him.

He is drawn, like a vivid butterfly daubed with life, to the dark and raging volcano. Blinded and burnt as it approaches, seared wings fizzle and disappear until nothing is left. Life dies and is swallowed. Another carcass to feed the fire.

How dramatic, how fake, how very plastic. How very teenage angst. What a fool, what a coward, hiding once more.

But he loves it, the dark places, the hollows with their scratched and bloody walls, the tortured souls still roaming. Echoes of his life resonate, each noise taunting and prodding, ripping at skin with tattered claws. He pushes on, his blood oozing to the surface and adding to the stains on the floor.

The pain isn’t new, it’s the constant itch that he ignores, the softly beckoning voice that he pretends not to hear. Most of the time.

He knows how to get to this place, the path is wide and well-trodden, the signposts clear, freshly painted as ever. He chooses this path deliberately, knowing that once on it there is nothing but forward. Willingly he pretends to pause, pretends that once he has looked this way he has an alternative but he knows it not to be true. This path is chosen by glance and once seen, all other roads vanish, there is nowhere, only here.

Her name is Light.

She doesn’t know it, not yet. Occasionally she’ll turn and see the reflection, dazzling spots in her eyes. She will catch herself and wonder. Mostly she thinks she is darks and greys.

She questions everything, trusts slowly. Fear shimmers in her wake, a shadow of paranoia that is slow to loosen, that taps taps taps on her shoulder until she responds. She is learning to ignore it.

All the while she dazzles.

Like most she has scars, skin deep and raw. Some are healing, she is applying the plaster, taking the medicine, dealing with the pain, yet others remain to remind her she is perfectly flawed.

Translucent, blinding, and more powerful than any sun, she highlights every ripple, every ragged edge and subtle curve. She is learning this and more, learning that the very thing she rarely sees is what lets her see it all, that her brilliance only needs a lens, a clear view, to be the beacon she desires. The guiding light.

Together they are one. They cancel each other out. They amount to everything. Ironing irregular creases to mark their place.

She helps light the way. He knows which paths to avoid.

They are single. They are unified.



Sent with Writer.

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Indestructible, the death dodging kids laugh as the bus driver rages.

Shards of sunlight slice through buildings, blinding the strolling shoppers as they wander with vague purpose.

A broken voice begging for change from behind dull eyes.

An old man pauses to talk to the African drummer, rich timbre in shared laughter. A real connection amongst a thousand shifting eyes.

The pigeon that walks but never flies, unhurried and unafraid. He knows this city from hazy dawn to blackest night, from pristine corporate headquarters to grime (crime?) soaked tenements.

Through it all I walk. Surrounded by life in all it’s beautiful forms; the ravaged and unloved; the dirt and the shine, the filth and the smiles. Across broken tarmac and old cobbles, past the shiny office blocks and humdrum taverns, constantly amazed by the contrast, dialled to 11. Stark reality meets coddled view. The unshockable, sullied and downtrodden brush past the cosetted, freshly pressed.

All of them existing in their own state of indifference. Suffering their own form of life their eyes speak the same language. But it is not all grey, this city remains indestructible, like the children it bears. It survives, it laughs, it lives.

If you look for them, they are there. The briefest moments that are so easy to miss, skipping past like the sleek blur of a housemartin.

There a smile flashes and is returned. There a daisy grows between the cracks. There an oily puddle dances rainbows in sunlight.

Ask them and they’ll tell you. They will reveal all the beautiful sides of this city, with a proud face, for Glasgow is all of this, beautiful darkness and shuddering light. A soft glow from a brutal heart.

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The heavy staccato, the ponderous, throbbing heartbeat, pulsating through their every pore, filling them completely. They are beholden to it, quick to relinquish control, released into it, devoured, immersed, completely lost to each pulse, every melody.

All around them the closed eyes of their brothers and sisters cry out, silence roars from deafened mouths as torsos twist in grotesque beauty. The air fills with animal noise, the lust flashes and fades, whilst the gentle sheen of bodies in movement, syncopated in their desires, oblivious to the world, continues to move.

There is no time in this place, no walls or ceiling, the floor rendered in booming sonic waves, the smoke machines billow and bloom, false clouds ripped apart by light after colourful flashing light.

As one they slip and heave this way and that, lost amongst the dimensions, a gyrating, pitching mass. The sounds fade and blossom, spinning through the air, drifting like smoke through hazy arms and swirling legs. They are one, consumed and completed.

They feel it move amongst them, the ebb and flow of an energy and emotion that courses from body to glistening body. It is a raw, ethereal force, tumbling across the floor. It will not be sated but must fed, and willingly they give up their bodies to it, sacrifical and sacrosanct. This night will never end. Every fragment is blurred to the next, the music spins and cartwheels, crescendo after aching crescendo, and all the while the heart, the driving pulse of the beast, continues.

And on they dance.

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Just write, they say.

Once you get into the habit it’ll just flow, they say.

It doesn’t matter what you write, just that you write, they say.

They are starting to grate. They are starting to annoy and irk and leave me breathless and angry and incapable and pathetically unable to think about anything else except that I need to write but can’t start to write until my head is clear of them and no matter what I do they are in there, yakking away, spewing forth their tips, sharing the habits they’ve spent years cultivating and which they expect me to just adopt without the realisation that if I could do that I would’ve already so saying it over and over, just write, just write, just write, just write, just write, is pointless. A waste of energy.

Even now, as the keyboard clacks and the words slowly start to form, letters falling into line as they should, they are still paused over, deliberated, deleted and retyped. Over and over and over and over and over. The same cycle. The start and the pause and the edit. The start and the pause and the edit. The start and the pause and the edit.

It’s not the words that he has fault with, nor the order they appear, but the direction they take.

The lack of purpose.

Loss of meaning.

Just write, they say, but what? Words are only words, no matter the order they appear they spend their life meandering. In his mind he watches them pass, grabbing those he relies on and placing them on the pages before him but all too soon they are gone, resigned and regretted.

Just write, they say.

So he does.

Even though he isn’t sure why.

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It was a large tree, all leafy and green as a tree should be, standing tall and proud at the top of a small hill. On the ground beneath it spring flowers were bursting into life their vibrant colours proclaiming new beginnings, fresh growth,  a new season full of heady fragrances.

The tree was old and wise, with countless rings and scars testament to the experience it had gained, the life it had lived. Every now and then the tree would think back, reliving each moment when it had grown a little more. It knew it was governed by nature, that it wasn’t in control, and was more than content and willing to submit to the whims of the breeze.

Like all trees it understood that sacrifice was envitable, leaves had to be shed, rotten branches had to fall. The boughs would break.

Looking out over the fields and hills that lay beneath its roots, the tree was happy and content in the moment.

But an ill wind was blowing.

At some point during the summer, the tree realised something was changing, that something was different to how it had been before and at that point it knew that time, as far as the tree knew it, was coming to an end. Basking in the summer sun, the tree prepared itself, soaking up the energy for one last push towards autumn.

It was with a mighty crash that the tree fell to ground, but as no-one was around the tree decided not to make any noise.

As it lay there, the tree realised it had a few moments left and took those seconds to enjoy the change of view, the closeness of the grass, the blueness of the sky above, silhouettes of birds flying to pastures new. And, with that, the tree was finally at peace.

Months passed and slowly the tree started to wither and rot, feeding the ground beneath it.  Soon enough fresh saplings poked their heads through the soil and started their long slow climb up towards the blue. The tiny trees thickened and spread their wings, repeating the cycle once more as the world continued to turn.

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It’s an itch, and urge, a pulling, scratching, gouging force churning away inside him. His chest is tight, knotted, formulate and plotting. Despising and demonic he plots revenge, he charts the motions and savours the instant. Brutal and vicious, he is animal.
A deep breath.
It refuses to move. Tensed, he is ready to pounce, his actions are driven by constriction, a rope taut around him, pulling him this way and that yet leaving him bound and motionless. Rooted here he spins it round again, and again the vitriol stirs.
Where is the saviour?
Is it pain, is it destruction and violation that will wreck this feeling, lay it to waste, hammerblows to his head?
It spins again, fuelling itself by feeding him more of what he doesn’t need and doesn’t want. He hates it, will not succumb to it and the fight burns on.
His violence scares him, the snarling beast within rips and claws to be set loose, his ribs containt it and it roars behind the bars. He used to let it out, he used to let it roam but never too far. Bruised knuckles and dented metal, macho posturing hiding the truth.
It flows within him, consuming him. The constant unerring swing of the pendulum blade, the gentle tick, metronomic, insistent, unforgiving, unrelenting.

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