Conflict(ed)

The ticking clock moves my bones.
Vibrating to a new chorus.
Such fear and bravery dogfight within.
Triggering the gunfire in my heart.
Bringing other humans to their knees.
It stains this soul.
Are we cast out of Eden?
Ordered here under the guilt of honour.
Directed there by badges that shimmer in the sorrow.
A broken moral compass, scratched by time.
Left stranded out to sea.
Struck by the passing grief of that tide.
The one that washed over me.
Seeing death in the eyes of those all around.
Feeling hope strangled, feeling fear take hold.
Who really wins the fight, when we lose ourselves in the struggle?
Stretched and stricken, sunk by the force of your hate.
Every tear here brings the ocean higher.
With every cry, a family welcomes in a stranger.
A void, the blackness. The stories to tell a generation.
Of the great fight, that felt so wrong.

Manifest the everyday nightmare

Partie un:

You motioned for me to quietly enter the room. I could feel the tenseness of the air. The walls seemed to contract and wrap themselves around me. You sat there with no expression on your face. That face, the one I had touched so many times. Kissed it, smelt it, longed to be near enough to it to count your eyelashes. Now it glared back at me like an empty pool. The lights began to flicker, stuttering out their watts in a rhythm I can only attune to the beat of your heart. The gun didn’t bother me, it was aimed at my head throughout but I knew this was all leading to something. The beginning of the end.

(I noted that it was aimed here and not my heart…maybe you’d finally figured out, there wasn’t one in this body of mine)

This part of the Jeykll and Hyde, this side of crazy. You asked me to sit down, the first time you’d spoken. Little daggers aimed at my ears, rushing with the blood and fresh thoughts to my head. You were so cordial, yet each word spat at me like kids on a council estate. I chose to stand, my one last defiance in our petty war. You told me there was something for me on the table, I looked down to see a wooden box.

You told me to open it.

This was not what I expected. Your look gave nothing away. Nothing except hurt burning from your eyes and an anger that could not by concealed. The box lay in a pool of blood, thick and viscous, floating on this horrific sea.

Deuxième partie:

Your eyes dared me to ask you what it was, like I didn’t know. The deluded pleas of the guilty, while all around the judges think of what punishment would be best fitting. The dying cat of curiosity rose and fell within me, and I turned away. I could not look, I could not commit to the ending so willingly. The metal felt cool against my temple, though it was your smell that made me aware of what you were doing. It crawled over me like the scent of the sea.

The gun clicked. I felt your soul near and shut my eyes, longing for you to turn my head and kiss me. Those days were long gone. A quick stab in the back. The knife that had, but till a moment ago, seemed mysteriously absent sent the tiny nerves in my body cascading like fireworks. Your mouth came close to my ear and you whispered the words I never believed you would utter. As if pulled from a dream.

(Truth is, you never said these three words with any conviction that would render it believable in the past, yet something told me this was the cold hard truth that my mind was digesting).

The sound of birds filled the room, and forced me to open my eyes. I turned and saw you there, eyes aflame and a soul locking its door forever on me. Never to be seen again by my pathetic searching pupils. Feathers fluttered down upon us as the ceiling filled with vultures, gathering and yearning with their hungry beaks. Their black hisses and calls split my ears. The box on the table flew open and out poured the remaining blood that flowed towards us like sticky lava. The contents bobbed on the surface momentarily before submerging into the crimson depths.

I sighed, you grabbed me and kissed me full on the mouth. You then sighed as I turned the gun and shot us both.

Partie trois:

No reasons, all feelings. Moving in a spaced state devoid of structure and responsibility. Bloody and weeping like the tears of a god. Wounds can split like the red sea. A hatred is awakened. After this, just indifference.

You watch as the violence hangs in the air. Feathers fly like tuffs of snow. Little teeth roll in my head like a stone in a can. A jingle like Christmas bells. The red of the season. How many times had you pulled that trigger? Which one of us started the fight? A rage had descended months ago. Welcomed in to the cold like a long lost cousin.

(If you were to ask me if love was still a figure in this theatre, I would have nodded a reply that confirmed my sad loyalty to the romance of death. Still, love can save the day right? Love is a weapon of choice.)

The room feels small and crowded. The bodies on the floor gasping for air and space. What died there that day, was only hope. Lust would always remain. Tragedy was the best re-frame for boxing that moment in our history. I pulled you off my skin, and spat out the tooth that had pierced my tongue. Like many words that came off as daggers, the tooth had left its bloody mark.

The box remained, the contents gone. Washed away in the crimson chaos. I would find it again, I was sure of that. But for now, agony and pain were to be swallowed and sanctified.

And as our ghosts left the room, stained in red, their heads hung down. Pulled by shame and gravity, wondering where it all began. Two little shadows quietly wept in the corner. Is this you and me, is this all the good that is left? Broken and crumbling in sad pathetic tears?

I would never know, because you shot them too.

A Heart murmur

A heartbeat static and stick.
Grease the wheels and grease them quick.
Touched and run, in the citrus sun.
Fingers all high fives, thumbs like guns.
The void is waiting, a sickly breathe.
Cold on clinical, the smell of death.
A rumble, stumble, fumble please.
Shake and slither on your knees.
Electioneering, ECG.
Hold your breath.
Drink your coffee.

Weapon of choice

It’s so hard, just to peel back the truth.
Like folding back the sky.
Propping up heaven while we renovate.
Dusting under the throne, sweeping under the rug.
How much is caught in your eye?
As the verbal rocks are thrown?
Hammering now in your head.
Leaving idealism to another time, another life.
Dropped in the ocean to be covered in coral.
We slaughter the fledgling feelings, new to hope.
Eager to walk in the sunlight holding hands.
We never understand, how to break the cycle.
Going round and round. Like a falling plane.
Spiralling, tumbling, freewheeling to the ground.
You pin the medal of victory to your chest.
Pricking the skin, letting the blood flow.
Straightening your soul, patting your ego on the back.
Mumbling incoherently the art of war.
Driving your tank over the art of love.

Land of the free and the home of the brave

Her eyes flickered from the calendar on her desk to the phone quickly as the device in front of her rang out shrilly. She knew who it would be on the other end of the line, she pictured them, slumped against the phone booth while the hot July sun glared in through the tampered glass. Her arrangements were all unfolding as she had anticipated, each one of her children doing exactly what she had expected them too. All was coming together, there was just one thing left to arrange and this phone call, she hoped, would finalize that. She let the phone ring once more before lifting it from the cradle, placing it up onto her heavily powered face.

She did not speak, she waited for their voice.

“Mame?”

“Yes.” she said, curtly.

“It’s all arranged. She said she will be there for the 4th of July.”

“Good, thank you Perkins. She is aware of the situation I trust?”

“She is aware yes. She wasn’t surprised at all, but it’s strange as she…” He began, but was interrupted.

“Excellent. See to it that money is arranged also.” She said, and hung the phone back quickly into the cradle, her mind now dancing over the weekend arrangements.

In a phone booth in downtown Boston, Robert Perkins held the phone to his ear, trying to hear against the traffic which sped past him outside his glass shell. He heard Veronica Van-Black, his employer, hang up the line her end; yet he finished off his sentence that he had begun, as if trying to figure it out still himself.

“…it’s strange, she said she was already there.”


This fourth of July, come and spend the weekend with the Van-Blacks who will delight you with wit, suspense, good food, séances and murder. A good time to be had by all, except maybe one.
Keep it together – out now in paperback and eBook. More stories here.

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Recapturing

The silent soul who wades this world.
With brittle bones and sad inclinations.
Arrives at a place in memory, strung up with words that bind.
Does he fall deeper into the despair of an age?
Of that turning sun that snatches all that lay in his hands?
Or does shift, and arches his back to the march of time.
A solider in war of change.
Corrupting from within.

(s)wallow

Dirty soul licker.
Causing us to stutter.
I know you want to stop.
Been smoking that thing too long. Been praying to the wrong God.
That One you trust in.
Confiscate such liberties and inconsequential humanity.
Swallow it down.
Feel it shudder.
Suck on the bruise until the nation rolls over.
Those bears in your head, scratching the cave wall.
Their arms a tangle of fur and blood.
Does it make you perspire?
You are the one. You oxygen thief.
Back firing and closing up these holes in our veins.
Choke this Trojan horse. Slipped in when no-one was looking.
That fascination in the situation.
Ready to cum.
A Climatic cabaret of guns and hate.
Mop it all up with that spangled banner.
Did it do it for you?

Fighting frontiers

It’s when that hunter calls to you.
And you brace for the arrow, the shot to the heart.
Feeling like an animal.
Fighting to be heard and tolerated.
Breathing in new corrosive air that erodes your lungs.
Deeper into the jungle.
You earthquake proof your soul, and it shakes with the rain;
with the look from these eyes and the sound of their name.
Fighting to fly, to keep these wings feathered down and peacock pleasant.
Stretched over time and the eyelids of a stranger.
Keeping it all in, keeping it all safe.
Fighting against the rules you never made.
Fighting frontiers of tomorrow on the soil of yesterday.
Running with the tigers.
Forever fighting to stay alive.

Black heart down

Our cover is blown, this black on my face is useless.
The black in my heart now permanent.
I shoot into the air, reaching up to God.
Cutting a line of bullets across the seas as you say your goodbyes.
Scrambling in my camouflage heart. Losing all self-control.
I’m fighting for the fate of our love. Such desire.
I’m dying from the weight of our love.
Dangerous forces, twisting like fate rip me from this place.
A turn around and a tourniquet, waiting for the rains of remorse.
What is this thing? What is this love we’re fighting for?
What am I killing you for everyday?
I’ve been that person, for the last time. I’ve been your lover for an age.
God knows I tried. God knows you cried.
I see all this, when the anger shows and you shoot to kill.
Leaving me on the floor. Covered in blood and sawdust memories.
The grave pulls me under, that well-worn hand of comfort.
Sweet relief of death and freedom from tomorrow.