One Day of Rage – Part One

The alarm kicked me out of bed at 6am, the dead synapses of my brain reborn, revived for a brand new day, take the crash cart away, it’s not that bad, just another work day, another Monday, for fuck’s sake.  Just another waste of time, some sort of unrecorded crime that involves me being cooped up in a room where robots sit and pretend they give a shit about the thing they do, whatever it is they do, I don’t care, why should I care, it’s their own personal nightmare. I have my own dreams, no matter how far away they seem so I’ll join the commuters anyway, ready for the coming day, thinking about the play between want and need, the balance between greed and a satisfying life.

And here I am on a Monday morning, another Monday morning, turning on the early news only for some guy to sit there on the screen just talking at me, he makes no sense, talks about celebrities and other disasters, he just drones on and on, just sits there wearing a smart suit together with his plastic smile; it’s all just superficial style.

So what’s next on the agenda, oh yes, that’s right, a sugar-filled excuse for breakfast, masquerading as something healthy, just making some corporate junkie wealthy off the increasing waistline of society. Eat more shit, it’s good for you, it’s tasty, nice, there’s no price you have to pay, at least not immediately, just put more of it away and you’ll be fine, except for that waistline, that shortness of breath, the fact that your bringing yourself closer to an early death. But what the hell, everybody else is doing it as well, except for those fitness and health obsessives, who strut past on the footpath, with their tight bodies flaunting my inadequacies – bastards.

Anyhow have to catch the Number 60  bus, where I get hassled by some guy already drunk at 7:30am, his red eyes, almost mesmerise as he makes lewd comments, while I try to stare out of the window, ignore him, deplore him, hope that I don’t turn into him, as suburbia goes by, as time passes all too slow. And just across the way there’s this man I see a lot, he just sits and stares seemingly unaware of what’s around him, he doesn’t move much, not as such, I think he’s dead or some sort of zombie or in the clutches of some possessive demon. His name’s Geoff, Geoff Munro. He expired on the Number 60 bus sometime between 1997 and 2005, but nobody noticed he’d died, apparently. Serving the sentence of the terminally dulled, he was inoculated against colour, against fun, against life, time has dimmed the light in his eyes, he was allocated standard issue fatigue for a job that he came to despise; no innovation, no compromise, permanently gasping for untainted air, relentlessly throttled by process, watching the clock until home-time arrives. Geoff Munro still rides that same bus, same time, same seat, same people, unaware he’s no longer alive. At least that’s what it looks like to me.

I mean look at all of these people, maybe some of them are zombies, corporate clones, or most probably wannabe’s, but most likely zombies. The stories had to come from somewhere, didn’t they?  Haiti, apparently. I think most people secretly believe in zombies, at least those aren’t already brain-eating, drooling consumers of what the media and corporations are secreting into our psyche through stealth. It’s those sunken staring eyes, dead pale-looking skin, and the fact that I’m pretty sure I can hear them moaning under their breath – it’s a dead giveaway (pardon the pun!). And those that aren’t yet zombies are on the way there, I can see them wearing their headphones, looking hypnotised by whatever they are hearing, undoubtedly receiving messages to indoctrinate them. Something like Work hard and die! or Motivation ruins lives or perhaps Boredom is the new black! Or perhaps even Resistance is useless, buy more shit, it’s cheap and nasty and you’ll feel better for a little bit, until you die in fit of self-induced consumptive paralysis.

Outside, suburbia still passes me by in a series of monotonous, off-the-shelf gardens and standard issue houses, and my resolve hardens that this will not be me. No, I am going to escape from the approaching rapture. I’m going to fly, capture that free-thinking spirit that I know lies within, even if the government thinks it’s a sin to have an opinion, a dissenting vision of what this world could be, so listen to me, even though I’m currently buried beneath bills and expectations, I will prevail in this life-long fight to be me.

Tingle Trees

I might have posted this before, but what the hell. Tingles can only be found in the southwest of Western Australia

Tingle Trees

In among the Tingle trees
life seems somehow serene
their leaves whispering
short sentences
rustling up a bit of gossip
about the gusty wind above
dribbling on about the rain
pattering on the boardwalk
round which they cluster

In among the Red Tingles
we forget about the Jarrah,
the Karri, the Wandoo trees
and just ponder
the simplicity of a forest
the peace beneath the branches
that cocoon a gentle spirit
harking back to simpler days
– while still they whisper

Excerpt from the Novel – Barmia

As a favour to the author, whom I know very well – this is an extra from Barmia – enjoy

 

Gof decided to regain control of the conversation. ‘So we have The Drunk and The Tart. What does that make you?’ he asked Kylie. ‘You’d have to be The Scout, I think.’

Kylie thought about this. Wayne certainly wasn’t any sort of scout and she certainly wasn’t a genius. And being The Scout sounded pretty good to her. She was in the Girl Guides. But that meant… ‘Are you telling me that Wayne’s a Genius?’ She sounded incredulous. She was incredulous.

‘What? Did somebody mention my name?’ Wayne looked up from his latest daydream.

‘You can’t be serious. You’re not are you?’ asked Kylie.

Gof again looked worried. ‘Well, I think we can say who everybody else is. You’re not a tart or a drunk, and you seem to agree that you are The Scout. That only leaves Genius for your brother, although I must admit that it does stretch my imagination a bit. Perhaps he’s got hidden depths.’

‘Very well hidden if you ask me.’ Jemima began laughing.

‘What do you think Kylie,’ Tarquin asked, ‘You know him best. Could he be a genius?’

‘I don’t know about hidden depths,’ she said, racking her brains for something that might indicate latent genius-ness, ‘but he can certainly sink to new depths. He does this everyday in my opinion.’

She burst out laughing. Tarquin smiled.

‘I’m not that dumb,’ Wayne insisted. ‘I even passed an exam last year. Maybe I’m just too smart for school. Maybe they just don’t understand me.’

Jemima started laughing harder. ‘What exam was that?’ she managed to say. ‘Getting your name right?’

Cedric started to laugh as well.

Wayne looked aggrieved. ‘No. I got an A grade in Home Economics. I made the best chocolate cake. Mrs McCusker was so impressed with the taste that she said it was the best cake she’d ever tasted and insisted all the others in the class had a taste. It wasn’t until later that we found out that some bastard had put a packet of laxatives in the mixture when I wasn’t looking. Gave the whole class the shits for the rest of the day. ’

Tarquin started laughing along with Jemima and Cedric. Even Kylie and the two badgers began giggling. Jemima started laughing so hard she had tears coming out of her eyes.

Wayne tried to explain further. ‘I don’t see what’s so funny. Poor old Simon Stevens got hit so suddenly that his pants just exploded in the middle of a French class that afternoon. Paul and Asif were sitting next to him and got splattered by the debris. They had to go for medical tests, just in case. And I don’t think Mrs Carter has got over it yet. She just sat in her chair rocking back and forth saying ‘shitshitshitshitshitshit’ over and over. She had to be carried out of the room. I heard she was in therapy for hours. She might even have post traumatic stress disorder. It’s not really that funny.’

Tarquin laughed so hard that he fell off his chair.

‘Really, this was serious. It’s no laughing matter.’ Wayne insisted. ‘Simon hasn’t had a girl come near him since then. They all call him Sewage Stevens and run away laughing. I reckon he’s got some serious psychological problems as a result of that cake. Apparently, every time his mum makes a chocolate cake he starts crying and runs to the loo to hide. That’s no way for a fifteen year-old boy to be.’

‘Oh stop…please stop,’ Jemima was pleading between her laughs. She slowly collapsed onto the floor and curled up in a ball, holding her sides. ‘I think I’m going to …burst something…or perhaps… wet myself…hahahahahahaha.’

Wayne decided to keep quiet. Nobody seemed to get how serious it had been, or, more importantly, that he’d got A in an exam. The bastards.

They all gradually settled down.

‘I haven’t laughed this much for years.’ said Tarquin.

‘Me neither,’ Kylie agreed, wiping tears from her eyes.

‘Whoa,’ said Gof. ‘I think we all needed that.’

‘I certainly did.’ said Cedric. He had brightened up a bit, although he looked pale. He was thinking about Ruby. If she was with the Vice Queen she could be in real trouble by all accounts. The stories that he’d heard did not sound good; she was probably in a dungeon by now. A hole was beginning to form in his stomach and tears pricked at his eyes once more. He blinked them back. ‘We still need to go and find Ruby. What are we going to do? What does the prophecy say? And what was in that drink?’

They all turned back to Gof. He squirmed in his seat. ‘The drink was a medicinal shot of nurdle. I don’t know any more than what I’ve told you about the prophecy, but I do know someone who might. And she lives on the way to the Vice Queen’s castle. It’s getting late, so I suggest we have some food, get a good night’s sleep, and tomorrow morning we’ll head further into the forest.’

After a simple meal of berries and nuts they all found a dry spot and Elvira provided warm blankets and mattresses. Kylie lay in the dark running over the events of the day in her mind. If time was running at the same rate in both worlds, then their parents would be coming home soon, or maybe they had already had, depending on the time differential between the two worlds – it wasn’t clear. In any case, she doubted that they’d notice that the kids were missing. It wouldn’t surprise her if they decided to stay in London overnight – they were bound to be pissed after going out for dinner. Her mum just loved being in the company of wealth and would do anything to keep it up for as long as possible. Her dad saw Tarquin and Jemima’s dad as an opportunity to get work for wealthy clients, so he’d be like a pig in shit, drinking with them and going along with everything. It might be days before they got back if the stories Kylie had heard about Tarquin and Jemima’s parents were true.

And what about Mrs Dawson? She would probably come back and panic when she couldn’t find them. If they stayed in here too long, perhaps she’d even be charged with their murder, and then there would be another spooky story to add to files of Stalinworth. Kylie giggled and then immediately felt bad. Mrs Dawson didn’t deserve that. Perhaps they should go back and leave a note…but what would it say? Gone to Barmia, back soon.

She drifted off to sleep as the sound of the badgers’ snoring echoed around the room. The complete darkness acted like an anaesthetic. Tomorrow she’d make a decision about what to do.

Katie Jones – a song

A song – ‘cos I write a few these days, when I want to annoy the neighbours

Katie Jones

In winter 1989
Katie Jones made up her mind
She left Newcastle, didn’t look back
She packed her life into her car
Picked a random guiding star
To take her off life’s beaten track

CHORUS
She rolled on down and empty road
Blinded by the low sun’s glare
On an endless journey to her home
To a place that was no longer there
Locked within recurring dreams
Wondering ‘bout what might have been
Had she kissed him on that lonely night
When love had driven out of sight

She spent some vintage summer days
Picking grapes near Adelaide
She met a man from Nottingham
But he drank a lot and fooled around
While she worked herself into the ground
She longed to find a better man

CHORUS

BRIDGE
She hit the Nullabor Plain
To the sound of Barnsey’s Last Frontier
She was on her own again
She headed west to Perth
Put her trust in the hand of Fate
And wondered what her trust was worth

She sat on Leighton Beach
Looking out across the sea
And muttered quietly to herself
‘There must be someone there for me.’

CHORUS
(and some kick ass guitar stuff from me)

Election Promises

 

What is an election promise

but a grain of hope,

washed in the grubby political shallows,

gathering grime by the layer.

A grain full of nothing,

no substance, just hot air,

that bursts when probed

leaving shattered illusions.

Fragments of truth drown in toxic ooze.

Presentation from Hell…you all know about this

Crowley decided that he’d rather suffer from bubonic plague than listen to Dan speak, or perhaps Ebola or an acute case of appendicitis. The man had the innate ability to anaesthetise the most active of brain cells in the most stimulating of environments. He could have single-handedly prevented the Renaissance. Artists would have thrown away their paint and brushes for the last time; thinkers would have had their brains dulled to nothingness; scientists would have stopped playing around with their gadgets. All of these wonderful people would have lost all motivation, realised the error of their ways, crumbled under his attack and slunk off back to their disease-ridden villages to once more grow potatoes and barley and wait for death to relieve them from the pain of existence. Or they might have simply slit their wrists.

Dan could make fifteen minutes last for three hours, drain the colour out of the most beautiful image, or suck the life out of a whole vibrant city. He was a weapon brought out by the executive team whenever progress or common sense was threatening to overcome mindless, mundane incomprehensible policy and process.

This was the Branch meeting from hell – or perhaps he’d died and gone to hell without realising it. There was no escape and Crowley could feel his heart beating faster with the tension. It was almost unbearable. Dan was droning on, and on, and on. In fact, Crowley’s brain was dissolving. He fancied that he could feel it starting to dribble out of his ears. Dan tended to do that to people – he had all the charisma of a festering turd.

Crowley found himself wondering whether he would be able to retain his ability to function logically long enough to locate a cyanide pill that would put him out of his misery before he lost all brain function, reached a vegetative state, and became a burden to the taxpayer.

A glance at the alternately blank, desperate, or tortured expressions on the faces of his colleagues re-assured him that he was not alone. There should be some sort of law against this sort of cruelty, particularly as it happened every Monday morning. Who had meetings on a Monday morning?

A spreadsheet currently adorned the screen on the wall – the latest slide in yet another PowerPoint presentation. Come to think of it, there should be a law against gratuitous use of PowerPoint presentations too. Dan was going through each column of the spreadsheet in excruciating detail.

Crowley snapped, pulled out his gun, and shot Dan between the eyes; at least he would have done if he’d had a gun to hand. A life sentence with hard labour would be a breeze compared to this. Or maybe his colleagues would be able to convince a jury that what he had done was purely in self-defence and in the interests of everybody in the room. Surely a reasonable jury would agree if he brought along a recording of the event. They’d probably dig up Dan and shoot him again, just to make sure.

Something different…

Today I saw Omar Musa read a passage from his book Here Come the Dogs at the Perth Writers’ Festival and he inspired me to write this in between sessions. No idea what made this pop into my head, but there you go…sometimes you have to write what comes to mind no matter how random – thanks Omar

Waves

There’s a storm assaulting me, an angry sea of green, it’s just mean, pushing me around, to the ground, but I rebound, move to the beat of my own sound. I like to feel the waves crash into me, their brutality, they’ve built my personality.

Some smash themselves to pieces in a rage, in vicious scenes, these self-destructive drama queens; some just hit with steady rhythm, a constant stream, a non-stop shove, from them, out of sight, unseen.

Some sneak up with hidden force, try to dump me, with casual malicious glee, then slink away so silently, watched by those that ease themselves to shore, basking in the sun, while in the name of fun, take random shots at me.

Nothing stops these waves, relentless, crushing the defenceless, but I resist, I am a rock, a solid piece of this earth, I know my worth, I’ve carved my place out, marked my turf. Yes I am a rock, standing in the undertow, taking all that they can throw at me, those waves that try to steal my self-belief, like thieves with menaces, but let them try ‘cos I’m a rock,  I bend the storm around me, all those waves and wind that batter me, they set me free, ‘cos I’m a rock that grew in adversity, so bring it on, I dare you.

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