Tower of Babble

Finger-tips standing to attention
Left buttock lifted to fire
A starting shot of sulphur
He’s off
Left, right, left, right
Fingers sashay up and down
The Queen’s keyboard
In exclamation-marked outrage
At charges of gutter culture
Left, right, left, right
Re-routed and stopped
From entering the Republic of Logic
By those blockading reconciliation
One’s iconography being set alight by
Placing an inferno under that of another
Left, right, left, right
Jenga’ing his way around detractors
He slides one pallet out from under another
Reconstructing his argument
Capital-lettering one back on top of the next
Left, right, left, right 
Until they fill the entire screen-line
On which he stands aloft
Squinting over at dissenting dandruff down below
The click-clacking of
Bullets from his behind
Left, right, left, right
In concert with the silent but deadly
Desertion of his leaders

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Rewired

The first problem with pulling the plug on the blog was wondering what to do with all the posts. What worth had they, if any, in the annals of internal monologues, and for whom. The desertion by question marks from that sentence consistent with the indifference everyone reading it feels.

As a compendium of places my monologues visited during a specific time and place, was there any point in letting them gather dust for future surface-blowing. Having spent most of my independence as a fugitive from carrying much baggage other than psychological, I had come to regret the periodic replenishing of recycling boxes with letters and diaries and scrapbooks and Red Bulled essays. Some origamied into qualifying for forensic lab assembly requiring tweezers and expert witness hands. Others discarded whole with a cavalier flick beloved of anyone adept at undervaluing exchanges between 20 somethings with no money, no direction, and no surrender to the game being up.

The second problem with pulling the plug on the blog was wondering who could blow the dust off. Laundering them through Twitter as re-usable currency for communication was all very well but their shelf-life eventually expired along with representations of everyone and everything in them. If they were dating site profile pics, the hair-lines would now be dots on the horizon of their owners foreheads hovering above thinned top lips hanging like interval curtains over teeth gone for another costume change.

A few teeth are missing. The two front teeth just this weekend. She is above my fluctuating waistline now and firmly under his wing. I thought of asking him to store these posts under lock and key for her to peruse at a legal drinking date should fate intervene and dispossess me of an opportunity to hand them over myself. Hand over myself. My other selves. The half-distracted self. The middle-distance thinking self. The one she senses is somewhere else.

She mightn’t be interested in where I went anyway.

The third problem with pulling the plug on the blog was being caught short of a place to be and ending up in Twitter. Again. And again. And again. Twitter is other hells of other selves and an elusive sense of self. The HD self. The short distance sprinting thinking self. No roaming in the gloaming through the byroads of the subconscious for a long-form to and fro. Just interrogation lighting with torchlights drawn at 20 paces along the keyboard.

The fourth problem with pulling the plug on the blog is wanting to plug it back in. Sometimes.

 

January 7th, 2018

She unfastens grave-stoned tinsel tracing frames.
Silver: Like the anniversary celebrated within.
Green: What she was on her wedding day in hindsight.
Green: What she feels if she thinks about it long enough.
Red: The colour of two delicate unlit candles held in
by a girdle of tape slowly limbo dancing the air on the mantlepiece;
Having swaggered in upright in 19 and 61 when presented as a gift for
their first Christmas from her Mother who, for the last two weeks,
has been adorned with plastic holly in the hallway without her consent.
It doesn’t match the pillbox hat tilted in the same direction
as the eyes made at her new husband sitting comfortably below her.
Cherry-picking the tree, off with glittered globes from Sainsburys.
2 for £1.50 in the January sale of 2014.
Sainsburys being the one shop that do those bulbs for the lights
hanging over paintings in the only gallery she has ever curated.
The harbour at Port-na-Blagh from the main road,
on the bend, pre-planning blight, pre-life insight.
A concentration of boxes lining the valley of Glenties;
recognisable only to the discerning eye. And at that,
incapable of revealing his true origins to her
no matter how intense her gaze lingering on it.
An elegant woman, overdressed to be wandering a meadow alone,
before ending up in the living room on account of the flowers
she’s sniffing matching the carpet.
Upwards towards preserved artifacts of her children’s childhood:
Chain-gangs of looped paper rings, misshapen stars,
the clear glass bear from Dublin. Or was it Derry?
Tiers of nearly tears until she reaches the inscrutable angel
presiding somewhat judgmentally over her domestic domain.
Refusing to look down over unabashed nakedness at eyes
coming up for her in the hope they’ll both see another one.

Aye

She stood losing a staring contest with the new coffee machine before stepping aside for a Cop. He overtook her on autopilot to resume the universal challenge of early morning indifference. Both of them united by separation anxiety from its predecessor. One that might’ve gurgled back in protest but didn’t tease regulars with fancy moves like this one. Like dispensing hot water then pausing for a round of applause before introducing the headline act to the cup.

That’s when I invaded her peripheral vision with the offer of a lid they thought hip to hide from view, startling her in a manner usually reserved for catching my own reflection.

Ah. It’s yourself. I was away in another world there.

A world of under-eye shadows from Intensive Care Unit hours she’d been keeping; under eyes no bigger than curled up confetti from going through her revolving car-door leaving no time for her usually flawless make-up.

How are things?

Aye. OK. He’ll spend another week in ICU, then home. But recovery will be slow. It’s hard on Mum but there’s hardly a family we know that’s not affected by it. Is there, like?

Aye. True.

Everything else is much the same. The boys are fine. Still fighting over Power Rangers cards. And football football football. You know yourself. Is your wee one not into them things yet? They’re a bloody torture.

Aye. She’s a big Celtic fan though, I conceded, finally settling my end of the subtle transaction of child inspired exasperation. Like her Da. So, you know yourself.

[In unison] Aye!

And with that we awkwardly strung out our goodbyes until she reached the till and the poppy on the lapel of her padded coat faded to something vaguely resembling a blood donor badge on a shrunken duvet. One she could cheerfully disappear under.

I skulked back over to the flashy coffee machine wondering what would she think if she knew I pulled my wee one from Remembrance Assembly last week. The one her two boys skipped into along with every other wee one from what I could gather on Facebook, where all the best rights are violated. Shouldn’t I have sent in her in there? Isn’t this what integrated education is all about?

Aye. According to the stock imaged posters, and those misty-eyed promos featuring Liam Neeson selling us the benefits of holding hands across the playground in a non-threatening voice. There he is. All whispery, beatifically laying his hand on a shoulder as the camera pulls away to reveal me gnawing my fist. For f*ck’s sake, Liam. Too many people already think integrated education is for pretentious w*nkers and toffs. Ham up the local brogue there like a good man.

Aye. OK. I made that last bit up.

Of course it’s for bloody toffs you stupid eejit, pointed out my friend diplomatically. You have to drive to get to it!

Aye. Right enough.

And where does your wee one go, the integrated?, inquired a colleague condemned to my front passenger seat longer than should ever be necessary.

Aye.

Aye?

Aye.

Fair play til ya. Friends of our Mary goes there.

Aye?

Oh aye.

Wait a second. So there’s no Irish at all?, another mate re-checked, ramping up the incredulity.

Aye.

Lucky f*ckers.

Aye.

 

blood

Join the army today! 

 

Supposing

Supposing when my words step backwards down into the page, they capsize and stubbornly attach themselves to the expanse in ways that duck my reach before drifting ashore in my hair from where I’ll embarrassingly pick them out days later, frayed and indecipherable to the untrained squinter.

“Is that something in your hair?” “Ah yes”, I’ll squint, dislodging it from its hiding place behind my ear before studying in mock fashion, “why it appears to be a question mark”.

Supposing there will come a time when she won’t let me square why? with the why not? Of Remembrance Assembly attendance.  Of not wearing that hooped jersey on sports day. Of being the Other of Three categorically divided by Two.

Supposing I was to go one tip-toe further with a pre-emptive why not? at the why? Of the hidden fadas. Of invisible hurleys. Of being the Other of Three unquestioningly divided by One.

Supposing we were keep-the-head-downers, mixed-marrieds centrists, holders of wringed hands clasped in prayer, would-be gleaming side-stepfording governors.

Would we all be Other than who We are then?

 

Body of evidence

The deck of cards is not needed now.
Slap it sideways on the kitchen table
Until it has break-danced itself
into sanctuary behind the Joker
Howling in our faces all along.
A jester holding appeals over the courtship
of righteousness and misdirection;
Chaperoned by those salt-of-the-moon types
Saucer-eyed out stationed destination’ed trains.
Incandescent with dullness and clapping
with all the force of a sigh of Iarnrod Eireann passengers
arriving within the hour of the hour.
The jury of the unamused should not fooled by.. by…
Objections, Your Honour.
Overruled
Over rules?
Sustained. The defence may call its sole witness.
Witness flings itself through the door
Rolling inanimately atop four-legged determination.
The defendant is ordered to place the needle delicately
on its infinite radial of plaintive cries,
underlain with pedal-raising feats of piano notes
subdued just enough to spark her synapses back into being.
Igniting her body along the flammable strip of her sashay
Before a creep-up of drumbeats begs her
to lose her footing causing her to trip
Headfirst onto a confetti of harmonica.
Zig-zigging to and fro in an eight-shaped
Skate-figured skim over what doesn’t matter now
Held up by the reverb from what mattered then.
Gripping her hips with the fellowship of disparition that
Compresses her track-by-track into an artist’s impression of
foetal desperation that when turned up
reveals her brandishing a mic mid-air
in defiant electrification.
The jury of the infused finds her gilded.

Shot through the heart!

And you’re to blame *cups ear*  ….you give… that’s it…..a bad…

Beautiful singing, dot comrades. Like an Enya album speeded up to 45. Irresistable that tune, init?  A bit like the keyboard.

I hope you’re all doing grand and the sunlight isn’t causing too much of a nasty glare on your screen. As if internet enthusiasts haven’t enough to contend with. Sleep. Other people. Driving. Eating. The barriers are many but we battle through. Some of us towards other forms.

I’ve carried out the threat of tinkering beyond the long-form rambling into a more disciplined method with a new location for same. It may be short-lived. It may not. Shrugs. All visitors, snoopers, lurkers, and Enya/Chris deBurgh very welcome.

http://www.fourleggedwords.com

🙂