Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Norfolk Coast

Matchstick poetry

The Sea at Bognor-

An inkwell
With screaming V's
And salty poster paint rocks with their grey faces
And the swimmers drowning in the watermarks
Like flies doing a death dance atop a pond.
Beer froth or spittle.

Van Gogh's Shoes-

Bitter coffee leather
The tongue
gagged with strings
And bent back
Like a finger.

An Ending Sketch- Published by WORD GUMBO 2012

I catch the train: Bognor Regis to London, Victoria.

It’s about half seven in the morning and my eyes itch as I ram the flimsy travel card into the barrier machine. The grey muzzled bloke overseeing this looks rough as hell. He’s a big bloke, and he’s wearing one of those fluorescent safety jackets which makes him look like a canary on steroids. I can’t tell if he’s going to say good morning or not until the last second.

I’m the first one onboard.

My hands shake as I plunk my takeaway Costa coffee down onto a little fixed table on the train-surrounded by one of those four seat affairs. Two forwards and two go backwards. I opt for the one which looks cleanest, although the pattern is ghastly with swirls of clashing browns and oranges, like Technicolor vomit. I realise choosing one going backwards will make me feel nauseous, but think it will look stupid to switch. The coffee is lukewarm and bitter with sea-surf cataracts of scum. It tastes like shit.

Some of it has slopped over onto the back of my hand, so I wipe it off on the thigh of my dark jeans as I stash my worn rucksack down by my feet. The hastily ironed check shirt I’m wearing has a huge neglected crease down the torso, and I’m pretty sure I look as rough as the bloke at the barrier. I stretch and smooth my hands through my rakish hair like a guy in a movie. I take off my square glasses and push my fingers into the corners of my eyes until it hurts. I’m really short-sighted. I mean, really. I’m like Velma in Scooby Doo when she loses her specs and mistakes the monster for Shaggy. Funny I guess- but when it comes down to it I’m practically blind and it’s bloody awful. A few more people are starting down the platform towards the train now. They are blurred creatures who slur through my squint.

I needlessly wipe a lens with the corner of my creased shirt, and push my glasses back on.

I glance at the few bleary-eyed characters that’ve started to board the carriage. I decide to name them. There’s some ginger guy,(Ron) and a Scottish sounding older couple talking about their daughter where the wife has some sort of lazy eye (christened McWang-eye). Everyone else is pretty unremarkable, aside from this ferret-faced man in his mid fifties with anaemic hair who reminds me of the white rabbit in ‘Alice in Wonderland’. I struggle to remember what happens to the white rabbit in the story. I think I see the man tug a little chain watch from his breast pocket, and I feel a slick of cool down my neck like a hunk of snow.

Then a woman sits opposite me. Glancing up from my coffee for just a second, I observe how the dark skirt-suit she’s wearing hugs her slender body. She holds a satchel in one hand, and a thick manila envelope in the other which she places on her lap and folds her pale hands over, before smoothing out a little furrow in her skirt material. When she crosses her stocking clad legs I think to myself that a weaker man may splutter on his poor quality coffee. Although they’re probably tights, not stockings, since this is not the 1950’s.I would prefer it if they were stockings, however. She has long, dark hair which lays softly either side of her face as she stares intently out of the window as if she’s looking for something. If this were a Chanel advertisement, a hotter version of me would wordlessly lead her out of the carriage and into my abode. I can’t help but smirk.

Sensing me staring, she averts her eyes and goes to tug something out of the satchel with a little ‘click’ of the bronze clasp. I stare down at my crappy rucksack feeling like a massive pervert. Then a miracle happens. To my surprise, she tugs out a little book and a gleaming silver pen (which looks damn pricey), before scrawling something on one of the back pages. The book looks like a diary, but the tiny printed numbers at the bottom of each side, and the way the spine’s bound tells me it’s a printed copy of something. The cover is blank. She tears off the page which bears whatever she’s just written, and pushes it across the course table towards me.

It can’t be. Oh God, it is. A phone number; namely, hers I presume. I am overwhelmed with a sensation of horror and delight. And nausea, actually; but I put that down to the fact I’m travelling backwards. I glance up at her, probably holding the expression of someone who has just been diagnosed with the bad news that yes, you have cancer, but no, it isn’t terminal. She winks at me and I almost throw up in my mouth. I look behind me to check the hotter version of me from the Chanel advert isn’t there, and she’s grinning when I turn back to her. The front to carriages of the train could easily have been consumed in a mushroom cloud of smoke and fire in that instant, and I would have been none the wiser.

Still holding my bewildered gaze with her dark eyes, she abruptly picks up the envelope on her lap and tears along it neatly, yet somehow brutally with a fingernail, before glancing at a broad sheet of paper inside. It looks as if it’s been wedged in the wrong way by somebody, as she struggles to tug it out from the envelope.

It’s breached.’ I blurt out, reverting to comedy in a desperate attempt to dowse the awkwardness of the whole situation. 

She laughs like it’s the funniest thing she’s ever heard, and I imagine how this would make her lovely face light up if the sun could filter properly through the grainy window. She seems pleased with whatever the contents of the envelope reads as she scans it, and then slides it wordlessly into the satchel. The little book she keeps grasped firmly in her hands. I wonder what it is. Her knuckles are white.

 I thought you looked a funny one.’ She offers, easily.

I am unsure whether to be horribly offended, or immensely flattered. She doesn’t look like she either cares or expects an answer, which makes two of us. Then she leans across the table towards me, and gives me a peculiar and evasive look. I feel both flattered and threatened.

So, if you had to shag a Mr Man, who would you shag?’ She asks quizzically.

Damn. I knew this was too good to be true. But the churning in my stomach and the soft rumble of the train below me tells me she has actually just asked me this question.

‘Mr Bump,’ I reply, triumphantly, ‘so that I could kill him afterwards and make it look like an accident. That way nobody would ever know.’

She seems impressed. At this stage, I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr Blobby came strolling down the gangway and high fived me. What the fuck was in that coffee?

I notice that she checks something in the little book before she gives me a little glance of approval and giggles at my response, which is strange. I throw up in my mouth a little again. The feeling of nausea persists as she asks me the next few questions. These included whether I thought that Boris Johnson looks like a Little Britain character(yes), and the most crazy thing I’d ever done(getting a temporary tattoo on my face when I was thirteen). It starts to feel like an inquisition, and I don’t like it. Each time she checks in the little book before laughing.

She suddenly says she needs to go to the bathroom, and winks at me before saying she trusts me to protect her things; even the little book, so long as I don’t look inside it. The last part is spoken with a severe tendency which alarms me. What alarms me more is the fact she trusts me with her things.

Of course I look.

On closer inspection, the cover is warm from how tightly she’s been clutching it. It’s dark and rather smooth, but not like leather; moleskin perhaps. Feeling guilty, I flick to the back of the book where a page is turned down. I presume this to be the place she kept referring to. Today’s date is printed neatly in the top right hand corner, and it seems to be a set of questions and responses set out with a different font corresponding to each, like a script. No, wait; it’s actually a joke book.

In type ink, each of the jokes I made in the last few minutes stand in bold on the page. How is that possible? I think I may vomit onto the seat next to me.

I flick back a couple of months, and it’s the same thing. Stuff I can barely remember saying that made someone or other laugh. And it’s all here in this book. Suddenly, the content of the envelope slips out from between the pages. She must have put it inside here for safe keeping. It’s a letter confirming a publishing contract for this material- the little book. All my material.

Hearing a voiceover make the announcement of the next stop, I grab my rucksack and jolt out of the door, not caring which stop it is or where I’m going. I think that on my own two feet I can go wherever I chose, and I laugh all the way sprinting down the platform towards the exit barrier until the sound distorts into a curdling sob like a drowning infant.

I throw up on a rough looking bloke at the barrier.


Harry Potter vs. Twilight Rap off.


You put the ho in horcrux

If you know what I mean

‘Cause more snitch been near your snatch than there’re types of every flavour bean.

While Ed sparkles in the sun,

Bella be so pale it be obscene

Where’s this shit even come from?

Oh yes, it came to you in a dream.

See it does not do to dwell on

Dreams and forget to live ‘cause even if

Edward is the hottest undead guy ever,

He’s pretty and likes the dark? Should work in fucking Hollister.

He’s such a shallow prick

The only depth is in his hair

No wonder fire is a hazard

All that product in the air.

And Bells put the die in Indie

She be so emo, apathetic,

New Moon of her pathetic depression,

You can obliviate. Forget it.



You say my ideas are shit

My, you’re such a hypocrite.

A ginger with two friends?

We’re both being unrealistic.

But I guess your ending’s smart:

‘I open at the close’

It’s just a shame that yo’ villain doesn’t even have a nose.

And if your hero’s so magic why does he need specs to see?

As for the Weasleys: offensive.

I have ginger sensitive epilepsy.

See, I find that more tragic than the whole ‘orphaned’ thang.

And ‘the chosen one’ is such a cliché,

What in the name of Jacob’s wang?

Yeah Harry is such a four eyes,

Some nerdy looking twat.

Protected by his mother’s love?

What the Forks is with that?



I created Potter, more,

And an entire magical world.

All you got’s some pasty hipsters

And a whiney little girl (Edward).

I gon’ wingardium my leviosa in yo’ face,

You literary disgrace,

Wish you’d jump off a cliff, like that stupid bitch, and sink without a trace.

See my characters are deep, and my plot is complex.

Your stupid fans just watch the movies, to see Taylor Lautner’s pecs.



Well I know you think you’re better but you shouldn’t even bother,

Bet your boggart looks like me, you think you’re such a great author,

Yeah Dumbledore died,

So will the era of Potter,

Because this saga is far larger

And the Cullens are way hotter. 



A Rap on the subject of Hipsters.

A rap song I wrote to the song ‘Ridin Dirty’ by Chamillionaire, on the subject of hipsters:


They see me scrollin’ (On Tumblr)

They Hipster, Patrollin and tryn catch me riding mainstream

Tryna catch me riding mainstream (x4)

My music so new, you ain’t heard

They hopin’ that they gone catch me ridin’ mainstream

Tryna catch me riding mainstream (x4)


One time I caught me a bream

It’s a metaphor for the mainstream

See ma bike ride, see ma lights beam

Savin’ the planet Ima hipster machine

Riding with organic veg I’m like hold up

Next to my scrolla controlla

Not enough mousse in my moustacha

Fetch me some product and a coma

Wear second hand clothes like from an orphan home

It’s vintage bitch, jeans tight like skin tryna get me some

And I like old movies cause I view the irony

Despite glasses (without glass) don’t do shit to help me see,

It seems contradictory,

Different yet other hipsters look exactly the same as me,

It’s like a f*cked up philosophy,

Prove society ain’t the boss of me

Wear a branded t shirt?

I’d rather have a frickin colonoscopy,

And look at my triangle- symbol of my faith,

It’s equilateral man,

 area equals height times half base

Iva non-conforming pale little face

Cram my books in a satchel bag, cause other guys use a brief case.

I hate anything liked, by the majority of the human race.


They see me scrollin’ (On Tumblr)

They Hipster, Patrollin and tryn catch me riding mainstream

Tryna catch me riding mainstream (x4)

My music so new, you ain’t heard

They hopin’ that they gone catch me ridin’ mainstream

Tryna catch me riding mainstream (x4)


Munching a biscotti,

On my mac in starbucks,

I’d try and blow juice up my straw

Cause everyone else sucks

Researching a thing

Omniscient God’s never heard of

Pondering the silence,

Stroking ma moustaaaache,

The only book my face is on,

Is a vintage gothic novella,

See I deleted my account,

Cause too many friends were on there too yeah

See the others are all stuck

Up the mainstream creek without a paddle,

I’d dive in and save ya’ll,

But I’m wearing too much goddam flannel

It’s a battle, I’m a judge,

Bet you’ve never been attacked with a gavel

Yeah I won’t drive by, my bike

Is how I like to travel.

And I like reblogging pictures,

Backdropping irrelevant phrases,

It’s how I spend my nights,

And some of my dayses,

Now this is done it’s final,

I own this shit on vinyl,

And when I trip I Tumblr cause that is just my styyyle.

The Perils of hobbying.

At the tender age of eighteen my friends lovingly purchased knitting set for me, whereby in the end result you produce a lumpy little man. It took me thirty five minutes to figure out how to cast on, but only a couple to cast him off.

I jest, but it did make me consider how little I actually do that may class as a hobby. Of course you do things which may aid your university application (e.g. having a swarm of kids aiming for a kill shot with lumps of clay the size of golf balls whilst attempting teaching support), but you never do anything really just because you want to. I used to go swimming weekly which perhaps qualifies, however it did alert me to the fact that merely ‘swimming’ is not enough anymore. Oh no. According to the nice group of hippies clanging symbols and chanting in the adjoining room and their leaflets, there are now whole arrays of new things- crystal healing meditation, baby aqua yoga (Christ), and pilates (which sounds like a type of Asian cuisine to me) etc. I can’t even cope with the swimming- have you ever noticed how the floats always have bite marks in them? Most disturbing.

Mind you, traditionalist hobbies are equally horrific. ‘Would you, with no experience, like to strap a pair of knives to your feet and attempt to navigate on a surface designed specifically to prohibit friction? Oh, and you will be with a group of people you have just met from work so this will be your first, and quite possibly last impression to present them with.’ Sounds crazy. Yet. ‘Hey, want to join us in the ice skating rink by the forum later, it’s gonna be mega.’ Sounds perfectly plausible and you go along with it. The level of pain/humiliation was indeed X10-9 (check), but no, other than that the experience was most certainly not bloody ‘mega’.

Besides, who has time for hobbies when you are struggling through bloody A-levels? Essentially, about as much as time as somebody with young kids has. To extend the metaphor in your direction (oer): they keep you up until the early hours of the morning, you are often unfairly judged by them, and they leave you broke as you cannot take up too many hours of employment if you want to scrape through and spend time nurturing them.

The Perils of Fitness.

I have just paid a sum of five English pounds to get shouted out by a Columbian gentleman who goes by the name of ‘Nad’, along with a room full of sweaty women a decade my senior. The following hour involves thrusting, embarrassment, and the (failed) attempt of a group of British women to subside to the Latin rhythm without cringing. Alas, Nad was not the ringleader of a local orgy, but the local Zumba instructor.

I knew it was a bloody mistake as soon as I walked in the door- to see that the more experienced looking women at the front were wearing a spandex ensemble and had brought towels with them. Actual towels. Who sweats that much they need a towel? At the other end of the spectrum there were two women at the back who left half way through the class to go and ‘have a fag’. God Bless.

Varying somewhere between these two extremes, I knew that the five pounds would have been better spent on a cup of tea and fucking massive slab of cake. But the Hell was not over when ‘Nad’ withdrew from the room (saucy), oh, no, this was merely the catalyst for the next awkward part: changing room Politics.

 Now, I don’t know why this is, but older women are inclined to flash everything, with the attitude ‘Once you’ve had a baby, you don’t care who sees it.’ Lord. They also will discuss issues of a ‘sexual’ nature to a graphic extent e.g. ‘Oh, it was really great, he was so lovely and let me put my legs behind his ears with no trouble at all.’ In this instance it turned out she was talking about her having ridden an elephant on holiday, but my point still stands.

Thus, since then I have ventured to find a form of exercise which doesn’t leave me needing therapy. So far, I have toured a gym with a scary man who looked like he lives on protein shakes and adrenaline, and who could probably wrestle a lion with his bare hands.

The guy was so fit he boasted that he could jog to the gym (unnecessary) in about five minutes from his flat quite a way away.

It takes me five minutes to get the bloody trousers on. Needless to say, I didn’t sign up.

Cake time.  







Perils of the House Party Culture

Well, this is about as fun as an epileptic fit; ironically something I am likely soon to experience due to the high frequency of flashing lights in my face. This is the party.

It is no place for me, since I am very middle class, and tend to drop it like it’s lukewarm at best. The trigger for my presence here was the words ‘Hey, want to come round mine on Saturday night for a get together, it’s going to be sick.’ However,  ironically, the promise of it being sick has come to fruition only in the form of some guy hurling chunks across the poor host’s mother’s carpet.

Some people go to leave and I overhear them discuss whether they shall walk home ‘the long way, or the rapey way?’ which I think is so great I fight the urge to write it down for later and instead commit it to memory. There is also a girl who has clearly drunk half a bottle of gin (this is a party of middle class teenagers, so yes, gin) and is coming on to anything that moves. There is little else of note aside from this essentially: I have come to the conclusion that the ideal extended for a party is that it is an operation. After all, you wake up feeling terrible in a crowded room full of strangers and you know you will need a while to recover, but thankfully you were unconscious for the majority of the time so you don’t remember anything anyway.

Diagnosis: socially inept.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

The Perils of Visiting Hollister

Firstly, may I enquire as to why this establishment has chosen to select staff members so wondrously attractive that they appear to be the missing link between the human race and some divine creature from the depths of Greek mythology, yet shroud them in perpetual darkness? Folding, and refolding those little piles of expensive t-shirts; merely uttering an American sounding ‘Hey guys!’ if they catch you on entry, or a ‘Thanks guys!’ if they catch you on the rear exit (oh my), as you stagger back into the blinding light of civilisation, your eyes and nostrils aflame with the special Hollister smell which signifies their Godly superiority. One time I went in there with my brother, and it made his asthma play up so we had to leave. I expect that the scent has been designed that way, as a method of selection pressure so as to expel nerds and conserve the natural trendsetting population within. I wonder if the attractive staff are a race of vampires, or perhaps will someday evolve into a race of mole people to suit their habitat?  To be fair, you probably could train up moles to fold clothes just as well. They would also be cheaper and less intimidating. I also wonder whether the trendy palm trees which I always bugger over in there are real, since surely the lack of light would kill them- and what the bloody hell is with the fake windows with waves outside, to create the illusion that we are adjacent to a blissful Californian Summers day at the beach? If we were really next to that, then why the fuck would I stand in a dark smelly room (with clothes where the colour is always different to what you thought it was by the time you look outside in the light) looking at it out of a window?

Thus the overall effect is that of darkness, blaring sound, surrounding water, disorientation, overpowering smells, and immense fear (from the staff that look as perfect as the embarrassingly semi-naked people on the bags-which I refuse to use since it’s weird to practically carry your gym kit around inside a naked person). It sounds like a bloody premise for a horror film about a cave diving accident, and quite frankly I could get that experience as a miner.

Or sewage worker even.

And at least that way I could wear what I liked without being judged, and there would still be less shit to put up with.