Thursday, March 30, 2006

natural history

Ideas are a rare breed -- an endangered species. Fascinating but troublesome, they need their environment in perfect balance to thrive. Otherwise they will fade before your eyes -- they will wink out like so many Tinkerbells.

This world wasn't made for ideas -- this world is changing and the idea is losing the habitat it depends upon. Ideas are growing thin -- bones as silhouettes and see-through flesh -- they fossilise moment by moment.

They need space - to become, to believe. Wooded clearings and deserted beaches - they crave abandoned theatres of sand and leaves. Places they can stretch and grow, and try out their tumbles and turns when no-one is watching them. They will only show themselves then they are well rehearsed.

They are getting breathless -- struggling to draw enough air to let them sing. Others are stealing their air -- people who misuse it. Voices who idle away vowels and consonants -- making words and phrases that amount to nothing. Talk so small it gets blown away on the breeze -- and even the dust doesn't wave it goodbye.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

unnatural advocacy

The Devils Handbook
13 things you should know about the devil - fact or fiction - you decide

Don't be fooled into thinking he exists in the singular.

Don’t expect to hear him coming - sometimes he whispers while sometimes he roars.

He doesn't need an appointment.

He won't always answer when you call.

His breath smells of peppermint while his eyes are the colour of cloves.

Don't think you will never see him fall because he lives in the basement -- he has ladders that reach for the sky.

His house may be crumbling but the roof is propped up by a cruciform beam.

Sometimes he appears so vile as to turn your stomach, then turns on the charm to make you fall at his feet and ask for his hand as he asks for your heart -- on a plate for his supper or his tea.

He's a patchwork puppet of all your fears and dreams.

He is a woman in disguise.

Sometimes he crawls through the forest, sometimes he walks through the door.

Sometimes he sails the seas in a paper boat made from stolen love letters.

He’s at his most dangerous when he appears most vulnerable -- curled asleep on his bed of angel hair -- as while he sleeps sweetly he dreams a dream of being you.

Friday, March 17, 2006

they linger in the air

She asks me quietly - she asks me with perfect pronunciation - she asks me for a story. And this is what I give her.

A girl walks into a room. A room that used to be mine, before I moved on, before I left it to hang lonely on an unpainted wall. She throws open the windows and doors. She throws down a shabby suitcase. A suitcase that is always with her, that wears thin and needs a new patch every year.

She opens the case and climbs inside. She walks about within for a week or two - then emerges all fabric rebirth, fraying and hopeful with clutter in her hands. Some stamps, some coloured pieces of paper, a breadcrumb, a shell, and a feather. Souvenirs from the places she has been, from the palaces she has cleaned.

She lays these little treasures on her windowsill - to tempt you to a closer look. A tease to draw you into her room and her suitcase.

The sun stops by for a brief examination, but soon departs unimpressed - typical of his kind. A smirking bird claims the feather - an unlikely case of lost property - as the feather is white while he is grey.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

beginning to see the light

When I play god I sit at my table - the one with one leg shorter than the others. I never start with a level playing field. I could fold the history of this world and tuck it under to even things up - but I like to watch you shake and slide and cling on for dear life.

When I play god I dress for the occasion. Wrapped in a blanket of grey shot through with streaks of light. I am perfumed with a rumble of ozone and vengeance.

I play make believe. I play lets pretend my puppets have free will. When I’m thirsty I drink tea and slurp up the dregs of your fortunes. Even though they make me choke, I laugh at my own little joke.

I play devils advocate. I give you a box of matches, stand back, and hold my breath while you burn. When I play god my puppets play dead.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

heart of darkness

Horror is important. It reminds you that you can bleed. It scares the life out of you just to show you how safe you are.

Horror knows its business. It knows to keep things simple, to play with your childhood fears - being alone, in the dark, with a man behind the door.

Horror knows the power of pace. When to go slow, to make you think the danger is over, and when to bombard with sensory overload.

Horror knows to balance sound and its absence. The silence sets the scene for the scream and the screaming ceases for you to enjoy the silence - while it lasts…

Horror kills your desire to dream. It throws you over its shoulder and carries you to a locked room where it leaves you to wait and shake while the nightmares seep up through the floor.