Tuesday, January 27, 2009

out for the count

It’s hard to get going on some of these cold mornings.  A few warm-up exercises are called for.  And recently I’ve been having fun with the photo prompts provided by Sarah Salway. 


She has unusual tastes, not ones catered for on match.com.  How can she explain the boy of her dreams would have legs like chimneys, hair the colour of roof tiles, could only sleep at forty five degrees, and would talk exclusively in smoke signals.  Falling should always feeling like falling.

 * * * 

As each home failed them they moved on, to somewhere smaller and apparently safer.  And each time they took a souvenir.  The door hinges that survived the fire.  The name plaque from their daughters bedroom door, found buried in the flood mud.  The last supporting beam the woodworm chewed through.    

 * * * 

He fell in love with her eyes.  Both of them.  The greenest green of jealousy.  Voodoo.  Leaves.  He dreamed bad dreams whenever she stayed.  And this morning he woke, her gone, no note.  Just a pair of contact lenses on the pillow.  Which he ate, just to recapture her taste.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

a midnight snack

Late one night when no-one was looking I swallowed a hyphen.  The one from the middle of your silly surname.  I felt it scrape the walls of my throat on the way down.  I felt it sink into my stomach, weighing that sack lower in my body.  It was not easy or quick to digest.  I recalled my mother’s warnings about going to bed too soon after certain foods - all talk of things ‘laying on your chest’.  I dreamed of cream and chocolate sauces smearing the bed sheets.

When I woke I’d forgotten my sudden snack.  But in the morning mirror I noticed a dashed black line running down the length of my body, all the way from head to tail.  And when you got up you were no-one I recognised.  Just a someone broken in two.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

fletcher's monkey

I have sticky attention.  It’s like double-sided tape.  I choose something to attach it to but the other side stays peeled and primed and ready to grab any bits of fluff and litter that pass my way.

I enjoyed the novel I just read, but a fleeting detail has stuck to my tape and now I can’t shake it.  A little red monkey drawn onto a lightbulb in a boarding school.  Everywhere I go that monkey is in my mind.  He has nothing to say for himself but still he lingers.

I wonder what keeps him here.  Is it his colour? or the unlikely place he hides? is it that he remained nameless? or that when we meet him he is the only friend of the girl far from home?  or perhaps it’s because he wears a fez?

Either way we are stuck together until my glue dries and he drops off.  And he’s got me wondering what other strangely attired beasts burn on bulbs that hide beneath demure shades.  What other primates flash sixty watt smiles.  He’s got me wanting to slip into other homes and draw snakes and tigers and jellyfish onto the light fixtures of strangers.  I want to know that someone somewhere is turning on a secret hummingbird at sundown.