short short story



He’d spent his life trying to understand the world.  And the truth was he still was unable to.  But the nearest he ever got to understanding it better was writing it down on a page.  It wasn’t enough that the page be on computer, either: if that had been the case, the quandary would’ve been non-existent.  No.  The real issue was that he needed to feel that – in however a limited way – at least some people would stumble across and connect with what he said – all the things he said; that at least some people might even reply.

But he was also aware, all too fully aware, that on starting out on the project which had then helped him survive, his survival was going to be at the expense of other people, whose memories and beings were frankly theirs, and whose permission had not been obtained.

To what extent, then, was his survival quite wrong?  If this was the only means he had to recover from fairly mad actions the year before, was the alternative simply not to survive – to continue to fall into the sin of wasted practice, and co-exist until the end arrived, sooner or later, to the lives he did experience?

He guessed there was little he could say any more on the matter.  He had not proceeded justly; he had not proceeded fairly; instead of writing his love and real affection for the people who had touched him through private acts of joy so great just his writing about them had cured him of so much pain, he should’ve had the balls to call them up one by one, and tell them equally privately the impact they had retained on him.

And maybe it’d be crazy, and perhaps they’d have considered him crazy – but crazier still was to think that art in itself could save the day where discretion clearly had not.

The discretion of family can be a terrible thing, of course: the private forums that involve family debate on many occasions lead to hateful pursuit of weakest member.  But the private forums are private either way, and a persecuted member does always have the opportunity to get away.

In a world where government now watched our every move, he was still a little curious as to how this might pan out.

But if the reality was actually that he’d wronged the people in his thoughts, perhaps the ultimate sacrifice did have to be contemplated: perhaps the art of thoughts – the art primarily of writing – demanded he no longer had or communicated them.




Why do they always say have your cake and eat it?

Shouldn’t it be a case of have your cake or eat it?

Or, on the other silver platter, eat your cake and have it –

where have means eat rather than possess it?


Life, in a way, is very like that cake.

Multiple options which confuse and bemuse.

Even the syntax of such multiple options doesn’t half

flatly refuse to lay itself out clear.


And I no longer want to square circles as before;

as once I might have needed to grandly proclaim;

as once I clearly needed to.

But listen, dear universe – listen and advise:


is my art worth any sacrifice – or am I mediocre

beyond trivial measure?  Or can the sacrifice, even now,

if worthy of art I mean, still be made in a squaring of wagon-trailed

circles, which command pioneering movement?


I’d love to know not where to go, nor who might be

waiting, nor even if no one rightly cares any more

for what are ridiculous thoughts at nineteen to a dozen (although I do

have to say I prefer twenty …).


I’d far rather love to know if anyone really thinks

it’d be better for me to give up what I’m doing, because

in simple artistic terms of critical bent, I’m halfway round a curve

looking for idiocy all the time.


And talking about oneself, and talking about others,

has helped me recover – I think – a semblance of myself

but I realise, right now, I can’t do this art stuff without talking about

others who might sensibly object.


And if talking about others who might sensibly object

is all I know how to do in the art that I do, and this is

quite wrong, and I am out of work, like coffee machine in corporate

pecking order, maybe the art that’s been lost


all these years I’m alone, and without beloved contact

with the muse of my life, must continue to be unmade

as much as it can.  For what right do I have to uncover the sadness

that drove me to madness and the cell I am in?


Sk[in] [6]

I wake up in the middle of my night –

so you have me before you; unable to keep at


ing wolves of fear that pursue

me almost like before.

But then their howls, down

dying their now, remind me I have a choice:

I can run as before

or fight the fear

I contain, which has stained my life

and that of others.

And if the parallel art which speaks

its name, its story and its

terrifying point of view (I fear once

more – so is there no end to fear?)

does damn me as it might, my

fear and disgrace and anger about myself

for having engaged in a battle of wits

I had no right to impose upon you all –

the ones who loved me in the ways they

needed (for that is the essence of liberty, not

my wants) … it shall – this art – be quite com-


a manner of writing has become

a manner of speaking that life will deny

any manners at all.

And all I ever loved about you was the way

you became happy in my presence: and that,

in the absence of anything I was able

to get from the cupboard of physical

affect that was bare, though not naked

(I fear again!) (but I’m repeating myself:

who cares

about these things which bore you any more?

Who cares that they bore me so hard

in those days

that I still feel a hole drilled through my

whole body from end of time –

from end

of days too?  Is that to be my

terrible fate?) –

and so I also so yearned for your nakedness

and body:

to touch

your breasts gently or fiercely, to feel your

legs held around me, wanting to be around

me … that’s all I wanted:

I only wanted to be wanted, and

all my life I’ve been as if on a weirdly



date: hoping only (as one really should) for

a peck on the check

(or did I mean cheque or

did I mean cheek?  Only the Lord knows

now what I mean …), and

a promise understood of more than

a touch on the shoulder of weighty

manhood as given or taken or

lost today: this was the cost of my inability

to say that today is the day we

either do talk or go

walk our separate ways.

But then I ask myself now, as the wolves

do howl, if art in itself –

or even my daily joy – justifies the pain

of hurting others when I know from the in-

side what it is to be hurt: if only we could

be the adults I wasn’t, we could

pick up and find some adult way forwards:

adult in sensibility and equanimity and

favour, but adult in senses and sexes and

fervour, and maybe it’s time I asked the

universe for the guidance

I need:

for the skin I am in

has so little distance from the pain I became

as rain fell on a plain; and I wondered,

even now, if when you say those things

(those things that so easily make me feel

I was a p’raps a tad

more than a tiresome writer of winging words

which draw more attention to their

own dancing flight than

really I was able to add to their meaning –

or even their sheer bestockinged delight!) …

and those things people say lately,

which make me want to weep

because no one says such things

to me any more,

not in a minute nor a day nor in a week …

and you

suggest that I was born to be

loved in that way

you suggest in that way maybe I misunderstand,

and I love the idea behind the

kindness enshrined, but then do wonder fiercely

whether really you are telling me

I deserve to be loved but don’t deserve to

love others.

And maybe you mean my job on this rock

is to change my evil ways and become

the good that broke the

lot those many years ago, when fear

attacked my soul and made me quite incapable

of doing the stuff I now do:

and what I do now … it sincerely isn’t false, but it

wasn’t always like that and I wouldn’t like

at all to give a false impression: a false man

I might be for even trying goodness so publicly,

so brazenly, so obviously, so redolently, so


a fallen

man with a desire to be touched in the ugly skin

he’s become, and who’s reached the very end of

a curious story where this being tethered to

a curious owner has led him to

bemuse why love is so complicated:



and the

funny thing and truth is that

love I have had, from everyone in bucketfuls:

and I guess it’s quite true:


but what’s really missing from my life is sex.



“T[..] Mathematics Show” / “T[..] Seven Deadly Sins”

T[..] marketing de-



thought it a great wizard wheeze to magickly

invent a TV program-

me of people you’d watch so

closely through t[..]ir maths and numbers

that visual observance and direct


ion would no longer scientifically be





nor ne-


ceasing to know what t[..]y

got up to, thought

or went and



Just think of all t[..] piss-

abilities: follow anyone wherever t[..]y

went by just crunching t[..]ir numb-

erings and stats and equations, and al-



(much as t[..]y must have done for

presidential candi-

date beforetimes),

and t[..]n with all that data and 3D

ingenuity go a-

head and reconstruct a replicating

formality of home and work,

and walks in t[..] park

with wife and lover –

even at t[..] same time (but not in

real time you understand: this

would be combining t[..] cleverness of

awfully huge data with t[..] biggest,

grandest, most curious destruction of

privacy you’d ever gone and


en in your life).

(If – in your life – you were still capable of

that lOOOOking you’d clearly re-

quire to en-

quire an inquiry in time for time not to

run out outside and p-

lay the day away …)


In t[..] end, t[..] show mentioned never got

made: too many reasons not to; too many

reasons to say: but mainly just one really significant


it was far more fun to make art films and






eeries of seven deadly sins than truth any reality of ordinary