Category: flash fiction

The Party for Moderate Progress Without the Bounds of the Law


You who remember Squire Gonks’ Almanac and Charlie’s Aunt beware. Beware of foam stuffed velvet aphids. of gaudy palmable comfort bags,  of protei packed cabbage patch dollies, and other suchlike pre Vietnamese potbellied fads.  Gaudy were those blobs born fully formed of an optic oil crisis and a  major miner’s strike that felled a regime of long standing empire of snot, botched though they were by lumpen candlelight late into the black out night during the three day week, when a ten o clock blindfold was a plaything of the pissed.

If the Gonks could do it then you could do it too. You could have a privileged white space hopper or a bespoke purple chopper and flaunt your carefree brazen streak in broad daylight through  scrumptious corporate orchards. Mister Mennish in ambition but not so cuddly as gonks were in a disposable tactile tantrum way; eminently best home-makeable on the laminate dinner table – blunt scissors, clear gummed, sample felts of tasteless hues & farbs – put it together and you surely got your Gonk!

Mine bestie was called Paulus, a mythical gnome in a fabulous lamimate wood, purloined from under a trestle table at a school fete worse than death by gammon tickling. It was Paulus who suffered a fly on the wall documentary crew to film in his ancestral home and share the ups and downs of  pastoral life in the knot of a tree with a bunch of fellow arboreal misfits . As I recall there was a big mean black crow called Ted Hughes who harboured deep dark secrets of the occult and allotment plot.

Paulus disintegrated  after a vigorous drubbing in a temperamental twin tub. having always had a penchant for self harm then known as accident prone by abusive adults.

Life sure weren’t perfect by no means in the seventies. 

Persiflage on a Mayday Pyx

You returned bearing only a keen clean sentience of an inner voice previously unheard thus impossible to speak of in slick descriptive narratives; a new voice slushing pumping ironic pellucid entropic morphemes only too willing to give way when you enter unannounced in the tranquil hours unimpaired by time’s incessant must be’s;

some say self-compassion works both ways; they say it’s good to talk to invisible friends and to say i worry about you a lot and know they will never understand and will freak out the same way too when they see no way out but up; but here in the lonely cenarial world there is just the remnants of the oleaginous rip of dreamtime in the eventless shires.

You peruse five-line entries, enforce four-line whips, smooth the cat o’nine nails, rhyme barren wombs with catacombs, eat catamites in the dolomites, get ultrasonic with catatonics–not my kind of cruise ship this–the SS Sadist. Still whatever floats your boat at these prices is that which don’t disturb the horsiest riding rough shod over crippling waves and learning to ignore the gentle thud of plaintive houris hitting patinated sackbuts; always keeping an eye open for the main chance mindset to make a run for it across the open border washed up by all waters only to find one finds occupation of the crease involves focussed awareness to achieve the desired outcomes:

Celtic knots do my wee head in (think upside the box); midday shakedown, let the blood flow in damson rivers of chicken livers; overlook five lie whip transgression; respect the rules in order to break them, just play the bloody game for once. Abide by the unwritten law of oblique estrangement during storm lashed nights, caress thunder and lightning from the north and come sunny morn, when no milk’s delivered, draw lurid conclusions– twist metal, befuddle puddles, ravage hats distressed by no real vision to speak of; respect a sloth unprovoked to rise in spite of prophecy. Read some myth for illumination. Shower or Scuba for kicks. Bear in mind a nose pegs trumps lemon air freshener. Hide corruption in a sock. Maintain standards by increasingly lowering. Nowt gets done if you stay abed. End of broadside…Ninety minutes that transformed your ustulated toe and brought disaster to a flawed grandmaster who failed to understand what was under his strawberry nose. Seasonal greetings from the frozen seas of Ross stranded up an endless glacier where we were only too aware the horses shall be sacrificed for some greater good called lunch…


The things you can do without an electronic typewriter
humble simple me—
yet the holy purpley babbling brook has been enclosed
in fancy fuzzfeed—
there is a kiosk where they strip search you & sell you
stuff you know you need, for example a goat follows
you up and you follow it round in ever creasing circles
until pop goes the
weasel and you are the prey for today—
why I didn’t give up writing was the river
it went elsewhere to an unpolluted
secret silent sea of air
beyond the fetid clouds
emitted in the form of toxic lemon drops
a way above the chimney tops which was where you found me
Shirtless people got no season to forgive…

The Dream of Homunculus

Woke up muttering astonishment, ruby jumper crushed on a damask outcrop, leapt limply from penthouse window, thought I must a crazed intruder, some illegal alien or a late night shopper carousing minus funny money,

Rain lashed Kildare High St, dead of night, lumpen teeming moonies, letting out the dogfish, floppy velvet hats, shirtsleeve weather strange, break in clouds deduced, curious chair dismantled in a narrow alley. Upturned news stand consequence, pushy driver takes the rap, formula one marauder, empty room pulsates, furnished lobby giggles, holiday let contracts, commands a salient view, bendy flat horizon, step outside on stilts, reckon high on cedar, always muddled vista, inconclusive sparrow, reverent pariah, incautious wing commander, terminally droll.

Hubristic two faced cubists should not wonder, leap of faith required, fatal blunder buster, sods conjoined by deadlock, noman torn asunder. Rhyming slang bewildered, gentle thunder applauds, door jamb screeching doughnut, head on concrete pillow. Leaping crayfish willow. Bruce Lee Brilleaux padding. Me no hip hop shopper, came a sherpa cropper. dropped a deep space hopper, insulted missus mopper, plangent belly flopper, blissful billow popper…

Tell sour story your way, pulling no prissy punches and when the time comes roundly recite the following by hearth:

How dreary the winds shriek and whine:
The trembling shadows grow chill.
O soul of my soul, wert thou mine!

O where are the stars that did shine?
The moonlight that tinselled the hill?
How dreary the winds shriek and whine!

Despair ’round my heart doth entwine,
Far soundeth my cry weird and shrill:
O soul of my soul, wert thou mine!

I’ve quaffed to the dregs the mad wine
Of passion, but under my sill
How dreary the winds shriek and whine!

’Tis thine, is the dream so divine,
That doth this vain yearning instill;
O soul of my soul, wert thou mine!

’Tis mine, here to crave and to pine
For what thou wilt never fulfill;
How dreary the winds shriek and whine!
O soul of my soul, wert thou mine!



Once upon a time

there were no happy endings

so we made some up

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Four Two Seven Tops ( A Neat Conjecture )

Sure there was wine
Before my sighs did drie it: there was corn
Before my tears did drown it.
Is the yeare onely lost to me?
Have I no bayes to crown it?
No flowers, no garlands gay? all blasted?
All wasted?

festive nestlings playing up, most het up indeed, catch my eye

getting jumpy, get the wind up

Beware of swarthy eggsharks, capricious pine martens, pernicious rapine twitchers.

flurry overwrought inside, see insecurity in frenzies uniformity

Consterned as cops vexed fledgers issue squeaky peeps awaiting flaming June in rueful Minnesota

Carried away on arboreal gusts frisk baby leaves,

Martens fast encroach

Two skips is all it took

Two shakes of a lamb’s tail

To wipe out a twentieth century life

spent keeping head above water

Rarely if ever ahead of the game

Trading off lives with careless talk

Having a bit on the side

Giving as good as you got mind you

Sauce for the goose

Is sauce for the gander

Always an eye for a chance,

Jones’ suck up the Jones’s

unhinging light air traffic and small furry animals

o’erleaping avarice; now we send in the homespun drones;

reinforce a no-fly zone around the wasp factory;

Forthcoming static times hang in

a balance of increments crisis;

Till a feral cat let out of the pisspot of despots, tosspots & all their worthy heirs

Declaims this barely adds up to a steaming heap of beans…

So much for no grumbling, Nigel. First thing that came to mind. Poor me! Poor characters, all on the samey-blame me path. It bores me frigid Nigel.

Aja is an island freed of its natives by slavers in 1863 and remained so until the mid-sixties when reclaimed by six intrepid schoolkids

robbed a boat and hid out there for fifteen months in perfect harmony. William Golding was a god bothered soak in his spare time.

Friday on my mind (for it was a Friday); shifty manoeuvres are afoot; a climate of suspicion prevails; all locked down with nowhere to go.

Wanna topic. Lack a tonic. A gin and tonic for the troops (gifted clear sky-blue ideas plucked free from the aether); thought of it twice and got frustrated.

Climbing up the walls. Whit Monday radio news: windows open, summer day, lockdown wobbling, allure of mithra, life lived in one day, back to shitty work tomorrow,

half-term hols from shutdown schools, many will never return, social fabric wearing thin. No subject crops up; birdsong soundtrack palesjust gone nine

comes a moan for all seasons, rut-stuck in a gruesome shamble. Fire breathing vipers lick crusty ankles all hope evaporates for peace come flaming June.

Lining up for the second wave, the seventh is the strongest. Rip tides plunder those too dumb to flee, disbelievers and romcom tourists gather at the river, bored shitless by these endless update spiels,

A Fossilized Act of Disappearance

Snow disappears
Guileful children on a beach. Acropolyptic.
Hope and Joy At Christmas c 1947
seventy years later.
Wrapped up warm pockets, Fur. Athens.
Green Park black in snow. Black and white snap.
Tense audition: slow cello pizzicato.
Angelic wails receding. Haunting voices clamour. Ghost beach cacophony. Polperro parrot.
Densely uninhibited. Rosewood box sarcophagus; in saecula saeculorum.
Dirce row the boat ashore, allelujah!
Mehta and life sentences; brahmin breaths and tea tree branches. Caste system begets Vast system.
Grain. Verlaine. Purple pupil beater. Flageolet old bean.
Tap Water sommelier; aficionado of bruised chihuahua avocado.

Ten O’clock— Big Seven. Threepack Strumpet, Sir Cumstantial,

Phidippides takes the bait (bad day for peas); black pudding weather;

Blazes Boylan, venal baritone; heebie jeebies scatology;

Socrates in a basket; wax my slippers, Maestro please; abject please on bended knees; laxido unction up tuxedo junction; keep on plugin’, sluggin & sloggin’—get to hang Ovid one day; then u is milin;

Alice…hair flows like meadow waves;

Midday—no prime minister-no questions; stretching hams, fizzy up; paeans to beauty, mannikins of mildew; auto scribbles; no hard shoulder to cry on; heavenly ten ton truck;

Kersplat Morrissey. Old Tosh cops it. Amazon scammers fuck me round. Louis ain’t rough

Ninety minutes spent wisely in the organic community means death on a couch of sedge in the third world. Plague takes three million worldwide every second. Big numbers crowd sevbig books. Thor world fills ledgers thinner than most

Grey warm flat empty sandstone treasury of Petra in Sunday drizzle

Monday is the boiler fix, a dirty spoon abandoned , a muzzy morning nuisance caller, an offer to be sniffed at, a fresh bed of noses, an aqueous shower, and a tale of two leopards disputing a missing bone

Pluvius drops by

While showering the rains came down. Heard a squeak. Oiled the loom. A lightness rare assailed the room. The squeak was the fire alarm laughing. There was no roof to speak of.

Mystic Pleated Twine

Part two of July coming soon
To a lockdown pleasure centre in your dreams
Ordered to the masquerade by sage supremacists
Three layers of matter impede chatter
when worn to quell the invisible miasma
Want a ride home in my gondola bright eyes?
Switch on the subtitles it’s in foreign
Rhubarb Rhubarb Rhubard Rhu…
Only One Remote Control
Shared between self isolators
Bound to cause friction in the long run
When everyone’s a mugger or a letterbox

Telegram Spam

As I sit here…watching God’s daughter on the run for crimes against the faith time seres to fine powder revealing mirrors

Fingers von Raab unfit for purpose; rain stopped plague of damp umbrellas coughing and splashing; raindrops keep falling on my herd; Liff of Pooh replaces Brand New Testament on the pixie box;

Thatcham cancelled on grounds of good taste and flash flooding

Just gone eleven and quite unwell; blood tomorrow; lost a game of chess to a higher number; Mattys app is useless crap Vera leaves the stage; kiss of death from Major Tom

Slept heavy after narco-meatballs; rested down the leg; woe at six for Vera has gone viral; seems like it rained; fade to sunny evening

Up to my neck in silence by six forty glibly reading diverted traffic passing by in in groups. Are they all from the same household and what if I asked how I asked? They ignored me. Now that wasn’t so bad was it one to try yourself next time you go out alone. Rolling home full of beer and gusto Energised by revelry. Rowdies in the night…exchanging glances.


‘Half tidy’

Walking on by then listening out hard for snide backbites,

Amazon shitting me like charlatans; bots that bleed you dry; blood given to the demigods of Frimley & beyond; rainy season sets in for the day. Angel Clare, what a moniker! Too good to be true all right. Please beware the drowsy mastiff in your midst. All is food and air it seems

A viaduct of steamy dreams passes slowly by. An ideal retirement meandering the rejuventated arteries of mercantilism.

Weeping legs tell no lies

Waiting in a waiting loop. Tempers fray spirits droop relieved to hear a cybervoice. Can I help you? Aint that nice,

Footie reruns as a squall approaches, demon spleen & plaid cockroaches

Mid June afternoons never cease to disappoint

Ten milligrams by tiffin. Whose a pretty boy then?

Just what springs to mind when emptying fingers

Written off from posterity. How are the flighty fallen?

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