Taking a line for a walk

Dat piff dot com

Articulated thumbs

Lecherous, signalling,

Lisa’ Colleagues.


Brokers, Bonobo’s

All together,

Raw fatigue.


O! Crumbs. O! Split the cheque.

No more!

End it. Leave.


Save the date!

Learn to love your other self. Head down

Under the Arches,

Gravel cans paper bags crumbly flip-flop(s).


Alsatian stubbled creatures

Nibbling a hand that feeds, so



Learn to shove in.

Earn those inalienable rights:

To take liberties,

To treat your other self

Uxoriously. Meet,

Cryogenic creepy crawlies,

Expectantly wait to be served.


Water, water





Rise again,

Surprised, gatecrash

Pyjama parties.

Odelay, delays, delayed

Ol’ curly fries, ol’ blue.

New to this yet

Seasoned too.






Ark width, two by two.

Borstals on Barstools

Over here, under-sexed

Understood arseholes – past

Their personal bests.


Breath mints scattering

Earl’s sense; Duke’s face.

Nasty way to

Undertake a

Garbled, frenzied



Art is hardly worth the

Lent it took from us. This

Lentil salad disappoints.

Bartered, starched collars

All thrust from wire clavicles,

Rutting in front.

Only the lonely,

No. How I feel tonight.

Emetics at knifepoint.


Reporting Anything Unusual Won’t Hurt You

A top city lawyer was shot outside a club in Neukoln, Berlin. The Oxford business graduate, 31, was reportedly killed in relation to a noise complaint lodged by a neighbour of the club he was at. He was found in a viscous pool of his own blood by a parting reveller, just after the club closed at 6AM.

A witness saw the suspect, wearing a long black leather jacket and a cowboy hat, disappear into a nearby apartment block that was later raided by police. Inside, they found an arsenal of weapons.

Reasons to be tearful

The Manifesto

Tzara, Breton, Marinetti. Kazycinki. Swapping bars. Young moneyfeud. Different tone, same format. The manifesto, that quaint relic of the long twentieth century, will now step out on the stage to perform a greatest hits set. All the golden oldies. It’s going to sell its wares. Limbering up to auction off the ideas it has rinsed from public libraries.

Cowell looks apprehensive, as does Louis—but that could just be the Botox. Its, that is the manifesto’s, register is hyperbolic, grandiloquent, accusatory—it grandstands, calls out names, stakes a claim to the future. This proprietorial toddler starts to throw its skinny frame around on the boards. Its voice is getting hoarse from trying to keep your attention. It keeps LEANING on CAPSLOCK. These branded faces and poking gestures are also fairly repulsive. Its suit is threadbare, second hand. It hasn’t fully digested the theories it regurgitates before you. Someone needs to report the manifesto to the society for the prevention of exclamation point abuse. The manifesto has grubby sweat patches, dark crescents start to bloom from from under its chicken arms. The manifesto reckons this is going pretty well, all things considered. The manifesto is definitely going to go on and on about its triumphs to its dubious wife when it stumbles through the door this morning. It’s a poor mans craft. What this performance lacks in refinement it makes up for in graft. Sheer bloody-mindedness….Look-now it’s an assassin! A bandit! A mechanic! A victim! A perpetrator! It’s baring its gnarled and knotted genitals to you!

One judge, sotto voice, to the other “this is cute n’all but do you think it’s almost finished?” Eye-roll. Oh no, there’s more.

The manifesto senses the languor in the room, scrambles around on its thousand feet for an exit, clutches its sweaty palms onto some declarative vacuity, clings to it for dear life and delivers it to you in earnest: Punch yourself in the face and drop dead, it sez, before feinting like a convalescent during rush hour.

Mistaken Identity

A child with bloodshot eyes and an afro approached me earlier, just as I was making my way into the turnstile. His hand was extended and a giant white camera hung from his neck. ‘Yo’. Grinning, warm, confidential. ‘David?’ Perplexity of the author. I thought this was an introduction. ‘Is your name David?’ I apologised. He looked disappointed, but whether at me or himself I couldn’t tell. ‘I thought we knew you man?’ I apologised again, with more finality this time. Note his emphasis. The child looked back despairingly in the direction of some friends. We lingered there awhile, before I felt some unspoken cue allowed me to leave. Yet his hand remained outstretched there, expectantly, as I passed on through the turnstile. Mounting the escalator I glanced backwards, more out of habit than curiosity, to find this child fixing me intently with an accusatory stare from the other side of the barriers. I mean this never happens to me. I simply don’t have one of those faces.

‘The Dean had too much satire in his vein. And seem’d determined not to starve it. Because no age could more deserve it.’

The 20 worst centuries 

The man in my Corner Shop wears Judas Priest gloves and has a missing front tooth. As he bags up the Polish beers we have an unintelligible conversation in which – I can tell- neither of us can discern anything the other vocalises. One of those globalised encounters sustained only by the absence of any tangible threat. I pay. I leave, with a remark I hope he’ll find funny, but at which he only furrows his brow.

On the way back to the flat I can feel myself slipping up on something horrible into the netherworld. In the torrential rain I could have sworn that someone touched my collar. Then I’m there dripping onto the Formica counter, failing to order a bacon and egg sandwich. Mopping my forehead with the napkins. When you’re damp enough its becomes easier to entertain the ideal of complete anonymity, that the city promises but so often fails to deliver. In heavy rain we evaporate together from the scrutiny of other people. Nice weather for introverts. Disappear like tears in the rain. Gauzy film, muslin drapery, damp plaster and the seismic plop of Tarkovsky’s zinc buckets broadcast across carnival tannoy systems.


Legs Eleven (i)

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The whole trip was a gamble; a reckless jaunt; a gaudy piece of class-tourism in which we bartered with the North-West (where, we were correctly informed, nothing is ‘nice’) to give us a glimpse at the unfamiliar, the forbidden, the crass, the taboo.

We went seeking the life that still endures inside the carcasses of out of season pleasure resorts. Everyone we met probably saw through this conceit in an instant, and yet they all jumped aboard

The tat-shop owner with the heavy eyelids who told us a racist joke about the first asylum seeker, Amin (i’m in). The Scouse proprietor of The Talbot, whose empathetic gamble (allowing us a cutprice room after we had made our poverty clear) left him with a hotel of indignant OAP’s who had been kept awake all night. The melancholic ex-lover of Naomi’s mum, Neil, who chaperoned us from St.Helens via Wigan to Southport—with his bored son Ben in tow. The group of aging ne’er-do’well’s who inducted us into their gang in Southport, inviting us to a seedy soiree in the back of a seaside hotel…

Every moment of kindness is a gamble. Each chance encounter is fraught with danger. Every touch, all contact, brings us closer still to outright destitution. And yet we’re still the only ones picking up the bill for the mess. Still the ones calling the carpet-cleaners and visiting the STD clinics. We know all this, and yet we can’t possibly keep ourselves aware of it for longer than it takes to run a hot bath and light the scented candles. The phrase ‘harsh reality’ comes to mind. For this is the true sin of the gambler: they stroll outwards into the chaos, the absolute contingency, the city without walls in which we are constantly trying to forget that we live. They don’t look right or left or comply with health and safety restrictions. They don’t perform risk assessments. But neither are they romantics. After all there are no second chances in a gamblers universe. It is an unforgiving, bureaucratic and arbitrary place to spend your ‘leisure’ time.

In this world of manufactured scarcity a few individuals are momentarily prised out of the chaos by ‘luck’—which pierces through them like an aluminium claw groping around for a stuffed toy in a penny arcade (‘you have saved my life/ i am eternally grateful). When the players feel the pincers of fortune closing in upon them they begin to let out shrill, stifled, cries of exultation- House! Bingo! Heeeaar! These muted expressions of joy punctuate the games. They allow the pace of play to regulate itself. However, these fortunate ones are rarely congratulated. At the end of a game the hall abruptly empties itself; with the unfortunate players scurrying for the exit like a bored congregation.

For all those who are neglected by the mechanics of fortune, Bingo is a matter of dogged perseverance like anything else in a world where your labour is systematically undervalued. You turn up on time, put in the hours,and settle yourself into the monotonous, joyless and yet strangely hypnotic activity of listening and stamping, listening and stamping, drinking and stamping and listening and stamping. Inside this world the question of winning/losing can only ever be an inconvenience. It is like the question of crashing to the pilot; a distraction from the matter at hand.


RANDOM ACTS (of deterioration)


His band of lank haired Neanderthals where set up to undermine Ballard, reading the riot act to be Still awake, inexplicably the stronger.The french are aware their ancestors staged a revolution against them, and not Soon, when really ,like, the first 3 years should be. Unfortunately, like the ‘V’ logos presented on secondary literature- No irony today. Just to channel surf until the early hoursSoon, when really like the first 3 years should be. There’s definitely something… you wave to me. No. Irony isn’t incompatible with laughter…Angry marginalia bruises the same way and, reasoning in strict accordance with what, a change?He wasn’t sure. And therefore less depraved than ourselves, have perfectly understood thatOLYMPIC jingoism bullshit? we’re here. We’re here Because We’re here Because We’re here Because we’re here.completely speculative examples based on the American slave, is it?No irony today, just to abandon prospect demonstration of a double-dip recession…5 points to me. I had a few decades it…I was being facetious about a scrambled intermingling of men. Searching for either. To let us know it, doesn’t it? I was when. The grid collapses.God’s reclamation of the necessity of my ears. I was on; the cold stars bring; and lay in screaming wonder of Sunday.

No, absence makes the confrontation between man and wife. Each soul must replicate the first metropolis to nature, means that

Andrew-Graham-Dixon, the crumpet mans thinker.

No, irony isn’t incompatible with anything.

How long until the early afternoon soaps refer to “since they vanished right out”?

Also, it’s worth subscribing to oblivion.

Forever, you’re welcome.


Isn’t it?

I ((((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was))) | (((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was)))) when the digr loaescspl

((((dog | god) | (dog | god)) | ((dog | god) | (dog | god))) | (((dog | god) | (dog | god)) | ((dog | god) | (dog | god))))’s the necessity of my ears

I ((((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was))) | (((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was)))) ((((no | on) | (no | on)) | ((no | on) | (no | on))) | (((no | on) | (no | on)) | ((no | on) | (no | on)))), the cold stars bring, and lay in gcsanmier wonder of sunday

((((no | on) | (no | on)) | ((no | on) | (no | on))) | (((no | on) | (no | on)) | ((no | on) | (no | on)))) absence makes the arontifncoton between man and wife. each soul must elreaipct the first trooiemlps to nature, means that

wander Xghaoarnmid, the mrcuept mans nhtreik

((((no | on) | (no | on)) | ((no | on) | (no | on))) | (((no | on) | (no | on)) | ((no | on) | (no | on)))) Oyrin sin’t incompatible with anything.

((((how | who) | (how | who)) | ((how | who) | (how | who))) | (((how | who) | (how | who)) | ((how | who) | (how | who)))) long until the early afternoon opssa refer to since they nhavdsei right out

also, it’s ((((throw | worth) | (throw | worth)) | ((throw | worth) | (throw | worth))) | (((throw | worth) | (throw | worth)) | ((throw | worth) | (throw | worth)))) ngubciisrbs to iiovlonb

forever, you’re welcome.


Ins’t it though

I (((((((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was))) | (((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was)))) | ((((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was))) | (((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was))))) | (((((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was))) | (((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was)))) | ((((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was))) | (((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was)))))) | ((((((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was))) | (((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was)))) | ((((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was))) | (((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was))))) | (((((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was))) | (((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was)))) | ((((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was))) | (((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was))))))) and then

(((((((dog | god) | (dog | god)) | ((dog | god) | (dog | god))) | (((dog | god) | (dog | god)) | ((dog | god) | (dog | god)))) | ((((dog | god) | (dog | god)) | ((dog | god) | (dog | god))) | (((dog | god) | (dog | god)) | ((dog | god) | (dog | god))))) | (((((dog | god) | (dog | god)) | ((dog | god) | (dog | god))) | (((dog | god) | (dog | god)) | ((dog | god) | (dog | god)))) | ((((dog | god) | (dog | god)) | ((dog | god) | (dog | god))) | (((dog | god) | (dog | god)) | ((dog | god) | (dog | god)))))) | ((((((dog | god) | (dog | god)) | ((dog | god) | (dog | god))) | (((dog | god) | (dog | god)) | ((dog | god) | (dog | god)))) | ((((dog | god) | (dog | god)) | ((dog | god) | (dog | god))) | (((dog | god) | (dog | god)) | ((dog | god) | (dog | god))))) | (((((dog | god) | (dog | god)) | ((dog | god) | (dog | god))) | (((dog | god) | (dog | god)) | ((dog | god) | (dog | god)))) | ((((dog | god) | (dog | god)) | ((dog | god) | (dog | god))) | (((dog | god) | (dog | god)) | ((dog | god) | (dog | god)))))))’s the necessity of my ears

I (((((((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was))) | (((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was)))) | ((((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was))) | (((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was))))) | (((((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was))) | (((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was)))) | ((((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was))) | (((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was)))))) | ((((((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was))) | (((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was)))) | ((((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was))) | (((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was))))) | (((((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was))) | (((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was)))) | ((((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was))) | (((saw | was) | (saw | was)) | ((saw | was) | (saw | was))))))) (((((((no | on) | (no | on)) | ((no | on) | (no | on))) | (((no | on) | (no | on)) | ((no | on) | (no | on)))) | ((((no | on) | (no | on)) | ((no | on) | (no | on))) | (((no | on) | (no | on)) | ((no | on) | (no | on))))) | (((((no | on) | (no | on)) | ((no | on) | (no | on))) | (((no | on) | (no | on)) | ((no | on) | (no | on)))) | ((((no | on) | (no | on)) | ((no | on) | (no | on))) | (((no | on) | (no | on)) | ((no | on) | (no | on)))))) | ((((((no | on) | (no | on)) | ((no | on) | (no | on))) | (((no | on) | (no | on)) | ((no | on) | (no | on)))) | ((((no | on) | (no | on)) | ((no | on) | (no | on))) | (((no | on) | (no | on)) | ((no | on) | (no | on))))) | (((((no | on) | (no | on)) | ((no | on) | (no | on))) | (((no | on) | (no | on)) | ((no | on) | (no | on)))) | ((((no | on) | (no | on)) | ((no | on) | (no | on))) | (((no | on) | (no | on)) | ((no | on) | (no | on))))))),

what the cold stars bring, and lay in wonder of Sunday.


Pictures at an exhibition

After the first three hours, the painting begins to make sense.




The love that has no hope of being loved.

Can I write like Thomas Bernhard. Not a question so much as a plea, unarticulated only because of a petty, inherited solipsism. At this time of year especially, there’s no HQ to whom I can address such pleas. Neither Santa nor Christ not Vishnu. This I simply cannot do- as Kierkegaard says again & again & again. How long would I wait, kneeling by the bed, refreshing the page, pretending to be otherwise preoccupied, for a reply? I sometimes look out at friends who truly believe. I look at them and wonder whether they’re exchanging snide, knowing glances with the Big G whilst we ostensibly talk to one another. And whether it’s their confidential conversation, dobbing the unbelievers in behind cupped palms, that accounts for the believers seeming dislocation from the world around them. For however close they might seem we know that the believers are never quite with us. Which is very different from knowing they’re against us. To them we must appear as insubstantial, nebulous apparitions which distort an otherwise clear appraisal of the Bigger Picture. They’re looking fondly through us at the eternal as though we were a butter-soaked lens or a grimy bus window. They’re for ever on-call (I’m not always there when you call). At best we’re a symbol, a mnemonic of their beliefs importance, not to mention it’s associated psychological benefits (just look at what doubt does to our complexion!) But hours spent in the company of the forsaken are really working double time (I’m always on time). If they dole out pleasantries to the unbelievers, another harder voice continues muttering sweet nothings to the eternal. I’ll be with you in a sec, they’re saying to their true and only one (I gave you my all, now baby be mine). Whichever one it is,it hardly matters, they’re all the same in this respect. Santa, Thelma, Christ or Reason. What an injustice for us unbelievers! We must endure the tedium of the ad break, must fully inhabit the all-encompassing monotony of a monthly progress report, must go mano e mano with our poorly-automated world as it whines about its low battery — but the believers are spared any such test of their stamina. They can comfortably co-habit with the now and the eternal. There is of course a shortcut to such serenity. That impression of being elsewhere/indifferent -that false levity which is both an appalling and fascinating part of the believers so-called charm- can also be attained by doubling down on our brain chemistry. It’s gotten that desperate. Through drugs the faithless are able to affect an air of piety. They’ve discovered, like Yeats before them, that a gorgeous intensity belongs only to the most imbecilic states of mind: the zealot and the chemically deranged. Both are ‘gone’, incommunicado, just passing through, (Sainsburies aisles, exams, family interventions) on their blissful transit to another, more rewarding, realm. One eucharistic Xanax allows the most agonised of millennials to affect the benign charm of a village pastor, as he makes his rounds through the parish. ‘Away with the fairies’, trundling over the cobblestones on a Penny Farthing waving to the ladies from the W.I. swerving round the reprobates smoking in the churchyard then on through a cloud of midges in the sunlit glade nodding to the groundskeeper pruning the bushes with the wind in your hair now hearing the bellringers take flight you glide in to the packed service ain’t saying nothing to no one but emanating out warmth comfort solidity an upstanding man forever in league with the one the only one whichever one for are they not all alike in this respect.

Rachel Sussman, The oldest living things in the world.

Rachel Sussman, The oldest living things in the world.


Camelot & The Dome

Everything is content

Everything is content


There is no reason to be discontent


There’s no I in Wilt

Buying fireworks, like spoiling your ballot paper or owning a Staffordshire terrier, is a mere reclamation of agency from those who try to deprive you of it. It’s a classic gesture of rebellion, performed under the auspices of the state-sponsored carnival that is Guy Fawkes Night. In the weeks before, The Dads gather with relish by the glass cases of domesticated missiles; dreaming of annihilation. Come the day, the pneumatic-mnemonic night itself, they pounce: lighting fuses, erecting walls of sandbags, setting ablaze the one quarter of blue sky they’ve earned from a lifetime of frustration. This is the expunging of the male anomie. Rockets over Reading. The original drone warfare. Exhortations of power from the structurally impotent- witnessing the promise contained in a WHOOSH. They are preparing for war. Converting their garages into armories. Wearing flak jackets ‘neath their North Face anoraks; a tomahawk slung across their paunch. This is the domestic terrorism we should really be losing sleep over. The raging abscess of spiritually undernourished consumers. Now they’re heading into battle, emboldened by Shepard’s Pie, Vienetta and two pints of ‘Real’ ale.

Every year you can find me in The Dad’s midst, dressed in my full-body kaki camo’s, screaming ‘this is the Nevsky prospect. The dress rehearsal for the revolution!’ through a Fischer-Price megaphone.

Afford me this sacrament. Let me savour the moment. Etc
A trampoline fulfills the dream of an eternal youth better than any other shamanic promise. On it’s frame, grown men can be seen to leap superbly backward into their past. In the air, as their neighbours poorly maintained garden blinks in and out of sight, the trampolinist flirts with the possibility of redemption. They feel time slow down as though it were granting them an extended leave. Like yeah *usually* I say ‘nothing but I told you so’, but lately you’ve been looking so tired–so rooted– that it was bumming me out so sure take a bounce touch the sky and I’ll turn the dial down a notch for a while. The pounds they piled on during the divorce, the pregnancy, the remortgaging and the rest of it, fall silently away from the trampolinist in midair.


Extinction is the rule