It’s kinda tucked away at the side of the Café-Bar near the entrance to the Art Gallery
A place to look
There’s a woman with her daughter slurping on soup and munching on salad and drinking diet cola
A family with two parental figures
one presents as a man
the other a woman
They are at a long canteen-style table with 5 kids
Aged from two to ten
by the look of them
(later you realise that there are three people who are presenting as parents and just 4 kids and you realise that whatever narrative you are imposing is full of your own perspective and is not a universal fact)
Their table is laden with drinks, some alcoholic, and café-style plates of food
They have screens with games
“It’s not cheap cheese”
says a young man
delivering a plate
to a solitary middle-aged woman who must have complained about the price
I’m eating dirty vegan fries – a special order they said – and a pint of some German beer, that cost me thirteen pounds
And thinking about the fish and chips I bought in 1964 for one shilling and three old pennies
before decimalisation and before, long before, I became a vegan 30 years later
but now it’s 2022
and things have changed
as they do
And my friend, who works here and greeted me on my arrival 30 minutes ago told me about how he came to consciousness earlier today in the void and thought for a second that there had been a nuclear war
These vegan dirty fries are difficult to eat because the melted vegan cheese sticks them together in clumps
And when you spear one with your fork it brings half a dozen of its closest friends with it to your mouth
So you have to separate them with your fingers and stuff them in or eat too many at once
so you look around the café-bar to make sure no-one is watching you being a messy dick and then you realise, it doesn’t matter it’s not real because there probably has been a nuclear war and you probably are in the void dreaming of what might have been
And your friend, the one who woke up in the original void has disappeared and you realise that you are a dot the size of a neutrino in a universe the size of . . . . . . the universe
and it really doesn’t matter – even though it really does
Message to mes
This is a message to all the mes in all the parallel universes
You are the light
You are the love
The Younger Generation
I am a member of the younger generation and I always will be
you are too
I’ll never be old
that’s what the 60’s did
and for you
Beware of people
who sit alone
in the café-bars of arts centres drinking something like a pint, or a cup of tea and they’re writing in a notebook or a paper pad or on the touchscreen of an ipad (type thing), and they look up now and again and scan the room
Beware of them
They are writing about you
I was wounded first –
the blow caught me in the neck.
I couldn’t breathe,
with a whoosh of fire,
my mouth opened
and huge clouds of smoke fled out.
I didn’t realise I had such energy,
I smiled when I knew I was dying;
I always said I would go first.
You watched as I choked, incredulously,
not wanting to believe
in my mortality.
My belly shook, I retched and coughed,
but your strength,
the power of your gaze,
began to mend.
you were smacked in the chest;
a direct hit to your heart,
and you shuddered
but you didn’t scream;
there was no sound
That’s when I caught your eye;
that’s when I knew
we were both going to die.
In that silent lightless time
I watched, still wounded,
still breathing burning breath,
you deflated with a groan
that shook the world.
I stood, shocked, alone in emptiness
that spread like nothing
through the universe.
With no light left, I crumbled too;
we sighed together, merged –
in mounds of dirt.
I knew that love can never die
not even then, not in that place
where the world was witness
to our hurt.
Skin is a taxi driver, Bones is a Detective Inspector. They hate each other but both operate on the same patch, the large ex-industrial town of Elchurch on the South Coast of Wales. A young woman is found dead and they are both drawn into the investigation. But all is not what it seems as the brothers separately and together deal with the consequences of the murder.
My new novel Skin and Bones will be published soon. It is in the final stages of proofreading.
Skin is a taxi driver and his brother Bones is a police detective. They do not get on but since they both operate in the large post-industrial town of Elchurch on the South Wales coast they often come across each other in the course of their work.
They both become embroiled in the apparent disappearance of an enigmatic young woman who is driven home by Skin late one night from the town centre. As the story unfolds it becomes apparent that all is not what it seems.
Painted between April and June 2020 during the Covid lockdown. On display in The Wholefood Shop Cardiff and for sale at the right price.
The painting was started as a pure abstract, in the sense that there was a blank canvas, a random selection of oil paints, brushes and spatulas and no definable objective in mind other than the need to spread some colour and create an image.
What emerged is a representation of what it felt like during lockdown and when the first signs of its easing began.
The colours are fiery, representing the fever of coronavirus. The composition is of two individuals facing away from each other as if to maintain social distancing. The shape in the middle is undefined but may be thought of as an unknowable and unspeakable thing, an awareness of the hugeness and awfulness of the virus on the psyche of those who happen to be alive during the pandemic.
Yet, at its core it is a joyous and hopeful image, with a bright and powerful energy that comes from the very heart of the universe, from the source of life and love itself.
I recently completed writing a new novel. The title of the book is ‘Skin and Bones’ . More news on that soon, but in the meantime here is an update on a major work-in-progress.
It’s a book with the working title of ‘The Flying Boy’. The title refers to a recurring dream I used to have when I as a boy, probably no more than eight or nine years old, possibly younger.
The dream involved me flying along the street where I lived at rooftop height. I think it influenced me a lot, in fact I am influenced a lot by the recurring dreams of my childhood. There were a lot of them.
I already wrote a book based on the one about The Three Bears and much of my other thoughts about what the universe is, how time works, reincarnation, spirituality, morality and so on, originate in my childhood dreams.
There will be more info about The Flying Boy in future I’m sure and one day the book will be published. Don’t expect a ‘normal’ novel-like thing, but it is a novel. In the meantime, here’s an extract from the work-in-progress. Continue reading “The Flying Boy”