Travelling along dusk

So, it looks as if this blog hasn't been used for a while. Updated, certainly not; used, it certainly has.

I'm in the process of exhuming some of the posts in the blog and turning them into something else - some short stories, some slight edits/republishes, some as something completely different. Whether or not I will put anything new as posts on here remains to be seen.

I do have another ongoing blog project as it happens:

richardpaulfox.wordpress.com - my literature review/critical analysis blog (essentially a place to store ideas and thoughts before I forget them whilst I'm completing my MA)

I've also had work published in thescreechowl.com and inksweatandtears.co.uk, and I'm working on more short/less short/long-short/novella length stories. More to come on that (either via this or my other blog)

And now, for old times sake, a poem:

I set the flowers down on the kitchen counter and cut the stems down.
I remember you telling me once that they can't be too long, and that they must be
trimmed down at an angle. I remember the angle and
I guess the length and start chopping.
You come home and I usher you into the kitchen to show you the flowers
in the vase, like it's some great surprise. But I know it's not. I know
it's just flowers. But you do like flowers, so I suppose it is still a nice surprise.

I counted the flowers in the bouquet or bunch before I left the store, wondering
if it was enough for you. How many is enough? I don't want to go over the top.
I carry them home. I like holding a bouquet or bunch of flowers as I walk home.
I think it makes me look like I care, like I've got someone to take these to.
Which I'd like to think I do, and I have of course.

You see the flowers and smile the smile of smiles.
I ask if they are okay


Where the night is not yet

Waves so straight
so in formation as to be astonishing.
The flock glides across
them, dancing out nothing
but what can only be
seen as musical notes
playing out a song silent
to the ear, but orchestral
to the eye.

Layered, chasing away the
afternoon in tune, in a
chorus that fades away
to silence as they
pass away from the
capabilities of light.

And now this.
Fading blue and low peach,
ancient to a day.

Water whispers something
to the pebbles, and to the tired wooden
walls that penetrate
its form.
Something about
everything being gathered
and passing. The relief
that comes with this.
The freshness also.

The temperature now
descends; a routine
that gives confidence
and a sense of safety.
The cold is not
opressive, and here, staring
out at this music, it
is normal to want to be where the
night is not yet than to be
between the steps and the shadows.


I bring this punishment upon myself daily,
Sometimes as a reason to even get out of bed.
I repeat, I repeat.
I reassess. I analyse.
I torture. I exaggerate.
I punish only myself.
Yet all around me, outside this room,
Is nothing but forgiveness.

You came and sat with me and told me your name.
You forgave me.

You glanced and made eye contact with me.
You forgave me.

You came to me through the dancers
And smiled and asked my name.
You forgave me.

You come to me and ask how I am
And introduce me to others.
You forgive me.

But the times when there is no one around
To forgive me, then it does not come.
I am not the one to forgive.
I am the one to torture, to punish.

A punishment, relentless and focused,
Surrounded by a world of forgiveness.

伊藤 歩

Her name sings itself
and she returns to me.

March 24th 2010, 01:53am - 02:46am

This is a transcript of a turn-taking experiment following a discussion between myself and a friend regarding the nature of how one can either be random or convey the illusion of randomness:

oak-like effect
melting crayons on a lightbulb
slow chocolate autopsy
serrated grin
profiting helicopter
elderly, cadaverine
triumphing, stomach
monstrous, neon, knelt
marvellously niggling kilt
massively neurotic kiln
yellowing cellophane kit
tragic amphetamine toke
delicious chestnuts rattle
quixotic deliverance pony
a face shies away?
the eyes, they will say
blown by the microwave
and now a son an heir a knave
more matter with less art
more savage no less justice
what a rogue and peasant slave i am!
but no wolf in the throne room
butterflies with soldiers
minervan charades
zestuous sniggle
airlock shanty
glass icecream
gun in mouth blues
frozen sun
the dog in the garden for the last time
alien water slide sensation
mediocrity healing
god's will not yours not mine
once opened concentrate
sugar come back to the cavity
im here
i know


Bed. Bigger than I remember,
Less inviting than I remember.
Constant pressure behind my head,
Like having my thoughts forced to the front
To join the gnawing exhaustion.

The figures approach me now.
Are you actually standing there?
I need to ask you this.
Awareness leaves the room, a janitor.
He turns, takes one last look,
And turns off the light.
Are you actually standing there?

'Yes, of course I'm here', they reply.
'You have to open the ball'.
They leave before I can ask them what they mean.
'Take your hand to the stars', another instructs
Then turns and leaves also.
I know this one, though.
You? But you died years ago
I say with my stare.

After the compressed night
the day unfolds like an ancient book
And I am the dust within.
A concrete skull lolls on my shoulders.
I balance myself to the mirror.
I can see only me, my eyes,
But I can hear them all behind me,
Fighting to have a look as well.


Quiet is the lake

There is a difference between silence and quiet.
There is a difference and there is a lake, and the lake shows it.
For the lake is never silent and is surrounded on all sides, all the time.
The trees in formation pay their respects, and the hills look down upon the lake with the eyes of some long-past seismic event.
And what of the lake itself, you will ask. What of this lake, and how is it quiet?
The lake looks flat, looks still. Looks silent.
But things are always leaving the lake.
Sometimes things go in, or dance along the surface, recognising the difference between themselves and the lake.
But more things leave the lake.
And you can see things leave, breaking for air, for contact, for light.
All the time quiet.
Under the surface of the lake, this is never quiet and silence does not exist.
Here lies everything that cannot leave the lake, blind and yearning and there forever.
Moving in rhythm with the undertow.
But everything beneath, everything concealed is kept from us.
So we stand at the shore,
near the trees, near the hills,
and we think quiet is the lake.

This is called distance

I am looking at the door,
Through the door, past the door.

There is this thing between where I look.
This is called distance.

There is this thing between what walks through this door.
This is called anonymity.

There is this temperature which shifts with the motion.
This is called longing.

There is this time which passes as I look through the door.
This is called waiting.

I am waiting at the door, past the door, through the door.
Out the door, and at last,
I turn and close the door.


Drum roll

I'll always remember to forget my name
When the band starts up and I see your face.
The drum roll brings it all to an end.
Once more she didn't walk into this place.

The same coffee

Every footstep is as it was before. Before this, this came along and attempted to make everything different. The two of them were the only two to know exactly what had happened; it was a million years they both filled with whatever they needed to. They sat at the table, and neither of them commented on how the chairs were not comfortable, and how the air conditioning was making the place so cold. They did allow that they had seen each other here on the same day a few weeks earlier. The same place, getting the same coffee.

It's not hard to smile when I'm nervous, he said to himself. My mouth is dry, everything feels like an attack. But I can smile, I can always smile. This is clearly wrong, he thought. But then he didn't know what else to do. Not smile? What kind of an impression does that give?
She nodded phatically along to any of his words, his aural evidence that this was normal, considered. That this was the same. Her cup looked so huge in her hands. Her fingers looked fragile, he thought, like if he should reach out and touch them he wouldn't actually be able to feel anything. Like they wouldn't be the same.

They talked in cycles, like friends do. There was nodding and silent, polite attention from whoever wasn't speaking at that moment. There was no interruption or correction, like friends do. Neither was confident enough for that yet. The coffee went cold long before the seats became unbearable. He kept looking at his coat and hat, wondering if he put them on before or after they would step outside; what do I normally do? She kept looking away at something not there, that was not trying to be the same. It wasn't hard for them to keep the conversation on track, avoiding that which would inevitably separate them like barbed wire between two fields. That would make its own way through.

Outside, he said he wanted to make his own way back. She shivered with a violence that frightened him at first. They went to her car, sat in the same seats as before. I have nothing to say to you. This winter had been vicious and had gotten involved. Nights had been longer and been cruel, and it's strange how no one can be prepared for what always comes. Absolutely everything stays the same.

The car pulled up outside his house, which had a welcoming face for neither of them. The snow crunched as he walked to the door, where he stood and made a joke that she didn't respond to. Always the same. He watched her drive away. The engine didn't struggle against the cold; reliable, built for it. Some things can take the weather, the harsh turns and not change. Thank god for these things. He closed the front door. The house stood silent, as it always did.