Month: March 2015

One of my favorite movie quotes

I’ve… seen things you people wouldn’t believe…

Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.

I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

All those… moments… will be lost in time, like [small cough] tears… in… rain. Time… to die…

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Spiritual Teacher

I found a guru on the internet

this guru I went to see.

Sixty dollars an hour

and that was reasonable

I had heard of people being charged a hundred.

Now carry the tourist’s luggage to the top of the mountain

and help them into their cabins.

I did this all day and when the cabins were full

I went to see him.

He had a sign that read

Luggage carried to the top of the hill

five dollars. Pay here.

It was a good lesson.

Hardy

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I met Hardy when I was sixteen. He was new to my school and he stood in a corner behind the library and looked angry. We started talking and a friendship took off from there.

He was from out of town and he had a tattoo. He told me he had come home one night, late, and his father and some of his buddies were drinking in the house. His father had a far away look.

“Sit down,” he commanded.
Hardy sat and one of his old man’s friends had a tatto gun. Hardy had closed his eyes as the man cut into him. He told me to avoid any reaction to the pain he concentrated on the noise the gun made, a loud buzz, he said. The man had drawn a skull on his arm. He showed me, it was incredible.

His father drank a lot. The old man would be in the sitting room of their house when ever I came over with a bottle of something beside him. He would not look at you, only straight ahead, his face burning red. I was afraid. We would go to Hardy’s room and listen to heavy metal and talk about guns.

Once, with his father away, we opened the liquor cabinet and became drunk on vodka. I could not handle it and hurt myself walking home.

One night we walked along an old park in an expensive part of town. A white picket fence beside us.

“Watch this,” Hardy said and then using only his fist began to break the timber pickets. They snapped under each punch, the painted white timber with yellow innards shattering and flying off like broken teeth, the fence destroyed with each punch.

“Try it,” he said.

I punched one and it made no effect, my hand throbbed with pain, my knuckles red and swollen.

“You don’t have the knack,” he laughed.

A man from inside the house pushed a window up and yelled, I wanted to go but Hardy turned red and would have attacked him, I think, if i did not drag him away.

Once he turned up to my work in a large red car. A big V8 coupe. He was sitting behind the wheel laughing and smoking a cigarette. I knew he did not have a license.

“You drive,” he said.

“Whose car?” I asked.
“Mine.”
I could see the ignition was broken. It was a beautiful car, smooth and loud. It jumped at the twitch of my foot. We drove around town for hours until we found someone worth racing. We took off along a quiet road that runs past the town’s garbage tip. We were in the correct lane, our opposition next to us. Our car was too fast but I played with them until another car came along and ran off the road. I did not stop to see what happened, we took off. It was the first time I had seen Hardy scared and suddenly I felt I had gone too far.

I waited one night with him at the railway station. It was midnight and he was taking the train out of town to visit his mother. I had school the next day, he was going to be away for a week, he said. He’d catch up; “all the teachers are motherfuckers anyway.”

We stood under the bright lights of that cold night, a large beetle numb with cold, fell on it’s back and flapped it’s wings. The noise drew our attention to it and he righted it, but it rolled over again. “This is the life,” he spoke and looked at me, “we are young men, still boys, and it’s all before us.” His train pulled in and I watched him leave.

I left town at the end of the year. I told him goodbye. He had no idea what he wanted to do. “Maybe the army, I don’ know,” he said. “Come see me when you are back in town, you can use my weights, you need to work on your strength.”

I drove away and thought about it. We were just boys doing stupid things.

I saw him once when I came back to town. He was hanging out with a friend from the army, though he had never joined himself. We went swimming and then drove around town. A young man with long blonde hair stood in the old quarter of town. Hardy knew him, he rolled down the window and screamed: “Faggot!”

The young man looked away and folded his arms, afraid.

“We should get out and bash that faggot,” he said to us and we all laughed.

I never went back after that. It did not feel right. It was going back to something I wanted to leave.

A few years later, I heard about him, when we were adults living in a adult world. Hardy had been outside a bar when two thugs had jumped him, beaten him. I don’t know why they attacked him, but he died. It was in a strange city, not in our home town. It was a cold winters night and he died on the hard cement in the parking lot. I imagine that night where he lay, his breath in thick white clouds, blood on his face. I never thought he could be beaten, not Hardy.

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My debut novel The Bomber is out with Pen Name Publishing on June 24th 2015 (one month before Harper Lee’s new novel)

The Dinner Party

I was invited to a dinner party last night. I sat beside a husband and wife, the man was thin and tall and wore eye glasses and his wife was medium height, pretty and a little overweight. They were both school teachers. The husband taught English and he had invited a local poet whom I had never seen before. The poet sat on the other side, next to the man’s wife. The poet was stick thin, with dark hair and a coarse black beard. His skin was pale, almost yellow and his eyes bulged. He stared at things with great intensity. A fly landed on a bowl in front of him and I watched as he concentrated on the little creature. He made no attempt to shoo it, he just watched it closely. I, being interested in writing myself, wanted to speak to him but so far I had not found a chance. I decided that after dinner I might speak to him.

After a moment our local Doctor arrived with his large, powerful looking wife. They sat opposite the poet and nodded at everyone. i noticed the poet fix the doctor in a long hard stare, the doctor seemed to ignore it. Last to sit down were the hosts, Mr. and Mrs. Placoln.

“Thank you for coming everyone, hello Doctor,” Mrs. Placoln said and smiled. She was pretty, with long blonde hair and a nice slim figure, she always wore beautiful dresses.

We all answered her greeting. A large man, who looked like he could have easily worked as a policeman or an army officer marched in and began to lay out food. He put down a large plate of bread rolls and a plate of butter.

“Would you bring in the wine please?” Mrs. Placoln asked him.

He nodded and disappeared back into the kitchen.

“Well this is nice, I love a good dinner party.” The doctor said.

“Hello David, Michael, Sarah,” he said greeting our side of the table in a row. “And Mr…”

“This is Robert,” the teacher, Mr. Smith, said. “He has just moved to town, he is a poet.”
“A poet!” the doctor exclaimed. “What a great addition, hello Robert.”
Robert fixed his great dark eyes on the Doctor again.

The large waiter returned with the wine and a bowl of baked potatoes. Steam rose from them gently.

“I suppose you’ve come to our little town for the peace and quiet so you can do your work. If you call it work? Do you? I suppose you might say calling?” The doctor laughed and looked over at the potatoes.

“Yes,” Robert suddenly spat. “I call it work. What would you call it? What is it you do for a living?”
We all looked at Robert, the tone of his voice was unnatural as if he felt insulted.

“I’m a Doctor.”
“I suppose you call that work!” Robert suddenly shouted. “Working as a leech, sucking people dry, burying your mistakes.”
“I…” the doctor almost choked, “I did not mean to upset you if that is what I have done. Please do not insult me.”
“You like to insult but do not like to be insulted, eh leech?”

Everyone was silent. I watched from my seat intently, a heavy feeling in my stomach.

Robert picked up the salt shaker and began to empty the salt into his hand. He then tossed the salt at the doctor hitting him in the face. “Kill the leech! Kill the leech!” he screamed, putting more salt into his hand and then throwing it.

The doctor now was shielding his face, he blinked in pain as some salt had landed in his eyes. He shouted something but I could not understand him.

“Stop it!” the doctor’s wife screamed. “This is abysmal behavior!”
“Abysmal is it? I have not yet begun to show you abysmal!” Robert picked up the bread rolls and rained them upon the doctor, they bounced off the table and rolled onto the floor.

The large waiter, who could have easily restrained the small poet appeared at the door but froze and did not move.

The poet, leaping to his feet then dashed to the front door and fled through it leaving it open.

Outside the night was quiet, the street was empty. A single car drove past on the road, it’s headlights splashing on the trees in the garden.

A tiny poem and short story

I wrote to her

I wrote to her;

there is no one in the world more beautiful than you are.

and she replied, or so I imagine,

by deleting the email and never responding.

But she had read the words and that was enough.

Short Story

In the games room, located in the basement, the maid and the nanny played ping pong while the chef looked on, knitting. The maid wore a white dress, that pulled tight across her thin body, the nanny wore a summer dress that danced around her legs when she moved to the ball. The chef wore a white jacket and concentrated on her work.

The ball, after a particularly wild shot bounced away from the table and went under some boxes in a damp corner.

“Sylvia, can you get it?” Mary asked the nanny.
“You missed it.”

“I can’t bend down, I have a pain.” Mary rubbed her stomach. The chef, Karen, looked up for a second then returned to her stitches.

“What’s wrong?” Sylvia asked, putting her paddle down and walking around the table.

“I think,” Mary lowered her voice. “I am having a baby.”

“Oh God. You think?”
“I know.”

“Congratulations.”

Mary shook her head.

“You should not have let it happen.” Karen spoke. They both looked across. Karen put her knitting down and stood up. “How far along are you?”
“Six weeks.”
“Who is the father.”
Mary shrugged.

“You don’t know?”
“I know.”
“Is it Mark?” Sylvia asked.

“No,” Mary laughed. “Thank God.”
“Who?” Sylvia asked.
“Oh Syl, I should not have let it happened, but you know how things are? I am only casual here too and I need the money. I don’t know how I will get along when I can’t work.”
“You will not be a good mother.” Karen suddenly spoke.

The other two were silent and did not look at her.

“Who is the father Mary? He should pay to support you.” Sylvia whispered.
“It is Mr. Taubman.”
“Professer Taubman? Simon?”
“Yes.”
“Does Julia know?”
“Of course not. I could not tell Dr. Taubman, she would fire me.”

“How did it happen?”
“I was cleaning their room and she was out at the hospital and he was lying in bed. I asked him why he was not teaching and he said it was student vacation and he had the week off.”

“Yes?”
“Then he pulled the sheet back and he was naked. He told me to come over and it happened”
They were all silent.

“He can’t get you pregnant and then fire you,” Sylvia said.

“Of course he can,” Karen cut in. “You’re finished. I’ve seen this happen before.”

Mary bit her fingernails and leaned forward on the table.

“Are you sure… it’s his.”
“I have not slept with anyone else.”

Sylvia nodded. There was a noise on the stairs and Mr. Taubman appeared, he stopped on the third last tread and looked around the room. The three women looked back at him. He was a short man with large glasses that were always slipping down his nose.

“Sylvia,” he called. “Michael’s awake and crying, can you come up and see if you can get him to settle down?”

“Yes Mr. Taubman,” Sylvia replied and went up the stairs past the man. She was a good head taller than he was.

Mary looked down at her feet and felt a tightness in her body. Taubman turned and left them.

The Bomber, my debut novel will be released on June 24th

Please visit http://www.pennamepublishing.com for more information and updates.

If you would like to receive an advanced copy for review on your blog, please send me a message.

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Sequels I’d like to see

With Harper Lee’s sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set A Watchman coming out about the same time as my debut novel The Bomber, I thought about a few more sequels or prequels I would like to see.

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1. Sequel To Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger

Titled ‘Go Catch a Rye Bird’ this novel revisits Holden Caulfield ten years later. He is no longer the angsty teen but now a rather melancholy adult living in New York. He dreams of leaving the city and his job working as a writer on a small lifestyle magazine. He wants to head up into New England and live on a small farm, but with his girlfriend pregnant and his money running out, he has to find a solution to his problems. He tries to get a job as a writer but the New Yorker keeps rejecting his short stories, his parents won’t give him any more money and the city, the huge cold place it can be, is slowly driving him mad. His friends won’t talk to him and his girlfriend is almost fed up with him. Will he have the courage to stay and fight or will he thumb a ride and disappear?

J D Salinger’s estate, having found the manuscript in a closet, hope the big five publishers will become involved in a bidding war for the rights and have stated that: “This is exactly what J D Salinger would have wanted. He loved Caulfield and this book shows the growth of the character. Salinger was a very out going person and loved to make himself available to the public.” Expected to be released mid July 2015.

2. Prequel to All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

This novel set in the years before World War One focuses again on the life of Paul Bäumer. This manuscript to be titled, A Happy Youth, focuses on Baumer’s childhood and the experiences of being a boy growing up in pre-war Germany. A much lighter and happier novel we get to know the boy who became the soldier. Ignored by his parents, Baumer experiences adventures in his home town and nearby forest, one day finding a man who has hanged himself in a milking shed the boy is forced to confront the harsh separation between youthful joy and adult trauma. The novel traces his life up the point where a teacher urges him to join the German Army, in order that he might see action ‘before the war ends at Christmas.’

3. Sequel to Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell. 

Titled Nineteen Eighty Five, revisit the zany and whacky antics of Airstrip One in Oceania. Visit Winston Smith as he struggles to find love and a hiding spot. Think Catch-22 meets Slaughterhouse-five. This novel has a mixture of darkness and magic, having been co-authored by Stephen King and J K Rowling.

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My debut novel The Bomber is set to be released June 24th 2015 with Pen Name Publishing.

Please visit http://www.pennamepublishing.com

Poetry night two

Haiku

I howl

at the yellow moon.

He laughs

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She comes to me in sleep

She comes to me in sleep

when the darkness falls like ashes from a forest fire

I see her blonde hair and wide sensual smile.

She wanted to be an actress

and could have been

but she chased a fool

and caught him.

I cross to the window

still dreaming

and see the frozen moon laughing

the clouds break around him like dancers

and the wind

annoyed by the nearby hills

race down and test my roof with invisible fingers.

She lives by a lake now

and in the still early morning

takes her dog around the waters edge

and then back in time for waking children.

I awake and forget, yet a sadness remains

as I stare at the shadows on the wall.

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My new novel The Bomber will be released June 24th 2015.

see pennamepublishing.com for more information.

Poetry (for night practice)

I have her brush still. She left it here.

With it she would comb her golden hair

and tilt her head back, smiling,

it would rattle

gently, rattle.

The noise would echo around the room.

I think of it now as the sun comes through her window

and lights up the wall where she once pinned her photos

the sun travels across the room and I sit and watch where her table and mirror were once.

She is gone now

but still I sit and rattle her brush

and think, and dream. I wonder with what does she comb her hair now?