thebomber

Mostly Mr. Hyde.

There’s a guy I know,

And he sits around all day getting mad,

Or he works at some store or wherever he can get a job

And then he goes out at night running.

He looks for fights; he looks for trouble.

He’s crazy, and he’s angry

He’s never been in a stable relationship.

He starts dating girls; then he starts to agonize about their past boyfriends

Or over thoughts that he’s not good enough for them

Or they’re not good enough for him,

And he starts to break them down and drive them away.

I tell him he has low self-esteem

I tell him not to worry about the things he worries about

But it only gives him more things to twist over.

He tucks a knife into his running shorts

And then he’s off into the night, running all year around,

In summer heat or winter rain,

He goes for hours.

Sometimes he comes back and you can see he’s been fighting.

Some car driven across a driveway, and they don’t give way to him

Or some teenager yelling something at him out the window of a car

While it’s parked at a red light,

Or someone won’t get out of his way.

Most of them regret doing it when he loses it,

Sometimes he finds guys just as angry as himself.

One day, he’ll stab someone

And he’ll go to jail.

I wonder: what’s he got to lose anyway?

A refrigerator full of beer

And some poetry books.

That’s all he has.

He writes poetry sometimes too

Like me.

His writing is good, but that’s not enough.

He’s a mad dog, tearing at his own fur.

 

Advertisements

A childhood love

2.jpg

I stood knee deep in the water

Looking at the brown body half submerged before me.

Its skin like dry paper

Or the skin of a well-cooked chicken.

I watched fascinated by the death,

The water playfully lapping about it

While I felt terrified to be near it.

‘Not so near, not so near,’

I whispered to myself.

The river had the brown colour of chocolate and the smell

Was of swamp, fish and now death.

My shorts were wet; I was not supposed to be swimming

But the temperature of the day increased

Until the river sand burned my feet and I needed to stand in the cool of the water.

The strong current, the smooth stones under my feet made me feel so good.

The animal’s horns were white and clean, the only things, apart from its teeth

That were not rotting, falling away. A part of its rib cage poked through its hide

The cow must have come from a farm nearby, or perhaps a farmer had dumped it.

None the less I was frozen, knee deep and fascinated.

Someone from the bank called my name, a woman,

I turned and saw her coming over the sand toward me,

Her yells, high and forceful.

She was not from here; she came to this town to study

My parents paid her to take care of me.

I wanted her in the water with me,

I wanted her confronted with this death and this life.

I was only young, but I was fascinated by her,

She would let me watch her dry her hair after the shower.

I would sit quietly, watching her face,

That gentle smile, the movement of her eyes as they flashed behind her blown hair

That soft brown blown hair that danced like fires on the sun.

She stood by the river, not screaming, just speaking to me

Asking me if I were to swim.

So kindly, so gently.

She had shown me pictures of her time in Africa

She had shown me pictures of her boyfriend.

His dark black skin shone like precious stones, his smile

His confident look, challenging the camera.

He had been run over by a truck

She told me

They had been together on the street and he had stepped out

She saw him

Pushed along the ground as a boot would do to a banana.

She had held me to her as she told the story

I hugged her and listened to her heartbeat

She smelled of honey and spice

‘What is that there?” she asked

We both stood in the heat, the sound of the river like a crowd’s murmur

And pondered the mystery of this death.

 

anvilsoul fb cover

The fortune

Outside a light rain is falling

turning the concrete path grey-black.

With friends, I sit and drink. We stay warm and laugh

one cries out

“We have a treat coming tonight” and he looks at his phone.

A few drinks later, a knock at the door.

A man near to it swings it open.

A tall woman, thin and bent, her face a centre to a nest of black hair,

someone to frighten children strides inside.

She holds a red case that reads

Madame LaCarrie -Fortunes told.

The laughter and talking stops

but all around the light reflects off white teeth

the room full of smiles.

The woman stands before us, full of confidence

Surveying the room with a cruel eye and thin-lipped hunger.

She holds out her free hand, the other clutching her red box

And says

“I can see the future.”

It is all she says before striding forward and humping her box down

So that it claps with a bang.

We all follow her movements.

She holds her hands out again and waits.

Those who know lead the action

And they start to put coins in the gypsy’s palm, and she gulps them into her pockets

With greed and flashing eyes.

Someone shouts; “Turn down the lights” and they are turned down until

Only around the fortune teller lights glow, enflaming her black hair.

The box is opened, and the table is littered with her cards. She points to me.

“Choose,” she says. One eye open more than the other.

I had not laid a coin in her hand.

“Choose” again comes the hissed command

And I choose.

The card is turned over, and we look to it.

“The woman you love, loves you not,

No one will ever be true to you,

You are not true to yourself.”

It is all she says and then looks around the room and selects another.

Sitting back her words echo in my mind

And drive me into a fury.

“What do you mean?” Suddenly I shout.

The crowd stops, the old woman’s eyes smile, sending me deeper into a fury.

“I have spoken,” she says. “There are no more sights for you, remember my words.”

The woman I love has found the flaws in me, and it twists inside me

The gypsy woman has only touched the nerve; the wound appeared by my own thoughts.

Suddenly, in that crowded room, I was alone

My thoughts ran to you.

I have been cut down.

Month of The Bomber. Day one. A poem

717686480_d1073eda8b_b

I saw the photo of her wedding

on the internet

she smiling, hanging her hands around his neck

he laughing, and looking toward the camera.

Their world can only be happy.

I remember an endless lake

waiting for the fireworks

a sailboat stiffly jolting

on tiny invisible waves.

She turned to me in the dying of the light

and showed me a flower

and it was beautiful

and so gentle between her fingers.

I looked about, there were no flowers growing near us

only grass.

Where did you find that? I asked.

She smiled that same smile

full of glinting sunlight and gentle promise

and would not tell me.

The Bomber, my debut novel will be available for purchase on the 24th of June in book or e-book. Have a look at amazon or order from your favorite bookstore.

This is the month of The Bomber.

B-2tJnsUUAAcyW2

Why reading THE BOMBER is so important

In these early decades of the twenty-first century, literature has been highly entertaining but stagnant. Barriers are not being pushed, some critics feel literature has no where to go.

The twentieth century delivered amazing leaps forward, with society being questioned on all contentious issues, such as race, sexuality, warfare, belonging and mental health. In all these, fiction was at the forefront of one of the most memorable and violent centuries. The nineteenth century was the mother of twentieth in many ways, including the way we read and write fiction.

THE BOMBER is the grandchild of two hundred years of modern literature, but it is deeply rooted in this modern time. It is the story of a man, recently returned from an impotent, profitless war and he finds the society to which he has returned unaccepting, violent and apathetic. This main character named Joseph finds his best friend and fellow veteran Jessica unwell and in a loveless marriage to a cruel man. Meanwhile her brother is consumed in thuggish street behavior, he is a thief and homeless.

When Jessica is murdered by her husband in a brutal fashion, Joseph, uncertain on how to react decides to descend along the worse course possible, he decides to plant a bomb and destroy the killer.

When this bomb explodes, Joseph achieves his revenge but also kills many innocent people and he has to live with these results which almost drive him insane. He meets a young woman and with her help, they both steer away from the deadly brink of destruction.

I wrote this novel because it is a story from real life. Of people being isolated by society and turning to violence. It is no one person who is at fault, it is not one government. This society of violence is a combination of factors, human apathy toward the poor and vulnerable, deep inbuilt hatred of the strange, a vast human history of aggressive behavior, all these things are occurring on our streets at this moment and the most canny of police forces cannot stop these dangerous behaviors, where the gun and knife are to the poor what wealth and greed are to the rich. I needed to create this story because there is nothing else like it available. I was sick of reading fictional stories set fifty or more years ago, I was tired of paper thin ideas that had no impact on me.

When I began seeking a publisher for this novel, I wanted a publisher who was not afraid to take risks, who was not averse to new ideas and did not want the same formula that was successful last season. I wanted a publisher who like me, wants to write literature that deserves to be created, that will enter people’s minds and challenge them or comfort them depending where they stand. I chose to submit my manuscript to Pen Name Publishing because they gave me a sense they were looking for new writers with new things to say.
Pen Name Publishing received my manuscript and soon saw the potential in the work. They made me an offer of publication which I accepted and now, on June 24th 2015, the end result will be available. My editor is extremely helpful, she facilitates my writing process, offers me complete support and encourages my creativity.
This is a novel of this generation, it steps beyond what has preceded it and adds to the vast collection of English literature.
I hope you will read my debut novel.

Image

The Bomber

The Bomber, my debut novel, coming June 24th is now available for pre release order on amazon. You can order the e-book now and have it delivered to your device the minute it becomes available.

Please follow this link to have a look:

http://amzn.com/B00VQHFI9E

If you would prefer the hardcover book it will be available on the above date.

B-2tJnsUUAAcyW2

I would love it if you would add me on goodreads, put The Bomber on your to read list and after you’ve read my debut novel leave a comment on goodreads and amazon.

I hope to have your support and hopefully I can get as many people reading my novel as I can.

Here is the goodreads link:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24910237-the-bomber

Writing The Bomber and meeting Joseph Starling

When I decided I wanted to write a book about a soldier returning to civilian life I began to research the army and issues related to service men and women such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other combat injuries.

Through friends I heard about a man named Joseph Starling. He had served in Iraq with the Army and he had been having a hard time readjusting to civilian life. He was withdrawn, quick to anger, prone to daydreaming and wandering off topic and felt that people could never understand what it is like to fight in a war if they had not been involved. He also made it clear that no one owed him anything, it was not a matter of blaming people or feeling ashamed of himself. I could tell it was a very difficult issue for him to struggle with internally.

He made a great subject for my debut novel, The Bomber. When he opened up about his life and story, it made my job very easy. Below I have shared the photos Joseph gave me or I took on my day with him. I have put a few of the points he made when I showed him the photos.

My novel, The Bomber, is set to be released on June 24th this year. Right now there is an opportunity for people to receive the book early if they would like to provide an honest review. If you would like to review this novel please go to http://form.jotform.me/form/43465641898469 and fill out the form.

THE PHOTOS OF JOSEPH STARLING

Released by Col. Olivier R. USMC

Here is a photo Joseph took while on patrol overseas. There was a lot of enemy activity in the buildings to both the left and right of the street.

138306542

This is the view I took from an office I had the use of while I spoke to Joseph about his life and the things he encountered overseas and back home.

539845741

This is the alley where I first met Joseph in the early hours of a November morning. He was slouched up against the wall to the left waiting for me.

6354704891_4d1b75efbb_m

This is the alleyway where Joseph took me. He showed me the room off this alleyway where he found his friend Jessica when she was sick. He took her to the hospital when no one else would.

1280px-Park_Plaza_Apts_1001_Jerome_Av_jeh

The first complete building from the left is where Joseph lives in a small apartment, his floor is the second row of windows from the top. This is the last time I saw him, I waited on this side of the road as he left. I came back the next day to take this photo before I left town, I waited for a while hoping to see him, but he never came down.

B-2tJnsUUAAcyW2

The novel as it will appear in store. Joseph Starling is the name of the main character.

(This post is a work of fiction based on my debut novel.)

Why I wrote The Bomber

My debut novel, The Bomber is released in June this year.  It is a story about a man returned from overseas where he was fighting for his country. When he returns he finds that his life as a civilian is not as he expected. After his best friend is murdered by her husband he seeks revenge on the killer by detonating an explosive. His life begins to unravel until he meets a woman, who with her own issues, helps the man overcome his problems.

This novel is primarily about social isolation. It is a theme I find very interesting. It is my experience that social isolation is a factor in mental deterioration and I would suspect that it is a factor in people becoming fanatical to the point of violence. isolation creates paranoia in an individual. It gives a person a view that society is hostile. I have heard people admit that they feel ‘the world is against them’ when they lack friends and steady social interaction.

Social isolation is a terrible thing to face. It can hurt any person at any age, it is as crippling as a physical illness.

My main character, Joseph Starling, the man who becomes the bomber in the novel, is stunned by his isolation. His paranoia leaves him frightened, he sits in his apartment where his dark thoughts engulf him, drive him to a point which may seems abnormal or extreme, but which he feels is perfectly normal in the circumstances.

It is important to be kind to people. This is a major point of my work, there are people around us struggling every day. The lonely, the sick, the disappointed, we all have dreams, some are caught and some are dropped. No matter how strong a person seems, kindness is the best way to deal with others. Even when they are rude, mean, cruel, the best reaction for them and yourself is kindness.

John Green, a great writer- a man who could never be describe other than a good person (as far as I can tell) reminded me (not personally but through the interwebs) the other day of a Philip Larkin poem. Philip Larkin was one of the twentieth centuries greatest poets. He was also a man who suffered social isolation and crippling shyness. Sometimes his personal views on life were extreme and even offensive but his poetry was literary gold. I have included a poem of his I associate with my main character Joseph Starling. When he exploded his enemies apartment, Joseph also killed innocent people in the building below. It is something which Joseph will never forgive himself for or forget.

The Mower
BY PHILIP LARKIN
The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,
Killed. It had been in the long grass.

I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world
Unmendably. Burial was no help:

Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful

Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.

THE BOMBER will be released June 2015. Please visit my publisher Pennamepublishing.com for more information.