Tuesday, October 11, 2011

foreplay - a poem by Warren Griffiths

I don't want to know...
About your past,
Your present,
Your future.
Your ex-boyfriends,
What you did...
With your sister,
Your brother,
Your parents.
Last week,
Last month,
Last year,
Last lifetime.
I don't want to know...
About your politics,
Your religion,
What you like,
What you don't.
Your favourite colour,
Poem, (Unless it's one of mine).
Your best friend,
Worst enemy,
Who tried to sleaze onto last night.
Which incredibly handsome and interesting overseas visitor you met recently.
Who said what in Sociology.
I don't want to know...
Your star sign,
Your numerology,
The fact someone read your cards
and told you that you're going to be incredibly rich and famous one day.
I don't want to know...
Your address,
Your phone number,
Your name.
All I want to know is...
Whose house,
Who buys the condoms,
And what's for breakfast?

blue haze - a poem by Warren Griffiths

intricate lines of blue
trace sketches before my eyes.
I gaze at them,
lost in their transient existence,
as they lose their identity in the soft cloud fed by my exhale,
that hangs beneath the light like a luminous aura.
A formless entity.

I stare into its depths in mute recognition,
occasionally offering a silent query that returns unanswered.
My minds fades, recedes deep within itself.
Useless images float before me.
I try to hold onto them but they slip through my grasp,
like formless apparitions and I am left with - nothing.
Like a void filled with the echoes of silence,
or a darkness lit only by shadows.
A feeling fed by numbness.

I reside in contemplation,
twirling the butt between my fingers,
slowly watching my hand carve a slow trace,
through the ether,
drawing the fuming incendiary to its destination.
Pausing only to correct my aim,
I plunge the ember into my flesh,
pressing hard to maximise the effect.
The air sizzles,

I recoil at the first bite,
the burning dagger stabbing at my recognition.
A wave of painful euphoria sweeps over me,
and for a brief moment I can feel.
ln an instant I exist, I am real - alive.
But then, as the ache subsides,
and merges into the ambient static,
my briefest of companions is cast aside,
and I am left with - me.

contemplating suicide - a poem by Warren Griffiths

He stands at the edge.
Absorbed in the pounding waves.
The seething fury that snaps at the rocks,
salivating with anticipation,
calling him to its watery breast
To embrace its deep dark depths.

He stands at the edge.
A surely grey sky scowls at him.
Like a nagging parent who,
when faced with unrealised expectations,
shifts the blame on
one who dares not speak out.

He stands at the edge.
The bitter wind attacks his body.
Slaps his bare skin like the hands of a lover,
who's heart, long since turned cold,
yells at him to go, leave, get out!
Cross the line and never return.

He stands at the edge.
Seagulls laugh, taunting him.
Vicious names spear his body,
penetrate as deep as any weapon,
drawing blood of one who does not belong,
Death would be a release.

The edge is clear.
The sea writhes with pleasure,
at the taste of sweet young flesh.
The wind screams with anguish,
at the loss of one so dear.
The sky shreds a lonely tear,
having thrown away true love.
The seagulls are solemn.
Guilt has disarmed their tongues.

He looks at the edge.
Such a fine jagged line,
that separates dream from reality,
pleasure from pain.
All is silent.
He turns and walks away.
Just like all the other times.

New author, New Poems

We have a new author to post today. Warren Griffiths lives in Canberra and writes poems, not for money but for pleasure and fun.  His poems range from fun and light to dark and gritty and even deeper into the blackest part of our psyche.
We have three poems form Warren’s collection. The first is Contemplating Suicide which is a slice of life poem going through the thoughts before the jump. Following up is Blue Haze, and exploration of how it feels for self immolators and we end with a light hearted look at a man’s view of a one night stand and what he wants.


Monday, September 26, 2011

White Coffee Mug - Short Story by Kitty Blenkinsopp

It is interesting sometimes to dissect the influences that made us the adults we are.  So often there are decisions and events outside our control that were crucial to this future development.  Sometimes, the choices are our own – deliberate and definitive.  Again, other factors, most notably perceptions of our worth from others and ourselves, can become a crucible in which this form is refined.
Winston Cranmer had not been a happy child.  Burdened with an unfortunate name and a neurotic mother, he was further handicapped in the instinctive search for popularity by plain looks, plain clothes and an absence of sporting prowess.  His school fellows had not been kind.  His lank blond hair and palest blue eyes, magnified by large spectacles, might have earned him a mild type of derogatory nickname.  Unfortunately, on his first day at school Winston was afflicted with an illness that earned him the name ‘Bog’.  In the eyes of his classmates, the sight of his faux-leather luggage, with the dull gold-coloured initials WC already coming loose from the sticky backing, confirmed both his new name and his status as a non-entity.  Through the long years of school and university nothing happened to improve his standing.
In self-defence, Winston became even more fastidious, precise and self-contained than he had been as a small boy.  He was frugal, having nowhere to go and no-one to go with.  His university quarters were nothing less than Spartan, with plain linen, utensils and crockery.  This allowed him to see at a glance if an item was truly clean or might have been soiled yet again by one of his peers.  Numerous incidents at school had made this inspection habitual.  He might have continued in this vein and become another of those faded, brown-suited bachelors who hover at the edges of life: dead moths whose presence is only a passing annoyance, quickly forgotten.
Remarkably, Winston was not content to fade away meekly.  He burned with an inner conviction that somewhere, beyond this narrow-minded community, perhaps even, whispered his deepest thoughts, beyond his mother, there was a place for him.  A place where he would be valued and respected and a figure to be reckoned with.  Bigger and better things, as his mother always insisted.  ‘Better’ was anywhere other than here, of course.  But ‘bigger’ required some thought.
*  *  *
Everyone knows Maxtons.  The company has developed its interests in almost every field of enterprise, from advertising to zymurgy [that’s brewing to you and me].  Despite this universal presence, very little is known about Maxtons.  It’s true that people who work for the company seem to be a breed apart and they are very loyal.  In fact, there is something rather unsettling about the exclusivity of Maxtons People.  You can almost hear the capital letters.
*  *  *
“These applications look good.  Follow them up.  Particularly this Fabian Spectre.  I like the sound of his work.”  At the instruction from a Maxtons recruitment director, a specialised team swung into action.  Their task was to probe every aspect of an applicant’s life to ensure that they were candidates worthy of the Maxtons name.  Academic qualifications were not their primary concern.  Any deficiency or deceit in those would be uncovered soon enough.  What this team focused on was presentation, presence and personality.  The three Ps that made the distinction between mundane and Maxtons People.
*  *  *
Fabian Spectre cam away from his second interview with Maxtons quite pleased with his performance.  His technical knowledge was unimpeachable, he had made the right jokes with the panel and his appearance was just the right degree out of the ordinary.  The sweeping cloak said so much more than an overcoat.  An overcoat would have said ‘I’m a professional and my mind is on the job.  I’ll keep warm but that’s all I need.’  The cloak made a more powerful statement.  ‘Here I am.  You know I can do the job.  I know it and I don’t need to hide who I am.’  It complemented the blond fringe gelled into a ringlet on his forehead and the startling black and white contact lenses.  He drew out a pocket watch and noted the time.  He needed to head back to the studio apartment, change and meet the girls at The Cauldron.  It was opening night – the only occasion on which it was acceptable to be at a nightclub before eleven.
*  *  *
Fabian left Maxtons with a jaunty tip to his hat and headed home.  The warm twilight carried a pleasant scent from various gardens as he strode along.  Today was the end of his probation period and the world was a very good place for Fabian.  This week alone he had secured another multi-million dollar contract, hosted a very successful dinner party and made the society pages for his daring in appearing in a charity auction wearing a gold chainmail vest and body paint instead of trousers.  That chamois g-string had been surprisingly comfortable.
As he walked, Fabian let his mind wander over the events that had culminated in this day.  Renting the apartment had been an important one.  Who knew that there were so many details in furnishing a simple studio?  It had been great fun choosing the dramatic schemes for the main room, bathroom and loft.  Rich, vibrant colours, modern art, and so many textures in every conceivable shade.  Forget the money, it was these choices that made life good.  Indeed, Fabian mused, it was all about choices and consequences.  Today he would reap the benefits of that insight.
Confirmation of appointment wasn’t something spoken of at the office.  Too vulgar and scene-making for Maxtons People.  Instead, a letter would be posted to his address with the appropriate details.  Fabian let himself into the studio apartment with his day’s mail in hand.  Bright chrome furnishings and abstract sculpture gleamed in the soft automatic lighting.  The indoor fountain washed soothingly in the background of his consciousness.  He stepped through the heavy velvet pile of the black rug to his desk and opened the letter that would deliver him forever to the promised land of his profession.
*  *  *
Winston sank to the floor, unable to stand, barely able to breathe through the despair.  Blinded by anguish he rocked back and forth.  His hands tore at his hair, pulling the ringlet fringe loose from its gel to flop over his forehead.  They dropped slowly to lie clenching and unclenching against the purple leather trousers.  At the same time as he was unable to formulate a conscious thought, questions screamed through his head with his mother’s voice in vitriolic counter-point.  WHY?  WHAT HAD HE DONE WRONG?  WHAT TEST HAD HE FAILED?  He had hired the right companions (sluts, his mother’s voice shrilled), bought and worn the right clothes (vulgar and wasteful), rented the right address (unnecessary extravagance).  Why had they cast him out?  The defences and justifications tumbled over each other, painfully fast, each statement hurting like a sharp blow to a new bruise.
Time slowed to an imperceptible crawl.  Perhaps it ceased to move on at all.  Winston couldn’t say how long he rocked there, back and forward, back and forward.  Gradually the darkness receded and he became aware of things outside himself.  On the edge of his vision something was out of place.  The door to one of the entry cabinets, both concealed behind mirrors, was slightly ajar.  Winston lurched up and forward.  He already knew what was in the cupboard but it drew him inexorably.
As he opened the door wider the automatic light came on.  Fold upon fold of dazzling white textiles: sheets, blankets and towels.  Half a dozen soft white shirts, a box of socks and underwear.  Below them, six brown suits, each with a dull beige tie around the hanger.  Winston took automatic inventory of it all.  He remembered the day he put these things away and closed the door on his old life.  He hated every trapping of it, but his thrifty soul could not bear to throw these things away.  The kitchenware box stood partly open.  It had been closed.  Kitchen… open… coffee.  Yes, a strong, hot coffee would make him feel better.  He reached blindly into the box, his hand closing by instinct on what he needed.  As he drew out the plain white coffee mug, though, it recalled to his eyes the letter.  The impassive, insensible typescript, black and merciless on a crisp white linenfold background.  Across the room it rose to torment him again.
“Mr Spectre
Your employment with Maxtons is hereby terminated, effective immediately.  Any attempt to reference this company as a source of employment or character will be met with legal action for defamation.  All entitlements due for work performed are met and discharged by the enclosed.”
A thick wad of cash had sprayed across the floor when the envelope fell from his hand.  His head buzzed.  The money didn’t matter.  Didn’t they understand that the money wasn’t important.  His hands closed convulsively around the coffee mug as he lurched to the kitchen.  The mug cracked, bloody fragments from his old life obscuring the end of his dreams.

© Kitty Blenkinsopp

An Excoriated Cow - A poem by Kitty Blenkinsopp

An excoriated cow ;
My question, “how?”
In butcher’s window shop display
dressed meat on polystyrene tray
white bone and fat, muscle tissues red
little sign nearby of where life was bled.
An excoriated cow ;
My question, “how?”
Bloated mound, rank from afar
aftermath of cow meets car.
From dusty ditch heavy buzzings rise.
A single cow breeds many blowflies.
An excoriated cow ;
My question, “how?”
Great bones bleached in savannah sun
Life force wrested by coward’s gun
Pachyderms mourn in African dusk
Tourists pay bull price for mother’s tusk.
An excoriated cow ;
My question, “how?”
Ocean giants; nowhere to run
Tracked by radar; blasted with gun
From beating heart, flesh is sliced
Market fresh; gleaming ice
For science and sushi, the cow must die
My question, “why?”

© 2002 Kitty Blenkinsopp

Now to begin

So to begin the blog I have two entries from Kitty Blenkinsopp a poem called “An Excoriated Cow”. It is a poem sure to please those of us who are vegetarian or concerned about animal welfare about useless deaths to feed various hungers and a short story called “White Coffee Mug” about the ambitions of a young man and the small things that can bring them down. I have to admit made me envious of her writing ability and would love to be able to produce a story that would be able to come close to her ability.
Remember, If you have a piece of writing that you would like to see up here please contact me on Jamie.hodder1@gmail.com. All submissions are considered as I don’t really have any requirements other then the item is self edited and is entertaining. Look at the first post to this blog for further details.