Sunday, June 02, 2024

 (For Monday, June 3)


June-0101 Your bullets, my gun
June-0102 Somewhere, a woman singing
June-0103 I would prefer to be somewhere else
June-0104 The orgasmic arc of the falling axe
June-0105 The joy of fresh sheets
June-0106 Blessed are those who do not give a fuck
June-0107 The sea is alive with light!
June-0108 I remember some things, invent others
June-0109 A room stinking of confession
June-0110 What comes after impossible
June-0111 When the music was stopped
June-0112 At least you still have money
June-0113 This is not the first time. It will not be the last
June-0114 Morse Code
June-0115 Large hands and a soft demeanour
June-0116 Picnic in Cliveden
June-0117 NO Mrs Jenkins, NO!
June-0118 He talks to his donkey. The donkey talks back
June-0119 Classes in love
June-0120 Try not to make a mess, do
June-0121 This must be Italy
June-0122 Cans by size, then alphabetic order
June-0123 The hotel we first-fucked in
June-0124 Butternut and Ginger soup
June-0125 You were born old


For now, maybe for the next few weeks, I still have this fourth-floor bedsit (above an Italian restaurant, panoramic view of Maidstone Prison). It’s damp. I came here because my life was too small. Now it’s smaller. Once I did good things.

It’s Friday, wretched, pissing down, grey. They cut off my SKY a month ago and I am almost flat-lining now. I’ve got half a dozen free-views left and the shopping channel.

When I applied for the job, skinny nineteen, back when I dressed like a pimp, before the neck-tats, way, way back when there was still an NHS of sorts and a tiny glimmer of hope coming over the hills, they asked me if I would give it my all, just how much was I prepared to give to the job. I told them (and I meant it at the time) all I am able to give I give and more. It’s not “Casualty” they said. That was a thousand lives ago.

Well, I got in, studied, got the quals, got my slick green uniform, and then they sent me out on the road.

Did I meet you once? Did I save your life? I might’ve, there were a lot of lives for a while, the numbers are highly impressive.

Surprise, I’m drinking. Jeez, I never knew cheap whisky could be so shit, but I need at least the bottle to go with these sweeties. Ah, well, this is where we are. Send in the clowns time, or go live in a cave on some island, or pop this lot in one go washed down with shit grog.

Is that one or two choices?

It’s really simple sometimes. Sometimes things just end. Someone licks the flap and seals the envelope. We stop lying. Mothers do not always fight for their children. Lionesses watch as the new lion eats their cubs, people are arseholes, drunks; axe murders have rights, too.

I’m not keen on living in this flat anymore. I’m not keen on living in this body. There’ll be another paramedic. If he’s nineteen, twenty, he’ll think all this is a bit sad. If he’s twenty-five or a fat fifty, I will barely register.

367 Words

 June Prompts

Set 4

Let’s pretend we will never tire of each other
It is tragic, but simply, he is not a gentleman
It’ll be ready a week Tuesday
Tomorrow will be complicated
I bring you: confrontation; desolation

You’re not you without your glasses on
Not all honey is honey
Those night-fears, car-shadows circling the walls
A man in a huge red hat
We are all birds, some of us are building nests.

This particular winter, a particular cold, particularly dark
Where are you headed? Is it nice there?
Her twins, penny and twopence
Your smile, when everyone else is gloom

I think of the time before I had to choose
I always wondered what love exactly was
Your soul is showing
We have been climbing now, for seventy-seven weeks
Maybe another day?

A cough down the hall, a curse, a flush
A world full of orange blossoms, butterflies
Poems lie, just in a prettier way
I hid a snowman under my bed.
I want a wooden leg, beautifully carved

 Forgot to post

Prompt Set 2

June-0026I look like an old bear, whereas he is beautiful
June-0027A smoothness of skin suggesting effeminacy
June-0028Hiroshima, Nagasaki
June-0029He rowed well, climbed the Alps in summer
June-0030A scent of scandal seemed to follow him
June-0031A cloistered world, monastic
June-0032His most loyal friend and frequent visitor
June-0033He, of course, loved every moment
June-0034Benson's melancholy was rooted in a brutal past
June-0035Hating every movement of the female mind
June-0036The physical expression of his very being
June-0037Of six children, none would marry
June-0038The joyful melancholy of youth
June-0039The possibilities of a new century
June-0040An iron copulating machine
June-0041From a college window
June-0042One generally arrives back in time for tea
June-0043Complex, tormented, prolific
June-0044The practice of Greek love
June-0045Touched with the pink glow of the early sun
June-0046Some sort of fling at 43
June-0047Evidentally a freshman
June-0048After leaving Eton in scandalous circumstances
June-0050A singular achievement for a party of schoolboys

 Flash -2 (Overnight, Day One)

From a College Window 

He rowed well, climbed the Alps in summer, was the kindest and most loyal of friends. In the mountains he seemed almost to chase death (though he always denied it) but then, just as suddenly, above some chasm, he would pause, his face, like the mountains, touched with the pink glow of the early sun; a deep love, but also melancholy, in his eyes.

There is a photograph of the two of us at Magdalen. We are serious, stoic, monastic, even. Beside him, I look like an old bear, whereas he is beautiful with a smoothness of skin almost suggesting effeminacy. Even then a scent of scandal seemed to follow him, he innocent, but drawing to him men such as I, hopeless, yearning. 

He, of course, loved every moment.

His melancholy was rooted in the past, France, his soul brutally trampled at Mons, Ypres. He had sailed there cheerfully (like too many other fools) with wonderful visions of his dash and daring, and had there been a death, his, a fine one.

What happened to our century? How could so much hope have become the mud of Flanders, the dust-bowls, the Reichstag, the camps, Hiroshima, Nagasaki?

His father was a mad priest, hating every sound, every movement of the female mind, his five part-mad sisters ruined by the belt (none to ever marry), their mother dead white in red bath-water, and this one, so beautiful boy alone, at sea, oft whipped within an inch, without any kind of love, should have been a monster.

I saw him on his first day, clearly a freshman despite his age, thin as air, pale, still recovering from France and hepatitis. He had been climbing in Europe with other young men, all not long-since schoolboys, and I suppose now, the dangers they embraced were the point, the physical expression of his, and their, every being. They were already dead. There was just the next adventure.

Had he lived, I suppose, there would have been the usual - marriage at twenty-eight, a single child, some sort of fling at forty-three, and a smooth progression of some kind, chambers, or something in the City (he was never donnish). Instead, for three years he managed to never miss a tutorial while he became, it seemed, an inexhaustible copulating machine.

As he once beautifully explained, whether an accommodating girl, Charles, or the North Face of the Eiger, one generally arrives back in time for tea. 

That, in the end it was a mountain, the greatest mountain in the world, that claimed him, did not surprise me. He could not grow old.

432 Words


Flash 1 (Day One)

Olive Trees

Men, men, my brothers, do not fear this mob; don't run. We men are dumb, and we are blind, but we are gristle, we are muscle, heart, unstoppable.

Those out there are nothing special. They live beneath the same sky. We all see the same stars. 

They say their general is a fox who knows many tricks! Well, we are a hedgehog. We know one trick but it is better, and bigger than theirs.

There will be no surprises this day, no miracles. There will be no dolphins on the mountaintops, no chattering Gods, it is all down to us.

When the order comes, march straight, men, your shields held high, and trust your blood. We will go helmet to helmet with this riff-raff, crest to crest.

Stand tall when the blood pumps! Feel the flame beneath your skin. This is for your city, for all that is pure, your wives, your children.

Do not hide. You can lie low when you are dead. Instead, seek out the clatter of enemy arms. Embrace the thing that makes us men. Shout loudly that you will die when you have had enough, but know too, that you will not die.

No-one in the enemy ranks thinks he will not wake tomorrow. Let us correct that.  Some of their men will fall to earth and be picked up, but we will strike them down a second time, a third.

Should we grow old instead so cruel worries wear us down for spite, grieve for the things that rot, look towards imagined bliss, or live now like men, fight like a bitch around her pups

After this, when our tribulations are over, seek water, a bed of grasses, flowers, find a blanket, rest. 

Tomorrow we will drain carafe after carafe of fine Greek wine and remember dead friends.

304 Words

 JUNE 2024


June-0051 Did I save your life once?
June-0052 The numbers are highly impressive
June-0053 Buddy, can you spare a rhyme?
June-0054 It’s really that simple
June-0055 I am lonely, feeble-minded, drinking too much. Bed!

June-0056 Friday, a wretched wet day
June-0057 If you say no, I will move to an island and keep ferrets
June-0058 Paul languishes in Maidstone Prison
June-0059 I have a small room on the fourth floor
June-0060 For a change, here is a two-trick pony

June-0061 At eighteen he was already an accomplished pimp
June-0062 Hindsight said, “I told you so”, the liar!
June-0063 Clowns such as those that make us weep
June-0064 The Colonel views me with a cool detachment
June-0065 Axe murderers have rights, too

June-0066 All I am able to give I give and more
June-0067 It’s snowing down south…
June-0068 I’m not keen on living in this body
June-0069 RASPBERRY!
June-0070 The sealing of the envelope

June-0071 Words like glutinous, susuration, undulate
June-0072 The faithful, the young and unlearned
June-0073 I came here because my life was too small
June-0074 It’s time to lie, isn’t it?
June-0075 Mothers do not always fight for their children

Saturday, June 01, 2024

 PROMPTS, June 1st

June-0001 We see the same stars
June-0002 Stand when the blood pumps! Lie low when you are dead
June-0003 The fox knows many tricks, the hedgehog just one big one
June-0004 Don't fear the mob; don't run
June-0005 She carried water, carried fire

June-0006 Boys, why are you holding back?
June-0007 We men are dumb, blind creatures
June-0008 No more surprises, no miracles
June-0009 I'll die when I've had enough!
June-0010 Men fall to earth and are then picked up

June-0011 As a bitch around her pups
June-0012 Cruel worries wearing us down for spite
June-0013 Not even dolphins on mountaintops
June-0014 The flames beneath my skin
June-0015 Grieve for the things that rot, look towards imagined bliss

June-0016 No-one thinks he will not wake tomorrow
June-0017 Helmet to helmet, crest to crest
June-0018 Draining carafe upon carafe
June-0019 March straight, shields high, and trust your blood
June-0020 Age will one day hold you fast

June-0021 Nothing comes untouched by evil
June-0022 As if you were a friend
June-0023 Once you were a girl, singing as you worked
June-0024 A bed of grasses, flowers
June-0025 When they, their tribulations over, seek water, a blanket


I hope to post at least one set of prompts every day in June AND produce a story, a flash, or a poem as a minimum.
It would be great to see a coupla dozen souls joining in.
I will reveal the sources, sequence, etc 1-2 days after a set has been posted.
USE one prompt, two, three, a half-dozen, all 25, whatever turns you on.
Use prompts exactly, or altered, or utterly bastardised.
Use them combined, reversed, inverted, whatever.
Learn to PLAY, with prompts. Sing them, read them top to bottom, bottom-to-top.
Change the order, read them again. 
Try the prompts alphabetically or ordered by length.
See what happens when you think of two prompts together.
Don't read a prompt and think consciously, (for example).. Oh that makes me think about that guy, that woman who.. and she/he thought... and then...
Do that and all the prompts have done is got you writing but writing LEFT-brained
Instead PLAY, play until one, two or three prompts start to SING to you, give you a poem, or a chorus, or an opening (especially an opening) where the voice, the colour, the music combines to make you FEEL a story or an idea or a direction
Then write free, write flowing, write "drunk", laissez-faire, "Just Do It"
and if things slow, stutter, turn again to the remaining prompts and find the next movement in your song.
You are channelling your heart, your gut, your soul.
Every participant is touched differently
(as long as they stay right brained and do not think)


Just to go on record... 

Original prompts posted about an hour ago in Facebook

Finished a flash about 15 minutes ago.

The prompt seemed to force me one way, unfortunately.
More prompts ASAP