Exercises in Narrativity – Volume 3

Tangent looked over his notebook’s contents from the past months. All verse fragments, incoherent streams of consciousness, broken clauses…

“What the hell have I been doing?” he whispered, leaving his mouth agape long after the utterance.

‘At least if I add some punctuation and do some reformatting some of this could be presentable,’ he thought. It was salvaging time.

What’s there to do, spending time? The cost is high and I have no currency anyway. All in the past. Everything I seem to do is bile:

(That-wasn’t-my-words, I-heard-him-say-it-first)

My backbone suffers under the stress of trying to write something different to what I listen to. Distaff imaginations force out the easiest note/word progressions possible.

It’s something I watch but not participate in. we authors have our petty victim poetry anyway: sob stories wrung out over the morning. Why say what we’re all thinking when no one likes it? Summer’s in a bathroom wasting away: corpse in the tub, man over the toilet bowl expelling his guts.

Wrung out over the marketplace. It’s where you’d look last, I thought. My insomniac brother couldn’t reconstruct the world in his sleepless eyes. An “I” trailing off becomes “oh” as he understands I turned out the lights on him.

Are is our but dare isn’t dour? Making the most of a messed-up language, all the inconsistencies you shape into your own story.

Names stick out like sore thumbs in old rants. “Peter flied majestically over the southern sea.” Placeholder proper nouns are better than a blank space. “Something pickled your peppers Peter?” Couldn’t make that magic happen with “he”.

The whole week spans across her smile. Weak, well-worn, tried and trembling. Shoulders neck and ears you pry apart making for some lost treasure. All your movements lead towards her lips of gold.

Discipline my dreams and watch my heart rend. No sleeping persists more than a day? I walk to find sleep! Autonomous body: my limbs know what to do. Strange capitulation descends into madness forget my name will you? I will write my life history on your entrails!

Lucky for you I don’t know any of it.

To stand tall is to stand loud. Your presence is bold somehow and if it’s not through those two senses you’re either developing an odour, licking at the air or nudging everyone. Shoving for attention won’t do.

A hunger of a thousand meals seeps into your skull. Not the stomach because the idea of hunger is just that: an idea. You’re not thinking with your stomach are you?

He just started cutting things from his daily routine. Cleaning his teeth was the first to go. Then he stopped shaving. Breakfast? He started getting up too late to have it anyway. Lunch soon amounted to a couple of chocolate bars; cutting up a sandwich became too much work. Eventually he stopped coming out of his room to do that much.

I say to you, me, you, I have nothing to worry about! Thoughts are wasted on us.


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