Thursday, May 19, 2005

dirty laundry

the lives and collective adventure of stink, sand, sex and sandwiches caked upon clothes lying the laundry basket

there is a campaign of hate in the laundry basket. the semen encrusted panties are being shunned by the Christian tendencies of the scone-crumbed tweed. they have been festering next to one another all weekend as the washing machine sits silently in the kitchen, zenlike and pondering.

this machine is deeply content with its position in life. it feels like a priest, taking the corrupt and stained souls of the laundry pile, cleansing, absolving, leaving them pure and saintly. white. the grime shimmied out of them like broken locks and hidden away. like the strange euphoric high after an hour vomiting, the washing machine delves deep into the laundratic souls and releases them from their owner’s sins.

tucks them back into the drawer.

but this weekend the washing machine is silent. perhaps there is a powercut in the building, perhaps more powder is needed from the cornershop, perhaps there are simply more exciting things to be done today than laundry. the owner of the laundry seems unconcerned at any rate. but then, she does not need to dwell inside the laundry basket and simmer among the tension and stains. she does not have her sticky knee pushed deep inside the sandy lace trim of her 36D brassiere, thickly scented with an intense musky woodsmoke and tingles of seawater.

there are secret eroticisms in the basket.
things are entwined.
and things are moist.

talk of the laundry basket is not always appropriate. these are the dirty secrets tucked away. these garments have spent hours (even days) rubbing against skin, exploring crevices of bodies and seeing

they are there in the quiet moments. the closed curtain moments. they are watching as the hands stray. we assume they are inanimate, we never stop to think that they are judging. watching our every movement with barely concealed gasps. the thong we take to be so suggestive is actually eternally revelling in a private world of disgust. the thong is horrified. it has seen things no thong should have to see.


lost laundratic souls of a mistress who forgot the power of clean.
paying penance for once-spilled bowls.
sock soul mates separated by sex.
jammed into different sudsy loads.

the poor girl only had one foot.

in the corner
where she kept her laundry to clean,
rocks in pockets and jam-kissed jeans.

smoky dress from the party
and a filthy thong that made him keen
as the mustard he smeared
her skirts and stockings.

but they're not talking.

the basket fills.
the smells grow restless.
the cat stops sniffing round for chippie scented cloth.
smoke overpowers the clothing tower and the flies buzz round.

the dirty misshapen garments can no longer be separated or made to fit her sticky form, so she leaves them in a mangy pile. hides them behind the curtains
and begins to go slowly go nude.

the clothing pile languishes in its forgotten glory. generations of moths are spawned in its cotton folds. no one larger than a cockroach visits until one day...

there is a great thundering on the pavement at the one-legged girls house. is it her now ex-lover looking for more mustard-smeared love? sadly, no. he lost interest once she began runing around with the creepy nudists.

in fact, the shadow outsider the girl's door is a strange fat shaman on a quest for the corner of infinite pain. when he stumbles upon an alarming stench coming from the pile of crusty clothes, he thinks, this MUST be it, as the smell tuggs his goatee to a halt.

through her front door he crashes, hot on a crusade for pain. upon finding the clothes, he is overjoyed, for all of us have our own personal requirements for a corner of pain. he throws himself prostrate on the floor and heaps the rotting fibres upon his heaving bosom.

slowly the smells of the dapper spring day disappear and he finds himself suffocated in the fish-smoky world of moth mating.

and there he lies to this very day. just waiting for his princess to come home and heap more soiled knickers on his face.

the corner of infinite pain

come visit me where i live. in the corner of infinite pain. bring bee stings, bring tweezers, bring ancient neighbours that howl and tear their hair in the night.

together we shall crouch until our knees go numb.

when we're hungry, we will pine for the light of the open fridge door and cold noodles--but we won't dare rise to scout for snacks. instead we will steep in the pain of empty stomachs and growling hunger and thirst.

in the corner of infinite pain it is cold for me. for my wife it is damp and feverish. i long for a warm wool sweater to cuddle my purple chafed elbows---but it is not to be. mary-jo needles me as i whine, chiding me for weakness in the face of simple low temps.

this is our cry. sometimes we yell it aloud and set off the howling mutts. sometimes we mumble it as we chew on our shirtsleeves, dreaming of pigeon pie. chewing on shirtsleeves leaves them damp and disagreeable.
generally adding to the pain.

once there were pigeons in the corner of infinite pain. they scratched about, scrabbling for crumbs and pooping on every available surface. when mary tried to spear them with her knitting scissors they flew away. now only feathers and crusty shit remain as pigeon legacy. strangely, i find this makes my craving for pigeon pie even stronger.

INFINITE PAIN. i do not remember how long have we been in this corner, or what i did before the world of bee stings, rats and creeping sewage was created. nor can i say how long we'll stay. the pain changes every day.
we grow thinner.
a raft of sores grows on mary-jo's chin. to enhance the pain, i poke her sores with a broken pencil.
she responds by crushing my swollen testicles with her cancerous cane. it is love that moves her to chide me. love for the contract. the contract of the corner, the corner of infinite pain has consumed us. the corner has become our diner. our church. our bed. our garden.
our bath
our work place
our recreational paradise.
we are patriots of pain.
if there is one thing we know, it is the sensations that make us hurt, turn our skin to a bloodied mess and flood our sensory organs with fear!

think of us when you have goosebumps by the fire. when your child burns his tongue on hot lasagne. in our corner these moments would be infinite.

that's why they call it the CORNER OF INFINITE PAIN.


one day a shaman came to the corner of infinite pain.
he was drawn by the yelping.
harpie noises.
he thought perhaps he could find nirvana.
they could bury him to his neck
in the sand
(the sand is scorching on the surface.
your feet will blister.
underneath it is damp and wormy
and things squirm against
the infinite flesh
of the shaman’s crotch)

the shaman didn’t find enlightenment in the corner of infinite pain. but he did discover many creatures crawling through the sand. they looked like the hybrid love children of fleas and prawns, so he called them flawns. (although he would have liked to consider that some of the prettier female flawns might in fact be pleas).
the flawns liked to crawl into moist areas
they buried their flawny faces into his sweating crotch
then nibbled and suckled through the weeping skin of his retinas.
the shaman had flawn eyes
they were very painful
in the corner
of infinite

things like to multiply in the corner of infinite pain
there used to be a thick metal tube running across the ceiling
it was high enough that you forgot it was there until it hit your skull with its cold metal WHACK.
the contents of the tube were then jimmied around as it bounced loosely: the putrid stench of pigeon carcass seeped out from its tubey pores. filling up the corner like an errant smokemachine.

one day, the tube exploded. seemingly, the pigeon carcasses had been multiplying like hyperactive smelly amoebas. now the tube is a metal carcass itself. an infinite waterfall of pigeon carcasses rain down from its jagged edges. I sit beneath the waterfall, bathing in a perennial shower of festering pigeon guts. they scatter on the ground and mary-jo stabs at them arthritically with her needles.
they take no notice.
they are all dead.

ode to the telemarketer

you persistent sales fool. fingering your telephone with consumer pleasures.

I hope you will call back.
I have some things I would like to say.

I would like to begin with you sitting comfortably. I certainly am. I hope there is nothing in your call centre which chafes your buttocks. as a child I had an acute fear of buttock chafing. I wondered whether if you chafed skin long enough, eventually it would wear through like cheap cotton pants
(page 43 of the catalogue, reference number EH598 K2, £2.99 per tenpack)
and you would be left with nothing. nothing but inverted buttocks. it would be cool at first, you could keep things in the inverted buttock hole. you could store Frisbees and dinner plates and cats. but it wouldn’t stop there. you might have to keep sitting. you might wake up in the morning and think “there is sitting to be done today, and I must do it, regardless of my chafed buttocks and Frisbee hole”. and then what would happen? the walls of the chafe-hole would begin to crumble too, like that small boy grasping desperately at the well walls. and we all know what happens next. earth scrapes away under the eager fingernails. clods of mud fall down on the head. a slow and persistent waterfall of earth pillocks down on top of his tiny screaming form.
the boy is quiet.
and the buttocks, they are chafed.


the life of the telemarketer is strange. she enters homes through telephone cables, a disembodied voice seeping into lives all over the country. penetrating living rooms with her eternal patter. people are doing things in their worlds when the telemarketer enters. people are shaving their legs in the bath and thinking of telephone calls from lovers. people are boiling eggs and waiting on hospital reports. people are engrossed in trisha. they are the grumpy ones. they mutter curse and swear voodoo magick on the telemarketer’s children.

the telemarketer doesn’t have children. this is because she sits all day in the call centre with chocolate digestives and numb buttocks. no one wants to date someone with numb buttocks. when fingers roam into the endless expanse of a telemarketer’s ass, they want it to be appreciated. but chafed numb buttocks will not respond to illicit tickles. they will remain immobile and unconcerned, thinking their buttocky thoughts and not really bothering about much.

this is the great crisis of the telemarketer. unconcerned buttocks.

we all have our great crises. the Trisha viewer’s is that she has run out of sweet’n’low and has to put sugar in her tea. this makes her worried. she is concerned that this is the first in a slippery slope to obesity, that she will slither flabbily down the slope in to the realms of the great unloved. she questions her laziness, why she does not make the mission now to the corner shop, but Darren has just told Trisha that he has been unable to get an erection in six months and she is questioning if it perhaps his sporadic marijuana addiction that can explain why. she is also questioning her forgetfulness on the last tesco mission. perhaps she is feeling the first clutches of senility fingering her once nimble mind. none of these things concern the telemarketer however. except possibly the sweet’n’low vs sugar debate.

the telemarketer dwells in the abyss of the inane.
the telemarketer is going slowly insane.

sometimes the telemarketer considers masturbation to kill the long hours on the phone. if the telemarketer had had a sexy voice, she would have been a porn line operator. however, a childhood spent in leeds and the failure to adopt any heavy smoking or whisky habit means the telemarketer lacks the suitable fingered caresses in her voicebox. last year the telemarketer thought about taking up smoking to prep her voice, but she knows in truth it is too late for that. besides, the pornographic imagination of the teenager is beaten into submission by long hours of bored daily questioning. the telemarketer would have to conjure up worlds of erotic image for those spasming jerking customers, need to paint pictures of worlds with crotchless red satin panties and busy fingers, bent double secretaries with their nipples chafing on scattered files and keyboards. by the end of the day, the telemarketer finds it difficult to think of much beyond her chafed buttocks. numb arse. numb mind. busy busy busy.


It is not your tired, your hungry or your weak we want. Give the shite lot to the others.

It is not your brainless existence of pub crawls in pink polyester, scuffing around in cheap pointed shoes, shuffling our sagging flesh to brainless bopping tunes.

No sir. For us, this will not do.

WE WANT to tingle. we want to hear what you are thinking. we want to see the dark centre of your eyes widen across the smoky room. we want you to let us in to the age of desire pirated by sound and painful thoughts.

WE WONT BITE YOU too hard. we will nibble just below the nape in your most pleasurable spot. we want to turn you on so that all is revealed. even the bile that the others hide beneath a flattering floral pattern.

we love you for your bile. we love you for your mistakes and your embarassment. because that is where all the delicious thick nectar lives. a nectar we are training to harvest like beeeees from the unwilling human flower.

you will learn to love us. to trust that even though we make your head hurt and your cheeks sore from sucking, it will all be worth it in the end. you will arise from the pavement wiser, surprisingly happy as you brush the mud from your knees, pick the hedge sticks from your hair, shower, and return for a few hours to mingling in normal society.

your time in normal society circles is limited now. you are not the same.

there is bile and it is dribbling.
and it is beautiful.

dripping like nectar and candy, joyful to wallow in like a sickly sticky pool of clinging pleasures.
we love you for your bile.
we will take the bile you shower upon us, scrape up from the pavements the small piles of it that you leave festering in sunlight.
we will refuse to scent it with roses and marjoram, but dribble it over fields of rapeseed and set you loose in them to frolic. there you will get neckfulls of bile.
all the way up.
and it will tickle the bottom of your nose in a scent, half erotic seduction, half the encrustations clinging just beneath the toilet ring.
and you will love it.

this is the story of the bile. it is not always a happy tale, it is not clouds and fluffiness to spring from. it is not the first scents of spring or daisies or muffins, not shiny sparkly candy wrappers tied to your hair.

this is the bile and it is rank.
and it is beautiful.

the bile exists to plunge your hand deep inside and pull out a fistful of gooey gooey goodness. minds like to wallow around in the goodness. there are no sharp edges in the bile, no definites, just a mushy seeping world of goo that oozes and squelches into corners, big fat luscious droplets spreading slowly across the planes of non-bile. a sticky fuzzy coating, like old microwaves with honey spilt across the bottom left to rot in storage, like the top shelf in the kitchen where nothing is stored but a film of tackiness and dust. sticky dust.


Do you recognise them? the small piles festering and turning brown and smoldering under the hot sun?

Embrace them. Plunge your hand in deep because they belong to you. They are your bile.

For years they have been following you down the street on a string and stinking. they are your mistakes and embarrassment.

For years you have tried to mask that stench as it dribbles from your most pleasurable spots. Coating them with a film that cannot be scrubbed away.

the time has come for us to reveal.
We love bile
we love you.

we are attracted by a delicious thick nectar lives in the unwilling human flower.we are training. to harvest it like beeeees.

You must pirate irate desire and think painful thoughts.
YOU MUST hear the dark centre.
YOU MUST widen.
You must set it free in fields of rapeseed

in your nose is a scent of excrement, erection, erotic encrustations, and so we know you will love it. You are one of us.

you will learn to trust that even though your head hurts and your cheeks are sore, but you must keep sucking.

We command you to rise from the pavement. brush the mud from your knees and the hedge from your hair. return to normal society.

your time is limited, you are not the same.


It’s time to stop pretending that certain things aren’t there.
We’re all aware of the small piles festering, turning brown
and smoldering under the heat of the summer sun.

For years they have been following you down the street on a string and stinking.
They are your mistakes and embarrassment.

You felt the heat on your heels as you stumbled through pubs and ascendant shops. For years you flinched each time the piles skidded to a halt outside a church and left a sweaty stain. You tried to mask that stench as it dribbled from your most pleasurable spots at dinner parties. Why, what's that hiding under your napkin? Whatever is that coating the plates and forks with a film that the chipper hostess could not scrub away.
Who me?
Stain the sidewalk?
Do not blame the humble hounds. Do not play the proud citizen, the mayor or the virgin mother…
You convince no one by hiding your guilty eyes behind the gossip column.
You are too old.
The charming young lie has died
for your stinking sins.

We recommend you embrace them. Plunge your hand in deep and confess the piles are your own bile.

Its time to befriend fear and embarassment. Bring the bile round to OURS for dinner. We shall crank up the phonograph, don our lobster bibs and slice it thick upon the guests plates.
Mashed it neatly with a fork,
Let us sup upon sin and self-loathing!

Do you like the taste? Do you like our company?
Among us you will not find carpools and cardigans.
We love you and the strings of spinach between your teeth.
The time has come for us to reveal...
WE love bile
we love you.

To us, bile is a thick delicious nectar that the unwilling human flower secretes.
It is this nectar that attracts us to you.
We are training.
To harvest it like beeeees.

Sucking is the secret.
You mustn't be afraid of a little dirt or hair
or put off by the funky odour of human condition.
You must pirate irate desire and think painful thoughts.
YOU MUST hear the dark inky centre.
YOU MUST widen as you suck.
You must set it free in fields of raped seed

As you home in, your nose is filled with a scent of excrement,
A memory of erection,
A host of erotic encrustations.

Your time is limited,
you are not the same.

You will learn to trust us and obey when we command you to rise from the pavement.
Brush the mud from your knees and the hedge from your hair.
Do not attempt to return to normal society.
You are one of us now.

Even though your head hurts
and your cheeks are sore,
you must keep sucking.


we would like to encourage your bile. tickle you under the chin with biley fingers until you open your mouth and let the big wet fish of a thought spew out and onto the table with a flolopping shudder, slipslapping its tail in the canapés. we love the scent of your bile. for we are the bile nectar harvesters.

we would like to suckle the bile from your skin. slide our tongues down your neck an inhale bitter mouthfuls of biley goodness. we would leave big biley hickeys. people would look at you in the street with disdain. no longer locked up inside, the bile would be tattooed all over your skin in an erotic display of bile-bruised joy.

your foundation couldn’t cover the bile hickey.
your sister suggests toothpaste but all that it does
is make you smell of peppermint
and dentists

the bile that you have locked away for years would like to be set free. a big bile kite trailing through the sky behind you as you trot down the street. it would tangle in the clouds and stain them with big rusty blotches, an alcoholic’s ruddy skin. it would dip and splatch upon the pavement, big piles of gloopy bile that smell like warm skin and septic tanks. you take pleasure in your bile, however hard you try not to. it is the comforting smell of your own farts beneath the duvet. it is the flecks of scab encrusting under your nail when you scratch an insect bite. it is underwear that has been left on the carpet for a week, but it is your underwear and the stains are justified.

we say: revel in the bile.
we say: send us your bile.

bile does not package well. it is too moist. trying to tie up a bile package and cram it through a letterbox is like trying to decide whether toothpaste is solid or liquid. it is oozy. there are holes that the bile seeps through. soon all you have left is biley hands and a soggy envelope. a puddle round your feet that schoolchildren would point at and giggle. but there are no schoolchildren in your house, where you package your bile. the young and the innocent are terrified of bile. they are fools. you understand the bile, and eventually you shall come to love it. then you will know the love of god.

people say that god is in the details. these people are idiots. god is in the bile.
and in the fishes on our shoulders,
whispering fishy bile words in our ears.

there are people somewhere sometime who work as professional bile packers. they could teach you a lot. if you wanted to learn.

you could take on a fine bile art of your own. you could become a bile gardener. cultivate great flowerbeds of bile. it is a persistent crop, unharmed by neglect or frost. the bile grows strong, crawling up housesides and penetrating through cracks like the voice of a telemarketer when you’re in the bath. at first you are angry.
then you begin a conversation with the bile.
you wonder if it is wearing crotchless underwear.
you wake up in the morning and the bile is gone, leaving only a damp sheet stain in its wake. a feeling of nausea and loneliness in your gut.
bileless breakfast for one.
toothpaste rubbed on your neck.

the bile may be rank,
but the bile is company.

sham shamans

I wish I had seen you. Buried to the neck in shamanic insanities with the tubby head plonked upon the ground like a croquet ball waiting for three bags of mushrooms and a fat WHACK. That would be pleasing. The little head rolls of the shamanic friends bouncing forward backwards, skittering across the floor and coming to rest in the remains of the ashes and grubbiness after the fire has petered away. You would get little flecks of ash in your eyes, and they would blink stobelighting effects, trying to expel the smoky pains. You would think, goddamn, I wish I could wipe my eyes right now. You would try to move your arms up and smear those chubby sausage fingers across the creases and folds of skin. And then you would think:


My arms are buried. Up to the shoulders. Muddy little wrists and earthy elbows and a kingdom of worms festering all around this gimp suit of earth. You would be stuck and you would blink again and again until your eyes were dribbling with sooty overspill. And then you would wonder why, and create some reasons immersed deep in Buddhist mythology and monkish pleasures. The reasons would be silly. They would include references to souls and suffering. They would include justifications that you would not utter aloud while bouncing on a mattress and listening to some power tool dj.

Because, in truth, muddy arms do not save your soul.
Because, baldness is hereditary.
Because, sushi causes impotence.

Didn’t you know?

Ways to save your soul part three:
Call people “lovely”
Admire architect’s plans.
Fuck off

you worry often about your sole.

you bite back the truth of its fishy head when it rises behind your eyes and

pokes the truth with its floppy lips.

the fish is miming,

the fish is mocking.





the fish is forbidden to speak.

instead you speak. mumbling the very opposite of what your inner fish would scream at the stinking hippy.

your quivering gut soffocates the fish with weak simpering statments.

lies that belie no trace of wisdom, buddhism, or genu-wine love of

the 'beautiful spring day'. the 'healing mud'. the 'amazing talent' that is all happening around you. it means nothing to you. it does not even warm your fishy skin.

one day they will figure it out.
they will bury you and leave you for dead.
step on your muddy head.

the fish knows this,
the fish wants to tell you,
but you'll never let him get the words into your throat.


we all have a fish on our shoulder. whispering fishywords. seeking fishywives.

people wonder why it is a fish that tells us these things. people do not like to consider that their inner lives and eternal mental dialogues are merely the ramblings of some drunken seaform. they long for enlightenment, but they long for it to come from nirvana or Buddha or sufferings in mud, penance and retribution, endless salvation, some world of clouds and golden gates and men-bird winged hybrids. not a fish. that seems too backward, too simple, too far regressed on the Darwinian trail.

of course, it makes no difference one way or the other to the fish that people are looking for something more than him. he will go on regardless, being fishy and being wise, thinking the thoughts in our head that we are never allowed to say aloud. in truth, it would be better for everyone if the fishy thoughts were vocalised, but convention stops us from screaming the truth. convention does not like people to open their mouths wide and vomit up crazed finned phrases, force them out spasming and flopping, gills akimbo. convention says: keep the fish away from me.
we do not spill blood and guts on this deck.

of course, all this talk of fishy wisdom demands the question, who is sitting on the fishy shoulder, whispering words of wisdom in the fishy ears?
this is a silly question.
there are no fishy shoulders,
no fishy ears.

there are just fish.
and wisdom.
and the eternal search
for fishywives.