jueves, 29 de noviembre de 2012

Las cajas / The boxes

Las cajas
Desde siempre, ellos se encuentran en las cajas que se dejan mutuamente. En ellas dejan regalos e instrucciones para el próximo encuentro.

Ella deja su aliento perfumado, su desnudez, la foto de una flor extinta, una tormenta por la mañana y un abrazo cargado de besos ansiosos.

El deja un orgasmo, una tarde a la sombra de un naranjo, 10,000 palabras escritas sobre una caracola y una noche de amor bajo un arcoíris.

No se han visto nunca durante la larga noche del tiempo. Solo abren cajas a milenios alternados. Algún día, el espacio se doblará a su favor.

Cuento corto originalmente publicado en 4 tuits @minafiction.

The boxes
Since ages they have found boxes that they leave for each other. Inside them they place gifts and instructions for the next rendezvous.

She leaves her perfumed breath, her nakedness, a picture of an extinct flower, a morning storm and a hug filled with desperate kisses.

He leaves an orgasm, an afternoon under an orange tree, 10,000 words written over a sea shell and a lover´s night under a rainbow.

They haven´t seen each other over the time´s long night. They only open boxes in alternate millennia. One day, space will bend in their favour.

Short story originally published in 4 tweets @minafiction.

miércoles, 21 de noviembre de 2012

Octopus ink

I wrote a letter with octopus ink and sent it overseas. The letter never arrived. I heard rumors that an enormous Kraken sank a mail-boat.
One night, a sea of octopus ink invaded the darkness´ realm. We dreamt the worst nightmares ever imagined. We howled and screamed in dreams.
Cephalopods were conspiring, clouds of ink exploding on the ocean floor. At noon, clouds rising up to the sky were mistaken by the night.
In the beginning there was light. Then Octopus came and spread its tentacles over the universe and spread its ink, and darkness was born.
Octopus ink is running through my veins. It darkens my thoughts and my heart. Tentacles grow around my heart and I am lost in a black ocean.
By day, our love was plain and simple. By night, we filled the night with octopus ink: we became Krakens. Our love was a deep ocean monster.
There is a path of octopus ink along the ocean. Only burning ships can find it on their way to death, oblivion and eternal ocean-deep darkness.
Sepias flicker to each other in an eternal dance. Every now and then, some ink accompanies their dance. The reef, always busy, remains unaware.
Alfonsina saw beautiful words written over the sea with magical dark ink. The ink was calling her. She walked in joyfully. Seduced. Enthralled.

Prose poems originally posted in 9 tweets @minafiction.

jueves, 15 de noviembre de 2012

Beetle Spray

When Beetle Spray came on the market, I was nine years old. I was so excited I cried. Mum took me to the shops and I queued as patiently as a nine-year-old, in tears of excitement can. I paid for my two cans of Beetle Spray - I had already heard from the highest authority on such matters; the playground, that you needed two cans in order to make them fight - and ran home as fast as I could, pausing only whenever mum called for me not to go too far ahead without her.
When we reached home, I ran straight up to my bedroom and locked the door. I dived under my duvet. Somehow it seemed like the most fitting place to inspect such a precious prize.
As I pulled the quilt over my head I lit my torch. Its light danced across the side of the can, settling on a label that simply read ‘Beetle Spray’. There were some instructions on the side, which I half read, pausing only to take in the words ‘shake before use’.
Balancing the torch upon my lap, I shook the can. I held out my little palm and hesitated. I pressed the nozzle. A colourful little vapour cloud formed in the air, just above my palm. After a few seconds it began to change. A few seconds more and the colourful little cloud transformed itself into a colourful little beetle.
Wow! I had the cutest little beetle that I had ever seen in the palm of my hand. I pulled the quilt from my head, letting a cool breath of air, free from the sickly smell of bubblegum, caress my face. Scrambling around, I found an old chessboard and placed it on the bed. Carefully I set the little beetle down. It seemed to do a funny little dance, before shaking its rear end and settling down, like a bird hatching an egg.
As quickly as I could, I shook the second can of Beetle Spray. This time I aimed the nozzle at the surface of the chessboard and pressed. Another little beetle, quite different in looks and colour from the first Beetle, formed as the vapour cloud took shape.

I started to laugh. I laughed and laughed as these two little beetles began to fight each other. It reminded me of the ancient Tom and Jerry cartoons that I had seen in the museums.
Eventually, after a spectacular no holds barred struggle, the first beetle overcame the second beetle. Defeated, the second beetle suddenly vanished. I watched, open mouthed, as the first Beetle did its odd little dance and settled down once more.
I played with the Beetle Spray for the rest of the day and the whole of the next. The very first beetle I sprayed earned a prize place on my bedside table only to vanish about three hours later. During that time I discovered that any two beetles sprayed from the same can refused to fight one another. I also had immense fun when I figured out that you could have gang beetle battles; at one stage I had four on four and the fight lasted a full twenty minutes. All this was too much for my nine-year-old mind, and I remember sleeping that night in the midst of a dream battlefield of giant beetles.
The next day was Monday, a school day. Needless to say, nearly all the kids had cans of Beetle Spray. I don’t think anyone had realised how many different varieties there actually were.
I had a friend at the time called Dylan. It was Dylan who showed me how to train the beetles. By shaking the can in various ways before spraying, it was possible to produce beetles with differing skills and strengths. Straight away Dylan had a knack for it. Within a day he was spraying beetles that could take on three others at a time. And it didn’t stop there. By the end of the week, he could produce beetles of any colour on request.
Dylan never said much, so I used to speak for him, he didn’t seem to mind, we had our own way of communicating. He had this smile though, and no one, not even the teachers remained untouched. When Dylan smiled you just felt good. He managed to win everyone’s friendship with that smile. The kids at school decided that this was how he got the beetles to do what he wanted. One time, Dylan secretly told me that it was more to do with how you thought about the beetles just before spraying. I didn’t understand, so he held out my palm, shook, sprayed, and smiled.
Everyone loved Dylan for what he could do with the beetles. Children would spend entire lunchtimes following him around as he shook cans for them and sprayed myriad varieties of colour, size, skill, strength, and he could train them up to do unique victory dances. He even got one variety to break-dance! It was great, a wonderful beetle and then a wonderful smile. Never a word.
Dylan would only spray the golden beetles for himself. When anyone dared to challenge Dylan to a Beetle Spray battle, he would produce a small golden beetle of about half the average size. This one beetle had absolutely no problem in taking on a whole can of fifteen at once. And the beetle wouldn’t vanish for an entire day. Everyone started calling them ‘Dylan’s ninja beetles’, because that’s exactly what they looked like; little martial arts experts. Dylan as always, just gave a humble little smile and continued to spray.
With the massive popularity of Beetle Spray, competitions began to pop up in various places. I remember that we all begged Dylan to enter the one at the local youth centre. No one would mess with our school when they saw what Dylan could do with the beetles. And we were right. Without a word Dylan produced a solitary beetle that beat off every beetle in every can of Beetle Spray in the entire competition. We went wild and Dylan became the school hero. He reached God like status when his name appeared in the Beetle Spray magazine directly after the competition.
Over the next few weeks, Dylan became more and more obsessive about the little beetles. He was silent almost all of the time, but we still went around together constantly. The times that we did speak were always in secret, as though he was telling you something to cherish. And whenever he spoke, he gave you a beetle. Even if you thought you didn’t want one you’d end up accepting the wonderful little creation. It was as if he loved to see people happy as much as they loved to see him smile, the beetles just became a vehicle for that.
It was one of these rare, secret conversations in which Dylan told me that he was trying to create the ultimate beetle. When I asked what the ultimate beetle was, he said that I wouldn’t understand. He smiled and gave me a golden beetle. I felt honoured, as far as I knew, Dylan had never given anyone a golden beetle before. I said thanks and told him how much everyone loved these. I remember the look in his eyes. It was sadness. I had never seen it before; I had only ever noticed the smile. He continued to look at me, and in a very quiet voice said,
‘No, not everyone loves the beetles.’
When I asked him what he meant, he was silent Dylan again, spraying beetles and smiling that pure smile.
Shortly after that, Dylan stopped coming to school. The teachers told us that Dylan had moved and gone to a new school. Everyone was sad. No more golden beetles, no more golden smile. It was amazing; the hole that everyone felt had been left, at the absence of one so naturally quiet and withdrawn. In vain we searched for a glimpse of his name in the editions of the Beetle Spray magazine.
Time went by with no word from Dylan and slowly but surely, the important business of growing up took over.
A few years later I learned the truth about Dylan. He had been removed from our school and taken into care. Apparently his father was a violent man and used to beat Dylan and his mother. Apparently he used to cover Dylan with a wet towel so there wouldn’t be any bruising. No one suspected anything for years. I don’t know how he was caught in the end.
That was twenty years ago.
I’m holding in my hand a tiny beetle. It is so small that if it were not for its brightness, it would not be possible to see it with the naked eye.
I’ve had this beetle for six months. It came from a can. It is like a tiny star. Its brightness never diminishes and it refuses to fight any other beetle.
Six months ago I met a man in the street. I was in such a hurry, that I almost knocked him to the ground as I turned the corner and walked straight into him.
I apologised, but the man just stared at me. I began to feel uncomfortable and tried to leave, but he held me gently by the arm. Continuing to stare straight into my eyes, he took my hand. I saw him produce a little can from his pocket, which he began to shake. He sprayed something into the palm of my hand. I looked down; it was the tiny star beetle, shining intensely. I looked up at the man’s face. He was smiling.
And I began to weep.
He is my friend.

Short story by Graham Walsh.
You can buy his book "Indigo Sketch Unit", where this story comes from, here.

miércoles, 7 de noviembre de 2012

Brassaї in Paris

Unknown Paris of delightful terrors
Unseen Paris of waste and rain
Paris of marionettes
Paris of iron dawns and dead streets
Paris weeping at twilight
Paris of corsets and limbs in windows and in minds
Paris of faceless men making signs across distances
Naked Paris
Paris of whores in the crying light
Paris of banal offerings
Of flesh of thighs of tits
Paris sweating through the close night
Paris stooping to put on her stockings
The anonymous customer scratching his arse
Paris of fleas of lice of rats of stale beer of dust
Buxom Paris stretching on a soiled divan
Whispering Paris
Paris of stark trees in the fog
Stark trees in the cold fog and light coming from 
Light coming from the hotel sign
Floating frozen
Paris of lonely benches and sleeping men
Paris of the solitary wanderer stopping to gaze with
     eyes of blind desire at posters advertising health
     and wealth
Paris of the empty boulevard
Paris of a phantom Seine and bridges bridges bridges
Criminal docks and towpaths
Paris perpetually dark perpetually autumnal
Paris of cafés where sharpfaced young men lean
     towards their darlings their eyes whetted on the
     sharp mirrors their hands not visible for now
Of cafés where smoking drudgery lifts a glass of beer
     to her cynical lips
Of cafés where eyes converge on the happy couple
Your eyes your uninvited eyes
Paris of voyeurs
Paris of look-but-don't-touch
Paris of inscrutable tableaux
Paris of signs
Paris of hieroglyphs
Secret signals riddled throughout the streets
Paris of graffiti of accumulations
Paris a text forever being written a painting never
Paris a woman applying fresh makeup while a man
     waits on the other side of
the screen
The spectral city smiling at midnight
Full of love
Paris kissing the moon
 Words and image by James Knight. You can buy his wonderful books and e-books here.

jueves, 1 de noviembre de 2012

13 Lines, Imperfectly Recalled, from a Bad Poem That You Think You Read in Last Night’s Dream.

1. The cup, falling. Wine, a red halo, a dark constellation, in slo-mo free fall. Blood runs from the corner of my eye, my little eye.

2. Watching from the corner of a room drowning in light, smooth zombies sniff for incense. You stay in the doorway, eating an egg roll.

3. The man in the bobble hat offers tea, tangerines and transcendence. Crumpled suits smile wisely, floating in a ballet of underhanded dalliances.

4. The halo of wine spreads, shifts in space, becoming a hand, a hawk, a fresh idea.

5. A handshake on the other side of your eyes. Chainsaw promises. We apologise for the recent disruption.

6. In the cabinet is a map showing your birth, your heart, your desires. The red ink in which it is drawn is a blood-sample, stolen from you while you slept.

7. The Bird King, a unique monotreme, hibernates in the empty egg of his favourite son. It’s pungent and slightly sticky inside. He loves it.

8. The nine nocturnal policemen whose electrons you stole force you to eat a quark sandwich.

9. Desperate to court scandal, the indigo terrorists transmute themselves into protons and thrill along fibre optic alleyways.

10. The eyes of the moon turn enviously from the flamboyant sun. A dead stone heart plots the next brief eclipse.

11. Your grandmother gives birth to thirteen orange squids. Hands, soft and fat as tentacles, thrash behind shower curtains.

12. On Sunday mornings the cars form gangs. Lawn mowers watch them suspiciously from neat green plots.

13. The ONEIROSCOPE stops transmitting and the world is plunged into a limbo of twitching insomnia.


The Oneiropoem

The ONEIROSCOPE is an interactive Twitter project that reflects my obsession with dreams and their disquieting poetry. Initially I invited people to request single-tweet dreams by replying to me with the word "sleep." I tried to provide tweets that would resonate with the recipients, by reading their bios and some of their tweets first, if I didn't already know them. I got some very favourable responses from those who had requested dreams; I was touching some sort of nerve!

After a while, as the project gained momentum and popularity, I thought the ONEIROSCOPE would be more fun (and more of a challenge for me) if people could specify up to three words to be included in a dream.

The previous piece is an extension of the single-tweet ONEIROSCOPE principle. I tweeted that I was writing an ONEIROSCOPE poem, and that people could request lines by replying with up to three words they’d like included. Eleven people responded, so I decided to construct a 13 part piece (13 part prose poems being to me what sonnets were to Shakespeare!), using the requested words in the first eleven parts and free-styling in the remaining two.

Many thanks to Mina for supporting my work so enthusiastically, and to those who requested lines; without you, the Oneiropoem would not be what it is! 

Lines were requested by:
1.       @DianaProbst (cup, wine, run)
2.       @TheBinkyAnnexe (egg roll, incense, zombies)
3.       @RenZelen (transcendence, bobble-hat, underhanded)
4.       @bencooper666 (fresh, wine, hawk)
5.       @kneeldowne (disruption, handshake, chainsaw)
6.       @jeffnoon (cabinet, blood-sample, map)
7.       @minafiction (hibernate, slightly, monotreme)
8.      @CharlieAlcock (nine, eat, quark)
9.       @OpinionGeeks (scandal, fibre optic, indigo)
10.   @LainadAngouleme (eclipse, sun, eyes)
11.    @sleeping46 (orange, birth, grandmother)
 Words and image by James Knight. You can buy his wonderful books and e-books here.