My enemies grew strong in fifteen years. The world changed. The rulers of men’s lives have always been the rich and the empty-hearted, but now they were emboldened. Greed rose from their mouths like grasping snakes of smoke. I closed my eyes and tried to ignore it. All around, I heard the world groaning. I plugged my ears and moved one foot in front of another.
“Ladies and gentlemen! Lay-dees and gent-el-men! Roll up, roll up, roll up . . . ”
I look out at them there in the grey rain and the candy-floss night and my eyelids flicker with the dismalness of it all. Look at them. Content with so little and yet . . . and yet . . . Content with so much discontent in themselves. I cannot fathom it. Cannot, will not. So much could be theirs. So much wonder, so much passion, so much life. They accept a thin wafer of it, a bowl of gruel, with a tip of their hats in thanks. Why not bow too, or curtsy? Kiss their masters’ feet? Their lives could be a feast. I hate them for it, for their acquiescence to such a shallow plot of happiness. For this, what do they receive? They are used by governments, by business, by bankers and money-men to play their parts in the machine of it all. They enter into such one-sided bargains and I cannot, will not, let it go unsaid. It leaves me with despair and a curse for him who left me here among them. Whether he hears my curse or not, I don’t know. Do not mis-cast me as a villain, friend. My curse is, I admit, no more than the curse of the rejected lover to the beloved. Do not tell anyone – there may be A Scene.
To read more about this piece, have a look at the previous post, which has links to all manner of things about it, and the book of which it is part… The illustration at the head of the page is a detail from Rima‘s accompanying pencil drawings, to which the previous post also has links.… Continue reading The Scrimstone Circus Gospel :: part one
Way back when, almost in the before of before, but actually just after the beginning and not too long after the previous end, it came about that I was asked to write a short story for the Lazy Gramophone Press. Rima was to provide illustrations, and the story was to be the backbone of a… Continue reading The Time Project
This is just the beginning. A taster, a teaser, a tantaliser, if you like. I can say little more, except that the thing is multifarious and huge, featuring the interwoven work of 56 creative contributors. My part in it is titled THE SCRIMSTONE CIRCUS GOSPEL. More information here, including a fine clock counting down to… Continue reading Time
It’s all happening. This project has been cooking away behind the scenes of things since maybe 2010, gathering pace and magic as it bubbled. It’s almost cooked. It’s a huge collective effort in which I have played a small part, along with Rima. I’m not going to tell you any more about it; I’m just… Continue reading Nearly Time :: the Lazy Gramophone collective…
HIS LUNGS ARE BURNING. He feels as if he is carrying two fiery wounds on his chest. Pain is marching through Digger’s body as he leans, hands on his knees, and wonders how, or even if, he will manage the next stage of the run. The chill wind cools the sweat quickly on his skin;… Continue reading Beltane