Mercurial Selves

I’m sitting at the table and I have an itch on my head, just above my right ear.  I go to scratch it, gently pressing my fingers in against the hair and the skin.  The fingers just keep digging in, drawing blood first and then they gently parse aside the fibres of the temporalis muscle.

Deeper still they go, through the border of the parietal and temporal bone, reaching into the bag that keeps the brain whole until finally the fingers penetrate the soft folds of the brain itself.

I look around and my family have not noticed anything different.  My breakfast sits before me, untouched and uneaten.

I am slightly sickened by this point so I retract my fingers, hold them steady in front of my face and twist the right hand around, noticing as I do the soft droplets of blood hitting the bowl in front of me.  They are red tears dropping onto my cereal biscuits, mixing with the milk to make it a pinkish dye.

I want to scream, to say that this is not normal.

But then I realize, slowly, that each of my family members also have one of their own hands extended deep into their own heads, exploring their own personality and their own individual ticks.

This is normal.  This is what we do.  We examine our own conscious, our feelings, for hints and tips on how to react to external stimuli as appropriate.  We look deep into ourselves and, finally, we also look to each other for social clues, for the nous that we think is missing from the familiar.

This is a routine that we practice each and every morning, the examining of our physical selves to better re-enforce our emotional batteries.  We are what we are, we are both flesh and blood; we are but thoughts and emotions also.

The milk tastes okay with the droplets of blood, there is the hint of the mercurial and the taste of the metallic as I crunch down on my breakfast feed.

It is the same every morning, it is the same every week.  For better or for worse.

Dark Room

It was a dark room, a lone table in the middle with two chairs sat idly by on either side.  There was a fizzing dim light bulb above, swaying slightly which helped illuminate the darker corners of the room for a few brief moments.  Sat in one chair was a man in his late 40s, his hair flecked with grey and his hand nursing a small glass which was a quarter full with whiskey.  The room stank of deception, corruptions and lies.  An empire of filth.

A Perfect Mistake

Can it be a mistake if she failed to spot the error that the corrector made by marking her work as an error when it was not an error, or is it a simple rectification that is needed?  What we certainly cannot have is a process by which the error spotter makes errors when there is no actual original error, and so their reaction action becomes an error in itself.  Unless of course their error is spotted not by the person whose work it is they are checking but by another person whose work it is not.

Therefore an original piece of work which was miscategorised as an error remains an error unless the originator spots the error made by the error checker, and not by some itinerant passer-by.  Do you see how clearly the system works?  It obfuscates the real impacts of a malformed and mis-trained workforce by allowing mistakes to go on unimpeded by the right and wrongs of the ‘business laws’ to which the lower workers are subjected to.  Any formal declaration of a contrast of interests, of an appeal, is buried by email after email after email and, with any luck, forgotten about by the original appealer whose work has, supposedly, already been checked and corrected.

It is, I think you will agree, a perfect machine, hiding its imperfections in plain sight but sparing no blushes when it comes to the highlighting of work well done, if it is done at all that is.

So yes, she should have kept quiet about her work that was an error but was not spotted by her alone.  Rather time is well spent going through the errors on her behalf of her own errors, if she deems that she has time to do so.  Work is, after all, a timed affair where targets must be met, money must be spent, satisfaction must be the number one customer benefit even, they say, at the cost of an efficient process.

So surround yourself with cronies during employment and you will never have to work again, but deliver your work out disguised as work that others should do and divide it piecemeal fashion to those that are not within your circle of influence.  Merge those relationships between friend and foe, between boss and employee, and you, my friend, have a recipe for most businesses today.

Of course she will remain disenfranchised, chained to a system that not only pretends to acknowledge her as an active agent within the workforce but progressively attempts to ignore her even during an appeal.  After all the work still has to be done, the targets must be met.

Dispatches From The Coast: Quick Scribbles

There is nough so fair or ought so glum as word in print, prose or poetry,

Nothing harder won or bitter swon as a pill laced with poison.

The writer knows that his work carries less weight than the ink of his print,

Poison pen be it, subsistence by thought alone a long gone dream.

Oft gang aft aglay, even as we pray, wish and hope.

Wry smiles and token gestures seal naught but the contract,

empty of pennies as thy purse brims with hope.

Be here men and women, the thoughts of the many,

Dashed upon the rock of modern prose poetry.

Sinking further into a cold hearted coffin, nay thought spared for the writer.

Indifference strikes the many as disease did carry,

Those weakest, those first that voiced their opinion, on their shoulders be it.

Even as we swim, current against tide, sway even as we may

Dream –

Hold our heads high –

Even as our murky scribblings and manuscripts –

Sink beneath the wave of indolence, of innocence, of ignorant hearted bliss. (Try not).

I type these words with blood between my fingers,

Flowing over knuckle, bone and skin.

We have denied the value of the writer even as we write ourselves,

We have paid a penny more for our open grave.

Individual we stand,

But communal we fall.

The Snake

Can’t seem to place you, I feel lost in the miasma.

Can’t palpate you, I hope nothing will ever change.


I am silent inside you, growing for ten years or more.

Inane life, making every second count now that I control the clock.

Your flesh is my flesh, your blood is my blood, your life is my life.

I am the one that will erupt: engulfing your body, ripping up your social fabric, destroying all forms of personal privacy.  I will silence your voice and I will haunt your thoughts.

I will desecrate your organs, tear apart your muscles, bathe in your blood.

Yes, yes, I am here now.  You and I are one and the same, yet you alone will whisper my name in the dark hours of the night with fear.


Speak it with reverence.  Hear the hiss of my tongue, hear the rattle of your death.