Thin Jacket

When pretending to read my work emails I mark a few as unread as if what with one thing and another I haven't had chance to catch up - people mate, yeah gone right off em, was experimentally enthused for ten years but lately it's been - the screen doesn't stare back and I move the cursor when I hear team player footsteps approach and recede. I maximise the ancient database thing and input one of the three reference numbers I've memorised. B2YG39X is my favourite.

The Beast is Loose

I wrote a story for Inkymole, who made it into a tremendously-illustrated book-and-record package and it's out now, right now, all over your town like rent and right angles. The record features B. Dolan reading the story over Buddy Peace's music. B has an all-time classic voice and is good at words, Buddy makes proper wholesome sauce.

This feels huge, a bit like I went through a wormhole.

It's available for sale from Unearthed and Juno
And in Germany from deejay
And it's in the internet (yeah in) here.

Thanks for reading.


-Yeah basically a claw scooped me into a situation where I sat watching parcels of time pass unfilled by events.
-Thick disbelief oozes out of our ears.
-And I was supposed to review the parcels but I couldn't really tell one from the other.
-Terrific suspicion billows from our head-holes.
-So I just made some stuff up and gave it to the claw when it came round. And then it stopped coming round so I left.
-And you haven't seen it since, we'll venture?
-I've been avoiding it.
-You can't avoid what doesn't exist.
-We will re-scrutinise your arsenal and formulate a bollocking.
-You can't bollock me as much as I bollock myself.
-We suggest that remains to be seen.

Spines Out

The numbers people will want to see my research before they give me any of their numbers. I would like you to be part of my research, please (hello). The aim is to see if opening a book shop is possible. Or it's to see if it's possible to convince the numbers people that it's possible to open a book shop. I need your honest hands:

Week Month All Time

I applied - this might take a while but you'll barely feel a thing - for a job and was interviewed in a glass-walled corner-booth in a small-town thousand-person office complex. I sat down and showed them my hands and asked them when I'd be starting and if I could have the first couple of Fridays off, whenever they are, for some crucial appointments. But they wanted me to answer their questions first. And I didn't get the job despite all the lies I gave in response, such as:
I can be relied upon to care about targets. I care about targets all day and all night, I think of them as a kind of powerful sauce that I can't get enough of, can't actually eat without.
I am subjectively, objectively, rationally, emotionally, historically, romantically, obviously, and chemically the strongest member of any team I'm in or on, whilst I maintain an alluring indifference to accolades and a robust but nuanced lack of smarm.
I can prioritise tasks in a unique manner that has caused more than one area manager to describe me as the auto-acknowledged yes-bulb of self-propelled co-operative procedurality.
I could go on, I'll not go on. It was remarkable, at the start, in the booth, that both my hands remained unshook. That was the verdict. We might've ended there.

Trounced Haddock, Gloomy Cod

The staff performed welcoming and efficient routines to an intriguingly non-confrontational soundtrack in Damien Hirst's cafe. One of the spot paintings ogled me from the opposite wall, bravely ignoring the butterfly wallpaper behind it, and echoing the thin cabinet of small fish in perspex coffins next to the entrance. A popular song minced from the speakers, in which an optimistic boy sings about a new pair of shoes, followed by several hundred thousand other songs of similar shapes and colours. There were no other customers. It was obvious: this playlist was an unannounced piece of never-stopping art, repelling locals and tourists alike, more baffling and visceral than any number of formaldehyded animals, and disappointingly audacious in its resemblance, like the spot painting, to a machine-generated array of squibs. I wrote that sentence across three packets of white sugar and used it to pay for another coffee. The barista smiled at me through her completely transparent motorbike helmet and said you're right, it's called The Joy of Not Giving A Shit.
I'd come to Ilfracombe to see the statue of the pregnant woman you could see the insides of, standing on some law books and thrusting a sword in the air. Later, in the very good chippy, the chip man described his first encounter with the statue. It was lying down, having a rest next to some concerned people, who said they were such big fans of Jesus that they found it nigh-on impossible to approve of anything that wasn't Jesus. And this statue wasn't Jesus at all, not even lying down, not even slightly, and how could he stand here not disapproving of it.
He boxed and bagged the fish and chips and said it's nice to have something to look at.

In the Region as Predicted

The ear man phoned and said he'd have to cancel because he had an appointment at the doctors. I thought it was me who had the appointment, with him, so he couldn't have any appointments, he'd be at work, assessing all the local ears. Give me a number, I considered saying, and I'll explain to them that it's me who has the appointment, with you, at this time, and that therefore no other appointments involving not both of us are possible.
I agreed though, instead, that we postpone, and I stayed home, with my ears, unexamined.
At the rescheduled appointment he said it was his son who'd had the doctor's appointment, really, and I'd misheard, ha-ha, ha-ha, I don't have the kind of phone where you can tell what people are saying. It would encourage me to speak, and there's no telling where that might lead.
He dredged my canals and asked me how much Hawkwind I'd done. He measured my cranium and threw some twigs at my neck. He printed a graph and amplified the areas of concern with his most serious finger. It was a bit worse than I expected.

Sclatchy Rigmarole

- A lack of visibility.
- I've been tending to the ghouls.
- On a volunteer basis?
- It's not very clear.
- Under a powerful timetable?
- They keep long hours and set no deadlines.
- I expect the results will astonish and repulse?
- I'm not sure results are a decent expectation.
- The executive committee disagrees.
- They haven't got a constitution.
- They still have eyes.
- I agree.
- I trust you gather my berries, here.
- I smell a crumble full of meaning.
- There'll be a review period. A good long stare at your bollocks.
- I'm flattered.
- Followed by a focussed discussion.
- Absolutely.
- Topped off by a verdict, the weight of which will vary according to -
- I'm sure.
- Good luck.
- Yes.

Select From Popular Items

- You can mute the self-checkouts, my precious little battered sausage.
- I'm ecstatic.
- Civilisation has really gone up a notch.
- You never stopped striving for justice.
- I have decommissioned my ballistic vengeance.
- I am delighted beyond belief.
- I can process my bargains in beeping serenity.
- I am a ten-floor four-star hotel of satisfaction.
- And do you know what else?
- I have no knowledge of anything at all in this world.
- The security hawk has ended his campaign of unreasonable scrutiny.
- I am smashed by a joyful hammer.
- Our dreams have entered reality by the medium of triumph.

Peak Times

In the pond in the park the fountain stopped. Swans slid across to investigate. A van crawled towards the pond's edge and stopped next to the fisherman. Three men in overalls all different shades of orange exited the van and unloaded a cement mixer, a spade, a pneumatic scoop and four yellow plastic sections of fence. While one of them plugged the cement mixer in at the cafe and mixed the cement the other two fenced off a small area at the edge of the pond and attacked the pavement with the pneumatic scoop. Dust settled on ice creams. Dogs conferenced. Picnics succeeded. The scooping men returned the scoop to the van and took out a tarpaulin-covered box attached to a black pole. They carried it to the fenced off area and set the pole in the ground with the box on top. The scoopers held it upright while the cement man cemented the base. When this was done he used his spade to flick the rubble from the hole into the pond. All three stood and inspected the box on the pole, looked at each other, and removed the tarpaulin. Children screamed. The box had a coin slot at the top, a note slit in the middle, and a change tray at the bottom. They loaded the fence and the scoop and the mixer and the spade and themselves into the van and drove away slowly with the hazard lights blinking. A woman in a Nirvana t-shirt approached the box and put 50p in the slot. The fountain came back on.

Full Cost Recovery

- and there's a decrease in intensity sometimes?
- nngh.
- is it both elbows?
- always.
- and any other symptoms?
- the sky is full of graphs and charts.
- bar? pie?
- the gamut.
- you ought to've mentioned this at the beginning.
- I ought to've a lot of things at the beginning.
- yes.
- but that's not what the beginning's fucking for.
- if we can just focus on getting a full description. is there anything else?
- the graphs and charts smell like airports.
- thankyou very much for coming.
- I arrange my shoes in chronological order.
- we'll have the results in fourteen days.

Disruptive Obedience

...would be better than whatever what we're upto now is, although it's a spicy proposition to get anything through the bugle on a schoolday these days. The moguls have iron elbows and scrutinise non-verbal expressions for whiffs of sass, which can result in any respectable clam-head you care to mention being trounced into the nudge-tunnel for the required probe into whether what their visible parts recently exuded was agonised wonder about how to galvanise a breakthrough in The Year of The Fist, or a deplorable lack of exuberance, both of which have near-identical appearances, and we find it best to find out as soon as possible which of these it might have been. We want big swigs of happiness during choppy times. We're only breaking ribs by accident.

We Had Plans To Ignore You

A selection of cold slurpers and a device that drapes a fine frozen mist over my head and neck and someone playing the soothing end of the Nick Cave spectrum on a nearby marimba if at all possible buttercup, I said in sweltering German to a foamy-bearded waiter who'd come to repair my mojito. I didn't tell him that the largeness of the ice cubes had led to a horrifying inconsistency of temperature within the drink which jeopardised the entire 23 remaining hours of my holiday, because I didn't want to sound out of touch with world events.

Disaster Magnets

Everywhere was hotter than everywhere else. The bar's walls were tiled up to head height with patterns like illustrations of non-existent plants. We sat on a hundred year-old couch drinking white russians. Murky declarations floated off the tongue of the man opposite, through the blob of smoke above the table and into our perspiring ears. The Cunt has removed democracy in Europe, Berlin is dead, I have to say this quietly or my listening countrymen will have me crucified. He described what things were like and we described how they seem now. We asked about the tiles, he said the place used to be a classy something or other, before the tiles were covered up, abandoned, then rediscovered and polished when this place opened, the last proper old new bar in poor old dead new Berlin, soon to be devoured by the unstoppable crushing jaws The Cunt calls prosperity.

Keeping In Touch

The new exciting lunch facility is worth a visit mate yeah. At the entrance you're given a disposable tunic. At the exit you're hosed down and congratulated by a woman with a tattoo of a pricey cupcake somewhere on one of her legs. Before the exit you sit at a picnic table, attacking strips of gifted carcass with your hands and teeth, euphoric slop squirting down your neck and wrists, thinking about Europe.

A Seal Around The Top

My appearance at the lung-judging festival was a year overdue. I knew this from the notes on the bottom of my repeat prescriptions, which had said bold and ineffective things, involving the words "must" and "essential", the last few times I'd collected my medicine from the chemist. I'd correctly assumed that the doctor wouldn't refuse to give me any, but hadn't thought the nurse would leave a voicemail full of antiseptic concern. We need to measure the capacity of your pipes. Your graph is full of gaps. Help us. Help us. But the last two times I'd done this I'd had index fingers wagged at my eyes, because I'd told them about how I inhale the fumes of burning money. And I find being judged to be a waste of my time. So I went with reluctance. But there were no fingers, I was surprised, just a flat statement of the capacity, four or five hundred lung-units, and I was weighed and measured, and found to be seventy or eighty of one thing, and a hundred and something of something else.

Only So Much

I combed my brain to get out the crumbs and see what they all added up to. I sent the unnecessary cake away to be assessed, hoping its irregular texture might mean it's tremendous.
I watched a spider disappear into the new Thee Oh Sees album.
I read R. Adler's account of her experience of reading a P. Kael book and began to think I should think more about what I'm doing with all these words.
My role at work changed and now instead of putting people in rooms I put numbers in boxes. The boxes change colour when they're satisfied.
Barbaric fluctuations in the thickness of the five-pence piece cause frowns above the coin tray.

Spring Club Offers

I'm defending the house against furniture. The place I once ordered some from now seems to think I won't last a week without buying some more. Like it's bread. To entice me into another purchase of a lifetime they send me pictures of rooms it looks like no-one lives in. Small fluorescent paragraphs outline the tragedies associated with failure to spend. I didn't buy this sturdy and fragrant end table and now I have tuberculosis. / There's nothing made of oak in my kitchen, I have completely lost my mind.

Folded Arms

I finished Don Quixote and thought: now I can start reading again. This was an unfair, dismissive, glib, ungrateful thought, but there it was at the front of the queue, ahead of: it was great, fine, it's over, I recommend it, unless you don't like books, because they make you tired, because at school their launched corners hurt your skull, it's not going to help you out of your predicaments, I dunno what is, it's none of my business, there's nothing we can do. The donkey was my favourite, probably. If you only read one 400 year-old elongated piss-take this'd be the one. And obviously make sure you choose a translation that's lucid, supple, clear-eyed and bulbous, or you'll be wasting your time. Like if you're picking a biography, or the history of a place, or the life of an idea, you'd better make sure it's magisterial. If it's not magisterial it has no value at all.
I saw a book cover today that told me to GIVE IN and read the book it was covering. GIVE IN. Like it had me at gunpoint. I slapped it onto the floor and instructed it to reconsider its approach. The bookshop's staff escorted me to the pavement.

A Burbling Old Sausage

A small delay while I had my chakras resurfaced. It took a while to find them, first, and then there were complications, as you'd expect, but I was eventually able to trouser a queen's pittance by flogging the full set to a wispy gentleman who insisted both he and I knew what we were on about. I didn't really believe him, but that doesn't mean he wasn't right. It took a few weeks to sharpen all the scissors and marinate the doctor's hands etc, and after the operation I woke up in a season of necessities where it rained capital letters and the wind tied knots in space and the internet completely froze over not entirely unwelcomely. So I was able to finish another book-length heap of sarcasm, and when I say finished I mean I stopped bothering with it and moved on to other nothings, and when I say book-length I mean short but double-spaced. I pressed the sequence of buttons that turned the file on my computer into a cardboard-coated rectangle on my doormat, next to and on top of all the adverts for potential politicians, all of us repeating ourselves, and I'm not sure what I'm doing but what they seem to be doing is using dead language to kill hope. Not really, no not really, no really. It's a lot more colourful this time, isn't it, with all the new squabblers blinking at each other and the hairy clown interrupting your morning flapjack to tell you voting's daft, and what would be much better is I don't know, I haven't read his book because the front cover highlights and reverses the word love within the word revolution, which indicates amongst other things a lack of terrific ideas, although I'm willing to believe he didn't scoop all his language from the mouths of boring corpses like all the people on my doormat did. And a Monty Python keeps e-cajoling me in bold yellow underlined writing to make a donation to the least credible mammal in existence, which will enter me into some sort of tombola that may result in a dinner date that neither of us or anyone else has ever, to my knowledge, expressed the slightest interest in.

By The Minute

I went to the higher education facility to watch four women dance in salt. It was in the next town over. It was about rituals and saturation. I left work at lunch and on the top deck of the first bus I ate a meal deal and all its packaging and the bag it came in and the change from the fiver. The next town over had been straightened and polished since my last visit and I could see my face in the pavement. I spent one pound seventy nine on two books and went to catch the second bus. It drove with its door open, and when it turned to face the way it came I began to suspect I'd assumed too much about my ability to follow basic instructions. I told the driver all about my problems, using small words that fit through the holes in the perspex. I'd meant to catch the fifteen but ended up on the five. I was now late for the thing I'd set off two hours early to be early for. He cackled and burbled and said he hadn't been this amused since he found out his energy provider was the French government and he'd been giving them four or five pints' worth of his sterling every month for the honour of electrifying his hard-working British hovel. He said he couldn't help optimistically remembering that this didn't used to happen when we lived in the past like total idiots who knew nothing about how things were going to have to be in the realistic future. He naively syringed his memories of the public ownership of essential services into my astonished ear canals, then immediately realised he'd have to bury the bus with himself in it under the nearest rugby pitch to atone for this heretical sharing of fact. By this time I was disgracefully late, so I told him I couldn't stick around to help but that I hoped I'd never see him or his opinions again. The third bus took me to the higher education facility, where I crept obnoxiously into the theatre in time to see four women kneeling on a bed of salt scooping air into their mouths.


Kids in Lidl shouted Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi at each other and prodded donuts unforgivably. The SWAT team asked them not to come back. Sliced mature cheddar was 99p. Improbable hashtags hung from the ceiling next to photos of meat. I piled packets and boxes of what I didn't go in for between my arms and chin. A goblin asked its dad what's for dinner and he said orange juice. Tubby magazines flopped their guts out next to the wine. That guy from that time in the pub slapped a divider on the conveyor belt. I thanked him profusely in five languages while we waited a couple of hours for a problem to dissolve.

Something At Least

The underpass has been turned into a bath, with cement soup for water and just enough room between its surface and the tunnel ceilings for a human head to gasp and remember its swimming lessons, when Mrs Fuck Knows kicked it into the leisure centre swimming pool on primary school afternoons, for it to do spluttering widths in the shallow end while at the bottom of the other end the kids with gills were having underwater conversations before wrapping their mouths around black bricks and shooting into the air like buttered dolphins, and landing, on their hands, on the edge of the diving board.
Fill the pool with cement, Mrs Fuck Knows, I used to think, and we'll see who can follow your strict incomprehensible instructions.
So far nobody's surfaced in this particular bath. The lack of fanfare surrounding the project makes me doubt that it's art. But it follows on from all that fog that hovered around one end of a footbridge a couple of weeks ago, which I didn't see but was certainly a big fan of. I'd go as far as saying that that was the best thing I haven't seen all year. Its only flaw, which no-one seems to be willing to talk about, is that it didn't appear on any of my ways to and from work. Unlike Giant Public Bath of Wet Cement. Also unlike Never Open Bagels and The Pickled Athlete, though neither of these are really works of art, which isn't to say they're not putting any effort in.


Obviously I've been forgetting to ring Forgetful Martin a lot and noticing things I forget in my own life and doing nothing to help myself remember them. It's never too late to not improve. Part of my job is to tell people to enter rooms, and press a button that enables the entering of the room, and I can forget to press the button up to forty times a day, and go home stinking of quizzical glances, thrown my way when the room-enterer, having pushed the door and found it unforgiving, comes back to my desk and wonders whether I'm doing it on purpose. Sometimes a crowd of unlikelihood enthusiasts gathers, between the desk and the doors, while a white-gloved man taking notes on a clip board shakes his head in business-as-usual amazement.

Fruit Beyond Price

I'm reading a book that cost seventeen quid and I'm not sure what fifty percent of its sentences mean. The first of its two introductions says style is a complicated terrain. Everything in the following two hundred pages sounds absolutely something. The style is uphill underwater. The plan is, after I'm done, to read an article about the book that sums it up in five or six sentences, and adopt these, garnished with a couple of go-to obscenities, as my uncompromising and sexy opinion, should I ever be asked what I learned from spending nearly five pints' worth of quids on a rectangle full of words, and what on earth the point of all the effort and expense might've been, and whether or not I'm sorry.

Nixon Affinity Brunch

Forgetful Martin came round, fixed a cupboard door and talked about roofing and memory lapses. I've found that if I'm worried about forgetting something, one thing that can help is to apply the meaningful end of a pen or pencil to some paper and make a shape or series of shapes that will evoke the thing to be remembered, and lacking the ability to draw anything that looks like what it's supposed to look like, I most often resort to aligning little groups of "letters" into "words" that describe the thing to be remembered, and, if necessary, underneath these "words",  other shapes called "numbers", that represent the "time" by which the thing to be remembered is to be remembered. Or if you're in the future you could chisel these words and numbers into the little yelping screen that lives in your pocket and abrades your thighs whenever a deadline looms large enough. Just some ideas Martin. He became a mumbling mist and rose through the ceiling, leaving a faint brown smudge and the smell of incompleteness.

To Help

I go to the section where the magazines about books live. I ooze hope. The American ones - Onslaught, Paragraph, The Wagon - twitch their corners and rustle their edges. The English ones - Mmmhmm, Apt, The Brow - stare at my mouth and sniff. I take all six to the counter and ask the fragrant young waltzer which one will make me feel like its purchase is a small part of what I should be doing with my life. Halfway through the sentence she puts one hand on my collar and the other on the back of my head and says it's all on the internet, everything is on the internet, if it doesn't light up it's not worth looking at, get out, get out of my area.


Thank you for applying for the position of Incidence Participant / Smooth Running Officer / Facilitation Enabler. Your warped and howling brains did not, on this occasion, after careful consideration, etc. The questions you answered less correctly than was desirable were: If a man tells you he's just eaten a kingfisher, who do you phone first? What demographic has the highest incidence of scurvy? And which mediocrities do you say you admire in order to reduce the chance of being thought of as pretentious?
Your details have been passed to the Ministry of Explosions, who will be in touch shortly.

I Can Explain

I got trapped in a well and Sarah's arms fell off and also there were some manufacturing/delivery undesirables so we've whacked the jackanory back to Christmas 2015 yes 2015, to ensure its readiness and frightening dominance, a lot like when Nasty Ways was on dubplate for eighteen months and when they finally let people buy it Dillinja became prime minister for a week which is why everything is fine now, and if you don't remember this it's because either you were too far away or you had the wrong ears. It's not too late.