"If any man ever dared to translate all that is in his heart, to put down what is really his experience, what is truly his truth, I think then the world would go to smash, that it would be blown to smithereens and no god, no accident, no will could ever again assemble the pieces..." -Henry Miller

Meet Stuart.  A fireman's son.  He has the peculiar ability to promulgate a not false approach to conveying an ugly truth.  And he knows this to be true.  Neither here nor there, yet exceptionally offensive at arms length.  He is a man of guilt yet finds comfort in retribution. I would never trust him with a nickel, but certainly with my life.

But with this being said, I have found myself in the gutter scraping the blackened bits of whales fat from the pavement, grinding my front teeth down to a mass of wet nerves that squirm and glisten when hit by the emissions of light from above.  It is a strange time we exist in.  In a constant state of war, on the brink of a mass suicide.  We kill for no other reason...boredom...or perhaps a filthy opportunity to soft sell the remaining teeth in our heads.  This is the reckoning.  And at the front line is Stuart...with a judicious affectation and a canvas bag full of enamel.


Only a few moments in and I was ready to leave.  I watched them from a distance, their eyes meeting often, more than they should, and his running the length of her neck down the faded fabric of her one piece seersucker suit.  An uneasiness and the ability to strike his brothers face lies within him.  I have heard that it is not the environment that makes the master.  But I would argue that Rembrandt didn't learn to paint in a room filled with darkness.  But even still, much can be learned in the lessons of life while hunched over the marble top of the local pub.

                                                                               *            *            *

It is the 24th day of May 2016 and I have spent the week burning the windows and doors of other peoples houses on an island somewhere off the coast of Italy, where the wind blows with purpose and Americans are given treatment similar to that of an up and coming country-western singer caught with his pants down and a rhinestone studded leather belt fastened tightly around his neck.  Celebrity.

            *            *

A woman, perhaps of Irish descent, blocks the aisle while her infant daughter rubs her gums up and down the length of the footrest of the middle aged man in the Adidas tracksuit.  I expect to see him later this evening on Sauchiehall St. on the prowl for 20 pence pieces and causally knocking the reduced Tesco sandwiches from the hands of hungry and unsuspecting art school kids.

                                                                              *            *            *

We are slipping back into a filthy routine.  And when it happens we must be prepared.  Yesterday is a memory, along with your family and your brothers collection of women's underwear.  Descending.  Our upward battle has come to an end and the only action now that seems to make even the slightest bit of sense is to go on the radio and spread the word as quickly as possible.  Grand.  But the radio is becoming obsolete and I fear Friday night discos are on the rise. 

Figa.  My pockets are filled with unused paper napkins and someone else's money and I am trying to hold my tongue and an unamused expression while a man of a former generation pressed his thumb and forefinger into a vagina like shape explaining this was all that mattered.  He had his own line of liquor that was quite bitter with the bottle claiming to be liquid viagra and a photo of himself featured on the front.  Occasionally I would get a smack on the back with his free hand and be directed to quaff the remainder of the wine in my glass.  He explained through a translator that I was the Casa Nova.  I wasn't sure what he meant.  But nonetheless I said nothing in response and continued to drink.    I think he liked my moustache.   


Meet Gavin.  We were strangers when we met, but I immediately trusted him. I was blinded from cheap whisky and he from staring into the sun...the laughter of mechanical birds and their hideous gawking made it impossible to think.  "Their eyes are now upon us and like rats in a maze they make their way towards us with uneasy eyes and waterproof jackets" I remember saying.  He laughed and said something along the lines of ketchup being funny, and brown sauce too serious.  At the time I wasn't sure what it all meant.  

 Projection.  An intended plural of the word.  What does it actually mean to project oneself onto another?  What is it we are projecting?  Our fears?  Our Hopes?  Anxieties?  Our desires and sexual fantasies.  Is it a way of coping with a non-eventful privileged white skinned life.  Guilt. Aye, thats it boy, now you're onto something.  He knows that it is the guilt that motivates the sociopathic, yet is not fooled by their feathers and false nature.  But at the same time he remembers that we drink cold beer while children die from lack of water. 

*            *            *

I have stood witness to love and a respect, and to an ever fleeing patience.  

What happens now?  A question I have many times asked before. We wait.  We wait for help.  We wait for our hair to grow back or our mothers to come home with bread or good news.  We wait for the flames and our inevitable demise.  We wait for love.  And for breakfast and the chance to sing a Bonnie Prince Billy song together.  We wait for each other, with the knowing that we wait for no one. 


Spanish Milk.

My everyday thoughts are occupied by those I love.  Alongside the thoughts of sex.  Made up love affairs.  The new year is nearly upon us and I find myself in an all too familiar situation.  No money.  No car.  A girl I can not trust.  And no place to call my own.  The only thing missing is my wisdom teeth and a fuller head of hair.  I'm finding this difficult.  Not difficult like playing an instrument or driving a motorized vehicle.  Difficult like attempting to finish a game of Monopoly.

A diet of propolis, garlic, ginger, and painkillers.  I will be better in no fucking time.  According to my ex-wife we were never married.  But the breakup feels like a more than tragic divorce.  Go back.  As a direct result of a diet of cocaine and organic cows milk, I've decided to Astroturf the deck.  I'm interrupted by a Spanish girl with a Spanish lisp inquiring about a cappuccino.  I would seem that I have proved myself right by proving myself wrong, but the fat girl doesn't seem to understand that I do not want to be friends.

I welcome death under the Catalonian sun. But with that being said, there a certain things that I wouldn't mind doing.  Like sex.  Or having a cup of coffee and maybe a snack from Dunkin Donuts.  And finding a paper with a horoscope hidden somewhere in its pages, then get really pissed off when I can't read it.

*            *            *

I want you to suddenly appear...seemingly out of nowhere with an avocado and cold Budweiser.  But I can still hear that god damn alarm clock.  It is blinking.  Pervert.  Poser.  Pervert.  Poser.  Pervert.  Poser.  Pervert.  Poser.  Its hard to wake up to the truth.

A diet of salmon and avocados and an abundance of red wine.  I think I was put off by her physical likeness to my own mother.  I suppose that sort of thing would do it for some boys,  but I have premonitions of closed eyes during sex and awkward glances at the dinner table.

*            *            *

Twenty minutes I've been awake.  Twenty minutes I've been thinking of that little boy...he seemed ok, slightly stunned.  He made it one or two feet before collapsing...

*            *            *

She found herself a new man with a strangely shaped soft pallet that gave him a rather offensive protrusion of his two front teeth.  I can no longer remember her name.  She was a foreigner in a Spanish city.  She wasn't very attractive, but she gave me whisky, so I ate her pussy.  I didn't stick around and took the bottle with me when she went to the toilet.

I can see that kid again.  Much older and surrounded by bare breasts, yet having trouble, once again, enjoying the milk.  I don't want no pop.  I don't want no tea.  Just give me milk.

*            *            *

It is the 18th day of September 2014.  I was born 30 years ago today.  I am living on a sinking boat in Marina Badalona, 5 km outside of Barcelona.  The next week will be strange...on the 25th I will apply for a job teaching english for the YMCA in Priego.  To my surprise I will be hired and leave Badalona on a west bound train that same night. 

Shrimp and Grits.

Organic is the way to go. 

- Hefty portion of fresh uncooked shrimp
- prosciutto...the thinly sliced stuff, not chunks
- a nice tomatillo coarsely chopped
- lots of garlic also coarsely chopped
- yellow coarse polenta
- some cheese. Parmesan.
- a bit of cream and milk.

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.  Lightly salt.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and slowly stir in the polenta.  Its like mixing plaster.  Keep adding until it is nice and saturated.  Once there, add a bit of cream and milk to thin it out.  You will want a small child present to continuously stir the pot for an hour while it cooks, maintaining a smooth texture by adding milk when necessary.  The longer you allow it to cook the better.  Pour yourself a heavy glass of wine and don't allow the child to put fingers in the mix.  It is hot and sticks like napalm.

When the time comes, generously wrap the shrimp with the prosciutto and dust with red pepper and ground fennel seed.  Don't be shy.  And don't use salt. You can leave the tails on if you want it to look fancy. Heat a large cast iron pan and pile the things in.  The pan should be hot enough to give a nice crisp and colour to the prosciutto before the shrimp overcook.  Which will happen.  Keep an eye on them, only a couple minutes on each side.  Push them to the side of the pan and add a bit of olive oil to the rendering from the pork.  Turn the heat all the way up and add your garlic and tomatillo.  After a quick stir pile in the spinach.  It should be making a lot of noise.  Let all the spinach get kissed by the heat, and add a splash of white wine and just a bit of salt.  Serve it quickly.  Your guests are hungry and the child is ready to go home.  Polenta on the plate first, 5 or 6 shrimp arranged on top (tails up), finish with a dollop of the spinach, some parmesan flakes, and some balsamic reduction if you happen to have it handy.  

Refrigerate the leftover polenta in a shallow glass dish...like a pie dish.  You can cut the cold polenta in the morning...coat in flour and fry in hot oil.  Poach an egg to go on top, grab some rocket and a squeeze of lemon and watch Star Trek TNG.  YOLO.


Meet Joss.  Our last encounter.  Ransomed children.  He filled my empty belly with boiled potatoes and spinach while Jim, the owner, slept on a bench next to us.  Before we said our goodbyes we recalled with admiration our weeks working together as electricians and art handlers.  As a Bad Seeds song gently filled the air of the vacant West End curry shop we smiled and in unison understood the importance of fidelity and the dangers that accompany inconstancy.  He would later message me from France to explain to me the difference between chess and table tennis.

*            *            *

Morning had broken and with it my bodily threshold and immune system.  The smell of the toxins being violently expelled from my body permeated the Neil family room, burned my nose and shook me from the depths and wicked hold of a drug induced dance party where a dark haired woman was spitting down my throat while we all paraded about topless showering in sticky shots of Cafe Patron, taking turns hopping along the marble tabletops shouting Madonna lyrics at one another like territorial savages...to this day I'm not 100% sure it was actually a dream.  

Joss was standing above me asking if I was coming and I quickly put on the nearest pair of trousers I could find. Vincent was curled beneath a red blanket on the love-seat and I remember looking down and noticing a bead of sweat on Blackmore's forehead and thinking he must finally be getting over the flu.  I snatched a red umbrella from outside the door and made my way out into the mist.  The clouds of error were beginning to form and we were running late.  When I woke again I was on the top rung of a 15ft ladder with a spool of wire in my hands and Neil Young playing in my head.


"A handful of pills and a litre of wine would go a long way right about...now." 

-The Turkish Man. 

*            *            *

It was difficult at first, and I showed her a side of my personality I would preferred to have kept at bay.  I wondered what her average salary added up to...far too little I'm sure considering the amount of underage dope fiends en route to Ibiza she dealt with on a daily basis...and not to mention how they frequent the toilet, snorting lines off the spring loaded plastic toilet paper holder and frantically stuffing themselves into their more than reluctant partners.  Walking in on that sort of filth deserves a raise.

*            *            *

Back.  Just in time to watch it all fall.  But I don't know where I was or what I was doing. The weather is changing.  Flies are beginning to swarm, and the plants are beginning to consume themselves.  The music being played is terrible.  Simply terrible.  And it looks like a meth addict was put in charge of the newest addition to the house.  

Standards.  Romance is dead, and with it art....but light travels at the speed of itself and I find it rather unfortunate how disinterested some can be.  It is the 7th day of June 2015 and I will soon be in Milan.  I remember the young Turkish man seated next to me had a big smile, smacking gums and an unbearable odour seeping from his mouth.  As I held my breath and listened to him go on about house music and DJ's I had never heard of, I noticed a couple wearing matching Beyonce vests and brightly coloured caps sneaking about in a rather guilty manner...

I again cut my conversation with the Turkish man short, ordered a fifth round and proceeded to the nearest men's room to lick the toilet paper holder. 

*            *            *

(A)   (C)   (D)  (C)(D)(C)(A)

I can't stop
I don't know if I would if I could
Take you out back
Make you deserve
All of my love


Meet Andrew.  A change is gonna come.  The two of us sat and we sang.  He strummed a half tuned mandolin and without shoes we discussed the women we loved and lazily wondered how long the sunshine would last.  I would later that week see him again, walking through the Gorbals.  His lips were transparent, unable to see through his swollen eyes.  He asked me for water and I gave him 50p.  As he continued on I noticed he still wasn't wearing shoes.  

He carries under his tongue the inconvenient salty taste of a world where water is rationed out by pimps and whores that conceal their disease riddled privates with the tanned hides of the working class, while chimpanzees are allowed to roam the streets in a methamphetamine fueled search for the next hit.  It is a dangerous time.  Yet among the violent laughter and constant clanking of glass bottles, his voice can be heard.  He is singing a song that will only grow louder with time, and draw us closer to a beacon of light that will guide us through the filth and urine soaked cynicism.  Its been a long time coming.  A change is gonna come.


With an absolute loss of place, the last resort is one of pleasure.  Enjoy the fruits of irresponsible man.  You owe it to yourself.

*            *            *

"No more dogs or husbands, they keep dying on me" she said with a raspy voice. She undoubtably adorned a nasty smoking habit and Chihuahua, and I imagined her searching the clearance at Pier 1 for that special something to make her febreezed filled home..."pretty".  I didn't get too close, and with outstretched arms and feet firmly planted I fumbled for the Sonny and Cher album and Creed tablature book on the shelf in front of her. 

I wonder.  I wander. The time has gone, we are not ourselves, and I am beginning to believe that people who piss in bottles have social anxiety.  I have a small collection myself, arranged in a deliberate gradation.  It is pretty.  And I am thinking of having a medium sized dinner party to show it off.  You are all invited.   But I must say that we fail for obvious reasons, always in a state of perpetual confusion. Today, however, is O.K.  You are O.K. This is O.K...until it isn't.  In a few moments a beautiful Dutch girl will come in with a smile and love, kiss me and stroke my beard, and be confused by the half eaten avocado sandwich in my pocket.  I think I hear her. Yes.  And she is wet from the rain.

*            *            *

I read the message and with a high chin sipped my coffee.  How are we supposed to go on like this?  Pretending that evil doesn't exist and happiness is found at the bottom of a flat white...we come back to this same simple question.  Curious indeed.  It is the unknown that peaks our interest, yet remains a source of deep frustration and fear.  It is the 22nd day of March 2016, and we have received news from Blackmore.  Starship Nicola will be performing at the Eden Festival.


I opened my eyes with an expectation of confusion (a condition that over several years has led to a rather unsightly gathering of the skin just above the ridge of my nose) but was slightly rattled by the relaxed state of my brow that accompanied an astonishing level of self-awareness.  This moment of clarity, however, was short-lived.  When the same child begins following you everywhere you go, you get into the habit of pulling back the shower curtain to ensure privacy when going to the toilet.  Though she usually keeps her distance, I have on occasion found her considering hiding places under my bed or in the hallway closet.  

It was early morning.  There was a soft light coming from the wash basin that was bouncing off the narrow mirror that ran the length of the east facing wall, bathing the room in a warm glow.  The smell was familiar...that of mould and rot and Ivory soap.  At $1 for a pack of 20 bars,  we would see years of prolonged use of the stuff in a carpeted bathroom.   On my way to inspect the source of the light I threw back the shower curtain and thought nothing of the dilapidated pram haphazardly hung from the shower head.  I continued to the sink and found a mobile phone, not mine, with the light set to on.  It was the time of year when Asian beetles gathered in numbers,  clumsily finding their way into any exposed crevice of your body and filling any concaved surface like an open grave.  The light of the phone had attracted hundreds through the night.  They are filthy creatures, fornicating on left over teabags and scraps of meat in the bin.  They can give quite the bite so I left them as they were.  A strange noise necessitated a second inspection of the shower.  I had somehow overlooked a nest of wasps that completely engulfed the baby carriage.  I felt dirty...I took in a last short breath and held it.  The soap burned by nose.  I gently closed the door behind me and went to check the hallway closet. 

*            *            *

(C#m) rising (D#m) up just to (E) rise (D#m) against
(C#m) the sun is (D#m) overhead and that (E) feelings (D#m) gone
(C#m) take me (D#m) down to the (E) water's (D#m) edge
(C#m) make me (D#m) drink I'm in (E) over my (D#m) head

(A#)  (F#) I'm in (E) over my head (B7)


Meet Jack.  In times of love or war, strange and ugly things will happen...

We met on three separate occasions.  On the fourth he thanked me, kissed me on the lips and tackled me off a large piece of furniture we were all perched upon, while Stuart and Blackmore lost themselves in a fit of laughter, feverishly flipping through a compilation of Bob Dylan tracks.  It was our third meeting, however, that I would like to detail.

He and Harry were fresh off the boat, and somehow managed a chance encounter with us at a Spar not far from the cottage where we would all be spending the week. We all chipped in and filled the front seat of his car with 2 cartons of eggs, a bag of potatoes, an assortment of greens and veggies, more milk than we knew what to do with, and enough salt to melt a small iceberg.

He understood what was happening.  I found him upstairs without shoes, a guitar, and an untouched glass of whisky.  He finished his song and after spoke to me of a love and simultaneous scorn for a greed driven world. I remember him pausing, for a brief moment, as he reached for the still glass of warm liquor at his feet.  As he brought it to his lips, he paused again...and smiled.

He was right, of course.  In times of love and war the inside track becomes unclear, and we seek  comfort in rumours and indulgence, denouncing each other publicly while licking the sour flesh of fallen grapefruits.  Do not be fooled by the gospel, yet do not be too proud to not allow it to guide you....And as good as one's word, keep looking for that good-time companion.