Monday, March 06, 2006

New school (from a fragment of a dream)

At the bus stop early, uniform too exact
Not fitting in the way you want,
Skirt too long, ribbon too tight, shoes too shiny.
Given a wide berth
Prepared friendly smile for other girls dying hotly,
Their conversation not missing a beat.

No one else comes to the bus stop.

Onto the bus, conversations stop.
Almost full, spare one seat towards the back.
Their eyes on you, making your way there, silently wishing
The warmth would leave your face,
Praying you don't stumble.

Sitting, the rustle of cotton and polyester deafening
Then drift into a short, dreamless sleep.

Awake with a start
Hurriedly wiping your mouth with the back of your hand.
Bag open, quick hands taking things out, putting things in.
You protest, strong hands holding yours.
Money from your purse, counted, recounted and pocketed.

More hands.

A voice, soft, almost kind.
"We're going to bruise you," it says, again and again and again...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

A game of chess

They were playing chess under the silent clock
Unmoving for hours in mouth and hand
Glass men glittering in the sunset.
The game, even and fast, bold, decisive
Chances offered and taken
In the name of initiative.
A complex war but really so simple
Thought giving way to reflex
Analysis to response.
Over now, the opening
And towards the end of the middle
Finely poised, weighted, important somehow.
Pieces moving, sometimes taken
Sometimes the takers, moving in patterns
Both players understood without understanding.
Attacks repelled, relaunched, quelled, reversed
Defense adapting. The consolidator, now bold
In his swift movements, and now the end game.
Soft, quick moves, instinct guiding men
Across the board, switching, pressing, tightening
Positions until it is over.

Friday, November 18, 2005

A story, written by thine truly whilst not a little tickled by ale...

(warning... explicit material ahead)

They never caught the rapist, because the girls always died the same night. There had been 15 of them in total, spread out across Japan. There should have been an outcry in the national press, but there wasn't. There should have been thorough police investigations, but there weren't. They should have caught him, but they didn't.

Had the police been more on the ball, they would have realised that all the victims had something in common - they all had a best friend called Yumiko. The fact that the 1st, 5th, 10th and 15th girls were raped in their houses passed the police by. The fact that the 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th girls were raped in hotels passed the police by. The fact that the rest were each raped in cities containing 6 letters also passed the police by.

On more than one occasion, the police officer in charge of the investigation unknowingly met the rapist. On two occasions, and with no solid reasons to back up his claim, the same police officer made in-house statements claiming that the rapist was someone from a metropolis, and was likely unemployed. Had he an ounce of nouse, he would have realised that the person they were looking for worked for a respectable University, lived in a smallish town and raped the girls unseen, which enabled him to leave and then be first on the scene to comfort the victims.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Breakdown (composed whilst wrecked on a crate of Kirin beer)

The broken man lies in the hospital bed, tubes and monitors reminding him of a film he once saw as a child. The steady pulse of the heart monitor sounds like a voice trying to reach him, but neither voice nor man really wants to be found.

It is light. Pre-dawn. The coldest hour, when the blankets are warmest. Limbs won't move. His mind tells him that if he does, the pain will consume him. He thinks of his past, but only the present surfaces. Somewhere a clock marks off the slow seconds of the day.

How did he get here? Where is he? Who is he? When is this? Thinking hurts his brain, a thin razor paring even when he lies perfectly still. On the table... what? A glass. No, a jar. Liquid, not clear. A little dark. Something in there. Onions in vinegar. The unspoken sentence in his head. It seems to mean something but he can't make the connection.

Beside the jar, something in its shadow. Closing his eyes, he doesn't want to know. Opening his eyes, he doesn't want to be there either.

Pain. Dull. Sharp. Fast. Slow. Hot. So hot.

The shadows on the wall seem to move of their own volition, no moon this night. Images that will never be repeated, not like this, ever again.

Move your arm, someone says. He does, but redness comes. And then he knows everything. My name is Ravishing Rick Rude, and I stole pickled onions from a tittering nan.

Rick closes his eyes and mouths something. Sleep takes all of him.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The wrong girl

It was a Thursday afternoon when they caned Yurie
There was a softball game going on outside and
The Koreans were about halfway through their ice cream.

She was led into the office by an older girl
Was presented as a thief and told to sit on the concrete
She didn't protest and
The Koreans were about halfway through their ice cream.

The clock was showing 2 after 1pm
As her homeroom teacher fetched a stick
The fattest in the pile
And used it to usher her into the counselling room.
The door slammed

A raised voice muffled by door and carpet
The dull report of twelve stripes of the stick and
The Koreans were about halfway through their ice cream.

An innocent girl unable to walk
Red-streaked and tear-stained and
The Koreans were about halfway through their ice cream.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


The Principal's sun-bleached calendar stays at June
Snow glare makes it seem ever paler.

To a starlet

People think you're beautiful because you're famous -
You're not famous because people think you're beautiful.

Monday, October 24, 2005

The sun never shows itself here
And the shadows never thin
A Chinese girl with almond eyes
Cleaning her ears with cotton buds