FTMT's Favourite Five Top Tenets

Saturday, March 25, 2006

My skin is not big enough


My skin is not big enough

There is not enough room in my skin
for all those other people to fit in
names and faces passing by
interesting, complicated, sexy and shy
each one calling out to have their try
a moment in the sun or somewhere close by
brave but poisoned and shaken and high
to exist for once and colourfully
have habits and needs
appetites and illness
abstracted and unaccountable
as they live expressively
outside the prison that they see as me.
eye contact comes to hammer the senses
unused voices that lip sync with menace
threats to unravel, de-stable and let loose
still born thoughts and a dangling noose
promises to behave and speak only the truth
young and holding on, thick and thin, bold and restless
the family of figures unrelated but connected
we breathe from the heart and we cry from the gut
but the route back is blocked and the cell doors stay shut
bolted and dry
from the floor to the sky
the past to right now
we live only in a film script.
A screenplay.
A routine.
A sensible film script.

Friday, March 24, 2006



The Peddler

There was a loud, sharp and unexpected knock on the door. I opened it and small, dark, middle-aged man looked up from the zip of his anorak and began telling me about himself. “Hello sir, my name is Francis McMaster, I’m fifty one years old, I’m out of work, epileptic and I’m trying to make an honest living by selling household items around the doors. If I could just take up a few minutes of your time to show you some of the useful things I have for sale in this here bag.” I wasn’t really wanting to enter into a long dialogue about anything really, being busy, or not being interested and I was aware that my mind had frozen and that though I wanted to tell him “no sale” I couldn’t. He began to unzipper the holdall he was carrying and rummaging around inside it.

I just wanted this to be over so I started to think of how much cash I had on me; I had at least ten pounds in wallet I guessed. Already I knew I was going to be buying something but I didn’t want to give that fact away so I quickly decided to spend no more than a fiver.

“Have you pets sir? Does your wife need a new ironing board cover? Do you own a motor car?”

“Ok” I said, “let’s make this easy, what can you sell me for a fiver?”

“A fiver sir? Well I’ve these lint-free cloths, these air-fresheners for your car and packs of dish towels”. “Dishtowels,” I said. “Green or blue?” said Mr McMaster the peddler.

I chose the green towels, handed him five pounds, thanked him and began to close the door. Before I could he began talking,” Sir you are very clean person and may you always be, look after the towels and they’ll look after you. Now sir, how do I get next door? There are lights on in the house but the gate is locked.” “Well, try the back door” I said, “They don’t really use that gate much.” With that I finally closed the door and returned to what I had been doing, preparing the evening meal. I tossed the dishtowels onto the kitchen worktop and forgot about them.

The rest of the evening passed quickly, I read for a time, ate a light supper and retired to bed around ten thirty. The next morning I was awake at seven sharp. The sun was streaming in through the blinds, catching the dust particles that danced on the static charges of the air. Outside all was still and quiet apart from some birdsong from the depths of the hedge across the road. I felt sure that today would be a perfect day, or at least close enough. I rose from bed, put on a robe and shuffled along the corridor to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee. The sunlight had caught up with the kitchen and reflected on the taps and dishes and it seemed from all the chrome parts of the appliances. It all looked so very clean and bright and not at all how I had left it the previous evening. I remembered cooking my supper, drinking a little, putting down pots and dishes and moving away the dirty cutlery and crockery that was left unwashed from a previous meal. Now everything was immaculate, tidy and in it’s proper place. There was no sign whatsoever of the meal I’d eaten and the clutter I had left over. I looked down at the worktop; the green towels were there, where I’d left them the night before. I stared at the packaging, I was sure that yesterday they had been wrapped and sealed up in cellophane. They were now unwrapped but still in the same place and as far as I could recollect, folded the same way.

“Hi!” I was startled to hear her voice come unexpectedly from the dining room, “I got a late flight, I came home at midnight, didn’t want to wake you…”

“It’s great that your back, I glad you’re home. I didn’t realise..”

“Yes Dad,” said the voice from the dining room, “I slept on the couch, the spare room is full or junk.”

I was still looking around, admiring how clean the kitchen was looking this early in the day, “Thanks for clearing up in the kitchen.”

“Wasn’t me, just woke up.”


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Occasional Rhythm

Occasional Rhythm

Rain and the sixth day of the week
Amusement and stealing hubcaps and trims
From the cars, learner drivers overtaken by trampolines
Full of expert children.
Plan a holiday but at the last minute don’t go.
Some people enjoy taking photographs of hedges to the point they become unhinged.
The book is always better than the film.
We queued for hours in all types of weather but did not enter the contest.
Crowds came to the beach that day, some remarked on the prices of soft drinks but the pancakes all went down well.
As I recall the sound system was very tinny sounding.
Meanwhile the Batmobile was given yet another parking ticket.
A slab of cake is not the same size as a slab of concrete,
A slab of fish is not the same as a slab of blubber.
Work it out for yourself.
The sounds of different groups of words when put together are mildly fascinating.
Tomorrow I’ll go the supermarket and pretend to be a young mother.
Stellar interference is affecting our television reception and our wedding reception. There were a series of unfortunate incidents when the band turned up late and the audience turned up drunk.
I don’t care for you in those heels.
If a person has four tins of spaghetti and steals another how much cash is actually in his wallet compared to the vouchers in his hip pocket?
Cold pillows found under my head in the wee small hours. Who put them there?
George Best had so many Miss Worlds that he lost count but recanted on his deathbed some say.
The pleasure you get from chocolate is none of my business.
I drove for miles without looking at the speedometer.
The practice of avoiding appointments at the doctor’s surgery is called denial of the symptoms.
Practicing typing with one finger instead of all eleven.
Alien films belong to another genre all together.
After sex a cigar is best.
Spending hours programming a drum machine incorrectly and then reading the book of instructions.
Occasional Rhythm is all you get.