Tag Archives: spontaneous prose

Prompt #2 Write something “On The Road” 

“HEATHEN”

No regret in taking the Heartbreak Highway. I have had no end of company on this road. In the end with you, I  guess, I was just a flash of rag-tag blur as you sped by at 55mph. Perhaps you pined a little as you saw me in that proverbial rear-view mirror of yours while that plain little woman sitting next to you passed you a ham sandwich and prattled on about the wedding plans she made for you both.

And I walk on with nothing left to lose— With the Sun on my face— I squint into the thermals bluring my memory of our mad love. But these thoughts are as elusive as the sweet smell of mesquite after a desert rain.

I need coffee.

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Scuttle Mind

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He lay in bed looking up at the ceiling. The flutter had turned into more of a scratching. The scratching turned into a scurrying sound. The annoyance that it had been a pigeon taking shelter in a nook in the eaves now turned to revulsion that it was most likely a rat that found its way into the loft overhead. It sounded busy—whatever it was doing up there. But for whatever reason, Matt could not seem to build up the wherewithal to investigate. Instead he took comfort that rats were nocturnal and it was getting light outside. If anything, he would sleep when the rat did. Until the sun rose, Matt lost himself in the events that had been scuttling through his head for hours—days—weeks. “Has it been a month?” he whispered to himself. “No. It’s been more,” replied a voice from within. But Matt wondered if it had all been a dream.

That weekend in Golders Green had been real. He knew it had been real. The surreal assent from the tube station out onto a busy street then over the road to Starbucks— the earthy, warm smell of coffee teased the air with the same gossamer flutters of her dark lashes. The flirtation that lead to that long, slow walk to the guest house played out in his head like some kind of recording stuck on repeat. He had been alive, surely. He had playfully built up the passion—conversing—laughing–smiling as they wandered up the high street to the guest house. She had giggled as she lay there, wrapped in a white sheet after hours of lovemaking.

The scratching overhead broke him from his reverie. His mind went to looking for the latter. He had used it in the summer. It was in the shed. Or did he lend it to the neighbour on his left. Then he recalled when the neighbour to his right had knocked on his door to warn him not to leave the conservatory door open—that there was a rat in the garden. Matt told him he was not worried. His Jack Russell dogs were ratters. They would make sure the rat would not get in. “But dogs cannot climb drain pipes, can they, you great pillick?” How long ago was that? He could not remember what he did yesterday. He was not sure what day it would be when the sun came up.

Matt thought about putting his dogs in the loft. Maybe they would get the beastie. Maybe the dogs would chase it—run it down—eradicate the pest in the loft. But some things were just too quick and canny to be exterminated. He thought back to her eyes as they held him in soft stupidity. They were on the tube. They stepped on together but were jostled apart—separated by a plain woman who smelled like chip fat. She stood between them, removing herself from the reality around her by plunging herself in her book. The doors opened at Camden and he broke through the crowd to swing his arm around her and guide her out and up onto the burst of movement on the pavement. She had been on a mission. She was hungry but did not know what she wanted. She laughed at how much choice she had as they walked up and down the market. He told her he loved her for the first time at the lock. She burst out crying and held him tight.

The scampering started again. It was followed by some more scratching and he could hear his dogs downstairs becoming anxious. He could hear them clawing at the kitchen door. He knew they wanted to come upstairs. They could probably hear the ruckus with their super-dog-hearing. But they would not be able to get into the front room, let alone upstairs and up the loft. Matt’s mind went back to trying to locate his latter in his mind.

He saw her walking away from him at St. Pancras pulling her suitcase behind her. The loud, rattling wheels were more than he could bear. The day had been bright and the light streamed in through the grids and windows overhead. The white noise of the train station reverberated through his head and he could make out nothing discernable but the wheels on her suitcase rolling—rolling-rolling away from him. He compartmentalised that moment. But the sequestering of those raw emotions exposed him to her derision. She looked at him—there had been a Y shaped crease between her brows. She asked the question silently but he would not answer. He waved at her—as a friend would—when she stepped through the turnstile. She had turned around to look at him one last time before she joined all the nameless and faceless people boarding the train north.

The scooting overhead startled him again. The room had lightened. It was the break of day. He heard birds chirping outside. He resolved that he would get poison in the morning—or the afternoon—or whenever he would be able to. He would buy it down at Steptoe’s down the street. Steptoe would have rat poison. There would be no need to put the dogs up in the loft. He would see if the neighbour would give him a hand getting the poison up there. He resolved to get up, take his citalopram, have a slice of toast and go to Steptoe’s then talk to next door–at some point.

He closed his eyes and promised he would not dream of her.

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Kerouac Rules For Spontaneous Prose #30

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Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven

Crossed the street for a cuppa Joe—watered down and strictly coffee in the academic sense because, around here, they seem to think everyone takes it with milk and sugar and will not taste the difference— They will knock it back, finish their sausage roll and flick up their blue collar—“oooh but coffee isn’t tea, is it, duck?”—and light a cigarette.

I smile–chew my gum— muse on mushrooms at breakfast with tinned tomatoes and fried egg vs. long-ago-IHOP days and memory of boysenberry syrup– I see you jogging to the car park– flowers in hand–fumbling for your keys–parking stub between your lips—I check my phone for the time of day and wonder, is it her birthday or your anniversary?

I thought to call your name—thought to catch you up—thought to smile–thought I might forgive you today—if only you would wander into Casey’s for a cup of brew. But I smiled and turned away.

Walking into Casey’s—I ordered a bagel sandwich to go—and my cup of Joe.


Kerouac Rules For Spontaneous Prose #29

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You’re a Genius all the time

I know you have pain but let me spin something at you, just to see if you can relate.

So– I sat there once– in some blackhole– thinking of a time when I was running through a meadow—Not a real meadow—A nostalgic meadow– like the one in some axiomatic scene in some powerfully wild cinematic film where the camera does that crazy-ass zoom in thing at the same time that the camera trucks out— you know that scene–that one that feels like the moment you realise what you just inhaled was the real thing and not a waste of money—That fluuuuuuuueeeee-better than being on some rollercoaster ride moment. Or that moment when all eyes are on you and everyone is smiling and nodding in agreement. Yeah, that moment when you realise the simple fact: You got this thing down, Ace.

Those moments are like that bit of God that touches you through someone else’s lyrics on the radio. The lyrics that make you ejaculate “TUNE!” before you collapse into the cushions in that softie-sound-afterglow.

That’s where you need to be right now, yo?

Don’t be coy. Don’t be calm. Don’t be sedate. Don’t be humble. Just go. Go with it and have faith that you are absolutely fantastic–the power–the key–the foretold. You are the man with a plan–whether the plan is immediately obvious or not is of no consequence at this time. Time is but a name to what we have loads of–honest.

Think about it–that last time you were all freaking out about “stuff not happening” or “stuff being a bit of a bummer”–who knew you would be right here, right now? The accomplishments achieved thus far are a far cry more rock and roll than the accomplishments made over a year ago.

So The Man said “no” today. Maybe that is for the best. That “no” probably gives you the freedom to not worry about getting untangled from regret at a later date—like that a narrow escape I had in Mexico with not being able to find that street with that burrito man. The one that was cooking up his neighbour’s dogs, it turned out—the one that was responsible for all those people getting sick and dying. That was a wild time. Remember how much I kept whinging about not being able to have that burrito and how hungry I was. But then we went back to Raul’s mom’s house and we had home-cooked menudo instead and we woke up all copasetic and with no hangover.

But I digress.

I will not be sitting here regurgitating proverbs and conventional greeting card sayings to get you through your shit. Just remember, You are going places. Rock and roll, fool! Rock and roll! Fire up that great, massive, cerebral riff and shred that bad ass tune.

Oh yeah. Keep the beard and don’t go bald.

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Kerouac Rules For Spontaneous Prose #28

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Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better

At The Globe Inn, Dumfries 2:15pm

Johno MacDougal talking to Prissey

It’s all down to chance, really. If you think of everything that has ever come into your life…it’s all chance. Them Frenchies– what do they call it? Le bon chance. The good luck. The roll of the almighty dice (albeit sometimes they feel loaded) but a chance thrown and odds and sods are it. Either you is or you is not someone’s baby at that point in time.

And all of life’s scary monsters. What of them? How do they figure, mate?

Ah, them. They are just thrown in for shits and giggles, hen. You didnae think any of it was ever planned, did ye? Even though you think you plan it down to the last thing–roll of the dice–it all goes tits up, ken?

Ah right…so nothing is anything you ever really worked on then?

No. Not as such. Because what you are working on depended on another die you rolled or coin you tossed when you were deciding if that is what you were going to go for in the first place, ken?

Aye, I ken. Mind you, what if you have always known what you wanted. Surely, that is something that is not up to chance. You are the master of your own destiny. The captain of your own proverbial ship, right?

That’s a myth, hen. That really never happens.

Oh?

Think about it. Your very existence was a chance. Your Da’s sperm either gets there or will not. So you sitting here was just down to luck. Then your thought process is never absolute. Whether you do it aloud or inside your heid, it’s always flip-flopping. You have no clue what you want for sure– Will I? Will I not?–You are given all the options ever thought of—past present future—all of it just floating about around your head—

Like in orbit.

Aye, in orbit around your heid. Only some of us mask it better than you do, hen, with all your indecision. Aye, it’s cute, I’ll give you that but even when you make a decision, there is always that wee moment of regret that you didnea go “the road less travelled”, ken?

I guess it’s all down to wondering if you made the right choice.

It matters not since each choice comes with all its negatives and positives. There is never a completely right choice or a completely wrong choice. Mainly because what you decide to do and the repercussions that follow may be either good or bad for you but will be either good or bad for those around you. At the end of the day, you do what you do–decide what you decide–live with what happens after and make more decisions based on chance to either improve or rectify what happened on the last turn.

Ok.

Have you made your decision then, hen? What did you decide on?

I’ll just have a Tennent’s lager, mate.

Right.


Kerouac Rules For Spontaneous Prose #26

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Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form

Oh bang, yo! Letter from Gramma in the States and stinky dead presidents– and he struts into town to change dollars into sterling– weaving in and out of Saturday commerce– £16.60 from $30 — like a boss he’s already spent it on 2nd hand XBox games and sweets– minted and freespirited– boy!

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Kerouac Rules For Spontaneous Prose #23

day
Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning

All the little souls, hard-pressed but dead-set on keeping time and getting them end-all, be-all qualifications for life-work and running around the college halls with the hope of ages—they are beautiful in their naivety. Tired eyes are those of the up-too-late-gaming set. Softy eyes are of the just-fell-in-love set. Laughing eyes are of the great-to-be-out-of-the-house-and-with-my-mates set. And in all their little conversations, and leaning up against the walls and poor postures—in all of their measured staring at the opposite sex and laugh bombs in the student common rooms—in each and everyone one of them is a 40 year-old who will complain about their council tax, who will moan at the price of petrol, who will be looking to get a divorce and wondering where their kids are — Only they have no clue what waits for them. Thank Christ. Or else the future would hold no hope.

I see their lovely, little hopeful faces— and dodge them in the stairwell during the class change– little backpack turtles squeeking down the corridors in stinky converse trainers and skinny jeans—all babble and buzz–contributing to the migratory song of the student collective. And I become one of them as I pay heed to my footfall down the commonplace stairs and out into the lack-lustre glare of institutional lighting just before I go into a Curriculum Manager’s Meeting.


Kerouac Rules For Spontaneous Prose #20

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Believe in the holy contour of life

For Sarah Lee

Tristful and grey, the day languidly comes into focus. The howling of the wind and the slap of rain against my bedroom window last night gave way to a coma-like slumber. Waking from it proves problematic. I cannot shake it off. I sit on the edge of my bed. I fight the compulsion to ring in sick–or to just not show up and insist it was an emergency annual leave day—I can lie. I can lie. I sit on the edge– resist falling back into rumpled duvet womb.

Time elapse—I stand in the warm glow of halogen lamps—clean, pressed, blurry eyed—and the kettle goes on. The kettle goes on. The kettle—it whirls and gurgles like a hash pipe of old—seducing me to promises of all things copasetic—it will be fine, fine, fine.

Sacramental cup on counter, blessed Assam seeping, swirling–fragrance across my consciousness finding its way into my depth and working magic from within—bringing the full light of colour to my frame of reference.

The sunrise of a desert sky blooms before me. This sunrise from my childhood spreads through time and space to reach me in England—here and now.


Kerouac Rules for Spontaneous Prose #15

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Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog

Here I am in Mansfield town centre on Monday and I wish it was Friday. Like everyone always seems to say, post, tweet, pin-up etcetera. Like the song says; it’s Friday, I’m in love. But I am on a mission–On a job—on a plan—meeting with the lawyers Some Young Guy LLP—steeling myself for the onslaught of emotional battle. I am weak, afraid, wounded but I need to be a shark. Sharks don’t get caught up in the current of pedestrian traffic—they make the current. But I don’t because I mingle in with these people who seem to always be going, wandering and flowing in and out of days with no real direction. I need focus but I am caught up in so much haze—like a dirty fish bowl. Moving in general fed-up-ness darting more than a scuttle—hustle more than a bustle– within the crowd of slow moving old-aged-pensioners and goldfish-bowl-mums who vacantly push strollers in long rolling steps. I dart around some men who meander within and without of the crowd. They remind me of seahorses with their heads fixed forward but going nowhere. They just go around and around all docile and drowsy—dopey drones of dopamine days.

Am I as goldfish as the goldfish girls or does my scuttle make me more like a neon tetra. I look at my watch more than these people. I am Big-City-Busy but without the Big-City-Shoes and looking Big-City-Bored as I try to think of somewhere to go whilst I kill time before my appointment with Finality. Instead, I float about.


Kerouac Rules for Spontaneous Prose #14

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Like Proust be an old teahead of time

There had been a general feeling of dreaming in those days. When I think back on those egregiously rambling roads against a deliriously bright backdrop of sand and sky, I cannot bear to think on how bleak I felt then compared to now. To be drenched in the naked flame of a desert sun should have been the evidence to a robust life. The thermals that manifested in the deceptive distance made the climate controlled environment of the Mercedes Benz surreal and inappropriate. The idea that any time spent outside the automobile in the desperate heat would release me to burst into a phoenix was something that seemed enchanted as I reclined against the cool leather interior, doe-eyed and uninterested.

As you drove, determined and resolute to make time, I pondered how aware you were of my reveries for our future. Your mind was always blank when I asked you what you were thinking. I fancied that the only sound you ever heard was the sound of the wheels on your car. I had looked forward to a life of travel and discovery. I saw many lives experienced as a couple with many stories to realise. Life and love would be a succession of road-side attractions and exotic vistas. But your thoughts were more solemn. Your ambitions did not comply with the winding paths and fay-like whims in my head. In the end, you were much engaged elsewhere and I was happy being so very distracted with whatever current endeavours I put my hand to.

Love turned to lovers—lovers turned to memories—time after time and adventure into misadventure—life leads us where it may.
How would I have known that I would have traded it all in for the damp winding roads that penetrate austere forests and bleak glens only to look back winsomely, as if in some kind of nostalgic time-lock? I cannot blame the idiocies of youth for the mindless move, either. Nor can I blame being blind to love’s promise. It was a case of wanderlust, pure and simple. It was the need to be somewhere else that was not known–To find colour after the lack of it–To find darkness after the blinding light then back again. It was the need to cross oceans and traverse the centuries to find adventure and mirth. I learned that the song never really changed; it simply went into key change.

My romance would always be fickle. Your career would always be diabolical. I would always be a chess piece. You would always be as elusive as the thermals on that highway all those years ago. And we would always remain apart.


(CALIATH)

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