Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Generation (wh)Y

the philosophies of my generation, generation Y, do not, and will not come from the great academics or thinkers of our time. There will be no Kerouac to sum up our hopes and fears as he did in the '50s. No Orwell to comment on our political terrors as he did in the '30s. No Greer to campaign for the rights of a maligned people.

They do and will continue to come from everyday life, television, and songs.

30 Seconds of enlightenment for an accelerated culture.

In Spaced, Simon Pegg says that the family of the 21st Century is made up of friends, not relatives. and I have sat in too many living rooms, bedrooms, Pubs and fields, surrounded by beautiful people I love dearly; from broken homes and fractured families, to see this as anything but true.

A Made Up Love Story Based on True Events

These two friends, right? Teresa and Steve? This is about them finding out about love.

For the first few years of Secondary School, and pretty much the remainders, Teresa and Steve were socially awkward. A few friends, a few acquaintances, not much else.

they met during a GCSE drama class, finding themselves to be kindred spirits, out among the plastic blondes eyeing up Talulah in Bugsy Malone, the sensitive guys pining for their inner Romeo, and the stoners too dumb to have taken Geography.

they drew to each other like estranged runts from the same litter. But everyone knows popularity is an empty accolade, right?

They made sure they were together for group work, sitting on the varnished Oak floor; backs resting on the smudged and dirty mirrors covering one half of the room. It was here they discussed scripts, stage directions and roles. It was here they talked about home, jobs, each other.

They drank in each others features. Steve's overlarge shaved head and fluffy chin. Teresa's heavy set, square jaw and oblong figure; the source of so much changing room ridicule. When they talked, they would stare into each others eyes. Teresa's Hazel iris, mixed and confused, striving to be two things at once. Steve's mud brown. Yough never know what you'll find at the bottom of a muddy pond though, right?

For these few hours each week, they were the popular epicenter of their own universe. They could escape from a place where everyone else mattered, to a place where only they mattered.

some time in January, when all the Christmas spirit had been drunk dry and the New Year's hangover remained like a sick, clingy toddler, Teresa and Steve were sat on the familiar floor watching the usual circus of idiocy in front of them; Students trying to bluff their way through an audition for 'West Side Story'.

"The only way these twats could get smarter was by fucking each other, one of them might acquire a few more braincells by getting pregnant", thought Steve.

"I wish my hips stuck out that much", thought Teresa.

Their turn came, their opportunity to broadcast their talent to the dramatic powers that be. they chose to perform 'Someday', the show's infamous duet between doomed lovers Tony and Maria.

Pitch perfect throughout, their faces wrought with devotion to the cause, and to each other. Every stressed syllable and elongated vowel dripping with emotion. Two nobodies reminding each other through Leonard Bernstein's music, that someday, somehow, they'll find a new way of living. Just the two of them.

The song ends, and so involved are they in their own world, this realm of fantasy made reality, that they don't even notice that are reenacting THAT kiss. It is not until the faint sounds of not-so canned laughter ring in their ears, that they realise what is happening.

So natural was the feeling of each others sould pouring from one mouth to the other, that mere mundane ridicule was surprising enough to wrench them apart. Drained, they sat down, unspeaking, awaiting their verdict.

10 minutes go by and all the main parts have been assigned to Rugby Captains, Choristers and the downright good looking. Then the list of those who made it into the chorus line. Their names going unmentioned.

Too accustomed at being overlooked, Teresa and Steve approached the drama teacher to see if there was some kind of mistake, had they not heard their names? Impossible with the amount their ears were straining.

The teacher looked on sympathetically, and said "I'm very sorry, you'll have to try again next year"

"what was wrong with it?" they demanded.

"It just seemed a bit too..."


"Well... Fake"

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Joke's on Me

Thankyou, Jack Kerouac
for showing me
the immense damage alcohol consumption can do to your psyche

Paranoia, self loathing, crippling self doubt

You trapped in a cabin at Big Sur, is the same as me trapped in my cupboard sized room.
Going slowly insane.
At least you had a Donkey for company.

Fuck this, I'm going on the wagon.
Maybe i'll like myself then.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

This is about us.

Ever sat staring at a star, and realised it's just a plane?
It can be heartbreaking,
you were never looking at a star, and you're not looking at a plane right now
It's every painful realisation in your life manifested in a few grains of light.

Just as a small fish will follow a trace of bobbing light
Thinking its next meal is a few fin flicks away
when it finds itself in the mouth of something bigger.
Too big.

Then, it's all over.

Monday, 6 October 2008


People have to take a choice.

in life.


Mental health

and physical health.

I choose the former, it's far more attractive in my mind.


It takes just that bit longer.

Maybe too long.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Childhood Memories

I sit, in front of my old music box
cross legged, on my single bed
the small piece of porcelain
emitting a familiar tune

i've had it since I was a nipper
Beatrix Potter character
reading a story
to no one, but me.

each chime of a plucked metal note
taking me back to my childhood
tinny sound, drowning out the world
I ignore everything else

I wish i knew
what the tune was
and at the same time
I don't

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Lovely thing, the human race

has one talent above all others
not industriousness
not money management
not the talent to help
nor give aid
or ambivalence

it is
the unrelenting power
to destroy


Tuesday, 26 August 2008

A night with be your own PET

Liverpool, not bad. Mini free festival, yay! Shit bands, boo! Walk around. Do nothing much. Sightsee. MEH. Wait long time, meet nice people. From Chester. Meet band. Get picture. Good times. By Nelsons, share nelsons, drink nelsons. Band 1, good. Band 2, awesome. Band 3, OK. Be your own PET? Fucking ruled.

Vague Setlist (not in order): Becky, Kelly Affair, Damn Damn Leash, Bunk Trunk Skunk, Heartthrob, Black Hole, Bicycle Bicycle, and some others I really can’t remember. Songs double timed (if possible), spitting, crowdsurfing, mentleness, constant need to pee.

Bought merch, found afterparty, partied. Got a kiss from Jemina (working with Jay Reatard now), a hug from John (likes Glen Branca), a knucklebump from Jonas (doesn’t own many shirts), a handshake from Nathan (cut off his ‘fro). Jemina (pronounced Jah-meee-nah) has my heart shaped sunglasses, I don’t mind.

Go to a few more pubs. Drink more. Wait in train station with more cool people. Get on train. Vomit soul just outside of Preston. Sleep rest of journey. Get home. Shower. Sleep.

Liverpool? Never again. Fucking good night.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

The day I played god - Another Short Story by Reverb

So there I was, stood on a deserted bridge somewhere in the antipodes. A modern monstrosity of steel cables and tarmac, the glaring sun reflected off every shiny surface, beams of light finding my pupils wherever my eyes pointed. 50 feet below the bridge ran a river, a serpentine estuary flowing with brackish emerald water. As I stared down, I noticed a family picnicking on the lush green banks, mother, father, son and daughter. I envied their happiness. I, stranded alone on top of this bridge wanted to be a part of that nuclear unit. I who had no-one.
The sun rises higher in the sky, its rays attacking my skin. The family have eaten; mother and father laid back on a blanket, the children playing catch with a tennis ball. Soon the children grow tired of this, and I spot the young son, about 7 or 8 ask if he can go for a swim. Well, I can’t hear the words, but I see him shout over to his parents, and soon he is running into the water. His little sister runs and sits down on the blanket beside her parents, and joins them in snoozing. The boy continues to splash about in the river, submerging his head in an attempt to cool off, doggy paddling further and further into the middle. He is a surprisingly strong swimmer, unaffected by the current.
By now I am drenched in sweat, I should really find some shade and water, or else be stroked by the heat. I am about to leave, when I notice something of interest; a dark shadow in the water, roughly 4x the length of the boy and about 20 feet away from where he was treading water. It swam in concentric circles around the boy, who remained oblivious to the mysterious behemoth with which it shared the water.
All of my worst fears were confirmed as an inky dorsal broke the surface of the water, and the shadow instantly gained credibility as a real threat. It picked up speed and changed course heading for its still unaware target, whirlpools forming in its wake. As it neared the boy, the shadow became fainter, it was moving under him. Seconds passed.
I though of calling a warning to the parents, still blissfully unaware, but something stopped me. A feeling of power rose in my stomach, surging through my synapses and reaching my brain. I had the power, to choose this boy’s fate. To act quickly and call out a warning, ensuring he lives; or to do nothing, and sign his death warrant with my own blood.


The focus returns to my eyes, I make my choice, to live, to be merciful, graceful, not terrible and vengeful, for why should I be vengeful?
I look down, opening my mouth to shout, and it escapes me. Not a shout of warning, but a scream of terror. The water is saturated red, a deep crimson flood is spreading through it, I look over to the parents, and I see their mouths open, vocal chords ripping with the force of their horror. I was too late. I had decided this unknown’s fate, without even realising it. Indecisiveness Kills.
I do the only thing I feel is right.

I climb.

I Jump.

Man on the Moon - A horrible little short story by Reverb

I am. I are. “I think therefore I am”? What’s the point of existence if you entire existence is as a faceless, nameless entity? Too bitter, I’m sorry. I haven’t had my morphine this morning; I’ll brew a pot now.
My name is Sean. English. Not of Irish descent; another confusing factor of an already confused identity. I have a body tailored for Armani suits, just enough chest hair to be manly, and designer stubble. Resting atop my once carefully-coiffed, angular head, just below the skin, is my thinking cap.
Since I discovered my thinking cap, my eyes have opened. Before, as with most of the world, I lived with invisible cataracts. Eyelids up, but permanently blind. Like the flap of cartilage that protects an attacking shark’s eye. Protection. A closed eye offers protection.
According to the people who know, it will be just 7 days before my entire body succumbs to the will of the thinking cap; when every cell in my body will mutate to acquire its day-glow pink hue, and I resemble a snapper with limbs.
I’ve been advised to get my affairs in order, but seeing as though both parents retired to an early grave, and I am out of love (not even a dog), I’ve donated my worldly belongings to the looters of London’s east end. Good luck to the feckless wonder who tries to discreetly remove the oh-so-fucking-hip Smeg fridge from my 7th floor flat.
I afford my flat, furnished with Swedish flat pack furniture and imitation Rothko prints, by spending too many hours a week in a sterile cubicle selling the gullible public shit they don’t need at prices they can’t refuse. It seemed at legitimate career choice at the time, just as Sinn Fein seemed a legitimate political party.
My cubicle sits parallel to another, inhabited by a girl a few years younger than me. Young enough to believe that this job will bring her fulfilment. Fulfilment enough to warrant the gargantuan student loan she’s paying off.

Her name is Mary.

We had a thing once, Mary and I. I took her to yuppie infested wine bars and restaurants peddling what ever fusion cuisine was a la mode that month. In return, she let me fuck her. No love, just sex. We wouldn’t kiss. She never came. It was like fucking a hooker, only more expensive. After dismounting, I’d sleep instantly. She was never there when I awoke.
Ever since our fling ended (on amicable terms), Mary and I have assumed the pretence of friendliness. We greet each other daily over the tops of our cubicles, amiably enough. Smiles never reaching the eyes.
No-one at my office is aware of my problem; I’ve done a stellar cover up job. They pass off all my symptoms as hangovers. Alcoholism is common in this line of work. I often wonder how they’ll react to me going. I have glorious images of Mary, beside herself with grief, seeking solace in the arms of our manager, a balding alcoholic in his 50s. As the tears flood thick and fast down her milk-white cheeks, breast heaving with every sob, she will inform stunned co-workers with tales of how she truly loved me, yet was always too guarded to reveal it. My fantasy doesn’t extend to her committing a Shakespearian suicide, I’m not that sick.
A life of middle class anonymity has given me thirst for going out with a bang. Something that will make people take notice, for me to be the centre of attention, just once. No scheme is too grand or overblown.

[Here’s what I’m going to do]

Sometime ago, I noticed a disarmed missile gathering rust at a local reclamation yard. A relic from the cold war, just waiting to be placed in the garden of some old eccentric drowning in their own wealth. It stood about 20 feet tall, dressed ion chipped white paint and bloody rust; Russian lettering adorning its many panels. I imagine they were instructions on creating chaos, useless now though, it is disarmed.
This missile is a key instrument for my fantastical exploration into death. I mean to go up and up and up and blow up. In a perfect world, my nut sack would land in the pool of some Orange County billionaire’s pool. Wouldn’t it be cool for my head (plus thinking cap) to orbit earth for aeons, my own personal contribution to the flotsam and jetsam cavorting around in the city of dappled lights? Yes, yes it would.
For weeks I tinkered and toiled with the toy. It soon became apparent that no amount of GCSE science would be of any use. Then, I come to the point in which you find me. 7 days from death, maybe more, maybe less.
I am no longer going to work; I only leave the flat to work on the missile in a rented garage down the street. My body rejects solid food, and I survive on gravy and prescribed morphine. Then, my muscles waste away until I am no longer strong enough to hold a Phillips head screwdriver, let alone execute the necessary force to remove one of Stalin’s screws. Time never seemed so precious, and lacking. Precious and lacking.
Fast forward. I am now fully consumed, the doctors long forgotten. I lie wasted on my bed. My head tormented by dashed dreams and challenges incomplete. I lay there, lungs full of snot and muck, trachea collapsing. Skeletal. My ribs, excruciatingly visible, raising with every breath, trembling with every arrhythmiated heartbeat. I see lights, bright as the stars, pop in front of my eyes. My body begins to soar, I have lift off! For the first time since conception, my mind is empty.
All I feel is complete acceptance, choices be damned, I’m going to have to live with this. Then. Slowly, slowly, slowly, I go. Where? I don’t know. It’s nice, though.

So what if I failed? Even the best laid plans often go to waste.


© Reverb, 2008

If it itches, scratch it

There’s a scab on my hand from where a girl dug in her claws. She wanted me to shout mercy. Tell her to stop. To win. I didn’t let her. She took away a chunk of skin which stuck under her fingernail. It didn’t bleed at first; just wept plasma and platelets.

A few days later I noticed a scab had formed over the tiny wound, just a few millimetres across. It itched with that irritating little itch that tells you your body is doing its job and healing the wound. Everything’s ok, it’s saying, we’re working on it and normal service shall be resumed shortly. I picked it. The scab came off.

It bled, tiny droplets of crimson blood popped out. Going nowhere. Just staying right there, like the dome of St. Paul’s just on top of my hand. A tiny blonde hair sticking out the middle.

As the weeks went on, I repeated this. Healscratchbleed healscratchbleed healscratchbleed. Right now the wound has almost scarred, a scar which will be visible and raised a tiny little bump a tiny little memory.

Somewhere in the middle of this, I moved house. A long way away from that girl. I liked that girl. I might never see her again. I’ll still have the scar though. That will never leave.

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye… Or, death according to Reverb

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye…
Or, death according to Reverb

Dragons have taken over the world, real as fucking anything. With brains and teeth and wings and all. No fire breathing capabilities though…

Just as one enters my house, I try to do the valiant thing and go to kill it, save my family, bring peace to the world, etc. etc. etc. but instead I suck lead and say goodbye to my grey matter.

I felt everything. The release of pressure from the back of my head was particularly pleasant; like the lancing of a boil. Brain and bone go everywhere; the loss of sensation in my body is sensational, pardon the pun.

Then I fall off an indoor balcony, and I crumple to a heap the floor, not feeling a thing but fully aware of my surroundings and the "reality" of the situation.

I feel terrified, as my family was still there with the dragon, but I also felt the most blissful feeling of release, as though I was at last completely free. It was beautiful. Floating away, yet still in the same place, dead yet alive.

Then my mum kills the dragon and is made prime minister of the universe.
The scary thing is, there is no doubt in my mind that that is what dying feels like. And, to tell the truth, it ain't that bad.