dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession

dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession

Monday, 13 November 2017

A Satellite For Me

I started this in November 2015 and raced to ten thousand words. Then I hit a stumbling block and took a whole two years off it. Now I’m back on it and up to fifteen thousand words. I intend it to be a length of only twenty thousand words or so, so I’ve almost nearly finished. It’s nice to settle into a nice long novel of eighty thousand words plus, but I’ve always maintained that novels are too long. A novella has the potential to be better. A novella is a novel distilled, with all the boring filler parts removed. A novella is all the good segments and nothing else.

It’s about a man who is being harassed by a satellite. The capabilities of satellites in the modern age are astounding, and I wanted to touch upon this. This book may read like science-fiction, but it might also be the realest most down-to-earth thing I’ve ever penned. It’s based entirely on truth. It deals primarily with psychosis, a much misunderstood concept, but it also delves into the second coming of Jesus Christ. My previous novel Escaping Hazel had a significant religious dimension, so I don’t want to dwell on Jesus too much in this, but he is involved to some extent. There is also a Muslim element too, for balance.

It’s a conspiracy book, in effect. There’s a little bit of science in it. I’m a bit grieved at keeping it short, because half of me wanted to make it long and epic, but the main purpose is getting my point across, and that I feel will not take too much more writing. Short and digestible is the key. I’m proud to admit that this is a story that people will learn something from. It’s ever-so-slightly educational because it emanates from years of my own study and research. In a sense, it’s not even fiction. It’s cold hard facts dressed up as fiction.

Experiencing psychosis has been a horrific experience for me personally. The last four years have been riddled with it. It feels nice to candy-wrap all my hardships in a booklet of literature and present it to the world. Without writing, I’m not sure how I would cope. It would all be stuck up inside my head with no offload outage to disseminate from. That might drive me cuckoo and provoke me to release it via acts of bizarreness or dare I say it even violence. Our emotions come to the fore in mysterious ways. Writing keeps me grounded. It channels my subconscious in healthy positive pathways. I can focus my life into a selection of prearranged words on paper. I can deal with things. Even though I’m not famous, I can regard A Satellite For Me as my next big release. It’s exciting, when you are your own biggest fan. You have to be, when nobody else is. Writing is like downloading words from the ether; it’s like conjuring an alternate lifespan from the cosmos. All you can do best is live in it, for a short while, until it is finished. And thus, once done, one moves onto something else.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

White Flag

I walked and walked
I fought and fought
I swam and swam
I sank and sank
I found myself on the riverbank
Cursing my blessings, I counted my luck
And on a nice sunny day I was thunderstruck
Lightening surged through my veins
I beat my chest and shook my mane
A human and animal, together, as one
The light of the sun no longer shone
What had I become?
Oh what had I become?
Depression was my father, despair my mum
I planted my white flag
And prayed no more mercy would ever come
I wanted my life to be done
I so very badly wanted my life to be done
I walked and walked and walked
I fought and fought and fought
I swam and swam and swam
But, like always, I found myself
With a white flag upon the riverbank

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Purple Aki Complex

I decided to book an appointment with my GP because I felt like Purple Aki.
                “What do you mean,” she asked, “when you say you ‘feel’ like him?”
                “It’s hard to explain. I just feel like him. In every way.”
                “You feel like taking him out to dinner? I don’t understand.”
                “No, no, you’re getting it wrong. I feel like I am him. As if we’re the same person.”
                “An identity crisis?”
                “You tell me, doc. That’s why I’m here.”
                The doctor shifted in her seat. She looked at her computer screen, as if it might help her. “Can you elaborate upon these feelings?”
                “I don’t know. I just feel his pain.”
                “What pain would that be?”
                “He’s big, he’s black, he’s an outcast…you know the one.”
                “Do you consider yourself an outcast?”
                “Just refresh me for a moment, before we go on. Who exactly is this Purple Aki fellow?”
                I took a deep breath. “Purple Aki is notorious. He’s a man who approaches young men on the street and feels their muscles. He questions them on what they lift and he has them doing squats and press-ups in the park. His fame has gone viral through word of mouth. He operates all over the Northwest. The man is a myth, a legend. We were all scared of him as kids. He was a real-life Bogeyman. They said that he would bum you if you couldn’t squat him, and if he couldn’t fit up you then he would carve a bigger opening with his knife. Some said he offered you the option of Pop or Slash. If you choose pop then that meant a good bumming, or if you chose slash then he would write P.A, his intials, on your butt cheeks…with his knife, of course.”
                “And this is a real human being we are talking about? Not some internet gossip?”
                “He’s real. This is way before the days of the internet. And he’s still at large, after all this time! He carries a bag for life with him wherever he goes. It’s rumoured that there are only three things in it: his knife, a tape measure – for measuring muscles – and a notepad full of the details of everyone he’s ever stopped.”
                “Have you ever seen him?”
                “Yes! He got me! Well, I mean, he never got me, got me, he just stopped me and my mates for a chat.”
                The doctor kneeled forward in her chair. “And what did he say?”
                “I can’t remember. It was a long time ago. Something about how macho boys in cars think they are together. I was a little offended he didn’t want to feel my muscles.”
                “No, that’s a joke.”
                “Oh.” The doctor looked lost for words. “Have you tried writing to him? Let him know how you feel?”
                “I don’t know his address. He got banned from Widnes.”
                “Has he got a fan club?”
                “A fan club?” I burst out laughing. “No – but he should have! Like I say, the man is a legend. Just imagine how many muscles I’d have to touch before every kid in the Northwest feared me. It’s hard to comprehend the level of notoriety he’s achieved.”
                “Is that something you yourself feel predisposed to – touching young men’s muscles?”
                “No, but I don’t see the harm in it. Do you think he’s gay?”
                “Do I think he’s gay? I have no idea. I don’t know him personally.”
                “That’s the thing – nobody knows him. They know of him, but they don’t really know him. That’s where I come in. I want to hear his side of the story. I want to sit down and listen to what he’s got to say.”
                “Maybe you should try and distract yourself from this gentleman, Purple Aki. Have you tried relaxation, or meditation, or yoga?”
                “Nothing works. I still feel like him. Do you think I might have a split personality disorder? Do you think that one soul can live in separate bodies?”
                “I’m sorry, I’m not a psychiatrist. I’m not a shamanist either. But I do have a question for you.”
                “Go ahead.”
                “Where does the name Purple come from?”
                “It’s because he’s so black he looks purple. He told the judge one time that he thinks that’s a racial slur. I think it’s harmless.”
                “Okay. Well, I see what you’re telling me, but I really think that I’m quite limited as to how I can help you.”
                “It’s fine, doc. I just thought I would try and see someone about it. Get it off my chest like, you know.”
                “You’ve done the right thing. Talking therapy is useful.”
                “Is there anything you can do to help me stop feeling like him? It comes in waves. One minute I’m fine, the next I can’t get him off my mind. Do you think we could have a psychic link? He might be communicating with me, using his mind.”
                “Do you exercise? That might help.”
                “I find myself walking from town to town, retracing his footsteps. I don’t know what I expect to find. It’s like hunting a ghost. But it makes my connection stronger with him.”
                “How long has this been going on?”
                “About two years, off and on. I can’t control it.”
                “That’s a shame.” The doctor settled back in her seat. “But I might just have something for you…”
                My eyebrows raised expectantly. “Anything doctor, please…”
                “The Samaritans. I can’t believe I didn’t think of them earlier. Here’s their number.”
                I took it. A minute later I was stood outside the surgery just staring at their card on the pavement. What would be the point though, just to recant everything I’d said all over again? I rang them anyway. And guess who answered? Yes, Purple Aki. He’d gotten a job with them! He introduced himself, I introduced myself, and we had a nice long chat.

Saturday, 30 September 2017


Sunday, 24 September 2017

A Message From The Grave

 By The Biggest and the Best
I had a heart attack because of steroids. It was always going to be this way. I lived by the sword, and I died by the sword. But no regrets. I was only 46, but I lived life on my terms, big and impossibly massive. The good die young, but the best die big. But don’t worry about me, I’m teaching Jesus how to best train biceps. No, worry about yourselves. For what, now, are you going to do without me? Who’s gunna wish you good fucking morning on his training videos every day? Who are you going to follow on Instagram? I’ve left a big stinking void behind and no one else is phat enough to fill it. I was a one and only. My hundreds of thousands of YouTube followers will tell you that for nothing. They used to enjoy me making my enormous five-scoop protein powder shakes. It’s motherfucking shake time! I used to decree. There’ll be no more shake times with me, I’m afraid. You lot are going to have to fend for yourselves. Snort your pre-workout in memory of me, I say. Think of me when you’re doing your stretches and vacuums. You saw how agile I was for such a huge dude. You can still be like me, you know. My videos will always be there. And my supplement company will live on too. You know my slogan, Love it, Kill it. Take that to heart. In this game, you’ve got to love it, but you also have to kill it too. Love it, and kill it. I should have been a philosopher, but I was too busy getting absolutely humongous. I always got asked what I did for my arms. My answer is, apart from injecting oil and all kinds of other crap, I trained them three times a week. That’s why you only ever saw me in a vest, because my arms wouldn’t fit into any other kinds of clothing. (Size fifteen feet too.) I always got asked about my tatts as well. My answer is that they enhanced my physique. People asked about my money, and I told them I was a whizz in the stock market. They asked about my belts and watches. My houses. My Bentleys. They asked me a lot of questions. You saw how popular my booths were at the bodybuilding conventions. I was more popular than Mr Olympia. What other bodybuilder can ever say that? No one, only me. I was the biggest, and I was the best. That’s why everyone flocked to me. And did you see how much time I had for them all? Always happy to have a word and pose for a picture. Always changing my appearance as well. Hair dye, teeth, beard…I reinvented myself more times than Madonna. The people loved me though, because I was a good man. A softie at heart. Caring and good-natured. Self-made. You’ve got to love yourself before you can love anybody else. So, go out there and go whatever it takes, mother fuckers, and do it in memory of me.

Dedicated to Mr California, Rich Piana.

Rich's 1st article below