Welcome to Episode 6! Here you’ll find a mysterious text from an anonymous writer, that looks like it’s been written just for our deadline; a comic story or lesson from Andrew Blair; poems from Callum Davies and Alison Campbell Kinghorn; a timely visual collage from Winston Plowes; and a spoken piece from Sean Burn, who it’s great to have back after featuring at last year’s Minifest!
This is the final episode of the Inky Fingers Virtual Open Mic! We hope you’ve had a fantastic day, whichever day you’re enjoying it. Take care now.
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Until Midnight, 21st April
was thinking of the second word to write when the first one came up out of the blue.
And so, the second word will tell you more about me than the first one as this one was not thought. No doubt that I is me and as me, it explains all what I or me are. This is an obviousness.
The length of the paper is the purpose of this writing and not the second word. I don´t want to talk about sex now either.
This length strikes me and defeates me many times. Even more than the second word. And although I face it and fight against it by changing the size of the page or of the letter it doesn´t work.
It seems to be a silliness but I find this a bit unfair. If I´m reading a text and one word is bigger, this word resounds in your mind longer as if the word was written as the same size as the rest of the text. Thus, it should count like two words or even three if we are talking about an insulting word. However, I have to admit that it is not convenient to abuse of this method.
I finish a paragraph, for example. Paragraphs keep space on a page which is good for the length. They are flexible. They have the merit of being as long as you want although I modestly consider that at least three lines are needed to make a paragraph respectable. Otherwise, we would be talking about isolated lines. This makes me think of the incomplete nature of lines which also makes me think of how many times a paragraph laughs at a line.
Lines might not only be jealous of paragraphs but also of words. Both of them make sense on their own, lines might think. How much I empathize with the loneliness of the line!
Then, the paragraph is finished. It is a six and half lines paragraph in which I have said exactly nothing decent when I re-read it. I cannot be proud of it although I am not entirely embarrassed.
How many times have I tried to write successfully nothing? Countless!
How many times have I tried to write successfully about nothing? You tell me, reader.
I have six and half lines. What to do with them?
I can mix them up in the writing so nobody will notice the nothing decent I´m saying, which makes me realise that the rest of the text should be actually decent and reminds me of the simplicity of my own thinking.
Trying to write different words and join them isn´t a solution either as the same words come to my mind all the time. I´d rather not think that I think as simple as I write because that would be a fatality but the simplicity of my thinking has already been proved.
I prefer to say that it is caused by the fact that “I don´t belong to English” as Pérez Firmat said. And this is another way to complete the page although paraphrasing is not what I want to talk about.
What I want to say is related to the length of the page, not about paraphrasing, not even about sex now.
If I wanted to write a book. Let´s say that I wanted to write a perfume book.
In that case, it would be easy. I would make sure that the ink of my pen is perfumed and the pages are made of petals. I would just be able to write it after a shower, in my lavender dress.
That book should be written during the summer. I need to be in front of an open window while a mild breeze is moving my hair. The breeze is dropping everything from the desk so not everything is perfect. That actually gets me in a bad mood. I make an effort to ignore that everything is on the floor since I need to write the book. But I can´t, so I tidy up everything quickly and I leave nothing on the desk, which explains a lot. I close the window.
I can easily write a book like this because the pages would be covered by drops of perfume and my perfumed pen would just describe the scents.
I would dedicate a chapter to tears in which I would need to explain why they taste salty or smell of ice.
The length wouldn´t be a problem since I could be writing about as many perfumes as I know. Depending on the perfume, some chapters could be refused but I wouldn´t mind. I would like to reflect the reality. Rabbish perfumes have also the right to be told.
There is a plus. The perfume book is reversible and when you think it is finished, the book starts again because there´s neither end nor beginning. It has a circular shape like cookery books.
Some pages would be wet and some dried.
The reader should close the eyes while reading the perfume book. This is the only way to understand the content. Just by smelling the letters should you be aware of what I would tell you on the page. So, put your nose close.
This book would have a cover made by the smell of my own blood to attract more readers.
I was once told that you will be reading what I will be writing and I´m thinking how to start.
will start like this.
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All words and images collaged form the Independent, 9th April 2013. News and TV pages.
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Bus Lore is a spoken tradition.
Every time you step on a bus, you are subject to bus lore. It is six thousand years old, but it is not important how this came to pass.
It is a series of told ways, rituals and rules that have ne’er been documented.
The sign that lights up and says ‘Stopping’ is not a reference to the bus, but to your beauty. The bus considers all its passengers so beautiful that it has to stop to properly appreciate their comeliness.
Or they could be dying. Depends. It’s a bit like Tarot. Y’know.
There is no evil on a bus, except the evil that a being brings on with them.
The front of the bus, they cannae sing.
The bits of God that are in the bus are also subject unto Bus Lore.
If you travel on every number of bus, you will achieve inner peace.
If someone sits on the flap of your coat – the one that has the pocket with your phone in it – then feels the vibration of a text message, and then turns to smile at you, you are bus married.
Bus marriage is only valid on buses, and polygamy is punishable.
You may divorce your bus spouse but only by approaching the driver and announcing in a strong, clear voice ‘It was not meant to be.’
He will pass your message on within ten working days.
Bus children are possible, but inadvisable, for they are subject to anomalies should anyone involved leave the bus at any time. Time is a mutable concept in bus lore. If anyone was to sit at a table in a bus they would experience temporal displacement, for these are time tables and they do not operate according to laws of the physical universe. Bus drivers themselves, keepers of the lore, do not see the world as we see it. If you were to stand forward of the little sign it is likely that the ensuing visions would drive you insane.
Murder is forbidden under Bus Lore.
* * *
catwalk down a tongue old albion
* * *
Come now, state your business.
You there, curled curiously amongst my wilted seeders,
What have you to tell me?
The slashes across your neck smile and frown but they offer no answer.
How many sunsets have you slumbered here?
Dermis as dry as August fallow, tanned of grey and sorry blue.
A sad moon, your face, a dismal stain;
Impatient for decay as I am for the rains again, again…
How many sunrises is it now, I ask you.
I’ve tended the green, clocked the sandy yellow and once more the same,
Walking a daily step in search of nothing.
Bouncing my ball against God’s cheek, willing a dampened return.
You might wonder of the between.
The reprieve, the weekly scuttle to the peddling clutch.
The visits to town, more haunting than solitude
Their parchment tongues parceling out pleasant wads of empty air.
That’s it, that’s all there is.
The winder goes around again, scrape the mud off the plough,
White, green, browner, brown, grey, white.
I don’t know why you came here, there’s nothing to see.
Do I want more? I suppose, from tide to tide I pause to wonder
Of other worlds, warmer, colder.
But then the rope around my ankle tightens again and I remember…
Did I fill up the tractor?
Why am I asking you, you’re dead!
What’s the inverse? I wish I could remember.
If my head tips I can feel the pistons rattle, but that’s all.
I envy you,
Not where you are, but where you’ve been, perhaps a minted mirror
Which has misted in my eye, perhaps the rope stops here…
Come now, state your business.
* * *
Alison Campbell Kinghorn
I know I was
before we were –
but now we are,
* * *
Now please put your hands together for…
Roddy Shippin, Jennifer Watson, Ruth Aylett, Derek White, James Hamilton, Rosa Macpherson, Stu Anderson, Katy Ewing, Stuart Jones, Billy Watson, JA Sutherland, Vicki Jarret, Laura Bilton, Alison Summers, Alan Waddell, Michael McGill, Georgi Gill, Halsted Bernard, Hannah Lavery, Chris Birnie, Simon Bendle, Max Scratchmann, Antonia Landi, Andy Todd, Peter Mackie, Marie Yan, the anonymous author of Until Midnight, Winston Plowes, Andrew Blair, Sean Burn, Callum Davies, and Alison Campbell Kingorn!
Thank you all! This has been the Inky Fingers Virtual Open Mic! Come back soon, and have a wonderful night!