And just like that, this jumps straight into my top ten for the year. Easy.

Seeing these bad sumbitches on Friday. Consider me hyped.

fun

he had a good run at ~81, real age;
the sort of run that gets you through four nationalities

how do you process second-hand emotions?

they lowered him down to us in a white cloth
i’ve yet to empty my shoes and pocket of his burial sand
too clever, i took off my socks before putting my shoes back on
but sand is finer than sock thread

in fragments i guess
indian, then pakistani and bangladeshi, briton last and perhaps foremost

we grandchildren sat in the dark with candles lit
to mask the smell of the incense, not in tribute per se
some laughs, some memories… some fights streamed on a laptop
we’re okay thanks, the elders are feeling it more i suppose
it sounds too rehearsed because by now it is
one face from the past took his tea mug to remember him by
everyone regales stories of his rounds,
chewits and cap guns,
soft cauliflower curries, mushed aubergine, mountains of salt
saucers of goor-laden milky tea, slurped
like the sauce left after his rice
walking stick, hat, glasses, ta’weez
all shared experiences and details
the imaam eulogises him as one of the first imaams of the masjid
’he once prayed for us, now let us pray for him’
the previous imaam splutters through a half-sob in bangla

by the end he was so dry he would bite at the sticks of wet cotton
his nose drooped and his bones revealed themselves
truth be told he was a ghost to me long before he passed and long before he was bedridden
we were two blood relations who occasionally inhabited the same space
his refusal to put in a hearing device, my refusal to yell entire sentences
it’s pathetic how little we knew each other
and yet i dutifully planted a branch by his head atop his mound of soil
my mother fainted from heat stroke when he passed, how pertinent is that?
my aunts cried
my grandmother played the stoic, shed her tears in secret
my older cousin accuses her of heartlessness; that’s exactly how she’d want to be thought of
my uncle and younger cousin found things to be mad about
i used to hang from his neck as he prayed and he’d humour me
i remember seeing the same play out again with my brother as i’d pray beside his hip

‘if you knew the pangs of death, you’d abandon everything and run for the shelter of a tree’
he said
they massaged his inflamed gut, head and legs
we held his skeleton fingers like a child

‘i’m going to die tomorrow’ he said
and then he did.


written November 2016

The Space Between is such a solid project.

The trouble with ideas are they’re a dime a dozen whilst their execution is a slow arduous process. You can come up with a grand thought in seconds and then spend years before it ever reaches fruition. And that’s if it ever get there. There’s no guarantee that it does. The real easy fun lies in the daydreaming honeymoon phase and not in making the sausage. Making the sausage is kinda fun, but you spend of a lot of time tearing your hair out too. Daydreaming is painless.

So you work, day in and day out. And all along, you keep seeing newer, tastier ideas. Shinier balls to play with. And it takes all the discipline in the world to say no, and get back to your one sausage you’ve been mucking about with for years.

But you take note, you know. “I’ll get round to you one day,” you have to say. “Until then, get in line.”

So. ‘As Worlds Bleed’ multiverse sci-fi series coming 2050
#AsWorldsBleed

You cannot give a shit about originality. You’re not going to invent a new genre or movement any time soon. Just be authentic and enthusiastic. That is enough.

Your craft will eventually pull you through a fresh take on an old thing. You can’t replicate someone else’s shit if you tried, but why would you want to? Be confident in the knowledge that likewise others cannot replicate you.

Do your own work without putting on airs. Put the hours in, of course. But experiment. Play. Be real weird with it.

Don’t pigeonhole yourself. Get free.