Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The Restless Ones

I want to wear your flaws like trophy furs,
To endure your temper,
And fall prey to it’s cruelty.
Don’t punish me with an easy life,
Exile me with the restless ones.

I must be amongst those who weep, or bellow in joy,
And those who burn brightly, or not at all.
The brothers, the sisters,
That find such mothers and fathers,
Who shelter those who they recognise as restless ones.

The perverse, the pained or the punctured,
The circus clowns, the leading ladies,
Those who can’t go on, but go on.
Leave me in their company,
And our time will be glorious,
Though before long it will come for us,
Because my dear, it always comes for us,
For if it did not,
Would we be such restless ones?

I was working on this poem on Friday night, and on Saturday after I had finished it, I heard the sad news that Daul Kim had passed away. I'd read her blog I Like To Fork Myself * several months ago, but I hadn't checked back for a while, until I heard about her death . Now it was just coincidence, if such thing exists,  that I was working on a piece about restless souls, and people who struggle to find peace in this world, but it seemed fitting to dedicate this to her.  Daul was open and at times painfully honest about her problems, and her constant search for meaning, but she was also humorous, generous and unassuming.  A little something she said about the transient nature of life...

"beautiful to be remembered and to capture and to display and to be forgotten to be remembered and then forgotten then remembered…

* I think Blogger might have blocked the original version of her blog now, but it is mirrored here.

 ©2009 Copyright Daniel J. Fiasco

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

La Danse Macabre

As the antique Wainwright grandfather clock struck 5:30pm Horatio stared at it wistfully, reaching into his memory for the occasion he watched it strike 8:30 in the morning, forty seven years previously. Times had changed, and he had watched the young faces of his customers pale into tired facsimiles, distressed by the same years that had bent his back and creased his forehead. As he turned to pull down the shutters he shrugged off his nostalgic trance.

“Good riddance” he sighed. He had ached for this day for almost half a century, day in day out trying to plod through the monotonous hours behind the counter, dreaming of what he would do when he was finally free. His customers often assured him that he had the best job in the world, but he would hasten to disagree.

“Ah, but what use is confectionary to me? I’m diabetic. Imagine an insomniac selling beds for a living. That is me.”

He turned the small sign in the window to the “Closed” position. Tomorrow he would sleep in until eleven, and then maybe have brioche at Cafe Stubb. He would buy his wife a gift at the market, a gesture of his affection and the dawn of their new era. Horatio smiled at the thought of his wife, his old sweetheart Marie, whom he met in this very shop, when his father was the proprietor. He didn’t see much of her and it pained him that the face of the clock was more familiar to him than his own wife’s. He had often dreamed that when he retired he would sit out on the terrace everyday for lunch with Marie, just enjoying freedom and the company of one another.

He watched a lone crow pecking at the corner of the window, and thought it sad that a bird may never retire. Every day it must find food and safety, or the poor thing will surely die. He was absorbed in its plight as it clumsily hopped around and it struck him as a cruel affliction that a bird so graceful and majestic in flight looked so awkward and helpless when fumbling around for crumbs.

As Horatio peered through the glass he suddenly frowned. His eyes widened as he strained to see a reflected silhouette behind him in the glass. He spun around to face the most curious trespasser.

An ageless woman, neither young nor old, dressed theatrically, in pearl white stockings and an ivory basque, much like the dancers he used to swoon over at the carnival as a young man. Her hair rose skyward, like a violent apparition, punctuated with grandiose ostrich feathers, of snowfall purity and otherworldly opulence.

She smiled at him, a thorough and sincere smile, and his fear seemed to thaw, to subside into an overwhelming certainty and permanence. Her hips elegantly swayed, and she was in perpetual motion, as though she was rehearsing for a great exhibition. Her shoulders rolled with an imperial finesse, lithe and delicate, and her milky buttocks swelled out from the tops of her stockings.

“Won’t you dance with me Horatio?” she whispered coquettishly.

Horatio quivered and stared at her with a solemn and broken glaze, his brow arching in mock question but his lips failing to deliver words.

“I adore you Horatio, and I know of all that you have sacrificed for me, and so now I am yours”

“Sacrificed?” enquired Horatio, puzzled.

“At every opportunity you have forsaken life, you have been faithful only to Death, and now I offer you my gratitude, my embrace. Come with me?”

“Forsaken life?” repeated Horatio, suddenly grave and urgent.

He stood unearthly still, as though petrified, the evolving lines on his face the only sign of consciousness as he realised the gravity of the situation, and the distinguished nature of his visitor.

“I thought I would have more time?” he suggested hopefully.

“But you have been so devoted to me Horatio, I had to come for you. You have been so generous. You have shunned the things you love opportunity in order to serve me. Now I shall serve you, now I shall take you away from life, no more shall you have to hide from it”

The lascivious intruder began to dance more elaborately, and Horatio heard celestial music, like Chopin at an unseen piano. He watched as her pointed toes reached outwards, and recoiled into her body with a refined poise he had never before seen.

“Your tired my love, you deserve respite. Come and hold me?” urged the dancing figurine.

Horatio fell to his knees and wept.

“I thought I would have more time” he pleaded

The woman continued her dance, seemingly uninterested in Horatio’s hysteria. As she pirouetted in the doorway she momentarily paused.

“I’m afraid you were misinformed my love. No need to be afraid, soon you will have what you have slaved for all these years. You will have your peace, no need to worry.”

She stretched out her arms, palms facing upwards and inviting Horatio to join her. Her pendulum hips broke into a feverishly seductive rhythm, her dance becoming suddenly more frenzied and threatened to reach climactic crescendo.

Horatio looked up at his enchantress and his frown of sorrow and distress seemed to dissolve into a wide eyed curiosity, as he slowly rose back to his feet.

“What if I wish to remain alive? What if I change my ways, and keep my life?” he bargained.

The spectre waltzed closer to him, and she leaned in to whisper in his ear.

“Why do you consider life to be the same as staying alive? They are not so intertwined my darling, for life is something you must engage in and participate in, and to be alive is nothing but a physiological condition.”

He winced as though her words were darts, and as he looked shamefully down at the floor he inhaled a stray tendril of her dramatic perfume, and he raised his eyes to meet the glassy and cruel gaze of his mistress.

As he stepped towards her, his consciousness seemed to be diluting, and becoming lighter, as if she was secreting opium upon him, and she slowed from her complex routine to smile and offer her self to him.

He reached out to her pulled her body into his and as her chest pressed against him he placed his hand around her fragile waist and drew her hips against his. He felt no pain and as they danced he let the remainder of his awareness wane into oblivion.

- I am always interested to read about the exploits of Raymond Kurzweil, a man who intrigues me with his pursuit of eternal life, and his desire to live long enough to be immortalized in computer hardware! However, I don't want to live forever, and I hope that Raymond is wrong about his predictions, because I think mortality is the very essence of being alive. If we cannot expire, then we cannot truly live. Funny how his dream is my nightmare...

©2009 Copyright Daniel J. Fiasco

Sunday, 25 October 2009

The Economy Of Time (2nd extract)

For a few years of my life I thought I had found balance, calm, spiritual peace. It was actually death. I was rotting inside my skin, and I had mistaken the cavernous echoing of my hollow soul for a new age dolphin song of spiritual enlightenment. But I had repressed so much that I turned inside out.

Lucy was my liberation, and my salvation, and it took her only two days to repeal the harrowing guilt and crippling fear that had dictated my consciousness. She tore me off my cross and let me dance within her flesh, and with such a display of truth and purity she threw light and revelation upon the conflicts and curiosities of my being. I don’t know that she was ever aware that I had been born only at that moment, and that my passions had graduated from their cocoon, with wings of silk and silver, but she would never again feature in my life, except when her cruel and ethereal beauty returned as an apparition in my memories.

I owe a great debt to her, but she disappeared before I could repay her. Until she awoke me I was in constant hibernation. Life was happening around me, but I did not participate. Afterwards, the bright conflagration she had ignited behind my eyes allowed me to confront the darkness, to run towards it and bathe it in illumination. When Lucy left I felt no sadness, no regret, or no mourning, for I had never fallen in love with her. Instead I felt a great sense of kinship, camaraderie even. We were both looking for something, both turning over stones to find completion. We united in the journey, and we advised and counselled each other, but we were just two people exploring together, ultimately destined to go our separate ways.

Convention divides us into separate selves, our professional self, our casual self, our spiritual self, our sensual self and the component parts are not to be mixed, except for the odd leak, the rare osmosis of one part into the next. But experiencing freedom and liberty made me feel singular, and essential, as though every thing I did was but an expression of my soul, not an act perpetrated by an element of me which surfaced as and when required, and must be suppressed when inappropriate.

When I am at the piano I am at the lips of a woman, and when I paint the brush caresses a female canvas, and when I write I am tattooing her flesh with my words. The street goes both ways. When I am with a woman, I am writing her character, exploring her depth, and imploring her to melodies, posing her as a grand sculpture of wonderful femininity to express the beauty of her form. All of our perception of this earthly state enters through our senses, and so we can choose to exist as mere assimilators of information, deducing and theorising, or we can become one with the wave of sensation, lapping against the shores of euphoria, grabbing at the sand, tasting it, and rolling back into oblivion until we can gather enough momentum to return.

- This is another extract from the novella I'm working on. A lot of the writer's I love have a very sparse style, and use words very sparingly, but when I write I find that I have a natural clumsiness, and the words tumble out as I they spring to mind. I think it stems from my lack of trust in words, and language. I am always conscious that somebody might read something differently than it was intended, and that once you throw your ideas out there they may get themselves into trouble. I liken it to the feeling mothers have when their children "fly the nest". I am trying to learn to let go, but it takes time...

©2009 Daniel J. Fiasco

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Press Your Laughter Up Against Mine

When you couldn’t pout your lips because of involuntary laughter,
I was not offended by the denial of a kiss,
I was satisfied by the carnal expression of your joy.

- A short poem about laughter. I don't write a lot of humour, and so people often find me very grave, but I love laughter. I have a friend who is a comedienne, and I adore her absolute dedication to making people laugh.

©2009 Daniel J. Fiasco

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The Economy Of Time

I loved her in an instant. There was no tangible reason why. She had only the most distant hint of beauty, and she had a desperate clumsiness. She wanted only to flirt, not to reveal anything of herself. Who needs a personality? Who needs these emotional asteroids floating amidst the planets of our most brutal and instinctive designs? I had no time for subjective fields like culture or wit, or kindness, or cruelty. They are all pre-determined, unchanging and mathematical.

The reasons we love people make us all whores. The purest taste of love is that which is unfounded, unjustifiable, enigmatic. A feeling that we want to collide in union and forget, time and consciousness are no longer relevant. The kind of absolute ecstasy of willing yourself to death amidst the most rapturous of heartfire, pumping through your veins like a hot liqueur and reminding you that every moment outside of this beautiful state of being is an incarceration , a numb and vacuous hell in comparison.

Once you have tasted that you can never fill in a tax return, or check that all the transactions on your bank statement are correct. You can never plan what colour to paint your kitchen, and you will never again be able to read the morning news, because somewhere, amidst the vast vault of memories you hold, is a cancerous and deranged recollection of what it felt like to bathe amidst that glorious zenith of higher being. She will exist behind your eyes and she will writhe out her poisonous dance between you and the world, insulating you from peace. Every second that vagrantly flicks by will inflict a wound upon your soul, it will waltz you back in time to when you were King, and torment your descent back down to peasantry.

I wondered how other people functioned? Was this happening to them? How can you go to work, or even have breakfast?

- Extract from a story/novella I'm working on about hypersensitivity towards life. This little passage manages to stand on it's own, so I thought I'd post it. I'm sorry I haven't updated for so long, but time has been short. I aim to be a little more consistent in posting from here on in.

©2009 Copyright Daniel J. Fiasco

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

The Falling Sky

Sylvester stood at the side of the square, amongst the throngs of people. He watched a man carrying a briefcase, hurrying along. Sylvester quickened his pace and caught up with the man, and whilst marching side by side asked him if he could just stop him a moment and explain something to him. The man, continuing to rush along explained that he was “most busy” and had no time to spare.

“No time to spare” pondered Sylvester. How strange that a man so efficient as to rush everywhere had no time to spare? He decided it was best to change tact and he noticed a young woman sitting peacefully on a bench, as though she had all the time in the world. He walked over and took a seat next to her, and she looked up with a furrowed brow, suggesting she was uncomfortable in the presence of her new found companion.

“Excuse me, may I just speak with you for a second” enquired Sylvester in his polite tone. The woman reached down for her bag, picked it up and then left, condemning Sylvester with a withering glance as he walked away. He watched as she took up a seat on an unoccupied bench across the square and continued to glare at Sylvester as though he had wronged her somehow.
Sylvester regrouped and turned around to see a jovial man casually strolling along and laughing. He called out to the man.

“Excuse me, have you got a minute?”

The man shook his head and gestured that he was speaking on his mobile telephone. Sylvester slumped back into the bench, saddened by the fact that nobody had been able to allow him the time to warn them. He looked up at the dark sky, and noted that the eyes of all the masses of people scurrying through the square were pointed directly in front of them, watching where they were going, and navigating through the bodies.

He looked out across the landscape in front of him. The birds were no longer singing in the branches, though the flower beds by the monument were vibrant and alive, perhaps more so than ever. The trees swayed in their constant vigil, watching over those who marched below them.

A few feet away he noticed an old man, a wrinkled and bald artist, stood behind his easel, also looking up at the sky. He was taking great care to match the colours on his canvas to those he was seeing above him. A sudden calm fell over Sylvester as he watched, the patience and attentiveness of the old man soothed him.

The painter mopped his brow and smiled at Sylvester, then came to sit next to him on the bench.

“You know, I tried to warn them that the sky was falling, that the clouds had burst into flames but...” Sylvester started with despair.

The old man nodded and smiled.

“But they have more important things to attend to?” he grinned.

- A first draft of a short story I am currently working on.

©2009 Copyright Daniel J. Fiasco

La Petite Mort

Sweet murderer return, and poison my senses again
Race me to expiration,
Astride this chariot of the waves,
Hurtling as one towards the end.

A war in which victory comes, but is not sought
The bodies breathe heavy,
Ah, la petite mort!

- a short poem, submitted to a poetry contest for women. I was excluded on several grounds, not least, that of being male. Poetry competitions are a pet hate of mine.

©2009 Copyright Daniel J. Fiasco

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

The Perverse Artist

In the rising light of the morning The Councillor and his bailiffs walked in to the studio of Heinrich Neiting, The Perverse Artist, and began to seize his work. The Perverse Artist stood in the corner of his naturally lit studio, fascinated by the authoritative stance of the official, and his struggle to avoid making eye contact with any of the paintings laid around the room.

Heinrich positioned himself in front of his current piece, “The Rose of Lucia”, an elegant nude portrait of his favourite model, laid playfully in the rose garden at the memorial park. As the room gradually cleared of it’s two dimensional guests Heinrich grew amused by the failure of the Councillor to
address him.

The two roughly shod bailiffs cackled and made lewd remarks between themselves as they removed the offensive pictures from the walls, but the Councillor kept his head down and scribbled furiously in his notebook. Only when the room was clear, except for Heinrich and “Lucia”, did the Councillor speak.

“Mr Neiting, if you would step aside, there is one last obscenity to be destroyed.”

“Now, how do you know it’s an obscenity when you have never seen it Councillor?”

The Councillor was taken aback by Heinrich’s playful question.
He shuffled uncomfortably, glancing over his shoulder to check if the bailiffs had come back into the room.

“Mr Neiting, you are a perverse artist, and your works serve no purpose other than to corrupt those unfortunate enough to set eyes upon them.”

Heinrich strolled to the other side of the room and bit his lip, exposing his masterpiece to his intruders. He curiously watched the eyes of the councillor widen as he saw for the first time the porcelain face of Lucia. Her graceful neck and delicate breast, and most strikingly the velvet skin of Lucia’s thighs, spread wide open to reveal a scarlet long stem rose carefully painted in place of her sex.

“Tell me Mr Councillor, are you now corrupted?”

The councillor signalled to his two subordinates to arrest the painting and destroy it as they had the others. The Councillor turned to leave.

“If I hear of any more such pieces I will return and destroy them also, as I did the others before these. Good day Mr Neiting.”

Heinrich strode into the doorway and blocked the Councillors path.

“Her flesh is much softer than I could ever convey with oils Councillor. You should see her in person. She is the most beautiful creature I’ve ever laid eyes on. What do you think?”

The councillor’s face betrayed a panic that his authority could not endure.

“I think. I think that maybe it is not just your work that is perverse Mr Neiting. If I hear such vulgarity from you again then I shall have no choice but to report to my superiors that you are a highly corrupt man and it is no longer safe for you to remain at large in the community.”

“Mr Councillor, does all that Authority ever strike you as more perverse than a simple man painting what he considers beauty? You know, some may consider it corrupt that you see the things that you censor other people from seeing? “

The Perverse Artist smiled and stepped aside, and the Councillor stormed out of the room.

- A short fiction piece regarding an artist whose work is not valued by the state.

©2009 Copyright Daniel J. Fiasco

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

The Final Writings of Arthur Samuels

“I was born, and I followed the path.

Then one day I plunged myself into the darkness, I submerged myself in the opaque waters of human existence, destined to either find the answer I needed, or hopelessly drown in the process. I burst through the surface, desperate for breath, having failed on both counts. But, that’s not to say there won’t ever be a day when the water subsides and leaves behind the glowing pearl of wisdom I was looking for. I’d even wager that from time to time I’ll go back there, and seek again what evaded me that day, but it would take a moment of immense clarity, not to mention coincidence, for me to stumble upon what has been lost for so long.

All the while, time marches on, my own existence ebbs and burns brightly towards it’s end, and I must use the light to keep the night at bay. It’s time to be selfish, to saturate my sensory fibres with pleasure.

I shall try and flood my mind with experience and knowledge, and to temper my own vibrant steel in compassion for other people.

Without a higher meaning, I revert to the things that distract me the most. If I stop occupying myself, or fail to numb my mind with ecstasy it will turn in on itself again, and I will be combing through mud searching for that elusive answer.

It can’t be said that I am melancholy, for I am truly awake with joy when I am in the company of those I admire, or when luck should deposit me in the arms of a lover, I am distracted to the point of oblivion.

I don’t wish to die. I wish to live as much as possible in the time I am allotted, safe in the idea that I can find pleasure, if not meaning in this most grave predicament. My legacy is dust, as is yours, but in all dust and debris there is a great story, which exists even if nobody takes time to listen.

Please, don’t ask me the meaning of our being. I looked, high and low, and with a wry smile I realised that it was a great trick, a proud practical joke on us all that one day we would evolve so highly as to understand there was really no need for us to evolve at all. But without laughter, all are days are dark, and so I salute you silent joker, and my pen shall fall silent. “

- Short fiction piece about a writer's resignation.

©2009 Copyright Daniel J. Fiasco


Anointed with a liquor
Not of this earth
I have grown much younger now
Pain doesn’t hurt
And all of those wishes
That you were scared might come true
I have revealed them all
And I will bring them to you

Spread your wings for me
Take flight and dance with me

For now I am become Love
Destroyer of Hearts
And I am the one you’ll love
‘Til death do us part
I live within you now
We’re breathing as one
We’ll burn with the radiance of
One thousand suns

And now as I feel your skin
Pressed against mine
I wash down the sin
With your beautiful wine
Now awaken your senses
I will conquer them slow
Your touch, your taste
Your scent, you have to promise them all

I have always been kind
But now I am cruel
Love is a union
but it’s also a duel
I will set you free
I will bind you in chains
I am your master
But I am also your slave

- lyrics to the song "Love", inspired in part by J. Robert Oppenheimer's supposed reinterpretation of the Bhagavad Gita upon watching the first atomic bomb detonate on Hiroshima.

©2009 Copyright Daniel J. Fiasco

Monday, 17 August 2009

Dewdrop Phantasm

Dewdrop Phantasm

There is no right to life.

It is a curious and beautiful gift we don’t yet understand.

We are on borrowed time, and that is perhaps the most majestic hourglass you can ever see.

Tomorrow is a vast fallacy, even the next second is in doubt. But in the arms of rapture and euphoria tomorrow is unnecessary.

If another day dawns then I shall be blessed again with a new life, a fresh adventure, but if the universe fractures into shards we will neither miss it or be missed.

When embalmed with darkness and hatred I too feel like my bones are on fire inside my skin and the hours are pain filled and bleak, but the darkness can be dispelled with practice, as it comes from within. Live past it. Shed your charred and crippled skin and grow anew from the ash.

Hope that when you turn to dust you will have left behind an inspiration to all that is good.

Swim in the sublime, and show others the way.

Let desire be kept separate from requirement.

Cherish those whom you love, but don’t burden them with dependence.

Never stop searching for that dewdrop phantasm of pure and distilled ecstasy. If you find it, share it with those who are thirsty and open to it. Pass it around like the liquor of life.

- A poem I wrote for the short film "Dewdrop Phantasm", which is currently in post production.

©2009 Copyright Daniel J. Fiasco