Category: general


At the begining of this year I wasn’t sure what was going to happen about WM. Then it all started coming together. Or maybe it was just me. Anyway, it’s happening. So, check out Weird Metropolitan for info, extracts, the cover, and how to pre-order and save some money on postal charges if you live in the UK. 

The cover photograph and design is by Rimas Vainorius.

Lots of love and weird kisses,

Don Galloway.

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Beef

One day in the early 70s I was walking through the grounds of a mental hospital with my maternal grandfather, Simon.

He had been on the run from the Military Police since 1946. My mother, my two uncles and my aunt all ate well through the conflict.

Simon was a butcher.

We talked about the difference between living with war and growing up in peace. There was really nothing to discuss. The former is simple — you live or you die. Peace is slightly more complicated.

In the end, however, everyone has to eat, and those who eat last die last.

Virus Alert

Felt I had to share this gem from The Fat One.

There is a dangerous virus being passed electronically, orally and by hand.

This virus is called Worm-Overload-Recreational-Killer (WORK). If you receive WORK from any of your colleagues, your boss or anyone else via any means DO NOT TOUCH IT. This virus will wipe out your private life completely.

If you should come into contact with WORK put your jacket on and take 2 good friends to the nearest pub. Purchase the antidote known as Work-Isolator-Neutralizer-Extractor (WINE).

The quickest acting antidote WINE type is called:- Swift-Hitting-Infiltrator-Remover-All-Zones (SHIRAZ) but this is only available for those who can afford it, the next best equivalent is Cheapest-Available-System-Killer (CASK). Take the antidote repeatedly until WORK has been completely eliminated from your system.

Forward this warning to 5 friends. If you do not have 5 friends you have already been infected and WORK is controlling your life.

Update 11-02-06: After extensive testing it has been concluded that Best-Equivalent-Extractor-Remedy (BEER) may be substituted for WINE but may require a more generous application.

I remember a slum front room on a rain-broken morning. Weak sunlight filters through cracks in a raffia blind, throwing feint patterns onto a worn fireside rug.

A young woman sits on the rug with her knees drawn up supporting her face-down head. She’s crying. An occassional tear escapes and falls to the rug.

On a bed in the corner of the room a man half sits and half wants to leave.

“I must have turned over in the night a hundred times,” he tells her, his tone one of a strangely constructed question, “but I can’t remember saying ‘I love you’?”

************

Anthony is slowly

Disappearing.

“It’s this present tense experience,”

He says.

His foot faded away

Yesterday

And became

Nothing.

“History,” he tells me,

“Is what was present in the past.”

Now he’s footless

In the future

And fantasy

Free.

************

Conversation from an alley at the rear of the Rainbow Theatre, Finsbury Park, London, circa 1978. Speakers — quality and quantity — unknown.

Great band. What an act, man. Shark Fin Tsu and The Fishhead Gang…

— Little bit of this, little piece of that…

— We gonna back stage, yeah?

— Sure. Good ol’ frien’ a mine, Shark Fin… from the early days.

— Primo’s got a new drug… market research, get it?

— Well…

— Totally new, man, designer high, like wearing the synapses on the arse of your pants. Know what I mean?

— Human Secrets Agency (HSA) got it all sewn up… the whole market. Got human feelers out disguised as punks and rent-boys, soaking everything up.

— So, Paul Zanzibar is waiting for a cab… take him to the gig. Takes a new pill to pass the time.

— No sense no feeling…

— Blood simple. Arrives at the gig talking total nonsense…

— …and ‘ero’s trying to fin’ ‘er way out a chapter one!

— No mercy no surrender…

— Blood simple cry tough…

— Her real name is Amanda…

— Sure, I’ll have a mandie…

— Yeah, Shark Fin Amanda. Try to make it with her once but Human Secrets Agency has her all sewn up…

— No mandie no deal. 

I have a friend who has recently found it difficult to write. Since he writes well — and always with sincerity — I don’t believe he has a problem.

I, on the other hand, do.

You see, the difference between my friend and I is that he longs to write for profit (no, I’ll re-phrase that: he would dearly love to make a living from writing). I think he could. Also, I am of the opinion that it would destroy his integrity as a writer.

My problem is that I find it impossible not to write. Even when I have nothing to say or when I’m too drunk or depressed or both to produce anything worthwhile, I find it absolutely necessary.

Why? Because it’s what I do for a living.

It gets me into trouble.

Burroughs once said that writing is a most dangerous profession: the writer always and forever remains responsible for what she has written.

Thing is, I have to write a lot of “opinionated” shemozzle that I don’t actually believe and, because, like my friend, I write well, my readers think I’m expressing myself, that I’m being sincere, when the reality is that I’m just “writing” — staining paper for so many shekels a page. That makes me a professional and calculated liar.

I guess it’s a cross I’ll have to bear.

Correction

My attention has recently been drawn to a typo in a piece I posted back in June about former underworld figure and author Paul Ferris.

I would like to make it clear that, to my knowledge, Paul has never been an informer and the piece should have read: ruthless enforcer.

I apologise for the error.

Charles Bukowski said:

“Being

photo-

graphed

does not

make

a man

a good

writer.

It doesn’t

make

a man

anything.”

Click here and you will see God

A literary hit-man

I used to write scripts for Tommy (Fatboy) Devine. Tommy Devine is ugly. You want to know how ugly he is? I’ll tell you.

When he’s born (series one, episode two) the midwife, a twenty-eight year old gay word puzzle enthusiast from Ohio, threatens to assassinate his mother. When he sees the kid he just falls apart; it’s like he takes it personally, you know? Like little Tommy has rained on his parade and it’s the mother’s fault.

“How could you do this?” he pleads. “I mean, how?” He tosses his face mask and surgical gloves to the floor with a theatrical flourish. “I mean, at some point during the last nine months… well, you must have had some idea. Surely you couldn’t have carried that around and not known, suspected even…? Couldn’t you have done the decent thing?”

The mother, a giant hover-fly, passes out. Her wings collapse, creating a huge draught, which blows the anaesthetist off his feet and scatters instruments, swabs, wipes, anything that isn’t tied down, all over the room.

“Ho hum,” sighs the midwife. “You chase a horse and you catch a dog. Story of my life.”

Tommy plays all the parts, it’s Fatboy world: every character in every show looks like some version of Tommy.

That first script earns Jonny Hilltown — a.k.a. my good self — a personal assistant called Dragona Hartley. Dragona believes in absolutes and, like Tommy, she likes to generalize.

Did you know that gangsters use the word “f**k” more than any other, with the possible exceptions of “money” and “no”? That gangsters in the main don’t have what you might call a good command of the English language (the same can be said of comedians)?

“You know why?” asks Fatboy. “I’ll tell you why,” breathing cigar smoke and garlic all over my new wool suit. “It’s because they’re all spiritual Italians and Greeks. Ok, some of them really are Italians and Greeks. But the ones that ain’t, actually are, in that spiritual sense. You get me? It’s that cultural thing about body language that the spiritual Italians and the spiritual Greeks share with the Italians from Italy and the Greeks from Greece: the hand gestures and stuff. It’s the same with accountants: spiritually they’re all Jewish.”

Then his eyes narrow, his head tilts to one side and he looks me square in the face:

“You want to know something about writers? I’ll tell you about writers. All writers drink in the afternoon. Did you know that? All writers are spiritual drunks – even the ones that don’t drink.”

Waiting too long for somebody in a crap bar is an absolute pain in the arse. I’ve been doing it all my life.

“I don’t believe in absolutes,” she says. She has the makings of a movie hitman’s mustache. I decide to call her Mustache Petronella, but not to her face.

“Don’t killers believe in absolutes?” I ask.

“You think death is an absolute?” She flicks her cigarette so the ash just misses the ashtray. I can’t help thinking this is a deliberate act.

“If the act of causing it is a deliberate move, with intent, with extreme prejudice, then I think it is, absolutely,” I tell her. Then I go to the washroom, where an accomplice has previously hidden an unregistered lap-top behind a cistern.

I come out typing.

But she is gone; in her place sits Nico, with the lithe body and the smooth-skin-high-cheek-boned-oriental look. He’s a static boy from the other side of Snake River who loves his knives and his brothers. He talks lingwo, spits out words and phrases like bursts from a MAC10.

I get straight to the point: “What about the kid?”

“Yeah, always knew him. We grew up knowing each other. Went to school together. All that thing.” His eyes never meet mine while he talks; only in the pauses.

“Then why did he die?”

“Because his name come up! It’s easy to get blowed. Word is he got mixed up in this Muslim Boy thing, did something that doubled back on his people. Maybe it was meant, maybe it wasn’t, maybe didn’t even know what he done. I don’t know. Anyway it doesn’t matter, it’s happened… he’s gone and that’s it and there’s nothing anybody can do about it. They killed him, shot him in his mouth and throat. Tomorrow it could be me or you.”

I don’t write scripts for Tommy Devine any more.

A site to make you smile

In need of a little ego-reinforcement? Try this. I found it here, via here

Open browser and type http://your name.youaremighty.com in the address bar. Make sure your speakers are on.

Link Exchange

On the page bar at the top of the front page, just above my eye, is a button called “Link Exchange”.

Click on it and increase traffic to your blog.

Thanks to brianfox, who first had this idea and whose blog is well worth a visit.

See you in the mirror. 

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