Monomania


Prophetic of the surrealist nightmare that is Donald Trump’s presidency. 
Free ebook this weekend

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Ronald McDonald Trump

The “killer clown” craze that began in the United States has gone global, with incidents reported in the United Kingdom. The craze began in the U.S. in August with reports of people dressed as Donald Trump trying to lure children into the woods in South Carolina. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. These are valid concerns expressed by decent and patriotic citizens from all backgrounds, all over. We also have to be honest about the fact that not everyone who seeks to join our country will be able to successfully assimilate. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything. Schools in Reading, Ohio were closed after a woman reported being attacked by someone dressed as Donald Trump who threatened the students at her school. But the complaints extend far beyond Ohio. At least 40 states have had strange clown sightings so far, and the number keeps on growing. I did try and fuck her. She was married. It’s our right, as a sovereign nation to chose immigrants that we think are the likeliest to thrive and flourish and love us. The claims are preposterous, ludicrous, and defy truth, common sense and logic. We already have substantial evidence to dispute these lies, and it will be made public in an appropriate way and at an appropriate time very soon. The craze has prompted McDonald’s to keep its iconic clown, Ronald McDonald Trump, out of sight for now. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful clowns. I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. The recent epidemic of “killer clown” sightings across the U.S. may be the best thing about 2016 — and that’s saying a lot. I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married. In London, reports include a clown confronting a man with a hockey stick, clowns chasing children and a knife-carrying clown on a bicycle following a woman. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything. Because we need a very powerful, very beautiful border. I moved on her like a bitch. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. That will stop those people coming into our country.

Garish oneiric pop art

These are the pictures I made as part of my experimental review of M K L Murphy’s novel, The Isle of Minimus. Each comprises a photo of a page from the book, over which is superimposed an object that in some way (and for a particular purpose) represents a human being: a baby doll, a first aid dummy, Barbie dolls, a mannequin. I gave each picture a border, made the colours as gaudy and unnatural as possible and, in two cases, added large symbols and references to the viewer and/or artist (eyes, cameras). I wanted the pictures to connote playing cards or perhaps the starting point for a Twentyfirst Century tarot deck. Their garishness and symbolism sprang naturally from Murphy’s book.

Each of my four pictures became the stimulus for a short text, in which I played freely with characters, themes and images found in The Isle of Minimus. The four-part text-and-image piece is not so much a review of Murphy’s book as a rear view of it, an irreverent but affectionate take on it. I approached Murphy’s theatre not from the front, with its impressive facade, but from the back alley and through the stage door.

You can read my rear view at Minor Literatures.




The mannequins are more real than you

  
The mannequins favour zero gravity, breathlessness, the labyrinth of stars. 

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The mannequins inhabit a forgotten planet, orbiting your daydreams. 

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The mannequins will accuse you of anything. Their courtroom is lodged behind your eyes. 

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Time is kept on a leash. When the mannequins laugh, it digs up your bones. 

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Look in the mirror. While you slept, the mannequins left scarlet lipstick stains on your throat. 

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Originally published as a series of tweets. 

A freebie

  
This week, the ebook of my text-and-image piece Mono is free. I’ve described it elsewhere as an entertaining nightmare and as a surreal dystopia, but it’s easier and less misleading to say what it isn’t. It isn’t linear, it isn’t a novel and it isn’t poetry. You decide what it is. 

You can get it here (UK) and here (US). 

Competition winners

I am delighted to announce the results of my creative writing competition. Judge Kate Garrett has been very generous with her time, reading the anonymised entries, deciding on a winner and runners-up, and advising on which entries are worthy of a place in the forthcoming ebook, Broken Reflections. 

So here goes…

The OVERALL WINNER is Ethan Miller for his piece “Panic Slip.” Here’s Kate’s comment on it: “This piece freaked me out, the wet/dry contrast for the end of each of two halves of a body – it’s creepy genius.” Ethan wins a signed copy of Mono, plus the ebooks of The Mannequin and In the Dark Room

There are two RUNNERS-UP: Voima Oy (“Flowers of Alba”) and Ian Foulger (“End Game”), who win the two ebooks. Kate said of Voima’s entry, “The language in this piece is wonderful.” As for Ian’s piece, she had this to say: “Creativity and anxiety at their finest juxtaposition. I love this one so much.”

Kate also made special mentions of the entries by Marc Nash (“Love the language and the way it relates to the image on which it is based”) and Saxon Pepperdine (“This piece is disjointed, stubborn and bleakly wonderful.”)

Joining all of the above in Broken Reflections will be entries by Monsieur Mess, Anjvs, Sean Fraser, David J Wing, Daniel A Nicholls, Danielle Matthews, Pleasant Street, A V Laidlaw and Adam Wimbush.

Thanks to everyone who entered the completion. I shall be in touch with the winner, runners-up and everyone whose work has been selected for Broken Reflections.  In the meantime, here are the top three entries, as chosen by Kate. Enjoy. 

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WINNER: “Panic Slip” by Ethan Miller

It was draped over the edge of the well, flaccid and starting to tear in the middle. Its bones were broken trampled and the sharp edges only made further tears. Its batteries were charged with only enough power to send a tiny neon tingle up and down it’s length. It sang a tired beacon ping ping ping.

The half that finally, after millennia, fell on the outside of the well met the dry matted weeds with relief and a sense of closure. It would dry out there, it would be so much dust under the warm sun.

The half that fell into the well used what little strength it had to writhe in panic. It was not the death that had been washed clean and scheduled with the moonrise. It was darkness and armies that would march through tissue, merging and transforming to make swarms and matrices. Nothing there was just itself, nothing there could possibly recognize itself for more than an instant.

The panic lasted longer that it did; panic turned liquid and locked in cell walls, panic as molecular cogs turning sporadically. There was also panic turned into nocturnal birds that glided in the slippery moonlit atmosphere.

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RUNNER-UP: “Flowers of Alba” by Voima Oy

What fragrance is produced by the white flowers of Alba? It has been compared to the aroma of peonies blasting from a laundromat in November.

No. And it is not the smells of a seaside holiday, the ozone of an approaching storm, the petrichor of Paris, or fresh-cut grass. It is not the gasoline of a truck stop off the interstate, or coffee at 2 am.

But it could be a blend of these things.

It is gathered in the silent gardens where the flowers bloom among the vines of moonflowers and lilies.

It is gathered under the light of the waning moon by the widows of Alba.

It is a scent that never leaves them. It clings to them like dew. It lingers on their fingers, and they cry as if they were cutting up onions.

It is addictive, intoxicating–the perfume of nostalgia, melancholy, saudade.

The flowers weep, tears of snails for the sea.

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RUNNER-UP: “End Game” by Ian Foulger

Stereo is on max, Meatloaf screams about a fledermaus transcending from Dante’s inferno.

I sit pondering whether Mozart ever experienced the smell of bat guano?

Is it possible to push a needle into one’s eye without pain?

What does it feel like to inhale fire and let it cook your lungs from the inside out?

Soon I will know and with all the other questions of the universe answered, I may return to tell you or I may not.
Will you wait?

Fool.

More micromonomania

  
You sit in the window, watching for her. Passersby mistake you for a prostitute.

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When you look at yourself through a microscope, all you can see is Dr Mort’s frown. 

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You keep your memories in a cage. When you’re trying to sleep, they shriek and squawk. 

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Life is like a silent movie. Incidents stutter. There is poetry in their melodrama. 

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Occasionally, friendly faces interpose themselves between the world and you. 

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Eve’s children mock you from the woodlands. 

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Eve is not as you remember. Her eyes seem different, expressionless. 

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Things are ambiguous. They stare at you. You can’t write about them. There are no words. 

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When you whistle, your enemies drop dead. It only works on Sundays. 

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Thanks to everyone who provided source photos for these Mono miniatures. For further micromonomania, click here.