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Is this why you can’t look me in the face when you’re (writing about) slitting my throat?

In Process on July 7, 2009 at 11:07 pm

– A fevered dialogue. Internal. A fevered dialogue. Let’s go external. Let’s go ballistic. Go.

Yes, it all makes sense now. It all makes sense. Crystal. Stab me with your pen to make sure that it’ll all resound with the same perfect but unquantifiable clarity when I’ve got a fraying chasm in the centre of my chest, will you? Stab me repeatedly. I’ll need a bigger hole, not just some glancing flesh wound. You’re not trying hard enough, damn you.

– I could only write this at two o’clock in the morning, in a silence that is deafening because it’s so gutted/guttural (and) raw/roar, while drunk to high heavens, and sticking the words in bleeding edge black and white on this obscure corner of the internet.

Three out of four ain’t bad. If only I wasn’t stone cold sober. Sober and unstoned. Fuck me, what could be worse? Yet, and yet. And yet, maybe I need to be clear-headed, cold-blooded, hard-hearted. To purge and refill. To do these thoughts justice.


– It’s a funny business, this writing creatively online.

I don’t want to use the term ‘creative’. I don’t want to say ‘creative writing’, believe me. I feel exactly like the jerk you’re thinking I am. I regress to being twelve years old again, fountain pen flooding blue a story in the back of a tatty exercise book. ‘This book belongs to Vaughan Simons. Do not touch!’ But I don’t know the word. The right word. How to describe. It. That. This. The other.

– Creative. Creativity. Creation. Will that do?

There you go. I knew you could do it. Sing it ’til you spew.

– So. It’s a funny business, this writing creatively online. On the web. Creativity. Writing. Whatever. This thing. The thing. Thing.


– Thing. Thing. Thing. Thing. Thing.

Fucking poetry. Sheer mindfucking bloody poetry. I always loved you for your genius way round the English language, but I want to cut your tongue out right now and keep it in tissue paper for posterity.

– I am going to go on until you die. Kill or be killed, voices. You’re my voices, remember. And so. So. It is. A funny business. This writing online. Thing.

Yes, it’s fucking funny. Side-splittingly hilarious. Sometimes, as I sit here bashing away in digit-clattering, finger-fucking masturbation, I piss myself laughing. I really do. I’ve taken to keeping a small trough under my chair, so that the waste product of my intense amusement can simply seep into it. I have lined it with ripped up copies of the numerous chapbooks that I ordered from far and wide, from every corner of the world. I constructed my own underground literary colostomy bag out of the souls of fallen verbal luminaries. Don’t be offended, will you? Because I read every word. Every sodding word.

– Every word? Every single, sodding word? Truly? That’s it, then. I think I love you. No, I know I love you. Let’s get married – now, this minute; we’ll find the singing Elvis pastor. After that, we’ll fuck like sore-mouthed, bare-bottomed bunnies and make writer babies who can grow up and pen tawdry, thick as a brick bestsellers for sale only in airport terminals. Our snivelling children will be able to feed us mushed-up rusks in our dotage. We’ll sit in our bath chairs, still pissing ourselves but with probably even less bladder control, and get wistful as we remember the good old days of not selling out. Not selling anything, in fact. The important thing being that. Exactly that. That. We. Never. Sold. Out. It’s the perfect end to a perfect life, because we’ll hate our offspring for selling by the shed-load and being paid by the spawn of Rupert Murdoch. Christ, we’ll feel superior. If we can still feel anything other than the slop of senility dribbling down our chins, that is.

I’m sensing some hostility. Is that a no, then? To our beautiful artistic marriage, then? Of a shared writing room under the eaves, then? With his ‘n’ hers Macbooks, then?

– Yes. Look at me, sweetheart. I’m still here. Still incapable. Still pissing myself. The bad news is that I am not worthy of your literary affections, because I think my sick mind has infected my urine. There’s a powerful odour of malt vinegar in the air. Am I disgusting you now? Please tell me I am. Please.

Okay. I give in. I submit. Yes, you’re disgusting me. Happy? I am indeed repulsed. I am giving grave consideration to getting you exorcised. You are not the romantic, aesthetic, poetic long-hair whose metaphors first plucked sweet music from my heartstrings from the other side of the screen; who made me sigh, swoon and flutter my fan over my ladylike blushes and my less than ladylike hot flushes. What happened to him? Oh, what happened? Come back to me. Come back to –


So I tied him up. Thrust a black bag over his head. Dragged him into the boot of my car. Drove to the roof of a multi-storey car park. Beat him senseless with a spade newly purchased from a garden store. The sound of dull thudding metal filled the air for a quarter of an hour. Like the sweetest of distorted bass drums from a Roland 808. I hit him and kicked him and spat on him and screamed at him and lifted his head and smashed it against the tarmac. It was good. It was so very good. And finally I slowly and deliberately and viciously stepped on his knuckles and listened to each one crack and shatter underfoot. Write that, please. Write that down. Scratch. Grind. Press. No. Of course. You can’t. Rubber fingers.


An angel (No more angels)
A devil (Only if it’s bloody and real)
A poem (Without any good reason)
A flower (Retching weedkiller)
A blue sky (I can’t see for stinging eyes)
A clear night (Morning phlegm)
A dream (Somnambulist and scarred)
A love (Abuse this, please)
A beginning (Once more)
A middle (Twice through and done)
An end (Hanging on)
An awakening (We’ll let you know)


Awake. Not exactly. Breathing. No. I was wondering if. No. I was wondering if you could write what you used to write. No. Stop imagining endless violence and abuse and depravity and all the rest of your dark, diseased orifices. Wouldn’t even know how. No. Open up and inhale and exhale and listen and. No. How many times. No. I am going to sleep with magnetic words taken from my fridge. I will place them inside my pillowcase and will them to breeding. See what sticks. If only I had a metal head.


So he’s gone? Metaphors? Romanticism? Aestheticism? Poeticism? Long hair? All gone? Dead? Dead? Dead?

– Not dead. No. Merely temporarily stunned. He has a headache. A bad headache. I visit him once a day in a grimy lock-up under the railway arches, where he lies obscured by burnt-out cars, sniffed occasionally by passing stray dogs. I untie him, feed him a bag of chips, and then hit him with the spade a few more times to send him back into blissful unconsciousness. I’ve recorded all of it, too. The videos are available on Youtube. I’ll send you the links. Grainy footage of beating the shit out of failed writers is the new kitten porn. Here I am, fulfilling the public’s depraved desire for senseless artistic violence, and keeping that fucker quiet into the bargain.


No more artistic exclusivity. We can sell this shit. [MARKET ME, IT MAKES ME HARD] Everything is sellable to somebody, even this. [WE HAVE STAPLES, CLEAN WHITE PAPER, AN UNREADABLE TYPEFACE] Everything is now sellable. [FILL THE CARDBOARD BOXES WITH PRODUCT] Even you. [PILE THEM HIGH AND BURSTING] Sell sell sell to the highest bidder. [BUY ME, BUY MY MYTH, BUY MY CLIPPINGS] And the lowest common denominator. [I DON’T EVEN NEED TO LICK YOUR PRINTED PAGES NOW] And I will learn to love hating as much as loving. [JUST INHALING YOUR INK LEAVES ME SPENT] Result.

Vaughan Simons doesn’t remember things from one day to the next, but he vaguely recalls writing at An Unreliable Witness and editing Writers’ Bloc. He hates writing third-person biographies. He is still vaguely apologetic about everything. The word ‘vestibule’ has fascinated him for the past twenty-nine years.

  1. nicely done as always

  2. I’ve been thinking about how painful this is.

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