The silence of birds

Did you know that birds scream? I hear them sometimes, when the night train plays out a symphony on melted sand. The sound comes scratching, scraping, catching in bewildered rhythms. Snap. Cut. Slice.

I see now that they draw their torture in screwed up blueprints, and I let the music of that rest easy in my mind. Is this the homecoming that seduces inside my chest? Strange that I feel safer here than I have ever felt.

I’ve wandered too long in dead auction houses. Too many bidders. Too many defeats. Too many white flags. Ideas are dead. Books are dead. The zombies are already here. Words stream live into a billion minds. And on nights like this the birds scream so loud, that they make no sound at all.

© 2017 jac forsyth

Advertisements

The anatomy of angels

When I was fourteen, I saw an angel. It was likely 8 feet tall. And looking at it was like looking at the sun.

I wake at 2.30am. Someone is shaking me, asking me about canons. I don’t remember. ‘What would it be like, to meet an angel?’ they say. Their voice jumps in soundbites.

‘Hell, that would be a wondrous thing,’ I breathe words into darkness, but all those years ago I just ran. All the way back across the fields without stopping. And I slammed the backdoor so hard the windows in the front room rattled. Even Mam looked at me long enough to ask if I was okay.

I said, ‘Yeah, just been runnin.’ Feels like I’ve been running ever since. I never said anything about the angel.

The voice calls again, dead leaves on the wind, ‘Hush little one, remember the canons.’ But when I think about anything, all I remember is the last time I thought about it.

I search through an anatomy of corrupted files. Looking for answers when the damn truth was lost in the first telling. When I was fourteen, I saw an angel. And everything since then has been a lie.

Canons shake me awake again, I don’t even know I’m sleeping.

 

© 2017 jac forsyth

canons

Books in Times of Darkness

Dang, this short from Fictionspawn Monsters is so weirdly delicious.
Plus I get a mention in dispatches. Grins shyly.

Fictionspawn Monsters

books-in-times-of-darkness

The lighthouse shows way for lost sailors. The wind pulls the stone walls, threatening to tear them apart. He knows it won’t. These walls have held storms for a hundred years. This storm was harder, though. Much harder. The sea was higher than he’d ever seen it. The wind stronger. The thunder rumbled louder.

A flash. A loud crack. He looked up. Out of the window looking over the sea. There was no light.

He put down his book, took his little lamp and went out to the stairs. The tall walls were making threatening noises. The pharo tower was built for hard weather. He walked up the many stairs. He looked around in the light of his lamp, tried to find the failure. He remembered a book about evil lurking in the shadows.

He was not afraid.

Outside of the lamp room a cable had loosened. He could hear…

View original post 294 more words

You dance like Brendon Urie

Once, I found the truth in Kafka. Now you’re all I can think about. It feels like it’s gonna rain again. Rooftop to gutter. River to ocean. Currents don’t care about the colours of individuality. They take everything with them. But when I close my eyes, the plastic is always orange. And I thought. I hoped. That if I fell into that same oblivion. I would end up on a trash island with you. Tangled up in the six pack nooses. Our clarity mistaken for jellyfish. Somewhere else.

I felt the ripping of your absence before I met you. When we kiss, I know what it feels like to die. Turns out the sea was always the important bit. And when we’re alone you dance like Brendon Urie.

© 2017 jac forsyth

P1020887

The Vulture

Forget roses, come to the dark side. Check out this wicked post by the fabulously talented Nthato.

A-Scribe To Describe

February 14, 1847

carriage-ride-585056_1280

Squalid streets buzzed with soot stained faces,

Bedraggled coats pulled against winter paces.

Dim lampposts illuminate shadowed vagrants,

Unwashed skin, waste, stagnant water – the fragrance.

Dazzling amber light washes over lonely streets.

Many, this night, have succumbed to their sheets.

Sleek carriage clops smoothly towards a juncture,

Where I shall meet him. The Vulture.

Damsel in distress approaches in glistening carriage.

I wait in shadow so none see this unholy marriage.

At the juncture I dart into carriage quickly,

She cringes at my sight, I merely smile thickly.

The Vulture nauseates, not only from stench.

Scarred face hidden behind long dark trench.

Sinister grin of missing teeth is bared,

Within his presence I am truly snared.

The warmth of carriage thaws prickling fingers.

Freesia scent drifts about like Lolly’s singers,

Yet this is a woman of class, so I present a souvenir

It is packaged carelessly, slick and dripping…

View original post 39 more words

Snakes & Ropes

Dress my obsessions in poison. When the splintering came, it came quietly, and now I don’t give a damn about anything. I used to think it was compassion that burned in me, but turns out it was just a scaled up version of paradise. I ripped out the cellophane from envelopes and made a window but no matter what curtains I buy, it still stinks of anonymous mail.

You tell me I’ve figured out a thousand ways to filter the world, but I still can’t identify an assassin in the mirrored line-up. I’d stain them into glass perhaps? Bend them in flame, beat them into a shape I can use? The sickle drummers carve out the tune, but they don’t know shit about the melody. Empathy pretends to be about other people, but all it wants is control of the SatNav. Across the horizon, compassion raises an army, but I seem to be facing the wrong way. And I don’t see you anymore.

Wake up the band. Bring back the panic. In the darkness cellar, a snake waits to be a rope. It used to be the truth, now it’s just another altered reality. I light a match and try to remember what it was like to care if the whole damn world burnt to ash.

© 2017 jac forsyth

dsc04162

 

soundtrack (20170209)

Gaaagh!!! Check out the flippin genius that is, Crow. Can’t say anymore because I’ve read this and forgotten what my name is.

Words and Feathers

i’ve been skipping
through my music

one song after another
arranged like a handful
of thrown dice

waiting for the right chord

i wish i could play
an instrument
but i hate practicing

did you see the ending
to my movie
the real ending
not that crap they
played in the theaters
or on tv

there was no heroic victory
no parade

instead
a meteor crashed into my chest
you can only see it
on the director’s cut
special limited edition
blue-ray release

i’m sorry
it’s only available
in new zealand
for some reason

at some point
i start hearing the same
songs and wonder
if i missed something

View original post

The death of dragons

The dragon was more than motionless, it was lifeless.  If he hadn’t known better the hunter would have sworn it was a statue.  He snapped his teeth, taunting the beast, ‘The time of your tyranny is finally over!’ he said, swishing his cape dramatically. He’d rehearsed this several times in front of a mirror and wasn’t going to let a bit of dragon glamour put him off.

In a small, lake encrusted clearing beyond the cave, a group of anxious looking people had gathered.  They’d heard tell of the traveller’s quest to kill the dragon and were desperately concerned for his welfare.  Some of the younger ones had also brought their phones, secretly hoping for an elicit #hellfire.

Back inside the cave, the dragon didn’t say anything.  Not even when the hunter flicked a rope over its great neck and pulled it tight.

‘To be honest, I expected more,’ the man hauled himself up onto a rough ledge, securing a chain to the binding before clamping the locks shut. ‘The fearful tales were pretty fearful.’ He jumped down, scooping up an elongated weapon from his rattling caravan, ‘But then I fear that the truth of dragons always gets lost in the… fear.’  He cursed his last minute choice not to pack a thesaurus.

The dragon didn’t answer him.  Not even when the Teflon clad hunter touched the tip of a surface to air missile to its sparkling belly.

‘I’m not going to lie, this will hurt you far more than it will hurt me.’

Outside in the clearing, the people were restless.  It didn’t normally take this long for a fry up and the apple core of their anxiety had sprouted several saplings of curiosity. A spectacularly moustached man peeped around the cave entrance, ‘Everything okay in here?’

‘Behold!’ the hunter gestured like a late night shopping channel host, ‘Your great foe is easily subdued by my manly skill.’

‘Right…’ the man twirled his moustache because it had its own Twitter page, ‘only some of the children are asking if they can have a photo.  When it’s all over… obs.’

The dragon didn’t interject with an amusing riddle.  Not even when several of the increasing number of innocent bystanders gave it an encouraging thumbs up.

‘Um, sure.’  The hunter had been growing a beard since 1993, he fumbled uneasily at the wispy outcrop occupying his chin, ‘I’ll just finish this Hellspawn off and the…little dudes can take as many Selfies,’ he quietly congratulated himself, ‘as they like.’

The dragon didn’t make a sound.  Not even when the tip of the rocket launcher rebounded off the cave wall and exploded like a disappointing advert for season 8 of NCIS Los Angeles.

The hunter didn’t make much noise either.  Although he did make a sort of squishy, hissy sound as what was left of his underpants hit the lake outside.

The people clapped.

‘Ah, hunters and their ego,’ the dragon said, shooing away a pale curtain of smoke with one of the man’s arms before beckoning the children inside, ‘they always think you’re talking to them.’

dragon