Drabble Blog

I recently found out that the 100 word flash-fiction/micro-stories I have been working these past three years have an actual name – “Drabble”.

The term is derived from a 1971 Monty Python book. ’nuff said!

There’s even a website to prove it.

So, ever at the rebellious cutting-edge, my newest piece – a seasonally appropriate monologue – is a variant-drabble form I’ve just invented.

It’s called a “Faux-Drabble”.

That is a piece that could pass for a drabble, but is actually 15 or so words out.

And so, I present to you Bella Basura’s First Faux-Drabble.

Cold Edges

My winter consciousness feels bound within cold edges.

I am double-thermal long-johns.

And still my ankles are frozen blue.

They  descend into hypothermic dysfunction, squishing like icy jelly when I stand on them.

 My knees feel chilly. And my elbows.

I can’t leave the house, enraptured in my unnatural attachment to a radiator. “I love You. I want to envelope you. I want to lie all over you”. I say the same to my fur-covered hot water bottle. Hot chocolate and fleecy throws seduce me. Candles and a ‘real’ fire screen-saver on my laptop too. Hygge hygge hygge my arse.

Green and pleasant, England’s winters are mild, but still my consciousness always feels bound within cold edges.

Bella Basura January 2019

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Short Change Short Bread

Okay! So Facebook tells me I have 486 fans who haven’t heard from me for a while…Hey There! I’m going to make it up to you with this dinky little flash fiction I wrote on X-mas Eve…

Muntjac Deer at my Birdfeeder December 2018

Muntjac Deer at my Birdfeeder December 2018

 

Short Change Short Bread

It would be wrong to say that I hate Christmas. It’s Xmas that I hate.
I make this distinction based solely on the evidence of one article on the internet which may or may not have been written by enthusiatic christians, or even xians. They define Christmas as a celebratory festival for the birth of The Christ. They call X-mas – the X-kiss of Mamon.
It’s pitting mercy against greed, Jesus versus Santa, like in the South Park Episode.
So, I say it’s X-mas, the knee-jerk consumerist spending frenzy of kiss-mamon-mas that I hate.
I seen it when I go into town in December, I see people herding the streets in viral catatonias, bleeping out their data, maxing out their plastic, all sightless under the glamour of a single minded compulsion to engage in monetary exchange.
And if I’m honest, I seen it start with Black Friday and now Cyber Monday, and then January Sales throughout December. Elongating the whole sordid orgy into a slow panting panicked climax  lasting several months. I seen people filming themselves in wide-eyed apoplexy as they clasp black boxed electronic trophies to their heaving breast, their mind’s eye fixated on X-mas. Mamon kiss my arse.
Rage. I seen them wander the halls of Grand Arcade Shopping Mall shedding psychic 50 pound notes, like autumn trees shed leaves. I seen it all, worse than the Night of the Living Dead.

So, I am writing this on Xmas Eve Morning contemplating my ill-advised quest into the city centre to use some gift vouchers on some new underwear (solid big knickers from M+S). I am standing stuck in an hour long queue in Marks staring at their Definitive Short Bread Collection, incidentally curated by some half-has-been you-tube culinary star. My eyes jerk among the Skottie Dog shaped gift boxes, floribundances of tartan and stags horns, the wobbly Ben-Nevis-picture-postcard topped tins, the basics economy line wrapped in vegetable-derived bio-degradable cellophane. I feel transfixed with confusion. I feel like I am falling forward into an infinite vortex. I am torn by the urge to spend all my money and a fear of debt that tugs at a cellular level. I am experiencing a strange psychic dissonance. I feel high. I feel high, like maybe a compulsive gambler feels during a horse race, like a sex-addict hunting out ever more repulsive porn, like shrodinger’s cat crouched in the gloom waiting for dinner time. The queue for the check out unfurls ahead of me, endless to a far unseen horizon. I haven’t mentioned the seasonal music pumping out. I will not mention the in-store music.
When suddenly a bell-clear voice, my own voice, rings out pristine inside my head. “But I don’t need any Short Bread”. I am swept back to my queuing reality. I feel sucked at and plucked at, unsteady as I realise that – No! I don’t need any fucking Short Bread. There will always be Short Bread, there will always be more Short Bread. Every Aunty in the UK brings Short Bread at X-mas. My mum brings Short Bread, in fact my Mum doesn’t leave the house in December without a tin of Short Bread tucked into the bottom of her Bag-For-Life. There will always be Short Bread. I don’t need to buy Short Bread.

It feels like silence falls around me, mouths move but no sound comes out, the queue to the checkouts, the altars of the mass of Mamon, surges and undulates like a mexican wave of wealth, a John Carpenter film in real-time. Except now I know I don’t need no Short Bread, I am freed from that spell.
Fortified with my newly realised knowledge I leap out from the queue, flinging my packet of over-priced knickers to the floor, witnessing aloud, let the spirit flow through me that I am a just conduit for the voice of his love, I call out loud in my favourite voice-“No! I will not kiss my arse with the Mamon-pants of Yule! No! No! I will not!”.

 

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Jonny Trilogy Part Three

A Last Poem For Jonny

Jonny Marvel's Head by Toby Ilsley 2018

Jonny Marvel’s Head by Toby Ilsley 2018

This is a room hung with grief
Swags of bombazine and
Weeping weeds wilting
Sick with perfume
There are no selfies
Nothing of us close friends sitting
Talking laughing weeping
Talking furiously to keep the madness
On the other side of the door
This is the place of the end
Doors curtained off
With dust-pleated damask
No social media here
Just straight talking
And jags of silence
So there’s nothing to show
for those times of grace
nothing to offer
to the land of Instagram
nothing to show
but I don’t want to leave here now
don’t want it to be
time to go now

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New Bella Basura posting

Maxine and Bella Merged - Bella Basura 2018

Maxine and Bella Merged – Bella Basura 2018

TOGETHER

Once long ago we were connected, all together, gathering in a circle, outward facing, covering each others backs. We were solid and safe in three hundred and sixty directions. We were whole wholesome together connected. But I don’t remember, do you remember?

And yet again eyes connect across canyons of misunderstandings. That must have been some other time.

We were our own human barricade, strong in limb, Amazonians, muscled women of plunder, not war, just necessity. Swooping in the dark, together, finger-wings tip-to-tip, touching. The storm comes around again flashing jolt and thunder-crack. Eyes meet and connect in metallic shadows, forked in lightening. But I don’t remember, do you remember?

I search your face for explanations, but your eyes don’t speak to me. Your facial expression caught in the frozen photographic moment, is remarkably composed, held peaceful and distant in placid compassion. Your eyes are numb they do not speak to me. Aloof in life, that’s me.

And yet again eyes connect across canyons of misunderstandings. That must have been some other time.

It must have been some other time, another place, it doesn’t look the same, it’s so different. Only your silent eyes are the same. I catch a glance into them and everything shifts, somehow slightly bigger. Your empty eyes are the constant axis through which consciousnesses turn through gyrations of immensity and I know we were connected, once long ago. But I don’t remember, do you remember?

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Sweet Surrender


Today I wanted to check I knew the difference between “Satsang” and “Darshan”, so I headed to my faithful old dictionary to look it up. My solid reliable “old skool” paper dictionary – three inches thick, bound in tatty blue faux leather, machine-blocked in brass-coloured foil, thumb-indexed A to Z, and fossilised stopped dead in its tracks when it was published in 1988.
When I write that out it sounds absurd, a counter-intuitive act of self-sabotage. Why didn’t I just go “google-satsang-meaning”? Easy as pie.
In my defence, it was early morning and I don’t use any electronic communication devices until mid-day because I am writing.
So I thumbed my way through my big old tome, with it’s foxed corners and cranky colophon. After several minutes I came fruitlessly to “Satsuma”. I slammed the book shut.
“google-satsang-meaning” I barked.

Bella Basura 2018

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Clutches of Love

By Dave Challis March 2017Clutches of Love is a new chapbook of my flash fiction that I am preparing for early next year, I thought I’d give you a taster with this brand new story below

Go Suck Lemons!
You sit there with the spilling pint tippling, dribbling down your trouser leg, and slurring you moan “Oh poor me. My life is so terrible. So traumatic. I’m so destroyed”. I pity you, so say something reassuring, something cheering, a glass half-full in the early afternoon, some everyday shaft of sunlight through the dust in the gloom of an unloved room.
You slam your half-empty beer on the bar and snarl personal insults at me, digging deep for intimate confidences, laying bare my private nightmares to the glare of the public bar, “And you don’t no nuffink” growled. I want to cry, your mates laugh, you plough on with this character assassination monologue.
Until I say “Go suck lemons!” and walk away.
And you shrink back , like a slug from a flame, and slurring you moan “Oh poor me. My life is so terrible. So traumatic. I’m so destroyed”.

Bella Basura December 2017

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Dream Theme 2

The second in a new blog series about dreams…

My Dream About Stevie Smith

I sat on the sofa, a blistering headful of ideas burning a hole in my skull, I am filling up and overflowing. I raise my arms up towards the east and I call out the name of my only patron saint,
my role model, my cultural mother, my meme mum.

In My Ethereal Stevie Smith Shoes Bella Basura 2017

In My Ethereal Stevie Smith Shoes
Bella Basura 2017

“Stevie Smith” I slowly begin to sound.
“Stevie Smith” Louder.
“Stevie Smith, I do call on you in my time of need”
And Stevie descended and we pushed our opened hands out to each other, pushed hard palms against each other and she poured her deep intrinsic poet-energy in through the pads of my fingers. A warmth growing through me.
A voice, my own voice, calls me
and whispers close to my ear “Wake up!”

 

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New chapbook in the pipeline

Beginning to think about a new chapbook of flash fiction to self-publish.
I am aiming for a february release,
and here is a preview…

Probably Inappropriately

By Dave Challis March 2017

When you done your tantric kundalini kali-spell on me I was lost enveloped in psychic love-haze, I was drawn, rising, filling, swelling emotions that confused me and had in the past lead to casually fucking someone.
Probably Inappropriately.

Warning bells went off somewhere in the distance and I felt us reflex, in unison, pull back, but stayed long hours, hung in giddy uneasy equilibrium, in circular psychedelic emanations, trident penetrates the sky.

Still. Still. Still.
Waiting, while unseen proto-cosmic arousals reverberate the air,
threatening to immanently unfold sudden into cataclysmic karmic collisions climaxing.
Still. Still. Still.

So we lay down on the bed, fully-clothed in the dull downpour afternoon. Clasped in yogic breathing intensely staring deep into soul-eyes we sank down dipped below the surface entwined long time waiting will you call.
Probably Inappropriately.

Bella Basura 2017

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Poem

I Got My Mole-Jaw Working Bella Basura 2008

Looking Askance
With a Nod to Brain Eno

Do something boring
Discard an axiom
Make a short circuit
Use unqualified people
Take away the elements in order of non-importance
Emphasise repetitions
Don’t be afraid of things because they are easy to do
Use filters
Reverse
Emphasise repetitions
Imagine the piece as a set of disconnected events
Always first steps
Always give yourself credit for  having more than personality
Emphasise repetitions
Always give yourself credit for  having more than personality
Emphasise repetitions
Emphasise repetitions
Retrace your steps
Name the sections
Consider transitions
Mechanise something idiosyncratic
Remove ambiguities – convert to specifics
Cascades
Emphasise repetitions
Tape your mouth
Cluster analysis
Ghost echoes
Emphasise repetitions
Lost in useless territory
Is it finished?
[blank white page]
What mistakes did you make last time

Bella Basura 2017

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Darling, when I think of you…

12. Salome

Salome by Pierre et Gilles Augmented photograph. 1991

Darling, when I think of you…
My skin tingles, hairs rise.
In my dry gummy mouth
I taste a metallic
Taint of terror.
In my mind
I see a red-flare distress beacon
Bloom glaring
In the empty dark sea night sky.
I hear klaxons ringing out
Harmonics of horror.
I smell the sweat of my own fear.
Darling, in truth,
I try not to think of you…
Too often.

Bella Basura
June 2017

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