Friday, October 17, 2008


The trouble is that I'm angry. That's the trouble. In case you were wondering. I'm always planning to write a thing or two down, but I've been having a problem with this giant seething pile of tooth-gnashing, tail-lashing, cold-eyes-of-the-sociopath rage. Nothing wrong with that, you might think. A bit of good righteous anger can make for fine reading. A perspicuous and witty teardown of the global whatever. Or some satisfyingly hysterical ad hominem, perhaps. FUCK YOU, FUCKFACE has a kind of gritty assonance. A pithy consonance. A little effing alliteration. Plus "fuckface" is inherently funny, like pratfalls or right-wing tabloids. A goodie from my childhood was "dickweed". I must revive this tasty epithet.

But no, sadly, my anger takes the unattractive form of being shrill and bereaved, loud with the nauseating rising cadence of the thwarted entitlement complex, drenched with the aggravating resignation of the hard-done-by, the stompy-footedness of the It's Not Fair brigade. Fuck you, cancer. Fuck you, heart disease. Fuck you, death, and your today, tomorrow, forever. Fuck you, vindictive petty power players whose agendas serve only your tiny dick fiefdoms at the price of the heart's blood of others. Fuck you, money, and your thoughtless control of everything. Fuck you, emotional infants with intimacy issues so pervasive that the burnt tang of your combined neediness and pathologically maintained distance hangs on my clothes long after you are gone. Fuck you, rusty chicken-wire cage of identity politics tearing and scratching at our hands while those on the outside assure us repeatedly that it isn't there.

Wail, wail.

But tomorrow, the tail-lashing beast goes into pit where we point and laugh at it. I'm going to tell you a story about San Francisco, and pencils, and an opera singer at the airport. I promise.

Monday, March 03, 2008


Last Thursday:

(1) My brother's second daughter was born.

(2) I submitted my PhD.

Welcome to the new world!

Thursday, January 24, 2008


So, ladies and germs, things are not optimal chez Xtin at the moment. The new year has failed to live up to its New Start, New Me promises and so Pluvialis and I have agreed to plump for the Chinese New Year, which will be one of the Rat. Bringer of material wealth but also pestilence and death. Excellent. Better to be rich and poxy than poor and sterile, I always say.

I, did, however, laugh out loud a minute ago upon discovering that the title of the new Bond flick is: Quantum of Solace.

Um ... what?

Bwahahahaha! Oh, that is just so magically, operatically bad. It is bad like mayonnaise is good. It is bad like novelty socks with an expensive suit. Bad like salesmen who say "utilise" and "my colleague and myself" a lot. So expansively, generously, exhilaratingly bad.

God, I fucking love it.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

New converse

Stage One: My feet.
Stage Two: THE WORLD.

I also bought a pair of classic Dr-Who-style optical white with the red and blue trim, for when I tire of global domination and feel like being a Time Lord.

Retrospective addition to Xtin's New Year's Resolutions 2008: BLING THE FEET.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Aspects of the interior

I haven't been outside lately. The weather is cold and dishwatery and I feel like a prey animal carefully scraping damp soil around the front door. The horizon is lines of books, the poinsettia slowly dropping its bracts, sheaves of drafts barely awry for I hate rectangular things to be at an angle but not so much that I square off 350 pages of dog-eared A4.

I wander the house, idly fending off the wild entropy of houses, pile a dirty-snow heap of whites, wash a dish, a cup, another cup, another cup -- what have I been drinking? An immaculately parrot-eviscerated raisin shell behind the bedroom door. He sits damply on my shoulder beaking his scapula after a bath in the kitchen sink, fanned red tail and temperature-testing tetradactyl toes ginger under the tap, soundtrack close-packed oscilloscope squeals of delight watery glub-glub trills in the stream, roused wet feathers the sound of old paperbacks thumbed.

A late Christmas package comes from my brother. A knife, letter stamps, paper and ribbons, a necklace of wood stained red. I hold the knife in my hands --- the gift one should never give but that we have exchanged many times in our lives, the eye-crinkling, lung-filling euphoria of the fine blade. It is a cleaver, medium and squattish for vegetables, honeycombed hollow japanese handle a miniature steel catacomb. I roll the ribbons around my fingers. The bird puts triangular punches into glossy white paper. How I miss him, tall dark-eyed piece of myself who reaches into my mind and mails it to me wrapped in ribbons like tropical birds.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Once upon a time

Once upon a time, there was a psychic blackbird who lived near a very twisty old yew tree. Among other things she'd found out that determinism was false, when GOOG was going to break USD500, and where the local sparrowhawk hung out. Being psychic was sometimes very good indeed, but mainly it sucked, which is pretty much what you'd expect.

She ran a little fortune-telling booth under the yew tree, where her customers could enjoy the arils while they waited. One day, a giraffe came to see her. He was a very brainy theoretical physicist with diffuse ambitions and many failed love affairs. They looked at one another, brown-eyedly.

The blackbird saw that she was going to fall wildly in love with him. But that was all she saw. This is why being a psychic sucks.

She sighed.

The technology stuff is overbought, she said. Go for commodities.

Moral: futures are for the stockmarket.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year haiku

A bird, a man, a
boy bravery chokes patience
water in my lungs