Sir Bramley Facespierre, master of the immaterial arts reflects on a life of conflict and deceit in his twilight years. He is attended in his manor by Bronzewick, his long-suffering servant.
Sir BF “Vanquished are mine enemies, at long last.”
B “Well done sir.”
Sir BF “Exterminated with extreme prejudice and elegance.”
B “Your powers are ever impressive sir.”
Sir BF “Zealously have I slain those who mocked me and scattered their playthings in the mud.”
B “And we are both grateful and worshipful sir”
Sir BF “Bronzewick, do I detect a faint note of sarcasm in your otherwise obsequious tone?”
B “Considering the awe-inspiring depths of your insight into the minds of man, sir, I would be astonished if such a thing fell beneath your notice. Sir.”
Sir BF “Doubtless a mind such as mine is indeed proof against deceit.”
B “Everyone says so sir.”
Sir BF “Fulsome praise indeed, and wholly merited.”
B “God himself would warm you with his approbation sir.”
Sir BF “Have I ever told you how I came into possession of my powers?”
B “If I may sir, I do have an awful lot of household duties to accomplish this morning.”
Sir BF “Just a moment Bronzewick, this will take but a moment.”
B “(Kill me now).”
Sir BF “Look out beyond those trees – over the horizon.”
B “My sir, what an uncommonly attractive view.”
Sir BF “Oh Bronzewick, ever is your mind fastened to the mere surface of things.”
B “Please sir, I have dusting to attend to.”
Sir BF “Quell your anxieties Bronzewick, I shall reveal all; we are all made of the same dust – its presence on baubles can surely matter little.”
B “Rarely is a servant so blessed with such an elightened and generous employer.”
Sir BF “So, one Tuesday or perhaps Thursday in a June long ago I located-“
B “-through wit, intuition and mastery of the practical arts-“
Sir BF “Unless you cease your interruptions I’ll never manage to relate to you my secrets – oh, I see.”
B “Very good sir, now if you don’t mind I’ll be about my spoon polishing.”
Ho there mates. As ye know, ye captain’s tireless in filling me time with diversions both trivial and rum-oriented. In particular this week has been prodding at the music website ye may know as Reverbation. Tis a place o’ no little joy. I’ve had much fun readin’ me yarns live at Pub Poetry and at The Maze, but there’s vast gaps between opportunities for a lazy fellow such as meself. That said I’ll be babblin’ at the Upload Music Festival at The Rescue Rooms on Saturday 31st March and the Nottingham roller-derby team The Hellfire Harlots have been kind enough to book me for one of their events at the end of April. So in the meantime I thought it might be fun to share me tales with ye in their natural format – straight into ye ears. It might lack a certain amount o’ alcohol and the boisterous atmosphere of ye tavern but hopefully ye’ll forgive me simply drinking alone.
Reverbin’ about ye brain
Ye site’s a place o’ music promotion and allows musicians and spoken word ‘artists’ (I struggle to descrive meself as an artist without self-mocking chucklery) to stick songs and audio boblets up on the web for your enjoyment. If ye fancy checkin’ it out, mayhap becoming a fan and even sharing it with ye pals I’ll be ever in ye drinking debt. There’s also a vast array o’ quality music on there too, so ye should explore and find a tune to fit ye mood.
Ye can also listen to the Cold Cold Night Adventure with this fancy button right here:
Victory for pirate-kind
So far I’ve uploaded The Orthodontic Odyssey (as heard on the oft praised Flash Pulp) and A Cold, Cold Night Adventure. Expect more to follow! I’ve no idea whether this is a good plan or not, but ye thought’s’ll be appreciated as always. Mayhap we could try a Read-Along-With-Ignatius for them as wish to *cough* improve their piratical accent…
Also, and givin’ me a certain amount o’ pleasure is that I’m currently ranked #1 in the UK National Spoken Word charts. Admittedly tis by virtue o’ bein’ but one of only four or five UK spoken word artists on ye site…
Once more me heart rebounds with pride from me captivating ribcage. Aye, the folks at Flash Pulp have been kind enough to include one o’ me tales in their most recent FlashCast. Tis a short one this, The Dancing Adventure which takes the form of an alphabetical game; mayhap ye’ll be able to tell.
Tis the usual quality FlastCast with much pulp chattering and fine contributions from Jeff Lynch, ‘Doc Azrael’ by Doc Blue, Three Day Fish‘s film reviews and so much more. Tis like finding a lost barrel o’ rum with an old friend in it.
The third tale I ever wrote down (under the Captain’s keen and rum-filled eye) was The Chelonian Adventure. It’s a sweet tale of lost pirates being menaced by a giant turtle. There are some of my favourite characters in it, such as Kanagawa, he of the mysterious East and an early pre-No Handedness version of the ever-popular No Hands Mick. I like it, but I’d never done an illustration for it. RESOLVED! Hope you like it.
Hark! Can ye hear the turtle’s moan?
As an added bonus, when binging with my new microphone I persuaded the Cap’n to record it for ye aural benefit. It’s always been a fun one to read at events, so hopefully you’ll adore it. That’s here too:
Ah such fun, spewing bile into the endless depths of the internet. It’s good for the soul, probably. Sure, some people think you should hold it all in, tight to the inside of your ribcage until you feel like screaming. Then you find that you are screaming, holding a knife or a gun to the head of someone whose innocence is questionable. Far, far better to unleash it through face or fingers as immediately as possible.
There’s a special joy in being angry and bending it into vicious words. Such fun. Even better when people you know get paranoid and wonder if the poems are about them. They’re not (*whispers* “they are”).
Maybe you won’t enjoy them – that’s fine, don’t worry about it. To be honest I don’t really want to have to write them.
If you fancy you can follow @shankanalia on Twitter too, or just wait for the ‘collected works’ to turn up here.
Of waste flesh
Bags as full as heads are empty
Jumped Up Temp
You do my job;
I’ll do yours.
You don’t have a job,
So I’ll do them both.
Master of the scam.
Why don’t you go?
Why won’t you die?
Too stupid to grasp
Your unwinding organs,
Too stupid to see your puddling blood.
Can your stupidity transcend flesh death?
Fuck you and fuck your stupid plan.
An insult to intelligence
You make me want to weep
Tears of punch and steel
Revisions of blood:
Of blithering inconsequence
Fills me with dread.
Your purpose is uncertain,
Plagued with doubt,
Yet you forge on.
Let’s do some stuff,
Let’s all cook,
Let’s all paint,
Let’s just do whatever we think
What a fucking mess.
Nice paint cake.
Mysteries of Management
You, you’re just some guy
I don’t know why
You’re talking to me
You don’t know what you’re doing
So why, oh why must I comply?
I don’t think I trust you.
Ow what’s that?
It’s your knife
In my back.
I don’t trust you.
Freak out and blame the rest
Your enemy’s the inside of your head
Water’s cold when it slaps ye in the face, wettin’ ye features and dragging ye into its arms. Xanthic fish darted about me, evadin’ me splashy bubbles. Yellow they were, and reminded me o’ how I’d come to be sinkin’ face first into the deeps. Zesty indeed had been the feast prepared by our chef, Monty McBuboe. As we’d grown terrifiyingly loose in the tooth during our voyage about the horn of Nepal, I’d made sure to insist that our citric stocks be refilled when we slapped into land once more. Benevolence was the name o’ that harbour, though she were far from’t.
Cautiously our vessel ploughed through their rude pier and came to rest in the general grocer’s. Damned if they weren’t the least friendly o’ folks whose livelihoods we’ve crushed on a poor landin’. Every one of ’em was in uproar about some matter, whether it were the state o’ their matchwood fishin’ craft, the now open-air market or the grim fate of the orphan crab lads who’d dwelled beneath the pier. For my part I can take such discourtesy only so far, and then I feels obliged to retort ye see. Gashin’ and slashin’ we went, till ye ornery peasants were quieted. Havin’ asserted what the lack o’ manners’ll get ye we appropriated what items we needed for our onward journey. I selected for meself a rare rum or two and left Monty to do the quartermasterin’.
Just as we were to take our leave a wench presented herself – not as a gift, mind ye (which somewhat spoiled me mood) but as a way o’ payin’ off our supposed debt for esposin’ the weakness o’ their portly structures. Keryn were her name, a brooding and malign creature proffered to us at the end of long pointy sticks; I distrusted her immediately, for ye should trust no one who cannot rightly spell their own name. Lest I should seem rude meself I accepted the lass, and promised to convey her to a land of her choosin’. Me next minutes were involved in the sniffin’ o’ them sharp waxy treats that Monty secured on deck, and I quite lost track o’ the mispelled maiden. Neatly we hauled ourselves out from the rubble o’ their town and back into the scurvy sea. Over the horizon and far from where ye enemies can spot ye, that’s me motto.
Perhaps I should have reviewed our inventor more carefully, for tea time brought with it some surprises. Quince be spat into the ocean – for tis lemon that makes the finest tart, and Monty with his dusty top scrapin’s made the finest tart on the ocean. Readyin’ me dessert knife I readied me gullet for its tangy treat, suspectin’ nothing for I’d made no notice of the wench hangin’ above me in the dark. Suddenly I caught her reflection in me blade as she pounced, teeth bared and eyes ablaze.
Twas then I recalled the reason for mistrust that ought to have preceded her mauled monicker. Usually ye savage Murther-Kin o’ Nethery Hatchet sought me out on land for the offences I’ve caused ’em. Vanity’s a cruel mistress to their assassins and their greatest weakness so I slapped the tart in her face, followed by me cake blade. Well I’d reckoned without her havin’ a suicide powder tooth ignited by the touch o’ citrus, though it did explain her fearful breath as I was blown backwards into the waiting sea.
Twixt Earth and Moon lie creatures whose existence I’d never even suspected. Unless you peer upwards through a device wrought by the dark astronomical arts you’d never perceive them. Vile, amorphous shapes loose in the Earth’s halo, sheltered by the mystic shroud the Moon casts over them. Wizened travellers from the birth of time, they lie in wait about our tiny hub of life; they wait to consume it.Extolling the virtues of Nethersight the priesthood of Tzazanoth hold rituals ghastly and foul at the Lunar apex. “Yield to our influence, embrace the sacred blinding hood and have your will sapped and fed to the masters”. Zealotry drives them and their combination of archaic speech and sensory deprivation appealed to me.
After I succumbed to their ideals I found myself clad in black, kneeling in a ring about their temple enclave. By midnight we were cold and bored, the other devotees and I. Calling for the undead gods of a dimension twisted between our own and the death of the universe was tiring.
Despite the lack of response from hours of incantation and exhortation the Tzazanothian priesthood’s spirits remained high. Ever optimistic of summoning the end of the world they bade us rise and bear flaming brands. “Fling them moonward” they cried with their slackened faces and blazing eyes. Galling though it is to admit now I too tossed my torch into the air. I was stunned when it hung there, seemingly lodged in some invisible structure. Just as I was thinking of slipping out the back too.
Keys were produced by the priests, great horned pieces of filigreed iron which they raised and twisted in the air. Light of a dark and ethereal nature rained down on us like burning rainbows. My eyes burned with unnatural hues, men fell screaming to the ground, their minds unable to grasp the palette of the undead gods. Near the heart of the temple formed an apparition: a twisting figure of wings and writhing tentacles which obscured a fanged skull and hungry leer.
Obsidian blood spattered over us, soaking the ground, rising to our knees and hardening the portal into the undead realm. Perhaps it was then that the reality of the ritual finally hit me – I could not be party to this welcoming of death. Quickly I leaped for the nearest key which had become ossified in the air and with a savage twist, snapped the head off it.
Really, that was the diametric opposite to my intention. So the gateway could not now be closed; gargantuan forms laughed at us their horrid laughter echoing like the death of stars through time. That was my part in the revenance of Earth my friends, and that is why we huddle now in this cellar as Tzazanoth’s hordes scratch at the door.
Aye, ye reads right me beloved fans – all four of ye. Should ye wish to escalate from the pleasant reading of tales to the sheer salty thrill of hearing ’em fresh from the sea horse’s mouth then I invite ye to join me at the Upload Music Festival. Tis on Saturday 31st March at the Rescue Rooms in Nottingham. It’s an event for theWhen You Wish Upon A Starcharity.
I’ll be appearing throughout the evening with pirate stories between musical acts – of which there are many and marvellous at that. Me mates at MissImp Nottingham Improv Comedy‘ll be there as well and we’re doing a set in the VIP Lounge at 7pm. It’s all for a good cause and looks set to be a fantastic night of music and entertainment. It’s a very busy weekend for me – Friday night’s our monthly improv show at The Glee Club – this month featuring one of New York’s finest Upright Citizens Brigade performers, Brandon Gardner. Saturday’s an all day workshop with the fellow and from there straight to the Rescue Rooms to start reading stories at 5pm! I very much doubt I’ll be able to speak on Sunday.
A bit of Pigheart – The Cold Cold Night Adventure on Reverbnation:
Well today’s been a bastard. The continuous geometric redesign, the geriatric mastication of ova, the sheer gullibility and ignorance… Ach. Much stupidity on a grand yet disappointing scale. Accidentally taking the cold & flu capsules that have caffeine in them on top of sleeping tablets produced a night of astonishing fucktuckery which in no way prepared me for a day in the office. Rage ensued. My highlight was declaring that I wished to clothe the building in napalm, oh and singing. Soon I shall pass out.
This one was slightly too long to fit in a tweet:
Julie Christie Blues
Lions and kittens and fucktards with wings,
Your giblets all ripped out and dangling on strings.
These are a few of my favourite things.
Then I remember you’re dead in a ditch
You ancient and evil fiendish old bitch.
And then I don’t feel so bad.
If you fancy you can follow @shankanalia on Twitter too, or just wait for the ‘collected works’ to turn up here.
Cut Around The Clock
1 o’clock, 2 o’clock, 3 o’clock SLASH,
4 o’clock, 5 o’clock, 6 o’clock SHANK,
7 o’clock, 8 o’clock, 9 o’clock STAB,
10 o’clock, 11 o’clock, 12pm SLICE.
You’re gonna bleed around the clock, and die.
Your face is
The shape of
The things that
Shapes my hand
In a sympathetic
The last thing your
Children will ever see.
How needy you are.
Your need exceeds your wit.
Your need exceeds
My desire to assist.
I want to forget you.
These are great
For irritating playmates.
If they’re testy,
You may need bait.
Death lust upon me
Once more your steely embrace.
Spattered moron on the floor.
Gut and paste,
Taste your pain,
Feel your wounds.
Hateful squealing mass
Stop in the street
I’ll mow you down
Impinge on you.
Oh fat lady
Are you smuggling a whale in your arse?
Were you proportionate within
Your ovaries would be hockey balls.
Yes indeed, if you haven’t been reading the fantastic pirate stories of Gideon de Foe then you really need to catch up sharpish. The Pirates! In An Adventure with Scientists! is only one of many witty, whimsical, silly and swashbuckling adventures he’s written. The Pirate Captain is a splendid fop, obsessed with his lush beard and ham. I heartily recommend them. They are definitely my kind of pirates, though there is somewhat less whoring than with Captain Pigheart. And now it’s a film! Made by the geniuses at Aardman who brought us Wallace & Gromit this is going to be amazing. They’ve rammed it with a chorus of voice cast including Hugh Grant, Salam Hayek, David Tennant and Brian Blessed. Gaaargh!
Gaargh, these be the words of me ship’s cook, the ignoble Monty McBuboe, muttered in’s sleep. He’s no letterin’ of his own, nor digits suffice to the task. Proud leper and gourmet of the rat-infested, weevil-ridden ship’s stores he revealed to me his hopes and fears while snorin’ around his necrotisin’ tongue.
Twas a night o’ summeritude, and ye Grim Bastard lolled in a peaceable wake. I meself dozed in me hammock, or rather limb-net. Ye see the fro-in’ and to-in’ o’ the ship can quite disassemble me once common figure, and ye nettin’ keeps it all close by for ye ease of glue and staplin’.
I were awoked by a thin wail what pierced me aural tunnel. I did me limb count and left the galley (in which I sleeps, for ye mates’ve fear o’ inhalin’ me leprosity whiles they yawns). On tip toe (for that’s what I got) I crept to the store-room door. Tis locked, to keep ye rogues without; within lies ye foodstuffs and ye grog. Ye keyhole be sufficient to admit me eye. She’s been loose some months now, and with a teaspoon I can dislodge her orb an’ so I popped ‘er through the lock.
The insides were as dark as an angel’s orifice, for though shadowed twere shot through with flashes of a violent green. The pulses was quite blindin’ to me dislocatered peeper, so I jerked ‘er back into me socket. With a bit o’ fiddlin’ I got it rightways though me blinkin’ had some drag. Luckily me forefinger (I’ve only the left left) had recently whittled itself bony, an’ were an ideal skeleton key.
I’d no choosin’ but to leave the key in the lock, but the door swung gently into the slowly rottin’ fish with which I’d be brewin’ some fine Brain Tenderiser in a half-moon or so. Ye glow warmed me further’n the season’d managed and ye shrill whistle were tauntin’ me again. I follered the fine flautistry to a barrel under the cockle-sack.
Though I does ye chefferin’ hereabouts, tis Barry who’s ye quartermaster and does our shoppin’ when we’re at anchor. O’ course he’s a weakness for the dresses and’s been known to expend ye ration pence and return to the ‘Bastard cased in sequins with feathers in’s hair. So the findin’ o’ mysteries and inedibles be no surprise an’ rarely bars the makin’ of soups.
This cask’d the look o’ luxuries and the sparkle brought to me mind one o’ Barry’s finest deck shows as Sharon; twirlin’ and twinklin’ to the siren song. Ye exotic yellow surface were patterned with neat swirly sigils and cracks leakin’ with the emerald ooze which was soakin’ up into the sacks an’ parcels around it. Arr, a bit o’ gribble’ll merely soften ye vittles but I’d not want ’em to spoil so I hauled the barrel out and over the side.
With a loaf o’ bread I mopped up ye excess slime for the mates’re oft off-put by the sight o’ such squeamies. The loaf I returned to ye bread bin for we were down to our last few. The whistlin’d passed so I returned to me bunk, lickin’ the oddly tasty green sauce off me odd-matched fingers.
Twas some days later when in me increasin’ desperation for somethin’ edible to pop in ye suppery gruel I were clamberin’ about the storeroom and came upon a startle – a throbbin’ heap o’ fresh peppers, radiant with health. Surroundin’ them was a ring of muscular-lookin’ cockles which bounced in a menacin’ way when I loomed upon ’em. I takes no nonsense from me grub and twattled ’em with a ladle into a pot for broilin’. Ye peppers looked right juice-some and destined for the captain’s table.
All day I bragged o’ the meal to me noble cap’n and the delight’s his face’d experience before the night were out. Ah, how I loves to overcome his innate scepticism. I must admit ’tis rare that I succeed an’ that night far from bucked ye trend.
Me galley fairly hummed with culinary froth, and the aromas of a dozen arguably gangrenous ‘gredients. Almost all of me digits’d survived the dicin’ and escaped the pot. All was traversin’ the cookery ocean smoothly until the first cockle exploded out of the pot, punchin’ a hole through the wall. I heard a cry and a distant splash; I turned back to me work. The rest of the ballistic bivalves soon left me a new colander and a gap in me menu.
I turned me favoured blade to the peppers. Arr, their red flesh parted before the knife’s virtue; it made me scrofulus skin itch – tis me art and me craft to cook. And yet when I peered at its innards ye familiar glow fell on me face and that eerie wail resumed from me nighttime wander.
Ye could but imagine me amazement, ‘cept I aims to describe it to ye – within the crimson peach lay an homunculus pepper, singin’ its little bell heart out. Each of I penetrated with me fruit-sword held another of the vege-warblers. They were a delight, their chorus near made me fingernails re-grow and me septum cease its wobblin’. Enchantin’… The magic was shattered by the bellow of my hungry captain. Full well dilemma’d – the cockles’d cocked off and me sweet pepper main dish was serenadin’ me. The cockles I could swap with octopus eyeballs or the cartilage in me knees, but the taste of a pepper’d no compare.
I served up to me captain them darlin’ pepper mites. The grillin’ stopped their singin’ and me one remaining tear duct overflowed to salt ’em just right. The meal was a success but I could scarce stop the tears that coursed down me right cheek. I hobbled off to bed where I both celebrated and commiserated with meself with a tot of Brain Tenderiser.
Arr, I cannot now look a pepper in the eye for memory of their song. Ye cockles returned by the by and the cupboard whence they now dwell is forever denied me.
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