[ occasional pirate ], [ scribbly fellow ], [ hat devotee ], [ improviser ], [ cat dad ], [ sometimes unhappy in the brain ], [ AFOL ], [ consumer of eye-candy ], [ beer drinker ], [ enraged cyclist ], [ please talk to me about Transformers ], [ very bad at DIY ], [ enthusiastic duct-taper ]
As if ye couldn’t get enough pirate stuffed in ye ears – there’s even more from the fabulous folks at Flash Pulp. Not content to push out massive exciting pulp fiction epics (ye gods, the recent Blackhall six-parter!) the genius trio continue to pop out the magnificent magazine podcast Flash Cast more or less once a week.
Ye captain’s proud to contribute the odd yarn and twas only when countin’ with me numbers that I realised this was me seventh appearance in such gloried company! Recently re-scribbled and freshly illustrated it seemed a good time to record The Culinary Confession of Monty McBuboe for the pulp listeners.
If you haven’t already started listening to Flash Pulp then now is a fantastic time to start. Multiple read or listen story threads (now reaching heights of awesomeness), community chatter, Wikis and even an Android app. Gaargh, Flash Pulp is most definitely the mermaid’s fins.
Well after a week off work I’m calm and relaxed. How I long to return to that nest of idiocy which pays the bills. My main grievance? Apart from the staggering inability to plan… the enviable ability to trust the words of outsiders talented only in speaking to beguile the credulous.
No – it’s not a cult having a disproportionate effect on managment (actually there is an amusing and mildly shocking side story about religious groups but it can’t be explored here), rather it’s the work of those happy souls the consultants. They lie, dissimulate, speak hollow and nonsensical prose – all of which is magically converted into gospel truth (yeah I know, let’s not get into that irony) by the brain of a maniac. Sigh. At least they’re not being paid tens of thousands to tell us what we already know or don’t need to know. Oh.
So… some of these mini poems were written during a period of such stress. Enjoy!
If you fancy you can follow @shankanalia on Twitter too, or just wait for the ‘collected works’ to turn up here.
Run The Flagpole Up You
Already your buzzwords
Overwhelm my will,
Meaning diffuse and vacuously aspirational.
Must find the fount of bullshit in your skull.
Pity the Fool
Sweet tears of dismay
I pluck the sad dumb dew drop from your cheek
Only you could be so stupid
And expect my sympathy.
Your Opinion Matters
Gash in your face,
Words fall out
In a random order.
No one cares
About your funnel of rectal jabbery.
Some People Are Hard To Talk To
Do you understand the words I use?
Do they pierce your mind with meaning?
Does the brain sludge
In your thickened skull
Have a purpose?
Fountain of Despair
Fountain of despair
Hiding truth from view.
Geysers of lies
Drowning the facts.
Your puddles of misbelief
Condemn us all:
Skull surprisingly filled to bursting
With your tiny lizard brain.
Soon to face extinction
Your head’s on backwards
Or your brain’s in reverse:
If only we’d known,
If only you’d thought
Yesterday would have worked.
War came to the tiny island o’ Gibbelania. Exhibitin’ all the traits o’ the scornful stereotypes with which her rivals painted her people, they shrieked, hopped and babbled in fear. “Yarr” we cried in excitement as her castle walls fell to our cannons’ punchin’. “Zero mercy” had been declared by our patron and paymaster in this mission. Aye, we were in it for the doubloons – we owed a favour to the King of Tarsus and he’d see it repayed with the swash of our swords. Booty were also part of our enticement; a crocodile’s weight in gold on devastation of the town.
Changing from iron to incendiaries we rained flame upon the gibbering locals. Doubtless they’d offended Tarsus through their mangled speech – twas irritatin’ enough to hear ’em scream. Every dwellin’ of Gibbelania was afire and we considered our work complete and without setting boot to land, to boot. Feeling well pleased with ourselves we set sail for Tarsus and our shiny reptilian prize.
Gales whisked us to and fro about the sea, sending us twisted about the archipelago of Grim’s Basket, so named by the locals for the bastard creatures ye’re like to stumble across upon your doorstep when ye wake. Had I more wit about me I’d have delayed our passage but the allure of gold’s reliable in damping me caution. I regretted our haste when the first beastkins of the Basket pounced upon us.
Jealous of our life and freshish breath ghostly figures emerged from the sea and clawed at our timbers. Killing ’em were no option for us owing to their post-life states. Leadshot confused ’em though, shreddin’ their essence on the waves; the spirits fell behind us as we navigated the straits of the Basket. Me heart sank further as serpentine throats rose out of the rocky reefs, teeth snapping and hissing as we passed.
Now our fears’d come alive: the Morbid Serpent was a beast known to all seamen – tis the ‘cumulated memory of all those fallen to ye blade. Orange faced, spear-toothed with a hide of scales reflectin’ the faces of weeping and raging foes the creature snarled at me men – a head for each of us. Perhaps I’m less sensitive than some of me crew for rather than quail at the sight I merely loaded me whale gun and unloaded her spark-wise into the brute’s familiar patchwork skull. Quite what result I’d expected I couldn’t rightly say, but I’d certainly not imagined the meta-Morbid Serpent – a confusticated writhing of victimised serrpent flesh, turning its face inside out to reveal its own abused soul. Royally puzzled it bit off its own heads and collapsed in a swirling self-hating heap of ooze.
Suddenly smooth sea guided us out of Grim’s Basket and into the port o’ Tarsus. Twas most convenient and we fairly bounded into the King’s throneroom – makin’ clear twas to claim our prize, and definitely not to run away from the ocean. Unbeknownst to us the King had a range o’ pet crocodiles and he ushered only the smallest and unhealthiest runty lizard onto the scales for balancin’ against the gold. Virgil was the King’s name and I determined never to allow his name any sway in my future dealings – so it was that I waited till evenin’ to ensure his daughter suffered not from that burden.
Me heart sank like a man wrapped in chain. Never more would me nights be brightened by the babbling banality of ‘Jabbery’ Jackigan Samuels. Oh aye, he was an annoying fellow in his own way. Particularly when ye sought sleep and his endless tongue-flapping persisted into his snoozling drone. Quilts, pillows and sacks of gold merely muffled his ceaseless speech. Recognisin’ the special qualities of a fellow is me own special talent as pirate captain. This lad was one I could send into any sticky situation confident he’d either talk his way out or be permanently silenced; tis a victory either way.
“Unmentionable” is one of the many ways to describe The Fishwife’s Bra tavern and brasserie which skulked under the cliffs at Doompoint. Verucca-footed and syphilis-cheeked were the pockmarked profiteers who managed the local black market from her filthy corners. Why we’d chosen to trade with them’s a matter of debate with knives upon The Grim Bastard. Exit strategies from our arrangement we’d had several and all rejected for such frippery as the difficulty in persuading sharks to pose as night-maidens.
Ye matter was growing serious for the Doompoint Boys were well known for their violent treachery and unwholesome business ethics. Zen was not in their nature. Add to that the further difficulties into which Jabbery Jackigan had gotten us. By leaving the garrulous fellow on his own in their company we’d erred severely. Call me naïve if ye will but I truly thought that even Jackigan had the sense not to tell the bootleggers about our “other deal” with the King of Tarsus.
Deal with the devil it were – Tarsus had granted us privateer rights in his waters, provided we repaid him by occasionally uncloakin’ the viler bandits that troll in the shallow ends of the rock pool. Ever since that unfortunate affair where his son dressed up as a courtesan and slipped aboard our ship durin’ our special time we’d been in Tarsus’ pockets as well as his prayers. For my part I’d no love for these keel-juice men – our treasure trove was the greater for their loss.
Gaargh, but that damn fool with the flapping face had unveiled us as the King’s men. Hell broke loose when we arrived at the booty cave, the Doompoint Boys had sharp swords, pistols and mean faces pointed at us. In the froth of battle I accidentally set light to the bootleggers’ overproof rum which blasted ‘em out of the cave and into the sea. Jellyfish season was in so they’d no chance of swimming for it: they were trapped in that congealed sting-a-ling beast custard.
Kneeling by the shore was Jackigan Samuels still prattling to the bloated, numb and singed smugglers; next to him lay a length of chain. Like I said, me heart sank exactly like the man wrapped in chains with a stream of bubbles a testament to his inability to keep his trap shut.
Blood spurted into the air and rained down upon me freshly caulked deck. It was to be that kind of day. The sort of day where cutlasses flash in the sun and cannons boom in your ears. For too long we’d been playfully raiding the ships that left the port of Scuppenthorpe-on-Sea and had grown negligent of our security. As we lay in wait for yet another boat-ful o’ jewellery and fancy bread Admiral Kneehorn’s fleet snuck upon us from behind a used whale.
They quite spoiled me morning with their aggressive pre-coffee behaviour. Kneehorn was still smarting from the last slappin’ we gave him when we’d come across his flagship in dry dock for a barnacle-shaving. We’d been quick to bare our rears and waggle ’em fiercely. We followed that up with a volley of grape shot. Little harm was done but the affront had festered in his breast.
Three ships were all he’d sent for us. Calling ’em a fleet’s pushing the term somewhat but “a gaggle o’ boats” sounds less impressive. We were outnumbered and we lost a few moments debating the odds (not bad we reckoned). On our side was wit, skill and underhandedness (I’m never sure when to end such a term).
We punted ourselves past them and into a convenient fog bank as The Gilded Helmet, Kneehorn’s second favourite ship opened fire with her port cannons. They shredded the fog and smashed through the banisters young Fingerpickle’d spent hours painting. I’m sure it was the disappointment rather than the foot-long splinters that brought tears to his eyes.
Our surprising manoeuvre bought us precious seconds to wrap ourselves in the ocean’s claggy murk. If ye lack the experience o’ battle enfogged ye would likely prang the vessel on some rocky spit or the fangs of a terrifyin’ sea beastie. Twas precisely those dangers we sought for we were outnumbered, hungover and underhanded.
Kneehorn’s balls dogged us through the twists of mist. Gouts of fire ignited the wisps and the odd crewman as they struck home. It looked like me infamous ill luck was failing me – tis a sad day when ye cannot count on a Spiny Sea Badger to rise up and devastate ye dreams. The Gilded Helmet and her sister ship, Her Lady’s Loins were growing painfully close, each deft bob over the waves narrowed the gap between us.
At last we could weave no longer and the Loins dove into the sea’s groove and slapped smartly against The Grim Bastard‘s flank. The rattle and thunk of grappling hooks came next. Curse their cunning – they were too neighbourly to fire upon for the shatterin’ cannon blows’d shake us to pieces.
I bellowed for me men to draw arms. Pistolled and sworded we had but seconds before we were boarded. Me hook was in constant use deflectin’ blades and gougin’ eyes. The soldiers piled into a man barricade of swords, daggers and wood with nails in it, shots punchin’ men off their feet. Metal hacked into flesh like a maddened butcher, but there were no pies for sharks are happy to eat us raw. Mind ye, the flames that burst from careless gun play and powder caches toasted more than one crewman. Tis not known if the sharks disdained their meal or if they merely enjoyed it less.
Twas Mick who rolled out our special cannon Mr Boom from his hidden nest. He was always packed with incendiary joy and he did not disappoint, layin’ a swathe of explosive pitch across HerLady’s Loins. The conflagration cut off Kneehorn’s men from retreat and we cut ’em down as they choked in her nethersome smoke.
We cut loose the blazing vessel so she could swing out into the path of Kneehorn’s remaining boatly brace. With the smoke enhancing the foggy blur we rammed- almost intentionally into the Gilded Helmet, causing her to tip wildly oceanwards. It seemed for a moment as if she might recover her balance, but then I heard a cry from above – the sound of a Scotsman with wind in his kilt. Gaargh, twas Hamish McMuffin lendin’ his unenviable bulk to the bobbing craft. He swung across on a straining rope, his rolls of flab billowing like sails. His momentum flung him into the main mast which accepted him like a reed taking an elephant in the face. The Gilded Helmet sank beneath the waves.
We reeled in Hamish, a task for three men and an ox. Sadly we lacked the beast so it took half a dozen. All men who should have been in the riggin’ to spin us windwards and away from our final foe: The Cutty Mutt. Aye, she was looking reluctant to engage us, havin’ watched her sister ships succumb to our superior wit, swordsmanship and obesity. And yet she could hardly return to Kneehorn with her mast betwixt her legs. Nervously she veered away from the bubbles that marked the Helmet’s passing. We snarled and snapped at her safe on the deck o’ The Grim Bastard, taunting ’em with our words and manly revelations. Twas clear we’d raised their ire for the ship turned sharply as if she’d pulled a hard-anchor to trick us.
The Mutt curved towards us and yet continued her turn. Perhaps they’d pinned themselves into an anchored spiral. Twas as she sped by that we noted the soldiers screaming. And then we saw the vast pulsating tentacles with an uncommonly feathery grip on the mast that stretched across the deck and the crushed figures and down, muscular into the sea which frothed about the comb and beaky face of a beast most hideous. The ship roared by us and the monster Cocktapus Rex hauled it screeching and crunching beneath the waves.
Gaargh, I’ve long feared the chimerical brute whose origins I’ve heard spill from the lips of mutilated story-spinners into their ninth mug of ale. Aye, the mutant spawn of a cockerel swept out to sea and consumed by a pregnant octopus whose egg laying was violated by a deviant sea lizard. The result was Cocktapus Rex – feared for its hideousness, rage and hunger.
We offered our gratitude to the creature for its timely meal but we were keen to remain off his dessert menu. We hauled at rope and sail to swiftly capture what wind we could. We drifted at a disappointing and nail-gnawing pace from the foaming waters. Just before we re-entered the fog it raised its brightly combed head from the red-stained sea and cried its terrible cock-a-doodle of victory.
Our plan on making land was to spread the tale of how neatly Kneehorn’s miniature fleet was defeated, thus humiliating the admiral further and earnin’ us winks and pints from amorous and easily impressed bar wenches. Aye, we anticipated a triumphal return. Twas disappointing to emerge from the cloudy banks and be faced with a vengeful armada of Kneehorn’s ships. Gaargh, I feared we’d exhausted our reserves of bravery and fortune yet we fled into the fogginess nonetheless!
Gaargh! Ye captain’s thrilled to have been invited to guest compere for The Hellfire Harlots at the Nottingham Roller Derby team’s next Sailor Jerry Launch Party on Saturday 28th April at The Navigation.
I quote at ye from the event rather than spin fresh words instead:
The Hellfire Harlots present Mutiny & Mayhem launching our partner….ship with our 2012 sponsor the wonderful Sailor Jerry!
Also on the night we will have candy floss, stalls and more. Come and meet Nottingham’s mens Roller Derby team the Super Smash Brollers and sign up for some roller derby action!
Buy your tickets in advance and be entered into our prize draw to win (what else!?) a delicious bottle of Sailor Jerry Rum.
Tickets are £4
Special discount for roller girls and guys – just quote your derby name, number and league for £3.50 entry!
On Sunday last I was invited out to play at The Golden Fleece (an epic and excitin’ notion) by the ever glorious Misk Hills Mountain Rambler. I thought I might just do the odd story and mainly feared being lulled into some singing which would have injured the ears of all. Instead the charming Will from I’m Not From London asked me if I’d like to compere! So I did, and read tales. In truth my compereing was mainly just berating hecklers and introducing the remarkable musicians with whom it was an honour to share the stage. So I thought I’d show ’em off to ye here. All photographs are by the omnipresent and omnimarvellous Daniel Whiston – check him out here.
The Reverend Daniel Wright & Sister Stevie
St. John The Gambler (Townes Van Zandt)
By: Daniel Wright
Misk Hills Mountain Rambler
Did You Ride Up The Snake In The Rain?
By: Misk Hills Mountain Rambler
Gaargh, a short while ago I bought a fancy new microphone recording contraption and have been cheerfully allowing it to hoover up me word noises. Most of it’s going on the reverbnation.com\captainpigheart page but such is the fun and greatness of Flash Pulp I thought it would be cool to sort of premiere the stories in their Flash Casts whenever they find a gap to fill in their diverse schedule. Well here’s the next one: