The Man who walked backwardsFor thirty years, Praveen had only walked backwards.The Man who walked backwards by BeccaJS
Through the city, he spent every day pacing the streets making scribbles in his notepads. He didn’t pay attention to the confused expressions of passers-by anymore.
He didn’t care for the comments, the questions or even the accusations of madness. He heard all their theories to why and even their concerns to his ability to walk forwards.
He continued to walk on, backwards.
Sometimes people would join in and walk backwards alongside him. It wouldn’t take long before they’d give up, realising the art meant crossing roads and dodging lampposts. He’d glance at them pointing their smartphones at his face as they filmed him with fascination, sometimes breaking a smile to let them know he understood.
Sometimes he would answer their questions. He walked away watching their confused expressions as they tried to understand his answers.
He did explain to a journalist once. He told her he’d taken this vow thir
OverworkedWe set aside a time, one hour for a meeting;Overworked by BeccaJS
our search for a room hindered by our search
for the solution.
Can we set aside a day
for creation and have a canvas we can all paint on
at the same time in the same room
and order ice cream or chip-shop chips
whilst we make our master design?
Then do you think we can turn our idea
into a real life innovation?
Or do we continue to scavenge old buildings
for neglected conference rooms once
booked by occupants no longer present. Do
we panic about the problem and confirm
we are in shit before we've truly understood
the colour, depth, and complexity of the shit?
Do you think we could stick to our plans and
do what we say we will do when we do it? We
go home on time and drink gin-and-tonic in
a local beer garden, enjoying the warm sun instead
of an overheated, over-exhausted office.
Machine WindWind tip-tapping againstMachine Wind by BeccaJS
desperate to attract attention,
off desolate rooftops
where there's no blue skies
but the lingering pollution of
The wind infers longing, where they once worked,
sweeping each corner in search of their presence
or past existence, a distance too far
of just what happened and why now absent.
Still tipping and raising the alarm,
there must be someone there-
a twisted gust takes one more lap of hope.
no more than hope.
Walking with a ToddlerSlow he may be, plodding gentle hisWalking with a Toddler by BeccaJS
tiny legs. Each stick is a new
exploration three steps to
“come on” you shout as he trots over
gravel laughing delighted at the crunch-crunch
beneath his feet
and back again.
A dog bounds by, so much energy that
it sparks fear in the little trekker as
he clings to your leg, begging to be lifted.
Arms wrapped around his world,
he points at the sky, tells you its blue.
The Execution of Judy MonroeIn glamour, in glitter-infested HollywoodThe Execution of Judy Monroe by BeccaJS
the movie star Judy Monroe’s almond eyes; coaled melodramatic,
tilt towards the camera.
The executioner motions forward;
a tall man, no guardian angel.
She watches his movement; spiteful, hated as he proudly glides
to prep for the grand finale.
A prayer to God with no love, each lens focused on her.
Black and white replaced by orange overalls.
She was found,
She was judged,
And Judy Monroe will be judged
Until opulence is extinguished and her dimpled cheeks sallow
and her pretty head drops.
When the tall man grazes her last touch,
leather grasps her wrists tight.
the poison plunges and she falls before them all:
behold her final bow.
release and exhale.
Feb Book Club: 'Town of Cats' by Haruki MurakamiFeb Book Club: 'Town of Cats' by Haruki Murakami by neurotype
And by "book" I actually mean "short story." Short month, short story, see? ('Town of Cats' ultimately appears in 1Q84. Hint, hint.)
If you have somehow not heard of Haruki Murakami, what you need to know for the purposes of this month is that he's a Japanese writer of fiction and nonfiction. His works, including the story we're reading this month, are originally written in Japanese and come to English via translators such as Jay Rubin. As it so happens, you can read the English translation of 'Town of Cats' for free, online, at The New Yorker.
WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO BY THE 15TH?
The mid-month discussion will cover the entire short story. You're free to catch up on 1Q84, although note that 'Town of Cats' has no more than a tangential connection to the main plot, and doesn't even bring in all protagonists. We will be discussi
eclipse.my eyes well-up constellations for you,
they shine bright. though my tears aren't precious anymore,
far too common for the tormenting night.
whoever told you about those squinting stars?
they strain to see those in this world;
gifted yet challenged by the sun and the moon.
and if all of earth's paradoxes were to stand up like soldiers,
we would be out of place.
try not to cry about such trivial matters
and live life as if we will not die.
and if such aspects are set in stone,
why does our molten flow so smoothly as
we seep out venus' volcano of infidelity and trust?
and they tell us that lust leads to consequences.
our brightness attracts those moths who perish in our heat.
we give a warm welcome to everything that we
untitledThat guy thinks he's heartless;
I watch him as he buys coffee
and gives it to everybody he passes
on the street who looks sad, and
his lips curl into a smile because
he made a joke that gave someone a laugh.
He holds his mother's hand on top
of hospital sheets, pressing the button
to pump morphine into her system
before he signals a nurse. Tears cascade
down his face when he watches
his mother take her last breath.
And his lips curl into a sneer as he walks
past a cloud of lung choking smoke,
thinking of the fume filled air
his mother suffocated herself in.
He thinks he's heartless, but
his heart is bigger than anyone's.