Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Fantastical Duke of Losers, Part 2

(continued from Part 1)

The Duke had hired Sammari to play the gig under two conditions:

1) The Duke, Nigel Tewksbury, will be allowed to play one song: a sultry version of "My Funny Valentine." Sammari will mime accompaniment on saxophone.
2) The Duke will be permitted to spend the night with the back-up dancer of his choosing.

Cigarette in hand, a warm clarity overcame the Duke as the motorcycle grew louder. Oh shit, he thought, here comes the visions of the future--those fucking gyres and the Holy Om. And oh shit, he saw the future, and it was the best of all possible worlds. He sat peacefully beside a lake with the Indian girl; they wore fine moccasins and nibbled buffalo meat; she washed his silk pyjamas and caught fish while he told her beautiful stories of pixies and demons (hiddenfolk sat on the rocks and listened, knowing they were safe amongst friends). And oh shit, he saw exactly what he had to do to create this paradise, but oh shit, the freaks were in the way, ruining everything, ruining the Indian girl, possibly for good. No bones about it, thought the Duke, This is shaping up a real tragedy. I'll have to smarten up to even have a shot; I'll have to become a tender-hearted warrior, or some bullshit like that.

An amplified pre-recorded shout echoed in the distance:

We're doing a Sammari Safari!
Dump the tour bus, hop in my Ferrari!

Sammari's entrance was elegant and spectacular. The motorcycle accelerated through the barn--maiming two chickens in the process--and skidded to a halt amid wild pyrotechnics. Out of the smoke emerged the short, muscular body of Sammari, and the freaks went wild with hooting and hollering and popping pills of various colours, completely ignoring the talented stunt driver who quickly dashed backstage to be drunk and unappreciated. The Duke hung his head, thought of his pagan gods, questioned their reality, and cried.

He threw away his canteen and began his calisthenic routine--tears in his eyes--while Sammari went through the verses.

"Thanks everyone. This is your boy Sammari. This next song goes out to my favourite shorty, the Little Indian Girl. Isn't she fine, baby? All right, all right, let's drink some Hennessy on ice!"

In the corner the Duke rehearsed his song. Some things a man must do alone.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Product Review: Marshall Ferret Beret from ferret.com

Buyer Beware!

I purchased the Marshall Beret for my little ferret friend Daedalus. He has always had an artistic temperament--he would go into a trance whenever he heard Miles Davis and would sulk in the corner for days should a female refuse to mate with him. In September he was intensely melancholic, sometimes refusing to emerge from his Marshall Fleece Leisure Lodge for days on end. He grew emaciated and took to eating cigarette butts. In a last ditch effort to cheer him up, I presented him with the beret.

Immediately he was more active and expressed an interest in painting. I purchased him some watercolours and he began making mad--sometimes pornographic--designs with his paws. Previously it was my habit to drink half a bottle of red wine with breakfast, but since purchasing the beret, I cannot open a bottle without Daedalus sticking his nose in it with the sole aim of intoxication. The beret has changed him entirely. I have created a monster.

He has begun shagging female ferrets without regard to age or appearance, and last week he began experimenting with homosexuality. Though I know full well he is litter-trained, he has taken to defecating and urinating indiscriminately--sometimes he seems to do this to make a statement, though I cannot fathom what it is. His actions have become wild and abstract. I no longer understand him, and I find his bohemian lifestyle rather destructive for a ferret.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hedgehog in the Fog

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Morning

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Sonnet: Then and Now

The Sonnet
William Mulready (1786-1863)
Oil on Panel

"This was one of the artist's most popular works. A critic observed: 'The youth is fiddling with his shoe-tie, but casting a upwards sly look, to ascertain what effect his lines produce upon the merry maid who reads them...placing her hand before her lips to suppress her laughter'."

Springtime (dip dip a dooby i love ya!)
Corey Feldman (1971-)
Rasp on Awful

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Fantastical Duke of Losers, Part 1

The carnival was over. The freaks were in the barn having a drug-fueled orgy with the pigs and the cows. It was how they chose to live. The musclemen, each one a homosexual and a bro, chopped the heads off chickens and choreographed the resultant dance moves. Bearded women and rubber men had awkward intercourse in shit-filled troughs. "Baby we're in Xanadu! This barnyard is our pleasure dome!"

The Duke of Losers sat cross-legged with the rats in the dirt beneath the stage. He suckled a canteen of gin, convinced he was a visionary. He could see the course of things quite clearly. He saw the freaks were hopeless but my god they were having a ball and here am I drinking alone!

He worried about the little Indian girl. She once was a sweet tea-drinker but now associated with the freaks and donkeys. She occasionally runs off with Steve, a model citizen, but she always returns to the carnival. What one does in the past, mused the Duke, one will inevitably do in the future--unless there is a shock! And Steve is such a twat. And certainly not a duke. I'm afraid the carnival is in her blood.

He watched the passers-by. What an enormous gaggle of idiots!

Oh Steve... Steve Steve Steve... Living the Canadian Dream, wearing clothes chosen by your girlfriend, so proud of yourself because she tells you they are fashionable--you look like an overgrown child! Please tell me more about your mortgage and your magnificent home improvements! Oh oh oh and what's your favourite food!? Tell me how much you like to eat it!

Inside the barn, the freaks awaited for the arrival of Sammari, a hip-hop singer of lukewarm ability known for singing about women and fast cars and, occasionally, when he felt poetic, women-as-fast-cars. He, too, had his eye on the beautiful Indian girl. He would impress her with his phenomenal ability to party quite seriously.

Though reluctant to admit it, the Duke also liked to party--just never seriously. He had poetry power and a reputation for being a sad sack. No one likes a sad sack, a friend once told him, and that's exactly what you are: a big sack of sad and you stink like socks. The Duke immediately took a shower, quite conscientiously washing his balls, and made an oath never to be sad again.

That's how he became a duke.

In the distance was the squeal of a Japanese motorcycle. Steve noted how motorcycles often sound like their names--What a fucking idiot, thought the Duke. But enough of all that... We are all quite drunk and Sammari will soon be here!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Good Place

Darling I'm inventing a world. I've stolen a Scottish Fold and a set of dinosaur bones. We'll read erotica to the crickets and have that twinkle in our eyes. Coffee and potatoes aplenty; an abandoned seaside resort. Give it a few months and we'll be transformed--no longer food for worms but magical lovers digestible only to each other. We'll call the kitten Agamemnon--Aggy-Poo for short--and inspire the jealousy of the world. I'll love you till you're tattered and no longer a simple girl.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Basia Bulat, Gold Rush

Confession: I am a little in love with you, my darling Basia. Your new track is quite brilliant. I danced all night.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Recluse

One lonely Saturday she lured me into her grotto. She fed me dark chocolate and wine. Now I am sad, ruined, and thirsting for Her. I cannot find her home and am afraid she has since withered.

You eight-legged six-eyed bitch. There's no mistaking it, I am your boy.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Autumn Ritual

I stumbled in at 4:00 a.m. A week night in mid-October, her house was cold and drafty. It smelled like fumigation. I flicked on her kitchen light, trying not to wake her abruptly, but trying to wake her. I slammed some scotch and put on some Ennio Morricone, quietly. I felt my better spirit inside me--hello, it's been awhile.

And there she stood in the bedroom portal, blue nightgown, breasts right there. She sweats when she sleeps and I could smell it. I whistled a quiet rise-and-fall. Well well well.

"Come here baby," I slurred, and patted out a little spot for her on the couch. I was infatuated with her fleshy curves and strange sticky odour. I put my nose in her ear and we tickled each other.

"That's a good pussy cat," I said. "Now be a dear and fix me a drink then hand me my lute."

Ah, my lovely lute, my best old friend. I mumbled out a song, playing along to the compact disc. I sang noises, not words. I didn't want to use that part of my brain.

You didn't think I would do something as cliche as serenade her, did you?

"It's all theatre, baby," I took another drink and exhaled softly. "I've been out balling and it makes me sick. The drugs, the alcohol, the false feelings that trick you. But what I have here is real." I squeezed her bottom and kissed her till I was bored. I played my lute some more. Ahhhhhhh.

I played to her the prettiest melody I knew. Sort of this folksy little jive in G. Then I tossed the instrument on the floor. Crash!

"Oopsy daisy," I laughed. She was frightened. "But such is love."

I took off her nightgown. "Now let's not be afraid to mess up this fancy-ass couch you've got here."


I awoke to her two cats licking my face. This bird beside me was disgusting and smelled like cigarettes.

I whispered in her ear: "You disgust me."

She turned her back on me and made a whimpering sound. Oh this is bloody real all right!

So I busted up my lute, my old friend, and used it as firewood. Watching the flames reminded me of simpler times--youth, poetry, and the caveman. I returned to the bedroom, told her I was a dumb-ass and sick, and asked her to come sit with me by the fire. She refused, but accepted my offer of a smoke. She wasn't so bad, really, just fucked-up like the rest of us.

I put on my sunglasses, afraid of crying, and walked out into the cold. Goodbye, fair instrument. Bloody hell it was early and it was cold. My suit was filthy and the morning joggers made me feel like a rat.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Big City Romance

We're either weak or wise,
but there is no doubt we're losers.
And this is my compensation
for your mistakes--
blow man blow!--
You've broken up our sweet little egg
and baby I feel scrambled!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Dewy Grass

"Come live with me in my sick estate. We'll get well. I'll feed you tea and oranges and we'll make love in the out-of-doors. In the dewy grass, baby. The dewy grass!"

But this gal was closed-off. "Dear Prudence," I said. "You've spent too much time in false paradise. It's really messed you up."

For three weeks I renounced Holy Paganism and saw the world as it is, as a machine, self-interest as its oil. No fun, no playfulness, no little faeries tying Celtic knots in my pubic hair. I was miserable. I'd say I was in Hell but the concept was dead. What I was was in Starbucks, drunk and stinking, staring at an old woman with purple hair. Oh how I long for those weird demons!

I filled my canteen with Oban whisky and sat by the Italian Fountains. "I will kill myself," I laughed, then offered some whisky to a squirrel. His jerky rejection of my finest scotch stung my little heart. Why don't you like me? This is really good stuff.

I had to make a decision. It was either suicide or calisthenics at the gymnasium. I have always wanted abs like Satan's.

Enervated from the workout, I sent a letter to my baby: "If you ever have purple hair, I won't speak to you. Also don't go ugly. I can't stand ugly girls. Not when they do it to themselves."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Public Performance by Nigel Tewksbury: The Aquatic Ape

Time: Saturday, November 7th, 2:15 pm

Place: Italian Fountains, Kensington Gardens

My cocoon is stuffy. The surrounding air whispers to me: Emerge, you deranged butterfly! Fly you beautiful baboon! Thus I shall make my first public performance in years this Saturday, November 7th, in Kensington Gardens.

I have been training my body and mind. I ask strangers on the street and they all agree: I am incredible.

For six months I have been meditating on The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis (from Wikipedia) and have composed an experimental poem on the subject. In my performance I shall debut the piece before stripping naked and swimming in the Italian fountains. Please don't tell the police.

All are encouraged to join the swim and I will enthusiastically share the contents of my magic flask to all in attendance. Come and celebrate Nothing.

My dear, beloved pussycats, I hope to see you there.

Majestically, aquatically, yours,

Nigel Tewksbury

Last Letter to Tanya


You live on inside me as waves of perfume. In quiet moments you still surround me. It's a shame you became an academic girl and no longer believe in God and music. To discover your beauty is hollow is what drove me to blended scotch and worse. It did not do me much good but filled me with pretensions and false feelings. It made me the the dunce who stands before you; ultimately it made me joyfully mean. I lost my faith in clarity because you poisoned me with Chanel. I've gone to filthy places with hopes to clear my head. That is how stupid I am, my love. A moron who still believes in God and music but cannot bear the disinfection of a church. I remember your embraces too clearly--especially when it's silent--how I would get lost in the sweaty tangles of your hair and how holy it was. So I sit in bed and smell her armpits.

What are you wearing?

Filthily, religiously, yours,

Nigel Tewksbury

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Atlas Sound - Walkabout


It reminds me of when I went clear one summer and embraced the madness of health before doing more harm than good.

I played in the fountain, though I am far from a boy for whom it is normal to play.

It reminds me of crazy adulthood, which I have chosen to embrace. I shall eat a peanut butter sandwich and do a soft shoe routine in the park.

My pussycats, you are invited to watch.

Skinny Dipping

I awoke, after a long and restless night, to find myself in a situation most mad. I had dreamt of exploding walls and looking through a frosted windshield. The frosted windshield made me cry because it was not real--a memory of another life, where I spent a great deal of energy trying not to die in traffic. The exploding walls filled me with the emptiness of a hero.

After the explosion I felt a general horror. A ghost bid me to get drunk--famously so--but I told him I had sworn a mild oath to Sobriety and that these days hard-living is cliche. He told me to lighten up; I told him he was a disgusting pig. For I have also sworn an oath to Truth.

Also in my dream I exchanged telegrams with a mistress of Heaven. I asked her if she noticed the darkness underlying my cheery tone and whether it was good or bad. She gave me some flaky reply and told me to be patient. That was not much use to me at all. So I asked her to come with me to explore a New Madness. I fear she is afraid and am yet to receive her reply, the goodie-goodie bitch.

All this dreaming left me feeling like a loser, so I jumped into a freezing lake with no clothes on. I felt the water surround me until I became overwhelmed with pleasant thoughts of death. I gasped wide-eyed in an ecstasy. A group of idiots gathered around the lake and watched me flail--half were drunk or on drugs, and half were assholes with high-powered jobs. Somehow, I, a nakedly flailing man, was the most dignified, the most true. When I emerged I was all smiles and laughter. I knew my abdominals looked godly. I kissed the prettiest girl, though she resisted, slightly.

Upon returning to my digs, I felt vital and clear and abandoned my sinister thoughts for a cup of tea. I thought of home, though I've never had one. The hot shower seemed a tropical waterfall.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fleas, etc.

Reginald Hardcourt has fleas. He moved to South Korea to meet his gay guru lover and drink snake oil to get clear. He's lost most his teeth. He sent me a picture--he looks like a deranged baby. "Those won't grow back," I texted him. (He thought they would).

I spent my best years in darkness, collecting and stealing, piecing together a starry identity, fetishizing corduroy. But for the occasional predawn drunkenness and experiments in automatic writing, rarely was I lucid. I felt it was a sin--an act of desperation--to join the outside world. So I waited for a knock upon the door, an invitation in the post. I pretended to be someone else and eventually I became him. Then, after a horrific game of tennis and too many anti-anxiety pills, I decided to kill him off only to discover I was no one else.

As a wolf I would go rambling on full-moon nights hoping to recognize a soul but the best I found were the young women joggers in their tights. I cackled at desire. Jack and Coke in my flask, I diddled butterfaces in the park--it was more fulfilling than a glass of wine with the missus. I went skinny-dipping in a puddle. I continued to collect and steal, becoming a private museum dying to be robbed. The animals poked their noses at my deadbolt, but their wet-nosed efforts annoyed me and I told them to shoo. The intellectuals tried their tired psychotherapies with with their strange faith in sanitary big words, too chicken-shit and linear to be effective in tidying up the messy adolescent room of my mind (there are maggots in the closet from when I first lost my appetite!). I told them to fuck off and tried reading the Tibetan Book of the Dead on a Saturday night--a real yawner, that one.

After a night of revelations that would be forgotten in the morning, she entered me like a ghost--insubstantial, not much to her, but somehow beautiful and strange. With her lonely sad kiss she made it past my guard dogs and I showed her my exotic collection of garbage. I showed her how to laugh at the darkness and I showed her my perfect ass. We had some good times and she pissed in the cat's litter box.

"Baby we're a riot now let's set this world on fire!"

She had that strange mixture of sadness and eroticism I so adore in a chick. She was no filthy animal. Quickly I knew I loved her and quickly I told her so. It seemed so simple but she turned it into a big to-do with her trail of ex-loves who had poisoned her brain. It broke my ashy little aesthete's heart. So one morning I sent her out into the rain and locked the door behind her. I went back to my old ways only to find my automatic writing had gone to shit.

That was that, and after that, a few weeks of intense loneliness, the odd bit of salt-water in my eye, etc., etc. Once that was done, I thought, I will live my life as though the world were a series of parties begging for me to crash them. Laughter, birds, running in the street, etc., etc. And in the ballroom at the Ritz I saw my baby--the only girl I've ever sort of loved--drinking gin and flirting with a rich old drunk. It hit me like a brick: he's nothing but a bum and she's nothing but a whore. And here am I, bold and cool, crashing parties and, though generally hated and perhaps a bit of a loser in this game of love, well, hey, I'm having a pretty good time!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunday at the Library

Post binge, I have the intelligence of a toddler, and I can do nothing but take hot baths and forced naps. For a few days, at least, I have sworn to take no poison, and, lately, I've made it a habit to keep these stupid oaths. This one is short-term and easy. In a week or two I will be worse than ever.

I have been researching nature and have come to the conclusion that as animals we are shit. Last night I watched a movie alone in an underground theatre. It ended with the world on fire. When I came home, I pissed in the sink and polished off some gin. The world won't burn tonight, unfortunately, but this is my house, so I have the right to start a little fire. I burned old family photographs out of principle. I didn't expect the sadness.

And then I phoned you up and said: In the morning let's meet in the library and discuss the new renaissance. We can get drunk--no one goes to libraries anymore. I am serious. And isn't there something sexy about the book stacks and the dust and the open space and the girl in the corner with her nose immersed in history? We'll drink warm beer because it tastes like the 12th or 13th century. We will of course resort to violence because I won't be in the mood to read.

What time? When it opens.

I rode my bike not expecting the hangover to hurt me. I went fast; when I arrived I was sweating. The ride, though, was exhilarating, and when I met her at the entrance, my heart was beating on another level. She had to calm me down.

Sweetheart, I said, let's go to the seventh floor. I have something to tell you. Don't be mad, but last night I challenged your husband to a duel. Guns, of course. Why? Because it is the most Zen thing that men can do (it wasn't over you)*. So, of course, we didn't go through with it, because of, you know, the danger and all the practical implications of death and injury. Oh I'll just come out and say it: you really are a magnificent bitch. I would read to you--Byron, probably--but just the other night I realised that books are terribly complicated and I don't understand a word of them.

*because you are a slut who freely mates with both of us.

So let's drink warm beer until we are comfortable being the shitty animals we are. If we were better hunters or had substantial fur, my dear, we wouldn't be in this mess at all. We would stroke each other--possibly well-camouflaged in our cozy little environmental niche--and eat our kill with our bare hands! We wouldn't need books. Wouldn't it be lovely if you were cute, you floozy? But, please, come look, for I am hairy. Woof! Woof! Woof! Oh darling, don't you dare pretend to read. Come, let us forget that we know words. Let us howl on the top floor of this dusty old bibliotheque. Do you know how to get on the roof?

No... Can I tell you a story? When I was young, often I would come home late from school. My mother would ask where I had been and what I had been doing. I always said "nowhere" and "nothing." I never told her about James and his heroin or Geoffrey and his dirty magazines. Isn't that a lovely story? Now let me help you off with that. Or does the girl in the corner make you nervous? It's all right--I'm still tired from the ride, and, anyway, I'm just about ready to croak!

I almost forgot why we came here! If the world does all set fire, what we need are good stories. And of course we'll do away with money. Sweetheart, I know it sounds harsh, but I think we should guillotine the theorists. People now suspect they are full of shit but are too shy to say so, but, in the case of a global disaster, it would be as obvious as your crooked nose. Should we ask the girl in the corner reading Holinshed's Chronicles (yawn!) what she thinks? I feel so rude not offering her a drink. Oh darling, did I mention that on days like this I tend to be a child!?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Yesterday I developed a touch of nerves when I realised all those I considered friends were leeches who wanted to suck me dry. Since renouncing luxury, I've been hopelessly alone and have, on several occasions, relapsed into pretending. On Saturday night I dressed in bright colours--like a paradisaical bird--and danced with a girl who, through the fog of drink and muffle of noise, resembled the love of my life. I asked her to call me The Elektro King; she did. We danced strangely till the world disappeared. When I woke, after a night of forgetting, I was surprised to stumble upon my soiled clothes arranged in a symbol--an admittedly sloppy Helm of Awe--upon my living room floor.

I had to use all my socks

As I made my own tea, I wondered if the man who created this symbol--that damned Elektro King--was pretending or possessed: this seemed to me the fundamental difference between idiot and artist. I thought about it for a moment and wondered in which camp I should place myself before growing enamored with my chocolate-coated biscuits and staring blankly out the window.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Edgar and The Girl

"Nigel are you awake?" whispered the psychotherapist with whom I had drunk heavily and punched holes in the walls last night. I opened my eyes a tad--the room was sewage green and brown--and I decided I hated both the physical world and this Norwegian buffoon who seemed good fun when we kicked at some woman's door. We pegged her so accurately when we called her a middle-class whore but we never thought about what we are ourselves. "Psst. Nigel. Are you awake?"

"Go to hell, Edgar," I groaned. All that study of the psyche and he can't tell I just want him to fuck off.

Last night we had a good time. Inspired by booze we conquered the city as the perfect team. But now when I looked around his office at the meat-eating plants and American Indian decor I only wanted to fight.

As I stumbled off the couch, I looked hard into his eyes and, without breaking my gaze, polished off a nearby bottle while assuming a wrestling stance. But he looked so frightened and pathetic in his soiled corduroy blazer I couldn't be bothered to pounce. I merely left without paying.

As I passed the door of the middle-class whore I felt proud, disgusted, but, most of all, hungover. I remembered her perfect hair, dress, and teeth; I remembered her calculatedly phony conversation and smile. When she rejected me, I laughed hysterically. Of course she probably didn't think it very funny when we kicked at her door, but, as I thought about it objectively, I decided, yes, it was, objectively, funny.

I spent the remainder of the day in my apartment dim-witted and watching spaghetti westerns.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A bender remembered, the end, Part 1

The house is empty. Acoustically, it is phenomenal, and the echoes are free making me feel that all my ghosts are purged. Out of the darkness and filth of a lost weekend, many truths were revealed, and what was formerly a confused ball of tangled twine now seems a straight road leading to who-knows-where. I'll close the door behind me and won't look back; it has been my motto since viewing the Pennebaker film.

I slammed--slammed!--a bottle of absinthe before walking to Natahsa's flat. Solemnly I walked through Gibbon's forest, now empty, and remembered the blonde girl I thought would be my new beginning but who I never heard from again. (But I never really loved her; she just reminded me of Julie Christie). I pulled my flask from the secret pocket of my coat and slammed--slammed!--a little more. The moon was yellow and there was three of them. Though elated and internally spitting swears, I knew this was not like other benders. It was much more philosophical.

As I exited the gates I danced like a serpent that had other serpents for arms. When I arrived at the flat, Natasha looked slutty, but not in a gaudy way: she simply dressed unabashedly, refusing to hide the sensual animal lurking beneath.

"Hello sweetheart," I said as I walked in, and I slapped her lovely bottom.

"Nigel! That is no way to treat a lady."

"A lady? Where? All I see is a whore."

I seemed to hit a nerve with that one.

"Nigel," she said. "I thought we could make this work."

"Fuck off," said I. "You're a whore, baby, so let's stop pretending. You're nothing. Come on. You're on the meter you filthy bird. Act like I want you to because you're mine."

She had a tear in her eye but I wiped it away and told her to get serious. We called a taxi and moved on to the dinner party.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

One Last Bender, Part 3

I am preparing for the night by listening to a mixture of Leonard Cohen and The Rolling Stones. I shall pick Natasha up at 10:00. I have spent the last two hours doing shots and resistance training. Resonating through me is a strange combination of swagger and euphoria. As I type these words, I pace like a maniac--it is impossible to sit!--and I perform invigorating air punches. Take that! Bam! Bam! Kaplow!

All my finest clothes, I have given away; all, that is, except my favourite suit. It is a simple but elegant black number I purchased on Savile Row. Two buttons, single-breasted, simple. It is so beautiful on its own, one can forgo a pocket square. To the untrained eye, it looks like nothing, but to those with taste, it is sure to produce a sensual elation.

Every hair, though casually tussled, is exactly in its right place. I shall not let Natasha so much as touch me. Indeed I plan to drop her the first chance I get because I have come to the firm conclusion that she is an enormous bitch.

I am late, but to hell time. At the moment I am slightly drunk--call it Level 3. I feel brilliant and wild--like a lion--both animal and king.

One Last Bender, Part 2

The sea change makes me nervous so I have taken something to calm me--in fact I've taken two. I have just received a phone call from Natasha--she seemed distant and tried to jack up the price. Some friend! You idiot you did not take your own advice: you must never fall for your whore... My muscles are jelly and I am talking to myself. I have just come home from the park. I cycled along the path and talked to strangers with dogs and abandoned my exquisitely beautiful Merckx racing bike beside the statue of Byron. It was not without sadness and anger that I watched some pimply chav take it, but it was not without a chuckle that I watched him wobble and fall on his face as he left. You idiot it's not a toy; you shan't pop wheelies on that baby. I have not been sleeping well. I shall take a drink and a nap.

Memories of faces keep flashing. I dream of Tanya and she tries to speak to me but I cannot hear her words. She was always rather vacuous, and so was I, but I think a little less than her.

I am in a ridiculous state of mind but I feel today it's necessary. These words seem mad... I have booked the flight and arranged for the animals to be taken to a zoo. Oh yes, and Happy Birthday! Let's have a drink alone! To hell with the nap--I shall stay awake to make the night intenser. Toodaloo for now all ye I have welcomed into my formerly private sphere! I encourage you all, no matter how far away, to have a drink with me now, to share in my euphoria which will inevitably go crashing to the ground.

One Last Bender, Part 1

Today is my birthday; I have not had one in years. Tonight I will go out and drink. In my house I have several bottles of absinthe and vodka that henceforth will be useless to me. I look forward to absorbing their magic.

This will be my final bender. Attempts at grandiosity typically fall flat, but I cannot help feel there is something in the air, and of course one does not need luck to make a bender grandiose: one simply drinks more. As an experienced user, I know well the stages of drunkenness--there are nine, possibly 10, depending on what follows an accidental suicide. I have no intention of exceeding level 7, but I do want to get there.

I have hired Natasha to accompany me. We have agreed upon a reasonable flat rate. I know her quite well and even consider her a friend. I have selected an intimate party for us to crash.

Looking around, I find the emptiness of my rooms thrilling but can't help feeling like a ghost when I reach for things that are not there. I have sold my Inspiron and purchased a lovely new ultraportable that seems more than a robot friend.

Heightenedly yours, whoever you are,

Nigel Tewksbury

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cleaning Up

I've been cleaning, selling, and burning all my things. Myoki's broken-English letters turn orange then black then air; my finest clothes, tailored precisely to my sleek form, now move amidst the idiot crowds on the back of parrot poseurs. And, yet, it's all alright.

Yesterday I wore a pair of 501s and a sports shirt--I even tried on a smile--and I looked bloody good and not at all common. I felt natural and there is nothing stranger. I'm sure it's like anything and I'll get used to it in time.

It's an administrative nightmare, but I plan to change my name to match my new style and voice. I am planning one last bender--a big one--but have no plans after that but to move. Come all ye false dandies and follow me into the wild night! Wear your most casual clothes! I dare you! Just know that if you do I'll immediately drop you all like a tonne of bricks.

I am not here, I am not gone, I am not Nigel Tewksbury. Occasionally I hear him still, his measured, melifluous voice calling me and telling me what to do and say--and there is no denying the sheer magnitude of his awesomeness--but it's time for him to die and leave this house behind.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Nasal Irrigation

It is with great shame that I make this confession: I am an animal. As such, I have certain biological problems, and one of them is the occasionally runny nose. It was under the recommendation of a strange woman friend of mine that I began the practice of nasal irrigation. She informed me that I will reap many rewards, including lowering the incidence of snoticles, a strange phenomenon no doubt familiar to my Nordic readers in which the mucus of the nose freezes and forms an uncomfortable crystalline landscape of the interior--a nasal Narnia, if you will, but without all the magic and creatures. In the mode of a ruggedly handsome shaman, I would like to pass the technique onto you, my dear readers:

You squirt water up your nose.

The supposed benefits of this practice are numerous and include:

- The treatment of Empty Nose Syndrome, which, I have been told, is not as funny as it sounds.
- The treatment of Phantosmia, or, "phantom smells"--indeed, just the other day I thought I smelled a lovely roast, but alas, it was but thin air. I have recorded no such experiences since beginning treatment.
- Providing clearer vision.
- Improving one's sinus-related quality of life (which, for me, is essential in preventing suicide).

I recommend you try it as it is important to keep up with the latest hygienic trends.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Overheard at the Café

This morning, adorned only in unassuming streetwear, I ventured into town for a coffee. I overheard the following conversation between two society hens:

"Beatrice, what do you know of Nigel Tewksbury?"

"He can be amusing. But I deem it wise to keep your distance."

"And why's that?"

"Well... I've heard he does strange things to cats."

"Oh, I don't think there's any truth to that. It's a rumour started by his rival."

"Patricia I just don't know. There's something about him. Something so peculiar.... And... he's a bit of an alcoholic. To be honest, I'm afraid of him."

"It's true, he can be rather vulgar. He called Sebastian an 'affected piece of shit' when all he did was raise an eyebrow. Vile man. Especially when he's drunk"

"Especially when he's drunk."

At this point I coughed loudly to make myself known. I whipped off my sunglasses and capped my flask. Obviously the situation was awkward, but over the years I've learned to embrace awkwardness. One cannot be afraid of social conventions; they do not bite. I knew I had to put on a performance while maintaining my new-found ideals.

I pulled up a chair, sat on it back-to-front like a teenager, and said, "Hello Beatrice, Patricia. How are you?" And I thought, I shall take the high road, although I could easily insult them and make them cry because they are both old--a good ten years past the twilight of their mating age.

"Mr. Tewksbury! How do you do?" said one of the bitches, shrill and flustered.

"Well I feel like I have just been slapped in the face--not to mention a little tight--but that's alright. In fact the latter is quite good."

"Oh... Yes, well..."

"Yes, well, I am an ass whilst drunk. And I do drink quite a bit. But I am not an alcoholic and my love for cats is purely platonic. They are beautiful, mysterious creatures," and I thought, Nothing like you dogs.

"Oh there's no need."

"Yes, there is no need to explain. You are quite right. How's Harold?"

Before Beatrice had a chance to respond, I interrupted her: "Actually, fuck Harold, if he'll take you. Your gabbing disgusts me, you smelly, obsolete old bags."

I smacked the table and left. No doubt they thought it rather rude.

So, perhaps, in the end, I didn't take the high road, but I did tell the truth, which, I think, is the higher ideal. I am also a firm believer that what's good for the gander is good for the goose and that gossipy old bags will go to hell quicker than a chap who likes a few drinks with his coffee. You must understand, I am not a bad man, at least not anymore, but kindness and manners have their limitations and are entirely ineffective if you are trying to teach a lesson to two stupid old women.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Thank you for the comments

I must confess, my readers are often more eloquent than I. I thank you for your comments on my most recent post. It amazes me and warms my frosty heart to think that my words are read by others, particularly those I have never even met. I think it wonderful, and I wish to show you off now like a new hat, and, perhaps, accidentally, provide you with some answers.

from Kathy:

Where shall you go then, Dear Nigel, to lock away your body and soul? Will it be another building with four bare walls or the damp, deep forest; the ones with the fallen, deciduous tree branches and crisp leaves that you trample underfoot and beckon without fear, your maudlin obtrusion? What will happen to the succinct blogs of the reclusive popinjay that I've come to admire? Will you truly abandon this space here and leave a fellow sojourner all alone to fend for herself? How can abandonment abandon itself? I, for one, am not a dirty leach and I quite like your creative designs.

So where will you go to perish, Dear Nigel?


Only time will tell what happens, my darling Kathy, but I think I'll head east. I do not know the answer to most your questions but I know there is a freedom in not knowing. Q: "How can abandonment abandon itself"? A: With a shrug and a hard drink--it is my custom to take four (three for the Trinity and one for the road).

And who said anything about perishing, you morbid little bird? I shall live on, though perhaps under another name and email address.


from Arthur Cattersby:

"Dandyism is dead"? Such words coming from the truest dandy of all, I cannot believe it! For God's sake, in the true spirit of dandyism, sell all your belongings and buy newer, and bigger ones.

-An admirer.


Arthur, I like your spirit and your shit. I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a part of me that wanted to travel with you and romp with exotic Persian sluts amidst billowing clouds of opium. Of course I want to do that... Again. But I have lived that life already--anything more would be addiction and fear. I pass the torch to you and encourage you, should you ever get the chance, to stab me in the back.

Monday, February 2, 2009

All that Is Here, I Renounce

Over the years, I have accumulated a great pile of things. Cars, animals, books. It is time to forget them all and find someplace new.

This weekend, as I meditatively, and masterfully, played an amusing word game on Facebook, the spirit of the microcosm welled up inside me, and I realised, I am wasting away. I thought of calling one of my girlfriends, but said to myself, To hell with it, forget them; they are all dirty leaches in love only with my pretensions and liquor. Come, let us channel this vital force in other ways. Let us go outside for a run.

Like a cat I prowl though the cool crisp air not caring the slightest about my wardrobe or the grey in my hair. It is cold but my body keeps me warm--and Society is colder. Here am I, a solitary animal, healthy and happy, rugged as a billy goat, reacting nerves with cocked assurance in control of a graceful steady stride.

Afterward, I tilted back the chair in my favourite car and fell asleep. When I awoke, I felt another spirit--one more gentle than the one before--whisper in my ear. It told me Dandyism is dead; it is time to stop pretending. You look idiotic in those clothes.

Now is the hard part: I must get rid of this heaping pile of Materialism. I shall sell what I can and leave the rest behind, or use it for practical jokes. I renounce all that is here, but shall keep my roguish soul.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Drunk, Profoundly, Drunk

Come on baby, I'm a drenched rat drowning in a river of gin. You're nothing special--so quit being so uppity--and give me back my beer. The boozer loser blues aren't so bad when you embrace them and shout, To hell with it, I shall wiggle with a fat girl! And that's where you come in. Thank God the world's a blur and none of this is hitting home--I have forgotten my family tree omnipresent in the window and the unborn children between us--they don't understand I am here developing a new Aesthetic--they don't understand understanding's obsolete--I forget them all as I whisper in your ear, "You're enormous as a hippopotamus, graceful as a goat, and I shall throw my dignity out the window for a little piece of your sweaty blubber. But darling let's keep our clothes on."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My absence explained

I found myself stranded up in the isolated north―I did not know where exactly, but my instincts told me Russia or Canada. My heroic plan to beat the shit out of Myoki had backfired. When I arrived at his cabin in my snow tire shod Alfa Romeo, he challenged me to a drinking contest, and I thought, Yes, this will be a snap, but I had forgotten that his stupidly tranquil face belies a three-bottle-of-Bombay-Saphire-a-day habit. The last thing I clearly remember is rolling up my sleeves and seeing the azure eyes of Helga peeking out from the corner. She looked frightened. I smiled smugly, pounded a triple, and thought, This one's for you baby.

But my smugness cowered and hid when the 5'4", pot-bellied Myoki chugged an entire bottle of Jagermeister and hurled it against the veneer wall of the cabin. He didn't even blink. After the shock of the shattered bottle settled, he looked me in the eyes and throatily whispered, "Go you masked gibbon."

The next two weeks are a haze--I remember mostly snow and airports--but I knew I had lost the battle and there will be no Hollywood ending. I found the following notes scribbled in my ostrich-skin travel journal, now covered in wine stains, which, I think, give it character congruent with the name stitched upon it.

- In my summer car, I angrily do donuts in the snow. I go until I crash.
- Visions of Helga's coquetry torture me in the hospital; I flirt with the nurse in exchange for hard analgesics.
- I am sore after drunkenly lifting weights in a stranger's basement. She sang awful karaoke to me in front of a hideous clock. There were glamour shots on the walls. I ducked out the window when she put her hand down my pants after Karma Chameleon.
- I have joined a committee on Style as a joke. They don't get it. I shall quit tomorrow.
- I escape from the hospital and spend a night in a forest. It is cold and I am frightened. A turtle is my only friend. I think he knows how to talk.

Miraculously and inexplicably, I am now home and attempting to resume normal life, but it is unnatural, like trying to live underwater. I am pretending it was all a dream, but of course, such willed deceit, not to mention talking turtles, can quickly send a man to the bughouse.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I do not want a photograph. My eyes are more powerful than any device. You do not need my words.

When Helga left that morning, she left her picture of the table. In it she posed expressionless before mountains on a rainy day. When I found it, I burned it. There were no digital copies--I do not allow those dome-a-dozen memories.

I cannot forget how she left that night in the freezing rain. I hated her for leaving but adored her rugged beauty. Dressed in her 66 North Laugavegur Women's Down Jacket and Kaldi Arctic Hat, she was a brainwashed innocent. For the first time in my life, I wanted to apologize, but because she was gone, I drank myself stupid and watched shitty daytime chat shows. I cried and decided to grow a beard.

The rain glued to her long blonde hair. I knew she could not keep her face warm.

Now: I am smoking a cigarette in a cheap motel. I have a beard--it hides my rosy cheeks. When I knock upon the door, she'll see the suffering in every grey. But can a hero look like this?

I miss her and the way she put whisky in my coffee and Hennessy in my stew. Without her, drunkenness is empty.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I know exactly how things will go. The reunion with Helga has played in my mind for months. It always ends the same: drunkenness, heartbreak, daemon screams, wild animal posturing. I hope for resolution--tears of love, not fucking tears of rage. A grown-up boy can dream, can't he?

I shan't kill Myoki, but I'll hit him very hard. I'll throw him out and with him the keys to his SUV. Fuck off to the the nearest motel, you Buddhist cock. Leave us alone with our beautiful vices.

My nerves are steady. I’ll take a single drink and gas up the car. I’ll listen to some lonely station as I drive towards the sunrise, towards Switzerland. I already see that crack on the horizon--that little slit of hope. Even if I fail, I'll see some interesting things--those worlds I long to occupy but which never let me in.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Year in Review, Part 3

Part 3: Summer

I think of what to write as I walk amidst winter's swirling winds, the collar of my topcoat upturned, not to be stylish, but to protect me from frostbite. Occasionally the sun emerges and kisses my face, now hidden beneath a raw, animal beard--then it leaves, and once again there is only me and the frozen world.

I do not talk to strangers--we all just want to go indoors--but I feel a strange connection with them, though I know that most are idiots. But everyone likes hot chocolate and marshmallows--we'll always have that, even if most would prefer American Idol to a book while drinking it.

Come here, old man. Let us walk down memory lane backwards. I will pay you a florin and some peanuts.

Here. This is what I wrote.

"At an unsafe speed, I rumble through the trees--through the fall I fly, the stink of sewage in my nose--and I know there is no happiness that I'd call true...."

Yes, old man, it is with great fondness that I remember composing this rather weak Haibun. 2008 was the year I started cycling with vigourous intensity. Fuck old man I loved it! It is here that I learned not to fear death; rather I swallowed it whole--along with several midges--whilst cycling through the forest green and brown.

I certainly covered a lot of ground. It is well-documented.

Once, while riding in high humidity at dusk, I tumbled hard and awoke in The Banana Kingdom. The weird inhabitants fed me an intoxicating soup and told me three things.

1. Practicality is a shrewish bitch, but she cleans your clothes.
2. Faster cadence, lower gear.
3. For 5 days, eat bananas and bananas only.

Banana People, I will obey.

The banana diet made me weak and gassy, but I saw wonderful colours and heard beautiful songs. I slept like an opium eater and had similar dreams. I was happy and clean. At the end of Day 5, I collapsed on the hillside. I blacked out in blissful exhaustion. I wanted to be a Banana Person but we are genetically quite different.

Old man, I've tried the velodrome, but it's bullshit. Do you understand what I am saying? Of course you don't.

Here's your florin, you drunken asshole. Oh and your peanuts too!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

To 2009

Five years ago I composed a story entitled "To Green." It was to be published in The Paris Review until they asked me to remove the obscenities. I refused. It was a tale of drunkenness and hope and the relationship between the two; namely, how one is only hopeful whilst one is drunk.

Or was it about Academia and leprechauns? I do not recall.

Regardless, 2008 was a shithole. Let us make 2009 an emergence from said shithole. Let us revel in the spirit of adventure but let us not lose our dignity.

Reginald Hardcourt rang in the New Year pissing in a pint glass because the loo was occupied by a vomiting girl. I told him to see a whore because they are professionals. But in his modern greed he opted for an amateur he met on the internet. He thought it free but he left his 15-year-old single-malt when he fled.

To scotch? No! To Green! Intoxicating and expensive. Let us drink our savings and legacies away.

I spent my New Year's Eve high, alone, and listening to my favourite tunes. Multiple women contacted me, but I took comfort being in the eye of the hurricane, thinking, like John Lennon before me (before worrying about censors), Isn't it good, knowing she would? And for free!

A bonus: I awoke without a hangover.

To 2009! Let us emerge and fight the forces of entropy. Let us become something better. I shall make an effort.

Thank-you for reading, Dear Reader. I apologize for being so cerebral lately.


Nigel Tewksbury