teardrop tattoo

May 23, 2008 at 6:47 pm | Posted in writing | 13 Comments
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Suddenly he realised that the idea had been creeping up on him for a long time and leapt fully formed into his front brain like a lakota springing from behind a sofa accompanied by circus music dada diddle diddle dum dum dada, roll up roll up and then it was gone and he was sitting alone in a tatty one bedroom apartment not far from the city, Friday night, drinking whisky with Tex Perkins playing in the background gazing absentmindedly out the open door into the yard where young lovers where giggling under the same moon. There is only one. He had always known there is just one moon but that mundane fact had become imbued with some fundamental wisdom which he could not explain. It is the same moon looked at, mooned over, by everyone each night. And as the moment fades so does his confidence in the thought, in its clarity or depth. The tiger tattoo on the back of his forearm is fading and needs a touch up. He would do it himself but these days he doesn’t trust his hands. They are good enough still for drunken schoolboys wanting skulls and daggers or a breast butterfly for somebody’s girlfriend he could still knock out in fifteen minutes but his days of aspiring to Shanghai are long gone. Kevin used to have a shotgun under his bed, he remembers but is unable to connect that thought to any other. These days he felt less and less in control of his thoughts. Impressions sprang up and dissolved. Dada diddle diddle he thought and my short term memory is becoming embarrassing. Friends forgive of course but it is starting to effect my ability to end my thoughts in a way that completes the idea he began with. The glass is empty but the bottle is not. Haha, that could be a fine song he thinks, and I shall add a line about the moon being the same moon for everyone. Perhaps they will believe I am quoting country music again he says to the empty room. I told you about the first two times I got arrested but not about the third if I remember right. Did you know that trusted longtimers get limited internet access now? Being trusted is easy. It’s all about disinterest, selective deafness, short term memory loss and honesty. All of which can be faked. The lights blinked. “Squires“, he said jangling the keys, “Cell time.”

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  1. I like it!
    I was always too afraid to get a tattoo…. But I’m giving it some serious thought ;)
    Thanks. Your name is working as a link anymore so I can’t find you but I remember your dark and gothic tale in progress.

  2. Having visions fo a possible past? Or is this perhaps prognostication?
    A bit o coincedence I have a tattoo poem up myself. No prison time involved though
    Synchronicity! I love synchronicity and your tattoo poem is cool. Have great weekend of beer on the beach,

  3. Big grinning at the pouncing aside I like this alot Paul. It’s like a slice of the soul, revealing how alone/solitary we always are no matter what else may dance on the periferal (howeverthefuckyouspellthat)
    It’s giving me lots of food for thought. Have a i mentioned lately that you have impacted the way i view the world?
    perfieral, periverlal, whatever. I hope the impact was gentle rather than a crash tackle and roll,

  4. I enjoyed this very much. I like the three ages of past, present and a hint of future in this man’s life, which again are just effortlessly absorbed by the eye and mind as you read, as well as sound, movement and a sense of place with the moment. Complex but perfect sense, which is quite a feat.
    Thankyou, Mary, your comments are always appreciated. You have an excellent eye for detail.

  5. I think the piece had a lot of profound moments, pieces of wisdom that added amazing strength to it, such as lines like: “Being trusted is easy. It’s all about disinterest, selective deafness, short term memory loss and honesty. All of which can be faked.” that’s great, paul. and i really liked the way you provided so much detail about the character, his past, present, and future, without making the piece seem too cluttered. i love the little clues: the details about his memory problems, his unreliable hands, the bottle that isn’t empty. it lets me draw ideas about the character, without the ideas being directly spelled out for me. i wonder how it would work if you broke it up a little into a few paragraphs — it might make it seem less intimidating to some internet readers. great job. it really was a lovely read.

    Thanks Lissa. That is a cool comment. I tried breaking it up into paragraphs and you’re right it makes it look a lot less intimidating. But the breaks were arbitary and I feel it is the smooth flow that gives the piece what effectiveness it has. So the question arises of the integrity of the writing versus ease of reading, another complex balancing act. Some people will come down firmly on one side or the other, I try to balance the two forces which is why I have been accused so often in the past of rank populism. I have been reading Samuel Beckett which may explain a lot too.

  6. No wonder his mind is so vast and wandering…
    Tina, you are a true friend. How is Mimi? I hope I haven’t upset her in some way. She never talks to me anymore, oh well,

  7. Love:
    the surprise factor both described and inherent in the unexpected phrase itself: like a lakota springing from behind a sofa accompanied by circus music…

    moon mooned over

    the ending

    the music of the whole

    I’m confused but mesmerized. In hypnosis, there is something called a “confusional” method of inducing a very deep and instantaneous trance state. The psychiatrist Milton Erickson was a genius at this. I think that’s what your poems do: induce trance by keeping readers on their toes, following the line the thinking, thinking they got it, but then suddenly finding themselves somewhere else entirely.
    Wow, what a fantastic comment, thankyou hugely. i hope they work like that, it is something i have worked on for a long time, turning the phrases the other way while maintaining momentum with the rhthym, thanks again,

  8. I’m loving this one Paul.
    And I agree with Lissa, you describe your character perfectly, without actually describing him at all, that is, in a way his police reports might describe him. Which would bore us. The police might be interested in things like eye color or hair color or even height and weight, but not us.
    And in that same sense your character becomes just like that one, single moon. He is the same person we’re all reading about, but, by building his identity from our own individual interpretations as readers, he becomes something unique to each one of us.

  9. bars of reality creeping in ever so softly behind the almost empty bottle of thoughtless moments written in words with no memory… sounds good to me…

  10. Note to me…This piece has been podcast and broadcast live.

  11. [...] (you can read ‘Teardrop Tattoo’ here) [...]

  12. [...] Paul Squires’ piece, Teardrop Tattoo appears (and an article by Gabrielle Bryden, in memory of Paul); [...]

  13. [...] Note – quod erat demonstrandum: Same function. Any output. [...]


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