Friday, 24 October 2014

slow fall

I’m wondering.  I’m wandering.   I’m kicking through autumn leaves, each one some shade of gold, each one of a kind.  In this city tall slim trees undress to drop such pleasant waste, gifts to clog the gutters, litter the street.  The locals couldn’t care less.  I could.  Each pile I scatter by foot, each one is a treat.  I kick a golden bank, a quick flume and soggy landing, again and again. 

It’s cold here, I like it.  My socks are wet because my shoes are soaked; it’s safe to assume they smell awful.  They’ll dry.  I pour hot coffee breath into chill hands, I stand in crowds, I stare at signs I don’t understand and connect with the disconnect of a city who’s tongue I can’t wrangle.  I don’t speak a word here.  I’ll learn maybe, I’ll try to learn. 

The birds know me, they see me.  I could do without these birds.  I’ve dealt with plenty of pidgins in my time, but this lot, they stare.  They circle and they stare, unabashed, I think they want my eyes.  Birds all over the place today, milling about like punchy drunks at a bus stop, I cross the street but they see me, they always see me.  It’s ok.  I chew my cheek, breath hard through my nose and make quiet promises.  I tell myself a secret, I ball my fists and stuff them in my pockets and keep walking.  I send my soaking right shoe through a thick stack of leaves, I’m a millionaire.  I wonder what’s over the rise.  I keep walking. 

Last night I slept alone.  This morning  some ghost made my coffee, hot and bland to share with a cheese sandwich.  I made the bed, I brushed my teeth and left my room for a dishwater sky and air thin enough to slip through knitting.  It’s 11:28 now and I’m running out of time to say good morning to someone.  I need to learn good morning.  Tomorrow, maybe tomorrow.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Vincent Goes Splat - 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Teaser

Luke Lennox and I took the day off work to drink cheap beer and make this very expensive trailer.  I named it Sunny Trailer Monday (the day, not the trailer).  We set up to film on his roof but the glare was awful, so we solved a Sunny Trailer Monday dilemma by shooting in this sweet shady alley  instead.  That fence I'm leaning on was a thin barrier between my back and a screamy/laughy/awesome kids party, they even had a jumping castle and everything - I don't think it was for Sunny Trailer Monday though.

Friday, 11 July 2014

An open letter to Johnny Walls Bakery

Dear Johnny Walls Bakery,

East London in spring, when the sun is showing-off and it’s market day – well down Broadway there’s a bustle.  Tied up in this tangle of bodies, if I tuck my elbows in tight and shrink my shoulders, and step and wriggle and step and wriggle, well I can float right through that crowd; one slack chunk of hairy flotsam; smelling pies and pocketing those things I hear that curl my mouth upwards.  I keep them in my little piggybank, a classic case of trash and treasure.

In the sun people drink beer on the sidewalk, they laugh, smoke cigarettes and fiddle with their phones.  Pretty girls smile at tall boys with good skin.  Wriggling through this crowd I’m not ugly anymore, I’m invisible.  It feels good.

Well down Broadway, one sunny Saturday a few weeks back I traded a sweaty collection of silver and pennies for a good coffee from a rude man with teeth like mine.  I sipped and strolled over the bridge and away from the crowd, down past the costumed kids on the BMX track at Haggerston Park and left onto Hackney Road, and on, and on. 

My feet fell quiet outside the Bethnal Green tube, stood still waiting for my 309.  Up high the sun hung a huge hunk of butter melting in the heavens, and in the park behind me, spread out on rugs on the manicured lawn, manicured couples read, napped, kissed and avoided dog turds with effortless grace.  The fat man to my left turned and tossed his lit dart through the fence, into the park, then sucked, slurped and spat for good measure.  I picked up a parked bike and smashed it across the back of his head, it made a good sound.  The bike bent around his body, and he just collapsed beneath it like an empty argument.  Silver spokes snapped clear of the rims and littered the ground like pine needles at the foot of a Christmas tree - I mean that’s what I would have done, if I had more time, but the bus was coming and I don’t know how to pick a bike-lock.

Onboard the bus was crowded with folk and fat with fumes.  Through the glass the sun outside still shone, dogs tugged at leads and boys and girls in dark glasses took their time to reflect in shiny shop windows.  The bus continued to rattle, it slugged and oozed along side streets, cutting corners and creeping towards Bow.  And as the 309 spat black smoke out along Ben Jonson Road, well to my right, white text, big block letters rising up out of a red backround announced Johnny Walls Bakery, which at a glance I read as Johnny Was a Bakery.  If I’m honest, Johnny Walls Bakery, Johnny Was a Bakery really is much better.  Think about it. 

Wil Greenway.      

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

my craft

I burn myself for a living.
Sometimes I burn the coffee too.
I apologise between twelve and seventeen times a day*

*Those numbers may stretch.

I thank people for their rudeness.
I laugh at all of the jokes.
I am most of the jokes.
Sometimes I taste blood and realise I’m chewing the inside of my cheek.

I smile for money.
I have four bosses – all of them very smart and very funny. 
I am not.

Strangers read my name off a badge,
Pinned down on an unironed shirt.
My colleagues address them as ‘sir’ but I don’t know how.
I think it comes down to motor skills,
My gag reflex blocks the sound and threatens substance,
Warm wet breakfast chunks that would rankle even more than ‘mate’.

Foot sore I blush,
Sweaty I smile,
Meek I list weak skinny, large skinny, large skinny, small skinny.
I am the funniest jokes. 

Bad breath slaps my face.
Bad breath.
Bad bad breath.
I          don't       breathe.
There is no tip jar.
There is no need, 
For love - it can only be for love.
I steam cheap milk and dispense change with nimble hands.


Saturday, 7 June 2014

thirty minutes a day

Yesterday for lunch I had a cheese sandwich and a coffee.  The bread wasn’t stale, the milk was in date, and after I chewed and swallowed my tummy stopped talking.  I sat on a particularly ugly red stool, too tall for a tallish man to touch the ground; I sit on it nearly every day.  
In the wind, on the other side of the glass smokers smoked their delicious smokes; I tried my best to call them idiots.  I sipped my coffee, brushed my crumbs from table to floor and missed my family.  I sent my dad a text message, talking footy.  He sent one back, talking footy.  The world felt about as big and complicated as the wine section at Tesco.  I laughed to myself without warning, and then laughed at my laugh, still trying to chew and touch the ground.      

Monday, 26 May 2014

may 26

I was a thief and a cheat and a bully before I was born.  I grew up easy in a nice house on stolen land.  I ate my fill every day.  I slept sound.  Once a year I’d open presents and cut cake in a graveyard.  I knew but I didn’t know.  I didn’t do it, but I did it.  I do it.  I’m sick to my stomach.  I’m sorry.  

Tuesday, 20 May 2014


Sailors die at sea, and the blood you’re spitting now is a waste and a shame and a promise kept.  You cling fast to the mast, screaming into the gale, praying like a thief to stay afloat.  And each surge is the last one and the worst one and always followed by a mate. 

It’s some sort of vigil; your head in the toilet bowl, bare knees seized up on cold tiles and your guts dribbling down your chin.  A time for reflection when your reflection mingles with soggy pizza crust and waste and wine.  And brandy - you don’t even drink brandy, but there it is, slopping in the soup and calling you a liar. 

Waves keep crashing.  Your little boat rocks and kicks like a fucked-up mule at a house party, it can’t take much more of this.  You hang onto the toilet like a leaving lover and promise and splutter and wonder if the neighbours can hear.  You wonder if you’re too old for costume parties.  Another surge.  You think yep no more costume parties.     

Monday, 14 April 2014

Vincent Goes Splat - preview show

I'm pregnant.  Heavily pregnant.  I've been lumbering and blowing about town for months now, swelling in secret and sweating on my future.  But in a short matter of long days this held breath will be blown out.  On Wednesday the 23rd of April I am giving birth to Vincent.  I don't promise that he'll be handsome and I don't promise that I wont cry.         

The preview next week will be the first breath this show grabs.  Please come and cut the cord, marvel at the how small its fingers are and try your best to tell me its beautiful. It might make you sick, but it wont cost you any money.

Venue: The Holborn Workshop:  493-495 Hackney Road, E2 9ED London
Date:    Wednesday the 23rd of April
Time:    7:30pm
Cost:     NOTHING.  IT'S FREE*

*I mean that really depends on how much you value your time.  It's probably worth it though.  

also, here's a facebook event event if that's your thing.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

i'm a drunk and a thief and welcome anytime

The sun is always setting in this town.  That’s an exaggeration.  Sometimes the lead up to sunset here reminds me of Melbourne, I think it’s probably because sometimes in Melbourne the sun sets too.  On the short step along Hackney Road between my front door and the Sainsbury’s, a lagging sun catches in apartment block windows, all nostalgic and Caramellow Koala gold.  A thirst gets tickled.  I shake my wallet and that sleighbell chorus promises a drink or two. 

It’s Friday arvo.  I’m walking muddy through the rare February sun to buy a bite to sober up.  I’m not pissed but I’m sloppy, see my Friday night starts when most folk’s lunch break ends.  Such is coffee-slinging.  My walk home from work accommodates an off-license flogging a fair range of tall, cheap, cold cans.  A slow walk home kills two cans, a shower and peak at the paper makes short work of the surviving twins.  Call me a lightweight (don’t really, I’m easily hurt) but four family cans cooks me some way towards dinner. 

With a couple of litres of Holsten sloshing in my tummy I amble through electric supermarket doors, and fried by the short concentrated blast from the doorway heater I feel like something on an assembly line.  I walk past the short shelf of grey-green veggies to pick up four packets of noodles.  Special Chicken Flavour.  I turn right and peruse the drinks fridge, stepping over a foamy spill of beer.  I weigh up the red sticker specials and land on a very shabby American brew, some expense is spared.  On the floor another spill, thick, foamy, it isn’t beer, it’s spit.  It’s totally spit.  Lots of it. 

At the counter a man with a curly crop of glossy black hair is the object of the checkout girl’s disdain.  He’s seen thirty, forty is some way off.  Draped in a green jacket and blue jeans, he favours his left side and shuffles toward the register, wheelie walking frame out in front, and plonks a cheap bottle of rose on the counter.  He’s leaking a steady flow of saliva and people are looking away, caught up in some sticky feedback loop of being embarrassed by their embarrassment.  The checkout girl wrinkles her nose and calls her manager.  Her manager tells our friend in the green jacket that he won’t be served; he’s already bought alcohol today.  So because rules are rules, even when they aren't, our man leaves his purchase on the counter. He shuffles out of cue, on cue, out of the store, out of the way. 

I use the self-serve checkout.  A skinny man with neat hair catches me trying to cheat the machine.  He’s wearing glasses and an ironed white shirt and telling me that I “need to scan this product, sir”.  I’m embarrassed, I say so, but exchange the word for sorry and throw mistaken into the bargain.  I’m smiling like a liar.  The man scans my cans and places them in my bag.  I thank him with boozy breath.  He says “you’re welcome.”  Lucky me.   

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Vincent Goes Splat

i've built something new, it's kind of big.  it started off i was just collecting scraps of junk from the side of the road and nailing them together, welding, hammering, sawing.  it didn't look like much for a pretty long time, but it looks like something now.  I'm actually pretty proud of it.  i'll show you if you like, not yet, but soon, very soon, in brighton.

Vincent Goes Splat is a brand new show that will debut at the start of May at Brighton Fringe.  It's stupid and sad and about to be born.  

*Booking info is waiting just over here.
*All things Vincent are this way.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

i'm not standing at a bus stop

You’re sitting in front of the cafe where I said I’d be sitting too. 
I’m late. 
I call out to you and you look up. 
I’m on the other side of the road, waiting for a break in the traffic. 
You see me and you smile. 
I wave hello. 
You’re smiling at me waving hello from across the road.
A bus slows down.
I don’t want a bus; I say so with my hands. 
The driver smiles like he understands, he stops even though I’m not standing at a bus stop. 
I step into the doorway and say, “Sorry, I’m just meeting my friend over there for a coffee.” 
The bus-driver says, “Anytime.” 
I think we’ve got a communication problem here. 
The door folds shut behind me. 
I'm not sure what I'm doing on this bus.
The driver says "two-thirty please."
You probably wonder what I'm doing on this bus.
Some taxi honks his horn.
I buy a ticket and shrug sorry shoulders at you through the grubby windscreen. 
You squint at me, open mouthed, reading something small. 
I shrug again, lifting my hands palm up like I’m weighing two invisible coconuts. 
Your eyes squint smaller and you cock your head till your ear almost touches your elbow. 
This feels like it’s another communication problem. 
The bus takes off, turns a corner and I can’t see you anymore. 
I think I’m getting worse at making friends.

Friday, 14 February 2014

let's hurry home

It’s raining, it’s storming, and you’re travelling by bus and by train to come home.  I’ll be there at the station, on the corner, hood up high and fists firm in pockets, grinning clenched teeth through the sheets of shit, lit by passing cars and streetlamps (I don't mean the streetlamps will be passing, they'll most likely be stationary).  You’ll wave and wait for a break in traffic and then make a dash across to say hi and happy weekend.  We’ll walk home fast and maybe haunt a pub for quick practice drink if the rain gets too heavy.  And we'll spruce up and head out, or pour a bigger drink and stay in.  We can do whatever we want.  It's the weekend.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Reviews for Badly Town

Badly Town captures the essence of the street so acutely that occasional games of street-cricket are mistakenly played upon a single paper-back copy.  The crowded bowler, batsmen, fielders and wheelie-bin remain utterly oblivious.”   
- The Evening Stranded  

Badly Town adroitly articulates it is far more dangerous to fear the fear of fearing fear than to not fear fear, or rather to not fear as a fear the fear of fear to be feared at all.”  
- The Fine n’ Chill Times

“Inhabited cheek to jowl to heaving bosom by big, strong tough guys and the babes that love them, Badly Town is one sexily erotic romance.  Plus crime.  Plus drama.”  
- Harold’s Son

*See what all these real life critics are raving about, click here to enter the murkily sexy and dangerously murky world of Badly Town.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

some strangled sort of dance

Outside everything is grey, inside not so much.  I’m sitting wet hair and woolly socks on my made bed, the curtain is open, the window is closed.  I can see my breath.  I’m holding a cup of coffee, I can see his breath too, we’re pals.  Good music struggles out of shitty computer speakers.  It’s Sunday morning and that means it’s Sunday afternoon.  Last night was Saturday night.  Yesterday afternoon was Saturday afternoon, yesterday afternoon I skated on ice, on skates, at the foot of a castle.
The Tower of London is a grim and stirring place, old and huge and brimming with bones - sort of.  Inches above it, the sky sags low and heavy, barely able to hold itself upright.  It’s the weight, the chill, the wait, the rain; it leans on the tower for balance the way a drunk does a bouncer’s shoulder.  It’s bleak and it’s weary and reminds me where I’m headed; it clashes with the fairy-lit skating rink at its feet like bourbon in apple juice. 

The hour kicks off happily enough, couples hold hands and kids hold the railing and for every seasoned skater there’s five or six first-timers.  People laugh and wobble, cameras flash, rain dribbles, elevator music fills in the spaces and the herd ambles along.  Everyone wears blue skates, everyone is constantly close to calamity, and it builds a subtle sense of togetherness.  Strangers grinning at strangers, everyone is in on the joke.  Our little patch of ice has effectively thawed some of that famous London spirit.

A blonde little boy is falling over again and again, and what at first appeared as an innocent case of clumsy bad luck slowly recasts itself as some sort of an offering.  A sacrifice; the ice takes this boy scrape by scrape so that the rest of us might be spared.  It’s ok; our lamb continually finds his feet and laughs it off.

The herd slopes along, and time is difficult to mark; neither light or music seem to change at all.  The scenery (the castle, then cafe, then steps, then bridge, then castle, then cafe, then steps, then bridge, then castle...) begins to pin you down.  Couples continue to hold hands, slow lap after slow lap.  A father and son are awkwardly walking the perimeter, desperately clinging to the railing like the mast of a sinking ship.  They sweat and stagger and walk past the exit and around the rink again and again.  A soaking wet blonde boy falls for the thousandth time, he’s not laughing anymore, he hides his face in his mittens and lets it cry.  The herd rattles around him.  This jolly circuit has become a war of attrition.  Lap after lap, fall after fall.

Skating, for me, turns out to be a rickety game of gravity, of probability and of providence; played out with the lumbering grace of some dazed dog clipped by a car.  I stop for a breather by the railing.  I’ve got very cheap scotch in my hipflask - It’s delicious.  My friends find me and I point out a guy who doesn’t look like Dawson Leary, but certainly has his aura.  It is, aparantly, an indisputable truth.  We make plans that hinge on the promise of mulled wine, then disperse.  I sketch out another speculative lap, it’s really fun.  I grin at a wobbly stranger, he looks away.  I think maybe there’s something in all of this.  I don’t know what.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Badly Town - part 2

*Badly Town is an unflinchingly gritty crime drama I'm working on.  It's sexy and it's tough and it's more than likely going to make me a very rich man.  This part is called Part 2.  I like it, it's real.  For Part 1 click here.  Be warned, Part 1 is so real it's not even called Part 1.  It's just called Badly Town.  

“I don’t know what to tell you, Chief.  It’s like he knew something, knew something we needed to know; some fact maybe? And he knew it, you know?  Some piece of information relating to a crime or something.  Something we probably needed to know.  He knew it alright.  He knew it so bad it was burning him up like a forest fire, some raging, wild, wicked forest fire.  Only this forest, it weren’t no forest, Chief, this forest was Malone – he was the forest, see?”  Jorganson nodded a quiet acquiescence, marvelling at Stinkily’s ability to italicise the spoken word.   

“And that fire?  That fire was guilt.  Or maybe dread, most likely a guilt/dread combo, and that’s one flammable mix, combustible like.  You put those sorts of elements together with a dry windy day like me and Jorganson here, you put that all together in one interview room, well what do you expect, Chief?  You think there’s not gonna be a forest fire?  You think there’s just gonna be some nice little scout troupe campfire where we can all sit around and roast marsh mellows and braid each other’s hair?  This ain’t some jamboree, Chief, we’re cops, we smash photocopiers over crook’s head’s, it’s what we do.”

Stinkily was right, the Chief knew it, and damn now he was kicking himself for not noticing the new braids he was wearing.  Stinkily was visibly hurt, and fair enough, they looked like hours of sweaty work.  But the Chief wasn’t to blame for that, it’s not like he was ignoring Stinkily’s braids, he was simply too captivated by his eyes to notice.  Tiny glowing rat blue eyes that leave you wondering what day it is.  With those peepers front and centre, following the shifting styles of that thick brown mane was more than an old man could handle. 

The Chief slammed a balled fist down onto his desk, scattering 500 pieces of particularly tricky Batman puzzle.  “Damn it, Stinkily, that’s the third photocopier this week. What am I supposed to tell the Commissioner?”  Jorgensen inserted a fresh toothpick.  “I don’t know, Chief, maybe tell him crime doesn’t take a holiday.”  Jorgenson deftly ducked the Lego fire engine hurled by the Chief, and winced as it struck the Chief’s secretary square in the face.  “I told him that last time, he asked me what it meant.  I told him to go home and look it up, he said he would.  I don’t think he likes me anymore.  I mean the deaths in custody thing he can deal with, there are forms for that, but what is it with you two and photocopiers?  Can’t you just use a phonebook?  Or at least take the ink cartridge out first?  Please, I’m asking you a favour here, just try and curb the Good Cop Good Cop Bit.  And what did I tell you about tell you about Darth Vader?”  Stinkily blushed and gingerly placed the 1987 originally packaged Darth Goes to Hollywood figurine back on the shelf.  “You said ‘you can look with your eyes’.  Sorry, Chief.”

With an audible hiss the Chief let his lungs empty slowly.  He wasn’t mad, not really.  He loved these boys, they were the best damn cops on the beat, and if getting results meant smashing a few copiers then to hell with it.  To hell with it all.  He leant back, kicked his well worn shoes up on top of his desk and lit a cigar.  “I’m not mad, not really.  I love you boys, you’re the best damn cops on the beat, and if getting results means smashing a few copiers then to hell with it.”  Stinkily and Jorgenson blushed, looked at their shoes, at each other and then finally at the Chief.  Jorgenson broke the silence.  “You said that twice, once in a sort of omnipotent way, sort of like your voice was coming out of the sky or something, and then you said it with your mouth.  It was weird, I didn’t really like it, and I don’t think Stinkily liked it either.”  

The Chief crinkled his brow and shrank visibly in his chair, he was about to apologise when Stinkily’s phone rang.  It was a snitch down by the docks with news, fresh tasty crime news.  Jorgenson read Stinkily's body language like a recipe for a romantic dinner, he smiled.  “When the going gets tough, the tough gets sexy.”  Stinkily flinched, instinctively fingering the scar behind his left ear.  The only fight in all their years of partnering was centred on the ownership of that catchphrase.  Jorgenson had never apologised for smashing the photocopier over his head, and Stinkily never expected him to.  It’s just how it was.  They left the Chief without another word.  He watched them go, took a long draw of his cigar, and then went to help pluck pieces of his Lego fire engine from the bleeding eyeballs of his secretary.