joe2poetry

Poetry from a Dublin Scientist

Category: Scriptor and Joe

Scriptor and Joe collaboration 10

Hi there! It’s that time of  the month again, time for a collaboration between myself and and the talented Scriptor Obscura . It’s the same as before; we each wrote a bit and the other had to follow and the whole thing gets strung together It’s all a bit of a laugh. Anyway; Enjoy!

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I first have to admit that I was very drunk that evening when I left the bar and staggered along the sidewalk back to my apartment. 

This, you can imagine, is something that I do regularly. I know that pavement like the back of my hand.
So! no matter how drunk I might have been, I swear that what I saw next was real.

A large dark van slowed to a stop next to me, motor running. With its headlights off I hadn’t even noticed it. A thick hand clamped over my mouth and my arms were wrenched behind me. As I struggled, kicking and twisting, I was bundled into the van, my arms and legs tied. A cloth was pressed over my face and everything went dark.

I awoke in a dark room. My head was spinning and there was a chemical taste in my mouth.

I tried to move but I found that my arms and legs were tied to the chair. There was some muffled speaking from in front of me and a light switched on and shone in my face.

“Where is it?” Asked a heavily accented voice.

I was dazed and highly confused. “Where is what? I don’t know what you are talking about! Where am I? Please let me go!”

“Hahaha,” the man smirked, chuckling. “Hah. That’s a funny one. Let you go? Hahahaha…” He leaned back, crossing his arms over his ponderous belly. “Nah, I don’t think so,” he smiled, a huge grin spreading across his face.

“Don’t play dumb. Its not gonna be good for you,” a harsher voice said, again in an American accent. I heard knuckles cracking. “Where’s the email you know? The one you “deleted”, hm?” He made air quotes in front of me. “From a certain…Mr. Snowden? We know you’ve been talking to him. Don’t play dumb. Its not gonna go well for you.” He adjusted the light, pointed it more directly. I winced, looked away.

I had no idea what he was talking about. “You have the wrong man. I swear it. I never spoke to anyone by that name.”

The First voice spoke again, even more menacingly “It is no good lying to us Mr Jameson. If you don’t give us the right answer we will only ask again in a more… Direct manner.” I could hear some equipment being moved. “What!” I protested “You can’t do that to me. I have rights! I demand a lawyer! I demand…”

I was silenced by the second voice. “At home that may be true. But we are now somewhere where the laws are a little more… liberal about this kind of thing. Protest all you want Mr Jameson; no one will hear you.”

“It doesn’t matter what I tell you ’cause you already decided what you wanted to hear. You don’t really want to hear the “right” answer, you just want to hear what you already decided. Just kill me now and get it over with, don’t drag this out.”

“Tsk tsk tsk. Not yet.” The first man shook his head. “You’re more valuable to us alive for now. We just wanna get that email. That’s not so bad, hm?”

“You’re the fucking NSA for God’s sake, you’re the fucking CIA. You don’t need me. You already have all the emails from everybody in the entire universe, you already know what everybody’s been saying, why do you need me for? You don’t need-Aaah!”

“Mr. Jameson. There was no need for that. We don’t wanna hurt you. Just tell us, come on.” He dabbed the blood from my face gently. I leaned over the side of the chair, spit teeth.

He was about to hit me again when there was a buzzing from a phone in the background. I heard another voice speak softly followed by an embarrassed cough.

A third voice spoke “Jack! Listen to this! You’re not going to believe it.”

‘Jack’ grunted and walked back behind the light. There was some more  muffled speaking followed by ‘Jack’ shouting out “What the fuck do you mean by that? Fine! I’ll ask him!”

‘Jack’ came back; this time more sheepish. “Your name is John Jameson… right?” I was confused and in pain but nodded in the affirmative. “John Jameson from 23B Russel’s Avenue right?”

“No!” I shook my head “I live in 25B.”

“Well that’s just fucking great!” The man thrust his hands to the sky “We’ve got the wrong man!”

“No. We. Don’t!” “Jack” was grabbed by the shirt, shoved against the wall. “What do you think its gonna look like if we admit we made a mistake, hm? Hm? Have you ever thought about that? Have you, you moron? Heads are gonna roll, and mine’s not gonna be included. You bastard, Jack. What’dya think, we can just fucking let him go, just let him waltz out of here like the fucking Bolshoi Ballet, like nothing ever happened, just so he can go running to the media and sue the fuck out of us? We’re talking about international law here. We can’t just let the bastard go, you moron.”

“We’ll grab the other guy,” “Jack” said, quiet. “As for him…well,” “Jack” tilted his head towards me.

“We don’t. Make. Mistakes. Moron!” The man shoved “Jack” again. Letting go of “Jack’s” shirt, he turned to me, knelt in front of my chair. “Listen Mr. Jameson, how’d you like to work for us?”

“What?!”

“You’d be a sort of informant, you know, blend in undercover. You’d still keep your day job. You’d just be giving us little details we’re interested in, you know, that type of thing. Observing people…You know what we’re talking about.”

“I don’t have a choice, do I?” I stared at the floor.

“Well, since you know what we do here, its either that or…You understand, I’m sure.”

I sighed.

“Smart man. You start tomorrow.”

So that’s how I came to be working for the CIA. Not officially, of course. You didn’t hear it from me.

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Scriptor and Joe Collaboration nine

Hi there. It’s that time of the month again for once again another collaboration between myself and my good friend Scriptor Obscura. Those of you who know her will know that she is no longer on WordPress but she is still on the internets on twitter as @scriptorobscura. We did the following as a twitter exchange. Probably the first of many.

Enjoy

 

Sunbeam pierces glass.

She turns, squints, raises her hand.

Dust motes dance in warmth.

#

She moves a blanket

More dust flies into the air

She pauses to cough

#

“Miss Smith, lay back down.

You need rest. You’re not well yet.”

She sighs, stares at nurse.

#

“You don’t control me.

Wait until my husband’s home

He will throw you out”

#

“You’re not home Miss Smith,

you are in the hospital.

You have no husband.”

#

“But… I am married

We’ve been together for years

I remember it.”

#

“Und how’s ze patient?”

“She thinks she’s married, Doctor.”

“Hmm. Tranquillize her.”

#

Jab of a needle

Between awake and asleep

Her husband walks in

#

Scriptor and Joe Collaboration 8

Hi there! It’s that time of the month again. Time for another collaboration with that talented writer and my good friend Scriptor Obscura. We each contributed different parts to make the whole story but I’m not telling who did what. Enjoy 🙂

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There is a period of a few months every year from when the heat of High-Summer ends to when the chill of Fall starts to bite when you can walk around the city quite comfortably. Needless to say I always aim to take advantage of this brief respite and enjoy going for long walks around the neighbourhood in the evening.

The best part is that other people have the same idea. You can find the whole world out in the street on days like this.

One evening as I was walking, several fire trucks raced past me in the opposite direction, sirens blaring. I turned around. Thick smoke was pouring into the sky from some distance away.

Shit! I bit my lip. I’d forgotten to turn off the bloody stove! Shit!

I ran back as fast as I could go, my lungs burning.

I sprinted past slow walkers and twisted my way around the groups of friends talking on the sidewalk. There were some shouts from people I nearly collided with but I made good progress.

I came to my street and saw that it was blocked off by several squad cars and the fire trucks. I found to my relief that the smoke wasn’t coming from my house but rather from the garage of the Smiths from across the street.

I could see Denise and Gary Smith on their front lawn. They were shouting and screaming at each other. Some of the cops had gotten between them and they seemed to have difficulty keeping them apart.

The smoldering husk of a Range Rover lay crumbling in the driveway, tendrils of steam rising like fresh-baked bread. A small crowd had gathered, neighbors and onlookers, many with cellphones recording the scene.

“You son of a bitch. I found her pantyhose in the front seat. That secretary. I knew it!” Denise glared, fuming.

“Well, you weren’t giving me any, so I had to look elsewhere! What did you think I was, a monk?!”

“Huh,” Denise snorted.

“Throwing a match in my car?! You’re psychotic!”

“Easy,” an officer said, hand on Gary’s chest. Another officer clipped handcuffs to Denise.

Before he was finished cuffing her Denise broke free.

“Psychotic? You bastard!” She pushed the other officer from in front of Gary throwing herself at him.

“I gave you ten years of my life,” She pushed him to the ground starting to hit him on the face and chest, “And you waltz around with that…that.. trollop… that child!”

Some of the onlookers shouted cat-calls and cheers as the two started to wrestle with each other on the grass.

One of the officers approached them “Cut it out! Now!” In his hand was a can of pepper spray.

Suddenly a voice pushed through the crowd, shouting.

“Smith you’re fired! Don’t come in tomorrow.”

“Wh-what?” The fighting stopped momentarily as Gary propped himself up on an elbow, wiping blood from his nose. “Mr. Jones…sir…”

“You filthy pervert,” Jones spat. “I know what you did. That secretary, Sheila? She’s my wife!”

“This is better than TV!” the man next to me smirked, grin spreading on his face.

Gary looked at him. “What are you grinning at?”

The smile quickly vanished. “Errrrrr!”

“Don’t you laugh at me! You fucker!”

He was about to get up again when there was a movement from one of the officers and a buzzing sound. Gary collapsed onto the ground. Denise, still on the ground with another officer reaching to restrain her, gave Gary a kick and laughed.

We all watched as the two of them where cuffed and led, Gary still visibly woozy, into separate patrol cars.

The last words we heard was Denise “You’d better put us in separate cells. I cannot guarantee the bastard’s safety if you don’t”

Scriptor and Joe Collaboration Six

Hi there! It is that time of the month again for a collaboration between myself and that most excellent writer Scriptor Obscura. We each contributed different parts to this little story; if you want you can guess which of us wrote which, though we won’t tell. Anyway Enjoy! 🙂

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When I was a student I used to visit the art gallery on campus from time to time. I enjoyed to wander around the silent halls on a rainy Saturday or whenever classes just got too much to cope with. I freely admit that I didn’t “get” art most of the time. But sometimes I would see something that would move me to my core.

Today however, the gallery was abuzz as I approached. A small crowd had gathered in front of the doors, cordoned off with yellow police tape. The street was lined with squad cars, lights flashing off the windows of nearby buildings. I turned to the man next to me.

“What’s going on?”

“Bomb-scare!” He said. “Some lunatic pulled out a grenade inside. It scared the hell out of everyone. They have a negotiator in there at the moment trying to tell him to put the pin back in.”

The doors burst open and there was loud shouting from inside. Two men in full body gear rushed out holding an armoured box. He was followed by a number of cops surrounding a handcuffed man. It was hard to see him so tight was the crush of police but I managed to catch a glimpse of his face.

“Derek?”

The officers turned, stared at me. Derek looked up. Our eyes met for a brief moment before he was bundled into a waiting van.

“You know that guy?” the man next to me said. The crowd was beginning to stare at me, pointing and whispering.

“He’s my brother.”

The man blinked, his mouth wide.

“Sir, we need to speak to you.” An officer was parting the crowd, coming towards me.

I was marched by heavy hands into the same van as my brother. The door was slammed behind me and I took a seat opposite Derek crushed between two burly policemen.

I ignored them and for a minute we were just two brothers talking.

“You stole Dad’s grenade then?” I asked.

He grinned at me “Well he was never going to use it. Was he?”

“You idiot. What the hell were you thinking.” I shook my head.

We arrived at the station a few minutes later. We were immediately separated. I was taken to an interview room where an officer questioned me for what seemed like hours.

“Does your brother have any ties to any organizations that you know of, any political or religious groups? Has he been involved in any unusual activities recently?”

“What do you mean by “unusual”…?”

“Has he been meeting with anyone, talking to anyone, does he hold a grudge against anyone that you know of? This is serious, sir. We have a potential terrorist incident here. I’d appreciate it if you’d answer me to the best of your ability.”

“My brother is not a terrorist, what are you talking about?”

“Sir, please. We’ve traced his cellphone records and it seems your brother’s been speaking to someone in Chechnya…Do you know anything about that?”

“What? What are you talking about?”

“A Mr…Akhmatov, it seems…Do you know him?”

“What?!”

“Pavel Akhmatov” He checked his notes again.

There was a burst of recognition and my memory fell into place.

“Pavel? Yes I remember him. Little guy! He spent a month here about a year ago. I think he stayed with Derek for some of that!”

The questioning continued “We were aware of Mr Akhmatov’s visit to the country. Did you ever hear him talk politics or religion or anything like that with your brother?”

“Sometimes! They would talk about a lot of things.”

“Anything radical?”

“Oh no certainly not!”

“How can you be so sure? You did say they would talk politics!”

“I know it wasn’t like that! You see! Derek and Pavel they were very close when he was here. I mean; really close.”

“Sir?”

“Well! They were lovers!”

“I see.” The officer shuffled his notes, tight-lipped. “Well. Do you have any idea why your brother would have pulled out a live grenade in the middle of an art gallery?”

“I don’t know, why don’t you ask him? You have him in the other room don’t you?”

“Sir. Your brother will be spending time in jail. Do you believe Mr. Akhmatov may have put him up to this?”

“Well he is an artist. Likes to do stunts, shock pieces, that type of thing. Guerrilla art, he calls it. Got a couple of videos on YouTube,” I shrugged. “I don’t know. I don’t really get art.”

“Tell Pavel I love him!” Derek’s voice drifted through the door. “Tell him our names’ll be in the paper! Tell him-”

“Quiet!” a voice barked from the hallway.

Across the table, the officer stood, smirking.

“You’re free to go sir. Thank you for your time.”

Scriptor and Joe Collaboration 5

Hi all! It is that time of the month again! Time for another collaboration with that most excellent writer Scriptor Obscura. This time it is a haiku story, we each wrote different haikus in the context of a developing story. Try and guess who wrote what.

Enjoy

Walking past dumpster,

I could hear something crying.

Stop. Look. A baby.

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Poor thing was filthy

I reached in and took it up

A quick check. A girl.

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I dial the police,

Then take her in and clean her.

She calms. Blue eyes stare.

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“What now little one?”

I smile. She gurgles at me

Sirens come closer

#

I wrap her warmly,

Then scribble down a quick note,

Tuck it in blanket.

#

An ambulance comes

Men in black with grim faces

They take her. She cries.

#

“We’ll take it from here.”

“But could I see her again?”

“It’s not up to us.”

#

Eighteen years later

Young woman. Aged note in hands.

“Hi! Remember me?”

#

Scriptor and Joe Collaboration Four

Hi all! It is that time of the month again, time for another collaboration between myself and the wonderful Scriptor Obscura whose blog you should most definitely check out.

Anyway we both each contributed different paragraphs to the story. Try and guess which parts are from which.

Enjoy 🙂

My grandfather Eddie had the unique distinction being the only adult I knew as a child who never told me anything true. He seemed to be of the opinion that teaching facts was the responsibility of others and that his job was to foster my imagination. Everywhere he took me held dragons and monsters and everything else a small boy found fascinating.  Every walk to the shops would descend into another tall tale.

But there was always the faintest trace of an accent in his voice, the way he always wore long sleeves and a jacket even in the heat of summer, sweat glistening down his neck, leaving large dark stains in his clothes, the brim of his fedora.

We spent a lot of time in department stores, the supermarket, anywhere there was air conditioning. Sometimes he’d stare off into space, blinking. He seemed to snap out of it when I asked him something, and he’d always answer with a happy smile. He never talked about himself, his childhood, but I always wondered.

“Son!” he’d tell me, after I had asked one too many questions, which was often enough “Sometimes you have to realise that the world has many monsters , some you can’t recognize.” He had a habit of playing with the sleeves of his shirt when thinking deeply, making sure that it was down as far as it could go. “You have to spot them before it is too late, before they can hurt you.”

One Sunday, we stood waiting for the bus home. The sky’d already turned dark, rumbling. A thickly-muscled man stood next to us, head gleaming in the streetlight, tattoos darkening his biceps. Grandpa stiffened, stared straight ahead, knuckles white over my hand.

“Ow,” I squirmed, wriggling under his grip. Grandpa darted a glance at the man.

“What’cha lookin’ at, fucker.” Grandpa turned away, jaw set.

I heard the swish-flick before I saw it, the glint of metal into cloth, the whish, thrust.

As the bus pulled to the curb, grandpa staggered, clutching his arm.

“Mein gott…,” he whispered, head clanging as he tumbled into the lamppost.

The bus door opened, “Jaysus Mister! Are you alright!” The driver emerged holding a small bag. “I know first aid! He said to us and shouted at everyone to keep back. “Anyone got a phone? Call an ambulance now!”

The driver opened the box and rapidly put on a pair of gloves. He took a small scissors and started to cut away at the fabric of the sleeve.

Grandfather, until then almost catatonic started to move in protest and to get away. “Nein! Nein!” he murmured. The driver lifted the fabric off the wound.

The SS lightning bolts and black Gothic lettering stood out on grandpa’s slashed skin, blood leaking onto the sidewalk. I blinked, staring. Grandpa looked away, closed his eyes as the paramedics lifted him onto a stretcher. A Garda knelt beside me.

“Son I think its time we take you home. Your grandpa’s being well-cared for. We’ll make sure we’ll go after whoever did this. Come.” He put an arm around my shoulder, led me to the patrol car.

***

That night after the Gardai left, mum and I sat at the table, staring at the floor, the silence punctuated by the radio announcer’s baritone.

“Former Neo-Nazi leader Edward Halloran has been hospitalized tonight after a knife attack at a bus stop in Dublin. Mr. Halloran’s grandson who was with him at the time was unharmed. The Gardai are seeking a heavily tattooed man believed to have ties to Mr. Halloran’s former group who was seen fleeing the scene on CCTV-”

“I never knew,” mum mumbled, blinking. “I never knew.”

Scriptor and Joe Collaboration Three

Hi all! It is that time of the month again for a collaboration between me and Scriptor Obscura, an excellent blogger you should check out. We decided to go with the tried and trusted Haiku story again. Hope you like it!

She sits at window,
lamplight shadows flickering.
She sighs, heart heavy.

She holds a picture
Old watercolour painting
A young man stares out

“You should be here, Stan.”
Outside, footsteps crunch packed snow.
Hard knocking, doorbell.

There stands an old man
A white beard surrounds young eyes
Her heart beats faster

“S-Stan? Th-That you?”
“I’m Alastair, your husband!
Have ye gone daft, Anne?”

“Stan was my brother
 He died years ago honey
You and him went out”

“But…I could’ve sworn…”
“Shh. Come, Anne. Damn Alzheimer’s.”
“You look so alike…”

“I know Anne; I know!”
“He was the love of my life.”
“I know that too Anne.”

Scriptor and Joe collaboration two

Hi all. This is the second collaboration between myself and Scriptor Obscura, a fabulous writer who you should check out. This time we went with a story were we each contributed a few lines and our ‘individual’ imaginations got to do their work. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it.

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I have to travel a lot as part of my job. I know I know, it is just the cards I have been dealt.

As a result I spend an awful lot of my time in departure lounges or waiting in cheap hotels.

I am not one for reading so whenever I find myself with time to kill I just like to make conversation with whomever is beside me.

Many people just ignore me but a good few, more often than most, respond to me and we have a great chat.

I can’t begin to imagine the many different topics that I have discoursed on over the years but it has been everything from war stories to how one man met the love of his life (I love that guy!)

One of the most interesting stories however has to be what happened to me when I was travelling through Frankfurt airport, I found an old woman there while I was waiting for my flight. She must have been around seventy I think. I asked her where she was travelling and she responded like so many had done before.

“Oh I’m not travelling, I’m waiting for my daughter.”

“Oh I see.”

“She’s returning from Thailand,” the old woman beamed. “I never knew I had a daughter.” Rummaging through her purse, she pulled out a Polaroid. “See, this is Claudia, when she was little.”

“Is that…a boy?” 

The woman stared at me, blinking. 

“That’s Claudia. She was always Claudia. She should’ve told me sooner,” the woman sighed, then brightened. A leggy blond emerged from the elevator gripping a suitcase, scanning the crowd.

“Claudia!” The old woman leapt, knocking her purse to the floor. She waved frantically as I gaped, slack-jawed.

Claudia waved back and the old woman took off like a sprinter out of her chair. I barely noticed; Claudia was simply stunning, I couldn’t keep my eyes away from her. But there was more; a twinge in the inner recesses of my memory as I looked at her. 

Mother and daughter embraced and while chatting made their way towards the exit. It was then when I regained some of my composure that I noticed that the mother had left her purse where it had fallen.

Ever the gent I grabbed it and took off in hot pursuit after them. 

“Hey, wait! Hey!” 

Mother and daughter stopped, turned.

“Here, you…forgot…this,” I panted, handing over the purse. I turned to Claudia. “I remember you…”

Claudia blinked.

“Kurt Steinmüller! You were an exchange student at Trinity College,” I smiled.

Claudia frowned. “Kurt’s dead. I’m Claudia now. Come mother, lets go.” She tossed her hair.

“No! Wait! We should get together sometime, catch up. I see you’ve, uh…changed…”

Claudia’s eyes narrowed.

“And you haven’t. Viel spass, du hurensohn.” She turned around.

“Huh? Whad’ya say?”

“Have fun, you son of a bitch.” Her tittering echoed as she strode through the exit doors, heels clacking.

I wasn’t going to take no for an answer. I followed them out the exit, the sound of my flight being called silenced by the closing automatic doors.

I saw Kurt, (now Claudia) and her mother walking towards the waiting taxi stand.

“Stop please!” I yelled “We can’t leave it like this!”

Claudia turned with fire in her eyes and marched back towards me. She stopped right in from of me, our noses almost touching and she said in a low voice 

“You left it a long time ago when you said you would never love a woman. Goodbye Daniel.”

“Wait!” I grabbed her arm. “I didn’t mean never…Look, lemme get my bag. I’ll be back.”

“What about your flight, idiot? Are you deaf?” Claudia grabbed me by the shirt. “I’m. Not. Interested!” She pushed me away, shaking her head.

I stumbled backward, felt a heavy hand on my shoulder.

“Everything alright here?” The officer’s badge gleamed.

“Uh, yeah. We were just…arguing. I’m leaving now. Sorry.” 

Claudia smirked, a slow grin spreading across her face.

“This guy assaulted me. I want to press charges.” 

The officer frowned.

“Mm hm, I see…”

I felt the handcuffs click around my wrists.

“No!”

I struggled against the cuffs.

There were loud footsteps behind me and another pair of arms forced me to the ground.

“You don’t understand!” I pleaded “I know her. We used to go out back when she was a m…!”

I was cut short by something sharp pressing against my belly. An electric force surged through my body.

The last thing I saw before I blacked was Claudia; standing there, watching me with a grin on her face.

I never did see her again; she never pressed charges.

But that grin stayed with me. It was the same little grin that Kurt always had, mocking me, whenever he won our petty little arguments, so long ago.

Scriptor and Joe: A collaborative Haiku story

Hi there! Moving on from the success of Haiku by Two with Anne Schilde I have gone and made another collaborative effort, this time with that wonderful writer and friend of mine Scriptor Obscura. We tried to start things funny but it went kind of dark rather quickly. Well that is what you get when you have more than one person creating I suppose!

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After eating beans…

“Jeez! You’re goin’ off like fireworks!

Real room-clearers…”

#

Tried to blame the dog

But nobody believed me

The poor thing fainted

#

“Resuscitate, try…”

No use. Dog is pronounced dead.

Vet is mystified.

#

Had a funeral

Small ceremony out back

Then recriminations

#

Close my eyes, she’s there.

Hear her barking in my dreams.

Won’t eat beans again!

#

Family agrees

No beans allowed in the house

Got new dog, not same.

#

#

We plan on doing something like this again. I’ll keep you posted.