Issue #6

Baghdad Bride

'Baghdad bride comes home alone', the Sun or Star heralds all. Wear your pride like a shield? 'Pride of lions blunted by arab hordes' 'Nuke the bastards'.

'The beauty of our democracy is its mantle of tolerance'. No race or creed will be denied its right of independence. British justice will prevail. 

Meanwhile in a dust salted street in Jerusalem, Abdul Fahyed Mubarek nursed his sore and rapidly bruising arm. He had cradled his head from the butt blows, but his elbow had taken the brunt of the butt instead. This seemed to satisfy the soldier, who wheeled around for another arab terrorist.

In the desert, a score of black clad shemales crab crawled, clotted throats dry of word, heads sun dredged and waterless. A plane swooped above and a mantra murmured in its wake. A score of hands clenched heavenward as a score of mourning sacks baked their bodies under the big sun. And I remembered a woman, who was also clothed in black. And magenta. I recalled how I first met her and how I was drawn by her unruly black hair and fist-clenched jumper sleeves. The half smile never quite bold enough to flatter and her sullen eyes looking ever upward through shuttered eyelids.

Ruby Golder shuffled across the square with her lapping pail of goats milk. The meltemi cracked and a gust of sand gritheumed her gluey eyes shut. She had remembered to get the meat in this morning, which was a good job in view of how she was feeling. 'Feet up and a long drink of coffee..only luxury I need', she opined, thinking of Mrs.Rosenblaum's daughter s comments this morning. 'Such sky-high aspirations. Even if she gets there, she'll wonder what for.' Tugging all the time at her purple woollen with her one free hand.

In another square, the worthless expression of a stone inspired Mehmet to pickCHNKWKS B¯ˇˇˇˇTEXTTEXT¿1FDPPFDPP4FDPCFDPC6STSHSTSH8STSHSTSH82SYIDSYIDP8SGP SGP d8INK INK h8BTEPPLC l8BTECPLC Ñ8FONTFONTú8<STRSPLC ÿ8:PRNTWNPR9üFRAMFRAM±?àTITLTITL9@DOP DOP K@"Joycean Afterbirth

The wasps weave and wind, skimming grass blades, bloodless roses and a panting dog. Wilyum was woozy otherwise much frazzled he'd be. Two couples akimbo far below a score of pensionable bowlers. Escape, what we all crave.

Obviouslay flailing mulberrieslee& . The slack bog wholes them all. And a haunch, a haunch a figdom from a haunch. But what est um sloppy pops whosoeventually arises toad gazing upon hays flailful flock. Fingers ape on the millberries flog foggery. Alass snowman snags a snog afore the wan pop erse floor snugged. Snoreman died five sneers ague. Stolin's Traitsky was ice-pocked fifty sneers toad hay. Alors pere Traitsky.

Better florried than a pale ale ater. Stealin husked for nails toby put before hame. Neals on nails, I say namore pea shunts wan poorpeephell starve Stolin shoved bee part on nails. An indesplendent slurry that shorned bee.

The barren bunfight heeded the discustardly swarming. And so to percutaneous wakefulness. The wanesome wind wafts wraithsome wreaths with woe. 50 years and now to this. My tender dry throat could swallow no more. Oh to grasp some truth in this, these sour dreams that kindle nought but ire. Eve upon the iresome heights soon to be ribsore from Haddam's mustard phlegm. The jingo boys the jingo boys. They'll not protect her. Destroy her first by jove.

Yet again, the milk of mortals sorely smotes my craw. And onward into intercinine sublimity. It is the hair that makes the man. Not for everyone, hirsute devil worshippers swaithed in leather AND not for everyone cherubic smoothies bedecked in white and grey. To heel or not to heel, to flaunt or bury in sackcloth. Red lips, black and pink, deep or high, short or long. Or nothing but eyes. Whoops I'll be damned! The mighty wah protects us not.

it up and fling it with not inconsiderable force at the hindquarters of his wife. The fact that he missed was not due to the inconsiderable size of the said hindquarters, for they were not inconsiderable. However, since ineptitude did not play a part, we must consider the caw of a crow wheeling above him with a certain arrogance, to be on reflection, the preserver of his wife's choice netherments. Which was no consolation whatever to Mehmet as he warded off blow after blow from the not inconsiderable forearms of his wife. 

Later, much later, he pondered awhile upon reflections that helped him not at all and yet despite it all he seemed to draw consolation from this. He tugged at his grey flecked beard and swung half an arc on his half an arc swinging chair. Change would come. Nevertheless, his grey smudge eyes rolled in their sunken sockets and he tapped out a coarse rhythm on his desk. 

Yet he did not remember that soldier with bitterness, wrath, enmity, pain, regretfulness or rancour. But earlier, much earlier, his mouth full of pebbles, his arms marbled with dust, his cheeks a mosaic of blood and chalk, he could not of held such an opinion. Yet he passed the trial effortlessly. 'I apologise for my foolishness, my behaviour has been abhorrent (nearly too excessive), but I am sure you will join me in applauding and justly celebrating the overwhelming impartiality of the Jerusalem police. 

What he thought however, was this: 'Oimarphalgnipesnorpolfolgigisties.'

I picked up a two days old edition of 'The Uranus'. The headline read: "Bathtime for Bazza." 

Whereupon I came upon a picture of the man, post-pebbled and radiant in his gaze. Just under the photograph it read: "Former chancellor, Sir Barry Dorkson, was today forced to explain his behaviour, after being confronted on Bempton cliffs (Yorkshire), with his arms around a puffin." 

It was then that I realised my friend was not all that he seemed. Since arriving in Britain he had passed himself off as somebody he felt he could effortlessly become. In actuality, an unearning earl was a tad ambitious of him. How could he have sunk so? 

Could I have any empathy with such a man? He had told me that his personality had been largely formed through his first seven years. His first five had been spent snug in the arms of a 17 stone nanny, whose sole means of restraining soaring spirits was to sit upon his legs until silent order was restored. At the age of six, however, he would pine for that milky mass of warmth, having been flung from that into a cold wasteland peopled by black clad males with strange tonsure and who he would learn to call (to the exclusion of none, until his latter forgiving feelings upon the death of his paternal source), father. How could I believe any of it? 

cheeks a mosaic of blood and ch

been spent snug in the arms of a 17 stone nanny, whose sole means of restraining soaring spirits was to sit upon his legs until silent order was restored. At the age of six, however, he would pine for

John Clark