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Monday 00:31   His bed is empty, the linen gone, naked sticky plastic mattress lying on a steel still rack. The mattress is nylon threaded, criss cross patterned and concaved. There is a diagonal rip in the surface exposing synthetic stuffing where he had dropped his K-BAR the first day we moved into the room, the room with perpetuating odors of evaporated urine and aged tobacco spit spills and sweat and dust and soiled laundry no matter how much bleach and cleaner and Febreeze we’d used, the room with the collapsing wet rotted plywood floor covered by peeling linoleum, the same kind of tacky flooring in my grandmother’s guest bathroom.   I am watching the clock. The clock is contorting digital limbs into new shapes each metered moment. It is measuring blue time on the nightstand standing beside his bed. The clock is canted with a slight unlevel tip because half its nipple nubbed feet are stepping on the letter from his folks. The clock is a bright and lonely light in the room, pooling cold puddles of cerulean shine on the mattress and dyeing the puff of stuffing a tiny lambent cloud of cotton candy electric azure.   I am spread on my own bed staring over my boots. I am observing the clock’s digital yogic routine. I am aware each moment a moment’s conversion is rendered, from 00:34 through 01:57 and then again from 02:12 until 04:32. I am aware of each precise predictable minute minute’s movement. I am also aware the most profound change in single digit digital chronographic posturing occurs in the transition from 0 to 1. I am empty brained gazing at his bed between marked momentary intervals, fixing on the luminous tuft.   The morning calls to prayer are waking me at 05:32 room time. Despite the synchronicity among the minarets in the surrounding city the differed distanced collective prayers are combining in my ears to form a baffled cacaphonic conjunction in a language I don’t know.   Monday 09:13   My CO is concerned. My 1st Sergeant is concerned. My interpreter is concerned. I sit in the shrink’s office, Lt. (Navy) Banana Girl. She is Asian and petite but I cannot figure if she is also concerned. She points with the silver plunger of her black government issued ballpoint pen, one each, a lady fingered clinched pinch at the sheathed business end. The…

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Not a Death Sentence

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Every so often a lorry would flash him, the first hundred miles or so, the traffic gnarly getting through Bristol…


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Meerkuts | 2 comments | 01/26/12

    I laughed at the kids hanging round the door frame, showed them a card of mine that read,…

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tom unsworth | 0 comments | 01/21/12

“So, you got a woman?”, Gus suddenly thinking how Eddie was around a lot, a little bit of doubt there…

Here is a short essay about Atxaga's short story.

little sibilances

tom unsworth | 2 comments | 01/20/12

“…so they say you should listen to the sound of the voice rather than what’s being said.”    “No shit?”…

Here is the second part of "Some Skinhead Shit"

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