Savage Omnibus #5

August 29, 2008

music was a big part of it – mikael covey

cunt – matthew coleman

disgust – zack wilson

death of miss america – sean mcgahey



Savage Omnibus #4

July 24, 2008

MORNING by Suzy Devere

A Dollar Bill, Crisp and Falling~ Joel Van Noord

In Sumeria ~ Elizabeth Rose

vuh shit tree by peter wild ~ part one part two part three part four

Savage Omnibus #3

MORNING by Suzy Devere

July 24, 2008

“Okay, there’s the rub,” I thought, rolling over and trying to open my eyes. But the light was so fucking annoying.  Too bright, like an x-ray sizzling through my brain.  Louisa was pulling back the curtains and it was hellish.  I drifted back out to sea.

“Ms. Suzy, Ms. Suzy.  I’m sorry but chu tole me no to let chu sleep today pas lunchtime.”

Louisa’s voice was hovering and mothering, almost as annoying as the light, but for her I pulled it back to shore.  She loved me.

“Yes, yes.  Thank you, Louisa,” which, I can honestly say I meant, but not for waking me up; who gives a shit about getting up?  I could’ve slept till California sunk into the sea.  No, what I was thankful for was that she was there, making sure I wasn’t dead.  And if I was?  It was reassuring to know she’d be the one to find me first.  Louisa, my hero.

“Could you check with Anthony downstairs to see if a package from Rupert Flynn came?” I said, not very nicely, eyes still less than half-mast. I wanted that package.  Been waiting for it for days.  It was the Will with new appraisal values, blah blah.  I didn’t give a shit about the stuff, but I also didn’t like the idea of fuck-off lawyers and my uptight, slit-stitched, step-mother taking it all without a fight.  Fatty said his lawyers would take care of it if I wanted.  I told him to ask someone else because I wasn’t talking to him.  Couldn’t hear him. 

“Is that a dog I hear barking somewhere in the distance?” I’d said angrily, cocking my head to one side, pretending to listen to something far away.  He shut up.

The truth is I didn’t want him to see what I was all about.  He had his ideas about me, and that was fine, but they were only ideas.  In much the same way I had my own ideas about me, and I didn’t want anything—especially not facts—telling me otherwise. Lord, I didn’t want to have to look into Fatty’s eyes and see “understanding” or “empathy” or any of the other sad-sack things that show up in people’s eyes when they think they really have you pegged.

Ugh. It wasn’t his fucking business, my father’s affairs, you know? 

Money—the spending of money and the owning of things, any things, not just rich / poor bullshit—can tell someone more about you than you know about yourself.  This fact being the one true thing I felt sure of—that my father’s estate would tell others who I really was—made me feel sick. From the first day I’d heard he was dead I knew I’d rather lose it all, the money, the things, than have full disclosure to deal with. 

The other thing I knew was that people react to things in weird ways.  Fatty could read the Will and decide I should be on my own without his help, financially and physically, and that would be bad.  It was his constant bullshit and my hatred, channeled all towards him, that pushed me through the days. Lucy had long disappeared, and I hadn’t really done anything for years but fuck people, dance a little, spend a lot, and get loaded.  Didn’t want to rock the boat.

By the time Louisa dutifully came back, bulging brown envelope in hand, it was nearly two o’clock and I was still unwashed, undressed, and unimpressed by what the day could hold.  She looked at me strangely, like an investigator.

“He say hello to chu, and he tell me chu need to come to take a walk.”

“You tell him thanks for the tip, and to take his own walk.”  Louisa winced but said nothing, just as I expected.  Talking about the staff to other staff, no matter how different their positions, was always a bad idea.  They didn’t like it.  Made them feel insecure, even though for a moment they also felt privy to insider information, which made them feel superior.  It still was bad form, one of those no-nos of the elite.  I’d never been comfortable with having staff.  It was the staff that were high-maintenance. I couldn’t be bothered too much to watch my tongue for anyone, especially not the kitchen help.  Make me a fucking omelet and shut up while you’re doing it.  Is that too much to ask?

Anyway, Anthony was well intentioned; a good doorman but a little on the nosy side with a touch of desperation to him, a pleaser.  I hated kiss asses.  Therefore I really hated Anthony, but knew I shouldn’t.  He didn’t deserve it.  He was hired to fill a spot no one could win in.  No one was James.  Old James wouldn’t have made a comment on my personal habits, or anyone else’s in the building, for a thousand bucks, and that was his old-school training comin’ through.  Anymore the doormen in Manhattan were pompous asses with greasy palms, control issues and bad hair.  Could I blame Anthony?  He was just trying to look after the girl / lady / person who never came out in the daytime except with dark sunglasses and flip flops to go walk somewhere that always took the same amount of time:  29 – 36 minutes.  That’s how long it took me to get to the Food Emporium on Third Avenue to buy cigarettes, a Klondike Bar or Peppermint Patty, and the occasional E.P.T. Home Pregnancy Test.  Other than that, why travel?

Now I was standing, Louisa pouring my coffee twelve inches from my face like I was a baby, and I wanted to throw up.  I’d been feeling sick for days but I always felt sick, except when I was high so who could know?  Fuck all, she was looking at my face closely now…

“Louisa, move back.  Spit it out already.  You’ve been staring at me for twenty minutes.  What’s the matter?”

“Ms. Suzy chu no look so good,” she said with an embarrassed shake of her head.  “Chu look…” she made a strange face I’d never seen before, “Chu look blue.”

Mother of God.  Blue?  What the hell was that supposed to mean?  Of course I look blue.  She’s brown and I’m “white” but we all know that means I’m blue when my skin hasn’t seen sun for a while. 

“I’m just pale.  You know that,” I growled.

She shook her head and her eyes got wide.  I could tell she was weighing her words carefully.  That was what began to freak me out.

“No, Ms. Suzy, chu look blue like something left chu.  In chour face.”

Shit.  Maybe this was the end?  Maybe I was finally gunna’ die?  Either that or I was pregnant.  Same thing, I figured.  I told Louisa to go shopping.  She asked for what? I told her to think of something.  She knew that meant I really wanted to tell her to fuck off but that I was behaving nicely.  She got the drift and got lost pretty fast; I think she knew that I wasn’t right in the head.  Well, I never was…but that this time something was really different.  Really wrong.  After she left I moved in slow motion to the guest bath where I proceeded to vomit blood and coffee, held an E.P.T. stick in my piss for five seconds and then laid it flat on the gray and white marble sink while I went back to bed.  Tomorrow Louisa would find it and tell me what it said.  Although she couldn’t read English, she read those tests better than me.  Happily, I washed three pink pills down with a shot of Woodford Reserve and hey, lights out.

—Suzy Devere

Savage Omnibus #3

July 21, 2008

Fall Out by Melissa Mann

You burn your regrets but leave mine to me by Ben Ashwell

Coward by Steve Vermillion

Waste (for Cliffy) by Chris Major

Three looming cranes in the distance by Lee Rourke

Savage Omnibus #2

July 11, 2008

rapture by max dunbar

restless by elizabeth rose

fuck kafka by joseph ridgwell

words of love by michael keenaghan

dog day afternoon by marquis de chalfont

never lick the floor of a lift by matthew coleman

tourettestial by james quinton

No one knew James Tattoo’s real surname. He’d never told anyone. We all knew he’d been in prison because he liked to tell us all how he’d got there.

            James had had a young son at the time who was apparently very keen on birdwatching. James had bought him a little spotters’ guide, one of those little hardback books called summat like ‘Birds of Britain’. The kid took it into school for one of those ‘show and tell’ days and a bigger boy took it off him and threw it over a fence into the canal. James’s lad went home crying and James took it badly. He went round to see the bigger boy’s dad.

            He knocked on the dad’s door and the dad answered. He was apparently a large chap who said he couldn’t care less about bullying or bird books. James knocked him down and tied him up with fishing line and gaffer taped his gob. Then he put him in the boot of his car and drove him round the East Midlands for six hours before dumping him in a lay-by near Long Eaton. When the coppers asked James why he’d done it he said it was because he’d wanted the cunt to apologise and mean it. James did six years for that I’m told, but other offences might have been taken into consideration.

            Maybe prison was where he’d got all his tattoos. He certainly had some strange designs. Some religious icons and lines of Chinese characters, all manner of beautifully drawn wildlife, including a hovering kestrel on his left bicep with ‘Lenny’ written under it in copperplate that he said was a tribute to his son. Lenny had died of Leukaemia whilst James was inside.

            We got to see all his tattoos when he turned up to the pub one day in a dress. It was a Sunday and he spent the entire day in the pub wearing it until he passed out on one of the new settees and Stewart, the landlord, tenderly covered him with a blanket. It had been a long and tiring day.

            I didn’t dare ask him why he was wearing the dress. No one else seemed particularly interested, especially not after they’d seen James ask Vince for the money he owed him.

            Vince owed him a couple of hundred quid. I think he’d had a few wraps of chang on tick and hadn’t quite got round to paying. James, still in the dress, a nice pastel blue thing with a tasteful floral pattern that hung down far enough to kiss his kneecaps, took Vince out in the car park and got him in a savage headlock. We all watched through the pub window as he repeatedly tried to put Vince’s head through the back fence, Vince’s slightly obscured face growing redder with each failed attempt. Eventually, when James had had enough and got bored, he let Vince go and trot off to a cashpoint.

            James came back into the pub with the happy air of a hill-walker who’d just conquered a moderate summit. I asked him why he’d banged Vince’s head against the fence so many times, was it because Vince had taken liberties?

            “No mate,” he explained, “it’s just that I’ve ‘eadbutted an ‘ole in that fence easy before now and I can’t work out why Vince’s head didn’t go through in one.” He looked genuinely baffled. James, despite his slim build, was a strong man by anyone’s standards and should have been able to get Vince’s head through the fence easily. I didn’t like to point out that there was a brick wall behind the fence at the height Vince’s head had been at. I kept schtum about that and accepted the pint of Strongbow James offered.

            I knew James was strong because we’d tested it. One Sunday there was an old plastic dustbin outside the pub, the old fashioned type that they used to use before wheelie bins were everywhere.

            Anyway, this one was left over in the pub car park after some event from the night before. It was filled almost to the top with cement and had a vertical tube in the middle of it. It had been used as a base for a pole for a light or summat. Someone had forgotten about it when they were clearing up and it had got left behind.

            So it was sat in the car park and as afternoon darkened in to evening we decided to amuse ourselves with it. Everyone threw a couple of quid into the bucket Stewart uses for raffles and suchlike and the idea was that whoever could lift the bin highest won the money in the bucket.

            Everyone lined up outside to have a go, even the lasses had a go for a laugh. Everyone except me and James had had a turn and no one had been able to lift it, not even the Slovak with the unpronounceable name who’d been in the French Foreign Legion.

            James took his turn and he thought he was the last to go. He strained and his face went all red and screwed up and chimpy as he lifted but after two or three seconds he managed to lift the bin about an inch off the floor. Everyone was cheering and clapping, and Stew had a big laughing smile on his face as he handed the bucket to James.

            “Hang on a second!” I piped up, “I’ve not had a go yet.”

            There were cynical mutters and good natured sneers, but I’m used to being underestimated. They were all forgetting that I do a lot of heavy lifting at work and before I’d moved down to Ashby I used to play Rugby League. James already had one hand on the bucket as he, along with everyone else, turned to face me. There was an expectant rising moan from the crowd, a kind of ‘woooohhhrrrrr’ that started low and got louder as I grasped the puny handles on the sides of the bin of cement and lifted. It was bloody heavy, and Christ knows what my face looked like as I lifted it but I managed to get it an inch or so off the ground and then with a final massive heave that nearly made me vomit I raised it another three or four inches and felt it bang against my shins before I had to drop it. The crowd gave a big cheer and I shook my arms, trying to loosen the killing pain from my elbow and shoulder joints.

            James didn’t seem to like being beaten. He grabbed the bucket of cash by its handle, clamping it in both of his strong hands. I put a hand on the handle but he wouldn’t let go. I tugged it and he responded by banging his chest into mine and staring straight into my eyes from close range. He was a good three inches shorter than me but the unguarded rage in his eyes was terrifying. I held his gaze for a few seconds and then he threw a half-hearted headbutt, more of a challenge than an assault. I caught it on my forehead and rode the momentum. Then I pushed back. Our foreheads were locked together as the focal point for a bizarre pushing dance for several seconds before James pulled away laughing and let me take the bucket. I gave it back to Stew and feeling like the Milky Bar Kid in one of them adverts announced to the crowd, “The money’s going behind t’bar! Drinks for everyone courtesy of me and James!” There was a big cheer after that and everyone filed back into the pub talking and laughing.

            James had his arm round my shoulders and we had a right good session that night. Since then, he buys me a drink every time I see him and he was good to my sister too. After her accident he paid for her and her boyfriend to have a weekend in an hotel in Devon, gave them five hundred quid spending money too. I didn’t ask where the money came from. It was a touching gesture after all.

            Respect, I suppose, is what it’s all about. Mutual respect. I mean, I’ve never seen anyone do a Sudoku as fast as he can and he nearly cried when I gave him that Bumper Book of Puzzles the reception girl at work gave me. Sometimes lifting heavy weights does teach you things.

…. or “Self inflicted rectal haemorrhage”

Joe flicked the switch of his stereo and rose from the settee. He walked over to the window, lit another in the endless chain of cigarettes and gazed out at the neon city skyline. The front door opened and his flat mates, engaged in deep inebriated conversation, came in and sat down. Joe leaning against the wall put on his Doc martins, black Oxfam crombie and headed out for a few drinks.


A seedy Broad street bar, a defective neon light sputters and a plasma screen flashes images of scantly clad pop stars. A young barman with a soft face wipes the bar top with a paper towel. A glass collector aimlessly strolls around. Joe sits alone in a drunken stupor gazing at the black varnished wood. Joe pulls out his little black note book and pencil and scribbles a few observations. After awhile he mumbles a few words in the style of Kerouac’s intoning tales of hard times and life on the road. Instead of the garish beats of the ministry of sound Joe imagines a piano player weaving a little piece of unobtrusive jazz.


“The Bomber loads his literary guns and aims his spit full of words of malignant prose towards mangy moth eaten worldly worriers of woe….whilst the 3 am crowd of maladjusted undiscovered poets and word wise screamers of the street spread the word like a sexual virus….”


After a few hours drinking, mumbling and arguing with the occasional Big Brother reject, Joe popped a pill and closed his eyes.


Joe wakes to the screams of anguish from the damned souls of reality TV. The virginal soft features of the barman slides away leaving a pulp scorched face. The glass collector is face down in a pool of his own blood and excrement, whilst the frenzied drunk and dancing bystanders start savaging and fucking his withering torso. The once small and cramped bar has lost its sense of space; the dark walls slither like tar. The barman walks towards Joe and offers him a drink, not phased with what is happening, Joe takes the shot and couldn’t help but notice the barman’s encrusted lips fall away leaving behind fouled bloody flesh.


The barman’s dry and cracked mouth slowly parted with a metallic digitalised recorded voice. Joe could see the sound waves pulsate towards him.

 “di glass collector lay face down in a pool of fi im own blood and vomit whilst di once drunk and skanking bystanders started biting and fucking fi im withering structure…”

Lighting a cigarette and looking at the digitalised Dictaphone Rasta sounding corpse. Joe asks him a question.


“Do you think its fair you kill off the glass collector and leave him to your Big Brother degenerates?”


The barman grabs Joe’s collar. Joe is close enough to suffer his phosphorus rank ass breath.


“see yahso young writer, I have no argument with I and I! would I and I like fi im batty eaten out by fi im alter ego whilst he chews on di severed cock of a latter day shepherd of jah? or experience an explosive rectal haemorrhage?”

“Fuck me! Talk about an over reaction! I’m going for a piss”


Joe finds himself in front of a fly infested piss pool of an excuse urinal and is overwhelmed by the sight of a mutilated bloody body ripped open with entrails spilling out of a designer shirt.

Back at the bar and feeling ill Joe was about to mention the body in the toilet, but was somewhat taken aback by the barman as he was holding an unusually large cock in his hand that writhed like a dying sea snake. Like the Old Man of Crete, whose tears are the source of all the rivers in Hell, the Dictaphone Rasta sounding barman pissed his degenerate liquid up onto Joe’s face….Then appeared an apparition! It was of a man but his features were not clearly visible. His body consumed all light…


Slumped across the settee Joe wakes up to the orgiastic scene of his flatmates double penetrating a woman he vaguely remembered seeing earlier serving customers at Waitrose…


“What happened? That sudden flash of light, unbearable heat…those cries of wag girlfriends in torment…the absence of…”


The mosaic images of flesh fade and Joe blacks out.


Later on Joe methodically listed in his mind the ideas and chapters for his novel, called “Death of Miss America” or “Self inflicted rectal haemorrhage”. After 3 hours chain-smoking before the window until the room became cloudy with a blue haze, Joe typed out his squalid tales of human bestiality and e-mailed them to his editor.




Everywhere was sore.  Sick of the pole, sick of the floor, sick of the cheap, blue-black of the muggy dirty room where I danced, usually alone.  My bruises matched the walls, except when they were fresh.  My heels were at least polished.  I never did like bad shoes.  There was no one in the house, but that’s how those gigs worked.  You just kept dancing and eventually some newbie drunk would wander in and sit down, then jerk off.

Amit, the manager of the place, said I could stop dancing ’til there was “a seat” as he called ’em, but I didn’t like the idea of standing around and performing only “on-demand.”  That gave people the impression that they were important to me. They weren’t.  I was dancing, performing—acting, as I called it—and I didn’t want anyone to think they could dictate where or when my act stopped or started. Power is hard to find so you gotta make your own…

Anyway, it was a day like every other run away day when Fatty showed up to take me home.  I didn’t wanna go.  I’d told him already I was sick of his shit and fat ass and I wasn’t stickin’ around for any more of it.  He’d made me good and restless, ready to get back to the real world and leave the air conditioning and mind numbing CNN behind. What the fuck?  People watch the News like it’s a fuckin’ porn show, with the market tickers in green the cock shots, the red the cunt shots, and the end of the day bell with the arrows up or down the cum shot, the MONEY MAKER.  Idiots.  Don’t know sex from money…

“Fuck Fatty Clinger” I yelled from the stage and kept dancing.

He kept walking towards me, but I could see Amit combing the back of the house.  He was always there to check the scene.

“Get yourself off that stage and put some clothes on” he said, loudly, like I was a child.

“FUCK YOU!” I screamed again, and stuck my tongue out.  Okay, it was juvenile, I admit.  Embarrassing even.  But It was an automatic thing,

I tell you, like screaming when you step on a nail. I just couldn’t fucking help it. How I hated him!

“I’m not coming back, Fatty.  Get used to it.  And by the way, you’re fucking ugly and you’re ruining my show” I said, now that he was up near the stage and his red pudgy face directly in view.  “I told you.  I’m busy.  I’ve got shit to do and it’s not with you.”

At that he grabbed my ankle but instead of stopping I leaned toward him and kicked him in the shoulder with my other leg.  I nearly fell over; it took all I had but it surprised the hell outta’ him.  I’d never hit him before, even though I’d wanted to lotsa times.  He dropped his grip and clutched himself like a disbelieving child, shocked his mama had clocked him.  Idiot. Idiot. Idiot!

“Dinner is at eight. Cocktails at 6.  I laid your clothes out.  The Missoni.  And I added something I think you’ll like…under the pillow…”

“I’m not coming to your stupid fucking dinner party with those piece-a-shits you call friends” I said.

“Yes you are” he said, then pulled out his wallet and dropped a $100 bill on the stage.  He looked at me and quietly said, almost in a whisper, “take a taxi, sweetheart” then turned away fast, so I couldn’t say anything else to his face. But I didn’t need to.  I was quiet.  The $100 was more than I’d seen in days.  He knew I was tired and a little hungry.  He also knew I was sorry to love him, a fat, ugly man, and sorry to be no good.

We both knew I would show up, back at home just in time to be a strung-out hostess.  His friends would call me “wacky and irreverent.”  Fatty knew I could eat with the right fork, talk politics and East Hampton Star.  So I’d leave the show—my show—to go home and use the new works he’d put under my pillow. I’d shove some stage make-up on my bruises and have Luisa help me dress and do my hair.  And from all this?  It was like magic.  Voila!  My acting career gave me another night on Park Avenue and another reprieve from myself.



Triviality appears

whilst impure thoughts

filtering through my

anomalous junk wasted veins

waste away memories of

my non-rebellious youth…

On this Sunday

afternoon I realised

that being a writer

and ex-junkie (Can you ever be an ex-junkie?)

…it’s funny how a person spends

months or years becoming clean

only to feed off those junk

stained memories…in a book or film?

Just how fucked up is society

for a person to seek out

an alternative “high”?

or why has society turned a blind

eye on…society?

Someone sang that love is

a natural high…no it isn’t…

lucidity of thought and breathing

is a natural high…

Very savage manners

May 12, 2008


Two new stories! Enjoy!