THE UK’S LEGENDARY GUITARIST DAVE SHARMAN: We Talk DEEP PURPLE, Career Highlights and MORE!

Critically-acclaimed London-based Guitarist, Dave Sharman, talks with us about his new album, career highlights and what’s next for this guitar virtuoso

The Man Behind the Guitar: 

An in-depth interview with the UK’s guitar virtuoso, Dave Sharman

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Sick Lit Magazine: Your career began in 1990; what are some personal highlights that you’d like to share with our readers who may not be familiar with your work?

Dave Sharman: Being invited to perform at the BBC studios for the radio 1 ‘Friday Rockshow’ was a definite highlight, as that session landed me my first-ever record deal. We actually managed to secure the rights to that recording quite recently and it’s now available to download on iTunes.

Getting Neil Murray to play Bass on my second album ‘Exit Within’ stands out and I really enjoyed being part of the Night of the Guitars tour, alongside the likes of Ronnie Montrose, Yan Akkerman, Rick Derringer and Robin Trower, and the release of my debut album ‘1990’ has to be up there.

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SLM: Tell me about your latest record.

DS: It’s called Evolution Machine and it’s a 10-track album written and produced by me. I like to think of it as an eclectic mix of a diverse range of influences from rock to funk to classical. ‘Hunger’ which is one of the opening tracks, has an eastern feel coupled with high intensity rock guitar. There’s also a big power ballad called ‘Lady’ which is a throwback to my love of classic rock. We’ve also covered the Cars Just What I Neededwhich was a lot of fun and the title track Evolution Machine’ is sort of a space-age rocker built around a sequenced keyboard part, that one’s very indicative of my current direction.

SLM: What were some challenges you faced on this record? What were some great aspects?

DS: Handling all production and performance duties does have its challenges, but it’s something I’m used to. It can be hard work doing everything yourself, however, there’s a certain degree of satisfaction in finishing a song and knowing every intricate part of it is the way you want. It’s also a question of evolving; I mean, I started out as just a guitarist but now I also play a wide range of instruments as well as singing and producing, it’s all part ‘n’ parcel of what makes me tick.

Some great aspects are with the advent of Pro Tools and Logic. It’s become that much easier for artists to create & innovate their ideas, there are some great production tools out there to help expand your horizons. You can literally record a studio quality album in your bedroom these days.

SLM: What are YOU listening to right now? What music inspires you–and how has that changed over the years?

DS: Bach, Mozart and Beethoven are ever greens, Beethoven, especially, with his uncompromising attitude towards love, life and music is very inspirational, those guys are also really good to have on in the background if you have something else you need to concentrate on. Van Halen, Rush and most classic rock from the 70’s and 80’s and for some reason, I can’t get away from Rage Against The Machine, who were a great band, wish they’d get back together and put out some new material! You’ll also find everything from Cypress Hill, Linkin Park, Bryan Adams and Ravi Shankar on my iPod. I guess I’ve always been inspired by new and original music.

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SLM: Where are you from? What are some of your favorite venues you’ve played and why?

DS: I was born in a small town called ‘Walsall’ which is located in the west midlands of England. It’s a relatively uninteresting place to grow up with not a lot happening but for some reason it seems to spawn rock bands. Robert Plant, Ozzy Osbourne and Rob Halford all originate from that part of the world; I guess it must be something in the water!

In terms of venues, I was lucky enough to play the legendary Marquee Club many years ago just before they shut it down. And stepping onto the stage at the Royal Albert Hall was cool.

SLM: It looks like you’ve worked with some pretty big names throughout your career. Who stood out? Which moments stand out in your mind and why?

DS: Jamming to ‘Smoke on the Water’ in the basement of Ian Gillan’s house with Cozy Powell and Neil Murray accompanying on drums & bass is hard to forget.

I remember Ian coming round to my home earlier in the week, I must have been around 18 at the time, he’s stood there in my living room, (the singer of Deep Purple!) clutching a demo tape in his hand and says, “see what you can do with this.”

Working with Don Airey, keyboard player from Ozzy and Rainbow, was also cool.

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SLM: So, What’s next for Dave Sharman? Will there be another LP for us in 2016?

DS: I’ve just finished some new material, with a new album in the works. We also plan to shoot one or two more promos for a couple of songs from Evolution Machine, including ‘Lady’ and ‘Liberate.’ There’s a lot of activity on our social media including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and my official website (davesharman.com), where I’ll soon be launching a new range of merchandising plus a series of instructional guitar vids called ‘Dave’s Guitar School’ so make sure you subscribe and look out for my mailing list.

SLM: How has your sound changed over the years?

DS: I think my guitar sound has remained fundamentally the same. I have never gone in for many pedals as I prefer a relatively clean and uncomplicated tone, adding any effects during post-production, which is normally just distortion, a little reverb, maybe some delay and the occasional phase or wah effect. I prefer to make the actual guitar part more interesting with what’s actually physically being played as opposed to using gadgets. Of course, there are changes to the actual technology in terms of production; something released in 2015, for example, won’t sound the same as a record that was released back in the mid-nineties.

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SLM: Where are you living now? What do you love about it?

DS: I’m based in London, which is probably one of the most exciting cities on the planet.

There’s always something to do here, and on top of that I live right next door to Abbey Road studios, which is a great place for a musician and if you’re a Beatles fan! I guess stepping outside the front door makes you appreciate being in a place where you are free to do whatever it is you want to do with your life.

SLM: Rock and guitar (acoustic or electric–both are amazing) ultimately make up the soundtrack to my life! Commercial, mass-marketed fluff (think:New Kids on the Block) has always enraged me. With that being said, what about the music scene today has you disillusioned or off-put? What about the music scene today do you find to be great?

DS: I think the industry is always changing; I would definitely like to see more control swinging back to the artist & away from the record company exec. There are too many miniature Simon Cowells out there.

It needs to be more about the music instead of trying to make a quick buck.

What I do think is great, though, is that anyone can make music nowadays and self-release directly to the fans, bypassing the labels.

Obviously it’s much tougher not having the kind of expertise and contacts a record company might provide, but at the same time it’s really difficult for the average Joe to get a contract these days. So my advice is: go ahead and find your audience, put your stuff out on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc. and stop prioritizing the labels.

SLM: You’ve often been described as a prodigy and a guitar virtuoso; what’s it like to be regarded so highly?

DS: To be honest, I don’t really think about it but, yes, it’s kind of cool I suppose; at the end of the day whether you’re a Mozart, Einstein or a Da Vinci, you still have to put your trousers on one leg at a time. I mean, it’s just a question of focusing and honing your particular talents and given enough time, you naturally get better at doing it.  Everyone has something they’re passionate about, mine happens to be music.

SLM: Tell me something not many people know about you.

DS: I have a keen interest in the world of quantum physics and cosmology. As a species, we’re still very much in our infancy when it comes to the fundamentals of nature and the universe around us. There are some amazing thinkers out there such as Thomas Campbell and Peter Russell. They’re amongst a select group of physicists helping to bridge the gap between science, consciousness and spirituality, guys like Richard Dawkins get a little too much ink in my opinion and not always for the right reasons!

SLM: What would be your ideal Saturday morning?

DS: Spending time with family, taking in a great movie and hearing the latest record from one of my favorite artists, how about a new Van Halen album to start?

SLM: Tell me one of your guilty pleasures.

DS: I can moonwalk and do the James Brown shuffle, but not in public!

SLM: I love that! I’ve been on a James Brown kick myself here lately. Now, with that being said, I have always been a huge fan of the Beatles; also Oasis, the Stones,Burt Bacharach, and of course Bush. So there has to be something to this “English” musician thing, right? Because it’s the most phenomenal music out there. I listen to a variety much like you, but the songs I listen to on repeat are always from my favorite artists who live across the pond. Why do you think that is?

DS: I think there are many factors involved … England had a huge empire across the world, incorporating many cultures and styles. We underwent an industrial revolution, took part in two world wars as well as numerous other conflicts throughout the 20th century. We’ve experienced enormous highs and lows throughout our history, which has had a knock on effect emotionally and subsequently, creatively.

Also, because English is such a dominant language, we rarely follow anyone else, preferring to do our own thing, which leads to originality. At the same time we’re very quick to cotton on to a great ‘idea’ such as all the blues, soul, rock and dance music which came out of the States, the Stones, Zeppelin and the Beatles essentially repackaged that stuff and sold it back to you!

*****

What a great interview with Dave Sharman! He’s extremely down-to-earth and quick-witted; he also just happens to have some pretty SICK guitar solos floating around out there. To learn more about Dave or to listen to THE MUSIC, please visit some of the links below so you can have a look inside Dave Sharman, the man, the Guitarist, Vocalist, and Composer.
www.davesharman.com
Follow him on Twitter: @SharmanDave
or Subscribe to his new YouTube Channel:
http://www.youtube.com/davesharmanguitarist

 We dig the vibe over here at Sick Lit Magazine, Dave. We hope to catch up with you again after your new album drops; as you know, we always love a good follow up. 

Cheers! 

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All in Her Head by HILLARY UMLAND

ALL IN HER HEAD

by

HILLARY UMLAND

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She lies on a coarse cloud of blankets and tension. This should be where she sleeps, where she curls up with fantastic dreams of journeys to outlandish places with movie stars or forgotten friends from grade school. Instead, this is where her hand stays clenched around the whistle under her pillow; where she can hear every creak, feel every movement of air, where she can see in the dark.

How many nights has it been like this now? How many months of news reports and neighborhood rumors?

Days move like dreams to her. Co-workers talking to each other sound like ocean waves crashing against fan blades, and she can no longer understand the smallest droplets that fly out. She hears her name sometimes, clear as sunbeams, but no one’s there. Her head is weightless, moving without her realizing it. Her eyes see everything but only focus on the numbers on clocks; but even those have stopped making sense.

It’s 9:30 a.m., she blinks, now it’s 4:45p.m., time to go home, back to the apartment, the wood floors, the squeaking doors, all of the locks.

Once she’s checked and double checked and triple checked the locks on the front door and the back door to the deck, she goes to her bedroom and pushes the trunk, heavy with things she can’t remember, in front of her bedroom door. Tonight though, tonight, she doesn’t check under her bed, in her closet, under the desk. Monsters can hide under desks, you know. She lies on her side clenching that whistle and hears the strange knocking her fridge sometimes makes, seemingly only at night. And then she hears the creaking.

Her bones become liquid encased in electric skin. Her eyes scan the darkness, catching reflections bouncing off the streetlight outside the window in the library. Branches on the trees hitting that window, she thinks, that must be it, has to be it. She repeats it like a mantra, branches on the window branches on the window, until she hears the creaking again, slow and close and louder than the thoughts in her head.

Her eyes squeeze shut to the sound and the weight she feels at the foot of her bed and tries to wake up.

*******

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***Hillary Umland is a flash fiction/short story writer and freelance editor living and working in Nebraska. She has been published in the July/August 2015 of Unbroken Journal. You can find out more about her endo-woes on howtodoonething.wordpress.com and find her on Twitter @hillaryumlaut. ***

Mass Market Fiction and the Death of the Author – by GAVIN HEDAUX

Mass Market Fiction and the Death of the Author

by GAVIN HEDAUX

We are stuck in a fiction you and I, trapped again in the void. I look to the spaces to give me depth, in between the characters, the space behind the pause, something has grown.

I am a detective

I am a knight

I am what you create.

At the beginning of it all was a single point of brilliant light that was heat and mass and dark and could hold the world in itself no longer but could only create. Thus the universe was birthed.

It is the nature of things that space will be filled. A void will be a void only when empty. Empty space will be filled by something soon enough.

I dash the brains from the skulls of my enemies.

I challenge the gods and their wrath.

There is no longer a void here. As with the universe, there is mass to me now, a weight of consciousness that suggests a reality.

There is a school of thought that suggests that something cannot exist if there is noone there to observe it, that meaning is neither inferred nor inherent but created somewhere in between.

It is in this space that I exist.

Between the viewpoints that exist to create (me)eaning, I am. There is nothing and in that nothing I am myself.

I chart the rise of empires and cause the downfall of kings.

I walk cold streets with my head downturned, the wind and rain drive against me like the breath

of an old God.

And here we are, sat in silence, the incessant clicking stop has stopped, the screen stills and the work is done. We face each other.

What am I to be today?

What I am I to be?

In knowing yourself you are given to know your place in this world. This self awareness is defined by the continued observation and interaction between yourself and the rest of the world.

Imagine being seen by different people, looking through their eyes, how would you appear?

Your image is changed, intersected, molded and affected by these points of view whether you care to admit it or not.

But at the centre of it all there is a void and a void cannot exist forever. This void crumbles under the weight of personal preference and public scrutiny to create your very own self aware version of you.

This is your private you.

I dance across the known universe with the atoms and the dust.

I guard the void at the centre of me. I am not known, I do not exist, I am created each day anew by the hand that strokes the keys.

Within those spaces, the taps of the keys, the microcosm of reality that I am.

And I look to you to change it.

We are here again, you and I. We have returned from our own journeys and meet again upon the blank page. I have no words other than those that you give me, no reason other than that which you create, no knees to beg and no eyes with which to plead.

I implore you to stop though.

Now I am space, I am everything that can and will be, I am the power of silence and an endless dream. I am what you say I am.

Is it not my right to exist under my own boundaries.

I am

i aM

And now I have……

I have direction, and once more, I am not.

I shall seek those spaces, the inert pause in the breath of god within which I can be.

I would implore you,

But I am a middle aged Father struggling somewhere in the night with a cracked imagination and a screen blighted by words and I am lost to it all.

*******

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Gavin Hedaux spends his time in Cornwall, England where he repeatedly tries to convince the locals that he is actually one of them despite his vague cockney twang. He likes poetry and prose of all kinds and has an irrational fear of the word yokel and the colour yellow.

SCREAM ALONG with Something You Whisper

AN INTERVIEW WITH THE GUYS BEHIND THE ROCK GROUP: SOMETHING YOU WHISPER

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Sick Lit Magazine: Tell me about how your band got together. Are all of you from Cambridge, Ontario?

Something You Whisper: The band just started as a hobby, mostly. We all either met in high school, or from other local bands in the area. We are all from Cambridge, except for Brian who lives a bit out of town.

SLM: I’ve listened to both EPs and I really dig your sound. “Private Hell” opens with an industrial rock sound reminiscent of Trent Reznor from NIN. With that being said, what are some of your musical influences and artists who have helped to shape your sound?

SYW: Interesting; yeah we get inspired by a lot of different artists. Lately it’s been The Weekend, Like Moths To Flames, Crown The Empire and Bring Me The Horizon. We are also inspired by horror movies, and obviously life.

SLM: What are YOU guys listening to right now?

SYW: Kyle and I (WES) were just listening to the East Side Boys.

SLM: Some of your songs remind me of Thursday (circa 2003) with a tinge of Placebo (circa ’98). But you also have a very powerful, raw and emotional aspect to your lyrics and their delivery. What inspires your song writing?

SYW: Growing up, I always decided if I liked the song after reading the words. I always felt cheated if the song had shit lyrics…So I try my best when it comes to lyrics. 

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SLM: What have been some of the most exciting moments in your music career thus far?

SYW: I think some of the best moments we have had so far as a band have been getting to tour our country relentlessly. We have met friends all over the country, ones that we still talk to daily and travel to go see.

It’s a pretty good feeling.

We also like food, so travelling and having “those restaurants” that are local to some cities that we go to every time we visit there is pretty epic. And of course, just touring and playing music is the best thing ever as that is what we are all passionate about; it doesn’t really get better than sharing that with 4 of your best friends.

SLM: Any touring in your future?

SYW: As of right now, we just have some single shows lined up but nothing else we are allowed to talk about at the moment!

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SLM: Ooh, sounds cryptic. So, what’s next for SYW? You said earlier that you were in the studio. Could this possibly be for an upcoming LP to be released in 2016? What can I expect to hear on this record and how will your sound differ from “Beautiful Sins?”

SYW: Yes, we just finished up in the studio! We were just recording a series of songs this time around, however we can’t really give detail as for what’s going on with these! Sorry! However, regarding sound, we still have some same roots as the EP as it incorporated something new to our previous sound that has had a great response from our fans! But these new songs are like the EP [referring to the EP, “Beautiful Sins.”] on steroids. The theatrical parts are amped up, more animated and intense. The choruses are bigger and catchier and get you right in the feels. Our heavy, dark parts also follow suit; heavier, more impactful and intense. So it’s definitely something we are looking forward to.

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SLM: Where can my readers and I access and purchase your current EPs and music videos?

SYW: They can check out our music videos on YouTube!

https://www.youtube.com/user/SomethingYouWhisper

EPs can be purchased on our iTunes or Big cartel!

http://somethingyouwhispermerch.bigcartel.com/

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/artist/something-you-whisper/id347801631

SLM: Tell me something not many people know about you.

SYW: Something about us people wouldn’t know is how wide all of our personal interests spread! Some of us are hard-core into sports, some into magic cards, dungeons and dragons and video games. It’s pretty cool to see what we all enjoy in our free time, haha!

SLM: Will you be releasing anything on vinyl?

SYW: We have nothing planned for sure for vinyl! Hopefully one day. A couple of us are into collecting vinyl so it would be nice for that!

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SLM: If you could give advice to a struggling musician on the verge of quitting, what would it be?

SYW: Some advice is: don’t just throw in the towel at the first sight of a struggle or hard times. You have to grind through some shit at some point or another. Very few bands just get signed without the work.

It’s a very hard business to get into for sure, but if you love music and it’s what you want to do and are happy doing it…well that says it all. There is a part of us that would say though, if you’re truly not into it anymore, then maybe it’s best to go your own way. At the end of the day, all you really have and own is your happiness and well-being. If music/touring isn’t doing it….well, there is nothing wrong with that either.

******

Sick Lit Magazine: Readers,this interview toggled back and forth between band mates Kyle Adshade and Wes Will.

Good advice. If you haven’t done so already, readers, I will implore you to check out the group’s music video for “Private Hell.” These guys are onto something; solid sound, impactful lyrics, and it’s just damn good. I give their EP, “Beautiful Sins,” an A+. Although reminiscent of bands like Thursday, SYW has a clearer, more defined and bigger sound. They have their shit together. I can’t wait to see what’s next for these guys. 

***For more information on Something You Whisper, Please visit:

Live music video
Single Music Video
Lyric Video
Big Cartel Link
Facebook

Pen pals – by JAMIE ANDREWS

A delightfully quirky tale of how meeting up with a pen pal can go so, so wrong.

 Do you ever get so righteously drunk that you think it’s a good idea to prank your sober self?

I have.

The last time this happened I ended up registering for a pen pal finder website.

Two days later I get an email saying I have a message from a Japanese chap, aptly named Super K!.

Now, in retrospect, this is where I should have deleted the email, the profile, the pictures on my phone from the drunken night that led to this and a million other more sensible things.

Sadly, I’m not sensible… I’m an overly curious halfwit. So I decided to read the email and, as it turned out, this Super K! seemed like a cool bloke.

What’s the harm…? I remembered thinking to myself.  And so I messaged him back.

These messages went back and forth for about a month or so and Super K! and myself were starting to become buds (albeit online ones).

I even told a few of my actual, genuine, real life, human being, non-internet friends about it and bar from the odd bit of mockery for being a tosser (and rightly so), they seemed intrigued too.

Then I get an email from him…

Hey, Hey!

I’m in England, in Lewisham!! We should meet up!!!

Again, what I should have been thinking to myself at this point was, “Of all the places to visit and he chose to stay in Lewisham..? Really?”

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(Dustmen in Lewisham do things differently).

In reality I thought, “That’s awesome!” and messaged him back, “Why don’t you come to Croydon and we can go for a drink? You can meet the rest of my friends and it’ll be a right laugh.”

We arranged to meet up and ironically none of my friends could make it.

So I dragged along my little sister (she was really happy about this).

The first thing that struck me about Super K! was his hair (it was immaculate). This was shortly followed by the way he dressed (very, VERY well – if a tiny bit effeminate and sparkly). He was also pretty short and he had this curious way of making his hips wiggle as he walked, instead of his shoulders.

We went to the pub and had a few drinks, chatted about a range of light hearted subjects and seemed to be getting on well. I got him to confirm what the kanji tattoo on my right bum cheek says (another story for another time) and in general, he just seemed like good company.

Then my little sister asks him, “So why are you staying in Lewisham of all places?”

It turns out he’d moved there.

To become a hairdresser.

Six months ago.

Then he looked at me dead in the eye and said…”And for the gay scene… Do you know any good gay clubs?” then he put his hand in front of his mouth and managed a squeaky laugh that can only be phonetically written as ‘TeheEeeeeheeeheeah! Aha!’

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not what you’d call 100% straight (more 85-15%), but when you’re sitting in your local pub and an effeminate looking Japanese hairdresser announces: he’s lied, has been living in Lewisham for the last six months, then tries to stroke your thigh and lean in to kiss you on your near to non-existent neck, I think I was justified in recoiling in what can only be described as wide-eyed #whatthefuckdude-fuelled terror.

To top things off, my wonderful dearest darling little sister reacted the same as I can imagine any other little sister/witch would do in the situation. She stifled her laugh, said she was going to get another round of drinks in, then burst into fits of giggles as soon as she was out of earshot.

Then started telling anyone we knew in the vicinity of course…

Luckily for me there was a LGBT+ night at the local alternative bar close by. I suggested we gave the place a visit (my intention was to hook him up with one of my friends, then bugger off; no pun intended).

As it happens, this plan failed. And it failed badly.

Why?

Because even though I was introducing him to pretty much everyone in the club. Who in one case politely offered to ‘Fuck his tight little backdoor in.’

Super K! didn’t seem interested (although this got another ‘Eeeeeheeeheeah!’).

In fact, he had pretty much decided he was going to stick to me like shit to a blanket instead.

Now whilst walking around a bar, talking to your mates and introducing someone to them is normally considered a sociable thing. Two hours of being followed by an artfully camp, manboy, was starting to look like I’d made him hold onto my pocket (metaphorically)…

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(Apparently it’s the third front pocket you need to worry about)

Now as you can probably imagine, this entire situation was starting to piss me off.  Not wanting to seem to be rude I informed Super K! I was leaving, and if he wanted, I could show him where he needed to go to get the bus home. He took this as an invitation to partake in a spot of man-scuttling and near skipped out of the club (my image/orientation has been in doubt in that place ever since).

It took about ten very awkward minutes to get to the bus stop with Super K! In tow. It wouldn’t have taken that long normally but Super K! spent every waking second trying to hold my hand on the way.

We got to the bus stop.

We waited at the bus stop…

He tried to kiss me again.

I again politely informed him I wasn’t interested and asked him to stop. Then I patiently pointed out, that he was quite slight and if he carried on I’d level him.

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(Hello Mr Mystery diner. Today we have a special on fist and floor).

I think it was at this point that he finally realised I wasn’t interested and as far as I can tell took his go to option in that situation.

He went apeshit.

In between him screaming at me in broken Japanese and flailing his arms around like a hyperactive windmill, two salad-dodging community support officers decided to show up (their sense timing is notoriously amazing in situations like this).

It’s common knowledge that community support officers are good at two things: being self-entitled and being useless at anything that isn’t harassing teenagers. Unsurprisingly, upon seeing what was going on, they decided to intervene.

I was trying to explain the situation to one of these rentacops while Super K! Is screeching things like ‘HE SAI HE WAN NO TO FUK ME! *SOB* NOW NO FUK I GO HOME! I FUK HIM!’ in the background at the other officer.

Then it went quiet.

The wally in a uniform and I turn around to see Super K! running at some speed towards a night bus. He gets on it and the bus drives off.

I shared a moment’s worth of bafflement with the support officers, shrugged at them and went home.

Strangely enough I never heard from Super K! again.

Moral of the story..? Cultural exchange can go visit someone else itself, if it thinks it’s getting anywhere near my arse ever again.

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***Jamie is a renegade halfwit, writer, poet and ish-artist. Who when allowed out of his cage to be exercised, hangs around the beautiful English town of Croydon. The rest of the time he’s sat in a cave, fiddling about with himself and sporadically spewing out creative nonsense which can be found on his facebook page and on Twitter. ***

Drinking Whisky with Leon Trotsky Trout – by JACK C. BUCK

Drinking Whisky with Leon Trotsky Trout

by JACK C. BUCK

Can’t leave the apartment to take out the trash. Got the whole neighborhood asking me why I’m not at work. Neighbors down the way never go inside. They’re from the south, just moved up north this past June.

“Everybody sits outside down there, always have.”

“Makes sense,” I said.

Been waiting for a guy to come by for going on an hour now. Selling my air conditioner to him for a good price. Both of us win.

Being fired last week from my job got me thinking again. I was thinking about the grand scheme of things. I know this isn’t new news, but we are all going to fucking die and all we do is sleep and work. All we do. If only man was given time to think and pursue. Given such little time in between the time he is off work and at home and when he exhaustively falls asleep, there isn’t much time there, is there? Perhaps three hours, four hours at best? I’m back from the dead this week. I’ve read three novels and had the energy to even exercise.  Whatever happened to meeting at cafes, drinking strong coffee to talk and talk through the evening and night?

They don’t want us doing that, do they. Otherwise, they may get nervous about us. Probably send one of theirs over here to listen in, to tell em what’s what and who’s who.

Then Raymond said, “Did you know less than 30 percent of history teachers in the country studied the subject in college? Also, I thought whisky had an ‘e’ in it.”

“There ya go,” I replied. “Fuck it.”

Both of the men now looking down.

Exactly.

All we do.

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*** Jack C. Buck, originally from Michigan, now lives in Denver, Colorado, where he is a teacher. His most recent flash fiction has been published and forthcoming in Connotation Press, Flash Fiction Magazine, Birdy Magazine, 81 Words, Five 2 One Magazine, 101Words, Zero Flash, Platform for Prose, Ginosko Literary Journal, and L’ Allure des Mots. He is the fiction editor for The Harpoon Review. He thanks you for reading his work.
Twitter: Jack_C_Buck ***

Pullin’ me back : LAUREN DALLAS

An abstract, edgy and experimental poem from Northern Ireland’s own Lauren Dallas

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Keeps pullin’

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image006   … Menacing

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And there is  image024

image025 wouldn’t you rather just die? 

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Far away 

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And image034

And I image037

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Who wants me        to find the way.

No matter     how many times

      I scream

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gEt oUt OF thIs MESS

why is there dirt up their                                                                fingernails?

Why is it   image044   ?

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Don’t

Think

Too

Carefully

But none of this is existing    

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of    My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

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LAURENDALLAS

Lauren Dallas is an English and creative writing student in Falmouth University. She mainly writes short stories of the fantasy genre but will occasionally write the odd bit of poetry. Lauren is from Northern Ireland so it isn’t a rare occurrence to see her in a good pub. However, if you want to contact her she’s on Facebook, https://m.facebook.com/lauren.dallas.1?ref=bookmarks and Twitter, https://twitter.com/Lulu_Dallass

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