Bella Basura Live in March

Two performances for Bella Basura coming up this month…

Scarecrow Corner Springtime Benefit Gig, Cambridge
At The Devonshire Arms, 19th MarchScarecrow Corner S[ringtime Benefit Gig

Poetic Springs Bury St Edmunds

Poetic Springs, Bury St Edmunds
Anselm Community Centre, 23rd March

Limited copies of The Short Answer chapbook will be on sale at both events.

New Flash Fiction Story

Here is a new Flash Fiction, that I performed for the first time at the recent Scarecrow Corner Benefit at The Devonshire Arms a week or so ago.

Although it’s longer than my usual offerings, you must agree it is still pretty short!

Fairies Down The Plughole

I’ve only had head lice once. I think I caught them on a group walking holiday in Wales.
One afternoon towards the end  of the week, I chaperoned a lovely little 8 year old called Annie. Her mum, too tired,  or busy, or divorce-damaged, or desperate to wash her hair, pressganged me into taking Annie with me on a four hour guided ramble in the rugged North Wales mountains, around the stunning Cadar Idris, throne of Uther. A folkloric landscape of the poet, the madman, the dead man who are said to gather on the Idris summit in the dawn’s pale gloom. A mythic and magical and harsh place of legend.

It could have been an arduous trek, but I had the delightful company of Annie to smooth the day along. Annie loved fairies, Annie saw fairies everywhere, “look, fairy doors” she would say stopping at almost every tree stump, every cleft in the tangled woodland tree roots. Annie paused at every Oak, Ash and Thorn, paid homage to every bee, butterfly and dragonfly we saw “Look! Fairies” she would say.

And at the end of the long day she granted me fairies of my own. In a gesture of blessing She drew her fingers across her cherubic dark curls, she placed her hands onto the crown of my head and dipped our heads together until our foreheads touched, we paused and stared into each others eyes. “now you have fairies too” She said.

Later, around the campfire, Annie tucked up safe in her sleeping bag, I chatted with Annie’s Mum. I said “She’s a one for the fairies” Mum laughed, “yes, it’s fairies this and fairies that, she sees them everywhere, ‘look fairies’ she says, all the time. Even when I’m using the headlice shampoo, she’s like ‘Mummy, Look! Fairies’ and I say yes honey, wash them down the plughole”

Bella Basura
December 2016

More Flash Fictions

Archive

Psychogeography

Jean Dark

Strawberry Fair Scarecrow Corner

Dialogue For Two Sock Puppets

On The Other Hand
A Dialogue For Two Sock Puppets
by Bella Basura

Titus and Fuchsia - Superstar Sock Puppets. Bella Basura 2015

Titus and Fuchsia – Superstar Sock Puppets Bella Basura 2015

As she picked up the phone I knew she was in one of her moods, I felt her contrarian mode leeching from the mouthpiece even before she spoke.

It had always been like that, even when we were kids and had to share a room.
She contradicted me as a knee jerk reaction.

If I said “Barbie is best”. She would say “I prefer Sindy”.
If I said “I like stickle-bricks”. She would say “Lego is far superior”.
If I said “Black”
She would say “White”.

I knew she was going to cut up rough this morning when I phoned her.

I said “Terrible weather, seems to rain every afternoon”
She said “On the contrary, it is sunny in the morning”.
I said “And it’s the new moon, I always feel a lack of energy at the new moon”
She said “oh really! I find the opposite is true. I have far more energy at the full moon”
I said “So your energy drops at the new moon”
She says “No, it rises at the full moon”

I say “2 plus 2 is 4”
She says “wrong! 4 minus 2 is 2”
I say “right, right is right”
She says “you’re wrong, baby sister, wrong is wrong.
Wrong wrong wrongwrongwrong wrong”

Gallery

Bella Basura

Short Tale Shrew

Last month the short fiction  magazine Short Tale Shrew awarded this flash fiction an Honourable Mention and published it on their website.

Film Night At The Rebirth Convention
by Bella Basura.

The Delegates gathered, waiting for the ‘Samsara in Cinema’ event.
Ouspensky sat broodingly alone, contemplating Ivan Osokin.
A few rows behind him The Gautama and The Christ boisterously contrasted resurrection and soul-migration.
In a hot-tub, left of the screen, naked therapists  breath-worked their birth-traumas.
Classically reincarnated deities – Mithras, Persephone, Taliesin, Vishnu, Baldur –  sat rapt as the houselights dimmed.
The crowded auditorium hushed as the diminutive figure of the Dalai Lama edged onto the stage. “My favourite film” He said simply.
And the screen sprang into life, illuminating the film’s title “Groundhog Day”.

Soul Migration

Soul Migration – A self-portrait

More Flash Fiction

About Bella Basura

Archive

The Short Answer – a collection short stories in 100 words

bookshelf.jpg

A Poet In The Book Closet

“Take it” said the beautiful woman with the cherubic smile, leaning across the bare wood table, holding out a black ballpoint pen.
I barely knew where to look.
The musty, book-lined library backroom gloom seemed too perfect, paranoia perfect.
“Take it” she said smiling with radiant beneficence.
“And this” she pushed a wiro-bound notebook towards me.
I hesitated. Panic words unleashed into my head.
I’m silently rapping on honeytrap words, glancing at her, but keeping calm.
“Take them” She urged “Don’t worry. Your secret is safe with us”
Her hand gesture drew in the whole room
“We’re all poets here”

More Flash Fiction – The Short Answer a collection of short stories in 100 words.

About Bella Basura

Bella Basura
chronological archive

 

From The Short Answer

Majhanashoppinglist - Bella Basura 2016

Majhanashoppinglist
– Bella Basura 2016

The Tibetan Book of Home Economics

Thus, when I wander in Samsara in the realm of the wrathful food emporiums, the supermarkets of the bardo of eternal price confusion, may I not wander aimless to decide between one 200gm tube or two 100gm tubes of toothpaste. May Majhanashoppinglist and his consort Sensiblebugettingbhava go before me and carry me through the fearful towers of the checkouts. Thus, may I not be attracted by the bright flashing colours, shiny celophane, BOGOF and price slashing, but may the clear pure green light of the Exit shine before me and lead me to the eternal bliss of exiting the carpark.

Bella Basura
April 2016

Bella Basura’s  Collection of 100 word Flash Fictions – The Short Answer

Other images in my Gallery

Fish Mythology – Flash Fiction

Finally, I have managed to capture in words my tumultuous feelings around the death earlier this year of my one-time Hero, freak out to the Teenage Moon Dream oh yeah! – David Bowie. The piece is a 100 word Flash Fiction story, that has a specifically East-Anglian setting because I live in East-Anglia.The piece, Fish Mythology, is sub-titled “if David Bowie had been born an Eel instead”

 

Fish Mythology By Bella Basura

Eel Bowie-Fish

 Here Eel Bowie-Fish fell, brandy-drunk, face down in the Ouse.
Down where Bulrush buds waver in clear still water, beneath we writhing bottom-feeder shoals, we elvers and catfish, he deep under layers of earthy mud, dark dead debris.

Here in leaf-litter and rot lies the corpse of old Eel Bowie-Fish, who lead us to conquer the Isle of Ely, on the Fen he crawled on his fins, on the floodplain he walked on his tail, like a bishop, into the Cathedral, resplendent in his flowing robes.
But here lies Eel Bowie-Fish , decomposing in slow-motion undulations, while we pick his bones white.

Bella Basura’s in progress Flash Fiction Anthology – The Short Answer

Bella Basura
Feb. 2016

Novelty Magazine Issue 3 – Under The Skin

This evening sees the launch of issue three of Novelty Magazine – a quarterly online magazine thematically exploring fresh perspectives on unconventional themes.

Issue three is subtitled Under The Skin and explores notions of body and cultural identity, In their editorial Marta Faustino and Francesca Ponzini state “being truly comfortable in your skin is a courageous act of rebellion”, a principle that is evident is their careful selection and presentation. So, as you can imagine, I was delighted that my own piece – Strawberry Fair Armpit Hair – was chosen to be part of this project.

See Novelty Magazine Here 

about Bella Basura Online here

 

Flash Fiction, again

A Complete Unknown. Photo by Bella Basura 2011

A Complete Unknown.
Photo by Bella Basura 2011

No Direction Home
By Bella Basura

Speared awake by shafts of stupid sunlight falling across my hangover face. My eyes are cracked open to an unfamiliar room. Washed up, face down, stranded at the high tidemark of last night’s intoxication.

Lying on a bare mattress, fully clothed, in a curtainless unoccupied room, no furniture.

Sitting up dizzily, I view dozens of big see-thru plastic bags piled against the blank walls. Evidence bags wadded full of incrimination.

Where the hell am I?

Lured by voices in the corridor, I turn to see a sign on my door.
In childish scrawl it reads “Welcome to the Plague Room”.

The Short Answer – Flash Fiction Anthology by Bella Basura
Gallery – Photos, collages, talismans

Tales From The Laboratorium

I originally posted this back in May last year – it was intended as the first in a blog-series of Gordon Tripp’s memories. Unfortunately my imagination was arrested in this pilot episode…

Meanwhile…
Voice over: What IS Doctor Gordon doing? Why, he’s dawdling and meandering through                        the Bella Basura back catalogue…

Cue:  scary, slow, plinky-plink avant-garde 1970s electronic music

A title sequence of still images: zooming out from blurred meaningless close ups in b/w                                      that take the form of simulacra – a man eating a magic mushroom, a                                 terrapin, a needle and a  spoon, the Willendorf Venus, an inverted                                        pentagram, the great pyramid of Giza, other stupid things –                                                    meaningless.  A skull.

Titles: lurch out over the images in bold Baskerville typeface

Tales From the Laboratorium
Narrated by Doctor Gordon Tripp

Final image : The Doc sitting in a winged red comfy chair in his Laboratorium smoking a                     roll up, candle-lit, of course.

Doc: The BBC have banished me  to the bowels of Bella Basura’s archive. To find examples of her oeuvre, to find the treasure buried beneath the shit, the diamonds in the dung-heap. Indeed I have been commissioned to curate the befuddled maunderings  of the hebephrenic poet-thing called Bella Basura into a coherent structured TV mini-series.

Cue: a few bars of Doc Gordon’s theme tune – Terrapin – Syd Barrett .

Doc: Enigmatically, to  say La Basura, as she became known in later days, was an enigma, is an enigma, in and of itself. Thus I shall refrain from further myth-creation and tell it like it was, and go straight for the jugular. I first encountered Bella Basura (banshee howl) whilst she was a participant on a government sponsored Enterprise Allowance Scheme that meant her dole money was paid directly into a government sponsored bank account while she pursued the tremulous task of being a free-lance writer. Basura (banshee howl) used the money – £36  a week at the time – to bum around Amsterdam inventing characters for an imaginary novel. She did this solidly for a year, the whole duration of the scheme, and that was the year we met. It was the early 1990s and although it now sounds glamorous and implausible , it was universally perceived at the time as a government policy to massage the unemployment figures and also as a convenient loophole for creative slacker-types. Bella (banshee howl) didn’t mind. In fact, she still uses her year as “a freelance author in Holland” on her CV, obviously it looks better than “on benefits”
(clap of thunder).
Clearly, I digress (sputtering).
(Sputtering ) (Again).

About a year after I met Basura (banshee howl), that is 6 months after the end of her Enterprise Allowance , she turned up unannounced and needy at my Laboratorium in Camberwell, South London. Broken and dishevelled as ever, it was obvious that she was back on the dole, and to no beneficial end.  She burbled at length at me and eventually left suddenly, enstupored and intoxicated in some indeterminate manner, she left incoherently stumbling, spewing A4 pages. As she stumbled she knocked against the kitchen table and sent a thick purple crayon careening to the floor where she insensately ground it into the kitchen lino with her great wasted hobnail boot. This created a weirdly tentacled stain that I have never been able to erase, to this very day, no matter what products are used.

For over a decade in the slow-burning bile of resentment and envy, that I naturally excel in, I pointedly reminded Bella (banshee howl) of the incurable stain every time she visited me . Thus does a Scorpio deal with a Leo. Or (symbol for scorpio) square (symbol for leo), for those with astrological leanings.
(a clap of thunder)
Clearly, I digress.

The horrors  which Basura (banshee howl) barely speaks of in this piece are almost beyond words. Unspeakable to some. And yet Basura (banshee howl) is a poet and words are her craft, her tools in trade, the building blocks of her very brain. So mouth the words she must, in essence she told me she had encountered a ghost of the future, a future-shadow. A premonition no less that had begun to imbed its tentacles deep into poor Bella’s (banshee howl) fragile mind, she began writing ceaselessly and frantically.

In actuality, there was much rumour back in those far-flung days of the coming to our shores of a dark new American-style benefit system called “work-fare” and it would force claimants into unpaid jobs in supermarkets in order to  deserve or  ‘earn’ their dole-money. Myself I thought it an urban myth, but I was wrong. It was nothing less than a precursor, a progenitor and the true birth-mother to the terrors of “Work Programme”, under whose draconian tyrannies we now toil.

The following piece  is one of Bella Basura’s earliest expositions of this dreadful prediction …The GodSeeker’s Allowance…

Fade to black