My relationship with my own writing has deterioriated over the past few years. I used to feel no shame or hesitation in sharing what I write, until one day a stranger said a few words that, when strung together, amounted to “what the fuck is this shit”. I wasn’t as resilient as I thought, and the bullet hit where it hurt.

We are ultimately, inevitably short term, and in the grand scheme of things, neither of us matters. Here’s my attempt at not caring what you think. Please enjoy, or don’t.

This collection will be updated as often as I care to update it, with either old or new writing.

2023-10-17 A little to the left

A little to the left, please. Thank you. Click.
Now a little to the right. Click.
Up. Down.
Straight down the middle. Click click click.
Good, you’re doing well.
Okay, now turn around; a little bit to the side.
Excellent. Click.
Could you contort yourself for me? More.
More please — twist out of existence if you can. Very good.
Thank you.
A good day’s work, general.
I don’t know why the poor child died, though, sir.
I told her exactly
where I was shooting.

2021-10-02 Soothing suit

How soothing, serene
The sound of your sweet song
I, sombre, still, stare at the stars and
See, these suns, so steady,
Surrounded by a suite of silent, salient
Stones, spinning, some in sacrifice
Some in surrender
Sacred servants
Smooth in step
Sharp to the sight
And still, I am, I stare, at the stars
Spill my sorrow
Stitch my story
Spell my sadness
Spread my shame
Seek the shine of your sailing, sapient substance
So that I too
Can someday
Suit the sky

2021-09-14 I bought a new grinder

As a kid, a teenager, and a young man
I dreamed of my happy thirties
And imagined a boy in a space suit
An actor on the silver screen
A singer, my voice roaring through the radio
An explorer of the grand oceans
A role model for children
A scientist
Curing diseases
Penning the mysteries of the universe
A writer; my novels “required reading”
A revolutionary
My name forever in history
An inventor
A sailor
A sportsman
A president
A dictator
A hero
I dreamed of it all
Until last week
Last week I bought a new coffee grinder
Took a sip
And that is all the happiness I need

2021-09-03 For comfort

Let’s pretend that this matters
My words
An exercise in self obsession
Self importance
In a universe that does not care
Or see who walks upon this speck of dust
But we
Slaves to economy
Pretend that this matters
That this cosmos is in our name
A desperate people on a falling rock
If a planet dies in space does it make a sound?
But still we
That someone will save us
From ourselves
As we wrap a rope around our own necks
For comfort, of course
Suffocation is liberation, said the elders
Liberating me from my sanity
The dirt beneath me does not care as we
And us pretend that this matters

2021-09-04 Dance with me

Dance with me
And tell me truly in whose hands or feet
Does power lie
With the feeble, fragile, few
In their boats and castles and fancy shoes
Or in your toes and mine
The innumerable multitude of individual wills
Polishing the dance floor with
Filthy, worn out sandals
Fingers, toes, hands, and feet
Grinding, tapping, spinning
Is that not the sound of the free?
Why then do we give it up and leave
When the music starts
And the fancy walk in
And you and me, say this with dignity and a bow,
“I would dance if only I knew how."

2021-09-08 Take me back to where I was / my mother’s warm embrace

This is about the two homes we all share

At dawn, I awake
Hearing a sound, loud and fearful
A tug on my head, my chest, my feet
Where are you taking me, say I
As I let out a wild cry
Crying for someone to save me
From this cold air
This noisy place
Take me back to where I was
My mother’s warm embrace

I hear her voice
Now close to me
I feel a touch, of kin, on skin
Her scent
I recognize
From before I was, alive
A little warmth
To calm me down
As I get used to this new sound
The sound of a frightful place

In the morning, I go to school
Hearing a voice, loud and fearful
Of my father, my teacher, my kin
A stitch on my head, my chest, my skin
Where are you taking me, say I
As I let out a wild cry
Crying for someone to save me
From this forsaken air
This ghastly place
Take me back to where I was
My mother’s warm embrace

At noon, I return
For lunch, the touch of a chisel, a broom
I swallow my pride and
Tire of suicide
As I let out a quiet cry
Crying for someone to hold me
Through this air, this dreadful chill

Take me back to where I was
My mother’s warm embrace

I leave home at half past three
For a new world, a new place to set me free
For tea, a fist, a blow, and a stab
I take it in my stride, I will not hide
This world I call my own
I will not cry for my old place
But in my bed I rest and weep
Take me back to where I was
My mother’s warm embrace

And in the eve, my hair decays
As I sit by the river and grieve
For my own child, my kin, my relief
From this ghastly place
This horror
This blight
This world I used to call my home
I cannot bear it on my own
Take me back to where I was
My mother’s warm embrace

At last, comes the night
My bones grow thin
I walk to my grave
My eyes caving in
Hearing sounds
Faint and mournful
“He was a good man”
“So kind, and thoughtful”
Freedom, in the end
From this ugly place
This harrowing home
This haunted space
I let out one final cry
Crying for someone to take me
Take me back to where I was
Before my mother’s warm embrace

2021-12-12 It’s in the cards

It’s in the cards
In the… park?
No, “in the cards”
It’s a metaphor, you say
What cards? These cards
Here, let me
Do you a reading
A reading? Yeah, a reading
I shuffle
And I shuffle
As you make us tea
“Now cut”
My hesitant fingers
Now we draw
“The three of swords”
I hear you gasp
And I smile
Pretending I couldn’t feel them
One sword through my neck,
Another in the heart,
And a third in my soul,
I smile and you draw
And draw
And draw
And you read me
Inattentive, absent, still smiling, me
Forgive me, my dear
I have wounds to tend to

2021-09-05 Bring me back a token

Bring me back a token
From your trip to the mountains

Pack me a bag of martian soil

Bring me a token
From your journeys beyond the planet

Take me a picture
Of the moons of Saturn
The rings of Jupiter
Bring me a taste of the Titan seas

A small keychain will do
From your trips around the Milky Way

Bring back a memory
At least
From your dive into the Sun
Your whirl inside a black hole

Your flesh turned into light
Out of reach, but not of sight

You as a human, a woman,
A particle
Traversing the galaxies,
Riding a cosmic wave

You, my dear, are flying high
And not lying in your grave.

2021-08-11 Into the land of the living

For you
I swam through solid rock
Slept on a bed of air
And built you a house out of water
I walked a mile in the shoes of time
Dove into the depths of the ocean
And took Poseidon’s chariot for a spin

For you I slowed down light
Spun the Earth the other way
Moved the Moon a little closer
And brought the sky to my cheeks
I crushed a planet between my fingers
Took a sip of the glowing Sun
Travelled back in time
And swallowed a galaxy whole

I had tea with Adam and Eve
Took a photo of the Big Bang
Played catch with a dinosaur
And split the atom with my teeth

For you that I’ve done and more
Would you now do one thing for me —
Come back into the land of the living