Friday, 27 July 2018


It's not an addiction
Yes, my heart races, sweat breaks out and I flush
These aren't withdrawal symptoms
They just feel that way

I am not looking for a fix
Or anyone to fix me
I do not stand here to declare that I am broken
I do not fear that alone I am meaningless
Although by your scoreboard of life
Assorted friends, career and wife
Doubtless you think my world empty

You chose them well
A job you can't lose
A wife accustomed to cheating partners
Friends whose worth you measure by how they increase your popularity
Unconscious of the kindness that makes them

And I
Alone with my cat
Crushed into a tiny flat
Adoring a man half a world away
Who barely knows I exist
Ploughing my little income into nothing
If your thoughts ever turn my way
I suspect you feel triumphant

Do not be deceived
I am not a victim in this scene
My freedom was hard won and I will never give in
My own Joan
Proud martyr to my cause

One day I awoke to discover
All I felt
Heart racing, skin flushing, sweaty
Was trapped
It's not an addiction
It just feels that way

Now I am in love
Not blind idolatry
Pouring forth until I am wrung out
A husk hurled from the thresher, full of goodness but of no worth

I am in love with me
Not you
I admire you
That's all

And why?
For all your beauty you know appearance is irrelevant
For all your privilege you support equality
For all your intelligence you don't equate idiots and fools
For all your faults, you're a romantic at heart

And I do not stand here waiting for you
You orbit beyond my reach
I stand here to enjoy the view
To partake of your offerings when I can
And I can stop
At any moment

Your smile speeds my heart
Careless flirting causes sweat patches
A casual compliment makes me blush
You are not an addiction
You just feel that way

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Love hurts

Love hurts ferociously
Like the dance of a newborn star
Swirling savage lights across the sky
Tearing the world apart
Knowing it can't be forever

Love hurts in loneliness
Isolated and silent
Knowing that it hurts you
To know I suffer

Love cries in the darkness
Because you are suffering
Because you deserve so much better
Because you are leaving

Love hurts
It hurts so much to be apart
It hurts to see you
White and drawn
It hurts to know you suffer

Love will smile
Love will be a light in darkness
Love will hold your hand
Love will not forget you
And love will hurt

[For Mum, in memory of Dad]

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Hazy memories

Everything is so comfortable and hazy. I drift through a sleepy fog to comfortably arrive at wakefulness, feeling arms and legs wanting to be stretched. As I oblige, I become aware of the foreign object beside me.
Everything is hazy still. It's a very large and warm object.
Shifting froom woozy wakefulness to alertness, I mentally check myself for pain. There is none.
Relieved, I check for clothing. Also none.
OK then. But to be fair, not really an indication of anything.
The large thing is silent. Maybe it's a pile of cats. Maybe I became that woman and forgot.
Other senses intrude on my wishful thinking. That's a very masculine deodorant smell.
I try to cudgel memories but there are none to be found. What was I doing yesterday?
Why hasn't the cat jumped on me?
When did I get green curtains? And start sticking up film posters?
Hang on a minute...
I don't want to disturb the lump who clearly lives here, so I gingerly sit up and glance around.
A splash of neon orange catches my eye and the memories come flooding back.
There was a 60s themed festival. I'd been loaned an outfit.
A dead hamster falls off a chair and I flinch. Oh yeah. I borrowed a wig too.
We'd partied hard - I started drinking at 11 and didn't stop. There was a barbeque. And music.
And the really hot guy.
Oh boy, him.
Did I really get that lucky?
Triple X rated scenes flash into my mind.
Ohh, yeah.
That lucky and more.
No wonder he's tired.
I stretch again, then snuggle down and nap. Hopefully I'll need the rest.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Open your eyes

Open your eyes. Wider. Wider still, child, do not be afraid.
Do you see?
But no. For if you did, it would be impossible to remain mute.
Do not gaze upon me, child. I am nothing.
Look out there.
Look. Beyond the light, beyond the storm, into the dark.
Not at the sun, my child. It will burn you. Look past the sun.
Look past and open your eyes.
Wider still.
And now...
Now I know you see.
Upon my first sighting I cried a wordless sound.
Others I have shown have gasped.
Many weep.
All are moved.
That is why I bring you here.
And now you must leave.
Do not seem so betrayed.
I have blessed you with a precious gift.
You have seen the truth of things and it brought you joy.
And now you must return to the world you came from
The world where lies are all you see
But for moments of grace where the truth finds its way to you.
I know you would be happier to never have seen it
But those who think they cannot be happier
Never strive to improve their world.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018


The tears well from deep within
It's a pain so intense,
so durable,
scars cannot staunch the flow
merely divert their path

A fire rages savagely
to hurt makes me angry
to feel such fury
tears at my heart
brambles crushing tightly
squeezing moisture out
by any means available

Eyes weep
Nose dribbles
Stomach churns
all wanting to release fluids

Every orifice expelling whatever it can

Nose blocked
I choke
Fear takes a hold
and I feel a new pain

Bitter resentment for this
All of this
That I could hurt this way
That you could betray me
That you could leave me
That you couldn't love me

And still it rises
Up and up
Ever seeking the peak
Desiring a crescendo
It's never enough
There is no pinnacle
There is no hurt so great that all others cease

And now
I know
All the pain and hurt
Will carry on
With or without me
It's not me that makes it
It's me that chooses to stick with it

After all
Pain is a figment of the imagination
A way for you brain to convince your body
It's in danger
emotions lack a myelin sheath
I cannot feel this
I'm not ready to stop


Thursday, 10 May 2018

Through the night

It's a long night
Following an Amanda Palmer gig
I have to drive home
For hours
I should feel more alone

Graham and Kylie are charting her fame alphabetically
I need fuel
You come to mind

Amanda talked about painful things
At least the baby didn't die
And her honesty and grace
Did it shame or empower?

I lost track of my location a while back
I know the route and I guess
Since the traffic that had built up around me
has gone
and the other side is crowded
I just passed a city exit

Cats eyes draw trails into the sky
Curving into oblivion
Aside from the few distant taillights they corral
The roads are empty
Jools and Cerys are talking about jazz
You persist

It's a weird deja vu
To hear introduced
A repeat of last Sunday's Sounds
Of the Seventies
And I don't understand why
I can't stop thinking of you

She said
You felt right to me
And I get it
I do
What the hell is this?

It's safe

I want to be
In love
But I don't want it to hurt

Which is stupid.
So stupid.
Of course it will hurt
If it's going to give me the rush
Change my brain chemistry
Give me words
It has to hurt.

You can't hurt me
So you're taking up time and space
Comforting me
Until I'm ready for the blade
All I can hope
Is that it doesn't scar
This time

Thursday, 26 April 2018

The blade will come

The pre-dawn light made the world look cold, although the sweat already trickled down the back of her knees in the stifling humidity. She walked briskly, her confident stride disregarding the instability of stiletto shoes and a pencil skirt, the gunshot echo of her every step shaking the dawn chorus from its smug performance.

There are no shadows at this hour - or rather, everything is equally shadowed and your eyes are so attuned to the darkness that the influx of light seems overwhelming. Had there been shadows, he would have lurked in one.

His breath rattled from his open lips, laden with tobacco he'd inhaled over the decades. The deep pools under his eyes told of sleepless nights, heavy drinking and a need for stimulants to keep him moving. He was a man who once lived on his wits and adrenaline, reduced now to a presence that could not menace her.

She drew up to him and eyed him coldly. Her eyes passed over a suit that had once sat across broad shoulders, a shirt that began as a glistening white. Without being stained or dirty, he was clearly unkempt, ramshakle, run-down.


Her question was met with a sullen shrug.

"He's dead."

"Dead?" The question is flat. No surprise, horror or disbelief could come near that crystal clear voice.

"He was driving carelessly." Her expression asked when they could get the theatrics over with. "Out of a plane."

"Do you recall what you were tasked with?"

"Release a microbot into the Russian banking system."

"So why did you feel the need to take a plane ride?"

"It was a lovely day for a trip somewhere su-" Her eyebrows raised, forestalling his quip and he sighed. "The bank clerks were talking about a dirty politician and I recalled his name from the file. I followed him. He made a beeline for the airport and was on the phone talking about the bot. I had to take him out."

"On the basis of gossip, you chose to stalk a foreign government official, without first consulting the department?"

"It was the job that needed to be done!"

"The job that needed to be done was the installation of the microbot. Did you do that?"

"Yes, of course."

"You released the microbot in the correct location?"

"Yes, but it was a waste of time. It didn't do anything."

"Did it occur to you to turn it on?"


"Following your mission, you have jeopardized our information gathering by leaving a crucial piece of our hardware to be discovered and tampered with by Russian forces; you have almost killed a member of the Russian government who was passing vital information to one of our ministry when you were spying on him; and by virtue of crashing a private jet into a city stadium you've single-handedly wiped out five percent of the Andorran people."

Further silence.

"You have always been reckless and careless, Bond, but this is as far as you can go. These days we need men we can rely on."


"M, to you, Bond. And not that either, any more. Your time is over."

She turns and walks away. The rising sun has begun to paint the brickwork around him in a warm golden hue. It seemed somehow fitting that he should go out in a blaze of glory, but he wasn't yet ready to leave. Before he could cry out to her, a business man rounded a nearby corner and bumped into him. He cursed, and gasped.

Hours later a policeman tried to move the homeless man along, only to discover he had been impaled on a rusty penknife. Just as well, the autopsy would confirm. If he hadn't gone out so quickly, so kindly, he would have fallen to systematic failure of multiple abused organs. Another John Doe who had destroyed his life via drugs and alcohol.