Gone Fishing

I cannot use
My ability to count backwards
From twenty thirty forty fifty
My accuracy when ordering
Pizza and sides for 16 people
My competency in requesting
A taxi from one real address to another
My capability of making
Total strangers fall in love with me
My secrecy in hiding my bleeding
Arms to the masses
To measure the severity of
My mental health crisis.

But I fucking do it anyway.

(I lay down in
His massive bed
And think to myself
“I could definitely die here.”)

(He has genuinely
Gone fishing.
The irony of this is
Not lost on me.
I just wish he left a note
Saying so.)

fiction, life


Chris R-1202 Image by Christine Renney

The widescreen TV is the only source of light. Across the threshold now I begin to gag a little. The floor is littered with rags and if I go in I’ll have to push through or step onto them.
The boy is behind me and waiting I turn back toward him and he stares up at me perplexed. I gaze across at the TV and the dad in “Little House on the Prairie” is explaining that germs can’t be seen with the human eye.
‘I used to watch this when I was a kid,’ I say.
‘Yeah,’ bored, he pushes past me and kicks through the carpet of mess.
The rags are clothes and there are also old newspapers, fast food wrappers, crushed cans and plastic bottles, most of which still contain a little of their once fizzy drink.
He sits with his mother on the sofa and they wrestle for the remote. Mum in charge the boy leaps up and stands in front of the screen. She points but he moves to block her again and again. Mum, writhing on the sofa, can’t win. The boy is much too quick and, the rubbish at his feet, he shuffles and spins until he notices me. I think he had forgotten me and now he stops.
The channel switches and mum raises her arms in triumph.


Randy’s Disease

PART 1 of Many (all identical)

Randy had an incurable disease. He called it “Randy’s  Disease” as he felt alone with the problem, but he was sure he was not the only person suffering. Maybe nobody else had ever spoken out about the untreatable, social-embarrassing symptoms.

He recognised these symptoms when they flared. It was like clockwork when the feelings came on to him, starting with a cold sweat. Two years exact from the start of any relationship Randy had ever held, this happened to him:

He would start looking at other women. Looking would progress to chasing. Chasing would end in fucking. Fucking would give way to dating. Yes, dating – because deep down, Randy was a committed romantic.

When Randy began a fresh dalliance, the knowledge of this inevitable, two-year cyclical disease made him feel nauseous. It would leave a bitter taste in his mouth, whenever he lowered his face between his new beau’s parted thighs for the first time.


Fun Fact #39

If the sky is purple, she is more likely to misbehave.


The shade of purple matters not — any purple hue will do.


The consumption of alcohol and/or narcotics plus the presence of a purple sky significantly increases the likelihood of bad behaviour.

Comment added at a later date

It is worth noting that bad behaviour is also likely to occur under other shades of sky: this includes, but is not limited to, shades of black, blue and grey.

Comment added upon review

As long as there is a sky above her head, she is partial to misbehave.

Comment added by chief researcher

As long as she is alive and conscious, she is predisposed to naughtiness — this is further exacerbated by her tendency to favour debauchery over dignity.

Comment added by psychiatry expert

Even when she is dead and buried, it is highly likely that she will continue to cause ten types of trouble from beyond the grave.

Editor’s note

After much consideration, it seems that this “fun fact” isn’t really that fun after all. Be sure to delete it for our next edition. Perhaps replace with: the man who invented the Frisbee was cremated and made into Frisbees after he died ??? It’s more feel-good-family-friendly-fun-fact than this depressing drivel.


Too hard to pierce


All of them

The girl with Indian eyes, cheekbones you could carve bones with

keeping at bay her true age, she was an enigma, who knew, what stood as

truth and what, fabrication?

The man whose skin wore keloid scars like leopard spots, shone in hairless bald, berated for his soft heart and lack of guile, her other half in male form

The lady with elongation to her soul, her chosen words like prayer, she straightens those who bow to the world in hunched defeat, her strength coming from saving those who are unable to cope as she

in strong upright certainty

The mother, nursing her wounds, stings like an adder, her refusal to explain the cause of her pain, she sharpens instead, the unexpected malice and spits, far and reaching

The father, still playing the field with weary tread, his address book too thick to carry, he remains longing for the girls he didn’t conquer at 20, though they mock him for his thirst and his lupine drool

She knows them all

like reflection they repeat

like a photograph half in, half out

dissolving what is real

she is their friend, they are her stories

but sometimes one climbs off their ship and drowns or throws rocks at her to cast her overboard

she cannot say why

such fickleties exist

but she suspects

in noticing them closely and their histories on repeat

she sets herself apart as the observer

happier tucked watching the sea for land

she has no need to spill her guts or share

her space

she has no need inside her for their chatter and their sea squall

her isolation, her self-sufficiency drives them to

eventual hatred

and like sea birds, hungry in flight, they swoop down and

peck out her eyes


if she cannot see into her words

she will not write them anymore

and like them

she will need

and cleave


but this is not

what ever happens

from her remote outlook

she knows when the yellow bird is near

her eyes are not made of jewels

they come from ancient sea bed, they are granite

too hard to pierce



What’s Left

I’m 5 years old
as I watch
a couple
on death row,
and when I ask the woman
all she can say is –

“You’ll notice something
if you hang around here
for too long.

And if you’re wise
you’ll leave with more enemies
than friends.”

All I can hear
is a life
of old woulds,

Too many masks
sore necks,
(from heads held
for too long),
and too few
“I love you”s.

So I tell her myself
and she calls me a fool.

I can see through her –
she’s made of water
and glass.
I just hope
that she doesn’t drown me
when she breaks.

But as she kisses me
I feel her leave
wet spots on my cheeks
that have yet to dry.