There was not a single time when I was wrong,

only those moments where I was told as much,

so it became fact.

When they would crush my confidence so small

it could be squeezed

into a miniature Vodka bottle.

At night I would suck down that harsh liquid,

so they could compress dreams afresh tomorrow;

distilled once again into that tiny space.

Over the years the nights became longer,

that vessel became larger,

and I grew accustomed to the taste.


It was that Pair of Boots.


artwork by Francesca Strange

It was that pair of boots

Battered and bruised

That made me realise

I needed to have you,


Not the whispering touch

Of a finger crossing my back

Or the growing bulge

Of frustration and want.


But the coarse leather

And fraying laces,

That only a man

Who has bit on the thick


Belt of life, with

Bleeding teeth

And a bleeding ego

Would dare to don.


Give them to me young, ambitious

And stupid

And I’ll spit them out, like

Chewed out rubber toys,


But give me a man

Who knows better than

To be gentle, and

Fucks like he knows


You will not be

His last.

fiction, life


Chris R-1231 Image by Christine Renney

Trapped with insufficient light he tends to his wounds. Tracing with his finger tips, finding the hardened, healed and healing skin. The etchings on his arms are intricate, far too complex, and he can’t read them in the dark.
He clambers from the bed and sits on the edge and leans toward the window. Reaching out, he peels back the curtain and gazes at the road. It has been raining, in fact it is still raining. He can see it now, stalled just above the street lamps.
If he had something with which to write he would begin again, start afresh, but he doesn’t have a blade. Of course, there are other ways and he glances at the empty Coke can sitting on top of the nightstand. He could crush it and twist it and twist it until he had fashioned something, something pointed and sharp.
He stands and, turning, he moves alongside the bed. He stumbles in the confined space, steadies himself against the wall and feeling his way he grapples for the light switch.
He flicks it and in the harsh glare he sits on the floor. He looks down at his arms and studies the scars. He is trapped in a cube where it is too bright and he closes his eyes. And he won’t see the Coke can, not unless, not unless he decides.



“What do you want?”

I want to chew on your bones

to go back and stop her from going to that house in Brixton

you to bump into me in Mexico

to read all of the books

to be adored

to be ignored

to un-sleep with 95% of the men I’ve slept with

to give you a philosopher in exchange for a photographer

to discover what it feels like to not be in constant pain

everyone to just fuck the fuck off

you to tell me that the collection of dead wasps in my hands look “good enough to eat”

to dance on the train tracks with you like we used to, in the dead of night, drinking a bottle of Veuve through a straw, wearing novelty sunglasses and fur coats, shouting the lyrics to Losing My Religion and running away from track engineers and transport police

to go to the aquarium and count how many of the stingrays are happier than me, with their fucking smug little faces and all their smiley pals

to ask you what happened

to be your sorry-ever-after

to stop becoming emotionally invested in things that have nothing to do with me

to change your mind

to be formally introduced to the monsters that live under my bed and shake hands with the devil who pitched a tent on my shoulder

to kiss your knuckles before they find my face

to kiss your knuckles after they’ve found my face

to never speak another word

to go back to that restaurant in Alicante where all the food was on little sticks and at the end you take your sticks to the counter and pay according to how many sticks you have and the manager didn’t know that I had hidden six sticks hidden in my pocket so I’d like to pay for the six sticks of food that I didn’t pay for at the time

to stop faking it

to say that all I want is world peace and the end of global poverty because that’s what everyone is meant to say but I’m not everyone, I’m a terrible human being, and even if the world became a rich, plentiful, beautiful utopia we would still find things to argue about and people would die of greed and jealousy, and we’d probably still be fucking miserable because too much is never enough, it’s always more, more, more

to check if our initials are still on that tree

to hear you tell me that I’m electric

to hide under the surface of the sea, so that you know where I am but can never find me

to stop loving myself “less than the potential of one more night going mental”

to eat the belladonna first and trust that you will eat some too

to see myself through your eyes

to pinpoint the exact moment that everyone got so fucking boring

to stop being so afraid of living

to stop being so afraid of dying

to stop being so afraid

to just… stop.”

“I meant what do you want to drink? Tea or coffee?”

Featured image source here.






the groomed conceited, clamor for knighthood

vanity a sole dance partner, spin drama in owed woe

pucker up

hustle to the vibration, sculpt us eulogies

unlock our mirrors, we know fairy tales

this is a pomegranate, stuffed with deed

reasoned shadows waltz, poke the air with holes

cover our eyes in smooth


we are bright-eyed children of architecture

building castles for cherry pickers

stained in deed, over iced smiles we sit

on frosted cakes, pressured by consent

accidental tourists, in a ballet of archers

stick the boar

lance the sore

let it air

make us well


the sycophantic



truth in place, of vanity’s trend

strike a pose, raise your rasping rattle

here comes divining hour, riding the backs of stallions

lathered rich in public vitriol

clamor aboard wicker man, ignore what’s taught

thrive in greed, swim unfeeling

in unseeing we lose human form

our edges, our souls, conceit is a treat

best eaten late before conscience rises to envelop

our distaste for true