I bleed always


Translucent and odourless, it flows cold


Flavourless and…. pointless?


Not pointless.

Wrong word.


The grief of distant stars…


…no longer there…


…the light reaching us too late.


Can you be saved?


Do you need?


Do you want?


Touch your fingers


Eyelash-kiss my moist cheeks again…



As you snore in my arms, the vibrations run through me like the tremors of an earthquake; the ripples spreading out like stones hurled into a pond.

Your sonorous baritone makes my atoms dance.

I see my reflection in your eyes and I’m always dying.  Always falling to my knees clutching my chest or covering a wound on my neck.  Always clinging to life inside that perfect circle of black.

Hide me under a quilt so I can bury my tongue between your legs, picking hairs out of my teeth.  I’ll wet my broken lips against your sex, nodding my head…




…agreeing with everything you say.  Hide me under the sheets, leave me to nest between your thighs and not come out until the spring.



I put down my cup of tea on the table and pretend to scratch my nose; actually, I’m sniffing my fingers.  I’m wearing her black thong under my skinny jeans, so my cock is half squashed and half rubbed raw against the zip fly.  My hair is filled with her shampoo.  My teeth glisten with her toothpaste.


The question is asked

__ ___ ____ ____ ______ _____?

and I reply;

Excuse the language, mother…

…but I fucking love her.


Devil’s Whisper


Her parents once told her she was an accident, and as the years tumbled by she grew into a catastrophe.  She told me; I’m gatecrashing a party here.  I have no rules.  I have no (finger quotes) dress – code.  I exist in a vacuum.  I am in the empty spaces.  I am life.

Or maybe the echo chambers.  I didn’t say that.  It came to me years later whilst going over our conversations again and again and again, trying to find a clue.  I realise now that my one-liner would’ve killed her.  She would’ve laughed, thrown her head back to show me those home-made fillings, those gaps where her brother forced her skull into a doorframe before violently closing it, the tongue chewed into ridges by dreams of murder and foxes eating people alive.  Of course, even if the reply had come to me in the moment, I wouldn’t have said it out loud.  Fuck no.  You don’t walk confidently into a tiger’s enclosure bollock naked, your genitals smeared with meat paste.

She was always a half-step ahead, and me a half-step behind, which created quite a division.  But, crucially, we still walked the same path.  We still tried to reach the same destination, just with different degrees of subtlety.  I drifted with my hands in my pockets, constantly scuffing the front of my shoes because I couldn’t walk with any confidence.  I couldn’t pick up my self esteem and I certainly couldn’t pick up my feet.  I looked down at weeds, dog shit and litter.  I very rarely looked into the sun.

She was a barrel roll of blood, sex and mayhem.  She once attempted to seduce a security guard at the old factory …just fifteen.  When the dirty old bastard finally caved in and planted a kiss on her cheek, as she sat in his lap in a state of disarray, we had him for life.  It was either us or Her Majesty’s Pleasure and he picked us.  We’d turn up at the front gates and leave with whatever we could squeeze into a shopping trolley.  Rugs, pots of glue, tinned beans and joggers.  Meanwhile he got wider, his hair grew thinner, and the bottle of whiskey under his desk got taller.  When she left on a summer holiday for two weeks, he drank an island of liquor and drove his van into the path of a freight train.

One summer, she invented the Firework Crossbow.  I’m not sure I need to explain any further, but I still have the scar on my thigh.  We owned our neighbourhood; a meek infant with plans and a mad bitch with questions.  Tyres got slashed,  houses burned, other people got jail time.  She’d cut the faces out of the local paper; all these confused looking mugshots of guilty men and women who were – for once in their miserable lives – innocent, and paste up a scrapbook.  The Book Of The Damned she smiled.

Wherever she went, they never found a trace.  Just her coat, hanging from a barbed wire fence at the cliff edge.  Her parents spoke, once again and tearfully this time, of ‘accidents’.  As though she had no free will of her own.  She was born a disaster and she lived like a sunrise.  I never visit her empty grave; a mount of earth with nothing in it and a stone with nothing to say.  I run my finger over the white scar on my thigh and I feel it tingle.  I know she is still out there somewhere.




The owner of the body smiled to the assistant and paid in cash.  Taking his ticket he told them this was his first time.  They hoped he’d enjoy it and come back.  I’m sure I will; it looks so beautiful.  He passed the gift shop, went outside through the automatic doors, walked briskly along a yellow stone path towards a viewing platform.  Then he turned his back on the sea, churning white on the rocks below, spread out his arms and fell backwards.

Unnoticed and anonymous he remained.  After the violence of the initial landing, the driving waves pushed him inside a small cave, sheltering him until the tide turned.  By nightfall, the gentle sea carried him back out under a moonless sky speckled by stars.

Drifting and silent, he left a fishing trawler untroubled, bobbing on the waves, the crew finishing a last round of cards and liquor before four hours of uneasy sleep.  Dawn was broken by the clicking and skittering of dolphins, flanking him as they swept in and out of the sea like thread in a tapestry.  A passing oil tanker caught him in its wake, throwing him like a ragdoll as debris gathered and coiled.  Mummified in plastic and netting, he changed course towards a small island – little more than a rocky outcrop with thirty or so square yards of beach.

He washed up at this new Eden, a bundle of human rubbish and one protruding hand, eyed curiously and pecked by the puzzled locals.



He stands up, quite abruptly.

But he stares straight ahead, looking firm.

So it can’t be a spider, not this time.

“I am an inventor” he declares.

This is somewhat melodramatic even for him.

He’s still holding his sandwiches though.

Quite a comic image really.

I’m trying not to laugh though.  This is clearly important to him.

So I ask the inevitable.

“What have you invented?”

He sits back down.

“Well, nothing really” he shrugs.

He looks at his sandwich.  Crumbs are falling like snow.

“I think I’d like to invent something useless.”


“Because it feels like more of a challenge.

Everything has a use really.

It’s hard to think of something genuinely useless.”

I raise an eyebrow and my lips curl.


I’m not feeling that cruel.

I’ll just look instead.

He won’t notice.

“This is what happens when you spend hours in your room

And you





And I punctuate by prodding his kneecap with my finger.

“They say it’s bad to be alone.

But what do they know?

I’ve had some amazing adventures in my head.

Met some great people.”

“Who are they anyway?”

“The people I’ve met?”

“No, the people who say it’s bad to be alone.”

He shrugs again.

“Please sit back down

It makes me nervous to sit at the feet of someone

Especially when they don’t know where they are going

You might tread on my legs.”

So he slowly curls his legs under him.

“I’m sorry” he grins.



As a kid, I used to run around the legs of pylons trailing a piece of rope.  I imagined they were giant robots and I could trip them up like in Star Wars.  A few years later one of my friends climbed past the barbed wire trying to touch the birds that stood happily on the buzzing wires.  His end wasn’t like the cartoons we watched.  No zap, no bolt, no moment where he hovered, thrashing around, full of electricity.  Just a loud snap, like a party popper, a smell of burning and he fell like a plank of wood.  Even when he landed he remained perfectly posed as he had been just before touching the wire – head up, arm outstretched, forever frozen in the form of a curious human.

These days I run across those same fields with my arms out, hoping my small actions will kill your cancer.  I doubt if it works, but I’m desperate and stupid.  So every Friday, after work, I change out of my smart shoes and put on a pair of boots.  I hide the car in an old garage and it’s a short jog down a footpath and into the fields.  I run past the spot where my friend fell – the grass has grown long and his monument is a plastic red rose faded white by the sun, strapped to a nearby fence.  I still run around the pylons but I keep my eye on them.  I know they want me next.



In accusing darkness I hide in The Alleyway, so notorious that no one dares walk through it even in daylight.  I slump against damp brick, feeling the moss and mould grasping at my sweat for salt and life.

Breaking into the old house had been easy.  Weeks of surveillance had foreseen the low fence surrounding the back garden, now a wild tempest of long grass and weeds, and the rotten windows.  However, having observed the house from the outside, I’d planned nothing regarding my escape.

My heartbeat begins to slow, my breaths become more regular.

I open my bag and pull out a box full of photographs of dead people.  Not dead as in corpses but dead as in alive in a time long passed, fresh faced young people from over a century ago and old men and women in bonnets and caps.  They stare back at me defiant because they want to continue to live, though I know the little girl on the street corner in 1901 is almost certainly now gone.

Flicking through the sepia pictures I see a troup of teenaged girls from a boarding school, marching and looking into the camera; some sneering, some curious but all intimidatingly confident.  I see a boy on a sledge with eyes clamped shut and mouth happily agape and the dull blur of a watching policeman.  Wondering if these frozen memories stuck in their minds like these delicate prints, I have to close the box to the patter of incoming rain.




I know him and I trust him.  Probably more than myself.

So we sit, side by side, as we did thirty years ago.  Our legs dangle over the edge of the bridge and the disused railway line runs pointlessly below, no traffic since before we existed.   We’re still eating sandwiches from silver foil.  We still roll it up in tight balls and aim for the dumped shopping trolley below.  We still miss every time.  Once it glowed, amid the debris below, but now weeds and dead grass incubate it like tentacles grasping for an energy source.  Once it held groceries, now it could hold an alien.

My shoes are very expensive.  He probably knows this but he doesn’t care and there’s no way I’m going to let him know that I do.  So I kick them half off in the void, balance them on my toes and look as carefree as I can next to a man in a cardigan that smells like an antiques shop.  Eventually I get careless and lose one into the stench below.  I try not to care.  He pretends not to know that I care.

We dust away the breadcrumbs.  He hands me the little yellow box with a big red button.  Hell of a way to celebrate a 45th – blowing up a bridge taking a rarely used footpath over a disused railway.  But as he says, no one will miss it except us.  Passing me the whiskey bottle, we move to a safe distance.