The road at night: an isolating, howling loneliness of endless, empty, deserted suburbia; the plastic, retro loneliness that papers over rot   The streetlights cast their orange gleam onto the black asphalt, their purpose to give shape to the shadows and transform the world from simply night in its star-studded, soft, warm beauty to the […]

They’re hideous clichés. They feel the shame of it, the sour tang of guilt every time they indulge themselves in something they love. They are self-conscious. Aware of the rôles in which they find themselves to the point where their thoughts blur into scripted lines. Every touch and tilt of the head is performed in […]

She pressed her red lips to the stone. There was a “click” as he pressed the shutter. She saw his grin when he had lowered the camera, and grinned back. “Can I take one of the mark?” he said. “Sit next to it. – No, I like your lips smudged. It works.” More snaps. She […]

  Ah! my love, the soldier-boy We follow him, for a time. When he falls, rises, falls once more, We pause. Alight. And watch to see If he will rise again. My little soldier, ever fighting on. You may sleep, sweet soldier. We will watch over you.   The night will come, As will the […]

Small Pieces, Small Progress

I’ve been finding it hard to write lately. Hard to start new poems or short stories, hard to put my faith in ideas. Hard to churn out a meagre 350 words a day on a new novel I’ve started. I like the idea, and I like the main character, but there are so many things […]

Most of you know this, of course.   It would be hard to describe it as a “surprise”, really. Alzheimers takes you down in eight years, give or take; it destroys your brain, and you need that to live. It had been eight years, and after his message – and Neil Gaiman’s wonderful piece on […]


Here is some more of New York Sour. Well overdue, I think. I have been, I confess, rather reticent about sharing it. It is incredibly indulgent. It’s not particularly interesting. A little bit awful. But I enjoy it, and people seem to like the style, and I don’t have anything else to share this week. […]

  Stub out that cigarette Lean back in that velvet chair    and think of me. Perhaps you’ll turn your head And glimpse the crescent moon Outside the third-floor window. Exhale softly, Start to rise to close to curtains Then change your mind Sink back down and turn your head away. Reach out your hand    to […]

Bonjour Tristesse first grabbed my attention with its title.   It had caught my eye when I was working in a bookshop a few years ago; one of a set of well-priced, slim books that came with their own cardboard shelf unit. I ummed and ahhed about it, on the basis that a fondness of […]

  The words only come when the world is sleeping the house is quiet the birds are roosting and only the cat prowls                                  the night. Then come the words, the dreams, the stillness in the head the desire to […]