Writes Alone

My musings & struggles with the blank page…

No One Can Resist

Death is



Lifting her skirt

Spreading her legs

No one can resist

Her womb extends

Beyond the earthly

Into numerical


No longer fly

Beautiful, dutiful

honey bee,

struggling at

my feet.

Staggering under

the pressure

of pollution

and the heat.

You and your

sisters no longer fly,

alone and walking

to find somewhere

to die.

Expired Centuries ago

Let us grow old together

crouched in bushes

by the side of a road.

Unnoticed and unloved.

Desperate men and starving dogs

pissing on us sometimes,

but we won’t mind.

It’s only a matter of seconds

before we’re rounded up.

Branded, slaughtered, eaten,

and finally forgotten.

We can live forever in the

few moments remaining.

So save your tears for heaven dear.

Redemption is a coupon

that expired centuries ago.

Past or Present tense?

Recently I had the most absurd literary experience of my short life. I was out to dinner with some relatives from England and I mentioned I just finished reading Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel and had enjoyed them immensely.

Suddenly there was a clatter of silverware, an English relative had dropped his knife and fork,and was clutching his brow, “How ghastly! Wolf hall is the worst book ever.”

I was more astonished, than offended by his completely unexpected reaction and was momentarily at a loss for words.

His wife weighed in and said, “That Mantel woman is very odd. Have you seen her? Do you know what she looks like?”

I recovered myself enough to respond to her interrogation, “Yes, her picture was on the dust jacket. I read an interview in The Paris Review about her and-”

“Good God, it’s all written in the present tense.” Blustered the Husband, “I cannot stand anything written in the present tense. It’s just wrong, all wrong.”

“Well I suppose it was all present tense.” I said, relieved to be off the topic of Hilary Mantel’s looks. “But I still enjoyed it.”

The husband groaned and said, “The past tense. If it’s not written in the past tense, then it’s not worth reading. If I open a book and it’s written in the present tense, well I end it right there.”

His wife nodded her head in knowing agreement. I wasn’t sure what was going on, so I refrained from laughing until I asked one more question, “So you only read things written in the past tense?”

“Jolly right I do.” he said, “We both do. Anything else is…” and he shuddered at the thought of it.

So I’ve been pondering past and present tense quite intensely these last few weeks. I can’t say I prefer one over the other. I’ve never heard of writing being judged this way before, but there’s a lot I haven’t heard of. Incidentally I still recommend Hilary Mantel’s books, Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies. Historical Novels written in the present tense are an engaging and lively read for some us.

Selfies Butterfly

Selfies butterfly in our hands.

Sparks of unscripted

sonnets blaze the city dark.

No one sleeps anymore.

Eyes listen

Ears see

Noses touch

Skin smells

Souls taste

Far beyond the pale depths

no one sleeps anymore.

Dreams wander lost

in concrete

vestiges of forest.

Only the brave seek the future.

Beneath Us

We all have parts

we play

Some we choose


are hung round

our necks.

Like nooses


open beneath us


something dies.

Words never fail me

Words never fail me,

And when they do it will be

time to die.

For life will be harsh,

brutal beyond imagining.

If words no longer

offer sanctuary and comfort.

This world is a baffling place

where one is just as likely

to suffer at a loved one’s hand

as a stranger’s or enemy’s.

There is no justice

that does not injure

some innocent bystander.

So give me words resting

noble upon a page

to soothe my ragged soul.

Magic For Beginners By Kelly Link

I think I’m the beginner when it comes to Kelly Link. This is her first book I’ve read and it’s left me very conflicted. First off I want to say, the woman can write, I mean really write. I loved her writing and Magic For Beginners is worth reading. What caused me to pause were the actual stories themselves, I didn’t really like them. Which is a very weird thing to admit, kind of like a Kelly Link story. She zooms off on some pretty crazy tangents and because she’s such a great writer I followed her, but often I found the weirdness she served up to be kind of predictable. I was wowed more by how she wrote, than the actual story she was telling. Still I’m not giving up on Kelly Link. I’m eager to read more of her books, Stranger Things Happen, Pretty Monsters, and the newest, Get in Trouble. Maybe then I won’t be such a beginner.


Dead rat faceless

soul abandoned

embodiment among weeds.

What ate your face?

your body untouched.

Dead to this world.

Cars drive into

the Shell Station

heedless of the residue

your remains left

in my mind.

Trigger Warning By Neil Gaiman

Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman is not easy to get through. I really wanted to enjoy these short stories and poems, because they’re written by Neil f*cking Gaiman. Sadly,when I finished reading, I was just glad it was over.Normally I love his work, but not this time.

Trigger Warning should come with a warning. There’s a couple dozen pieces mashed together and for each one Gaiman wrote a little blurb. You’re supposed to read these before reading each of the stories or poems. I did as was suggested, but only found them annoying. Most of the stories and poems are previously published, which is fine, but no great insights were revealed, except how f*cking great Neil Gaiman thinks he is.

And on the subject of great… His poems are so not. It hurt me to read them and I feel like a real shit saying that. I am not a great poet or even a mediocre one, but my God, there were only three poems or so and that was far too many, and the stories are carelessly thrown together with no thought to theme or content. I suspect this book is a money grab. Apparently most of the pieces are award winning gems from previous publications. I failed to be impressed.


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