Archives for March 2014

Photoed not synthesised

He stood unsure in her garden
A piece of litter among beauty
The scent of flowers made him hate himself more, built up sorrow–mortified to the core…Such an innocent thing, fragile–when bones decay to rust. Their hearts like petals in the grip of a powerful gust. Apologies aren’t fertilisers my friends, they don’t bring forth beauty, regrettably only shame. Though unsure he knew what was to blame. To him she was pristine– to her he was a dream. Now a bitter stream more or less so was the inkling. Yes, apologies aren’t fertilisers they don’t bring forth beauty they’re only for regret…And beauty fell apart once his cancer began to spread…

The Prayers of a Thousand Africans

You can hear the pitta patter of your feet as you walk along the
Dusty road.
It seems as though the road itself is mad at you how it burns your feet.
Your bag is heavy shoulder; your burdens are heavy in your heart
How you’ve come to hate school because they laugh and ridicule
Since you don’t have shoes. So you weep.
You weep because; shadow patches on the ground feel like a glimpse of heaven,
Because the moment you step in them, the burn on your feet begins to cool, you weep.
Children your age want iPhones and Tablets, but every time you kneel…
You say Lord…. if I could…
You see, these are the prayers of a thousand Africans.

You keep getting up every now and then to stir the pot that simmers on your stove.
Your kids ask when the food will be ready, and you say in an hour,
And then that hour becomes two, and that two becomes three
And then they finally fall asleep, and you weep
Because you couldn’t bring yourself to tell them,
There was nothing for them eat.
You weep because their father walked out, and the welfare stopped paying. You weep.
Women your age want handbags and heels,
But every time you kneel, you say Lord,
If I could just.get.Food…..
You see these, are the prayers of a thousand Africans.

You grab a bucket and hold it up as the rain comes in through the tin that’s called your roof.
Your shack quakes and quivers at the onslaught of the storm, and at any minute you fear that it’ll fall..
And when the storm comes to an end, you sit down and you weep.
You weep because you want a house but you’re unemployed, so you weep.
You weep because your wife wants leave you, and your children have lost respect for you, so you weep.
Men your age want flat screens and Play Stations,
But every time you kneel you say
Lord, if I could just.get.a.Job….
You see These…are the prayers a thousand Africans.

You left home seven years ago, and everyone celebrated.
The first child in the neighborhood to go to college,
They dubbed you “the special one”,
The one who would break the shackles of poverty,
They were so proud.
But then you got to the city, and it’s lights and it’s people ,
They, they confused you,
And you traded in studying for partying, and they kicked you
Out of college and now you weep.
You weep because you’ve been gone seven years, they think you’re studying your doctorate
meanwhile you’re selling your body for a few pennies so you weep.
Girls your age want twitter followers and boyfriends,
But every time you kneel you say,
Lord, if could you could…
You see these, are the prayers of a thousand Africans.

You used to be a worshiper…
But you wanted to be part of the popular kids, so you
Got girlfriends by the dozen, changing women like you change socks,
So you got high on leaves, way up above the clouds,
They used to call you the man, but now you weep.
You weep because you gave up the covenant of the grace,
For the pleasures of the flesh, you weep.
You weep because you’ve got H.I.V and now you face certain death, you weep.
Boys your age, they want Jordans and fly chicks..
But you every time you kneel,
You say Lord, if I could just.get.healed….
You see these, these are the prayers of a thousand Africans.

You see, the purpose of this poem is to get you out your comfort zone.
You’ve been stuck in it too long, making a mockery of the Grace,
You claim you understand the Cross, but every time you walk out of church you bring shame to the Gospel.
Understand this- everything you have, is because of the grace,
Don’t wait until you have to weep,
To respect the Covenant that Jesus made on the cross,
The day he died for you and me.
And now he sits at the right hand of the Father….
Listening. Every Morning. Every Day. Every Evening.
Every Night, Listening…
To the prayers of a thousand Africans.

Sdumisile Mbambo

Finally alone

There’s a little spot between your thighs that brings great pleasure to arise. From your thighs to your toes all the way up to your nose. Tingling sensations of flirtatious engagements, leaves one to ponder further arrangements. Little drops of lustful incantation, brings forth a fire of blissful elation. Intimation turns to action and action turns to a teasing smirk–if this moment should continue then oops there goes the skirt.

No Cheese

There’s a little mousey who runs passed your door…More cheese he needs more cheese he wants, running from corner to corner as the cat starts it’s hunt. Faint gnawing sounds emitted by little dwarf teeth, gouging away at your edibles like you wouldn’t believe. Mom has had enough mom wants it dead.”Send in the pink death”. That’s what she said. Big men with canisters filled to the top, stormed into the house as my heart-strings collapsed into a knot. “Mom you can’t! Mom!”. I pleaded. My heart fell to the floor as I felt defeated. The men sprayed the house from corner to corner, roof to floor. Is there really any place left where they can spray any more… I watched as they left like the plague they came–so much arsenal was brought for this little mousey they wanted to maim… No more gnawing was heard at night no more shadows of big ears to give me a fright… What mom didn’t know what the men could not see, was they all decided to take a friend from me. Yes it ate my chocolate but in truth I would’ve shared. Why mom did you go this far when I couldn’t have cared. So no little mousey running passed my door no more cheese–because it needs no more…

The Beekeeper’s Daughter’s Suicide

The glory of wisdom and ego shrunk to accommodate the villagers
Wounding spirits.

She the significant one. She is my angelic conjured up myth
She who always tells me in her poetry to rise, rise again above volcano dreamers.

Liquid deep are the secrets of my heart. The stem of intimacy grows silently.
Give me enough rope and surely I will hang myself.

The handmaiden’s pulse is there. The muscle is there like unfinished things from childhood.
It pushes at the difficult thoughts I have.

They have a hard appearance from the outside like a seduction theory,
The blue steel of the sky, the land that borders on God, perplexity, sanctuary.

Like poverty and death, the angelic dream of it. I am as serious as an ill tiger,
I laugh like a hyena in the face of the man on the moon. I am a coping lioness.

My mother did not keep me from children who were rough.
She wanted me to experience the world (that humanity is a violent species).

My mother left me there hanging on for dear life. As a child the details of my life
Soon became embroidered by tortuous emptiness, the innoncence of autumn cast out.

Bold smile through her great depression. Wife interrupted. Mother of Frieda and Nicholas Hughes. There was always a journey of moving forward worshipping the past.

Where is the sun in an argument? Where is the physical body in flight in dream-mode?
She saw the skylines of New York, had a London experience, married an Englishman, a poet.

Solitude and loneliness, being an introvert should have been included in the commandments.
Her bright faith and loyalty, the love she had for her children was like music from the heart.

Her bright faith was as bright as the lights in Los Angeles. Her loyalty was a prize.
The glory of her bravery was unbalanced, and her rage was that most rare thing.

Sylvia Plath, daughter and poet, wife and mother, gone too soon to heaven.
Melancholia and of the sky in her eyes and the other half of her gone to hell on earth.

Bird, leaf, madness, jealousy all symbols of life, of humanity and so we come to adulthood.
Now her poetry educates young people’s minds now that she is no longer flesh, bone.

I think a present-day Sylvia would be reluctant to be called beautiful,
Lonely, misguided, depressive, and intelligent. A Sylvia who lived a madness life,

Who fell ill at the end of her life, is a Sylvia whose heroism lives on
In her poetry, her soul’s progress, the people who relate to it destination anywhere.

Shape snifters in the sky

Do you see what I see
High up in the clouds
Its a tree

No doubt

See the leaves
Swaying about
With glee

I turned around
And suddenly it was a bee
Or a was it a cow

I think it was a giant flea

to the last

First draft of… Yeah…

to the last


And here I am: right at the back of the bus on a wet, thickblack night. The last bus of the day, heading to its depot, the end of the line. End of the line! How funny.
I hold close to me my brown canvas backpack; it’s soft up against me, its smell familiar. If I pretend hard enough I can convince myself it’s what she would feel like in my arms, if ever I had the chance to hold her, that is. And if I lie deep in the pretence, if I so set my imagination all that way high up above me: she feels nice; her skin is warm and soft, her dark hair sweetsmelling and fine on my cheek. Her gentle breath warming my neck as she presses into me. Her back, her shoulders: glory under my fingertips. I smile a little; I hug her closer.
Then the contents of the backpack rattle, the clunk of metal on glass; slaps me in the face does reality when I fall, when my desperate need falters and she dissolves – back to nothing. And I miss her, somehow.
I am a loser.
I frown. I shake my head to rid myself of her – what? Memory? Can I have a memory of something that never existed? It’s times like this, when I’m more than just a little half-sure I am losing my head. And tonight I really am going to lose it. Bang-spurt! Outta my head I’ll be! Thoughts set free into the night, and they will trouble me no more. The thought soothes me, such violence, such peace. But I feel it also, ticking in my gut: straight-ass, plain-faced fear. I’m scared to hell and heaven and back again. The b’jesus took off days ago. My spine is liquid. I’m staring straight at it, the emptiness, and its warm welcome is frightening me. But then I push myself further, tell myself it’ll only be a second. From emptiness to nothingness is but a short journey; a foolish trip, zero to zero in two seconds flat; and then it’s done. Then it’s over and finished.
Ain’t no biggie. Ain’t no biggie.
My existence done and dusted and no one to ponder over it. I will miss no one and no one will miss me; no one ever knew of my breathing, of my tired ticking heart. Nothing but an empty room. And stillness. Always the stillness of the night, nothing to hear except the faint hum of electricity, the quivering of my body. The whisper of a soul dying.
The bus slows, then stops. The doors sigh open and I wonder what freak will be joining us tonight. I lean a little to my left, to see down the aisle, careful to not look too curious. My heart stops, flutters; it just about implodes when I see her. For a terrible, delightful instant I think it is my imagining! My backpack brought to life! A chance beckons on this hopeless night! But then she awkwardly pushes her dark wet hair from her face, tucking strands of damp behind her ears as she pays and waits for her small change from the driver. Just another girl emerges; another no one in a world drowning in no ones.
She is beautiful though, and sad. I think that’s what makes her beautiful: her fragile melancholy. Or perhaps it’s just me; perhaps there’s a darkness in me, attracted to the lost, to the broken.
I ease back slightly in my chair; she has my interest but I don’t want it to be obvious I’m staring at her, that already I love her so deeply like no other soul ever could; that she is mine in my deep red heart and I’ll keep her forever safe. How spiteful it is that she doesn’t know.
With a knock backwards the bus is again in motion. The suddeness of the movement startles the girl, throws her a bit off her feet. She looks around, embarrassed; and right then I know, I want to run to her and hold her, comfort her, and maybe with that she could be my burning savior. I keep a hidden eye on her, watch as she delicately moves to an empty seat, against the window. She does not look outside, she does not look around the bus; instead her head drops, her eyes I guess, trained on her lap. Her shoulders are stooped and she sits silently, inanimate; water slowly trickling off her hair, down her ears. My heart tightens, breaks in two. It makes me smile.
There are three of us now, on this moving light horse, squares of yellow in the dark. Apart from the driver. With him it’s four. The other passenger is some odd looking fellow, all grey and disheveled in his grey, disheveled suit. Guy looks like he’s been sat in that same spot for a week. Perhaps he has. I have stared at the back of his head for the most part of my trip. He would laugh from time to time, almost silently, his shoulders shaking. Then he’d lazily turn his head to me, a smile only hitching up the left corner of his mouth, looking right at me, as if curious to know whether whatever resonated humorous in his head made its way to me, and if I too, found it funny. When I tried to return the smile he whipped his head back around, went on to look out the window.
After that I made sure only to keep my eyes on the back of him.
Now there was the girl, and I kept her in my gaze. She was still slumped, still quiet. I wonder what her name is? What does she look like? If she were mine, what would I want her name to be? Jessica. No, too prissy. Kate? Not bad at all, that. But is it damaged enough? Could a ‘Kate’ ever convey the hopelessness she embodies here before me? Not quite. Laura? Lara? Vicki? No, that’s feminine Victor and she don’t look it, not tonight anyway. Erin. She could be an Erin, yeah. Brooding and alone. She could be my Erin; my own sad dark hallucination, right here in wet cold flesh and blood, all of her life up here in my head a fabrication, so much better than the real thing I’m staring at; her reality could never compare to the fallacious version of my Erin.
But I still want to hold her. Still want to feel her body to mine.
She tenses suddenly. Her shoulders stiffen, push backwards. Erin dips her head, her chin buried in her upturned collar; she stretches her eyes at the guy, he notices nothing; then she shifts slightly and twists around to look behind her, to look at me. I hold her gaze awkwardly, I blink too much. She doesn’t blink at all. Her eyes are dark, her skin pale, her lips wonderfully thin. I want to smile at her, I am aching to smile at her.
But I can’t.
I’m self-aware and worthlessness. She’s my goddess, my heroine, my everafter. To smile at her would be to break her down, an insult. She opens her mouth, words hesitating on her lips. Good god! please say something to me! Help me believe in your existence, convince me of my own. I feel my heart hold tight in anticipation, my eyes on her fluttering lips. I give her an unworthy smile and her mouth shuts; I see a slight panic in her eyes and she dips her head, turns, and gazes down once more.
And so onward I go! Another tacit ruination of a futile possibility! I want to hit out at her. I want to scream and bellow as I feel my heart erupting silently inside me. I sense the hot rush of tears at my eyes, but I won’t cry, I won’t. Not tonight, not ever again. I clutch my backpack, bringing it in close to my chest. I hide my face in its roughness and listen to the stifled sobs escaping my throat, my eyelids struggling to blink away the hurt.


I won’t let go. I won’t let go by god, I won’t. I will bear this night; I’ll walk through these streets; I’ll sit on that bus; walk up through the house and to my room I’ll go ignoring the pitterpatter of little feet, the stretch of skin of growing eyes, mouths flapping open, amiable; life so warm an isolation I’ll walk through it all head down hand tight: I won’t let go. It’ll be there for me, a reminder. A faulted promise. A what-should-have-been.
The walk from the river to the bus stop was a joke. Only because it should never have happened in the first place. There wasn’t even supposed to be the fall, the plunge into the dank, icy stream. Although I reckon it matters not when water is spilling from the sky. Wet is wet is wet. So where is that difference? I cannot tell, I cannot feel anything at all. My body is numb. Is it the cold? Am I now only dying as I wait for the bus to puttputt towards me? Will they save me if I fall? Again? Those dark night mystery people? I wouldn’t want them to. What it would take for them to pass me by, I like to imagine it so.
But I can see it now, and it’s not going to pass, no; I switfly turn my collar up to ride about my neck, to hide the incident. Slowlyslowly creeping to a stop, the doors crack, the driver glares at me. An old man, stubble, grizzled; palepink face turning blue. His biceps are large sacks of hanging flesh. Suddenly I feel naked; I know he knows about me, about where I’ve dragged myself from and what I was doing there. I don’t want to get in, but I don’t want to stand out here either. He shifts his arm impatiently on the steering wheel, his head tilts, his lips move. He has spoken to me but I don’t know what he said, my head is too loud for me to hear through. I can tell he wants me either to get on or to shove off, so I shudder, I climb the metal steps and I feel them slip under my shoes. How glorious it would be if I stumble spill and split my head open! Life gushing red out of me, done for and doomed. Instead I meet him on his platform; I pay my way and he gives me the change. I stand. I do nothing. The bus lurches forward and my knees buckle. Carefully I move down the aisle, settling into a seat of cold, cracked green vinyl.
I look down at my hands. I’m still holding on. I wonder if they saw? I wonder if they know, as the driver knows? He looked at me. So did the girl down at the back, with the brown canvas bag wrapped in loneliness. The other guy, he had the suit. And a black tie undone. But I’m sure he saw nothing. To not see, though, doesn’t mean to not feel, sense smell hear. I am my failure, I breathe it; I spit it from every useless pore. My shame hollers furiously in the air around me. I feel I am shrinking, growing larger; feel the embarrassment rising off me like steam. So wonderfully obvious.
And I know she’s looking, canvasbag girl at the end. I can feel her eyes tapping my shoulder, her sneer licking my ears. I want to look at her, to ask! to shout! To say what is it you seek and see from me! What is it you taste with those eyes of yours! I twist, what I hold I grip tighter; I force myself to look at her, to see if I can see what she sees. I meet grey eyes, ready, expecting. But they are not derisive, or accusatory. They are curious, needing. There is a congeniality somewhere, hidden deep under studious detachment and profound worry. She looks older than she probably is. She is attractive in a defeated way. There are words I want to say to her, but I’ve forgotten how to speak, my lips move inanely.
She hits me down with a smile. The shame screams again, louder. Quickly I turn from her, furious with embarrassment. She has found me out! I have given it all away to strangers so easily. Transparency through guilt. What then, when I am home? With their probing familiarity, a ceaseless salvo of questions. All their how-are-you’s where-were-you’s what-was-you’s-doing? And why are you so wet, julipoppet? Are you feeling okay? What happened? What is that you’ve got there? To your room so early you’ve not even eaten! Are you? Alright? Why won’t you tell us what’s wrong! Why? Why! What have we done to hurt you to break you in pieces to tear you apart and scatter you? Why won’t you talk to us! Please, julianapop?
(Do I hear? Do I care? Do they? Really truly honestly?)
Oh! and then the worst of them all! With her small softslippered feet, she will bounce over to me, jumping up to swing her tiny arms around my neck; I hold her and hug her and press my face into her curly lemonscented hair. She is glorious, magnificent; she is life complete. She shatters my heart absolutely. And all it takes is a look from her, those blue eyes too big for her little face and she will know everything there is to know about me. What will she see tonight, then? Will I have time to lie before her, before she knows? Will my almostend be my beginning, the start of all things painful and tucked back? It cannot be this way, it was not my intention my plan, my device.
And what would littleone do? Will she tell? Will her eyes spill silently from their sockets? Would she jump free of me, run to safe arms of another? Sanity in smiles. From there on no escape will be mine. Not in front of them, with concern on alert. Julipop’s stepped out of herself again, again she’s dancing in circles around her almostnormal self. I will be the ghost of my failing. I will be naked to them, open exposed to attacks of illplaced kindness, subtle expectations of mild lucidity, of calm tranquil bouncyhappy happiness; of someone I am not and could never be.
Not without an assload of medication, anyway. The strong stuff, too. The stuff that lethargy is made of; the stuff that winds entwines around overandover my arms my legs my head so quiet now. So, so quiet and slow to move in all this movement around me.
And that is not what I want. Would anyone want it? To walk only to crawl backwards? I can’t want that, no god I don’t want that. Yet why do they want that of me? For me? How is my numbness their joy, their respite? And – myohmyohme! – why can’t they just let me be? Their love is brutal, incessant; it manifests allconsuming overpowering weak little I alone in the torrent. I cannot live up to it. I cannot face it. I cannot give myself up in offering to them, to their devotion.
It crushes and maims me; it runs wild in my veins the hated guilt and my feelings deepen I sink down within them and still they do not know! Still they irk me with unconditional adoration when they should let me alone, throw me out! out there into the dirty empty streets to let me devolve and flake away, fusing with the filth of life where I belong!
Oh, if only I could say such things to them, to filter it through their ears to their brains and make them hear make them feel how painful their love really is. If only they would stop their expectations then no longer will I fear no longer will I break apart. But oh they never will. They’ll keep on to say it softly say it silently and it will scream in my head, what do you want what do you want what do you want? Whyohwhy can’t you leave me be! But
“What do you want from me!”
The bus stops with a jolt. Before I know what the hell has just happened I am hurtled forward. I didn’t even know I was standing, don’t remember getting up from my seat. The driver has twisted around in his chair, in his eyes I see concern and panic. Mostly panic. Slowly I glance at the two others. The man in the suit doesn’t seem to have noticed anything at all. Canvasbag girl is perched on the edge of her seat, eyes set with bewilderment and affection, I think. I stare back at her the hardest. There is something in the slender face I find compelling and I want to go over to her and touch my hand to her cheek, to feel her. Again I want to talk again my brain fails me. From the back of my head I hear a voice I don’t recognize. I am frightened to turn around but the voice is insistent, persistent, growing louder.
I shriek when I feel a hand on my shoulder and spin around face to face with the portly busdriver. He takes a step back as I look at him. He clears his throat licks his lips and speaks,
“Miss, I asked, are you okay? Do you need… Assistance?”
Why yes my good man I do but not the kind you’re thinking of. Or perhaps it’s exactly the kind, the electrifying kind the strap-her-and-zap-her kind the lets-get-to-playin-with-yer-silly-lil-brain kind. He stares at me while he waits for me to respond. I suddenly feel foolish and embarrassed. My fragile bravado has abandoned me. I halflook at him, shake my mad head and set myself back down into the chair. Slowly he makes his way back to the front of the bus his trust tenuous. I feel the gears shift and we’re moving again. I threaten to look back at canvasbag girl; I have a peculiar desire to go to her and put my head on her shoulder to say all is well and if it’s not it will be.
It will be.
Instead I glance back down at my hands. I’m surprised to see I have not let go.


Do you believe in the dead? I do. And if you don’t you’re a milehigh idiot. The dead are all around. They walk and breathe and live among you, between you. They are your neighbours your friends your lovers, your wives sisters and brothers.
They talk and banter and fool about; hypothesize, argue and philosophize. But under it all under the stretched skin so tight their hearts have stopped. They’ve given up and given in, they breathe only through necessity, feeling eludes them.
Which of course, is not a bad thing, not at all. For the most part most of the time feelings are the bane of existence. They fuck you over and leave you broken in the dirt; they pick you up make you soar only to drop you and have you crawl aching on the ground. Happiness inevitably leads to pain, it’s the way its designed; hurt – misery – is the only true human emotion. Everything else takes effort, and for what?
No: feelings are not a good thing. Shamefully overrated.
And yet: those first early days when the numbness started creeping in I was panicked, heartbroken, couldn’t understand it and was worried to work it out: why I wasn’t happy, why I wasn’t sad, why nothing made me feel nothing. I resorted back to my oldest trick, my finest failsafe.
I’ve slashed my arms my pain singing bright red colour bursts on white. I’ve watched fascinated at my life exploding, diaphanous crimson pools in water. Threading delicately, pretty patterns, dissolving entirely. How intensely calming it was the blood as at ran from my flesh its thick warmth coating my skin. Happiness. So much happiness.
And then one day it just stopped.
It left me hanging high and dry without an explanation without a thought. Then did I realize I was immune to effect, to feelings, to this way or that.
Days lost meaning as I lost myself. Nothing mattered as fear dissolved, as guilt concern regret vanished. I felt strangely alive in the freedom of this death so I let it all fall down to pieces around me. Friends stopped talking my job was lost my fiancee walked out. I cared not at all.
I became the superman with nothing to touch, nothing to touch me. I slid around life unnoticed unscathed. Fun to watch those still living struggling with their concerns with the beatings of their hearts. Filled me with empty laughter. Such fools such selfdeceivers. Pitiful they can’t see it don’t and won’t matter in days to come.
All such a catastrophic futility, life. Such pointlessness; all the struggle dayindayout overandover no respite no reprieve and just then! just then when you get the hang of things when things become just that little bit easier – humph! – you’s dead.
Pointless. Useless. Futile.
But at least I know how to amuse myself, while I’m still around. How to get a kick out of the situation. This is why I’m here on a bus. I’m here on the same bus everyday allday. I stare at the samefaced people milling away at their hopeless lives. They come they go they come and go again. Routined breathing. Idiots. Mindless believers.
So I was intrigued, my curiosity piqued when she rose up from the steps. She seemed immediately overwhelmed and out of place. Clutching that brownbag as if it were her most precious, her secret heart. She kept her head down as she walked to the back seat. I’d glance at her from time to time when the feeling took me. She only looked at me once, in the eye, and never again.
She is a dead man but she doesn’t enjoy it, doesn’t know how to cope with its limitlessness. But too, she doesn’t want to go back living either. Living is even harder than being dead. So baggirl is gonna try to skip out on both. I can tell. She has that look. I had the same look once when I was arrogant enough to be concerned.
Poor little bitch. Acceptance is so much easier than change, and I’d like to tell her so. Like to go up to her put my arm around narrow shoulders and draw her in close, close to smell her skin, to hear her heart rumbling; like to whisper my warm breath, my lips softly brushing her ear as I speak
Hey buddy hey my mate there is no need for it, embrace what you’re lacking and float above the living let yourself sink downdown into the numbness. Be carried away by the lack of life it’s a beautiful thing.
Though I think if I tried she’d phase out collapse upon herself, let her mind go to some place of far off existence never wanting to listen or understand my words.
Then when the other girl stepped up to the plate drenched in wet and selfconsciousness I was thrilled! Two in one night! Hardly happens. But she’s teetering on the brink this one is, got a toe in the door of fullfledged insanity. Or not. What’s sanity anyway? Technically, I would assume others would assume I need “help”, “counselling”. So who then is a probable madman to pass judgment on another’s state of mind?
But I think I’ll do it anyway: chick’s scattered three ways to Sunday; she’s standing on a beach in a hurricane; she teases fire while wearing gasoline. She’s going going gone oh so very long ago. She’s tasted the bitter water only to find she likes it and keeps coming back for more. And tonight it seems she took another sip of the crazy juice, yes sir praise jesus hallelujah amen.
When she moved from her chair with those dark eyes darker not seeing anything I was curious; when she screamed and almost lost what little mind she has left over from tonight – right here in front of me – I was downright amused. I studied my little soul, my little baggirl to see her reaction. And she was too timid, too hesitant to approach screamergirl when she so dearly needed to approach her. When she so wanted to. If I cared enough about anything at all I’d invite them both for drinks tonight, but ah hell: what for? Life is better from a distance, better to observe from the sidelines. Lot more fun that way, as indeed it was tonight.
After driverman got the freaky chick seated and the bus rolling again, baggirl reluctantly sat back down in her seat, hugging close that sack; screamergirl seemed completely whacked. She dropped her head back down to her chest and went back studying her hands, and the piece of rope she won’t stop toying with.


Pity. If ever I felt it it was then when my Erin screamed and crumbled in the aisle of a latenight bus. Pity. Alright, perhaps I was slightly unnerved as well but it was mostly compassion. It was the chance to be her hero, to save her.
But I did nothing.
Even the weathered old busdriver had more skill at approaching her. At least he approached her, full stop. I sat and stared, which seems to be how I’ve acted my entire life. Which I reckon is the reason I’m on this bus tonight, alone with my fantasies and makebelieve companions. And the metal angel in my backpack.
And god! it would’ve been so easy to go to her, to take her in my arms, a more opportune moment could not exist; she would have welcomed me, would not have pulled away from fear or disgust. Yet still: I kissed it goodbye. Kissed her goodbye. Back I go to the material sack in my arms, my last and only comfort of my last night.
This is the story of my life.
The devolution of a woman; a silent voice lost in all this sound, all this furious anger of survival. A prime example, a thesis, of how to fuck everything up and pay the ultimate price. Alone and unneeded. Broken inside.
No one nowhere nothing.
A waste of humanity. A worthless stain on life’s indifferent fabric.
A loser amongst losers! A fuckup amongst fuckups! How great thou art! How great, you worthless fuck! You sorry useless bitch! See what I am because of you what you are because of I! Because together we are nothing and nothing we will fall. Nothing we will be til the last red breath, the last black drop of blood. The last fucked up thought the last of it all!
Thank god!
Thank god.
And oh! is my head getting the better of me now! How something so small as the inability to act has the most deleterious effect on my pithy fragile helpless little mind! My devious doublecrossing psyche! How it twists and grows inside me, so insidious so overpowering; how a lifetime of weakness and indecision manifests itself, so completely crushing I cannot withstand it anymore!
But enough! Enough. No more after tonight. No more.
No more will the silence be silent; the girl – that one inescapable girl! – so infuriatingly beyond my reach will be nothing more than the illusion she has always been, never again to torment my heart; the hum of emptiness will fall and splinter, break entirely.
And my life alone will fade, will seep back into the void from which it came, indistinguishable from the black nothingness of existence.


Theatrics are sometimes priceless circumstance of the most curious lives. Tonight’s performance was worthwhile, which adds just that little extra special to my nihilistic days. Especially when the day is done and we’re so close so vacillating on the precipice of the next one.
Too bad the surprise of repetition is often nonexistent. I find it doubtful if either of my new companions will be joining me any time soon, if ever again. Perhaps there’s hope for baggirl, but not for screamergirl. I will never set my curious eyes on her again.
I have been on this bus for over twelve hours, and my back aches. But too soon I will be forced to depart and regardless of how desperately I wish it were different: the night will end, time will whisk it away without thought for those who crave for it to last even just a moment longer.
There are two more stops left on the route; the first one stops just on the outskirts of town, the area is mostly industrial scattered with few family hovels up above derelict and soon-to-be-derelict factories and businesses; the last stop is pure ironbelt blue collar industrialblack landscape, with air so quiet and still whispers echo deep eternal. If I were to guess I’d say baggirl is going to industrial ground zero; screamergirl probably is shuffling back to her family in some cramped little tworoom apartment above a fabric store.
I myself am stepping off at the first stop, and from there I will walk the twelve kilometers back to my barren duplex and get ready to replicate the newly completed day.
The bus makes its last turn down a wide, trashswept street; it is mostly dark with few streetlights working. The ones that are functional struggle against the thick darkness of the night. There are a few lit windows, betraying the life within them.
I take a last look down towards baggirl; she is holding onto that brownbag as if trying to suck out some form of comfort, some form of strength from its feeble structure. Her steel deepset eyes are wide and vacant unfocussed on air but she is terrified, it emanates powerful from her silent body.
I feel a peculiar twinge at my ribs; its sharp and it rises up to my chest settles in my throat. I am surprised by it, confused by it; it takes a moment and some deliberation to determine exactly what it is. I find that it is something I’ve not felt in a very long time: sympathy; I feel sorry for the sad little baggirl and I briefly have the urge to go up to her and embrace her, to walk with her and walk her away from this night.
As I move to hesitate towards her I feel the bus slow and pull to the side, I see screamergirl reluctantly rise up from her chair. She gives me a sideways glance before shuffling to the open doors. Over at the back baggirl has not moved has not flinched at all. I move slightly in her direction then quickly backtrack to follow screamergirl. I nod without looking at the driver and step down off the bus.
Outside it is cold and damp, moisture still thick in the air. Screamergirl stands inanimate on the curb, looking down the street at what I cannot determine. She jumps slightly as the bus sputters and pulls away. I look up into the last row of windows to get a glimpse of baggirl. She is staring down at us, her eyes pleading and frightened; I give her a direct look and nod solemnly, I raise my hand in a wave.
I am just able to see her touch her hand to the glass before the bus turns black, vanishes.
When I turn to screamergirl I see she is looking at me, a slight look of confusion in her eyes. We stare at each other in silence, cold minutes pass, our breath hanging briefly in the air white nebulous mist before dissolving into the night. I feel a damp warmth radiate from her body.
Finally I break the eye contact and look at the buildings surrounding us. All the windows I see are barred secured shutteredup and dark. Except one, glowing a warm orange above a closed down diner. If I hold my breath and concentrate I can make out a faint din of voices, laughter. It almost makes me smile but I stop myself. She has not taken her eyes off me has not made any attempt to move.
I look back down into her meeting her gaze. Abruptly I offer her my hand my mouth opens before I can think of what to say. Eventually I clear my throat and give to her the most pedestrian of greetings,
“Evening. I’m Christian. Some night we’re having isn’t it?”
Inwardly I grimace over my introduction. It sounded banal, inept. She seems to think about what I’ve said for a few seconds, as if trying to capture the words from the air. My hand is still hovering useless, waiting.
When she speaks her voice is soft, deeper than expected,
“Yes. I suppose it is.” She takes my hand in hers, it’s cold and moist; we stand connected for the briefest moment, then we part. “Juliana. I’m Juliana.”
“Juliana.” A small smile forms on my mouth, invisible in the darkness. “Well, Juliana, it was nice to meet you. Please have yourself a good night?”
She very quickly raises her eyebrows to my words, searching out the vague question. Again we stare at each other. Again we are silent. Juliana lifts her head and glances over her shoulder to the lighted window, her gaze lingers, then she angles her body towards the dark diner. “I’m not sure if that’s a possibility. But thank you.” She hesitates. “I don’t think I’ll be seeing you again but if I do I’ll remember you, Christian. Goodnight”
With that she turns and walks away from me, disappearing into the dark building.


I feel my heart ache a little as I watch canvasbag girl drive away from me. I feel I’ve lost something I’ve never had and it perplexes me. Such an ephemeral part of my life she was yet I miss her presence so completely it causes my chest to pull my head to tumble. And I know I will not have the chance to meet her again be it through my end or her’s, this was the first last only night we could have had together so painfully apart.
I hardly have room to be grateful yet I am.
When the bus had entirely been swallowed by the night I hear them upup in the cocoon above my head. So warm so cold so alone in the closeness. I am afraid to move I am afraid to go to them. At least I have dried off some and again I find I am grateful.
I turn and face suitman who is still gazing after canvasbag girl, his hand up. Slowly he faces me and we look at the other. He is taller than I thought he was and thinfaced his hair darkblond. The hand that was raised he now stretches out toward me in greeting yet his mouth hangs open, mute. Seconds slip and at last he speaks his voice loud in the stillness. I think if I want to talk back at him to answer him and I decide I should, so I do. We talk for almost two incredible minutes before I give reason to leave before I can be absorbed into my surroundings.
I leave him on the dim street corner and squeeze into the recess between the diner and the rough wall where the door to the stairwell is found. He cannot see me and I stand surreptitious watching him try to watch me. But I am invisible I am darkness I am nothing. I see him lift and tilt his head up at the window my window and I see him straining to listen to see to feel the creatures inside. He stands for minutes more until a light rain starts again from the dark skies. I see him turn and walk up the empty street his solitary footsteps resonant and lonely in the night.
“Goodnight, Christian.”
The words are whispers off my mouth my tongue, I hold my fingertips to my lips feeling them form his name. I move my fingers up my nose along my the middle of my forehead easing away a frown gathered there.
From out of the silence I hear a shattering of laughter from upstairs. It closes my eyes tightens my heart turns my mouth so dry my teeth stick and I know I can’t delay the inevitable, I know I can’t linger down here at the bottom of the steps forever.
I press my face to the rough cold of exposed brick my eyes closed shoulders tense. I listen to their familiar voices their familiar timbres vibrating through throats through mouths through air. I listen to my own rapid raspy breathing in the small secure chamber.
The door at the top of the steps squeaks open a thin splinter of light escapes illuminating the back of my head. I slowly turn to face the stairs to peek up at the opened doorway.
I see on the top landing two thin small legs dangling through wooden banisters above bare bent knees two small pink hands resting close to the fingers a fleshy babychin supporting a broad delighted smile. Her blue eyes are watching me closely eagerly happy I’m home. When she sees me seeing her she giggles and jumps up. She’s down the staircase in a lightning flash and even quicker she’s clutching my legs. I hesistate. I bend slightly. Then all the way as my arms embrace her. I pick her up and she straddles my waist her eyes smiling into mine and I feel ashamed discomfitted scared as hell. I force myself to smile at her I kiss her cheek my lips cool on her wonderfully warm skin.
She giggles. “Julipop you’re cold!”
She scolds me admonishes me destroys me with three words.
But I still smile and ease my face away from her’s. “Hey. Sorry Peekaboo, I wasn’t thinking. Julipop sometimes loses her head you know? It floats upup – away from me.” I wink I catch her nose between my thumb and forefinger.
Again she giggles. “Your head can’t float away, silly!”
“Oh but mine does. Don’t you see it there in the air so far above us floating smiling down? I think I hear it laughing.”
With that I tickle her and she squeals and wriggles against me, pulling back to exclaim breathlessly, “Mama made pancakes for supper!” She tells me thrilled, joyful at the fact. “You must come eat Julipop, come eat come eat come eat!” She is back down on the floor pulling at my fingers trying to drag me.
I slip down on my haunches and grab her draw her close. I whisper in her ear, “you go on up, and I’ll be right there in a second.” I kiss her forehead and give her a gentle push away from me. She flings her arms around my neck kisses me on the nose and then she is gone, bounding up the creaking stairs.
I sit flat down on the cement floor as the activity in the upstairs room heightens. I hear littleone laughing, mama’s mellow voice trickling over me. I stay seated listening for what seems hours not nearly long enough before I stand and brave myself to meet them.
I stare down at my hands as I slowly climb the stairs.
I am still holding on. I have not let go.


The doors let out a final breath as they closed to the bleak night. The bus departed, leaving in the dark one solitary woman, and her canvas bag. Connelly had eyed her thoughtfully as she hesitantly dropped down the steps and stood out on the corner, her back towards the retiring vehicle. He had kept his eye on the rearview mirror, keeping her unmoving form in sight, watching as she grew smaller, smaller, vanished altogether.
Connelly Thatcher had been driving buses since he was twenty years old. He had seen every class, type, form and breath of human life in the most unguarded state. People unconscious in deep thought, lulled by the stopstart hum of motion, early morning sleepiness, late night weariness, inbetween indifferent disaffection; a number of his passengers were genuinely happy folk, some fell into grey, others were morose and disdainful.
He expected nothing more from humanity, and certainly nothing less.
The last three passengers he had tonight had caught his attention. Their demeanors stood stark, their lack of spirit he found curious. Connelly wasn’t entirely sure why three of thousands and thousands of people should be more memorable; he felt maybe it was due to the fact that they would be his absolute last customers, period. He was retiring tonight, not that that was what he wanted but sometimes life twists the seemingly straight little road you’re happily traveling on.
The girl, the one that screamed so suddenly had truly scared the hell out of him. As he approached her he was wary of stepping too close, as if she might strike him down, possess him with her sudden demons. When she had responded to him so demurely, so placidly, she scared him even more. It was those people, those who are unpredictable and erratic that Connelly was always careful of. And the girl set off a host of alarm bells; from the moment she stepped on the bus, all wet with that small, sliced piece of rope she wouldn’t let go of, to the unprovoked paroxysm – Connelly could tell something, just a little something, was not too well with the young woman.
He was more or less relieved she got off at the same stop as the suit, not wanting to be alone with her. Although being a man, and more than twice her size, he felt foolish at his sense of unease. But it was what it was, and he could live with it. And at the very least, foolishness or not, he would have an interesting anecdote to tell his wife tonight, as they sat propped up in bed, watching Frasier reruns and eating ice cream.
The thought of the remainder of his night brought a smile to his face. He looked forward to spending whatever time he had left with his highschool sweetheart, still the warmest love of his life. And she was eager and anxious as hell just to get him home already, away from these late night trips,
they’re no good for you, Con, not when it’s dark and wet out. How they’re still making you run these routes it just, it just, well it pisses me off! So long you’ve been working for them and they can’t accommodate you just once! Just once! Especially knowing that you’re, well, that you’re… About the situation. Heartless bastards. Heartless slave drivers! That’s what they, are slave drivers! Heartless greedy bastard slave drivers!
Connelly could hear the drone of his wife’s cigarette-stained contralto and he laughed out loud at the thought of it. How she would nag and pester and complain and bitchbitchbitch all night long, about how unfair they were – life was, really – and he would sit and listen, take it all in not saying a word a silly grin on his face at her remonstrance, her vehement demonstration. Such a tiny woman such a force.
And her harping would carry on ceaseless if he cared not to go up to her, hug her close and kiss the top of her greying head. He would hold her tight in his loose, sagging arms and sway a little, do a small, round dance, humming deep in his cancer-ravaged chest “Dream a little Dream”, little Teri’s favourite song, their wedding dance. So quickly would she relax and ease into his body, to which her thin wiry arms clung desperately.
They would spend long minutes like this, every night, in the kitchen before climbing the stairs to the bedroom, spoons and a tub of choc-mint in hand. In bed they would recount their days to the other, eager questions finding eager answers. Connelly was certain that tonight his wife would have a laundrylist of puzzled questions, and he couldn’t wait to see her.
The rain started to fall heavier from the orange-tinted sky. Soon Connelly would be at the depot where he would exchange the massive Marcopolo for his ’78 Accord. He turned his thoughts back to the three of tonight.
As far as he could recall, he had seen neither of the two women before; the suit he had seen every day for the last three weeks. He was always the same; he got on in the mornings – the first stop in the route – paid a large fee and stayed seated in the same seat the entire day. Normally he was the first one on and the last one off. His greeting never went beyond a silent nod of his head and he never spoke to any of the other passengers. It was as if, to the suit, nothing else existed, as if he himself didn’t exist; a longheld breath, caught in an endless void, waiting to exhale.
Connelly took the very last turn towards the faint, blurred glow of the depot. It shimmered and vibrated through the glass, caught in the rain. He pulled up to the heavy iron gates and waited for Tyrone at security to let him pass. The two men waved, dipped their heads. Connelly eased the warm, shuddering bus into the shelter, stepped down, locked up and ran his short, fleshy fingers along the length of the warm machine. He smiled up at its wet, glistening windows, now so dark so vacant, tipped his imaginary hat, and made the long walk back to the offices.
Inside, the fluorescent light buzzed and flickered bright in the small building. Tyrone was perched on the edge of a desk, he approached, arms open smile broad, as the brandnew retiree walked through the door.
“Ah, Con, ’bout time my man! ‘Bout time!”
“Now Ty, I can say the same to you.” Connelly laughed into the taller man’s shoulder as the two longtime colleagues embraced.
“‘Spose that’s true,” Ty smiled sincerely, his tired eyes stretched wide, unblinking. “Too many nights. Too many lost nights.” He agreed with his own statement, nodding his head slowly. He snapped out of his somnolent reverie, “well Con, what you got down for your twilight years? You gonna nuts, do all that crazyass shyeet? Skydiving, bungee jumping, shark diving?” Tyrone gave the bus driver a playful smirk. “Or you gonna go the slow way? Jigsaw puzzles and herb gardens?”
Connelly laughed, his head thrown back. “Lordy, Ty, you know I’ve got a woman? You know she’s going to hog me in ways I wouldn’t think possible!”
Tyrone bellowed out a guffaw, slapped the shorter man’s shoulder. “Well then I ‘spose you’re gonna go the sweet way!”
“Ah, you betcha!” Connelly winked, grinned; he felt a certain degree of happiness beginning to spread through his body. “And speaking of, I must be getting on home, Teri, she’s gonna be standing at the ready, lecture on these heartless slave drivers already slipping from her tongue. And it gets worse the later I get home.” He smiled up at the security guard.
“But Ty, thank you, it’s been my pleasure knowing you, working with you, having the privilege to call you a friend.” Connelly stuck out a nervous, shaking hand. Tyrone gripped the hand firmly then pulled him back for another embrace.
“Pleasure’s mine, Con, all mine.” Feeling slightly embarrassed but figuring to just suck it up and say it anyhow, Tyrone pulled Connelly closer, his voice dropping to a strong, deep whisper, “you look after yourself, Con, you hear me? You listen to your doctors, you listen to Teri, and you look after yourself.” Aware of the emotion creeping up his throat, he added playfully, “and if you don’t listen I’m gonna be over there and ‘taser your ass!”
Connelly let out a stifled sob, forced a choked laugh into Tyrone, he pulled away from his friend, “I’ll be ready for you, Ty. I’ll be ready.”
The two men stood facing the other, eyes shimmering. Connelly surveyed the office one last time, sighed out a smile, “well, Ty, let me be going, or us two are gonna be crying on each other’s shoulders like two old ladies out of one of those chick flick movies.” Connelly smiled at the spasmodic guffaw. He patted Tyrone’s bicep, dipped his head and left the office. He opened his car door with a groan and flopped down into the plush, lumpy seat. Three tries later and the car’s cold engine coughed to life; he flicked on the headlights, pulled out of the parking space and popped the hooter, waving at Tyrone standing stooped in the doorway.
Once he was through the security gates he didn’t look back at the depot. Somehow, despite his happiness and eagerness to be home with Teri, he felt a sense of loss, a sadness that felt to sit awkward and heavy in his chest. He drove slowly through the slick black streets, his tired eyes blinking over high lights of factories, distant lights of the highway.
Connelly stopped abruptly when he saw a figure suddenly run across the street in front of him. His heart ached in his chest as it struggled to pump his blood. Hesitantly he opened the door and got out of the car, rain trickling down his face. He squinted and frowned in the direction which the figure disappeared. He could see nothing. Connelly was almost certain it was the quiet girl with the brown backpack. He stood in the rain, trying to decide if he should persue the fleeing apparition; getting back inside the Accord he slumped forward over the steering wheel, tapping his hands on the hard plastic.
Of the three that clung to his thoughts, the girl so silent at the back, seeming so lost and alone was the last person he wanted to think about. Something about her pained him deeply, caused such an intense feeling of concern he had the insane desire to ask if she would like to join him and his wife for some ice cream tonight. However, that notion was soon dispelled, although he kept looking back at her, trying to read her, trying to comfort her in the most distant of ways. When he left her, alone off the bus on a dark street corner, Connelly felt strangely grieved, as if he should’ve touched her, saved her, somehow. But when Connelly considered these feelings rationally he chuckled at himself, sure he was either imagining things, or overreacting to a dubious situation.
He tried desperately to ignore the voice so deep down inside him, whispering steadily, to do something, do something. Anything.
It shamed him to know that on his last night he would leave a girl helpless.
Grudgingly, Connelly put the Accord back into gear and continued on his way.
As he drove he forced himself into a strained state of happiness, but the closer he got to his home he felt a sincere elation settling in, a delicate calmness.
Turning into his street, he found the veranda light aglow as he drove up the driveway of his doublestorey. At the back he saw the light burning in the kitchen, where he would always find his wife on any given night. Connelly heaved himself from the car, locked it, and made his way across the lawn, through the back gate and into the soft warmth of the kitchen. He stood very still, taking in the small frame hunched over the table, a finger twirling absently in her hair, the tip of a pencil resting on her lip as she worked away at a crossword.
Connelly could never understand how the love of another, how the separate life of another could so complete his own; how the warmth of a singular breath could spread soothing through his soul. As he watched his wife living out such an extraordinary moment of beauty, of such complete simplicity of being, Connelly knew his entire existence had been touched, had been worth every breath.
Teri stretched her back, surprised and pleased to see her husband watching her so quietly. “Well there he is.” Her smile brought an incredible glow to her face. She eased herself up from her chair and stood just in front of her man, arms folded across her breasts, frowning at the time. “Last bloody day – your retirement! – and this is the time they let you leave. Greedy, heartless, slave driving bastards!” She smiled, her eyebrows raised in a playful arch. Gently the retired bus driver pulled her small frame into his, kissed her head, and started his slow, silly little dance.

A beastly augury

As dawns wake quintessence eyes, ere
the mist
Alternated importunate twilight, loomed
a beast
Fostering a scare sighted inglorious slay
Veiling my dream’s page, adorning war’s
Against the deities of love, peril to
harmony’s immortality
I call this beast anodyne negligence, a
foe to peace and tranquillity
-how can i escape this mammoth brute
even when aforethought?
‘And perhaps I’d decipher from the
dwells of melancholy’
Let I be, an ardent of true romance, and
enchant love with sparkling eyes,
Glow art and poesy entrancing a
rhythmic melody in seven’s skies
Dire beguiled beauties embraced by
seduction and portentous lust-
Let I be, a rising dormant, glimmer
against my mirthless adventures
That is induced by the thrust in nature’s
Without sense, – against the heart’s
illusions, just as ‘tis day gone
Allow love’s sword dethrone the
scourged beast, ending its insane miscast
Such that I beseech a potent spell, and
evoke the divine benign I grasp
-But the monster hath nought
decomposed me, for I breathe
Sacred to trinity, immersed into the
sweetness of love and romantic

Edelweiss in the high alps

Dear noble white, you’re small yet
warmly wooled
Flowing along the leaves,
Like a tuft among other flowers
Oh, wild high-mountained root
A figure of rugged beauty and purity
you are,
Your dense hair appears in golden
Certainly not toxic, but a remedy to
the weak.
In remote areas you tend to be
Like antidote to undefined chronics.
You, the ultimate allure of the Alps
Who endears the love-struck young
Through crags and ledges
In the high Alpine of Eden Europe,
You crush them wordlessly
I am aware, of multiple quests made
How many had fallen – succumbed
to exposure.
Nobody seems to hold your key,
The one to crack your weather
Furnished from heavenly forge, yet
rarely gazed.
So I ask “will you take me as I
“Here as I stand”

Her enticing bliss

There came a moment I wanna
maneuver mitted thoughts
As I lunged into the charm with her
hand in mine
Her instrumental deodorant was sweet
It pulverized the blasphemy
In her comely eyes I pulsate and bond
As she possess acts of intimacy
Filling life with the bliss of mystery
Her ecstasy exult me to the ultimate end
Deep down there, in her eyes the holy
waters burst
Grasping a demure smile as she grovels
me underground
She is my nightingale at night
And my lighting ale whenever I seek a
A ligament that ties my bones together
I am besotted in romance
I beseech God that I see thy face daily
From the hills of my heart, you replenish
You repose all my days in celebration
You are the sunshine that cradles my
The angel that pushes the dark clouds
And the sound you make to my bed, so
It creates scads of harmonies to my ears
Thy enticing rhythmic bliss touches me
Then I quietly stumble my feet in
heaven for a minute
Drowning my very last tears to the
Like summer’s rain, conveying an
unencumbered joy
Akin to that of a child in due fall of snow
She is the bliss in my heart