All around there are people together

Feasting on flesh and cheer

I have no food in the house

Bar that I give my dog and cat

I have coffee and booze and cigarettes

And if I’m lucky I’ll pass out by lunchtime

Dereliction. Acrylic on Canvas


Five thousand, eight hundred and thirty hours
give or take
since that bitter moment
I have spent three of those hours
with other humans
it would take me, at this very rate
nearly five and half years to spend
a full day with others
but I doubt I have that left in me
I am crushed in this solitude
perspective as askew as a half-dropped coat
in an autumnal rain
or the pile of ungifted gifts
still in your name
weariness envelops my frame
and night brings sleepless seclusion
there are no priests or gods to grant
the absolution I crave
no lightbringer lingering on
far horizons
there is not the peace and quiet
of welcome relief
but the cold stare of eternity
I cannot save myself from this
I have no arms left to wave to
imaginary lifeguards or for gripping the rope
I have no voice with which to cry
some prayer of plea for mercy
I am disembodied
mute and falling
every man is an island now
and mine is on no charts
to be found or discovered by
adventuring souls
there are no stars to guide
sextant and compass abandoned
I will drown in this placid sea


I am the outline of a man
with hollow cheeks and sunken eyes
where once gleamed fire and light
waiting to be filled with the essence
that was scooped from my flesh

I am a silhouette
with gaunt gaze and trembling hand
where once rose a soft caress
waiting for the terrors to desist
from the horror of the day

I am the shade of what was
with delineated angles in cheek and brow
where once a glance rested
waiting to be made whole
in the empty crux of being

I am nothingness in personal form
with flesh hung askew on calcium frame
where once a touch brought life
waiting to fade
in obscuration of the sightless

I am the refutation of metaphysics
with black hole core in pointless skin
where once bloomed vivid dream
waiting for the grey twilight
and the coming of the night


I paint in acrylic and hæmoglobin
a temporary solution to a permanent problem
a false count of days or weeks or months or years
a reckoning of numbered moments
representing naught but passing memory
and this will flake and fade like recollections
of other days or better nights
bittersweet colours etiolated over time
My hands will not form the shapes I wish
no more than dreams come true or fly
on wings formed of leaden skin
or feather and wax

Mixed media on canvas


My hands are clenched in icy blocks
in the predawn rain, treading old paths and byways
a cigarette dangles loose from my blued lips
and smoke wisps in the frigid air like a departed soul
I am 140 pounds clothed and soaked
and the gusts cut deep to my bones
where the flesh has melted away
I am a shadow of myself, but my shadow no longer tracks me
on this darkened road
My hair drips wet down my face, washing away
traces of the morning battlefield
feeling like the thin white duke on desolation row
destitute of meaning under drizzled sky
My pace is random, I light another smoke
a cough, an indrawn breath of wet smoke and cold air
searing at lungs still expanding and contracting
in autonomic regularity
My heart a drum of arbitrary beat
giving rhythm to a wordless song
words rush through my seething mind
more torrential than the downpour in which my feet march
I will forget them all before I get home
washed away by the rain I leak or that falling deluge
I want to float away in the icy waters of the swift creek
to be absolved of my sins or responsibilities
to forget forever the numbing agonies
and delighted ecstasies of a world gone awry
A fresh cigarette finds its way to my trembling lips
I turn and trudge for home


I sometimes dream, in waking hours
that you’ll appear like a ghost at the door
reflecting in my hazel eyes with a shy smile
and a soft hello
your step light and a bag by your side
whispered words greeting my tears
as I look in awe and wonder
my arms open as wide as oceans
my heart skips and dances to a silent song
and the chill flees from my skin
my mouth moves with cries of joyous absolution
as your radiance finds it’s mark in my eyes
you float like light from a waxing moon
starshine and the first bloom of spring
casting aside my leaden shackles
with a word and a touch and a kiss
the harshness of years falls away from my face
a visage now of delectation and bliss
this is my waking dream
of untold redemption and recovery
for the lost


There is something in my eye today
some thought or memory stuck in erroneous conclusions
and wishful dreaming
it’s stuck there and causing a rivulet
slow soft streaming from cornered glance

There is something in my voice today
some broken word stuck in fragmented phrase
and yearning illusion
it’s stuck there and causing a torrent
muffled mourning from some place I cannot find

There is something in my heart today
some hazy disclosure stuck in endless repetition
and languished sublimation
it’s stuck there and causing an earthquake
shaking sensation of shattered core

There is something in my eye today
There is something in my voice today
There is something in my heart today
There is something stuck


Snow falls in giant flakes of enveloping white
it would be a good day for us
to be under a blanket
warm and watching the world outside
Instead you come only in dreams
and I wake to imagine I can still
feel you with me, your scent soft
on the pillow
the hint of remembrance touch

Snow falls and coats the world anew
it would be a good day for us
to wrap up layered and laugh
at playing dogs and enchanted world
rushing back for the comfort of the couch
with hands held in lover’s clasp
and the embrace of loving eyes
but only dreams do come to me
souvenirs of another life

Snow falls like longing in abundant view
flakes of drifted chill
sui generis in solitary procession
the physics of unique precision
guiding earthwards where we should be
It would be a good day for us


The snow comes soon, and with it thoughts
of warm blankets and hot chocolate
of watching the white fall from grey skies
from the safe warmth and comfort inside
of snow angels and icy angles
abandoned nests of spring waiting for new tenants
mistletoe kisses and fucking by starlight
books and films and music in soft satisfaction
The snow comes soon, and with it thoughts
of lazy mornings held tight on pillowed bed
of wrapped up tight and laughter in the frosted air
as crows make light of their delight above
of home cooked meals served hot and easy
fresh flowers to still hold sway within these walls
whispered words and declarative voices
luxuriant relaxation in the port from the storm
The snow comes soon, and with it thoughts
of longing for a life not lived and one
who may be as living by a far star — hearing
echoes of my transmission over lightyears
The snow comes soon
It will be cold


Some count sheep to help them sleep
while others wealth in hoarded heaps
I count days as they endless creep
two hundred sixteen since I began to weep

Some write songs of light and life
with joy and laughter — their being rife
I write songs on the edge of a knife
darkness, sorrow, pain, and strife

Some fill their days with love and laugh
when shown the glass — it’s full to half
I write words in broken paragraphs
I write the words of my epitaph

Some see their days in zest and dash
their joyous hours of mirth and flash
mine mired still feel your stinging lash
all hope and dream has turned to ash

Some find in comfort as they tend
to household bliss they recommend
I only pray for some kind of end
the silent violence on me condemned

Some dream their dreams and wishes fine
as all around they wine and dine
I can’t pretend the stars still shine
as they once did in better times