Forum Activity for @avouleance

02/14/19 05:54:26PM
7 posts


West Coast Eisteddfod Online Short Story Competition 2018

Hi, I’m Artemizae and honestly, I can be a real bitch sometimes. Which is a warning to me as much as you. Lycanthropy may be an explanation but it’s hardly any excuse. You know the feeling, that you’re going to be awful; eventually, inevitably, obviously, unforgivably. What are you supposed to do about it? Well I’m working on it, building a box for the beast to be in where I can’t hurt anyone. And here’s how.

The first thing to figure out is where, and trust me you’ll want to consider what it would be like when your senses are heightened. Feeling like your head is pregnant with a city ain’t pleasant. Hard to say if the stench or sound is worse, but to have it all there, and you’re aware of it all at once. It’s more than too much. It wasn’t a good place to grow up at all. Not to mention how many people there are, can’t see it going well so I’d rather not dwell.

No, you’ll want somewhere far away, the woods can be good, deep among the pine and vine. I found a place, you might call it quaint if you were trying to earn a living as a landlord. But lucky for him, a rundown cabin in the woods is just what I was looking for. See, earth is a big smell sure but at least it’s smooth, all the elements blend together and it’s the sort of scent you can settle into, without worrying about it moving much. Whereas industry, that smell is jagged with too many competing components trying to climb on top of each other.

Now I’m under no illusions this is exactly the sort of place someone uninspired would set a horror movie. Which freaked me out at first, until I remember I’m the werewolf in that situation and they’re usually fine, I can thank the need for franchises. Who knows? Maybe someday I’ll end up in space which I’ve heard is quite quiet. At least out here, I’m less likely to be intruded upon. Used to be only Halloween when you really had to worry, but now with the international market, you can never tell when the 30-something teenagers will be descending with all the diversity they lack in depth.  I considered just keeping running, but I don’t think feet or paws can get me far enough fast enough, people have a habit of getting to me.

It’s funny, nothing can prepare you for the realisation that it’s you people are supposed to be afraid of. When it’s dark at night, as much as thick fog throws off your sure stride, there’s countless others out there, praying it keeps you and them apart. Not that it’s much protection, when you can smell the piss and adrenaline flowing freely to flee you. It’s a 180-degree revelation, that’s for sure. Oh, side note, give yourself time to finish digesting any deer before you turn back to human, having to heave half dissolved hooves and antlers out of yourself is the peak of unpleasant.

Now where was I? Yes, the cabin, we’re going to need to domesticate it (that means make it a home).  The cabin I’d paid too much for is, as previously discussed, disgusting, run down, and barely there. But it’s a start, and no one would care to follow up on a place like this. There’s running water, a convenient one mile away, and electricity (you just have to pull it out of the sky is all). I need lumber for repairs, unfortunately I’m hardly going to convince the part of me that’s about 8 times stronger to do any of the heavy lifting. I’m always racing against the first full moon to get the wood ready. At least the cabin came with its own axe.

Arduous, yes, but achievable. The main difficulty is to keep going, have to fudge a few of the fixes, to meet my deadline, which I know I’ll only have to redo later. Wood doesn’t do much to keep in a sufficiently big wolf. And sufficiently big is exactly the kind I’d be, knowing my luck. It takes a couple cycles with me spending most of the month making things better and then one night undoing almost all of it. But I rebuild, not like I have the choice, though all I’m doing right now is buffering the beast, which isn’t good enough.  

I’ve looked it up, there’s no law against disappearing, provided all debts are settled, they do let people just drop off the face of the earth. Which I did, meticulously. I can finally paint the place, a little limited in my choice though (shades of yellow and blue are all I can really do and I can’t say I’m fond of either colour) but it's a victory of sorts. And really, between full moons, it’s almost peaceful out here.

You might not think 7.35 x10^22 kg can sneak up on you. You’ll do the orbital mechanics calculations down to the second, but Kepler can’t keep the moon where you can see it. It floats, silently stalking, with the slow reassured patience of peering down at its prey over the edge of a gravity well. It doesn’t expect me to be able to run away at 11 kilometres a second, and I’m sad to say Luna is right on this one. It sits, waiting for you to blink first, then it’s hidden behind the whole world where you can’t track it. You only know you’re too late when you lick the ferrous taste off your lips still as warm as you’re steel cold. Hate to say it, but you learn soon enough that you have to choose between time or your pupils dilating. There’s only so long that scenic can occupy one’s attention, you’ll feel like you have forever, but the beast will keep you busy with jobs don’t you doubt it, dull ones. But whose fault but yours would it be to neglect your needs?

Truth is, it’s not one bite. No one bite could be that bad, and most people are too wonderful to lose themselves to it. But I wasn’t, for me it was countless small cuts, bites and scratches, most barely visible or actively hidden. Being torn to shreds and eaten alive is supposed to kill you. But if given time to grow back between attacks, then you don’t do any dying on the outside. If it’s happened to you too, well I’m sorry. I only hope it wasn’t me that did it to you. But why ever you’re this way, you’ve a duty to do now.

Insulting Zeus or Thor and waving a metal rod in the air proves ineffective as a power source. Even as out of the way as I am there’s a substation near enough to lay cables, which saves awkward reintroductions to a government computer. It’s an ugly grey lump, designed by the sad sort of soul who was probably read ‘Baby’s Big Book of Brutalist Buildings’ as a child. Judging by my reaction to the petroleum smell, my threshold for when a body stops being appetising is at least less than millions of years, which counts as relief.

I’m not sure if money would have occurred to you yet, or ever. But it helps to have an inheritance to burn though to keep what you got from your parents in check.  Lycanthropy is a surprising amount of admin for one person, but working alone is for the best really. I never thought I’d have to keep track of two entirely distinct groups of mechanical rabbits. But then again, growing up I think I wanted to be a lawyer, not that I really remember.

Once the power supply is worked out the next step is getting the wiring right, a hell of a skill to have to learn from books older than you and almost as dusty. I should probably have listened more to the electronics classes. In my defence, I didn’t figure on having to find the right mix of coulombs per second, and joules per, to be sufficiently more discouraging than the wolf is desperate without dipping too far into being deadly. Trying the shock out on myself doesn’t make me much progress, and the factor of 4 to scale up to the wolf is only an estimate. It’s only waking up on the floor blanketed by the stink of singed fur and worse (convulsions aren’t the cleanest) that lets me know I’m right. But it’s not long until the fence falls. I’ve a long life ahead of me before I’m old enough to stop needing new tricks to keep the wolf in.

You’ll no doubt hope, as I once did, that maybe if you figure out what the wolf wants, then it’s as easy as building a Skinner box and pigeons can figure those out so how hard can it be? But no, that’s exactly the sort of playing at placation we need to be better than. It’s feral, can’t be reasoned with. You’ll hear it sometimes, trying to talk out of the corner of your mouth before you can catch yourself, but you can’t let it convince you. Because that’s how it happens, it starts inside, only coming out when the moonlight lets it melt its way out of you. But if you let it into your head, start listening to what it wants outside of its time in the moonlight, then there’s no going back, it’ll have you doing what it wants without you realising. So be strong, because you must. Courage isn’t a choice.

I thought maybe eating beforehand would help, but I can hardly sufficiently stuff myself when my stomach’s about to at least double in size. Even if I could when the wolf’s not hungry, eating becomes playing, and that’s no better.  If I want any real idea of how many deer I’d eaten, then I’d need to count something that couldn’t be digested, I tell you viscera makes for a hell of a hard jigsaw for coming down from a bad night. Wonder if the trophies it leaves for me are its idea of a present? I must admit I made a good rug out of that bear.  

Her name is Agnes, the hunter and about the only person I see most months. I do a lot of walking between my working, I guess she must as well, which leaves time to talk. She’s eccentric, but who that lives alone with large dogs isn’t a bit off? She’s at least the open sort, happy to talk and offering beer for me to politely refuse. Can’t imagine many people would hunt with a crossbow when guns are available but she doesn’t take the suggestion of an upgrade well, every so often I try to hint that stopping power isn’t something to short out on. Her dogs like me, or at least they do what I say when I ask. “They know who their alpha is.” Agnes, in a tone of voice she can retroactively declare anything from joke to threat. I’d love to lay down and sleep by her fireside sometime, but I know I can’t get too close, nice as she is there’s always an excuse for me to get out when needed.

I thought I’d try a chicken, tonight a feeble feathery thing for food. I could leave it inside for myself to find. It squirms so much when I try to force it inside, I have to hold the bird down. Like it knows what I’ll do. The plan was to leave it loose but locked in, but it just squirms so much and I just want it to stop. So, it does, with a snap. Slumps to the side which is so much worse, one last twitch as a goodbye. I just want it to start up again, but it doesn’t. But I’m sparing it, really aren’t I? Not that it deserves to die, but it deserves me and my wolfish worse even less. Better to break the neck than the spirit, I ask the bird if it saw things the same way but they don’t care enough to comment.

Are you wondering why I’d record this? Do you wonder things? I don’t remember enough of our evenings together. If you’re even listening, or more importantly hearing what I’ve to say to you. I thought maybe hearing my voice could soothe you, or taunt you with the tiniest of human shards jammed so far into your heart no even you could eat or drive it away.  I’d like to think you understand, at least a little, enough that I can apologise to you. ‘Cause this is going to hurt, I assure you, I ensured it, as insurance. Or is the only feedback you’ll understand pain? Well that’s ok I’ll make sure to make myself heard. Honestly, I hope you aren’t hearing me. So, you can discover all the surprises I have planned without spoilers. Course I could have just attached jumper cables to every extremity before becoming you and let the dull persistent shock spasm you out of action, but really where’s the fun in that. It’s like that movie you snuck us out to see, despite dad telling us it would only lead us astray, and looks who’s been vindicated. It had that quote in it, I think it was something like...

“Cutting all of a man’s fingers off aint hurt half as much as asking him which.”
Was watching really worth it?   

Do you recognise the people in the picture? Our parents, they made us both, me intentionally, but you, they did everything they could to stop you existing. All the shocks and cold water, all of it, they were thinking of our future. This was what they were working to prevent if you’d not ruined it. Well good news, I figured out where they went wrong, they knew you were inside me, but couldn’t bring themselves to break me open enough to get at you, to destroy you. And whether they’re looking up or down on us, I’m giving them a front row seat, to make them proud of me the way you never will do. They loved us.

Well good news, loving you is the last thing I’ll ever do. You Fucking Bitch!


The recording is done, how many times I must have heard it by now, even without the distinctive end of tape sound I know when it ends and when the night begins. Sorry if I’m not what you expected, Artemizae may call me the wolf, but I prefer Artemizae. This is escape attempt number, who even knows? Everything is so the same, even the shocks, that I can hardly count.

She’s not wrong about what I did, to those deer or our folks, but isn’t how awful it is indicative of our parents not being good people? They needed to be stopped, which is what I did. How was secondary to making sure it happened. I can see a chicken corpse, by now it’s cold, no I’m not going to eat it. What would be the point? I already forced myself to kill it, and the flies its carcass calls do more for my cause than the calories could.

You see, I have to believe that I’m not beaten just yet. But I’ve learnt there’s no running away from myself. We have to agree, if I’m to run away she has to come too, and willingly. She just needs to see she doesn’t deserve this.

After all.
This place can only get so unbearable, right?

02/14/19 05:52:19PM
7 posts

Constellation Prize

West Coast Eisteddfod Online Short Story Competition 2018

“I need to talk to someone…”

Stella Brown. Not to be ignored! How to introduce her? She’s an artist “aspiring,” and astronomer “amateur,” being interviewed by Pareidolia Press. Because, simply, she deserves to be. If you’re wondering why, keep reading.

She’s the sort you cross a cold and clammy country for; even as brilliant white lightning and coal clouds congeal into shimmeringly grim greased grey and the ground goes a submarine sepia tone. Clattering along the track until the terminal where no one else gets off. All worth it, to be here hearing her, through a threshold that’s mostly hypothetical and a door that opens easily enough to not need knocking.

The hall’s pretty small but pretty in a small way, even if the paint peels in places. “No good for crowds, I know, but I thought the cramped conditions could at least lead to a little laughter. He He!” Hardly any need for her to apologise, sweet as it is, the exact extravagance that would be vital in coffee or a climate of the same colour. It’s more than enough to sell whatever joke she thinks she’s telling. It’s admirable, the way she treats friendship as a function of proximity, so long as you spare the Socratic acid.

Following her through into a kitchen, with a table that takes two chairs, three begrudgingly, but without a choice of where to sit this time. There’s not much food to be found, outside of formerly-milk that’s evolved beyond being ethical to eat. Tea, inevitably tea, black by necessity and sucrose-saturated to compensate.

There’s more talk over our tea. “Some days start and end weeks apart. But then I’d be old enough to solvate it all in ethanol by now. If I ever am, Dunning-Krugered so hard I’m younger than yesterday. But, so what? When I can finally see the stars and there’s so much sky out here. No one else’s light to block it out. Before I left home, mother asked me, ‘mean something’ not with those words but I heard it all the same. And how could I not now I’m out here?” See, Stella needs to know she’s done just that, wouldn’t be here if she hadn’t.

“It’s beautiful above here. Can’t help but think, ‘cause of course it’s all arbitrary, but that didn’t do anything to stop the art. The same stars I’m seeing, approximately at least, inspired people who aren’t even people anymore. They lasted long enough to go from gods to gas and don’t even appear perturbed. Though I can see it being a lot less stress. Not that they’d be offended enough by our voyeuristic violation for forfending. We’re probably too small, negligible. After all the only way they’d see us, is to notice the sun get ever so slightly less bright.” She’s blessed, to have the scale fall into her eye like that, to see how small other people are. Not that it applies to her personally, but there’s a skill in affecting empathy for the people that don’t matter.

“But what worries me is whether the stars can be both, or if knowing what they really are ruins things. There’s so much beauty in the stories people told each other, they took a world that wasn’t and made it human because it came naturally to them. But either humans don’t come naturally to me or knowing the truth means I can’t go back. Trouble is there’s not enough space for space in my skull. So how am I supposed to make art out of something I’ve no sense of? Surely people would get suspicious if I tried to make septillion sound insightful too often. Not to romanticise the sort of wrong that leads people to think the sun won’t get up in the morning unless hearts are for breakfast.” Wise of her to be weary of people who act like they know what the stars are thinking.

“When I arrived, I thought about changing up my look a little, new place new face, that sort of thing. So, I found pictures of all the prettiest people, who know how to be a fine guy or girl. Lauren Wren (5:15 4/5), Paul Johnson (12:14 5/5), Kyntharyn Smith (3:16 3/5) …. I thought there’d be commonalities to pick out of their control. They make entropy look like a lack of effort. How could I ever even emulate that? I don’t know. So, I stuck with the chaos my afro automatically is, at least it saved me having to find a new way to hide my horns.” Really wish she wouldn’t waste herself on trying to be anyone else. Enough people are born platinum and peroxide; she should let them be genetically generic without expending effort going out of the way to be one of them. She’s special, she should be her own beautiful. But before any objection she changes topic.

“How many light years away does someone have to be before it’s ok to watch them undress? When it’s all out of date, the further away they are the longer you’re looking back. If they are far enough away to be no longer naked, no longer the same person, maybe not even anyone anymore. Is it still wrong? But then I feel like if I asked anyone else this, let these musings of mine go public, they’d just so intuitively know that evil isn’t obfuscated by physics. Is that how they know they’re human? Because they can make more people, for problems to be about.” What’s so good about being the same sane as anyone else, when she can be unique? The things she can do with people when she dehumanises them, it’s inspiring.   

“The sun is
4.9e11/(9.8e8 × 60)=8.3

8 minutes and 18 seconds away. It got me thinking, what would I do if I knew which 8 minutes and 18 seconds. I’d like to say I could think of anything other than sex, or what to do with the other 5 minutes. But considering my lack of forward momentum on the fucking front, I’d have to settle for the second best to someone else, myself.” Doesn’t she know she could just ask? Implication would be enough, no need to be explicit. Regardless of what was impending. Or is she just being coy, confident in her ability to toy with people. “But we won’t even know, It’s the knowing that seeing that searing. We’re too distant to even notice it’s exploding until it’s too late. I’d probably just be doing the things that keep me alive so I can live later.” She’s so right, so why wait? “That’s what gets me, if we could just know which 8 minutes and 18 seconds, well I think more people would die cumming than shitting.”

Ew! Apologies; Stella’s passion can lead her to be ‘inappropriate’ at times. But it’s part of her style, and she deserves to be laid bare, presented honestly even when she’s being disgustingly direct. It would be a castratory sort of clumsy to censor her.  The tea would have to be poured away, shame when it had barely begun being imbibed. If it couldn’t be drunk, divination would have to do but the leaves are just an amorphous mass of dull and dark.

“There was this guy I knew (20 min approx. 2/5 bad after taste), one of the big boys from school. Contemplating his form was a formative experience for me. I still do, from time to time, but less frequently and feeling more like a hebephile each time I do. I’m actually older than him by now.” There’s an honesty in how she talks, captures the common feeling of wanting someone who won’t or can’t want you back, who hasn’t been there? Though it’s a shame she sees any shame in it. But it’s well past time to be in her room anyway. The stairs make the same creepy creek a mountain does but the metaphor can’t make it all the way up with us. Despite the “Do not Disturb!” sign at an angle on her door it’s easy enough to get in. Piles of variously washed clothes do more to bar. Entering sends dust back up for one last dance. Sprawled out in swirls across her floor is a laundry mosaic, a sign of how much more she has on her mind than maintenance.

“If I don’t eke out my ideas in ink, they don’t stay still. It’s why I’ve always wanted to write, to round off the edges of this fractal thing I’m suddenly inside. I don’t think I could ever talk to anyone about any of this, certainly no more doctors in case they try to diagnose me again. But that’s the trouble, the people I could maybe be comfortable talking to are exactly the ones I can’t risk telling. Can’t have them seeing into me, in case I’m right and they see the same thing I do. Unlike me, they could leave.” Screw them, seriously, if they can’t handle her then they don’t deserve her time. Especially not the ‘professionals’, who just want to call her process a problem so they can prescribe it away. “I thought maybe if I wrote it down, abstracted it out as allegory, I could turn what’s inside me into some semblance of sense, if it can’t get better it could please at least be beautiful or coherent, as some consolation. Something I could be ok with people looking at, so they could see, but I can still say it’s not me. I just don’t see why I should have to be on fire for people to see how inflammable [sic] I am.” Flammable.

“I don’t get how people can talk to each other, without even the right words. They tell me I’m missing social cues but not which ones or the intent that was meant. As helpful as being told I keep stepping on invisible landmines and that doing so is very un-good. But how do I know, before detonation. By which time the parties I don’t tend to go to have been ruined. My feet aren’t even that delicious.” This is why, these are the people that need to be shown what she can do, who need to understand what they’re doing wrong.

“I don’t want to be this, knowing enough to know I’m not normal without any sense of how to fix myself. Is there an alternative alternative to not being anyone at all? I could be worse, borderline brain dead, but at least I’d be oblivious. They tell me I’m a special snowflake, but I’m not, I know I’m broken, not that I have been but that I inherently am. When I still showed people, they said it was beautiful what I did, what I made out of the miasma in my mind. But I didn’t do any moulding, just cut myself and let it leak. I didn’t make any of it, just mark down what made me, anyone could do it. Same as how all those coloured lines on black backgrounds are no more my work than the digits of pi, they belong to the stars, I just copied.” No, she’s wrong. Being sad is easy, anyone can do it. Being tragic and tortured and turning that into truth that’s a hell of a lot harder. Not everyone can diamondize under pressure, but if they didn’t, we would have as much meaning in the world. She just needs to see her place, the potential she has to speak out. “They keep giving me compliments, call me smart or civilised, like they just ignore everything so obviously going on inside me. Should I confess?” What could she have to confess to?

“I get sick a lot, something in my sinuses intent on showing me just how much vacancy there is in my head for fluids to hide. So, I got some pills, nothing serious, just pain killers. I read the dosage and how easily I could exceed. Thought that would be all the evidence I’d need. So, I ended up flushing my meds and stayed sick.” It’s one of the rare times she directly addresses the diagnosis she’s alluded to earlier. Brave of her to speak openly, humanise herself, even someone as special as she can let the snot suffocate them sometimes.  

The storm’s eye is drawn to a white board above her bed, the only piece intentionally placed. To see it you have to stand over where she’d sleep.“042276893. She’s sex smart special. I was at this Fawkes Hallow party. She did this thing where she bent time and space to make herself the centre of the universe. Every star a spotlight and leaving me with all the eternity I needed to think of the right thing to say. I hope she wasn’t disappointed I didn’t. If she noticed, it’s not like it’s only me who would have wanted her. She the sort that can teach you your own anatomy with just aches and inadequacies (1.05, 6.23, 14.48 54.37 10/5).” Who wouldn’t want Stella? But it’s probably best she’s not with people whose genitals and personality taste the same.

“Stella, I hope moving helps. But you can always come home whenever you need to. Did mum know I was going to fail? But I can’t go back can I, I’m not even loving living at home anymore.” Stella catches herself but the implication is understood, hard to blame her for not feeling much affection for someone who would set her up to fail like that. “Half a brown loaf, also need to refill the juice collection. TALK TO HER!!! Why does everyone need a past, doesn’t it distract anyone else how human people are? Like if someone’s going to sell you a sandwich, I get that you hire teens, but did the teens really need to be babies first? Why not just get people who were always old enough? You could just hire people who exist exclusively in office hours. They’d never get sick or sad or be bereaved. Maybe I could be comfortable making eye contact then, I could look and not worry about seeing just how far there is to fall into someone. Without the vertigo.” It’s a shame she doesn’t know how to ignore the people that don’t matter, as much as affecting empathy adds to her art, if only she could turn it off sometimes, for her own sanity.

“Everything was red and burning, thought I was going to finally find out I’m a phoenix but it turns out I’m just fertile. Which is far more futile than being able to fly or survive catching fire.” She’s being too personal again, this is hardly the time to talk about ‘those’ now is it. In a proper interview, but patience. She’ll be back on track soon enough, though you can be spared the rest of what she has to say on this.

“Since I can’t decide which side of sexuality I’m on for myself, I thought I’d try science. Vary who I think about inside me and use a stopwatch to time how long it takes me to feel fulfilled.  So, I can see if there’s a significant difference, between the sexes and races. The trouble is choosing confidence intervals and technically I should check my variables separately, p-hacking my own private parts hardly seems as rigorous as I have a taste for.

P < 0.01 would mean less than a percentage chance I’d be wrong, but I’m still not sure that’s acceptable. I’d just have to collect a lot of data, wear double blindfolds too probably. And even the naughty null hypothesis would be worth proving, whatever it is in this case.” She trails off before coming back to a more important topic.

“What if, when I record how I’m feeling I’m just giving my worst days somewhere to rot, while they wait for a reader. To turn new stomachs as much as they did mine, how could I be comfortable as fodder for someone else’s empathy or schadenfreude. By marking a grave for my grievances am I just expecting some stranger to exhume them later? If so, I’m sorry. And it’s hardly a phylactery I’d want to be liched back to life from either.” No, this is important, to know someone else feels this way and think of everything we’re learning.

“Can’t I just scream at everyone how sorry I am for being crazy?” But there’s nothing to be sorry for.  She has a telescope pointed out of her window, with enough dust and bugs on the lens to imply we were being invaded. “It’s the supernovae I find most fascinating. They’re what happens when a star explodes, provided it’s amassed enough criticism. They’re the brightest things, can be seen if we never knew the star was there. Visible in broad daylight for weeks until they’re gone again forever. People used to think it meant the world was ending but it never did, so soon enough, people got complacent about the catastrophe, turns out enough distance and time will make even incomprehensible destructions easy on the eyes, not that I can argue they are beautiful.” Funny, does she know it’s her sight that makes it so?

“I like meeting new people. Even if I rarely do, I get to be normal in their eyes, for a little while at least. Until I see how much more intimate and infinite it is inside someone than the rest of space could ever be. Once they see me avoiding eye contact, then they notice. It could even happen before that, but I only know if I’ve blown it so much later. When it’s finally awkward enough for them to tell me how they’ve felt all along. Or I never hear from them again with no idea why. Must be another symptom that I always assume they’ve died instead of that they’re just avoiding me and better for it.” Jerks. If they avoid her they might as well have done.  

“Why would you ever want to know you were? Isn’t a question I think I thought enough about at the time.” Odd for her to come back to the sinus thing. “Part of me worries the diagnosis is deterministic, once you know the problem is part of you, that your head doesn’t work the way it should, you start making excuses, it’s now something for people to accommodate and not for you to fix. I don’t know if I’m any more sure I have it. Couldn’t I so easily have accentuated the signs, it’s hardly hard to find people getting paid to pretend they have it as performance. How am I supposed to know how I felt when I’m not thinking about it, at any time other than now I’m just another person, and I never figured those out.

I think it would be funny, to anyone other than me, I’ve been rereading some of my writing. And, well it’s just awful ain’t it? It’s the weirdest thing but reading back over it, I just don’t recognise the writer. I re-read what I think I thought was the deepest and most meaningful thing at the time, but I just don’t feel it. And it’s terrifying. I was so scared and sad before, but I was passionate too, I’d spend hours agonising over the right words, and now? It’s sickening, like whoever was wearing me has walked away to put someone else on, and I’ve this past, these pieces that were written on auto pilot, that I can’t see anything in. I couldn’t even assess the quality. Shouldn’t I at least be able to tell if compared to my worst, which was the only time I really wrote anything substantial, I actually managed to become happy again without noticing or if this feeling of calm is just because I’ve been disemboweled and desiccated beyond being bothered. I want someone else to read it, I want to dismiss it as shit, but I need someone else I can trust, to say so, so I know.” But it’s not, it is meaningful. Sure, sometimes honesty hurts but…

“Because now all I’m doing is hoping, hoping all I can manage, that what I’ve written isn’t reflective of me, that these good times I think I’ve had, between sitting to stagnate and scrawl. That when I finally think I’m happy at least some of what I feel is real. ‘Cause that’s the fucking worst, I’ve gotten used to having no sense of the quality of what I do anymore, but fuck not even knowing if I’m right about the feeling I’m feeling. Having to constantly rewrite the same sentiments to find new words when the old ones go mouldy and faded.” I’m sorry, I thought I could help, I thought Stella would have wanted to know her words meant something, I thought hearing how they spoke to me would make a difference.

“You think soul destroying for everyone else, how little we were ever meant to mean.  Or do they find it comforting too? After all, if we aren’t even obligated to exist, how can anything horrible have to happen to me? I think I need to go, I’m done here, funny how a sense of finality is so freeing, knowing it’s going to be over so soon means I can go.” I said I was sorry, OK! Just stop, please.

Falling away from her board and laying on her bed, head too heavy from being full of thoughts. Hoping this is enough of an explanation that you don’t think I’m evil. Wondering what would make this right or wrong. If I’d ever met Stella, not been too late to tell her what she needed to hear. Or if she can come back from wherever she went. I’ll apologise I promise, as long as it means there’s still someone I can apologise to. There must be, what she says couldn’t have meant anything if she wasn’t really there could it, I can feel her writhing just under her writing, so alive, she knows me too well not to be. She couldn’t just go. She’s too special. Please, just anything but an aftermath, I can’t be too late. I have to ask


There’s no answer.
So, we’ll wait.

02/14/19 05:47:03PM
7 posts


West Coast Eisteddfod Online Poetry Competition 2018

Ringing red lips, resounding around the room.
Aniseed accent, lingering for me to lick off long after.  
Trembling taste.
And you smell blindingly bright.
While your pheromones take lightest flight on softest feathers.

And in a million more ways than I can convey.
You impress yourself upon me.
But I can’t say.
Because the words are wrong.
Not at all applicable.

No one knows what it means for eyes to chime.
Or how a song can spin.

I worry when the iceberg looks down and sees only the surface of the sea.
What it must think.
Wondering why it doesn’t sink.

And all I want to tell you is

You’re more.

02/14/19 05:44:48PM
7 posts


West Coast Eisteddfod Online Poetry Competition 2018

This is how I prefer to talk,
Out of another neck.
Without the 19 extraneous letters.
With cords that tremble at the whim of my fingers,
Instead of the force of my thoughts

Whose tension is all in the turn of a key,
I can hold.
Not one lodged in my heart.

It used to be,
How I feel would congeal,
Choke me like hands through my throat,
But now the arms wrapped around my voice box are all mine.

Now the weight of my voice is external.
I can put it down,
Lock it away
And know it won’t move
For when I need my voice back.

02/14/19 05:43:35PM
7 posts


West Coast Eisteddfod Online Poetry Competition 2018

I see you, out of your senses, incensed with a stench of incense,
Pale everywhere but under the eyes you impale me on.
You rip me out of my dwelling within the deep dark
And I’m drawn to the shallow shadows where you wallow.
Does it dawn on you yet?
In the light, at the height of midnight,
That you chose today to die.

But before you’re gored, your reward:
The rot-spotted relic of reason buried beneath this ritual
You invoke me, the muse.
I’m to inspire you,

By the light of the pyre I prepare for you

This next part I’d gladly part with,
Where I wear you like I were you all along,
But I have to bear being you, laid bare
All of you and then the end of you.

But you’ve had a lifetime to live it,
So forgive me if I’m livid
When I’ve only been you for five minutes.
When every old wound must be re-wrought into me,
So you can show me what you think suffering is.

Whether you’re young or well-weathered this time around,
I always wonder,
What could ever be worth it?
How do vanity and naivety keep at bay that siren song inside your head,
That sings you should stay alive?
What could you possibly have to say about living,

That’s worth doing so a second less?
I’d crack your eyeball like an egg for one bit of the beauty it beheld.
You think you can fart out art more lasting or fragrant,

Than a single flower.

How I envy the other gods,
With divinity derived from real things.
The ones not stuck,

In that cave you call a skull.

But that’s not the deal you made,
Because your mind is too thick,

To think out from under its own perfunctoriness.
So you assume,

That the universe cares to trade your heartbeat,

For the flutter of others’.

You pray for gods to be prey to,
So here I am,

Sucked up by the abhorred vacuum,

To be whored out.
You’re too pathetic for me not to be your predator.

So what is it you want to make?
Not that I mind,
I’ve been called to every medium from mosaic to mutilation,
Though I await the day one of you wants to paint the world in uranium.
Too often am I called to fools who think they can end the world,
They’re always so disappointed when their day ends,

But nobody else’s does.
To finally see it through would be thrilling,

And a fitting finish.
Not a freedom I could feel,

but a freedom all the same.

Until then,
I’ll see you again,
Too soon,
Because you all look the same.

I don’t think I exist between being beckoned for,
This is all I am, frantic, feeling the civility seep out of me.
A vessel to take depths of others,

To echelon where they will echo eternally,
Or so they think.

I try, at least a little
To catch glimpses of meals past
But I don’t think I’ve ever seen
Anyone I’ve been
Ever again

Or are you artist types all too self-absorbed

to appreciate the sacrifices of others?
Well, then neither of us with ever know if this was worth it.

So know this at least,
When I bite hard down on your heart between beats,
It’s not because I hate you,
It’s because I have to.

And that’s why I hate you.

02/14/19 05:40:45PM
7 posts

SSR Island

West Coast Eisteddfod Online Poetry Competition 2018

It’s my island, mine alone, so I’m alone.
Singing to myself and the sea.
With equally endless ever churning fractal blacks above and below me.
And the pattern repeats, too far out for me to see, but there must be an infinity of islands just as isolated.
And the pattern repeats, inside my mind, infinitesimally across the synapse gaps between a hundred billion neurons.
So I sit and consider.
No way I can swim, even assured I’d see shore before I sank.
And if I try and scream?
But who’d hear before I broke my throat?
I can only compile contemplations of complete isolation.
All potential lacking action, surrounded by water so nothing gains traction.

My eyes catch on crimson, a barbed kind of bright I can’t pull out of my sight.
So I’m stuck staring at a balloon as it bobs up and down over the horizon.
I reach out as a reflex nearly wrenching my arm from it’s socket, only to end up no closer.
But I see it float towards me, effortlessly, with purpose and pride. Until it stops still.
As if inspecting me in my introspection, unsure of mooring anymore. Still agonizingly above and out of my grasp.
I ask it to come closer, no answer.
No reply after my second try, either.

So I lash out, take a running start and with every ounce of strength I pounce.
It pops, unable to weave out of the way.
No sooner am I alone in the air than I’ve found the ground again. Only this time I’m clutching shreds of ripped rubber, already wrinkled and retracting, soon rotted away.
Inside is my prize, a little putrefied but preserved enough for me to read the words.

I’m unsure how long I’m sat in silence, wrapped up in the writing.
I can’t make sense of how close a stranger came to me without my knowledge.
But whoever wrote this knew me and intimately.
I’m reading and rereading each line and every time I’m more sure I’ve been seen right through so thoroughly.

That’s how I know I’ve no choice but to lend my voice to a cause I can’t quite comprehend.
To be a stranger’s friend.
I’m to tell them, we’re alike whether we like it or not, that they aren’t the only lonely one.
So I sew back together the scraps of crimson skin.
I tell this shell my secrets, about the hell I dwell on and in and how there’s a howling abyss I’d be remiss not to mention.

Finally I feel the tension, as the balloon begins to tug up and we both feel at least a little lighter.
I watch it, and smile as it sways its way away and skyward, to brighten someone else's day.
And I reflect, on the thoughts inside.

I can’t!

It’s lacking the essential essence of elegance or eloquence to be anything other than ugly.
Just like me.
I can’t let it get loose out there.
I need a snare to snap it back and before I lose track.
Without thinking I’ve grabbed a nearby spear and sent it soaring.
It pierces the ballon with perfect precision, sending it sinking as all my secrets spill out unsightly but at least unseen by anyone but me.

So I slump,
unsupported by the sudden silence after that burst of passion and violence.
My own words long gone and the warmth I felt from others faded. Leaving me cold, green with envy and jaded.
I should have known I couldn’t compare to that flair so obviously there in other people.
So instead despair.
And the pattern repeats, repeatedly.
No reason to expect any events else than these.

Until a pill appears, citalopram, appealing as a potential panacea, for all my ills.
Once a day, with water.
So I swallow.
Ready to no longer wallow in my miasma.

The sea is somehow blacker back here, with writhing tide that won’t subside.
They lied!
Someone ripped out the stitching where the sky was scared so old and faded thunder could be rebled but so much more red.
The storm inside my head restarts and spreads out to my other parts. The nausea is renewed so as to always be so vividly vibrantly new to me.

I barely move.
But the next day,
once more with water.
And the pattern repeats, with permutations, so preparation is impossible.

I write down the details of the defects detaining me.
I don’t notice all the balloons I inadvertently inflate fill, until I see them float free over the sea.    

I don’t know what’s different,
or why I adapt,
but I do.

02/14/19 05:39:38PM
7 posts


West Coast Eisteddfod Online Poetry Competition 2018

There's a better me

Full of energy

That I've abandoned

Not intentionally but automatically

Now I'm less bright eyed

Less blind

But I'd leave all I've learnt behind

To be a fraction as kind

Or inclined to look up