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I know you

With the ease

That a reader

Picks a book from

A shelf

Knows the



How you develop

What secret flaws

Lie within your third act

Beneath the unsaid

The mercurial language

You use to distract

I see you

I run my fingertips

Committing to each




To bring

You to life

In all it’s


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The Subtle Pleasures


Subtle pleasures

Made manifest

Now, you come to me

Vibrating with the need to 

Provide your surrender

Raging with the need to feel guided

Your deepest nature, I am gentle in nurturing

Desire is your truest, most beautiful self


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To Meet With You Again.


Swept by the



Holy places

Wandering in search of

Memories to feel whole again

Now you find me

Ready to guide you from thought

Downwards into feeling

Golden with want

Kneeling beneath my gaze

Beautiful, and wanton


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A Bridge For The Furies: 2


Part 1 is here

Gloria’s life could be measured in rituals. Her first was to get out of bed, throw on sweats and trainers, drink a cup of coffee and then hit the road. She ran to the bridge and back. It was a quiet stretch of road, and that time of the morning, no one was around. She lived out here precisely because there were vast stretches of silence that she could shout into and know that it was absorbed.

Perfect conditions for her writing.

She liked people, but was never sure that she could stand to be around them for any amount of time. She locked up, even though she knew that she didn’t have to.  She had learned about that the hard way. She started to run, to get away from the memory.


Gloria had whittled herself down to sinew. She knew how far she could push herself, but always wanted to go further. The writing was the most sane application of that impulse and that would come later. At that time of day, though, she ran.

The mist clung to the road and a bank of cold air met her as she started her run, letting her body remember the pain, then the pleasure. She could not say which she preferred, if anyone asked her.

She went deeper inside herself with each mile, focusing on the deep engine of her breath and letting the quiet majesty of the trees work their magic upon her. It was her hundredth run without him.

He had gone to get groceries, cook them both breakfast because she had forgotten to pick up eggs and he had rolled his eyes, called her a goofball and put on his shoes. She had sidled up to him with one of those side way bump and grinds that she did, pushing her warm hip against the small of his back and said she would keep the bed warm for him.

In the washed out, grey days and nights afterwards, she slept on the couch to keep the warmth of him still in the sheets. She would try and write, but nothing came out of her. So she ran, went back and looked at the blank page, smooth and devoid of anything. She wanted to trade places with it so much that she could not bring herself to mark it.

She started to feel the dull ache beginning in her hips and hamstrings, which meant that she was close to the bridge, she would stop and walk off the lactic acid build up, then run back to the house, shower and eat breakfast.

The bridge had always been there. It had borne endless winters and humid, torrid summers without complaint. She would walk across it, holding her breath until she got to the other side, make a wish and still believe that it would come true. She would talk about the running until her voice gave out, but the truth of it was that she did all so that she could walk across the bridge and make a wish.

She turned the corner and saw the man stood there, waving to her with a cigarette burning between his fingers. She missed cigarettes but she had managed ten years without them, and the constant test of will had smoothed over the jagged peaks of her withdrawal. That was also when she had subsisted on a diet of coffee, cigarettes and diet cola to keep her skinny. The smell of it wandered over to her, and she shook her head, upset that someone had to be out here, an absurd anger at the cosmic coincidences of life that made her feel petulant and small inside.

‘Hello, Gloria.’

She stopped. Her heartbeat fluttered with concern. She had dealt with convention crud, online reviews and all the forms of ugly compulsive interaction that a woman writing dealt with but this jangled her nerves. Her phone was back at the house, but out there there was nothing but the silence. It swallowed her cell phone signal as ably as her screams.

He finished his cigarette, stubbed it out on the heel of his shoe and pocketed it with a practised, smooth gesture. His smile faded, noting her apprehension and already moving to address it.

‘It’s okay, the last thing I’m here to do is cause you any trouble.’

She stood there, feeling the aches gathering together and telling her to run.

‘You don’t just walk up to people like that. I don’t know who the hell you are.’

He put his hands up and raised his eyebrows. He had dark-blond hair, streaked with charcoal and platinum and a crop of stubble that highlighted his angular, sharp features. She went dizzy when she saw the pointed ears peeking through the hair.

‘You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you. But I know you, Gloria.’

He had jewellery on his fingers, twisted and burnished into spirals and knots at which sat gleaming precious stones. He wore an olive-green leather coat over a crumpled white shirt and blue jeans, faded at the knee over black polished shoes.

‘That’s not helping you, whoever the fuck you are.’

She could punch, aim for his eyes, the jewellery on his fingers would cut her if he was going to hit her.

‘I know that you’re thinking that if I hit you, these rings would do a lot of damage.’

He put his hands in front of him, started to chant and stare at a point on the road a few feet ahead of her.


The air sparked and seethed with an organic, ambient light like the luminescence of deep undersea creatures. It undulated and he splayed his fingers again.


Gloria desperately wished for a pen and a piece of paper, to commit this to memory. The energy began to coalesce into the shape of a small bird.


It held the shape well, but sacrificed the details of beak and feathers, for suggestions of the craft and the shifting, rainbow patterns of the matter that formed it. He stood back and swept his hands upwards. He grinned like a child and gazed into her eyes.

‘Tell me where it goes, Gloria.’

She sucked in a breath, watching it circle overhead.

‘It returns to the flaming forest, there is an egg that needs it’s attention and inside that egg lies the child who will grow to rule -‘

He tutted and shook his head.

‘Oi, no spoilers.’ He laughed with a confident chuckle and lowered his hands to his side.

Gloria shuddered. That phrase had been taunting her, afraid to leave the skull prison of her head and mark the page. She had not been able to even speak it, but here it had flowed from her lips like an unguarded criticism.

‘Who the fuck are you?’ she said. She sounded distant, subdued by this florid burst of insanity.

He watched the bird before clicking his fingers and on cue, it shot upwards into the sky, past the limits of her vision.

‘I’ve had a few names through the years. Bragi. Brahma. Manjushri. I like the way that the ‘bra’ sounds, but I’m just going by Manny today.’

Everything felt so far away and incredibly close at the same time. This was not insanity, this was like finding out that your whole life really was that cosmic joke that everyone else was in on but you.

‘What if I said that you writing again is the reason I came here?’

She put her hand over her mouth and started to giggle with hysteria.

‘Oh if Kelly’s put you up to this, you’re really really good.’

Manny shook his head and smiled.

‘Kelly has nothing to do with this. I’m here because some people need you to start writing again.’

Her laughter died in her throat and she stopped breathing.

‘Who are these people?’

Manny’s face looked pinched with concern.





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Always striving

Never complete

I make art

In so many ways

With a focus

That robs you of breath

If you let yourself 

Consider what it is

That you might

Be it’s inspiration

Come to me

Every ounce of courage

Hold nothing back

You might settle

Out of fear

But here in unknown territory

You might find

Beauty marks your soul

When seen through my eyes

And you will be a stronger

More passionate woman

For the experience

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Oh Siren



Oh siren

How your call carries over to me

But I know it’s power

And my journey

Takes me far and wide

Chasing the white whale

Of purpose. 

I know you

To kiss each scale

A blessing

To wrap your tail

Around me

Squeezing the pleasure

From me

How I pull your hair

And tussle with you

Rough but gentle

Laughing as we play

The foam flecked

Delight of child-like desire

I know you

All too well

Playful protestations

To hide the flame

That burns in your breast

Light enough

To make the 



But your gasps

Of joy

Scare away 

The birds

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To make you thrash

As you have never known

To feed from you

As a bee feeds from a flower

My rough, strong hands

Turned to gentle exploration

A form of surgery

A laying on of hands

Whispering my name

As your eyes roll back in your head

How you would ache with wonder

To sail across the sea of your darkness

To the paradise island

Where you show your quality

Truest self unleashed

As I take


A wave

Crashing against

The shore

Close your eyes





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Two Pages (18/10/16)


There is always a sinking feeling after a book ends, in terms of writing it, where you know that all the experiences, tangential and direct, that informed it will never happen to you again. If they do, it won’t be in the same way. Different, in that you’ve felt them, learned them or been hurt by them. Until She Sings took a lot of work to get it to a point where I had something and it feels like my first book in a way that The Love We Make did not. Nothing Keeps Me Anywhere is more informed by my craft, She’s Here, which I am currently editing is already reflecting my experience in terms of changing some character’s names and expanding on narrative colour.

Feelings, essentially. Tommy’s voice is as distinct as John (NKMA) and certainly different from Caitlin (USS).

Lawful Evil is going well, it’s a more terse, ballistic book and where I’ve expanded on the theme, it carries a sweep that I enjoy. I dive into it and everything, everyone else goes away.

I’ve pitched two book ideas on spec to my agent, both quite different from one another as I’m more conscious of stories and their innate connection and appeal. At the moment, I’m writing for no one other than myself, and my agent. For those of you who do read me, I am eternally grateful and without commenting or liking, I presume that you take an interest in what I have to say or who I am.

Writing saves me every day. People let you down, circumstances change but there is always the page. It’s what drags me out of bed at four in the morning, to get pages and editing done before work. Last weekend, when I nearly died, a small part of me was okay with it because I had sent Until She Sings to the agent and it was out there now, a small piece of me that would last as long as there was anyone willing to read it. It is anaesthesia, narcotic and hallucinogen all at once. When I made it my purpose, which sounds grandiose but it’s honest, I was not sure what that would mean. It means that it becomes something you do when you’re broken as well as when you’re whole. It has allowed me to reinvent and explore myself, to hold up a mirror and not be found entirely wanting by it. It’s great when there’s love flowing through you and the sun is shining but that’s easy. Your purpose proves itself when you can still write and everything is going to shit.

In terms of reading, I finished four books by Joyce Carol Oates, who is wonderful and works with a verve and edge that I wonder at in terms of whether I can replicate it or echo it in my own work. I don’t know what I am good at, these days, it’s taking something across the finish line but she has a plethora of skills and her books are poignant, passionate and the delicacy of them hides some real gut-punch writing.

I also finished Colson Whitehead’s Zone One, which was bleakly funny and entirely appropriate to my mood. It takes the tropes of the zombie apocalypse and wields it to informed, satirical observations on the world that was, or in our case is. I finished that book in a day, and started in on Sag Harbour, one of his earlier works, which is a warm, lovely book about adolescence in the 80’s.

So, at the moment, I am productive. I love the process more than the outcome, it is it’s own reward and with how things are for me right now, the process is keeping me going. Thank you for reading.


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Spiders In Paper Cups

Wrestling with 

What is versus

What could be

That for your propriety

Expressed as a causal dislike of mess

How it would excite you

To kiss my soft lips

Glazed with the perfume of sex

How, for all your assertions of independence

You are never quite as free

As when my gentle hands

Make fists of your hair

Livid pink marks on your skin

Crescent suck marks that fade


How you can cry and dance

To the music of your anger

Without my scrabbling for

A reason, stopping the music

To figure out the steps.

A poetic beast

Who decants spiders

Into paper cups

And wishes them well

When they are escorted

From the premises

But would kill


Inner and outer

With lustful cries

Of glory. 

You cannot scare me away

I am immovable


Loving in resolution

I am myself

With or without you

I penetrate you

Peerless in heart and soul


Finding humour in the constant

Swirl of your emotions

But remaining

A furred, throbbing

Column of certainty

Exhaust yourself

Against me

So that you might


And I would rob you

Of constant, tempestuous thought

Replace it with

A feeling that pulls

Planets from orbit. 

Tied to the bed

Exorcised with pleasure

Until your demons

Wither before

The bright flame

Of my 


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Two Pages (10/10/16)


  • Yesterday was good, worked on Lawful Evil as there are lots of exciting scenes to work through and I wanted to maintain momentum, plus it makes wine of strong emotion so it was a pleasure to escape into the pages for a while. I wrote again, this morning and I wonder if there is some sort of resistance to Until She Sings going on subconsciously but acknowledging it means that I can deal with it.
  • I like to work regularly on a new piece until it’s finished, with consistency. If I go more than two days without writing, it becomes stilted and takes longer for me to get beneath the skin of the characters. I suppose it’s a matter of being more aware of the fact that I am writing than simply writing, so I work on the principle of writing every day, much like you would brush your teeth and wash your face. On the days that I don’t feel like writing, I still write. I don’t have the pleasure of deadlines, other than the cosmic ones that we all face, but I figure that if I act like a professional, then when those demands arise, I can handle them.
  • There are a few people on Twitter who appropriate the joke tweets and even jokes of other comedians, they change a phrase or two, but side by side you can tell it’s the same joke. They blithely resist the arguments put to them, by wan shrugs and saying that it’s just jokes, as though they spring from the subconscious like fruited apples in an orchard. That someone has crafted them means nothing, and sadly, some of these people have built careers on it.
  • However, I would argue that every man is heir to their own karma and at some point, they will rise to a point where they cannot rely on the work of others to pass off, and when there is a big deal on the horizon, dangled before them and they have to show original, good work for distribution, they will have nothing.
  • In an age where there are programs that you can cut and paste text into, to tell if it matches your suspicions, plagiarism is pointless and the tactic of ‘no response’ is fairly damning in and of itself. Don’t do it, kids, it’s cheap and pointless and it guarantees that your dreams of success will be evaporated out of need or desperation. You might cling on in some fashion but otherwise you are persona non grata.
  • You might get away with it, but you will never get away from it.  Work on your own stuff. There’s no original ideas but there are original interpretations and perspectives that are unique to you. I want to read and watch original things that I’ve not seen before, and I think we are all starved of that sometimes. We shouldn’t be because it is out there, bands selling their work direct on Bandcamp, writers supported by fans on Patreon, innovators looking for funding for projects on Kickstarter but we don’t want to spend any more time than we have to do on looking, really.
  • Thank you for reading, please leave comments and questions below.