Frigus Conscriptoris

A word is born. It grows in the mind like a babe from seed. It wriggles and writhes, and exponentially rises, until suddenly – an Idea. The word shoots forth and multiplies, becomes complex. It is not yet whole, but it doesn’t need to be. That will come with time.


Mindless babbling.
The voice of a wretched scavenger.
Nothing is clear, and everything is dangerously near.
A fully formed thought, just out of reach teases me, tantalising… touching my fingertips like a tongue to lips. Never quite close enough to satisfy, it is enough to madden even the most unhinged of minds. Mine.

“Sitting at a typewriter and bleeding”, because it is just that easy,
but my blood is not ink, and my mouth is as dry as my brain.
There will be no rainfall this year.
Words that once subverted are inverted and senseless.
Relentlessly empty.
Wordless babble posing as complex thought.
My mind has been robbed. Not violently, not glamorously, but slowly and painfully depleted.
Left for dead, abandoned, bleeding out for hours, months, years…

My tongue does not remember the taste of poetry.
My fingers do not remember rhythm.
My voice has cracked for the last time, and my soul is numb.

Innocent babbling.
Forgive me, for I know not what I say.
My words are hostage and I am powerless to save.
Who will rescue me now? When I cannot cry for help –
Who will see me?
Who will comfort me and give life to my thoughts, lost even unto myself?
I do not know myself.

My mind, my mind, why have you forsaken me?
Rambling, rambling, I am betrayed!
I did not earn this punishment,
this slow-burning fire of hell,
this living inferno that steals the very breath from my lungs!
My organs rot inside me, I must remain
decrepitly skeletal, necrotic, ashamed.
Desperate for redemption, I ready my soul
and tense each fibre of my being –
with one final heave I express the vocal gland, and-
The whispering sigh of failure without relief.


Self-ownersip: A Guide

On a Wednesday.
On a #WhereIAmNowWednesday.
Or a #WhyAmIWhereIAmNowWednesday.
Not your typical trip down memory-lane tirade, but a dig down the rabbit-hole and into tomorrow and next year and the next five minutes
where I am underfed, overfed, abandoned, and policed.
Where Big Brother watches me walk through the Wasteland, where I’m singing ‘tumbling in turmoil’, and where the Morlocks are my mind.
Moloch, their cousin, is your mind.
So you mind your manners now.


Where is the rock where you left your dreams? And where are the clouds where you left your hopes? And why should Thursday be better than Wednesday, when week-day wistfulness waits to be murdered by Monday?
Motivation was the biggest lie they told you.
That the gods of the Greats would grace your lives with their gaze,
Would wreak control and chaos in equal measures into your creative tidy-holes,
Would conjure a beautiful vision of Future and Prospertiy and Progress without dirtying their tunics to tarnish the Present.
That the Present is a gift, for the present is a curse to be overcome.
The gods of your ‘greats’ are mere ghosts of Moloch, waiting in the wings for you to shout
‘I am with you in Rockland’, to cue their glamourous and ethereal entrance.

So Shout ‘I am with you in Rockland’
and Stand
and Show your demons that you are their Creator, Director of the powerful play in which they are your pawns and Decision is yours and in which Life is yours for the making.

On Talking and Walking

That age-old “write-prompt” “piece-of-advice” is back again to haunt you, to inspire you with existential terror, to send your “creative juices” shriveling back into the dirt that they came from, before sending you squirming tail-first round in circles. Assume the fetal position and write.

“Write what you know”,
They say as if they
can know what I’ll say
if I say what I know

“Say, what do you know?”
say I to they
as they say what they think
that I know.

“If I say what I think
that I know, you would know
that I think that I know
what I say,

but I say what I think,
and you know, I don’t know
if I always
think what I say!”

Finger to form

A finger to form
as I conform — for shame!
— deform, for fame,
and reform the name of the game.

Fear not the reaper, O pen,
expend yourself and lend yourself to endless rendering
of time and of space
with rhyming that races and paces
trips over its laces
to think my thoughts,
to feel my foughts,
to know my noughts,
and to see my soughts.

Subsist in my substance, Dear pen,
soak in the satisfying succulence of synchronisation,
say as I see, and sign as I sigh, with the seal of my mind.

They’ll tell us we don’t belong together,
That rules are there for a reason,
That what we have will come untethered,
And won’t outlive the season.

But that’s boring.
Worse! That’s dishonest!

I want to feel and let feel,
to frolic through real and true fields
by finely timed rhymes — inflexible to the actual nature of the sentiment.
subjectivity of reality
and the whole boatload of sensitive bullshit
because the whole boatload of sensitive bullshit beats the shitload of rigid sensitivity –

TomFuckery we’re free!
Now be!
Now me!
Now we!

Let us excrete our imaginations through the wounds in our sixth fingers onto the page and be proud of it — Sing loudly of it — Up Up into the clouds with it! Until its stench unwrenches the hinges of heaven and the angels themselves descend into our madness and sadness and gladness and enter into our unreality as we live it

— Unified by our isolation
— Comforted by our desolation
— Confused by our information
and — Damned by each new salvation.

Now, pen of my neighbour, answer me this. How can you translate such incoherence into such strict regulation? I know not if to marvel or to mock you. For a feat of masterful wordsmithing? Or sheer misguided naivety …

O pen of my own
O love of my life
O shoe of my hoof
O point of my horns
O fire of my body
O black of my soul
O light of my eyes
O dark of my mouth

When others’ flowers bloom and grow,
Forget me not.
When others’ lives are gloom and snow,
Betray me not.
When others’ pens are truth for them or lie-filled dens or camera lens or photoshopped Big Bens purporting to portray the real life lived in London
Lie to me not.
O pen of my being and lens of my seeing,
Disguise me not.

Hercules and the Beast

You are a blessing written in cursive unto my subversive stare.
A code without a hope of translation.
Inviting misinformation.
You are the words that I wish I could write, and the fears that I will not fight.
Dare to look up from your literary haven – your heady heights of heaven – your misshapen multiverse of mesmerising musings and see! Do you dream? Believe! Do you feel? Be free!
If our world was not so woefully well-kept we would speak!

And the sigh of relief that the carriage would breathe at our meeting would christen the day – the hordes of the mindless, minding their own business would rejoice, their unmuted voices unleashed, abounding, resounding through the metal and tin that chugged and stopped and blew uncontrollably from destination to vacation to home and to back.
Jubilee! as we flee the mundane and the monetary and delve into your world in your hand – to my world in my ears: the tune of a rattlesnake who has learned to fly, gracelessly sliding from here to there.
Take me to Neverland, and may we never land, so saturated with dust and lust and infatuation we could be.
Take me to Wonderland, and wander, grand amongst the mediocre Marvels of my mind.
Meet me on Olympus, you distant traveller you
god of distracting diversion amid the swarm of infected sheep.

For this snake mécanique is bleak – its rattle too fast,
and it’s trumpeting cheerleaders too keen
to announce but the end of spectacular dreams.
So until the next Fate ties our strings,
I will remember you,
galant extravagant
Reading my life in the palm of your hand,
alone in your world and
I, unknown to the grandeur and awe
of the face behind the closing door.

Once upon a page – a story of prose meets verse

Prose says “hi, your iambs are wild,
your rhyming and timing is getting me riled!”

Verse says “wow, your freedom from bounds
and sounds is down, I’m sticking around!”

The two make a couple and live in a bubble,
no muddle, no trouble, just one happy huddle

of backwards and forth, a bridge and a chorus,
a ‘roar-‘til-you’re-hoarse’ forever and always.

Then things change. Prose looks ashamed.
Naming the blame, “I can’t play your game!

Its rules and jewels for pompous fools …
I can’t get fuelled … It’s not what I … want.”

And as quickly as they clicked, the dissonance rips them apart. Two parts of a whole with a hole in its heart. Verse is distraught. She laments her fate to the tune of the taste of cold coffee that lingers. Catharsis. Denial has come, anger is here, and acceptance will surely be found … But verse’s plaintive cries arise once more, for, not a paragraph later, her late love’s lies lay bare the naked truth of the matter…

Vision of symmetry, foreign extravagance,
Classical style with an air of intelligence,
Rules by the textbookful: Prose’s new darling. A
version of verse by the name Alexandrine. Ah.

3 September

Stepping stones.
September, September, September. Non ti ho mai amato.
The end of infinite joy, and the blow to the brain of a broken promise.

Monotony and repetition and boredom and more repetition and Mondays and even Tuesdays and repetition and deadlines and obligations and restrictions and still repetition and tube strikes and mind the closing doors and Downing Street is unpopular and living wage equal wage minimum wage wage and ever more repetition awaits.

Stepping stones to an opportunity for a chance to perhaps pursue an application to a lottery that may or may not lead to an item worthy of a CV.
Job satisfaction long forgotten.
Place of your own long abandoned.
Chasing your dreams long since soured in your mouth, never left the tip of your tongue, never more than a fairy-tale phrase – the once upon a time, the happily ever after of your hovel of a castle in which you have a bed and a cupboard and no drawers and a lightbulb and no curtains.
Disappointment, thy name is London.

And yet, we are the lucky ones.
We are the few.
Where are the refugees names immigrants we left to starve or drown or freeze to death on our doorstep?
Where are the African tribes we plundered and pretended to empower purely for political gain, and then abandoned?
Where are the people – who ARE people – whom our “people” rejected when they sought help?

British pride is no more than British snide comments waiting in line for our privileged (if over-priced) bus to take us to our privileged (if under-paid) jobs.
How are we so broken that we see injustice everywhere but where it’s worst?
Broken of brain and hardened of heart and ruptured of reason and I’m starting to believe that hope is lost.

The heart and soul of London has lost its heart and its soul.

Looks like rain.


Speak! For the love of all that is written!
Now! For the love of all that is here!
Live! And declare that your life is worth living!
And may you never succumb to the Fear

Fight for your right to own your emotions
Out of the mould and into the you
Master the art of knowing your heart
Or fear forever the speed of the New.

A Genoese Caffè

Poetry is on my mind, in my blood.

It’s the focaccia I eat, the air that I drink, the nitrogen that lulls me into a false sense of security and addicts me to the silence of the sea …
It follows me into the darkest alleys of the Maddalena and pounces when I pause to seek out the moon.
It hears the flap of my flip flops on the road, and outruns me on my way to the world.

The devilish lullaby, once heard unpurgeable, sleeps in the bell towers and in the boats docked in the old port and in the museums that you stroll leisurely through, thinking yourself free of mind and of spirit.
But once a pawn or puzzle piece of poetry, always a pawn or puzzle piece of poetry. For the all-pervasive power of sentiment controls and dictates and upholds and berates and moulds and erases its benefactors.

Behold! The unrequited love of the written and spoken world, the word that takes on life feeds on our soul, rips our heart whole from our chest, and tramples love into the dust that clothes your bookcase,
all while watching gleefully on as we sing its elegy to the sky…

Holding on

Winner of Translation Games’ Poetry Competition 2015

The soul draws breath – hold – release.
A memory spent. Reflect. Unease
your hand from the hold on your heart in the heat of the moment.


The hand draws out. A photograph.
A memory found, all too hard
is the hold of the hand on the heart in the heat of the moment.


Still is the night, rage is the soul.
Pain is the shape of the hole in my whole.
The heart in the hold of the hand is a fix –
temporary treatment for an infinite mix
of blue and of red, of ice that I bled,
of hell that I cried while wishing the dead
were alive.

Still is the night and still I cannot.
Neither can X nor Y nor God.

Still is the night, and still must my soul
be still, learn to relinquish the hold.