People shuffle and hop like birds on these icy streets. Everyone is looking down. Their hoods force them to peer into the ground to avoid the freezing wind. The eyes are hard lines and the steps aperiodic. You are invisible here. They are caught in the kinetic frenzy of themselves. Their own feet, their own chill fingers, their own dark vibration. In a moment of unthinkable weakness, you lean against a nearby pedestrian for support. He steps away and you crash to the ground, cold and slick. The shop windows are steamed with the coiled breath of their interchangeable patrons, plugged into laptops like cars being jumpstarted. Winter forms tunnels around them, and they move along without noticing anything outside.
It’s not that this place is empty – in fact it’s packed tight with people. Bulging. Molecules colliding and rebounding off each other in human Brownian motion. Thoughtless molecules.

Hot Flash – embark

I’m not exactly sure where I should be linking, but I read Troy’s hot flash and thought I’d have a go myself. I do need to write more short (and long) fiction. Let me know how I did! The limit is 50 words, which I hit exactly (I do like to be precise), and the theme word is ’embark’.

[edit] – apparently I should be linking here

Thud! The sound of hot rain driving hard, hitting the dirt. Particles of soil leapt up like coiled springs from each drop. They waited, the water thudding around them, falling in waves, in sheets, in spirals. Clasping each other’s hands, they stood staring out into the drops, waiting to embark.


I wrote this initially as a poem, but then I decided it was leaving too much unsaid that I wanted to say. I don’t like to be direct with my poetry, so I thought that I would instead rewrite this as flash fiction.


That faceless girl whirls past in bright swirl of scent and fabric. She creates an almost-space in the air behind. Her scent pours into it, making me lightheaded like nitrous oxide. It drags me back into the past, my heels leave a groove in the sand. I remember the times I spent with that scent. Sitting too close together; close enough that the petals of her perfume fizzed on the tip of my tongue. Electric currents twitching through me. That fragrance creates a void into which memory sometimes falls when we suffer that terrible feeling of regret. The perfume bottle shattered on the bathroom tile, behind the locked door. Your sorrow flowed out and covered the mountains.

Editing poetry: A miniature treatise on aching

A long time ago I had a project with C to write an alphabet of treatises. I think this may be the closest that I got to completing one. I was probably reading lots of Anne Carson when I wrote this.

What can be said about aching
That has not been said? (It is a twitch that lasts all day; it leaves you poised at the beginning of a breath, at the crest of a wave.)
Aching is longing for something
That is never close enough unless it is touching you.
No. That is a fallacy.
Unless it is wrapped around you.

Aching means never sleep (eyes). Use no pins (fingers). Lie very still and stare (eyes). Be helpless. Cry. Read. Search for music under floorboards. Cease to Function. Aching is lack of function (eyes).

Aching can see.
It knows, when the achers are wrapped around (in acres of silk, lovers, archers),
That soon, inevitably, they will be unwrapped, ripped apart along the seam, and the ache will begin again.

Aching slows time (beginning to live in increments of the past).
Aching bleeds colour from the world (aching is the absence of all colour, but is not black).
Aching leaves you outside,
In winter,
With no scarf.
With liquid eyes.

via Editing poetry: A miniature treatise on aching.