Exercise in Encyclopaedic Knowledge

This is a true story in brief poem format.


Once when
I was younger,
I took my dad’s
And cut out all
Of the eyes
From every face:
Einstein, Kennedy
Kant, Churchill
(Everyone in photographs is dead)
I put them
In a drawer
And loved them
Like a family
Until they burned away



Everyone is vanishing

I meet a face on the street sometimes there is eye contact

I cannot yet read the glances

My world is too small to make out this detail

It is like seeing a wrinkle from space

When I turn around the face is no longer there


I turn back begin again

It happens over and over

Every turn more and more are gone

There are so few left now I cannot mourn them

Because misery loves company

Eventually I will turn back and see no one

Do not post your elbow

~a poem for Tumblr


Do not post pics of your elbow because

Guys be like ‘you have such beautiful elbows’

And before you know it

You’re posting nudes and

Your anus is on the internet forever

– after you die, your anus will be reblogged and fapped over unto the end of time. Thus sayeth the internet.

Do not believe any guy who says ‘I respect you’

This does not mean ‘I respect you’

– it means nothing

Do not post pics of yourself smoking pot because

the clouds settle and are gone and then

it just takes someone malicious

– things begin to crumble

Do not ever try to eat a boiled egg in a sexy way. This is not possible.

Do find someone to talk to who you can trust to be sensible and not try to get in your pants. And do remember they won’t be around forever.

Do not try to think

‘Will the me who is 20 or 25 or 30 regret this?’

that person does not exist, or is still being tinkered with

think ‘Am I doing this because I want to, and do I realize it will exist forever?’

Do not get drunk at school

You do it because your friends told you too

or / because you’re depressed

It won’t fix your friends. It won’t fix you

Do try things that are new if you can find people you trust to help you through it. Don’t try acid with a bunch of people who never tried acid before

Just don’t

Do think for a year before you get a tattoo

Do not get tattoos of band names, boyfriend names, girlfriend names, guitar names, brand names, printer names, coffee filter names or pet names

Do not get tattoos of stars

Do not get tattoos of roman numerals for that number your friends thought you should all get because you’ll be friends forever right? Right?

Do not get a tattoo that can’t be covered up if you get a fancy job or you start to hate it someday

Do be afraid of some things, especially people who encourage you by saying ‘You’re not afraid, are you?’

Do not be too quick to react. Some things are misunderstandings. Words cannot be recaptured. If you lose a friend, you may never get them back.

Do not be ashamed of yourself. Do not be ashamed of sleeping in late, of growing out of your clothes, of whatever you did last night. Do not be ashamed of needing to relax, of wanting to be alone, of changing your mind.

Do not be afraid to admit your mistakes, to grow out of your old habits. We are a little like Wikipedia. When there’s a mistake, we correct it, we grow, and we move on.

Please do not cut yourself again. There are other ways to let your pain free without losing anything precious. Call me.

Think before you click

Napowrimo day 2

Today’s prompt was about stars. The problem with prompts of course is that they are uni-directional, and can’t save you if the word ‘stars’ makes you want to start writing about the things being god’s daisy chain, or comparing them to the eyes of someone you’d like to have sex with. I have managed to resist both impulses and instead make fun of the ancient Greeks.

Some time ago

When all things were considerably younger

(Excepting those things which did not yet exist at all)

The ancient Greeks

Divided (from the latin dividere, to separate)

The sky into 12 pieces

Each piece was given a name from mythology

Because the Greeks had great respect for their own stories

Leo was the lion killed by Hercules

Scorpio the scorpion sent to kill Orion

Of course, the stars did not fit precisely into such roles

(Aries, for example, was just a straight line)

But they played along and never said anything

Perhaps the problem was that the Greeks

Placed too much importance on the words of old men (with beards)

When an old philosopher as may be

Looked into the sky

And saw a ram

Where all others saw a straight line

The younger people agreed with him

Instead of fetching him a cool drink and

Letting him lie in the shade for a while

But one must appreciate the minds

Of such people

They looked into even the night sky

And saw stories

Napowrimo day 1

Napowrimo (or for those who enjoy real words, national poetry writing month) has begun. You can find daily prompts at napowrimo.net, although I think personally I shall be more interested in trying to do some writing rather than following instructions.

I have been thinking about writing for a while, but life has been quite frantic. Perhaps this month signals the start of a period of proper writing.

by process of elimination

it may be possible

to determine what I am

by gathering the discarded scraps of what I am not

the cathode fortune cookies

curled and yellowed

assembling them with paste and conjunctions


there are so many more things that are not

than are

I am not a blood cell

or a tangerine

I am not infallible

nor am I a coffee filter

this could go on for some time

perhaps therefore

it is wise to be positive


found in the ashes one day..

they say we are all clay

clay, clay and stars

ashes to ashes, dust to dust

perhaps this is just a fear

a feeling of being made of clay

a melancholia

closing in on us

a descending star

a fear of being broken

when we are brittle and inflexible

hardened clay

This Year’s Child

This is sort of my 2013 in review poem. I read back over some of my old posts and things that happened this year, and this is what I came up with. Some things are notably absent, please don’t judge me on that score!


This year

I have taken approximately 3000 pills

This year

Seamus Heaney died, as did a piece of Beowulf. So.

This year

I have lived a generic existence. Unlabelled, flat, unrippled

No quakes, no storms. No roll of thunder

This year

Nobody has died

This year

I have taken someone’s small bruised world

And studied it like an orient pearl

This year I learned what it was like to be a pretty girl

And I feel bad for them

This year I was tongue tied

I raged at the inadequacy of paper

This year I understood the agony of movement

I laid in bed for days at a time

This year I was frenetic, fragmented, fractious, fictitious, fractured

This year I bought a dictionary (I have read up to ‘F’)

This year I trembled, I teetered

I was hebenon, iocane

I thought about the median lethal dose of caffeine and cigarettes

I was soothed by amorphous jellyfish

This year I met someone I liked

And she meandered away

Into the waning December