Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Speak No Evil - 6


“I see by the expression on your face that you know if not who I am, then who I represent.”
            Jordan nodded, not trusting himself to speak at the present moment. His thoughts raced, and there was no way that he could articulate them, not without meshing them together into an unrecognisable blur. He chose the safe course instead, the course that Melvin elected to ignore just a few moments earlier.
            The train continued to hurtle through the night towards Ma’arnar. Only its rattling motion disturbed the quiet. Clattering creaks and grinds that might, in a different situation, have been soothing enough to rock oneself to sleep. Now they were loud and disturbing, the grinding of a mechanical giant’s teeth, or even the sound of impending doom.
            He is one of the Three, Jordan reminded himself—not that he really needed reminding. It was more a reality check than anything else. One of the Three… on the train to Ma’arnar… in my carriage.
            It wasn’t exactly the momentary insanity that swamps one when they’re in the presence of a celebrity that Jordan felt right now, for indeed, the word celebrity was not one you’d use to describe the illustrious company Jordan now found himself in. No, what the Three represented went far beyond celebrity and the call of fame. Indeed, it was only in very small and very tight circles that the mentioning of the Three drew any power at all. And because any mentioning of the Three was done in no more than an awed whisper told these small and tight cliques that a visit by any one of the Three members was an auspicious occasion…
            …and now one of them sat no more than six feet away from Maurice Jordan!
            His racing thoughts were swiftly congealing into something that resembled rationality. The process was much like a swamp toad snatching random gnats out of the air with its tongue, only Jordan then had to arrange the random thoughts into a coherent progression.
            The Three. The highest order of the Black Hoods. This man sitting across the carriage from him was an assassin par-excellence. A myriad would have fallen, be it from his blade, from poison, or from some other contrivance, each death adding to this man’s reputation, to his aura, elevating him in the eyes of his peers to a master. He’d have survived countless attempts at his own life, from friend and foe alike, for what better way of usurping someone’s prestige than by bumping them off the same way that they’d bumped off countless others to climb that ladder? Only this man wasn’t just a successful killer… not by any stretch of the imagination. Even sulky old sixteen-going-on-twenty-two Melvin was a successful killer. Hell, taking someone else’s life wasn’t hard, especially after you’ve got the first one under your belt. No, it wasn’t the act of killing alone that separated you from ordinary assassins. It was the art more than it was the message, for in every death the message was the same and the ensuing panic was the same.
            The differences between master and the student were subtle but telling. It was the subtleties that told those who found the bodies that a master had struck. There were signs to be on the outlook for, little nuances in the murder scene, each one a deft stroke like an artist’s paintbrush on a canvas. The unskilled couldn’t read these little nuances. To those untrained eyes, it was yet another scene of death. But to the masters and those whose aspirations ran toward mastery (and Jordan most definitely classed himself in the latter) reading the scene was like turning the pages of a well-crafted novel. Personality, that’s essentially what it came down to. Leaving a little of yourself at the scene, your trademark if you will, so that you could write another page of your legacy.
            Once you reach a certain point where word of your deeds causes even the hardest of assassins to let loose an involuntary shiver, a unanimous vote elevates you to being one of the Three. The position was for the remainder of one’s life, which in the trade of dealing in death didn’t usually encompass too many consecutive years. In fact one of the ways to secure yourself a position as one of the Three was by ridding the world of any one of the three members currently in place. This was no mean task, but neither was it an impossible one, not if all endless rounds of voting were any indication. Just this year, two of the Three had met unfortunate ends; if this wasn’t an indication of how perilous the position was, then Jordan didn’t know.
            But enough of the glossing over of the prestige; anyone with their ambition set to climbing the ranks knew of the Three and the machinations behind their illustriousness. What was of most concern to Jordan now was the fact that one of the Three was currently sharing this carriage with him and somehow Jordan doubted it was one of the newly appointed members. The gurgling and churning in his guts told him that this wasn’t likely to be a congenial visit, either. With the Three, it was never congenial. It was business… and if not business…
            Jordan heard his throat click as he swallowed. It was a death rattle, overly loud, like a breaking bone. Beads of sweat dotted his brow just below his hairline. Further sweat, this of the clammy, clinging kind, appeared in his palms and glued his shirt to his back. This reaction was instantaneous. The thoughts that burst into his head led one to the other in barely recognisable seconds. In the train, probably no more than ten seconds had passed. In Jordan’s mind, he’d almost relived his own life in slow, graphic detail.
            The stranger had continued to turn the envelope in his hands as Jordan succumbed to his fancy. Impending doom had a way of etching itself upon one’s face and it was probably very obvious to the man sitting before him. In his position, he’d have seen it often enough regardless of how well the next possible victim could control their features. You could smell fear, too. Thick and cloying. He tried again to swallow, found he couldn’t. It hurt too much.
            The stranger spoke, destroying the silence that had brewed in the carriage: “still thy heart,” he said. There was the tiniest hint of humour in his voice. “I am not here to end your life.”
            Jordan stared. More seconds passed. He dropped his eyes, noticed that he’d been wringing his hands. It took an enormous strength of will to stop them gyrating in his lap. Above him, Melvin snored; the drama and tension happening below him was nothing.
            While his fears were momentarily allayed, Jordan nonetheless jumped when the stranger drew a knife from the folds of his cloak. He popped the seal on the envelope and the knife disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. Gingerly, his fingers withdrew the documents from the envelope fanned them out like overly large playing cards. “Your mission,” he said. He’d been looking down at the papers when he said the last. When he looked up, his dark eyes sparkled with some species of mischievous knowledge. In fact he looked much younger as if years had been stripped from the lines of his face. It was as if the workings of Black Hood machinations served as some kind of elixir of youth. “Your mission has been compromised.”

Monday, 29 April 2013


Transient thoughts caught on breezes
Risqué watch glances, time that freezes
The man sells his soul to the devil in the desert
And everybody asks was it really worth it?

This barren land left untilled
No seed to squander, still none to spill
A mockery of laughing, painted faces
Of the gallery stands or a day at the races

Far be it for perfection to find in mere words
When daggers far better than mightier swords
Silence that shields behind walls to decay
Where sour recognition lays her head for the day

And just as we supposed the clouds to have passed
And just as we finish the last question we ask
And before the sun turns out his light
And before we bid each adieu and goodnight

A straw we each draw, longest to lean
And small and squat and all between
The bones we pick, chew and gnaw,
Till no hope between us throws down the wall

Our heart we guard as the dragon doth treasure,
And our pain, our experience, to our lives measure,
Brick work masonry that becomes our love’s foundation,
Finds itself collapsing in dust and confusion.

I’ve peeled back the flesh to expose the bone
Now you need only discover the marrow befouled wretched stone
You’ve promised the lies, you’re at home with the dead
But are you at home with the words you have said?

In The Unlikely Event...

When you told me you loved him, I think that I died
I choked on my tears, and I swallowed my pride
Your knife-edge words, they cut into my heart
And now I am racing around and I’m back at the start...

A simple hello would not waste my time
But each sentence is strained and strung on a line
And I won’t telephone you, because of a whim
Because I know you won’t answer because I’m not him

Be true
Say the words
What does he have that I don’t?

Say true
Would love hurt?
What would he do that I won’t?

Now I’m kicking the miles, and I have holes in my shoes
Every song on the radio reminds me of you
I’m not looking for answers, because I don’t want the truth
I want your confession, but I don’t need the proof

Be true
Say the words
What does he have that I don’t?

Say true
Would love hurt?
What would he do that I won’t?

I don’t need convincing, I’ve worn out my stay
My sun has set, there’s only night now for my day
Your words are excuses, none of them true
No, I know I’m not happy... but neither are you

Be true
Oh, my heart
Why does this have to be so hard?

Say true
Does love hurt?
Why do I twist the knife in my heart?

When you told me you loved him, I think that I died
I choked on my tears, and I swallowed my pride...

Sunday, 28 April 2013

what love is

Hole in my heart
Ache in my mind
That is what love is

A gap in the wall
A blank on a page
That is what love is

And yet you make that long walk
East to west
To face the face that holds your heart

Because you know that every star
In the sky
Cannot compare to the jewel of her eyes

And you must take each breath anew
In her sight
Because she steals the words from you

Words too soon to be spoken
In fear of two lives broken
Or the dice tossed on chance

Hand on my heart
Prayer on my tongue
To find out what love is

Saturday, 27 April 2013

It Will Catch You In The End

I’m sick of feeling numb
I hate what I’ve become
The lurking man inside the shadows

When the doorbell rings
You go and pull my strings
And I come running to the window

Your smile sickens me
And I have to agree
You looked much better when I needed you

My heart is bleeding out
You always seem to shout
Your fingers point but you don’t have the proof

But they say life is but a circle
A never ending line
You can fall off on one day
Get back on another time
You can do the world a favour
Or you can lie or just pretend
Whichever way you want to go
It will catch you in the end

They call it karma
What goes around
Comes around
Hope you like the ride

You fed my misery
Rewrote your history
You turned the lie upon the lie again

Another face you sought
Another life you bought
And yet its better and you still complain

Your face depresses me
Was blind but now I see
The creature lurks inside your twisted mind

Misdirect the blame
Cannot burden the shame
My eyes are closed but you are the one who’s blind

But they say life is but a circle
A never ending line
You can fall off on one day
Get back on another time
You can do the world a favour
Or you can lie or just pretend
Whichever way you want to go
It will catch you in the end

They call it karma
What goes around
Comes around
Hope you like the ride


You hold onto her words, precious as pennies
And treasure the beam of her smile
You find meaning in the phrases she speaks
So sublime and unique in their style
She captures your heart and she captures your soul
And she fills you with burning desire
Until you can only shout out your frustration
And fan the flames of the fire

And you know...

...you know...

Any truth that you sought had its consequence
But your mind sought its own relief
For anything resembling reality was
But a cancer in the heart of your belief
When those dumb words were finally spoken
And the meaning turned clear as glass
Any final casting of those ragged bones
Was the final bemoaning of love that’s come to pass

And you know...
Because it cuts your soul
Those jagged cuts
This love


Friday, 26 April 2013

Speak No Evil - 5


The storm ended abruptly about a quarter of an hour after the stranger humbled Melvin. There was no question of the younger man surrendering his bunk, that which was closest to the door and skulking over to the one that hung over Jordan’s. There was no hint, either, of that pout when the younger man leapt deftly onto his new bunk and sat there, stone quiet, legs folded underneath him. He was no doubt glaring at the stranger who with only seven softly spoken words froze him in his tracks.
            The stranger, unconcerned with having dented the younger assassin’s pride, duck waddled his suitcase underneath his bunk and then sat down. For a few moments, all he did was stare into space. Then he curled his fingers around the edge of his hood and drew it back. Tangles of silver-streaked hair unfurled down to the man’s shoulders, some of it spilled over his face, hiding it momentarily from Jordan’s view. The action was slow and very deliberate, his limbs moving in awkward jerking movements a lot like a marionette manipulated by a street vendor. What could this man have done had Melvin not frozen?
            “A most unpleasant night.”
            Jordan jerked alert. Had the man spoken again?
            “A most unpleasant night,” the man said again.
            “Yes. Yes indeed. And you were unlucky enough to be caught in it.”
            The stranger nodded and a new grin etched across his parchment face. Trying to fit an age to that face was impossible.
            “Is your destination Ma’arnar?”
            “It is. Yours, too, I heard?”
            “Yes,” Jordan admitted.
            “A long, long journey in this confounded contraption.” The stranger ran a critical eye over the bedding he sat upon. “This hard bench is going to play merry havoc on my back.”
            “That bench is quite comfortable, sir,” Melvin chimed in from his watching post. He was attempting to sound jocular, and carried it off until he put the emphasis on the word “sir.”
            The stranger gazed languidly up at Melvin now, turning his face into the light. Jordan saw a landscape scarred with lines and forested with salt and pepper stubble. The eyes assessed the boy swiftly but carefully, narrowing momentarily into a slight squint. “You can’t be much older than… seventeen…?” the stranger ventured.
            “I am twenty-two,” Melvin snapped. If he were a dog, the hairs on his back would be standing on end, and his lips would have drawn back to expose rows of sharp teeth.
            “Twenty-two you say?” The stranger looked away, found something of more interest on the floor. “A bit old to be wielding that child’s pig-sticker, then?” he remarked. “At the advanced age of twenty-two you should have sense in your head to not be so eager for the kill—don’t you think—Melvin?”
            At mention of the young assassin’s name, Jordan almost sprung to his feet. Above him, he felt Melvin tense, heard the younger assassin give himself away with a hissed intake of breath. The very air in the carriage became suddenly colder, suddenly thicker.
            Then, the stupid question: “How?”
            The stranger shrugged, flicked stray strands of silvery hair from his face.
            Jordan felt heat flush his cheeks. He wanted to know how as well, but sure as hell wasn’t going to ask. Asking how put you into all sorts of complicated—and submissive—positions. Asking how someone knew your name gave you no room to manoeuvre and escape, not without bloodshed, anyway. Lastly, asking how someone knows your name was giving them power over you, power an assassin was wise to keep to himself.
            But Melvin was a young assassin, inexperienced with such subtleties. Worse than that was the fact that he didn’t know how to keep his damned mouth shut.
            “Are you going to answer me?” he asked roughly. The voice sounded tough and was spiced with genuine anger, however Jordan could sense that behind the mask of aggression, the boy’s desire to know the answer to this question did not outweigh his fear of knowing it. He hadn’t moved from his bunk to reinforce his coarse words with matching body language. Jordan didn’t think that was likely to happen anyway, not only because he’d already been bested by the stranger or because the stranger had named him and wrested that power from him…but because…
            …because there was something about the stranger that was… well… strange. His posture. Sure, there were the ravages of time and those from the environment that bespoke years of experiences, ravages that even now bent his frame giving an outward appearance of weakness… but that was only on the outside. On the surface there was no reason why the man shouldn’t be dead right now, drowned in his blood from a simple stab wound in his lung. The man looked like an invalid, moved like an invalid… hell, he was even sitting on his bunk like an invalid.
            But he’d detected Melvin’s movement without so much as a glance over his shoulder. Melvin wasn’t exactly loud in his movements, either, and he had the storm outside to cover some of the more obvious sounds he’d have made. Melvin hadn’t even cleared his knife and the stranger had detected it, had named the knife for what it was: a stiletto. Not a throat slashing blade, but one solely for backstabbing.
            Had Jordan given Melvin away? No. Jordan didn’t think so. He could admit now to some vague sense of perversion at wanting to see blood spill even if the blood was innocent. Besides, only a poor assassin would flinch at the critical moment and Jordan was anything but a poor assassin. The stranger couldn’t have seen Melvin’s reflection either because there were no reflective surfaces behind Jordan. The window in the carriage was behind Melvin and all the trimmings were wooden. There was no shadow because the lantern was in front of and slightly above the stranger, pooling the darkness at his feet.
            Then there was the manner in which the stranger called Melvin’s play… not even turning to confront him or maybe produce a weapon of his own. He just raised a finger like some mystic diviner, spouted his mantra and froze Melvin in his tracks. And then… he had named Melvin.
            Who are you? Jordan thought but didn’t ask. Sometimes knowing too much too soon was dangerous. Besides, it was more fun to watch Melvin dig himself a hole to jump in.
            It was a stalemate. Melvin wasn’t going to get any answers or satisfaction, because like a dog that has been kicked once too often, he was all bark and no bite, and even that was losing its effectiveness. The boy would have been better off biting his tongue from the get go, waiting for the right opportunity to pounce. Instead he’d shown himself for what he was: a beginner, a fool and a loudmouth. Secretly and inwardly, Jordan smiled, even though underneath that smile he was apprehensive. After all, this stranger knew Melvin and Melvin was a relative unknown, a mere babe in the ring of assassins and Jordan was… well, a veteran sprang to mind, but in the face of this stranger and his chunky suitcase and his impenetrable mien…
            Presently the stranger had eyes only for Jordan. Since his last retort to Melvin, he hadn’t even so much as glanced in the boy’s direction. It was almost as if the boy didn’t exist, and didn’t Melvin know it! Jordan heard a snort of barely contained disgust, heard the bunk creak slightly as Melvin’s weight shifted. Once more he wondered if the boy was pouting.
            The thought didn’t have time to germinate. A brown envelope materialised seemingly out of nowhere in the stranger’s hands. He turned it around a few times as if trying to ascertain exactly where he had got it from, as if maybe he was as beguiled as Jordan was about its sudden magical appearance. Only the stranger’s smirk gave him away. It was just a show, twirling the envelope so; just a show because only a blind man would have failed to see the insignia pressed onto the wax seal. Jordan’s mouth went dry in a heartbeat. He was looking at the insignia of the Black Hoods, but it was more than just that, because hovering over the crossed key ideogram was a crown.
            The stranger was one of the Three.


Saw the sunrise in the eastern sky
Heard the mourning birds cry
Caught a dew drop in my umbrella
Saw the pain fade awhile...
You are glory; an Apollo; the Golden Child

I tried to warn you of the dangers
Tried to warn you about your friends
Could have told you it would be so different
So different in the end

Saw your smile; obstination
Held your card in the palm of my hand
The hanged man, the man of bones, the dark man
Stranded in the desert sand
Trying to find his heart in a heartless land

I tried to tell you about the dangers
Tried to speak with words that are clear
You were running with the winged sandals
Far, far, far away from here

Heard a whisper through the tree tops
The bough that threatens to break
Saw those dark eyes, in a dark disguise
You're raping my mind of it's will to be free
Your light is so bright it is hurting my eyes

I could have surrendered my soul
I could have been a better man
I could have offered you both of my hands
If you were only happy enough to speak to me
And not to chastise me
I may have been able to warn you

I tried to warn you I tried to warn you
But it's too late
Now you're caught in the undertow.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

I closed my eyes

I closed my eyes again
I had dark thoughts again
Wires crossed inside my brain
Why must I feel this pain?

The sky is grey and low
The river runs dark and slow
Should I stay or should I go?
Run from what—I don’t know

                What do I do? What can I say?
                What excuses do you want to hear today?
                I live in doubt, you live without
                I turn my back and you won’t
                Throw me away

                So I lie. Part of me dies.
                And while I make the ends meet, time it flies
                I scream, you shout; what’s it all about?
                We burn the candle at both ends
                And fuck our lives

                                Darkness at the edges
                                Of this still frame, captured
                                Tainted red when eyes shut
                                Clawing, desperation
                                Words unspoken
                                Lies and fancies, thoughts
                                I contemplate what you would think
                                If I was to turn off the light
                                Extinguish the candle
                                Welcome the night        

I closed my eyes again
I had dark thoughts again
Fuses blown inside my brain
Wonder if I am insane?

Beautiful girl

We all know she’s a beautiful girl
We’ve been graced with her beautiful smile
There’s only one of her in this world
But none of us will ever find one like her

Too good to be true
Too good for me
Too good for you
It’s like that dream where you wake up crying
Knowing it will never come true

We all know she’s a beautiful girl
We’ve seen her drifting about the town
She walks on air, above the world
And we shan’t see another like her

This is too good to be real
Too good for the likes of you and I
This is just too good to be true
It is the dream where you wake up dying
Knowing that she was never meant for you

You know she is a beautiful girl
Golden hair and eyes of deep sea green
The rarest gem in the world
If you’ve only seen what I have seen

How can it be real?
Behind the mask, the coldness of her smile
No emotion behind those eyes
As they survey you blind like a child
You cannot honestly say
She will make you happy
Not when everyone else
Wants this beautiful girl

Speak No Evil - 4


The rain hammered with a million fists on the roof of the carriage and occasionally a grumble of thunder would rattle the windows. That was outside. Inside, more time passed in relative silence.
            Jordan regained his bench seat, sat heavily upon it wondering what stroke of fate had brought the stranger into their midst. Across the carriage, only six feet but feeling like six miles, Melvin sat rigid on his own bunk. His hand was still within the folds of his cloak but the search had long since lost its intensity. He was quiet, though. Jordan had to be thankful for that given Melvin’s poor performance previously with the conductor.
            Presently the stranger was still occupying the No Man’s Land in the centre of the carriage, standing in a slowly spreading pool of water. Two minutes had passed since his dramatic entrance and he was yet to move or even speak. The time was ample for Jordan to turn a critical eye over his new carriage mate.
            The man was tall but gave a lot of this height away by the fact that he was hunched over. In fact, his left shoulder appeared to be hanging down lower than the right. The cloak billowed over a body that was sparse in a similar way to Melvin’s body. Unlike Melvin though, the stranger carried an air of foreboding, of danger. He was still and looked frail, but mayhap such looks were deceiving. After all, does not the prettiest rose have thorns to pierce one’s flesh?
            A hood covered the man’s face. All Jordan could see was the suggestion of an eye, the hook of a nose. A few loose tangles of hair, silver in the dancing light of the lantern, dangled lugubriously in the air, with beads of moisture dripping from their split ends. The hair was so tangled that Jordan wondered when was the last time the man had bothered to wash it. There was a smell, a rich, earthy smell that wasn’t at all unpleasant. It wasn’t the stink of the street brat or the pungent odour of the boozehound or even the rancid milk stench of old, withered men.
            Across the carriage, Melvin watched as intently as Jordan did. His reconnoitre wasn’t as subtle as Jordan’s. Jordan suspected, too, that he was conducting his for an entirely different purpose. Indeed, the hand at the front of the cloak began to fidget slightly, blind fingers furrowing through large fabric tunnels in search of their lethal payload. As Jordan watched Melvin, the boys tongue flicked snake-like from his lips… once… twice… and a third time. The hand movements abruptly ceased. The weapon had been located.
            Jordan looked away very briefly, returned his gaze to the newcomer. He changed his perspective, looked at the stranger from the perspective of a cutpurse. His eyes noted the battered suitcase that the man had laboured to move. It was made from vinyl, its surface battered and scuffed. There was a huge dent in one end of it and one of the reinforcing corners was missing. On the side facing Jordan there was a sticker. It proudly told the world that this suitcase was not yours. Underneath the slogan was a caricature of a smiling face, coloured yellow. The sticker was bright and sickly, brand new, in direct opposition to not only the rest of the suitcase but the sodden stranger as well. A cutpurse would want to know what was inside the case to make it seem so heavy. They’d spare not a single thought for the fact that the person carrying it could be a cripple. Well, that was a lie. They’d have noticed that, but in terms of how easy a target it would make them. No, the suitcase would be heavy because it would be full of valuable stuff. The stranger would be given a cursory glancing over. Hunched back, crooked shoulders. The cripple factor. Easy game. The cloak wouldn’t be worth much… not wet anyway. The boots looked older than Time itself, and thus, would be worthless.
            If Jordan were a cutpurse, he’d surprise the stranger from behind, push his stiletto between the man’s ribs and rip a hole in either a lung or his heart, then ease him to the floor, taking care to avoid getting blood on either himself or the suitcase. If done right, the victim died quickly and without a violent struggle that sprays blood every which way.
            Jordan narrowed his eyes, focussed on Melvin. Melvin, ignorant of his partner’s surveillance, confirmed in Jordan’s mind that he was in the cutpurse mindset. He was waiting for the right moment to strike.
            In his wildest dreams, he’d have never betted that the stranger would present the opportunity almost straight away. But present it he did.
            The stranger craned his head around, the first movement he made in what must be steadily climbing to five minutes. He looked but didn’t really notice the kid, maybe just noticing the youth in the boy’s cheeks, and the boy’s pathetic attempt at facial hair. At length, he turned his whole body around to regard Jordan. The process looked quite painful, with lots of jerking movements and abrupt pauses. It took about twenty seconds to accomplish that meagre task. Then the man spoke.
            “Is that bunk taken?”
            The voice was soft, barely above a whisper and yet both Jordan and Melvin felt compelled to listen. The question was directed at Jordan, but with a flick of his head and a roll of his eyes, he revealed that the bunk he was referring to was the one Melvin occupied. For a moment, Jordan was lost in the man’s eyes. They were dark. In the lantern light, Jordan could have sworn that they were as black as coal. And how they stared, pinning Jordan to his seat better than iron manacles. The face was lined but not so much with age than experience, for it was still a youngish face. The crows feet around his eyes and the valleys etched into the sides of his mouth weren’t blemishes of long ago decades but the birth children of many hours in the extremes of hot and cold.
            “I… I guess not,” Jordan replied. He was surprised that he stammered his response. Surprise quickly gave way to anger. What was it about this man that tweaked his senses?
            Melvin shuffled on his bunk, eyes searching. His gaze alternated between the two other men he shared the carriage with presently. He was trying to interpret body language, to garner meaning from what Jordan’s hopefully impassive gaze was telling him, and what the stranger’s back turned to him meant. But nothing was forthcoming. Melvin may as well have been reading his train ticket; it would have given as much meaning to him as his first real experience in people reading. Jordan should have been happier with this outcome but instead found himself wanting.
            The stranger’s smile drew the gouges at the side of his mouth ever deeper. There were teeth. Lots of teeth, like little pearls glistening moist in an oyster. A tongue flicked between those teeth, a subtle flash of pink. Melvin moved. A barely perceptible twitch. Jordan barely had time to even blink.
            This is it, he thought, and even that thought was incomplete.
            He expected to see blood, dark like ink in the lantern light. The stranger’s first, and should Melvin like the taste for the kill, Jordan’s second. He vaguely wondered if he’d even feel the pain as the keen edge of the knife opened up his throat.
            Melvin’s blade never even left the confines of his billowing cloak. The stranger was staring at Jordan the whole time, his head moved not an inch, his eyes didn’t even blink. When he spoke, it was in the same smooth and glacial manner he’d used to enquire about the bunk. Only this time, he had raised his hand, his index finger pointing toward the restless sky.
            “Tell your friend to rest his stiletto,” he said, loud enough to be heard over the pounding rain but seemingly without raising his voice.
            Melvin jerked to a halt, his mouth open into a useless ‘O,’ through which no sound passed. He stayed like that for a few seconds, crucial seconds. Thoughts of what he could be doing played in his mind. Jordan could read those by the way the young buck’s eyebrows danced up and down. He tried to enlist Jordan in his musings but Jordan’s face was a mask. Even though he was still on his bunk, he seemed to move down and sit in it some more.
            “Wise choice,” the stranger quipped. Then he dropped a wink in Jordan’s direction.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013


Bought you some flowers in a painted vase
With a note of love written in my hand
A verse dedicated to the time forever
A memorandum of our fruited plans

You promised me forever on that mild September
And it aches to remember we were over by November

Now I clutch at memories like a sailor waving to the air
As the waves crash over him treading water choking
Dying to draw breath seeing barely over the edge
As a finger pointing becomes a gun barrel blazing smoking

You promised me forever on that bitter wet September
And it hurts me to remember how you broke me by November

Our final time together was a floating pillow of despair
We only ever saw eye to eye
In the pits of our anger
Words like daggers drawn across our pale throats
Knives of hurt and horror
Wonder why we held onto this albatross so long
Why would we even bother?

But you promised me forever on the cold bitter September
I was fool enough to remember the bitterness of November
It’s a cross that I will carry, a symbol of my pride
A dark and twisted scar, a spear point in the side
And I will wear this crown of thorns to celebrate forever
How what you gave me in September you took from me in November

Monday, 22 April 2013

In Twilight

In twilight
With purple bruised skies; moonlight
Eyes watch sad men make
Their way home
They walk alone

Broken promises
Whispers not worth the air
Of their breath
They feel emptiness
Not feel her heartbeat

In this still night
Thoughts pass by
Transient dreams
Of what can never be
The deepest dark sleep

Painted visions of a broken land
                Another etch on unprinted sand
                I’d rather have the silent dreams
                Then to live with the nightmares

It is midnight
Cold, shivering and alone
You reach across to seek
The one you need
Feeling triumphant

Sunday, 21 April 2013

I'm sorry

I’m sorry if I don’t seem to have a soul,
But it’s no fault of my own.
I don’t want to spend my days
Playing all your childish games.

I don’t think you really know what it’s like to be alive,
You take it for granted that it’s what you need to survive.
A little every day is good for you and me,
But why is it too hard for you to see the shadow by the door
                scraping like the wolves that want to get inside
                the little nuances of a million broken liars
                making words out of paper tufts
                and smiles out of paper cups
                it’s enough to make me sick.
I’m sorry if I appear to be a bit cold,
But that’s what happens without a soul.
You can close your eyes and ignore the malaise
And live alone for the rest of your days.

There’s no need to argue; we don’t have to fight.
Let us forget who is wrong; we know who is right.
Let us just lie where we are in the absence of light.
Let us dream here together on the whims of the night
                that carries your lies to the other side
                the influence of a million jaded buyers
                making money out of trees
                and forgiveness out of pleas
                it’s enough to make me think.

Though our differences are a great gulf between us
We have everything to try for.
Even though it may be easier for us to say goodbye
It’s something to die for.

I’m sorry for living.

Broken Glass

You break my thoughts like a train
Careering into my mind
Every time I try to speak
I’m always criticised
There is no thought in your actions
There is no time in your words
I don’t like what you call art
I think it’s quite absurd

But you take the task unto yourself
To press onto me your thoughts
Macabre oddities and clichéd banalities
And other misplaced assorts
Which I take and nod and laugh in the right places
And commend you here and there
But the fabric of your work has spaces
Of unthought open air

Am I content to live in your shadow?
Somehow, that is where you have kicked me
The trophy that you take into your sullied hands
Is the weapon with which you think you can kill me
Words are only words, though words can sometimes hurt…

But if you treat me like a rag doll, I’ll kill you!