Heavy clouds threaten the
bankrupt horizon like
bad book reviews.
The bottom line looms
ugly and final
There’s no money
in trying to be
a decent human being.
Evil makes good
a robust stock portfolio.
Getting by is
Any day now,
will find a way
to tax sunlight.
The rain follows me as
I walk uphill. Ahead of me, it’s
bright and dry, but the rain
keeps pace perfectly, falling
only on the backs of my shoulders, and
this is not a metaphor.
I know a lot of people who are struggling inside their own headspace at the minute, myself included. I’m reaching out to find out who else is feeling messed up and what we think is causing it. There’s a very short survey below if you fancy sharing your thoughts.
Whether you complete the survey or not, if you’re one of the many going through a tough time at the moment: That sucks, and I’m sorry.
Alex Austin is nearing thirty; a self-confessed fake, charlatan, degenerate and – worst of all – a failed poet, Alex’s life has become a meaningless sequence of bad habits and poor decisions. He ekes out a living doing a job that makes him feel dirty and ashamed. His only friend, JB – the developmentally arrested offspring of two famous psychologists – is just as broken as he is.
He’s emotionally uninvestable: incapable of experiencing pleasure or joy without resorting to unhealthy extremes, Alex’s days are divided between sofa-mining and grief-surfing; shiftily rummaging down the backs of display model couches for fallen coins and notes, and cynically manipulating strangers’ grief for his own depraved gratification.
As his self-destructive behaviour escalates and his self-loathing deepens, Alex is relentlessly, savagely cross-examined and berated by the voice of his own conscience, which speaks to him in the sneering, righteous tones of a retired TV news show host. When Edie – a former grief conquest, now wise to his scam – shows up out of his sordid past, he’s not sure if she’s here to save him or destroy him, and he can’t decide which is the more terrifying prospect.
Anhedonia is a darkly comic study of the way human beings fetishise death; a story about the struggle to find meaning in the disconnected jumble of reality TV, deodorant ads and celebrity murderers; a tribute to the best of our culture and an indictment of the worst.
It’s always two minutes to midnight,
and we’re always in the Garden of Gethsemane.
I don’t remember when
moonlight started to burn like this, but
it seems like this is all there is, maybe all
there ever was, ever will be.
The brain has never felt more like
spoiling meat, nor the excoriated soul itself
more reassuringly transient,
as we dance these slow, sad waltzes
with mute, irradiated ghosts
beneath the branches of the doveless olive trees.
The night is sharp with splinters and iodine
and other traumas. Muffled voices, raised
in song: listen! they are singing inside
the fallout shelters. Ash drifts like
apple blossom. Wolf skeletons relearn the
ability to howl. Everything we fear
is inevitable. Much of it has
already happened. And maybe tomorrow
won’t bring betrayal, crucifixion or torture, just
something like agony,
Poem my own Image: “The Moon” by Hare Raising Designs
This video was made for me by the very talented Cornelius Something of Manufacturing Content. He’s taken a reading I did of one of my poems and seriously elevated it with some mesmerising images and fitting music.