A topnotch site

Month: July, 2012

Should I Have Said?

What passed between us belonged to the night, and that is where I left it. Twice we collided, and I felt privileged for what was offered, though at the last I could not accept. And there it stayed. All I really know of you is your privacy. So I afforded you what respect I could, and invaded no further.

But I still wonder: what, exactly did that touch in the dark mean to you? Desire, clear enough. Affection? I would hope. Intimacy? Unlikely. Vulnerability? That one I fear. I know nothing of how to avoid wounding you. And behind your privacy, I sense you have been wounded enough. Better you felt nothing beyond lust. Better I found myself in some cookie-cutter role, the nearest warm body of acceptable shape. Everyone has needs beyond the flesh. I hope those were not what drove you to me. Because if so I failed you. If so, my respectful distance may be exactly what you were trying to bridge. Such a thing as I might do, when intoxicated by loneliness, reaching out for someone to feel close to. But you are not me, and I know nothing beyond that.

Confusion aside, only two things are important.

I hope you weren’t hurt.


I remain your friend.



I stumbled upon life

As a rock in the desert

Jutting out from shifting sands


It injured me

And crying out, I fell

But then, curious, I dug

Wanting to take the measure

Of this new thing


Of what I discovered, there was no hint

On the dead topsoil

A multifaceted surface, shot through

With veins, flecks and abrasions

Here glittering, here dull

Here translucent, here opaque

Every imaginable colour

Shifting under my gaze

Indistinct shape, hulking mass

Plunging ever deeper


I have dug since that day

Though my fingers are ragged stumps

The smeared blood merely adds

To the thing’s complexity

I hope that near the end

Another wanderer comes across my find

With their rags and their thirst

And I will say to them:

“See! This much I can reveal to you,

And no more.”


A Small Piece of Advice

Seek out the smiles of strangers


We could know each other’s hearts


I am enough the idealist to believe that


But clichés exist because they hold truth


Is of course power, and power corrupts


We are perverse enough as people

To rend

The hearts of others, given the chance


For no reason other than to reiterate

Our pain

I am enough the cynic to see that


Therefore we front, we evade, we conceal


From the deadly other, whom we fear


We fashion our faces like guests to a ball


As revelers, dancing round the artifice


And perpetually hidden, we crave

The reveal

The lively flesh of a true human being


Who Your Best Friends Are

When I was younger, I didn’t have friends, I just had tormentors I’d keep coming back to. Kids who were just as fucked up and lost as I was. But hard kids, who didn’t hesitate to be cruel. They laughed at me constantly, and always made it clear that my rules were different to theirs. Fairness didn’t enter into it. Kindness was alien. I kept going back, because without them I had no-one.

One day we played hide and seek at the local school. We were almost too old for a kid’s game to be entertaining anymore. But that’s ok, because I was there. When I hid, no-one looked for me. I happened to hide under a wooden deck. They happened to gather and sit there. They talked about me. About how much of a loser I was. Pathetically amusing things I had done. Things I had told one or the other of them in confidence. How they thought I had a crush on the only girl member of the group. I did. She laughed with them and said I was gross. They wandered off and I crawled out. I let myself be found, then it was my turn to seek. They all went home. I wandered the school for a long time looking for friends who were not there.

When I was a bit older, I had friends. They laughed with me. They shared music with me. They asked me things. We played hackey sack together every lunchtime. We drank and smoked weed together on weekends and after school, and sometimes during school. If someone got too fucked up, we looked after them. One day we got caught heading out of school to get stoned. We told them we were going to the dairy. The assistant principal looked at me, a good student, and said “I think you need to take a good hard look at who your best friends are.” I tried hard not to laugh in her face.

Yet You Remain

All is quiet, despite the noise

Cars honk and motorcycles roar

And you whisper in my ear


All is still, despite the chaos

People jostle their disregard

And your hand lies on my chest


All is warm, despite the cold

My breath floats in the air

And yours blows soft on my cheek


All is beauty, despite the pain

I carry with me always

And you are a welcome burden


No sound in my life is lonelier than the 3am passing of the street sweeper’s buggy. The reverberating hum washes through the silent streets, filling them with emptiness. The tip of my cigarette flares as I drag on it, propped against the wall on my balcony. I exhale a stream of toxins into the night, flick ash over the side. My surroundings reflect my reality. Empty noise, curling poison, and the ashes drift unnoticed to the street below.

I See the Living

I see the living

And I am haunted

Their lives are made of so much

There is much less I can do


I see the living

And I am haunted

The dead are empty vessels

We pour our own life into


And through


I see the living

And I am haunted

Nothing more than others lives

Do pursue my weary soul


I see the living

And I am haunted

Death surrounds us, never far

Waiting for us at the shoal


The toll


I see the living

And I am haunted

These ghosts of lives pursue me

Too intense in their caress


I see the living

And I am haunted

In life I give an answer

Shine against this lifelessness


Then rest


Bright Lanterns

Some people, it doesn’t matter what they do

Because they excel at the art of being

They have found that unutterable secret

Of residing within themselves

An unassailable centre, profound

In its clear eyed regard of self and other


To live is to burn, and these

Are the keepers of the flame

They found their own light in some distant reaches

Of the wild depths of their souls

Once it was found, they needed only courage

To hold themselves to the fire, and ignite


Oh, how they have burned since that day

All unknown, except for the moments they meet our eyes

And we are pierced by something over-bright

As if the shutter of a lantern opened just a crack

And a shaft shot through our dark rooms

Disturbing us while we were sleeping