A Winter Invocation

At this time of cold and death,
At the sinking of the new moon,
The clearing of the sky of clouds,
The retreat of warmth from our world,
The freezing of our breath,
And the fading of the light from our eyes,
Be with us in these dangerous hours
That we may live again
To see new light and feel new warmth.

The 31 Deaths of Evelyn JohnsonNumber 2: I Love New York in June

Evelyn Johnson strolled down 34th Street, hand in hand with her on-off boyfriend of the past three years. Bernard had moved out the previous September, when his work offered him a hundred percent raise, a company car and dental insurance. Over the course of Bernard’s ten month residence and Evelyn’s three visits, neither of them had become accustomed to the square, building-block town layout, and, not being good with numbers, they both found navigation around New York to be a problem.

Evelyn admired her boyfriend’s newly-shiny pearly whites and wondered how to break the news to him: she had recently been diagnosed with a severe phobia of the final letter of the alphabet and would no longer be able to relocate in the new year. She fully expected this to be the final nail in the metaphorical coffin she felt the relationship had become.

Admiring the reflection of his newly-shiny pearly whites in Evelyn’s sunglasses, Bernard wondered how to break the news: he’d secretly arranged a permanent visa for her, flown out her friends and family, and was walking her to their surprise wedding – he couldn’t bear any more time apart and was sure that she’d be delighted.

Being a fairly traditional kind of guy, he reckoned he’d better propose to her first.

Shortly after crossing 5th Avenue, he pretended his shoe laces were undone and stealthily dropped to one knee. So stealthily in fact that Evelyn didn’t notice. More subterfuge was called for: “Hey! Evie! Help me up, I think I put my back out.”

Evelyn turned around, just in time to see a gold blur in the place of her would-be fiancée.

Liberace’s concert was rescheduled, and his lawyers obtained a super-injunction preventing any reporting of a solid golden Steinway even being anywhere near the Empire State Building, let alone its falling from a badly secured winch and crushing Bernie Rollins to death.

However, due an oversight that later cost the lawyers their contract, the following day’s New York Times front page headline screamed, “Lady Tourist Killed by Falling Stool!”

Identity Theft (A Confession)

This isn’t really being written by Tim.

I know his log on details and passwords.
I know his bank details, where he works,
His car registration, birthday and mother’s maiden name.

I know an awful lot about him:
The places he goes, the people he sees.
Those he loves and hasn’t told.
Those he’d like to but won’t tell.

I know what he did last summer.

But this isn’t about Tim, it’s about me:
The monster that lives in his head.

On a good day,
I confusticate, vex and confuddle him,
I could also m*ddle him
But the rhymes are saved for the last verse.

On a good day,
I help him forget,
I help him wish upon vain fancies,
And idly while-away the hours he could better spend.

On a good day,
I paint it black
In wondrous shades that hide the light:
A stormcloud in front of stars.

On a good day,
I don’t have to do all that much
– The merest of whispers


There’s no room for a monster under his bed;
Tim’s personal monster lives in his head.
I am Tim’s monster and I want him dead.
But not yet(d).
I’m having far too much fun at the moment.

Tell your monster I said, “Hello.”

Phone Purge Twenty Ten

Always a little late to the bandwagon (and not so much jumping on as thinking, ‘Hey that might be interesting.’) I thought I’d imagine that I had a Twitter account and see if it was possible to write a short story in a mere one hundred and forty characters (or fewer). These masterpieces were saved as draft text messages on my phone and made it look untidy, so in the spirit of giving worthy of the season, I’m going to let them clutter up your RSS feeds and blog-rolls.

Attempt One
He sat outside, deliberately passive smoking because he’d run out of cigars.
That, really, was all there was to say about him.

Attempt Two
He was proud to have removed her bra with one hand at his first attempt.
She confessed: it had turned her on, but using a knife was cheating.