Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, politics, Writing

Million Dollar Birthday Fries

You cursed the candles,
their flirty flicker,
like a wicked smile after a lurid laugh at your expense.
The cake was like cardboard,
choked down with a cold glass of sick,
as celebrations go,
that one was… kind of shit,
but you scraped a smile onto your face during the family zoom call,
hoping the walls didn’t echo too much and reveal the big secret.

You made a show of unwrapping gifts,
so your parents wouldn’t know how quickly you were unravelling,
how sick you had become of the same cycle of hours,
how you could barely keep up the charade for the camera,
but you made it,
waving and smiling until everybody had left the call and given you quiet permission to collapse.

It was the unhappiest birthday you had ever had,
so you’ll be glad to know that the government,
who had given you the gift of loneliness and financial insecurity were celebrating themselves in what I can only describe,
dear reader,
as a never ending festival of fuckwittery.

Colin the caterpillar crawled across a desk,
throwing up smarties and sambuca as Dylan the dog sniffed around the sandwiches.
Special advisors had a billboard time, breaking swings and slides,
and atop it all,
the Mad King, unfortunately topless,
swung his tie around his head,
jumping from desk to desk like a poor man’s King Kong,
as his Fay Wray found herself planning their next holiday on the people’s expense.

It all makes sense,
when you think about it,
our sacrifices are just sustenance for the snakes that slither through big houses, admiring the tacky wallpaper.
The police stab their eyes out with their truncheons,
and the Prime Minister wipes his soiled lips on reports into his own conduct,
and you?
You sit alone,
tormented by the turmoil of a day that seemed to last forever,
longer and longer with each second.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, politics, Writing

The Circus Is In Town and The Show Must Go On

The mice were not stirring,
but everyone else in Downing Street was.
Wine and cheese flowing free,
with a seasonal Spotify playlist ordering people about the dance floor of the damned,
kissing without caution,
raising a glass to the great art of getting away with it.

The spirit of the season was with them,
and they were hoarding it,
lording it over the undesirables outside,
with their melancholy melody.
A SPAD turned up the speakers,
to drown out the sobbing from the streets.
Britain was awash with grief,
breaking apart and breaking down,
but it didn’t break through to Abominable Alexander and his jovial friends.

Far away from all the fancy food and dreadful dancing is a man.
Hands pressed against a Care Home window,
fingers frozen as the tears begin their treacherous trek,
and his whole world wastes away on the other side.
His Wife reaches a weak hand towards the glass,
and there is silence,
because this is not a party.
This is not a party,
this is not the forbidden fun, found at Downing Street.
This is real life,
the kind of times that the party goers can’t grasp,
because while Britain broke down,
they were breaking the rules.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

I Have Emptied Out All My Anxieties and Presented Them In A Long Ramble, For The Ease Of My Long Suffering Therapist

I miss being bankrupted by my local cinema for a small popcorn and a milkshake. I miss being alone in the dark, as monsters make chaos on the screen before my eyes, while I imagine an arm around my shoulder and a kiss upon my cheek. I miss being kissed. Kissed by him specifically. The way he pulls away when it is over, but pulls me back closer, as if it will never end. It did end, and now I wait, with great impatience for it to begin again.

More and more of them get infected all the time, spreading it around, building it up like the walls of a prison, and it won’t stop. It never stops. I never stop pointing the finger at the public, because the government has guided me in that direction. It’s definitely not government incompetence, the greed of employers who don’t actually need staff in but insist on it anyway, or the failings of a money first, people last society. No. It’s the people who are wrong. It’s the poor, the worker bees, wings flapping around me, arranging in formation like bars. The Health Secretary, who is often wrong, is definitely not wrong about this. There’s no way out, because every time I get close to the door, it moves, slinking away like a snake, and then I can’t breathe, because the walls are so high, and so devoid of light.

I hate this cold and cruel imitation of life. I know it has to happen, I see endless death and sickness in the late afternoon, every day, and I know, but it doesn’t help. Maybe I’m selfish? But so is everyone else, and I still do as I’m told, so maybe it’s okay if I’m selfish, as long as it stays inside my head? It could be worse. I could see more than the statistics. I could see the end of life, in the flesh. The endless endings that haunt hospital corridors, broken staff who do all they can, but still feel so many numbers, that are in fact real, living, breathing humans slip through their hands. It could be worse. I know it could be worse. I am the worst.

I am a selfish girl. I always knew I was, because I always saw the world through my own lens, with my own inner monologue as the omnipotent (and kind of sultry) voice of God. I am locked up, but I am lucky, because I’m not dead and I’m not sick, and I know that currently, everyone I know is fine too, but I’m losing my mind because I’m locked away and I just want to be… somewhere else.

I just want to be someone else, and fuck, I’m scared that telling the truth is a one way ticket to being sectioned, because there’s no in between in this country, when it comes to that kind of thing. It’s okay not to be okay, but if you say you’re not okay, your family can have you locked away, and I’m already locked away, so I’d rather not be put in more padlocks, because of the lack of nuance by the National Health Service. Talk about your mental health! But not too loudly, or some overworked counsellor that it took you months to get an appointment with might get the wrong idea and tell your doctor that you’re in danger, then it’s off to the madhouse with you, because just needing a break makes you mad, these days. Needing to see the sun with somebody special makes you mad these days. Being despondent after a decade of austerity makes you mad these days. Being tired of simply existing makes you mad these days.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Lost Girls In Lorries

Screams are plastered on the walls,

like her blood,

his spit,

his handprints,

on her face,

raging and red.

Nobody hears,

because nobody listens,

and nobody looks for girls like her,

in the dark,

dingy night.

Shut up.

It wasn’t meant to be like this.

Take your clothes off.

Nobody told her it would be like this.

Stop crying.

She thought she’d be working in a factory.

Cry some more, my friend likes it.

She just wanted to make money for her mother’s medication.

I paid for everything.

She knows they’re right, when they say there is no escape.

You have nothing.

She knows there’s no way out, when there are no safe ways in.

You have nothing.

Screams are plastered on the walls,

like her blood,

his spit,

his handprints,

on her face,

raging and red.

One day,

she’ll be dead,

the government will weep,

as if they gave her a choice.

If only she’d come legally!

Crocodile tears,

from ivory towers,

that have a view,

of how lost girls are lead to the jaws of monsters,

by the trail set out,

by ministers and masters.

Ministers and masters are the same,

her fate is the same,

as many others,

sometimes,

ministers visit,

to make sure the masters carry out their corruption,

to very specific orders.

Lonely statistic.

Jane Doe on a home office list,

of girls who only wanted opportunity,

the kind of girls,

that nobody looks for,

in dark nights,

or dark lorries,

or dark rooms,

in dark houses,

with chains on the door,

and chains on the floor,

where her ankle imagines freedom.