No Cure for Shell Shock – Out now! (Sticky)

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Well it’s taken a while but my new Prose/Poetry collection No Cure for Shell Shock is officially out! You can buy it online from Amazon in either digital or paperback formats, or if you’re a bit more old school you can order it through your local bookshop of choice. And given the excellent cover design by the very talented Kim Norton I’d recommend going for the physical copy, which is well worth it.

I’d also like to ask that, if you enjoy the collection, you make sure to add your review on Amazon and recommend it to your friends/family/neighbours/strangers/farmyard animals/deities of choice. The only way this works is if you, the reader, make it because for all I can write getting my work into the great big world is still one hell of a challenge.

Anyway, I sincerely hope you’ll have a look and, even better, enjoy it!

No Cure for Shell Shock is intended as the antithesis to the war story. Each part of this collection of poetry and short pieces was designed to search for those lost, silent moments which shape the human experience of conflict but which are left unmarked and uncommented on in the aftermath.

Anti-war by intent the focus throughout is on the human, attempting to find the self that endures beyond comprehension and judgement.

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Sol’s Pandemic

Bloody Camera - Dead Journalists - Sol

This one’s dedicated to the dead who became the truth they were attempting to report. There are plenty of hacks in the world but, hidden amongst them, are some individuals who realise the value of truth and sacrifice themselves to it. 

The truth had to get out, that was the last certainty, the bedrock of Sol’s waning existence.

He was dead, or would be soon. Too many enemies, too many death threats and no friends left, few as he’d had to start with. An irrelevance. No, not quite irrelevant, he didn’t want to die and he wasn’t so brave as to feign indifference in the solitude of his own mind. Sol wanted to live, he wanted to live in mediocrity or greatness, alone or loved, happy or sad – he just wanted to live. And the certain knowledge that he wouldn’t felt like a vacuum forming inside of him, dragging his mind towards acceptance. The second he let his thoughts turn towards it, he’d be gone. So he accepted the words and nothing more, ‘I will die’, they were floating above his head now, being drawn down by that abyss on the inside. They had to stay there, just detached enough to remain an idea rather than an all consuming awareness. At least until the truth was out.

So the truth. The truth had to get out. That was all that mattered now, fatalism, if well founded, was meaningless to that. They would come for him but they hadn’t yet and he still held the truth close, a tumour latched on to his mind, unfeeling but undeniably present. He needed to share the infection of knowledge, spread it like a pandemic in what little time he had left, the patient zero to necessity. Where though? Enemies, they were everywhere. In the police, in the press, in parliament, in the street, he couldn’t trust anyone who should be trusted and that just left people who’d never trust him. Strangers, passersby, people to whom he’d seem like a lunatic at best or who, at worst, would be marked for death themselves by the infection. The enemies would kill anyone they thought knew the truth and it’d simply die again with them after he’d had his turn. No, it needed an explosion, a proliferation of understanding that would spread far enough to sustain itself before anyone could seek to stop it.

There was one chance, one moment to act before there were no more. Sol was crying now, sobbing, alone in his apartment. The truth had to get out. The tears were those of failure, there was no way, there was no hope. He couldn’t think and he couldn’t imagine a path that led anywhere, too many enemies, so many enemies and no one to help.

The truth had to get out.

Footsteps in the hallway. Enemies, killers, an external weight to drag the words of death down through him and into the abyss, where he would inevitably follow. There was no escape, the truth had to get out but their vessel was trapped. Sol wailed through the tears, clawing at his head as if to yank away the mass of knowledge that it held.

Boots thudding on the door, the treble locks rattling in their housings. They wouldn’t hold, no more than Sol would once they gave way.

The truth had to get out. People needed to know about the lies, the thefts, the corruption of what was there’s. But there was no way, time had run out. The truth would never spread, it’d die incubated in a worthless host.

The door flew open. A blur of bodies, indistinct in all but their rage and professional violence. Sol went down, the idea meeting the abyss and everything else fading to nothing. The truth would die with him, the lies would survive.

No matter, he had the abyss now, a slow descent to something else. He had failed, but only he would ever know it, at the very least the truth left unspoken could mark him for no judgement.

The command to kill was lost on Sol, he’d already left.

My latest work, No Cure for Shell Shock, is a collection of short stories and poetry. It’s available as an eBook and a paperback here.

As always reviews, support and shares are welcome.

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Fear, Loathing and Fineness

Lightning

A crystalline veneer
on a pulsating force,
delicately obscuring
a force of fear, loathing and fineness
that grabs for the eyes
before blinding them
motives uncertain
but strength uncontrolled,
listless
and absurd

Fractures form
across dark crystal carapace
and panic descends
as tendrils of energy
start probing at matter
warping and shearing away
the organic sense
that realises now
why such armour was cemented

No certainty and no truth
no terror made manifest
or phobia made flesh
but a pulsating force
of fear, loathing and fineness
that grabs for the eyes
before blinding them
again
and crystallising a shell
again to obscure
for forgetfulness to submerge
beneath organic remains

My latest work, No Cure for Shell Shock, is a collection of short stories and poetry. It’s available as an eBook and a paperback here.

As always reviews, support and shares are welcome.

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Revolution in Sound, Revelation in Script

Appropriation of Words

Words are democratic
language is free
the joyful expression
of linguistic debris
a boon to the silenced
a curse to decree
when all that we say
can be more than we see

A revolution in sound,
revelation in script,
ideals in thoughts
and dreams turned to myths

But even in chaos,
in what we can’t see
in the mind’s quiet speeches
the heart’s turning key
those moments we speak
our words all our own
still open the channel
to those that would own
to poisonous treason
and driven intent
to myopic focus
on deciding what’s meant
to turn all that we have
into all that they want
turning thought to assertion
to serve at greed’s wont

With silent delusion
and subtle attack
our words turn around us
as our meaning grows slack

Truth becomes falsehood
our own voice a lie
these things that once freed us
left slowly to die

And through this subversion,
there’s no ill intent
just blind, deaf appraisal
of what should be meant
as words democratic
and language once free
become tools of the certain
and weapons unseen

My latest work, No Cure for Shell Shock, is a collection of short stories and poetry. It’s available as an eBook and a paperback here.

As always reviews, support and shares are welcome.

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Faded but Blank

Eroded Sculpture by Daniel Arsham

Scour faint ideas of beauty,
scratch away the fading imprints
once moulded onto malleable flesh

Wash away marks of value
that punctuate the sentences of dying memories,
break up and shatter the decaying form
that our moments gave birth to

Replace all that’s eroded,
with something quite plain,
with simple desires
with lust without flames

And sooner or later
you’ll start to regret
that something was better,
that feelings had depth
and all that you’ve lost
for what little you’ve gained
will soon seem a fair deal
to your hollowed out frame

Featured image by Daniel Arsham.

My latest work, No Cure for Shell Shock, is a collection of short stories and poetry. It’s available as an eBook and a paperback here.

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Neon Tombstone

Open Sign

A brick wall etched with the claws of natures’ age
anonymous in a forest of buildings
towering red woods of steel
and neon glare from fast food islands
delicately dying with each new day
taking its architects to the grave
and standing as eternal tombstone

My latest work, No Cure for Shell Shock, is a collection of short stories and poetry. It’s available as an eBook and a paperback here.

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