Hello Sadness 2020 – Part 1-2

Anne wasn’t going to arrive for a week, so I made the most of my last days of real holiday. We had the villa for two months, but I knew once Anne arrived I wouldn’t be able to properly relax. Anne gave things an edge, and was pedantic about things me and dad would happily ignore. She decided what counted as good taste, what was worthwhile, and we learned about it from sudden changes in her… wounded silences… expressions… It could be interesting. But it was also tiring and humiliating because in the end she often had a point.

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Hello Sadness 2020 – Part 1-1

See an explanation for this project here.

Cold Open


I’m obsessed by a feeling. Boredom? Calm? Maybe I’d call it sadness. But that would be too beautiful and serious. The feeling I’m talking about is so selfish that I’m almost ashamed to feel it… and sadness always seemed to me to have some kind of honour. I’ve never felt it before… and I’ve felt boredom, regret, even remorse. Today it folds over me like soft silk. Irritating. Separating me from them.

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Dark Dogs in the Morning

The darkness fell onto me like a fever
stirring – stripping and dressing in the cold
I picked up my phone, and wiped breath from it.
Weak coffee. I left the house, slid doors,
the dogs pressed against me – flickering
buzzing, sparking – something was up
but I didn’t know what.
            I set off

seeing the shoals of mist swim
in morning dark where day is forgotten
and the choral synthesiser drone of stars
shook me, made me shiver – I drowned it out
with my headphones. Walked out
with my pathetic torch across
the wood and farm-land in the mould black
morning – marvelling at the absolute lack
of magic, there in the dust-clump wood.
I glanced around me, saw nothing
thought ‘but wolves, but wild boars’
I smiled, took a fast pace down
the bend to the flood-plain
where I imagine the flesh-fade
of dawn began to apply itself to night

***

Later on return – I left tracks
in the forest frost grass from the mansion
to the servant’s quarter –
my breath was even more eager than I
to get to the house, it ran ahead
but stopped suddenly – a dead deer
half, half-eaten, eyes open
as the ground is open to the falling
sat there, on the cold patio.
Poachers only want the hind-half
I later learned – I felt the cold fur
brush past, long hair of the black dog –
thought; you were excited for your find
I left you behind. I’m sorry.
She took the skull between her teeth
and cracked it. From the cavity,
the night came flowing back…