I need to re-write this book anyway. So I thought I would put a taster online of this book…that I have taken a few months off from writing anything on it..but about to start a major re-write of it all. So, I thought why the hell not. IT COMES WITH A WARNING. EXPLICIT LANGUAGE. SEX. DRUG USE. AND UNCOMFORTABLE IMAGES…..



Zombie Zeitgeist

(La mort du poète maudit)

                                                             James WF Roberts


By the time you have finished reading this book I will be dead.

No, doubt you will have consigned this tome to the fires of Hell, which it no doubt deserves. Scattered the ashes, hopefully in a useful way, maybe on the garden, my heart and soul, my mind, should make good compost, good fertilizer.  Most people say I have been talking shit for years anyway. You will have forgotten everything I have told you. You will have forgotten who I am, what you have read. You will go on with your life. As it should be. For my thoughts alone I should die. But my actions and my thoughts together, sealed my fate a very long time ago.

                I will not bore you with the particulars of my life, of my biography. All that bullshit, all that padding, self-indulgent exposition that fills the pages of stories like this. You will read my actions. You will judge for yourself who and what I was. Whether I am villain or hero—neither is my concern. I will be dead. You will have forgotten about me. My life shall remain as it was meaningless.

This is about the ennui of our existence. The tiresomeness, the over stuffed, overfed consumption of our lives. The weariness of it all. The constant living. Never experiencing anything pure or great or worth the struggle of it all. What more do we do now than just merely exist?

I know what fate I must endure. I welcome it. For you will see, my  actions leading to the point of my self-termination and you will not weep. I have witnessed the death of the spirit—the flourishing of the non-existent existence.

I have been imbibed with the message of total devastation. For my actions. My actions alone, I know that I have to kill myself in twenty-four hours.  I am not quite sure as to how this is going to be done. But, it must be done. A calamity upon which only a very few will remember, has started to take shape across the breadth of humanity. I think maybe I will  douse myself in flames and let the slow, painful, inexorable ecstasy of the flames consume me. I have tried to live a life. A good moral, legal, honourable life. But fun and enjoyment keep finding their themselves in my sphere of consciousness. Within my realm of absolution. 

I have never feared Death. I have longed for it so often, I think sometimes as a kid all I wanted for Christmas was a gift wrapped box, containing spores of the Black Death.

For most of my life I have recoiled, fled from emotional and physical interactions with most people. Not because I loathed or feared any of them. All I have done is craved the pleasure of the touch of another person—another living being—but I loathed them all for it seemed all my life I have been denied those simple pleasures of the touch of skin upon skin that didn’t cost anything in return. 


The internet, the telephone, text messaging—they gave me the intellectual and physical intimacy I required. I am thirty years old. And only had a handful, if that of what is considered a normal, or real romantic relationship. I see men and women as the same—either whore/satyr or virgin/saviour  friend/servant or friend/enemy. 

I know these words have finally found you. Again, you seem to be drawn to me even when you know I shall no longer respond. Maybe that is what you want. No-one will find my body, if what is happening to me, is what I think is happening to me than no remains shall I leave.

Nothing remains of me now, except for these words. Those words. My words. Oh, but, my words. You fell for my words like all the rest before, didn’t you? I awoke a dark and horny, lustful, beautiful creature that had laid dormant in you for so long?

But, at what point did it backfire. The thrill is in the chase and the promise of the night, never in the capture, or the experience. 

But, what is the price of all of it now? The idiot son? The stupid child, bored in primary school (elementary school indeed) packing tape on the carpet in a square, sitting in the middle of two composite grades, 1 and 2 and 3 and 4. A voice that would always carry beyond everyone else’s…always unlucky enough to get caught, usually doing something after everyone had already done it…but the bright orange red hair—a magnet to heat seeking missile teacher eyes…no chance of making friends when teachers deliberately ostracise you from everyone else.

Every emotion is overblown. Too the extreme in all things. Yet, unable to articulate or carry them out. Who needs love when you have apathy—but is apathy really indifference or disinterest? Or is it like two taps in a shower that have no middle setting. Every time you turn the hot or cold tap on you get a downpour of ice or steam and inferno?  But, what does any of this really matter now? How could it ever possibly matter to anyone.   What dreams—what desires are normal to have? What echo, what impression what perception do we have of each other that is really true? Do I mirror you or do you mirror me?

Who are you now? And who the fuck am I?

I fear that my most dreadful nightmares have taken flight. The most bizarre madness has engulfed me. The line between reality and fantasy has melted away. I no longer know, whether I am writing a fictional account of a dreadful, loathsome man, or  whether I am just describing my life, to myself. Narrating my own existence, all  I need is for the world to turn to monochrome, I shrink a few inches shorter, age 45 odd years or so…

I am a Woody Allen-esc man trapped inside his own creation, without the full realization of it all? This my last will and testament? Or, is this all just a lie…my beloved reader.

My dearest…I have done what I said I would do, I have pulled away from you, I have burned you. I have deserted our friendship, such as it was. 

I am going to burn. You will flourish. I will not drown under the weight of my guilt and my shame. Am I a man? Or a coward? Pushing you away as far as I could, as fast as I can…because where I go you can not follow. Where I am heading, alone I may succeed, with you, I shall drag you down into the pits of this Melancholia—this paranoia, this disease. This poison that lingers in my soul.  I can feel it everywhere. I am the spare. The friend, the colleague, the lover, the man, the relation, that people turn to when they have no other choice.  You know this yourself to be true. What horrors dance before my eyes, lying together, entwined in the darkness of the night? All I wanted to do was to find love and success. But, these things were not allowed, allocated, destined to be mine. Time is peeling back its skin to me.  Reality and perception have worn out their stay with me. I see it all now. I can feel it all now, like no-one has ever felt before. If you could have joined me in this journey. But, we both know, we always knew that this was going to happen. Is this the start, the middle or the end?  Could all of this just be a regret?  An admission of guilt or shame? Who knows? Who knows? What does it matter now, anyway…you have walked away, once again I am left with nothing, except my infected heart. 

But, what am I? a man or his shadow? An artist or a fake? A poser? Playing at being a misanthrope?

Playing at being the tortured genius…to me words have no meaning. They are squiggles on the page, with pen or an inkjet. Like numbers, do letters, images, symbols, marks in the stone with a chisel actually mean anything at all? Is my world now, just deaf, dumb and blind? Where is that switch inside to turn left or right. Normal/abnormal. Typical and A-typical. What cruel hand? What cruel fate could frame thy fearful symmetry? I am not going to go down into that gentle goodnight. Hear me, see me, feel me Rage. Rage at the waning, at the dying of the light. Language and words. Numbers and ideas. Do these things truly exist? What is existence? what is life? I know Scientists have often said that just because there is life, doesn’t mean that life is sacred. That life actually means anything. That has always been quite interesting to me. I know it helps the atheists mantra—but I do not know. I do not know what lies beyond the words you are reading now. Or are you looking at my corpse…dissecting my head, my brain. In all of that blood and tissue, are there words all mixed up, like alphabet spaghetti? Or can you see you little doors, like Alice in the Rabbit’s hallway? Is there a sign on each little door, for what each door protects…LOVE. SEX. EDUCATION. WORK. FAMILY. IDEAS. DREAMS. REALITY?

I am fearful for you. I am terrified for you. What happens if you read this?  And this is a book and you begin to imagine the world, the characters I have created will that in turn pass on my infection to you? Infection/infliction what does it matter? Slightly different words that pretty much mean the same thing when you are an artist. TICK. TOCK. TICK. TOCK. TICK. TOCK…..I know the hours are counting down faster. I know that soon I will be dead and that maybe you will be happy. You.Y-O-U. is a very strange modern word, isn’t it…am I talking about you as in an ex-lover and confidante? Or you as in a collective non-descript pluralism—YOU (all who read this). Our youse/ yous/you’s (and Australians actually do use this for the plural?). Little grammatical joke—just like most of my writing, my editors would no doubt say…


Saw him standing by the rocks upon the shore. Grey skies. Dark smudges on the horizon. His face dirty, clothes all torn stained in blood. He stood there pointing at me. His eyes burning through me, like I did not exist.  Danced and skipped from rock to rock, this old man regarded me cruelly. With glee he beckoned I approach.

Thunder rolled. Lightning struck the ground traffic snarled. The suburban beach, turned volcanic. The sand now ashen, decaying.  words etched upon the shoreline, remained. I can hear the old man laugh as I read those words over, over  and over again. “One Day Hence”.


You will not know my name. Yet, you know who I am. You do not need to know my name?  What is the name of the game? Names are tombstones. Names are for ownership and individuality.  My name shall be erased from your memory, upon my death. I can only hope.  For, if you even suspect you know my name, have seen me pass you on the street, my life’s work has been for nothing.  Leave me, no monuments. Leave me, no shrines. Just read this book, on one sitting.  Then discard it. You are only thing that will give these words a voice. Give these words meaning. And, like the snap of your fingers the life on these pages, shall be snuffed out. You are God. Imagination is your Dominion.  You may or may not understand what I am going to do, why I am going to do it. I am curious, though. What image has been formed within your imagination?  What do you see when you read these words, who I really am? Who you think you have met? Or the shadow?

I have incinerated my bank card, credit car, social security information, Driver’s license etc..etc…everything that ties me to a name, a person, a relationship—to this society, has been consigned to the same fate that I have been condemned to.

Right now, I don’t care. We live in the world of five minutes old, is five minutes dead. So, why should any of us look back?  I am sick of the boring life. The whole gamut is boring. You are born. Go to school. Work. Fuck a few people until you have found the right person to settle down with and live together. Have kids. Work. Pay rates. Pay taxes. Pay bills. Blah, blah, blah.  We are boring. The average person on the street, if you shine a torch into their ears, what do you see?


Nothing. Just their ear lobes and then the black hole, with small tufts of hair like pubic hair, pre-puberty.. Bungee jump of a cliff face into rushing rapids beneath, just to get closer to that alluring, burning desire of facing death.   Why not just cut your wrist, or cover your leg in fuel and light it. Feeling that rush, that orgasm of lust enrapture your body.  I don’t know how I am going to do it yet. It is now Zero-hour.

A sixteen year old boy, or do we call them, young man nowadays, is sitting on the bed, near me. He is naked masturbating. His girlfriend is lying next to him, doing the same thing, but making sure that we both see her sucking on her fingers, every time she moves her fingers out.  They should have stopped ages ago. I have paid them. But, they are still going at it. I am not even sure they exist in this room. Or, if I ever seen these two before.

I know my fate now. I know what I must do. I know what horrors contorted my mind. but, what horrors now engulf my soul?  Glorious, glorious path. I know now what lies inside me. That is why I must die.  Better to take things ahead  then to linger. The horrors of my mind must be purged. Am I just sitting in this room—in this little square box?  Am I awaiting execution? Am I about to be paraded through the streets of the City? Not carrying a Cross, but my own vanity for everyone to see.  If they cut my head off and stick it on a pike would I grow another in its place?  My  beloved why did I forsake myself to this fate? As you will see I have to die. For the horrors that courses through my veins, the poison inside my heart. I must die.  You will read the darkness inside my mind—and you will know, as an adolescent who has reached the age of thirty, than all I can do now is die. Succumb to the fires of purity and righteousness. How can a man like be loved?  When I drive away screaming, the only people who have ever loved me. The only people who saw hope and heart and love and intelligence now recoil at my touch.  I wonder if you have ever looked for me since this event? I wonder if you have ever mourned our love that was starting to bloom? But, we both knew how it was going to end, how that sunshine, my sanctuary in your arms was destined to gloom.  I have not come to this decision lightly. But, I know what I must do. I address this thing to you. I don’t know if this is a novel, or a collection, a fragmentation of ramblings and rants. The last will and testament of a failed poet, or much worse an act of acceptance, for this fate.

What did Dylan Thomas say, “Do not go gentle into the good night? Rage. Rage at the Dying of the Light?”  I have been confused all of my life. I have no grasp of reality or concept of fantasy.

Only minutes  a day does the mundane world appear, as  a welcome distraction from this malaise. I have been to too many doctors, too many clucking Hens and narrowed eyes. Too many people blaming my own actions on past mistakes of long dead relatives. You know who I am—in so many ways you knew the very best of me more than you knew what the worst of me was. But, again the worst came through. Over and over again I tried to fight the urges of melancholy and misanthropy. I have an inbuilt cruel and malicious streak in me, that like a voracious void, must consume me and everyone I care about…your love was all I wanted in my life.

 And look what I did? I allowed things to die before they even began…and you took pity on me and look what I have done to you. What must you think of me now after all this time has passed. I know my fate.

I know what I must do. I must take on the abyss inside myself. I must hunt in the forest of nightmare. I must slay the beast within….but, how does one do that? Where does that creature live when not stalking me?

How do I catch this beast? What bait? What trap? How shall I confront it? The elusive creature, the darkness lurking in my heart. This muscles of black bile, that has ruined any chance of sanguinity within my soul. Melancholia my only true home.

Every desire and vice seem like distractions to me. I proclaim to long for, and yearn for love but how do I even know what love is for? How do I even understand anything. I am a fool. I am shadow…I am an illusion of what a man or an artist should be.

I light a cigarette—there used to be nothing that could beat the anticipation of lighting a cigarette. The shiny, glistening, foil, slipping the thumb over the closed lip, the cold, aloof mouth of the awaiting arsenal of phalluses that will be soon on your tongue, haphazardly between your lips.  I don’t want to travel the world. I do not want to be a space tourist, infecting a pristine environment with my Human frailties. I want to go on an adventure. A real adventure. I want to see who I am. I want to understand how I feel. I want to be me. I want cut myself in a million tiny pieces and linger in-between each postulating, writhing wreck of flesh.

And now you are wondering how can I be so bored? Look at all the things you have, we have, humanity, the West, the first world has…how can you be bored or suicidal. Buy an iPad play chat-roulette watch two 17 year old school girls kiss and fuck each other on webcam, or have a dog lick them out, for your enjoyment—everyone else does. Pretend! Don’t like your life! Go online make a new one! Still not happy—fine! Got all the pills you need, right here.

I am so tired of all the bullshit of life. So, bored with the daily minutia of it all.  This is the last day of my life. The last twenty-four hours I intend to breathe. I have chosen to live one full day to the extreme. Maybe to feel real experiences. I have said before that I have no desire to state my name or my past. This is not Dickens. I have no desire for my past or my future to be marched out across the page as a story arc.

We live in the present. A present-tense world, so I therefore wish to remain here and only here. In the present-tense world. Do not look for morals, or truth. A good man, I am not. Just an unconvicted man, I shall remain. A bottle of Tanqueray Gin, is rolling off my desk in that flat cylindrical way of doing it, smooth then clunky, then smooth, then clunky over and over and over, until shatters, as it falls and lands on a stack of well worn, dog-eared, Norton’s complete English Poetry, Thomas More, Ginsberg.  Stains on the old paperbacks, and hard-covers like cum-stains on a well used copy of Playboy or Hustler, or Barely Legal.  I am naked at my desk. Not that it matters.

But, I am not ashamed of the body. The human body is such a beautiful thing. Whenever we see nakedness now, we think of it only as sheer titillation. Nudity—such a boring, descending word. Nuu—Di—ty. See the way it goes down.

It goes now. Down, down to the lukewarm pools of mediocrity we are all striving for now.  Our language, our words are losing their majesty don’t you think?  Flowing, flowery writing that sparkles, jumps off the page, and rolls out of the tongue, begging you to sing every line of a book out as loud as you possibly can has changed now.

Language is oppressive now. It is uniform, it is controlled.  Machines. Computers have made our language uniformed and in so many ways almost obsolete. No more nuances anymore. You. You’s. You’all. Collective nouns trouble me. But, knowledge is power.

Power is language. Knowledge is power. Controlling the language is power. If you control knowledge, control language—you control everyone’s thoughts. If you stream line what people say and do into 140 or 160 characters what do you have left.

You may think I am weak. But I am doing the right thing. I am doing the honest thing. We are all in this together. Our  Anthropogenic arrogance of what we have done to our world ; the hour is at hand. I am the true individual, as I am choosing the means in which I reach my obsolescence.

You know that I am right.  I do not fear the great nothingness of Death. God no longer exists. Am I incorrect there?  Have we not all left the spirit and the idea of it, so far behind? We have no need for the divine—we have our own reflections, our own cults; I shall die, master of my own domain.

Playing with a cigarette lighter. Burning my fingers. Burning my palms. Releasing the button of the lighter—is all existence, all creation, imagination created and snuffed out in the same way? Is that all that life is, when you come to think of it. Nothingness. Dullness. The great expanse of darkness. An act of sheer will creates it, destroys it just as fast and for the same reasons. Nothing.

 Knock at my door. I stumble around the floor for pants and t-shirt. I walk to the door with a half filled bong in my hand.

The water needed changing. Pizza had arrived. Girl looked out of  place in the masculine cut shirt. Asked how old she was. 18 at least if she was driving for  pizza company. She looked like she was only twelve years old.  There was a thing an bout Indian women, though they looked young and naïve, they knew what they were doing when it came to sex and sensuality. A culture that created a discipline of their philosophy to include homosexual, lesbian and group sexual activities as a way of harnessing the energy of the divine—of getting closer to the  Godhead—now that is a culture.

The swell of her breasts under her red bulky shirt. Elicited a fire within.  Paid the money. She looked at the long glass phallic tubing of the Bong. Her alluring almond shaped eyes glistened over like oil on water.

“Wanna have a pull?

“Alright. Can’t take too long”.


She told me she preferred pipes. Offered her some brass. And she packed the pipe herself. Kicked off her shoes and put her feet up on the coffee table. My messy table, empty pizza boxes, beer bottles, burnt out cones, empty packs of cigarette. Jeff Buckley’s  Last Goodbye, wailing out of my DVD player. I couldn’t help but touch her as we smoked.

“Won’t you be missed?” I asked, yet not really carrying about the response.

“Who cares. I work for bunch of Cunts anyway”.

Her brashness shocked me. Didn’t expect her to speak to me like that. I guess I never do when women speak to me these days.  She closes her eyes as she inhales the smoke from the pipe.

“Fuck that takes me back”, she says.

I smiled, as I wrapped my mouth around the aperture of the tube, I lit the weed as the water boiled and sucked up that almost luminous  green smoke into my body, that lingering, bitter kiss. I watched her dark skin. Her pursed lips, her luxuriating face. I had to have her. I unzipped my fly, took my half erect cock out, I started rubbing it, in front of her. She took another drag from the pipe, re-lit it, and continued doing it, as I took my swiftly stiffening cock.  Her small hand eagerly grasped my shaft, as I slowly undid her shirt. Her breasts were hidden by a flesh tone bra, that slowly, and surely revealed the hidden treasures to me. We kissed. I kissed down her neck, kneading her breasts, sucking on her skin, as she licked and ate, sucked on my hair, then my earlobes, flicking her tongue at them.

“Mmm. They’re just like a little clit, aren’t they?” she said.

I laughed as we continued to devour each other.

Sex is only good if there is spontaneity to it. Her lips, her tongue engulfed my body like nothing I had ever felt before.  As we made out she clawed at my face, she bit my ear. She wasn’t tame or kept. But, is the only thing with sex, the body? I have often wondered what goes through someone’s head when they are having sex. Usually I am too drunk or too high; to notice my own thoughts.  Do women actually think of flowers, and green rolling hills, music sweeping them into orgasmic fits of reverence?  In time at all she was half bent over the couch, rubbing her clit while I pounded her arse as hard and as fast as I could. I didn’t see this coming. Who would have seen it coming. I kiss her neck and her back.

All she says to me, “Fuck me harder. Make me bleed. Hurt me. Cut me. Kill me. Fuck me”.

It hurts. It hurts but I enjoy the pain. Never had anyone put their cock in my arsehole before. It fucking hurts so much, but I love the pain. He pulls out of me. Thank Fuck. Drops me down onto the couch, I open my legs again. He impales me with his blade. I punch his face. He loves it too. He smiles as the blood oozes out of one side of his face.   Ribbons of light, warm horizon. Dreams ascend the throne of the Night Queen.

Her name was Priya. I guess that was how you spelt it. After we came, she left. Walked away in no time, no crime, no reason, no why, at all. Time. Crime. Rhyme. Lie. Slime. Mime. Line. Mind? Mine?  Her visit was too fast.  Too fleeting. The dreaming of her body. The lingering of her scent, her sex will remain forever.  Well, as long as I remain breathing anyway. I didn’t want to shower as she walked out the door. I wanted to feel her scent, her skin, her sweat, her sex. Like that really happened. Who lives a life like that? I could barely speak to her. She was a woman, after all. I could barely speak to her. I tired to hit on her, tried to flirt, but then my mind remembered who I was. Our transaction, our interaction was brief and pointless. I wondered how long I had starred at her, imaging what it would be like to be with her.  What world would I be living in, if this kinda stuff actually happened to me. I am not a wanna-be Bukowski or Burroughs, I am who I am, as we are all here together. I am not the fire, I am not the night. Why am I writing this you will keep asking yourself? Why are you still reading this, I must keep reminding you…perhaps you want clarification, perhaps you want a reason as to why I must die. I am dying. I am dying  a slow and painful death. My creativity is retreating from me swiftly. My understanding of the world is losing its grip on reality. I will be dead at the end of this story. Maybe, before you are ready for me to die, maybe well and truly beyond your patience with me. For my actions I must atone. For my thoughts and my feelings I must be put on trial.

I am not an innocent. My hands have soaked in blood before. If you are a saint in your heart but a monster in your head—where are you in reality? What is reality?

Show me a good man and I will show you a man who has never been caught. Or his heart never truly developed. What is the silent man in a deafening world?  Do you ever see the walls melt right before your eyes?  Have you ever heard the song of the wailing Curlew? The ancient spirit, grieving for her children lost—taken—stolen.

Mourning the loss of her culture. What is your culture? Are you black or white? Red or yellow? Brown or green…green green grass, the Larks all sing, dancing two by two on the grass. Babbling, babbling, bubbling, doubling, flubbing, flumming, waters hit the side of the boat I long to be lying in…can you feel the sun hitting your cheeks?

Pale skin now a soft Rosie shade, you can hear the sounds of birds squawking and families playing cricket and barbequing on the grass. The peace, the tranquilly is raped from me. All I hear are cars and traffic. Sirens and ring tones. Long black coat and my hat.

Cigarette between my lips, I stagger around the afternoon world. I see her face on every person who walks past me. I see her smile and her soft eyes. I feel her lips as I inhale my cigarette. And I know, and I know she’s still within my heart. Yet, what did I do to attract her? What game did I win? Then I lose this game over and over again. 

My only regret when this cycle of day and night, day and night is over, that I will never see her face again. Never hold in my arms again. But I must pay for my actions. Afternoon Cityscape, me—the monochrome man, the rest of the world, is hurtling by blurry, incoherent, yet machine-like, a post-modernist hybrid impressionist painting; but on a screen, on an endless loop.

Monochrome Man—Run. Run. As fast as you can, you can’t escape me, I’m the Monochrome Man.

Sitting on park bench, an old woman, dressed in a mauve hat and a purple overcoat, sipping Sherry from an umbrella. While the purple sky, the smudges of the cigarettes, blackens the horizon. Terracotta lady, reflective mosaic skin, offers me her freshly pulled out eyeball, she speaks.

“Boy why do you look so sad?”

“I am hardly a boy. It’s personal. Sorry”.

“Fair enough young man. No-one has any time any more. No-one cares, me an old woman. Sitting in a park, in the middle of this island of smog and concrete. Feeding plastic ducks, chards of glass, trinkets of silver and gold, memories of love and hate; kisses from long dead love affairs, and the tears of my first born child”.

I reach into my pocket, pull out a brown paper bag and my half-sized bottle of Gin.  I offer her some. She smiles and nods. Puts her bludging eye back into her head and takes a sip.

Flying Elephants and slow moving, stoned Cheetahs, drop by the parkbench. The Elephant has a trunk in his trunk, and wanting to offload precious memories, family mementoes.  The woman and I aren’t in the mood for trading to the world, just yet. He straightens his tie, bobs his head, doffs his bowler hat, floats away upon the nearest cloud.

“Typical isn’t it young man. Just typical…”

“Err what is?”

“Can’t go anywhere these days, without being harassed by a door-to-door travelling, Trunk Sales-Elephant”.

‘Yes…they are a problem, for everyone these days”, I said, rather off hand.

Not that I care either way. But, one does what one does.  We shared the alcohol, as we told sad stories of Heroes fallen for no reason at all.  I saw my reflection in her mosaic face—I was still the Monochrome Man. I was still the silence in a deafening world. I knew I had to move on from this old Lady. Before I got up to part she asked me what I thought life was, did I fear Death?

I had no answer to give her. I had no reason. No excuse. I had nothing to say. I just moved on. With every step I made towards the E—55 bar on Elizabeth Street, near the train Station, I kept wondering about what the old lady said to me. I kept noticing the world changing. Sun rising, sun setting, sun remaining at its apex.

What is life? What is death? Day after day, night after night, all that ever seems to happen to me is the same old shit, just a bright cruel day.

My last job was around here. Independent Publishing house; nestled between an underground Adult bookshop and a second level video game developers. Subway train in the morning off to the office, then right back home at night.

Did I hate the city at night? Or was it only daylight I hated? I forgo the bar and head towards the station. I don’t know why, I just do.

Electronic beams obliterating every natural angle, normal shadows don’t exist in this ninety kilometre beast that is my city, my home. I can feel the gum on the bottom of my shoes, stuck like a Velcro adhesive to the orangey-red carpet of the Metro-Trains, that wasn’t even all that trendy looking when they were first put in, twenty years ago.  I shake, rattle, roll sitting here amongst the hordes of the unwashed and the unbathed, fuck talk about ‘give me your unwashed, your tired and huddled masses’. They’re all right here with me now.


A blue haired girl is sitting opposite me. Geisha doll face, with thin lines of black tears masking her, what otherwise would be a pretty face, I guess. She’s wearing a short red and black plaid skirt with torn fishnets and thick-buckled black leather boots that come up to her knees. She’s thin. Not waifish, or what they call Emo-thin, but an unworldly gaunt, I’d never come across before. Her lips were bright red like a fire engine. She was wearing a stained white and black singlet-top underneath a heavy and well-worn black fake-fur coat, that kind that was all the rage these days. She looked really young, younger than me. I’m only thirty. Yes, I said it. I admit it, I am thirty and wasted my life. But, she looked like she was a little girl trying to play it cool in the big girl world. I could just make out the mark of a nipple piercing underneath the thin material of her top. She had a floral looking nose piercing, which made her look more grown up. In my pocket I have a pocket-book collection of selected English verse.

I was trying my best not to look at her. I couldn’t help it. She was like a rose growing in a swamp.  She smiled at me. I nearly shit myself and stare right back into my book.

Don’t talk to the strangers.

Don’t talk to anybody, that’s different to you.

Just read your true crime collection.

Don’t look up. Don’t look up.


People of all races, creeds and fashionablity surrounded me and this girl on the train. Business suits, pantsuits, high school girls, talking in graphic detail about things they shouldn’t know yet, texting each other, then sharing the message with who ever was sitting near them, oblivious to the point, that no-one would really actually give a fuck. They could’ve been almost attractive except for their contempt of manners on public transport.


                “Missy you should’ve seen the size of his cock. I couldn’t believe he was my dad with a cock that big. But after all my older sis, Jenna had bragged so much about fucking everyone we knew with a pulse—what else could I do?”


“Kim—you’re such a fucking liar. Bullshit. Your dad’s not the type to fuck you, or your slutty sister…I on the other hand would be able to get him like that”.

 The black girl said as she clicked her fingers, then placed her index finger in her mouth and practiced blowing her finger.

Just read your poetry collection.

Don’t look up. Don’t look up.


We stopped and paused, then took off again on station after station, after station. Every night it takes me at least two hours to get home.  The carriage goes dark, then bright again, then dark, then bright again. Never fucking ends. Occasionally I try to look out the windows on either side of the carriage—fluorescent lights, advertising, platform pillars, words that are painted in thick bold white letters are all blurred, as we travel at blinking distance between each station. I don’t need to look anymore though, I’ve been doing this tip long enough now, I know the distance to my flat to and from every inch of this town, by the subway stations—not their names mind you, just by how many away from my desired port of call they may be.


Not long now, I know by memory. For a moment I close my eyes. Blood is everywhere. Their fragile tiny necks crushing under by big hairy hands, still showing the marks of taught starched leather. Why do they have to scream? They always have to scream…if only they didn’t howl and claw and bite me. If only they went dignified. Not that they ever had a dignified existence—thrown to the wolves after the gloss and shine of a new puppy at Christmas for little Susie twenty or the baby turtle for the nerdy kid, whose so obsessed with online gaming he’s worked out how to get hardcore interactive porn for free.  I am losing my fucking mind!


Would I do it by hand. I do it this way, so at least the poor little fuckers know what’s like to have some type of human contacting, albeit strangulation.  I stand up to get ready for my stop. That purpled haired girl looks at me and smiles, she goes to talk to me—but I ignore her. She looks scary.

Don’t talk to the strangers.

Don’t talk to the strangers.

Don’t talk to anybody, that’s different to you.

Don’t look up. Don’t look up.


 I am on the Escalator; don’t know how far I’m going up, looks like to the sky, the folded morphed and wave-like glass folded way too many ways to look like a roof—underneath this strange cornucopia of black and purple skies.

I feel alone now. Thankfully I am all alone. I wander thru the upper levels of the station; closed shops, cafes, and ticket booths; the old abandoned station and abandoned man…

It’s raining outside. Like a tattoo of a marching band; the rain splatters across the metallic plastic curving roof. That thunderous sound of a storm made me feel not so bad. The desolate quiet was what I feared, not this loud, deafening noise. I was alive as the rain and thunder attacked the roof of this building. The city lights echoed a strange garish hue as I looked across the great metropolis of insomnia.

I took the lift down to the mezzanine. Again, I was all alone. Where is everyone?  Lights were starting to go out all around the station, a huge metallic whine ceased up and cracked and then there was nothing—just the street lights, and the clanging Trams.


The rain was softening now, almost hidden from the sound of heavy traffic, trams rattling along the track along the already heavily congested city streets. And here and there I could hear the faint sound of inter-city and inter-state trains, softened into a hypnotic melody by the explosive tattoo of thunder.


Don’t look at anyone in the eyes.

Just read your true crime collection.

Don’t look up. Don’t look up.


Lie here with me now

as the Sun descends behind the clouds

Like a catatonic prophet without a tongue

as the scarlet mourning shroud’s

spread out  upon the last remaining poet.


 speak not—just lay  in the arms of mist

don’t allow our passion fade,  our final embrace,

our last lingering bitter kiss








About jameswfrobertsdapoet

Emerging Poet and Writer. From Bendigo, Victoria, Australia. I present a show called Crazy Talk/Word Berserk, on I believe in what Phoenix has to offer. No where else will you get the diversity of Gospel, Country music shows, Koori themed shows and Poetry and Experimental music? My father, Bryan did a show on 3CCC in the 1980’s called the Keyboard Hour for a bout 8 years, until he died. That is partly why I joined Phoenix but mainly it’s because of the diversity we offer people and also I really do feel that we are an important vehicle, an important voice for the Community at Large. My interests are Poetry, Literature, Music, Movies, Cultural Awareness and Philosophical pursuits. My show is basically a Late Night Radio Show for Artists, Poets, Musicians and Creative Thinkers of all types to come and inform, enjoy, entertain and inspire each other. So join me and my guests from the local Artistic Community to be inspired, to be entertained and informed
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