Category Archives: Rants.


there are a thousand
and one cliches
that you could use to describe
the situation
that went down yesterday.

“i never thought
it would happen to me”
is my particular favourite

for eventualities like this.

or perhaps
you prefer
“life will bite you
on the arse”, because
this –

this –

is all down to me.

has its own way of defining
who you are –
of shaping you into
some kind of person,
a being
treading the earth

we’re all just
bags of air, experience
and trauma

after all.

i’d only just got used
to the idea;
i never thought i’d say that.

i couldn’t tell you
because then you’d know –
and people judge
what they can’t understand.

i don’t get it myself
i feel it’s a punishment
for all i’ve done wrong –

but really,
i’m a good person.

i promise.

i looked to a day
with you
where the feet
were plentiful –


pipe dream.
it’s fate,
they say.

fuck that.
i made it this way.


a shit poem about a cough.

i cannot remember the sound of my voice
because right now, it just resembles white noise
or a spluttering engine, the cutting of wood,
i’ve tried linctus and pills but it’s no fucking good,
i’m awaking at midnight to hack up my lungs –
phlegm is expelled at a flat rate of tonnes:
i know that’s disgusting, but i feel that it’s right
that you join in the process whilst I’m feeling shite
i’m on four hours’ sleep (and that’s since Sunday)
when i manage to drift off, i’m dreaming that one day
soon i’ll wake up and be able to speak
my sore throat will be gone; my fever peaked,
i won’t stink of sickness; my hands won’t be clammy,
my mouth will taste normal; my hair won’t be greasy,
my skin will recover; i’ll be able to walk
my throat won’t feel like i’ve swallowed dry chalk –
but the end of that tunnel feels miles away
i’m hot, then i’m cold, the dry tickling of hay
at the back of my pharynx is driving me mad
it’s the worst fucking cough that i’ve ever had
a repeat of a shit film last night made me cry
my red, puffy eyes make me look like i’m high
i’m chucking back syrup and blowing my nose
the river of snot won’t respond to the dose
it just keeps pouring out at a steady rate,
my face looks more like a monster’s of late
or a small child, an old man, a tired old hag
i reckon it’s high time i gave up the fags
and the booze, i just keep getting so sick
i’ve got to kick this virus – and quick
i’m missing my work; i’m missing my friends
i’ll kill for the day i’m finally on the mend
i’m pretty sure the sofa has a groove for my ass
i’ve increased tenfold my bodily mass
i need to get up; i need to get out
this tickling cough has got way too much clout.


I have no
for this poem.

Except that at some
I am sure that I will
that nothing that ever
catches my eye

nothing that turns
my head

nothing that makes me feel

is ever

I listen to old songs
watch old movies
submerge myself in my

it’s easy, you see.

I like to be alone.

But when the day is over
and the work is done
and I’m full of stories
and anecdotes of fun
had in class
down the pub
on the train ride home
it’s a heel
to have not even
one person
to tell.

A boy told me
that I was pretty.
A colleague made me smile
with an amusing story
about surgery.
I’m on a mission
to stop swearing
and smoking
(I’m down to three a day

I wrote a pantomime
I drank pepsi
I ate a sandwich
I marked books.

Inane? Maybe.
Not special? Definitely.

But still
To share the daily grind
Makes my life
less of a bind.

So instead,
I’ll tell you in my head
and hope that by
some miracle

one day you’ll hear

tiny little steps.

At some point in your life, you’ll encounter a side of yourself that you never really knew existed. It will arrive in the form of a niggling feeling, germinated in the very back of your brain; as it fights its way closer to the fore you will find yourself asking questions of yourself that you never dared ask. Gradually, you’ll begin to realise that things need to change. You will make tiny, tentative steps towards making yourself a better person and achieving that happiness that you are just sure awaits you at the other side. You’ll go to bed asking yourself questions and you will awake with them still unanswered; soon, you will realise that these matters need more than just ‘sleeping on it’.

Then one day, a new revelation will completely blindside you. It will arrive at an unwanted time and will almost certainly come from out of the blue ether when you least want to acknowledge or think of it. It will stick like glue to the front of your mind, a reminder of that thing that you need to do. The tentative steps are no longer enough. It’s time to turn them into a great big leap.

This is where we, as humans, hit a crossroads.

Some of us will fear this intuition. We will choose to retreat and ignore it, thinking that one day, we will wake up and it will have disappeared back into the night as quickly as it came. We will cling to that we know, taking solace and comfort in the bland events that make up our life. We will pursue that we have come to tire of; we will take back those tiny little steps and return to whence we came. We will be happy, for the time being. It’s nice. It’s normal. It’s our life, after all.

Others will take a breath. They will mull it over. They will weigh it up, chew it hard and spit it out again and again. They will count their blessings, count their curses and truly listen to the little voice that tells them… this isn’t working. They will decide, and undecide. They will sleep less. They will choke on tears of frustration, and seek solace in their time alone. Eventually, they will stand at the edge of the void, stare it right in the eyes… and jump.

The measure will only arrive at a much later time in life. Twenty years on, we will sit in our armchair, beset on all sides by the choices we have made and we will listen to that little voice once more. It will still be there – trust me.

Some of us will smile, the kindness in our eyes fuelled by a lifetime of chances taken, choices made and risks attempted.

Others will only look back with regret and a sense of ‘what could have been.’

Some of us are strong. Some of us are not so strong.

In life, it is all to easy to blame the universe for our choices. However, our choices are called ‘our choices’ because they are exactly that… Ours.

Your body is the most amazing, resilient and fluid object you will ever have in your own hands. It knows what you want to be. If you fight it, it will fight back every step of the way.

Don’t be that person who looks back on their life with regret.

Your choices are always half chance. Don’t settle for anything but that which you want. Don’t be a ‘what could have been.’

Be a ‘what was.’

you know i’m no good.



Addiction always starts with a choice.

Take a drag on this cigarette; have a sip of this vodka; take a toke on this spliff; have a snort of this snow; take a huff of this crack pipe… And so it goes, ad infinitum.

Everywhere in life we face crossroads. Some of us make choices that aren’t necessarily the right ones. Our reasons for that vary. We could be suffering due to bereavement – grief is a harsh mistress. We could be feeling crushed under the weight of a situation too stressful or too dreadful to even bear comprehending. We could just want to fit into a world that is too huge to understand… We make them regardless. We should never be judged for these choices, for it is only ourselves who can truly say why we make them. We do these things to ourselves, and though they do affect the people around us, it is only within our own heads and hearts that we understand – and it might even take months, years, decades for us to get there – why we have chosen that particular path. Still, we are human, and we will always pass judgement on that we deem to be stupid, foolish or hurtful.

It is when choice is no longer a choice that a habit becomes an addiction. An addiction cannot be refused, nor can it be controlled. It is consuming; it takes hold of the body and the mind with the force of a freight train and we are fragile. We can be snapped so easily.

It is what makes grown, proud human beings sit in the street, unwashed and suffering from lack of sleep, losing their last shred of dignity to ask perfect strangers for change.

It is what takes over careers and reduces literate, sparkling people into shadows of their former selves. You can see it in their eyes – sunken and bloodshot; it is as if all life has escaped through the gift shop long ago.

It is what tears families apart.

An addiction cannot be pinpointed, nor can anyone be blamed for it. A person never picks up a vodka and coke with the express intention to one day become that person who cannot get up in the morning without it. Nobody takes a drag on a cigarette, dreaming of the day when they get to spend £12 in one go on two packs of twenty. Nobody draws on a spliff whilst bidding hello to schizophrenia. And yet we all start off there, in the same place. We have a part of our brains that allows us to ignore those little warning signs, those little voices that tell us that what we are doing is no good. Because, as we always say, I can look after myself.

Addiction creeps up silently, pouncing on a person when they are at their weakest. Who knows why?

So before you pass judgement on the situation that has arisen this week, I ask you to remember this simple fact: regardless of how far we go, or what we choose to dabble in, some of us are strong enough to hear those voices at a critical point and take heed; some of us are not so strong. Some of us cannot hear. Some of us are unable to. And that is the only difference between you and them.

Addiction takes no prisoners.


I never have any money, you know
The readies never seem to flow
My wallet’s empty but for flies
If I have pennies, I’m surprised
I try to save and to be good
I try to buy the things I should
And not the things I want, but I
Find it’s too hard to say goodbye
To that darling top, those awesome shoes
That retro hat, those vintage trews
Without dipping, guiltily, into my purse
For uncle credit, I know they’re cursing
Me down at the Visa Credit HQ
For payments now long overdue
For unpaid bills and overdraft fees
For the numerous times I’ve approached them with “please
Mr Manager, can I have some more?”
It’s their own stupid fault for not showing me the door
If they give me the money, it’s there to spend
I’m a woman – I have to keep up with the trends
I work hard all day, so I’ll party all night
If I want – I feel it’s my God-given right
And every girl needs to feel good in a dress
Bought that day – from the sale rack, no less
I know it should stop; I know it is wrong
I know that at some point I must say so long
To my credit card, overdraft – cut all my ties
Go cold turkey and live without buys
But until then I’ll live in a mountain of debt
And will I have fun? What do you think? You bet.


I’m off on holiday in three weeks
So I’m trying to get slim
You have no idea of the effort
That it takes to keep me trim

I’ve had my fill of salmon
with brown rice and green beans
I’m bored to death of chicken
and I fucking hate spring greens

I’ve ruined myself with sit-ups
I can barely run a mile
My thighs are buggered from squatting
And my boxing gloves smell vile

I’ve tried a day of detox
I’ve tried the superfoods
I’ve even tried the cabbage soup
I still look wretched nude

I’m overdosing on water
I’ve got vitamins out of my ears
I’m popping pills like there’s no tomorrow
I’ve even abandoned beer

(Well, I’ve had the odd shandy)
The scales just will not budge
Even though each morning
I commit the daily trudge

I’ve spun and boxed and climbed and swam
jogged and cycled and danced
Fenced and circuited and hiked and rode
I can’t count the blisters I’ve lanced

And still I just can’t manage to get
The zip on my dress to do up
Oh fuck it; I’ve had just enough
Where’re the bloody doughnuts?