Robbie Taylor

My dad had a Toyota Catharsis and it was a terrible ride, so I write for the simple reason that writing is easy, writing is a bumpless road paved with good inflections… once you don’t concern yourself with quality… or critique… or self-awareness… manage that, and writing is easy, honestly, so simple that even I can do it. Plays are hard though, as in technically, as in remembering who said what and to whom, that sort of thing, and poems, poems are hard, not just the rhyming, but the non-rhyming ones as well, and novels, they are sooooooo long and you have to be careful you don’t forget what they are about, and short stories are really hard, harder than novels because you have to say as much but not write as much… yeah, writing is really easy, really, really easy.


No one had come
no one had queued
to sign their name beneath a steady handed platitude,
and so the Condolence Book of Stanley Rich,
remained the virgin white of unturned leaf.
And though his time given, had been somewhat brief,
he would live forever in the blank pages of his life.
The afternoon had come and gone,
and evening nudged the world along,
and still no ink had yet been spilled,
no hearts left empty by pages filled.
No children came. No grieving mother, no repentant wife,
no one had come, no one had queued,
the pages of his life remained unviewed,
no epitaphs of love or thanks,
no one to read between the blanks,
and so the Condolence Book of Stanley Rich,
remained untouched by enemy or memory,
as evening turned the world along.
The verger locked the chapel doors,
and steered his bicycle between the tombs of dinosaurs,
for he did not care for dead things long since gone,
but for the grace of God to keep him strong,
and so hadn't stopped to take a look,
to see if no one still, had signed poor Stanley's book.
For he had seen no one had come,
that no one had queued,
he did not care about the vanity of those deceased,
his cup was full, he didn't need his faith renewed,
and so on squeaky wheels to home he went,
the chapel locked, the light of Christ in dark lament.
And so night fell in folds of velvet black,
upon the Condolence Book of Stanley Rich,
untouched by those who new him best,
unburdened by those who take and don't give back,
but in the chapel where the dead are here to rest,
something stirred unseen from view,
an undulation of air that caressed the candlesticks,
and gently kissed the pew,
as lights now danced, as if in flames they burned,
as ink was spilled and pages turned,
for no man deserves to go without a word,
his dreams unsaid, his life unheard,
for Stanley Rich had been but just a man,
who had tried to live a life , as best as any can,
and though he never set the world alight,
his death flamed bright in this his long and lonely night.
For someone had come,
someone had queued,
and filled the book with the host of gratitude,
for soon this night had come and gone,
and morning now, had turned the world along.
The vicar opened up the chapel doors to greet the day,
and chase the ghosts of dreams away,
and walked straight by the Condolence Book of Stanley Rich,
for he knew no one had come, no one had queued,
no love, nor debt, had been pursued,
for Stanley Rich had been a man, and nothing more,
though Rich by name, his leaving poor,
and yet a niggle began to itch his mind,
for is that a way for a man to leave the world behind,
without acknowledgement he was even there.
And so he turned to the book of pages bare,
to sign his name, in memory, and guilty thanks,
he would not fill a page, but fill a line amongst the blanks,
and stopped.
For though his world is of belief,
he could not believe that every leaf,
was filled with love and words of grace,
that wet his eyes and lit his face,
for the book was full of plentitude,
yet he knew no one had come, no one had queued,
and yet The Condolence Book of Stanley Rich ,
held no empty pages, no lines unblessed,
each written epitaph a love expressed,
and now the vicar knew who'd come,
he knew who'd queued,
for a man who lived a life as best as any can,
will not go lonely to what waits beyond,
but will go with gratitude,
for helping turn the world along.

Julie Lost A pound Today.

She pours herself a wine.
She is wining.
She is quite happy that she uses wine as noun and verb and adjective and best of all, her best wining is possessive.
Fuck clichés.
Yeah, fuck clichés she says inside her head,
in her best Miranda voice,
and tastes the two bottles for a tenner sharpness that blunts her edge.
in fading pink pyjama bottoms,
and an old t-shirt with an old pop star on its front,
she will dream of men.
No longer slimber limber fine looking oil and timber men,
whose shirtless torso's have a golden sheen,
but men with proper jobs, with insurance policies and aprons and who keep their fingernails clean....
Her hand no longer slyly (as if asleep she is unaware),
slithers down her idly, finding her as if by surprise....
it all seems such a production now....
but still she will dream of Colins and Nevilles ,
instead of naughty six packed little devils...
wholesome....its so much easier on the hips.
Julie has bought smaller plates.
And larger underwear.
She is happier with her fluctuating weights,
yet has made an effort because she wanted to,
for her, for her and not for men, because men still stare... whatever size she is.
she pours one for the road,
and then one more because she voted for the bypass ,
and thinks she is done with it all,
that she will eat whatever size portion she wants whatever size she is
she will walk to work whatever the weather or take the bus or maybe just stay the hell at home.....
fuck clichés
Julie lost a pound today,
and she did that fucker on her own.


We look to the skies for angels,
when we should be looking by our side,
for the dead are always elsewhere,
and help is something that only the living can provide.
Kindness. That miracle we seek,
is not so rare as parted seas,
but to see above the rearing waves,
we must first get off our knees.
There is nothing wrong with faith.
For believers find the truth in lies,
so don't hate those who see different wings,
when we are all looking to the skies..
I believe in kindness. Just like you.
But I do not care from whence it came,
We can all be an angel by our deeds,
even if our reasons, do not need to be the same.
We look to the skies for angels,
when we should be looking at ourselves,
for the kindness in your heart,
is where your kingdom dwells.

He sends his cry for help,
out into the world,
as a whisper,
in case the darkness answers.
You can talk now, apparently,
to other men,
un-whispered, aloud,
open and transparently,
we can share now, he is told,
treat our crippled hearts,
as if they're dancers..
What if,
he doesn't want to
what if,
he doesn't think he needs to be debatable,
analysed by patronising smiles
dissected by new brothers
who are not relatable...
what if,
his whispers are enough.
He whispers into nothing,
and that is where he aims,
not expecting a response,
but even he admits,
that maybe,
just once,
that it would be tolerable,
if he has been heard,
just heard, nothing more,
his house is built around his cell,
it would take more than a passing Samaritan,
to bring cold comfort to his door.
He cries for help in whispers then,
and he knows it sounds self defeating,
but he can not shout it any louder,
above the emptiness beside him,
above the missing heart still beating,
and my god, my god, he thinks,
what if she heard him,
what if she came,
his name upon her blood soaked lips,
her eyes sparkling with laughter.
Weak. He is too set in age and bitterness,
to see a man behind his crying eyes,
even though he has shed his own,
in weakness and in tethered fury,
for the darkness knows, it knows,
and swallows all the hellos and goodbyes
and all the silent conversations in between.
Yes, he has been told he can talk now,
but as anyone stopped to think,
about what will happen in the darkness after.
He sends his cries in to the night,
not for help,
but to feel the softness of their landing, but
whispered still, in case the darkness answers.
It is enough to feel their echo,
even though they go too far back, it is enough.
It is okay, they tell him,
men are heard now, they say,
we can cry and still be men,
without having to try and still be men,
and he nods in silence, his understanding,
because he knows he can talk now,
and that has made everything okay, okay,
because he knows he doesn't want to....

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