1804 c/o Colin Dardis


I have decided I am no longer capable of working under my own conditions. Rather, I should say, I am not capable of working with me.

I must be an example in my professional life. Say nothing of habits and misdemeanours; you must keep them separate and under no circumstances shall they infringe upon the workspace.

Everyone has morphed into a stranger somehow. Not complete strangers, just memories, outlines of people I once knew. A memory of how we once were together. There’s a face and a smile of recognition, but nothing else. This valley I reside in, its walls rise and close over me, cocooning, encasing, a sweet shelter against the weather of other souls. I think it would not take much to break down these battlements, but no one thinks to enquire inside.

Ideally, I would become invisible; I could complete my tasks without running the risk of distraction or involvement. I can’t abandon my beliefs, and I can’t bow down to their ways. I am torn now. I must accept who I am, that I will never be one of this crowd, perhaps never one of any crowd. Psalms, chapter sixty-eight, verse one: “God rises up and scatters his enemies. Those who hate him run away in defeat.”

I am alone now.


Come free me from my cross and write me into your gospel. Be my saviour. I am Lazarus, the dead. Resurrect my entire being, resuscitate my world. My airways are blocked with all the dead debris and disjecta of thirty years. Drain my charred alveoli of bile. I am a snail reliant on you to diffuse oxygen through my slime-ridden walls. Give me ventilation, fresh breezes, summer air.

You’re my drug. Kiss the track marks on my forearms, prick me with the needle of your want. My syringe is full of tears, I need a vaccination against sadness. Immunise me against the onset of insanity. I am your ever-suffering patient. Hospitalise me inside your arms, sign me into your mental ward.


Cells are morphing into grit, flaking onto prairie winds; muscles dissolve as the road lengthens. One more step after one more step; there is always the damnation of walking. It is the waterfall cheering down the whole of the mountain, taking with it daily moss, dispossessing one of accrued dirt. Sleep scrapes the body’s palate clean, elbowing away Hypnos’s scales, falling onto the lap of Morpheus.