Skip to content

Bird of paradise

This is my little ode
to the glossy-mantled manucode.
It is my favourite bird of paradise:
green, blue, purple black and medium size.
They move alone or in pairs:
I so wish the world was theirs.
They like to eat fruit and figs,
if only I could have one in my digs.
Oh, glossy-mantled manucode,
won’t you spend time in my abode?

Part of #escapril2021. Photo by Simon Berger.


I build paper airplanes in my spare time
to throw my dreams a lifeline.
I play with toy cars on Sundays
to cure my malaise.
I drive model trains every night
to pretend that I’m alright.

Part of #escapril2021. Photo by Marjan Blan.


Perhaps my hope was overblown
and really I should have known
the universe does not condone
cheating your way to a thrown.
It is too late to atone:
my faults are all home-grown
and cannot be discarded with a wishbone.

Part of #escapril2021. Photo by Saad Chaudhry.

After the Afterlife

We’ll start over, you and I,
as we always do at the end –
this love may be star-crossed
but there’s a reborn universe on our side.
We’ll go on, you and I,
as we always do when we end –
this love may not be forever
but we know that time resets.
We’ll survive this death too, you and I,
as we always do with the last breath –
these souls may not be meant to be

Part of #escapril2021. Photo by Alexandru Gogan.


I wrap myself in your perfume
the way you nurture a baby in the womb.
I lie my head on your chest
the way love quietly manifests.
I put my arms around your lower back
the way you choose a soundtrack.
I rest my gaze in your eyes
the way you dream about tomorrow.
I lock my fingers in yours to rationalise
the way you part with sorrow.

Part of #escapril2021. Photo by Bundo Kim.


Baths don’t usually come with a revelation
but that is their temptation:
a way to enter hibernation
if only for an hour.
I like to have them with a whiskey sour
and wind down my brainpower.
Music can be a plus
but often that’s too much fuss.
And faff is not the point
when you try to relax every joint.

Part of #escapril2021. Photo by Chastity Cortijo.

I’m worried about her

I’m worried about her,
sitting under the maple tree
tracing scars.
I’m worried about her,
walking through the cemetery
making up memoirs.
I’m worried about her,
sleeping in the office chair
holding that box of cigars.
I’m worried about her
driving home drunk
after hitting up her favourite bars.
I’m worried about her
because that is all I know now
as I look, alone, at the stars.

Part of #escapril2021. Photo by Noah Silliman.


I drink whisky neat on the rocks,
walk barefoot in my socks,
and enjoy quiet moments on the soapbox.
I eat chocolate bars to detox,
cherish the spa-like calm of aftershocks,
and admire the urbanism of boondocks.
I’m surefooted like a blind cox,
play John Cage’s 4′33″ on the jukebox,
and feel healthy like a kid with smallpox.
They call me a paradox
but I’m just a little unorthodox.

Part of #escapril2021. Photo by Jakob Søby.


We fit, you and I,
like a mosaic in a Roman villa:
telling the age-old story of love
that is always the same (always unique).
We fit, you and I,
like freshly laid kitchen tiles:
shimmering in the afternoon sun,
slowly absorbing the comfort of home cooked food.
We fit, you and I,
despite ourselves:
like pavement slabs after years of rain,
uneasy paths for everyone.
We fit, you and I,
sometimes not at all:
like oil and water,
doomed to be forever apart
no matter how hard we try.

Part of #escapril2021. Photo by Alice Butenko.


Was there a point at which
this ending was
not yet inevitable?

We were nudged awake by a world
uncaring because it doesn’t know how,
jolted into existence by a universe
unknowing because it doesn’t care to,
and now, we find ourselves
thrown into the forever unconsciousness
by an evolution relentlessly iterating
because life only matters as a principle.

No, there was not:
this skin too needs shedding.

Part of #escapril2021. Photo by MohammadO Shokoofe.