Set fire to anything that may incriminate one's heart. The possibility of love is miniscule and possibly less than zero.

The Cull

I started burning poems today. I’d been putting it off, as I didn’t want to look at them again, but it had to be done. I tore them out of my writer’s journals and threw them onto the fire whilst listening to Verdi on the radio.

My kitten looked at me quizzically before returning to the pointless but amusing task of chasing her tail, although writing poetry is probably more futile. It’s going to be a long process but why keep the words of love about someone you never want to see again?

I’ll feel much better that no-one will ever get to read them; a necessary contingency in case I’m wiped out by the pandemic and prying eyes find them and read them, or worse, try to publish them. Not much chance of that, but the worst-case scenario is if she may get to read them and laugh at my foolish words.

When I’ve completed the task, I’ll have to start looking for someone prepared to look after my two warring cats when I inevitably die. This will be a more enjoyable task. The main problem now is that I burn the poems and then write more that are even more pathetic. It’s a Sysiphisian endeavour, but I’ll keep rolling the rock up the hill until I die or stop loving her. Someone should take bets on which one will occur first, but you might as well toss a coin.

Submitted: July 01, 2020

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Jobe Rubens

I'd look after your cats, Craig, but I live in Constantine (Cornwall) and you look younger than me. Afraid I'm a seventies bum - born 1972- and your cats would prob'ly disagree with my Arabic face tattoos. The great Michelangelo used to burn his chalk schemata - in went thousands of esquisse. I know these are no doubt painful sketches of some amazon stone, but surely something of value could be salvaged by locking them away and allowing the mites to slowly ingest their unrequited merit? Combustion seems so immediate - once the embers rise, there is no bungee to pull them back.

Wed, July 1st, 2020 1:55pm


My new kitten is driving me up the wall, but she is lovely. What do you do? I haven't had email for days. You are much younger than me and thanks for the offer to look after my cats. I'll manage. I shouldn't be so despondent. A mad woman rang me from rehab and wanted to move in with me. Jesus! I'm lucky to be alone.

Tue, July 7th, 2020 4:20pm


Ah, Craig. You have to look after your cats... you know the saying: 'A cat is for life...' Okay, I admit I changed it a bit. And write what you want, what you feel, just don't dedicate it and then it's artistic license. I do exactly the same as you sometimes... pointless heart-pouring. But then, so do most people that write poetry.
You'll look back at this moment, and you'll smile and say: "Come on, Tom Tom. Persephone. Grub's up!"

Wed, July 1st, 2020 6:55pm


Thanks Hullabaloo22,
my email has been down for days. My little kitten went missing last night and I thought she must have got out and been killed by the big fella, Tom Tom. She turned up this morning in the annex, where she snuck in last night. She is so naughty! I'm getting over the sooky girl but a madwoman rang me from rehab wanting to move in with me for a month. I'm glad to live alone at the moment, or at least to have a couple of cats. Hell is other people, to quote Satre.

Tue, July 7th, 2020 4:27pm

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