Cursed Be Thy Name

Season 202402, Episode 12,   May 01, 11:26 PM

The pen is always heavy,

when it’s months since you lifted it.

The weight of the space left behind

undressed, unaddressed.

Time without colour,

days without commas,

seconds stripped asunder,

drunk on the spirit of everlasting 

full stops.


This pen has a cough,

the sign of an infected life

lived as if there was no editor

round the corner


No publisher 

cracking teeth, 

chewing toenails,


for the pen to impregnate the page with filth, 

for the ink to copulate with lines 

that conceive parables, 

that deceive imaginations 

so much that the nib cries for rest, 

prays for time off 

howls for sleep, 

from having to be so good 

and having to deliver best-selling sentences, 

gobsmacking phrases, 

gut-wrenching couplets.


No poet needs a pen. 

The essential requirement for poetry is a mouth, 

a voice box, 

a larynx, 


We have ways of transcribing your dung,

software to soften your crudities, 



Give us your guts, your flint, your rock.

We can knock you into marketable shape. 

Give us your foulest wake, 

your Finnegan.

I’ll even take your Sappho to bed 

and snore ‘til dawn, 

with her panting for more. 

I’ll make Shakespeare disappear,

and Bashō re-appear 

as a disgruntled dung beetle, 

before I grant your pen

the right to light the rite of the brightening word-scape. 


The Pen, 


survived lovingly by its mother’s quill, 

its significant other Bottle of spirits, 

its children Procrastine and Prostatinus - 

lies with coffin open all night 

to the quickening sky, 

in the front room of OMani’s Bookshop,

in the toilet of your treadmill, 

in the dustbin of your mind, 

in the gutter of your good manners, 

waiting for eternity, 

and, if that’s not long enough, tough on you, 

with your expectations of Heaven, 

with your confidence in being reincarnated 

as the elephant god of wisdom, 

or with at least a modicum of respect 

for how you’ve served

the progeny of cave carvings,

the issue of hieroglyphical outbursts, 

the offspring of juggled alphabets, 

and the latest emojis. 

Trend-setter you, 

cursed be thy name.


No matter how heavy the pen, 

no matter how sick the ink, 

no matter how smelly the script, 

no matter how disreputable the collection, 

the air will carry your sentiments 

alongside the letter Cain wrote to Abel,

the note Judas wrote to Joseph, 

the missive Abraham scribbled to the Buddha, 

all the smoke signals, 

text messages, 


phone calls 

and whisperings. 

The wind will amalgamate the lot,

and you will be branded

another infant in the long line.