Tweet Multiverse

@x is a real person.  I follow him on Twitter.

@x takes repeated photos of a single branch of railway line.

@x is travelling by tube, to “another country” as @x tweets it.

@x is unaware, but I am at a play “No Feedback” which has finished early due to audience disruption.

@x takes a photo, as I retrace my steps from theatre back to tube.

@x posts the pic to twitter. I see it on my phone as the tube doors open.  It’s labelled ‘the dream life of William Carlos Williams’.

@x is opposite me in the carriage as I sit down.

@x is short, with watery, clear blue eyes. I stare at him for longer than is polite, confused.

@x says to me ‘there is no meaning but in moments of time’.

One of us got off at Liverpool Street.

I was the man in the green tie.

Tweet Multiverse

First day at school

It’s the first day of school, but you know what to expect. Dozing awake before the alarm, smiling, watching the sun fuzzing the summer’s mess through half-drawn curtains. You never did tidy your room. And it’s not until you’re at the bottom of the stairs, in your blazer, looking back, to the ‘Keep Out’ sign on your bedroom door, that you feel the unease, that something’s now lost in there, something that you never understood.

– submitted to paragraph planet

First day at school

Microcosm (1/1/16)

From the beginning, Grace knew what would kill her.

But she has three lines left to write.

Three lines left, to fall in love

With the thing that will kill her.

Or the idea of it.

She falls asleep.

Waits for the dream to come to her.

She returns to her childhood home.

It’s raining.

She opens the door and with a sense of horror smells the ghosts inside.

The lingering scent of childhood.

She runs away.

She wakes up.

In the sky there is a new kind of light.

She writes.

None of us have names

And our hearts are let go

Above an open sea.

Microcosm (1/1/16)

The Leopard and the Nightingale – published on ParagraphPlanet

She buys me whiskey, lips ruby red, hair darker than night and eyes the fathomless sea.  She tells me the story of the nightingale caught under a leopard’s gaze. She whispers that sex is a spell to save barbarity from boredom. I say, “Do we understand what this is? What we are?” She smiles, replies, “We are nightingales trying to speak to each other”. Then we fall silent.  Until one of us fucks the other.

The Leopard and the Nightingale – published on ParagraphPlanet

@multiverse – submitted to 101words

Last year, impulsively, I bought a poem book about cities, how people interact. My favourite poem from it is “therearenoideasbutinthings”. I’d just joined Twitter and instantly decided to follow the author’s followers. In particular, @multiverse for his repeated selfies, always framed identically, but in different lights.

Last night I impulsively ran for a train. On it, I recognised @multiverse.

I sat and held eye contact for longer than was polite.

The tweeted caption under his final selfie read ‘The dream life of William Carlos Williams’.

One of us got off at Liverpool Street.

I was the man in the green tie.

@multiverse – submitted to 101words

Spring Tide

That stubborn pull to sea,

whose tides reveal my younger self

or something that resembles it,

from memory, dark and brighter

and still occupying the same

boundaries of space,

even though, in my younger days,

I’d thought I’d stretch much further,

out into the estuary

and the oyster beds beyond

But now whose reach diminishes

as iron grey waves salt flesh

back into the water,

leaving nothing but erosion

and a darting iridescence

fathoming the depths

for the empty form of a song

Spring Tide

The Multiverse

Spring 2015. There is a book of poetry called ‘How to Build a City’ by Tom Chivers.

I came across it in by chance in a bookshop and bought it on impulse. Like all good poetry, it changed my perspective on London, on cities, about how we interact.

I only mention it because, at 45, I was relatively new to Twitter and had based the small number of people I’d chosen to follow on Tom Chiver’s followers.

One of which was an online writing magazine called LossLit. Where people write about loss in all its forms. Arsenal. Wallets. One night stands. The failure to connect.

From LossLit to @x, who became my 15th or so person of interest on Twitter.

@x because of an ovine profile pic and @x’s photos of a single section of railway track.

Over and over, but always in a different light until they became a prism, a single presence refracting multiple versions of itself out into the light.

I dreamt about the railway line.


There are no ideas but in things and no meaning but in instants of time.


3 June 2015. @x is travelling back, by train, from Wales or “another country” as @x tweets it.

I am unaware of this, because, I’m at a play “No Feedback” which has finished early due to audience disruption. I’m retracing my steps from the theatre to the tube station at Farringdon, where I have to decide how get home, overland or underground (underground) and then which way round the circle line to travel, clock-wise or anti-clockwise (clockwise).

On the platform I reach for my iPhone and Twitter. A tweet by @x is at the top of the stack, “the dream life of William Carlos Williams” and a link to a photo of a spare industrial landscape half reflected through a train window.

I like William Carlos Williams. I google some of his poetry on the platform, then sit on a bench and reflect for a time on what connection @x was making between the photo and the poet. I let two trains go by before deciding to head home on the third.

The carriage is half full, but as I sit down I catch @x’s eye in confused recognition and hold eye contact for longer than is polite. @x is short, wears a plain blazer, a flat cap, with a small overnight case between dark brown desert boots.

Watery, clear blue eyes.

Your thoughts in my hand.

Your thoughts in my mind.

One of us got off at Liverpool Street.

I was the man in the green tie.

The Multiverse

Say What You Saw – Submitted to – Monthly Winner

I watch you, not him. Wordless in rhythm, looking for an ever after you once promised to the ring that now sits on your bedside table.

The night closes in until there is nothing but the birdsong caught in your throat and the gloss of his sweat inking itself to your skin, in anticipation of something come undone.

You come together and the horizon fractures into the day’s early redness.

The things I love I bury deep in the forest, mortal acts returning as something pure. Leaves dappling sunlight, tree sap.

Later, I tidy the ragged sheets on our unmade bed.

Say What You Saw – Submitted to – Monthly Winner