Improvised on halloween, here is a sort of monologue, or sequence of monologues, mostly about music and ghosts.

Every year I publish something on Halloween but this year I didn’t get anything finished to fit the criteria of being good enough to release into the world but not too good that I should hold it back to send to magazines. So I decided to listen to some music, write some words, and post whatever I had at midnight. It’s 12:24 AM on the first of November.


I sit with my back against the chest of drawers in my bedroom with my headphones on and I’m listening to a song that has got me to cry at least twice so I’m listening to it again in case it works again and really all the song is is saying “it will be okay” over and over again and I know it’s a lie but it keeps going and going enough times that for a moment you actually start to believe it and then you start to forget that you don’t know what’s out there but what you do know doesn’t bode well and you stop thinking about all the conflicts that play out in your mind and sometimes you feel like you’re torturing yourself but you know that really all you want is a resolution and then you get more scared than ever because you’ve been over these things so many times in so many different ways and yet you’ve never managed to figure out a version that ends well and it’s like some terrible terrible video game where all you do is find elaborate ways to fall into the pit and you can’t ever reach the other side where someone is smiling at you

devil I know

in my mind my hands are trembling as I open the door but if anyone looks they’re stiller than a statue and in some ways I am a statue and statues only move in movies which raises the question of why exactly I’m being allowed to open this door at this moment because nobody signed the permission slip to say this statue could move and yet here I am on the outside and when I close the door again it’s all gone until I come home again


none of the bottles on this shelf are exactly the right size for the circle I want to draw and I can’t reach or even see the ones on the top shelf and I could ask someone to get one down but they’re all in the garden and they’ve used the bottles to fill up their super soakers and I don’t want to bother them because it looks like they’re having so much fun so I’m going to stay in here and draw some more circles and probably turn the light on in an hour or so when it gets dark and I wonder if they know about the creatures that live out there


a long time ago I was trying to learn how to do magic but I was never that good at it because I didn’t have the imagination for it and all of my tricks were by-the-book because if I stopped following the instructions I might mess it up so I read them over and over again to memorise every step but in the end I gave up on magic and I see my friends trying it out now and I wonder if they know what they’re doing or if they’re following the instructions

all tomorrow’s carry

they could be bombed at every second but they turn the music up louder so they’d never hear the whistle of something falling towards them and they could be scattered dead bodies at any second but they wave their hands higher and shout the words louder and some of them don’t know the words so they make it up and it sounds about right and everything around them is flaming rubble but when you’re at the heart of the party it’s just one great backdrop, really atmospheric, super makes it work, you were sick of being evacuated anyway and you don’t know whether you’re going to have a house to go back to tomorrow so you dance harder and harder and scream and shout and scream it all

ways & means

away and it speeds up because now it is coming and oh my god, it’s not real, it wasn’t real, I thought I was ready but maybe it was real but maybe some changes aren’t permanent even if they’re really really big and maybe I was waiting in here for so long I lost all track of where I wanted to go when I got out, or rather let in, because “out” isn’t really anywhere, you’re always inside of something even if it’s just the atmosphere or the universe and if you were really free you’d be dead because with every option available you could never just pick one so fuck that and maybe they have a point and maybe it’s worth listening to where you should go and maybe I do know what I want to be when I grow up and maybe it’s exactly what you’re always telling me

losing grip

which is nothing because you tell me a lot but it isn’t really anything and I break that off and think about how all I really want is to be with people I care about and why don’t they ask about me? I did everything I could to be by your side and I guess it’s not that it wasn’t enough but it’s just that no matter what I did it wasn’t enough for you and I’ve started to realise that all I want is to lie in someone’s arms and have them tell me it will be okay and I don’t want it to be you, I want it to be you and we could talk about that song I like and you could tell me you like it too but for different reasons and then I’d tell you it will be okay and then maybe it would be because we could get through any situation together just by

a crack in the world

often I think my thoughts get swallowed up by something, like there’s this miniature black hole somewhere in my brain and all the time all of my cells are working hard to not get swallowed up by the black hole and that’s why I’m so tired and I should thank them, thank you, because at least I’m not getting sucked in all the way at once and in those moments where what I was thinking about does get swallowed up there’s a sort of piece where it’s like maybe the dancers in the burning city have the right idea and I could probably slip on a costume and join them, not for the whole night but at least for a bit just to see what it’s like except aren’t I running out of brain cells this way so it’s going to keep getting worse

casper (1995)

the idea of being a ghost is interesting because ghosts seem to be able to choose when they get to interact with people but they still get to watch everything that goes on the rest of the time and I wonder if you could still have sex as a ghost, I wonder if that’s allowed in this reality and what would happen


I never had a costume I particularly liked, just this skeleton thing that glowed in the dark which I guess was kind of cool and I never had a sweet I particularly liked but I went and got them anyway because that’s what everyone does, they all go out to enjoy the night even though they’re small and it’s dangerous but if you only knock on the doors of the houses with the scary decorations you’ll be safe and it’s like for that one night everything gets inverted and no-one thinks anything of it, it’s just another party, and I wonder what the ghosts think of that one night where they get to be the good guys because do they spend the rest of the year super excited for then when they can come out and not be noticed because they’re each just another kid in a costume or do they dread it because it’s so unfamiliar and even if they’re living shitty deaths the rest of the time at least they know what’s going on then and they can follow the instructions and they don’t have to deal with the rules changing all of a sudden but maybe they want to party too


I guess I’m thinking of myself as a ghost but I wonder if you’re out there too watching me the way I watch you because if you’re exactly like me then you’d haunt me exactly like I do you and you’d be on a different plane of existence, or something similar, whatever the rules are in this reality, and we’d never interact with each other even though the whole reason we’re there is because we want us to pay attention to each other but maybe that’s not what we want, maybe it’s better to keep haunting each other and watching and imagining and living vicariously through the good things in each other’s lives and feeling better about the bad things

Killing Boys

the idea of being chased appeals to me, I had it in a dream once and it was scary but it was also memorable, and sometimes I write about fantasies about killing people who would hurt me but I think that’s me trying to present the idea that that’s what I fantasise about because really I fantasise about being hurt because I’m fucking messed up and maybe I like what’s familiar so please, come for me, hunt me down, catch me in the corner and hit me and knock me down and take out your best weapon and cut into my arm and mutilate me and make sure you leave a mark

death of me

a lot of people, like pretty much everyone who does relationships, goes through lots of bad relationships and learn that way, and they get attached to people and get sad when it turns out they’re shitty and then they let that one go and keep looking for someone who isn’t shitty and keep narrowing down their search, leaving bodies as they go, until they either die or find the perfect person, and really that’s what people mean when they talk about soulmates, it’s really a process of filtering and refinement that goes on their whole life or half of it or even just a few years except I don’t do any of that because I just get attached to people but never get them attached to me and never find out whether they truly are shitty or not because I don’t know if I’d come out the other side alive so I stay a ghost and keep watching you go through your processes and taking notes and maybe when I find the right person I’ll just know

fuck this world

before I left I thought a lot about how I would leave it all behind, but that idea must have fallen into the black hole because I spent a long time packing up and taking everything with me and then I had to carry it all back again, or some of it, so now I’m split between two places and I wonder why my back hurts so fucking much and so really I should be learning that getting the fuck out of here means just me but maybe even then I wouldn’t get to have a solid body

pixel affection

all my closest relationships are with people who are the farthest away, and I’m realising that virtual spaces are kind of meeting places for ghosts, and actually someone I know from there was trying to work out recently if ghosts can have sex, and the answer is that it doesn’t really matter because the distinction is arbitrary and maybe if two people who had never spoken fantasised about each other at the exact same time it would still count and I’m avoiding the point with something silly because when it comes down to it it doesn’t matter how close I feel to those ghosts when all I want is to feel someone’s touch around me and it doesn’t matter how detailed your fantasy is when you still can’t actually feel it and that seems wrong but I don’t know what else and

2,020 knives

oh my god, what am I still doing here? the closest I’ve come to running away is when I thought about packing for it and thought about what I might take but that’s not how it works and I could go anywhere to start again so long as I still had my brain cells with me and I can’t even remember why I was so scared, scared enough to think about packing but not scared enough to leave that and go, and it’s funny how even with the ultimate rebellious action I’m still waiting for permission, like it has to pass the ISO standard of shittiness for me to be allowed to leave, or really the ultimate rebellious action is to say that this is shitty and it’s not okay but it takes so much effort to make sure that what looks like an improvement and smells like an improvement is actually an improvement so I’ll go

body of desire

the first thing I thought about taking was music, actually, I wanted my favourite albums because at least one of them is specifically attached to the idea of me being independent, which is strange because discs won’t help me eat or, well, I was going to say find allies but actually music is a good way to reach out to people it’s just the stuff I’m really attached to is all about destroying every relationship you have and if there are other people who are into that it’s going to be hard to make friends with them and it’s also strange because my favourite albums are the ones I have stored in my brain cells permanently so I don’t need headphones to listen to them so really if anything I should be taking happy albums, positive albums, songs about reaching out to people and how it will be okay for each of us and I think about how I don’t even know what colour your eyes are and how that probably means I’m never

Fallen Alien

look! quick! watch out! it’s falling from the sky! the end is near! can we get through one more song, gotta be something really good, oh just keep skipping until we find something that works, we don’t have time to discuss because oh my god it’s almost here and it’s not as big as I thought it would be and what do we do if it’s not enough to take us all out at once, like should we try and move the music out of the way so the people who aren’t corpses can still party or how does it work because maybe ghosts can’t hear the music unless the music’s been destroyed too and that would be a weird rule because what defines music being destroyed but then what defines a person being destroyed because you can be not living and still alive under certain standards but does that mean you’re dead because then the death toll would be a lot higher than it is now and it’s already so so high and then I land and I only wipe myself out

take this lonely heart

I stand up and hit my head on something I can’t see that must have been watching me and I wonder if you enjoyed the song and I guess if you’re a ghost you don’t have to be afraid of death because you’ve been through the black hole and come out the other side and now your whole life’s been inverted because the end point is in the past and everything else stretches into the future instead of the other way around, well, it’s possible that living people have two death points but then we don’t only start living when we’re born because there was a whole sequence over millions of years that lead to that point and that’s unavoidably and essentially attached to everything about you so that has to be your life too and no matter how many discs you leave behind you’re always going to carry that with you and I wonder what ghosts are scared of and I wonder if they are free