Scream boys, scream 

The train was pulling to Kandy, stopping at every insignificant town uphill.

At each tunnel the boys would hang their lungs out the windows like paper bags, and scream.


Two compartments downwind, I wonder what they look like;

the shrill voice between the hoarse ones must have a face like mine-

angled, hard-pointed against things that could potentially hurt.

The others must have round eyes polished with wicked boyishness

like the severe gleam in kitten eyes – recklessly pointless;

challenging every wise old man word that history ever recorded.

Their time, their best cast out the window, over the edge of substance, dipping dangerously into the meaningless

– just like that, deliciously luxurious.


I remember an old March,

maybe nineteen ninety nine’s;

We snuck out of math and rode the school garbage cart in rounds

– in glorious, mindless circles all around the clock’s noon turn.

Even the sun and the trees shone and shook frivolous.


But at some point, the grand end of it all creeps up your throat, into your head;

through the body aches, skin beginning to sag or the white wisdom threads

you hear earth’s sad moaning mortal quakes.

So, you slowly stop breathing for the fear of tipping over the edge.

And happiness, what can it do? It’s like that person everyone talks about, but in bed you find them overrated and drunk.


Isn’t it a strange thing that, to really relish in something, you mustn’t actually love it?

Because the fear of death can suffocate your nerve ends from celebrating.


They scream again, the young fucks.


So, scream boys, scream

because immortality is a now or never thing.

Soon, you’ll be too heavy to hang so loose out in the wind,

and your shoulders will be crack down  with the weight of Kandy city

to scream your throat dry to just tease the world’s meaning.

Scream boys scream;

scream loud, scream now.


Image – Joseph Ball


When sixteen

I remember


souled in succus,

and drowned in each drop

was hope, hope, hope-

to save,

to change,

to tremble


to matter,

and shift planes

with the recycled shake

of the age.

I remember

bright cathedrals

purpose-built and

lined one after another

with coral sand shining

on burgundy cushions

for a world to care.

I remember

on a bland bed

they all crashed down

to reveal a Sunday morning clear-esque

when someone said

it’s all nothing to nothing

on a pale blue speck.   

Image -

Image –


My generation 2.0

I caught you while

you were that person

held crystallised, composed and


for a favourable reception;

to be the biggest sensation

for an hour.


There you stood

through a whole


nanoseconds’ vibration

barely alive.


Fit, educated,

masterfully curated,

smiling what is expected,

polished and stylised-

the image of our generation



A little bit quieter,

a little bit sadder,

learning that choice

or validation didn’t deliver liberation

or life.

But, nonetheless,

get on with procedure

and walking in line while

handing out information



Image - Yulia Krivich

Image – Yulia Krivich


Now ones

We were born today;

give us life in a nutshell;

heartbreak, freedom, sex, love and intoxication-

give it all in a nutshell.

Easy, compact, fast, summed-up before the dust rush.

What we want is not to feel,

but to have a great story to tell a stranger at a bar

in exchange for a fuck where we wake up a superstar.


Picture by Veronica Krause

Picture by Veronica Krause


Young things

A photograph.

There were drops of poem in the afternoon air,

young beasts only wanting us to see

the wars clashing somewhere underneath –

their secret diamond mines unseen.

What beauties

with the sweetest lie

shining in their hair.  

Picture - Alex Prager, Susie & Friends

Picture – Alex Prager, Susie & Friends


Another Jagger skipping school

The unbuttoned front of your white uniform and the disobedient length of your dark hair told me that school rules or walls couldn’t hold you back. Your army of three friends had worship in their eyes – the kind that said they would follow you to worse than a morning’s worth of trouble. You had a nameless triumph in your eyes and a revolution brewing in the thrust of your hip. And, as your mouth twitched with a smirk of certainty, I heard the morning air rage with a call to break free.

Photo- Brian Brake. Gift of Mr Raymond Wai-Man Lau. Te Papa

Photo- Brian Brake. Gift of Mr Raymond Wai-Man Lau. Te Papa