SPOTLIGHT: The Only Sounds Left by BF Jones


Night-time companion
An overweight cat
Sitting on my chest
And settling
Next to my actual cat;
Both licking wounds
From existing
And imaginary fights
Falls from
Surprisingly high roofs, trees
And pedestals.
The rhythmical noise
Of their sharp, pink tongues
And the endless hum
Of their unfathomable purring
Keeping me from dreaming
As I run my fingers
Over and over
Through their abundant coats.

Woman in mirror

Foundation too pale
For the dark cairns around
Eyes that no longer shut.
Blusher too pink
For a complexion
Drained from the rosiness
Of joy and excitement.
Lipstick too bright
For an austere mouth
Hoarding stingily
The last of the smiles.


A life well lived.
Acronyms were not her friends.
Great father, average husband.
A life well lived?
John Something Something.
Glug glug.
She believed in iteration.
You ain’t getting that back.
I regret nothing.
We buried you with your travel mug.
Name and message TBC.
Reunited with her daughter.
Pass the burgers, Jesus.
Evil man, thief of trees and innocence.
I demand a recount.
Going to hell, need anything?
I’ve taken all your secrets.
A life well lived?
We will remember love.
Lived fast, died wet.
I told you so, Margaret.

A life.

Winterwith J. Travis Grundon

And that morning
The embrace of
A new kind of cold
Pale longing lips

A vision of God
Blinded by the light
Unmolested snow
My last December.

Wrestling the beast

It comes in at night
Insinuates itself into the room smoke-like
Seeping through cracks and gaps
When I notice its presence
It’s already too late
And the fumes turn into
The acrid smell of sweat
As it rests heavy on top of me
Spreads inside me covering my mouth
Turning my pleas into muffled whimpers.

My neck creaks from the strong headlock
And my teeth grind from
The memory of its salacious whispers
Its menacing murmurs
Threats of car accidents
And unrecognisable bodies
Pulled out of carbonised tin cans
Unfortunate falls and incurable diseases
Phone calls announcing the unannouncable
Wrong turns into dark roads.

I try to wrestle it away from the children
And cling at its ethereal dress
Claw at its immateriality
As it slowly climbs up the stairs
Flashing that bright blade
Before it slits little throats
Leaving me choosing
Impossibly small coffins
Over and over again
As dawn rises and
The shadows of my insanity
Shorten and slowly disappear.

Bedtime routine

I lay down
in a casket-like tub
my pallid body
listless under water.

I shave my legs
and run my palm
on smooth, warm limbs
and remember
I will be
devoured by worms.

I brush my teeth
I floss
and spit death
all over the bathroom sink.

How much longer.

Repetitivewith Stephen J. Golds

It comes when the dreams don’t, the midnight walls constricting –
within the gut of Jonah’s whale. A mind like mosquito bites
thoughts twisting like stagnant laundry or a wonky child’s windup toy.
Staring into a colourlessness with dry eyes.
Gnarling the night away with each wring of a bloodied lip
body twitching to the rhythm of
an invisible metronome.
It’s here, always
casting its searing iron
time after time branding your soul
with the rusty-red glow
of inferno. The Only Sounds Left (9798511210865): Jones, B F, Buddha, Alien: Books


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