rust was blood

[More Moroccan misery. Seriously, what got into me? If anyone else has found Moroccan coach trips make them write depressing poetry, please get in touch.]

What is this
lush green life
there is no place
for you here
We are heat
and dry oh so
dry death
wearing away
the soul we
are the soulless
place where
life cannot be
Be gone green
devil we do not
need your life
here we were
fine with dust
and death and
aching slumber

Life is too loud
We strangle you
And sleep again

Upwork Update

How I made $400 in my spare time in just 7 weeks!

^ This is the sort of stuff people will pay you good money to write, it turns out: attention-grabbing copy. Poems less so. But still a bit…

Hi all!

Welcome to the next edition of my posts on upwork, the freelancing platform I’ve been trying for the past couple of months. In it, I’ll be talking you through…

Sorry, doing it again. Marketing voice.

Anyway, what have I been up to? I’ve come a long way since my first job on green tea…these were my next few gigs:

  • I’ve written a couple of poems that have since been released for sale on Amazon. The lovely Erica collates pieces for anthologies from poets all over the world. I wrote one on the death of a loved one, and t’other on giving up on a relationship – cheery hey? I also recommended a friend of mine to Erica, and he joined upwork and got hired as well! The pay was pretty basic ($12.50 for the two) but luckily I can bash out angsty poetry in record time (I’m well-practised), so that was fine.
  • I’ve written content for a card game, soon to be printed, for a charming American called Wade. I’m even appearing as a character in the game! I actually have no idea when it’s getting made… This was a really interesting job, but it took ages! I think we both underestimated the scale of the task, which just meant I didn’t have as much time for other things. It was a fixed price, $100 job but I put in so much that my hourly rate ended up tanking. Just doing this for experience though so it’s all dandy!
  • I wrote a couple posts about ketosis diets. They’re ghostwritten so I obviously won’t link you to them but they were remarkably similar to this article. I felt a bit conflicted about this as some of my research suggested that they weren’t altogether safe… in the end, I figured the best thing I could do was write a really good article that would explicitly state the risks and advise checking everything with a physician.
  • That early job I applied for, with a startup online mag, got back to me weeks after I’d forgotten about them, offering me $25 for a previously-published short story – I didn’t feel I had the time right then to write a $50 original. It only took a few minutes to send them Auto-neuroticism, previously published here of course! So that was easy money. Win.

And more! I’ll save the next ones for another post – there are cats, and construction shows, and my actual dream come true.

What it’s been like? I’ve been writing in my spare time most evenings and over the weekend as well… It’s addictive, especially browsing and applying for jobs! There are tons of crazy success stories as well about guys who’ve made $100k in 9 months and will share their secrets in this course they’ve crafted… I’ve taken everything I can out of their free emails and blog posts and ignored the signup links.

In my experience so far, it’s a great way for anyone to earn a bit of cash. You have to play it smart – for example, you can’t undercut the masses of third-world workers on price – but for talented people I think the work’s there.

Anyone else tried it? Let me know!


Phoenix Seasons

I burnt up once already but
I came back with brighter eyes
and stronger bones that jutted out
of me like swords.
I faced Death grinning and told
him no the fire in me would
not go

he wasn’t happy but he had no choice.
I am the light now
and I will burn for the
lifetimes not of men but of

Filled with so much life
the world must be less
for I am here
A beacon of fire

He is here my ice I did not know of Him and now He has come Fate has changed and worlds hang in the balance for I am great and strong but He is ice and hard and cold this was not the way but what will be will be for all eternity.
He is come to freeze me so that the world will seem warmer but really it is losing heat millennia will show my truth but now I am condemned a martyr with no pyre but frozen in ice.

Ice and Cotton and Wolves

[It’s a piece from Morocco. Prize for the winner.]

alive – so broken
and ‘do what’ to ‘don’t just’
the puzzle is itching,
it’s clearly inside.
i come to pulse out
no one knows it’s gonna fit.
what pieces of the creeping
do you pound into doing?
i am them.

33 – 18 4
5 ’40 9′ 31 ’16 35′
26 15 25 24,
34 3 28.
1 32 10 27 30
6 7 8 38 39 17.
37 12 13 14 29
11 23 20 22 36?
19 2 21.

Marie in the Woods with Kerosene

[A piece from the Moroccan bus journey. It wasn’t that horrific, honest, I was just sunburnt and inspired!]

Veins thick beneath raw skin
its sheen as bright as its source
the fire
still rages
Veins full
Blood pumping
To keep nerves intact
to keep pain and adrenaline
like healing water
Raw skin
Raw minds
over damage done and still to do
Battles won and still to lose
No one can last
The flames of this anger
the flames of this hatred
the flames of this earth.

40 Reasons to watch Deadpool (No Spoilers!)

Ok, so I originally promised 100 reasons, and I promised lots of pieces from Morocco to be the next things I posted. Only problem was that, high on life after watching this film, I became super productive and achieved lots of things that weren’t blogging, and while there undoubtedly are 100 reasons to watch Deadpool, I’ve forgotten a few in the intervening 3 weeks. Still, 40 reasons, which make this one of my longest ever posts! Oh, and as for why this isn’t something from Morocco, it’s because I can’t wait any longer to convince you to watch this. Just do it.

I kinda lied about the spoilers. There are 24 spoiler-free reasons, and then, because I just want to gush about specific things, 16 spoilerful reasons. So you can read the first half of this in safety*, I’ll give you ample warning. I’m assuming things like the cast and the fact that is has a soundtrack aren’t spoilers.  Without further ado…

Spoiler-Free Reasons

  1. The opening credits. Makes sense to start there.
  2. Ryan Reynolds.
  3. Morena Baccarin. I’ll admit to not knowing her but, I’m sure with Firefly, Stargate, Homeland and Gotham amongst her other projects, plenty of you will know how talented she is.
  4. The acting. The above two points were solely about how damn attractive they are, but they, and the rest of the cast, can really act.
  5. Going back to how attractive Morena and Ryan are, the fact they’re in a sex scene. Before I’m accused of anything for saying that, watch the damn film! It’s superbly done.
  6. Decapitation. This is one my housemate suggested, and she’s not a violent person, but there’s almost an artistic quality about the separation of heads from bodies in this film. Think Final Destination meets Kill Bill.
  7. The soundtrack. See Spoilerful Reason #12 for specifics, but this film has its montages set to some great tunes.
  8. The marketing. Despite not being part of the film itself, this is worthy of inclusion here (hence its lofty position in the list, rather than when we’re scraping the barrel at the end) as watching the film will make you appreciate just why that poster of Deadpool posing is so irreverent and relevant.
  9. The irreverence. Deadpool oozes it and shows it to everything from celebrity culture to other Marvel films to the genre, even the fact that it’s a film at all.
  10. A kickass old black lady. So much sass.
  11. Creative swearing. It’s virtually art.
  12. The moments of genuine humanity are remarkably well done for an action film, and provide a few touching seconds before the snap back to comedic reality.
  13. The very attractive villain. Dangerously attractive. More on him later, Spoilerful Reason #7
  14. Dark comedy. No topic’s off limits. Heart-wrenching tragedy? Gonna get mocked.
  15. Montages. From sex to sewing to slaying, the honoured tradition of time-lapse scenes is expertly executed.
  16. Making violence funny. Everyone loves a good knuckle with a chuckle. << I just made that phrase up. Get me.
  17. [Impromptu reason, this one] This film inspires you to write little rhymes about comedic violence, apparently. Such is its power!
  18. Dopinder, a loveable taxi driver, who brings a comic touch of normality to the situation, for a while.
  19. The explicit mentioning of the film’s name, and the moment when the name clicks into place. I always enjoy that.
  20. Little victories for the little guy. Dopinder features heavily.
  21. Unashamed bashing, and alternately following, of stereotypes across the genre and Hollywood as a whole.
  22. The back story of the film’s production. For those that don’t know, Ryan Reynolds got involved after the comic dissed him, and after a lengthy wait, a leaked test scene proved so popular with the fans that the film was given a paltry budget to play with.
  23. Clever fighting and efficient ammo use. No need to waste them. See Spoilerful Reasons #14 and 15.
  24. Ryan Reynolds.I don’t care that I’ve already said him.







Spoilerful Reasons

  1. A happy ending. Come on, who doesn’t love one!
  2. Breaking the fourth wall. A great trait to pull from the comics.
  3. Breaking the sixteenth wall??
  4. Ryan Reynolds commenting on Ryan Reynolds
  5. The hot alpha male getting to know the girl before they have ludicrously good sex. Always nice to take things slow for a bit. Admittedly not that long, but it is Ryan Reynolds after all.
  6. Ryan Reynolds. See Spoiler-Free Reason #24.
  7. Coming back to Ajax the hot villain, the scene with the sewing up of his katana wound and that bloodsoaked, tight wifebeater. I would penetrate him with my katana…
  8. In the general irreverent mood of the film, I will not retract or apologise for my previous statement.
  9. The holiday sex scenes, particularly Thanksgiving.
  10. Sequel potential (I hope you stayed for the bonus scene!)
  11. The bonus scene itself. Comedy gold.
  12. The specifics of the soundtrack (from Spoiler-Free Reason #7) being DMX’s “X Gon’ Give It To Ya” when they roll in for the final battle.
  13. The bit where we get back to the opening sequence and actually see how it plays out
  14. The triple kill shot. So cool, so efficient.
  15. Ditching efficiency just to fire another couple of rounds into someone that annoyed you.
  16. Ryan Reynolds.


Seen it, loved it? Tell me about it!

*60%. Kudos if you thought that.