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.