a grumpy gift: Learning to fly

Nothing to say but.. read



They hid it at first

He was so young

Only four

They’d call him a freak

Two little nubbins 

One on each shoulder blade

Loose shirts

Windbreaker jacket

Then the first event happened 

Fucking tuna fish can

Sliced his mom’s hand right open

Oh how the red scared him

Nerve damage

Limp fingers

She was struggling to dial

Goddamn rotary phone

She felt woozy 

Then two little hands reached out 

Gently taking hold of hers

As he placed his head against her 

The nubbins stretched out

Featherless little wings

His mother was dumbfounded 

She didn’t notice the bleeding 

Had stopped

He buried his face 

Into her stomach

I love you, mama

The next day they grew

Twice in size

More difficult to hide 

Homeschooling was the answer 

A couple years slipped by

His questions became more pointed 

His need…

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a grumpy gift: Marriage a la Mode

detachment at it’s best.

Silent Hour

Nobody here makes love like this:

with curtains shut against a screaming sun,

minds undone,

fingers fierce or delicate of instance,

hearts unleashed.

Here the sink shines like the surface of virtue

and water boils at a hundred degrees Celcius.

Organic courtesies,

hand-picked apologies,

so much to say on the freshness of a lettuce.

Nobody here makes loves like this:

with skin and soul,

thorns and teeth.

Nobody speaks like a piece of fiction

or in a way that encourages addiction.

‘Isn’t it time we had kids?

They’ll modify our traits to perfection.

We’ll put their pictures on the mantelpiece

as proof of our legitimate completion.

All lovely people should have a couple of these.’

Passion is a moment televised,

then dismissed – another neutered wish.

It’s a liaison of legal nature,

a garden of suburban bliss.

Quelle surprise! Nobody here makes love like this.



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a grumpy gift: Of course I do


What's the ugliest part of your body?

If you asked whether i still think of you

id admit that you come to mind most often

during my commute and you should find

that flattering because i spend two

hours each day on the highway,

and I hate it.

I would say, as long as I live here

I will always think of you

and admit that I used to think

that was grounds to pack up

and move.

but  it’s  not so bad

now that we’re not speaking

yeah, I’ve really improved

then i’d ask, so anyways,

how are you?

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grumpy grift: The Envy Machine

Warmth in words

jimmi campkin


I don’t think I can respect anyone who ostentatiously gives up drinking for a healthy lifestyle of water, green beans and brown rice, just so they can live longer to reminisce about the good old days of whiskey and soak.


In a shop full of soap a young female staff member, half my size and twice my superior, leaves her position by the door and stands next to me.  For a brief moment I delude myself that there is chemistry there, but I’m sure she has me nailed down as a shoplifter.

There is nothing so obvious as a liar who tells the truth, which is why I cannot relax in expensive shops.  I nearly had a panic attack in Selfridges once, and I found myself stumbling around as though blind drunk, instinctively flinching away from anything that brushed the hairs on my hand, whilst my friend floated around looking…

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a grumpy gift: Head Over Heels

romantic heart buried so deep.. lovely.

Kindra M. Austin


I’m head over heels,

tied up and strangled

by my entrails—

my insides


you keep a terrific tongue

unleashed between liar’s teeth

stained with victory and breast milk.

Man-child, I’ve never known a coward

quite like you. Your truth is treachery;

and it fucking guts me.

I’m head over heels

in disgust with you.

© Kindra M. Austin

(image: Pinterest)

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a grumpy gift: Snow White

A bit of comfort for your day.

My Screaming Twenties

Today is Sunday and I’m by the sea. I’m wearing a batman t-shirt; which is ironic because I’m in no fit state to save a city, too wrapped up in being the vigilante of my own body and soul. It’s pleasantly breezy and quiet and warm. The sky is cerulean blue. Or, at least I hope it is. I’m toying with the idea of taking off my sunglasses; to pierce my eyes with holiday sky but I don’t want to be disappointed by an aquamarine. I wonder if lonely walks to clear my head wrapped in sunshine are what being a writer is all about. Or, if this is just what depression is. Are those two things mutually exclusive? My sandals are digging in and I wonder if I deserve it. The woman to my left, sat on a bank of grass, is crying. She’s hiding it well; a coffee cup, sunglasses…

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