A Letter to Sweetie Pie

Dear Sweetie Pie,

I’m writing this letter to you by candlelight. The weather’s frightening this time of year. The wind blew off two roof sheets last night, and one of the trees further down the street fell over onto the power lines which caused a power cut. They say it will take days to repair. You always liked candlelight.

As you’re aware, this is our fourth anniversary; and as usual, I’m having my only cup of coffee for the year tonight. There are only two sachets left. Ha! I remember it like yesterday when we argued about which brand of coffee to buy. I wanted Mocca roasted coffee beans, but you said then we’ll have to buy a percolator.  And we laughed about how strange a word percolator is, and I asked why is it spelled p-e-r-c-o and not p-e-r-c-u?—and you answered why isn’t ‘enough’ spelled e-n-u- double-f? Of course I got the message and shut up, and we bought the three-in-one Nescafé sachets you wanted.

Speaking of which, the former of CEO of Nestlé, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, said in an interview the other day that water is not a human right. Can you believe that? He reckons water should be privatized. What’s next, I wonder. Will Pepsico privatize our farts and thoughts as well? Probably. I don’t think I’m going to drink this cup of Nescafé now. I still think we should’ve bought the percolator and some Mocca coffee beans, but you never know, Pepsico or Nestlé might own that too.

Hm. What else is in the news? Obama looks shattered. Isn’t it strange how quickly ‘world leaders’ age. Thatcher, Mitterand, Reagan, Bush and Busher, Blair, Mandela, you name ‘em. I’m inclined to think it’s stress that brings on old age faster than it should. Perhaps it’s the stress of guilt and greed and corruption and not being able to live with yourself because you know you’re coward and a puppet and an absolute cock who’s responsible for lining the pockets of the big boys and for the death of millions. The only one who doesn’t age is Putin. I don’t think he’s human.

But I’m not writing to you to go off on one; I’m writing to say goodbye. This is my last letter, like this is the last cup of Nescafé three-in-one I’ll make. I’m going for a walk—a very long walk. I bought a tent (no, not made by Pepsico or Nestlé {is the one company owned by the other?}), and some camping gear as well. I had to sell the Datsun to buy all of this stuff—apologies. The sleeping bag alone cost a bloody fortune.

I’ve had enough of this old world. It’s making me old, and my beard is turning the colour of Obama’s hair. My pubes, too!


Rest in peace, Sweetie Pie. When I return—I don’t know when—I will come and visit and place a daisy on your grave. I just hope they don’t fill in the quarry while I’m away.



FUCK LIFEwords by Ramon Ramirez

art by Craig Hopson


Reverse Polaroid Blues



Reverse Polaroid Blues

Food vendors swallow
and choke on their voices;
the sights,
the sounds
on Platform Nine fade;
skewered meat on the grill
turns raw, blood-red squares
that suck smoke
into wood fires;
the coals hiss
a slow death
inside oil drum coffins.

The skyline rushes,
skips over the tin roof covering;
a healthy orange juice
afternoon after-glow
slurps up dusk’s scars
and violent violet bruises.

He flips over the Polaroid,
fingers her address on the back,
and stuffs it in his shirt pocket.

Milky Way Melodies

Milky Way Melodies

In the peaceful hours after midnight
she hums a tragic tune;
the Milky Way her orchestra
that plays meaningless melodies,
their instruments vacant memories;
the kazoo,
the didgeridoo,
void buzzes
of the truth she seeks
in her eyes,
black and blue
in the broken mirror
above the stained basin’s
blood red aboriginal hues.

Freedom (at last)

Freedom (at last)

The stars settle,
stark and no sparkle;
the moon a bleak blotch;
the sky placenta pink
over soft sand.

The waves wither,
murky and mucky;
the fish flop and flap,
their gills clutched, gutted
by time’s tentacles.

Bulging green bubbles
hiss on the horizon
where the water vanishes;
where the icebergs grind
and grumble and crumble.

Man-made mess;
we watch on, watch on
as the earth swallows itself,
taking all of the treasures
we took for granted.

We wait for the water
and wonder why this came to be;
while we stab each other
in the name of survival:
all man want is to be free.

I Slept with Insomnia

I Slept with Insomnia

Insomnia came knocking on my door at half-past three.

The Angel of Death had long passed out,

fishnets tight around her throat,

a dirty needle dangling from just below the knee;

the Tooth Fairy was trading milk teeth for booze

on the corner of Fear and Doubt

with a nervous gentleman who had a head like a goat.

Insomnia knocked three times, and let herself in,

her tatty robes behind her like torn leather strips,

scraping over cold tiles, over my skin;

sweet lullabies oozed over her chapped lips

in a voice as old as dry weather,

a storm of emotions conjured, a concoction

of cold blood clots, sour grapes, and bad trips.

Insomnia stayed the night stretched out on my bed,

told me to write something nice about her,

or the curve of her armpits instead;

I can’t, I said, they’re dread-locked with fur;

I crawled in next to her, put my head on her breast.

A sigh of satisfaction moistened her lips:

There, there, deary, let’s take a rest.

Cardboard Nightmares


Cardboard Nightmares

Looming in the shadows just before dawn
(when the buildings look bigger than they seem),
a boy rubs his eyes and forces a yawn –
it’s hard living a life built on cardboard dreams.

For some, like him, it’s difficult to cope;
no mother or father to look up to,
the only way out is a life of dope –
another day high, another day through.

Hanging in the shadows just after dusk
(when the buildings are monstrous beasts),
the smell of gun oil and leathery musk;
a man in a deer pelt is waiting to feast:

‘One kidney for dinner,
one to be sold,
and a little face mask,
just ‘cause it’s cold.’


art by Craig Hopson

words by Ramon Ramirez