DARWINIAN // Woke at the Coalface

‘Eat. Sleep. Sprint. Repeat.’

At no other time in history could I wear this summation of existence on an article of clothing and not be thought of as odd. But nearly everyone’s doing it nowadays, so I guess that makes me somewhat normal — or at least someone somewhere’s definition of ‘normal’. It’s funny how society bolted from the t-shirt as an undergarment in the nineteenth century to being worn as outerwear in the mid-twentieth century. Quite the transition, no? We shrugged from ‘shock of the new’ territory into the realm of blind acceptance in one quick, easy, costume change.

So, what does this actually mean? It means that t-shirts are in. It means that catchy sayings in bold typeface beneath cartoon pics of hollow, burnt up earths with factory stacks belching out poison are in. And it means that the combination of all these things is in. I guess the t-shirt is what society now deems ‘social convention’. Yup. And the only constant is change.

Frankly, I’ve never understood the appeal of t-shirts. To me they’re just walking billboards littered with guache advertising for untruths mixed with half-truths dressed up as ‘The Truth’ that you absolutely cannot live without… so buy today. And I happen to live at the fraying edge of all of that. Oh, damn, I don’t know what to do! Should I wear this shirt and risk exposing my unmanly physique for all to snort in derision at? I’m barely hanging on here, trying not to be the wonky thread that makes my carefully insulated life come undone. My face is already unacceptable by society’s standards. Now my body too?

Is this irony? The fact that I can be shamed for my pear-shaped body rather than the trite maxim on my overstretched top doesn’t seem right to me. Maybe I’m overthinking this. Maybe I shouldn’t be perturbed that not only is this the uniform that must be worn if I want to be part of society’s cabal of acceptance but that I can also be rejected if I fail to squeeze into it in the prescribed manner. No, I should just push these thoughts out of my mind…

The earth coughs up flowers for no one to notice.  The mighty dig past said flowers for coal to burn to make loot. Said mighty diligently practice their brand of self care, amassing said loot to the neglect of everyone else. And here I am, trying to decide whether what I’m feeling is mere vanity or the emergence of some awful realisation.

God. What possessed me to buy this stupid shirt anyway?


© All rights reserved 2018

Eugene (P.S.)

Hullo, dearest Writers and Readers,

It’s Tati. (Yeah, I’m still here and can speak too. Shocking news, isn’t it?)

Usually I prefer to stay backstage at Unbolt Me, hiding in my cozy, dark corner and letting Tony shine onstage to bask in the warmness of your love. But please, don’t think I’m indifferent to what happens here. I do care.

You can be sure that every day I open WP Admin with bated breath and fingers crossed. I bite my nails, in a state, wondering if you’ll love our newest post or hate it. I read every single comment. Do you still read and support us? Do you still want us here?

Well… Honestly, when I was writing Eugene I didn’t expect such great feedback. I thought it was just another story, just the next post on Unbolt Me. I was wrong.

Let me wholeheartedly thank all of you for every like, comment, and reblog. I felt your emotions and was truly moved by your sincere concern. That’s why I decided to write this post. I thought it would be churlish of me to keep you in the dark about this story. I decided to lift the curtain over Eugene and answer some of the questions that were brought up in the comments section.

Okay, so here we are…

Q: What I want to say to you I’m not sure you’d take well so I’m not saying it.
A: Hmmm… Why not, Crystal? Please, don’t hold it inside. I promise not to bite you.

Q: Great story, true, or not, or ‘based on’…
A: Dear Alli, this is a real story. I adorned it with some artistic details, but you can be sure that all characters and events are entirely true.

Q: You can’t leave us hanging like that! Did you meet him again?
A: Yes, Tanushka. I saw Eugene a couple of times after this. Once I saw how he walks. It really drags at the heartstrings. He’s so stripped to the bone, so weak. I doubt he can even stand without his crutches, not to mention walk.

Q: Did you ever speak to the man again?
A: Unfortunately no, Cher. I wanted to stop, but something prevented me every time. In the last few weeks Eugene hasn’t been sitting in his usual place—I think because it’s getting colder. I hope to meet him again.

Q: I hope Eugene keeps doing his embroidery for a long time.
A: Dear Kat and Ellie, I sincerely hope he will! He has a splendid talent.

Q: I’m sure Eugene is an inspiration for many people.
A: Katharine, I’m with you on this. At the very least, he inspired me to write this story. And it looks like it has inspired many people who have read this story. It makes me so happy!

Q: Maybe Eugene is a supernatural geezer as well.
A: I can bet, Artie, that he is!

P.S. The photo of Eugene in the original post was my own. I was a bit too shy to take it openly, even after we’d had a conversation. I stepped aside, pretended to look for something in my phone, and took some sneaky shots like a coward. Sorry, Eugene.


© All rights reserved 2017


her words still softly breathing
like ice, the back of my neck
on garlands of wintry poesy
i lumber in the driving rain

my scornful eyes, her candy lips
a whisper there of a name
a heart crashed hard like jigsaw clay
i’d thrown the pieces all around

her body no longer frames to mine
and i’m lost in thrumming pour
i see pain ripple on the ground
how could she love him more than me?

so hear now, all frogs’ orchestra
you ushers of this sodding night
vain, await the boobook call
sing up a new and better day

her lips still softly breathing
like words, the neck, my soul
compelling me to face myself
where have the frogs all gone?

i cannot think about this now
i know enough to grieve
recall the shimmer on her cheek
feel tears spill from the sky for me

i’m wondering why i should care
why this has to start with me
an unsaid truth hangs in the air
she’s not the whore… it’s me


© All rights reserved 2008

Miss Misliked

of course, now I should put a sexy picture above
and earn an additional ‘like’ below

of course, now you should think, “WOW… a sexy chick!”
associate me with a provocative illustration
and make such a sought-after click

of course… but I’m a total ditz and always trip outside the mainstream
I don’t want to lie to you, my Reader
I’m run-of-the-mill. I’m tedious. I’m dim

so, let me step away from others’ enchanting masks and wiles
and just do what I can… try to seduce you with my candid poetry style


© All rights reserved 2015

GUEST POST // Portrait Of Me by Tokoni O. Uti

I’m painting a picture of my mystique.
Of my crooked lines and strange physique.
I’m fulfilling my part of the self-love pledges.
And refusing to brush away my rough edges.
I’m showing the rewards of my foolish lies.
And proudly displaying the circles beneath my eyes.
My skin bears gifts from the morning sun.
And scars from childhood fun.
I’m painting a picture of nature’s grand.
I’m painting a portrait of me.


© All rights reserved 2014