Meltdown – Kadeem Beresford-James

I often don’t understand people.

Sometimes we’re in sync,

and I get it, but

I often don’t understand



I zoom in on

small acts

and this inflated view of people

makes them hard for me to understand.

A request for the most popular flavour

becomes an inability to handle choice

becomes an inability to decide for oneself

becomes a lack of effort to think

acting like a sheep

acting like a tool

acting brainwashed.

Brains washed by flowery words.

God and government.

Governed by God.

Men who think they’re gods.

Men who are important.


Men are men.

Men are all important.

So nobody is more important.

No man is God.

God made men.

Men believe in God.

God does not act.

Men act.

Men made God.

Men create and destroy,

procreate and kill.

Men act as gods.

What’s the difference?

Men follow passion.

Men follow instinct.

But passions aren’t secure

and instinct is dangerous

and men need safety.

Passions for the weekend,

work for the week.

Work for weeks.

Work is for the weak.

Stress and time

endurance take strength.

Passion for the weak.

Work for the strong.

Home, car, clothes, and gadgets.

Luxurious junk food and drink.

Act strong for exhausted weekends

too tired for passion.

Passion doesn’t get tired,

it is awake.

An insomniac that disturbs peaceful dreams.

And dreams every day

of trumping work.

Every day,

and every night.

Wasted and hungover,

hopefully laid.

Laid out.

Laid bare.

Bare arse




Hollow cheeks of a grinning pumpkin.

Smiling even if the Trick-or-Treaters don’t deserve it.

Deserve what?

Common courtesy.

Customer service for rude customers.

Shopaholics addicted to spending

having worked all week.

Or not.

Owed the world

because they earned it.

They deserve it.

Men made the world.

These societies, and cultures, and borders;

these religions, and schools, and hobbies;

these passions, and these jobs;

these men.

This man.


Turn up the bass.

Shake my brain with sound-waves.

Wash away the confusion

and leave me meditating.

A guided meditation with no words.

No people.

Just streams of coloured sound

directed by a spectre


as a conductor

without a baton.


is bad with names, good with details, and enjoys a good drink. Previous editor of Roehampton Writing Society’s Anthology 2012 and co-founder of Talking to Strangers.

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