No, this isn’t Russian Roulette rebranded, he implored.

It is a game, of sorts, he thought.

You choose a dead musician, he declared.

You relive a one-on-one concert with them, a crowd of you and only you, he explained.

They sing and perform as though there are 100,000 of you, he contextualised.

You feel like you’ve had sex via song with them, he exaggerated.

You only get one go at this, he clarified.

You say Sia, he hears Cilla.

Surprise, surprise, he sings.

You run for a cliff.


You maybe have wandered into this feeling tired, disillusioned, angered, lost or just indifferent. Whatever your emotion, I doubt it was top of the upbeat scale. We rarely start to read on a high. We read to change our mood, to lift us into a different state.

The job of the writer is to harpoon the reader without killing him/er. Then to tease, tantalise and trawl that person across an ocean of emotion, avoiding rhyme at all time.

Double sorry there.

This relationship relies on the reader succumbing, submitting to the words as they unveil themselves in an order the reader has never encountered before. They won’t know this. It’s not a cognitive process. They will either read on if it’s new, and stop it it’s not.

Staid stories seize. Fluid fiction flows, so says the poet with a face full of glue. But you, reader, need no stimulant other than the unexpected words themselves. If they are up to their potent best, they will shame any drug on earth or in hell.

There, there, sober-skulled reader, that didn’t hurt now did it?