Paper Road Laments (poetry book in preparation)

Alex is currently working on poems for the third collection in the Archons trilogy. The book is titled Paper Road Laments, and contains 36 lyrical poems on dystopian themes, laced with dark romanticism.

The structure is similar to the previous two poetry books in the series, Seclusion Data, and Time of the Archons.

The poems, based on the 12-syllable Alexandrine line, are divided into three sections, provisionally titled “Travellers”, “Incidents”, and “Speculations”.

The book revisits the travelogue idea that was at the core of The Slow Road to Gore, though the tone is considerably darker, and philosophical rather than geographical.

Modified-modified cutup continued

The composition of the book version of Paper Road Laments is proceeding, based on the modified cut-up technique that emerged with Seclusion Data, and which was refined in the production of Time of the Archons.

Although, some of the poems in Paper Road Laments have emerged from incubation without recourse to this method. They have been “arriving” fully formed, in a more personal, succinct style.

Sample poem


It’s Easter 2020. Are you thinking
about Huysmans’ migration from decadence
to the cloister? Flights of ducks cross a ceiling
of eggshell blue with a filigree of apricot lace.

It was the destruction of the intimate,
emotional connection that was most distressing.
The wounds of heroes never mend. Every dust licker
has to handle their own lag. How do you survive

when life gets unbearable? Practise, he replied.
First, please yourself, replace or repair or replace.
And imagination – pharaonic, triumphant,
dolorous. Cloud settles in the tops of cypresses.

Rest now, Sisyphus, the marble block is a mere
Calvatia. You won’t touch the stars again.



Once completed, Alex is planning to offer the publication as an e-book on Amazon Kindle, alongside three previous titles.