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 Destruction Gully, Mount Ruination, and The Vale of Dread.

The book revisits the travelogue framework used in The Slow Road to Gore, though the similarities end there. While Gore was a Dionysian, cartoonish affair, Laments is far darker in tone, and way more in line with my “retreat” into the forms of 19th century Symbolism. Now, I’m calling on the old gods.


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. The Muse has her ways!

Sample poem


On the twelfth of October twenty eighteen,
Freya fought with Apate in the amber waves.
Sentinels were distracted by calls from the woods,
the apostate slipped into the library unseen.

Spritzing acrimony, distributing deceitful
confections, breathing life into absurd conspiracies,
injecting untruths. No one resisted much,
even trusted companions were quislings –

when someone swears a false oath, pieces of gristle,
old bones and melon rinds pose together as if they
are a family. At a future time, in the gloom
of the chapel, tapestries mildewed past all cure,

inspecting the edges of unrecognisable
objects, distance reinforces the travesty
by some sinister design, wonders and marvels
vanished at the horizon. Somewhere beyond

the promptings of memory, images escape
into entangled shadows. Familiar then,
the suppleness of lucky and unlucky days.


Once completed, Alex is planning to offer the publication as a printed book, and as an e-book.