The second volume of my collected prose will be released towards the end of October both in physical and digital form, and the above image is the front cover designed by my own fair hands. The first journal is something I’m still incredibly proud of, and yet this second volume, for me, goes above and beyond. The first collection was all about finding my feet, and while an exciting and enlightening journey it was, I had yet to find my voice. As such, there are things I would now change. An over reliance on abstract imagery. Too much disjointed text. Perhaps a lack of vision regarding where everything was heading. I wouldn’t say these elements are mistakes, just the necessary footsteps you have to take in getting to where you want to be. With this next collection, however, I feel as though my voice is firmly in place, and as such, I’ve been able to do a far better job at putting down into words the visions and forces that shape my artistic drive.
The themes I write about under the banner of ‘Damned Lovers’ have remained the same over the course of the past three years. The challenge is in obtaining a natural sense of evolution when it comes to understanding and fleshing out the thoughts and places that populate my work. With every piece, I’m trying to dig a little deeper. Trying to tap into something hidden and withheld. Sometimes it works, and sometimes I’m wildly off the mark. It’s for others to read and enjoy, and yet it’s also for my own sense of catharsis. People around me seem so hell bent at times on climbing ladders and shedding their skin. They’re in constant need of a newer version of themselves with their flaws banished from the public eye. I, on the other hand, wish to celebrate my flaws. Each and every one of them is to be put down into words because these are the things that make me real. The human condition. The lives we lead and the choices we make and the reasons we do what we do. Every time I write, these are what force my hand.
Sometimes, if I’m lucky, I’m able to conjure something delicate. A reflection that shimmers gently amidst the chaos. Other times, there’s darkness and rage. There are moments both tender and soft, and then there are those slices of life that show me for the lazy arsehole I am. There’s poetry and lightness followed by hangovers and dreary self-abuse. Love letters and bleeding hearts followed up with belly aches and wasted days spent cursing the stupidity of it all. Kisses and memories of grace followed by images of awkward attempts at reaching out and arguments intended to reduce a loved one to tears. ‘Damned Lovers’, for me, is my version of the truth. It doesn’t always paint me in a good light, but who wants that? It doesn’t always make sense, either, but it comes from the heart, and that’s the golden rule. The more I write, the more it feels as if I’m being cast adrift from a world that has no place for those who are proud to show weakness and who revel in the confusion that ignites their lives. But there’s magic in knowing there are others out there who feel the same way, too. So much magic it’s hard not to be blinded by it.
The second volume of A Journal for Damned Lovers is a middle finger to those who don’t believe, and an embrace for those who do. This writing thing can be a lonely gig, and yet I never feel alone, because at all times I’m reminded there are those who are shining in the darkness. This book is a much for them as it is for me.