by Jake Reynolds

I don’t know where I go
but boy, do I go.
Meadows, mole-holes,
traps of dead thistle.
Manholes for ditches.

You’ve been ditched. Remember?
I watched you cough dust and wipe
sand from your eyes. You said
you’d seen me in a past life.
We were here, on this dirt road.
You cycled past. I pushed you
over and you spat an oyster
of phlegm at my feet. ‘Times have
changed. I’m off for a pint.’

Oh. Bye bye, big world. I’ll be in my fuzzy
hangover. Last night a man wrapped his
arm around my neck, pressed his forehead
against mine, and told me to get in the game.
I told him I wasn’t a part of the stag
but the music was too loud. He called me a
clairvoyant and of course

I left. I’ve always already gone.
When you see a flash of me
naked in the boscage
all you have seen is what I choose
to leave as a relic. I refuse.

Bambi’s nothing! The undergrowth
has seen some nasty shit. I’m born
to flee but I’m sick of it.

And when my human engine kicks up, as it so often does during these
ramblings, it casts its fishing line and you almost hear the plunk…

There I am, falling asleep in the car home.
Being half-awake when the motor stops. God, I remember.
Faking sleep as I’m lifted from the car. That’s the human engine.


You have fallen in love,
aka your road rage classes start next week.

You said my chest was the best part.
Oh, this old thing. My human engine cover.

Knock knock knock. You’re looking for it,
knocking on my heart. Five-year-old me screams
that’s my human engine!

Then I see that human engine punching the sky,
a fist sprayed with blood. You went off for a pint
and we saw the things we’ve done drunk.

I’d been lying in a ditch with my door open.
My engine went for a walk over the meadows.

I was born to retreat into myself. And on account
of this people build huts for me, buy guns for me, and
call me a beauty.


Human engine. Virtual & augmented realities.
Men’s health cover model X is known for his

    worker dragging a cart of coal up an incline

of the greatest machine in existence.


Darling. I just had the most beautiful dream.
I slipped and kept on falling.

Featured image © Rob Stothard

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