William Shakespeare, Earl of Oxford?

Lady, if this counterfeit must be the price
I pay, my investment is falsely dear;
The content of my padlocked vault is twice
The balance of accounts that I don’t clear.

I offer you my paper bond, and seal
Its cipher with a figure I encrypt,
With no additions able to reveal
The fake promissory hidden in its script.

Good credit turns to bad. The chancellery
Is bankrupt by dishonest dispensation.
Where singers thrive is wealth and penury,
Their duple notes a twofold affirmation.

What’s writ is double entry or amiss;
What’s read is true or false in all of this.


The Patient’s Diary


The Patient’s Diary

Student Marcus Fyer is at odds with both family and campus life, and is about to quit university and just take off. His father arranges a course of therapy sessions to see him through his crisis, though Marcus finds himself at odds with that arrangement too.

His therapist can get very little out of him, so suggests he keep a diary recording his reactions to his designated therapy group. This Marcus does, but what can his diary tell us about his state of mind?

The Patient’s Diary is published as an ebook, and is available at Amazon USA, at Amazon UK, and at Smashwords.

Two Dissidents


Two Dissidents

A cup of black coffee steamed away in the open window. The stationmaster, drowsy after an extended breakfast, had cocked his chair at a lazy angle. His head was lolling over the backrest. Tracts of sleepy propaganda, the leaves of an official newspaper – some already detached – gently vibrated with each explosive emission from his nostrils. Lunch was a long way off.

Outside, the penumbral shadow that darkened the windowpanes had been granted a broader presence, and this, a fact of no consequence, was open to a chance observer, who glanced at the whole, at the accidental arrangement of sidings, huts, and offices – all in the semblance of a question mark. At this elevation, there were no clues – in the shade or the sunshine – to more sinister signs of interrogation. Semidarkness had arrived with the morning sun, the sun rising up behind the mountains of Mertzburg, to wheel round irresistibly over the course of the day. A shadow would encroach – with supernatural ease – farther, farther to the east.

Full story published in The Four Quarters Magazine. Click here to read more.

Who’s Afraid of the Booker Prize?

waotbpjacket3[1]For Alistair Wye, assistant to ‘top’ novelist Marshall Zob, Zob makes just two mistakes. First, he plans a commemorative book celebrating the life and work of his dead mentor, John Andrew Glaze, whose theory of ‘literary time’ is of dubious philosophical pedigree. Second, Zob turns the whole literary world on its head through the size of advance he instructs his agent to negotiate for his latest, and most mediocre novel to date. 
Secretly Wye keeps a diary of Zob’s professional and private life. Comic, resolute, Wye stalks through its every page, scattering his pearls with an imperious hand, while an unsuspecting Zob ensures perfect conditions for the chronicler of his downfall. 
Set in the relatively safe remove of London’s beau monde in the early 1990s, Who’s Afraid of the Booker Prize? unremittingly debunks the phenomenon of literary celebrity.
Long awaited, Who’s Afraid of the Booker Prize? is now published (April 2013) by CentreHouse Press. See Amazon purchase options: USA, UK.