a magazine of texts and visuals

Martin Stannard


“The absence of choice is a circumstance very very rare.”

1 ()

In the beginning was the word, and the word was Do. I’d hoped

It would be Be, but it wasn’t. The skies opened, the seas parted,

The earth a giant jaw opened its mouth, and the anvil word

Forced itself upon me and I don’t know how else I can say what

It was like, because it was its awful self and it was Do, and not Be.


My heart is a pea in a field right now, as seen from atop a cloud.


2 ()

 Situations arise and they are what we call Life because we’re not

Philosophers, we’re Apologists. One door leads to Eternal Misery

And another to Eternal Unhappiness and now I come to think of it

It could be a Trick because I remember being in this Puzzle before.


3 ()

We have seen into the future and the plans seem to work well

For everyone else so we may as well strap ourselves in and go for it.


I love you, but you told me to say that. My emotions are as leaves

Abscised from trees before their time, before I am able to name them

Or recognise them as my own. Do with them and with me as you will.


4 ()

 Dear Government, please explain.


5 ()

 The child is attached to its parents by chains lest one or other of

Them try and run for it. Forgive these clothes, the hat in particular;

From a distance I could be anyone. I tried to run for it but

Where the hell was there to run? I was always told runners

Always ran into trouble and trouble was a big hole with no bottom

And though my heart knew the lie it had to quail for the fear.


6 ()

 Darling, when shall we be as we once were? Never, she said, as the birds

Perched upon the bed-head and acted as if they’d never seen me before.


The door was over there where she had put it, and I went through

And never looked back, and I was nevermore to look back, nevermore.


7 ()

 I am trying to capture this, I am trying to put it in a tin, I am attempting

To explain myself to myself but can’t hear myself think. My voice must

Be a whisper as the typhoon does its typhoon thing, as trees bend and break

And do the tree thing, as the world is momentarily turned the right way up.


8 ()

 Be true to thyself.

Quote Emerson and Thoreau to yourself

Even as the entire world jumps up and down on your head.

It’s only

Your head, not your soul, and so it is not you, only the pan

Given thee to carry yourself around in.

When they scrape you

Off the floor you won’t be there,

you will be gone huckleberrying.


9 ()

 ……… but there’s no choice. I feel this way and can’t help it.


10 ()

You want a ten but there isn’t one.





  1. […] Martin Stannard […]

    Pingback by textVISUAL 1 « textVISUAL | June 16, 2009 | Reply

    • Nice One, Mr Stannard…Bleeding Brilliant!

      Comment by John William Brown | September 6, 2009 | Reply

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    Comment by Danielhow | July 13, 2018 | Reply

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