journal: Love Universal

Sometimes you are taken by a thought or a feeling so strongly that you can actually feel it building and vibrating inside your chest cavity.


I saw a status from an old friend, someone I care about deeply, about her moving away, moving to a different country entirely. Miles away.

It got me thinking about time, and where you begin with friendships, and where you are currently. The infinite routes that people will travel down, the eternal growing number of space-times that people will end up in, and yet, friendships remain strong.

Just think of all the friends you have made.

The one night hostel friends, drunk and dancing and deliberating on nonsense and the equations of life!

The uni friends you live with for years until their skin is your skin, and their bones are your bones, and their hearts are you hearts!

The friends you have known since the age you hardly remember, but you know they were there, playing games filled with imaginary people, now talking about jobs and loves and depressions and years-old jokes that no one else in the universe understands!

All those strands of love bifurcating and mutating and travelling at lightspeed across bars and masonry jars and roads and fields and coffee cups and seas unending.

The thing I find beautiful, not even beautiful, pure and eternal and absolutely essential to my very existence, is that these invisible threads of friendship that tie us together over the miles and the years never ever get any weaker. They don’t. You may feel their pull less, but the strength of the thread is still there, just ready to wrap itself around your waist and tug you back into the hearts and minds of those you know.

Humans were never meant to evolve, the planet was never meant to develop life, you were never meant to be born, you were never meant to make friends, but the fact that all this happened in the face of insurmountable odds, the fact you can drink and dance and talk and make prophecies and make love together in a universe that never said you should, is an act that is indescribable. An eventuality so rare and pure and glowing that it’s almost too hard to believe real. How fucking immense.

All I’m saying I guess is that this person’s status reminded me that regardless of time or space, somethings do transgress past the boundaries of physical realities, and these things shouldn’t even exist. They laugh in the face of reality.

Now go give your friends a hug, or just text them to show them the universe quite literally wouldn’t be the same without them.

journal: Changes (moving to London)

Sorry it’s been a while. I really don’t know what to say. My idea for these ‘journal’ entries was originally on the basis of frequent posts. Maybe I can blame these hectic last few weeks, my trip to Prague (poems + pictures to come) or the fact I have recently moved to London for a period.

I’m never sure if I like the idea of frequency, consecutive pieces rolling on and on throughout the week, or a more relaxed, mercurial approach to writing on this blog. The analytic part of me says “Hey, if you want the viewers to see your work, to read it often, you must write often” and I agree wholeheartedly. Another part of me says, “Yo, you do you. Take time off when you need it, art doesn’t have to be produced daily. Is it art if it constantly flies off of the assembly line?”. I guess one thing I’ve learnt is that whatever you choose to do, you can never be truly satisfied.

I don’t think true, full satisfaction even exists, but that’s ok.

In my hometown I was a bit depressed. Nothing you could diagnose, nothing you’d need medication for. I’d never compare what I feel every now and then to people who struggle with that illness. Yet with any moment of depression, all thoughts of work go out the window. I guess it was because I was in a job where I was wasting myself, and my days blended into each other, and were over fast, so that I could never get anything done. You adjust to things after a few months and get tired of them, so changing things around to gain fresh horizons and perspectives is such a breath of fresh air.

My change came in the form of two things: 1) I went on a trip to Prague with a bunch of very good friends who I’d not seen in a while, and it rejuvenated me. 2) I recently got an internship at a travel writing magazine based in London, and although it wasn’t financially beneficial to me, I moved down there to do it regardless (experience > money). I’m here now, writing at my new desk in my tiny little blip of a room in a house full of people I haven’t met yet, but I’m happy.

I’ve been living off cereal for the past three days, as I’ve had nothing to cook with and all I have wanted to do is stay in my room. Even though I’m happy in this new stretch of my life, I’m a little scared. London man! Big and beautiful and fucking frightening. All I’ve ever known is a small northern town, and then Lancaster, which compared to London is still a small northern town.

It takes a few days to adjust, but I’m getting there. Plus I’ve been very tired since I moved in the day after getting back from Prague, and started work the day after that, and my diet has been poor and my feet are sore and I know no one in my area.

This bothers me, and doesn’t bother me, which I guess means lack of comfort or unease or annoyance come on different levels, the types you can brush off, and the types that hit you directly in the chest. Humans learn to deal with both. S’all part of life innit.

Changes are inherently good and bad simultaneously. They throw you into miraculous situations where you have no clue what to do. For example, I’ve been learning about tube lines and times and destinations since coming to London, and it’s exciting. I’m afraid of getting the wrong train, and I’m afraid of running out of money, and I don’t like how nobody speaks to each other, but yesterday as my train home was on the overground section of its journey, the sun was setting behind the roofs of houses which were on eye-level, and the chimneys and washing lines and antennas stood pitch black against the evening caramel Sun, and it was beautiful to watch as I passed. It may look odd to a Londoner, a lone man smiling to himself on the train as he looks out the window, but I guess they’ll have to get used to it.

Moral of this journal entry is embrace changes. There is beauty in variety. There is strength in being terrified.

Peace xo

Mealtime

Written by Jack Andrew Cribb

Little boy, brought up on meat and gravy,
slowly forgets the cow in the field,
a deep grey divide, a tired tidal process,
a cold unforgiving sea.

The pig is in the pen, the little boy sees his likeness
in picture books, something absent,
something referenced,
brightly coloured
like flags waved before militias,
raping the people of other countries
time and time again,
and butcher shops open their doors on the high street,
offering cut after cut time and time again,
tide and tide again.

Skeletons live in every field, every place to plough
and graze, every place
tilled by a man,
whom has sown seeds down the gullies and furroughs,
and diverted rivers from their course.

Time and tide go on mercilessly,
and little boys are well-fed and grow up strong
because they eat all there is on their plate,
mop up the gravy with bread,
and when they are men,
their appetite will not be satisfied.
They have picked the apple when it is rotten,
baked the fish in saltwater,
shored up the lie of their own sex,
killed the wolf, and in doing so,
have become one.

Feral

Written by Jack Andrew Cribb

Under the Mongolian steppe and Serengeti heat,
under mango grove and poppy field,
under ancient blessed wood once haunted by aurochs,
now haunted by aurochs,
lies a feral mother, skinless.

Her reach stretches around the globe,
grows the page and ink for the atlas,
is treasured, is hunted,

and in her depths we forget she is there,
both slumbering and awake,
in her depth we allow bronze lions to cover
where real lions used to roam.

The Child Bride From Tulip

Written by Jack Andrew Cribb

This piece is from my first portfolio OUTLANDISHand it details the relationship between a father and his daughter.


Her love for you is nitro, you know?

Hello sweet little dreamer, pull me close,
entangle me in ivy, lay me on a
bed of starfish. From that first
spark of light child, I knew it
was you, little lifeline, daydreaming
me back
into existence.

All this is, is pink and orange cumulus
and lenticular, buoying me up, my
molecules treasured in temporality, space
is arching, bronzed, shining. I taste
sugar again. You are cherry blossoms in
full bloom, little dreamer. Sweet little dreamer.

Little tulip wanderer, golden-edged forgotten girl,
courageous spellcaster, permeating my aching head,
holding me close. Your small hand
travelled up my bedtime torso, the sun
stared like a rare propeller, and
sugarboy awoke.

I was heartsick, like a sad puppydog,
headsick as a deepwater lord, but
now I’ve had a little bit of brainwash,
a formula of orange and pink, the
wisdom of an ancient goddess from someone
so young, an alchemist gifting amber glow.
I didn’t believe you could feel this much before. I
am a mortal, and a father before that.

When she smiles I smile. I’ll remember that.
the blossom may fade some days, that is
the nature of life. The orangepink is
the colour of her soul, the colour of
sunrise cresting a mountaintop, flourishing
in the meadows, providing light for the whole year.

She holds my hand, directs me to a door,
the walls the same orangepink as she, filled
with her fire.

Getting Drunk With Dharma

Written by Jack Andrew Cribb

Sip the syrup out of your truthful sippie-cup
out of your golden almond heart, eat the flesh of
the berry with gin-sling slowly dripping down your chinny-chin
underpin and underscore the vital melody to your own life

as a piece of fresh fruit burst and sowing slick little summertime fun
secreting dimensions of purple death-threat scent sucked into the space between
fingers and toes. Little by little cocktail trickle upon your fickle mountain-spine,
you are a good dazed friend of mine, carved out of sticks with dull knives
so that the cutting takes a while but is ultimately worth it,
lost in the branches of a sip-sip-sippable lip
a lickable spittable swift syllable rip rip riptide in your mind’s eye
hitting up bars and beachcombing breakfast jars stacked high upon your pantry shelf your
shell-shocked cell-locked self-cocked self, semi-erect
like a ship broken on the rocks, we make churches out of the beams and
dresses out of the sails for boys and girls to tumble about in
and still look good for Sunday mass,
my jeans like those children are all covered in grass-stains
my lungs all covered in grass-stains, stained-glass window
of your proposed pagan religiosity, don’t act like you’ve no animosity
drop it as would the cities with the homeless
I find myself at home less, best dressed caressed
by cotton spot the rot in the mango grove cot

give me your painted pines, rip them from the ground
shower me with your peach needles, let no worms
of sickness needle their way into me
realise that time is simply a roadmap we use to understand the day
the hours of clock don’t mean shit
the tick-tick-tickable pit black spot icky-ickable fit
let’s get crazy with the unkiddable unkillable kids
from the north, those overlooked untouched
beautiful cold-ones, drink with them,
they’ll do you the world of good,
to drink is human, to share drinks is divine,
vine leaves dripping wine why console yourself
alone why play consoles alone
you can be happy when alone but who the hell would want to be?
let me be happy surrounded by my treasures, cherished
pleasure the measure of myself never severed from you

let me fade into the face of forever in such a way that my
form will be stained onto forest floors and causeways
lasting millennia, let me sigh in the silence on a
long-dead planet, celestial indelible incredible ed-dead-edible
bed-terrible said or yell-able perfect red bellyful,
yellow ex-lecturer juror of ex-cons, something close to a conjurer
conjure me up some undulating fun fumbling mind-rumbling
soaking up rum, teach me to love teach me to love
teach me to love so well that I will never die.

Lenticular Clouds Above Mt. Rainier

Written by Jack Andrew Cribb

This poem was taken from my first collection ‘OUTLANDISH’


I’m breathing in on the mountaintop

I’m lying silent on the hospital bed

I’m swimming in colourless water/

<glacier              ridge             lahar              beatspill               alleyway            root            pyromania>

these waves in my brain are causing me to

suddenly lose something

I’m walking through a dead town

I’m talking

to strangers.
or am I talking to ghosts?

there is the ocean before me, waves borne back against the blue and grey foam, spilling over onto the sands of my shores,
stem cell revival stop
comatose close enough

the waves are beauteous and flawed and hurting lesions on my horizons

LESIONS ON MY WAVES

neural,
fires,

promise

promise

promise

what on earth could I be looking for?

a way out, a rupture, a beauty, a door, a triumph against the world inside my head, this grey white world sucking up parts of the outside and remaking them on the in

the violin sound in the basement of your temptation
the LSD tab on the hillside, watching the Sun
the peace upon my mantle
the resting of the running boy from the seas of his aching
the pine trees growing from your shoulders,
the taming the bed of your forefathers
the stony border of the land beyond
the woman in blue hanging about your head, floating in the sky, anchoring you
the ‘I can’t get enough’
the smiles shared over the tabletop in the morning
how we all talked,
each and every one of us springing forth the words from our mouths building worlds in other dimensions just because we had no money
the beeping of the life support
the scarf you made me, frayed and comfortable

the accident

the loss
the lenticular clouds above Mt. Rainier
intrinsically separate, and united in one whole.