Jeremiah-Johnson Tayler

Being something of a self-made philosopher, the writer has esteemed the worth of his own aphorisms as a code to live by: ‘Boredom should make workhorses of us!’, he descried in lonely hours, keeping to his solitary vigil. After a decade spent working on his first novel, all the while filling volumes of despondent poetry and exultant short prose on the nature of man and the world, he comes, at last, to a stop and is ready to share what he has learned. Exsanguination, or, blood-letting, is a small collection of varied works, collected over the years and now placed delicately beside one another; each a little piece of the human heart; a feeling, a moment, captured in essence and shared, like drops of blood on the pavement.

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House Party


I’m sorry that I held your eye.

You looked at me, as I stared

into the colour hugging your pupils.

I stared… sunk… drowned- and smiled:

seeing in you a kindness

intensified by your concern.

You didn’t know, that day I could have wept

just to be noticed.

But more than that,

you gave me love-

held me, trembling in an empty space

and kept my heart beating.




We became one against an old church wall-

a degrading descent, downwards we traversed

stairs and ethics so brazenly. Not

even quite hidden, but by people’s ignorance

of our designs, the cloak of night our only witness.

With the leaves and the rain,

the crystalline drops caught in the moss,

you and I unified with Christ

in our own sanctuary

and made our own Paradise

in a small slice of earth-

all the while quiet, as the near buried dead

but, the doors to the catacombs were closed to us-

alive, in our own personal Eden.






killing me,

I sigh a breath that

is green with life as botany,

and give a heave that shifts the weight

of all my dreams,

as I make



for the two

of us; myself and

my nothingness.




I drink a glass of water;

warm, from the static heat

of my room.

I think of all the things I am;

of all the things I’d give to you.



After the Holiday

We stood in the hallway and

kissed after saying our goodbyes:

three softly spoken words,

without sibilance,

that had me reminded of all the ways

I was made to feel

those days we spent together.

I wanted to say


but it was already with you.


Dead Flowers


I picked flowers from the bin for you

as we ambled silently out the cemetery

and with cold hands, cleaned them of their mildew

in place of the words my tongue found heavy.

A little scarce of petals, but still their golden aureoles

held fast to the sweet pollen, so you took them home

and put them in a bottle of their own, as though

I hadn’t plucked them from some stinking hole.

I meant each shape and scent and colour for an apology

for acting up with my funereal disposition-

but my quietude had moved you like a eulogy

and your sadness was my admonition.

In leaving, I was happier- for all that you had tried

in reviving my mood and giving cause to smile.


Clothes Horse


In the early hours of the morning,

after you have gone- my head

still feeling fuzzy, busy with thoughts

like the leaves of Autumn;

scattering the road,

I glance up at the rack

that holds your empty clothes:

removed of you, they flit like ghosts

and I recognise in the sight a familiar feeling-

like I, they exist independently

but missing your presence and

all the places you would fill

they lack character-

no more than empty shells.

Then I think of the warmth of your skin,

the ways you move, and of your smell-

all the things they lack- these clothes

that will not dance again until you’re back,

though a sleeve is lifted by the wind

and I know that I will come to miss you-

a race against a growing distance,

astride the clothes horse, it begins.




Basking under the sun, shovel

and pitchfork in tow, I dug

with imperative purpose

an oval hole.

There was no fitting box,

no sermon;

you were submerged

in a black bag,

as if you had been waste.

I picked up your motionless body-

the perfect example of a boa,

devoid of life-

to watch you disappear with

no hugs or sentiment shared,

though, perhaps, I wanted to.

I took off my shoes and my socks,

feeling the dew from the grass

between toes, as

little by little

I buried you there, watching

the ever-diminishing truth,

at last, returned to earth.

Primal, in the way that we united,

I finished the job with outstretched palms,

then I reluctantly washed my hands.