The HyperTexts

Jack Arkell

Jack Arkell is a poet and writer from Birmingham, England. He has performed poetry from underground bars in Seoul to vegan cafes in Manchester, headlining events across the UK. He has been published in Anapest, Inigo Online, Blunderwoman, Under the Fable, Outsider, Better Than Starbucks, Starving Artist and 12 Point Collective. He has CDs entitled Poets Are The Worst Type of People and A Mood I Try to Capture.


Live fast, die last,
speak the words you think.
Swim in every ocean
as if it's yours to drink.

Love faster, die after,
cover lots of ground.
For nothing good will come to you,
it's waiting to be found.


Poets are the worst type of people.
Yeah, that includes me.
Just take a scroll around this site
if you disagree.

We're all undiscovered geniuses
dealing in lyrics and metaphors.
We're convinced that we are special
especially when we're ignored.

Our automatic response
is to reach for pad and quill,
we thrive on widescale atrocities
as well as personal molehills.

And if you dare to criticise
a single piece of punctuation,
we'll blame your lack of culture
and your lack of education.

Your hostility is immaterial to me;
making friends is not our aim.
We want to save the world with words
and find critical acclaim.

Latching onto current affairs
that you otherwise might have missed,
we've written anthologies on African tribes
that you didn't know exist.

Taking influence from '40s poets
whom you wouldn't know, I'm sure.
We listen to underground blues and jazz
and anything obscure.

How dare you try to fill us in
on the culture that we've missed.
I've written the book on G.P Taylor
but never heard of Taylor Swift.

Apart from all the condescension
I'm relatively benign,
and I'm conquering the world
one publication at a time.


Hello darkness, my old friend.
So this is where you've been.
Hiding in the layers
that underlie my dreams.

I knew you'd come around
so I thought I'd lay a spread.
There's some charming hospitality
once you get inside my head.

I'll host you 'til you're full
and you have to drive back home.
It wouldn't be the first time
I've been left here all alone.

So take a seat, raise a glass
up towards your lips.
You drink it down and drain me dry
with every tiny sip.

After two more bottles we can play
your all-time favourite game.
Jack's mistakes, those he left
and who should take the blame.

Predictably it always draws
us to the same conclusion.
I will sigh and walk for miles
feeling disillusioned.

For the next few days I'll be transfixed
on the seat you occupied,
your absence somehow more unnerving;
out of sight yet in my mind.

I'll dwell on all the things I've done
and lessons never learned.
Feeding the darkest of black dogs
I'll wait for your return.


You can't wear a mask forever,
in time you'll be exposed.
Those secrets that you'd rather keep,
doors you've bolted closed.

Some people call it karma
or the pride before a fall.
The act of being cut to size
when once you walked so tall.

On that day I'll press the glass
of the windows of my house.
A focused quest to have it all
can leave you here without.

So keep that leather strapped up tight,
knot up every lace,
if you want me to be the only one
who's ever seen your face.


Who says sleeping dogs won't wake
if I choose to leave them be?
I don't know their sleeping patterns,
only that nothing lasts forever.

It was you who taught me that.
A lesson swiftly delivered
remains unforgiven.

For what use is a blind eye
when revenge is said to be so sweet?
Why deprive myself of closure?
Why give anything more to you?

Unreturned favours, unrequited honesty.

Those sleeping dogs are hungry,
woken by the smell of meat,
they won't rest until they feel
gristle between their teeth.

And it will be you who is sacrificed.
This time.


Words are like paperclips.
Where are they when you need them?
And when you find them, it's too late;
you've already used an inferior substitute
to hold things together.

The HyperTexts