Wednesday, 1 December 2010

All Things Toxic

As a member of Talkback, the private online forum from the UK's Writing Magazine and Writers' News I regularly enter their monthly 'One Word Challenge.' You can enter both poetry up to 40 lines and prose up to 200 words based on a one-word theme.

November's word was TOXIC.

These were my entries:


I’m grasping, grasping...

Grasping at details and the banister and snippets of music as I hurl myself up the stairs to fall through the bathroom door to hurl and hurl again down the filthy bog before lying, shivering on the cold tiled floor.

Pills, you give me pills and I’m up and I’m HAPPY and I can’t stop dancing and kissing and loving you, and you, and you.

Ah, the beat – it’s Joy Division and I’m Ian Curtis and I can move like him but I don’t want to die, not today, I don’t want to die. And I cry, tears are desperate, begging for love and attention and... I need the toilet.

I’m back on the floor and the cramps hurt real bad and there’s only one thing that can stop all this hurt – and it’s you, yes it’s you with your bag of bad deeds and your needles and foil and I don’t want to go there but I can’t go back down and I look at your skirt and your legs and your lips and I’m lost. Nearly lost.

You’re dead on the bed.

My gut spills.

I steal your bliss in a bag. Call the cops.


Red lorry, yellow lorry.
Great, humongous grey lorry
lying in the street
spilling chemicals like sweets.

Dead dolly, headless dolly.
Pink and broken flat dolly
lying in the street
melting slowly in the heat.

Ripe body, rotten body.
Killed by poison, burst body
lying in the street
decomposing, rancid meat.

You’re sorry, I’m so sorry.
Too late now we’re all sorry,
lying in the street
we’ve been lying through our teeth.
Mother Earth concedes defeat.



  1. Both were top notch reads. I love this line from "Toxic Head"

    'I steal your bliss in a bag. Call the cops."

    Seeing the doll picture and reading "Borrowed Time" put Hole's "Doll Parts" in my head. Gotta take my son to hockey now and I'm going to listen to Hole on the ride.

    I hope you win!

  2. Two fantastic reads, Lily. I'm not a poetry man but I must say that I'm drawn to the poem as being my fave! Well done!

  3. Thanks Sean. Love Hole! It's already been and gone and no, didn't win but it's all good practice and you get to read a wide variety of genres and skill levels.

    Cheers David. Glad you liked it.

  4. These are both deliciously dark. I especially liked Borrowed Time, the tempo is perfect, and such a contrast to the words in its beat, that it is perfect.
    Good luck!

  5. loved both these, Lily, very dark, very very.
    Enjoyed. Now to go brood on the new challenge.


Lily Childs is a writer of horror, esoteric, mystery and chilling fiction.

If you see her dancing outside in a thunder storm - don't try to bring her in. She's safe.