The word stands alone. This is truly a sign. It can be hammered into the ground. It’s red and it creaks in the wind. It should be used more often. We should it from outside our broken economy.

So that’s what I am, an embittered idealist. And because I have no answers I’ve constructed this list. I’ve constructed the two ‘yous’. I mean you exist. You implies existence. I’m not talking to myself (though what you’re reading did start as a voice in my head). The you (general) is a given. The you (specific) – well you might not exactly know who you are – one of the general you might have an idea – but I wouldn’t say.

Neither of us said it either. That this was ‘over’. I can thank you for that. At one point we just crawled out from love. It was bright. It was dark. It was whatever we wanted to see.

And I’m making this list because really there are much bigger problems than love and sorrow. Problems which are too immense for me to solve in the grove of my mind.



We use it as the opposite to ‘in’, yet it’s something completely other. Not related at all. So loud. Out drives objects, drives action. In’ is time and space and ‘out’ is motion. It can make ‘in’ move. In / out. In / out. Verbs are not needed.

Sometimes machines take that literally and when they’re out, nothing moves anymore. Or there was too much out. Too much shouty out. Shouting out. People shout out their love, but they just get it wrong.


This might better describe my experience of love. I was definitely more under love with you. Love kind of rose up and fell, but never broke. Yep, love did the falling, not me. I was just in the way.

To be under love is not so bad. It’s warm under. That’s why Australia is there. Below is also warm, but it is too dark. Under is quiet. Under is hidden.


Ahhhhh in. The word folds time and space around it. When you are in you are central, immersed, below and above, on and under, at, there and then. To be in is to be floating, and you float in (You also float on, but that usage ignores the sky. More importantly it ignores the argument I’m trying to make. Fish float like experience.)

No wonder we use it for love and danger because we are immersed and we are held whether for years or for an instant. And I was in both, though the danger had more potential. In love requires the love. In danger is the lead up to, the path. You can get rid of the danger and you would still have been in it. Love though, you can’t be in love without the love. You would simply be ‘not in love’, maybe on the way, may ‘to love’ or ‘across from love’, but the potential doesn’t imply the actual. The path is not the destination. “In’ is large like that it can accommodate two contradictory ideas. Another reason we use it for love.


Though in truth I think most people are merely at love.


Circling, circling bird word. Indecisive word. Edgy agitated word. If you invite about to your place it takes a seat immediately gets up, goes over to your books, says it’s heard of them, but gets bored when you start talking in depth. On would be like that.

About could never quite remember the time for dates or where the car was parked. Of may be too strong but about can piss me off. It doesn’t seem to realise. It doesn’t even make excuses that it is its nature.

Worst of all it looks like it should be something more than a preposition. That is a noun or an adverb at least but it seemed to lack the will power to strive for anything that to loop around other things and get its meaning from that.

You know these things when you hear them often enough.


I can’t stand this word. So prim. So proper in its singular functionality. This was not a word that had anything to do with us. Okay – it did in a bland everyday sense, but its commitment to itself was not exactly compatible with us.

And yes powerful. To be of something means more than just a part. It means to reproduce the whole in yourself – be so integral that the whole is not complete without you. There was plenty from us and about us – I’ll get to that next – but of. The ring and hook. We saw it from the beginning.


Yes another duplicitous little fish. Yet innocent. Naïve of its duality. Odysseus came across the ocean from the war. But we went across town to your favourite Vietnamese joint for pho and summer rolls, and you fingered the little bowl clean of the dipping sauce. Did you ever find out the recipe? I’m pretty sure you didn’t want to. Not knowing, teetering on th cusp of finding out kept you going.

And it can also be static, remote. “I’m calling from across the street.” Sounds pretty innocent. Across fixes up the mess of the other words. It lays out the path or comes in later with a more reasonable explanation. It’s almost a thing really. You can measure across in metres and days. It stands. It’s there in front, away, beyond, you – You, reader, you who I need to explain these things to. You – the other you – we’ve been though this already.