This poem was inspired by Oliver Burkeman’s book, The Antidote, and the stoic-inspired psychotherapist Albert Ellis to whom Oliver spoke in the book.


coined on a bench.

Six score and ten women came,
conversation started,
thirty went
a hundred talked.
Lonely man,
from fear of rejection.

I chased his dream.

Ellis screamed
Mornington Crescent
my worries away
Camden Town
on the tube
Kentish Town
where I said the name
Tufnell Park
of each station
as I passed through

Then I step to the platform
Mind the Gap
echoes behind me,
warning me to keep my faith.

It’s not the worst
that can happen,
if people stop
and stare.


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