The Cave

I ventured deep inside a cave. Down into the warmth of the earth. Into a place where the sounds of the surface are left behind.

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It’s beautiful.

The rocks were magnificent. Each different formation had a name, ‘Actors on a stage’ or ‘The father of federation’, who faced the only exit.

But these were young names given to impossibly old monuments that have no thoughts or feelings. They neither love nor hate.

Yet attractive and full of mystery, the cave didn’t seem an important place for humans to venture. 

That is, until my light went out.

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It was total darkness. No phone screens, no torches and no lighters.


I could not see my hand in front of my face.

Heavy is the air that held me.

In that pure darkness, with my breath held silently in the still air, I discovered something.

I exist.

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I could still feel my hands. I could feel the texture of the rocks surrounding me.

To base existence on the perceived reality of touch, or any other sense, is far from profound. It was more than that. I based my existence on the following:

I felt the gentle warmth of skin brush past me for a split second.

In the billions of years the cave took to form, that minuscule fraction of time was the most powerful. A fraction of time smaller than a particle of mist that lands in the ocean.

I exist and so do you.
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The external is real.

I climb to the surface with the other explorers. The sounds of nature return to my ears.

My eyes have become windows. I’m now a guest in this world.

In the light under the warmth of the sun, I feel that moment of invisible beauty.


This is The Vile Mint.

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Did you know that there’s a mysterious place far beyond our reach? A place we once knew, but that keeps us, (and itself) in the dark.

It was once defined, but then forgotten. Who were we to demote a planet? Insignificant specks on earth pointing our fingers outward.

But it was waiting. Suspended in the dark.


You though you were in control. But now she rises! In plain sight she destroys everything you though you knew, everything you though you were.

Pluto is emotion.

It’s the undefined emotional current that streams through us all. It hides away until we forget it exists. It hides away, alone.

We once dismissed her, we called her small and insignificant.

But, now we know.

It’s what we have always known. The deepest voice inside ourself. The deepest breath that was once so audible, only a whisper amongst white noise, is now screaming.


What does your pluto scream?

This is The Vile Mint

The Sail

When! When can we see the stars for what they are?

Constellations causing mutilations of a map in mind and heart.
They change our bearings, and our minds, like whispers in the dark.
Disillusioned, discontent; Spinning in a jar.

X marks the spot, that blood red cross.
X marks the spot, the Captain’s boss.
It’s getting hot, but he never stops.
It’s getting hot, but he’ll hit the spot.

A raven, Poe. A monster, Shelly.
A winter, snow. A can, Kelly.
The stars a map and the map is death.
They were never the same when his innocence left.

He’s been there before, the place on the map.
It draws him still closer, and she hates him for that.

This is The Vile Mint

The Boat

An angel and devil appear on a man’s shoulders. We have all seen this before. Right verse wrong. Good verse evil.

But, It is not that simple, is it?

It’s not good vs evil. More accurately, It would be closer to the truth to say evil vs not-so-evil; Evil vs man.

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A young man sits alone on a small island as he gazes over the infinite horizon.

The sun rises and the sun sets. The first day.

On the second day, the man notices that there are two boats circling him.

A devil yells out to him:

“Hey! Man! swim out to me and you can leave this island.”

The sea wasn’t rough. There were no waves. There were no signs of creatures of the deep. The choice was there.

From the other boat came the voice of a sailor.

“Hey, brother! Cut down a tree and build a boat. We can sail together if it pleases you. However, If we leave this island, I cannot say for certain that it will be here when we return.

The sun rises and the sun sets. The second day.

The man on the island grew thirsty.

The devil yelled out.

“Man! Do not drink the water for you will surly die! Instead, swim out to me and I will quench your thirst.”

The sailor yelled to the man.

“Work through your thirst! Do not jump into unknown waters on the promises of strangers. Cut down a tree and build your boat! You still have time!”

The man on the island was alone in his head. His body was weak, his mind was melting and the sunlight dehydrated him.

“It’s easy!” the Devil cried, “Think about how much better you will feel! If you don’t like my boat, you can have a drink and go back home. I won’t hold you back.”

The sailor remained silent. His boat slowly drifting around the island.

Before the morning had arrived, the man had already made his choice.

On the third day, the old man jumped into the water.

He felt that it was good.

“Come on! Let’s be merry!”

At this point, it would be easy to say the man drowned. It would be nice to say that the boat he was chasing was always just out of reach and sank to a watery grave. It would make a great story and leave a nice little impact.

But this isn’t a story about good verse evil, is it?

The old man was pulled with a great force into the boat. He drank the water and the wine. He laughed, he cried and then he died.

In his entire life, the only time he had control of his destiny, was when he jumped into the water to get into a boat that was on it’s own journey.

He never sailed the boat.


This is The Vile Mint

The Train

“Be careful, it’s quite slippery.”

“I will. You taking photos?”

“Yeah, you?”

“Nah, i’m hoping to see a ghost.”

Old Helensburgh Railway Station – Original Vile Mint Photo

The man’s camera flash echoed through the tunnel.


“Yeah, I’ve been here before, but didn’t see anything. How long have you been in here?”

“I only just arrived.”

The abandoned train line was still and quiet.  It was beautiful in the day and ominous at night. People often came to take photos or go on guided ghost tours.

“Why do you want to see a ghost?”

“Because I’ve never seen one before.”

The flash echoes down the tunnel.

“What will you do when you find one?

“Probably run away.”

“Ah, so you are just thrill seeking.”


The flash echoes.

The woman slips on some mud and grabs the strangers shoulder to prevent herself falling down.

“I’m sorry, it’s so slippery.”

“It’s okay. How far down are you going to go?”

The darkness was thickening around them as they walked.

“As far as I have to to see a ghost.”

The man stopped in his tracks.

“Well, you had better stop walking.”

Old Helensburgh Railway Station – Original Vile Mint Photo

The tunnel was silent but for a few drips of water. The mancontinued:

“This tunnel used to have trains passing through every hour full of different people. People in the rat race on the way to work, old men on their way to see their granddaughters and young children on their way to school.”


“For a time they were all together in the same carriage passing through the same tunnel. On late mornings they would have to run to make their train and on late evenings they would rest their heads agains the glass window and stare out into the darkness of this tunnel.”

The man turns his camera off.

“We are the only ghosts in this tunnel.”

This is The Vile Mint.

Joshologue #2

There are too many elephants in my room.

I’m talking to myself again. The fact that we have two ears and one mouth means that what we say about ourselves is amplified exponentially until it explodes in our minds. The feedback of actualization.

Part of the reason I talk to myself is to hear my own voice. I know that must sound strange, but that’s how our voices sound when we hear them; Strange. Haven’t you ever heard your voice on a recording and asked, ‘Is that what I sound like?’

I bet you can’t even remember the last time you heard your own voice when no one else could.

After listening to myself I realized that my voice doesn’t belong to me.

The voices are coming from the elephants.


The speak on my behalf as I rush to cover them with hay. The more I hide them, the bigger they become.

When I try to hide things about myself I become like a drunk man trying to present himself sober to enter a bar. What I’m hiding becomes obvious.

But then the people watching ask the most important question of all:

“Why does he want to be in the bar so desperately?”

This is The Vile Mint.