Strange Love Doctor or: How I Learned To Stop Scurrying and Love The Rewire




Listen to Live Reading




Listen to Suggested Audio


Wagon Christ “Shimmering Haze”





Damned if you do and damned if you don’t have a doomsday device. It’s not easy being an artist on social platforms when artists have historically been known for being grossly misunderstood. The very moment you leave your work wide open for interpretation, your words are mistaken, taken out of context, entirely misread or, on the all too rare occasion, earn a vertical nod of the head. No small wonder we’re all depressed. It’s hard knowing what to do for the best sometimes; never less than when you’re attempting to empower monumental affirmative rewire and help direct those who genuinely appreciate, love and respect to the nearest available chrysalis. Having effectively spent the past twelve months within an impenetrable cocoon, I know the process only too well. Not a lot of elbow room for manoeuvre, deprived of natural light and air, and forced to face up to your most iniquitous demons. Sounds like a shit show and there was definitely a distinct aroma of burnt arse hair about the encore. But I burst through the swaddle with my own set of slightly torn butterfly wings.


And here’s the thing. While essentially moths in drag, butterflies are also more than in-tune with their environments, not to mention, usually in the thicket of the whole pollination process. Should your garden have gotten a little overgrown during the long bleak midwinter, then there are far better places for butterflies than the back of a net or pressed in scrapbooks. Just to be clear, the odds are pretty firmly stacked against being granted safe passage through the felonious perils of mother nature’s petri dish. One querulous gust of wind later and there are going to be a great many concerned caterpillars lining up for the cloak room as they watch you explode amidst champagne supernova in the skies. Perhaps that is why so many scribes adopt disguise, when heading right into the danger zone that is social networking. Pseudonym tends to be the preferred term in artistic circles and I myself have one or two knocking about in the hurt locker. That being said, my name is Richard Charles Stevens. And Magical Lion aside, I’m as real as it gets. Not to mention… a motherfucking butterfly and shit.


I’m trying so hard to do something so goddamn righteous here. Yet, still I am seen by some as an egotist. Self-centred. Fraudster. Sociopath. Just a clutch of the big words that we’re conditioned to consider need apply to anyone with even the faintest whiff of belief about them. The media build stars up, then shoot them down and face time the jackals. We’re warned off of trusting either others or our own primordial instincts. Reminded that we can’t, won’t and really shouldn’t; when we can, will and bloody well should. Wearing masks we did kind of ask for; we advance with all the grace of pelicans in leg-braces. And ever so likely wind up on the felt of our faces. This really needs to change if we’re to find the open range to achieve our ultimate forms. Having arrived at the breakthrough phase just about intact and supremely focused on making this transition beautiful, I’m in prime position to offer up my findings with regards to any lengthy incubation process involved. With a little blind faith and lady luck getting finger fucked by Richard Clayderman backstage, we could have ourself a full-blown frog chorus here. If only we all leap from the same lily pad.


My eyes they are true. And I’m not averse to flashing these crystalline blues for the camera as it has been responsible for overcoming the very greatest of social anxieties. I abhor the term “selfie” and, while I may snap myself in the moment minus filter just to capture an emotion for someone kind enough to touch my deepest soul, all photographs taken are “self-portrait” and artful on their own terms. I do place my entire DNA on public exhibit and this is a subconscious choice of mine, which I believe supplies me the broadest canvas to paint upon. Yet I do possess a private life and that is my one thing to keep. I get lost in a melody divine when I’m writing. When I’m right in it up to the callus on my right thumb, which has derived from the constant use of budget lighters, then I’m little more than a passenger. Indeed, I’ve taught myself a thing or three hundred reading and reflecting on yet another hopeful hostage situation. The quill writes the ransom for a fee which is handsome. For, I’m seen just through being so hands-on. Need to be hands-on. Simply have to be transparent. Or else, the entire house of cards fritters in the time it takes a room full of sharks in suits to offer up ironic salute. Nothing fucking cute about it.


Howbeit, I hear that your average Ruskie doesn’t take a dump without a plan. There is an art to enabling the empowerment to rewire rogue nodes. Certain prose may sting a little, or even a lot, yet is never once intended as a veiled stab. Not my style. Far too kind to defile hearts that, just like my own, may have been broken most recently. Any pains felt are opportunities to follow the pang back to its true source and trip the search light. We must feel to proceed. Be that mildly uncomfortable or, as could far more be the case, downright exhilarating. Even erotic. Whatever floats your boat, ain’t sinking it, right? My wish is for each of my works to be a personal experience to each prospective soul lender to whichever degree their imagination affords. However, it would sadden me to think that a single syllable was taken too personally. I know, I know. Just had to be ironic. But it is critical to me, that every visitor see very clearly, that I am unequivocally at peace. Shall never lead a poisoned breadcrumb trail. Neither shall I blaze one in destruction. Got no enemies left, since eliminating public enemy number one by way of self-annihilating battle rap and relinquishing myself of the only curse that ever stuck. Mean no harm. Feeling calm. Ever the charmer. Golden brown karma. Painted Zen.


Yes, this mystical quill of mine bleeds with the pride of a viking king and proud lion, but there isn’t a thing cocky about this cheeky English gentleman who stoutly believes the most endearing human attribute to be shyness. I’m ever so bashful in my own little way. Adore the fragility when placed before delicate gaze. And the whole “ego” debacle hasn’t ever, and never will be, an issue to me. It has been scientifically proven that a little power goes to one’s head. Okay, so that’s the science dropped. Now apply a sprinkle of super-science to the equation. The answer lies within the second brain. First do no harm, when regarding the feeling we receive in our gut on receipt of fresh data. Should we reroute any inbound power surges to the soul instead, then suddenly we’re cooking on gas. Not out of the woods yet, sadly. Given that I lead from the soul in every interaction, not just through my diction, things can soon lead to friction. Once I step up onto the social carousel, finally freed from the stomach churning anxiety that plagued it for so long, I need to show the belief in myself that the kindness of a few in particular has enabled me to own. Or else, we’ll just continue swimming in circles until our boats capsize.


I believe in myself. I believe I am not in best health. I believe I am making a change in this world. I believe that I’m seen just enough for this recovery to lead me to the other me. The one who could breathe. I say it as I see it. Unless I deem it mean. Don’t mean to be obscene. But I’m never less than keen to set scene sweet. Indeed, I’m never less than seen. When impressed upon by angels blessing destiny. You will have both my love and respect from the very first second we meet. Nothing to earn, just something most precious to keep. I believe there is a better way than getaway with demon speed. I feel the need to bleed to the deepest of degrees, in hope that others may just wish to feed. I don’t practise humility. I am humility but only if you humour me and let me say my piece with every last scrap of belief that you instill in me. Feel like I deserve the peace of mind that I recline in currently. The rewire is complete, you see. The final me has been achieved. This is not to suggest there won’t be patches and updates along the way as we live in a world of technological marvel and never need our learning cease. But self-doubt is catch and release to me now. And, if that makes me damned, well then I guess I’d better go take that cold shower.






Richard Charles Stevens


Keeper of the Crimson Quill





Click here to purchase on Amazon



© Copyright: Rivers of Grue™




  1. Many people will run their own experiences parallel with this and see an all too tragically familiar path. You’re not alone and you’re certainly not English Psycho. Social networking connects the insecurities of one another and self-portaits (now the “selfie”) captures a myriad of puzzles. Who we really are, not even we ourselves know sometimes! It’s all a journey of faith, belief.

    1. Never a truer word said, Mouse. You see me. You get me. An immovable boulder on the uneven ground I have faced in my life. With your sword and shield ever protecting me, I am blessed. Truly. Faith and belief, my entire ethos revolve around this delicious pairing. Thank you again, simply for being wonderful you.

    1. You see me. Blessed to the beyond for that. And you also appreciate how, as artists, our words are often handled without due care. I am at peace at this point in my life and no longer focus on the things I cannot change for the better. But I love writing introspectively like this as I know others face the same issues as I. Powerful butterfly wings soar high indeed. I see one particularly dazzling pair rising high in you, Ivy. Believe in you x 1000.

If you like what you've seen & read please feel free to share your thoughts with us!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.