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2014 Pushcart Prize nominee. (more)


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Wow. The streets of Melbourne - A decade ago. The 'lost' video

Spirits lay beneath the concrete, where ancient feet once roamed.

Where the streets have no acclaim... 

(A play on the U2 song, Where the streets have no name.)

I made this video in 2013. It's never been made public. 

I didn't like my voice-over. I was hoping to get someone to replace it but never got around to it. (I've lost the original edit so its too late).

I was visiting Melbourne and shot a lot of footage and wrote the poem around it. I usually work the opposite way. I was happy with the look. It took me forever to edit and add sound effects. This is actually an earlier version. The later version drowns out even more of the voiceover so had to go with this one. Still not ideal, hence why I've sat on it.

Trivia: My convict ancestor had a small pub/hotel in this street, Bourke Street. He was one of its original inhabitants, when it was called Bearbrass and only a camp of 300. 

(John Batman had negotiated a land treaty with the local Kulin nation in 1835, who may not have been aware of what they were signing over. Irrespectively, the British soon claimed it was invalid as Britain 'owned' all of Australia).

William went there with his friend John Mills after they had finished their sentences. John opened Melbourne's first brewery. They both married the young Hale sisters, becoming brother-in-laws. John died young, 31. William at 48.

A decade later, I've decided to present it to you as is.

Watch HERE


Where the streets have no acclaim

I stroll on molested concrete
Burying sacred ground
Along with countless others
Concerned only with today’s odyssey
Tales of woe
Spattered with moments of joy
Yet hyped with the anticipation
Of a little more
Of that good thing.

The natural follow up
To our folly
Is disappointment
The spirit crushing awareness
Of the prominent mundane.

Yet despite our singular head space
The streets are awash with stories
In never ending flux.

I want to believe
That I am not a mere drop
Of semen made self aware
Salt of the earth
Or lofty
Or impossible to pin down.

I stare at tram tracks
And think of past bicycle tracks
And four legged sojourns through dust and mud
That replaced bush and forest
That eliminated centuries.
Once free to roam
Yet grounded in Belonging
They may be omitted now
But we are the fractured ones 
Yet never more alone
With the rise and rise
Of the individual
Destined to fall
And fail
Washed out by neon
And wasted in the night
Fortified slabs
Reflecting our hollow bones
Sturdy yet flawed
Escaping ideologies
Heralding the cry of a thousand misspent dreams
From bleeding hearts
And a million more besides
Hiding in walls
And work
Lost in lust and booze
And flippancy and derision.

Towers trivial
Fabrications without meaning
Fighting inevitable cessation
Fighting death
Through irrelevancy
Through superficiality.

So we dance amongst the pretty lights
There’s another day coming
At least, that’s the expectation
That we can make it right tomorrow

In the ever churning meantime
The earth
Waits dependably patient
To reclaim those flimsy structures
And fragile souls
We of the never satisfied
From the final fleeting charade.


More Poetry

Stories and poetry on connection
The most accessible and positive book yet!

I don't why I'm like this


Very personal poem ahead. Some serious navel gazing involved. Read on at own risk. 

I just don't know anymore


I don’t know why

I’m never satisfied.


I don’t know why

Happiness is so fleeting.


I don’t know why

There’s so much disappointment.


I don’t know why

I want things I can’t have.


I don’t know why

I obsess over things

That I can’t control.


I don’t know why

I imagine arguments

I’ll never have.


I don’t know why

I want to change the world

When I can’t change myself.


I don’t know why

I invest so much in people

Especially in the ones

Who give nothing back.


I don’t know why

I hurt so much

Over things small

And yet to happen.


I don’t know why

I feel so let down

And shunned.


I don’t know why

I feel like a failure

When there’s evidence to the contrary.


I don’t know why

I expect so much

Of myself

And others

When decades of experience

And reading philosophy

And understanding of self

Has already shown me

How it goes.


I don’t know why

I write

Or expect others to be interested.


Maybe if I read back

I’ll see the thread

And realise

That I do know why

And that the real question is

How to stop?




1.40 am (sober)

Can you relate to this? At least, to parts of it?

I don't think I'm much good on my own. My natural default setting isn't good. It's not all the time but that thinking is not isolated.

When I'm with others, I can kind of fake it and before I know it, I'm having fun. I laugh a lot with other people. I'm the opposite of the above. (Jekyll and Hyde?)

Three weeks before this was written I met someone. She's a lot younger than me so I haven't talked about it much. 8 months on, we're still together. She has had a huge impact on my wellbeing. (Positive for now. The misery will come later 😉)

I think the drug withdrawal problem has made it worse (read here), but it's always been there, as far back as I can remember. Certainly to teenage days. However a lot to  be grateful for so must keep reminding myself of the good things.

A.J. Langford Books

Have a good week.



'Our truth path we sought...' Short video. 'May have had alcohol involved.'



How are you going?

Are you young with dreams? 

Middle age with life experience?

This is for you.

Watch on YT Here

AJL YouTube Channel

A.J. Langford Books

Feedback welcomed.

Take care for now



Miss Universe not Diverse. Protest as Miss USA wins.

Outrage erupts over Miss Universe 

The Winner - Miss USA. Not all are happy.

As Miss USA took home the honors in this year's Miss Universe, the competition has come under criticism for not being diverse enough.

While there was barely a white face amongst this year's finalists as selectors fall over themselves to get as diverse as possible so they can slap themselves on the back for being 'progressive' while overlooking their own discrimination, it appears to have all backfired.


Ethnically diverse. 'We're almost there. There's still one or two whities to get rid of.'

The translators representing Miss Mars and Miss Saturn have posted that, 'Once again, the Miss Universe organization has chosen an Earthling as winner. When we will be recognized? Just because we're not visible doesn't mean we're not there! Our lives matter too."

A new hashtag campaign is gaining traction, #InterplanetaryLivesMatterToo.

'Why bother having a Miss Universe if it's not Universal? It's just plain speciesism.' 

'It's a farce,' complained Miss Uranus. 'What a massive pain in the ass!'

Expect more of a Interplanetary presence next year as well as a Winner from another planet. In true Woke fashion. As we all know...

Whining Wins Awards. 

Miss Mercury chimed in, (again)
'Please! You can see how hot I am. Those bitchz got nuthin' on me.'

Please share the hashtag and let's get it viral! Be part of the solution and share in the woke glory.  #InterplanetaryLivesMatterToo.

AJL YouTube Channel

A.J. Langford Books

Exchange with a Home Invader


Mostly it's young people who home invade. They're often on drugs, looking for money. They think that they will never be in a position to have money so it's only fair they take from the 'privileged.' Certainly when I left school I had no job and was broke and without hope. It's hard to imagine a different life. Not that I considered crime as a viable option. But I did know some rough types and some did go on to commit crime. God knows where they are now.

Back to the young. Unfortunately, the mistakes they commit at this point can stay with them for life. Some are just scumbags but many have been brought up in shitty homes, hence their drug addiction. 

I came across this in a folder. It's from 2014. Imagining such a scenario.

Soliloquy to a Home Invader


Please take everything.

It’s all yours.

I have no need for it. There’s no need to hurt anyone. I’ll happily give it all up. You say, I don’t need much. I know this is a big house, but it cannot make you happy. It’s just a thing. Money can’t buy happiness, it’s true. A cliché but there’s been nothing more real to me. I was happier when I was younger. When I was your age, I had nothing. Absolutely nothing. I owned nothing. I had a shitty old bike, that’s was it.

A car cannot make you happy. Clothes cannot make you happy. The only real thing that can give us true happiness is other people. Friends. Good friends. Even one. And the love of a good woman or whomever. It doesn’t matter. Love. Affection. Someone to confide in. and lots of sex of course. These are the things that…

Okay, okay, I'll shut up. Yes, I know nothing. Just please don’t hurt…

It's not a poem. I don't know what you'd call that. I thought I'd share it anyway as Ironically my grandmother had a home invader in June, 2022. She yelled at him to get out and he did as he was told. Freaked out he did! She was lucky. 95 years old too. What a legend.

A.J. Langford Books

IMDB continues to censor. Another review rejected. 1923 TV Series

Hollywood continually want to enforce their identity ideology on its audience and dictate their version of history, but don't you dare comment on it unless you agree 100%.

1923 - More minority misery. Nothing but torture porn

My recent review of Barbarian was rejected, twice. Other reviews have suffered the same fate. Others that criticise Hollywood, and the BBC who are as equally guilty, have been removed. 

Review 1 - 4.1.23

Take some disparate parts of history, focus on only one set of victims over others and emerge with more misrepresentations of the past that further demonizes white people and this time also throws the British and religious institutions under the wagon.

Unfortunately many people get their views on history from this type of exaggerated propaganda.

It's just another chapter in Hollywood's woke war on certain people and groups. Ironically being straightforward bigotry. They always go after the same types.

As entertainment it's nothing but torture porn. As a story it's merely Yellowstone with different characters but more wokeness. Sheridan is the new Woke King. He must have removed all the mirrors from his house otherwise he would see a straight white male looking back and we can't have that in the twenty-first century. One can only assume he hates white people.

The famous actors do their job but their prime is well behind them. Better to revisit their earlier material like Prime Suspect and Witness than persevere through this misery.

Sheridan needs to reinstate his mirrors. He really 
does need to take a good long look at himself. The divisions he and his colleagues are creating is incredibly damaging.


Revised Review 2  - 11.1.23

Beautifully filmed and dressed streets but you would expect that from the type of budget that delivers some big names, albeit well past their heyday.

As a series, it's the trend that keeps on giving. And taking.

Take some disparate parts of history, focus on only one set of victims over others and emerge with more misrepresentations of the past that further demonizes certain types and institutions.

Unfortunately many people get their views on history from this type of exaggerated cherry picked revisionism.

It's just another chapter in Hollywood's war on certain people and groups. They always go after the same types.

As entertainment it's nothing but torture porn. As a story it's merely Yellowstone with different characters but more, shall we say, identity politicism. Sheridan is the new 'W' King.

The famous actors do their job but their prime is well behind them. Better to revisit their earlier material like Prime Suspect and Witness than persevere through this misery.

How many more times can Sheridan tell the same story? It's another remake. Aside from that, he really does need to take a good long look at himself. The divisions he and his colleagues are creating is incredibly damaging.

Skip this series. Nothing new here.  

The opinions expressed are legitimately concerned with issues raised in the first episode. It doesn't deny that these things happened. It's that they happened to others too. When I went to school, teachers could still hit you. I was hit many times from a young age in primary school, quite brutally, right up until the age of sixteen.

Parents also dished it out on their kids and I received more than my fair share of beatings, again, until the age of fifteen. This was the 1980's. 
The Catholic church and other institutions, religious or not, were brutal on any dissent. Ask the older generations. The people writing this garbage today are not historians. They are simply young woke screenwriters. 

The point is, Hollywood is happy to deal out its many sermons today (there's always been message films but now it's in almost every movie and series including mainstream fantasy), but don't you dare criticize it. You will be blocked. And if you happen to tone it down and get it through, ultimately it will get taken down.

I used to love IMDB. I've been a member for almost 20 years. But now it's nothing more than a media arm of Hollywood studios with it's numerous fake reviews and censorship. It's well documented. House of the Dragon famously received hundreds of 10 star reviews on one of its episodes before it even finished airing. When there are millions of dollars at stake, it takes but a pittance to employ a handful of people to pump out 10 star reviews.

IMDB is also owned by Amazon. The same company that delivered 2022's most expensive flop, The Rings of Power, a billion dollars, which was woke as all hell. They famously deleted thousands of negative comments from their own platform and then banned comments outright. Censorship is alive and prolific. 

Disney lost a billion dollars too last quarter. They sacked the CEO but still they don't get it. It's their woke and poorly written rubbish which is at fault. Andor was 2022's exception, (written by Tony Gilroy, a decades long screenwriter and director, unlike the many young and inexperiencced people from Hollywood's new diversity quoata pools writing today). 

Just don't believe the ratings, reviews and hype. It's what you can't see that counts. 

Watch - Why Modern Movies Suck - They hate their own fans

Harry the ex-Prince promotes new work of fiction. Uh, autobiography... We think.


Harry releases debut novel, Spare Me!

A comedy based on one of the world's most privileged lives.



More Satire

Self-publishing struggles. My book Us and Them a failure?


How are you? 

Hope it will be a great year for you. If not, fake it until you believe it. 

How did the sales go for Us & Them? Was it a success? Will there be another book in future?



The possibility of future books depended upon the success of Us & Them.

I spent a fortune on the cover ($1200), as opposed to the usual $700. It was released late October. I pushed it hard as I could in the lead up for Christmas. If people weren’t interested for themselves, surely a family member or friend would be.

I made two trailers. One of them I promoted (paid) on YouTube.

I made many posts on Facebook and Instagram about it. I paid for two lots of advertising on Facebook. One for the cover and another for the trailer. The cover received over 100 likes but no one went to the website (which was put into the post).

Nothing either from the YouTube promotion.

I made multiple posts on LinkedIn. Not the best venue for it but I am connected to many authors and publishers so perhaps it was actually better than social media. It was basically ignored. A few likes. No comments. No visits.

I paid for an Ad on Amazon which is still running. The advertising there is really complex. I don’t see any revenue from books sales unless it reaches over $100 US and they wire me the money. I’ve never seen a cent from them. I can only assume that no one is buying either. (I do know a few people who have bought via Amazon but again, unless I make over $100 in profit, as Amazon takes a big chunk, then I won’t see it).

If I was wealthy, I could pump in a lot of money into advertising and eventually someone would buy it and perhaps word of mouth might make it grow that way. I see a lot of that with YouTubers. Those with money get the followers. Yet, I’m not wealthy. I’m a single working dad with a mortgage. I probably spent about $500 on promotion. Not one sale.

I posted on Blogger about it too. I send those posts to my mailing list which has approximately 100 people. Only a small number ever reply so I assume the others aren’t looking.

I also did a small letterbox drop and left a few business cards at a couple of public street libraries.

I rang a library (plus my local) to do an author talk but they are only organised through councils now (unlike when I did a talk at a library a decade ago). The council person who emailed back said "poetry events don't attract people." I said it was mostly fiction and based on true stories but they did not reply. I figure because I'm a no name they're just skirting me. 

The pen is mightier than the sword.
Around 2009, when I had lots of enthusiasm (and a lot more ribcage) 😄


I’ve been through this many times before. Book stores won’t deal directly with authors. Only the little independents and even most of them say no.

Gleebooks has been great and stocked my books. That’s because I physically go in there and it’s a lot harder to say no.

Better Read than Dead in Newtown have also been great but they wouldn’t stock Us & Them before Christmas as they are too busy. They will stock it in the New Year. Remember you are competing with all the world’s biggest names so even if you get in, most are only going for those they know anyway.

And therein lies the problem I believe. Even if it gets into people’s faces somehow, they are risk adverse. They go for names. They go for books they have seen reviewed in a newspaper or on TV etc. Everyone will buy a book that others are reading. It’s group mentality. Bookstores also have publishing companies paying for visible spots, so if your book is spine facing on the shelf, you have no chance. Only twice has a bookstore put my book cover out. Again that was due to face to face interaction. I guess they liked me. At Gleebooks it's spine out and on the top shelf so I'm fairly certain no one will buy it. Christmas has passed and they didn't. 


The end result and the future

What does this mean going forward?

It means I have failed to garner any new readers. And lost a lot of money. The only places I’m getting traction with people is those I already engage with either via email or on my Facebook Author Page. It’s the same few people who keep returning. I would name them because they are so wonderful. Without them I wouldn’t have made it this far. And perhaps I should simply be grateful with what I have put out already. Eight books. Four via Gininderra Press (they dropped me through lack of sales) and four by myself.

2011 - In the midst of a peak writing frenzy that lasted about 10 years

I suppose the disappointing this is that I’ve saved my best novels because I had always hoped that they would be legitimately published. I must have sent those books out 700 times over the years. They are almost never looked at. The more I hear about how new authors get published, the more I realise is that they had a connection somewhere. Occasionally someone gets a lucky break but they are very rare indeed. 1 in 10,000. Something huge like that. I just didn’t get that break. It’s the norm. I’m not hard done by. 

Though being a straight, white male in the 'identity era' didn't help. I was at the bottom of the pecking order. If I'd been the opposite I would have gotten a look in. I guess somewhere back in the day I missed out on all that supposed privilege. (As if working class people ever had any).

What it does mean is that many thousands of books that are probably brilliant were never published, or like mine, lost in the online oceans of self-publishing. Sure there are many crap ones and a lot of average works but I also think some of the best works ever written have never seen the light of day. Certainly, before the internet. Those books could be out there now and we just don’t know it.

It’s not as though people read one of my books and never came back again. Most do come back. If not always, at least another time or two. And the regulars prove to me that the work has merit. Most of those readers I’ve never met in real life. Such wonderful people. I wish I could hug them.

It means that Joe Public is risk adverse and doesn’t investigate new authors. It means that a lot of people, family, friends and networks included don’t support the artist. This is what upsets me most of all. There are people I’m already connected with who could have made all the difference. They just didn’t. It’s infuriating. And really upsetting. 


Do I publish any more books?


I honestly don't know. I think I need to take a break. I feel like I have already asked too much of those few who support me. It’s not just the money and time involved. Or the effort. But it certainly does cost me a lot of all of those things. I’ve never broken even for example. Not even close.

It’s the disappointment I feel each and every time a book fails to do anything. I am an emotional person. And if you’ve read my work, you know that. I think this is a strength in my writing. That it emotionally engages with people. I pour my heart out. Yet, it also takes a big personal toll.

So, I need to stop for a while. Maybe that’s it now. I don’t know. If I go again I can’t expect the outcome to be any different. Only a fool repeats themselves and hopes for a different outcome.

I have six unpublished novels. One of them I wouldn’t publish. (I may give it away as a free eBook). But the rest are my best works. If I put them out and no one reads them it would break me. So, I need to regroup and reconsider.

A mock cover I made for my unpublished YA dystopian novel

I’m not writing anymore. Not fiction anyway. I have mentioned the drug issue I have (here) and so that has prevented me from being able to concentrate like I need to. I feel like my best writing period is behind me. We shall see what happens when I’m off the drug but every artist (certainly songwriters) has their peak period.

Sorry for sounding like a whiner. You have to understand that I’ve been dreaming of being a writer since I was 8 years old. Over 45 years is a long time to harness a dream. And though my peak writing period has been over the past 15 years, before that I was making short films, writing screenplays and I wrote prolifically as a teenager. Many of those stories are unfortunately lost. But I have always worked towards this goal.

Short film from 2004 that cost 5 years worth of savings
(My partner also put in 50%)

It got into two festivals, otherwise it didn't lead to a directing career or something in production, which is what I had hoped.

However after this, I decided to give away the film game and became serious about writing books. Perhaps it was a necessary journey.

Anyway, I’ll shut the fuck up now. Thank you for reading this much. And if you’ve read my books, I more than appreciate it. I fucking love you.



ps Any suggestions etc welcomed.

A.J. Langford Books