Jay Rafferty


Anger is useless dull.
It’s a dish best served
smelted and honed

It must be sifted of slag,
tempered, polished to a point
by the whetstone of your
soul. You must strip fury bear
of the fetters that bind it
to your weak flesh, where it
pricks you to touch, let alone
to wield. You must put your
back into this work but not—

—from a flat point of hate.
Hate is no kind of fuel.
The source of ire is not worth
the emotional labour of hate,
not worth the turf it’s grown on.
It muddles anger, displaces it.
It makes the logs damp. Hate
is a flicker that will never burn
bright enough to see you through
the night. You want to shine not
seethe. Hate will ruin your engine
like petrol in a diesel burner
but rage will fire-up any furnace.

Be a blacksmith.
Don’t smoulder.
Burn baby, burn.


Jay Rafferty is a redhead, an uncle and an eejit. He is the Poetry Editor for Sage Cigarettes Magazine and his debut poetry chapbook, Holy Things, came out earlier this year from The Broken Spine and his second, Strange Magic, came out earlier this month from Alien Buddha Press. You can read his work in several journals including Capsule Stories, Lights on the Horizon and Daily Drunk Magazine. When not losing games of pool he, sometimes, writes stuff.