• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 02
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In Review

They say never read the reviews. But ‘they’ are not me. And surely ‘they’ cannot be artists?

What others say about your work is a tattoo on the skin.

The sting of the needle fades after the first read but the ink seeps in. The good reviews leave their mark. The bad reviews leave their scars.

Do not read the reviews ‘they’ say but that is all I have been doing. I am trapped in the snare of their words. Your words. The lonely star hurled out by you and your faceless tribe offer no light in this darkness.

Flat. Flaccid. Formulaic. I bet you chuckled to yourself as you wrote those words, enjoying the word play.

I suppose you think that reviews are art too? Perhaps you imagine that you delight like an artist does? That you shock like an artist does?

And so the rot reveals itself. The boil that needs to be lanced.

You are Icarus not the sun. I am the sun. You are the birdman that will fall. I will watch you spin through the sky. My heat will scorch you.

I have started to write a review of my own. It analyses your performance. It judges your imaginative ambition. How many stars should I give you for the fiction you weave for your wife? I admire the scope of your masterpiece. The time it took to craft your tableau of domestic bliss for the Saturday matinees. The kids. The basset hound and the hedgehog sanctuary under the leylandii. All perfectly observed. But all is not perfect.

Deadly. Dangerous. Dalliances. See I can do word play too. My review is almost finished. You’ll get to read it soon. You’ll all get to read it soon.