The Bleeding Star

Did you notice the bleeding
Star descending?
Did you see the body burning
Behind itself
In a glittering trail
Of tumbling
Flecks of skin?

Or were your eyes
On the sun?
Yes, its light is brighter,
Stable and slow.
Safe and warm,
It browns your body
With a long, caramel kiss.

Now look again,
For destruction is fleeting.
Watch him twinkle
Like a batting eye
Wet with sprinkling tears.
Watch before the tears dry
And the eye closes
For its last and final time.


Mine is Through the Thicket

A fork flays the road.

An offshoot course dawdles
In the infinite horizon,
The skies lit sapphiric blue
While a single cloud floats in
For a chat.

Down the second split,
Willows weeping golden
Strands cloak the path black
In the shadow of their limbs.
But the solid glow
Of a thousand lanterns’ fires
Leads you on and on
Down winding dirt trails.

But neither way
Is meant for me.
Mine is through the thicket,
The leaden dark,
Where the only hands
That dare touch your skin
Are those of the forest.

The Beating Time-Keeper

Deep in the gutted
Belly of a chest,
Dust settles on nameless
Treasures. Toy ships lost
On bellowing, black
Waters churning along
Through nighttime fantasies.
A brother’s bottled
Scream, of joy,
Of sorrow, and fear.
The velvet caress
Of a lover’s first kiss
And second and third
And final.
Deep in the beating
Time-keeper, where the flakes
Of old days collect and linger,
My breath sighs
And sigh again.

Mind Trip Query Letter

Would someone care to edit my query letter for my novella Mind Trip? Please and thank you.


Surrealist artist Eric paints what he thinks, paints what he sees, and sees what he thinks. Ever since he was a child, the world appeared to him through vivid, dream-like hallucinations that inevitably inspired the paintings that put food on his table. However, the last of his visions have come and gone. Eric blames his long-time girlfriend Tara. While she may be loving and supportive, Tara is a powerful sedative.

Then Eric meets Alice, an offbeat girl whose every breath turns the world into a powerful fantasy. Won over by her zany antics, Eric must decide between the safety of Tara’s dull arms and the ever-morphing excitement of Alice’s.

In the meanwhile, Eric is losing his mind. Hallucinations grow, and not all for the better. A dream world would not be complete without the occasional nightmare. Eric must decide what’s right and what’s wrong, what’s real and what’s fiction. Depending on his choices, he might lose both girls and his sanity too.

MIND TRIP is a completed novella of 39,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Andrew Layden

It’s a Tragedy

“It’s a tragedy,”
They’d say, breath
Static and still.

“A bloody shame,”
They’d weep, no
Tang of iron
On the tongue, no
Sight of scarlet
In the depths
Of their creased palms.

“He will be missed,”
They’d state, no
Tears sludging
Out their eyes, no
Dribbles of snot
From their nose

As if my corpse
Fingers could never pluck
A single string
Of the heart.

JK Rowling’s Dementors

For those of you who don’t know, JK Rowling, the massively successful writer of the Harry Potter series has depression. Even after the fame and fortune of her first two books, Rowling struggled with the cold, numbing pain I know all too well. By the time she finished her third book, The Prisoner of Azkaban, Rowling created a living symbol of her depression: the dementor.

And how fitting a symbol. Just read this:

Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them… Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you. If it can, the Dementor will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself… soulless and evil. You will be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life.“-Description of Dementors

That last sentence perfectly describes depression. Well, the happy experiences are there, but you can’t ever think of them. It’s as if something is blocking them out.

Regardless, there’s something that can be said for JK Rowling’s terrifying creatures. They are a literary beauty, dark and evil, but in a way that all authors should envy. And it all came from a place of immense pain. Pain is power. Why not use it?

Not Perfect!

That last poem was not perfect and it’s bothering me. I usually write the poems just to continue writing. I need practice and also I love seeing your views and likes and follows.

Ugh, but that wasn’t perfect enough. It’s a unique concept, but the poem seems unfinished. I would love some advice. I know the rhythm is jumpy at points. I was going for that. I’m trying to reflect the combination of two opposite worlds, and also the imperfection of this love, by throwing in rhythm that just doesn’t belong. Perhaps you could say that justifies the unfinished feeling, but I feel like that’s an excuse.

Help me out. Please….