OUTTAKES ~ 04 – Guilt never wears a happy face!


I’ve been in the attic, I’ve been in the cellar, I raided my notebooks –I’M HAVING A YARD SALE – It’s a Car Boot – THEY’RE UNFINISHED LINES, unfinished poems, POEMS THAT MISSED OUT ON PREVIOUS RETROSPECTIVES, good ideas, BAD IDEES, inspiration, OR JUST GOOD TITLES, abortive attempts – IM CLEARING THE BACKLOG – opening up the storehouse – IT’S A COLONIC IRRIGATION – an enema – I’M MILKING THE PAPS – so mother writer’s milk might flow through fresh again!

… … …



Setting aside our current concerns over Covid-19, people of today get paranoid about a number of relatively illogical things, depending on your point of view or your particular peccadillo. From the dangers of passive smoking, through asbestos poisoning and wells disease to the many and varied phobias including the usual and familiar, like claustrophobia, aracnaphobia and onto those even more extreme than the likes of brontophobia (fear of thunderstorms) or mysophobia (fear of germs)!

However damaging the subject of these rattlesnake fears may be to their victims, none of them can ever be as controlling or debilitating than the inner curse that is the nub of that mischievous little 5-letter symptomia known as – guilt (cue – flashing thunder and scary music please) … Psychologists, psychoanalysts, fundamentalist Christians theologians, Catholic priests and basically most world religions teachers, philosophers, political leaders and social analysts would all give you differing, possibly predictable but non the less worthy responses to the age old question,  what is guilt?


Edenbray is not here today to catalogue, reiterate, confirm or criticise these many well documented beliefs or respected, proven and accepted diagnosis. No, today I just want to simply take a cool, long and hard look in the eye of the little blighter. This annoying, secretive parasite of the human psyche that can burrow its way into the human mind and soul and grow to such an unhealthy scale that apparently, it can help create mass murderers, serial killers and psychoanalytic nightmares of the weirdest and strangest order, yet for the most of us ( hastily he separates himself from the earlier list ) guilt has at the least, been the cause of not a few arguments, both inner and vocalised, has wrought untold emotional pain and angst and contributed to not a few very stupid actions and reactions. Or am I the only one? 

Deny guilt has a say in your life to your peril my friend, for this devious little ‘shit’ will gnaw out your very soul right in the fleshy centre of that denial and at the very least ruin many a pleasant afternoon stroll or even a healthy game of scrabble. No, joking aside, we are not all psychopathic monsters riddled with parent-induced, strict religious guilt but we all do on some scale or other, fall prey from time to time, to the little monster known as ‘guilt’.

#Note :~ the word guilt rhymes with ‘quilt’ which seems kind of poetic as squares of guilt when sewn together will eventually grow into huge proportions in much the same way as a patchwork quilt??


It has to be said that bed linen may not actually disguise guilt but it could be seen to cover those many acts of unfaithfulness and deceit that can easily lead to one very common cause of guilt. In my search to determine what guilt actually looks like, I have decided to organise an ‘identikit’ operation that hopefully will lead to a kind of IDENTITY PARADE and to eventually single out the little shit. We may then stitch these patchwork cameo’s of ‘guilt’ together and ultimately learn to recognise the traits of this insidious little demon known as ‘guilt’.

Guilt never has a happy face

We may process what we know about guilt more by what we know it doesn’t look like than what it does. For example true guilt never has a happy face, nor is it particularly attractive. It may smile but that smile mostly turns out to be little more than a sneer. G.u.i.l.t can never really be beachball jolly, I’m sorry but that’s the way it is!

When we have eventually singled ‘guilt’ out, isolated it, named it and shamed it we may begin to ask – How did we ever fall prey to its wiles and devious schemes? How did we let this little phsyco bully us, invade us, worry us, negatively influence us and ultimately dominate us.

Paragons of un-virtue will interlude at this point that they have no truck with this ‘pious’, self-righteous and shameless little roadster. ‘I feel no guilt’ is the monogram on many a playboys shorts, embezzlers wallet or dodgy tradesmen’s van. Any shyster, con-artist or on a bawdy tarts bra and knickers, if she wears any. To these and all those who manage to control their inner voices like Al Capone wielding a baseball bat, they will maintain they remain ‘guiltless’, yet guilt still remains an Alien in our midst, under our skin and inside our heads and personally should I ever meet such a one, face to face, he’ll get short shrift from my particular maple bat as I’m certainly not one of those to entertain the notion of change, open-mindedness or to willingly allow any one, sick, psycho to influence my life or actions.

So this essay on guilt is clearly aimed at those who believe in visitors from out of space or  that have already met the slimy little monster with a head full of teeth whose name begins with a ‘gee’ and ends with a ‘tee’.

Yes, guilt my friend affects us all I would propose at some time or other, even the supposed ‘guiltless’ and while guilt is not beautiful, alluring, pretty, handsome or desirable it is not necessarily ugly either, in the same way as say a malignant cancer’s physical appearance to the naked eye can be mute and non-alarming.

The problem with guilt is that it nags like a puss-filled boil, an insect bite, a domineering wife, husband or partner. It chaffs and worries us like a hungry baby, a pain in the groin or an unpaid bill. Until we meet its demands, it hangs over us like a blackmailer with the darkest of our secrets. It sends messages with devious cunning that we uncover in the unlikeliest moments. It can make us act strange and if we bury it deep, it leaves molehills on the surface of our landscaped lives to remind us it has escaped and is still roaming ‘out there’, dangerous, naked and free.

Guilt is no respecter of a persons age, background or social standing and people caught in its spidery web resort to the strangest, wildest, most diabolic recourse to remove its incessant taunts. You might say its vengeance is extreme.

Guilt does not let you be your ‘real’ self

Guilt hides away in the crevices of the human heart and the folds of the human brain and teaches us to do likewise. It is a skeleton in the closet, a ghost in the dark night, a rat in the attic – appearing at moments when you think it may has gone for good. Guilt is ‘your’ secret, even though you hide it so well, or you think you did. You’re better off without it but how do you ‘out’ it and how do you get the alien ‘out of the closet’? How do you set that particular demon free? It’s a dilemma and no mistake and one that keeps a whole lotta’ people in work.

Multiple analysts, counsellors, doctors, priests – all earn a good living dealing with other peoples guilt …. So how do we cut loose from this fettered monster? Choose your poison. Maybe we should all learn to become a bit more honest about the things that make us feel guilty. Drag them screaming out into the light of day and expose them for what they are. Make coffee-time with your friends your personal confessional. Come on, get it off your chest, you know you want to and you might be surprised where it will all lead, just a little of that good old heartfelt honesty. Maybe people will find you a lot more interesting. It might turn out a real turn-on for them or maybe they will recognise you are human after all and a lot more like themselves than they had realised. Open the cage and step out into the light my friends.

Right then whose first?

About edenbray

I'm a writer ... I write .. . I’m not sure why I ever stopped, was it 9/11? .. . edenbray is born ugly, wet and covered in blood, mucous and bodily functions ~ the effluence of my short life .. . I am a Writer and Artist since 1966 - I'm an avid Blogger ~ I write lots of poems, written essays, articles, reviews, opinion + comment .. . I have had many poems selected for Anthologies of verse and recently have published many of my poems in 24+ themed booklets ... please ask for details - join the shebang by leaving me a marker with a 'like' or a comment for my ego and encouragement and thanks for listening - I really value your interest ~ edenbray
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