How To Write Like Jeff Buckley

1. Invent Metaphors That Don’t Withstand Close Scrutiny

These should appear deep and thoughtful, but only for a moment:

I am                  in the                of your acceptance.

“I am happy in the glow of your acceptance” is no good, because it’s trite and it sort of makes sense.  Try “I am lost in the chasm of your acceptance”, or I am dying in the arms of your acceptance”.  The effect you’re aiming for is one of “Man, yes, that is so true … wait.  What?”

2. Use Lots of Water Imagery

This is sad, because of Buckley’s untimely death, but waves, rivers, drops, rain, drownings and trickles are all your friends.

3. Startle With One Earthy Word

A phrase like this:

Took my hand, and led me to your …

Should end with?  No, not “room”, not “love”.  You want:

Took my hand, and led me to your sex.

See?  Easy.

4. Go For The Straight-up Paradox

Also easy:

See it clearly with blinded eyes.

Ignorant in the knowledge of your …

Freeze, freeze in that sunshine. 

5. Embrace Useful Words

crystal, pure, child, swim, wave, movement, feel, touch, we, you, dying

6. Avoid the Not so Useful

leather, helicopter, politics, lawnmower, funny, laugh, happy



I’ve saved this one for last because it’s the most important.

7. Treat Every Casual Encounter As An Apocalypse

A woman needs to feel like She Is The One, so don’t patronise her with nonsense like “We move to the bed, we know tonight will be special”.  Ewww.  Instead, try something like:

Tumbling through the waves of your kisses,
Pure and crystal your skin,
Again it comes, this knowing, this knowing,
In a sleep so deep I was awake.

Then buy an umbrella, my friend, because it’s about to rain chicks.


2 thoughts on “How To Write Like Jeff Buckley

  1. I know a lot of Buckley fans, predominantly the younger female variety I’d hazard to guess, wouldn’t find much levity in your post. I on the other hand, do, as I’ve said something along those lines myself in the past.

    Ah, here we go. On the subject of Best of Me, a fake Buckley track floating on Buckley surfers waves, which some poor soul believs is Jeff despite others categorically stating otherwise:

    “If you like though, I can call my friend Matt around, have a little jam, write some lyrics about loss, some water metaphors and throw in the odd jazz chord if you’re interested in more rare Buckley songs?”

    • Bucklberry, I thank you for your generous approach, because it was only by listening intently to “Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk” that I was able to write this post.

      That’s the point that you and Matt make – in order to parody something, you need to devote a lot of time and energy to it. And isn’t that an odd kind of love?

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