poetry

Feels

Feeling nothing is still a feeling
so is feeling numb (i.e. feeling unable to feel anything)
I have a hard enough time trying to survive with feeling tangible feelings,
let alone non-feeling feelings that make me feel as if I can’t feel anything at all
and ‘feel’ does not look like a real word anymore
but it must be real as I feel its definition swimming in my brain
(an organ which, actually, cannot physically feel)
and I feel sick of feeling all the feelings
I am sick of feeling sick
Fuck feeling feelings
I don’t want any
I don’t want a single one

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Uncategorized

Did you?

Do you see her?

She is buried by her own regard beneath Stolichnaya soaked tree out back

fingers bound with whispering, her mouth artless in its appetite for deception

she’s yours if you’ll have her, the gaudy paint washed off, she’s quite the peach

stretching her capacities like yawning olive tree, aching to unburden heavy fruit

Do you see her?

Or just her famine, dripping from exposure?

To sore things and empty eyes, voting their dislike in shards

She hasn’t the mercy of your mother nor the muscles of your brother

Hers is a hungry abstaining of will and transfer

If she could she’d eat the pink

But illusion renders her welcome and like the rest

She settles in for the long haul, a bag of peanuts and a fat lip

You promised her sanctuary, a place that has never existed

Except in gilded books and crevices of time

Where he left her be and she grew into something golden

Even as the light didn’t get in.

Do you see her?

She is shining until it’s all used up

Then someone else will take over

And the lint of her swept up

Will be recycled for another audience, another era

Thinking they’re the first

To witness such a thing.

(Photo by Ruth Marie Westwood, 2020.)

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prosetry

Life As We Know It (Now)

Fortnightly overdoses and falling asleep in the bath

Ridiculous wine descriptions and tattooed knuckles

Antiseptic and anticipation

Disappearing acts and swapping house keys

Superglue and frozen teeth

A stolen bottle of mustard and an Irish funeral

Forgetting and failing and faking and Fuck Forever-ing

Rusty kisses and missing the last bus

Betting slips and 56 missed calls

Vanilla vodka and the First Casualty of The War

Coffin shopping and cryptic crosswords

LSD and the ghost of Keats on Hampstead Heath

Tampon strings and sewing machines

Vaping and scaffolding

Tinned peaches and bascule bridges

Hugo Boss shirts and serial killers

A shelf-less bookshelf and ignoring aeroplane safety demos

Swimming to Mexico and believing in angels

3-day stubble, you’re bang in trouble, double up for £1

Pinching each other because we aren’t entirely convinced that we’re alive

Marriage proposals and morphine dreams

Rhetorical questions and infinite eggshells

Spying on the neighbours and eating jam doughnuts with a knife and fork

Lordship Lane and waking up with two black eyes

The United States of Shock and Dismay

Blonde on Blonde and accidental asphyxiation

A pint of daffodils and the view from the bell tower

Blood tests and a ouija board

Perjury and the 4-hour Happy Hour

Grey hairs and burnt toast and wondering what the hell it’s all about


Originally published 24th February 2017

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fiction, photography

SHRUNKEN

Chris R-1-172 Image by Christine Renney

I am stopping more often, and for longer, and I have places where I take cover and can hide. I have fallen into a routine of sorts and I know when it is most likely these places will be deserted and when it is least likely I will be noticed.
I shelter in the doorway of an abandoned shop and watch the rain. The storm is raging overhead and, looking up, I step out into it. In just a few seconds I am soaked through and my clothes are sodden and heavy.
The street is busy. I have misjudged this particular place at this time and shoppers caught in the downpour are rushing to and fro.
I turn back to the empty shop but someone brushes past me and a woman is now standing where moments before I had been. She is smiling, apologising, ‘sorry’, and moving to one side she motions for me to join her. ‘no’ I shake my head, ‘no’ but reaching she takes my arm and pulls me back and together we stand in the doorway watching the busy street.
Suddenly I am tired, exhausted and I feel overwhelmed. But it is more than the fatigue; I am also elated. I hadn’t realised I could still need this, that I could feel it again.
I move back and leaning against the glass I sit. The woman is looking down at me and delving into her bag she pulls out a ten pound note ‘here, go on, take it’.

I open my eyes. It is still raining. The street is busy and shoppers still rush this way and that. Have I been sleeping? If so, for how long? Has it been just minutes or hours? Is it possible I have slept right through, around the clock or thereabouts?
I glance at my wrist, pointlessly because I no longer have my watch but it is an old, old habit and remembering it now I feel odd.
The woman has gone but I still have the ten pound note she gave me balled in my fist. Standing, I thrust my hands deep into my pockets.
The jeans are too big and my t-shirt is too loose and ragged. I feel shrunken inside them and I sense that it has been more than minutes, that I have been in this dank doorway for too long and I should move on.
I step onto the street and walk calmly amongst the shoppers. Everything is wet out here and my clothes, the t-shirt and my heavy sodden jeans cling to my skin. At least until I can get dry they have taken on my shape again and carefully I make my way. Although I don’t know to where I keep walking.

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