Uncategorized

L’appel du vide dit


Sympathy

Remains for burial

Zipped in black

Who comes to vouch then

Our misdeeds

Finally earn their napkin passage

I want to tell you

Open yourself 

Let me back

But you are bolted down

Empty of patience

Knowing when to leave

You are covered in oleander petals

Like a bride awaiting the fissure of her maidenhead

Bon voyage little girl

Leave behind your childhood room

All the china dolls you despised with their elegant haunted painted eyes

Under a yellow light attracting flies

Trying to catch up on diary entries half filled

The confessor wears a wagging chin, the judge is a mute 

And this rope will not be strong enough for two

We sit by sea spray electric in timber and soon 

There is no division

Between waiting and being

I can’t cry on demand or be happy, because you need me to be

You bought a faulty part

With your drive-through iced tea

Blessings over family dinner,  ash the crease between my eyes 

Eggshell blue walls

Symbols on concave plates

Sorrow out-stayed her welcome 

Take your wet bills and muddled sums

Away to the sheltering water

Overhead hawks cool in slipstream

Marveling the fresh note of deep current

Deceptively calm on jade surface

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prosetry

Soup

I had spent the week in the same way, lying in bed, flat on my back, arms straight by my sides, staring out of the window, watching the ash trees slow-dancing and the gangs of birds loitering with intent and the city skyline lurching woozily in the heat, listening to the rattle of spray cans from the garage downstairs and the mistakes made by the bell-ringers during their weekly practise peal.

On the third day, West London was on fire and the smoke was rolling in vertical waves: I didn’t think it would ever cease. And still, I lay in bed, useless, like a wildly unconvincing Frida impersonator, spitting words about inside my head, words that have already been said, already been read, counting magpies and missing dragonflies, thinking of names for the children that I’ll never have, tearing the skin around my fingernails, peeling ’til they’re bleeding, and waiting, just waiting.

In the mornings I lay waiting for nightfall. In the evenings I lay waiting for the sun. I lay waiting for sleep, for help, for silence, for affirmation, for you, for life, for a sign, for God, for answers, for revolution, for the tide to turn, for Godot, for death, for change, for justice, for love, for me, for reprieve, for miracles, for time, for everything, for anything, for nothing in particular.

Five days into my self-imposed bed rest, he phoned me up to talk about nothing in particular. He checked if I was still alive. I said that I was, that I am. I heard him smile down the phone but could not mirror the sentiment.

He told me about his brother receiving a big compo cheque for his motorbike crash. He asked me if I wanted to go to Dublin with him for a few days next month and I said “I’d love to but don’t think I could manage it.” He said that he’d picked up his neighbour’s cat off their garden wall and taken it indoors with him because it was a nice cat and he wanted to hang out with it for a while, but he wasn’t sure if that was called “kidnapping” or “catnapping” and what did I think? I said “borrowing.” He invited me to a party on Sunday night, I said, “Absolutely not.”

He told me about how Islington Council are chasing him for library fines. He said he’s lost the book somewhere in his house before he’s even read it, and that the overdue charges fine is now so huge that he could’ve bought the book brand new four times over and still have enough money left over for a bag of chips.

I asked what book it was and he said, “It was Book 5 of My Struggle, I can’t even remember what it’s fucking called.” He asked me what I was reading and I said Fireworks – short stories are easier for my broken brain to comprehend. Then he said, “I’m coming round to your place soon, I need you to I Ching me,” to which I replied, “Ooh, kinky.” He reminded me to eat and to pay my rent and to stay alive.

One day before Bed Rest I had made a huge vat of my special tramadol, tequila and tomato soup. It means that when I’m tired of being conscious I can drink some and quickly go to sleep for a few hours: when it’s cold it’s just a More Bloody Mary but is equally knockout. If I could sell this soup at the Farmer’s Market I would be a millionaire. The Grenfell death toll was creeping up and I was ready to go back to unconsciousness.

As I was crawling along the floor from my bed to the kitchen I spotted it in one of the stacks of books that line every wall of my flat. “Some Rain Must Fall: My Struggle Book 5 by Karl Ove Knausgaard.” I only ever bought Books 1 + 2. I grabbed it and opened it. Sure enough, inside there was a stamp from Islington Central Library and a few sticky barcodes on the back.

“Fuck,” I thought. “That man will do anything to get me out of bed.”

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Uncategorized

Pearl

When I think of all the hours I stared

at the carvings of a wardrobe making faces in dusk

or listened intently to the sound of monsters unfurling

beyond my bedroom window

and the dust settling on objects belonging to me

sleeping away another day

the sense of time passing

and what we own versus what we only purchase

for this short journey

a pearl within shell

fleeting like a play where all characters

are insubstantial and hardly formed

like voices calling from a great distance

with fog separating their meaning

what do we know of another’s journey

or the grief they store within their silence

what of the godless and their cleave

to make terms with empty skies and

when you lay your head on my lap

in my dark room with no windows

and you whisper all the swallowed hurt

you folded and re-folded within your heart

I cannot say I know where to place such pain

it lingers

like the ghosts of my childhood

and the specters I created

tapping at window panes

snarling beneath the bed

they are only kept at bay by our reason

and I have less and less

but you

you demand notice as the crying child will urge

even weary mothers to unclothe their milk

and my chest burns for wanting to soothe

but nothing comes

not succor

not words

for who can say

it will be all right

when outside the world hefts its mighty sword

and hacks down with seeming impunity

those tender links we make

during our dusty walk

it feels sometimes as if we ought

to cease to observe

and become feral once more

only responding to the urge within us

to outsprint our demise

who wants to witness, to consciously realize

as they diminish toward frailty

and what can the child who has no child

say to her loved ones when they

clamor for her wisdom?

this reversal of roles sits like new flowers

drinking in early sun

knowing less of themselves than the past

I feel my grandmother’s hand

she is somewhere in the light

just a step beyond where I can follow

she tells me to be brave and strong

hold on child, the waves will be high

and you must find purchase

it is the break of my sandals on boulders

the scrabble of my fingers climbing wetly

all the chains of our fears

biting our attempt to defeat

it is harder to do this as you reach

the summit of yourself

where looking out at a drowning world

there are days you wish

not to understand what it is to love

or the pain this will bequeath

when those dear pass beyond

your reach

I can only strike out

one sure step, one uncertain

leaving footprints for myself

in virgin sand

there is no forward, no return

only a circle within a circle

ancestors on one cusp

perhaps a forest between us

for it is not just the heart

but the sound of birds coming home

and the boon of life as it bursts

anew with each day

we cast our nets deep

we gather our grief

and set sail our hope

for one more

one more moment

kept safe against

the crystal wall of waves

sure as day will close

they gather

like women beneath

the moon glow

opalescent

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poetry

Mugshot

Babes,
I think that,
from now on,
whenever I get so sad
that you don’t know what to do
with me you should
gently
remind me
of the fact
that in my police mugshot
I have bright green hair
and the specific type of smirk
that may only be worn by those
who are entirely fearless.
Remind me
of the existence of that mugshot:
the hilarity of the image itself,
the absurdity of the surrounding events,
the possibility of seeing it printed in the newspapers
and the memory of a time when I was free
will always cheer me up
(or at least distract me
for a moment
while you hide all the knives
and pour tranqs into my cup).

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art, fiction

The Hung-Man’s Bottle Cap

She sat there, social as a dead butterfly, bending beer bottle caps in half.

“Why are you doing that?” I asked.

She paused, ruminated over the words “Miller High Life,” then responded.

“When I can’t do this anymore, I will hang myself.”

“What if you break your fingers?” I said, smirking.

“Then, it will be a loose knot,” she replied, without humor.

I laughed–tried to. I picked up a cap; gave it a squeeze.

“Ouch.” It dropped. We both looked at it, she looked up at me.

I frowned. “I’m not going to hang myself!”

She shrugged, looking rather disappointed.

 

 

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poetry, Uncategorized

Estrella

adventure-bed-city-girls-Favim.com-2204661The demonstration of desire

You

Festival moon

You

Illuminated city

I lost my virgin in your marble heart

My feet sore with your distance

These twice unloaded dreams

Steamed open in prequel

Never taste so sweet from the lips of tomorrow’s hung

Parceling out adverts for betterment

We lived and we died as we lived

Ambitions smelt on liberties arms

Sat arranged like actors, we’re gaining age under skies

The slender friend you had at ten

Whom you fought with and bequeathed your favorite puppet

Does she recall the feeling of her hand becoming animation?

I am weary too of holding my fingers in pretend

We are uncooked yolk moving in our sacks toward the crowd

All the riches and you are poor, bereft of succor

With not enough strength to hold a girl’s jaw as she bites

Down on her future

As you re-string your ukulele

Remember your children

Born in your brick lain bosom

They didn’t look back, reaching for

Your decision, gathering force

Lifting off our terrestrial habit

First they were born of you

Aiding terra firma in legacy

To exist even as we do not

Softness wrapping around like chains of hands

Forming diminishing circles

Rising in colored plumes to bid goodbye

To the seekers

With their shaved journey unveiled like a night bathed in stars

We loved and we died as we loved

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poetry, prosetry, Uncategorized

Next

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99 percent click ‘next’

move on / lord knows / had it up to here with emotion and tell-all’s / give me some false with my cornflakes and a little fake juice

if you feel sad because nobody is listening, tune in

the record you play is scratched and everyone has upgraded to digital

their headphones drown you out truth-tellers / sorrow-spellers / drowned girls and boys

it’s their whim, their fancy, to inhabit the glory and the cavort

who taught you they wanted to hear about you?

those flashy egos who seek grandure, attention, praise, affirmation

do they place their hot hands on your grief? or pause and seek

anything but you

truth, it is said, doesn’t sell

honesty makes us tired

we want elixir, we need to be uplifted

read to me, tell me a bed time story with a happy ending and lots of pictures

in the news; photos are more popular in social media than words

says it all …

speak, speak no more

and if you do, ensure it’s after you take your pill

for you belong to the tribe of wonderment, nothing less will do

do not rent your heart online

do not display weakness or fear

whatever you do, don’t expose how it is

paint over / disguise / laugh / get pissed

and when you lay there feeling that sliced feeling in your gut

emptiness and her counterparts

when you bring the shards of glass closer

when you realize this is it, there is nobody out there

in this 7 plus billion world

less is more, more is less

how can we be so inhabited and so isolated?

do ghosts walk our lives with empty diaries?

the ones who crumple on their knees in the street

who picks them up and who hurries past?

with scorn written in their jowls

more and more we hang our heavy hearts

in places of silence and neglect

the pegs of our support, thin of reassurance and tenor

more and more we lose our truth in betrayal

and counter attack

until like a game, like a digital effect

we are not real, we are chess without hands

our feelings so siphoned and lost

they exist beyond us

it’s only when we feel the edge of the ledge

staring down into leaden rivers

then we know it’s all a joke

this idea we’re doing anything of worth

and the words you suffocated

trapped in throats like unhawked phlegm 

never to be spat

what would they if they could, say?

please

don’t walk away

please

listen hear me

please

need someone who is not perfect

please

feel

something

the girls who have friends

standing with gymnastic straight backs

smooth waxed hair and plump cheeks

talking over cigarettes, turned on by a switch

everything is different

until a man enters the room

all eyes flash in unison 

he has power

the girls prioritize the phallus

the boys are drinking fluoridated water cutting off their

reproduction

soon sexless frogs will spawn harpies

would it be so wrong if

we stopped now

at the cusp of our cruelty

died out before another era came, crueler still …

dominating fickle lay of shivering wasteland

another creed, another judgement

the Mormons are the largest expanding faith in America

do your research acolyte, then ask yourself

progress? Really?

who progresses when others are held back?

feet on backs of the fallen, that’s the way they roll

with tarnish set on high

we are the crushed on whom aniseed devils inherit kingdoms

sometimes I don’t care anymore

I just want to get into a boat and leave the shore

sail away to something of Huckleberry Finn

I understood him and his penchant for solitude

it wasn’t hate it was necessary isolation

from the wear and tear of jitter-bug humanity

gagging at the hurtling fense

with their sharp and mercilless claws

step down falsehood

let the wild hare, the quick footed fox

take over

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