Wabi Sabi

Wabi Sabi: Japanese aesthetic. An appreciation for what is broken or thread bare or unfinished.

Most lives are unfinished,
we sit by a window where
puddles fill with repetition and struggle
to end a day, not with the same stare tasking sadness,
but with knowledge of some new thing.

We hear red leaves settle under the dying tree,
if we could stop thinking and winnow out the motors
to hear a cricket spill its night call,
with no end in sight to the evening voice.

The house cat knows to seek
the same spot–underneath the dwelling—

there is retreat and shade,
and in the sea of broken lives,
a threadbare promise.

Willow

The willow danced, her moves did not care about the crowd, they drew circles in the air, like caterpillars falling down from apples, they crossed over unseen faces, caressing their every pore, she twirled embracing human bodies only she could see, and the room was dark, and still, and the light was red, in the Theater-Podium bar, and only the little black cat in the corner watched and whispered through her purrs to the trees in the forest in which she thought she was, she said, look, although there is no river, and no human to cry next to her, here’s a willow with a female face, with long dark-red hair that falls onto stones like branches, a woman who forgot to dream but became a dream herself, forsaken by male touch and baby hugs, look, the cat said, there’s a woman almost taking off and leaving ground, rooting her hands deep into the clouds, but the cat was just a cat, and the forest did not listen, because there was no forest, and there was no ground, and the music stopped, and the willow was now asleep, with a little black blind kitten curled up at her feet, and the next performance, and the audience, they were nowhere to be found, and the willow’s voice was dreaming of a time when she used to sing each night, it was either opera or jazz, and the willow was young and voluptuous back then, she was nothing like a willow at all, and the willow’s voice fell asleep too, deep in her stomach, away from human sounds, behind the curtains, and never again was it to be found.

Amen

my mother says that god is not female nor male.
i am not female nor male.
so, in some ways, that makes me god.
i realized that i do not need to look to the sky for god, but only to my genitals.
and i pray.
let us pray.

The Unreliable Narrator

The unreliable narrator turned up late.

“You know what I’m like,” he said, by way of excuse.

We nodded our heads unconfidently. Of course, no one actually did know what he was like.

Kern

I want to be shot by Kern
his style – the less pornographic
girls with their tits, in panties
at home or outdoors
on roller skates, brushing their teeth
letting white foam spit, dribble, drip
from tongues lips to sink, floor
He could photograph my feet for
fetish magazines,
they are dainty I would offer ideas
for series – girls with towels over
their heads drying their hair
girls eating cake. Icing, cream,
jam, sprinkles elbows deep in
the mess of it all

The Cat Is Gone

The cat is gone. One day already.
The night is grim, the forest dark.
I lean against a spruce’s bark,
Afar I see the lights unsteady.

The cat is gone. It’s all my fault.
I thought that it would do him good
To check out a new neighbourhood
Now nature keeps the cat enthralled.

The cat is gone. But I have hope
That he will soon come back to me.
His not returning home would be
Disastrous. No, I couldn’t cope.

The cat is back. I am delighted.
He didn’t tell, where he has been,
I didn’t want to make a scene.
My state is happy, but benighted.

love awry

never judge a book by its cover
but do judge a lover
by their books

Myself and the Sad Clown

When you’re drilling your mind for a little more gold,
Ideas spilling from tangled-web old
Memories catch the tails of today.
The endless to-do’s, and making hay
In case the sun shines on,
Well hold on
Just a little longer.

Sad clown twitches sharp jokes that ached,
Fragile nights, the ideas were half-baked
Of a self-deprecating manner,
That concealed all things and all manner
Of sins.
He dug within,
So they could laugh a while.
Clocked up mile upon mile
Of the ties that are cut with righteousness of youth.
It’s a long, twisted journey, the pursuit of truth.

And freedom is only a state of mind,
Stick with me here, don’t think me unkind
When I say we spend a lifetime settling into a skin
Get to know yourself, it’s all buried within.

Myself and the sad clown tonight walk along
A dark twisted road, the night is long.
And we laugh to the aching and to the breaking,
And sing to the spirit yet in the making.

The Cucumber Plot

I have a large knife in my hand
and I’m not afraid
to skin this mother
to sliver away at the
stiff upper lip of a
toughened epidermis
banish wrinkles, dents and prickly bits
and behold it
cleansed, stripped, unveiled…
If you ask me again
I will plainly chop
the thing in two
while I wonder what I could be

This repast, the fourth of the day
mentally diarised between
broken blinds and fresh air
changing light bulbs and toilet bleach
interrupted by
pencil shavings
polka dancing
a stubbed toe for you and an ice pack for me
will be ready when it’s ready…
If you ask me again
I might lose my thread
While I wonder what I am

The uses of a cucumber?
Well, it’s staggering
With a whole one
brought to room temperature
there’s no guilty sniff of an affair
grate it for tzatziki
slice it into Pimms
twist a piece to garnish
baton lengths to dip
pickle in a jar or two
refresh tired eyes
pack on shine
pack on an allergic reaction
like mine

This repast, the fourth of the day
mentally diarised between
identity cravings and learning to share
bathroom scum lines and out of reach
interrupted by
dead batteries
sing-along-songs
a melody for you, a harmony for me
will be ready, when its ready…
I have a large knife in my hand
and I’m not afraid
to dice this mother
expose jellied innards
vital organs
while I wonder what I was

And when you’re ready
I’ll see waves of laundry
finally dry up
breakfast and supper
mute on Sunday
the last marmite stain
wiped from the wall
that secret bogie stash cemented
to your bedroom shelf
I’ll post off to your house
cucumber cool
with a note that says, touché

Train to Cornwall

Sailing on the thrum and steel,
westward the silver, sure line eases.
Each boxcar at a smooth delay,
as voices in a choral round.

In sliding frames fit for St.Ives
a landscape airs its carousel:
brushstrokes of woodland, gold-leaf sea,
the sudden, muffled shock of tunnels
with explosive horizon each end.

Flying true, as pen to rule,
surely we ride the veins of England;
surely all other is reduced now to blots;
surely all other is but busy-ness bleeding,
bruising such moments as this.

Black Beach

A Rachmaninoff whirl
the wind and the waves
and black puffins and a black beach
and nothing between us and
the south pole
but this swirling soup.

Let’s stay here
and live in a cave
and at night light a big fire
and remind the rocks
of where they came from.

We can fish with the birds
and roam with the horse
and sing to the sea
and wash in waterfalls.

Feel the warmth of Basalt
absorbing the sun
Listen for ancestors in the wind
and keep on the right side of trolls
and never throw a stone.

Sleeping with the Classics

I cannot sleep.
Restless.

I’m thinking of sleeping with the Classics.

Where should I start?
With the vulnerable Pound?
The clumsy Thomas?
The mystical Rainer?
Blake? I certainly loved his technique.
Maybe Bukowski could be somewhere in the middle…
I bet he’d last an entire five minutes.

Perhaps I could finish with
Sade Marquis.
It could be my punishment-
for all of the sinful fornication,
the moral blasphemous
of such casual carnage–
each lash of the whip a bit
of forgiveness.

Yes, yes, yes!
I will go out not with a bang

but a whimper.

Captive

I want to keep you captive
Like a book upon my shelf
That I will not lend to anyone
And won’t read for myself

The Last Lemon

‘This is it, you know.’
‘Is that so?’
Flo holds up a dull tin, the label warped and peeling. Smoothing the paper, she reads:
‘Sausages and-’
Flic joins her. ‘Beans. Best til last.’ She sniffs the metal with exaggerated relish.
‘Well then.’
‘Shall I?’
A pause.
‘Yes, you do the honours Flic.’
‘Are you sure? Come with me.’
‘Wait… Let’s cook this first.’
Flo walks to where a low sun casts through the glass. It reflects off a loch, red with algae. With arthritic hands, she turns the gears of the can-opener. Slow.
‘I’ll get the knife.’
‘Warm the pan too. We can spare the gas, after all.’
‘Get it piping.’
Flo chuckles. It is always hot now.
While the flame burns, blue on black, Flic goes over to the other window. On the deep stone sill sits a stunted lemon tree. She spits on a cuff and polishes its crisp leaves. A broken residue comes away on her sleeve.
‘To think Flo. We grew it.’
‘From just a pip.’
Flo prises the can’s lid with a knife, scrapes congealed innards onto the heat. She joins Flic, looking out over the raw dark hills.
‘What’re the odds?’
‘Not good. But it lived, alright.’
‘Now?’
‘Now.’
Breath held, Flic pulls the lone lemon from its branch. In the palm of her hand, she eases through the soft pith with blunted blade. Zest. Flo leans forward, inhales for them both.
‘I’ll get the bottles.’
Fast on stiff hips, Flo makes for the cupboard. The tonic lets off the barest hiss and the gin cap is almost rusted stiff.
‘Glasses, Flic.’
One. Two. Yellowed liquor slipped in both. Flo throws the remaining dram to the flagstones.
‘For the dead,’ she laughs. Flic smiles with her, eyes rheumy in the acid air.
‘Here.’
Flic cuts over the glass, but the dry fruit does not drip. Three slices and a hard navel each.
‘Pull that pan.’
‘Plates?’
‘No need.’ Flo holds up their spoons, passes the least bent one over. She stirs, prising charred meat from the pan bottom. Takes a bite.
‘Well then, Flic.’
‘Flo.’
The two friends lock eyes, cheers.
‘To health.’
‘To health.’

To Kit, who I haven’t seen for years, on the day I went to get an abortion

You’d lap this right up, Kitten.

I can picture you performing torture
– all wringing hands and wrenching hair,
poetry and punches –
in the waiting room.

Oh, you’d luxuriate in all this:
the tragedy, the loss, the unloved life
(and that was meant to say unlived,
funny what phones’ll make you admit).
Yep, you’d lap it up
like cool cream, warm milk, thick blood
pouring round the basin
and down the drain.

Why I’m thinking of you, I don’t know.
You’re just something to think about, I suppose,
while I sit on this bloody train to nowhere
I want to go.

infinity commutes

faces
like knots on a diseased oak,
we huddle together
not like rotten planks
of a fallen floor
but rather
like something alive;
apples in a farmer’s market
or flowers
gasping from a pavement crack,
hands
reaching towards God
and grasping the crossbar,
eyes dodging from faces
or staring at them openly,
minds on work
or the press
or some drifting zephr memory;
a million infinities
touching eachother uncomfortably,
as many as there are fish in the sea,
and all on their way to somewhere,
and all with something unshareable in their heart

A room of one’s own

One is afforded the luxury
of a jumper and no pants;
sitting on my feet
with a bare bum
makes me feel like a child.
I like to wriggle my toes and
relish the rare innocence
of a naked body;
to curl up foetal around
soft folds of tummy
and nestle down to sleep
in the gap between two pillows.

The drawing I’d draw if I could draw

It would be a pencil drawing.

It would be a cartoon of a man doing a head stand on a surfboard on a wave. It would be sunny. He’d be skinny, wearing shorts and with oversized hands and feet. His feet would be facing the sky, but drawn at enough of an angle that you could read what was written on them.

It would say Soul Tan because the bottom of the man’s feet would be getting a tan; and because surfing and the sun and being upside down are good for your soul; and because Boots (the chemist) used to make suntan lotion called Soltan and that’s what my memories of family holidays on the beach smell like.

Britain’s Greatest Living Composer

In London there’s a man, a composer for the broadway stage, who gets every one of his diaries professionally bound. At home, with his wife, he has whole walled bookshelves, deep mahogany, touching the ceiling of his study. And during the day he’ll be writing down the poached eggs he had for breakfast, and the clouds moving through the city, just outside his window, when his wife comes in.

“10am: Dorothy enters. Asks what my plans are (Ha!), she pauses.”

Clicking away in his study all day, you’d think he’d write about interesting things, all the people he’s met. ‘Britain’s greatest living composer’ the newspapers say. But opening any of his books, you can see he barely notices a thing.

i want to buy you lunch poem

sometimes i feel sad and i look
at your Facebook and then i feel
a strange combination of happy
and sad. i crack a grolsch and its
taste is one of melancholy and promise.

i think back to the times
i’d meet you after dark and the excitement that charged
my drunken heart. i think
of rolling down hills
in hyde park and thinking
you were the mould
i’d force my life to fill.
i think of all the times
i’d insist on getting wine you’d correctly never touch, and passing out fused and content.

all i wanted was to cook for you,
to call you
in the faint jaundiced murmur of the barely morning and hear you say “maybe lunch?”

Spilt sugar

Licked my finger
and dabbed at the spilt sugar
to avoid watching your mouth move.

Bitter sweet stuck in my teeth it’s odd,
how I still want to kiss it.
Even when it’s full
of broken promises
and empty excuses
and endless apologies.
You stop. And I look up at your lips.
I bet it seemed easier just to lie.

Litany

A blessing on October days,
kaleidoscope of trees,
crunch of spent leaves,
withered conkers crooked shapes.

A blessing on spiders’ tiaras,
dew blanketing the ground,
mists snuggling round valleys,
berries shining in hedgerows,
pumpkins plump like cushions.

A blessing on Autumn.

On Ownership

You bought me food I’d never tasted before
So that I cultivated tastes I’d miss
You bought me a website
So that all my work was filtered through you
You bought me sheets
So I’d sleep in you
You bought me pillows
So I couldn’t even rest my head without your help
You bought me notebooks and pens
So I couldn’t even have autonomy in words
You bought me a Netflix account
So when I was watching something, you could watch me
You bought me a trip to France
So I could see worlds owned by you
I think you would have eventually bought me a ring
And the worst thing is
I would have let you
Buy
Me

Cloverleaf Plaza

The man beside me reminds me
of Rain Man, or

the character
Dustin Hoffman played, he who
could count hundreds of matches while they fell to

the ground but could not tie his

own shoe,
here at The Cloverleaf Plaza
an entire day can go by

without a single sin:
This day of wanted-signs,

lipstick samples and red onions (that are really purple)
husks of the corn islands

that scream we are alone

While most of us are born beneath
Fluorescent lights: screaming,

resisting,

he sits in his spot
rotating
the sun with each bend of his
head.

How does it look?

A man’s jacket, left at the bar.
She tries it on for size,
pats down the shoulders,
runs fingers along its tweed.

She sweeps back her hair,
makes the composed face
people use in dressing rooms;
a visual grammar,
the language of mirrors.

She looks at herself,
watches me watching her.
How does it look?
You make it work.

Empty

She hadn’t had a great thought for months. No matter how many cafés she went to for inspiration, how many pencils she held thoughtfully to chin, how many freak-show passerbys she tried to furiously encapsulate in iambic pentameter, she was left with nothing but a notebook of lifeless clichés and a head full of empty.

And so, as she continued to hold pencil thoughtfully to chin, she decided to stop being a writer and get into advertising.

Go fig.

Woke up a little too late to get into school on time. 16/11/2012

Thought it would be easier to just not turn up and stay in bed.
As I laid there, festering in my pit I remembered one of the reasons Sissy gave me as to why she was leaving, “you’re lazy and have no hope, whatsoever”. I couldn’t let her to be right, so I crawled out of from my bed. Clean Versace jeans. Clean t-shirt with a screen print of two rag dolls covering the front.

The cycle to school doesn’t take too long, around fifteen minutes. Ten minutes into the cycle and a coach full of spastics or tourists knocked me off my bike sending me over the bonnet of a small family car. As I laid on the beautiful tarmac road with the screeching sound of a Ford motor car’s breaks approaching my cantaloupe of a head I curled into a ball. The Ford drove around me and the coach left. Leaving only a pair of swollen knees, headache and a small cut on left palm.

School had started. I walked in late. Apologised to my tutor, he said I didn’t mean it and he was right. I didn’t tell him about being knocked off my bike, all I needed was to sit down. After an hour of the tutor talking and making gestures with his hands, all the pupils were asked to leave the school because another tutor had died of a heart attack in front of his class. His wife also worked at the school. In a quiet and orderly fashion all the students left the building. It started raining. My knees were still too sore to cycle home, so I began to walk.
Thought it would be easier to just not turn up and stay in bed.

Entropy [1]

When we were children, we built sandcastles on the coast of Cork.
We would raise them high, making them increasingly elaborate.
There would be a moat, and trench walls, and spilled, wet sand to make detailed patterns on the more solid structures created with buckets. We would strive to make them both fortress-like and palatial.
We would be proud, and happy.
The tide would start to move in, slowly.
It would fill the moats, and we would feel vindicated,
It would rise to the castle, and we would be triumphantly yelling at the tide’s powerlessness.
It would wet and weaken our castles.
The waves would flow through them.
The castles would collapse into the waves.
Anonymous sand again.

The next day, we would go down after lunch and build new castles.
————————————–

[1] (Entropy is a principle whereby any system of order is bound to degrade into chaos and instability

En/topy isaa prinnciole whud3,ebanysysytem o ordebou n d//,,dgr inatcaosasabil;ityyh)

Simple Things

The glow fades slowly, shrinking..
as the summer solar sphere dolefully droops under the horizon line,

An unfathomable mass of heat.

As the breeze tentatively sweeps through the tree, against which he rests his back, the leaves flutter playfully like string-less puppets.

Remarkable invisible master.

I place my head softly against his chest and feel the methodical pulse, a beat, repeat, repeat..

Fantastically functional inner machine.

Gazing emptily into the distance, I think, I thank, I speak… Only to say, it’s all about the simple things.

Not a sad poem

Pity the Cyclops
he can’t sleep
with one eye open.

And what about the magical unicorn?
Being so majestic
makes it hard to horse around.

Pity the beautiful princess
whose intentions are cruel and vile.

And then there’s the poor old dragon
with his destructive breath
who only burns himself.

Hole

I rarely win things,
apart from hearts,
of which I have way too many,
apart from my own one,
which got ripped out of my tiny chest a while ago,
which is why I have this hole in my rib cage.

Wednesday at Midnight.

Another pub,
calls last orders.
Or does
the night last longer?
Get drunk alone again,
Those groaning men,
flock to your ex.
Looking for her online presence.
Less sense, senselessness.
Text message the next ex,
Half expect sex.
Get nothing,
give nothing,
never
the
less.

Ice Record

Goodnight, by The Beatles. It was just a song you played me once,
with the blinds up so we could see the moon like a penny over the
cold sea. I took the record; made a mould of every bump and groove,
then filled the mould with water and froze it. The ice record was
perfect. I dropped the needle and ghosts hummed out across the
decades. But like you, it was gone before I was ready for-

The grey portrait

Billie is sitting on a navy blue wood-chipped bench and tea is dribbling from her mouth, little by little the entire contents of her forest green paper cup is falling into her lap and there is now a puddle of saliva infested tea soaking through her grey trousers. Her head is raised, poised in the air, watching the old man with the colour grey painted between his wrinkles. Billies eyes bore into his, following Point A to Point B of the sunken yellow valley below his eyes. There are sprinkles and sprinkles of tiny grey hairs resting above his lips; Billie does not know if it is the remnants of a moustache or if it has fallen from his nose.

Billie now stares at all of the man she can see in front her, looking beyond the grey portrait and drilling her eyes into his past life, the life that is living behind every orange white patch of skin, the life that his hidden behind his freckled forehead, behind his tired eyes. Billie closes her eyes for a long moment and creates a moving picture of his life: a man and a woman kissing, tongues drenched spit clinging to each other tightly. The woman is sighing, squeezing his back repeatedly and waiting for his arms to embrace her body – he does not and instead remains rooted to the ground, hands glued to his sides, only tongue moving.

The old man stands, he waits for only a moment and walks away from the navy blue wood-chipped bench. Billie sees the loneliness painted on the grey portrait and sighs, the old man’s past life still tiptoeing across her mind. She wonders who he is and who the girl was, she wonders if he ever did fully embrace her, fully move with her body, fully love her, fully kiss her. She wonders too much for a person who does not know the old man’s name. The forest green paper cup falls carelessly to floor and Billie begins to dab at the puddle of tea soaking through her grey trousers.

Slapstick Homelife

Where is my self respect?
Where is my aftershave?
Where is my gel douche?
Where is my happy day?

I wish I had spent all my pointless time doing pointless things on YouTube

I’m hungry I am
I’m tired I am
I’m old enough to know better I am
I’m young enough to still have to try

I wish I had spent all my pointless time doing pointless things on YouTube

Say what you will, Alex Zane has a fan base
I measure my impact in layers of dust
I’m gonna bookend all my falls with adverts
Let my humiliations earn my crust

I wish I had spent all my pointless time doing pointless things on YouTube

All those wasted years tripping over off camera
Next time my heart sinks please God let my bank balance rise
All those wasted years living off one way shit karma
Now it’s twenty pence a click every time a little something inside me dies

I wish I had put all my pointless time into doing pointless things on YouTube

Got to make my failures pay

Untitled (political)

“Check this out”

Steven wasn’t concentrating on the class work they’d been set.

“Ben, check this out”

Now Ben wasn’t concentrating, he hadn’t really been able to concentrate since the shuffle around in 6Bs seating plan. Miss Boronsko had made the switch from alphabetical to a more culturally diverse spreading of age order within the year six class. “No more Mohammed’s in the middle” was the chant, Miss B was actually a bit nervous at the racist-sounding-ness of the slogan but persevered nonetheless. Although I mean she hadn’t even said it out loud but you know, ‘NSA’ etc.

Whipping out his new Casio FX-115MS-SC-UH and handing it to Ben, Steven began;

“So you take the number of potential puns about UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s name made on the internet and World of Warcraft.”

“Right.” Ben tapped away.

“Divided by the number of closeted dick jokes ready to go to print by DMG media.”

“Wait, is this going to be political?”

Stephen assured him it was.

Ben continued tapping.

“Add 5″

“Sure”

“Now, multiply by the current levels of radiation at the geographical centre, ground zero if you will, of the Chernobyl disaster and add the first number.”

“OK, is this going to carry on much long…” Ben’s voice trailed off has he hit enter.

He’d never expected this, this was big.

The answer? 80085.

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Avion Paris

Ce matin, tu as dû te réveiller tôt.

J’étais encore dans ton lit
tournée vers le mur
roulée en boule sous ta couette,

j’avais chaud même si j’étais nue.

Tu t’es allongé contre moi
ton bras frais m’enveloppait.
La peau de mon corps
qui était découverte,
a eu des frissons.

On était triste de se quitter,
encore.

Je me suis levée,
tu m’as serré fort dans tes bras,
longtemps.

Je n’ai pas réalisé que c’était la fin.

BOBFOC

I followed you down, Regent Street
Admiring, assessing, head to feet

Well contoured curves, shiny hair
Tailored skirt, straining buttock pair

Moving level. A firm, tight breast
Careful jewellery, skin sun-blessed

Raised my eyes, nervous, shock
For you my love were a BOBFOC

Originality

I was the first person ever to think ‘no thought is truly original’, which was weird because not only was it a brilliant point, it was also rendered completely invalid by its originality.

Spooning

roses are red
biolets are vlue
we spoon alot,
because i love you.

Celebrity Chefs

What would Jamie Oliver say
if he saw you eating that?
He’d probably talk about olive oil
and lemon.
Lemon is fresh as a baby.
When a baby laughs
I feel like I’m swimming in lemon
and a healthy lime.

Nigella would say ‘Ooh,
I know I shouldn’t
but I just can’t resist.’
She would lick the mixture off the spoon
with a cat’s tongue.
The chocolate tastes like velvet curtains
that are held back
with ropes and tassels and adjectives.

Ramsay wouldn’t give a shit
but his kitchen is cleaner than mine.

Cake

He licked his lips as he moved the cake closer to his mouth,
His heart raced and his hands went clammy with excitement,
Simon grinned as the powdered sugar glistened in the sunlight, he took his first bite,
and the jam dribbled out like a young Ryan Giggs penetrating a Coventry defence.

Thousands and Thousands of Chairs

A man called William is standing in the space that belongs to the yellow door. Beyond him there are thousands and thousands of chairs; there are so many chairs that his brain, my brain, your brain cannot even begin to count them. Our brains would not even attempt to count them because they all share the fear of the pink and the blood splattered everywhere. The amount of chairs in the room beyond the yellow door Is overwhelming and William will sit down on one, William will sit down in an empty room and disturb the emptiness of the thousands and thousands of chairs with bare fronts. I am thinking that one human soul sat down on an inanimate object which is then surrounded by thousands and thousands of inanimate objects is scary. One human soul is that room is all you, me and William are aware of, that soul is William, except once William has sat down I wonder if he will question “the human soul”. I wonder if the emptiness of everything he sees will make William doubt his own humanity, I wonder if the thought of all these thousands and thousands of chairs also having human souls will bury itself in William’s mind. I wonder how you measure a human soul. William wonders how you measure a human soul. Do you wonder how you measure a human soul. Is it you? Is it William? Is it me?

Here

I grew up in darkness and stars.
They might be old and familiar
but they were different:
black and bright; burning, cold; clear-cut.

It’s never dark in this city.
Nothing’s black and white;
it’s just murky.
The birds think it’s dawn
when it’s streetlights at midnight.
Artificial heat turns winter to autumn.
Everything’s half-done.

I mention this to you one night
before bed. You roll your eyes to the back of your head
and switch off the light.

Keyboard Slide

“be my bride”,
he cried
but to no avail.
his request denied
with nowhere to hide
unable to debride
he traveled worldwide
his wounded pride
to salvage

he groaned he moaned
and agonized and why’d
in terms of emotion
he was oversupplied
his insides hog-tied
deep-fried
filleted and hung out to dry

anyway.
one day
during a longish car ride
he eyed the view
and thusly spied
a dewy cobweb
glimmering and wide
a tree bestride
broken.

he attempted to deride
but with a start, realized
hey
i lived
i loved
i tried
es tut mir nicht leid
(he’d had some free time
to study German)

at this point,
the writer rubbed his eyes,
sighed,
and went off to the loo
to commit well-deserved suicide.

Does This Count As Meditation?

I am thinking about the people who are sitting on that fast train that just went by in the distance, and the fact that some of those people are probably gazing out of their windows and looking at the same low sun as I am, and some of the same fields and trees and maybe even houses. And maybe some of those people are thinking about the people in those houses who are sitting in the last rays of sun of the day and looking out at the low sun and the fields and the trees, thinking their own thoughts about the people who love them or the people who don’t love them back or what they are going to have for dinner. And just maybe, some of those other people sitting outside their houses in the last rays of sunshine of the day, like me, are thinking about those people on that fast train that just went by in the distance.

Pint of Milk

I’m just a lonely pint of milk,
I stand outside the door.
It isn’t quite so lonely, when the
customer wants some more.
For then I have companions
and we have a chance to talk.
And looking at the people who pass,
we can watch the way they walk.
But how I wish when empty,
you would wash me nice and clean,
‘Cause when I am cloudy,
I’m ashamed of being seen.
So please remember Ladies,
before you put me out,
Give me a rinse, so I can be,
proud to stand about.

New Abode

Goodbye to the cobwebs, that gathered dust
with their static clinging, hanging like sailors
ropes, the filth their devoted mollusks.

Goodbye to the threadbare carpets, that gave a
clear view of the floor boards, their perfect lines
like a summer garden, laid out with turf, the broken
cassettes, cigarette burns, rusted cans and two year
old birthday cards its blossoming flowers.

Goodbye to the lounge, with vast fortunes of copper
that fell behind each seat, the patter of falling plaster
like lazy April hail, that falls in time with the creak
of each door, the drop of every tap.

Goodbye to the evenings blazed in smog, our voices
like the lights that hung bare, our hands too lazy to
dress them with shade. Our palms however, never empty,
with prayers among dust; goodbye to childhood.

@martinadams

Martin Adams hired a black Ferrari for 24 hours,
He instagrammed over 2000 photographs that day,
and entered over a million hashtags,
By the evening he had lost all of his followers.

Sunday Afternoon

We used fingers and thumbs,
hands squeezing bums,
but no tongues
in and around delicate places,
just in and out of each
other’s faces.
It was fun,
something to do on a
Sunday afternoon.

Carrot

You & I shall create a person.
As acting cruel God, I will beset him with a toothache; rendering most thoughts
metaphysical & esoteric the best part of redundant.
You could put her in a beat up & battered pair of german paratrooper boots, a size
too small, if you so wished.
Akin to many of life’s fortunates, I shall make him of mixed-race parentage: Father
of Polish extraction? A sturdy & stern, upright & downright political animal of a man
from Lower Silesia. A slow-burning splenetic to boot, perhaps?
Now for her Mother – a Ceutan? Yes! A blithe & libidinous ochre flame made
feminine by flesh. To be near her is to be in the presence of one of Mother Nature’s
favoured daughters. An obscure descendant of Ammi-Saduqa, no less.
Let’s score in some rudimental sensibility for him. We can make her favourite joke,
in its contextual entirity be: “Mam angielsku zagadke dla ciebie! Co to jest pomarancza,
i brzmi jak papuga?………MARCHEWKA!”. After you translate this to English, shake your
head & ask him why – she blushes & would like to change the subject.
Time to send our man forth to stumble & gawk in the labyrinthine corridors of the
collective mind.
Paying no attention to the pattern (which you quite like for its Art Nouveau qualities) on
the path-worn carpet, she has picked up pace now & if she had not of spent most of
the quarter-mile walked assessing & cursing her footwear, she’d have noticed that
every fifth door to her left is painted a pillar box red & ajar.
Bored of this, I have him stop, turn to his right & come face to face with a diesel-blue,
riveted metal door with CALIGULA ROOM scratched upon its surface.

Cats Know What’s What

The cat has turned
her back
on the tidings
of Magpies
high up on the roof.
She has concerned herself
with paw licking and
catching the last
rays of summer
It’s all about
Wood Pigeons
these days
anyway.

Pat Sharp’s Mullet

Pat Sharp’s mullet
went solo years ago

Pat Sharp’s mullet
now lives in Mexico

Pat Sharp’s mullet,
his middle name is Trouble

Pat Sharp’s mullet
is a highly paid stunt double

Pat Sharp’s mullet
saunters when on set

Pat Sharp’s mullet
lives life with no regret

Pat Sharp’s mullet
wears Primark never Prada

Pat Sharp’s mullet
drives a clapped out, old blue Lada

Pat Sharp’s mullet
likes sushi, coq au vin

Pat Sharp’s mullet
is a ruthless ladies man

After a long run of hard luck…

… Anton won big at the casino. Let’s not get specific but it was a life-changing amount; more than enough. Anton didn’t have to take his own life, but the fact remains that this is what he did. Is it important to know why? Is it of interest? Perhaps and perhaps. He was a roulette aficionado if anything, but triumphed on the blackjack table. The rope was already coiled up in a cupboard back home. Make of that what you will because who keeps rope in their home anymore? I myself will probably go that way some day, but not like that, how Anton did it. He might have abandoned the game halfway through but for he caught a lucky break, being dealt a run of hands so winning that they beamed. By the end of the night he’d won, he calculated, more money than he’d ever put into the whole venture. The rope was long, longer than him and it was thick, like gym rope in a school. It’s hard to say how he was feeling as he turned in his cards. He had to loop it though a fixture in the ceiling and when it came down it piled handsomely upon the floor. The chips took some time to count out, stringent checks were performed upon his ID and there was a moment where he thought he was never going to be allowed to leave. Priapism is a common side- or after-effect. He exchanged a small amount of chips for cash and the rest was wired to his bank. A cab took him back home where he loosened his tie, poured himself a drink and sat down to take in the enormity of things. After that, well. After that is after that and we all know what happened next.

Battlestar Senatehouse Library

if we were aboard the
Battlestar Galactica
you’d probably be a Viper Pilot,
and i’d probably be an engineer
or a deckhand or something
probably i was blown out of the air-lock with the rest of the
nobodies
back in the mini-series
i’m pretty sure you’ll still be there by Season 3, caught-up in a
sub-plot
about the Cylons
and whether you’re one
i don’t mind, but
when the writers finally decide
it’s your time,
spare a thought for the generic overalls guy

Penance

He told me he’d come back if I pulled up my socks
up past my thighs, up at where the leg stops.
He told me he’d stay if I wore only an apron
while brewing him coffee and frying his bacon.

Now I’m not quite sure if he’s aware of this
but bacon’s grease is angry, it hisses and spits.
And this may not matter but when you’re wearing no clothes
it bites at your shoulders, your breastbone, and toes.

It’s a lamentable thing that no compromise comes
when you’ve done something awful and you’re in the wrong.
For his begrudging forgiveness, by his rules I’ll abide.
I’ll click on the gaslight and burn up my pride.

ABOUT MY BED

Oh no, not again I said
I’m dreaming things
about my bed

With a lettuce quilt and
a cream cheese spread

I sleep on a piece
of soft white bread.

Fumble mouth

The longer he had not been with a girl, the more nervous he found himself when chatting to them.

He would say “Anyone told you how attributive you are”.

He wished he could summon up the witty banter his circle of friends texted each other.

Out of his mouth came ‘Can I buy a pretzel girl like you a drink’, or ‘You doing anything latex tonight’.

The problem worsened. In the end a psychoanalyst told him he had developed predictive talking.

Cynthia’s great disappointment.

Cynthia lived in a lighthouse.
The bulb had gone.
So it was just a house.

Cigarette Girl

I took a drag from a tab
then you floated out.
Like slow motion smoke
you hung in the space
in front of my eyes
for a few seconds, smiled,
and faded into the night –
as if the air sucked you into its lungs
with no intention of blowing you out.

Yet, still that image stirs sensors,
in a section of my brain
that deals with senses.
And that snapshot of December has me remembering
how the cold felt,
and how the air smelled of Marlboro reds,
and how we met at the bar later on,
and how now,
I breathe you in
and you dissolve into me.

Stolen phone on George’s Street

Swimming upstream
Against the lunch crowd
coming down
Two mangy otters
high on river junk
have opportunity
in their eyes

Strike, a quick swoop
a long skinny arm
goes in for the lucky dip
and pulls out a fancy phone

Everybody swims on
over the man on the ground
holding on, red faced, full of instinct
But too weak against the strength
of a junky on a mission

The glee in his eyes
The smile on his face
The speed in his
body as he gets away.

Away off up the road
to god knows where
Dissolving into Camden street
with the Galaxy in his hand.

Perfectmatch.com

She is made from freshly squeezed oranges
Bio ewes milk yoghurt
Organic nuts & apricots from Syria
Oolong tea & Tofu spread oatcakes
Moroccan Olives washed with sparkling dry wine
in the evenings while she listens to her favourite
Elgars Cello concerto.
He is made from strong milky tea
2 sugars please
fried egg sandwiches on the hop
burnt toast under beans & chips
sugary doughnuts pork pies and iced fingers
Golden Virginia & cans of Stella
in the evenings while he watches his favourite
A Touch of Frost episode.
Their rendezvous – in the privacy of their laptops
She gave him a vapour image; a surface smile
He said: ‘I like your style’
And gave her bland beige statistics in return.
She declared she wanted only a plutonic relationship,
Intimacy without sex,
someone to share events, experiences, to have fun with,
Nothing serious. Nothing more.
He said ‘Yeah….me too’
And shifted uncomfortably to change tactics
Music, favourite songs, favourite memories
Worst experiences, embarrassing tales,
boring dialogues about work
all shared feverishly every night
Till eventually
One night….
In an outburst of unguarded passion
Drinking one can of Stella too many;
Desire bred on his fingers
His lips, the root of his penis
And he declared;
“I REALLY WANT TO FUCK YOU”
Silence logged her out
The next morning, after a night of wrestling fantasies
She logged back on to find he’d sent her
The You Tube link
Of Frank & Nancy Sinatra
Singing ‘Something Stupid”
She would marry that sausage egg & chip man
As soon as he came back online….

A Moment’s Harm in the Graveyard

Say hello to Hendon for me, I said.
Did you make it to the Olympics? she replied.

We met in a coffee house in Golders Green,
sat and watched the parade of Jewish families,
shalom, hello, moving between bakeries,
cafés and restaurants, halal.
Everything made you laugh; my northern accent,
all of its foibles, and the names of tube-stops,
especially and always Cockfosters.
I did visit the Olympic village; she returned
to London one summer,
and walked Traf.Square,
St.Pauls, Pal Mal – went as far out as Windsor.

There was a garden once, I remind her in email,
deep in the heart of Farringdon,
in the grounds of a church, where we sat
for the first time alone and kissed.
You were all jostle and frisk, but
a true English Gent must push to resist.
Pulling towards dusk, in august, amongst
the gravestones, we kissed, kissed
and kissed.

Haircut

Weird it was
(disgusting too)
That fresh day
When quietly
Walking to Sunday
Market the
Three of us
Were
Showered by
The discarded
Falling remnants
Of a
Haircut
Hurled from some
Overhanging balcony
Window
Florence in her
New acrylic jumper
All of us
Unsure what to
Feel or think
Being touched all over
By the dry rain
Of somebody else’s
Head.

The Tea

I make some tea and we sit down.
He sips and looks at me.
We talk and laugh, I look at him,
He sits and sips his tea.

He sits, just where you used to sit,
Right across from me.
I look at him, he looks at me
And sits and sips his tea.

If he was you, I’d touch him now,
But since he’s not I don’t.
I feel inside I hate him now,
For the things you did he won’t.

His look is not the same as yours,
Nor is his smile, his touch.
I know it’s mean, he’s not to blame,
It’s you I miss so much.

The room, the tea, the chair, the night,
All how it used to be.

The only the thing that feels so wrong:
It’s not you who looks at me.

PERGATORY

Imagine pergatory’s a gameshow,
And Dale Winton is the host,
And he decides who goes to heaven,
By whose basket’s worth the most.

Under the Weather

He looked up. The cloud which had been following him for several days was beginning to leak. He sighed; this was the last thing he needed. He would turn up to his date soaked to the skin and she would peer at the clear blue sky and wonder why she had agreed to meet such a dripping weirdo.
He had woken up one morning and discovered the cloud balancing above him, bobbing and white. Half asleep, he had made a playful swipe at its middle and felt the moist fluffiness beneath his fingertips. The cloud soon got embarrassing, however, following him all the way to work and into his office. A few of his colleagues had thought it endearing until it dimmed and unfettered a small thunderstorm over his desk. His spreadsheets were ruined and his laptop was scorched.
He began to run everywhere he went, in the hope of losing the perfectly rounded cloud. But it clung to the place above his head persistently; he could not lose it. And now it was about to shower over his date. He screwed his eyes shut in despair.
In the black distance he heard a chuckle. Just as he arrived at the cafe, a rogue ray of sunshine had hit his little cloud. Over their heads arched a perfect rainbow, and the woman was clasping her hands in delight. No-one’s ever brought me a rainbow before, she said. He could only smile and pat his damp burden happily.