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.
 (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)
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.
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.
calls last orders.
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.
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.
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
“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.
“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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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,
Je me suis levée,
tu m’as serré fort dans tes bras,
Je n’ai pas réalisé que c’était la fin.
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
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.
roses are red
biolets are vlue
we spoon alot,
because i love you.
What would Jamie Oliver say
if he saw you eating that?
He’d probably talk about olive oil
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.
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?
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.
I mention this to you one night
before bed. You roll your eyes to the back of your head
and switch off the light.
“be my bride”,
but to no avail.
his request denied
with nowhere to hide
unable to debride
he traveled worldwide
his wounded pride
he groaned he moaned
and agonized and why’d
in terms of emotion
he was oversupplied
his insides hog-tied
filleted and hung out to dry
during a longish car ride
he eyed the view
and thusly spied
a dewy cobweb
glimmering and wide
a tree bestride
he attempted to deride
but with a start, realized
es tut mir nicht leid
(he’d had some free time
to study German)
at this point,
the writer rubbed his eyes,
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.
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.
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.
We used fingers and thumbs,
hands squeezing bums,
but no tongues
in and around delicate places,
just in and out of each
It was fun,
something to do on a
social media sandwich
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
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
on the tidings
high up on the roof.
She has concerned herself
with paw licking and
catching the last
rays of summer
It’s all about
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
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
back in the mini-series
i’m pretty sure you’ll still be there by Season 3, caught-up in a
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
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.
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.
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
Against the lunch crowd
Two mangy otters
high on river junk
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.
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
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….
Wild At Heart
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
Weird it was
That fresh day
Walking to Sunday
Three of us
Hurled from some
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
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.
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.
A saccharine sensation, sticky and wet,
the morning on the tip of my tongue,
the night layered across my teeth.
Blue slithers of my eyes water themselves,
from between heavy lids, drip into waking
and find themselves regretful of their venture.
Hair plays at monkey games on my jungled face,
swinging from nose to ear to sky,
I remain unable to be swayed from the swaying.
When it comes to men in books
Everything’s about sex
Mr Darcy in the drawing room
Heathcliff on the moors
Rochester and his great big
I don’t know
If I ever met Dorian Gray, I’d probably just ask him to tea.
In my hideout away from London in N1, I can hear birdsong and smell the sweet burnt coal from the boats. City noises evaporate and nature resounds.
High-pitched whistles and tweets from the birds push away the heights of crowded buildings, and the clouds are visible once more.
All I dream of is here, in amongst the concrete mass, yet so far removed. Urban sprawl conquered by nature’s sprawl. Lapping water carrying cares downstream.
And in the summer here, it is heaven. Only clouded by the thought of a full turn of the clock.
13:00 and London returns.
Discreetly sneezing into an elbow
(always your own)
in accordance with the latest advice
You are the master of cold and flu etiquette
Until, feeling bolder, you remove your cardigan
You forgot about the sodden tissues
stowed in sleeves
now raining to the ground
Your colleagues pretend not to notice
the two-ply chemical weapons you’ve just unleashed
Later they’ll say
She should have stayed at home.
I Am Lumpy
VERY NOT GOOD AT SPIRAL
you drop it right there
your blue bicycle
in the almost-grass of april
and it sinks in
just a little bit
like a tired dinosaur
the blue kind
i don’t know all the kinds
you talk about them a lot
but i always forget
i watch them
splayed fat across the sky.
we are the same,
pulled from within
towards the warmth of our mothers’ bellies.
suffocating from cold
we scream -
‘let us be free from this place’.
they, freed by flight
squeal and shout;
and then they are gone,
smudged into the horizon.
i am left.
in the autumn leaves.
You must be flexible for
The Girl and the Tree
She first saw the tree when she climbed to the top of the Mount. She put down her satchel and caressed his skin; she pressed her cheek against his body and felt his strength. He sighed.
“Why were you born a tree while I was born a girl?” she asked him, gazing up to where his fingers touched the sky.
She visited the tree every day. In the summer months, the tree’s hair was green. She would strip off all her clothes and press her hot body against the tree’s cool flanks. In the autumn the tree’s hair turned reddy brown. She spent more and more time with the tree and spent less time in her home.
“You and I are just the same,” she’d say.
One evening, just as Autumn was becoming Winter, she ran away from home and went to see the tree.
“I wish I could stay here with you for ever,” she said.
She saw that much of the tree’s hair had fallen to the ground and lost its color. She felt so much tenderness that she wanted to scoop it up. She sat down, her back against him. The sun went down. When she thought about home, she knew that she would never go back. She would have to make her way up to the city. It would mean leaving the tree behind.
“Don’t you wonder what it would be like to be able to move around?” she asked him, wishing she could know what it was like to be so still.
That night, she told the tree all of the stories of her life. How she had never had anyone just be there for her before, or see her as she really was. She moved as close to his body as she could. She closed her eyes. She sensed the tree digging deep into the earth and growing into the air. She felt herself being drawn along with the Winter’s night inside the tree, melting out of her girl form and becoming part of him, held under his skin, an injection of love, mixing with his juices and flowing around his veins, pumped around all night by his mighty tree heart.
In the morning, the word ‘Goodbye’ fell from her lips as softly as the drops of dew that fell from her clothes.
Just a quick note to say
hi I hope you’re ok
because I am
I have a new girlfriend
she has tattoos
she is more adventurous
than you you know
I didn’t want to become
that couple who chat
on the phone at lunch
because they can’t at home
but we did remember the time
we couldn’t go on holiday
because you had to work
fuck that was romantic
sent from my iPhone
Let me tell you only two things from my youth. When I was five years old, my father told me a sci-fi story every night. The protagonist was a five-year-old boy whose parents had perished with everyone else on earth. I alone had been saved by an alien species, who called themselves “the golden men”. Even though they cared for me, I escaped every night to look for my real parents. One of my friends was an enormous ant who lived on the moon and had built a time machine which allowed me to go all over the place. I had many adventures this way though I also felt quite sad often. I wasn’t sure if I was entitled to be sad: after all I had been spared! This went on for several years. Much later when I was grown up, at least I’d begun to feel that way, my parents’ house was not the right place to fool around. I used to go to a park with my girl friends at night. It was a special park though since it belonged to an enormous open cemetery. We felt there could not possibly be any chance of discovery: a cemetery! (It wasn’t a creepy place at all, just empty and lush, the gravestones well hidden in the shrubbery.) I often had the impression we were being watched but I was never sure and in any case, we were beautifully busy. If there were voyeurs they were very discreet and cautious not to be seen. I suppose if there were voyeurs then we’d have a bunch of shared memories now. It’s fun to reminisce. It doesn’t hurt anyone to go back in time, perambulate the past, cull clover leaves.
I never want to see you again.
- Angus (sent at 17:38)
Kitty Sashkovich sat there, crying
on the train
as suburbia passed her by.
She didn’t know
that he had sent the text
to the wrong number.
That’s Not My Name
I hadn’t had time to watch Thor
or to read any of the comics
so I had no idea why you
were wearing a red cape,
brandishing a large hammer,
and referring to me as ‘Jane’.
Oldskool. Words printed on cellulose papers and bundled up in a book. Now, that’s going a step further. Or, shan’t we say, back? Words printed on a cellulose paper then folded up and inserted in a bundle of papers with a bunch of words. That has its own charm. Try to stick this bookmark in an e-reader.
Five in the First line,
Seven in the Second line,
Five in the Third line.
The day I was dumped
I stopped plucking
I haven’t had a good
pluck now for
nearly three months.
I used to pluck
every day. Or,
I wanted to pluck
every day but my
they only wanted to
pluck me every
second, third or fourth
I’m getting pretty hairy.
is the high seas
Open water, bread crumbs
We reach across
and let our glasses travel
A wild howl
Hunts from above
Tearing my cells up
In honeycomb hunks
Leaves fall from the trees
Moulting hair parting
Revealing me fleeing
That enormous tongue
Flickering and testing
The air like a snake
Narrowing on my body
Locking on, casting out
Like a drinking straw
Forged in your pits
I peel away from myself
Rolling and burning
Over and over
Hardening to a foetal
Concertinaed and shifted
In upward contractions
Reaching wet cheeks
Swilled and spat out
Scuttling along the ground
Piddling ghostly trails.
As the patter
of our passing feet fades,
how hair on a head so young
could be so mortified to grey.
that the mystery she weaves
can be dispelled
by a common name
scrawled on her coffee cup.
She careens across the street,
In her eyes,
a glint shines still.
I’m SO over that, says the girl student, imperious, to her sidekick boy. Y’know? SO past the age where, like, I have to get drunk and emotional. She sighs.
From the other side of the carriage, I smirk. The girl wears an outfit in a style pre-dating my student days. A twenty year cycle; now it’s the hip new thing.
An older woman opposite peers over her reading glasses at the paper. As the girl speaks again, the woman looks up at me. I realise I’m tutting out loud. As my eyes meet the woman’s in the hope of complicity, she drops them, and her mouth twitches into a smile.
The Look Out
I can immerse myself in stones
and pebbles here.
A gathering of tens of thousands
of boulders; rolling, rough but as
meaningful now as a human heart,
a similar size and as rich in history.
To my left a friend is
mapping out the coast;
rock-slides have left a minefield here,
deposits from another age –
but he’ll walk it.
I listen to nothing but the frish
and shush of wave-sets.
I look straight ahead and try
to see France.