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.
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.
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.
Adam J. Ordinary
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
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.
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
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
… 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.
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.
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 lived in a lighthouse.
The bulb had gone.
So it was just a house.
J A Allison
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.
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….
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.
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.