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July 18, 2016

they leave
Holes behind them,
Wide open doors, worn out spaces
Where they used to sit
before they came to halt
And stumbled out
beyond the horizon of whispers

They leave,
Behind them,
absence of their speech
Small trinkets in wood and metal
new patterns you have to draw
And lack of warmth in silence

They leave
so that you can stumble
but baby i know i know
that your narrow walkway
Will end in a light switch
and not a moon eclipse

They leave
Holes behind them
Then we fall in
Then we crawl out

 

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July 11, 2016

Some days
I have no love
Between the worry
the anger of things
I give way to them
in various guises and
Unopened hands clench
Like teeth in the night
Which ends
with dreams of wolf me
Or world me
Not enough specimens to breed healthy
Of one
The people coating me in their faith
politics
Of the other

The burial of a dog

July 24, 2014

The ground wouldn’t cooperate.
Shovels and steel spit clawed
at dry soil and rocks.
The earth was resisting
like it didn’t want the paws
and the tail
and the ears
and the cold carcass of yesterday’s love and sticks chewed into splinters and begging for table scraps and jumping to lick the face when you come home

Like it didn’t want pulling on the lead
and sitting on command
and play biting a bit too hard
and voiced discontent when people come home late in the night.

Steel sings its own song when it meets granite.

If there were sparks, they were invisible in the daylight.

Salt water from the pores
was mixing with that of the eyes.

You have to be methodical in your movement when the ground’s this hard.

He wasn’t alone, but in the end
he was the only one always there
when our dogs met their silence
in their cardboard coffins.

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June 10, 2014

I measure time
by auditing my cell decay,
and search with toddler greed
for patterns in my palms
that will reveal
the time we have together

She don’t believe me
when I say
that I will spend that time
by finding all the angles
that her face
so badly wants to hide,
when she don’t want
the cracks in her reflection
to be the web I see
when I observe her eyes

Passing lights

April 3, 2012

She says
‘we all have to start somewhere’
keeping her eyes on the road.

milestones flash by through the night like cigarette embers,
and promises of other lives
wink wink wink
through the windows of houses we pass.

in the dark it’s hard to see.
bugs splatter against the windshield
as tens of life metaphors a mile
correct the wrongs we think.

her rubber smokes road
inch by inch.

the engine sings

She says
‘we all have to start somewhere’
keeping her eyes on the road.

diners go by like missed opportunities
every other hour
while we follow the words of the GPS
instead of a compass
because voices in the sky never lie

She shivers against the night
hands at ten and two,
clutching the wheel
just hard enough to turn her knuckles white
and I change tracks on the CD again

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January 3, 2012

Be patient ladybug
as I am now
while new year’s first born darkness
drags its lovers lips
along the footsteps
we are yet to take

Let’s jump
through every doorway that we find
like our every step
was the last one
that we would ever hear,
and every day the last one
we could sing

Pretend we leave no fingerprints
and breathe no sullied air,
and only need the light
to fill our lungs

Pretend we dance like children
jumping on a bed
oblivious of springs and rules and running time
and maybe
we will burn again,
So be patient, ladybug

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December 30, 2011

It was a Tuesday,
when we tried
to dive back into dreams
we’d left behind
like burnt out matches

That day we ran out
of the fire we needed
to burn all our notes –
a frail attempt, a step,
to start again;

you see –

the fire wouldn’t take!
our words
were made of steel
and in the north wind hour
when we woke
(to whispers of the dawn)
there was no burning,
only frozen laughter

Fog

December 28, 2011

fog comes
down over towers
like children’s hands
that reach towards your mouth
in hope of catching
all your sleeping breath
while bored commuters
warm the world
by shivering in harmony
on mornings
when I watched you sleep
as I was leaving

Shoes

September 18, 2011

I know she’s arrived when the buzzer
warns me
to wait
as she comes
up the stairs

I tell her I’ve just
ran the vacuum
so she takes off her shoes
and her toenails
are painted
deep red

I point to the sofa
a dirty old thing
used to skin and sweat but
I’ve turned the pillows and
we sit like royals
side by side

She tells me to get her some wine
but I haven’t any, not even bad one
so I make
her tea and
we sit
in silence
until the sound of my neighbor coming
stops flitting
through the floorboards

city drug

September 16, 2011

We fly in through clear skies
London opens spills unlocks
endless light strings and
I can’t stop watching
white and yellow lights spread wide like
some giant’s child that
willful and violent, laughs
having spilled the chains of gold
and pearl necklaces
belonging to his rich mother;
from jewelry box to chaos, in one breath or a thousand

One hour later, when I emerge from the underground
a full moon silently burns the three lanes of Warwick Rd
like a searchlight
while cars make their escape in sequence

Suddenly, she comes out
three doorways ahead of me
short skirt raven hair black leather jacket
body so thin
it makes you human again
and her high heels flash
bright red and play a staccato as she walks,
face obscured by darkness

She gets in a car and drives off.

This is the sickness, the City drug, the hunger
that makes you stick around – and I raise a salute
to the moon and the madness
while the corner shop owner frowns
at the young men hanging
outside his door

Mostly stolen

June 25, 2011

Keep walking,
there’s no place to be
(don’t try to see through human beings);
move with intent, the way fear makes you.
Today, like every other day,
you’ve woken up and
didn’t open
any doors

Take down the old oboe and
let love be what we do
when we know
hundreds of ways
to kneel
instead of kissing

In seventynine

June 15, 2011

In seventynine,
my birth,
was accessorised by:
my umbilical cord
wrapped five times round my neck,
and my mother’s refusal to cry out

Later, a doctor pointed
to her and said
to another woman:
‘Be quiet! If she had screamed like you do,
her child would not have made it’.
Then I was brought out,
a caterpillar wrapped
in a hospital blanket
and held like a prize
for the brave and the silent

Years later,
she was the one wrapped
in a blanket.
She was breathing heavily –
a wheezing fuse
of life
almost at an end
and
and
and
she opened her eyes (the last time) and
her head jerked towards me.
Her eyes opened, then she passed,
and they closed again.

The dog was deaf by then
and slept peacefully.
He thought that two people he loved
were in the room.

No summer lies

May 17, 2011

I think of your hair
fluttering in the breeze,
and of your hands when you
sat next to me on the warm mountain,
hands clutching pencil
as if it was the last spear on earth,
your yellow pad a shield, but flimsy;
Words, ripe and harsh,
were falling from your tongue

I wanted
to preserve their taste
for desert days;
but you just smiled and said –
forget it, close your eyes,
keep drinking deep
from this brief summer,
While I keep scratching
words into the paper

Your anger melted
when the graphite of your pencil
wore down to the stump;
But it was late, too late and you were
cracked already,
already open and unsure if you
should swim or drown in memories,
spilling your talent like your life blood
across the barriers we had built

This is a heavy re-work of a poem written by Claudia Schoenfeld, and the original can be found here.

A story for Biscuit

May 16, 2011

So Biscuit,
your daddy, he goes
to east London on Tuesdays to
a rented flat
in a house of brown bricks
where children play cops and robbers outdoors in the summer, and
women gossip and hang laundry out
their windows to dry.
Your daddy goes, Biscuit,
and knocks on door 22B

She lets him wait, Biscuit
She lets him wait two minutes, maybe five and then
opens the door
in her knickers,
lets him in without a word and he enters
without a word

So he comes in, Biscuit, and the flat
smells of smoke and her perfume
(like heaven)
Her black skin reminds him of coffee and gold
and her ass sways
as she walks to the kitchen
while his palms sweat
and his fingers burn

He grows hard, Biscuit, grows so hard
that he thinks he might die,
that his heart will stop
And Biscuit, I don’t know if he even
still likes her,
but a girl’s gotta live,
and daddy pays rent and he fucks like a prince.

When he closes the door to 22B
two hours later
he knows, and she knows
that they never
closed
their eyes,
even for a second

Meet me

May 5, 2011

Meet me
at the cheap table in Brussels
when my cigar has ran out
and my glass is half empty again.

We will sit in silence,
drinking slowly
Then I will reach out
to touch your lips and
you’ll tell me
That my hand smells of smoke and
that I should stop frowning
all the time

We will sit while the breeze
makes us colder and colder,
debating
whether the tattoo on the waitresses’ wrist is her only one.

Then you’ll tell me 
that she’s probably a slut anyway,
before we settle our tab
and walk home
through the empty streets