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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

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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

Still summer

December 19, 2011

It was still summer.
The wind blew in construction dust
in a stream of profanity
that fingered my windowsill
in a Japanese subway game of
grope-the-girl.

Upstairs, men with thick fingers
used power machinery
cutting the day into ribbons.

in the holy space between houses,
a squirrel hissed at a cat

the neighbours watched news
instead of Dr Strangelove
on tv sets that filled my room
with mute light
from across the street

Somewhere out of mind
bombs were probably falling,
and one tyrant or other
was on his way
to getting dragged through the streets

there was shit to do
and people to have
but I couldn’t bear it;
the cheap port tasted like sugar
but I poured another three fingers
and closed my eyes

just for a moment

Camilla was a poetess

December 11, 2011

Camilla had faith
and she felt the embrace of her lord
In the smile of a baby,
her daughter’s voice,
the smell of grass,
the silky sensation of bath foam against her skin –
all of that stuff, you know?

She was a glass half full
kind of girl.
I imagine she never
danced on the table
fucked on the first date,
lied, cursed
Or traded her body for favours.

She wore her hair short,
her metaphors close to her chest,
and the mountains that surrounded her
were a fortress
instead of a prison

Streetlight

November 6, 2011

I want to carry you like guilt
into a room
smelling of dust and books.

Like all the yesterdays we drowned in,
the mattress on the floor is a truth
waiting to be obscured
by the veils
that protect our songs from the streetlight

then you’ll remind me
that at night
the words that you say
become the oaths that i live by
until I die again

and I will reach for your lips
watching your eyes for danger

November

November 5, 2011

It’s still too easy
to aim west but go east,
waking up in Stepney Green
like a man in a river raft
going for the narrows

When you cross the bridge to the other platform
your internal compass lies
and your stomach lies
but you know
that the heat has gone on
in two small rooms in Earls Court,
and you count the stations go by
like prayer beads
in a mantra of movement and chance,
while strangers avoid your eyes
clutching the freesheets

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

02 July 2010

September 14, 2011

You sit and stare into your coffee
and the smell
reminds you
that
bills are stacked on the kitchen table
the sink is full of tea stained coffee mugs
you haven’t fed the cat
in two days

Then the phone rings

It’s mother
and you’re a child again

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.

Ringlets of smoke

June 6, 2011

She said “you’ve changed, I think. maybe
you look older.
No it’s not that.
I don’t know, something.”

She was drinking wine
and i was hitting the tequila hard
trying to confuse
the voices telling me
to stop and breathe

She offered her glass
But I wanted
the anger to blend with the swill
and I lifted the bottle like
men in the movies,
even though I wasn’t one

She smoked and
ringlets of poison
waltzed towards heaven,
only to dissolve.

I drank some more.
Maybe I needed to die a little
but I didn’t think so,
I needed to come alive
a little,
to stomp on some feet or
earn morning trophies

She looked away,
finished her cigarette and got another out.
She looked over to the couple next to us,
the guy passed her a lighter.

Cars drove past. People passed on foot.
We would not part
for another hour