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.



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

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

Travelling home

May 11, 2011

I walk through the city.
As people struggle home;
I’ve been told to tear it off, to shed:
Victorian flats full of mice,
right side driving,
girls bare legs in the winter –
shed it all like gift paper;
but I don’t know if I can

and I don’t know if I should,
will it eat me alive if I stay?
but middle class peace suffocates, even from afar?
but homeland is darkness too, of another kind?

I gasp for breath on the tube,
another mill horse looking for shoes and a carrot
just like the people
all around me, carrying
Their own. Problems:
that one’s fat, that one’s overworked, that one can’t get a date,
that one can’t afford school tuition, that one has a daughter that
blows her boyfriend every night on the other side of a paper thin wall,
all of us bees,
covered in
pollen of mediocrity and ticking clocks and advertising dreams and weekend hours;

Then this time frame closes
and I get off the train, and the fat lady gets off and some of the others too.

They say that there are no
winners left,
but that is a lie –
they’re everywhere,
just throw a rock, or buy a lottery ticket
And you’ll hit one for sure

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,
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

In July 2003

February 23, 2011

It became dark quickly.
Summer cold crept in through the bones,
shirts closing the access to hearts like shutters,
excitement for what was to come shining through the cracks

Five tables stood in line
Small candles flickering Morse promises
of future greatness and the perfection of the moment,
casting shadows of time on
the crayfish, cheese, bread and the paper plates,
which were ready to lose their innocence for our pleasure

You drank vodka and sat on the far side o the table.
I drank vodka and made your friends laugh (a fragile bond at best).
I tried to understand where I was
and why I could not see through the dark
while people around me
ran through thorned forests at will,
but the raised glasses confused me again and again.

Later, we shared a bed like brother and sister,
while the sounds of your friends fucking wormed through the walls.
If you had asked me then, I am not sure I would have told you truth,
or maybe even known any.

Even later, it turned out that truth,
your truth, was a thin kind of ice and I went through.

But by then we were no longer speaking.

In 2006, 7 and 8

November 26, 2010

In 2008
we fought for her suffering –
a bunch of maddened wolves
the scraps of a life;
and I think that I gave mine away

The weight of responsibility
was measured in ounces of sorrow
‘yours yours yours yours yours yours yours’.
it filled me,
like a cheap toy at christmas.

Today I hear no bells
in the city of mud;
The silence tolls a reminder
For me, for me.

Bells will be bells and will toll again. Now,
when another teacher begins his journey,
A promise! to fight for what’s mine;
A stuffed toy
no forgiveness
and no compassion
for those in its way

Meet me: Pt. 3

October 10, 2010

Meet me
In the apartment on X street,
where we used to watch
grainy reruns of Dallas,
and talk of Deleuze
and get drunk
on the weekends

I’ve still got a key
and I hear that it’s empty.
There are still weekends
and there’s cheap vodka,
but they’ve stopped
the Dallas reruns
and the philosophy reading

I will sneak in and wait,
so that my breath and my steps
can echo sharply
between the walls

when the empty room
is warm
from our bodies,
You can tell me
about your daughter
and I’ll say that
your eyes
look three times as tired,
as they did
when we met
by chance at the station

About understanding

October 3, 2010

Rosie was a mamas girl
and a papas girl
from a
family of eight

sharp as a razor and
determined to win
tough as a bullwhip,
with her life in order and
healthy career goals
a good catholic upbringing

This was
before the rediscovery
of vileness and alcohol and
that cold words undress them better
than praise
I was drifting
in those directions
and my words already wore
the bullshitter’s mantle and the ribbed
condom (for pleasure) and the fool’s
hat and
my balls were dice
with one chance in 36 of getting laid

We met at the zoo, where the bars
kept her just out of reach
for my nihilist zebra
and my horny monkey
and the dingo that you cannot
train because it turns
on you
and she said:
‘Anton, you are full of shit’
and it meant
‘I get it, and maybe there’s love’

A hotel room in Frankfurt

September 28, 2010

This room
has a lamp and
a bed and a bath and
silent walls that swallow
every insult

They ignore me
like they have ignored countless others
In this room where
sheets are crisp
and the rich
and the corporate
sleep and eat and watch CNN and porn

But one time
the walls
and the bed moaned
and the bath sighed
and the ceiling sang
songs of sweat and gasped breath and
stray hairs in the mouth
while the carpet could smell,
could smell! her sex on his

Those lovers kept the light on
just as I keep the light
while the TV
at me
in a different kind of facial
with a broken remote
and no off button


September 26, 2010

Suzanne takes you down
Goddamn hard too
Launches herself –
an unfilled lover
a housewife in the making
a restless hen looking for a cock
Her shoulder hits
you straight
in the solar plexus and
you lose your air –
a choking sensation of panic

Suzanne takes you down
in a sharp application
of fifty five kilos
of love and frustration and
men are bastards and
obscenities when she fucks
As lawn receives your body
and her body
locked together and tangled up
in a different kind of intimacy

On atonement

September 21, 2010

When the alley you pass every day
has already become
a balding testament to the fact
that you are not naked on the inside;
When the lone candy wrapper
bathing in colourless autumn light is
crumpled just right on the kitchen
table; when the last
string of steam has curled from the cup
carelessly left on the floor next
to the yellow sofa,
when all of this happens, and you stand up
and say:

‘We were determined, but so naive,
we were proud of being young, our
(here you will pause thoughtfully)
existed to be used, we didn’t know
what we know now’…. and so on

When you say this, I will stand up
and agree
that we had something going
that the eternal question of
who was fucking who
that I miss the smell
of you on my fingers
that yes, I apologize about the car or
the dress or the dog or whatever
and that I’m incredibly goddamn
fucking sorry that I wasn’t the attentive
friend you needed on saturday mornings

(Originally for CombatWords)

Invitation to a bistro

September 16, 2010

Meet me again
Under red lights
In city full of gas
Do not breathe in at all
Until we shake hands
And walk
To a noisy bistro

Our broken conversation
Means nothing if
a waiter doesn’t interrupt
At least three times
In quiet testament
To our joint want
to find the other side
of every coin
Before the dealer lifts the cup

who undresses who?
I you with eyes
You me with hands
Later, When cars again
Shroud us in gas
We can discuss this