Five of Them

those women
you know the ones
who suck the marrow from your bones
who drain the life out of you
you know the ones, around here you see them
you could throw a stone and hit five of them
she said
and I laughed

Under Mountains

months of coldest stone and trouble
insects buzz in heads and struggle
retreating into bed defeated
fleeing into night time sheets

under mountains no clock ticks
but thickness thins and pain abates
in under mountain passage pass
arrive again to test our task

this morning ride in shining dawn
with horses drawn and standards flown
our enemies in no line can hold
and we are glad and warm and bold

Trash Future

lips touch and
you can read it in our glands
you can read it in our hands
like a sky full of stars or a beach full of sand

my mights and your maybes
we are mother fucking rich
but we’re fumbling with buttons
sorry baby we are damned

Bodies

we poisoned our bodies and let them out for the night
from inside our temples we watched
marvelled
rutting and writhing
who knew they could do that?
what force on earth or in heaven could stop them?
white knuckled and desperate
midnight pleas
screamed achingly into the invisible yard

Light

even red rheumy eyes
or winter stones piled
even crow’s eulogies
are ephemeral energies
transubstantiated matter
on a voyage interstellar

even the branch from the poplar
fell on that man in the paper
the heft of it, three storms ago
broke his sternum, squished his toe
mostly empty, did he know?
energy compacted
starlight refracted
destination selected
pooled and collected

down down
light descended
from a random twinkling star
upon him bone and brick
as his throat grew thick
mostly empty, did he know?

Birdhouse

Blue Angel Poets’ Dive: Touch

Just the vacuum cleaner now
Sits silent and alone
Kid’s echo in my mind
In this apartment that was mine

The balcony looks over slowly
Moving cars winking bright
The overexposed blue sky
The big tree dancing its goodbye

There where we laughed
And there where we fucked
This place was mine but it’s reverted
Vacuumed scrubbed and now deserted

Now it’s just full of air
Now it’s out by five o’clock
Now it’s calendars and keys
Now it’s emails and cleaner’s fees

Heat rises from the carpet
Climbs the stairs, invades the pipes
Raids the windows from the street
I smell appalling in this heat

Sweat pools in my arm pits
On my stomach, round my neck
My thighs stick together
In this stinking summer weather

I lean down at the sink
Suck water through salt cracked lips
’Til I cannot drink any more
It runs down me to the floor

I walk to the balcony door
To say my last goodbye
A breeze picks up and passes by
Summer smells and big tree pine

A million tiny hands of air
Place themselves upon my skin
Relief at last at the end of the day
Each hand peels a piece of me away

Empire

You’ve been fishing for years
Waiting for a tug on the line

Long ago you forgot
Empire is built on lies
Ergo

Recline
Recline
Recline

Seagull Doesn’t Give a Shit

Fingers shoot up to cover my shame
To grab and strangle sound itself
Hopelessly late
My hopeless words threw you away
My hope and light
Into a cloud
Hot salt expands
In my head and in my hands

The late sunlit summer evening bliss
I miss walk fists
Deep down in pockets
Strain to keep
The rain inside
The welling tide
The waxing pain
Refrain from crying
Suburban street
Move my feet and be discrete
My bleeding inside I can let
When I get and it’s not far
And close the door behind me
When at last I’m in my car

But here
A startling animal cry
I raise my eyes to the sun
Haloed there a seagull triumphant
Stands atop a tiled roof
In its beak it grips its prize
A sunlit summer evening chip
Proud silhouette
My sodden form
Lifts to behold his finest hour
This champion of summer bliss
I missed but now I cast around
And yes
O’ seagull
You are right
The world is magic liminal light
Split from white
And whatever right I had to cast
The blurry light from blurry day
Now I say
Come back to me
I’ll live in you
Come back to me
This time I’ll stay

Round the Corner

I hear them around the corner
high lilting voices
I pause to listen

dog got hit by a car
is he okay?
dad took him to the hos-ti-pal
I mean… the vet
he had blood on his leg
is he gonna be okay?
we have to go back tomorrow
what did your dad say?
nothing
he just looked sad

I round the corner and see them
they see me
small pale faces look up at me as I pass them
their mouths are lines drawn on

Bath

sink into hot water
dust on the white enameled rim
fold the body down look up
slosh glup
a moth trapped in the skylight
soap stains on the mirror
a single hair, long and dark
faintly visible against the white tile

The Shovel

every afternoon out there
digging
he has that look
so I don’t ask
he gets home
changes his clothes
goes out to the yard and
digs
the hole is getting pretty big
I look out the kitchen window
and I can’t see his head anymore
just
every few seconds
dirt flies out
makes a pitter patter sound
chk pitter patter
chk pitter patter
how do you talk to a guy like that
I bring him some melon
hey
I say
you want some melon?
I reach down into the hole
he leans on his shovel
eats some melon
I go back inside
close the door behind me
nothing
I hear nothing
my brow furrows
then
chk pitter patter
chk pitter patter

The Night Is

the night is
the tiny light winks out
the bed creaks
the finger strokes cold glass
the bedspread rises and falls
the night is

Winter Means

Summer soil stinking juice runs down our cheeks insects winking tracing lines above us give us honey nectar love us love us

Sunlight hugs us warm rest loves us warmth abounds outside sounds like children playing cops and robbers in dying light they’ll be alright

Winter soil stark and empty drains our feet our hands our bellies don’t lie down in death knell winter hurry past pull fast won’t last

Robbers at the windows close them lock them shun them block them cower cover hide in night time towers hold them tight we’ll be alright

Leave Me Be

Take roses and satin
Take rings and vows
Take Pachelbel’s Canon
Fire the fucking thing into the sea

It’s not me, love
I’m frigid and thistles
I’m unbearable
Summers and too long winters

Take ribbons and flowers
Take maidens in towers
Take kittens and loofahs away from me

But if you see
Lipstick on his collar
If your stomach drops ten feet
Pick up the phone
I’m always at home
Pick up the phone and call me

Shaking Hands

You have to come! Sit next to me!
You’ll be alright! Just wait and see!
Once you sit down it’ll be okay!
Everyone here likes you!
Stay stay stay!

Lady

She says “I don’t know why people take risks”
I think “Lady, why’d you come here?”
She says “I don’t know why people get fat”
I think “Problems, clearly that you never had”
She says “People make mistakes, they just don’t know”
I think “I made one today and it’s starting to show”

Part of Me

How long will you grieve? she says
What do you mean? I say

There’s part of me misses you
Kidneys and stomach

I can feel it
Skin and hair

I can feel it
Bones and blood

Inside me somewhere
In there

Dream

Despondency globe suture wire vista work kangaroo paw dogpoo mull tattoo wombat harissa cloud sun rum window scintillating duckling crow atheist stove cabaret (two words from each person)

The waiting room stinks
Of despondency
A dim globe
Silent nod
I go in
While outside you
Will nurse your pain
Until again
A nurse emerges
To nod at you wordless

Get up
Walk in
Disinfectants
Large gauge
Syringes
Sharps bin
For sutures, sit
Flesh pinched
Wire’s in
And out
Of my skin
I wince and look
At a dreary vista
While he works
Faded landscape
On the wall
Roo-paw
Looks like a sepia dog poo

Mull to myself what this will do
To my tattoo
Of her name
All the same
Never mind
She left me for half the street
She’s got
Momentum
Like a wombat in heat

So, close my eyes
Savour past flights
Lunch, harissa
No, losing it
Overpowered by dust
From carpet with walked in
Channels
Cloudy stains
Faded
By an absent sun
In the cabinet
Iodine and rum

No window
No scintillating word
To lift the poor sods’ spirits
Poor drab ducklings
Perched outside in a row
Like crows
Outside this church
For the atheist
With its
Pad of salvation scripts

He’s done
I’m stitched
I’m cooked
Slide me off the stove
Let me out
Past naked legs and arms
My armour
At the door
Get away
Let me out wake me up
From this bleak
Cabaret

My Country Is Highway

Re-work one of your poems

– Harry and Nicola

I peel myself free
From my car seat
Legs creak
I stand up
My head peeks
Above a long reach
Of car roofs
A dim sea
Stained with salt
Windshields
Form a beach
Neon lit
By these shops

We stop off

Stale human smells
Meet a complex air
Sand salt pollen clay
We’ll stay
’Til the night
Threatens us with a chill
A few minutes at most
In the last light of day

This bitumen patch
Like the one
I sulked in
As a child
I’d wait
For the adults to shop
I’m dropped
In a moment like many
Absorbed
As a child
At a stop
Car park
Book shop
Sand salt pollen clay
Faded holiday motels
With names
Like Pacific Wave

My country is highway
A stretch of beach
A pit stop
My dreams stink
Like the back of a fruit shop

Consider it a Creative Constraint

Consider it a creative constraint
Not to light the fire
When the mind goes blank and the ink runs dry
Let the shivering inspire

Consider it a creative constraint
To dance while penning words
Of your admissions of childhood shame
Of turmoil, and butchered birds

Consider it a creative constraint
Unlike a common amateur
To incite revolt against the PM
In strictest iambic pentameter

Consider it a creative constraint
To finish this poem before the chance
The too-much-tea you drank at lunch
Makes another appear-ance

Consider it a creative constraint
To include footnotes in the structure of rhyme
An avant-garde suggestion you’ll find
Is an idea well before its time

Consider it a creative constraint
From the burning mulberry don’t flee
Address the root and branch on hot singed paper
If I may recommend, quite rapidly

Consider it a creative constraint
To write a poem with pretty shitty meter, at least one dodgy rhyme and no real conclusion