Why can't we have meaningless talk
the way people have meaningless sex-
you would crash over me into a
river of un-scathing emptiness
and leave marks on my skin-
stories that this was where
you started to tear at
like the silkness
of your sorrows on my floor.
You would become a sultry verse
in this anthology of every day
lodged between the rush and
vacancy of broken hearts
and anguished limbs.
You would radiate the heat
of your angry, angry heart onto
the cold deadness of mine,
and we could burn and melt
all at the same time.
Meaninglessly you would leave
me out of breath,
gather your clothes
and go home.
The first "bold" poem.
No, don't go now. Please
don't go now; the fog is creating ghosts
out of people and we're breathing clouds out of our mouths.
Tell me about that time when you held your breath
under the lake for six years and still survived;
tell me how if I do that, it'll never work.
I'm not a sea God
My knees tell better stories than my tongue
ever did, please don't; wretched hive harangues
the mind in a plague, can't you see I'm holding you down
and telling you you're all I ever wanted,
you're all I ever wanted; your head is the stuff of dreams
you're all I ever wanted; you can put your arm
right through me and only feel mist;
I am fog. I'm creating ghosts out of you.
Make it up to me in a rainbow of hues of grey;
at the end of it I'm holding my ribs open. I've never
been more colourful and sad at the same time.
You're the mirrors to my house; stay
has always sounded better than don't go
yet neither seems to work anymore.
I’ve swallowed too many I love you’s
to be afraid of coughing up blood.
They cut you on secret.
Who knew it was drinking gasoline
and sawdust and every little inflammable thing
and then sitting down cross-legged
in the heart of a howitzer; soft.
You are a soft explosion.
You are streaks of a rebel orange
in a sky that is supposed to be blue.
You are steel rods in the curve of my spine,
holding me straight.
I love you’s are like death notes written in ash:
you’ll have to smoke your way to it.
Smoke cigarettes, journals, curtains,
and yourself to get that much ash in your lungs;
trying blow smoke rings into your finger;
my ceiling knows more about my sadness than you do.
Saying an I love you once will have you
chanting “don’t leave me” on a rosary;
love will take your bones and leave you
lusting for somebody whose back
is the last thing you’ll see, and whose
skin you’ll think you left your keys in:
and now you’ve locked yourself out
of your own house, in a storm
whose sirens wail in your ears and remind
you, you’re hopeless and homeless.
I love you’s leave no exit wounds,
no shell casings, and when the time comes
you’ll be telling them all how his bullet
ricochets in your ribs,
but emotion never made up for evidence
in the court of settlements for a broken heart.
Telling someone you love them is like cutting your jugular
and not expecting to bleed out.
I love you like the pages of a mad girl’s journal.
The moon turns from an ally
to the haunting image of science and realisation:
you share the same sky, but no longer the same bed.
And astronomy keeps screwing you over
when you look up at the sky
and no longer understand constellations.
Love makes it more getting-back-at-you
Every time you taste blood,
you’ll know you kissed somebody
with teeth like needles
and they cut you everywhere; they
bit you, they bit you, they bit you
and you kept letting them.
My name spells love in every language
you say you’ve learnt; the pulsating
streets of your veins are alight with life tonight.
We walk them with empty-pockets and
hand-in-hand; the only crimes we commit
is that we lead each other to dark places;
a castle of lies; half-said the only loving
we’ve done is in our heads.
We lose time in words and suddenly
it’s four a.m. and the coldest hands
have only ever been yours; all that throbbing
gone to waste. Rest your heart
with me, it’s never lost; four a.m.
is your hour with me
because you’ll sleep and awake
and we’ll become thieves of conversations
stealing emotions we hide in jokes
and the sundry ‘have a nice day’s.
You can't hold the short arm of the clock
and call it yesterday.
And in the end we're always more lost than ever found. But isn't that what life is all about? Finding your way back to yourself.
Happy new year everyone.
I hope joy gets your address right this time.
doors half open,
hearts almost out of love.
We used to talk of how
we used to be infinite.
But now every second now feels
like a stroke against an unforgiving current.
Our conversations broke
as the flaws of our souls
fell through the cracks of this glass foundation.
These upset words that escaped you
left the air around me a little sad,
a little awake,
and with a lot of echoes.
My lungs went empty
talking you down.
I left the door open for you.
So you can walk in
and slip in quietly-
I won't say a word.
And this heart could never go empty,
at this point,
I know not.
Flowers never lost their color
as long as you walked this earth.
But I don't believe
I don't believe
I could still fall in love with you
I will love you till I die
And I will love you all the time
So please put your sweet hand in mine
And float in space and drift in time
All the time until I die
We'll float in space, just you and I
All I want in life's
a little bit of love to take the pain away.
I want to be in love again.
This song is beautiful and it plays in my head.
It makes me happy.
The car will edge past the truck maybe
and maybe we'll survive this message
playing on repeat, apologies like daft lilies
and then you go ahead and tell me that you've never
learnt from your mistakes, or my mistakes.
That mistakes are only bad unless you change the order
of analogy. This experiment has been contaminated.
Now a fresh batch. Trust me, there's a point to this.
I'm counting back from a hundred and two
and you've got me standing in the middle of the highway,
blindfolded; this is what loving you felt like,
you said. But I think it was more dramatic in my head.
Nuclear fission and the seige of Dresden dressed
up playing Adagio in D minor; I'm dust. I'm dust.
I've become ash and misery and I'm trying to stay inside you
but you've been coughing a lot, and who's to say
you were holding your breath for something exciting,
I just know for a fact that at the end of this beep,
you'll know what to do and yet
you're not going to leave another message.
Richard Siken, Scheherazade
You say doctors will
make the best poets.
They will search your emotions
by the skin; cutting open to reveal
with surgical precison.
They will play with
heavy drugs and blades--
nothing shall hide beneath
the armors of bone and muscle.
They know the anatomy
of the heart too well.
They will find the things
you have hidden in your chest.
doctors will never be poets.
They are too mechanical,
too fast with their edges
They cannot see the pain
as pain but merely as an anomaly.
That sadness is black bile
They cannot sing to you
but only clammer in medical jargon.
Poets will use their imperfect words,
and perfect rhymes
to find the secrets of your rib cage
They will find every flaw
of your broken body
and make it the best story
you've never heard.
they will put love to define as
a momentary rush of adrenaline,
an arrythmia for another human
caused due to an imbalance of the heart rhythm.
Poets will tell you
that love is the first jolt
of life for them.
They will say love is a state of euphoria
that takes those irregular rhythms to perfect symphonies.
Doctors say that
veins carry blood
devout of oxygen.
I say that they carry your broken emotions
to their feelings factory
to mend it within its beautiful catacombs.
All those doctors
will find and fix you
with perfect solutions.
And these poets
will do their best
to be your perfect solution.
I am to be a doctor with a poet's heart.
It's hard to explain
how this heart feels.
Like laughter lost in echo
and your warm touch
now long gone cold.
something lost I need
so desperately found.
Abandoned like houses,
broken like silence.
These hands can't reach as far
as where you lay.
Somehow I feel like I burn at both ends;
the flames now reaching their meeting place.
But it's always better to burn out
than to fade away.
(of broken hearts)
I keep saying that I was alright.
But then everytime I met someone who liked me I
would feel ruined.
Like the tunnels of my throat
has your signal lost
and the anatomy of my heart a hot bloody mess.
Its mixing up the hush from my lungs into my veins
me of how I couldn't talk you down.
Why do you take beautiful things
and turn them into instruments
I become an answering machine
of unread messages.
Why does it take so long
for me to remember that
the other side of the bed has been colder
This sadness will last forever.
Kissing you was like swallowing
the salty, salty sea:
I have corals for ribs,
and seaweed limbs;
my bones are ship-wreck saves
and wishful pennies.
My heart is a sea-shell:
if you put your ear to it,
you’ll hear me screaming, shouting,
I am afraid,
in a way I haven't been before.
I am afraid
of the way people fall out of the sky,
I am afraid
of the way people disappear into the sea
without saying goodbye;
Suddenly the loss
feels like a snake
slithering from across the room;
venom in his blood
and names on his tongue.
I am afraid
of the way people find themselves
at the bottom of the barrel.
at the end of it.
(July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014)
The first loss I have known.
Cyclonic is your kind of adjective;
I suppose I was born to love storms
I could never really keep my hands to
myself. Nor my mouth. Or my words.
I love you like hurricanes love destruction
and mornings love reckoning.
More than love,
sometimes it is
the fear of being alone.
creates a haunting echo
of our silence.
Isn't that why
we seek broken things,
and broken men?
So that we
fix instead of break
at least for once.
So that we
leave our signatures
in the loosely filled
cracks and scars.
So that they
cannot recall life
but after we set
their hearts beating again.
So that every time
they take their clothes off,
they can see us
sewed to their skin.
And be proud
to call it ours.