The warehouse of my mind is empty.
Muted blues, like a Miles Davis groove,
begin to fill the dusky expanse.
Deep purples, plums and cherries,
a hint of vermilion,
all flow down onto the floor of my consciousness.
The colors, each separated from the other,
swirl and drain into a wormhole that has formed
in the floor.
My consciousness follows.
I enter a place filled with bicycles, skateboards,
fireflies, honeysuckle, super heroes and pets.
Scenery flashes by in rapid-fire succession like trees
on the side of the side of the road when I was a little
kid with my head hanging out of the car window
until my mom yelled at me to put my head back in
the car, were it belonged.
A tea bag steeps
Against glass and ice
Yeshua and Yahweh
Christ and Father
Everything is mooncheeked
Between the lampshade
the giant blue eye
that takes its time to watch me.
Like a stalker, an possessor ,
it replicates my movements.
Between the trees
like a crouching child
and under the sky,
closer to the mouth
it takes a long sigh.
It’s telling me of its sadness,
the burden of being required;
a necessary tool either to
quench or to drown.
It can be Heaven, but it thinks like Hell.
organs picked by vultures
like children playing snatching games,
I watch not your demise,
but your inevitable life.
Somewhere in a studio
past the river, past the town,
a young boy is rehearsing old lines.
He wants to be the image,
the face, of our culture,
giving nothing to the real craft.
Like a mannequin
with stiffened lips
he reads from stained lined paper.
A voice booms cut!
and the studio shuts,
and the players go home for sleep.
He walks past the river
while I’m watching the birds
head south for the upcoming winter.
The era that freezes hearts
and turns blood to hard chips of ice.
With his chin to his chest
he follows the river,
goading its natural flow,
the water silent, waiting,
as it makes its way forever home.
He spits – twice –
into the river
and carries along on his way.
He makes me cry,
because he makes a mockery of you.
Full of tears you run along,
swelling with pain and pride.
The birds, they follow you
watching over your journey,
The evening was getting tired,
few drops of milk upon the sky
and a vermilion strip fizzing
on the horizon.
Between eleven and twelve
a clock thuck-thucking forward,
cross-legged on the duvet
like little kids
waiting for a bedtime tale,
we spoke about things,
of course we did,
as we always seemed to
and you told me
everything you wanted to do
before time crumbled,
a soggy Digestive
in a warm cup of tea.
How you wanted to learn how to write stories, poetry from me,
to read poems together, Plath, Yeats, maybe Eliot on a good day,
how you wanted to buy a notebook, crimson in colour
to scribble down all your ideas no matter how poor or ‘unsatisfactory’,
how you wanted to leave messages on the pillow
so I could read them and grin if you were to get up before me,
how you wanted to find out about my friends miles away,
why they left and if they’re ever coming back,
how you wanted to put all our books alphabetically on the shelves
so they were organised and every novel had its own home,
how you wanted to stay up until the first, fragile hours
watching movie after movie and wondering if they’d re-make them,
how you wanted to go for walks along the beach barefoot,
letting the water tickle your toes like a clan of wet feathers,
how you wanted to wake up early but not too early
and paint the sun from ruby to bright gold,
how you wanted to find out about London
and the tube stations, the difference between East and West Ham,
how you wanted to munch on toast for breakfast
with a glass of liquid orange, TV on in the background,
how you wanted to make snow angels in winter,
stab the face of a snowman with a skinny carrot,
how you wanted to take photos of everything,
from the view in our room to barbecues in the sun,
how you wanted to drive across the country
not knowing whether to take the left or right turning,
how you wanted to be able to play the guitar
with me on the drums, a blend of rock meets nineties punk,
how you wanted to fall asleep
next to me in July and still be there come December.
Explanation: (SIDE-NOTE: Honestly think I write too many poems about this sort of thing. Have very mixed feelings on this piece.)
A poem written in my own time, the second (kind-of) regarding one particular individual (the first was 'Someone on South Island') and the first in a series of four linked pieces. This whole four-part series, alongside one or two other poems on top, are/will be part of my series of poems regarding women I know of but do not count as a friend, those I see merely in passing, or those I have never met but are well-known. (The others are: Parts two and three of ‘The Current’, ‘Holly’, ‘Amber is Alive’, ‘Coffee and Bagels’, ‘The Reappearance of Denim Shorts’, part one of ‘The Recent’, ‘Red Die’, ‘Chilly Fingers’, ‘Increase of Incandescence’, ‘Midweek’, ‘It Was a Wednesday I Think’, ‘Her Next Future Song’, ‘A Thursday Some Weeks Later’, ‘Carnation’, ‘Electric Magenta’, 'Silver Heart', 'Bubblegum' 'Blue Boots' and 'Someone on South Island'). Some of these are available on my WordPress blog, and some were also uploaded as Facebook status updates).
I stand alone without the muse
Reflecting carousels dancing in the moonlight
As the harlequin gypsy colours a checkerboard sky
Simple words dance when spoken from a musing
Whisper me a love born of a serene heart
Drawn in honey’d liquor lips of succulent choice
Dream in shadows of receding dawnscapes
Slender is an arched back caressed by a golden tongue
Trace contours of love gifted on a dew coated skin
From the pillow we can watch the moon rise
Let me drift into obscure dreaminess
Imagination paints soundscapes in mother of pearl
Silent shadows cast memories of a time not forgotten
Forever be the Jester wearing a silken skin forever
Taste a glistening finger, wet, salty to the tongue
Yet our eyes shall meet in a pre dawn escapade
Let me glide the tip on this love forevermore
On clouds of Vermilion
Bright vegetables of the sea,
disordered hair, thin arms.
Tubes protrude among vivid coral,
an array of shades against a sapphire canvas.
Wobbly vermilion wires poke out
from under rust-coloured rocks.
A clown swims quick through the middle,
orange in a forest of fingers.
Pink bonbons, candy canes,
an underwater confectionery store.
Some throb with electricity,
small pools of violet light near their homes.
Others vomit rainbows
from deep open mouths.
Waltzing in solitude
as tangerine horses gallop.
More creatures weave past,
realise they are in a multi-hued hug.
Hidden paint splatters,
are they aliens of the deep?
Explanation: A poem written in my own time for university. As such, it is a work in progress and is subject to change over the next month or two.
paint me the way i used to be
before your vermilion dried in my veins
and clotted in my heart.
paint me the way i was
when my arms were lined with
and my very existence was a symbol.
once upon a time, in a far-away motel,
you painted my chest with green.
it looks like the forest floor, i said,
green moss and leaves,
life and growth.
you laughed soft,
dipping your brush in olive,
and told me it was gangrene.
the good only die young, you said,
tragic brushstrokes blooming on my chest.
i whispered words to you in the night,
and you tried to do the same
but all you managed was to mumble colors and techniques,
waiting until daybreak to show me what you meant
colors and shapes in the cold light of dawn.
february choked you
and you were a study in blue:
“cerulean figure with palette,”
“cerulean figure at window,”
“cerulean figure trying to find words that mean the right thing,
but coming up empty
you loved to hear me speak
but hated to respond
so you’d draw for me instead.
on a bus running from the city
you drew a picture of me,
face like christ upturned to heaven
halo of refuse ‘round my head.
the savior of abandoned things
the messiah of rot,
who would die for the soul of every landfill -
you drew me bleeding by a dumpster,
holy bruises on my arms.
paint me the way i used to be,
before you taught me of cangiante and notan
before i spent all my words on you,
ripped the pages from the dictionary
to explain your thoughts to you.
paint me the way i used to be
when my heart was yellow lace
and every word was alive.
paint me the way i used to be
and i’ll drown myself in your watercolors.
I quickly pulled over on a dusty berm
like there was a local fruit stand there,
or someone selling tacos out of the back of their truck.
It was a Lamar, Colorado sunset.
Atomic Tangerine to Tea Rose to Vermilion.
Colors that spiked the emptiness in my soul.
Its voices praising the joining of Earth and Sky.
The ghosts of 10,000,000 Mother Earth Souls chanting in the evening wind.
Ancient drum circles in my head,
as the, even more ancient, Father Sun sets.
What were they trying to tell me, these chants?
It is as if they spoke of loneliness that had yet to come.
Inevitable loneliness that would engulf my every sense,
rearrange my life.
But even if I had the ears to hear their prophecy,
I couldn't change the events Mother Earth and Father Sun
had already set into motion.
I wept as the Sun melted out of sight,
Not many Tennessee sunsets later
she left, and was out of my life,
never to return.
Peter windowsill had a one track mind,
crystalline thoughts vexed him
a suede fringed woman had him smarting, but he's not the worrying kind.
Oh to be a Postman the best things come as future vermilion diaries
but birth mother's never recall their clams,
she's as attentive as a Cuckoo
sounding her new hatchling.
Peter window shop resounding
a chip off the old block
The weary day was slowly ending;
A long bus ride had started;
A hundred thoughts were whirling
Down to settle in my tired head.
The driver's day was half way done;
Day was slow...several rounds to go.
We made small talk about the dying sun
And watched the traffic moving slow.
Four stops down and deep within
The concrete canyons...another stop ahead
I stopped mid-thought to gaze upon
A man standing, suited all in red.
"Now, that's a suit!" was all think I said.
"He's always in a suit like that,"
The driver smiled, "Sometimes in purple,
Sometimes in blue, or in this red."
We chuckled as we passed vermilion man;
The driver mused, "He has a business case...
Waited here for years at this bus stand,
Dependably in style, standing in his place."
The driver's words became a check to cash
For dressers-up in gray and blue and brown:
Standers-out must add persistence to panache
If would-be standers-out intend to hang around.
"Best be out-standing if
You're planning to stand out!"
Published November 23, 2012