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Edward Coles Apr 2020
Hand-painted ceramic turtles
camouflage in flower beds.
I discern their faces
at a distance.

Blind-sided kaleidoscope-
work fatigue
the first breath of morning
in the heart of April.
I am awake,
inertia bleating in my bones
where is the steady drum of mercy
where is the heart inside my home?

White blossoms fall
like Disney snow
cans of Stella at my feet.
Cardboard boxes  
damp and listless blow
across the lawn
and the silent street.

softens the edges.
A chemical reaction
that can never be
the Solution.

Spring is bleeding into colour
before my eyes.
I want to break the skin,
taste something sweet-

too scared that my timing
is not right.
Edward Coles Oct 2019
There was a time I walked with you
Beneath the railway bridge inside my mind.
Where rain fell hard and we stayed dry,
Collecting memories and passing time.

There was a time I would talk to you,
The vestige of care for my swollen heart.
How it overflowed with love for you,
How it still does, though we're apart.

And I still dream of you, you know,
I dream most every single night,
And when I wake, this broken man,
You are the only smile, the only light.

But you chose to stay and I understand
His love was safe and warm as a glove.
I blew hot and cold, a Bipolar storm,
You cannot rely on me, my love.

So you'll grow old and fat and kind,
Beneath the eaves of his easy years.
I'll grow wise and tough and cold,
Bent and crooked, effaced by fears.

But if you ever feel the breeze of doubt
Inside your confident stride,
Just know that I still walk with you,
Beneath the railway bridge inside my mind.
Edward Coles Feb 2019
These days the habitual ache
Is far worse.
Far worse because
I know it cannot abate.
The storm is forever,
Shelter reserved to hurried moments
Scrambling beneath the eaves
Of a thousand trees;
Bearing no fruit
In the stone-cold furnace
Of my self-regard.
Things got too hard.
Things got too heavy.
Things accumulated like unread books
On weak shelving.

It only took one word
To bring the whole thing down.

It only took a whisper
To be drowned in sound.
Edward Coles Jan 2019
We saw her leaving Jericho
Tearing down the walls
Throwing a childish tantrum
Whilst ******* in the halls

We saw her chasing pigeons
In the local council park
We caught her chewing daffodils
Whilst humming 'Baby Shark'

She drank a lot
Ate nothing much
But the ice
Inside the tube

Grit her teeth
Swallowing bubbles
The plastic straw
The noxious fumes

She was forever
Chasing a high
That cost too much
And left too soon

We saw her licking batteries
Relaying messages to Earth
We caught her hiding sanitary towels
Underneath the dirt

That lined the filthy walls
Of her low-rent, low-mood high-rise
Ghosts that wraithed inside her head
Left bruises on her thighs

We saw her join the homeless men
In the shadow of the mall
She combed the streets every day
And still found sweet **** all

She sang a lot
And never slept
Beneath the weight
Of a poisoned sky

We knew she was sad
All the time
But we never saw her

We saw her live
Her lonesome life
Even saw her when she

From the other side of hell
We decorate our homes
Forget the fine line
The thin divide

Between our professional smile
And the crazy inside our bones
Edward Coles Aug 2018
The coffee cups are *****
But it’s the cleanest way
To drink whiskey here.

The barman lost half his right fingers
To a wood chipper in his early 20’s
And spent the rest of his adult life
Flipping the world off.

He got it down to a fine art
By the time I showed up.
He didn’t smile when I ordered my drink.
He didn’t smile at all.

The jukebox hasn’t changed
For two stagnant decades
And most everyone but the regulars
Are too scared to use it.

It’s the same rotation
Of Elvis,
Muddy Waters,
BB King,
John Coltrane,
And early Bruce Springsteen.

Not a woman in sight
But every song is about them
And we are all here
Because of them.

Certain patches of carpet
Have not seen a crack of light
Since the Berlin Wall fell.

Nothing changes here but the customers-
And that change is incremental at best.
The same filthy etchings over
The same filthy cubicle doors.

The same Cherokee Indian
Smoking a Cuban Cigar
In the heartland of America.

I can’t find myself here
But there is no feeling of loss.
There is no profundity in anything here.
Just squalor

And enjoying one’s squalor.
I think that is what it means
To be truly happy.
Edward Coles Aug 2018
I didn’t lose the fight, I threw it
I had planned it from the start
Spent my time living ugly
So I could make dying an art

Troubles came two by two
And no help ever arrived
Friends were always slow to come
But the codeine never lied

I nursed my pain and boredom
Beneath the weeping willow tree
Those troubles came in twos at first
But the drugs just made it three

Now I’ve grown old in a matter of weeks
And the coffee is staining my teeth
Can barely move through the working day
Through all this medicine and slow disease

I didn’t lose my mind, I outgrew it
I had planned it from the start
Spent my days severing the strings
Of my crooked, hovel heart
Edward Coles Aug 2018
It doesn't always have to be a sunset
Sometimes the sun just needs to come down

It doesn't always have to be chemical desire
Sometimes it's just two deaf, blind bodies

Colliding in the dark with no conclusion
It doesn't have to be logical

Sometimes you've gotta aim at the sun
With a steady finger on the trigger of the water gun

And pull

It's not always about success
In fact, it's never about success

They lit a million candles
Over the crash site of Icarus

And every good man has a corner of his heart
Devoted to the Sylvia's of this world

It doesn't always have to be a holiday
Sometimes screaming is enough

It doesn't always have to be an island retreat
Sometimes it's just an empty train carriage

To sit and read with trembling hands
Over an easy magazine

It doesn't always have to be difficult
Sometimes love feels like dying in your sleep

At others, it's your window reflection
In a strange new town

It doesn't always have to be a sunset
Sometimes colour is rinsed by cloud

It doesn't have to be poignant, or fair -
Sometimes the sun just needs to

Come down
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