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Apr 2020 · 387
The Night Shift
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.
Oct 2019 · 416
Railway Bridge
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.
Feb 2019 · 679
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.
Jan 2019 · 1.1k
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
Aug 2018 · 2.0k
Sloucher's Bar
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.
Aug 2018 · 554
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
Aug 2018 · 796
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
Jun 2018 · 1.3k
Neon Lights
Edward Coles Jun 2018
Well my baby's blue
Almost all the time
She's a broken soul
Can't go out alone at night
And her tattoos
And her sweeter side
And all her bad advice
Under the neon lights

I've been broken down
I've been split in two
If I go straight with you
I'll be searching
For your face tonight

But if fates allow
If fates allow
Then we'll collide
Under the neon lights

If fates allow
There'll champagne
And endless wine
There'll be broken glass
In the morning
But we won't mind

Because we'll be sleeping late
We'll be wide-eyed
You'll be coming down
I know you'll be coming down
After the neon lights

The neon lights

Well I sold my soul
For a melody
I've sunk my teeth into
Every half-strung tragedy
And all these childish tantrums
Darling, they don't work on me

But you're most beautiful
Under the neon lights
Under the neon lights
Under the neon lights
A song I wrote
Jun 2018 · 453
The Artist (In Love)
Edward Coles Jun 2018
I used to fear
A break in creation
But once the dust settled
On my notebooks
My guitar
My tired pleas
For rememberance
I could separate
The madness
From the sublime
I learned to temper art
With the science
Of healthy living

I am glad I fell in love
Jun 2018 · 1.1k
Edward Coles Jun 2018
She drew each suit
Of a deck of cards
On my arm with a
Black ballpoint pen
We nursed our shared glass
And took ice once
All the customers had taken
Their motorbikes into the night
We made love beneath
The fairy-lights and
Cleansed ourselves
In simple, beautiful poverty

I knew that the ink
The glass
The ice
The fairy-lights
And the ***
Would all burn out
Or wash away

I knew that the poverty
Would lift
And expose
Our rushed
And reasonless
Jun 2018 · 345
Out the Door
Edward Coles Jun 2018
You only want me
When I am walking
Out the door
Jun 2018 · 550
Edward Coles Jun 2018
Black is the colour
You see it in
The core of my eyes
All the excuses I steal
All the malformed lies

In all the sheep I lead
To the slaughter
In a thinly-veiled
Wolf's disguise
Black is the colour

Now you see it
In the headlines
All the friends
You could not keep
All the colours

That pass you by
May 2018 · 558
Young Love
Edward Coles May 2018
There is no air left
In these sheets
If we don't get out soon
We will drown
In our stupid happiness
May 2018 · 322
Edward Coles May 2018
I am tired of trying
To find the right words
In a lifetime spent
Suffering in silence
May 2018 · 548
Edward Coles May 2018
Most days
My energy is spent
On putting one thought
In front of the other
So I don't stumble
Over my words
As much as I do
Choke on them
May 2018 · 497
The Light
Edward Coles May 2018
Started over again
Re-learned my sums
Until I could stand
Over the faucet
And count my blessings

Children play with no shoes on
As locals drink coffee
At the daytime bar
They let me sit at their table
Eat their food

Fall passive and glum
Amongst their easy conversation

I learned to be clean again
It started with the dishes
My clothes
Then at a snail's pace
***** and cigarettes followed

Soon sleep was no enemy
I greeted it like a friend
With the aid of her weight
Across the mattress
Her breath

That filled the silence
Of the room
Started over again
Rolled away the stone
To let the light back in
May 2018 · 276
Edward Coles May 2018
I took the easy way out
Over and over
Apr 2018 · 686
Edward Coles Apr 2018
She used to sell
Counterfeit t-shirts
By the roadside
To all the tourists
Pulling up in Tuk Tuks
And motorbike taxis

In the evening
She would cook
Pork rib soup
With a side of
Fresh vegetables
And fried rice

We would take it in turns
To pick songs
And fill each other's drinks
As I washed the dishes
She would close the curtains
And turn the lights off

She always found me
In the dark
She felt new everyday
She could make me hard
Or break me into pieces
Just as easy

She was a nightmare
To live with
And so was I
Countless nights
Staring at opposite walls
In a violent silence

Only to wake
In a bed of hot ***
And no regret
She taught me how to live
She never said
What I should do

Once she's gone
Apr 2018 · 352
The Trouble With Living
Edward Coles Apr 2018
These country songs aren't enough
Neither are these hopeless drags of the cigarette
All these dreams of impassioned meaningless ***
Ribboned with the beauty of desire
With none of the fragility

These TV shows aren't enough
To distract from the ******* sinkhole
Of divisionary politics
And the hit and miss attempt
At barely living

These neon lights aren't enough
To guide me anywhere
But they are all I see in the dark
All these shadows to explore
In the absence of light feeling

These promises aren't enough
To keep me anchored in the world
I don't want to be anything
I don't want to get paid
I don't want to save up

Or settle down
These offerings aren't enough
To keep me keeping on
They are the sign-posts, the sirens
That speak only of scarcity

Who only settle their hunger
When I am lost.
Apr 2018 · 655
I Hate You - Don't Leave Me
Edward Coles Apr 2018
I hold onto love
Like sand
It scatters easily
In my hands
And I will attack it
Probe it
Isolate myself
Until nothing remains

All this
To prove
To those who love me
That I am unlovable
Apr 2018 · 527
In Between Love
Edward Coles Apr 2018
She sits naked on the floor
Picking songs and sipping
On her warm beer

I smoke by the window
At a new lover's distance
Watching her intermittently

The city is still
It's 3a.m.
Our bodies
Are spent on each other
The bedsheets still wet
With our sweat

After the fire
We separated
Into component pieces

She combed her hair
In the mirror
As I poured cold water

Over myself
And ******
With the bathroom door
Left open
My ****
Still a little hard

I could hear her sing
As I toweled myself
Watched the last of the water

Fall into the drain
And for the first time
I could remember

I did not have to try
There was no rush
There was nowhere

I needed to be
Apr 2018 · 1.1k
Foot Through the Door
Edward Coles Apr 2018
Don’t let the *******
Get their foot through the door
Say yes once, at the wrong time
And you’ve said yes ten thousand times
Soon they’ll be taking the hours
From your life

It will happen slowly
Creeping up on you
Like glacial tides
Like choosing a Pope
Like *** cancer
Until one day you are consumed
And struggling only pulls the mud
Further up your throat

They get you with all the necessities
Food, water, beer, clothes, and cigarettes
It takes POWER to say no
Not a lot of people have power
At least, they say no to the wrong things
They’ll say no to a mid-week ******
And yes to the slow death of 8-5

You see the injustice in their eyes
You see they are looking for an escape
You know, though, that they wont
The ******* move in

They claim they already own the place
That they never moved in at all
They’ll start rearranging
The furniture of your life
Orientating everything in their image

Don’t let them in
Don’t even open the door
They’ll take everything-
But it’s yours to keep

To keep so long as you
Love their cruelty
And allow them the last thread
Of consciousness
That leaves your body before sleep

It’s yours so long as you
Turn up on time
And stay late
Punch the clock
And throttle all human smell

It’s all yours
If you give yourself to them
They will use up your patience
And then start on your confidence

Until they have you
Decorating your iron bars
With raised, clenched fists
Declaring loyalty to those
Who would drop you without hesitation

Soon, they’ll **** that spark
That Blue Moon spark
The one you feel when the sky
Mimics colours of happy memories
The one you feel when
You wake with movement in your bones
The one you feel when
A balloon swells in your chest
Or when ecstasy fills your spine
How the wind at the back of a motorbike
Blows the cobwebs from your mind

They’ll take it all away

They’ll take it all
Compensate you with a paltry sum
For all of your hours
For all torn relationships
You have no time for

They’ll turn the vice
A little tighter each day
Until you turn crazy-
If you’re lucky

If not
You’ll be there
Spent on purified sugar
And a lack of motion
To your days
You’ll be there
A hollowed shell
Of violent potential

Lost in timesheets and long weekends
You’ll take pictures
Of days spent in the sun
So that in your luxury
Your geriatric, loose-skinned luxury
You can look back
On your small life and say
“Hey, I did everything expected of me”

And that will work
For no one

Don’t let the *******
Get their foot through the door
You have no POWER to resist
You won’t be you anymore
Apr 2018 · 314
Dead Ends
Edward Coles Apr 2018
When did it get so hard
Just to talk, not to run
Well I’ve been here before
I know all the signs
The dead ends

Just know that I’m still here
Patiently waiting for a sign
Just to hear we still share
The same Earth, the same stars

Ever since we’ve been apart
There’s no light on
But I’m always up

There’s no one here
To pick me up
To calm me down

And the Earth
It don’t spin
No it just throws me
All around

I’ve grown jaded, I know
Nothing’s changed
It never will

So I’ll play the middleman
For a few weeks more
Then I’m gone-
If not before
a song i wrote a while ago
Apr 2018 · 364
Edward Coles Apr 2018
She used to bite her lip
Arch her back
As she sank down on top of me
When she reached my ***** bone
My **** felt like it could break in half

Still, she’d lean further back
And in the throes of ecstasy
My **** became property of hers
At the mercy of her spine
And how she chose to undulate it

We would lay there
All hot and stupid
In our cigarette smoke
We’d both derive pleasure
From my pain

She taught me how to kiss
She taught me how to really kiss a woman
Kiss and ****
Alternating between closed and opened mouths
The neck, collarbones, the insides of ears
“Oh baby…” she’d whisper when we were done
“Kiss me all over…”
And I did.

I’d start on her toes
She had a mole on her fourth toe
Right at the knuckle
And the cutest ankles you’ve ever seen
I’d never noticed feet in any capacity before
If the nails were painted and she was clean
I’d take my time down there

Next I’d work the calves
Always massaging a little further up
To where my lips and tongue were
Working in tandem
I could taste our *** on her skin
As I kissed between her small, pointed *******
Her pale skin – she’d faintly utter a sound

Her diaphragm lifting
Her swimmer’s body
And hairless ****
She’d whisper “baby…”
As my hands work her hips
And my lips move to her neck
By the time we’re making out
I’m inside her again

All the guts and gore of routine love
I could feel my *** run out of her
Like a broken yolk
Nothing beautiful about it aside from the feeling
******* her so soon was like
Screaming after a smoker’s cough
**** all swollen and hungover

Still, she looked beautiful in the half-light
Of the early afternoon
Curtains closed
Till the street lights come on
These moments where 2 hours sail with ease
Without drinking, smoking, or killing something
Inside of us

Though the *** was full of heart
It was all methodical, strategic
Making love to the one we hate the most
Nothing hurt more than my numb life
But I’d forget it in these instances
Of endless restoration between her legs
We’d sit in bed and smoke and drink
Too spent now to ****, the evenings
Were for ourselves
Though we were never apart

Somewhere along the way
*** was all we had left

Soon enough we’d stare across the bed
Nemeses waiting for the other to crack
“God, I hate you,” I said once
As I pulled back her hair
And kissed her behind the ear
She shuddered
“You repulse me” she said

“don’t stop.”
Mar 2018 · 484
Poisoned Sky
Edward Coles Mar 2018
My country is in chaos.

seats of power are exchanged,
unelected come-down
and steep fog of uncertainty.
The poor are painting their signs;
others lock their doors.
Tear gas spills in streets
far from Suburbia-
on the shoulder of Europe.

I struggle for sleep.
Not for tragedy,
but missed calls
and lack of shelter.
For you and your darkened corner,
bleak winters-
the last time I saw you in the sun.

Petroleum fills
the lung of the sea.
Swarms gather in luscious greed,
footfalls over concrete:
the peace sign,
white poppies,
paper cranes.
Stubborn **** in the rock,
the busker with fingerless gloves;
the nightclub spilling over
into violence.

I strain my eyes,
not in tears
but in chemicals
and lack of vitality.
For you and your
elusive path through life,
your over-complicated strides.
Simple, temporary medicine

that is the comfort
and never the cure.

The stars blot out
Each neon skylight
fractures the night
in pink clouds:
flowers die over the railings
where they could not
save his life.

I contain my breath,
not in calm
but poisoned blood
and lack of air:
I can barely breathe
without you here.

My country is in chaos.
Earth spins in a slow disease.
Still, all I can think of is you.
Whether you are thinking of me.
Mar 2018 · 724
Edward Coles Mar 2018
Brexit and Trump
mass shootings
and bombs in

These are things that happen
when people forget
how to
A two minute poem
Mar 2018 · 627
My Cure
Edward Coles Mar 2018
it’s windy I think
at least the windows are rattling

the men in hard hats
yellow motes in the distance
and their jackets the colour
of poison

they scale the façade
of the contralateral building

they’re speaking, yelling,
probably catcalling, singing
their ugly songs on cherry pickers
like some crowned nest
of wagtails

it’s early I think
though the lights are always on

they’re fluorescent, staining
unflattering colouration – rinse
your skin to poverty
to jaundice

I’m here because of pills
I’m here because school is out
I’m here because I’m tired
and I’m tired because of you

flowers sit at the side
already dry upon purchase

gifted awkwardly:
“can we give flowers to a man?”
“a foolish drunk”
“a boy in sheets”
“here’s a helium balloon
to lift your spirits”
“don’t look when it sags to the floor”
“you know that he will”

it’s lonely I think
though it’s filled with people

wristcutter, lupus, chemo,
we’re what’s left post-production
“buy me for half price
or at least half an hour of company”

nurses scan with motherly eyes
radiator warmth - at twelve to three
she washes me, asks me to lift my *****
to get at the two-day grime
of indolence

it’s sad here I think
at least the television is boring

daytime ghosts and broken families
make my bed-sheets gain weight
until nothing is mine

sleep comes in fits
and starts in blindness

it ends with my questioning
of where the dream began
and where reality failed

you haven’t come
I knew that you wouldn’t

it’s hard to blame you
what with my post-use pining
long after you’d given up
the way I act familiar
after treating you like a stranger

I long to leave here
so much that the windows are rattling

I’m here because I am
I’m here because of my job
I’m here because I’m tired
and I’m tired because of you
A poem about an abusive relationship and the fallout from it, written in early 2014
Mar 2018 · 356
Edward Coles Mar 2018
As rainfall breaks its banks
Of concrete, potholes, and dust
Men in yellow jackets
Descend on the makeshift
Flooded car park
Its tea-coloured, temporary pool

With a bare left hand
And a green sack each
They pull bullfrogs from their throat song
In the shadow of my high-rise
I cannot make out the struggles

That, without doubt, ensue inside the sack
Limb entangled with limb,
Body upon body
Blind save for the odd cadence
And crack of light

Deaf in the caterwaul of disorientated
Angry males forcing a lifetime
Of movement into their last few moments
By sunrise half will be dead
Whilst the others dry out in the sun
Get shifted onto half-melted ice
And eaten once the sun
Goes down again

All will be still in the end
Mar 2018 · 436
A Familiar Transition
Edward Coles Mar 2018
Broke out of town and left everyone
To spend a year and a half
Outside myself and in the sun
But now I hide in the wake
Of closed walls
And only think of home when it rains
(It rains all the time but it does not last long)

The armor of discovery lost its weight
Like love lost its chains
So there was nothing to keep my kite-string heart
From buffeting in the ionospheric storm.
Now there is no light
It is all shadows, uncomfortable heat
And night as black and harrowing
As a scorpion in fear

Now I am always careful where I tread
I have learned to make a room full of fast friends
And enablers without any words being said

Quit the drug so I could finally
Fill those endless spaces
Took it up again once
I had squandered all meaning
And sunsets were no longer enough
Could only watch the lotus pools bleed
On the wrong side of dawn
Red-eyed and watching pilgrims
Reach absolution on the screen

Used to envelop myself in poetry and art
But now all words spoil
By page or by mouth
And no scream is enough to reach
This distance I feel
All emotion recorded long after
The feeling has gone
Everything I knew
Only realized after the fact

A familiar transition
Broken embankments
Where old scars bleed ancient terror
Into everyday humdrum moments
Crawl from the pit
Cowered in a squat
Bones jutting out amongst
The first smoke of the morning
The impending disaster woven
Into the tapestry of routine

Always had a strong will and bloodied wrists
I’ve washed my hands a thousand times
But they never emerge clean
Thought an omnipresent sun
Would remove the painful seasons
That decimate my progress every winter
But the sun only gives energy
If you are rooted to this world

Now everyone is pregnant
Or promoted
Confident or at least competent
Sharing easy conversation
Whilst I sit and struggle to breathe
Part of me got on the plane
In the hope someone
Would tell me not to leave
Now time has moved so fast
I’m 6000 miles from home
Yet it is I who cannot move on

It is I who trades sleep for chemicals
Fleeting feelings of calm
Passed through anything I can
Sniff, snort and swallow
Another half-cut legion
Chained to the mast
My endless depression
My humdrum delusion
My panic attack
Rough version of a poem I wrote last October
Mar 2018 · 1.0k
Sunglass Shade
Edward Coles Mar 2018
Woke up on the edge of it
the sober morning light
woke up and felt assured of it
but it didn't make it right

So now I paint my eyes so blue
and they colour all my days
all I do is think of you
in the sunglass shade

Woke up with my mind set on
all that's come and gone
are you still listening
to the same old sad, sad songs?

Or does the sun reflect your mood
now you made it out alive?
Do you still need a drink or two
to fall asleep on time?

Woke up on the edge of it
the sober morning light
woke up and felt assured of it
but it didn't make it right

So now I paint my eyes so blue
and they colour all my days
all I do is think of you
in the sunglass shade
A song I wrote

Mar 2018 · 2.5k
Edward Coles Mar 2018
Goodnight I, lost the fight I,
Cheated death for a while my friend
Now I’m off for a better fit
Off to a place of happiness
And no pain

I lost all my movements
I’m in and out of consciousness now
I can’t breathe but I can still dream
I still hear you through that morphine wall
But I can’t get through

My heart skips a beat
Like a stone over a pond
If seeing is believing
I guess I don’t see at all…

Goodnight I know it’s late
Let’s toast the good years
We spent in waste
All the bars, all the conversations
All the details, they blur into one
Goodnight friend
Goodbye friend
You’re a ******* and you’re a drunk

Goodnight friend
My blackout friend
You always kick me when I’m down
And I’m sorry I lost the fight
Just from my window there is no light
There’s no prize, there’s no woman
So there’s nothing left in my sight

Goodnight friend, goodbye friend
There’s no feeling and no pain

A song I wrote recently
Edward Coles Mar 2018
The moon is full and high
Casting shadows on the wall
In the house where no one sings anymore

At night, you can hear the wind
In the empty room and halls
In the house where no one sings anymore

Even the faces in the ceiling
They’ve grown blind and mute and bored
And the voices on the TV screen
They make no sense at all
In the house where no one sings anymore

Until the light floods in
And rids the shadows from the walls
Nothing’s changing in this house
Not anymore…
In this house where no one sings anymore
A song I wrote

Mar 2018 · 342
Edward Coles Mar 2018
Come inside I got some wine
And a couple stories to tell
And after midnight we’ll get to talking
We’ll drink right off the top shelf

And you’ll undress and say to me
“I’ve been alone too long
All my friends that don’t call

My entropy, my third divorce
From vanity and reason
And Caroline, she took a rope
Then held it to her jaw-line

She said a few words no one heard
And in a FLASH she’s gone
Let’s pass the words around the room
That don’t help any more

I’m closing down
I’m throwing out
All that holds me behind

You’re outta tricks
Your bad advice
Your stubborn lack of sunlight
A song I wrote recently
Mar 2018 · 1.9k
Offering Of Change
Edward Coles Mar 2018
There’s an offering of change
Vitamin pills and get rich schemes
Selling a better life
A shot of paradise

In a series of halogen bulbs
All the tunnels lead to Mexico
The hidden hand on demand
Working off in the shadows
Maybe they’re hiding in plain sight
Just a crazy thought that crossed my mind

Now I’m holding out for truth
Amongst the sedatives
Now everything I see
Is played out on a broken touch screen
And now the ship is sunk
Let’s get down to the bar
I need to see the sun come up
before I start to come down

Johnny was a head-case man
All the things they did to him
And when the rich men left
And when he finally slept

He’d sleep for an hour or two
In a punch-drunk afternoon
All of the chemicals
Working off in the shadows
It’s no wonder he took his life
Just a crazy thought that crossed my mind

Now I’m holding out for truth
Amongst the sedatives
Now everything I see
Is played out on a broken touch screen
And now the ship is sunk
Let’s get down to the bar
I need to see the sun
Come up before I start to come down
A new song of mine
Mar 2018 · 574
Edward Coles Mar 2018
How many more beautiful hearts will I spoil
All high and unavailable, their eyes occluded
With sorrow as they watch me slip towards a sorry death

How many times can I keep walking into a
Burning building, a sea of tongues I cannot keep pace with
Before I stop returning, always short of breath

How many years have I wasted wringing
My hands in quiet discomfort and worrying
When all this worrying will stop

How many more patient friends will slip from view
As I blind myself with false changes, as I lie in waste
Through my solitude, wondering why no one is here

To rinse the poverty from my ruined eyes
Feb 2018 · 320
Out of Touch
Edward Coles Feb 2018
I'm out of range
I'm out of luck
Never lost my will
Just slipped out of touch.
Short Version

Feb 2018 · 606
Edward Coles Feb 2018
Late night drive-thru, red lights, stop signs.
Lately I’ve been blue all in the absence of you
And I won’t lie
The Philistines are out in force tonight
And I won’t lie
I’m back on the bottle again tonight.

I can’t control it, the weight of the morning,
I read the warning but I never saw it coming
In my field of view, or in my mind’s eye,
Well, I’ve been blue in the absence of you

And I
Like a beating drum,
Like a washed-out popstar,
Like an artifact
After the fact-

I’ll cling onto what I got stored up in karma,
You see, I’ve been a good man
But I’ve done some bad things in my time.
And I won’t lie
Everything must go here tonight.
And I won’t lie
I’m back on the bottle again tonight.

They say laughter is the greatest medicine.
They say a lot of things but it never makes much sense.
They’re climbing up the walls
To get their monthly pay;
They say laughter is the greatest medicine.

Late night, junk food, I’m ****** without you.
I’m a badly drawn cartoon with red eyes
And an ego on fire.

And I won’t lie
The lunatics are out in force tonight

And I won’t lie
There’s too much wrong here
To try and make it right.

And I won’t lie
I’m back on the bottle again tonight.
A song I wrote on my cheap-*** keyboard
Feb 2018 · 466
Edward Coles Feb 2018
If all the leaves are gone
Then where’s the story?
If all the money is gone
Then what are you hiding?
If you have been here before
Where do I go from here?

If all disaster falls
At the last leg of home,
If all the thieves are caught
Then why all the cameras?
If even ******* fall in love
Why can’t I?

Saturday and it’s 5a.m.
Saturday and the room starts to spin
Smoke a cigarette and look down
At this grey, grey town.

And they will beat the drum
For any cause
If everything is ******
Then where do we start?
If all the money is gone
How do you manage
To sell out to all your friends and thieves?

If all the leaves are gone
Then what’s the damage
When every country is armed
To their teeth and think-

When the power is gone
What will we feed upon?
Have we reached the end
Or can we start over again?
A song I wrote

Jan 2018 · 375
The Vanishing Act
Edward Coles Jan 2018
I am waving at you across the dark.
I tried screaming but your ears were trained
To happy melodies,
Better sounds,
And all in the reception of G-d.

I tried reaching blindly for your arm
But only grasped the warmth
From where your body had been.
I am always holding out
For thin air.

I tried conspiring potions, pheromones
To dethrone you from your impassible place
Amongst the glory of creation.
I was always terrified,
Too scared to walk amongst the living.

I tried to lace your lips with my promise
So even when I cannot kiss you
I steal your words,
your taste,
your lipstick..

I am still waiting for you.
I fumble at the switch
In a room of locked doors and iron windows.
Too scared to let the light in without you.
Too scared that when I do

You will be gone.
Jan 2018 · 2.5k
Happy Accident
Edward Coles Jan 2018
I painted you.
With trembling, amateur precision,
I suffered each line on your face.

Each fleck of sun,
Your candid smile,
Your immediate beauty in the foreground
Of an exceptional ocean.

Stumbling blindly through the days,
Fumbling for the switch
In a punch-drunk, love-sick afternoon.

Apart from you,
Stripped, exposed,
Laid prone on the gurney
With my skull in a vice
And a fist to my stomach.

I can barely stand because of you.

I painted you this afternoon
So I could toil in your gaze.
Pray I am an interesting splatter,
A noticeable blight;
A happy accident on your page.
Jan 2018 · 521
Strung Up
Edward Coles Jan 2018
I don’t play chess with love.
There is no strategy, no foresight,
No due process; only a knot in the gut
Which prevents all action
That does not result in your touch.

I don’t chase after love.
I lie in wait, in unfamiliar places,
Abandoned mines and filthy drunk tanks-
Watch morning break through the cloud
With stupid hope there are no more false dawns.

I don’t bear false witness to love.
I tie a ribbon to the loaded gun
And hand it over to the woman
Holding a scalpel with a smile
And earnest for my confession.

I don’t want to do this anymore.
My heavy limbs, lack of light.
Waking up to Ground Zero
And sleeping with a lie of chemicals .
I don’t want to forget how to love.

I don’t think the choice is mine.
Jan 2018 · 1.1k
The Last Postcard (Dream #6)
Edward Coles Jan 2018
I’m tired of these lonesome nights
spent **** in fist and staring at the ceiling.
Exist in thought and again through
ever-changing screens;
it’s been years since I lived through action.

Desiccated white heels in the dust of Savannakhet.
Finding love in the half-dark Bangkok hotel room.
The bar-maid in Malaga, hash from Morocco,
all those nights spent lusting for blood amongst the wine.

Now getting high means finding an anchor
to hold me down when gravity does not feel enough.
When all forces of G-d and Nature combined
Cannot rattle hard enough to force me to speak
in any half-filled room.

Sometimes I’m certain the noise in my chest
can be heard aloud
and everyone knows I am nothing.
I wonder why in all my dreams
Beauty follows in my footsteps.

I wonder why in all my dreams
I’m running away from something.
Jan 2018 · 767
Edward Coles Jan 2018
All I could think of was to shut you up
Smudge your perfect red lipstick
And forget
For once
About our private hell
And the weight of time
Hanging in the gut of us all

Fireworks scolded in your brilliance
Each one a spec k of observation
Amongst a sea of eyes with no limit
Fragments of no time

Infinity was the glance across the table
After our fourth drink

By the sixth we were bringing in the new year
In a fitful, sleepless night
Of stimulant drinks
And cheap spirits

I have been living as a ghost
For several years now
The ashtray is overflowing
In the wake of one thousand tongues
Spilling their way needlessly into mine

Whatever is left
After a lifetime of travel with no destination
Failed treatments and one thousand breathless
Attempts at barely living
Is yours

Whatever is left
Once you are done tending to the offshoots
And slicing each tendon from the bone
Is mine to keep
Dec 2017 · 608
Clean White Page
Edward Coles Dec 2017
Never dreamed I would fear
The best thing for me
Forsake longing
In the daily pursuit
Of escapism
And ugly living

Lack of meaning
Beneath the tongue
To almost anything
And anyone

What do you expect from me

When you stand there
Bold in the beauty of life
Full of struggle without a scar
Fingers delicate in prayer

I am ravaged by the storm
All movement without lustre
All shelter torn
All sails at half mast

Years spent searching
For dry land
After years spent learning
Nothing is built to last

If you lend me dreams of your future
I will confess to each demon of my past
Jul 2017 · 728
Edward Coles Jul 2017
It’s four in the morning
half-******, alone
slouching towards brilliance
on the back of a half pack
of cigarettes and a lifetime
spent staring out the faces
in the ceiling.

Been this way since evening
unshaven, undressed
striving to be beautiful
amongst flashbulb memories
of my fingers between her legs
and her phantom song
that cut through the smoke

and tore the heart of every man
left standing
in the room.
Jun 2017 · 644
Made for Collision
Edward Coles Jun 2017
I thought of you this evening
heart tethered to the ceiling
fingers teasing the hem of your dress
our stolen names
our clumsy address

Thought of you on Parliament Square
holding a clipboard
and shouting in the rain
tied a ribbon to your hair
with a silver paper crane

Thought of you with innocence
thought of you with ***
all the miserable spaces in between
the collisions we forget

I thought of you this evening
by the milky blindness moon
argued on the cause of death
agreed it came too son

Thought of you this afternoon
thought of leaving too
this artless life
I lie beside
in the wake of you

Thought of you and all the thieves
that chanced upon my way
I never counted you among them
I still love you to this day

I thought of you this evening
eyes tethered to the ceiling
numb and dense with pills and regret
you taught me the art of forgiving
even when I could not forget
Jun 2017 · 523
Sleeping Man
Edward Coles Jun 2017
It became a famous joke
the way trouble followed you home

How you sang into tiny microphones
on ruined afternoons

How you put leaflets through doors
to fund the calm of evening

It became a famous joke
last to arrive and the first to leave

How you are still in love
with every woman you have known

How you smell of beer and cigarettes
on your clothes and on your breath

It became a famous joke
the way trouble followed you home

How you lost the will to speak
How you stopped answering the phone
May 2017 · 1.5k
Edward Coles May 2017
I never asked you to undress
You wrote yourself into my life
your punished, caffeine heart
became a cuckold
amongst the yarn I spun
You spoke to me
but my words were meant for everyone
You spoke to me
but my words were meant for anyone
but you
May 2017 · 1.5k
Mass Suicide
Edward Coles May 2017
Flies swarm when the floodlights come on.
They **** and they fight, live and die.
In the space of an hour
turf becomes a bed of glass wings-
none are left
straining for the light.
It looks like a mass suicide.
Eggs hatch in the sweat of night.
Tachycardic at birth,
one brief exultation
enough to still the lung,
nullify the heart.
Yawn out of existence,
bullfrogs croak miserably
as bodies fall from the sky.
You ask me why I cannot sleep-
I saw a thousand deaths tonight.
May 2017 · 1.3k
Edward Coles May 2017
I love the sound of the city she says
It is like a storm against the window
I can lie naked and ruined
after a long day
and be grateful to find stillness.

In the morning I hear monks chanting
In the afternoon it is all traffic
In the evening I hear stray dogs
as people find each other in the dark.
I love the sound of the city she says

the sound of chaos
the sound of calm.
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