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SJG 6h
The temple has crumbled in the sky.
The folks back home have died.
The wedding was sentimental dreck
And the best man got tongue tied.

I find you in the lawn chair.
You say you’re sick of love.
I can’t really begrudge you,
Love’s a lot of worrying over nothing.
A lot of going to bed angry.
A lot of worrying while waking up.

And if your heart is bruised, what can I say?
Mine happens to be bruised as well.
We can hold it against each other,
If you’d rather, babe.
I don’t mind and I don’t tell.

And if you feel like shacking up with another,
Please don’t worry all too much.
I might start cursing the heavens from the kitchen,
But I’ll keep on with the washing up.

And if you feel like lying face front on the couch,
While the broom you married sulks over
Burnt toast and a perpetual deficit of cigarettes.
Just know you don’t need to be forgiven,
He’s as happy as he gets.

He even took the bins out.
This time he didn’t forget.
SJG 13h
A leech making artsy crap, easily defeated.
River deep, mountain high,
Co-codamol flecked sleep on the train
As the ruins of post-industrialised fens pass him by.

If you’re still digging a grave,
I suggest you turn the brakeman’s way.
I suggest the shires collapsing beyond measurable time.
I direct you to the great plains of sweet F-A, or the plainsmen drinking down their less particular crimes.

Because there’s no higher law,
Or laurel canyon angel for,
Traditional inspiration through the night.

And the naturalism in vogue
Is dead authenticity anyway.
Don’t speak yourself in and out of line.

Because there’s a contract
And it was paid long before you showed your face, kid.

And no-one particularly cares
For a guest who shows up unannounced
With no alibis or digestible narrative.

They’ve got bones boiling in the bath.
Ticket tape once. Ticket tape twice.

Did you hear all the hits they played?
We were there for nearly a day.
There was “Fine Fever Fever”
And “Classical Gasp”
And even “Takes A Fool to Fall”
Somewhere in the back.
Piston water. Historic tracts.

Is it getting hot in here?
When has it ever been hot in here?
Been sliced twice by the frigidaire’s feelings, asking for Sylvia Plath.
If the day hits a nerve, start running the bath.

Got a bad sense in my knees.
Can’t affiliate with potentialities.
Just more language and signals
Down my back.
I’m not here. That’s not my voice
On that track.

While the sun is smiling,
The universe retracts on you forever.
While the sun is smiling,
High couture magazines float face down in the reservoir forever.
While the sun is smiling,
No-one sings a thing.
While the sun is smiling,
Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights
Are replayed forever.

I see you winding the reel
Back for your anniversary.
We see a young man with tremors
And gravestones for teeth.

The window for success has shut,
Barred, and triple locked,
But art’s free. Art is free.

If I wanted to make a profit,
I’d have written a diary.
I wanted to be a prophet,
I’d have spoken out against the scene.

All those adolescent night terrors of angels
Still follow you wherever you go.
Nobody shares a realm with you,
And nobody’s there when you get home.

But dying’s free. Dying is free.

Buckets of fun, how red the streets of this town will run.
Buckets of fun, just need to work out how to get things done.
And the other kids laughed, and, yeah, it stung;
But I’m hoping to tie one over all of them with buckets of fun.

I heard a spirit coughing up its guts
Inside a willow tree.
I didn’t feel too sorry for the guy,
It meant nothing to me.

All the speedy singers are congregating
Around power’s steps.
They think they can change the world
And keep the wealth they have;
Boy, I bet.

And dying is free. And breakdown is free.

If I was going mad, wouldn’t I say something?
If I was dangling over the void, you really think I’d give you a ring?
Scorch forests and plant trees.
Scorch forests, blah blah blah.

All the diamond mines have flooded
Due to shoddy workmanship.
A god lies trapped in the ice,
His mind reverberating with trivial ****.

And the sun’s mine.
And the moon’s mine.

If I wanted to be a poet, you’d think I’d have said something.
Sometimes your trade is all you get,
And, boy, mine had to stink.
I don’t want to bring insight to you
On a silver tray.
I have no interest in forging words into a song
Or breathe life into the mundane.

Bigger fish to be grilled.
Believe you me,
This ontological space doesn’t view either of us too kindly,
And all the erstwhile sailors tired of supper at home,
Are long since lost to the sea.

So, remain in bed.
Remain in bed. Seriously.
SJG 15h
Oh, my enemy,
So you have it in me?
So you feel disavowed,
And disapprove of my right to be.

Wouldn’t you know I’d **** for you?
I’d cradle your head through the night.
Wouldn’t you know I’d dance for you?
Dance like the weirdest cat at a broadway show.

So, the foggy ghost informs me,
You’re burning across five states
Just to break into my house.
Well. I’m waiting on you, friend.
I’m more than happy to talk it out.

Because I’m an angel, friend.
Every moral victory will be mine.
And with the unspeakable shields
That society provides for me,
I’ll crush you in time.
SJG 2d
Abilene. Abilene.
People are built to struggle.
They lose it all in time.
People, they struggle and struggle.

And there’s an empty moon watching over your empty bed.
And there’s a place all of us always go in the end.
And the ladder to heaven was busted, long before you were even born.
So, you’re going nowhere, and until then, you’re gonna have to struggle.

And fantasy’s swell,
But undergraduate poets have been telling lies.
The chrysalis in your palm is fun for a day, then it dies.
And is it beautiful, Abilene, when it dies? No. It’s grey and exhausted and brittle.
Don’t tell me otherwise, Abilene.
When has an unmade corpse
Ever been allowed to attend its own funeral?
SJG 2d
Attribution, kids.
Wear your blazers tight.
Book a suite. Book a suite amongst these dispassionate seafaring lions.
If the wind blows west-way,
Then the fallen autumn leaves
Should be here by nine.

I’m up to my sleeves in birds.
I run out of words.
I am chained, chained, chained
To nocturnal circadian rhythms
And the whims of silkworms.

The booth is fire.
The booth is fire. I’m buried alive.
SJG 2d
I’ve been working this for years: solitary writs for solitary queers,
flubbed kisses beneath Bridget Riley prints – I could not get right.

Place a plastic amber shopping bag
around that naked lamp bulb
and hold me through the night.
SJG 3d
Once there were fountains in spring
And once there were televised mourners
Walking aside black limousines
As heads of states smiled down.

And once there was a lie to console us
And once there were starlings with busted wings
And ghostwriters were commissioned to pen sonnets
And jerry-rigged speeches would bring tears
Down the faces of unknowing bigots
And it was hell,
but it was their hell,
and that’s different somehow.
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