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Oct 2015 · 860
Poker
A Mareship Oct 2015
Your name
Snowballed once inside my brain
And was gone –
(I don't know the Russian for 'one' or 'two'
But for a minute I knew the Russian for you)

So go spend my winnings on the days you've lost,
Your blind-eyed perfect smile is worth the cost,
Good fortune means more to me than luck
But don't sit so close, love,
My poker face is ******.

(You were so good,
Your taste went on for days as no taste should)

One day soon I'll recall your name,

Where I'm from
All the snow melts in the rain
May 2015 · 1.0k
marvellous
A Mareship May 2015
He takes his shirt off without
unbuttoning
and in the dead of night
when he goes for a ****
I see his silhouette
and think -
what a marvellous man.

We row a lot these days
and he is often cross
with the way I never clean the bath,
with the way I move,
and sometimes
with what I eat in bed -

I know I'll never be
the heartless soldier he knew before
or the gym bunny with two iron eyes,
He'll never be quite as blond
as I want,
nor quite as odd.

But still I look at his silhouette
dark and strange
when he goes for a ****,
and I think,
dear me,
what a marvellous man.
May 2015 · 2.0k
is homosexuality a disease?
A Mareship May 2015
no

of course  not

a disease is a disorder
with symptoms and signs
an internal dysfunction
a...
disturbance
in the design

No
I am not infectious -
I touch this boy so,
and see!
He is still a normality
A ******* fiend
An hourglasss devotee -

I am not foodborne, no,
Unless you count
the macaroons
pistachio green
and lemon too,
what a taste
of boyhood,
schoolboy blue

I am not acute,
a one-time sneeze.
I am not
a short-lived
Green coughed
wheeze,

I am not
the plunger in your vaccines -

I am the pistol red and glitter
in your
genes
a poem to follow on from a row. ******* these people who believe such boring ******* things...
A Mareship May 2015
Liquorice fellows,
Hooded
Execution -
A glossy black
Etonian intrusion,
Settling walnuts
Cracked apart and clever,
Snap crack
Snap, crack,
and
black
forever

Caterwauling rats
All brown and nasty
Sprouting tumours
Buck teeth
Rhinoplasty,
Stealing eggs and dragged on backs
of tumours,
Hissing soft through yellow teeth
'consumers'

Rabbits silver
Lands of plenty green,
All green and plenty
Land of ours, unseen,
Rats and crows
Pick our country bare,
God help the rabbit,
God
God help the hare.
Apr 2015 · 587
gloria (pt 1)
A Mareship Apr 2015
Let me indulge you, and tell you the only story than I can ever tell.

Last night, I dreamt of our pub. It was as gold and black as a caviar tin, a short walk away from school, aching with sun and ready with my pint of London Pride. The grubby green booth kissed your cricket whites and you were seventeen forever, seventeen and as blonde as a mothered statue of a prince, bone-idle, as blonde and as young as dreams can make you.

“Jesus died, for somebody’s sins…”

My hands were sweating around the pint glass and I could feel the promise of a **** in the air,  a good **** in some pink carpeted upstairs room in that ****** little pub from ten years ago where they played old music over tin speakers, where my youth dribbled **** into the flowerpots, where you and I had our first shut-eyed kiss in front of all of our friends and they never said a word about it, not one word.

“…But not mine.”

I fell in love with you in this pub where all I wanted to do was love you, touch you, tell you that you were the most amazingly screwable piece of **** this side of the Milky Way, when just your wayward finger could give me the hardon of my life – and in this dream, darling, you were as real as you ever were, as gold and compact as a star, pink crowned and already wet and I took you between my lips to soak you



G

L

O

R

IIIII

A



I dreamt of the whole length of you inside my throat, with my body so young and beautiful, and you coated me in your own saliva covertly, always hiding the things that I most desperately wanted to see -
batting my head and my hands away...

(Come on - let me see,
le us both be suspended in your spit,
insects caught in the molten gold, gold -)

“Jesus, died, for somebody’s sins…

But not mine.”

……….
Apr 2015 · 894
bluebird
A Mareship Apr 2015
In a Bluebird toffee tin
Are a hundred letters –
Most of them doodle-stamped and
Delivered by hand.
Unlike the letters I sent to you
They do not smell of spritzed cologne,
(A trick that I learned from Grease)
They are not messy
Or tea stained,
But perfect powder blue
And allowing for small extravagances –
The Cursive of the Obsessive,
Cursed by neatness and perfect hearts.

I pick one out at random,
A casually cruel one sent from Rome –
I imagine you blinking on a balcony
With dazzles on your collarbone,
A teeny tiny sugarless coffee
At your side,
And a pen tapping your knee.

“I’m not a **** at all –“ you wrote,
"It’s only that you are gregarious
In the most DISGUSTING way.
That’s your problem not mine -
Your optimism won’t catch you.
(Cynicism won’t catch you either,
But it has the courtesy not to throw you.)
I’m stopping now,
By the time you get this
I’ll be back home.
What pointlessness we endure for one other.
I miss you, as you say,
‘ever so’ –
Bedtime here is a source of misery.”


And then you signed your name,
Tiny,
Small,
Impossibly graceful,
Just like yourself.

You were always nasty
When you missed me.
posted before but now edited. Of all the things I've written, this is my favourite (probably because half the words are not mine.)
Feb 2015 · 477
Untitled
A Mareship Feb 2015
the thorns that cross my mind at night
with gold eggs stuck in my throat
(cod liver oil, big and bloated and gold)

he heaves me into a cold front,
but I can hear planes circling us
on their fronts and cold,
the dark is a rumble
tottering ***** plates on edge

the planets are spectators come too close
like wasps, too close, can't finish this thought -
I love you but I need to be alone,
this is when ghosts come, too shy for you,
they need to sit and shyly shiver,
go now, go out,
and find out -
where is that plane going? Cold, someplace cold?
Feb 2015 · 723
silver bowl
A Mareship Feb 2015
in the silver
bowl
you let her head all henna hexed
with indigo
sink.
you watched the ink
Twitch out to tell the tales
from one blue star to the other,
but no maps.

how black is her hair now, this mother,
and how deep am I standing in it?

I am black to the ankle
black and blue to the ankle,
and to the knee,

From the knee to the elbow that
crooks
to hold the baby?
Jan 2015 · 294
..
Jan 2015 · 622
bedlam
A Mareship Jan 2015
We think we're hard done by

Coasting in our sleeping bag boats,
Binliners of lumps
waiting for our names
and for our coats.

Oh Lithium Lovers
Are we ****** - ?

Are our bloodlines blue,
black and blue and botched,
blotchy on the page,
cowed and crowing in the cage?

We were birds, stunned birds,
Singing to the guns,
With picks behind our eyes
And walls to catch the turds.

We were history
We were gassed
We were mush inside the glass,

We were carnival sweethearts,
We were the horrors of the crowd
****** if we were quiet,
Or a bit quiet,
Or loud.

Yellow pages,
A pipe,  not a pipe,
Notes -

What's your name, darl?
And where's your coat?
not finished
for everyone who's been through the mental health system, chin up loves, we've been through worse
Jan 2015 · 1.1k
dolls
A Mareship Jan 2015
When she was young
(she's still young, painfully young)
I asked her if she needed help
with her dance shoes.

No, no, I thought.
She can do it herself.


And now,
three months after her boyfriend got hold of my number,
I wonder
if I ever thought
that she was older than she was.

She's kicking,
this little girl
inside this little girl -

(matryoshka,
matryoshka,
a limoges pram
for the matryoshka...!)
Sep 2014 · 1.3k
cashmere
A Mareship Sep 2014
Daniel, Peter, George and I sat in various stages of drunkenness.  Dee was sober and on the water. It was our annual dinner, the great catch-up, and most of us were drinking champagne. A great bouquet of peach roses sat in the middle of the table dropping petals by the hour.
“She’s got ginger hair.” Peter laughed.
“It’s more auburn.” George defended, pouring himself another drink.
“No.” Said Peter. “She’s ******* ginger.”
Daniel leant back in his chair with his arms behind his head, wearing his face of perpetual amusement.
“Dan. Come on, now. What colour is Melanie’s hair?”
“Oh…I don’t know.” Dan smiled. “A sort of strawberry blonde.”
Peter punched George on the shoulder."See! She’s ******* ginger!”
Boys will always jostle to be top dog. Daniel was the alpha and Peter resented it, but Daniel was everything that Peter would never be: good-natured, strong, calm, in control. Peter was loud and insulting, a bit of a bully but sort of sad with it, prone to fits of melancholy and drunkenness. We all had our role to play. George was fey and funny and got offended easily. I was the madman who did the things they didn’t dare.  The dynamic worked, most of the time.
Dee was quiet and an ‘outsider’, so he didn’t count. He sat with his glass of tonic water which was packed with slowly cracking ice, and he stuck to his usual routine : no food, no alcohol, no cigarettes, no smiling, no chit chat. Any time I laughed or told a joke, his silence would shame me. He reminded me of how desperate I was to fit in, to be one of the boys. He always shamed me just by sitting there, by not joining in, by being so ******* above it all, by being so himself.
“So, what exactly are you doing these days, Art?” Peter asked.
“Teaching. You know that.”
“Yeah but…why? Do they even allow mental patients around kids?”
Daniel leaned forwards in his chair and glanced at me, checking for discomfort.
“God.” I sighed. “******* Peter.”
“And what do you do?” Peter asked, looking at Dee. Dee took a long while to answer, focusing his eyes and adjusting his posture.
“PhD. Physics.”
“Sounds boring.”
“He’s mathematically gifted.” I said proudly.
Peter smiled with one side of his mouth.
“If someone gave me the gift of maths I’d return it and buy a calculator.”
Everyone laughed, including me. Dee started to fold his napkin, and then he unfolded it. Then he folded it again.
“Do you love maths, then?” George asked.
Dee pushed the napkin into his lap and shrugged.
“There’s something wrong with you if you love maths.” George said. “Maths is *******.”
“Do you want another tonic?” I asked Dee, putting my hand on his knee. He pushed it off with force.
“No. In fact - I think I want to go home.”
“Don’t go home!” Daniel said. “Please Dee, stay a while.”
“No, I really think I ought to go home now.”
“Hey.” I grabbed his knee again. “Come on.”
“No.” he stood up, the candlelight winking wildly in the silk wrinkles of his shirt. “I really want to leave.”
“The evening’s just getting started.” Peter said.
“The evening is not the problem.” Dee said quietly. “The problem is you.” He closed his eyes. “The problem is you.”
I felt my skin shrink. Dee stood up to his full height and exhaled.
“In fact, the problem is all of you. You’re all awful human beings. All of you. Awful, awful, awful.” His eyes sparkled as he warmed to his theme. “And you’re all so ******* boring!
Peter and George were speechless. Daniel leant back and laughed beneath praying hands.
“Yes, you’re bores! You’re such ******* bores! Even the waiter is bored! Even the flowers are bored!”
“Dee, love.” I stood up and grabbed his shoulder. I was quite drunk.
“No Arthur, I’m going home, I’m tired. I’ll get a cab, you stay here with your awful, awful, awful, awful bores.”
He stomped off and Daniel blinked at me, his eyes wrinkled and drunk.
“Go on Art, go home. It’s ok.”
“God, Arthur.” Peter said. “What a lunatic. There’s something seriously wrong with him.”
“Oh *******, Pete.” I snapped, for the second time that night.
“Take this.” Dan said, thrusting his bottle of champagne at me. “I don’t want it. Go on, run and catch him. Go and get drunk with him.”
“No use. He doesn’t drink, remember?” I said, putting on my coat.
“Drink some water with him then. Tell him…” Dan grabbed my head and whispered into my ear, “…tell him that he’s right, that we are ******* bores.” He burst out laughing and sank down into his seat, watching me do up my buttons. “Oh my God!” he laughed, grabbing my hand like he was about to kiss it. “We’re so boring! We’re so ******* boring! Look at us! Even I’m bored!”
Daniel winked at me, still laughing. Daniel was one of Dee’s greatest defenders, and he admired Dee because Dee was honest, because he could not fail to be honest, and because Daniel loved the people that I loved, and I loved Dee most of all.
I grabbed the roses from their vase, just in case I needed them. They were wet, and dying, and they had no smell.
I caught up with Dee outside Angel In The Fields. He complained that he had a headache and told me he wanted to go home. He told me that he couldn’t have stayed one second longer.
He took the flowers from me, and buried his face in them until I hailed a cab.
Flowers were a running theme with us. Flowers in buttonholes, wisteria in gardens. Roses in his face. Buttercups in the grass. So terrible, when I think about it now. Perhaps someone was trying to tell me:
Arthur -  this story will start and end with flowers.

Dee had a habit of ruining social occasions. Perhaps the stress got to him, the terror of communicating, the fear of conversation. He became easily overtired and quickly over stimulated, if a conversation was getting too personal or staying at chit-chat level, he would begin to stress and flounder. If someone annoyed him he could not pretend to like them – he had to let them know that they were ****** or boring or dumb. He didn’t fully comprehend how offensive he could be. He didn’t understand that in order to maintain peace, you must suppress yourself a little bit, tailor yourself to fit the rest. It wasn’t that he didn’t believe in suppressing himself, it’s that he simply couldn’t do it.
Most of all, he hated people taking up my attention, whether they were talking to me, amusing me, or even hurting me – he made it very obvious that he did not like to share.
Once, he emptied an entire bottle of red wine into a young woman’s handbag because she had been talking to me all night. He placed broken bottles in front of his mother’s car tires. He sent anonymous emails to my father, threatening disembowelment.  He beheaded ivory chess pieces, snipped the heads off anniversary roses, kicked people's shins under tables.
And he had the worst temper I had ever known.
When people didn’t understand where he was coming from, when he felt isolated and flustered by his own emotional poverty, he would begin to fragment. He would rock back and forth and moan. His voice would change, his face would change, and his anger would be frightening in its desperation, he would tear at his own clothes and hurl himself into walls. A few times I had to physically restrain him, pulling his sweater or shirt over his head to trap his arms, sitting on him, trying to calm him down.
But I could always deal with it, the crazy stuff – it didn’t bother me at all. The rage, the disconnect, the alienation. I knew what it was like to lose control. I knew what it was like to feel different. I used to say to him, “I was with Dee today and I seen hell in his face, Guv’nor. It was all red and blotchy looking.” And then, sometimes, he’d smile.
It was the eating thing that devastated me. It was the eating thing that made me feel useless. That was the one thing that I didn’t understand.

We took a cab from Angel In The Fields and went back to no.23. He went straight upstairs to get undressed, and took a pair of new cashmere socks out of their little beribboned box.
“It’s too warm for cashmere.” I said. He didn’t listen, and put them on anyway.
Dee had never had much of a *** drive, so I knew I was pushing my luck by kissing him – we had made love the night before. He kept his mouth closed and pushed me away.
“No, I don’t want to."
He picked the fluff from his black velvet computer chair.
“I’m not cross.” I said.
“Cross?”
“About…tonight. With the boys.”
“Oh. Ok.”
I went to kiss him again. God, I loved it when he bent his head back and his tongue met mine, his arms relaxing at the elbows, his limpet legs clamping around my own. But his mouth pursed up at me. No entry tonight, sorry.
“Goodnight, then.” I said. “I’m going to bed.”
Something cruel took over me as I opened the door to leave.
“Y’know, Dee – sometimes I think you really hate me.”
He looked at the wall behind me, scrunching his face up, wound up and stuck.
“Forget it.” I said. “Just ******* forget it.”
As I closed the door I heard an animal noise, a miserable animal noise.

Dee was the only thing that had ever made any sense to me. I had no real connection to my parents, I loved my mother but she was silent and neurotic, full of nervous energy that set me on edge. I never felt like I could fully confide in her. I hated my father because he had never loved me, and he had told me so. The only people I loved, my grandparents and my sister, were far away and mostly busy, unavailable, and I caught up with them through letters and telephone calls and occasional rushed visits - holidays, weekends away from school, time away from parents and *******.
I once walked to my grandparent’s house after running away from school, and I fought through a cage of conifers just to ring their bell, turning up at their door wild-eyed and full of pine needles.
I always fought to be with the people that I loved. I fought and fought and fought.
I loved Dee because he was mine and he was never too busy for me. He was as quiet as my mother, as vengeful as my father, but he was mine and I loved him, and he loved me back.
Perhaps that sounds very naïve. But it wasn’t naïve. My love was grown up, full of sacrifice and sleepless nights and heavy talks that left me exhausted. I searched for him when he wasn’t there, I talked to his mother about his health, I took his blood pressure, I poured his fortisip, I calmed him down, I made him laugh and I loved him, ******* hell I loved him, and I watched him like a God and reached out for him in the morning because he reminded me that I was alive, because he made my realness real, because he was my cold fire and he burned by the side of me, coldly, to balance out the crazed orange bonfire of me.

He followed me to bed soon afterwards, brushing his teeth and taking off his clothes, sitting down next to me.
“I hung up my blue.” He said. “Could you fetch it for me?”
His ‘blue’ was an oversized shirt that he slept in sometimes. He put it over his head and it fell around him.
“You know.” He said, “Sometimes I think that you hate me.”
“Please tell me you’re joking.”
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
He got in next to me.
“I don’t hate you, not now, not ever.”
“I’m not one of your friends, though. If you had to choose a friend, you wouldn’t choose me.”
I didn’t reply, because I didn’t understand what he meant.
“Daniel is your best friend, isn’t he? But you’re my best friend. What happens when I have to talk about something, something that I can’t talk to you about? I don’t have any friends because I don't like anyone else. So who am I supposed to talk to?”
“Me! You can talk to me! I tell you everything.”
“Well, what if I wanted to do something, but I knew that you would try to stop me from doing it?”
“I wouldn’t stop you from doing anything you wanted to do. Not ever.”
“Forget it. I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Please Dee, you can’t just start a conversation and then abandon it.”
“I don’t want to talk about it anymore, I’m tired and I want to go to sleep.”
“What is it? Come on, please. What is it?”
He turned away and curled up.  I stayed with my head against the headboard, looking down at him.
‘I love you.” He said, without moving. “I thought I should tell you. I thought you should know.”
“I love you, too.”
And then he went to sleep, leaving me to the house sounds, the clanging inside the walls, the discordant duet of two sets of breathing and the occasional cough.

When I woke up, he was in the shower. His socks were bunched up at the edge of the bed, shrugged off in the night.
Like I said. It was too ******* hot for cashmere.
Sep 2014 · 2.2k
6am
A Mareship Sep 2014
6am
Good morning, boy
coffee and chemistry -

your ***** thick as a girl's wrist
pestering my ****
as I twist
forgetting to yawn
with your dreams rubbed into me.
Aug 2014 · 914
expensive
A Mareship Aug 2014
years ago
when I ****** my boyfriend
I'd sometimes pretend to pay for him.

how much?
I'd say,
so he'd make believe he was turning away,

you can't afford me.

he'd stand there
obnoxiously
and I'd fling wads of money.

six hundred
seven hundred
eight hundred
nine

a grand, baby
a grand and you're mine
prompted by 'write about a forbidden secret' - ahem
Aug 2014 · 3.0k
things I find attractive
A Mareship Aug 2014
A boy in jeans,
A boy in trousers,
A boy in braces,
A boy in blouses,
A girl who smells like summer sweat,
A girl whose makeup hasn’t set,
A boy who swears,
A boy who doesn’t,
A girl’s shoulder,
A second cousin,
A girl who smells of **** and beer,
A tattooed boy with a silver sneer,
A skinny girl who’s got T.B,
A boy who daintily sips his tea,
A girl’s left leg – bare or stockinged,
A boy so cold his knees are knocking,
A nasty ****,
A suede-head killer,
Kate Moss,
Sienna Miller,
Vivienne Westwood’s crazy teeth,
Bow-legged loons on Hampstead Heath,
Blue eyes, brown eyes, grey eyes, green,
Cold eyes, big eyes, sad eyes, mean,
Darling sweethearts in flirty skirts,
City-Boy ******* in well-pressed shirts,
Elbows, throat, wrists, knees,
A consumptive girl’s chainsmoking wheeze,
Blonde girls with their hair in plaits,
Skinny boys, short boys, muscular, fat –
Girls with pink lipstick like strawberry frosting,
I’m telling you man,
It’s ******* exhausting.
an oldie
Aug 2014 · 1.1k
college library
A Mareship Aug 2014
Fourteen years old
and my life was a trap -
My ankle was caught
All red and ragged
In the jaws of an age-old machine
Designed to catch boys.
But there was a missing cog –
a little *****,
because there was a way,
(There was a way)
There was a way
to
get away…

College Library,
Domed and dark,
The silence disturbed by a bluebottle’s
Rumble
And the sly ticking of my own gold watch.
Oh! Getting high on the smell of
Other people’s universes,
Tissue thin and
Dogeared immortal -
Gotcha!
I’ve got 'em all!
You can’t contain me in these walls,
I can go an – y -where.

I can get drunk on Holden’s Highballs
Or Sebastian’s brandy,
I can weep at the grave of Ignatius Riley’s
Sexually inappropriate ****-fantasy dog,
I can neatly eat Prufrock’s peach
Or a dismal breakfast in a seaside caff
With Dallow and Spicer
And dear Rosaried Rose
With one eye on the sea and
Some lukewarm tea.
I can spend a season with my namesake,
Far away from Heaven,
And shake hands with Satan as he
Finishes a speech,
Wiping his mouth on a swollen
rock,
Hot as heaven and black as a leech.
I can walk that sheep on B612,
I can whip around the Second Circle
Of Hell
Or lock myself in a toilet
With Franny,
I can live in a garret with a garrulous ****** -
I can be East of Eden,
Wonderland,
I can die in Venice,
I can shoot soldiers in the sand,
I can lust after Lo – lee – ta
Tip of the tongue,
I can be a girl,
I can be a nun,
Blow into a conch,
Diffuse a bomb,
Digest my lunch,
Be a sub,
Be a dom,

I can sparkle here,
I can be free here,
I can just be here
And there are no rules here,

Just one boy
And a book
And a bluebottle
And a watch.

Aw dear -
What a flawed design for a cage!
unedited
Aug 2014 · 1.2k
baby
A Mareship Aug 2014
I had a dream
that you were a baby
in my arms.
I can't remember,
No,
I can't remember much,
only that you were a baby,
and you were sleeping
in my arms.
Aug 2014 · 2.2k
sister staying
A Mareship Aug 2014
I love it when you come to stay Bea -

with your night time t-shirt
that tells me
'tomorrow is a mystery'.

My internet history reads
Achica, free p and p,
and I have a box of barely touched
salted caramel tea.
Aug 2014 · 1.3k
zoe
A Mareship Aug 2014
zoe
Zoe hangs back,

My home-time mayhem
with half a head of hair,
pink neon flashing up her cherry studded arms.

My cufflinks snag and shake,
trying to make her see,
trying to make her see something.
Aug 2014 · 1.3k
sardinia
A Mareship Aug 2014
when we are home
and towels are hung to dry,
when the clouds are soot and black
and blue is shy

when the waterbed is hotter than the sun,
when the soppy christmas ******* has begun

I will think about this summer
and how warm
the sand was,
and how we owned the dawn

when I walked with you
along a gold foot track,
with suncream sweethearts tanned onto my back.
Jul 2014 · 49.4k
gay
A Mareship Jul 2014
gay
The English vice,
Some Etonian curse –
Set down in grass
And purple verse,

Lavatory bred
With ransacked blood,
Skin slapping and
With a falling thud –

Takes boys at childhood,
Wishes them away,
With promises of popper fuelled buffets,

And poisons them with
Vice and virus red,
And sees them unmarried
Giving head.

I don’t regret a single thing I am,
I’ve tried it out
And can’t abide the sham –

I’ll **** men
And make them beg for more,
I’ll scrabble for their love upon the floor,

I’ll love men
And love will love me too,
I’ll love for love’s own sake
And when I’m through

I’ll die and I’ll be thankful that your hate
Never made me beg that I was straight.
I don't generally write on the topic of being gay, although I write a lot about boyfriends etc.  Being gay is not really an issue for me, but every now and then someone will make a comment that will ******* enrage me, hence this poem. Let's stick together, doesn't matter who we fall in love with, let's not be ashamed of anything. x
Jul 2014 · 475
france
A Mareship Jul 2014
You were dreaming half asleep
As we drove to France
Eyelashes in a clotted purple trance,
And you asked me as the birds came down in crowds

“Arthur, are they hills or are they clouds?”
one of my favourite memories of all time
Jul 2014 · 2.8k
waiting room
A Mareship Jul 2014
He sits next to me in the waiting room, his breath labored. He’s good looking, in his late twenties, wearing a red vest.
“Hi.” he says.
“Hello.”
His face is suntanned, but one electric white spark splits the colour of his forehead like a bolt of lightening. It confuses me for a moment, until I realise it’s a frown line that hasn’t tanned.
“Listen, mate...listen, mate. What’s your name?”
“Arthur…”
“Listen Arthur, can I call you Arthur?”
“Of course - Art if you like.”
“Listen Arthur – what are you in for?”
I put down my copy of ‘Perfect Home’ as the water dispenser blows a great gasping bubble.
“Bipolar.”
“Yeah? You being sectioned?”
“No, no. I’ve just come out of hospital. I’m having a review.”
“Right.” He chews his lip. “Do you reckon I’m gonna get sectioned then, or what?”
“Well - I don’t know. What are you here for?”
He sighs darting his eyes sideways, and his frown deepens.
“When I was sixteen I was at this party, right…”
“…Right…”
“And I was drinking. You know how it is. Few beers, bit of fun. You know how it is, right?”
“Yeah.”
“Yeah, so I’m at this party. And I feel sick, ok? So I go to the toilet. Nice toilet, friend’s house, pink bath, air freshener, nice. And I’m sick all over the place. What do they call it? Project summat...”
“Projectile vomiting…?”
“Yeah yeah, projectile vomiting. And then I gotta take a ****.” He lowers his voice, leaning into me. “So I’m all beery and I feel kinda terrible y’know? And I unzip my jeans and go to pull the old fella out…”
“Uh huh…”
“But there’s nothing there.”
“What do you mean there’s nothing there?”
“Exactly what I ******* say. My **** is just…gone. And I realise, right, that someone at that party has chopped it off. One of my friends. One of my friends has chopped my old fella off.”
I lock eyes with him.
“Jesus.”
“I know. One of my ******* friends.”
“And this was…?”
“When I was sixteen. Anyway. To cut a long story short – I went to Thailand a few years ago and I took this drug over there, some party drug. And my **** grew back. Everything’s been fine since then. But on Monday, well, you can imagine can’t you? I wake up and my **** has been chopped off again. Again. God knows who did it, but I've got a good idea...”
“And that’s why you’re here.”
“I’m here because I want them to find out the name of that party drug, the drug I got in Thailand, the one that worked. It worked. It actually worked, mate.”
“Was it ******?”
“**** knows, but it worked.” He rubs his face with both hands, sighing. “So, what’dya reckon? Do you reckon they’re gonna section me?”
Of course they’re going to ******* section you.
“I don’t know, mate. But I thought that my neighbours were poisoning my cat, and they weren’t too pleased about that. Do you get what I’m saying?”
My psychiatrist interrupts to call my name, standing at the mouth of the waiting room with a smile. I shake the man's hand and wish him all the best.
I look over my shoulder as I go down the corridor, and he picks up my copy of ‘Perfect Home’.
He puts his hand down his jeans, adjusting something.
Jul 2014 · 3.6k
pretty things
A Mareship Jul 2014
A bee with innards spilling
A lost tabby,
A blimp caught up in trees,
Tintern Abbey.

The gravestone of a lover,
A drowning ship,
An NHS delivery of
Fortisip.

A girl with alopecia and
Fungail nails,
A one legged pigeon,
Exploding whales.

Ivy choked churches,
Merlot tongues,
Parrots plucking feathers,
Marlboro lungs.

Girls locked up in attics,
*** toys.
Boys punching girls
And punching boys.

Babies crowning
Fussed about like kings.
Darlings,
You shall see such pretty things.
Jul 2014 · 2.2k
with a girl
A Mareship Jul 2014
She had a dressing table,
Aveeno cream,
And a big blusher brush.

There was nothing sad about the scissors
But they sat there open on the dressing table,
And they looked sad.

Two canaries flew freely about the room,

So we joined awkwardly in the darkness
Under the sad eyes of scissors
And the colour yellow.
Jul 2014 · 1.1k
rolling
A Mareship Jul 2014
I sat cross legged on the balcony as he rolled me a cigarette. He didn't smoke but he rolled perfectly. His perfectionism was killing me.
"The other night I filmed myself on my webcam." he said, rolling, rolling, thumbs turned inward. "I filmed myself going to sleep. I wanted to see if I talked or had nightmares or whatever..."
"Yeah..."
"So I watched the film back this morning. Turns out, I woke up in the middle of the night and chucked all of my things onto the floor. My books, my notepad, everything. It was like watching Big Brother or something. I mean, it was me, but it wasn’t me. I would never chuck my books onto the floor."
"Well…we all think that we would never chuck our books onto the floor, but we do don’t we? Hey you can really see the stars out here."
"I know. It's wonderful with a telescope. I have a very good telescope."
"Where is it?"
"Upstairs. We have a space gazing window. It’s my telescope but Frederick likes it too. But then he always smudges up the lens." He handed me the cigarette, thin as candy and gummed down with precision. "I could teach you about space."
"Oh, please, I'd never take it in."
"Yes you would."
I lit the cigarette and the paper glowed.
"I just like looking."
'You can't just look and not know. You won't even know what you're looking at."
I looked at him.
"Yeah, I know."
A Mareship Jul 2014
The cries were lynched from wall to wall
Dangling like pastel vowels
And painted planets,
So the air smelled of colgate and snot.
Aw Dan, what a night that was!
You cried for your dog -
I wept for the bow in my laces
Which I knew I couldn’t tie without Mother -
But then the morning came with a friendly knock,
And in a few more nights, we were brothers.

I’ve totted it up, you know
And I’ve watched you wake up over a thousand times,
I’ve filmed you crash your car,
I’ve stolen your chips,
I’ve punched your kidneys
And pressed my eyelids to your lips.

What a long way we’ve come
From those two boys left alone.
I wonder what they’d have thought if they'd been shown a video
Of you and me in 2014,
Rushing a hug over beer?
I almost wished we’d known back then
So that we wouldn’t have been so frightened.

I wish we’d known how much we’d laugh,
How we’d utilise Latin,
How we’d sell those diamonds
Blagging, without a clue- !

I wish every boy had you
To see them through.
Jul 2014 · 1.2k
neck
A Mareship Jul 2014
I remember the back of your neck.
The summer changed it
and it became a thing,
My own sleeping
Pet to stroke -
Powder dry,
As warm as the bed.

I sometimes touch the back of my neck
and pretend it's yours.
Jul 2014 · 2.9k
bird
A Mareship Jul 2014
what bird are you,
dropping to your knees
like a servant
whilst I worry about ebola?

what kind of bird are you, dear?

how I wish I had a book about birds,
how I wish I'd paid attention
when you whistled your name
Jul 2014 · 5.3k
moth
A Mareship Jul 2014
this dust-rolled
brown moth
is
patterned
with a band of white
to stand for winter,
when it was just a flimsy bundle
of gristle and sticks

and all the boys in the summertime are sticky and
unclean
like the mouths of dogs -
pink where the sun can't lick

the backs of their necks are baked red brick

girls wear bronzer
piled on thick.
Jul 2014 · 1.5k
bedtime theatre
A Mareship Jul 2014
'Every night, It's like ******* clockwork.'
'What is?'
'You! Turn the lights off. Turn over. Lights on. Get back up. ****. Come back to bed. Turn over. Kick. Get back up. Go to fridge. What the **** are you eating, anyway?'
'Sticks of Pineapple.'
'Sticks of Pineapple? Jesus.'
'What?'
'It's just…weird, that's all.'
'What's weird about it?'
'It's not the done thing, is it?'
'No - biscuits are not the done thing. Crackers and biscuits. Crumb detritus, hazard for all.'
'What else have you got there?'
'Jelly babies.'
'******* woman.'
"They're soft! They're not a bed hazard!'
'You sure you're not pregnant?'
'What was Robert like in bed then? Straight to sleep, was he, old Robert?'
'He was, as a matter of fact.'
'Yeah well. Bully for Robert.'
'Alright, let's not bring Robert into this -'
'Eat this bit of spat out pineapple. Go on. Eat it to show your devotion.'
'I'll punch you in the face, is what I'll do.'
'Eat it. Enjoy it. Swallow it.'
'Has the sleeping pill kicked in yet?'
'I'm getting there.'
(He eats the spat out pineapple.)
'Now got to ******* sleep, ya degenerate.'
Jul 2014 · 1.0k
milk in bed
A Mareship Jul 2014
I’d done a lot of drugs that summer, drank a lot, and lost my virginity a hundred times over.
David. He was the man who ****** me for the first time. He was in his thirties, a Buddhist, and a patient teacher.
In the dark, he was so ****, iron filings and gum.
But perhaps it wasn’t him that enticed me into ***. I think it might have been a combination of everything. The way his girl-faced Buddha shone by the light of a candle. The view from his window – city flowers and washing lines, Chopin on the stereo, the cleanness of his sheets, the girl in the next room talking loudly about Jean Paul Sartre.
I want you, I said.
Fifteen, I was. He didn’t know that, of course.

There was a terrible pressure when he ****** me, so he told me to
Relax
Relax
Relax
Imagine you’re emptying out
Imagine you’re emptying out and accepting something holy
communion if you like
you're catholic aren't you?
You look lovely
You feel lovely
You look lovely

There was a part of my mind that thought of girls being torn through, blood and pain, embarrassment in the morning. I couldn’t stay hard.
There was a part of me that gave in, with my knees up by my shoulders.
There was a part of me that wanted to flip him onto his back and **** him, part of me that was desperate to be a man, part of me that hated this submission.
In the morning there was no embarrassment, just cereal and ten different types of smile. Milk in bed. A lecture on loving kindness.
Jul 2014 · 718
notes from a friday
A Mareship Jul 2014
Is it weird to hallucinate wind chimes? twinkle twinkle, they go - twinkle, twinkle

I didn't eat breakfast but went straight to church, out of the sun and into the stone. I lit one candle and it shone on the rack.
I am sitting behind myself, a teenager coughing emeralds into a wet tissue, raging with flu.
Over there, I am ten years old.
All of these me's, bursting in the silence, finding excuses not to pray.

ten am
walked to the cafe to watch ten thousand beating hearts carried like luggage -
one girl has bought an orange and is eating it right in front of me-
It slipped down her neck one piece at a time.
I suppose it's quite intimate to watch someone eat an orange like that.

Dutch guy (I think Dutch, but god knows) on the phone
with a very, very, very nice **** and a tattoo going up his arm that
sort of looks like a vine.

walked some more and dunked my head in the fountain to cool off,
already dry and sitting in the park
music everywhere
I can't get that piano piece out of my head, 'The Entertainer'
and also that bit from ******
'all the stars and the cars and the bars and the barmen'
or something like that.

hello love, would you mind a good seeing to?
not tonight sweetcheeks, I utterly loathe you
I am aching everywhere.
Do I look mad or heartbroken or both?

if he doesn't call by one then
(what? what are you actually going to do about it you stupid ****?)

The key to good mental health is to avoid thinking at any cost and don't go anywhere when you have nowhere to go.
Jul 2014 · 617
soz
A Mareship Jul 2014
soz
I'm sorry
for my glamorous sizzling brain circuitry

I'm sorry
that I never warned you about the summer

sorry
I'm so sorry
for my own bones

sorry that I'm not quite the ticket

sorry if I'm not a good neighbour

sorry
I'm going up the wall

I'm sorry
if I wish this would go away
and give me the future that I'd always been promised

I'm sorry
I'm so sorry
but I can't cut out my own mind

and even if I could
I wouldn't
Jul 2014 · 562
in
A Mareship Jul 2014
in
text me back to tell me that you're in

that you're in the living room,
downing gin,
sat next to an overflowing bin
whilst your flatmate plays the smallest violin

because if you're out I know you're meeting him -
(swollen from his evenings at the gym)

and I'll turn up, to tear him limb from limb,

so please text back, to tell me that you're in
Jul 2014 · 378
will we
A Mareship Jul 2014
will we ever share clothes again

will we ever gallop up the stairs
with big elbows and a drink

will we complain about the gum studded streets
and swap tales of our mothers

will we wrestle to music this summer
and compare our white arses,

will we wake up still drunk?

will we get our hands on each other's faces,
will we steal cigarettes,
will we ****,
will we text,
will we worry about each other's coughs?

will we ever swap clothes again?
Jul 2014 · 1.2k
old hat
A Mareship Jul 2014
To be 'old hat' at something
is to know it inside and out,

off by heart.

four weeks ago you pinched my panama
and it looked so good on you,
butterscotch and black
Jun 2014 · 469
the likes of me
A Mareship Jun 2014
The cat is being poisoned
My toenails are falling off
This house is haunted
And the fear is getting me down*

………..

Two children play with the hospital coffee machine, tearing open teabags and sprinkling the innards into pitchers of milk.
“This is how you tell fortunes.” The little girl says, watching the tea float.
“No it isn’t.” says the boy.
I want to go over and talk to them but my pyjamas have a bleach stain on the crotch that looks like I’ve had a *******. I am afternoon fog. My back is sweating.
I wheel myself over to the window with one of the hospital Bibles tucked between my knees. Inside the back cover someone has written:

THIS BOOK WAS MADE FOR SAVING
AND THAT’S JUST WHAT IT’LL DO
ONE OF THESE DAYS THIS BOOK
IS GONNA SAVE THE LIKES OF YOU

The kids behind me argue about fortunes. For a moment I let my head drop and my eyes close, but
**** **** terror ****
My cat is being poisoned,
And my toenails are falling off
for that first moment of normality, even if it only lasts a second
Jun 2014 · 1.4k
bingo
A Mareship Jun 2014
I bury into the memory foam with a
Strange boy's finger up my ****.
Stubby white soldier,
Cherry ****,
Phone off.

Lily- pads wind their way towards the bathroom
(pizza boxes, six pizza boxes)
"skip carefully towards the ****** stash
or else you'll sink...

they're under the sink

...uh, uhhh, come back and

sink your way in"

Welcome to the Bad Life Bingo!
Every hour is the end of the world,
There's nothing to play for
and no time to play it in...

...I am shaking off this dry truth
with a flannel that has seen better days.
My english tan is coming off
and nothing works.

He tries to light a joint in my bed

the zippo strikes three -
click - fzzzz
click - fzzzz
click - fzzzz
and you're out .
ych
May 2014 · 753
Memory no.5
A Mareship May 2014
There is a deep, rich silence and the bedsheets are as soft as oil.
“What do you think happens when you die?” I ask. “From a purely scientific perspective. Is there any way…?”
Dee rolls his shoulders onto my hands.
“No, Art. I told you. There’s just nothing.”
“But I can’t imagine ‘nothing’.”
“Of course you can. Before you were born – what was there?”
“There was the promise of me.”
“No. There was the risk of you.”
We both laugh.
“There must be something.” I say. “There must be.”
“I hope there’s nothing.” Dee says. “ I can’t think of anything worse than an afterlife. I want peace and quiet. A lifetime is enough. Being alive is such a strange predicament. Knowing everything and knowing nothing.”
I can feel his heart against me. I can feel his heart and smell his skin. I feel us, as we are rocked by the world and breathing together.
And outside is the garden, the wisteria, the white chair, the promise (and the risk) of something, anything, everything, nothing.
May 2014 · 406
Memory no.4
A Mareship May 2014
Toscar and I barely know one another. We burst into the house like two lions, scrapping, kissing.
       “******* hell. This place is huge.”
I have a desperation. His parka is wet.
       “You’re so cute.” He says as he hauls me upstairs. He unzips my jeans, throwing open doors, trying to find my room.  His hair is biscuity and thick. “You’re so ****. So cute.”

At around three o’clock we sit in the cold garden, smoking. He’s put his parka back on, with the hood up.
       “So, what’s going on with your eye and all?”
“I’m not sure. I have to have an MRI.” I glance over at him. “Maybe I’m dying.”
       “You’re not dying.”
“Maybe I am.”
He exhales a ball of smoke.
“My mum died of motor neurone disease.” He says. “Horrible ******* thing. And there’s a fifty-fifty chance I’ll get it too.” He pauses and fumbles around in his pocket, pulling out a pound coin. He starts flipping the coin a little bit, before putting it back in his pocket. I think he wants to make a point about his chances, but it’s too dark to really see the coin. “I just don’t think about it. Death. There’s no point. I’m alright today, d’y’know what I mean?” There is a silence.
       “My boyfriend died.” I say, eventually.
“Yeah, I know.” He says quietly. “Anthony told me.”
I try to stop myself. I really do. But I start to cry. Toscar doesn’t care. He pulls his white chair over to mine, and he lets me cry and cry and cry.
“I don’t want to be here anymore.” I say, and I’m not sure if I mean here, in the garden, in the house, or here, in the world. It doesn’t matter what I mean, anyway.
       “Hey, mate.” Toscar says, very gently. “You didn’t die.”
May 2014 · 308
Memory no.3
A Mareship May 2014
He comes into the bedroom and thumps me three times on the shoulder. It’s his way of telling me he’s going to sleep. I reach over in the darkness. His spine is in my hands, his mouth is reluctant, and I’m sleepy. His skin is very cool. The pillows bunch up like a cloud between us. We are Tarot card lover.  I tell him that I want to **** him.
Later on I watch him slink away to the bathroom. He is so beautiful in the light of the doorway with his hand reaching out to guide him - my God, I can hardly stand it.
There is a glow, the bed rocks, I smell soap.
May 2014 · 298
Memory no.2
A Mareship May 2014
It is the day after the funeral and my sister is with me. I’m drinking Covonia straight out of the bottle.
       “I wish you’d come home with me.” She says. “You don’t want to be hanging around here.”
I wonder to myself how I’m doing this. I haven’t gone upstairs yet. I’m too tired to be mad, too tired to be suicidal, too confused. I breathe out, swallowing hard, my head jumbled, and I say:

       “In another universe I suppose this hasn’t happened.”

A post-it note on the kitchen memo board reads: WHAT IS TIME?
May 2014 · 1.1k
Memory no.1
A Mareship May 2014
I wake up in the garden. The wisteria hovers over me like the ****** Mary. The wisteria was a present from Dee’s mother, except she didn’t call it wisteria, she called it ‘Bethany’s Flower’ because it had first been grown by great aunt Bethany over one hundred years ago. The wisteria is sky blue, passed down through the family like a blue-eyed gene.
I stumble into the house and shamble upstairs. Maria is in my bed - a **** vision, a lovely blur. The mirror laughs at me as I pull at my eyelids, staring into myself. My eyes have a sort of skin on them, a dull film, like two brown bottles left to collect dust in the cellar.
“Morning.” Maria says.
“Morning.” I say, breaking away from the mirror.
“Where did you go?”
“Nowhere.” I grab my mobile from the bedside. “Excuse me a minute, I need to phone someone.”
I go back into the garden and dial.
“Dan?”
“Good morning arsehat.” He laughs. “Hungover much?”
“Yeah. Listen, Dan-“
“Maria still there?”
“Yeah she is. Listen Dan…”
“What happened with you two last night?”
“I’m not sure. Listen Dan – this is going to sound stupid, but can ketamine turn you blind?”
“What?”
“Ketamine. Can it turn you blind?”
“****. I don’t know. I don’t think so.”
“Ok. See, I think I might need to see a doctor. It’s my right eye. My right eye.” I sit down on the white chair, holding on. “I can’t see a ******* thing.”
May 2014 · 637
memories (provoked)
A Mareship May 2014
I am back in the old house, sat in the garden on a white chair. I am barely awake and a cigarette fizzes between my fingertips, turning into a long column of ash.
I stayed away from this house for over two years. I stayed away for lots of reasons. When people ask me why, I say ‘too many memories’ and they know not to press me for details. What an excuse! ‘Too many memories’. How tragic. How mysterious. A house as full as a brain, abandoned for knowing too much.
Memories are the stuff we are made of. It is impossible to have too many of them.
I sit on this white chair, and the house nudges my seahorse brain. All the candles of my mind are lit.
My cigarette burns out.
Feb 2014 · 430
Untitled
A Mareship Feb 2014
I am tipsy at lunchtime with an airful of rain,
Killing time before a party.

And I wonder how it’s going to be
When I turn up slightly tired
And see her face.

I’m drinking in the daytime
So that I am drunk tonight.
Feb 2014 · 7.4k
thug
A Mareship Feb 2014
So I wanted to **** him!
Of course I did.
Didn't you?

I only wanted a new twirl of genes on my belly,
New legs, all ambition.
I've got a city of curls,
I need hands on them,
A new voice on my name.

You stand there green and wild at the hood,
****,
hurling ashtrays and lamps.
Let's have a fight!
A fist fight,
That years ago I could have won.

Is it done then?
What a tragedy if it is!
Because I'd pay for you to **** me now,
Right now,
While you hate me.
notes
Jan 2014 · 616
god
A Mareship Jan 2014
god
Sometimes you’re there
Wry eyes,
I can smell you –
This flat seeps,
And the doors weep,
And the corners hold you up.

Marionette -
Magic directs you.

My atheist,
You are my reason for God.
Jan 2014 · 859
gist
A Mareship Jan 2014
In the sand
Was a gist of light
Filtered through his fist.
I could see
The exact shape of it,
That gist,
Squeaking
Inside that hand.
Jan 2014 · 1.2k
vultures
A Mareship Jan 2014
Like vultures,
Bald and pink -
Even ugly feet
Look handsome in the air.
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