I tie the rope
a little bit tighter
in hope that
your last breath
so when I say
‘Ladies and gentlemen’
my charm overrides the sound of
your palms banging on the glass
as you challenge the water from
making you its cadaver
and choke back the salted tears that
seep from your eyes
like the malice that
seeps from mine
reviewers say it’s clear that I
enjoy this trick the most
but it’s hard not to when I know
your lungs are the
until the basin’s full and you reach your final centilitre of conscious breath at 8:56:02.
With one last tug
you escape by :03
but the papers will say it was your
‘most truthful performance yet’
5 Stars to The Water Torture Bell Jar.
See, there’s a reason these seats fill
as fast as your tank,
Irving and Houdini had it figured first:
if you push a body to its limits
and watch it yoyo to the edge of death and
back again night after night
you will always sell out.
There’s more to being a Magician’s Assistant than meets the eye.
Perhaps tomorrow I’ll try a new knot.
I want to dot your i’s and cross your
tease you ‘til you cry and beg me to be
kind of funny this way we revolve and
twist your arm so that I get what I want.
I want to bake you a
cake you in kisses and tickle your
back down from your dreams they will drip down the
drain you ‘til I get what I want.
I want to exploit you and expose your
body is perfection, measure by
measure your paranoia ‘til it cracks
you will learn that I get what I want.
I want to catch you when you
fall for me and I’ll squeeze my fingers around your
heart that will beat and break and wreck your
trust me, I’ll get what I want.
I want to rein you in and bail you
outcast you, outlast you, I’ll turn you like a
***** you ‘til we’re sleeping in our own
sweat it, don’t forget it
this is all I want.
Settle into darkness, naturally, and take your cue from unoiled gears jolting forward only to lure you into false stability and lose velocity, stop suddenly, merge the definitions of stopping and falling by balancing the cart on the back of the tongue as sherbet dip dab’s your gums in 3…2…swallow down it drops FLASH past the oesophagus there’s your photo op show us some teeth show us some skin darlin’ begin to dissolve in stomach acid bile’s vile hold it down we will use force if necessary like handcuffs to a headboard excuse me sir may I see your ticket? Right you can’t sit here, you’re 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphphetamine, that’s upstairs you need to swing a left then straight up to the top floor not a bad view, you can’t miss it it’s got a hundred golden bulbs flashing hypothalamus, no we’re not really bothered about our environment take the lift elevate heart rate
C-C-C-CRANK IT UP
to the cerebral cortex’s House of Mirrors home of distortion. What can we do for you sir? We like to pride ourselves in our ability to mess around with the wiring and stimulate receptors, all part of the Deluxe Mega Deal complete with moving walls, disco ball skin and a talking butterfly the size of a car crash for a limited time only whilst serotonin stocks last they fall as fast as the lubricated log flume SPLASH. Please remain seated until the end of the ride. Thrown out into the gift shop. £30 for a 12 hour come down. Come again soon.
Leave us in a bedroom
a locked room
both bound by a fleeting veneration
but no tangible definition
and windows will fog up
with excess anxious laughter
and phlegmmed throats
til the glass transforms
transparent to translucent
so the outside world becomes
an informed guess about
which coloured shape is going
The door handle will twist into the room’s
home grown central nervous system
backed by rising voices
assuring ourselves it is
who is trapped and not us
because ‘cosy’ has scribbled over
‘cramped’ between the sheets of peeling
wallpaper and bodies upon bodies upon
bodies only excites.
We will stay in bed
cocooned around this single duvet
and distracted into its folds because this
is how we choose to spend
free will. Don't
murmur about the locked door
and even when it opens for
lack of air or food
so we tentatively tread through into the
open, or perhaps closed,
I beg you to
grab my wrist and pull me back and whisper
tear yourself up
decrease with me
because this will always be the one place we’ll happily suffocate.
I could have chosen mermaids and described their piercing songs
or a story about dragons who drank the golden sun,
this could have been a tale of the troubles in the war
of a nurse and wounded soldier who
fell for so much more.
But every time I try to write like this my pen can't catch
my mind, it runs
off so that my thought's broken to
I suppose like our relationship,
until all that remains
on separate lines, in separate beds, with separate thoughts left unsaid.
So here it is my final confession
and last disclosure because I owe nothing to you,
no thought through words
and certainly not a poem
but it all seems so wrong when
every line is about who I don't want to write about anymore
I don't want to write about you anymore
I don't want to write about you
I don't want to.
I don't want you,
Your mother died of old age? Organise a party. Politicians won't listen? Your acoustic guitar might. A girl walks up to a boy in the playground and calls him a **** then kicks him. Concentrate on erasing those melodramatic close-up shots from the safety of your own home. Cut paper with scissors. Try to beat that personal best of thirty-one lines of ******* in just one night. One man drives one ******* girl to a petrol station and peruses over one Mars bar or one Galaxy. Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris. People choose to ignore a scream. It is only a whisper that fuels their curiosity.
In a queue for the tube a man is on fire
flames climb up his collar
as he waits for his train.
But he stands unaware
of the smoke filled air
instead he checks his melting watch
and impatiently taps his burning foot
ignited by angst over his delayed route.
The woman by his side tries to tell him to cool down
tries to tell him he's burning
but she can't, she's drowning.
Water soaks up her suit
and seeps through her skin
so that she's coughing and spluttering
and sinking from within.
Two colleagues across the platform pay careful attention
to this storm and from it form conversation,
they judge the gentleman's irritation
and questions the woman's suffocation
but fail to notice the cause of each other's frustration.
Only the driver as his train pulls in closer,
witnesses one co-worker being blown over
whilst a rat races furtively up the other one's leg.