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I can still remember the weather, it was your weather, as the whole day was yours as well.  

You called me Tuesday lunchtime. I tell you this so you might know who I am. I expect you call many people on a Tuesday lunchtime so I am nothing special to you. The cup-a-soup chicken dust was in the mug and particles were floating about in the light. The kettle flip was down and the water was just at that bit, post bubbling before the flip kicks up again to show it’s done. Butter out and open, ready and still messy with crumbs like some cross section of limestone showing its history. I could smell the toast was nearly toasted too. Everything was coming to a head, even the clock was crawling close to the exact hour. All these processes were funneling back together into one task, like streams regrouping in a river. I was focussing hard enough that I could feel seconds, and that is when you called.

“Hello, is this Mr. Innes-Jones?”
You said it in one of those recycled voices, and that hurt. I could already see your eyes in my head, I'm a fast visualiser, but with the way that you spoke, scripted, I couldn’t see any life in them. I could see your finger wrapping and unwrapping itself in the phone chord and I could smell complimentary coffee on your breath.

“Speaking,” I said, muting the television, cutting the talk show’s announcement short as to who the father is. He put his head in his hands and the woman opposite stood shouting and pointing downwards at him like a dictator, which, on this program, usually means he, is in fact, partaking in the wonderful adventure of parenthood.

“Are you the homeowner Mr. Innes-Jones?” God, if you could only call me Andy. If only you could say my name as if you were asking me what’s in the fridge, or telling me to move my legs so you could get in close on the couch. I know it’s two syllables but it’s still not too difficult a name to say and in my wildest dreams, sigh.

“Yes, I am and call me… tell me what this call is in regards to.” I’m sorry to be so rude and direct, it still kills me that I may have cut some of your voice from my life by getting straight to the point but I realised it was far too forward for us to be on a first name basis, when, to you, I’m a stranger. I was like a car that swerves and then has to control itself. You could hang up any moment and lose a sales deal, but I could lose you.

“Of course sir.” Sir is worse than Mr. Innes-Jones.

“My name’s Christine.” Christine. You said something else afterward about solar panels but I was still stuck there. Stuck there wondering whether you looked like your name, as some people do, or if you transcended it and it paled in comparison to you, just like when a star is named a number. Christine. Maybe your parents are people of faith and their conservatism in your upbringing has given you a bashful streak. Might you turn in your rotating office chair and blush in the face of a wink or a half smile? Are you a Tina in the world off of the phone? Or Chris? this is important, what is it about you which might influence people in that decision.

I focused back into your voice. I could always leave wondering for later. I’d most likely have my whole life to wonder and knowing how the memory would fade, how I would eventually have to fill it in with my substandard vision of your voice, tone, and intonation, I couldn’t let any more of you slip into static, the hum of space.

“Might you be the homeowner sir?”

“Yes, I am indeed” I wanted to ask the question back and delude myself that this was a conversation and not an interrogation, but I didn’t. The saddest three words right there.

“And you make the decisions there, correct?” “Yes, certainly do.” I’m sure that women like a man of the house, our house, though I doubt your imagination was working as hard as mine. I was still finding it hard not fall into it.

My silenced program finished on the television and you went into my electric bill. The women in the adverts disappointedly displayed their appliances, fell off ladders, came in suits to save people who did, and a myriad of other things, but they all spoke in your voice, spoke to me. Some were called Tina, some called Chris, depending on which name suited their faces. It was funny, I felt that I slightly loved all of them, in different ways, as they attempted to be you. Like this woman with the wonder-mop for example. She had a checkered shirt, and despite still being quite pretty, time had separated her jowls slightly from her chin, so I decided on the more androgynous name Chris for her, Chrissy at best, she has a life away from wonder-mops. She doesn’t spend her days in perfect lighting demonstrating to her husband and kids how, however hard you shake the thing, it still retains it’s liquid. Though I expect she probably gets one for free. I hope she does, they look quite good.

“Sir? Sir?” Chris on screen tells me, like some kind of backward echo getting louder and more real. I gave you my attention back and bear in mind I always will.  “Sorry?” “I said, are there any large trees nearby your house that may obscure sunlight to the panels?” “No.” “Any tall properties nearby to the same effect, sir?” “Can’t say so.” In my mind you were asking me for something in that way that wives do, establishing with a series of questions that there’s no real reason why we can’t have solar panels, so why don’t we. A really subtle supplication, and I played along and allowed it, just for you. I kept it to myself that I live in a basement apartment and the only light I get is when no one is walking over the grate above the front window.
                                                Enough is not enough
                                                     I want too much.

                                                      “Excuse me sir
                                           you haven’t paid too much.
                                                  I gave you too much
                                               and you ate everything.
                                        I need to throw away something
                                                 and the bin’s spilling."

"I drove too many footsteps
past too many throwaways
too many pylons
water towers
possum-eaten polystyrene cups
camel boxes
and walkers
with socks as hard as coffins.”

                                             Enough is not enough
                                                  I want too much.
Thoughts on the road in America.
In many short years
we’ll know we were sweet and naive.
We’ll think about the things we thought,
our understated predictions
our dinner table conversations.
There were floaters
in our oracle’s eyes.
It will not be the now
that we know.

As what happens to us
like the sound of an engine
in the fog,
moving away.

In many short years
Auschwitz has a café.
After the tour
all the waitresses
come from the kitchen
to sing to you
on your birthday.

In many short years
they’ll build on Chernobyl
and Fukushima will be an oasis.
There’ll be fields of bodies
fertilising strawberries
for other countries.


We’ve got no memory.
Horrors aren’t like happiness
they lose their impact
with every sharing
and every listen.

Will you be there?
In the next big thing.
Think of that.
How much faster everything’s destroyed
than it’s made.
Think of what work your life took

Wrong gods appear again.
As always a side will be picked for you.
As always the goals are your own.

And the answers are more questions,
the same lessons
and still they’ll bomb playgrounds
built on bomb sites.


Then the next big thing.
Your entropy,
that starts and ends in fire.
The wolf
from another wood and paper town.
The flames on your monuments
and shopfronts
caught on divine wind
and a scent for sin.

Most now know
they’ve never been scared before.
Things you never thought could alight
prove you wrong.
The air stings and follows
and the clouds finally become too much for the sun.

Your heartbeat’s afterlife
is someone else’s tutting.

Unread letters,
guitars and bars with history,
family traditions
and the weight of her hand,
thumb hooked to the belt loop
of your jeans

are now one weather formation.

And under all
is flat and yellow
like an African morning.

Is it angels or great bats
which have given you
your turn?
A red jumper
in the airing cupboard,
thrown over a pipe,
drooping like it had melted.
“Académie culinaire de Toulouse l’enfant”
on the breast in fractured, iron-on plastic.
It was perfect.

Something that wouldn’t be missed.
I took my sister’s wave-edge scissors to it.
I took it to bits,
all but a jagged circle of a sun
full of furry solar storms
of thread ends.

I ignored the red fluff
falling slowly
like so much ****** snow,
mixing into carpet fibres
under my bare feet.

And my heat
Disperses into invisibility
everything but the colour,
like any memory will.


A green t-shirt,
it looks up at me lostly,
toyishly small,
from some forgotten shop
bought at some forgotten time.
A childhood comfort still smiling
but not soft anymore.

The front’s all robots smashing apart tower blocks
with tin pincers and laser vision.
People’s screams of indicision.
Staticky speech bubbles,
broken car windows,
exclamation marks.

And a Marilyn monroe type
in the midst of the fray,
bra half-undone,
hand cupped to her mouth
Calling into some furious colonised sky
into which I pinned my sun.


A cornish cream baby grow
with grandmother stitched flowers
hours of sowed leaves.
A polka dot horizon
and an orchard's evening shadow
from a lifetime’s washing.
It showed.

So I sowed my mechanical horrors
and it’s crimson fear atmosphere
onto the pastel world.

And now it’s all there.
A poem about how we attach every new experience onto how we see the past and how that might change our feelings of what the world is.

                                                               ­   "The wind rustles the forget-me-nots
                                                                ­      In the many balcony flower boxes
                                                           ­                       And so the shrieks of foxes
                                                                ­                               lose their distance."

She’s inside,
finding her bearings.
Fiddling her earrings
******* cardamom pods
And smoking licorice black cigarettes
Her lips faintly popping as the smoke escapes,

                                                       ­   Pop,

And reflecting how she’s been
As lucky as lavender isn’t.

                                                         ­         "the wind sharpens the beach dunes
                                                           ­                    flutters my tangerine towel,"

                                                      Po­p, pop,

                                                           ­        "fills my little girl's glitter-gel shoes"


                                                    ­      Pop

She rubs it out before she sets it down,
sharpening her eraser.
Settling her glass
no chaser.

Her cigarette smokes on its own in the ashtray
a straight grey line caught in the breezes
from the door frame and under the floorboards,
like a seismograph recording of a dancer’s hips
or like any sound man could ever consider making,
escaping up to heaven from the tip of Babel.

She takes back her black ***
Before any more paper evaporates.

                                                         Pop, pop

Her poems are great shipping tanker oil spills
of vowels,
hoping the reader feels their lips
mouthing kisses along with it.

                                                            ­  Pop

                                                          ­                           "no one ever really tastes
                                                                ­                          one another on theirs,
                                                                ­                                                or saliva,
                                                         ­                                                       so weak
                                                            ­                                     weak as the smell
                                                                ­                                  of potent *****."

Now the wind's at the window,
disturbing a spider
abseiling slowly
and inevitably
as falling snow

                                                           ­    Pop

into the ashtray.
A lifetime of weary acceptance of tragedy.

                                                      ­       -Stub-
Playing with page placement, I wanted people to imagine there was a line of cigarette smoke running straight up it's center, or a spider abseiling down on a thread, separating the real from the poem.
Was the death star
a death sun to the planet closest?
if so, i'm one.
Through a split lip
red foam,
froghopper froth
fizzing, haemoglobin, half-life
sitting thickly-thick,
on a paving stone.
Looking like Clinton’s cards
think human hearts
are shaped like.

But mine’s an artichoke
a watery phloem thistle core
folded in fronds and furs,
bristles of cowlick baleen,
sailing, ship-lapped bark,
darkness and birdcages.

Mine’s a rigour-mortis pill bug
potato fly, oddball, ***** slug
an ammonite, a butterfly tongue,
a bending toe curled in ecstasy.
Exponential shell chambers and septums
ending alongside everything.

And the guts of my heart
incessantly churn mechanically,
maniacally and obliviously rhythmically
Keeping me malleable
un-enveloped by beetle wings.

Just like the platelets
of my hardening spit-heart
are, blackening blood,
amber caught bugs,
clay in mud,

like we think it is.

Thoughts on how our hearts are nothing like their symbolic counterparts, or like anyone else's. They're ***** and alive, and, when drawn out, just feel dead.
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