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Aug 2017 · 368
Promise
ju Aug 2017
Slip, slip, slip to the brink,
they imagine you're dancing.
Freeze there, they see proof of control.

Choke out a few words?
Then you're lying.
Stay silent? Well, then you're a fraud.

Slip, slip, slip to the brink,
and I'll join you.
Freeze there, and I'll keep you safe.

Choke out a few words?
Then I'll listen.
Stay silent? Then baby, I'll wait.
Apr 2017 · 1.5k
Keep your acorn
ju Apr 2017
My decisions grow, as moss grows. Slow, slow and unseen between the green-green of expected. My decisions grow, as moss grows. Quietly wild. Shallow threads clutched tight at the sheerness of possible- drinking light from the dark in order to thrive.

My decisions grow, as moss grows. Slow, slow and unseen. No branches, no forks, no watch-wait-and-see, just spores caught on a breeze when I need them.
Apr 2017 · 553
mechanised pleasure
ju Apr 2017
frenzied
flipping
solenoid
(re-pinging)
pop bumper
spinning
steel *****
(skill shot)
end-of-stroke
trip
hit
drop
Apr 2017 · 1.0k
her way with words
ju Apr 2017
they are

her stars
read and re-read

immense in their power

vast and
predictable

telling fortunes
spinning time

keeping quiet

her stars
out of reach

and inimitable
Apr 2017 · 1.4k
apricity
ju Apr 2017
today you are a storm and I am your world
(what am I in your eyes?
which raw nerve did I rake? which hurt did I expose?)

they’ve scribbled out your silver linings
replaced them with pages of grey

it hasn’t helped

today you are a storm and I am your world

tomorrow you’ll be a ray of sunshine
or a swullocking sky
or a tsunami

I’ll still be your world

and that’s fine
Apr 2016 · 905
hard-pressed
ju Apr 2016
I have a few words
but they are brittle, easily fragmented.
Not pretty in their frailty- just broken.
Apr 2015 · 6.8k
perspective
ju Apr 2015
Mum had been gone a couple of months, six I think… (An ordinary day. Feeling hollow but doing OK) …when I realized I could get rid of the sofa.

I thought it was ugly. She thought it was a bargain. A sofa’s not a keepsake and it was certainly no heirloom. I’d not inflict it on my kids. I got rid.

If I could’ve had her back then? I would’ve done. Even if it meant keeping the sofa.

Redecorated. Bought a new telly. Spent frivolous amounts of cash on scatter cushions. She disliked scatter cushions. I thought they were cosy.

My little boy drew on one of the cushions. On purpose. I was about to smack the back of his legs… (Mum would have. She smacked me when I was little) … but I stopped.

I never wanted to. I had known all along, somehow forgotten.

If I could’ve had her back then? I would’ve done. But she would not smack my children.

Mum had been gone a year… (Planting bulbs. Feeling conspicuous carrying a shovel ‘round the churchyard) …and I missed her .

It was as hot as the day she died. There was no breeze up on that hill. No cloud. Beautiful views stretched right out to the sea.

My little boy had grown. He helped carry water and dig holes. My baby was learning to walk. She wobbled on uneven turf between the headstones. I wanted Mum to see.

If I could’ve had her back then? I would’ve done. No question.


Mum had been gone three years… (Bulbs were doing OK. There was nothing left to plant that rabbits wouldn't nibble) …and I realized it was time to move on.

I kept the ghosts quiet while agents showed people round. The house sold. We moved away. A warm, terraced place in a small town by the sea. Dad died.

Mum has been gone eight years and I miss her.

Looking out from the Downs across cliff-top and sea, the churchyard seems nothing more than a soft-grey fleck on the green edge of town.

If I could bring her back now? Everything’s changed.

Ghosts exist. They sit in empty chairs and speak kettle-whistle. Wishing us well.
Sep 2013 · 1.5k
unremarkable
ju Sep 2013
sunrise happens behind me
(I'm vaguely aware of its struggle against
street light & full-beam)
road peels away as an unmarked ream
while I search
sweets, coins & keys-
for a crumpled-up destination
Sep 2012 · 2.0k
all grown up
ju Sep 2012
I'd heard horror stories in the playground, seen embarrassment and tears.
Shared in secrets that were passed around like candy.

Not for me.
All the messing about and the working it out. I didn't want Bad *** by misadventure.

Like you said.

I waited. Not as long as the good girls, but longer than my mates.

You were worth it.

I was a bundle of nerve endings and inexperience but it was perfect, you were brilliant.
Just the thought of you sends shivers down my spine.

My best kept secret.

I wonder about you, at times. About your life, what you do, if you're happy or feeling blue.

Your children: Would I know them in the street? I guess now they're all grown up.

Just like me.
tweaked then re-posted. cheers :-)
Aug 2012 · 2.4k
wrongs & rights
ju Aug 2012
A little blood, and then nothing.
Waited. But there were no cramps, no sweats.
No shrimp-like cell cluster.

She recalled the dates of this downfall: Of a
**** no law’d recognise.
Bus drivers’ strike.
Consultation with a grumpy-old-doctor-man.

"... you’re probably too late. Try an
Aspirin between your knees next time…”

This is how she told her love to me. Measured
against in-spite-of, not by because.
Jul 2012 · 2.3k
Pretty One
ju Jul 2012
Knee length skirt, cotton cami,
lace shrug, and heels.
All black.
Fair skin, blonde hair, blue eyes. Very pretty.
My children edge past her, past the Other Women,
on their way to the park.
Son takes a second look, then hurries on. Crocs squeak
through sodden grass.
Baggy jeans soak up puddles of mud.
Typical twelve-year-old boy.

They return,
plastered in cut-grass, flushed-pink and grinning.
Daughter cradles the ball, and
crows about winning, while
The Pretty One, the Other Women,
alternate tuts with
oh-what-it-is-to-be-youngs

but The Pretty One,
she's only
twelve.
Jul 2012 · 1.2k
Impunity
ju Jul 2012
A uniform, a badge.
A florescent jacket.

(Worn with pride?)

Law isn’t applied
to its keepers.
Mar 2012 · 1.3k
flicker
ju Mar 2012
My skin wears need. Like
static from an old t.v. screen-
willing you to touch.
But don’t touch me, OK?
Don’t look me in the eye,
and don’t ask.
Don’t ask 'cause I’d say yes,
when I should say no.
I’d say yes and I’d mean it.
But the whole world ‘d fall apart
after.
ju Mar 2012
Marilyn Monroe (who
lived next door, and swore more
than anyone I know)
reckoned blondes had all the fun.
It didn’t seem so to me,
when her old man was home.
She was as glamorous as
our Mum was dowdy.
Her lot lived on freezer-food
and fizzy, while our Mum
slogged over a ****** gas-stove,
and washed-up without gloves on.
Marilyn Monroe told
our Mum that she should fight.
Our Mum gave, to Marilyn Monroe,
secret recipes for dog-food stew
and koi carp pie.
Mar 2012 · 1.8k
Nerds 1985
ju Mar 2012
Green-apple pings off of a shelf,
just misses his ear,
watermelon scores a direct hit
to the back of his throat.
… askin’ for it... the ****...
short ******…

Woken mid rant, we don’t hear the rest,
not yet.
Straight-faced to the telly,
feeling confusion
pierce the backs of our heads-
dontlaughdontlaughand
dontlookatme.
Silently we pray
to the gods of Friday night
and sour candy, that
he’ll nod off and start snoring
before one of us pops
into a neon-snot-mess of giggles.
It’s taken too long
and we’ve eaten half our ammunition, but
he’s at it again. We grin.
Retrieve pink and green missiles
from 'round the chair legs,
listening
to what he’d do to her.
Feb 2012 · 1.3k
So what if it kills you?
ju Feb 2012
America, please
let your paper-heart bleed
for the poor.
Jan 2012 · 2.5k
afternoon tea
ju Jan 2012
No men.
But when the
conversation starts, they dominate.
Worm their way into every sentence, every silence.
Every caught breath, exhaled pause.
Names, nice-to-meet-yous, passed round with sandwiches and tea.
Hole-riddled autobiographies, wadded out with circumstance and need.
Explaining themselves, defending their actions. In turn. And I?
Have never felt so young.
To my left, and working clockwise: Affair-with-the-boss, Heart-condition, High-risk-of-genetic-defects,
In-the-middle-of-a-divorce-not-sure-why-she-slept-with-him, Grown-up-children-can’t-bear-to-go-through-that-again,
and back to me. (Boyfriend-has-two-kids-wants-no-more)
He noticed that I’m pregnant.
Was pregnant.
Was.
We chew our way through sandwiches. Different coloured fillings, no flavour- choked down with lukewarm tea.
We know it’s a test.
We have to talk, smile, eat, drink, laugh (not manically)
if we're to go home.
I can’t do it.
I want to cry. But I’ve been told off for that already (curled up on a trolley, examining bloodied fingers)
I drift, I think.
Jump out of my skin when she speaks to me.
You must eat she says.
You must eat.
I search for myself in their eyes,
re-make myself from fragments and reflections I find there (Four parts child, one part *****)
It’s OK, I tell her. It’s OK.
On my way home I’ll get a Happy Meal.
I’m collecting the toys.
Nov 2011 · 1.6k
Brother
ju Nov 2011
What’ll happen when you die? Will I lose you again? That would mean finding you. Undoing years, unpicking frayed edges fixed with the wrong coloured yarn. I see you at funerals. At Mum’s you were angry. So was I- but I concealed it. Played numb. At Dad’s you were shaking. I thought your nerves were finally shot. Or that the little boy, naked standing in snow, washing his clothes after a petit-mal fit, was still shivering and waiting for Mum. Then I noticed you weren’t drinking. Said you’d been stitched (again) by police- who’ve always had it in for you. Like they pass this hatred down through rank and generation, onto every town you’ve ever lived in? So that explained the orange-juice-and-lemonade made tidal in your hand. I want to rewind you. You were trouble, of course- but you were nice-trouble and I loved you. I looked up to you. I didn’t see the Big-Brave-Wall you were building. Or the things that made us not-normal. When I was born you were thirteen and already broken. When I was old enough to understand Mum had gained an upper hand, and you always sided with Dad. Even though you showed signs of knowing that he was the ******* that ****** us up? I didn’t get it as bad. She learned. Mistakes made on you weren’t made on me. For a start she never left me with him. I was less ******. Or maybe not. Maybe just differently-****** and quicker to heal. My first crush? The copper who called for you, countless times- while I curled m'self round m' cornflakes, burning- too scared to move or turn, rotisserie style, in front of the blue-gas flame. And somewhere in me, not so deep, that teenage ju, that one less-mended who danced-all-weekend-and-slept-where-she-landed, still boasts: Had him y’know. Another notch on a well-and-truly nibbled ‘post. I cried at Dad’s funeral, but I wasn’t crying for him. Why would I?
Nov 2011 · 949
air holes & safe words
ju Nov 2011
Tethered and bound by maraging steel-
feel nothing- bar a need to unfeel.
Few words- gagged. Rubber'd tastes,
sound the same. Chewy, jaw-achingly safe.
Nov 2011 · 16.1k
submissive
ju Nov 2011
Fettered by syrupy curves
of well-handled prose. Exposed,
prone. Bound to bleed
maraschino in free-verse.
Nov 2011 · 2.3k
Deathbed / synthesis
ju Nov 2011
Deathbed

Words spill beneath breath-
promise or threat?
Doesn’t matter.



synthesis*

A deathbed-machine mourns, briefly-
before it’s switched off.
Nov 2011 · 3.1k
(((Hugs*)))
ju Nov 2011
Reaching out [to you] with hands
that kneaded dough before dawn,
and bleached kitchen worktop while
bread rose in the oven.
My skin carries a chill brought in
from the garden- And
my hair, damp under the elastic
I tied it back with, smells of
almond-oil conditioner.
These old clothes
have been folded with lavender,
for too long, in a drawer-
And the knees of my jeans are black,
with fine-foam-dust, from carpet
I’m part-way-through fitting.
My toes are cold and my feet are grubby
‘cause I didn’t wear shoes
when I hung out the washing.
Oct 2011 · 1.3k
Deal or No Deal?
ju Oct 2011
An eighteen month ban and two-thousand-pounds fine?

Don’t accept them.
Take the tamper-evident bag
and go.
Re-wind blood stains from her clothes,
fractures from her bones.
Un-stop her heart from beating,
un-puncture her lungs.
Take from her the understanding
that she’s about to die.
Pay attention.
Un-impact on our lives.
Don’t walk away
with that
sentence.

It’s non-refundable.
Oct 2011 · 3.1k
OMFG
ju Oct 2011
He fishes-
with barbed question hooks.
Discarded conversation-thread
leaves me too tangled
to talk.
Too tired to care.
Exclamation marks hurt-
Long strokes do nothing to sooth.
Marble-dots scatter
to trip me up as I move.
******* the difference
between his round-mouthed-O
and mine-
A slow, steady discontent
slithers
down my spine.
Oct 2011 · 1.8k
October
ju Oct 2011
cross-legged on prickly cord,
picking frayed edges
that don’t quite meet the wall-
stealing pimply-glassed heat and
pretending to live
in a house, where warmth exists
beyond window-spills and
a broken gas oven.
Oct 2011 · 5.9k
cupcakes
ju Oct 2011
She’s cracking eggs.
“What are those?” she asks, pointing to white and red specks in the bowl.
Once I’d have told her it was shell-
but she’s too old for that now
so-
“Where the eggs started to grow”
“Into chickens?”
“Yes”
“Oh” she says, staring intently at a gooey mess in the palm of her hand.
I finish weighing out the ingredients,
wipe her clean-
“Which colour icing do you want?”
She’s carefully spooning cake mix into bright-striped paper cases.
“Can we make angel cakes instead?”
I go into the kitchen to pre-heat the oven,
steal two minutes silence.
Deep breath.
“No. We'd be cutting up perfect little cupcakes to make the wings”
Choked.
I can’t tell her why
I don’t do Angels in December.
Oct 2011 · 919
sleepwalk
ju Oct 2011
Clamber from bed sheets,
tangled. Catch her
tight. Hold her
safe. Curl up with her
in the soft grey light
of almost-day.
Oct 2011 · 988
sweet sixteen
ju Oct 2011
If he’d a-just floored it,
drove-a straight line
right through the end-of-the-World
that would’ve been fine
with me.
A fine way to die
with ***-sticky thighs
and an ******-glow warmin’ my skin.

He drove on- steady and slow.

He drove on and I,
and I, and I played- steady and slow.
Act your age.
So I did- I did, I
paint-ed his lips with the salt-sweet of our deed
and I whispered.
I whispered You’ll go again.

Kerbed a wheel, swore, but
I felt him grow hard and
I felt him frown through the dark-
Girl, I’m takin’ you home.
I felt him frown through the dark-
Girl, I’m takin’ you home.
Saw home in the distance and
I didn’t wan-t-go.

Saw home in the distance and
I didn’t wan-t-go.

I felt him frown through the dark-
Girl, I’m takin’ you home.

If he’d a-just floored it-
drove-a straight line
right through the end-of-the-World
that would’ve been fine
with me.
A fine way to die-
I wanted to die.
Wanted to die-

and wanted to never go home.
Oct 2011 · 1.1k
infestation
ju Oct 2011
Bad news falls from his mouth before I can catch it. Hands and knees on the floor, searching, bad news escapes me. It buries itself in the carpet like hundreds of little black fleas. I claw at the fibres but words wriggle deeper into the floor. I try to crush them with pounding fists but they are strong.

On the edge of my vision I see them in clusters that make sense but, as I turn, the words scatter and squirm back into the carpet. Some of the words jump, biting. They leave me stunned and itchy. Some climb up my neck and make me shiver. I can feel bad news crawling over my scalp, feeding and laying eggs. I try to rake it out with my fingers- end up with nothing except hair.

I remember the man then, so I stand. I see my children playing with train track. Around them the floor is alive with bad news. Outside the Sun shines. The pavement, the trees, the grass, are crawling with nothing except happiness and summer. I tell the man that we are going to the park. These words are candyfloss pink and butter yellow. They drift like confetti at a wedding and bad news is scared of them.

I talk more and more about the park, swings and river while I get my children ready to go. The man says something about identifying a body. I catch these words but drop them quickly to the floor. They wriggle down into the carpet and I leave them there. The man pours instructions into his radio. Navy blue worker ants, easy to ignore.

I keep talking the happy words which hold bad news at bay. Bad news can't get me now. But I can see the man looks sad and cross. Bad news is feeding on him now instead of me. I notice the words he tips into his radio are infested with little black fleas. Somehow this is my fault. If I tried harder to catch the bad news and contain it the man would be safe. I care about that. Then I look at my children, bad news scrabbling around their shoes looking for a way in, and I care about that more.

I try to explain to the man that we must go. These words are deformed and don't make sense. Their wings won't work. They fall to the floor and bad news feasts on them. The man says we can go to the park, so we do.

My children run ahead. Bad news hasn't spread this far yet. I speak to friends in words of lilac and blue. Children's voices ring out over the river like silver dragon flies. Little black fleas are biting me under my clothes, no one can see them.  

I see the police car out on the road, the man watching. I can ignore them. But my children are tired and hungry. It's chilly and we didn't bring jumpers or coats. Friends have gone back to their houses. It's getting dark and starting to drizzle. It's the happy words that escape me now.

It's time to go home and be eaten alive by bad news.
Oct 2011 · 859
sick
ju Oct 2011
Every sound- too loud.
So tired,
wired.
Where is he?
My own footfalls mock me,
rebound off walls-
shock me
into standing stock still.
Silence.
Breathe again.
Catch a whiff of cigarette smoke.
Hear him,
coat swishing-
so close.
Don’t turn
and don’t listen
but words somehow seep in.
Threats hit their
mark.
Heart beats too fast now.
Dizzy and sick.
Why me? For ****’s sake-
and why him?
Me walking,
him whispering really ****** me off.
I need to change this routine-
before he does.
Oct 2011 · 863
little poems #2
ju Oct 2011
search for

pale, warm colours adrift in white
butterfly flickers- so slight I miss them  
soft rise and fall of sound-asleep tide
silent maybe, sweet-sticky breath

hit the switch- search again quicker




expectant

i want to feel complete love
i want to feel complete
i want to feel
i want to
i want
i




empty

I should be
nervous or excited,
have butterflies
in my tummy.
I should be
beautiful and ripe-
I should be full.
I should get over it?
Carry on?
Try again?



wish**

Your haunting me is beautiful:

How you stand just out of frame-
Though I sometimes think I see you sparkle
in their birthday-candle eyes.
Oct 2011 · 4.6k
Handbag 1994~2009
ju Oct 2011
Handbag~ 1994**
exam timetable
£5 from my Mum
shiny key for the front door
fresh-mint chewing gum

Handbag~ 1998
keys for work
keys for home
£20 and a bit of change
photo of my best mate
and a bloke that's twice my age
lipstick~ lacy knickers
condoms~ ID card
ticket for a bus to town
UV sparkly stars

Handbag~ 1999
keys for work
keys for home
spare key for his flat
condoms~ contraceptive pills
No.7 powder-ivory/matt
VISA/Delta debit card
paper
gel ink pens
number of a bloke
who says our love
will never end

Handbag~ 2000
keys for work
keys for home
key for the gas meter
teletubbies picture book
list of baby-sitters
new mobile phone
herbal teething gel
lipstick~ Annadin
vanilla impulse body spray
children's Neurofen
photo of my baby boy
really tiny socks
under-eye concealer
secret stash of chocs

Handbag~ 2002
keys for work
keys for home
pull back and go car
baby wipes
mobile phone
estate agents' cards
picture of my little boy
list of things to do
Boots own brand pregnancy test
both windows coloured blue

Handbag~ 2005
keys for home
card from work
tissue full of tears
photo of my boy in school
that shows his gappy teeth
photo of my baby girl
and one of both of them
a ring that used to be my Mum's
Pro-Plus~ Diazepam

Handbag~ 2009
keys for work
keys for home
one SLIM~FAST bar
one Cadbury's wrapper
Haribo~ Calpol~ tissues
assorted Disney plasters
treasured stones~ special shells
sand and bits of twig
money to buy ice creams
photos of my kids
Oct 2011 · 1.6k
finding words
ju Oct 2011
The mums at nursery like me.
They are reassured by dark rings beneath my eyes,
blue jeans, clean-scrubbed smile, pulled back hair.
A soul more boring and more tired-
Just knowing I exist makes them feel better.

Not today:

Today I’m wearing make-up.
And my shorts are, well, short
which I think is against the rules.
My hair shines like a barley sugar sweet
and my finger nails sparkle
like long forgotten jewels.

Today I dodge dressing-up hats, snotty noses, spilt milk,
play-dough, paint and mud-puddle splats
with practiced precision.

Today, just this once, when I give mums their children back,
I look more together and more stylish than them.

I run home, cross busy roads in record time,
wave to total strangers who want to say hello.

I get the polish off my nails,
scrub my face under the shower,
dry my hair,  pull it back,
grab yesterday’s jeans and baggy sweater.

He returns from work and asks:

Did you have a good day?

I think:

Yes. Yes **** it. Yes  I did.
Do you know-
my eyes are pretty, and I can get into shorts
I wore ten years ago?
Stop traffic - check.
Turn heads - hell yeah!
The roofer down the road nearly fell and broke his neck.
Your wife is, without a doubt,  a ******* **** thing.


So many words, like popping candy on my tongue.

I imagine his reaction.
I shut my mouth.
Danger passes.

But lies won’t come. Mouth’s gone dry.
I swallow back the truth then feel like I’m gonna gag.
Panic rising in my chest on top of bile.

Then:

My day was fine

I say. Just that.

My day was fine

And I am saved.
Oct 2011 · 5.2k
blast-off / re-entry
ju Oct 2011
blast-off

He was cross.
I cried.
I’m putting things right.
Changing my life,
or changing it back.
Something along those lines.
Can’t think quite what.
She’s holding my hand
down.
Wanted to see if washing-up liquid
came out of the thing they stuck in me.
It didn’t.
Looks just like the top off a bottle
of Fairy.
Fairy? I’m making a fairy.
No, not a fairy.
I’m here to make an Angel.
That’s nice,
except I don’t believe in
such crap.
They’re pushing something
into my bottle-top-hand.
I’m here to make an Angel.
That's nice.
They’re counting down.
Crap.




re-entry**

Cold.
I was waiting
but I’ve changed my mind.
The whole world fell away, left just me/us
and it felt OK.
All the stuff I thought mattered;
age-gap, gossip, housing, education-
when it was just me/us- it didn’t.
(she’s awake)
For a moment we were everything.
It was beautiful.
I love me/us- even with
complications pushing
into my mind,
cramming themselves
around me/us euphoria-
I’m not making an Angel today.
Going home.
(what’s she doing?)
Jelly legs aren’t working,
feel hot and slippery.
She’s holding me
down.
(Sshh- you’re fine, just a bit woozy)
I don’t believe in Angels.
Crap.
(it’s the anaesthetic, makes them cry)
Oct 2011 · 769
not love
ju Oct 2011
I’m, I don’t know-
lonely I guess. Stretched out  
warming myself in a pool of sunlight-
would just like to be held.
Not longing for
new love
or a one true love-
they’re all true enough
at the time.
No, not love.
Not now.
Oct 2011 · 2.6k
little poems
ju Oct 2011
intoxicating

Pour yourself into me,
until you are sweet
and I'm on fire.




tongue, tied, valentine

I am listening, it’s just...

(I got distracted)

...you have the
most
beautiful
wrists
I’ve
ever
seen.
x



restraint

I’m not interested
in cheap nylon confession.
I’d rather unravel
a good quality secret-
Make a beautiful bond
from its thread.


Hangman

I should warn him:
My soul leaks like a sieve.
Instead I listen silently
to words that steal
my breath.




You and I*

You are
delicious
And I am
greedy.
You are
generous
And I am
needy.
You are
experienced
And I am
learning.
You are
flammable
And I am
burning.
Oct 2011 · 998
fresh flowers
ju Oct 2011
I don’t usually rate flowers as a gift.
Somehow the words on the tag never match
the message they’re sending.

The tag read "Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful baby boy”
The message was What the hell were you thinking?
A baby at your age! Life as you know it is over.


The tag read “Wishing you luck and happiness in your new home”
The message was I wouldn’t live there if you paid me.
Lock your windows and don‘t make friends with the locals.


You get the idea.

But this time there is no tag.
He’s just given me a good old fashioned, honest, upfront
I wanna get into your knickers bouquet.

And I'm thinking ***** it, why not?
Oct 2011 · 1.2k
Please?
ju Oct 2011
Can I come to you as I am,
in secret-
brimming with the need to be held?
Can I lay hot whispers on your skin
then taste how they make you feel?
Can I show you how to touch me,
how hard to press?
If I cry
can I hide salty tears
in the soft curve of your neck?
Can I bite, ever so gently,
before I scream?
Can I be your lover
without you loving me?
Can I, please?
Oct 2011 · 1.1k
hem
ju Oct 2011
hem
I pull the sweater further down my thighs.
Fabric bunched in my fist keeps the hem tight,

Stops it gaping as I lean, cold feet pressed to his shins,
inhaling steam from thick-as-mud coffee.

Would like to rearrange myself ‘round the warmth of him-
tangle my fingers in his hair.

Clamber into a linseed oil and white spirit scented nest.

But now’s not the time.
Distance is key.

I drink coffee, mind my hem ‘til he’s ready to draw.


muse
Oct 2011 · 1.6k
for one night only
ju Oct 2011
I’ve tried really, really hard
to not look like I’m trying-
See? I am Super Girlie-Girl
for one night only.
Every detail attended to.
I’m even wearing kitten heels
for ****’s sake.
(quite literally, I think)
I’ve gone for pretty…
(or as close as age allows)
... not at all scary.
I’ve no idea what we’ll talk about but,
so far, I’ve managed to say hi
and not stare at his hands.
Still thinking ‘bout them though.
I’ve seen him play guitar-
‘nough said.
He’s grinning and I wonder,
briefly-
If I might’ve let slip as words
some of these thoughts but,
since no one near by is rolling round on the floor
******* themselves laughing-
I think I’m safe.
He’s just given me the most beautiful flowers.
The deepest red roses, all half-opened velvety buds
and frothy white gypsophila.
(it’s one of those bouquets)
Closer,
almost burying my face in the petals-
they smell delicious.
That's done it.
Even without a context- that word turns me on
but now?
My brain is seriously misfiring.
Pinging thoughts and words and images around
like a demonic pinball machine.
Oh Dear God-
I hope he’s not a mind reader.
How long, do you think- can I stay
hidden here in these (delicious) flowers?
How long before I need to try one?
Before the urge to lick and taste and bite-
overcomes me?
That just wouldn’t be cool, would it?
Not on a first date.
Oct 2011 · 945
being still
ju Oct 2011
I might be taking a break
but clearly he is not.
He watches as I spoon instant coffee
into white enameled mugs.
His gaze travels up my legs,
rests on the hem of his sweater.
I catch his eye, he smiles,
shrugs an apology, carries on.
I shift my weight from foot to foot,
arch my back, wiggle my hips-
Resist the urge to do
a bad rendition of 'Time Warp'
He accepts his coffee with a nod,
watches me drink mine-
then it's time for us
to settle back to work.
He re-arranges jars, cleans new brushes-
while I get naked and in position,
him watching from the corner of his eye.
Straight away the aches return,
my muscles tie themselves in knots-
and I know it's just a shadow
of the pain that is to follow.

muse
Sep 2011 · 2.0k
nude
ju Sep 2011
He doesn’t draw me as this.
She appears to be sleeping.

Not hiding like me, from a light that’s too bright-
on a day that grew late without warning.

Her hand between thighs
seems to be still. And her smile whispers words for the taking.

Will they know when they see her, that those fingers
concealed, are already threaded with ***?

He doesn’t draw me as this.
Satisfied only to the point of frustration.

muse
Sep 2011 · 1.6k
Gobstopper
ju Sep 2011
All day I've licked the taste of you
from in between my words,
but it's clinging to the spaces
and making slick the verbs.
I've ****** clean a few adjectives,
polished a few nouns-
but I just can't get my tongue around
those tricky little Os.
Sep 2011 · 2.3k
laugh silently
ju Sep 2011
You’re going to be fine.
?
I am, see?
.
You will. I came to tell you stuff. Listening?
.
Jumble sale shoes. I know you’ve got acrylics somewhere. Paint them.
?
The shoes. Flowers and dragons like you draw up your arms. They’re really good by the way. No one in school draws like you.
.
We are. You just have to be good-different. Stop hiding the whole time. Everyone loves your drawing.
.
We still like painting, reading…
?
It’ll happen when you’re 11. The letters un-jumble and it makes sense.
!
Honestly.
.
And at Christmas- tell Mum it’s your idea: Keeping him away from the ***** makes him cross- no point. Give him a drink as early as possible. By noon he’s unconscious and you put him to bed. Looks like he hit his head real hard but he woke up.
?
It’s OK. He doesn’t remember a thing. Works every year.
.
Stuff heals. It gets better. Everything. Life is excellent. People say you’re pretty, won’t believe it but you are. And we live on a good street in a warm house by the sea.
!
Honestly, cross my heart.
.
There’s one last thing. Listening?
.
Learn to laugh silently, no sound what so ever. I know you can’t imagine it- but she gets her revenge and it’s going to be funny. Takes years. You must play along or it won‘t work. So laugh silently.
?
Just one example then: Do you go to the car-boot sales yet?
.
On a Sunday in June, only 7AM but it’s so hot! She spots a koi carp in the road.
?
Like a giant goldfish. This one was huge. Probably dropped by a heron or something.
.
She moves it onto the verge and keeps walking. It's still there at 1.30. Been baking up on that verge all morning in full sun. Smothered in ants, horrible.
.
She wraps it in a Tesco bag and a bin liner- it stinks. As soon as you get in she starts frying onions, making pastry, white sauce. Dad eats fish pie for supper.
?
She made us a separate one.
.
Sep 2011 · 11.6k
Keys
ju Sep 2011
Keys. Shoved through the letterbox
before I got up-
in an envelope with a note:
Could I (please) feed the cat…
Gone away? Good for her!
Car on the drive. Took a taxi. I think.
To the airport? Didn’t say.
******* with rain-
still, had best leave my shoes on the step just the same.
Obsessed with cleanliness and hygiene-
that’s why he left.
Who, in their right mind, puts cream-coloured carpet in a…?
Door. Not locked. Nearly fell through it.
Strange. She forgot?
Kitchen. Freezer’s empty, switched off.
No cereal . No tins.
Utility room. Spotlessly clean-
twelve! two-kilogram bags of Go-Cat Complete.
Planning to be gone quite a while. I think.
Playroom. Packed up. Kids staying with Nan.
She wants to redecorate before they come home?
Great. A fresh start. I think.
Bedroom. Suitcase on the wardrobe.
Bought a new one? Smaller. Lighter perhaps.
Makes sense. After all- she is travelling alone. I think.
Bathroom. Pristine. Almost empty.
Almost. Macleans and a toothbrush,
in a glass on the sill.
I didn’t think about that.
Until now.
Sep 2011 · 1.4k
making Red
ju Sep 2011
She lets me try it on.
I want it. But I don’t get presents like she does.
It’s beautiful. Bright with a white, fluffy trim. Zip and
poppers all the way up.
She widens her eyes. Twists her hands into claws
and she says “Little Red, come here and climb into bed…”
I laugh. Her wolf sounds just like Grandma.
Ma swings her arm back. I stop.
She turns to see what’s changed. It isn’t funny anymore.
I hear the thwack as Ma’s hand connects with her nose. It
was an accident.
Should’ve been the side of her head.
Now there’s blood.
She buries her face, wraps her arms round my waist.
A darker red blooms on the nylon.
She calms down but she’s shaking. We untangle and I help
her on with the coat.
I don’t want it.
We wait for a while in silence; shredding lollypop sticks,
peeling the top off an old lemonade-can.
She starts to cut neat, tiny crosses into her fingertips.
Not deep.
But I’ve seen enough. I feed the lollypop sticks and
lemonade-can to the cracks between the planks of the pier.
The hood covers her eyes completely. I think she’s stopped
crying.
“You look just like Little Red” I tell her.
She says “Maybe I am.”
Sep 2011 · 3.9k
Little Red
ju Sep 2011
[28/08/11]

I wish they’d listened when I told them, the first time, about Grandma. But I think it’s too late to make them listen now. So here I am. A dining hall. A lounge with a T.V. in a cage. An education room, a recreation room. And a cell. They call it bedroom but the door’s locked. Bathroom door just don't shut. Locked open. Recessed in the wall…. And… at night… I lie awake wondering why, why, why… they bothered…at all…to make… a door that won’t shut- that, as doors go, is a dead loss… not a pun, I promise….need more than dark humour to save me now. The fundamental flaw- even if it did shut- is that it’s ******’ pointless- ha! ‘cause there’s a camera in the shower anyhow. They watch me ‘cause I’m dang-er-ous. All night long…they… flick the light on/off… drives me mad. I wish they’d listened when I told them, the next time, about Grandma. But I think it’s too late to make them listen now. Pathological liar. That’s me. The prosecution said so. And in my defence the solicitor agreed. Nothing I can say will be believed. It’s not so bad. They feed me. And I’m never cold. They only make my nose bleed when I lose control. And I don’t do ***… not really… anymore. Now when I tell them…. about … her big-as-saucer-eyes… when I tell them that I miss her but hate her toothy smile… when I tell them that her long, acrylic nails... creep... me out… and thoughts of her foundation-smothered-whiskers make me heave…and that… sometimes... I… see… her… smell… her… in my room… they arrange for an injection. And up my medication. Send me to do painting. Or they let me write **** down.

Little Red.
Aug 2011 · 2.0k
state (of) education
ju Aug 2011
Mam, from the September following Child’s 5th birthday I no longer consider you fit to raise him.
For six hours a day, five-days-a-week-term-time-only Teacher can help.
Unfortunately Teacher takes time off. She needs a break from your little monster-
so during the holiday she gives Child back. Try not to undo the good work that’s been done.
(…Won’t you?…)
If you want to bother Teacher with (daft) questions go ahead.
She’ll rearrange her face into a listening position- And respond with jargon designed to make you feel thick.
Concerns?
Child often exaggerates.
O, I see. 2 adults, 30 children and a bundle of paperwork?
She’s qualified. You’re not.
(…are you? Thought not. And you don’t live in Big House or sound T’s and H’s… So where were we?…)
Nightmares? Bruises? Cuts, scrapes, a black-eye? Low self esteem?
(…so you’re a psychologist now?…)
Child cries? Is unhappy in class?
His fault.
Or yours! Don’t worry. Teacher keeps her eyes open for signs of trouble at home.
Child skips school? Down to you.
(…There will be various consequences, of course. And implications……c-o-n…s-e-qu-e…nce-s…,….i-m-p…l-i-c…a-t…i-on-s… It’s been made clear already: You’re not fit to raise him…)
Pressured? Bored? Judged and ignored? Humiliated? Belittled? Frustrated?
It will lead to what, exactly?
O, when he leaves School! For just a moment there
I was worried.
No, no. Not a problem. Not a problem at all.
Maybe he’ll run with a bad crowd, break a few laws, end up in the gutter?
Yes. Maybe.
But it’s out of my hands.
i-predict-a...
Aug 2011 · 850
inventory
ju Aug 2011
Beer trickles between my toes. And I stare. You.
You glance at the drink in your hand. Assess the damage.
Direction is lost to your possible moves.
Did you see me yet?
Behind this stranger. This quantity unknown.
A lifetime grabbed hold of me and
I ran. Now- faced with you- seconds keep splitting.
Did you see me yet?
Beer swills round your mouth. Then you swallow.

Recognition slips through your slurred-to-**** vision.
No harm done.

— The End —