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4.9k · Mar 2015
I am Icarus
MereCat Mar 2015
When Icarus falls
Who can say that
He does not turn his own back
To the fact that
The ploughman’s family
Are shrivelled on a diet
Of failing crops
And that the only two
Imperturbable components
To the serenity of his fallen world
Are the sun and the sea
That wash blue and gold
Over the evidence
Who can say that
Icarus is not so consumed
With the boiling wax upon his shoulders
And the screams in his throat
That he has casually
Failed to realise
That the ploughman on the cliff
Has just as far to fall
Well... Reading 'Musee des Beaux Arts' in school yesterday I began to wonder where I fitted into the picture - whether I was even present, whether I was Icarus or the ploughman or the boat and I felt like I was probably all three...
4.4k · Jan 2015
Liar
MereCat Jan 2015
You've got lies
Like you've got acne
Raw and sour
They deform the skin of the room
Leave scars on its silence
Creep unbidden into pores
Brand themselves into reflections
Hung
Ugly as battle wounds
On the arpeggios of conversation

And you wear your lies
Like you wear acne
Smothered in pretty chemicals
You deliver them like scripted text
Into a world of disingenuity
The self-affected
One-trick-pony of your tongue
Plays them down with beauty
But fails to remove their aftertaste

So please,
Feel free to keep talking
But I thought you should know
That no one's listening any more
And we no longer believe in
Your cries of 'wolf'
Because we know that
No matter how you sing your lies
The world will not cease to orbit the sun
And then re-align itself to you
I wrote this in a burst of anger at break time yesterday for a girl in my class who has been lying for four years straight...
3.8k · Dec 2014
Moon
MereCat Dec 2014
If the sky itself could break
And the moon could fall out of it
I would hold it on my palms
And wring the colour out of it
Never for a moment believing
That it could not make its own light
2.5k · Dec 2014
Bluebird
MereCat Dec 2014
I last rode this road in Summer
When the light was as now;
Long, flat and mellow
But by the hour not the season

The trees back then still wore clothes
Green, perhaps liver-spotted with yellow
Now I watch them tangle their naked arms
And the world turns its face away in shame,
Longing for its chastised summer

The wheat field is grey scrub
An old bristling beard
And my bike tyres trace its edge
Like fingers on the jaw of our grandfather

And the watercolour wind
Rinses my knuckle bones
And then bites them open
They don’t bother to bleed
They’ve been chewed too many times

As the clouds wash in,
Black with frostbite,
I bite my winter scarf
And sing to it of bluebirds
I've been obsessed with this song recently - I can't stop singing it, especially when I'm out on my bike...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMba8vsep9I
2.1k · Oct 2014
Hans Litten
MereCat Oct 2014
I have studied **** Germany
Someone stood and preached to me
All the ‘important’ names
All the ‘important’ dates
I wrote them down like longshore secrets
And debated over them
Like they were the pencil sharpenings
With which I littered the floor
‘Excellent analysis’ she said
I have even stood by the gas chambers
And the gallows
At Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp
And written insensitive poetry about insensitivity
But have I heard of Hans Litten?
Of course I haven’t.
I have stood in the Berlin gestapo office
And formed philosophies that feel more like profanities
Wondering how it can ever be appropriate
To take a school trip to a genocide
But tonight my ‘important’ education
Feels like the greatest atrocity
My guilty ignorance beats almost unbearably
Around my rib-cage
And waits for the shatter and the shards
Because I have never heard of Hans Litten
We all know six million
But who knows the six million?
We remember names that we stored away
Because mentioning them in an essay
Might bring about a higher grade
Displaying ‘a highly developed and complex level of understanding’
We remember names like we remember shopping lists
Or science lessons;
A few particular points
No attachment necessary
In fact, clinical detachment is far more becoming
When it comes to essay questions
They never told us about Hans Litten
Or about the men who also ran in the race to be in history books
Or about their mothers
And their fathers
And the people they shared cells with
And the people they shared graves with
My God, they never told us about Hans Litten
And Hans Litten is better known
Than most of those phantom dead
Those cracked-open voices that dared to raise
Until they were too loud for anything but the conveyer-belt
Concentration Camp system.
And the thing is that six million is not such a big number anymore
Because there are 49,506,514 views of Simon Cowell crying
And nearly 300 million of One Direction singing a song which is not so beautiful after all
And people are so desensitized to the number six million
That they believe that the world
Would not have enough **** in it
Without them posting hatred after obscenity after hatred in the YouTube comments
And Hans Litten, I can’t help feeling that I’ve failed you
My generation could tell you the private lives of their idols
But would not know your name
And we will still pour into school on Monday morning
And chorus our tireless fatigue and our lack of motivation for life
And I will still pour into school on Monday morning
And let myself complain and moan and grapple for sympathy.
I’ve acquired this abstracted self-loathing recently
That is less a hatred of myself than a hatred of what I have made of myself
Of my ingratitude and self-centred inability
To compose poems that do not start and end with Me
And of my procrastination and my ceaseless desire
To live something other than the life I’ve been given
Like I asked for extra cheese and got given Margharita
****.
I’m insufferable.
Hans Litten your list of injuries was ten times longer
than the list of all the wrongs I’ve had done against me.
Last night I went to watch a play called Taken At Midnight... it's about Hans Litten, in case you hadn't guessed... it tore me to shreds and then made whatever was left of me want to be ripped up too.

It is brilliant.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/theatre-reviews/11138692/Taken-at-Midnight-Chichester-Festival-Theatre-review-harrowing.html
2.1k · Feb 2015
Rumpelstiltskin
MereCat Feb 2015
In the barren bowl
Of the local park
There is more brown
Than green
And naked trees
Rest like tired moths
Upon grass
That has been lacerated
By studded shoes
And knees and toes
And elbows
That have ploughed it
Bare.
The edges of the path
Look like eyebrows
Scant
Poorly plucked
And rats-tail
Mongrels  
Scatter and shred
Across the carpet
Sodden
Sinewy.
Jarring teenage love
Letters
Sit upon February
The fourteenth
Like it is a mantelpiece of
Glass
Tip blue hair to grey sky
Beiged fingers
Intertwine
Black fingernails
Fumble
They watch their childhood haunts
Through the frosted panes
Of spectacle windows
And wonder why
Nostalgia dies so bitter
Today.
Kiss my empty skin
Waiting.

I find myself a love affair
In the sky
Clouds form a coastline
A single dribble of peach
Taints the ash
Like careless words
And I tilt my chin towards it
Already the spindle of my mind
Turns
And begins to weave
Gold from straw.
I haven't written poetry for a while...
2.1k · Jul 2015
Prayer
MereCat Jul 2015
Dear God,

Do you want me to be grateful
for the way the clouds curl around each other
like ringlets falling from a hairband?
Because I will be, if you want.
And if I tell you the truth
I think I’m going to have to be
because I can’t find any other thing so beautiful.
I’m looking at the world through a view-finder
and I can’t find much that’s pretty these days.

My calf is pressed against the calf of a girl
who I considered for years to be a best friend of mine.
She felt empty
and so she inflated herself with
hot air and “banter” with no meaning.
“***** Please” and “Ohmygod” and “*******”
spew from her awkward, Christian mouth
and I wonder whether she scooped her insides out
like pumpkin flesh
and inserted somebody new there in her place
like a candle in a jack'o'lantern.
Somebody who doesn’t have the time for me.
So I give up on our small talk
and decide not to interrupt her mobile phone;
I feel the back of her head like a headache.

“Mum’s sweated off four-hundred-and-seventy-six calories today”
she tells me and I ask her how she knows.
“She’s a got a tag thingy, you know. I have too.”

I can’t bear the sound of calories.
They are nails on all my chalkboards
and they are the wrong-footed *****
that tolls in church.

I lower my gaze to the absent-minded mother
whose fingers climb into her pram
to draw circles on the baby’s scalp.
She stirs my thoughts with them.
I think I’ve come a long way since
I started this prayer,
since my eyes hit the clouds.

Someone once told me that the thing he hated above all else
was greed
because greed is a bonfire that hungers without ever feeling full.
And who reminded me that
power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

We got the greed we hungered for.

And it corrupted us absolutely.

For it is by greed that the ice caps
are sweating off more calories
than the girls in their gym shorts.

It is by greed that they cannot rest
until they have peeled their thighs far enough apart
and by greed that they’ve been lured into the propaganda store
to buy themselves diets.

It is by greed that we cannot look our world in the eye
and greed that necessitates the use of a microscope lens
to distance us from the damage we cause.

It is by greed that we underline the little problems
to cover up the big ones
and it is greed that enables us to find offense in the weather forecast.

It is greed that has shrunk my values into a cage of bitter ribs
and greed that provoked my self-righteous verbal slaughter
of that friend I no longer know.

It is by greed that we started deciding that land belonged to people –
that finders were keepers, as long as they were white –
instead of the earth it consists of.

It is by greed that we doggedly avoid breaking our routines apart
to fit other factors into them.

It is by greed that righteousness
and ******
fall into step
on the path towards a religion that God can’t condone.

It is by greed that fascism and communism
eclipse one another and meld into one.

It is by greed that the old woman opposite
refuses to share her seat or even her smile
with a human under the age of thirty.

It is by greed that kids have bullets in them
and mothers are shot full of infection
and the water runs dry
through the dripping tap we didn’t fix in our bathroom.

It is by greed that I sit on a bus
and shift my problem onto our backs
with my view-finder.

And yeah,
I still see some beauty when I look for it
but I see beauty like a picture postcard
that an angry kid took a hole punch to.
It got so torn up but we refuse to put it under a light
in order to avoid seeing just how many gaps we’ve made.
Recently I’ve noticed this postcard’s
got too many holes in it to be able to see
what the picture once was.
There’s more absent than present
and, sure, we’ve still got our itty-bitty blue-sky-days
between the punctures,
but the grime and the guilt seeps out
like the air we drove our dreams on.

What a mess we inflicted, I think.

There’s a ceiling light in our toilet that attracts flies to it.
They fly in and burn up
and the lamp bowl fills with insect corpses
until you can’t see through them anymore.
We’re like that.
Flies go suicide bombing
and ***** things up
with the clutter they leave behind them.
Meanwhile,
as long as the dead stay in their graves,
they don’t bother the rest.
We look up at the ceiling
and don’t change the lightbulb.

How many people does it take to change a lightbulb?

We like looking at our world from the atmosphere;
we observe it from the internet,
believing that we stand on the moon,
too far away to touch the gashes we’ve torn.
We don’t like looking at the way the blood runs;
we tuck it under our fingernails instead
and hope no one holds us accountable.

When I come home I snap at my mum
because I am so struck by the brokenness of what I’m dealing with
that I cannot have her ask me how my day was.
Because I cannot complain about the weather
but I need to
because our family conversation is not big enough
to grapple with the magnitude of the genuine complaints I have.
Because I cannot simply tell her that I hate America
or feel comfortable praying her this prayer.
So I tell her “OK” and she rolls her eyes at the kettle.

So I’ve got my dish-cloth heart
and the rain starts to spit at us
with tears that are heavy enough to weep the things I can’t shed.

Wash me clean, rain… heaven… God,
because most people put ***** dishcloths in the bin
not the washing machine.
my thoughts on the bus today
2.1k · Nov 2014
Still Life
MereCat Nov 2014
they lived
like the only customers at a funfair;
weeks caroselling
with swollen rise and fall,
like the horses forgot
to gallop in circles.
they had their own world
of haunted houses
and helter-skelters
but the stalls were all out
of candyfloss
and, as they slotted coins
into cork-rifles,
they shot themselves
to pieces
without winning
a single prize.
2.0k · Nov 2014
Realism
MereCat Nov 2014
If ‘realism’ was real
Speech marks would be full of ‘likes’ and ‘*****’
And empty of punctuation.
Sentences would extinguish themselves
And flaw themselves
And slip
Mid-way.
The characters wouldn’t take it in turns
They’d be yelling across the pages
On top and entangled in each other
Like lovers.
1.8k · Mar 2015
Mind That Childhood
MereCat Mar 2015
The ice cream van
Has today reached
The melancholic realisation
That the only kids who
Chase clocks for Mr Whippy
And lick the exhaust fumes
In nostalgia
Are the kids who are not kids
But who prematurely aged themselves
With lipstick kisses
And cigarettes
Lowered themselves into nooses
Of sweet-sixteenths
From the age of six

We are a generation of
Peter Pan inversions
We ran ashore
And beached ourselves
Beyond the lure
Of Neverland
We are a generation of
Failed cloud-catchers
Aspiring rainbow-clinchers
Secretly slipping our hands
Back into a dead air
Of former innocence
In the hope we’ll be able to
Retrieve the pieces we left there
We queue and scramble
Like gulls for
Inches we can claw back
Preserving our age in
Wafer cones
And bleeding snows
That glue between our fingers
Each 99 flake
Is a time machine
Which we spin like a music box
And wait for the rewind
Copper coins and sea stains
And we hope we’ll find
Some of the things we lost
But we cannot predict or realign
The atoms or twist ourselves
Back into them
So we sit and watch
The incorruptibility we once possessed
Perished
Sexualised
Corrupted
Pool in the March drizzle
Someone once said
That youth was a process
Of being torn in half
By the past that pulls you back
And the future that tempts you
Being too big and yet too small
Longing but fearing
But an ice cream van tells me
That youth is a process
Of trying not to drown yourself
In what you’ve never had
And when that ice cream van tells me to
MIND THAT CHILD
I can’t help projecting echoes
Of its wisdom
On to all who pass me by
Mind that childhood
Before there’s nothing left to mind
Three separate events today triggered this.
Mainly the 3rd.

1) The unanimous decision that (when we finally get there) we want to celebrate the end of our education with a water fight and a bouncy castle on the school field. Because really we're searching for things we should never have disposed of. We never wanted yearbooks or proms of high heals or hoodies...
2) A discussion about the way we live in a world that is expiring itself in a bid to live fast and young and beautiful and ****...
3) An ice cream van that parked out the back of my school today and the crowd of teenagers that flocked to it...
1.7k · Feb 2015
Cinderella
MereCat Feb 2015
Lay not your glass slippers
Upon the stairs
For I am too infatuated
With the stars
To chase a girl
Who runs from them.
1.7k · Oct 2014
Broken
MereCat Oct 2014
They were broken children
Their scissored minds ran them
In spirals
Until they sat with crossed legs
And crossed lips
To press themselves flatter
They were cut-strings marionettes
Who danced
In an attempt to wring calories
From their balsa-wood bones
Which refused to give
And who pinned their painted smiles
A little tighter each morning
They were snapped-spines picture books
Who’d been warped too far by society
And had had their pages torn from the crease
So that words hung like razor blades
And spliced from each vertebrae

They took them to the circus
Where they were the **** of every joke
But when the clowns speared them with dripping eyes
And artificial mouths that were stretched over grimaces
Like the dust-jackets from different stories
They stared back glassily
Because how can you be afraid
Of the broken clockwork of your reflection?
1.6k · Mar 2015
Sad Pasta
MereCat Mar 2015
Sad pasta
Is an affliction I suffer from
Because really
My pasta isn’t so sad
I just imprint myself upon it
Written from the voice of a character of mine
1.6k · Nov 2014
Ironic
MereCat Nov 2014
What I found really ironic
Was that my head teacher stood up in front of us and said
“I know what you’re thinking and why you’re thinking it;
Because you’re teenagers and therefore you think you know everything.”

And I wonder if he ‘knows’
That every day I question
The conversations
Between constellations
And the persistence
Of my selfish existence
And I wonder if he ‘knows’
That every day I question
What colours we choose for crying
And what I gain from lying
And the age at which it became OK to play pretend games again
Or whether we even ever gave them up.

And I wonder if he ‘knows’
That what he’s said is ironic
Or if he really thinks he made a good point.
1.3k · Feb 2015
If only
MereCat Feb 2015
If only
I could put the corners of your eyes
Into words
They would be like
The skin that sits on custard
And crinkles
Or they would be
The shattering of sunlight
Over leaf-spears
That toy it apart into
Forkfuls of sweet butter
Or they would be
The winkles around the heart
Of a daffodil
One day growing,
The next dying
But always yellow

I don't much like the colour yellow
But there's a richness to it
And a glassiness
And an optimistic up-swing
That I see in the corners of your blue eyes

If only
I could put the corners of your eyes into words
Because we've all sold out
Of happy poems.
We've all sold out of happy poems
All the new poems on my feed this morning
Hated life
And most of my own do to
So
Why not
Try to amend this?
1.2k · Oct 2014
Classroom Exchange
MereCat Oct 2014
You said:
“I’m sick of poetry.
I bet the first poet was ******
But they all just copied him.”
I said that
Poetry wasn’t like that
It was words spilling
From an overfilled glass;
They staggered and slurred
On the page until
They seemed to have a meaning.
And you said:
“Exactly.”
MereCat Dec 2014
Six a.m. and the morning leans
To kiss the night;
The streets are full of stars
And sleepwalking business suits

The citrus woman
With peroxide blonde hair
And peroxide blonde fingers
If she spoke I imagine it would sound
Like lemon trees and smoke
Her cigarette burns holes in the sky
But when she passes me by
She smells like the Boots Cosmetics Isle
She paints the yellowed-ivory
Of her finger-claws
With crystallised orange
To cover the nicotine stains
And maybe I think I recognise
My lemonade shampoo
And tangerine hand wash
Like a setting sun over Sicily

The beer can boy
With stuffed up hair
And a stuffed up liver
He’s grey like a November playground
Once all the children have grown
And he’s hole-punched right through
I might think he was heart-broken
And trying to see how many other lost souls
The bottoms of bottles hold
If he wasn’t here every morning
Lolling down the pavement
Like a spring stretched too far
Asking for a paper
That I’m not allowed to give
And trying to drown himself
In the pooled rain under the streetlights

The coat-and-cardie bundle
With wind-swept hair
And wind-swept grimace
Like a tornado tore up
The geography of her personality
And left it with just a bike and a death wish
And those features heaped together
Between chimney-tops and table tops
For consolation
Her feet on the pedals while her hair throttles
Because she’s unlit
Unseen, unprotected
And she rides like this morning is the last
As if she knows that skulls
Crack like eggshells sometimes
And handlebars are sometimes not in front of you.

If my Dad was here he’d see
A smoker
A drunk
A dangerous cyclist
But I see lemon zest and love hearts and black liquorish
After all I’m at home
Among these mistakes
That the morning hours make
Paper round = poetry writing
1.2k · Feb 2015
My Rage Song
MereCat Feb 2015
You know that moment
When you just want to
Shatter everything
And you want to have the power
To tighten it all into the
Clenching ball of your fist
And all you are searching for
Is some sort of hole in the canvas
Some sort of loose thread
Of thoughts
That you can staple around your fingernails
And t
e
        a
r
You want to slice upon the sky
Let the sun bleed out of it
You want the ground to rupture,
The carpet to erupt
The clock faces to be seared right off
The only satisfaction
You can imagine is one made of
f
r
    a
g
             m
   e
n
           t
      a
t
       i
o
n
   ?

You know that?
Yeah.
This is my rage song.
MereCat Dec 2014
A dancer’s world is brimming with mirrors
So that you can identify the flaws
And meticulously correct them.
I saw that I was too fat, repulsive,
My leotard stretched too tight
Across rounded plains of skin,
I tried to correct it.
Thinner, thinner,
I said.
Better
Better.

One day
A collection of voices
Paid me a holiday visit.
They liked it so much
They never went home.
I don’t know why they liked it
All they ever did was shout at me
And tell me I wasn’t good enough
And make an insecure monster out of me.
They chewed me word by word and swallowed.
I asked to be left but they never repacked their suitcases.

I never meant to be a murderer, death’s employee
Not even when I was killing did I intend it
It was all accidental, I swear, honestly.
But even that won’t convince me
To stop washing off the blood -
Maroon aura blooming
And blooming until
Washing, washing,
I thought the
Stain got
Smaller.
Not.



'wait a minute shall we not dissect further and twist the scalpel and tease apart sinews until they're all just science and shall we not draw diagrams and observe the peculiarities of their ways and shall we not uncover their biology and their phycology and investigate a hypothesis without coming to a conclusion shall we not forget their humanity write them down as chemicals and failed reactions and have done with it shall we not turn impersonal and...

sorry, I forgot they were people.'
I'm not too fond of insensitive people
1.1k · Feb 2015
Dick Whittington
MereCat Feb 2015
In my town
    The streets are paved
         With gold
              Because the rain
            Runs an infinitely unfinished race
        And the streets
   Are run thick with sky
       That swills above blocked drains
            And the street lamps
               Take a bathe in the puddles
                  And their lights
                       Unravel and swim
                     And sometimes
                  The wind gusts through
              And lacerates the
           Rivers of hoarded treasure
       So that our good fortune
           Is molten and fickle
             But somehow viscous
                  And the promises
                        Of our childhood
                            Wrinkle like
                               Aging skin

In my town
       The streets are paved with gold
           And so are the broken pieces
   Of their beer bottles.
MereCat Dec 2014
Love.


I grew up in what I later had labelled for me as “une famille anglaise typique” which consisted of me, my brother and my parents. It was as typically happy as those typical families that can be found in typical children’s books and children’s imaginations. We were that ‘close-knit family unit’ type family and we fitted perfectly into that ‘ideal family home’ of our typical red-brick English terraced house. It was one hundred years old but felt older and we went to church on Sundays. We were boring, safe, long-skirted.


We loved each other with the sort of love attributed to our type of nuclear state and I’ve always found it both funny and convenient that nuclear is a word for both bombs and families. Like the people who thought things up had wanted to draw our attention to how we were a touch away from detonation and a mere countdown from demolition.


Mummy blew me full of buck-shots; her Love was fired in rounds. Each cartridge of anger settled deep but left only pleasant traces behind. They lodged beneath my skin, etched with Protection and Compassion and Parenting, and those words bled internally into my immune system so that I knew how to identify hatred and remove the threat of it from my body.


Love.


If you’d asked me of Love I would have said that Daddy rubbed it through my hair when he said “Goodnight” so that it crept through my dreams when I slept. I would have told you how I’d clung to the fence of the infants’ playground until my brother had come to tell me that it was OK to let go. I suppose I might have said that it was an underrated ingredient in Mummy’s baking that she kept in a cupboard all by itself.


I would have passed you as many clichés as you could bear to take and I would have delivered them all in the half-smiling manner of a typical intelligent six-year-old girl.


Love.


We don’t sell clichés anymore. The business of Happy Family Stereotypes fell flat and we bailed out of the sinking ship in divers’ gear that only made us sink faster. Mum forgot to restock her shelf of ingredients and the time for Typical skidded through our fingers like shopping lists and childhood.


It’s not that we no longer lace our shoes with the same strings; only that the strings have been forced to fray and have shortened themselves with knots. It’s not that we don’t continue to Love each other but that we ceased to remember to love ourselves and, when we did that, there was somehow less Love to go round. What should have been an excess curdled and I watched it rise like water vapour from hedges after a frost.


On all of our To Do lists we manage to exclude the most important detail: Love Yourself. If we were to remember the task’s existence then we’d procrastinate a bit until something easier came around. We overlook ourselves and yet people still say that we humans are selfish creatures.



Too selfish to Love ourselves?


It’s not simply that self-deprecation is in fashion (although it is) or merely because we want to draw pity from those who spectate our lives (although we do) because it is with utmost sincerity that my friend and I agree that “if I was my friend, I’d loath me.”


We sit in town on benches by the fountain that sometimes forgets to spout water and rinse out the colours of our lives in the summer rain.


She says;


“Sometimes I’m scared that my friends don’t like me, because I can only ever see myself as annoying.”


I say;


“That isn’t a 'Sometimes' thing, Evelyn.”


Love.


It’s such a difficult thing to hold onto; like an idea or an aftertaste.


She laughs like I was cracking jokes on the paving slabs and says;


“Do you think we’ll ever grow up?”


And I ponder it because I know we’ll grow old but that’s not really the same thing at all. I wonder if I’ll ever grow out of my petulance and fantasies and idiocies and excuses.


“Not really. I don’t want to, to be honest.” To be honest; I say it like I'm the sort of person who wears truths around their neck and invites others to borrow them.


“Me neither. Everyone wants to fast-forward to Prom and then hold time there like, like, I dunno - like they would hold someone’s hand.”


“I don’t.” How relieving it is to confess that I have no interest in the event that 'you just have' to Love.


“Me neither.”


“It’s just an awkward excuse for dressing up and then standing around, pretending to look pretty.”


“You going with anyone?”


“Of course I’m not,” I laugh and hope that she isn’t either so that we can carry on being two lonely, ignorant, inexperienced best friends who’ve never tasted kisses and who have no concept of the term voluptuous. Boys don't fancy girls with flat-chests and freckles.


“You should go with Aidan.”


“Why, because we’re both as short as each other?”


Love.


I laugh at her suggestion even though I know how stepped-on I’ll feel when he arrives at Prom with a tie in a shade that fits my dress and an arm around another girl.


When I was nine, I followed an instruction manual for making a Secrets Box and the first secret I squirreled away was his name. I wrote it on a piece of paper and punched love hearts into it with red pen.


Love.


These days we’ve taken to exchanging banter in Tutor or Maths and I always make sure that I never make anything that’s too much like eye contact in case of humiliation. I busy myself with the fear that, if he looked at me too closely, he’d realise that I was staring back at him with my nine-year-old self. He’d recognise in my face that I still have the secrets box, empty of all but his name, and although I don’t quite believe that I’m in love with him I know that I smile inside when we have good conversations. I know that if he asks me to Prom, I’ll say yes and not just because he is the only boy with whom I am on eye-level.


Love.


“It’d be cute,” she says and I lean away, holding up my hands as a protest and a shield.


“God no.”


And here I go, hating myself again because I have absolutely no intention of ever telling her that I keep my heart like a secrets box. I confide enough in her to say that I don’t care for myself but starve myself of honesty when it comes to caring for someone else. For which, in turn, I procrastinate on the task of self-centeredness a little longer.


Love.


I don’t know much about Love. I know that there are four types – Philia, Storge, Eros, Agape – but who could say where exactly they filter into my life? I know that I ‘love’ beaches, I ‘love’ Rolos, I ‘love’ pencil sharpenings and the smell of good books but the truth is that, when it comes to Love, I'm a sherbet love heart that's been left to dissolve in a glass-jar ocean. I'm a Cadbury's Dream that chose to melt itself out. I’m a strawberry lace that someone likes to chew the end of.
not a poem really
1.0k · Dec 2014
Snow Angels and Fairy Lights
MereCat Dec 2014
There are two ‘Institutions for the Mentally Ill’ in my town
One is grimly Victorian. Lunatic Asylum.  
Forgotten by all but the pigeons and pylons
As it thrashes and wrangles and mangles the memories
Of the ghosts of the ghosts that lived out their non-lives there.
The other is a modern, glass, Christmas tree
A circus tent in brown and beige
Like sepia and coffee stains.
You aren’t Lunatics anymore, we got told
Like renaming a problem could diminish it.
You slip past us just a little too quickly
So that you don’t see the woman who smokes cheap cigarettes
Out the front
And who bites December like it was something that could be torn from the walls
And pressed out of sight somewhere
And the metaphors in her head get muddled in her oesophagus
And she speaks to a man who’s never been evicted from her right ear
And who’s never been born or been buried but has simply whispered
With meretricious comfort
Up the road you could pay to gawp at the carol singers
But why bother because she’s singing
Driving Home For Christmas
Like no-one ever wrote her a melody or an audience
Gives a nice festive atmosphere, our psychiatrist said
And I asked the car park if optimism had ever been so odious
And if the snow around our feet was ‘festive’ and ‘nice’
While a girl as papery as December
Tried to smother herself in it
She rolled it in her bare hands as if hoping there’d be nothing left of her
If she could only freezer her heart
And scrape back the whiteness of the snow and her skin to the ivory
That still lingered beneath
Unstable death trap, rigged scaffolding
Although it was threatening to slice its way out
From her shrinking face and arms and thighs.
She lay down and made a snow angel in the hope that she’d become one
If she could only riddle out a way to please Anorexia.
And did the car park see that no one cares that there’s a fourteen year old
Who’s hung a cigarette from his lips and is chewing on it
Because what more damage can be done
That isn’t already curdled and notched into the skin of his wrists?
And written into the lining of his skull
Or branded in each heckled vein or carved into his gums
By the lip piercing he’s worn since he was twelve.
He has pulled the arms of his sweater beyond his finger tips
And hugged them into him to stop the secrets
He’s stashed there from spilling in front of a car.
If only he could forget what he was.
And I kick my boots against the curled up world
And want to shout it out of my vision
And want to ask if I’m thinking ‘nice festive’ thoughts
Because I’m thinking about the snow I’m ploughing  
And the way that I’d like to tie fairy lights
Over my eyes until I can’t see anything but fairy tales
And I’m thinking about our parade of broken-bottle people
Wearing masks so empty that we don’t look human
Not to you
And I wonder if this is enough of a pantomime for you
That I’ve dressed my thoughts up in drag
And they’re telling you a ****** joke from a ****** Christmas *******
Thoughts rolled and congealed like the rims of strained bathtubs
Thoughts broken and fleeting and self-imploding like headphones
That got left to tangle beyond redemption in a back pocket
Too far gone to be saved
Thoughts that are forever curled back to the replay button
Re-destruct, re-punish, re-****
Pink Elephant thoughts that will never be sorted and thrown out
Cynical self-disposal
I’m on a retrieval mission that never knows what it’s trying to find
Because I’m a Chinese doll
And each face is cruller
And uglier
And blanker
Than the one before it
Until at the centre you find that the last doll is missing
And there are only a few jumbled messages where she’s supposed to be
And fairy lights
And maybe a memory of when Christmas meant stockings and fireside
Not carparks and frigidity
If only all my ******* repeats led to redemption.
Look;
We’ve built you a snowman, is that enough of a freak show for you?
Can you move on and join the carol singers in glorifying God
Safely out of Purgatory and back on holy ground
Or do you require something more?
The pitiful Christmas Dinner that’s currently being counted out in teaspoons?
The girls and the boy who’ll press their fingers across their lips
Like prison bars
And keep themselves under lock and key in their own
Lunatic Asylum
987 · Oct 2014
Masked
MereCat Oct 2014
Each morning
You add another layer to your mask,
Eat another grain of eyebrow,
Bruise the fringes of your lids a little darker
Are you so afraid of your beauty
That it must be swaddled?
You singe you scalp,
And dye your lips
So that colours crumb in the creases.
Sometimes I wonder;
Do you even recognise your reflection?
977 · Mar 2015
Vacancy
MereCat Mar 2015
I'm liable to forget
That we all have phantoms
Hollow spaces
Dug and never refilled
And it was only last October
That I began wondering
Whether you miss your baby brother
Who never breathed
Your parents named him John
And I began wondering
If
Like me
You sometimes fell
Into the caverns and abysses that gaped
From the expectant space
In every family portrait
And whether you occasionally lost yourself
In the pregnant air inside your house
That anticipated an un-breathed child
An unused bedroom
And grew thick and stale
In it's emptiness.
I'm liable to forget
That we all have dropped stitches
And voids
And holes in our favourites scarves
Our brothers slipped down the plughole
But I mostly forgot about yours
Because mine was blood
And yours was always
As fickle as water.
I'm a selfish person. I think I am the only unravelling cloth. Realistically we've all been tattooed.
I did not even consider this until October
924 · May 2015
Where do all the ghosts go?
MereCat May 2015
They become names
Like the rims of baked-bean tins
That have to be handled with care

They are a bunch of flowers
Tied to a lamppost
Or a bench with words carved in

They are a Wikipedia page
Or a library shelf
Or a nothing
A nobody

They swell into memories
Wilted and swimming like wax
They seem to be stood there
When the sunlight blusters
Over dust
Because dust is just dead cells
That we all inhale
Exhale
Like we’ll choke them back into existence

They reside in half-empty
Boxes of tissues
Cigarette packets
The bubbles in lemonade

They become a mantelpiece of photographs
And sympathy cards
Broken toys
Empty T-shirts that you’ll try to turn into puppets
Sat in their wardrobe

They fall into certain songs
Certain car journeys
Occasionally they borrow your tongue
To continue voicing certain phrases
Certain people
Certain places
Certain rooms
Certain tastes
Certain seasons
Certain sunsets

Or maybe they just toss and turn
Beneath the church built of handkerchiefs
Like commuters coffined into underground trains
Wondering whether they can still believe
In tunnels
And golden lights.
845 · Dec 2014
Porphyria's Lover
MereCat Dec 2014
Sometimes I want to shake your head from your shoulders
Try to dislodge the barbed twists of your perverse thinking
And the ideas spearing through your tissues
Like whaling harpoons that hooked their many heads deep
Latching and Leaching

Because you might have ****** your packet of Love Hearts a little too hard
Until it crumbled and fizzed in desperate ecstasy on your tongue
And the rest in the tube read MISS ME
Whenever you asked

But you are not Isolde,
Capulet, Karenina or Earnshaw
And as much as you desire the piercing pity of your broken collar bones
The caress of the lost-souls melody and the razorblades of a ribcage
The bitter corset of an appetite that pays for itself in crocodile tears
And the romance of a noose of flaxen hair
You are not Porphyria
And he is not her lover
824 · Apr 2015
Window Boxes
MereCat Apr 2015
From the window she sees
A sponged together sky
And chalky clouds
And a trail of wisteria buds
Which dribble into the street
From the window she sees
The men who watch cricket
Scoffing at the TV
Above their takeaway opposite
And she sees the polystyrene cartons
That people leave in their gutter
From the window she sees
A drabble of changing children
A laugh, a scrabble, a sliver of a tear
A road that’s been scrubbed down grey
And little dust particles
That creep upon it and sing
And break and smile, relentless
From the window she sees
Hope
And prays she’s not outgrown it
MereCat Nov 2014
04:14 and the shadows are long
A boy pressed into a rail-side bench
Raises his arms to shelter himself
From the cloudless sky
He ticks off seconds with the twitch of his left knee
And the jump of his unhinging jaw
He falls
He falls nowhere
But flat, back, motionless in his seat
Hands cocooning head like a heavy day’s work
And then digging up and pressing down
Trying to rid himself of the sounds
Which splice him like glass shards
Or screaming shrapnel
And mutilate
His view of a pretty English station
And a blue steam engine
Beaming like the moon for which it was named
04:18 and he sets himself straight
Like ***** shoelaces
Or cards on the mantelpiece
Winds a bit of string
Around his wedding finger
And croons
As a man inside a toddler
Re-wired refrains
Lick his lips like soup stains
       Pack up your troubles…
                Long way to Tipperary…
        In your old kit bag…
                                 I wonder who’s…
                My heart’s right there…
                                 Kissing her now…
         Smile, smile, smile…

And from my compartment
I watch him fade like
An ink blot from a pillow case
While a boy who looks a lot like him
Turns with purposeful avoidance
And takes the opposite view
Of a pretty English station
He soothes the angry creases
Of his forehead
Of his uniform
And smiles
Smiles
Smiles
And mutters to himself
And they said it would be over by Christmas
04:14 and the shadows are long
A boy pressed into a rail-side bench
Jogs his knees
With the obligatory poppy
His mum pushed into the zip of his winter coat
Drooping like a hangnail
He is busied and hassled
By the phone in his palm
It plays an odd kind of game
Where those who die
Are allowed to come back
And press *Retry
792 · Oct 2014
The best days
MereCat Oct 2014
The best days
Are not the Best Days
Or even the good days
They are the unremarkable
Inconsequential
Days
When you take a step away from yourself
And observe the rise and fall of a moment
From beyond its swell
When you are driving fast
Through a slow-moving night
And the headlights are smearing themselves on the roads
Like they’re trying to redecorate
And the radio is singing Yellow
And you turn your head out the window
To find a moon hung there
Blue-tacked to the infinity of sky
As thick and yellow as your grandmother’s smile
Or when it is winter and the sun has set
But the world doesn’t want the day to be over
And so pulls a musty, mustardy-grey blanket
Right up to its neck and prays
That the time for streetlights
Will insist on running ahead of it
Or when the shadows grow long in summer
And they fall like dust on the sand dunes
You run down to the sea
And try to hold it in your hands
Until the tide prises it from your clenching fingertips
Or when the sunrise is pink
And the cloud caps skid
Like ice-creams on hot plates
And you can’t help but bask in
The creativity of God
The painter
Who’s masterpiece could simply not be framed
And hung on your kitchen wall
And for a little while you want to be able
To lick the colours and candyfloss
Until someone says that little rhyme
About red sky in the mornings
And a shepherd’s warning.
Last night I was driven fast through a slow-moving night while the cars redecorated the roads and the moon smiled in the same colour as a Coldplay song on the radio
788 · Mar 2015
English Lesson (10w)
MereCat Mar 2015
Learning Objective:
Discover hatred for a poem you previously loved
779 · Feb 2015
Ma Ville
MereCat Feb 2015
I live in the bottom of a tea-cup,
the basin of an English town
that is no more remarkable than any other English town.
It has little flair,
too much submissiveness,
many characters but no character.
It is a stencilled town convinced that it is something more
than margins.

Front gardens are filled with bits and pieces
of broken things
that are perpetually leaving.
Cardboard boxes,
disconnected fridges,
unfinished patios,
wellingtons that have paused to collect the clouds.
The crocuses have frostbite
and the lawns are fraying at the edges
like muddy carpet.
As you follow the road the houses get bigger
and their front doors get shabbier.
Paint peels like sunburnt skin
and the road stains yellow.

The old and the new mix obscenely;
two girls, tied at the elbow,
crack their feet on the sound
of their sisters’ high heels slapping paving stones.
Most people have got extensions
that have left their house in two pieces,
the bricks never seeming to meet.
Gingham table cloths hang out to dry,
a red double-decker teeters on a corner,
biked teenagers slip through the net of the Friday sky.

It’s a green-ish evening
and the clouds are strung like DNA blots
around the blurring sun.
The light’s not strong enough to dry your bones but,
when you look at it,
it seems to have exceeded any outline.
A slab of sky is golden.

The allotment is rows upon rows upon rows of bamboo canes,
browned like apple cores.
Chicken wire and faded Wendy houses
slouch upon their soil trenches.
It is a patchwork of mediocrity;
the beige and the brown and the grey
overtake the green.
Tin cans stud the place
like piercings on the body of an ex-punk;
only dead things grow
and the colours have been switched to mute.

There’s a market on Saturdays
where strawberries will cost you the moon
and where egg boxes are recycled
until they drip in the rain.
My grandparents remember my town in its embyonic stages,
my parents remember when it still was framed with local business,
I remember it when Shakeaway was a fruit and vegetable store
that sold palenta on Wednesdays.
My town is locked in a cycle of self-improvement
that it never seems to benefit from.
It is infitely greyed
and nothing more or less than ordinary.
Boys with blackheads pretend that they understand parkour
and the haberdashery closes down.
Each month, the window displays alter to no avail
and the dust sinks a little closer
to the pages we’re constantly trying to turn.

I live in the bottom of a tea-cup
and I never stop trying to read insubstantial fortunes
from the dregs I’ve left behind.
Walking to my ballet lesson I realised how stupid the task of "describe your town" is in French class when I am hardly capable of constructing an answer in English...

I also apologise for the fact that this is not really a poem (just prose that has been chopped up into segments) and that it's probably very long (I can't really remember) but I hope it has some worth to it...
776 · Oct 2014
Holiday
MereCat Oct 2014
The holidays are chocolate,
Like nectar on the first square.
Days piled up to mountain ranges,
With heady scents of dizzy sugar promises.
And the whole week, expectant
In my waiting palm.

I eat like the starving
My mouth sours with greed
And my throat is thick with time.
Time gulped and wasted and sickening.
Compelled by addiction to continue
Hewing the diminished peaks.

And then all that remains
Is the corner of weekend
That reluctantly melts itself out
In the cradle of my tongue. Bittersweet.
And the excess floods the cracks
Of my famished lips.
Half-term holiday starts today... determined not to procrastinate as much as I normally do...
Am already procrastinating.
MereCat Feb 2015
i've been looking for poignant truths
that i can force into poetry
recently
things that will be like pebbles
into ponds of thought
concepts veiled in fact
overlooked ideas that i could
reconstruct my life
around
because poignant truths
are like raspberries
late in the season
rare sweet and sunny
only a few ever find them
i tried to scrape back the dust
and the rust
of my mind and
hoped to
discover that i had some
sort of enlightenment stored there
like pennies tucked away for
safe keeping
recently
but sometimes a glass is neither half empty
or half full

sometimes the curtains are just
blue
704 · Apr 2015
Feast for the Eyes
MereCat Apr 2015
I’ve watched a banquet of sunsets
In my too many
Too few
Years

I wonder who’s been so careless
Smeared their lipstick
Greasy stains upon the walls
-Grey sand from the football grits my eyes-

The night pulls grey over grey over grey
Like winter jumpers
And woollen mornings
-Pull melancholy over sombre over sunken-

A heaven-smoked cigarette
Just beads through
Its own cloud of tobacco fog
-“Mummy was here. She left her ciggie behind her.”-

The evening is fresh pine wood
I can count the knots
And stretch apart the grain in the sky
-Walk hard and fast and watch the shadow gape-

Indigo floats in heavy curtains
Settles deep
Rock pools and cinema seats
-“You’re steaming up the glass. Pig.”-

It hangs like a dishcloth all thick
And dusty yellow
On some great washing line
-My fingers fumble over the latches-

A lime scarf seeps in like gas
Chlorine poison
All gruesome and gorgeous
-Cut me open with your kisses-

All fades out to aqua glass
Clearer than water
Oceans deep into the atmosphere
-“I’m already missing the now. We’ll never be this young again.”-

White and cut sharp like paper reams
Yet tangible
Like the pith of an orange
-I choke on my teeth, my throat, my words-

Pink props a ladder against the clouds
Parts them wide
And spills out wine
-Like seconds from our sand-timer-


And
Still I cannot
Understand why
We’re convinced that the sky is only ever blue
696 · Nov 2014
Obsolete
MereCat Nov 2014
Once upon a time
I thought I was creative
And that my imagination spilled
like paint left to dry in the rain
Or perhaps I thought I was freshly-picked
Or new
Or exciting
Like the first leaf that falls in Autumn
Or a first kiss in the clumsy semi-darkness of a party

Now I realise that all my poems just sound the same
695 · Oct 2014
Streetlamp Sonnet
MereCat Oct 2014
Although I’ve tried hard to forget I’ll always remember
With all its glaring effervescence my first ever sleepover
With my friend who was afraid of the dark and as she hung the walls of the night
With lamp light that squabbled with Sleep over my No-Mans-Land eyelids.
I wondered how you could fear something that wasn’t even a something
But a lack of something. Now I read the weather forecast
In the horoscope of Orion’s belt I wonder why we were so afraid
Of a world of muted colours. Like Light was an absent parent
That returned sporadically and left an aftertaste with each visit
And blew cigarette smoke in our faces.
Like Light was a worn-out lover too painful to label as X
Around whom we’d begun to orbit and organise our lives.
I stand in the dark we’re all afraid of and wonder if perhaps
The night is not lonely or cruel but simply wants to kiss the stars.
688 · Apr 2016
Not A Custard Cream
MereCat Apr 2016
“if i was an object i would be a sprung board from the floor of a ballet studio
i’d specialise in brushing dreams above themselves
unravelling heartbeats
and the stitching on ballet shoes
once tired
you’d cremate me
oh
but i’d have the history of pine forests in my grain"
680 · Mar 2015
Global Melting
MereCat Mar 2015
I realised too late
That I should not have
Tidied us into separate picture frames
When we could
Perhaps
Have shared one between us
Like those other lovers
Who sit together on swings
And giddy themselves
And that I should not have
Scribbled over every thought
And possibility
And guess
I should not have hemmed back
The inch of romance
I once set aside for you
Because the only thing that stopped me
Was fear
You remain my one love story
The sole great un-requited affair
The unspoken words
Between each conversation line
The coffee stains on the pages of my novel
That will forever anticipate a you that is past
And you remain my one love story
You are the love story that I told myself
Was not love
And we were never anything other than silence
And holes in the conversation
Like dropped stitches
When we were twelve
You asked me out via someone else
And I stamped ******* your offered palm
Never stopping to learn
Whether you meant it
And I hope now that you did
Because then it is not so foolish to call you a love affair
And I still do not quite believe that I love you
Only
I saw you today
And my chest
Ceased to be that glacier it chooses to be
Pinned under the lining of every coat
I own
And you said
Hey!
And I hoped I wasn't imaging it
That you were pleased to see me
Because I know that the
Global Warming
Of my world had to be worth something to you
And I have always been something of an
Introvert
And you have always been something of a skateboarder
But you are immortal
In my
Sort-of
Maybe-not
Half-way
Down-trodden
Hold-back
Confused melting
As I paint the pavement
With the contents of my
Ribcage.
Inspired by me


And Between the Lines by Sara Bareilles
655 · Nov 2014
If this was a love poem
MereCat Nov 2014
If this was a love poem
I’d wind your virtues round my fingers
Like wedding rings
And compare your beauty
To some sort of magisterial
Corner of nature
I’d write about ‘time’s winged chariot’
And I’d send you Sonnets
Cross-cut across desks -
Paper aeroplanes.
If this was a love poem
I’d find all these pretty little parallels
Between you and I
And I’d join our constellations of freckles
With ink chains and metaphors
Until we too enjoyed Paris
In the starlight
Or could afford each other
Rather than flowers
But I won’t write you love poems
Because we studied them for too long
In English class
And wrung all the enjoyment out of them
Like inked sponges
And you said you hated poems
Because they were never written for you
So instead I’ll write about how all I can really think about
Is that I preferred your hair before you got it cut.
Urgh - GCSE English Poetry :/
641 · Dec 2014
She thought
MereCat Dec 2014
When she was seven years old
She thought that dying would be like
Standing at the bottom of a well shaft
And that living was like
Kite-running
And windmill-surfing
And water-mirrors
And strangling skipping ropes

When she was seven years old
She couldn’t see the difference between
Swimming and drowning
And flying and falling

And so she hung herself from her skipping rope
At the bottom of a well shaft
Drowning
And falling ever down
620 · Apr 2016
“Cack-handed”
MereCat Apr 2016
You can never skip an opportunity to call yourself that
Because you’re your ma’s son:
Didn’t get caught up in the tool shed
Got spiked through with the hooked art of repeating yourself instead

Should I feel insulted then
That these cracked, digited fringes
These rejects of your diminutive anatomy
Are how you love me?

You love me with the unvoiced, unexplained idiocy
Of fingers that make Mexican waves
To one particular song
And lure mine to come dancing too

You love me with the whorls where you keep your DNA
Counting the concaves in my skeleton:
Explore them, soothe them
Wonder if you made them

And I think you fear that
If you ceased to trace me as I grew –
A carpenter sifting through the age rings in my spine –
I’d only feel the dislocating vagueness
Of an absence too menial to be mourned.

“Cack-handed”
But I remember different:
I remember your hands like leather,
All heated and scratchy from your pockets,
Unhooking the problems from my mouth.
And how the weather’d teethed on them,
Gnawed away chunks down around the cuticles
Until they were dry and scarred like February –
February getting lost in its own bleak cavernousness

They stir the rag in the shoe polish,
And the burnt spoon in the bean tin.

I used to try to pinch them
But my nails were too soft
And your palms too crusted
But when they tell me “thick-skinned”
I shake my head and think
“No, beautifully cack-handed”
573 · Oct 2014
Self Portrait in Ink
MereCat Oct 2014
“Our characteristics smear through us,
Like colours in a stick of rock.”
He says to the audience of ties and blazers.
“If I cut you open, what shades
Would I find in your cross-sections?”
“If you cut me open,
There’d be a fair amount of red,
I should think.”
I say behind my sharpened teeth.
“And my parents wouldn’t be very pleased.”
Oh how witty I am
With my quick fire of sarcasm,
And petulant spasms of acrimony.
Eight miles away,
Our house is full of September;
Raincoats and Crane flies,
And I water my Guinea Pig’s tumour
With tears I owe elsewhere.
A teacher at my school
Committed suicide, people say,
While we skipped waves
And created poetry from the leaf-light.
They can’t tell us the details,
Of course not – sensitivity is key –
But that tells us all we thirst for.
School clockworks forwards
With a hole in the Geography office
And I forget about remembrance.
He drove a BMW and laughed
Small laughs that coughed with nervousness.
I sit in History, pen-chewing,
Thinking of all these more important deaths.
The school bells don’t hold silences
The year sevens don’t stand
Or bow their heads in room 180
We try making futures for ourselves
And apply ourselves to those things
That still have chances tied to them
Like clover leaves and birthday candles.
We turn on lights in the evenings
And I wake myself from darkness to darkness.
My life consists of the cooling,
Cotton-throated early mornings
And the bike that my brother bought new
Six years ago.
And the drag of my newspaper bag
That claws backwards from my peddling.
The world is blue and grey with rime,
I rip my fingers on letterboxes.
My shoes fall apart from the heels
My ballet shoes fall apart from the toes
My life enjoys unravelling itself
From wherever I’ve chosen to stitch it
And I fray and crimp at the corners.
I prefer to go barefoot
Across the rinsed, diluted garden
That smells of rotting apples.
Ballet tights rolled up my legs
So that my bruised toes get kissed
With grass slobber and the faded zeal of autumn.
Slugs crisscross pavements like surgical tape
Then get stuck and frazzled there
While the sun toasts them.
“Maybe I’d find hopes, dreams,” he says.
“Maybe you’d find organs.”
You’d find me weeping over pirouettes
And geometric lines and extensions.
You’d find a twice-broken arm
And an array of internal fractures.
There’d be shards lodged between each rib.
My parachute lungs, pumping filth,
Would continue to tear and furl
Until they wouldn’t resemble
The things we scalped in biology.
I re-write lists of ‘Things To Do’
In the hope that they’ll seem shorter
But I add all my flaws to them
For amendments and for procrastination.
For some reason people still expect things
From this emptying girl
Who actually thinks
That the one who cut into her
Would be in danger of finding
Nothing but a brittled, bitter hollow.
I highlight my essays
And highlight the cracks
I’m carving in my personality.
I paste impressions of myself
All over my exterior shell
Alongside character traits.
Who knows what lies beneath
The papier-mâché of well-played parts?
My fingers play music on the computer keyboard
More than they practice the piano.
But the songs they make are far from sweet
And rarely beautiful.
My parents think I’m working
On Hume, Bentham and Kant
But really, I write jaded poetry
Which forms its own philosophies.
“Your experiences would be evident,
Spread through your character.”
My brother ate away at his life
Until he starved.
They set him down in a mental unit
For the ‘Screwy’, ‘Freakish’ and ‘Insane.’
So I buried my childhood
In the side ward mazes
Of hand sanitizer and tubes and tombs.
“I’d find what makes you unique –
Your religion, perhaps.”
I laugh away the suggestion
That is actually the truth of how
My Sunday mornings fall under ‘Church’
And the afternoons are ‘Top Forty’ –
I don’t even like chart music.
How can I be ashamed of the faith
I try fervently not to doubt?
The sun drips from the evening sky
Like a squeezed lemon
And Monday cycles round again
I live in a little world of spirals;
Eternally coming back to the same place
Just worn a little further down.
I waste my life on the vanity
Of mirrors and self-deprecation.
Sometimes I think I must be arrogant
To make the pretty little assumption
That I don’t have to wear make-up.
It’s funny that I lay my skin bare –
Always –
But can’t manage to strip myself down
To the crudest, rawest truth.
I can only write for people I don’t know;
I let my parents believe blindly
That I’m a creative prodigy
Instead of human
By refusing them the blessing
Of honest words from ink and paper.
But the truth is;
I am not the faded mystery
That I pose as in my writing,
I’m just someone who sits in school assembly
And tries to make self-portraits from words,
And tries to forge intelligence,
And tries to never grow old,
And tries to be something,
And tries nothing,
And tries –
“But what I’d really want to see
Is compassion,” He says.
I turn my face down to my knee bones
And permit myself to agree.
Compassion, I tell myself
And, just for a minute,
I feel a little less
Superficial.
553 · Apr 2015
Rivers
MereCat Apr 2015
Just like the way that parts of the 'Indian' Ocean
May once
Have fallen from 'my' umbrella spokes
So we are never landlords
For 'our' planet
Only rivers
Breaking and carving and realigning
The narrow seams
We touch
Earth Day 2015
524 · Jan 2015
Questions for America
MereCat Jan 2015
How many gunshots will it take for you
To dismantle your pride
And take your pistol out of your own mouth,
Lay it on the side,
And call it illegal?

And is it true that, while I let letter boxes
Give me love-bites,
You just throw newspapers into front gardens
And hope the headlines creep in
Under the doors and through the keyholes
Or is that just in Hollywood?

Your diversity is incredible,
Vivacious and arching as a rainbow
Or a spice rack
But isn’t is sometimes sad to know
That, by your vastness,
You can stand in Kansas
And never see the sea?

Why do you desperately chase after
Our accents and pedestal the concept
Of Afternoon tea?
As I recall you were less fond
Of us and our tea leaves
Back in Boston, 1773
And while I'm at it
Could you clarify what part of Britain
Your British Accent comes from?
No animosity intended - just questions I'd like to know the answer to. Especially 1 and 2.
514 · Oct 2014
Ugly
MereCat Oct 2014
You took a bath
In the boiled blood
And pathological depression
Of the body you hated.

You’d made your incisions nice and neat;
That was your irremovable style.
No chance of missing the veins
That lay beneath your skin
Like sewage works
Churning the thick, weariness
Of your existence.

It was your turquoise fingernails
That I turned my attention to
While they hauled you out
With the shower curtain.
They hung off your phalanx-fingers
With obscene prettiness.
Until your life spilled down
The crevices of your palm –
Heart, Head, Life, Fate –
And crept over the gloss paint.
All I could see was your rusted hand
And your knuckle bones.
486 · Apr 2015
6 Words
MereCat Apr 2015
My heaven:
Sandcastles
Cirrocumulus
Being eight
MereCat Aug 2015
Trying to find
Profound things to say
About the escaping day
Swimming like those bubbles
You blew as a kid into the garden sky
About endings and capture
And letting pretty birds fly

The sky folds into grey
Peach slashes between ceilings

He names each nook and cranny of the coast
As it shuffles imperceptibly closer
“Ever thought of sailing places?”
And just like that
Father to eldest son
He p
         O
            U
              R
               S
The sea into him

“Sometimes it good to be home”
She says of the chalk cliffs
And the purplest of greens
Bruising the horizon
Like the boat that I wrote this from, I'm not quite sure where it's heading
462 · May 2015
Nightingale
MereCat May 2015
She’s yours for a song
So little to ask
She’ll offer you smiles made
Of paper and glass
She’s yours for a song
Too perfect to miss
All she is charging is
Two bars of one kiss
459 · Oct 2014
Autumn Years
MereCat Oct 2014
I miss summer
I miss all its apparent infinities
Possibilities like pebbles on a shingle beach
I drowned in them
The infinite skies
The infinite ocean
And clouds strung up like garments on a washing line
Time was like bubble-gum
And my freedom could be stretched by just breathing into it

I miss summer
I miss wading in blue rather than grey
Or brown
Or orange
Because the trees played
Ring-a-ring-o-roses
And the wind sang the refrain
The sunsets used to suspend themselves just for me
Like a child was commissioned to paint all over
That great big blue tarpaulin

I miss summer
I miss procrastinating minus guilt
I miss flicking through my life
Like the weeks were library shelves
I miss sitting by the fountain in town
Until the word ‘Deadline’ had no meaning
I miss catching busses and the sun dust on the windows
I miss the fact that we had forever
To lick windows and ice-creams
I miss flip-flop days
And catching-rain-in-T-shirts days
And pretending to be limitless

I’ve lived about a decade and a half
So The Time Of My Life is just about due
But I walk home from school
Via the swing sets and roundabouts in the park
And watch the kids who’ve not yet learned
Why trees scrape back their leaves
And strangle themselves with gossamer nooses
In autumn
They fling like drunken spinning tops
And down their hysteria like shots
And I can’t help feeling old
I’m not a young and beautiful love affair
I’m a cast-aside leaf
Who’s only too aware that she’s thin as paper
Shrivelled as morning bed sheets
Grey as the cigarettes God’s smoking
I’ve started to wonder
Why these aren’t known as my Autumn Years
Because breathe me out
And watch me fall
458 · Nov 2014
I mislaid myself
MereCat Nov 2014
I mislaid myself one November morning
Took three months to claw me back
Searched every corner of a blistering dark
Scoured the pavements crack by crack

Spooled the night with a microscope lens
And then rummaged under the bed
Tried to push out those other girls
Who’d instated themselves in my head

Latched myself into my writing
Handcuffed myself to my keys
Fed off the damp of my poetry-drip
Then relocated myself with ease.
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