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Oct 2019 · 268
The Art of War
Underline me in that little black book
of your mind’s eye,
tapping a pencil on your teeth
and remember when
last time I saw your face
was the last time
was the last time.

And there can be no desire
hotter, brighter, fitter
than obsession in miniature.
Jun 2019 · 68
Goodbye
A pair of heavy, darkly-polished oak doors swing open, throwing moonlight across a wide expanse of pale marble hallway, veins in the stone winding like sinews into the shadows beyond.

Gilded in silver light, I enter. The steel tips of my heels click out a dreamy staccato, treading in the footsteps of princes, duchesses, rogues and queens. Their faces gaze down upon me from the high walls. Immortalised in oils, their traditional, inscrutable countenances reveal little of their passions, furies and secret obsessions.

I turn towards a chair in one corner, letting the heavy coat damp from the night air, slide from my shoulders. I lay it carefully over the velvet upholstery, shivering slightly in the chill, unmoving atmosphere inside the house.

I move toward the centre of the hall. Click… click… click…. click. My heels tap out an intent. Upon a small table, a crystal vase holds a single red rose. In rude bloom, the rose has let go of three petals, they lie as perfumed tears upon the table.  

An envelope is propped against the vase. Unsealed. Unnamed. It doesn't need to be addressed for me to know its content. Virtually every goodbye I've experienced has been unaddressed: I can't bear them any other way. A personalised parting ladens the heart, eventually rotting away to leave a brand in the exact shape of its pain.

I reach out a crimson-nailed finger and lightly stroke the envelope. The action pulls at the cuff of my silk shirt, exposing four rows of pearls circling my wrist. They gleam mellowly in the moonlight, exactly the same colour as the skin on his back.

I hadn't wanted him to leave, but I was compelled not to have him feel indebted to me. His love was weighty, dense like hard-packed snow and he wore his sadness like an overcoat. A good overcoat, and one which suited him, with deep pockets of melancholia and often-visited regret.

A cloud sails over the moon, veiling a fleeting wish for his return. The moon knows when to place a finger to the lips, lest foolishness begin drumming insistent fingers against our better judgement.

I turn and walk back toward the doors, pushing against their resistance, closing myself off to such thoughts.

In almost total darkness, the sound of my heels echoes again. A determined, resolute tattoo upon the path of my own better judgement.

Unseen, the rose drops another petal.
Mar 2019 · 141
Untitled
I am I am I am
Floating,
Sadness, floating
On a well-pool seeing my own face
From above
I am, I am

I tried not to think of you
Scrubbing my mind with bleach thought
And you just came back cleaner

I am I am I am
Sadness, suffocated
Holding down, holding in
I am. I am.
Mar 2019 · 167
The see-through face
Bare-faced, polished like a stone
gazing into pooling deformation,
rank with artifice
pulled as an oxon cart
over the furrows of time

The sighing heart
misted by sadness
is still full to bursting,
and saddled in well-worn pride

A moving face echoes
with spells yet-to-be-cast
and deeds complicit
in a mighty downfall

Joannes and Sarahs
polluted my wants and wishes;
several of them became ash
sticking to wet skin.
Jan 2019 · 77
The lives of others
The house, positioned randomly
At a squat, awkward angle to the road
Isn’t the prettiest sight
I could have hoped for
And yet, it looks like home

Three steps rising to a porch
That looks like a wart
Incongruous and ugly
Slapped on in a fit of
‘well, the neighbours have one’ pique

and wide, sightless eyes of windows
too much glass
in a pale face of peeling, cracking,
***** white weatherboarding

and yet, it pulls me in
invitingly beguiling
in a hideous, ill-at-ease
kinda way

old lady roses on the hallway walls
faded carpets, bare at thresholds
worn by old lady slippers
and too much pacing

and still, I venture onwards
wrapping around myself a cloak
a warm, comfort of ages
cosy in the past laughter
of fuss-less lives

simply living
a simple life
unremarked upon
by any measure of glory

some houses have a way
of turning nothing into everything
and making it sparkle
with special grace

this home, this house
has waited for me
and, while waiting,
has given itself over
unselfish and whole
to the lives of others.
Jan 2019 · 52
Danny
Rise with a wave
And come down, hard
Water is as unforgiving
As a reluctant lover

Your boots were polished
Shining with warm fury
and silence,
like soft breezes
before a summer storm

the twist was felt, three times
hot tea burning my fingers
even with two sugars
it couldn’t have been sweet
And I saw you
standing at my back in the hallway mirror
reflecting everything I had dreamed
the night before

I rose, twice, on the same wave
My knuckles whitened to birch bark
Eyes sightlessly heavenward
I churned like seaweed, and spun
outwards, upwards into space

my skin burned with your passed-on laughter
and, Danny, I knew
it was all forgiven because
I wished to strangle you,
or perhaps I wanted to marry you.

I flicked hair from my eyes
As the tide came in
Swirling, rising to my knees.
I stared down the sun
And waited.
Jan 2019 · 256
A way to break a heart
If you can think about it
Would it be so terrible?
The spoils of a war to be split
No-one carries the winner’s flag
And if I did, it’d break my back
I’m no rider on the storm
Any more than I’m a poster girl for you

So throw it out
Gather back the shattered remnants
Sweep up what’s left
And call it ‘art’
Or call it an experiment
A test of reserve
A nerve of steel
A way to break a heart

Or ten hearts
Who cares?
Who even knows?
or would be interested?

And, darling, what’s the worth
Of a life gone to ruin
Decay was always my favourite aesthetic
my life best lived was always gonna be a mess
it’s my way, my way, my way
but **** climbing a Hollywood hill
for a view of what coulda been

it never was a rosy tale
nor a highlight in the dark
a silly, idle freak of me
a way to break a heart
a way to break a heart
a way to keep the spirit hot
and feel as though the heat
was coming up from somewhere else
across and beyond the spires
the dreaming places of a mind
gone to hell and back

seeing in the dark
isn’t just for cats
it’s for ones who can’t abide the light
we learn to read in shadows
making sense of lumps and bumps
feeling our way along the landing
stubbing toes and cracking hips
and bending to imaginary swords
Sep 2018 · 131
The weight of love
The weight of all you do for me
has made my back sore.

My muscles ache from your care.
The chafing of each deed
reddens my skin, and I scratch
quietly asking for mercy.

I cannot take another straw
of your love for me, my love.
A single kind word
would break my back I fear.

Oh, yes, I fear, locked up in my head
for days and days,
unending, unyielding
to the release of sorrow or sadness.

Why am I doing sixty crunches a night?
To withstand
the crushing, folding, suffocation
of your adoration.

Ungrateful?
Yes, I must be.
Add ungrateful to my basket of emotional shopping
I’m buying.

I should have got a trolley,
But I didn’t have a pound
and now my arms are aching
as well as my back.

If there’s an answer on the way
I heed it; faster, faster
along on feet of clay.

Love is too great
a weight
for me to bear.
Aug 2018 · 1.1k
Cardellino al palazzo
Faded gilding, rubbed through to cracking, flaking wood.
A glamour of ages, sliding, flies to the breeze.

The little bird perches on a once-fine moulding;
Head tilted, one bright eye turned towards the mantle
where a half-blind mercurised mirror barely reflects
an army of creeping vines, consuming naked angels
and the God of this house.

Our hero’s velvets are ruined, dripping and eaten through.
Where riches have lived, decay succeeds.
Nature’s velvets; opulent mosses and emerald lichens
are devouring damask
and smoothing over marbled hardness.

The bird listens for footsteps.
The lady would scatter crumbs on the windowsill
and he would flutter, unafraid,
to peck at her sweet feast.

Once, she drew him.
Fine-lining passerine delicacy,
her pencils fetched him,
and bestowed him an artist’s nobility.
He turned, this way and that,
flashing gold-touched wings,
miming a duchess snapping open a fan.

She’s gone now,
and so have the crumbs.
The bird senses no sugar on the sill,
nor the faintest reminiscence
of lavender perfume, glittering as star bursts
at the hollow of her throat.

He sings regardless,
a mournful beauty
longing to return to a glorious, lustful age,
where light refracted in cut crystal,
danced upon frescoes
and illuminated the ugly –
- to render them enchanting.

He swoops to dance on the mantle,
answered by the mirror
and sits a while, preening.

The gentlemen and ladies are gone forever.
Ejected from history to echo as ghosts of fancy and excess,
undeserving of remembrance or pity.

The bird will never forget.
And knots up secrets
kept tightly in his breast,
committed to his tiny, fierce heart.
The Goldfinch is my favourite bird - both owing to its numerous appearances in Renaissance art and as the silent protagonist in Donna Tartt's book bearing its name.
Jul 2018 · 117
Give Me
Give me the ***** princes
Who glitter in the dark
The ones with crooked, broken teeth
Apt to leave a mark.

Give me a fallen angel
For I can’t abide a saint
Mephistopheles, yes please!
A pietist he ain’t.

Give me sight of every scar
Each blackened bruise behold
A man by passion’s furies burned
A thousand truths untold.

Give me a heinous lover
Not a lap dog to a girl
I shan’t demand a loyal serf
For my petals to unfurl.

Give me a howl of ecstasy
A stiletto in your side
My dear dishevelled Jesus
To inverted cross be tied.

Give me up for treason
Should I question such intent
By bloodied light of dawn I rise
Unrequired to repent.

Who cares for perfect manners?
Profanity’s divine
Give me your hell-bent lust, my love,
And rapture shall be mine.
My lil' homage to Sebastian Horsley, Jeffrey Bernard and all the other **** fine rogues I never got to ****.
Feb 2018 · 125
For whom the head rolls
Tell a little secret, yarn away the night
Smash the atom, darling
make the darkness bright.

But darkness is as darkness does
here in which we dwell
who is counting up our sins
or sounding out the bell?

The bell which could but save us
were secrets only kisses
I'll put down my head once more
upon the block of wishes

And when your axe comes crashing down
to part me from my craving
we're ****** to hell and back, I fear
this love was not worth saving.
Jan 2018 · 114
The truth rings out
The truth rings out
an unwarmed bell on a winter morning.

You, dear, were never really here.
And whenever you returned
it was only for a fleeting moment:
in selfish pursuit of a long-lost ideal.

Being crushed agrees with me:
a seven-year cycle of rebuilding
renders greater strength,
in my fibrous, defiant heart.

You alight only to assuage
a need for reassurance
that I’m still as pathetic
as I was back then.

With glee you recalled
my anxiety and shyness,
and recounted scenes
I failed to remember.

You wrote a script
into which I never stepped.

Twenty-eight years later
I’m free,
unshackled
from your passive aggressive *******.

You’re looking older, finally.
Trust me when I say:
there is no glory
left for me to discover.

A bell is silent
for the greater part of its life.
When the scales fall from your eyes and you realise the person who you thought had the greatest hold on your heart is nothing more than an empty, meaningless construction.
Jan 2018 · 135
Bitter? Moi?
To dream of you, my nose bleeds
I smell metal as I wake
another feather pillow wrecked
another day to ache.

I should sleep on only earth
give my essence to the ground
another link uncouples
as you the couple found.

She doesn’t seem so much to me
as a photo can but tell
gritty-featured, highlighted -
send me straight to hell.

How comely of you, darling,
to pick an Essex girl
it’s where I left my guts for you
mixed in with cockle shells.

I see you don’t yet trust enough
to picture your accord
trust that I shan’t murmur
the bile I can’t afford.

I shan’t waste time to wonder
at the steel of your affair
curse my spiteful stomach!
I cannot help to care.

It twists me to oblivion
and sunders me to tears
my lower lip is bloodied
as my pillow, so I fear.

Cast the feathers upwards
into the fatal blue
caught on gentle thermals
perhaps they’ll find their way to you.
May 2017 · 1.4k
Bring me back a ruin
(descent)
Hindered by progress, or the idea of progress:
evolution-in-waiting bellows me to hide,
tattering becomes ruination.

Animism creeps,
not-yet hands pushing at dim velvet.
Peeping one-eyed through the past
where had borne such potent promise
immutability lain intact
flumped into snowy thickness
and thrown hard against Georgian glass.

Here comes the stealth of unillumination
thankfully blanketing
they were tied at the hips
and neck,
then wrapped as old mirrors.

That door went nowhere
it always does
those Victorians, forever meddling,
will folly themselves into any trouble.

(resurrection)
You haven’t changed one bit!
I say to myself,
showing you their brand new niceness
***** as copper pans.
Go on, spit in my fire
the hiss is the thing that’s real.
May 2017 · 238
Greyfriars Place
We drove, down to the place where a ghost-forest slumbers as fossils on a silent beach.

To the tiny house: two-up, two down, only one way in. There may have been a piano. There was definitely a small, hard narrow sofa and the kind of paintings popular in care homes.

Playing ‘house’, we nested, in bed by eight with the portable TV - ignited into life from its hiding place beneath the stairs - balanced on a rickety, ring-marked side table, the varnish long worn through.

Watching Saturday night game shows, but not really watching.
Acutely aware of the space between us, your arm touching mine, tiny hairs meeting nervously before began the careful rituals of first interaction.

And. I never did ask you, how or why.
All sense of purpose faded with the dusk as the scythe of May’s cloudless moon unveiled herself to keep watch. Our chemicals clouded and mixed together.

Those mornings were fresher than any since, feet dappled in dew to collect the milk, with a sky so clear my heart aches to think of it now. A sense of something breaking and spilling warmth.

Flatness surrounded us on all sides in an absence of remarkable geography. A view of forever, greenly laid and pocketed over gentle Sussex’s motherly folds.  

I don’t recall us faltering upon the path, laid clear and ever-lasting.
It was to be for all time and, for nine-and-a-half months, it was.

Secrets abounded; what became of those diamond rings we shall never know. Great and glassy, boiled sweets of riches that vanished years later under a dark and terrible history.

Back then, they rested. Hatchlings of a future wealth that eventually eluded us.

I regretted every second of our hiding in that place. Each little step of second a tiny slice of time disappeared of holding you, of holding onto you.

Whenever I hear an old bedstead creak, I remember.

When hung in that moment between sweet spring and the blast furnace of summer, I….

And when the curved bone of May’s dying moon slices the speck of heaven high above me, I sleep with the curtains wide open to her voyeuristic gaze.
Apr 2016 · 429
Inside a star
The fleeting, yes, my heart’s desire

the barely-there, a wraith

Ephemera, whispers on the wind,

impermanence my faith.


I tremble before the eternal

faced with nature’s stand

Beneath a soaring mountain,

being scoured and withered to sand.


In the shadow of mighty forever

I teeter above the abyss

Toes inching and sending down trickles

the landslides remind me of this.


I sleep in perfect hollows

and cut my teeth on bone

The glory of calcification

rolls in my mouth, I am home.


Cascading the ones gone before me

throughout my own blood by their dust

Absorbing a lifetime in seconds,

turning my fillings to rust.


Temporal consumption thus rendered,

my heart winds to stillness sublime

How quickly we flash to our endings,

how rapid the animal time.
Apr 2016 · 445
Blood in the Fire
The smell of the foundry surrounds you
abounds and wreaths around you.
A man of ore, born of the earth

I thought of you as Roman.
Alive, shuddering with the stress
and exertions
of recent war

The thrill of hardship
fresh upon you,
made ever-stronger by violent work
your fibres stretch then relax
to gather in quiet, resting power

Glittered in sweat,
you have raced through history
to arrive, tattered and magnificent,
heaving, and worn like a mountain

I have melted into you -
piston thighs greased with excitement!
As your black-ringed fingers
chase a whitened path,
through my pebbled steam

Our minerals mix:
salt and blood, tears and love
and the hooves of legion drum in my ears,
outpacing a gathering storm
as little death overwhelms me

You are home,
hanging suspended in a grief-cloud
above me.
And I invite you, with a succession of imagined dilations,
to rain down.
Apr 2016 · 370
The Spirit Lab
Breathing in the dark,
Chemicals cloudy
Aged and coloured,
By the breaking down
Of skin, soft tissues
And dreams.

Animals dream, too,
Here in tubular palaces
Captured and floating.
Each footfall vibrates
On singing parquet
And they stir,
Timed by my movement.

Breathing in the dark,
Heart settling to a rhythm
Swaying in time,
With these spells of ages
And a Blackbird caws
At the centre of my brain.

In dim-lit netherworld
Songbirds feast
On plastic berry Bacchanalia,
And the owl eyes a mouse
Who has yet to discover
His second death.

A fox cub
Curling infinitely about herself,
Shows a varnished bacon tongue.
Cutesy and hot-headed in her starring light.

And I…
I stand as still as they.
Suspended in this spirit lab.

A player just as beastly,
Mentally reanimating
Every twitching nose,
Lightless eye
And curious, scratching paw.
Hot on the tail of that wily, elusive beast
named ‘inspiration’, I travelled north.

North, where colours mute
and transformative shadow
bends in darklight,
revealing the world as it really is,
as it once was.

Hundreds of years pass,
rolling back time, boiling clouds
rushing over peaks in reverse,
a tiny tornado ***** in on itself,
and hundreds become thousands.

Rain blackens the babies of volcanoes,
engorges forces with greater purpose
and cleanses every shred of vision
from my grasping, desperate mind.

Thousands become millions
And I am stripped of incentive to try.
There is no ruination, here.
No furious nor frantic need
to imagine past lives
in this manicured, managed place.

High-vis’d toilers scuttle on mountainsides
carefully placing and re-placing rocks,
funnelling feet and discovery
on a prescribed and sensible path.

Only the rain
wreathing a secretive misted ribbon,
creeping in glacial cut-throughs,
is possessed of fanciful virtue.

Nothing shatters but the slate
and the landscape does not turn inward
to eat itself
in gnawing, atavistic need.

It says more about me,
than it does of the Lake District
that I would wrench out and offer
my super-heated heart
to see the mountains fall.
I know the Lake District attracts millions of visitors every year who gasp of how beautiful it is, but beauty is subjective, after all, and I simply found it too clean and almost Disney-fied in its smug majesty.

I need desolation, an unsettling sense of melancholia, and to see the broken bones of a place, jutting sadly through the earth, before I proclaim it 'beautiful'.
Mar 2015 · 417
Contrary
Is it schizophrenia ,
or just simple mania,
that makes me just as likely
to laugh, as to cry?
To know, as to wonder why?

Tides push and pull
washing/gritting in equal measure,
who knows?

In light and shade
contrast, I crave.
Everything must be black
(or white)
at ground level,
or lost, soaring in flight.
Motionless or breakneck
at a thousand miles an hour.
Shielding eyes against glare
or staring into darkness.

Trojans face Greeks,
we're all normal, us freaks.
Cutting a path
through waist-high meadow grass
and fallin'... fallin'....
hitting ground, painless,
on my ****!

I love how the night smells
when days are scentless,
darkness brings secrets
we're all friends here, hateless,
seeking something intangible
nameless and free.

Tell of your secret,
it's between you and me.
Jan 2015 · 2.0k
OMG
***
I use ‘oh, my god’ as an expression
not of faith, but surprise,
of wonder at beauty untouched
by ideology or dogma
as if caught, and pulled, from a dream.

I exclaim ‘oh, my god’ when stunned
not by holy ghosts, but the living,
who do kindness  as though it were nothing
unmindful of securing safe passage
into heaven, or paradise.

‘Oh, my god’, I cry, when words fall idle
or are muted to quiet reverence.
Where twisted skeins of empiric memory,
rush in crashing surf
of reminiscence and nostalgia.

I am godless, but not without reason
‘oh, my god’ being a slip of historical,
idiomatic vernacular.
Even as curiosity drives me to understand
your own ritualistic, devotional motivations.

Raise the cup, my friend
it gives us both what we need.
For you, transubstantiation
for me a divine and luscious tableaux.
For Saint Teresa in her ecstasy no doubt exclaimed
‘Oh, my god’!
Oct 2014 · 877
Above Lucca
They bark at cars, and howl at church bells
Mist rolls down like tears,
While smoke rises in hope.

On a thickly wooded hillside
Within a sandstone scar,
The deer with tiny horns feasts on Rhododendron.

They say there are wolves
Far away in the north
Where midwinter passes fall silent
Beneath a wedding gown of stars.

Send your daughters to the city, my merchant friend!
They will find their manners there.
Oct 2014 · 1.2k
Neurons
I'm trying to forget you
thought by slipping thought
but my neurons keep exciting
and my gut keeps getting caught

By transmitted intervention
masquerading memory
a chemical reaction
molecular machinery.

I blame my plasma membranes
they're only doing naturally
the things that plasma membranes do
to remind me of you and me.

**** these activated receptors
and my synaptic cleft
by strengthening potenitiation
without you, I am bereft.
Oct 2014 · 1.2k
Las Vegas Wedding
The air, superheated, cocoons us
and we drive,
northwards into the heartland
of the desert.

You, black shirted,
your smooth denims
an intrinsic part
of the landscape.
You were born into dust.

I, crisp and white,
a polarised pair
of mirrors for my eyes.

Your hands on the wheel
guide us into the belly of time.
Intent upon a road with no end.

Sunlight hits chrome,
bleeding flashes of forever
into the gaze of any who glance upon us.

The roof pulled down,
my hat is given up
to a vortex of spinning air,
whipping tiny tornadoes
of grit and long-dead weeds
into a dancing frenzy of celebration.

We have no gold on our fingers.
Our teeth shall not itch
with the sugar of a wedding cake.
And we’ll never look back.
Oct 2014 · 366
trust/love
Slowly she goes
winding her black art,
twisting the rope,
and conjuring bonds
of instant loyalty
within your close-****** heart.

Carefully she studies
adjusting the fetters,
moulding a psyche
and bending your wiles,
to her own ideals.

Gently she treads
for speed is all ruinous
to this harm she does,
and sweet cruelty bestows
infinite love, between lovers.
May 2014 · 299
Still Waters
I went down to the ocean
an excuse for killin’ time,
an’ I found time already dead
floatin’ on the brine.

Her face was pale and lifeless,
her dress been torn to shreds,
I hitched up a sorrow
that it wasn’t me instead.

I stayed well after nightfall
just to watch her nudge the shore,
‘cos I think there’s ways of justice
and ways around the law.

I ain’t one for mercy,
I have no light inside,
but I can rise and fall, my love,
just like the turning tide.

If anger finds me wanting,
I switch to gentle peace
the dogs of war snap at my heels
straining at their leash.

Now I’m running from the ocean,
but there’s no place to hide,
this prison cell is closing in
where I will be tried.

For crimes against all comfort,
and ****** of sweet time,
I’m not the one you’re lookin’ for
the dagger wasn’t mine.

Please don’t think me restless,
there was no other way,
to separate my heart from yours
and live to fight another day.
May 2014 · 555
The Sculptor
Some are cast in metal
others chipped from stone
yet more are shaped by hand in clay
what you sculpt, you own.

When your arms wrapped around me
I felt a process start
to render me defenceless
'gainst your sacred art.

I yielded to your motion
gave my skin up to the blade
had no cause to resist
the image you had made.

My essence pooled in trickles
flooding indents as you pressed
your fingertips into my flesh
there in rapture, I was blessed.

I yearned to feel the pitcher
every split an evolution
each fetter of the holy rasp
my growing absolution.

I stand in gleaming marble
posed by you alone
forever on this pedestal
inert upon my throne.

In fatal love I slumber
and wishes are for fools
in luminescent, aching stone
naked of your tools.

Each tapping point a petal,
the slamming maul of lust
where once caressed by chisels
now I gather dust.

I dream of you approaching
to polish me anew
so I may shine in constant thanks
at being made by you.
Apr 2014 · 487
Heartburn
I'm not sure there is anything left to say.
Months of tumbling words have passed,
and I've been wringing them out like
hand-washing cashmere:
gently squeezing, and certain they would never stop dripping.

Then today, I sit here, seemingly worded out.
Testing myself with prodding feelings,
using memories as a nerve-stimulator:
waiting for the heartburn.

Perhaps time is chalk, after all.
Smothering the burning acid
of longing and regret
that I thought would never quieten.

Then again, acid tends to etch its pattern
wherever it touches.
So, although the twist of pain
no longer catches me by surprise,
the ripples
of its movement across me
will always be evident.
Apr 2014 · 681
Night drive
Dusk seeps and blurs the skyline
come the close of day
a pinky lilac ribbon
heralds night unto its stage.

The journey is a long one
clouds heavy, threaten rain
drops fall, refract a tiny world
and get wiped away again.

Yawning motorway before me
the lamps lick overhead
tarmac seams provide the beat
and keep my conscious fed.

Driving through the velvet hours
with widened, tearless eyes
I could be the last one left
under orange studded skies.

The rear view mirror silent
no followers in sight
the road ahead deserted
blank darkness left and right.

The headlights kiss a pilgrimage
from Dartford all the way
up into the Highlands
where ghosts of old clans play.

The cast of fading reason
blindness gives me bliss
mechanically motioned
riding the abyss

of barely wakeful notion
'cross the bones of England's spine
inverted patterns play upon
the windscreen all the time.

Punctuated by reflections
blue signs winking in the black
past Sheffield, Leeds and Darlington
where I'm never going back.

Driving through the darkness
steeped in rayless calm
rouged by dashboard luminesce
atramentously embalmed.

A window down to rouse me
night air beholds a trace
of perfumed secrets, blown on wings
that dance about my face.

'cross this scarred and sceptred landscape
it's said all roads lead to Rome
except the ones we love the most
that always take us home.

The snows of un-illumination
settle gently on my breast
aimed towards the mountains
running north, then turning west.

Though a social creature
I crave the company
of oneness in transition
just the road and me.

Humming, ceaseless through geography
with resonance my friend
dreaming while I'm wide awake
from beginning until end.

The shipping forecast soothes me
singing songs of gales
and this machine is just a ship
with tyres for its sails.

Out upon an ocean
of blacktop, good and firm,
through slow and haunted moments
with no need to turn.

One immeasured here to there
one simple action: drive
unknowing of the distance
only sure I will arrive.

And though dawn will surely seek me
for now I'm content to hide
among the blessed darkness
clasped by shadow deep inside.

I'm compelled to move forever
through ghosted, unlit time
the road ahead unhindered
the solitude sublime.
I wrote this piece about a regular journey I used to make through the night from my home in Dartford up into the Scottish Highlands, to a tiny place called Craobh Haven, around twenty miles south of Oban.
Jan 2014 · 973
Addicted
I think of you and want to smoke
ingest a grateful lung
of tar and air and nicotine
all good intent undone

I think of you and deep within
somewhere lost to time,
a tiny little death occurs
'cos you're no longer mine

I think of you because to not
would stretch my soul deplete,
as starfish grow another limb
my heart ticks off a beat

Eating tears is painless
and in reaching for the moon
I’ve built around myself a cage
and to dig, I need a spoon

take down each mouthful, dirt and stones
‘til by light I see escape
curse my indecisiveness!
I wouldn't know the path to take

I could reignite each death
but would chance occur,
smoke again, and **** the need
of addiction I am sure

So? What if I’m addicted?
each one of us is cursed
or wear the scars of something,
but at least I was the first.
Dec 2013 · 1.1k
Nosebleed
I recall, until my head pounds,
by the tides I shall be led,
the landscape of your body
in the ocean of our bed.

Among terraforming bedclothes,
old fires leapt anew,
my scent was freshly salted
by the minerals of you.

Blood catches pace and thunders
this sea is not so kind,
the ancient powers rise to claim
all the helpless they can find.

Headlong unto the harden'd shore
by joyous, raging speed
carried into ecstasy
my nose begins to bleed.

Small roses bloom upon you
as you wipe the scarlet spots.
So I will lie here, shipwrecked,
'til the pounding stops.

I cannot see another spit
of coast or island land
from the vantage point of head tipped back
ceiling sky and pinching hand.

The creaking timbers echo
with the lifting of your chest,
"ssh, don't move, it's stopping"
so I close my eyes, and rest.

Awakened from a slumber
without dreams or care,
I find a lonely rosebud
dried within my hair.

Your eyes contain the oceans,
shifting immortality
your fingers are still bloodstained
salt and blood, that's you and me.
Oct 2013 · 821
Make me a Fossil
I can’t help but love it here.
The desolation elates my melancholia,
swathes me in haunted clothes
and comforts a need for loneliness.

To look upon desiccated cliffs,
trickling down to meet
the emulsifying waters
of a serious North Sea,
makes me yearn to offer myself up
to the ravages of tide and time.

How smooth I would become!
Worn to my bones
by ceaseless motion,
wearing the patina of eternity.
I would sigh upon the mud
settling into a shape of my own making.

In my heart I know
I’m just a fossil
same as all the rest,
who lie in wait
to be picked over –
anticipating selection
or discardment.

I hope to be discarded,
sent back to the mud
and the incessant ****
of sand and stones.

I shall try, very hard,
not to be afraid
when black night falls.
For I have always been afraid
of that which creeps and calls
through unilluminated hours.

But, if this place
is to be called home
I’ll get used to the dark,
bunk in with shadows
waiting for the trickles to quicken,
heralding the next great landslide.
Oct 2013 · 1.0k
Kissing Girls
I have a secret pastime
more an idle, sometime whim,
to kiss with deep intensity
someone who isn’t “him”.

Now, a kiss may be a little thing
I’m not talkin’ with a guy
but within the lips and tongue of one
who’s double X, not X and Y.

I don’t seek all Sapphic pleasures
though adore the light diversion
of seeking out a lady
to satiate my sweet *******.

Within her scented aura
as her lips begin to part
and our fingertips entwine
sends a flutter from my heart.

The flutter blooms within my breast
as my stomach flips and ties
a satin bow within me
when I look into her eyes.

Two girls, pressed together,
generate a special fusion
gentle, warming wetness
a red lipstick collusion.

Our slipping mouths well watered
her hands within my hair
my arms about her yielding waist
a fleeting love affair.

A tableaux of our queenly ***
lost in transitory joy
of mutual female adoration
momentarily sans boy.

Vive la difference!
Contrast, in everything I do,
the slide of long French kisses
I’d sure enjoy the taste of you!

Ladies, I encourage you
seek out a willing playmate
forget all sexuality
and bend a little on the straight.

Who wants to travel through their life
without succumbing to the wine
of all those luscious, juicy girls
who want to mix their juice with mine?

I think of it as simple fun
no rules or lifestyle choices.
When I scent that perfume on her neck
desire flames, rejoices!

So, embrace the little pleasures
as your path of life unfurls
come on, get close, and pucker up
‘cos I love kissing girls!
Sep 2013 · 612
Writing naked
Even as I close the door
I'm stripping off my clothes
discarding all the fetters
from my head down to my toes.

Throwing off the shackles
of decency prescribed
'cos writing when I'm naked
leaves me no place to hide.

Relieved of every stitch am I
free in heart and mind
all except my spectacles
without them I am blind.

The mirror smirks above me
reflecting all I am
just a little human
born of woman, taught of man.

Cheerful, unencumbered
by the threads of etiquette
a more effective custom
I have not found, as yet.

Though, sometimes in need of character
out come the hats and bows
bare as night beneath a tippet
inspiration flows.

Who cares for mere habiliments
throw your trappings to the floor!
But, oh, where is my dressing gown?
Someone's at the door!
Sep 2013 · 855
Exploding the Silhouette
Conceive the atom of beauty
translate an essence divine
elevate every movement to the meaning of art
thus fashion transcends tide and time.

Distill one pure thought to its substance
as folding the steel for a blade
from the forge of aesthetic perfection
a Goddess’ armour is made.

Condense of three graces their spirit
creativity, nature and charm
here in the realm of the maker
the cut is the cure, not the harm.

Compress me in structure and format
anatomy pressed to the frame
or running unhindered, abundant
to all of my costume lay claim.

For you are the authors of wonder
transform me and cover my shame
my simple shape for your substrate
come, dress me again and again.
A little ode to the genius of Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Rose Bertin... would that I could afford their frocks, obviously.
Sep 2013 · 1.3k
Obsession
Obsession, you’re my ***** word
my secret, wanton lust
for I can think of no-one else
to have you, oh! I must.

But when satiated
shaken to my core
obsession ups and leaves me
I don’t want you anymore.

So, call me fickle, darlin’
just as you always do
I’m not fickle, just bedevilled
occasionally by you.

Though, you ain’t my only hang up
don’t go thinking that you are
I’ve a lifetime of obsessions
and you’re not the best, by far.

Not all are made of flesh and bone
some have no soul at all
but I host their hauntings just the same
always at their beck and call.

I’m helpless to their honeyed charms
so easily am I led
take me by the hand, my love,
keep my obsession fed.

Come, wrap me in your many limbs
pour your magic in my ear
captivate, infatuate
for as long as I am here.

Then I twist my form unshackled
alight and fade away
and you must wait, unknowing,
for only time can say.

If I shall visit you again
one small fancy of my flights
but keep my name upon your lips
‘til my next obsession strikes.
I am obsessed with so many things, for so fleeting a moment, that it's a wonder I get anything done at all.
Sep 2013 · 682
The House on Folgate Street
I am undone -
resonating, thrumming
with feelings out of time.
Suffused with the scent
of orange, clove and cinnamon.

The house on Folgate Street
has me, whole,
powerless against an eternity
of mutating, shifting
happenings and moments.

Twice, the black cat followed me.
Dully gleaming fur
reflecting a landscape
of bunched bedclothes,
that it batted
then bunched some more.

Between the rooms,
landings captured me -
miniature palaces
hung with candied fruits
and mercurised pools
where I dove in naked longing
into both our pasts.

Huguenot shadows
writhed and climbed,
in faded effervescence.
The motes permitted not to utter
a word of breath.

With freshened eyes
I farewelled an age of deeds
in whispered thanks.

How long I stood at the corner
I cannot say.
Rising from a dream
has never taken so long.
Sep 2013 · 354
The simple truth
I am screaming
into a silent abyss
of longing and regret.

I am smiling
at my own reflection
believing you
are on the other side of the mirror.

I am placing my hands
either side of my head
blocking my ears
to the truth.

That you have flown
as you always do,
as I knew you would.

I am shrugging my shoulders
to obscure the simple truth.
My love grows
even as it ebbs away.
Aug 2013 · 1.1k
The Quietened Beasts
I walk among the quietened beasts
soak up their ancient sorrow
for lives suspended evermore
there can be no tomorrow.

I think we are quite like them
for we may never  be
forward-thinking, pursuant
nor together, you and me.

I hand my heart unto the sacred
dagger'd through and split usunder
a choice made in perfect honesty
now rolls in me like thunder.

Of time and tide, I waited
believing bright in your return
the hands ran down eventually
but will I ever learn?

For yet I chance my dancing luck
balanced on the edge
to tumble into history
or stay within my pledge.

I am split right down the middle
as these taxidermy dreams
my insides on the outside
coming loose unto my seams.

I gaze into their marble eyes
dare to touch a proffered paw
I am locked in here, forever
disbelieving what I saw.

Your face came in from the ages
and I tumbled, caring not
of promises I had made
the moment time forgot.

Just as I thought you gone, forever
there you are again
and now I'm living with the beasts
my winged heart aflame.

Fill me up with chemicals
to float, suspended, in my jar
my other life is dying
gazed only from afar.

An actress of reality
I am wholly in pretence
unable to exert myself
I sit upon the fence.

Just as do the quietened beasts
whom my secrets I shall tell
I love you, darling, just as much
as I did the day I fell.

In my pose'd capture
of grotesquerie divine
I am strangely whole again
myself, outside of time.

So, come and walk these rooms once more
pass around my tortured form.
Organs draped and ribboned,
complete, I am, when torn.

Take my body-blocks apart
to only you I yield,
and every little shred of me
wrap around you for a shield.

My parts protect in constance
each step upon your path,
in bits of broken wonder
I shall burn upon your hearth.

For love is all that I can give
and in pieces there are more
sides to coat with blessed pain
oh, love, rip me to the core.

The beasts gaze at me so oddly
I think they feel me vain
for I don't wish of being whole
just of pieces, torn again.

My destiny is tableaux
if I cannot be with you
and, thus arranged, my pieces
show only what is true.

That I may never find sweet peace,
in this body, only strife.
I must be smashed to smithereens
to be brought back to life.

Dear beasts, please let me stay a while
you're my family.
And this old house is comfort
my safe menagerie.
Aug 2013 · 735
All day
All day, I turned you over
in my mind.
Consulted my essence
and found nothing wanting.

Eight hours,
full to bursting -
but telling myself
"don't get hooked".

You, being the truest of men,
have cut me to the marrow.
Where, transparent in your presence,
all pretension expires.

All day,
I felt your sapphires upon me.
Eyes sent to watch over,
and guard every move.

I said this wasn't gonna be
a Greek tragedy.
No sit-com of labours
or dramatic show.

Your voice
turned every little red fibre
of my central nervous system
to trembling coral.

Underwater, captured in the swell
I'm breathing you again.
As though I were born to it,
and have lived every moment
with you... with you...
Aug 2013 · 865
Ten Cigarettes
I wrote your name on a cigarette.
And smoked it on my balcony.
Each lungful, thus ingested,
lets you reside in me.

Across the water
Allhallows gleams, unknowing.
Where, at some previous point
we were separated by simple geography.

If cigarettes were wishes
I'd have died soon death,
in rattling, emphysemic pursuit
of long-lost love.

Simple geography
can never trump
the complicated, honest reality
of time and place.

The cigarette glows in my hand
reminding me that, as love,
time veils promises
however potent.

There are only eight cigarettes left
in the whole world.
Perhaps I'll leave them, growing stale
in their hidden box.

Or, maybe, I'll smoke them all
today.
Then forget
what I ought to have forgot.

For sake of placid honesty
and goodwill, told in truth.
Time is a lying healer
and I'm on a liar's oath.
Aug 2013 · 447
When you came back
I went to bed last night
and true
closed down the day
with thoughts of you.

Regret is not
what fills my head
I wonder at the words
unsaid.

For years gone by
are lost to truth
that part of me
remains in youth.

And though in all
my lightened soul
there is a corner
black as coal.

Where no sun touches
less your embrace
you were my loss
my fall from grace.

I miss you now
as ever more
my heart, the apple
you, the core.

I pick a pebble
from our beach
and keep it safe
beyond harm's reach.

Now in fate
by turn of tide
regret dwells here
not by your side.
Aug 2013 · 498
Nothing has changed
Place your eyes upon me, love
for all that time has taken.
I am, in constant truth, your girl
who never was forsaken.

Two decades and the quad of years
has twisted not your sweetness,
and I must sit upon my hands
lest I reach for your completeness.

Come, stay close, take my life
it's yours in every breath.
Side-by-side, beneath this tree
in tableaux unto death.

There starts a flutter in my heart
where I know my future stands
within the solace of your love
and held in your two hands.
Aug 2013 · 345
The Return
I have held you
This morning, that second
And infinitely,
Outside of time and space.

The intervention of years
Has melted
To leave me scrubbed
And honest.

As the ocean cleans
Each pebble on our beach,
I am as exposed to you, now,
As the ****** I was back then.

I wonder at my reserve
Of not running to wherever you are
For I am full of you
And if crushed would not
Shed my own blood.

A priest passes by the window
Slow and quiet
you, not being a religious man,
Would no doubt laugh.

Growing my love for you
Once more letting it bloom
I am endangering all that is safe and true
For something equally so.
Aug 2013 · 582
Slow Progress
Why am I crushing myself
to death and beyond?
Feeling bereft
for that which I haven't
touched in years.

Leadening my heart,
and dragging my feet
because each step
is a step further
from lightness and youth.

I bore myself with this weight.
Loathe the tyranny,
and mighty pressure
inside my head
which threatens incapacity
of reason every ten seconds.

Why did he come back at all?
If only to suffuse me
with the promise of nothing,
and the intangibility
of all ****** lovers?

And, forgive me,
for ****** is how I feel.
Self-pity, you old devil!
I shall have this out of me,
or pick over it
'til my heart lays waste
all good intent.

I wish to be suspended,
as the crystallised air,
inside the strange house.
Where, this morning,
I chanced upon myself in mercury,
and tumbled through the ages.

As rose-heads wither on the stem,
my head shall fall
upon my chest with piquant,
silent longing.
And so, unto history
a dream shall die.

Should I die with it?
Or resurrect a steely charm?
Neither, sweet prince,
for your fleeting
and unseen visit
has taken my soul.

And, thus protected
from the whimsy of flattery
I stand, without notion,
of which way to turn
upon a once-clear pathway.

Should I chance you in my dreams,
I would but falter at your beauty,
though fail to recognise you -
for I no longer trust
what my eyes alight upon.  

I am torn -
lamenting and tidal -
with hands that were always empty.
So what have I lost?
Nothing, that is all.
Nothing at all.
Aug 2013 · 445
Get a grip
I never asked forgiveness
nor sought a willing shrink
but maybe I should do so now
it even hurts to think.

For love's almighty glory
has shredded me once more
and left my heart in pieces
shattered on the floor.

I'm given to dramatics
of this I gladly know
so safe to say, my darlin'
my pain is on full show.

But what of real misfortune?
Of those who have no hope
who scavenge in the gutter
then swing unto the rope?

I am far less noble
and have no cause to moan
so why, pray tell me someone
am cut right to the bone?

So, I'm pulling up my bootstraps
and putting on a smile
'cos love will come back for me
in a little while.

Of this I am quite certain
'cos it rarely leaves forever
and when I see its winsome face again
an artery I'll sever.

To start the tiresome process
on my own and rightful terms
and while facing certain death
I shall enjoy the burn.

Of a lover's retribution
to put me to the stake.
So here's some flesh and bone, my love,
take what you must take.

Guess 'til then I'll just keep livin'
***** my mental health!
I've got a life of poetry
to get the **** over myself.
Jul 2013 · 665
Le petit mort
I am a fatalistic dame
*** and death, it’s all the same.
Returning, bloodied, from the war
to ***** me on the kitchen floor.

Slick with sweat, my mounted ride
locked and spaceless, held inside.
To have and hold. Oh! Glory be!
And vanquished are mine enemy.

In tattered furs, my Roman king
fresh from battle, seeking sin.
Age and time, the ticking numerals -
why else do we **** after funerals?
Jul 2013 · 589
Oh!
Oh!
Oh! I recall
your perfect restraint.
Sitting back on that leather,
your hands at extremes.

Oh! How I loved
the scent of your neck.
My tongue caged by teeth
longing for a taste.

Oh, you inspired me
re-created my senses.
Your aesthetic ideals
burned into my mind.

Oh! I learned
from dictated desires.
The way to your passion,
if never your heart.

Oh! Your intensity
and visceral leanings.
Exposed me, and ate me
took me apart.

Oh! How I miss
your hands on my longing.
The seat of all wanting
aflame to your touch.

Oh! Such experience
a man of all things.
Take off your shirt,
let me taste you again.
Jul 2013 · 412
In Happy Chains
Formerly of my shadow self
I rent and curl, stretch and groan.
Joints popping, knees creaking,
it hurts to move but not to remain
bound and tied, rope marks biting
of tender flesh, blood tracked snow.

Candles worn to stumps, but last night
their flickers filmed my release,
and your triumph.

If I am to show myself to anyone at all
it will be you.
If I am to be swallowed whole
and torn from faithful moorings,
of sameness and comfort,
I will be torn by you.

Cut me again, or forever **** me!
I shall not change. I am unable.
Jul 2013 · 1.3k
The Lick
One deft flick and so to bloom
spreading blossom fills the room.

A second stroke, blushing spreads
wheresoever the paddle treads.

Three applied, rose unfurled
blood arised from petals curled.

Four to even, in warmth I teach
religion with the crop I preach.
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