feel the muscles tensing there
softly hear my praises sing
raise my pulse, and pull my hair--
my body is a loving thing.
touch my neck: its hairs will raise
feel my goosebumps spread;
if your lips on mine should graze
i shall never join the dead.
but to you i'm only skin
and all my tears are not enough
to baptize me from how you've sinned
and how you took advantage, love.
grief is fingernails in your palm
when you're standing in a public restroom
wondering why everything feels wrong.
grief is not having worn mascara for four months
because streaked ink-black cheeks isn't a look
you want to be known for.
grief is dancing on the verge of tears
in a math class, because your mind wanders
too often and death looms too large to avoid.
lucid dreaming, screaming my lungs
out of my mouth. my rotten teeth come
tumbling to the ground. don't wake up,
on the honeymoon
a big sugar cube dissolving in
the concentrated blackness.
the bittersweet molasses swallows
my worst intentions and eats away at them
like they've been dipped in acid.
fever dreaming, blemished skin
sinking into the teeth of my bedsprings.
don't wake up from the bleary haze
of teenage heartbreak, trousers torn on
the upturned nails in her window frame
chicken scratched handwriting,
some name carved into my forearm.
a bittersweet searing pain, more appealing
drowning in the sweat patch on
my rancid mattress.
wish for a prescription medication
induced state of comatose homeostasis
the sleep paralysis i'd live with if
the places i visit in my memories existed.
i'm over feeling under the weather.
i want to spend the rest of my life
chasing rainbows from shore to shore
and trying to find my toes in
the curly white billowing pillows and sheets
and fresh oxycontin smelling
bottomless depths of cloud nine forever.
i'm trying to find that fresh pine scent
when you're finished with pining for someone
and you feel like you could finally climb
those frightening heights, and drink from
the alpine air again. and there on that
desolate mountain top: a lucky four leaf clover,
four fresh leaves to turn over,
wet with morning dew and raindrops
brimming with rainbow dust and angel kisses,
the viscous luck-filled liquid that sticks to your
fingertips, and gives you good grip to
turn things around and
pull your head out of the cumulus clouds
and put your feet back on the muddy ground
with your ten little toes right at home
in your old next door neighbour's flowerbeds.
and whether i find myself kicking back on cloud nine
circling the nostalgic abyss of seventh heaven
or i fall short of finding anything
but skinned knees and scabbed knuckles,
or friction burns and that light-headed
wet black felt-tipped pen scented sensation,
i'm trying to find a reason to live again
between my memories and the medicine cabinet.
The Hideous Heart of Scandinavia
Morning in Oslo, from my hotel room I see many roofs
most of them of the same design; tidy, I wondered if they
employed a roof sweeper.
Social democracy in action cold and efficient not given
to surface passion, even their homegrown terrorists is
boring but dangerous.
Streets in Oslo are clean too so spotless they look
somehow defenceless and slightly obscene.
The citizens are restraint, tolerantly wait for traffic light
to turn green so the can cross even if no cars are coming.
But there is another Oslo especially at weekends
when people drink an enormous about of beer fight breaks
out and knives shine in moonlit nights.
The lust for murder hark backs to a shared cataleptic
memory; and you know there is a pent-up passion
In the hideous heart of Scandinavia
melancholy eyes glaze over
the old honeycomb wallpaper pattern
and the mottled ceiling, paint peeling
noting every crevice in your new apartment
my consciousness dips in and out
of every nook and cranny, catching
fragments of the conversation.
we learned how to interpolate at university.
you should always be the centre of attention.
i'd tried to entertain the notion, you'd noticed
my eyes in the ceiling and ushered me back
to the boring evening tea room with a gentle
fingertip or two pressed to my wrist.
do you wish you were somewhere else?
would you read my tea leaves and tell me,
what does the future hold for us?
sticky kisses for the missus just
to prove that i'm no wuss
and if it tastes good enough for you
it's good enough for me too.
don't you miss the blissful ignorance
chinese whispers and rumours
written on the tarmac in chalk
for the wind to pick up
and carry on to other schoolyards
eat lots of pineapple, it'll make you taste good.
did she eat ten a penny aniseed sweets for me?
she seeps liquid liquorice
that binds my teeth in a bittersweet grimace
stretching from ear to ear. she hates the taste
and i hate to share my just desserts.
innocence is a burden that burns
like empty lungs, and no breathing in
again until i get what i want,
bad enough to make the children
want to kill themselves. we want
sticky kisses before bedtime.