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I am a pinwheel, spinning in the breeze
of the people striding past.
They all seem to be late for something.
I’m left reeling, as they hurry by with their lives in hand,
tugging them along
like particularly stubborn children.

I’m still here though.
I’ve stayed where I was stuck in the ground,
beside the flowers that share my bed.
Weather beaten, storm rolled.

I once had a house of cards as a friend,
but he fell when the wind picked up,
scattered across the lawn.
I wish I wasn’t designed to withstand
so that I could blow away too.
One day this building will become old and shabby
with peeling wallpaper, ratty carpeting, and cracking plaster.
One day the only option besides the wrecking ball will be
to sit and wait to die.
To crumble and decay,
to rust and fall to pieces.
Termites will find homes in the banisters,
moths will eat at the books left behin
by the pillaging teenagers that steal the furniture.
Chesterfields and repaired ottomans
will show up in the neighbourhood,
refurbished and reupholstered, saved for mother’s day.
No one was going to use them otherwise.
Better they don’t go to waste.
The old piano with the cracked keys
will slouch alone in the empty sitting room,
savouring what little memories weren’t scraped from this carcass
like the last of the peanut butter from it’s jar.
One day this building will disappear,
making a grave of it’s foundations.
Inspired by photographs by Daniel Barter
I once knew a girl,
back when my posture was good,
we wore matching shirts,
jeans and shoes.
She kept her hair long,
to hide jealous shoulders.

All the loud voices
didn't have a thing to say.
They didn't resonate,
hammering on doors,
denting ear drums,
enunciating mispronunciations.

I played football in times square,
passing glances and stairs,
had rock climbing races
to higher elevations.
My badly tuned feet couldn't run,
ankle bones off key.

There's a saltwater film
frosting my eyelashes,
clinging to my tongue,
holding down my yells
to the quiet machines
that toss boiled eggs in the air.

Up to their knees
in the dark left behind by streetlights,
they rolled up their pants for wading.
They lingered in docking terminals,
standing still,
becoming dust collectors.

Somehow we're all just wanderers,
citing passages we herd
in front of us like mountain goats.
Ambling across empty intersections,
walking in handstand through cul de sacs,
picking up litter from busy streets.

Books for readers wear little letters,
use big words with four syllables.
They showed me how to fence with trains,
ride red wagons down hills,
win marmalade coated cricket matches.
I never judged the typos to be out of place

(I accepted the bits they forgot to erase)
Hold my hand through the bars,
we can learn how to live all over again.

Mind your Ps and Qs, keep them in a penny purse.
wear your orange jump suit backwards,
live out your sentence in reverse.

Crinkled, crumpled and recyclable,
throw yourself away.

You know that it'll take eleven kps
for any real escape,
yet you try nonetheless.

The sticks and stones, the pebbles I've thrown
don't leave traceable dents.

There’s a mountain made of
boxes I nailed shut, long ago
I mailed them to myself, with a shove.

Up to your cell, wobble towers,
tiny boxes creating stairs

The edges curled, cardboard grew ridges,
the cutout dream
caught fire to my bridges.

We couldn't have turned back,
had we tried.

Etched into the walls,
messages to future prisoners;
instructions on avoiding cafeteria calls.

Hiking boots with cleated treads
for steep hills, rocky cliffs.

The extents gone to freeing the caught,
comfortable behind their striped shadows
are left unnoticed and left to clot.

Used napkins on tourist ferry seats,
cheap asian sauce hiding jail blueprints.

Hide in the elevator shaft,
I’ll meet you in the back stairwell.
You bring life jackets, I’ll bring the raft.

We can pretend the verdict swung
and go back to being free enough to visit supermarkets.

I can't breath
my stomach is bubbling
like hot cheese
on an fresh oven pizza

my legs feel skinny
I want to lean into a wall
the floor looks spinny
the wainscoting is squint

my vision is blurry
Why is there worry
in my middle?

I feel fine,
my mind is sound
this fear isn't mine
what’s it doing here?

What is this panic?
Fight or flight I understand,
but this is plain manic.
I need to go

at top speed
or maybe hide?
Either way, be freed
from this distress.


Push someone over,
human shield that ****
reduce my exposure
to hyperventilation.

Shallow in,
shallow out,
I feel akin
to sprinting Mufasa

Pure distress
acute discomfort,
a proper mental problem. Nonetheless,
it’s strange to foresee the diagnosis.

It’s as if I’m watching
from someone else’s skin
as alligator clamps are botching
holding my physiology in.

A sunburn on my innards,
a paperweight within
you’d think I’d feel pride
for finally having something wrong.

Hypochondria being accurate  
the years of inventing doom,
suddenly isn't aberrant
those fabrications had substance.

Or maybe all these thinks
are symptoms in themselves
after sifting through piles of shrinks,
maybe I can finally get some help.


Look at my pretty framed prescription,
doctor certified, messy handwriting,
this will take some decryption...
don’t worry, take your time,

this pathoreaction won't go away.
I’m told desolation
is a temperament set to stay
until after eighteen simple payments.

I’m inclined to reject treatment
of drugs that fiddle with the mind
I’d rather stay present,
continue inconsistency.

I would like to try narration,
see how many kilometers I can recall.
I can deal with frustration,
so let’s talk about my childhood.

Public transit without destination
sends me on a revere,  
an absence of crippling desperation.
I've found peace before

it was between yellow poles,
in the outside pocket
of a backpack on parole.
It smiled at me quietly.


Apparently, it’s the small things
that help you deal with anxiety.
He smelt like smoke
as he leaned away from me,
texting himself with my phone.

We left the campfire outside,
in our shoes by the door
our socks overlapped in a tangle of limbs.

In that leftover guest room,
on the bottom bunk of the microwaved bed,
I remembered why I thought I knew what love was.

He was tired and needed a nap,
I was restless and cold.
Trapped inside because of violent temperate rainstorms.

This boy owed me stubbed toes,
thorn ****** through my jeans,
nicknames and rubber soles.

This was the boy who had always smelt of smoke,
who knocked over dead trees for me,
who lied about being able to rock climb.

This was the boy who went swimming in the ocean
before summer had properly began
when it was still much too chilly.

I taught him a new card game,
he beat me at badminton.
We played capture the flag and threw pinecones.

We sold cookies on the side of the road,
ate dusty blackberries,
traded innuendos and bad jokes.

This was sea-urchin boy,
slug boy,
the boy with the bird's nest hair.

This boy grew taller,
dropped his voice like a used bus pass,
looked past the top of my head.

He laughed when i stepped in a mud puddle,
dared me to walk in bare feet.
This boy suddenly went mountain biking.

I talked extra loud, in hopes that he would overhear me,
offered him rootbeer straight from the can.
Ate pretzels and learned to read his mind.

We shared our childhoods like penny candies,
switching all the peach ones for strawberry.
we agreed these are the best years of our lives.

He layed beside me, underneath as many covers as we could find,
taking up too much space and he knew it.
my cartoon boy.

My hand-drawn boy,
With smoke coming out of his ears
moved away.

We didn't talk again
Toad sand and frog pebbles,
warted rocks kicked and toed.

Tease the ocean with chocolate dipped feet,
spiced and salted teas.

Taper off mid-sentence, paragraphs tepid
long arms and zebra stripes, a crosswalk tepir.

Tocsin alarm clocks poison innocent bystander’s sleep,
slipping things in their drinks, filling their ears with toxin.

Tie a scarf around the forehead
of the middle child. Teach them beginning syllables of Thai.

Throes and spasms of overachievers
motivate for longer strides, faster throws.

Tense shoulder muscles
hide in sleeping bags, badly pitched tents.

Told injuries snuck in when the door opened,
we heard the miniature silver bells as they tolled.

Ticks count every second second, punctuated by tocks.
With each, a twitch, conscious nervous tics.

Titan tool boxes hold spare screws,
on Coeus’ threaded axis, we spin and tighten.

Terne sardine cans filled with mercury,
pollute our science tests, killing tern.

Tied red string around our pinkies so we don’t forget
when to go to the beach looking for clams at low tide.

Tacks pin talented teens to cork boards,
alongside instructions on regretting the harmonised sales tax.

Tire prints border the country,
left by jeeps that never tire.

Tails directing orchestras,
swarms of swan swim, tattling and telling tales.
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