Your room smelled of drink, and sick mopped up last night; the sun was coming in more strongly, it was nearly twelve I think.
We both lay there, saying nothing and thinking nothing and the sheet was crumpled and ***** beneath us, the duvet on the floor, far away
The room was a mess, and it stayed that way until six-thirty when you asked me what I wanted to eat (still thoroughly hungover)
We ate cereal.
The next day was Sunday, and it went very much the same. The same happy daze.
Today I crawled back to you on all fours, knocked hard until our old door gave way. In the dust sat the used furniture, turned upside down, and moth-eaten curtains that barely kept out the light.
You were there too, thick and portly now, having been feeding on the little things that used to eat through our wooden floors.
You did not know me. You hardly looked up when I called your name.
So, I closed the door and went back home.
We dipped our rags in the toilet bowl and lined all the doors, traded the chipped glass for plastic cups and set the party up on the floor.
You drew all the green cards (of all the colours), and spread the rest of the deck out for everyone to see.
My reach for the gin was clumsy, made you frown, but you chose to stay.
After 9 the die had rolled out of sight but we played still, followed other rules.
When the smell of gas wafted through the room I wanted to tell you I'd changed my mind; like with everything else
You were so sure.
At last, you struck a match
and at that we all clapped.
A notice for the rest is being written on the back of a shop receipt; for food we've had to make do with bread and cheese, and nothing to drink (we never did get drunk together).
This is an easy kind of sadness. No speeches, no fanfare. Neither of us are dressed for that.
Take note, keep your heads aloft that great height, and do not mind the sun for it tends to burn.
It doesn't turn, rather we do into various things, though not the things we love the most.
We thought and still do when we can,
etch small markings on every third rock we pass, then we pass (and we pass on what's been spared for them to carry, wear around their necks until the skin's rubbed raw).
Take note; now you are in transition.
You're worried that I'll invite you as an afterthought and burn the paper on which you scrawled a messy apology.
Are we so alike?
Wearing a hat in the cold and complaining about the sun on days you're worried you might go darker than you are.
Yes, that would be a pity.
These days I can't quite do justice
to the emotions that made me
send you away
I asked a lovebird,
'What is it like to be truly alone?'
but it huddled nearer to its mate
and pretended not to hear
And so I latched the cage
shut and threw them both into the sea
They went down thrashing,
didn't sink till a few moments
Later, when the sun had finally gone down on me
Still I held your face in my thoughts and tried to forget that lovebird song
The bulk of the intelligent thoughts you spoke out loud ranged from how big you thought my bed was, to whether or not all the time I spent riding my mountain bike had toned my thighs.
I gave an indistinct, murmured answer and you went ahead and felt for yourself.
Not yet, you said, and pursed your lips.
Your friend had been impatient to leave all night, and you all did eventually, before the birds started to sing.
I was glad for sleep after that, and I did not dream of you.
You kissed me on a dare, oh,
You godlike thing.
And I imagine you thought it spectacular,
Thought you held me like a king
I could still feel the concrete under my feet, my feet in their shoes,
They caught their moist fingers in the mailbox and left them there to dry.
What was best was nearly always decided (by and by) and written against the softest music. You could not push and toil, one would underplay the sting. Or carry the memory of it, and mail that too.
You're a shoe in through a closed door, a red nose; a brown and orange man, tall with ideas not worth the paper it would take.
The weight of it all is quite severe, a knock to the side of a head.
Heed the warning; write it down, and not to be thrown away in the morning when you toss the covers and air the place out. It is a musty room, but still so full of promise.
To the front and back, holding our hands behind our backs
The both of us moved unsure of what wouldn’t be appropriate.
You could use me for certain things, and should
You remember not to let on your intentions I would give you a shameless
Kiss on the lips
And let you pull me around a corner,
Where we could undress out of sight before you go.
Steely grins to the edge of the bed, from me to you. You seem to know this is not what I pictured; you flex, crease your brow and make a fist as you stretch. There's nothing you could make me believe.
Milk cartons filled with water, brown sugar on a banana. Leashes on kittens and bones for budgies. Fried toothpicks, salted opinions. Walks on a bannister, smiles at a funeral. Whispered threats, imitated promises. Love on a monday, no wine. Awake before 11, down after 12. Truth be told, clothes all sold.
Up up up, and out of town.
Is it this, old miss, you've been looking for, past the fables from the start?
The gold, the grey and the stubbled fray, all but ruined by his heart.
Is it this, old miss, (just an inch too soon) that you've scored into your mind?
To replace the taste of old Jim's face, by now aged beyond recall.
You and I, we no longer
ask for space
We rap our knuckles
against the walls
and bite at each other
Stick pins in the chairs
And leave the milk out to spoil
We drive a hard bargain,
And cackle like a crazed one come to end it all
To be a child again, mouthing sorry in a doorway with a clenched fist in a corduroy pocket, and a stupid smile on my face
There are ants in my bed
Last night you lay there and talked about yourself, and the bread left crumbs; now they're all relentless, the ants are scattered and some of them are marching, over and over the folds in the sheet.
Instead of cleaning up, I wonder what I will do if I can't make them leave.
You tell me it's one of them you're speaking to by
The way you're edged away,
In that careless way,
In the hopes that I don't see, and far too close
In the hopes that I do
If you would make me your copy I'd have half a mind to come undone, tear those things apart that you love so much and break your spirit
quite happily, and quietly
And you would make me a bonanza
Fill me to the brim till I was trivial to you, void of sense
We stood near where the sheep came to relieve themselves; a crumbled brick wall around that old man's house who never greeted when we said hello.
"He's a mean *******," I said with quiet finality, holding my hand up against the glaring sun and you said nothing, you were looking down at the dirt. I took my things and had to walk past him and his little house to get home.
I will follow you
Learn you like a new language and speak it religiously
It's easier to love a thing you don't know,
easy to fall head over heels
The things we do know, know us very well
You went on to become infamous, I went and became happy.
We never did what we wanted because of each other; I think that was love.
She was so far away
So perhaps I stood a chance.
If only you all knew
(and me too)
All this time spent trying to entice you
And you're all dull, and just as sad
I've been told that I was the sunshine, the tinkie treat
Someone whispered thank god for you
You've found use for your head in these long days
Banging it against the wall, and keeping in time with the hands of the clock
When the battery runs dry you will use your imagination.
This, practice this
To hoard my words
Hot against your chest, under the covers and not abandoned on an empty plate, scattered like peas
and left behind
On the stool.
A man sits there patiently.
He takes pity on thoughts woven together in the night.
It's a funny feeling this,
And you're awful all the same, but still
where else would I go when you make it hurt like honey
He didn't look at her again after that
The street was straight ahead and that's where he trained his gaze, for it wouldn't be long
She said nothing else, just smiled, sadly
Wishing for simpler thoughts.
I called it 'alright', and you would have me apologise for that. Before, we both did not know what all the fuss was about, couldn't quite understand it;
You'll put your hand on your heart and say this isn't true.
Maybe it's what I deserve.
The others lived
To see the inside of
And he doesn't know how
Easy it would be
that it doesn't take much
It's what you loved
the most, still do
But he is good.
He is kind.
Ask me something
say it like you mean it
How was my day, and close the curtain, come here
The traffic was a nightmare, you wish I could've seen it.
I tell you I did
Where I live people tear garbage
bags apart and look for gold.
They wait in hordes along the road for safe passage home, and the sun torments them and the dust alike.
(Here) We are all somewhat cruel
No one leaves any gold to be found.
We wave and call out "goodbye" to homesick faces.
We mock the sun.
Word must have got around.
Or do you think he did not know
Did not want to know?
You are just like I.
Word must have gotten around
In the midst of it all
she imagined she saw a dog run by; it might have been a goat.
Feral and white, and bearing its teeth like something that belonged to the wilderness, to the openness.
That place in the south, not Cape Town, but close enough,
was oddly unfamiliar
still, she held it close against herself
swayed, pirouetted until it must
have meant something.
More than a t-shirt
less than a friend.
Don't let anyone tell you I've
never been unkind
lately I've been living for the lesser things:
the used, the hand-me-downs, half worn and frayed, carelessly marred as you straddled another in the car's backseat;
these I have come to love again, in spite of you, clean and new
Say what you will
The boards let the bears tell them they were brown, an unsightly colour
It was what they were
Brown, the boards
What could be done?
He is up in the sky throwing popcorn from his seat
Tracing mountains and making out their shapes the way we do with clouds
He's making faces and making sounds, and painting scary colours in the sky, beautiful colours in the sky
He's stomping his feet and clapping his hands, so loudly, very loudly
He's making faces and blowing raspberries so that it rains
He loves the rain
He is up there, up in the sky
having a ******* hoot
It is time to go home. He crosses the road to a gravel pathway, where plastic sticks out of the ground like trampled shrubs, and a worthless coin half-disguised by the dirt catches his eye.
Perhaps it is alright that he knows no better; rubs it clean against his pants, and puts it into his pocket. There would be more coins, and they were bound to add up.
I went out with you and did that alone too
I peeled back my eyelids, and
belted out the sound that beasts make when giving birth to their young: a hollow, ungodly groan reminiscent of the time you set this place on fire and remembered that I was inside.
Now we are to break bread and speak. I say the sweetest things when there is someone to hear. Cover your ears, that would be best
morbidly, you whisper
when asked for silence
restless children fill their mouths with
their forearms to **** the sound
and almost choke on creased cotton sleeves
What is there to do?
I am high on the scent of this house.
#lockdownthoughts #blackbearreview #oldie
This will find you buried in that place.
Tall hopes are all I have for you, simplistic and naive, in need of revision from you
and you are close enough to the surface to hear
You've built this house out of sticks and stones
Your maternal soul cheers, 'happy as a cloud!'
Yes, the weight of you hangs over us all.
Yesterday you shot paragons of (...) out of the sky
for fear that they would salvage a home from our coarse touches and cool words
This sharp light tastes nothing of you
You were once the sentimental sort,
erecting chairs outside in the name of fresh air
Out in the open it would be too easy to tell us apart
We are butter and clay in the sun
Oh yes, this light tastes nothing like you
Stay true, and swallow the birds whole
I suggested that we consider a world without the other, and put away these thoughts of 'goodbye' for good if that world looked harrowing enough.
You finished too soon and took a nap away from the sun
On your list you'd written down a few kind things, and scratched out a thought mid-sentence.
Mine was three pages long.
"If you were to go...", it began
I read today that most boomerangs aren't meant to come back.
They're thrown and should fly precisely to where the thrower intended, preferably away.
Boomerangs were born bent and angled, deformed with one wing shorter than the other, or longer than the other and more brazen.
While in motion, these wings stay at war with each other as though they were not two parts of the same whole;
A constant quarrel, brought on not by being discarded to the haphazard whim of the calm or anxious air, but by the indecision of which way to go when cast off from a home.
In the end, it's the indecision that returns them, as it's difficult to keep going when you're not sure of which way you're going.
When this is the case, back is where you're propelled, whether you're wanted there or not.
And you're either welcomed by a pair of grateful hands, or (like today) left feeling around in the ground trying to get your bearings.
To starting over
You took your suitcase with you when I told you goodbye, and I think now of how much we argued over how it had never been unpacked.
You wore the same skin from that autumn night on my birthday, till the last breaths of winter had passed from my bedroom.
What do your garments look like?
Even as you are, you're forever changing in my eyes and that is my gift to you: my clothes, fresh from a calm wind on that drooping line and ironed by the sun.
You weren't answering any
of my calls, so I made one more and let a stranger drive me around on
quiet, damp roads in the pitter-patter of the rain you said wouldn't come.
I took him to the very edge of love and then left him that night without even a touch, because he'd have dived in (eyes shut) if he had felt how hot my skin was.
— The End —