Sunday, 30 November 2008
Out into the frost
It is the tickle of each hair pulled taut
for the fraction of a second it might take you
to see me in this light; or your ribs on my cheek
or your dressing gown against my own,
both naked underneath. I imagine you here
but so often you are not, or not yet, and really
what is love but hope? I watched you
through hoar frost on my window today,
not looking up as you walked to the bus.
I hope it was because you hid a smile,
and in that smile, love. But I've heard nothing
from you since; I don't even know if you're okay.
Saturday, 29 November 2008
I keep a herd.
Welcome to the moment of pure creativity.
I used to approach it with the latest laptop
wherever the mood might strike;
words lashed out unthinking.
I bought a desktop, it was unmoving.
I thought it would make things harder,
make me watch my fingers. I resented
that. I bought a typewriter. No 'delete',
but a monumental waste of trees as mistakes
built up – I bought a pen, wrote to here,
biro then fountain then pencil, quill and ink—
it's easy to get stuck on the smaller steps, delay
the inevitable. I slaughtered
my first goat, stripped its skin,
dipped my finger in its blood, used my hand.
It took time, but time enough to consider
what I wanted to say.
Friday, 28 November 2008
I don't feel the power of god
in this place, just people's
intentions in stones,
though they’re not buried there
but in unmarked mass graves
in the garden. Those
who laid brick by brick
the might and lifted it up
through air and light
to the sky. Who groveled
for it at feet draped and dripping
that didn’t know how to walk the slabs
level with a firm and steady weight; only how to shuffle
Thursday, 27 November 2008
The ATM alone is enough to set me off.
The angle of the screen is designed to exclude me,
I give away crucial numbers with a sweep of my hand
I stand with my forehead pressed against the top
where the long list of colourful jigsaw logos brag
freedom! accessibility! I wonder whose skin
has left a calling card of grease.
Perhaps it was inadvertently mine.
The lines of the cash only, balance enquiry
never match up to buttons that dictate
an abstract nature of wealth. I'm not designed for these machines.
I stare blankly each time at the numbers and think
what would happen if I wiped the lot
to zero, cut and run, took the money home and counted it
out in fives and tens; but I know. I'd take it back
to my bank in an enveloped wad, thick as my sweaty fist.
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
I prefer to go unblessed.
You tell me it says a lot about a person,
depending how they sell it: I prefer
to internalise, and though I am not superstitious
I close my eyes, cover my mouth. One posey
short of something from playground rhymes.
There is plenty of drama to be had
in the experience, and even space for words
if you have warning. I know some who do
and even you have anecdotes
of the noisiest kind, of violence unleashed.
Mine come upon me as quickly as the sun from clouds.
We sneezed into light from dark together once;
it took days to convince you that the odds
hadn't changed; that two in six was just the same
as one in three, the way you'd always been.
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Old corner-shop with more space than stock
I am sweet-shop counter mad for you
and take time to recall what it was
I came for. Mildly unformed jelly shapes,
or silk-smooth chocolate cigarettes
wrapped in edible paper? It is an old cabinet
I peer through, its thin dark-wood frame
barely enough to hold the weight of my hands,
of my nose, smearing their consideration.
I am chewing yesterday's gobstopper
but it is absent-minded. The magazine racks
are behind and I do collect stickers, but
this is not why I'm here with my own stash of money.
No, I am sweet-shop mad for you.
I take my time. I make my choice.
Monday, 24 November 2008
In one room, such silence
and blamelessness. Our clock
has not stopped but reversed,
sucking seconds out of air.
Heavy curtains absorb; even light
betrays itself in corners.
All else is off at the root;
even my blinking has slowed.
My hips ache to sit like this but
I cannot move for fear.
Sunday, 23 November 2008
It is hard not to read anything into this, but truly there is no connection to be made.
A man guards his truck
of equipment wearing a hat
fashioned from a bright red scarf.
The same day, a man stuffs
cider down the front of his trousers
which are tucked into his socks.
Later, a man rests his eyes whilst eating
and creates work for someone
by depositing crumbs on the floor.
Saturday, 22 November 2008
Nerves bottled into muscles you didn't know you'd lose
so soon, and so much hiding. How I remember you then
has nothing to do with this, I know, but it helps
me to get here, to get to you, to get to the end.
How silence conjured us into each other
never fails to amaze me, even with all that music.
I miss your contours and finger weaving
on hot days. Sweat mingling on our palms.
Friday, 21 November 2008
Because it transports me back to times
when it was only sudden flies I had to fear,
and fire through the night. Because
irrational attachment is a given for anyone
to something, and I'd rather have this.
Because it sends me to sleep
by making me forget everything in that moment
just before detachment. Like you used to.
Thursday, 20 November 2008
The Intercontinental UFO 61 by Viscount
The only other place was by internet auction
where hoards of them gather in Italy
collection only. An ideal proposition of itself, this one
had its whawha button still, its solid wooden box.
It had rained outside the Baptist church
but still it worked, still it begged your organist fingers.
How strange to think of notes of ceremony
drifting from this and your long-gone double,
the marriages it must have been a soundtrack to.
How strange to see it here at first, and the glee
it still had power over in your attic room.
The precise square of sellotape
you used to keep a constant C
is bequeathed with all the stick gone out of it.
Sometimes I put on your song and play along,
conjure you into this thin air I breathe
so high up here without you
and your skilled eclectic fingers.
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
A gift of place and purpose
to fill with my own slow stroll,
he tears it off a pad of similar ideas.
He hands me my day drawn in biro
and I am in awe of the simplicity
of here to there.
I follow his uncertainty, retrace my steps
where there's a double line; walk it twice
and look for something new each time:
graffiti, or a familiar face, or moss
between the cobbles, or the sky
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
I come home to stories of light
and photographs, all packed away now.
I have no experience of flame-less candles,
but can see how a robot is mimicked
quite easily with them for eyes. And when I try
a string of blue lights on, I see the appeal.
Every photo is a profile picture now,
every moment repeated all the better
to capture it half-decayed from spontaneity.
But these lights, yes I see they are different.
How you positioned them, so precisely on her eyes.
How the others caught so tightly in her hair.
Monday, 17 November 2008
Herding as metaphor
I hear your worry for my farm animal preoccupation
over lists I'm making of sheep, cows, goats.
I say it is herding these wayward animals
that could really set you free.
I reckon I'm too manic for you to see
that the whole metaphor would be wrong
in relation to cats, and though I laugh
I hope you never think of your negativity as that.
Sunday, 16 November 2008
Saturday, 15 November 2008
A tyre, a bumper, a shoe
Even though each object curbs speculation,
when we find a shoe stuck in mud
under a barbed-wire fence it doesn't take long
for theories, like footsteps, to settle. Especially in the presence
of a thunder-cloud farm, and storms escaping
from the very ground we walk on. And those horses
who wear leg-warmers and bristle our outstretched hands;
and that bridge only fastened at one distant end;
and those questions that ask themselves over again;
and those donkeys whose feet look like Persian slippers
that we swear we'll report when we get home
just in time for a nap, for a pizza, for the dark
to settle round the car like sleep.
Friday, 14 November 2008
The hairs on the back of my neck will not lie flat
I forget myself and am in love.
That rare feeling that creeps up spines
on the words or first touch of a lover, here
captured by voice. I am surrounded
by scrolls and interval theorising
but the hairs on the back of my neck will not lie flat.
I want for better positioning but it is rare
to afford it. From up here I can see
exquisite dust in the folds of velvet curtains.
Thursday, 13 November 2008
Long-awaited expulsion of ego in real-time
Waking in the dark I am obsessed with seeing.
I hunt for a corner on where I stand. I stand
for long minutes trying to open my open eyes;
trying shut eyes, blinking ones; trying
rubbing eyes, slowly.
I raise my hands to where I should see them,
seek cracks in curtains that have been there
for nights and days. I am obsessed with how
I have lost sight of my own eyelids that blink
and blink against the dark.
And so it happens: I wonder
what has happened to my window
to everyone else to the sun to the universe
I have never looked upon enough?
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
I shield my eyes in the attic room from clouds
that are plastered with sun. I am in half-sleep
and just-yellow trees are meaningful but not yet
beautiful. I have lost perspective, turned
into the smallest amidst the experience of children.
Later, I feel naughty at the bar; drinking coffee;
at the metal-detector entrance of a county court;
waiting in an interview room painted
in the colours of the sea. Size is relative,
it seems to me, but I only know that now
after seeing what I did: at midnight,
a single orange underneath a parked car
in the rain; its orangeness lit by headlights
one way, by brake lights another.
Monday, 10 November 2008
Amidst a drum beat fast as rain
there is skill, and amidst that
rhythm, and amidst that, a need
for white noise, or an equivalent
experience, like babies
who cannot sleep without a hairdryer on.
There are cars filled with it,
and dark rooms that steal your shoes,
but also bright and breezy ears
that cannot pick up the subtleties
of a tearful voice but find a tune
in tuneless noise as a matter of course.
Sunday, 9 November 2008
It's hard to run out of bitterness
and she is trying to wear it thin
like marmite on toast.
One day she will open her mouth
and there will be nothing
but good, even through milk-breath
or the whiff of morning through the yawns.
But for now, it is enough to say
that insulting is not
the half of it.
Saturday, 8 November 2008
I am small. And you would think
that this means lots of things
I am not about to name. But truly
there was perspective missing
that I find corrected now.
I know precisely where I am, but
have no idea how far I am from home;
or even whether home is home
from down here.
Friday, 7 November 2008
Six hours and it is dark outside.
I am in a predictable fug of orange,
though not Strongbow twitchy
like the chap next to me, and
I would like to say that here
there are shadows of us, following.
But it is without light-source, and context,
that I sit feigning knowledge
of the next stations, waiting
in my purple coat, like everyone here,
for the next stop in light from every direction.
There is only reflection here
and I am in it just like everyone else.
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
Sourfaced, even the firework-light
is not enough to brighten her. But
they bang even louder this happy day,
this historic day, and whether she stops
our sparklers or not the sky reflects
the green like colour means something.
It is the mist, they'll say in later years,
that makes them vivid like that.
But colour means something today, and
even the pink of the sparkling showers
is enough to make you dizzy with it.
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
After-hours at the Fenwick christmas window.
They are not puppeteers but still
they control where we look. Stringless
we are manhandled.
We only tell a small part in a tale; rock
back and back, smile on an oversized
bridge, chase an ill-proportioned mouse around a lamp.
They are trying not to be seen here;
they wear black, and black shoes.
They do not look at you who looks at them.
Monday, 3 November 2008
An absence of counterpart
I have cleaned for you
the whole weekend
when you were not even here
to see it. Now crumbs
have settled on the surfaces
you could've licked pink yoghurt from
and a whole life in Mariokart
and snoozes has happened
to the front room.
Sunday, 2 November 2008
It takes us longer to die
down here, as others fizz
danger like shark teeth.
Long enough to see the shimmering beauty
of the sky through a surface of water.
They say the brakes weep here, but all I hear
is metal on metal and a precise lack
of haunting; then silence. How could this resemble
Saturday, 1 November 2008
A contrasting experience of vultures divides us
It is for me the breath of almost-touch
peculiar to feathers; you describe burning and blood.
They are stooping grey greatness, magnificent,
and yellow desert is a given; desert with an edge
of captivity. I have a panic-lack
of photograph, though there was a camera poised.
My memory does not contend with experience
and the darkness of beating wings around your head.
It is for me the breath of almost-touch peculiar
to feathers; you describe the talons in your back.