I’ve Forgotten How to Sleep

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I am jealous of

lazy, sleeping men who take

the “standard” time to

 

Fall asleep in now

rather than blink endlessly

as the dawn prepares

 

I have containers

of salt, grit, cold metal dust

behind my eye-caps

 

I gaze slightly blind

around the soft chill of room

one, or none with sounds

 

Trickling throughout

streets ahead and beyond me

cities flying past

 

The Year Pt. II

So fast forward three months
see me sprawled,
alone
clothes in piles like grubby religious offerings

The harsh grey morning
heaving its way in
past ten o’clock

My mouth open,
bottle and glass
still sitting on the side
9 hours later

Crumpled receipts and coins
one boot still on foot
noone else in the room, or the house

The faint smell of burnt hair
when I reached to open the window, late
forgetting the candle was lit

When with a rude shock,
the bouquet of dying flowers
lost its balance
fell hard and loud from table to floor

1am Petal scraps
slowly becoming dust
in the stale days that follow

Yet I’m still asleep
hair over face
frowning in my mottled dreams

Whilst a beer bottle downstairs
dribbles the last of its contents
and rolls under the sofa

The Year Pt. I

That morning
after a late one,
laughing and falling back asleep
or one is asleep
the other just holding her
watching light flicker on the wall

Neither knows what time it is
both know it doesn’t matter
there’s no time
with you
half-asleep

Last night faded faraway
and you in my
arms here,
the white sheets and me
cradling you asleep
fingers softly on
the pillow

A phone buzzes
but there’s nothing
outside of this room,
nothing
to take you away from me, now

Nothing but time

Martyr

A Church in mourning
looks out over Woolworths.

The homeless man spits
and sits
on golden steps.

He lights up, then splutters.
Plastic bags pole-dance round the steeple,
their sides torn out.

A rotting capsicum,
cereal-box toys
slide down stained glass.

Mother Mary watches.

Yellowed fingers clutch
a nearly empty bottle
Holy Water only $6.99!

A headless Pokémon
falls on his own shaking head.
He looks up

The heavens are thick with fumes
Trees wave elegant arms
It starts to rain.

Jesus takes another swig
legs to one side,
liquid dribbles down his chin.

A Nike-dressed lady with a pram
rolls her eyes,
forced to jog around Him

as He passes out on the ground.

You are the music

The music pours into the room.
 
This room is you.
 
It’s always been there
but I hadn’t noticed it until now
 
Before, I didn’t know the richness of the tapestries on the wall
and I never sat at the oak table in my pyjamas
reading the story inside its wood
 
In the cemetery
I held my breath all night
 
I felt the leaves, or was it you
run a hand down the line from my cheek to my chest
 
The deep black line curving through
and aching
 
As it echoes,
aching in thick pulsing waves
as it echoes
 
In the morning
it washed me ashore, into your arms
Back to the room in the house of my heart
 
that I never thought to open before.

Sun

I like seeing the morning rise
I don’t mind if you don’t

Sitting there like
what’s the point, really

Nevertheless
we were nestled against the Doric columns in silence
you fingering the tassels on my scarf

But even I feel the disparity between seeing and thinking

Whilst the colours rose,
I was mentally selecting the right words to use in a text message to my mum

You were looking up why is the sky blue? on Google
I also got a snapchat from my friend
at a club in Australia

At the same moment that the sun burst through in all its gloriousness,
a plane dirtied the sky above
and my friend screaming and drunk
on the flashing video in my hand
neon to black

Now here, now gone
the clouds settled, and I’m walking back
people holding their grubby mugs and frowning
it’s 9am

The world has forgotten the sun ever rose in the first place

Overhung

I’m splayed on the carpet
a bad-mannered starfish clutching my toes

half a piece of toast hangs from my mouth like an old bauble on a Christmas tree
my hair is seaweed,
dancing in
greasy, disgusting tangles around my neck

in ten minutes I will
stand in the shower and dissolve,
skull against the tiles
for now I’ll just lie back on these crumbs

last night… sloshes around my head like
soggy gym shoes thrown from a car

the scraps keep appearing
churning out groans like a compost bin

I plummeted from the dance floor
onto a pair of eyelinered fish heads
sucking out each other’s gills in time to Kanye,
swaggering nasty through the throng

I think I smiled clumsily and retrieved politely
the slice of lime
that had fallen on her head from my glass

then, failing to care, I flailed my jelly arms
back into the strobe light wonderland of
whoever’s kitchen it was

My toast is as soggy as the gym shoes now
I must have dribbled into its charred, miserable crusts
Where’s mum?

At least on this sad, sad morning there is coffee, that jolly little Italian waiting in the cupboard. He’ll help!

There was this other bit where
I was talking to the wall and you came up behind me
putting one drink in my hand, one hand on my waist
my silly drunk waist
I turned around to your grin, and all the noise stopped
my eyes lolled from the bridge of your Roman nose to the sharp line of your chin to your neck and I grinned back, foolish like a schoolgirl
but there was…something

until, in the shaky blur
you were gone, replaced by a fridge
and I realised I was standing
head over the sink
alone

This coffee isn’t working
after one sloppy sip,
I’m betrayed by the aftertaste
like a grotty homeless man’s sneer

He’s staring at me now,
a foggy, motherless mammal
knotted up in flannel pyjamas

Shutting all the blinds
I grovel myself away
little worm that I am
off to the shower
in hope of another chance at my sunny, life-affirming Sunday morning.

I Poured the Bran

I poured the Bran
I sat on my hands,
I hummed.
 
and I saw that face
from my window
before she was lost in dust
in the plastic keys
on a piano
or on a computer
 
equally futile
akin to crabs scuttling from reach
 
I scuttled too
so did you and he and she
 
all scuttling towards or away from…
it’s hard to tell
 
Through every box I fell into
jingled soft sappy Christmas carols
 
I was lost to it
really
I was lost in the box in which I came
I want to come
I never came
this week nothing arrived
 
No letters thorough the slot
just a waving shadow on the stairwell
 
Just as the foam sat in its bag
I fell sexless I stayed
 
until the microwave beeped
Then I got up
opened a cupboard
opened a door
opened my locked screen
 
faces all but gone
implied only in blue bubbles
pixellated chatter
 
I meant to write 30
but I only wrote 3
 
And I forgot to reply to that email
or tidy my room
filled with presents given or waiting to be given
bags boxes bags boxes bags
 
non-fiction 3 ams
staring into the carpet
with videos of more accomplished people
 
and that’s precisely it
– I want to dive into the warmest colour of myself
but I think I’ve already drowned in the greys around the edge
 
Shoes, pockets, mouths
all filled with pebbles
 
Something needs to be ravished
some building needs to be set alight
banality burnt down in wild, frenzied lines
 
We don’t need that sun in the sky
we need that sun in our eyes