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.

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.

Middle Meadows Walk

By the clouds, by the stars
I am enclosed

Rachmaninov lifts me from the cement below
Whispering in my cold ears
His orchestra soars
Matching my magnified heartbeat

Half way down the path
My doppelgänger shadows smirk
I fear that I’ll turn around, hands in pockets
To see my own night-time figure peering back

My dark imaginings,
The gothic moon above,
Pulsing strings and deep blue dread
Beams down in Russian black

Everything crescendos
Until I feel my keys

And see the sodium street-lamps
Guide me to my door
With their golden, unblinking eyes

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

The Current Moment


A small in pink and an old in blue

sky-blue, upside-down

follow the dog through the lane

 

I get moved along the table

with the arrival of more

this small in grey and the old in blue

 

This seat is colder and

the music is louder

away from the window, I can’t see

 

I ate before at the base of a monument:

people I never knew died

building a bridge I’ll never climb

 

Now I am tired

and will soon catch the train

having spent the morning

 

In search of pebbles and strangers,

both of which

I found.