I’ve Forgotten How to Sleep

IMG_7823

 

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

 

To Remember

Some things that I forget, and that other people forget too – that remembering will probably make life more wonderful, for all involved.

'Untitled: Night' Watercolour 2015

Focus and be aware. The more attention you pay to an activity, a lecture, a friend’s troubles, a stir-fry, the more you will enjoy it, be engaged with it, and remember the experience. Be aware of your surroundings; the sound of the wind through the trees, the cars passing by. Be aware of the people who surround you; their thoughts, reactions, what they might be feeling based on their own individual context. Be aware of yourself; notice how you are unintentionally tensing your jaw, how delicious that toast was, why you feel irritated after scrolling through your news feed. Put your phone away. The aim is to live life in flow, so focus – one thing at a time. Concentrate on what is important in every moment.

Do not be too hard on yourself. List your daily/weekly achievements and do not do anything until your emotions, thoughts, anxiety/stress/frustration/sadness have been addressed and calmed.

Surround yourself with productive, honest people who make you happy and inspire you. Limit your time spent on the social periphery in regards to who is important. Don’t waste your time and money with boring, predictable coffee dates or beers, but be open to new people and try not to take them simply at face value. Remember, many people in their 20s are wrought with insecurities – as are you, to some extent – so be warm, but do not compromise yourself or go out of your way to accommodate them and their expectations. Limit the wide range of people you spend time with on an organised basis, so that you enjoy fulfilling friendships that are not shallow. You want relationships that are solid, authentic, and genuinely help to make you a better person. This applies to online, geographically challenged relationships just as much.

The brain and the mind are much more affected by the body than you think. This is why exercise, meditation and health are important. Mood can be changed by changes in the body – go for a walk or a run if you are feeling mentally tangled or stuck.

Minimalism. Less is more. Try to cull unnecessary items, documents, objects that are lying around, and clothes/shoes/jewellery that you no longer wear. Finish one of the many books you are in the process of reading. Clear up the paper, materials, bags, magazines and other things that decorate the floor. Put them away. You should only really need 3-6 pairs of shoes, likewise jackets. Focus on quality rather than quantity – and don’t discredit that phrase just because it has become a cliché. Think about it; the less you hold onto, the freer you are.

Brand New 3-year Warranty


 
Waiting for the man to
give me the warranty on my new electric heater, half price
 
The sign outside flapped
ecstatically

cRaZy pR!CeS!!, I read

whilst the same morning wind
blew in two other men
with the same bright orange as Mr Warranty

you warm enough there love?? ya look priddy warm.

mm, yes. turtlenecks. I mumbled

aw, where’s that cayute accent from?

my parents, actually

the receipt printed loudly amidst blokey chuckles
I left, lugging my heater away

noice to meet you, love!

ah, yep. bye…

trailing off down the street, heater in tow

I mused on people
and their differences

Exhale

A cat sits softly
with the fading light
 
The last pink embers of the day
fall into the sea
 
Australian winter sky is
distant bush fires and salt
 
No one notices
 
The cat licks her fur
matted from weeks of lying on old blankets
 
Evening shakes hands with night
I’m just a spider hanging from a web
 
When the hand comes to brush me away
the cat will not raise a paw
 
I will land on my back
 
The air will be chilled, stilled
 
silent

The Soldier and his Poison: a Dental Duel

  

The battle begins at the rising and the setting of the sun.
 
There he is, the scoundrel.
Waiting, staring, still. Silent and motionless in his metal cup.
The disproportionate comb is focused.
He is preparing for our daily battle of brush upon calcium brick.
Every day and night, this cunning soldier stands erect.
His loyal companion, Col, stands by his side. Let not his squidgy body fool you.
Col is the gate to the crucial chemical penetration. Col is the poison, the soldier – the spiny syringe.
 
Col and Sol wait. At the encroaching tread of my bare feet on blood-coloured tiles, they signal to each other with telepathic talent: and the shining light of the heavens above is switched – ON!
 
I, fishing an oat from a tooth, stride in.
Dressed in my royal striped bed-wear, I am a soldier too.
 
Col’s poison is squeezed silently from his shiny body, and the soldier waits for the great jet of icy liquid to permeate his bristles. Not a noise pierces the air, but for the incantation under my breakfast breath: Pearly-white ONE-TWO, Pearly-white ONE-TWO, Pearly-white….
 
The soldier ascends. My battleground is open wide. The battle begins!
 
Tooth against soldier, tooth against paste, the pain and suffering is relentless.
The bricks hold a solid stance; a powerful posture, but Col and soldier are in the prime position for attrition. The pain of my weak pink gums! The pain of my bewildered red tongue! Like a fat golden retriever, it is flopped and brainless – no help to the fight.
My cream-coloured gems gnash and gnaw. Outside of the action, the faucets watch on, stunned in their silver spectatorship.
Hot is gunning for me, Cold is gunning for the enemy.
 
Suddenly! Without warning, without a chink in the air, without a teapot or a hat, without Margaret Thatcher, without Charles de Gaulle, without –
The soldier falls.
 
Time slows. The moment seems to last a lifetime.
 
And then there he is, lying splat in a mess of saliva and frothy white.
 
And I realise something amazing. We were on the same team all along.
We were playing the same game – I no longer need to be afraid.
We shouldn’t be fighting each other, we should be fighting together.
We’re fighting the bacteria.
 
I save the noble stick from the floor, mop up Col’s suds kindly, and put my new friends back in their Ikea-cup home. You get some rest, pals – I prod them affectionately.
My day has never begun so well.
 
Tonight, the three of us will battle together,
and I’ll smile wider, and cleaner than ever.
 

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.