“sorry, I’m so sorry, but do you mind if I put the milk away?”

maybe
I like to muse, there’s
a polished reserve of
serrated kitchen knives
slotted neatly inside
the leg of your pink jeans
 
maybe
you have an anecdote so criminal
that everyone at the party
has to laugh forcefully
into their beers
hiding their secret terror
at your misdoings
 
but for now, the people sigh again
at your nervous giggles and
your paranoia at offending them
 
I think
if pushed a notch too hard
you would dissolve into an
all-American puddle
 

In HD

I stare into the diced tomato on the shelf

I download the app,

I meet the paper faces drifting past.

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.

Dorset

Eating raspberries
Half an hour before
you talked of your sister’s achievements

“Not that you aren’t special too!”

And something cracked
as the heartless man in the car-park
shouted an insult
at your beautiful, shaky-fingered Gran

“No, n-no, that was my fault, it – “

The Dorset clouds gathered
snickered and rained fatigue
all down your cheeks

You’re getting older
drip drip
You’re just getting older
drip drip

And a trickle of failure maybe
through the buttons of your shirt

Holding the creased paper bag
a quiet kind of melancholy softness seeping through
Her and through

your younger body standing next to Her

Blackberries

'Blackberries' Pen & Watercolour 2013

‘Blackberries’
Pen & Watercolour
2013

Click on the image for a larger size.

Today at School

Today at school

nobody learnt anything

the teachers were stuck to their desks

the students were accidentally put on silent

we sat in a circle in a classroom

I felt my claws extending and retracting

my words, too

extending and retracting

and my eyes were stuck on the three girls opposite

each retrieving a phone from a pocket

glancing, tapping

putting it down

glancing, tapping

putting it down

extending and retracting

repeat steps 1-3, several times, until the hour is over

and you’ve successfully attended a tutorial

the clock strikes eleven

silently

then everyone leaves

just to step out until 10 past

and then, entering into the next room

for the same scene again:

“hi everyone, did you all have a good weekend?”

“what did you enjoy from the lectures this week?”

ok, let me see.

Tuesday.

the doddering American with his slow, yellow-lettered slides and these are the statistics of my country, the United States, and here you can see FOURTY-five, surprise surprise, FOURTY-five percent of the population denomination legalisation industrialisation

and at this point the phones got pulled out again

and again

sky blue bubbles dotting the theatre

and no-one was listening of course,
but nothing was being said

…we’re caught in our own ellipses

waiting for someone else to speak

Pick-up Line

Drop your bag and run to me

 

I’ll feed you alcoholic sympathy

 

I’ll kiss your cheeks, I’ll stroke your hair

 

then walk out the door, and fall asleep.

I prefer red

I prefer red

to crumbs on the table that nobody sees

drinking, they don’t notice the pictures on the wall

or worse

The stars falling at 5pm

in the eyes of strangers outside.