Friday, 15 October 2010

Not quite Disney

In retrospect, Disney wasn’t fitting.
“You can wear what you like if you go to school today”.
Alright, I can always try, I suppose.
It’s been several days now and I can’t stand
The morgue that my house has become;
No one smiles, raises their voice.
Sudden movements induce panic –
If anyone leaves the room will they come back?!
No holding of hands today
When I cross the expanse of rainbow tarmac.
Reluctance makes my feet too heavy
To cross the hopscotch lines.
Stare at the ground – clutch my book bag to my chest.
The sight of the door,
Distorted grins through frosted glass, hideous.
Taste of sulphur and vomit in my mouth –
“Don’t get yourself worked up.”
I slide through the threshold.
Act normal, blend in.
But absence makes the heart grow curious
And I’m not ready to mewl with these hungry kittens.
Big eyes and running noses latch to my face,
My shaking hands, my quivering chest...
Let me survive the morning, please. Just let me get through the morning.
The break time bell; my call to confession.
My back pressed against the red brick of the firing wall.
Nervous friends rubbing my elbows,
Chewing pigtails, and humming the Spice Girls.
Norfolk boys are brash and bold.
Some master empathy by high school.
And here’s Iain, in my face.
I look at him...he gawps at me,
Building up inside him – don’t expect sensitivity.
Scratching the lice, and in an accent as thick as his skull – “I told Caroline that you were prob’ly dead ‘cause we han’t seen you for ages”.
“No. My dad died”.


There is a smudge that lies underneath my finger tip.
This smudge is my reminder.
The minute ridges the rift between us.
Your expression never changes,
Mine dims in the electrical glow of a documentary
About Charles Saatchi.

Contemporary? This contemporary world that
Tears papers and twists them until they’re art.
That hushes voices and destroys the mouth
But strengthens the finger,
The one that made the smudge on this key.

Stop the shark from swimming!
He knows his place lies in Perspex.
Then stop me from speaking,
My place resides behind this screen.
My own glass box with plastic borders,
Give me back my mouth to hear me scream.
My bed lies unmade but I hear that that’s ok,
Something about conceptual art?
I’d ask you what you think
But your computer screen is off.
So the wires linking our worlds say
“Do not speak”.

I wish I could cut those wires
And escape from this septic tank
Straight into the arms of a friend
And look them in the eye.
I’d like to smell the breath of a stranger
As they speak their name.

God, I wish there was a way for this finger
To leave it’s smudge on your temple.
They’ve pushed bluetack onto walls and called
Their prints art.
But how can I speak with my finger?
I wish I had my mouth.


I want to be
snowed in. Frozen nature
trapped outside
my bubble of artificial comfort.
You can
share my warmth
because without each other
we don’t mean
very much.

I didn’t take you
seriously before.
The night you laid my head
down, gently as
a Faberge.
You blamed yourself for me
being in a state.
It was my birthday,
We should have known better.
Piles of paper
strewn in our nest,
and December was firmly shut

I want to be able to
remember but when I strain to think
what happened
I get a hangover and screaming cramps in
my eyes.
I know it was
important to you, You must have
been so gentle
because I hardly felt the pillow
pressed against
my cheek.
I think you were
already crying, Even then
I didn’t know why. But the radiator
hummed with...

I asked you what was wrong,
Pushing, a Faberge
Was I sitting up straight?
Did I look into your grey eyes? My eyes
didn’t work,
They swam around
in my head
but I remember the laughing from

Banging against the tension in our lungs,
heartbeats with the music.

I feel sorry for you, comprehending the time
that actually passed
between your gentle soothing
and my persistent pounding for answers.
You were crying now,
the moment you said it. I don’t
remember you saying the words but I
know that you did
because life changed.

No motorway covered the distance
between us.
You were the furthest away anyone
could possibly be.
And I slurred and I laughed
and I babbled and I snorted and I was the

troll that shat on the fairytale.

You remember what I said but you will
never tell me.
That filthy moment is trapped
in ice,
A stagnant brown tinge in the centre of
You won’t tell me what I said
but it let December in.
You went out and the cold came in.
You’d knocked on
my ribcage but I had passed out.



brittle as bark.

I lay awake like that, Waiting for you to
come back,
Waiting for me to come back,
Straining for those lost moments. It
might have been hours,
It might have been days,
It could have been my entire lifetime
Before your
frozen palms pushed on my

I tried to say sorry, I was crying vodka
But there were no more words to say
And I think you fell

Winter brought our
most perfectly repugnant moment to us.
But mine is lost
and you won’t share yours.
Maybe it makes me happy
To know that you meant it.
And you won’t spoil it.
I can imagine my crystal moment and you
will keep
The cracked and tainted, Fractured and
Splintered and cutting moment with you.
Maybe that’s how I know
That I love you too.

But I wish it had
snowed on my birthday
And we’d been trapped inside together.
I can’t take it back now
it’s been forged in the cold.
But if I could I’d make you a new crystal.
A sparking, twenty four carat treasure
That you could carry around and be
happy to share.
I wish we were snowed in together
And I could craft you the world.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010


Blind feet stumble over slippery roots of willow trees

And pale pebble-toes tangle around the shoots and brambles

That are emerging from the depths to caress her ankles and welcome her to their palace.

She sings songs of love, and taints them with her heart-ache.

A daisy falls from her hair and embraces the glassy surface of the brook, floating and dancing.

How she wants to dance upon the mirror, dance among the flowers and the stones...

Her feet touch the glassy surface of the brook and they are kissed back by flints

And thorns, lurking underneath the masquerade of dancing petals.

Cruel currents tear away her garland headdress and roots grab her wrists.

So, singing her songs of love and heartbreak, the maiden concedes to the will of the waters-

Too tired of life to fight against this violent nature.

She obeys the pull of the tide, and bends her back to lie with the stones.

Unbearable for skin so smooth, to be caressed by fragmented flints,

Their cold points dig fiercely into her thigh, a shark with the taste of blood.

The teeth tear at her as her body contracts, and the dance becomes a sick embrace.

Eyes watch from the river bed and a rare stone will heave itself at her head,

Suddenly caught in a torrent of violence and fury, where it spits shards, cracking and splintering.

Somehow these stones know no time...they lie in the bed with her and erode together.

And when, by chance, the queen was spotted, such a sight she must have been.

Garments spread as though flying through her kingdom, and her garlands twined round her fingers.

Blood-red lips pulled into a sad smile from where she has kissed the stones.

Her hair glistens with green and gold, and beneath her lies her treasure – scattered petals

Lie upon shimmering diamonds, held safely in the heart of her rocks, glinting happily for their sovereign.

Now, like a stone, she is pulled from the water and crumbles against your fingers.