or showering after swallowing
with the consistency of smoke,
then ending up in the rain
on the side-walk.
rubbing up against a concrete pillow,
a glass bottle blanket
and then getting colder
and the wetness getting louder,
the grey getting softer
through glazed, heavy lids.
then falling, or rising
without being lifted,
on fire in certain parts
like the nape of the neck
or the throat
or the temples.
laughing like acting,
squirming in comfort
and drifting inside-out
carrying into the ceiling
beyond even the theatre-screen,
or maybe expanding within it,
sailing across or expiring into
a peripheral supernova.
this alleyway is obscured
in the fog of vaporised pulp fiction.
a microcosm of children
and drinking imported liquor
in a glass ball,
which could be bought in a tourist shop.
all very lucrative.
at any moment it’s not absurd
to expect to see
a camera on a trolley rolling past,
effortlessly capturing the haughty looks
of the communal solipsists.
the idea that this place
is not a movie set, or an asylum,
or an organised mimic of ‘alice in wonderland’
is about as easy as breaking its rules –
which is equally as hard as fitting in,
which isn’t even the point here.
so i’ll definitely be back,
curled up inside a coil of light,
he steers the spiral with hallucinations
along a barely glimpsed trajectory.
that’s how these evenings happen,
eyed through a multifocal castle,
collapsing underneath blinks.
as he curses and laughs,
pacing behind stained glass windows,
the syncopater on the mantlepiece
turns to smoke.
the memories he has
he gathers on a table,
to watch them seep blood
into shapes of tears.
he gathers the tears into his lap
and wonders why he brought them out.
a fear of blank parchment,
a thirst for electricity
hands over his eyes
palms upon his cheekbones,
slips away, left hanging
infront of him, hands cupped.
still looking up.
eyes stay open as rain
falls in, rolls down
his neck, riding those nerves
most conscious of the cold.
time is halved. every thought
seems so well thought through
a hand, a wet hand, white
and blue from cold on his shoulder.
drops his cupped hands,
turns around and falls into
an embrace in the rain,
the grey cold.
he stood still for so long,
his friend with him,
blue, like fields of dying skies
broken and fading into stars
ripped across the ceiling of my skull;
dotted, burning scars resolving from black.
insomniac bus trips
across vast mouth-fulls
of earth and distance
with time as a cursory,
my teeth shifting,
collapsing or imploding
within my cavernous mouth.
My eyes melting
within their own teary glaze,
sinking behind the sheild
of my cheek-bones.
dissolving within the vicissitudes.
you sound like that hypocrite
who says he hates talking about himself.
or maybe he was being ironic.
none of us were paying attention
to his tone of voice.
you know he writes meta-poems,
he writes ‘self-conscious confusion’.
he might even be good at it.
but he’s torn between writing ‘good’
and writing ‘different’.
so he writes ‘generic pretension’.
and then he writes about it.
i am here
as a representative of myself;
in a segmented and beery crowd.
like any delegate will understand,
the intervals are painful to bear
but the action is an honour to witness.
wrapped up in skin, clothes and sweat
i am invisible;
though i sense the uplift, the beat,
the highs and lows leading to bridges
and finishes on major chords.
on my own shoulders
i have the best view in the room
of the sun-setting prop,
the warm-blue lights
and the bottles of alcohol,
half drunk on the amps.
i know all the words,
the riffs, the keys and the scales,
i almost fucking know the improv.
it all washes over me as an experience
and i’m underneath
this wave of bass-reverb,
clutching my body symbolically,
or something endorphin-like.
on the train home
all i can focus on is my thirst
and the brawls in the vestibule.
but i am guaranteed a safe arrival
by my inter-social immunity.
all i’m bringing home
is a ringing in my ears.
you’re a euphemism. your posture is wooden, your eyes beady and you’re bleeding judgements. it hurts because you’re a hypocrite. you’re so complicated, so volatile all i achieve is frustration in labelling you. you don’t even know who i am. in-fact we’re the most congruent couple in the cafe. you don’t look me in the eye, you’re so fucking cunning. you’re just sitting there, scribbling furiously under the ambient influence and i can’t touch you.
so i come over to your table. at first you don’t notice. i’m subtle. when you do you ignore me with mesmerizing profundity. i sit opposite you, reach across the table and with my purple hands, gently open your clenched jaw, feeling the wet underside of your lips. my hand, like a bomb, rests on your tongue and you’re really crying now.
i withdraw, pay for my coffee and leave.
do you know of that originless fear
which visits even in the calmest eye
of life’s many storms?
have you felt the slide of it’s delicate fingers
underneath your clothes, on your skin,
over your eyes and in your mouth?
as you breathe harsh, wracking sobs-
in winter rain-
this chill cannot compare to the desolation
of what i mean.
i mean the paralysis which holds you
on the bathroom floor
in the small hours of the night,
the panic which follows disillusionment-
it happens anywhere.
you are hyper-sensed,
aware of a liquid compass
everything you imagined as concrete
and all that’s left is you
and a clock
in the middle of a desert.
then, it passes.
you collapse and shiver with memory,
and the notion that what you felt
was the closest you’ve ever come
do you know it?