(There are some people in this world that I wish I could be like. Beautiful, whimsical, their very being breathing poetry and autumn mist. I am loud and abrasive and sarcastic. I do not like myself very much at all.)
The leaves are falling a season too late.
The alleyways, where cats lurk and
strange men mumble to the night,
are lined with crackling golden leaves.
The rust sun seared the green away
three months ago. They did not fall
until June. The tender crunch of
leaves underfoot echoes inside
my crumbling skeleton.
The moon shines palely down,
a faint whisper of her presence
ghosting along the sapphire blue
of the afternoon. I watch the sunset
kiss the horizon goodnight, before
leaving as she does, a jealous lover
seeking out new men to adore.
The sun leaves us cold and wanting,
whilst the moon carries on bereft.
Translucent clouds streak across
the expanse of eternity, leaving
the faintest mark against the
They are cigarette smoke,
blown from a Parisian balcony.
A lonely girl sings ‘Moon River’
to the night, while she smokes
from fragile cigar dangling between
frail fingers. The clouds condense
and escape, stretching along the sky
like the bird that has finally found
the freedom of flying.
The winter chill finds warmth
behind my birdcage ribs,
a home for hibernation. The cold
flees the cold, seeking warmth.
In the winter months, the sun is distant
and offers no comfort.
Inside my chest,
cracking leaves, quiet moons and
wishful clouds wait for
I can hear the even beat of your thrumming heart,
an ever present bassline to the melody of life,
whilst the continents drift and the stars dance.
My fingers dance in time down your piano spine,
playing upon your vertebrae like ivory keys,
my kisses the black sharps, bruising pale bonewhite.
(But the song always ends before we’re ready.
We long for a concerto, but all you gave us
was a measly pop ballad that went for three
and a half minutes.)
The woodland girl breathes shallow
when surrounded with bright lights.
The city does not breathe, does not
undulate when the wind blows.
The buildings stand quite still,
thinking their silent, sacrilegious thoughts,
while bankers count out pennies and
young girls count out heartshards.
The woodland girl is out of touch
with platinum and perspex, instead
she wraps the wind around her fragile shoulders
like a cape, and drinks in sunlight like business men
drink coffee. She speaks with ancient oaks,
not baristas and waiters, whispering stories
to ferns and flowers. Inside her heartchamber
a single daisy grows, hiding her face in the night,
searching for angels and warmth when the sun
dances in the meadows. The woodland girl
does not know how to breathe, move, live
in the city. She is captive to steel and mortar,
while the forest cries out for the girl who danced
with the morning fog, and sang hymns to all things
I walked home in the dusk, and the sky looked as though it were painted across the firmament canvas with watercolours—lilacs and sky blues and pale yellows. The world seemed to be a painting, with the leaves nearblack while I looked up into the heavens. I could see the barest twinkle of one or two stars, shining through the last rays of the sun, who fled for her night’s rest. I stared and felt my heart thump in response to the barest sliver of a silver moon. The sky, the stars, the moon and the ever-dancing sun seemed to mean so much more than I. I wonder, does the inspiration hold more meaning than the artist? Do I hold beauty within me with my words, or is beauty simply leant to me for a brief moment, while the celestial beings allow me poetic thoughts for one brief moment? I am very tired, and I will watch the stars come out one by one as the light takes its leave for the night. The darkness will be warm & comforting tonight.
On my lover’s back, there are
forty-three freckles. His caramel skin,
flecked with moments where the sun
burnt too brightly (and seared God-crafted
flesh). He tells me of the days
when he would run naked in the shade of mountains,
wearing scarves and mittens and gumboots,
but nothing to cover his modesty.
Between nature and he,
there was only openness,
and God saw everything.
I trace his freckles with my tongue,
mapping out Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Perseus,
before Dante’s Inferno bursts into a thousand fiery pieces
(and they settle inside our lungs, burning poetry
and our love in order to keep us warm
in the winter).
My lover has a freckle shaped like Alaska,
which rests just above the corner of his lips.
When he smiles,
my heart thumps seismically,
and my world seems to shift.
Continents realign, simply because
his smile ignites realms I had long forgotten
in the dark corners of my heart.
After the universe has contracted, expanded—
after our bodies have coalesced in the dusk—
I will trace his freckles down his piano spine
with my aching fingertips,
and revel in the goosebumps that whisper in his flesh,
for I know:
he feels me,
& I am alive.
I will breathe out stardust,
in the hopes that some of my soul
will collect upon the glass shard cheekbones
that I have come to love.
Take the stars inside you,
and carry me in your lungs.
at three o’clock in the dark & sweltering summer night,
you feel me shudder & shake inside your comfort prison arms,
will you believe in pleasure or pain?
Will you feel hell wrack through my skeleton,
or press a kiss to my forehead whilst heaven slumbers on?
Will you be a nightmare, or a daydream?)
I am scared to fall asleep
with your arms around me.
I am scared to fall asleep
without your arms around me.
When your flesh turns to dust,
and you become nothing more than cigarette ash
scattered on Atlantic breezes, they will decide
how human you were whilst you breathed.
On your tombstone, they will etch the essentials,
and summarise your million heartbeats in hastily carved letters,
by an impatient ancient man (and each slab of silent sandstone
only reminds him of his ever fading mortality).
19?? – 20??
Each heartbreak, joy, childbirth & childdeath
contained within a single hyphen.
You have been reduced to punctuation.
You have become nothing more than a collection of dates.
They will not remember you—they will simply remember
the moon launch the year you died,
the corrupt president that burned America the year
you announced your presence, screaming bloody murders
that you were one day to commit.
When they embalm you with salts and pure white rags,
when they trap you forevermore, to sleep silently within
a cruel, confined coffin, they will speak dramatic eulogies in hushed voices,
standing over your grave-to-be. Quietly, they will remember you,
as if frightened that they will wake the dead with their muffled,
forced tears. And as they lower you into the ground,
will your mother cry?
With aching arms,
the workmen (hungover, lonely & longing for absent wives)
will seal the grave with a kiss and a headstone,
and there will be no epitaph.
Your humanity reduced
to sandstone, dates,
and a name that will cease to mean anything
(except to the moon, except to the stars,
except to the lonely dead).
My flesh crumbles, cigarette ash skin,
grey & charred & burnt away. I am the
inhalation of death, the breathing of
destruction, the promise of cancerous
regrets on your death bed. I am, I am,
I am the end of all things. I am, I am,
I am the end.
They will take you into surgery,
slice into you with aggressive scalpels
and cauterising fingers. They will stop
the bleeding, before they stitch you up
with unsolicited advice and a psychiatric
appointment. They will discard me, the tumor,
as medical waste, as the end of all things,
as the end.
I am a quit line in the dark of the night,
numbers screeching the promise of salvation
in Helvetica and Arial and the dreaded Comic Sans.
I am both destruction and renewal, I am the Jesus of
tobacco romances. I am addiction and victory. I am,
I am, I am winning the battle, I am the end of all things,
I am, I am, I am