Something must be said

These long, hot middle eastern nights
Are killing me.

I lie awake imagining
The smell of lemons
And those odd squashed figs
That you gave to my mother.

And thoughts turn greyer
Like irish summer skies over Glenteenassig
And everything becomes bitterer sweet.

This throbbing isn’t just between my ears.
Not anymore.
It’s deep in my chest.
And it rises up my throat
With each encroaching minute.

The low slope of your nose
Is still in my minds eye.
You always seemed so unjustly guilty.
And all these words can’t be helping.

Instead let me be brief:
It would be nice if the idea of you
Would let me sleep.

You could pack a bag with all that baggage

You left
All this stuff at my house.

Does it have some significance?
What does a toothbrush mean?
This body scrub looks expensive.
Don’t you care about these socks?
Their mouse faces like distorted grins.

Or is it that you fear that I could
Hold something over you through them?
How can facial wipes remind you of a person?
How can they not?

It’s not that I resent it;
I don’t know how to be angry with you.
But this towel still smells like you,
Your pair of slippers are still lying by the door

And I don’t know what to do.

Chet has similar troubles

Mostly I feel
That I don’t know
What I am.

Continually in the
Wrong place
saying the wrong thing
(And rather loudly at that)

But when you
Rested your head on my chest
As we stood before an open window
And gazed out across the skyline
Burning in the dwindling sunlight
I forgot about that

For a while.

We talk about things that you can’t see

Your hands are soft.
Your fingers achingly so.
They lie silently,
Motionless on either side of a vision,
Comparable to Heine’s Rhineside portrait.
In my esteem at least.

A curious porcelain mask
That wafts in front of
My eyes and drags
My thoughts
Dangerously northward.

You are far.
And I will soon be further.
Thus is life it would seem.

One could be forgiven for assuming
That this would get easier.
Thank god it doesn’t.

Pretending to be

Outside the car
In the dark of this November night
The wind howls.
That old familiar wolf call
Whistles and twists above me.

But I am deaf to it
And to the encroaching cold
That seeps into the cabin.

I am trapped
In a bubble of you
3 feet in every direction.
Still. Calm.
Wretched.
Eyes flicker back and forth.
The odd word rings out.

The quiet tears that I cry
Are not my own.
They are yours.
They belong to you
Still.

The bass of the car stereo
Drones, dies and hums static.
It drags me back to reality.
Drowns me in the stuff.

I take a deep breath and a moment
To work up the courage
To get out and open the gate.

Since You

Since you
Opened your mouth
And spoke
those few words
I have lost my sense of taste.

Gone.
Isn’t it odd.

Not that much would taste sweet anymore
Anyway.

I remember the moment exactly
(Imagine that if you can)
When it happened.
You had just looked up
And said
‘Ben?’
In a questioning tone
And as I didn’t quite know
What to say,
Or how for that matter,
I didn’t.

I just sat
Close-mouthed
But perfectly dry-tongued
As clouds gathered across the
Darkening London sky above.

Sometimes I notice
That I forget certain

Words.
Or can no longer
Put
One
Beside
Another.

But that comes and goes.

Also
I should mention
Since then,
That hour,
I have been unable to see
The colour purple,
Certain shades of green,
Pink altogether,
Or black,
Although only when paired with
A bright despairing red.

Funny how such words
Such few words
Can have left me
So very
Empty.

Please
Don’t speak them to me again.

Fingernails, silence and anxiety

A circle of salt
With me sitting cross legged at its centre,
Crosses scored into the backs of my hands.

Eyes burn red
from salty sleepless nights.
I see the blood chug
Thick through the capillaries.

Outside the circle the night
Like a wall of static sound
Dark and blatant
Encroaches
Deafeningly loud.

Some days the world heaps itself on top of you.
It pulls at the strands of your hair and rasps
its uncut nails over your semi-healed wounds
Snagging at the scabs and leaving little
Snail trails of your own half dried blood.

Some nights the world leaches into your life
Like an ocean of sand
Grain by blistering grain
Hot and slow
Until you are completely dry
And devoid of hope.

At those times I close my eyes,
Hum quietly to no one
And try and convince myself
That you are worth it.

If my heart had glass walls it would be a slaughterhouse

In the northern lands
Of ice and snow
Where the winds are born
You made your presence known
Among my thoughts.

Your eyes glowed behind my own,
Like shards of brilliant blue ice.
Your necklace strung with
Glimmering Germanic teeth.

‘You smile too much’
You stated solemnly,
Matter of fact.
‘I will take now what you owe me’

Toothless it seemed,
and thoughtless too,
I wandered for days,
In the heartland of the
Shiver and the prayer for
Safe return.

I gritted my blooded gums
And steeled my breath.
I feared we would not last the night.

A Lot Of Dreaming

Something is very wrong.
In my mind thoughts are clear
And lucidly float behind my eyes.
I can feel soft words,
Some of them for you,
Dangling from my fingertips,
Hiding in the drowned spaces
between my glistening teeth.

But up close this mirror
Is muddied and scratched
With fingernail marks and
Something closely resembling
My very own brand
Of unsettling bullshit.
My tongue drips sour,
The saliva frothing and bursting
And steadily becoming
More embittered and lonesome.
Suddenly there are things
That I can no longer impart,
Not nearly so readily at least.

These problems course
Through my arteries and veins,
Through the skin on the
Back of my hands,
Along the bloodlines
That feed my brain,
My arrow-filled mind.

They lead me to believe
That some creatures were designed
To break with natures bonds.
And perhaps we will always blame others
For what we refuse to believe.
Or hate ourselves
For what we know to be true.

Peisinoe clicks her tongue, dangles her feet and complains

I can’t say I haven’t considered it,
Your cold white thighs sliding open
as easily as a book falling to the floor.
A book of poems, of sketches of stretched contorted faces.

But I too often stride waste deep,
Or shoulder deep upon occasion,
Through the mists of impatience and lust.
Too often I fall victim to the
Siren’s song, the cuckoo’s call.

Not tonight quietless one.
Tonight I will not be drawn by any tacit cacophony.
Your woe filled lamentings fall upon ears
Deafened by emotion and
Stoppered up by the belief
That good things come to those who wait,
And those who wonder.