Passed my best

Moving north and west
Along the Rhein
My face pressed up against the glass
As the mist whips past outside.
I carry you with me.

I’ve tried to relax my grasp
As I am fully aware
Of your reluctance,
Your crushing negligence.
But these ethereal fingers have grasped
At strands of nothing for so long,
They are reticent to release.

In the background
I listen to quivering vocals and the
Low rumble of the R10
Thundering along
As my mind ponders
Castles and poets,
Book burnings and motor oil,
The corners of your mouth
Turning up as you smile,
Blood in the sand,
Prison bars,
Daylight,
Freedom.

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.

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.

Child

When they got back
the door was ajar,
the handle smeared
with some dark, subtle substance.

The boys were still asleep
and her light was on
but she had gone
screaming out of that place.
You could feel it ringing in the walls
and on the smooth, mark-missed floor tiles
with not a thing to tell their heavy, searching eyes
if she had struggled,
if she had even tried.

Mesrine

Dans la coeur de la nuit
est un petit espace
pour le oubliant,
pour les larmes at les pleurs.

Ici,
autour des ruines
de l’amour, grandit
les vignes sombre.

L’air est lourd
avec des cris;
Les cris commes des éclats,
des tessons d’un coeur
vide et caché.

Sentiment

You spread out
your hand on a piece of paper.
I remember it was yellow
legal paper actually,
the sort that’s too thin
and you can see right through.

“Are you watching?”
your smile said.
And taking some odd felt tip pen
you traced it out
carefully.

Passing it then
to me
“Something to remember me by”
your eyes said.
“Not to worry,
I’ll be back”
your lips lied.

And I appreciate the sentiment
I really do,
but in the end
I am left here alone,
and in the end
it was only ever sentiment.

Forget Sentiment

Sometimes
you pour your heart out
in to a few empty tea cups
to see how it settles and warms.

Sometimes you chew
on the remnants of days
to taste their dull bitterness again.

Clouds pass
and rain falls in the garden.
The wind whispers her name
and you fall asleep
knowing that it isn’t for pity
but for a brighter sense of the world
that you strive everyday.

Spreading out a map of the world,
you colour in all the places
you’ve been in your dreams.
Paris is deep blue
and all the southern states
are gently shaded in pastels.
The coasts have been highlighted
so that they’re slightly heavier.

This poem that you have been writing
is filled with too much of her.
It imprints the ominous outline of her smile
and pulls the strands out of you one by one.

Forget history.
Forget sentiment.
Perhaps some things were meant
for you alone. To hold and harden
like the brightest diamond.

Alcohol and Anticoagulants (or Warfarin and Wet Kisses)

Your open lips I have
encountered of a night
when, dulled and nulled
by phosphorous light,
we may have danced.
I cannot be sure
for eyes were blinded,
memory poor.

I entered this dream
like a room without door,
the ceiling all stars
and a blackened wood floor.
A small gentle mouse
with some grays in his coat
breathed his last gentle breath
and opened his throat.

And I knew then that life
would be always like this:
that the ones you had loved
would be the ones you would miss.
So i steeled myself
to the darkened abyss
and settled my soul
in your warm, twisted kiss.

Tired of writing.

Why do you persist
in this
line of questioning and attention.
There’s nothing for you here.

Small talk is not a skill,
neither is undressing
yet you do it so well.

I am here for my own self worth
not for you
or to move with you in circles.

Nor am I pushing your hair back
so as to land the smallest of indignities upon myself,
to kiss your lips.
Instead to see your face,
bland and pasty as it is,
and to lose it in the furrows and creases
of my mind.

Burn Love Words

Eerily I scratch away
at my A4 pad
with my large black gritty marker.
Its full, pricking, seizing odour:
vomit and nail-varnish remover.

Words.
Phrases.
Each one down solid and straight
despite my haste.
This at least must be done
right.

Love.
Adore.
‘To have and to hold’.
Pictures of hands held,
of lips met,
Of valentines cards
and roses and
a sense of reassurance.

Finally finished,
A 176 page scrapbook of love,
I tear off each sheet
gently and with care
and feed it lovingly,
scratch that….precisely,
into the flames and watch as they
turn and crumple
and blacken and fly off.

I have needed to set my love free
for so long now.
And so it is:
Free to the sky and the birds
and to the fields and the waves
and to each one of you.