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.

Is there though?

There’s a limit
To how much useful music you can make,
To how much tension you may instill,
To how much damage any one person deserves.

There is a limit to how much
Despair
Will soak into the pillow cases,
Into the sheets on her bed
Or the tips of your agitated hands
Or the soles of her yellow harried feet.

There is a point at which the night gives way
To a grey and rainsoaked morning.

And when you hit that wall,
When you reach that bluff,
That endless, precipiced edge,
Breath a sigh of relief and close your eyes.

Don’t be afraid to fall.

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.

It’s not a war to be won, but…

And then quite unlike the
Way in which she left,
The muse returned.

I knew I was in trouble first
When I woke to the
Thought of her
In green and navy pajamas,
Hair a golden mess,
Carrying a tray of tea and toast slices.

The dress that I saw,
A shimmering grey
A pale mint
That was no longer
Behind the shop glass but
Twirling around flower beds
Above a pair of bare feet,
Was a bad sign to be sure.

And it is now that I find myself
Lying awake deep into the night, Biting into my pillow
And cursing myself,
That I know the real battle
Has only just begun.

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.

Beauty lies in my beloved’s arms

Through the dark Swiss night
The fingers of my mind
Stretch out to caress you
From your little magpie nest.

Though it is cold, I am
Warm without cares.
You light such fires in me
That threaten to burn
Unhindered and wild in my chest.

For so many days I had thought
Ill of this entanglement of hearts,
This engagement of my will.
It threatened to undo me.
But now I realise it was all folly
And foolishness of my heart.
For you are the one I see when I
Close my eyes to the darkness
And your face is all I wish to see
Upon my waking.

Zartbitter

On the train from Les Laumes,
Rushing backwards away from you,
I can feel my heart stretch out
Like elastic. The pull grows stronger.

We fly past lakes and highways.
The greens of a forest brush by.
Trills of your smile shimmer
In the window’s reflection.

I had been waiting for love.
Staying up nights expecting
A knock at the front door,
The hesitant mumble.

I had prepared slippers.
A favourite mug sitting ready
For a pair of gentle outstretched hands.

You push a strand of your
Peacock hair back over your ear
and laugh at my jokes.
You’re so beautifully quiet.

What I had learned of love’s face
I studied in flickering movie screens.
And what I knew of her devious ways
Only through the experience of others.

You smile and keep your mouth shut.

We may all wait for love
But we cannot wait forever.

The Spector had a heart shaped hole in her just waiting to be pasted over.

You can tell it’s a good song
When you slow down
So you don’t make it home
Before it’s over.

Select weaknesses in me
Set fire to my brain
And spiderweb around my heart.

I hold the glass up to my eye
But I can’t tell whether it’s
Too full or too empty.
For certain, it’s draining fast.

The piano may not be firewood
But it sets a merry blaze.
And the cloth rests over my face,
Over my eyelids,
Like a hood.

If everyone knows it’s going to hurt,
Then why wasn’t I expecting it?
One day I turned around
And realised I was fucked

And there’s nothing I can do about it
Except take the clock off the wall
And set about winding it back again.
Right back to the beginning.