The Box

At first he thought,
Somewhat presumptuously,
That the box contained
All of his words.

He had been silent
So many months
That he assumed that
His thoughts had been dragged
From his lips
And placed into the box.

For what end, nefarious or otherwise,
Well in truth he hadn’t considered.

He longed for the box to be opened
And had tried all the keys he could find.
He had opened hidden boxes before.
Many mysteries had been uncovered.
But this one was stronger,
More resolute.

Finally she came.
The key bearer.
She who would open the box
With it’s intricate carvings and inlay
And release his words
For him to use.

She was so beautiful.
She brandished a small, bronze,
Heart-shaped key.
It had to be her.
It had to be…

The key slipped in the lock.
It turned noiselessly.
She lifted the lid.

He peered in.

The box contained nothing.

But not just nothing;
Less than nothing.
A void-less, soulless, sleepless nothing.

And too late he realised
That the box was not a box of words,
His or anyone else’s.
It was a box of silence.
Complete silence.

The lid closed
With the slightest of clicks.
Footsteps faded away
On roughly hewn cobblestones.
The ages gathered.
The box remained silent.

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.

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.

At least for one night

I blow hot and cold into the night.
All these shelves are full of cobweb covered photo albums.
I pull them down and rifle through my mind.
Fingernails properly groomed,
I empty my love into you.
For one night at least.

But I awake to find a different person
With veiled, shaded eyes.
Fingers reach out to greet you
And then retreat
out of what? Fear?

You walk so forlornly down narrow country roads,
Dragging your baggage along behind you.
Eyes fixed firmly on the sky
You tell me to stop following you.

I can’t help feeling
That if I could only stop feeling
Then this would all make
So much more sense to me.
But instead I scratch my head
And draw a line in the sand.
A line that will not be crossed.

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.

Dreams locked in a dead man’s chest

Close your lips and discover
The bitterness that sleeps
On the tip of your silent tongue.

In the evening the lights you see
From the shore are far off and pale.
They dance to the waves rhythms
And haunt your dreams.
If you close your eyes too
You can hear faint whisperings,
The succinct susurrations
Of children lost to the winds
And the waves’ roar.
Songs of dead sailors
Echoing and ringing
On the zephyr.

The blind see the world but through a veil.
The deaf hear more than they tell.
At night they come down to the sea
To touch fingertips.
They share our secrets with the wind
And their own with the sky.

Close Your Eyes To Me

Storms make me think of you.
In bed at night
I catch the faint
scent of your hair.
I imagine the slight
flaring of your nostrils
As you sleep and I lie
More awake than ever.

I think it’s the wind
As it whips the rain against
The window. The howling of it.
It obscures the words that I
Cannot seem to even fit into my
Mouth, let alone push them
Out to you through the cold night air.
The air of a new year
seemingly destined to be
As emotionally dense and
Amorously unfrequented as the last.

The air is soupy with electricity and love.
The sky is milky with it and weeps.

Resolutions are mostly selfish
But this is the most selfish of them all;
To share my heavy heart with you
And hope that you shall not break it.

‘Nothing’s ever good enough for you’

Walking past tunnel entrances
That lead down to sea I imagine
Giant dark throats opening to
Swallow me wholly down.

I feel like a mouth full of broken glass.
Numbers written all over my hands,
I frantically pass them in front of my face.
This steady rain is treason on my
Shoulders. It is unwelcome flattery
On the back of my neck and down the
Inside of my coat collar.

Through the web of raindrops,
This tapestry of tears,
The lights make the world
Shimmery and effervescent.
Something to be cherished or despaired.

And I find myself down at the shoreline,
The water frothing and churning around
My ankles, lapping up the back of my calves.
The moon sways on the seas surface.
I plunge deep into the saturnine sky.
I am lost.

Don’t Hate Yourself For Me. Don’t Love Me For Yourself

The wind tells me when to leave.
It howls obliquely
And I close my eyes.

It’s a strange fact
but it is the hands that I fear yet again;
The pleading golden ones
Waving in the gale
Or your gently distorted hooks
Twisted around my own.

My eyes are black with thought.
Your skin, the feathers of swans.
Seven of them,
Necks all curled like thumbs,
Beaks like swollen yellowed fingernails.

I pull at the skin around my mouth
And it comes away in my hand
Like sheafs of paper.
Leaflets about fear,
About melanoma,
schizophrenia and depression.

I offer you a cup of my love
And you sip at it politely,
Making jokes about Parkinson’s
And the the shivering of my fingers
All about your face.

What Might Have Been Love

On the last train home,
My ears buzzing and my eyes blurring.
I am tossed about and between
The broken overhead lights and
The infrequent tunnel lights out the windows
I am turned as waves of alternately
Yellow and grey and green wash over me
And I am suddenly struck by the realisation
That I should never have let you go.