Heading Home from Home

As I trudge along to the stop
Suitcase in tow,
The broken wheel scraping the
Icy concrete footpath,

Your almost-incredulous,
Crooked little smile sits
Right in the edge of my vision.
Blurred ever so slightly
Like the webs of ice
On the leaves above my head.

So early, cold and quiet.
Even the birds know better
Than to greet this half morning.
I wish I was in bed
With you
Under four layers of blankets.
Cocooned.
Toes touching….

I pull my hat down tight
And hand the driver my ticket.
11 more hours.

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.

And Zürich below us bathed in sulphurous flames

So much harder this time
Than even before
To leave you

And rise up through the
Late early summer air
Thick with watery pollens
In search of dulcet cow bells,
Hills and music.

Your scent
Heavy hanging
In my nostrils.
The ache of your skin
Has lodged itself in
The nail beds of my fingers
And the crevices
At the edges of my eyes.
And below.

The sky lit up in the distance,
Striking the ground
with silent hammer blows.
And I could see your face,
Lip bit and upturned
In the darkness,
Across the land
And across the sea
And across the night.

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.

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.

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.

Settle for Love

Settle yourself and be still
even if all around you
the wind howls
cold and quick
and shrill.

Let your heart settle
for what you always knew
was the colour of it anyway,
the ‘less’ that is ‘more’,
and the uneasiness
that steadily rises in your throat,
with its greasy metallic tang,
may subside for a while at least.

Settle down now for a long wait.
Stare at your hands
and count the scars,
the callous calluses
of your existence up till now.
Breath deep and feel your
blood flow.

And if you can,
settle your head on their chest
and listen to their drumheart
beat,
settling to the
unremitting rhythm
the perpetual part
of their somatic self
and the rest.

And at night
when your mind spreads out
to find them in the darkness
do not fear so if you find
that you have to settle
for the stars.

Keep A Grip

If I went blind tonight
and lost all sense of sound’s delight
I fear that I could remember
the colour of a summer sky
as the sun drops over the horizon
and the gently sobs
of a woken child
in the room next door
would linger in my mind.

But how could I hold onto
the sound of our happiness?
How long before I lost
the soft colours of our love?