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.

Soon?

While at home,
Yours not mine,
Missiles flare and blank out
Square foot after square foot
Of children, mothers and fathers
Supposedly likewise bent on destruction,

Here you flex and bend
Your head low
Almost to my breaking point.

I can easily overlook death
When you bare your teeth
And curl that tongue.
In this moment
What hold does sorrow have
On me.

But Sorrow,
Sorrow can wait
Leaning against the back wall
Of her Northern Celtic Cave
Eyes cast downwards
The corners of her mouth
Curl slowly into a smile.

‘Soon’

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.

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.

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.

‘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.