Autumn again

Photo: Claire Doble

 

the nostalgia of street corners

so ordinary and familiar

little things that stack up to life

one step, step, step

day after day

years, even

and in autumn

when everything’s dying off after abundance

I weep

over a final mundane journey

ragged leaves scuffing my way

a boy outgrown/ growing up

a closing door

era’s end

and like a film, it’s golden in there

that final crack of light

glowing yellowbrick road curling

back to the recent past

even the tough times

I know. I knew, I know

how shit things were/are/were

but they’re already bathed

in the liquidamber of sealed memory

the beauty

of inaccessibility (don’t ever change!)

and what if I’m only now getting used

to accepting the seasons

and it’s all starting to make sense

and I could relax into it

just about

feel the lull of acceptance

a way life could be?

and I know every other fucking poet

said it already

but this is mine

 

Photo: Claire Doble

 

 

 

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permission, confession, absolution

I want to talk about asking permission

they don’t say don’t… just do

but then there’s me too, consent… permission

owch. It’s all context, true

 

I want to talk about needing confession

put it out there, tell your truth or

keep it secret, safe

admit it, stake your claim

take. Something. from/for me.

 

I want to talk about craving absolution

the way I probe my mind’s wounds

touching, brutally, cutting away

because I deserve it,

and need to feel that pain

hurt myself today

 

bad blood flows free

release

anxiety

clean slate… for me?

don’t need permission to be

but ache for

you forgive

no

understand, justify

 

moreover

where are we

 

I recorded this because I feel like it needs to be spoken. My ageing computer unfortunately didn’t realise it was in the presence of poetic genius and somehow opted to use the in-laptop mic instead of the proper one I’d plugged in so the sound is really shit. Sorry! Soundcloud link :

 

razor mind


probe at the sore spot
brain is a blade
serrated, sharp, a leaf or tongue
push into wound
see
how harsh the bruise
could be
what pressure
borne
roll up a sleeve
do you see scars, no
little white marks
from long ago
those cutting thoughts
file away inside
eroding
until
could no longer
feel a warm body.
my mind
lashes, unexpectedly
gone
oh
if the badnasty fuckedup addiction of
cruel, shitstinking deadeye
suddenly

absents itself
does one celebrate
bereftness
or mourn
evil joys?
to identify
that creepy, suppurating line…
maybe scabs
provide
some comfort
after all

what was that again

all the white horses were spooked today

under a cloud-scudded mackerel sky

cows sat down in the odd warm wind

waiting for autumn to arrive

knowing nothing more

than studded stones and asphalt smooth

step, step, stepping stubborness

running blind in forest-dark groves

could not remember

as boots pulled up to knees

back to summer, and a paper-bag skirt

what

how

who

I’d decided to be

Concrete

 

So we’re worried about the bridges now

don’t trust the men who built them

or just men

in general

suck

don’t they?

but we’re still driving across

in our cars

that men built

those same ones.

not exactly the same ones but

sort of

the polluting ones

where they fiddled the books

or the sensors

or the stats

to pretend

they weren’t so bad

after all

but they were

still.

And what about the Maldives

sinking beneath

the waves

of plastic

we made

one more long-haul flight

and I never take

a plastic straw

these days

just sink into the bedrock

of sandstone and granite

can the two mix?

blonde and dark

a fizz

you know what

the best thing I heard this week was?

that the heart and lungs don’t know

the exercise you’re doing

but the limbs

they know you’re running

you’re running

 

Photo: Claire Doble

Diamonds

I talk to doctors about medicines

and hippies about herbs

talk to mothers about bedtime

children about worlds

hit up activists with rhetoric

throw strangers with kindness

and if we’re talking

fake news,

what about

vitamins?

exfoliation

or diamonds?

I mean

are things just real

when we believe them

I miss

friends

and real conversation

 

Photo: https://unsplash.com/@mahkeo

The year the solitude went away

20180605_133316

 

Looked up one day

it had gone away

the miasma of nothingness

not nothing: thoughts, private, personal contained

in heads and held stiff in upper lips

worlds secret and interior

projected now on screens rectangular

become

the same, shared, cyberflung

enmeshed sudden, and

unexpectedly

irreversible?

a sunset in London

as I wake to a West Virgina morn

while the sound of

flight 370 ruptures

our membrane of hubris

reminding us

we’re still trapped in beingness

and the addiction, the pornography

in the idea

of post geography

 

This poem was inspired by a wonderful interview with sci-fi author William Gibson “On technology, science fiction and the apocalypse” that I watched yesterday. In it, he talks about witnessing the advent of connectivity – being on a train station in central London where everyone was just standing around in their own thoughts, then, only one month later in the same spot, suddenly every person was  staring at their new smartphone. I’ve borrowed some of his lines, including the title. 

 

Photo: by me, it’s Swiss national day! 1 August.

PLANETS

Photo: by NASA @Unsplash

 

circling in our solar system

competing gravity

can be

 

so disruptive

knocked out of orbit

ecosystem’s off

where’s the off switch

life, I need to pause, regroup

oh, you just spit summer  

and say: here!

this is your holiday

enjoy me

so I lay my bronzing, once-pale body out

a sacrifice of sorts

to Greek gods playing with fire

and nothing

is permanent

they say they found water on Mars

 

we are the ants of ants of ants

playing in a cosmic sandbox

 

Glimmers

keep getting glimmers

of the before feelings

I can

double take

recall

somethinglike

the way

it was going to be and I thought

thoughttried triedthought so hard

didn’t I

I guess that moonflower

still exists because

look

they’re still reaching for it