poetry

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 :

 

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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

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

 

fishing line

listen to the wind

restless, tepid, tossed free

the babble of summer parties

floats by

I

throw myself like a fishing line

into darkness and back, back

in time to back-lane bins and jasmine

scented evenings

encasing friends

warm drunkeness

bottoms dimpled by

milk crate imprints and the tiny

gravel of old cement

crumbing bare feet

swished aside

long cotton skirts

eyes glance up

that window high

mine

that window high

eyes glance up

long cotton skirts

swished aside

crumbing bare feet

gravel of old cement

milk crate imprints and tiny

bottoms dimpled by

warm drunkenness

encasing friends

scented evenings

in time to back-lane bins and jasmine

into darkness and back, back

throw myself like a fishing line

I

float by

the babble of summer parties

restless, tepid, tossed free

listen to the wind

 

 

Photo: https://unsplash.com/@ross_sokolovski

Dragon Breath

 

And I thought about what someone far away was doing

imagined

a length of yellow-white fabric with words printed on it

fluttering near a bedroom window

 

Someone flying long-haul in a plane through dark sky

right now, that twilight world of

stale-cold air, engine hum, the fittings’ faint rattle and the rustle

of other people

 

A view over the rooftops of buildings

(see the city’s ripped back sides)

 

Stepping alone into an early-morning kitchen

he puts on the light

feeling the unheated floor and seeing crumbs on the benchtops

makes no move to clean them away

 

The pattern: blush of bright pink, royal blue and orange

imprinted behind closed eyes

intersected with black, it’s a piece of clothing

that existed cheaply, wonderfully, in a previous decade