Get Your Mind Out Of The Gutter

Photo by Paolo Nicolello on Unsplash

Our issues melt away and run, like dirty water into drainage pipes. Black fishes into estuaries. When we are out of each other’s sight, we’ll be out of our minds. Flushed away and forgotten. Invariably some scum stays: stains on a manhole. Is it disgusting? For me to wish thusly: I want to know everything. What are you doing right now? I wonder as I type these words, whether an old poem would remind you of me. Or maybe, an old Weezer track. A putrid display of cliche. Whether some strange, blackened memory comes rushing back out of the depths of the sewer we consigned ourselves to. Something no-one wants to see nor clean. Things – and people – we’d rather let rot somewhere else. So let me say it again, I wish to know everything. As if repeating it makes it any cleaner. I am scrubbing my mouth with this repetition. No matter how disgusting it may be – I want to know where each river ends, where every one runs dry. I want to feel this world: every festering wound, black-mold enclave, drip of a shedding. Every single shoddy half-written metaphor. I want to see you, behind your squeaky-clean 5-stars public-toilet facade. And I want somebody to tell me – that everything which was filthy was fine, everything which was wrong was right – that everything which was not, will be. Truth be told, I’d love it to be you, but I know. I already know the answer.  My mind has no qualms with being in the gutter, as ever always.


on the elevator she steps aside,
lets others into the gantries first.
she hasn’t seen a mirror in years:
in the dark, she feels about
her shape, is satisfied with being.
what was her name?
she knew it was a saint’s.
it just had to be.
in the dark she swallows
even without being asked.
she’s used to it –
the familiar samsara
of hiding and regurgitating
clicks in her hands like a rosary.
extinct, creatures re-emerge
from her bosom. she’d lay
eggs if she needed to,
let these children
burrow into her flesh.
because everyone,
everyone needs some hope,
she scribbles on her arm.
how many times? she sleeps
under a shroud of ink.
last week she ordained
the marriage of adam and eve.
tomorrow she’ll turn into
mother teresa
because deep down inside
she craves to be
her second coming.
a bead snaps underfoot.
her mouth is ever shut:
beneath the veneer
of pavement teeth,
a long tongue
coils about
old meat,
never letting up,
never letting go.

spwm18 day 4.



Those fearful,distant words,
these hollow,centered wishes;
surely in twenty years they’d
have expired. But they haven’t.
Fossilized, they stay forever:
pointed, sharp, piercing, true.

These are facts that we cannot
change. Bridges we cannot rebuild.
Tell me darling how do I tie this
rope’s frayed ends into one again?
How do I forget the taste of ash?
How do I learn not to ask?

How do I stop.


And those lines echo and reverb
in the vast emptiness of my mind:
I wish you happiness. I wish you’d die.
Beautiful, tragic, desperate wishes.

Do people wish harm upon others
when they blow the candles out on
their birthday cake, surrounded
by their friends and family?

People – people, are but bodies of
70% water. What lurks beneath the calm
is but wilderness. There is much to learn
about this – perhaps, too much to ever satisfy.
Perhaps, any amount is an amount too much.

Perhaps there are things I wish to unlearn.
Simply put, I want to grab these said words and
chuck them out like golden and silver axes.


These words, we hold onto,
serifs biting into our palms,
knuckles white as filament.
Blood flows, as fresh as yesterday’s cut,
taste as rusty as a used needle.

To Be Kind

If I could, I would give myself
to some unknowing God, tribal chief,
prostrate bone against blood – if it
meant that all of you were safe forever.
To be kind, this crushing sense of love –
it permeates the skin, a henna tattoo.
I feel its breath, pressing down on my back,
a cape of self-absorbed sighs, billowing,
like fog on the moors. It rolls around
in my palms and curls up in my fingers.
It lingers as I open and close my hands,
like hazard lights at a junction. We’ll all
move on. Utterly defeated and swept,
I just want something to grab onto:
be it frayed rope, burning candle-
wick; barbed-wire vine.


Final draft. Thanks to everyone who gave feedback, especially Dan.

d&t class

Reminded myself not to talk to you.
Not even to look. I’m always reminded
that I am not Swayze – and you are not
a ghost. That this is happening now. That
we are not some formless clay spinning on a
wheel waiting to be touched. When & how did we
end up this way? No feet will stop for us. The wheel
turns and turns, to a maddening speed. When will it end?
I look to the bust we made together. Amazing how art turns
to pointless dust. So it was no big loss when you smashed it.
Didn’t see you do it, but I don’t believe in coincidences. Got to
the scene, shattered like the silence. Guess everything that was didn’t
and no longer mattered. When I saw what remained, it cut: those were the
pieces of what was once beautiful. Now I am but these glass-pipe bones. And
reminded of other ugly things: a death of a thousand cuts, a puzzle missing two pieces.

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