As You Roamed The Earth, You Felt The Drying Skin of Age Itself

it is the waking that is the hardest.
the first step in sleep deprivation:
you learn you miss dreaming
of holes, the spaces between lines,

the gap between the train and platform.
you dream of ways in which to die,
how the train brushes against your feet,
the space just big enough for your thigh.

there are other gaps you remember:
misspelled gpas, an empty desk
in class. visions of your friends,
long gone and passed, moss-grown,
flowers atop: a forlorn crown.
their faces eating the light.

in chasing the gap you lose yourself
in the coming and going, in finding
the joy of godless verse, the sound
when you spread her legs, or some
other sex line that marks you adult,
because penetration is the space
between childhood and modernity,
the answer to your wet dreams.

you tell that to your mother, spit
in her mouth, regurgitate the soap.
still dripping from last night, your
eyes clouded with the ocean.
before you leave, look in her eyes.
they are the ending credits of a film.
they are the same sea, the same salt.
you, the end of pages in a book.
you, the closed off dog-ear.

because you never hear of
hungry children, you
eat yourself whole, give in
to desire, the single moment
when your teeth eat into your lips
when your mouth burrows into your tongue.

this dream that eats away at your tail.

all this, to uncover
the space which your voice hides in:
the gap behind the kitchen cabinet.
that unknown place it goes
when you can’t find it, unwilling
to be coaxed out, like the last drop of wine
like a petulant child, forever, forever.

A POEM CELEBRATING SOME THINGS THAT DON’T WORK

Acrostics. Academia. Balancing work, life and a healthy sleep schedule. Breaking up in your head with people you don’t even go out with. Confessing to your first love at the wrong place and time. Denial when you don’t mean it. Even if you do mean it, does that really work? English as second tongue. Editing. First strikes when you don’t have the time to think them through. Fuck as a vulgarity, not a noun. Falling into love at first sight – how cliché. Generosity just because people ask. Honesty when no-one does. I as a singular noun. I as a concept. Just joking, fake philosophy and pseudo-spiritualism. Jamming words together to sieve out poetry. Kafkaesque as a word. Keto. Listing out words and calling it poetry. Laying out scenes and calling it love. Lying about the writing process. Love as an independent variable. Misreading the Tao Te Ching as Dao De Jing. Making an audience hum while sober. Memory loss. Monkdom. Never making the first move. Or just being content with letting things slip. Or just being content with repeating yourself. Orientialism as a concept in the 21st century. Pretending to be woke when you’re still asleep. Puns that no-one appreciates. Puns disguised as poetry. Quokkas. Quips about things no-one cares about. Quantum theory. Running to lose weight. Rote memorisation. Rhymes that don’t rhyme. Lines that ruin your form. Short-term memory loss. Slaying your daddy unironically. Slaying as a concept at all. To be honest about things that you’ve never thought about. Thinking about things that you’ve never thought about. Thinking about people 24/7 that you’ve just met. Thinking. Underestimating when love can strike. Overestimating when it does. Forgetting to keep to form again. Uniqueness as a selling point. ‘Valen’-themed lines because really, how many times do those work? Writing poems to people who will not read them. X starting any word other than xenagogue. You spilling your personal life into groups of 5000 strangers, give or take. Zen Buddhism, but as an aesthetic. Zealotry, but only for self-destruction. Endings without satisfactory closure

spwm day 16

Brittle Jade

You bottled message parlor
woman. You crackled knuckle.
You tremulo. I am divining josses
in your will. I am folding you into
a boat. I am paying Father to take
a short trip. To look elsewhere. Oh,

you cloud of jade. You page of
filled out crossroad answers.
You wreath of drawers. You little
wreck of bouquet flowers. I am
drawing you a bath in absentia.
I am letting you out, like a flood.
I am letting you, out like a flood.

Guide to Cleaning

First of all, throw what you don’t need.
Do not recycle – save this poison
from the Earth. No more travel
brochures, guides, photos.
No more newspaper clippings
of dream destinations.
Those only breed silverfish.

Next, make a commitment. Never let
clutter in again. Do not let it stay. Do not
let it set. No more corkboard
of old friendships, notes from a
forgotten era. No more escapist fantasy.
No more dried roses elegy. No more
of last year’s birthday cards, printed
poems, Men’s Health studies. No lies.
No more remembrance. No more polaroids.
Those are only made for you to buy into.

Lastly – stick to it. When you stir in
the dawn: jump, shout – become greater.
The sun is but a cleaning lady, gently
knocking on your windows. Jump. Jump.
Do not let her in. Leave these weights behind.
This mess is but your own to mold.
No more piano in the darkness, ragtime
Fur Elise, single ivory key running away.
No more poems about departures, love
or the loss of it. No more loss. No more loss.
No accompaniment. No thing. No soup spoon
at your parchment table. No taste. No feeling.
No napkin when you’re done.
Those are only there to give;
give the illusion of closure.

Words

i.

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.

ii.

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.

iii.

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.

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.

Continue reading “d&t class”

origami

“Life is a lot more fragile than we think. So you should treat others in a way that leaves no regrets. Fairly, and if possible, sincerely.”
Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance

Gentle, now.
Unfold these shoulders:
feel the creases, smooth
them out, slowly. Skin
meets skin: a tender
joining of fragile things.
Careful folds, into careful folds.
See how he fits into you.
Keep him there, in the
tiny space you kept vacant,
within your locked chest.
Follow through the fold.
Do not falter, even as
he turns to go, back
into the howling light.