Poem: Sex Pollution

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Knowing better than to believe in gentleness,
A figment of the wind,
People use you as objects,
A sage to be burned on the mantlepiece –
An extension of her masturbation

Now sex is polluted,
A contagion of fear,
Floating monsters with trailing spines,
Heaps of genitals,
Oozing over whalebone corsets

Floaty dresses, starched collars,
Knife for a phallus,
Teeth-tiered jaw for a cunt,
Let’s genetically cripple each other,
Pounding my scrotum in an infernal mash,
I can turn your torso,
Into a buffet of entrails,
A human bank account,
From which I make my withdrawal

Turning the lights on,
It’s easy to see,
Why I can’t go any further

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Poem: Nothing Good Ever Happens In August

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Nothing good ever happens in August,
Month of false hopes and skewed desires,
Amidst the fruition of berries,
The nauseating silence of robins,
In the hills of The Cotswolds
I reaped a sickly harvest,
Putrescent with distrust,
Undermining faith
In anything at all

My dreams had foretold all:
Herds of bulls trampling your corpse,
An invasion of beetles suckling your veins,
Every cell of your legs pincushioned with needles,
As you lay, bloated and blue in the bath.
Is it small wonder the policeman shot your child,
Leaving his pulp to merge with the dirt?

Nothing is wonderful to me
In this freakshow of marvels,
A steady conveyor belt of disappointments,
Hiding in stainless steel perfection

But I was willing to go along with it,
To be seduced by museums, by undiscovered
Entomology cases, a hidden universe of iridescence,
The praying mantis my future. What does he pray for
But more things to be ensnared? For more men to fuck
While she eats off their heads?

Go on, I’ll put up with it. Look blindly on
As you take me inside of you, my face
Pulled off, fascia by fascia,
Rent by your mandibles;
The pain and humility we’ll face
For the prospect of happiness,
Until we hear the skull-crunch,
The soft implosion of sinuses,
And we realize with a thud:
It’s all to no good

Because nothing good ever happens in August,
When you stumbled faceless down murderous streets,
So blue-eyed and brainless, you can’t even see this
For what it is. The whole while dreaming of jewels
And diamonds, of Lords and Ladies in their palaces,
Of beauty offered gentle,
In oriental dressing gowns

You may make your trek to Pre-Raphaelite churches,
Paint your brain silly with William Morris stained glass,
But her mandibles still eat eagerly of your flesh;
The hellish truth of reality cannot be suppressed:

Because nothing good ever happens in August,
When you have sex in a spider’s nest

Poem: Effusion

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I’ve spent my whole life dreaming of you,
But it is only now, dream diamonds poured
Into the cup of flesh that I come face to face
With what I’ve most desired – this being of magic,
This anarchist of perfection, offering me a mirror
Of all I most love within myself.

I want to give myself to you,
To offer every inch and acre of my heart to you
For your delight and delectation –
I am at your disposal,
To observe, listen, engage, worship,
To play earpiece to all you have to say
Even if it undoes me in the expressing

Because all I want is to love you,
Freely, truly, without fear or duplicity,
But to love you openly would be to change you,
To change all that made me love you;
My love would be as a teardrop on stained glass,
A maggot infesting a fresh repast

So, as I watch you, talking animatedly opposite me,
I must pretend that I am not there,
That I am not a being with arms, legs,
With sensations that wish to be expressed through them,
That there is nothing for me to reach towards;
I am merely the eye through which you look at yourself,

Because you cannot touch a painting while the ink is wet,
Read a perfect poem through grasping fingers;
All I can do is read, and read, and read you,
And pray the turning of your pages never ends

For the sake of civility,
I will pretend we are equals,
Even if I only exalt myself through worshipping you,
Through appreciating you are the totality
I have ever been reaching towards

Would a kiss fracture the perfection of that glass?
Would a too sincere caress soil a perfect world
That has no desire to be disturbed?

I am only a peasant,
A poet crying outside castle walls;
I am no warrior,
No aggressive invader,

All I can hope is that as my tears mingle with your stone,
We can find a way to be together and alone,
So I can kiss the stained glass of your beauty,
Without leaving a whisper of ripples in the water

Poem: The Galleries

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I.
Come, link your arm in mine,
To the soft rustle of your dress,
We’ll walk the galleries together,
Footsteps slow, each pivot of your heel
A timeless nexus between breath’s motion

Can you hear the wind in this painting, my love?
The way the willows bend
To the violent kiss of the wind,
Our feet kissing the floor’s tessellations,
The deprivations and regressions of our lonely imaginations

May we, like needlework,
Frame the softness of our silence,
Encase it in a warm crystal, without borders,
All our marvellous moments,
Orbed in a serenity,
Hushing all who observe it

Now my legs are bleeding,
The winds blow too cold,
And the distance of your dress
Makes me nervous

No more do stilettos practice echolocation,
Like bats, trapped by window glass,
Giving up on their escape,
Enwombed in ennui,
She perches nervously on me;
Her talons spell disaster
For all I’ve hoped to be

II.
Now, in the sand dunes,
Skirted by skylarks,
The particles create skirmishes
From the fickleness of fractals

All the weft of stranded sea creatures,
The wet footprints of pebbles,
The mad dance of Pembrokeshire,
And the engrams it engraves

But how am I meant to feel a thing
With all these petticoats about me?
The friction of sand flaying my labia,
My vulva, the corseted hermaphroditic impulse,
To be lonely, to belong, to be free

I can never achieve them all,
Reach a self of holy Trimurti,
Watching other kites fly,
Too much shame to fly my own

Shame, always shame,
Keeps my love subdued,
Puts fear in men and women,
Leading me to conclude:

I am my own asylum,
The bonds of my own containment,
The extinction of my only freedom,
My antlers on the walls,

I should never have come to the beach,
Too full of my sadness’s singing,
Always mouthed by the sea,
Too full of my sadness’s meaning,
An unbearably poignant triptych,
Placing a coffin in my heart,

Never a Lady beside me,
Always a man apart

Poem: The Fruits of Sadness

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From an unexpected distance
A cannonball hit me in the heart,
Blood throstled from my vena cava
And coronary chambers, erupting like a fountain,
From this new mouth in my breast bone

There was no one to hear it speak, to help,
In this ashen desert, no flashes, no searchlights,
Only explosions to warm me, ruptured and bleeding
Into the blackened soil, rich with the loam
Of turbid hurt

With the swiftness of a swallow
The blood-loss visions began,
The bleached skeleton men dropped seeds into my chest,
Feeding that mouth, massaging my dripping arteries
Into terms of acquiescence

Then the thing began to take root,
All those barked fingers peeling through vertebrae,
Rending my skin to seek the soil,
Tendrils raping the gaping mouths of my veins,
Transforming my torso into a suffering, green plexus

Soon my thorax was a hunk of wood,
My oaken heart blossomed with a pain so magnificent
It nailed me to the ground

It was still winter,
No leaves came,
Birds perched sad on my naked branches,
Harvesting the haemoglobin dripping from my buds

No symbol of hope is intended in this,
Just a dying heart,
Turned, Daphne-like, into a tree,
And all the inevitable life that comes with it

 

Poem: The Triumph of Failure

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Starting as the space between the strings,
A silent duet above the street tops,
Words and melodies trickled from lips,
Hearts-hiccoughing from grace-frayed gifts,

But then I became repulsive to you,
All my songs the stuff of maggots,
And now you only saw carbuncles
Whenever you looked into my eyes

“You can sing from a place of fire,
Ushering lyrics into The House of Beauty,
Lift the fallen out of the mire,
Find sweetness in the tears of cruelty

“But can you sing me a house?
Write a symphony of social security?
You’re a worthless, rhapsodizing louse
Venom in the mouth of domesticity”

And, as troubadour, I must triumph in failure,
Submit to the solitude of starved desire,
Search vainly in despondent valour,
For the pain sure to inspire

Unearthed pain unlocks the treasure,
Fresh blood mingles in the fountain,
Divorce from love gives me leisure
To make hell into a mountain

Purgatory, overflowing, has no gates;
A journey across the desert awaits

 

Poem: Lake of Ice

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Why can’t my heart fly?
Sticky and stranded among the rocks,
Enwrapped by tentacles and shelled molluscs,
It lurks among the turbid waters,
Waiting to breach for dry land,
But finding safety in the cool thrill of darkness,

I am treading to you over a lake of ice,
Mindful of every shudder, each stentorian crack,
Taking my time,
Not wanting to thaw with frenzy,
To turn what I love into an evasive enemy,
But chased by persistent fears,
Running razor fingers through the grooves of frost,
I want to hold onto you as a ship’s mast,
The last refuge of a madcap drowning fast

But patience, restraint, are my self-loaded chains,
The bitter laughs spluttering from the lips of my ribs,
The pain of counting out the divisive seconds,
The heart splintered by the season’s dials

Always afraid of making the wrong move,
As though love were a game of chess,
A test of endurance and strategy,
Plotting, conniving, abstracting,
Finding excuses to see you again,
To get closer,
To silently sample each efflorescence of your wonder

To kiss goodnight down timeless streets,
The place where endings and beginnings meet

Poem: Surveillance

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Watch a bird in its cage,
Surveillance is enough to make us insane,
The watched pot doesn’t boil,
But blows out its own brains

When observed, I must hide or strike out,
Scurry off to hedgerow,
Use my beak,
The knife I call my mouth,
To rend muscle from tendon,
Inflict wounds to inspirit distraction

But the blood has a way of following you,
Like the leech of bad memories,
Embarrassing actions, drunken confessions,
Of night breezes blowing in past-life memories,
The toxicity of oil spill odours

Spilling the beans,
I spilled out not just my heart,
But my ignorance in a hunk of gelatinous mass,
Something to wrap tentacles around face,
The shattering of serenity,
The prat-fall from grace,
The soaked credibility of good first-impressions,
Met with cold fingers in the morning

Knowing to disbelieve hope’s mercy,
The discouragement of over-spent warning

Poem: Autopsy of Obsession

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There are days when I turn into the very spitfire of rage,
Imagining each of my corners has the sharpness of a blade,
In the mutated tree of my thoughts, barbed wire epidermis,
Pierces all the women inhabiting my fantasies,
The dramatis personae of my harvested whimsies,
Of dresses clung to wet-mouthed thoughts,
Ill-advised courtship indulged in draughts

Sex only comes into it as a primordial energy,
An intellectual game,
Most of my philandering I do in my mind,
Dreams of infidelity help me unwind,

But, if unfaithful, then unfaithful to what?
To the contrived concatenation of feudal civilization,
To the Christian relic of unhallowed churches,
Doomed to lie in the dust of theology,

I merely want to be there,
To have your aroma,
To be the observer of your wit’s Passover,
To have a figurehead I can quietly worship,
To give my obsession a cathexis, a direction,

There need be no passing of organs, of fluids,
Of kisses stolen from needle armpits,
There need be no moisture from dewy mornings,
To taste your dress when kindled with grasses

If push came to shove, then shove I would not,
Sooner crying into your lap,
Than allowing myself to weep through my phallus,
I want a friend who is sharper than a friend,
From whom I will always taste the love of tension,
An uncertain comfort that needn’t be mentioned

Never sure I truly do,
When I say ‘I love thee true’
Loving truer, having something to love,
As below, so is it above,

Poem: To Poetasters

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There is no such thing as ‘light verse,’
Only the putrid stench of indifferent thought

This onslaught of banality shatters my tolerance,
The fragrance of flames licking to sulphur
As I sit in a furnace, devising torments,
To punish the flaccid carelessness of your empty sentiments

A wounded fury, woundingly furious,
I cannot think on the subject of publication
Without arousing tears of desperation and anger

How can I be calm,
When you feeble poetasters
Drain all blood and fury
From the emaciated corpse of poetry?

As your limp-dick words
Sprawl from the arsehole of hypnosis,
My lexicon grows rank with hateful profit,

In pursuit of genius,
I find none here,
Smashing my testicles into a hard-boiled throat,
To smother you with a tablecloth as meaningless,
Unportentous, as your verse,

I shove my thoughts into your dull labyrinth,
To boil my genius in the clogged bile ducts of your notes,
To wish against kindness,
In the lowest tiers of the Inferno,
Mediocrity will receive the keenest retribution

A little boy imagining his passing sharpness,
May have the rigour to change the world