Poem: Sex In The Winter

croc

Winter is the time for love,
Getting naked before the fire,
Headlong in the hearth,
Our bodies soft and warm
To elegiac cracked branches,
Wind threatening to chew up the house
Where origins grind apart

With the trees bare,
Asymmetry of bones everywhere,
Reflected in Death’s ribs,
What can we do but grow fat,
Fucking to the scent of burning pine?

The fire makes you sweat,
Painting your body with my lips,
Squeezing your belly, fermenting
Elixir from your breasts,
Everything descends thighwards,
To the Gateway of Womb,
Gravity is a sweet thing
When it weights me to you

You fuck me because I am not you;
I fuck you because you are not me

And why not?

For out in the woods,
The wolves are taut, alerted,
The sands in the hour glass,
The creatures in the swamp;
To dust we’ll be converted

So before we die
And the only worms to penetrate us
Are the sisters of putrefaction,
Let’s taste what little pleasure there is to be had
In this world of perpetual woe

With the rhythms of the sea,
Madness of a gale,
Severed heads on battlements impaled,
The guards will capture us, mid-orgasm,
And what’s left of our moribund lust
Will be the breeding zone of crows

So kiss me, darling,
And let me squeeze you,
Before time chews off our toes,
Death isn’t the end – just another kind of sex,
So the loving one knows,

Advertisements

Poem: Endymion and Selene

Endymion

Lazily languishing in lingering love,
I would recline, head in lap,
Listening to your breath while you read,
Partially deafened by the weight of your breasts,
Drifting in and out of sleep,
Belly swelling, falling,
An abdominal sea,
I, the bladderwrack,
Enwrapping your thighs,
Upon the midnight shore

If I never had to wake up,
Trapped forever in that idyllic twilight,
The lurching madness of hypnagogia,
Licking sweetly with its tongue,

Then sleep on I would,
In that abyss of endless comfort,
With only the warmth of your body
To tell me of the world

The Goddess reads,
The boy god sleeps,
The oyster and the pearl

Poem: The Flagellant of St. Mary

Flagellants

Coming out of the cold,
The cathedral swallows me,
Digested in its stone belly, malformed,
Another soul lost in masonry,
Another thread in the cosmic carpet,
Another crypt of passing years
Who momentarily walks

From another chapel,
Far away as The Southern Pole,
Voices are caught in webbed transepts,
As I am caught in yours

The whole day I’ve tormented myself,
Bearing guilt for whom I cannot reach,
Those bridges of glass,
Locked in frozen waves,
I am not the key,
Trapped in a man’s body,
No breasts, no blood,
No moon-rent thighs,
No softness to usher in
The tidings of a mother’s heart

For gendered thus,
An evil history is my inheritance,
My very form a symbol of rapacity,
Corruption and vile molestation

I can do nothing right in your eyes

But reaching out,
How fain would I warp this skin,
Invert my genitals,
Hollow myself a womb,
Just to release you from yourself,
Be parturient of your happiness

Skulking in graveyards,
Clothing myself in the skin of ancestors,
All their bodices, and muslins, and Catholic veils,
The Priestess hiding in the gloaming

Can’t you see what lies it all is?
Behind this masque of body,
The Venetian rites of tubercular quarry,
Peel away presence, the whole cosmos
Is the mist of my luminous ashes,
My passion is the sun,
My coolness the moon,
Their union the love I give you

But man-bound, all is odium,
Emasculated by being a man,
I am a half-way thing,
Neither here nor there,
There is no vacancy, no hollow,
In which my love is welcome,
A holy well nobody seeks,
A pilgrimage nobody walks

Behind the silence of my mind,
The Soul is the one that talks

II.
Nevertheless,
I must cohabit with dualities,
Trade in falsehoods,
And gendered neuroses,
Evermore my own flagellant,
My vicious atoner,
In the Chapel of The Mother of God

If I cannot be the Virgin Mary,
Wombless, I wander in Nod

Poem: Shepherd’s Home

shep

Closed for refurbishment,
Your body old sandstone,
Invasive ivy between your ribs,
Sheep-haunches scratched against your bricks,
Looking out cold on a field of rooks

Still, we cling to the past,
Mourning the loss of openness,
Where we once found love,
Only ramparts and battlements,
With scars, over-touched,
Prompting unwanted wars,
When all I needed was a hug

So, let’s tear up the carpets,
Burn all the furniture,
Drive out the harpies
Squatting in the aviary

These walls are still thick
And ripe for love,
There is still a hollow before the hearth,
Where we can ensconce ourselves for winter

Wanting to find you sweet,
I only come away bitter

II.
I carry on as shepherd,
Watching my flock die,
One by one, growing thin,
Wool stained red by tooth of dog

I live among ruins,
Bat dung dwellings,
Approaching tentatively with a candle,
You never dare to come in

For what home can I offer you,
Among all this carrion?
Where my rugs are all of stranger’s skins,
Finding jewels in all my sins

No, you love the cold of the North,
Not my cold, the cold of the South,
Skin picking off the corners of my mouth,
My icicled spine,
Merging with tree bark,
To lay with woodlouse and loam

Now I am the Shepherd’s bothy,
Now I am the shepherd’s home

Poem: Memories of Bath

artofbathing.jpg

Among buildings of golden Bath stone,
Broadways and alleyways,
Terraced falls and tiered fountains,
The promise of love lurks as a soul refreshment,
The physical geometry of spiritual enmeshment

With half a stout in me,
Stirring my spirit into a state of whimsy,
It’s easy enough to steer into a labyrinth,
Seduced by the scent of a bookstore’s amaranth

Looking at you between the shelves,
Casting sly-glances over page-gorged tomes,
Wanting to place a bookmark in your brain,
A passage returned to again and again,

Memories haunt me of faded loves,
Swiss women nursing me back to health,
Giggling together like drunken vagabonds,
Pissing in the park below The Crescent

How the wind blew cold then!
Hurtling down streets in icy carriages,
Warming our love in a mahogany haven,
Sharing pints in a booth at The Raven

I loved you then in a manner faultless,
If accepting of its brief terminus,
Never quite an Austen romance,
Dying before I reached The Continent

And if I’d been to Berlin, what then?
Would my presence in that metropolis,
Lost in spy-logged Grunewald,
Have made the blood between us any thicker,
Boundaries forged and dissolved in liquor?

No,
The ill-matching of souls and forms,
Miscreates the attraction desire deforms,
Like snowmen built at winter’s end,
All passions must melt away,
Disappearing to hell without delay,
To present Death their resume

So, looking at women between the shelves,
Casting desire down goldstone streets,
Admiring the curves I taste as wealth,
Love must come now summer retreats

Poem: Infertile

FridaKahlo

Footsteps chime upon the bridge,
But the river cannot reach me.

I hate humans,
I want humans

Wayfaring, wendigos enwrap my ankles,
My pathway a string of corpses,
The phallic church spires are all infertile,
The sky is pregnant with only sorrow,

Being unreachable,
Banned from a whole spectrum of experience,
These limping legs atrophy:
I lay among the nettles,
And, to make things more fertile,
I rot into the soil

Poem: Nothing Good Ever Happens In August

praying.jpg

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

effusion

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

beach

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 Triumph of Failure

rooftops

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