Poem: Memories of Bath

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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

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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

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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

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

 

Poem: Lake of Ice

202050_theprisoner_heart-of-the-swamp

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: Sharing Wildness

shaman.jpg

Who’s the one sitting on all the rockets,
Sacral and root chakra store the furnace,
Smouldering inside from spine to skull,
I feel the intensity of desire,
Of Karma’s strange pull

I hoped if I got to know you,
I could nip it in the bud,
Stop the running bath water becoming a flood,

But my ploy failed,
Prevention only furthered the fuse,
Crackling towards personal demolition

It’s always like this,
Having to make myself anew,
Each time Venus’s arrow goes through,

But waiting in the trees,
The camouflaged hunter,
Tries to conceal his internal disorder,

To dazzle and misdirect
With the fake state of his warriorhood,

Because truth takes time to put into words,
Like the firing of bullets,
Your aim must be good,

And the timing perfect,
Or the proficiency of your kill,
Results in the destruction of your imperfect will

Let’s leave the hunting metaphor,
I refuse to play predator,
Putting myself in your sights,
Preparing the onslaught,
Hoping as I catch you, I will also be caught

A mutual capture of assured finesse,
Not made to tame, but to share wildness

Poem: Swallows of St. Illtud’s

 

swallows

Swallows fly in and out of St. Illtud’s,
Singing mass in melodic whispers,
They do not sit still for the communion of the saints,
But dance dizzyingly with them in the air,

Perhaps they are etching Ogham on the sky,
Writing invisible vapour trails of all that’s gone by,
William Blake winks out at you from the fire place,
Fumigating with the black smoke of truth

The silting of sand trailing over vital hands,
Scratched hard by the certainty of proof

Poem: Sea, The Builder

sea arch

Counting out the change of marsh pennywort,
The Sea is the finest architect,
Thinking not of porticos, corbels,
Synthesized by this architect’s moist fingers,
The real estate of Blue Mother Sea,
Puts seaweed in the drowned lungs of singers

Her body is crystal,
Melted and given motion,
The rhythmic undulations of sparkling sapphire,
Symbol of the subconscious’s cryptic emotions

In the bellies of grey limestone caverns,
The latticework of maritime honeycombs,
Wrought with striations of ochre and quartz,
Red torsos webbing between earthed gasps
Of landmass

The fishermen will be given a separate church,
So their scent offends not the men of God,
While God himself huffs all the perfume of the world,
Caring not if it is shit or vanilla

Scurvygrass will be the fruit of your arthritis,
When the sea counts back the bricks of your digits