Prime

Dead people sing in old styles
About love and being young
At a prime number, like 29
Unplugged and unafraid
A sweet phrasing of words
Hopeful naivety over the
Swinging rhythm and bass
Lines cauterised, verbosity subtle
But never simply ending
By premeditated rhyme
It’s the cut we hear, I suppose
Not the toil and torment it took
Nor the fear of a godless universe
A painful death, and an unending
Downward slope with an
Exponential curve like
An old lady’s spine
Youth is wasted, but fearing
Death wastes years when
A body is at its best, mind sharp
Dexterous limbs seek new thrills
Habits that last a minute
Or form lifelong bonds
Until each record starts to break

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Prime

Ascertain Class

Glancing back
Avoiding eye contact
I don’t like to be seen
Making a scene
Imagining who I am
Pretending it’s equal
In every opportunity
I’m afforded the luxury
Of my home country
It doesn’t startle me
But when I look
At my friends, I see
A certain class
Hues that never stray
Into complex colours
I’d defend every man or woman
As if they were my family
But I don’t glance their way
To hear their story
I speak about them
The way a teacher
Patronises a child
Only seeing the world
From my point of view

Ascertain Class

Brusk

She could always be counted on
To make the journey across town
Doing her hair and make up
On the bus, convincing herself
He’d be different in the morning.
This time.

Good looking boys don’t make good
On their bed manners.
They asphyxiate self-respect
Worship themselves
As bronze gods.
Each encounter a conquest
He can’t hear her shouting
Stop.

He orders her to leave before
She can finish, tosses a sheet
When she says the next bus
Isn’t for another 6 hours
She cries into a bottle
They might have shared.

Mascara stained blanket
Thrown from the balcony
Smashes a coffee table
With her heels, sets fire
To the beige sofa
Off in time to catch
The dawn

Brusk

Catheter

I walk. Internal organs
Poking through my gown
Attached via a thin wire
An external body part
Scars show where to fit
The extra storage space
Filled with the same shit
Backing up long corridors
Lonely, but not alone
Thoughts muddied
A coolness to my skin
Catheter connected
To the mainframe
Recharging. Standing by
A quick stop at a plug-in point
I feel refreshed
Can taste the warm
Current on my breath
I’m able to access
The missing link

Catheter

Rust

Slowly slithering
Round gentle corners
Drafty machines
With gaps between
Train and platform
Edging through
Overgrown bushes
Soggy housing
Estates done in
Gather round
Lakes of bilge
Hear the fortune
Teller close another
Industrial relic
Can still taste the
Metal in the air
Rusted out workers
Pull apart their limbs
Waiting for replacements
While the rain seeps
Through the window
Onto the seats

Rust

Blades

Sadness is low signal
Not able to participate
In clickonomics.
A fizz of adrenaline
Spending less than
It ought to cost
The component breaks
As quickly as the last.
I’ve resorted to impulse
Buying wardrobes
In the hope of meeting
The man of my dreams
In another case of
False advertising.
Boredom is where
The dread lurks
Nervous ticks keep
Holding the fort
Alive and breathing
Heavy sweat
Legs aching
The weight of
Nothing cutting
Through shoulder
Blades like grass

Blades

Spoons

Art deco buildings
Grand empty spaces
Where voices used
To travel in time
Reflections, finding an ear
A decade too late
Now, just a backdrop
For a seventy-year old man
Drooling over his first pint
Certainly, it’s cheaper than
Waiting to die in chains
Spoons abundant
He splatters red sauce across
The dark-mahogony table
And waits patiently
To make passes
At the young waitress
While she cleans
The words from each ear
He remembers a friend
Long dead now
Leasing old buildings
Commercial opportunist
Shaking hands
In the business
Of doing business
With fleece holders
Woolly rights
“Keep yerr cotton on
It was just a joke”
He coughs
She offers him a light
To quicken his demise

Spoons