Books

The books fell through the night, I guess
But even I can tell the difference
Between an accident and theft
They were torn at the edges
Like your nightdress
A chapter spilling out
To reveal an important verb
It has four letters, sometimes seven
It’s the way that it’s told
Not the words themselves
Words never hurt
It’s the tone of your voice

The books fell through the night, I guess
I was soundly counting
The machines that compress
Shepherds to sheep
Sheep herds to meat
The bleating ringing louder
Than my electric dreams

The books fell throughout the night, I guess
Their ghosts came off the page
To throw themselves in protest
At not being read
Arrest them
Like noble champions of a cause
They become the folly of the floor
But the shelves are replenished
With a print waiting to fall

The books fell through the night, I guess
It was an accidental stacking
Procedural caress
I could only love them from afar
Hanging close enough to brood
Each end neatly laid
But seldom will I be soothed
The voice trapped inside
Bumps closer to the edge
But I will not lay and draw warmth
From any of them again

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Books

Spin

I get the feeling the ones
Who die young don’t deserve it
The wholesome ones
Loved, by all their fellows
Less lizard, more model citizen
Happy-go-lucky at altitude
Even as they cough
Deep red phlegm
The neighbours
Fight to breach
The edge of the ambulance
To ride in the backseat
Bottle a dying breath.
But us survivors are bitter
Self-indulgently grieving
Brandishing bouquets
Like magicians
Willing mortal punishment
An iron fist to get it over with
If there’s not a good word to say
Then I’ll sneer and disparage
Disgruntled, I’ll be,
Through every wheezing breath
No matter how many times
I hurl myself down the stairs
Some foolish medic
Stops the bleeding
Even when I chunter
They always continue
Before being knocked over
The next afternoon
Heart disease, apparently
Oh, isn’t it sad?
They died so young
Not a crease on fine linen
It all washes off
My holes filled with plaster
Made more of patches
Than the body I grew in
A sorry, wretched thing
Lest anybody speaks
With any positive spin

Spin

Panic

It’s common courtesy
When having a panic attack
To check everyone is fine to deal
With the aftermath
A quick heads up.
Disaster planning.
Alight here for self-destruction
And other harmful activities
It’s not that I’m anxious of
The tiny disruption I cause
It’s the cosmic insignificance
Being smaller than a quark
Still remembering to treat
Others with care
Even if it’s an empty gesture
From deep within the despair
It’s impossible to see
Beyond the empty space
Impulsive need to sabotage
The hapless animal in the cage
Darkness spreads through my pupils
Bleeding into the whites
Eyes that look infected
Vision losing sight
I feel nothing but the fear of death
Dragging me from this brief
Breath above the blackness
The act between two sleeps
Between something and nothing
Before the morphine eases pain
The dream of a hot, white light
Cools to blackness as it fades
For millennia the core spins
Till there’s nothing left
But a timeless return to the void
Space no longer bereft

Panic

Discs

I fell down today
Just a quick slip
Discs rotating off-kilter
Bent wrists halt
The southern excursion
Breath caught by
Concrete man
Floor wobbles
Like jellied physics
Large ladies warble
Ready to sing an
Operatic version
Of Julien Baker
Drink gasoline
It’s all we need
To keep the furnace
Roaring with heat
Hot discs rotate
Spring back into
Life, in the end
The burning smell
Asphyxiates the cells
Coughing for oxygen
They spread out of
Body, into an armchair
Pools of black liquid
Bubbling with relief

Discs

Indecision Maker

Indecision maker
No shaker or stirrer
Water, still pure

Bringer of silence
No offence or offense
Patient, not carer

Reader of packets
Food colouring vices
Oranges, wait for a hand

Incision delayer
The purveyor of mal
Contempt, with oneself

Frozen spectator
Creator of statues like
Being, gazing in fear

Preserver of stoics
No heroics in halting
Stateless, breathing ceases

A lost hour of time
No crime purged like the
Waster of watches

Divisive evasion
No ovation for standing
Alone, childlike

Blanker of passers
Advancers with words left
Cold, unanswered

Indecision maker
Unshaker of sails
Salt, leaking through pores

Indecision Maker

Empty

This sentence is empty
It yields no crop
Lichen dare not form
Across the concrete slab top

No pearls of envy
Luscious lines that evoke
Nothingness, entirely
Devoid of all hope

The language of plenty
Stoops plainly to see
Its ordinary cousin
Outlive history

A sickness befalls those
Not ready for its noose
For those hanging in mid-air
It still whispers no truth

It survives every stencil
And grafitti obscene
Once under your fingernails
They’ll never be clean

A return to the darkness
Quaint blackness in peace
Sleep through eternity
No light left to breach

Empty

Sim

I saw the axe fall
Bringing a limp silence
To the raucous gathering
A Ghoulish spectacle in
Parade management
To show that
Even megalomaniacs
Can be tamed
By a quick cut
Life, only precious
On the edge of death
Death only certain
With an act of party disobedience
What comes afterwards?
Thirty-seven years of pent up
Visceral fury erupts
With viscous liquid
From every man-made structure
The promise of change
Showers its fragrant message
Fizzy distractions
For new neural pathways
Yet, some habits remain hardwired
An itch deep into the bone
Brutes click their fingers
Servants bow and obey
Arched backs fall closer
To the ground, not worth
The price of fertile land
When arms can be mined

Sim