Habit

Should we meet face to face
Not screen to screen or
Keyboard to keyboard
Uncertainty in the eye of the sender
Picking out an imperfect mark
At thirty-five pixelated paces
Looking for an excuse
To avoid changing my routine
Swiping left for melancholy
But feeling justified in rejection.
Even if she is worth it
One day her face will sag
Wrinkles weather my vanity
With an exasperated demeanour
I’m tiresome, an old git
Never staring into a mirror
For fear of what it might reflect
I can only imagine the face
I used to wear at twenty-five
Wasn’t much of a groomer
Bad habits never scrubbed off
The grime from my pores
Easier to be cynical than dress
Appropriately for the occasion
She holds her drink like she was
Taught to be courteous
This love, a poisoned wine
I think I muttered it forcefully
Enough for her to leave
I’m rational and sober
Drinking tap water
Overgrown strands of hair
Hide the crocodile tears
The bottled up emotion
Slipping through the small
Gaps in between my teeth.
A small submissive ape
Philosophising about being
Misunderstood, when all
I wanted was what I had anyway

 

 

 

Advertisements
Habit

Slow

Slogans are nice, aren’t they?
The way they give you a surface
Level high five. Yeah.
A habitual masquerade
Small shrug of the shoulders
As you clutch a dead animal.

They can appear in places you’d
Least expect them to.
Live the high life by grinding
Your mantra into white lines
Mashing the familiar into one
Blurry muddle as you live each day
Like there’s always tomorrow.

Never obfuscate.
The simplest things are all
We have when a crestfallen
Parent learns to live without
The hope offered by a branded shoe
It has to stop.
Pleasantries.
Are.
Not.
Nice.

I’ve learnt two speak in two voices at once
My high voice regulates the surface
Core temperature, weather gossip
Funny stuff, casual sexism
Failing to grasp the implications
Of abstract political thought

My low voice curses and mutters
Screams at plaques, advertising banners
That offer mortifyingly simple reasons
To not observe the grey matter
But have no fear
The next black and white cat
Is bound to bring luck
Perhaps its cash prize will make
Obedient domiciles of us all

 

Slow

Outline

I’m still trying to prove
Something of value lurks
Inside this precious metal
A gift, or a token, a symbol
Of following orders?
I look back wearily at
Each decade I’ve worn it
Pour scorn on lessons learnt
The times I left myself wide open
Sticking the knife in for not
Having the foresight
To prepare, or to improvise
Making peace with a woman
That makes me frown
Even after all this time
I can still hear a young voice
Whispering into my ear
Her first impression left
The biggest crater
But its outline hardly
Resembles the monster
I rue the day I met

Outline

Machine

Have you never ridden a mountain
On a pedal powered machine?
Man-made geology scarring
The long winding pass
One last shake of the bottle
Squeezing every drop of liquid
Gasping for air. Not acclimatised
To the altitude, wheezing away
The last kick of power
Crunching through each revolution
Gravity pushing down like
An outstretched arm
Leaning into my forehead
I’m not even thinking about
The townsfolk below the sky
Just the road laid for me to ride
The struggle is real.
My struggle is optional
When I reach the summit
I leave my machine
Photograph it as an achievement
But the view should humble
Everyone being equal to see
The mountain is bigger than
This carbon machine

Machine

Little Lord

I saw the drug Lord
His nostrils were larger
Than I remember
Like he’d sniffed through
A line so long, it had altered
The reality he lived in
Warm handshakes
Pleasantries shared, idly
He’s not a bad man
Good company, despite
The sense one false move
Might end in a trench
We used to be spotless
Collars pristinely ironed
Whitened teeth immaculate
Clean sheets
Now even the strands of
His hair infested with
The bugs of summer
Basking in the warmth
Feeding off the scalp
I straighten my back
He arches his, skulks off
Back into the darkness

Little Lord

Tea

Tertiary concerns
Semantics seem larger
Than the physical realm
One tiny tea leaf picker
Sweats and soils
The cargo plane filled
With a toxic firearm
Its pilot, jaded.
Some days careless driving
Keeps us on our toes
The rush of a boiling kettle
Keeping us from harm
So far removed
From the price
Paid for each bag

Tea

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

Prime