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

Loop

In a loop
Click and check
Read and red
Button press
Numbered light
Reflect blank
Glaring eyes
On repeat
Same site
As it was
Five minutes
I’ll check
The coast
For clearing
Paths, stoned
Trapped babes
Flick and sit
Simmer and bleat
Cyclical scene
Familiar screen
Flashing red dot
Live and live
Feedback machine
Process progress
Denied all streams

Loop

Boxing

Kick those voices
With a good steal
Boot sale in the back
Silver lining shrapnel
Picked up tat
Under the leather
Shredded endeavour
Maker’s mark on fine
Printed souls
War and tear
Names rubbed off
In the decade
Since I bought
The lock
They grumbled at night
I placed masking tape
To keep the words
From appearing on record
Overdubbed between licks
I’d forgotten they existed
Till I opened it by mistake
Now, they speak fluently
Darting across the room
Just out of harms reach
Like a cat, boxing
Ring manners
No punch thrown
Till the bell end
In the middle
Turns his back

Boxing

Fish

It seems on my side
Of the clicker
There’s a distortion
In the truth
Minor adjustments
For absent
Minded screensavers
Folders, of youth
It’s there to find
Scanned, ready
For the printing press
To run on
Sunday’s holy suckling
I wanted a bite
An ordinary slice
Of evenly distributed
Baked, moist, pie.
Her heart’s not in it
Though, I’m plugging
Away with mild milk
Still laced
With last night’s joke
It doesn’t echo
Falls dead
Flattened by an attempt
To concoct a phrase
That’ll unlock
That level up
To reach ninety-nine percent
It works, under pressure
Almost every single time
With a trawlers net to keep
The fish from the brine

Fish

Elegant

I’ve been given my injections
Jabbed in the arm
All the armoury I need
From a word floating
Through the air
Like an elegant dancer
Shape and form
Twirling through the gaps
Heat seeking missile
Dynamite on impact
But I’m standing tall
A diplomat of importance
Over-reaching my area
Straining to leech
Bloodsuckers in baths
It’s difficult to sleep
Without guards to halt
An airborne attack
The tiny dancer
Whistles in the wind
Carefully throttled
By a little voice
Whispering into my ear

Elegant

Sharp

Love is impossible
A weakness I won’t allow
Myself to indulge
An idea, so swollen
Its glands are the buoys
On which we stand.
Islands, of summer
Stories of winter’s retreat
The courting flowers
Pass from hand to hand
Feeling another life
Intimately breathing in sync
For what?
To undo the damage
I cause when I look
Without love or grace
Encased in my own rapture,
My heart was never given
In this financial agreement.
Love, she sought
To ease the flame
Burning brighter on youthful
Cheeks, sun-kissed
White hot peeling flakes
Drift off to feed
Skin, touching skin,
But I can’t let this vulnerable
Chip on my shoulder
Define what I am
Valves and shocks
Electric sizzle
Microwaveable parts
Print out the solution.
To woes not yet wooed
Deep under wired roots
Stones, as yet unturned
Crumble under sharp shoes

Sharp

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