neighbours

01 18

I stood still
for a time
and in between my toes and
up around my thighs
grew bindweed, tightly
slowly
and see,
in our gardens
where we exercise
an illusion of control,
we are always taught to rip it out.

rip it out from precious rose bushes
and pleasant camellias
placed and planted with such intention
and purposeful beauty
(just in view of the neighbours). 

the weed.
we stamp in anger
as it chokes our chosen stems.
we pull in frustration
wondering when the fuck
the bindweed will stop
coming back
again
and again. 

fools.
do we not know
that bindweed too
produces delicate flowers?
so intent on the singular
growth of our choice,
that we cannot accept that
even the choking weeds, too
in their growing
have their blossom?

alas,
it covered my body and I watched in
a sort of hopeless wonder.
for the first time
I noticed the papery blossom
and a tear fell from my eye.
in its beauty, though
I let it revel a little too long
and it strangled my
blackthorn bushes
and attracted flies that disturbed my fruitbowl.

beautiful
but
if it grows up to my eyes
and blinds me
what use does it have?
maintenance,
maintenance.
I won’t anguish over the weeds any longer.
I will allow their flowers and
their lessons
but I will not stay still enough
for bindweed to penetrate my
navel and
nose and
mouth and
eyes.

I think this
suits me and the plant well.
an understanding.
and a new chrysalis of gratitude
for the others that grow
in my volcanic soil

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daughter

2017. excerpt from a song 

my brother’s your other
I would have had your daughter
I’m not the tiny creature
you think I am
I’m the big bad wolf
incubus succubus
evil eagle pecking out your eyes

I could have stayed and laid
there forever with you
forever with you
you leak out of my eyes
like a traumatic head injury would
I could have stayed and laid
there forever with you

I don’t know what
I want from you
but I know I don’t
I don’t want you

diamond

27 10 17

I wonder what they think I am
do they think I am
a hard diamond orb of a woman?
it is what I try to
make them see
(it is a lie)

I line my shortcomings
up neatly on the mantelpiece
stacked on each side of the
ticking clock,
so I can see every one.

the orb you see is not real
but a perfectly crafted vision
a trick for your eyes
I am trying to be vulnerable
I am trying to be the best.
the two are
mutually exclusive

the clock keeps ticking
but it makes no sense to me
and I keep on in a story –
like I am the master of time –
but the numbers slide off
the face,
and maybe I really
understand what Dali meant

orbs are nothing but a ghost story.
I may as well speak in the voice of
a television medium.
watch this show with caution
as everything within it
exists only for your entertainment

sockets

plugging the fingertips
into
sockets of suffering
sends an electric current straight
into the heart
pain into the palms and soles
and cynicism into the brain
you could ask
how do I solve the global problem?
not only now
do the eyes see,
but the heart feels
and where do we draw the line
between selfish ignorance
and hopeless engulfment?
thinking positively
does not stop
children being abused
or wars from breaking out
but neither does
drinking the mercury of suffering
what do you do with the anger of injustice
when you see it everywhere?
cut it off, the discarded stem of a vegetable?
become the righteous adjudicator
of opinions?

neither
do much to
keep the homeless warm
or the vulnerable safe

mostly
I wish I could eat the pain
of others
mostly
I wish I could
disappear my own

perhaps the best thing I can do
is turn it into compost

the dirt

women, the balm
balm for my wounds
seamstresses of my heart
blood in my blood
those men never related to me
they just wanted my eyes wide
and my mouth wide
maybe I wanted their eyes wide too
or maybe I just wanted a new father
but they are not in my blood,
like you women are in my blood.
come, warriors
on the other side
of the world
inside a phone screen
or ten tube stops away
come,
over bread and oil,
or cigarettes
or creating –
you warriors,
you make my bones strong
and my mind agile.
let me do the same for you
and let me stop apologising
for needing you
you pearls,
you islands,
you sisters.
cry,
and I will cry too
and we will
lock our fingers together
and keep growing out of the dirt.

snow

little moon baby
eyes like mine
deeper than black holes
telling tales of destruction
her hand rests on my hip
and I would never compare her to
a doll, but
the words to describe someone so
precious and delicate escape me
her skin is snow
so how do I melt when
it’s mine that is warm?
we will never understand us or them
those beasts of brawn and hair
they fill the holes but don’t heal
I wonder if I want to love her
as I wish I loved myself

sick

sick
sick
sick
for years, I couldn’t even type that word
let alone say vomit out loud
I trawled endless forums
full of people like me
so terrified of the power of it
that they replaced the latter half of the word
with an asterisk.
v*
like Voldemort
the bodily function that must not be named
vomit is not my fucking problem
fear is my fucking problem
and still now,
fifteen years after I hid in the living room
behind the itchy green sofa
listening to you moan as
mother and sister heaved you up
out of a stinking pool of chemo-puke
the smell permeating through the wall,
I am still sitting and fucking shivering
at the mention of a stomach ache
fear is my fucking problem
I don’t want to let it steal
any more hours from my life
I don’t want to spend hours cycling
through every single thing I’ve touched in
the last forty-eight hours
I don’t want to lie awake with
poisonous adrenaline pumping through my blood
I don’t want to.
I don’t want to.
vomit is not my fucking problem
fear is my fucking problem
I don’t want to lie awake
convincing myself that my
obsessive handwashing will save me
I don’t want to
explain to him why I stay up for hours
paralysed with fear
I don’t want to
explain to him that there have been times
I thought I’d rather die
than spend a minute with my head in a toilet
I don’t want to anymore
I don’t
fucking want to.
vomit is not my fucking problem
fear is my fucking problem
and I don’t want it
anymore.