Turnkey

My favourite part of the day
was the darkness
when
our fingers would lace
palm to palm
legs tangle
and your breathing
deep
on the edge of sleep
filled the room
in HD
only then
did I feel in control
you imprisoned in bedsheets
with me as solitary
turnkey

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Watered Down

Want no part of love diluted
by fear
polluted
with past heartbreaks
or future indiscretions
I’ve met that kind before
turned myself inside out for it
invested more than I had to lose
used it
like a razor blade
on the skin of a cutter
dragged it across my flesh
carving in your name
and the myriad of scars I left
are
all that
remains

Opposite Coasts

You and I
left pieces of ourselves
in the poetry we read
and dedicated
to each other
in songs we claimed
for their hidden messages
littered throughout lyrics
there are
pastiches of us
pasted over the artworks we digested
diaphanous layers
like a collage of lust
exhibited
in airless galleries
echoed
on opposite coasts

In duplicate

Thread by navy thread
watchface chamfer
footsteps fall in my footprint
echoing motion
I am scanned
photocopied
studied
my essence duplicated
and adopted
I no longer standalone
I am cloned
Imitation
being the sincerest form of flattery
I’m told

Dirty Secret

sewn together
with invisible stitching
a
dirty secret
concealed
in
single ply construction
a tromp l’oeil
designed specifically
to
deceive the eye

Fleshed out

Precious bones
fleshed out
laying next to me
sinew
and muscle
in repose
just a hair’s breadth
of separation
between us
that holds enough electricity
to light up the world
or mine
at least

This is your problem

your problem is this

you don’t know who you are
you are not fully formed
you are still that pubescent boy
who was damaged
confined to your bedroom
playing games
chasing thrills
so
you like whatever she likes
you befriend whoever she befriends
you obsess and stalk
although she could be anyone
and everyone
who catches your eye
or is bothered to reply
thus usurping those
who went before
you lose treasure
digging amongst the trash

this is your problem

Pilgrim

No longer care for his loneliness
grew tired
of digging
scraping
scratching
bowing
wailing
at his wall
my only reward was brick dust
packed
beneath my nails
bloodied knuckles
calloused skin
and the origamied prayers
poetically written
to him
and wedged between the cracks
were flightless birds
released
by a marginalised pilgrim

Measured Response

Everything is unravelling.
Not slowly
stitch
by
stitch
but all in one go
like an almighty fucking earthquake
way off the richter scale
propelling shards
in no pre-ordained direction
scattered
in bits
and I wish
you would administer
a measured response
slip me
back into my skin
one last time

Graffitied Slur

Smashed the pin
ground it into my skin
graffitied slurs
like “FAT COW” and “SLAG”
across my back
needled them in
with balled fist
then kissed me
with that filthy mouth
until you were reduced
to nothing more
than a sentient f*ck buddy
blowing back
wasted sentiment
to someone experimenting
on a knife edge
but in no way cut out
to remain on it

Silent Proximity

art gallery dating
was never ideal
knowing glances
whispered observations
moving in silent proximity
skirting invisible
boundaries
hands less than
an arms length away
unable to touch
and in these airy spaces
all I could do was hold my breath
and imagine us in stop motion
you, smearing my lipstick
with your lips
like Francis Bacon
dragging paint
around a study
of an open mouth

Displaced

I still feel you
in
intimate spaces
haloed reminders
of
body temperature embraces
your skin
papered over mine
the translucency
of flesh
failing to disguise
our
fault lines

Pocketed

Searching for signs of him
in his jacket pocket
I found
a lighter
skins
weed crumble trailing the seam
credit card (stolen)
£5 in shrapnel
stray tobacco strands
and in the deepest recess
his hand
rough
but receptive
to mine

Creep

He used to call around 9
burst through the door
high
then creep away in the early hours
leaving me feeling
low

W8

Postcards
were our
significant method
of communication
coded
encrypted
posted
received
displayed
on mantelpieces
in victorian terraces
in W8
until they curled
around the edges
folded
when they could no longer
take the heat

Soft Focus

What purpose does it serve
if we go out
get drunk
stumble into old patterns of behaviour
it’s just an interruption
of the negative space between us
lust in soft focus
but afterwards
we will be more beautiful
for having been broken

Pixelate me

Pixelate me
encode my features
in blocks of calculated colour
hung out to dry
in 64 pieces
dehumanized in graphic detail
and reflected in the whites
of a wall of human eyes

 

* ¬†Inspired by Ellsworth Kelly’s “Colours for a large wall”

Metaphor

I kept the poem you wrote for me
like a talisman
folded in the dustcover
of the book of
Mayakovsky poetry
that once was yours
a metaphor
shielded from contamination
fuelled by
russian vodka
and prose