Sunday, 31 May 2015

30. Kiss me

kiss me like a spilled pitcher
the way sailors tie knots

I want everything
bound and cascading

I want to feel the
gold stirrup of the horse

kiss me like a woman’s fist
the way cowboys say goodbye

wake me and yelp me
with a ball-pit of puppies

my romance is
a big slide greased with lard

push me by surprise
screw all these learned shins

kiss me when distraction
thunks like acid rain

lips burning and fingernails
dug in my palms

Saturday, 30 May 2015

29. Take care

take care, lest the world cast you in total dejection for small crimes
a broken bikespool / sinkcrud & tapgunk / snags in the skin

the internet’s waiting to gag upon your sordid horse skeleton
explain how you failed and fooled and folleyed, but

take comfort in small round pebbles and miniscule bleatings
for today the cost of small mercies is greater than dinosaurs

you woke hard and humble from wrestling with sailors in the night
rope burns in your sins and stubbed ash up the walls

now be a wizard of the afternoon, delight in rain’s psychedelic reflection
the drips on the floor belong to those who let themselves snooze

28. Hooplah

She steps through the portal
into a mutiny of neon hooplah

Across the street a man
eats an ice cream aggressively

Traffic lights look like penguins
Chocolate crackles and pops

On the other side houseplants
swallow everything they can get

The sky is tangfastic &
buttercups & strawberry laces

Your tongue is wet rum
and mint leaves in my throat

I’ll meet you there in a hour
with a bucket to catch the drips

Let’s lie on the pavement
staring up, mouths open wide

Thursday, 28 May 2015

27. Banking hours

convinced next week is rammed
I bank horizontal hours

thunked into film canisters
slid under sofas

convinced I can save time the way
we saved the whales

so when the time comes—when
we need the whales

the whales are here
the body is rested

we both have
time to breathe

I send a message
to next month’s whale saying

when we do get there
it’ll be peachy-fucking-creamy

so don’t fret
let your yawn traverse the ocean

hit a basking shark
& bounce back to where we wait

26. Pelt

let’s play the unravelling game
pick at loose tiger threads

until the big orange pelt
comes down around your ears

you didn’t want to be a ragdoll
you’re sorry about the holes

if a speech was called for
you’d explain but no speech

is called for / no one’s listening

you say sorry the sockets
that don’t match, but your

whole life is still blunt ends
that won’t smoosh together

that’s why you dreamt of tigers
soft neckfur & swatches

to risk more than just standing
here naked and holed

to rest your neck between teeth

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Attention Span!

Hey, oh my god, we went into SPAAACE!!!


All the best special effects ever courtesy of the lovely Ambika Thompson & Tom Moore <3

25. Köpenick

forgetting to secure myself
            I slip
from the city like streamers
        from a car window
relinquishing down payments
            & dog-eared regret

I forgot that opening my fist
            I’d snag
on moments of rivermouths
    the spot where
Berlin is a glass overturned
        the fairycake houses

easy to forget that place
            (I do)
lost in industrial hiccups &
            nitrous fingers
I realise I know nothing
    of this sack
        I call home

Monday, 25 May 2015

24. Atomic

Yesterday the words thunked
as radioactive rain
sure & turquoise & a danger
to the pitted surface of the earth

I sat in neon and said Attack
me with your scum drones
My forearms bespattered
My flesh off-duty

Today I set impossible goals
for these purring limbs
Give me the gush & the hum
The power of orbit

There’s a horse with atomic plume
Hitch it & hike your skirt
Gallop from the testing desert
Take me with you for the ride

Sunday, 24 May 2015

23. Love Story

it’s when the knuckle
limbos beneath my bone, a
tickertape parade

22. Skillet

I found a new dumpster heart
clagged with rust

I thought scrub it
and scour it

salt rubs & steel pads
Make an old black thing new

They told me don’t expose it
to water too long

Avoid tomatoes, vinegar
all things with acid

Keep it from boys
whose intentions are red

I strip and reseason 
my new old heart

Cast it on fire so that
nothing will stick

I think next time
I’ll char his flesh

In a heart that spits and
sizzles and sears

I’ll swallow him into
wiggly gutmeat

Let my stomach acid
break him down

21. Crowds

We’re hiding from the crowds

streets of collapsing sand dunes
the burble and shift of people

We bike away
Away to the park where the

big high waterfall meets
the long straight road

We sit at the crest and pretend

it’s a carnival slide skiting to
the basin of the city

Waiting to let go
Over his shoulder I’m reading

dirty ads from boy hustlers
paedophile promises

romantic as a fist in the face

We shift on the rocks
adjusting hems and bruises

At night, they turn it off
the park the road the waterfall

They’ll leave this place to
solitude and lilac trees


Friday, 22 May 2015

20. That Morning Regret

snuck up on by the captain
in the pointy hat

    palms over the eyes
    pushed down the stairs

you try to lie, you are
swollen flesh
    oozing through hammocks

you try to read, the words
mate and shriek
    as sugar-addled baboons

you try to whisper quiet words, but
they drown
    under white static daggers

snuck up on by the senator
of morning regret

    try hot sweet tea
    try bubbles & oysters

there is someone out there waiting
to say something nice

they'll scrape the soil from the teeth
that sit in your jaw like graves

19. Horoscope

Dearest Scorpio,

Today is a sharp fist day
with knuckles rising—best
not to trust postmen
or recipe quantities, best
to stay indoors.

The world is sodden
with black cats
and tall men who’ll
cackle when you slide.

When you come to,
it will be with
needles in your butt
fishbones beneath
your cheeks.

Regrets will burrow
your flesh like sandflies,
asking: Why didn’t
I listen to the moon?

She told me to behave
and lock the door twice
and still my hand
with the last cup of flour.

18. Ms

I enter the belly of Pacman
mouth open & every yellow dot
is a popcorn kernel
waiting to explode on the tongue
when they go bang they say
well done Jane good job Jane
everything you do is cherries
& pretzels & pears

I am a sucker for rewards
for validation and blunt palms
for high-five festivities
tell me again that it will work out
so long as I keep
my mouth open and moving
to the 256th stage

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

16. Nice

let’s always be nice to each other,
she says, while closing
her jaws like automatic doors
around the reception of his flesh

let’s, he says, with a flat palm
like the blare of a horn
on a motorway in the
hottest part of summer

twenty minutes and their skin
is scuffed and spattered
as dustsheets in red

his bruises take the longest
slow yellow moons
rising over the hips’ horizons

hers are faster, she’s always
been a track star
in blue & purple velour

still, when she breaks the ribbon,
when she yells winner
with fists high in the air,

she means them both
this victory over dead blood
and patience with the skin

Monday, 18 May 2015

14. Slip

The morning is ladders and sandlewood
Soap without rungs
She tries to close her fist
The day starts slippy / gets slippiest
Spiderplants out of focus
She takes her life by a loose scruff
And stuffs it in the sack
Outside is bees and blood oranges
She works quickly
Kill all tomorrow’s flypaper
Shave all the things with barbs

Friday, 15 May 2015

13. Sorry

I say sorry, I meant
to answer every mail with
pink diamonds and rum floats

I meant to shackle sunflowers
to chopsticks and repot the hammock
(my dragonflies are battery-dead)

This week is sunk helicopters
and kites with weak thighs trying
to leap off the runway themselves

These ribbons are knotted, I apologise
to cunt and spunk unswallowed
the pansies gone to rot, but

I want to be distracted by creamy birdsong
and horizontal mistakes—don’t we all
go loopy and yes-full in the spring?

Next week I reject you all in favour
of cheese toastie triptychs
of a revolution built out of gin.

12. Who asks

It is only witches and stepmothers who ask:

who is the fairest? who wins? am I
the one who gets the most? As if
love were sacks of grain and dull rubies,

as if the act of asking
didn’t already make you lose.

And yet, the girl
cannot help but place the words upon
her tongue.

Tell me. How much?
Tell me again.

Until she is smothered
in a bathtub of pink declarations
and rubber ducks

where every bubble says
“the most” as it implodes.

The girl knows
she is spoiling herself for the gutter girls,
the look-both-way boys, but

lately she has been
dreaming of yellow steamrollers.

She thinks—she may be sodden
and spoiled, and yet

it is worth it for every soft pop
of her heart
as the foam subsides.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

10. Echo

Pretty as a drunken bat, she
wakes on another Tuesday,
another spoiled milk morning.

Yesterday the cherry blossom
was pink popcorn husks
scattering the streets; today

she is as hollow and as curdled
as a dozen chocolate Santas
under a sour August sun.

The girl chews and swallows
quickly, scared of the things
that rise in all throats, afraid

if she doesn’t keep up with
the rising she will choke and
spill salt and bump against the walls.

Friday, 8 May 2015

7. Toast

I heard your song tonight, I felt
the barbed wire in my spine

For you’re the one who understands
the things that make us fine

Or better, louder, more than that:
the things that make us collapse

When cliché was a shattered heart
you pounded down the axe

I kissed you when your mane was lank
you smacked me in the gob

I pulled your hair, you promised me
hot daggers for the mob

"We’ll stab them in their softest parts,"
you said, "we’ll do them in

Let’s host a party in their guts
and toast our slay with gin"

If death was sharp, your grin was more
alluring than their flesh

The tides can come to take them now
we’ll both be born afresh

So we’ve done good, much better than
we thought we would back then

Let’s listen to your song and wait
the new armies of men

Thursday, 7 May 2015

5. Getting More Done

To get more done, I start dreaming in parallel sequences.
This Jane is slathered in raspberry jam and licking the neck napes
of a dozen popcorn princesses. They’re rolling around in a bed
scattered with husks. There is dust in this Jane’s knickers;
there is polystyrene between her toes. This Jane has taken a day
to squirm and giggle. To get more done. Then there is that Jane.
That Jane is scaling a big hill under a light snow. She thought
it was cherry blossom falling; she thought she was promised
the golden fish. But the fish is wise and whispers that the hill
has no summit and the petals are ash and everything she touches
is wont to burn her skin. That Jane starts to cry and the tears
freeze and make a helter skelter ice cascade sled run—that Jane
falls all the way down. At the bottom of the hill there is a bed
filled with husks and the snoozy ends of laughter. The two Janes
climb in, laughing. They say let's fall asleep without any dreams.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

4. Love is a pink car

Love is a pink car we set on fire in the desert
the top down, the black vinyl seats
licking and spitting, the boot
a theatre for dancing orange ghosts.

Before the matches, we stuffed the car
with hothouse flowers that drooped beneath
a sullen October sun.

We set the car on fire because we were curious.
So many histories we’d both shown up with,
all the cracks in our hands
stained with grease.

When the sulphur flared, I caught your eye.
You were biting a fat lip and trying
not to laugh at tomorrow.

We took each other’s hands and started
the long walk back to the city.
I could hear the sand cracking
like glass beneath our feet.

Monday, 4 May 2015

3. Brim

the jam jars are all full
of water & soil & glitter & ink
she keeps knocking them over
she’s a sucker for stains

the ink smells like cardamon
burnt swatches of leather
kimono silk turned yellow
armpits stained by the sun

the girl is full to the brim
and trying to walk without
stottering or stumbling
trying not to spill a drop

still she says yes to every
invitation be they gilt-edged
or soot-stained or blank
she climbs on every boxcar

ending a thousand miles
from the station and lunchless
ending and beginning without
tickets or shoe-soles

she’s a terrible waitress
the girl spilled red wine
on every ivory lapel that
cuffed her cheek and winked

I’m sorry she says I didn’t
mean to ruin your best suit
my mother warned me I’m clumsy
but the warning didn’t work

now the jam jars are all empty
the floor is sodden and she
lolls in a puddle with shut eyes
dreaming of white tents and
soaking the hem of her gown

Sunday, 3 May 2015

explanation

April was the month of novel writing in the countryside. So this time around, poem-a-day comes in the delicious May spring...