That girl is dead now and yet her facebook lives on.

First published in DeBasement ‘Xmas Special’

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That girl is dead now and yet
her facebook lives on.

Someone had bothered to phone him
someone usually did
there were some initial pleasantries
there usually were.
Then the voice on the other end
just cut right to it-
the girl had died
it had taken a while for anyone
to realise.
Still waiting on the coroner
but they thought it was an overdose
the funeral was next week
and could he make it?
A lot of images flashed before
his eyes then.
He wasn’t sure, he was working a lot.
Well it would be good to see
him there.
When the young die, all turns of phrase
have an uncomfortable lilt.

He sat later with his lady,
her face wet with tears.
They’d got a better bottle of wine
than usual.
It was for the girl.
To the girl, they both said.
She had wept the same way when
on Christmas eve, the girl had hacked
at a wrist with a bar knife.
Not wanting to go home.
They were the same type of tears,
they tasted the same.
Of confusion and of guilt.
They sat and blamed everyone
for not helping
sat and admonished themselves
and everyone
for not understanding.
They clinked glasses and played music
they thought they remembered that she
had said she’d liked.
He did not cry but wondered
what sad thoughts of the girl she
was thinking, as her tears fell.

The day after, he told a friend,
who told him that people who wanted
to die would do so eventually,
and not to worry about that.
The day after that a friend of the girl
told him they thought it had been
accidental. Misjudged dosage.
She had been happier, if anything.
He thought that was sadder,
somehow.

It had been a couple of days
and all the people went to work
and caught the bus
and got confused about how they liked
a steak and everything
was normal, really.
His lady asked him out the blue
what was your favourite memory of the girl?
He pretended to have a think
about that
and told her it was when she had
discovered the assholes he worked with
had uncovered and promptly destroyed
his notebook and she had bought him
a new one,
with an embossed pocket-watch on the
cover and a cute note inside
about finding the time to write
or something.

His lady said she had had a big heart.

He did not tell her of his saddest memory
of the girl.
When in the early morning once
she had kissed him and
he had watched as she mounted him
and said

“I know I’m not good at much, but I’m good
at this.”

and he had stared into her dark eyes
that stared back at him and knew
that she had meant it.
He had fucked her anyway.
Because he was an awful person, goddamn.
She had been good at that, after all.
And possibly a thousand other things,
but he had told no-one
and now it didn’t matter,
either way.

He realised then that a little bit of him
would stay forever now in that
moment,
and when on that fateful eve
he had carried her bleeding,
to the ambulance
because she had not wanted to be alone
on Christmas.

His Christmas would always be hers now.
The glasses clink.
They usually do.

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Nightjars

First published in DeBasement issue #2

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Nightjars

Long perfect legs frame her window,
I trace the small imperfections ‘cross
the small of her back
like star signs written
on some pale alien sky.
“For luck”, I say, and mean it
Lightly.
Scorched lungs and tongues
like torches
Beam light through
the foggy blackness,
the white noise of our minds.
I observe pillow etiquette,
steal charcoal,
break chairs,
to pieces in my garden,
crying.
Where have all the men gone?
She shakes, she
wakes and bakes,
past muffin shops
and counter tops
with blazing red eyes.
Starving, yet not for food.
Heroes in Hi-Vis enter
breach the sanctum
reach for reason
but now her breath is treason.
They lay down tools,
she can barely even speak.
Doors unbroken remain
unhinged.
They approach the subject
broach the abject
sadness that draws the blinds,
despite the laughter in her eyes
her hips, her kiss,
her laugh, her smile.
She tells me I am good, and
special.
I have never known what to do
with compliments,
though I give them freely.
I fell hard in the fall
and now winter approaches me,
softly.
I perjure and my liver laughs.
The water shimmers and I know now
how to jump
and the Seine will no longer
wash away the women,
and I will no longer taste
guilt in my mouth,
just cigarettes,
and continental lager.
I have broken the face of the mannequin,
and my chains,
and my brain
aches for her touch.
Hands on shoulders grasping,
pulling me toward hot ecstatic
void.
As I ebb into her eyes as I
never have.
Like the leaves that now
tumble down as if to
remind us they were
always there, watching
and waiting.
Respiring through
our decline.
One sock on and one off,
those legs still stretch out
onto Temple Street and
through my imagination.
She barely makes a sound.
I’d check her pulse but
there is nothing dead
in her.
Nightjars left hushed now
as dawn taunts the sky
and I lie naked in all ways
to usher her in
smoking and falling
again
and
again.

Just Deserts

First published in DeBasement issue #1

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Just Deserts

Bury your head, taste the sands of ages
empires fallen. Retreat upwards ‘cross twin dunes,
exposed and and rising gently under the thin blanket
of night.
Elevate her.
Basement to Cornice 4th.
Doors slide away to grim vertical horizon. Blinded
by stark winter sun, run widdershins round Paradise
Circus as the clock slips away, you pray
but there is no prayer for us,
the lost, the workshy, the slothful.
The priapic thronging Saturday shoppers whip the smell
of pussy from your face and you are alone in the crowd.
Head fit to burst.
Join the fray. Marvel and sicken.
Their confidence is cowardice.
Their exhibitions, exposition
on their shabby blue-lit screens.
But then what does light matter? Less it’s
folds at the corners of a fresh new note
and keeps us safely in ours.
Perhaps the good lawd will shine a light on me…
Let’s hope he’s not a representative of the DWP
as I have no accounts for my inactivity.
Miserere Mei Esther McVey,
Remind me again doll, how to labour is to pray?
Because Chloe can’t still, and neither can I,
and your patients are wearing thin
but it is their lack of hunger for change that will
demolish their life support.
Easy to say each Génération Perdue is more lost than
the last as you strip away everything until not even the
dust will know our bones.
Were privatised.
Our distractions are abstractions of guilt and duty
as a promise made to a lover, long ago.
When with wet lips you swore you’d be “okay”.
your lips wet from her tears.
She cries for you, still.
As what is you ekes out,
as 60hr weeks give out just enough pay to play
another minute in our crawling race
across our just desert.
Back to where all fool’s gold glitters
and with cracked and sun-baked hands
you pull her into you at last,
and bury your head.
In the sands.

View From a New Street

First published in DeBasement Issue #0

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The View From a New Street 2014

Babes in the hoods contemplate fiscal realities
and breast implants,
more Lost than Found, but feet from Bennett’s
Hill and an ageing couple embrace
lost hours by notching another to the bowstring
of silence as I
murder a pint and kill nothing,
to my eternal shame.
I see phatic communion replace emphatic reunion of minds
and souls and
not only in my eyes now is purgatory.
Camel days behind, roll-up for me and thee
oh such a perfect day in
Cam’s Christ-lovin-multi-sepulcher-al BIG society.
We could admit to ourselves the asylum,
but we’re comfortable in good company
cars, living in and behind bars
this poet hears the prayers of the penitent
big-titted kindle wielding master race
of tomorrow.
Take my hand little one
and we’ll de-scale the heavenly tale
and ask blind Orion whom I broke if he weeps more
now for death or duty?
Because Buk is dead,
and Bogart and Blake and now Tracey too,
their great shades cast on our town
because they had the decency to realise.
Where I sit and mourn them beerdrunk,
Where I sit and no empty prayer will bring back gods or
girls
Or the Basement Bar
Where one could curl up alone for a moment in the
XX-quisite dark and play bluegrass on
the jukebox
And what passes for life passed by unnoticed
One wall and a world away
On New Street.