Option B


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I have brick lust
’cause I’m in love with the thick dust
that champagne-flows like blood in a dream
from rheumy sock crows,
slow to perch on the tattering nails of my big toes
afraid if I move too fast I’ll invade the space
they’ve created in this time and
when I was a boy
I had no such place,
intimidated by the pressure to make haste
and waste the only days
where I had no means to pay my way if I so wished
ripped through my teens with regret at this
meaning I missed even more of life because of it,
and
if I could sweat it out in ribbons, I would, for they would ruin my shirts less
But I can’t, of course.
And nor can you
we are but porn in a teenage masturbation montage sequence,
repugnant at the thought of thirst,
dry as the monotony of a life where danger fears to tread,
you said this with a face so straight, so serious, that I asked you
to repeat it all,
from start to start again,
to keep you here a few minutes longer
to hang on to this time,
and what we are,
in but a moment,
you shake your head, and leave
giving me the finger as you go (which I deserve more than life in itself)
but thanks anyway,
for what it’s worth.

Uncle


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“People with glass mouths shouldn’t blow marbles”
my Uncle chortled at the cricket, ’97,
pissed out his vest on the Sauvignon Blanc
he’d been dribbling into the glass
from his hamper (wrapped in a towel under home-made salsa)
ten seconds before he shifted his colossal round arse in his seat
and farted with intent to both repulse and amuse
He shakes with laughter, then,
reddening further in his freshly-shaved face
his nose placed back into the glass
to draw deeply upon
shades of hay, honey, and his own foul stench

In Utero


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Few songs rock like ‘…Teen Spirit‘ rocks,
But I can never love Nirvana

Because I was watching Snow White,
and trying to draw the dwarves
whilst on their stereos at home
they all played Nirvana

I was the only kid in the dorm
to wear pyjamas with buttons
and that is why
I can never love Nirvana

When two kids in music class
played Come as you are
(badly) on guitar and drums
I thought about home,
and watching Chip ‘n’ Dale,
not about Nirvana

And when they all had undercuts
though I never combed my hair,
when they spray-painted the shaved bits
as I lay in bed, hanging on to childhood with lumps in my throat
Nirvana didn’t help

When I wore a Taz t-shirt, aged 11
to a bowling alley
and a girl from my year, heavy make-up, said to me:
‘Do you really still like him? Isn’t it for kids?’
Nirvana wrote the score

At the Year 7 Disco,
I hide in the toilets
as the boys dance with the girls
to Nirvana

I call my Dad to take me home
as they all circle round
and muted Nirvana plays behind the doors
When I talk in code, hope he reads between the lines,
lie that I’m actually talking to ‘an old friend of mine’
Nirvana plays on
And when he comes, right into the hall,
tracks me to the toilets,
I pretend he’s dragging me home: controlling; unfair
And that. Is why. I can never. Like Nirvana.

A boy called Barry, bigger than me,
uses sweat from his balled-up socks
to draw a ‘Nirvana smiley’ on the changing room wall
as I cower in the corner,
hiding my pants as I change back to uniform
praying for the weekend,
to leave that place,
and the stench of Nirvana

But how it followed me
when I moved schools, tried to fit in
did lungs out my window at fifteen
drank in old-man pubs at sixteen
Wanted to get married at seventeen
Did at twenty-two,
How I feel arthritic now, barely out my youth
Because they all loved Nirvana:
those silly little ‘pubes a distant dream’ boys,
pretending to be grown up
dragging me down with them
awkward and embarrassed
that I ever was a child
And as Nirvana,
plays on the radio in my car
decades pissed and smoked by
I allow myself a smile,
that most those kids are bald
and tap the steering wheel
to the great sound of Nirvana
to the great sound of Nirvana
the band I’ll never love

Holiday Inn


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A bag for life; plastication bulge,

in he checked, shatting up his chat-up to blue-suit blonde:

“I’ve left my life, come to Holiday Inn,”

her smile, stopped at her lips, provokes

A thought -from subsub-:

Man-hands swaddled

Arms up, sharp and sour (raw-run death fucker)

Face aches in wide screen – HD-

You dreamt this

Went all out to get this:

“My loss: my gain”, ingrained memory spunk, pitted on

your dental floss,

blown wideandfar, spilling outta pink bins

painted like rouged pigs

their strands strewn for yards (and sewn) we

sat on bricks

saying : “lonely man’s idiocy; lonely man’s adultery”

you second that, in time

means less to go on\

no fingers to bring up

that guttural squelch, greenscreen freeze

tinned headphone shriek

three stumps stuck throaty disdain affluence

pitched o’er reception wadded accented oik

a piss stain on y-fronts of life

he said, with a straight face:

“the grass isn’t greener,

the grass is half-dead”

and the other side

of that fence

is matted with silage,

so rank,

“I can barely beat one off and be caught in two minds”

To that, she did smile,

Handed ‘cross the keycard, her chapped, claptrap hands

A patron, ionised, to room 101,

in silence

he walked.