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MaryYou’re one of those cunning folk,
aren’t you Mary? Can you tell our fortune?
Mary, tell us our fortune. Mary –
your neighbour heard snatches of
piping last night, says you’ve dolls
in your house, and clever toys.
Mary, have you a bite on your body?
Let us see it. Have you been out buying pins
from the pedlar Tom Law? Show us your mark.
Mary, do you know Alice Gray?
Pinched and pricked with pins she was,
tongue lolling from her lips, screaming.
Or Liz Redferne? Flailed her arms
like a bird. Took a knife to herself, then
her father. A demon’s work. You’re familiar?
What’s that, Mary? There are no demons?
Then you deny the existence of God.
Mary, it’s a ducking for you my old lover.
IdolBy the Krispy Kreme donut stall
a flash of pallid puerile grins.
When you turn they scream a little.
You cross the street. The local busker
shrugs & starts picking your tune.
A zephyr plucks at your feathers.
Monday they’d stalked you round
Sunnyside snaking as one, emboldened
because you’re a shared experience.
Your Tweets set trends. You’re
six feet in a chicken suit but not
as dumb as you look; you read
Nietzsche, Schopenhauer. When
will they take you seriously? Sing
the chicken song they call & flap
their hands. A girl in a phone box
is mouthing your name. This morning
head tucked under a wing you were
crying for your Tesco life back,
to be hidden from the world’s eyes
as some spiritual masters are.
Friday Night at the Hilton Birmingham MetropoleHands linked, atop our chairs,
we're mouthing to Neil Diamond
each group an umbrella of light
& faces as the silver-tray-palmed
waiters roam. Champagne for the
happiest table! the DJ shouts.
Sweet Caroline, good times never
seemed so good. We have crossed
England, humped our suit bags
out the underpass. Then a wood,
an artificial lake. Took empty
rooms. Complimentary mini-bar,
salmon, second slice of Bakewell
tart for lunch; we’re only here
for the grub. Multi-channel TV
& the latest innovation, tilted
marble shelves for hand basins
to sluice the faucets’ spray.
Sweet Caroline, good times never
seemed so good. Next time
we enter the underpass
shall we again cast about like
Odysseus’ fame-weary shade,
for the lives of private men?
Girl in WindowThe first tubes were windowless Matt says.
Tower building. Weak sun. Snow due. We’ve
post-its, flip charts. A print on the wall
shows a girl in a lemon dress leaning out
a window. Her wrists are crossed, her eyes
shut. She’s wearing red lipstick.
We’re in groups. Last August, a technician
jumped to his death from this 8th floor room.
Below men pace, and smoke.
The post-its keep dropping off the flip charts.
Matt slaps them back on. We’re paying him
£500 a day someone said.
The girl on the poster is laughing. White
curtains flutter her bare arms. There is
a special providence in the fall of a post-it.
Matt’s been hired, someone said, because
the first tubes were windowless. A snow sky.
Matt’s laughing. We’re all laughing.
Ame-furi-kozo (ii)It is not the plan of the house that moulds
the darkness, lamplight-devouring, a stain
that won’t shift. First a summer shadow,
despite incense and zazen, there, blooming
from some offense you can’t recollect
perhaps, as the years melt ever more real.
Stealing over your shrine of family photos
like a bad secret, and outside, constant rain-
fall. Till you hear the child laughing.
Incredible sound. You spread the shutters.
Blue-skinned under Tokyo sodium, a
small boy, battered brolly for a hat, dancing
and dancing under the churning rain, and
laughing, oh adieu to bad dreams!
Paradise St.Dusk, rush hour, the living
ride forth from their offices
pink clouds and a little sun.
We’re on a faded billboard,
child stars of yesteryear.
He’s talking about buying
a trash gyre in the Pacific.
Or he could fly to LA, make
a million dollars for a film.
This is the age of afterlife.
It scares me like
a nine-to-five existence.
And those alien bodies
the government claim
they never recovered,
well they’re on the move
passing slowly under pink clouds
bottles dumped by the kerb.
I have to remind myself
we’re just bodies. But
if I were 10% body, 90% spirit
voice a glass whisper
barely in the world ...
Turning onto Paradise St.
I feel like I’ve been clutching
a knot of balloons,
let them go.
Left-handedYour buzzed haircut & rapier-
edged brogues are à la mode,
hard to believe they green-
lighted that Bow contract
without you. And Tim’s
20 years toadying you hear
has scooped him promotion.
What’s the deal? You break
sweat on tidy-up days.
You get your round in.
If you don’t bag a bonus
you’ll walk you tell Karen.
Reassigned to Small Claims
there’s a lot more time to think.
You find yourself slipping into
the pub on lunch breaks. Clive
your new manager is often there
punching the fruit machines.
You make an application for
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.
Pinstriped you lope the gated city
its clouds like still Jinn.
Someone must own a magic lamp
someone a wishing chair.
JuiceLong haul tonight,
shifting the juice.
Green if it’s good.
No trying it though,
got to keep my wits.
Cops are no sweat,
gun’s for the gangs.
Better plug hard
so they know you’re
real. Stop off after
for gin. Maybe that
girl will serve me.
An-DTearing open a tobacco bag
(he rolls his own)
perfectly cut cheekbones,
that was some specification,
working the paper,
he makes that orange suit,
head so still
for the prison guards,
what did desire mean
to him, pleasure model,
the key moments in his life
BeautyI'd rather wear flowers in my hair,
forming a delicate chain
Than diamonds around my neck,
covering my tender blue veins
For with every precious petal
and every lucent leaf
I'm a living lesson
teaching beauty can not be bought
But rather it grows and flourishes
with every living thought
Expensive LiesI sit and stare at the toilet bowl.
A guy I know is bulimic.
When we compliment him
I see the twist of agony in his eyes
as his brain reprograms it
to sound like an expensive lie
that costs him another tear
in his tattered dignity.
Friends hurry to him,
to reassure him, to love him.
They tell him how beautiful he is.
We didn't know him before,
but he's definitely not fat now.
We whisper things in concern like;
body dysmorphic disorder.
'I know you'll never believe me
but you are so gorgeous -
not just on the inside.' Not just.
And they're right, I join in,
because they are right to say it
because it happens to be true -
he is stunning. Not just on the outside.
And we want him to see himself
the way we see him, beautiful.
And I join in because
I've felt that strangle of pain
in my stomach, bowels and belly,
when someone used to tell me lies.
So I know how he feels.
Only, he is beautiful on the outside
and I'm not.
He's not seeing reality in the mirror
and I am.
And people rush to correc
Fearing MeI'm not afraid to cry
and I do it
a lot more than you would guess.
It isn't always sadness,
I just feel like I need to,
feel everything so strongly
that it's the only way
to let go for a moment
because if I hold on for too long,
if my grip gets too tight
I'll break myself,
I will break you like glass
and we will both
I am a good guy
who hasn't yet found a way
to show it,
I am a good guy
who still identifies with the villains,
hides everything important
anything to throw you
off of my trail....
and I don't know why,
but I am trying.
Maybe I think
that if you could see me,
the real me,
you wouldn't want to look anymore,
want to be anywhere near me,
and the idea
that I can't add up
to be enough for you,
to be enough for me,
is so fucking heart breaking
I can hardly fathom it.
I can't say that it doesn't hurt
because it does,
it hurts a whole hell of a lot,
I've come to depend on pain,
to befriend misery
you're just a question marki met you so long ago
but back then our bodies were made of metal
and nowadays they’re made of the blades of
grass and dirt settling
underneath my fingernails.
my fingers are having a hard time
reaching the keys and
my organs are shaking mostly because i haven’t
eaten in two days but also
because i’m worried about the things you're doing to yourself.
we didn’t meet very long ago at all but it feels like forever ago
and you say you don’t know me
that you don’t know anyone
but baby you're turning into a skeleton and i’m peeling back my skin
to try and reach my bones, just like you.
i hope you're happy,
i’m covering the hard wood floors now
the bits and pieces splattered.
they are calling it a suicide but i’m calling it
a way to see my brain and
just how dark it has become, and honestly
i don’t want you to try and see about your’s.
i’m mourning the loss of my heart and wish you weren’t either -
A Kiss not Forgotten (a special tribute)Like a frost spread across valleys silent and dreary,
ever my longing lost in shimmers of shadow & wind
And days bled into years, the seas became deserts
But thoughts of thee would not perish
Thru memories untamed I staggered far and long;
upon solemn nights lit by the torch of your soul
O’ how deep I miss your fragrant cheer ..
Of warm evenings shared across Lake’s reverie,
watching horizons journey into Autumn’s dream
— wherest our hearts once bloomed a fabled sky
Those passions shared will forsake me not
Lest the Moon would bestow solace upon my ache:
I will lay marooned, haunted by thy seraphic-figure,
Or the ever fleeting caress of your gaze ...
So my soul shall yield to this mythic abyss; –
as I peer from my carriage to Nirvana
And thou away, from my arms, the Sun weeps
Unto eternity—my dear beloved, we are entwined
Forever our footprints cast in golden firmament
A kiss not forgotten in a ballet of light softly falling
I now bear the want
Black hole BulimicThe Composition:
I birth poems — not amaranths
in graveyards — not gardens.
sows seeds of doubt
into skeleton weeds.
A farmer plucks the bones
from Apollo's hyacinth; his
I binge on broken
cracked collectors of rocks,
of pebbles kidnapped
from barren beaches:
where crooked kings
buried in books whose
pages creak to crickets
in an abandoned abyss
of an attic—caskets on
an antiquated shelf. I
choke on the dust and
twitch in recoil.
The bickering sky
A cloud coughs—
The clock's scythe hand
swivels to the beckoning
twelve. Spastic ticking—
each bleak stroke
of a midnight heart.
The sundials do not work
now. The vampires know
I kill poems—
obligation steam machineas always
grinding the cankerous
of your cognition
until the lack of compassion
leaves you unlubricated
seized frozen bound stuck
only then the machine of
your fears will burst to steam
squealing to suckle
at the genius of my
the unsung soiled hero
of middle-class ferocity
savior of the undeserving
winding slowly deftly dying
martyr to the self-justified cause
as love for summer fades.late morning-
there's the tease of
snow in the clouds,
in the air, and the trees
have finally lost their
the sunlight is damp.
alters the room
as it graces my skin,
and for once
i don't wake up right away.
instead i lay
between my memory bitten
sheets, and i think
about all the times he said
that he hated winter.
i don't remember
when i began to love it,
and i don't care.
nothing can shatter that.
Spell to summon a phoenixThe common trickster will declare
the phoenix is a bird of flame. Not so.
How can mere flame survive death?
The phoenix I tell you is imagination's
gift: you cannot conjure what you cannot
dream. To the crossroads take rubies
finely ground. Where earth's secret
vapours rise, toss a pinch of this dust.
If your spirit lacks the necessary fire,
some other bird may heed your call.
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^Nyx-Valentine arrived in our community and started whipping everyone into a frenzy with her relentless desire to bring the Artistic Nude and Fetish galleries to the fore. 9 years later, and it's safe to say that Nyx is not only a leader as a photographer in these galleries, but she has also established herself as a much saught after model. ^... Read More