Gone Away from Everything

We’re just dividing
Running down the street
The lyrics in my head
Falling through space like wingless doves
There is nothing to see here.

We’re just dividing
Cells without passion
Dyed crimson and sweating under glass
Filled with poison
There is nothing to see here.

The concerto cycles
Seem to slow each round
And the photo grains move across my eyes
In sharply pointed circles
There is nothing to see here.

Perhaps this is it
The fog descending
And the dust that waits in the wings
Dark as leaden velvet
There is nothing to see here.

Hole in the Ground

My bed is sharp-fitted into a corner
And I can trace the angle with my eyes
Around the skirting,
Following the trails of black on white dust
That never seem to lift,
The hairs jumping in the fan breeze
And the invisible poisons crawling creaking floorboards,
Always towards that corner.

This is not a good state of affairs,
Sleeping on a hardwood floor
So nothing can live under the bed,
So I can curl it up and shake it out each morning
Until it’s clean as a burnt hair.
But I can’t sleep,
Because of the mirrored walls,
Four sides all the same, reflecting to the corner,
The pictures of the steel-trap world outside
The unbeatable dust shuddering like monuments.

Michaelmas – Trinity – Lent

Michaelmas term
The boys press cracked lips
Some trimmed with purple, brown and fur
Plush red like velvet
Stick and stop
Words they lose
Called back
Like vapour rising over the playing fields
Leave jagged cutout frost footprints
Erase and rewind each day
You are now growing up

Far in the distance
The vanishing point of
Railway tracks
The snap of jaws
You will not see this again
Whole world ruled by
A single adjective – school
Prefixed like a frown
Rules, uniform, scarf, song
All lined up like toy soldiers

Lent term
The air no longer full of needles
New year bright light
Shows furrows on the face
Scored lines like concrete shadows
We fold youth over on itself
And push hard
Feet idly kick
Chairs, desks
Idly kick
Fingers, ribs, kneecaps
Idly kick
Retreat to the stones
Of personal space
Tiny insect
Chirping fountain pen
Tap tap six-legged keys
There is nothing to pull you out
But a quick
Stolen breath
Allows something meagre to slip in
The space of a gasp
We cannot sleep
The surface of summer
Still so far away
Scratch out words like
Seeds from the soil
Paradise Lost preferred
To the rise of a new spring
Tightening the panorama
From the high window.

The slivered shadows fatten
Now there is nowhere to hide
We scuttle from doorway to doorway
Watch the scented cuttings of spring
Pass – fleeing creatures
Freedom is across the horizon
Stippled with workshops and bars
In formal shoes we haunt
Collide like billiard balls
Wind down the taut muscles
Forget the horrors of bruises
Unforgiving leather
The sun focused through the high window
Like a lens
Burns away
Pine forests
The small insects
Things are growing on the cellular end
Lips smooth out and soften
Unfold in water
White shirts gleam
And hollow out the eyes
The space behind
We are blank and vacant
Ready for the recoil of summer
And another year like an eyeliner streak


Cold glitter

behind a tweed right shoulder
and breathless glass
squat in polish and rouge
filaments like tatters of a breeze
hard faceted crux
frictionless between the vertices
almost panicked clarity of a white flame
brought down
waits in the opening of a hand
flickering contrast
of ridges and whorls
we build from this
the pent-up quiver
sighs condense
across its translucent weight
flash of
rippled reflection
down the trigeminal nerve
fails to grip
this torment
flits away
spider silk
tumblers of intricate locks
a searing in the palm
like flesh

The Vastness

cars are ejected from
shadowless halogen lairs
doesn’t seem right
the tiny faces picked out
in buzzers and mail slots
the completeness of the city
cloned in empty coil
recycled each day
stuffed with newspaper
there is (no) crack to hide in
between the terraces
no white space
between the lines
in this city
all is black
seared by spotlights
there is
no dark place
we crush up the vast expanse
fold it over and over on itself
smaller and smaller
each surface identical
up and down the kerbs
we wander the streets
in desperate chord progression
the snow builds in crescendo
we stare out at the streetlights until
they begin to blur