confessions are self-serving

Tag: freeverse


Do you remember
the soles of my feet
saluting the sky?
Do you remember
when I kicked the moon
with everything I had
when I waded through the stars
while chemicals crashed
around my brain like fragments
of a dirty bomb
when my eyes were two oval holes
in a white dinner dress
when my arms were spread in homage
my fingers limp as cobwebs
when I was so rich
the only luxury left
lay like a paid whore
in front of me
when all I had left
was an open door


I find myself leaning into the earth
after twenty four years
staring into a sheet of glass
thick with mist,
convinced that the brooding figure
there, deep in fathoms of reflection,
is somebody else.
I once heard a voice
inside my head,
blighted, desperate, he wanted cash
for an easy fix,
a hit
of something sweet
to ease the ache
of the molars in his maw.
My friends told me
in the closest confidence,
and in embarrassed whispers,
that they smelled death
on my ragged breath,
and each kind word that I choked to life
arrived already
with jagged edges.

I find it harder to recall
as the days draw on,
and each month blurs to past,
who I am
and what is expected from me,
and in my hesitation
those I know become decided,
sullenly and silently comparing
the present
to the past,
and with a swift
and merciless
motion of the hand,

I am dismissed.


The fine hairs that trace her temple
have snatched the weak radiance
from up above, like a school of shattered
pearls in tune with a perfect
static motion.
She sprawls
over three of the sofa’s seven seats,
the cold is sharp
and the room seems bounteous
beyond its limits,
like the walls are ready
and willing to be wiped away,
and in the gloom
Morning crouches
in the furthest corner
weaning herself off of Night
one moment at a time.

For Auntie Janet

The infinite shining sun
of my childhood is where you sleep,
our history fifteen years past,
passed faster than can be gripped
with any human hand.
My memory is selective-
nostalgic, and not to be trusted.
I wish it to stay this way.
I will that day to remain
as remembered,
remembered through a boy’s eyes,
dipped in liquid innocence
and set to dry
on a stone wall warmed
by the sun.

That day
when I opened the door
of my mum’s moving car just to feel
the gravel ripping
away from us in a blur
of white noise,
louder than the driver’s shriek,
sharper than the sapphire eyes
caught nervous in the rear-view,
That Look I met
with my own two tear pricked eyes
I knew could boil lobsters pink.

In the storm of my scolding
you appeared,
a lighthouse
patiently observing
a dingy flirt with the rocks,
with a hand on my neck so cool
it was as if you’d gone already.

And now,
with the seas long calmed,
I remain
unwilling to forget
the feeling of your fingers on my nape,
as smooth and sure
as the stones
that were shared
among the grieving,
stones glittering
like spittle on teeth,
like brake-lights on a storm drain.


I spied it in your eyes, caught grey
and wistful and dangerous
spluttering I pulled, pulled
as if trying to clear a flooded engine,
and keenly with my ear I listened for a gag
or else something guttural
that meant life.

The hum of silence
seemed unnatural
the anxious throes, rigid, worried,
in our home-made mausoleum
to the sickly notes
of some stranger’s laughter-
my ears flat to skull in hot flesh
truth whistled soaring past
in that vacuum I heard the answer
but I couldn’t understand a word.


One less face at a leaving do,
two fewer eyes to blithely scan
the epigram ‘you’ll be missed’
later, the helium’s drawn into the lungs for kicks
the question rises: ‘what makes a balloon a balloon?’
this collapsed lung winking on the carpet
seems almost seedy without its gas.

Still, over the green sea you rose again,
fingertips dusted with done day’s beef monsters,
smiling like an advert against the odds
in the dripping dark of that place,
your flat half pint silhouetted on the windowsill
left like a legacy
to times gone by.


I saw you running-
your legs so thin
like two toothpicks in a cherry
I feel like if I coughed
I could have blown you clear

Where were you going
I wonder, now gone
as I arrive on the platform
a shuffle, a hunched secret
In an alcove
I studied the dark date
shapes in a steel cover to somewhere
And there was the train-
people followed it like an ideal
but I stayed still


Momentarily my boots
met the night sky so
I kicked the moon with everything I had
I waded through the stars as
chemicals crashed around my brain like buckshot
my eyes like two rips
in a dinner dress

Jesus has a monopoly on spread arms
it’s true that if you saw me now
my fingers limp as the cobwebs
of careless spiders
falling from the back of a boat at three
you would think of Him


Pockets of clovers riddle this lawn
like bullet holes in a church wall
once we were gibbons
picking at fleas
but we are sure now
that the leaves grow in threes

It’s been a long time
since I let the petals of a daisy
dictate my feelings;
but I can’t deny
that the buttercup’s word
still holds true

Behind this lawn
the house ticks over,
it creaks and groans
as if to clear its throat
of candle wax
the old boiler, hidden,
is its brass heart
that poor giant copper working thing
will never see outside