confessions are self-serving

Tag: love

Charlie and the universe

And of course poor old Charlie full moon-eyed
and ten thousand years sad
always spalooging around crying out
into just empty tobacco pouches,
and falling asleep on sofas like some heavy-headed grandmother,
and ferreting away this or that charm
or knick knack like food in hamster cheek,
or squirrel with acorn in winter ground –
her and her little sacrosanct plants
against the whole damn universe
trying to make a go of it.

Self-hatred ebbs away like pus out boil,
it’s OK, it’s OK –
life is such a piece of cream pie
once you realise
you only have to breathe
and occasionally


Charlie Lindsay is an artist with big brown eyes and you can find her here

Candle on the Beach

This beach
reminded us of a place,
and it was bittersweet –
it felt like home, but also
not so, the wind
the gulls,
our age, something
was astray.

I’ve been so deep in my head
these weeks
I’m disgusted with myself,
so for a moment
I just tried to live
for someone else –
you, and your friend
passed –
in tribute
we lit a candle
on the beach.

And so I dug
in the murky
sand and water
for shells, thankful
for thinking only of that –
shells, sand, mud
water –
what peace,
however fleeting,
what peace.

Sent my love downstairs

On my back
Studying the ceiling cracks
In a student’s house.

Sent my love downstairs
To fetch roasting carrots
Spitting orange,  honey smothered
Soft, black crisp outside
Brown toast, butter melt ooze.

Where is she?
I shouldn’t be left alone in this head,
On this night,
In a room so hot
With dishes piled so high.


You’re on the edge of my bed,
I can’t describe it,
you’re balled up and tomato pink,
my baby
my butterball, crying.

Am I autistic or just obtuse?

Probably a foul cocktail of both,
probably from all the red wine I drunk,
probably from the way I smile so smug,
you hung on my arm like I deserve you.

I’ll take advantage of your sweet neurosis,
I’ll let you bet against my house,
benefit of years and confidence
in all the beers I drunk.

God I’m proud, and oh so cynical,

typical of single males in their mid-twenties
secretly all so desperate, aching
for warmth like yours,
under the covers, something platonic,
nothing sexual,
just something to take us
out this tasteless plastic world
and place us some place

Sketch of Lovers

The pram gets pushed
with one hand,
the hand lifts off the bar
and the middle finger curls out
like larva; muted, earless,
yet risen to the sound
of a horn wailing.

She didn’t see him;
Asshole better watchwherehe’sgoin.

1 new message: Mike
babe I want u now.

Flash of once-white teeth,
small, rodent-like.
Her ass is still good
in these leggings,
the cheeks pump like plum flesh,
good and sweet
up the street.

The pram makes a noise of want,
Shh baybay, she addresses
her palm.

Send message Mike: emoji.
The template suggests she’s playful
and ready.

Mike’s wits are blunteran
a drawer full of dull blades.
He drinks up his pay day
and chokes smoke down to the butt
and feels good to rave
at the way that politicians act smug.
Mike reads a paper
written by Masters of Journalism;
they adhere to House Style
but he knows that they get him.
They know he likes tits
and they know he hates change
and they know he ain’t scared
but full of unexplained rage.

1 new message: Lucy.

The emoji she sent excites his blood
in a dim and honest way.
Mike jingles shrapnel
in his pocket and moves towards the toilets
smiling, smiling.

On Your Desk

Pan au chocolat half eaten, lone toothpaste without a brush,
peppermint tea atop red wine rings.
Last biscuit in its empty pack, like plastic tulip reaching up,
stiff in the air as a dog’s pink pride.
Folding chair with the back snapped off, wet towel heavy as thing deceased,
lamp crumpled in the washing basket.
Two laptops abreast holding hands, mice work with what room they have,
pizza crust, cough syrup, teacake, paint.
Tobacco in a box of tips, lubricant ordered for kicks,
grinder, cider glass, wallet, skins.
A window behind my back, wall and window behind that,
gull grey cloud, autumnal breezes.
A strip of light hits your face, you snuffle in that normal way,
I write and wait for you to wake,
see your smile, start the day.

A Poem For An Old Laptop

You were always petite,
with your thirteen inch screen
sometimes I had to squint
to catch the fine print,
though more often than not
I didn’t read it – I trusted you.

Someone else’s hands had been all over you
before we even met,
I dread to think
about the fingers thick as sausage links
dipped into salsa bowls with chips
slip and sliding on your keys;
oh you were cleaned
but pressing my ear to your alphabet
I swear sometimes I could hear his heavy breathing.

We’ve spent three years together,
travelled three countries together,
and the crack in your face
screams ‘relationships need structure!’,
however, I never thought the day would come
when you wouldn’t boot up first time.

When you went completely blind
at first I was frustrated,
but part of me knew our time was near;
I hooked you up to a life-support machine,
your stretched insides on someone else’s screen
said to me ‘what kind of life is this?’.

My eyes were moist as I packed away our things;
poems, sketches, pictures and Cvs;
I’m sure you took longer than usual,
but who could blame you
for toeing the dirt
while waiting for the final ride
for which I’ll catch alone this time,
you turned off
for good this time,

Goodbye my friend,


Your Relationship

Yes, it is broken,
but isn’t the world
just a bric-a-brac
of busted parts,
layer on layer
of confused movement, and hashed ideals
unnatural as box hedges clipped
into dinosaurs, dogs,
eyeless waving families?

Look here at this sparrow’s nest,
its splinters of snipped twigs,
cracks of dry leaf,
flakes of moss
and other things
all broken, come together
under fretted brain
and fast heart, perfectly working
until the wind worries it all away.


For a second I didn’t know what it was,
and then I realised and I bellowed
and I sailed through the lights laughing,
near blind, tears streaking the muck
on my cheeks as the road fogged
and the blacks and whites swam and cuddled and kissed,
and it felt like the first spoonful of steaming stew
and crusty buttered bread of country lane winter,
like churned up mud and chocolate milk puddles
and the tiny flowers that grow in grass,
haven’t you seen them? Look –

and it felt like not being guilty and not being blamed
and I saw death like a lamppost
and red became green
and I laughed
and I laughed
deaf to the sirens
and death to job
I knew my family
loved me
wherever I was

Old Dog Love

Excuse me, would you accept this?

The card is attached to a thick brown arm cut with a heavy silver watch,
the arm attached to a landscape torso, a bright turquoise polo shirt,
the polo shirt attached to tan neck folds, a sharp white beard, a jolly old face,
his eyes are swooping down on her;
short hair, grey, thin frames, sharp nose,
and she looks down, I urge her in my mind– look at him!
But she’s too embarrassed, oh thank you thank you
she plays it away, she takes the card, already moving past, away
with dirty cups, busy, waiter’s cloth under crooked elbow, shrinking smaller,

thank you so much…

You’re welcome, and he begins to move away, lumbering almost
along the refrigerated cakes, the chocolate eclaires shining
with tiny frosted teardrops,
the packed jars of biscuits you’d have to be mad to buy, the cash register,
his head sways to and fro as he moves, like a proud old bear, it’s only a few short steps, he turns the corner.

She reappears brisk as before from behind the counter, but something’s different
in the way she wipes, something’s different in the way she stacks the dishes,
snatches with practised fingers the salt, pepper, mayonnaise.
Has she changed the cloth? Is that a new pinny?
No, now I see, bless my soul, it’s a smile that wets her gentle lips!