MY TROUBLED MIND

confessions are self-serving

Tag: poem

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
smile.

 


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

Another self-centred poem

I tried
being a deadbeat alcoholic
junkie,
the nights got longer
and the world darker
and much smaller.

After I tried
sobering up,
drying out,
walking, watching
the dogs, the ducks
play
envious of their glass-eyed
peace.

I began to meditate
and things did quiet down,
I look more kindly
on the dogs, the ducks
now, not that they care
either way
of my opinion.

They’re safe, I suppose
on that Other Shore
while I thrash
and sometimes drift
against and sometimes with
the current, studying
much too seriously
the shadows in the shallows.

 

Hello

The people walking in the street
I cannot meet their eye

The dog that trots beside their feet
I smile at you, say hi

Heron

I didn’t realise how much I needed the rain
until it came, and kept coming
heavy and hard, reassuring
as a bronzed hand on the shoulder, silent,
two of us sheltering under one brolly
splashing, and the wind too, wrestling
with it like a rod reeling humongous carp.

We came to the river under a canopy
of thick red wood, the river whipped white,
boiling, and you shout:

“Heron!”

I didn’t really hear, a wet hood sucked to my head:

“What?”

“Heron!”

I paused too long, didn’t show
enough emotion, you say:

“You’ve spent too long in the city”

You’re right – I watch the heron watch the foam,
the river thrashes in time with my stomach
as my mind crashes against its man-made banks
fragile, fit to dissolve as easily as salt in water.

Breezeblocks

Last listened
in back lanes, dust billowing
in headlights, vest
red goon splatter
kidneys aching, piss sharp needles
automatic gears churning
and moving under 4 ltrs
of metal –
bald tires gurning on the gravel
Joey’s eyes wild
one coiled spring leap
away from the axle

Robin Redbreast

It may not be fashionable, but
it certainly is nice
to go to bed at 11pm on a Saturday.
The air seems lighter,
though that may just be the spring,
outside, the street sounds calmer
trickle, tick in like raindrops
off banana leaves.

Today, I did not wake up
to find marinara sauce
slopped over my keyboard, nor
crinkled lager cans
by the sink excreting their
sweet yet sour scent.

I know it’s not popular
for a man of my years
to walk around a cemetery,
but the sun and grass and graves
hold no opinion
as I stand and watch
a robin sing
under the canopy
of firs.

 

A relatively young man

The defence counsel said
after reading his antecedents
(16 convictions from 25 charges)
“The Defendant is 27, still a relatively young man.”
And I thought christ,
I’m 27 this year.

Last I checked I was a young man
and now this relativity has stolen in
like a bastard homewrecker
whilst I’ve been busy working.

Relative to what
I wonder, a rougheye rockfish?
The Xin dynasty?
The cobalt they hack up
in the heat of the Congo
to pack into the batteries
of electric cars?

Either way
when I go to the bathroom
and look in the glass
I can’t help but think

god, he’s right.

Life

I don’t care about the news;
shootings pile up like two, three, four nights’ worth
of crack rock hard rice and sauce on plate
and I don’t care, I don’t.

It’s not a good feeling, nor one
that’s big or clever, but christ
there’s so much dust and dirt and grime
coming at me like a persistent pounding tide
it’s hard to notice
who or what is persecuted,
why or how we’re butchered;
the recycling must go out,
where are the forks?
where’s the last bowl?

Rizlas everywhere, always, every morning,
the clothes are washed, left wet and washed again,
sirens buzz down the street
bricklayers joke and carry planks of wood;
there’s no life in my eyes
as I try to remember if I’ve cancelled
my subscriptions,
snake oil multivitamin
tablet bitter, bitter
on my tongue.

Railway sketch

Railway station in a country town, flagstones wide, dark and wet with rain. Cast iron bolts suffocated by thick beige paint, flaked with age.  Train delayed 11 minutes, passengers sleepy and few in number, apathetic to delay or even cheerful, ‘it’ll be alright’, lo holy British stoicism if only in this crouched corner.  Gentleman across platform studies paper, widespread khaki slacks and slightly bruised red brown leather shoes asunder, thin and aged hand peeks out of overcoat to grip paper tentatively, though firm, like a mouse’s nose out a crack in a wall.  Grey hair not too thin, combed, skin sallow and liver-spotted, chin a wreck of flesh after many years sitting reading papers no doubt, dignified in its way. Pages turn slowly as he bends to his serious study of another day’s events, quiet and watchful as a predator.

Bag for life

My cashier was a tall woman of around 27,
the tips of her hair were brittle as ice chips
and her teeth small and discoloured.
I made a nonchalant gesture
with my bank card pincered
between forefinger and thumb
as if to say ‘let me use this’
without opening my mouth.

Next to me a mother,
I don’t know how class works these days
but I’d guess upper-middle,
was 10 pence short of her shop.
She wanted a bag for life, ‘here’
I said,
and handed her the silver coin.

I felt pretty good about myself,
scampering across the road
so she wouldn’t meet me outside
and be forced to thank me again,
and I kept feeling good
all the way home,
even for the duration of the extra block
I have to take
to avoid the homeless
man sitting like some frigid Buddhist
on my street.