Weekly Poem #198



Somewhere in a storage closet, in a corner swept smooth with passing shadows,

Underneath a few ripped coats and ragged rucksacks, there’s a plastic box,

A box filled with disposable cameras, stacked five-high and further across.

Accumulating for decades, a slow, monotonous Tetris game, no kill screen.

Films nestled deep in the carapaces, never developed, always dormant,

Brimming with memories from the world over, spirits, sunsets and ghosts.

The moon hanging gigantic over a Scottish loch, a clear sky across a mountain range,

A blurry establishing shot of a party at a flat in Lambeth, wreathed in smoke,

A family walk through a busy market in Istanbul, a family dog dashing through a field.

A candid shot of a grandfather, unready to pose enough to mask a solemn face,

Or a tender moment between lovers, untarnished by the need to face a grin forwards.

It’s all there, an emotional archive, an amalgam of memories since split and scattered,

Entombed in a translucent sarcophagus, but still stubbornly clinging to life, still with us.

Never pasted across a web page to farm for approval or sink into obscurity,

Never poured over by a sleep deprived mind mining memories and wondering when they’ll be that happy again,

Never tagged, tethered and tarnished by the need to prove something to the silent crowd.

Trees fall soundlessly in the woods, and unseen photographs steal beautiful secrets away,

They sit curled like woodlice in their cases, and spark in the minds of their long-gone subjects.

There’s magic woven into that film, there’s a world remembered, but unknown.

The room darkens, the sky swings over, and the box stays shut. In the darkness, the box stays shut.

Weekly Poem #162



I can feel my follicles fidget with the strength of your breath,

Spittle unfolding, little by little, lashes of ludicrousness,

From this close the halitosis is a risk of death,

You’re a walking health risk whenever you reach for a V or an F.

What exactly is it that you’re trying to achieve?

Screaming in faces and stumbling over untied shoelaces,

Veiny red lesions growing beneath your skin like mutated maple leaves.

Stop stressing, take a blessing, sit back and smoke some fucking weed.

All this anger, watching people walk around with cauldrons for heads,

You hear their voices and some switch in your mind goes – ‘mark as read’

Lest you get caught in their sinkhole soliloquies, forced to your knees

Mumbling ‘please at least leave us alone when we’re trying be eased’.

Tell me, what’s the point of all these fucked up Facebook Fridays?

Smashing up all your furniture and hurling it down the superhighway?

It’s like your clacking for a drip that’s hooked up to liquid rage,

Forcing scotch bonnets up your anus to firebomb your fuel-gauge,

Erecting letterboxes for hate mail, siphoning the genophage.

I get it, I promise, the world is fucked up down and sideways,

Self-styled Olympians are daring it to shake us off,

Burn us away like leeching lurks or drown us like whining wasps

And who could blame it, it would be well advised to fuck us off,

Send us flailing into the oblivion that we’ve invited.

We don’t have to accept that we’re at our lowest point,

Or peck and pierce each other until we’re more riddled than Dillinger,

Throwing down signs for the Frankensteins, Monsters and Pichfork Villagers,

Scarring death threats on our chests like we’re Bob Fucking Underdunk Terwilliger.

There’s some vibrated virus assuring that our outrages are misdirected

And it only takes a cursory scroll through a comments section to get infected.

So what’s expected? We carry on keeping our caterwauls collected and filed

On forum walls so infantile and reptile that they form archives of aimless revile,

Or do we evolve and debate something with substance, curtail the abuse

And cut loose with our willpower? This hardwiring has us hating the activist,

Haranguing the hacktivist and scarring the social justice warrior,

Like anyone who ever tried to make a difference was obsolete outlier,

A tremulous intruder fit to be drowned in deep fryer.

Sharpened incisors rip semantic holes in spirit shouts

Until we forget what the actual fuck it was all about.

Anyone who actually cares about a thing brings crosshairs,

Crucifixes and blank, burning stares that lay their compassion bare.

Like pit bulls bullied into gnashing on each other for a twisted crowd,

Our warranted anger has been turned into a sideshow, sidestepped, disavowed.

So redirect it, let some friendly fire fall across the front lines

Instead of mismatching flames to make your fellows feel so undermined.

We’re living in a world where we bicker in the shadows of floating ivory spires,

With saliva raining from on high as they chortle at our mounting ire.

Perhaps it’s time to push the keyboards off the table,

Clamber upwards, and let them see what it really feels like to be unstable.






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