Monthly Archives: January 2014

Thirty.

30/1/14.

Izzy circle

izzy

this is me
not talking
this is me biting my hands
this is me pretending nothing exists
below my second storey apartment

some days I think I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS
and some days I FEEL NOTHING AT ALL

slap some sense into these walls
they need it
call the carpet on its shit –
you both know what it really is

trying to understand someone is really hard
when you only have the internet
but then you think SHIT, LIKE
technology has moved so much further
than even my arms do when I spin really fast
like IMAGINE
TELEGRAMS DUDE
or letters WHAT ABOUT LETTERS?

this is one of those days I get so excited
I can’t sleep
I can only vibrate
and look wide-eyed through the window
wondering why

our bodies float
why on earth
do our bodies float?

is this some feeble evolutionary response
to the fact I got from a Wikipedia page –
that water covers 71% of the Earth’s surface?

is this a joke?

*

Sarah circle

sarah

Come stand right here.
You’ll need a jacket or two
Or three. Or four.
It’s minus ninety degrees in the wind
Which is lower than your brain can think
And even further down than that
You’ll find a lake.
You are standing at the Pole of Cold
(it’s really called that)
And four thousand metres beneath your feet
In the darkest place you can imagine
You could scoop your bone-cold hand
And draw out a sip of water
Kept under this fattening ice
For twenty million years.
The news would be staggering.
Scientists would flood the scene
Ant-like and hurried, fumbling with beakers
Suppressing their hoots
Of ecstatic awe
Making their faces impassive as glaciers
With only their eyes to betray them.
And surrounded by dials and microscopes
You would know what to do.
You would take up your glass
Slip out to the rooftop
And give a toast to the stars
Who were dripping with child-fire
When this water was new.

*

Twenty-Nine.

29/1/14.

Izzy circle

izzy

I.

I want to be surprised all the time
I want to see ladies with beards walking down the street
because they are fabulous
they can really rock it

there are tiny people having a beach party
under my bed
they’re being really loud
I don’t want them to wake my housemates
but at least they seem to be having a good time

lying on gross carpet
and smelling my burnt jumper
nothing really even matters
there are so many things not worth worrying about

there is a way of dancing
where you don’t even have to move your feet
or arms or legs or head or
you just use your eyes
and the light

II.

I wear the people I love around my neck like talismans
like prayers

I think about walking into the river
and standing still and silent
so I can feel it moving quickly past me

sadness will be your friend if you let it
it will move in
sleep on your feet
eat all your cereal
and never buy milk

but look at the moss
it makes mud beautiful
it’s every shade of green you can imagine
it holds the rocks and tells them it will be ok
it keeps the cracks in the footpath warm

everything used to be something else
and that is a comforting thought

*

Sarah circle

sarah

Marching band baby
A stampede of one
Rocketing through the streets
With cocktails in your collarbones
Diving headfirst into any hands that’ll have you
Rolling in the crib of your bedsheets
Childlike in the dawn
And yes, you fell
And yes, you’re falling
And yes, you’ll fall
But though there’s bruises on your knees
And hips
And cheeks
Every time you think you’re done for
Swallowed by the bad old monster night
There comes, thumping out of the bigness
Drumbeats in the dark
And you touch your chest to find your heart
Has wound itself again
And so Icarus
You gather up your wax and feathers
Hold your breath again
And turn towards the sun

*

Twenty-Eight.

28/1/14.

Izzy circle

izzy

I want to build cities with you
cut holes in the fabric of utopia
to wriggle our arms through

I want to destroy cities with you
burn them down and watch from afar
with the lights like a swarm of fireflies

I want to look over cities with you
and say ‘we own you’

I want to look through cities with you
and say ‘we belong here’

I want to hold your hand

I always want to hold your hand
and kiss your neck

I want to be a teenager with you
I want us to meet in Primary School
but not really be friends until after High School is over
I want you to live on my block

I want to meet you when we don’t know how to speak yet
I want to meet you when we’ve forgotten how to speak
I want to see you when we refuse to speak because sometimes the world looks more beautiful when nobody is speaking

I want to run next to you
I want to run next to you at the end of the world
I want to take the word apocalypse and break it in half to make a cloak to keep you warm at the end of the world

I want to never stop thinking of extreme hypotheticals and metaphors for how we are kickass together

I want to give you a dolphin army
for your birthday

I want to climb trees with you and yell at people walking past
and hang off tall buildings with no ropes
I want to ice skate in only our socks and know that even though our toes feel like rocks and we might even be worried about getting hypothermia or getting so cold our limbs fall off
we won’t
because we have each other to hold onto
even when I fall on my butt and get bruises everywhere

I want to always be hugging you
I want you never to care what I think
or do what I say
or try to be something else
unless you want to

I want to do things with you specifically because I’d never do them with anyone else

I want to tell you everything
and never know why I do

I want to always think you are weird
and never know what you are going to do next
I want to never forget that I can’t know all of you
that you are a whole fucking universe
of your own

my chest is bursting with tiny birds that migrate to the other side of the world
just to see you smile
and fly home to roost in my ribcage

wanting is not the same thing as needing
and it is the best kind of love

*

Sarah circle

sarah

Night falls like a rollercoaster run off its rails
The sewer rats pull on their Sunday best
And promenade through the murmuring streets
Poking curiosities with drinking straw canes
Tipping their soda-pop bottle-top top-hats
To quivering cats astride fencing-post steeds
The taxicabs rumble electric audacious
And the traffic lights disco-dance over the town
(etc)

*

Twenty-Seven.

27/1/14.

Izzy circle

izzy

I wish I was a tiger
I would be so majestic
and shit

I look at myself in the mirror across the room
there are fingerprints smudged across my face

and if it was foggier here,
me dissipating would make more sense

and someone is selling a bong on ebay
with corks in the holes, as a
‘large, unusual glass bottle’
for display in the home –

I don’t know how to tell these people
that I am uncomfortable
with the pejorative use of the word
‘gay’

my knees were shivering
in a halo of cigarette smoke
and we sat on the floor and ate Chinese.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

I am cataloguing every reason I have ever raised my arms:
To apply deodorant
Sunscreen
Talcum powder
To be lifted
Hugged
Held
To reach a monkey bar
A shelf
A light
To tie my hair
To dance the tango
Or the zorba
To yell ‘pick me!’
To clap more emphatically
To show that I am a winner
To telegraph joy
And then I look again at this photo
Of a family of Jews in Warsaw
Flanked by clean-faced men with guns
And their arms are all up
Like they’re dancing
Like they won all the prizes
Like they’re saying ‘pick me!’
Like they found one more reason than I did
To lift up their hands

*

Twenty-Six.

26/1/14.

Izzy circle

izzy

there are rocks
climbing up the drainpipe
into our bathroom sink

and I think I AM SO COLD
I think LIKE ACTUALLY FREEZING
I look at my feet TOES LIKE PEBBLES

I picture telling my children
and their children and their dogs
they don’t really know what cold is

*

Sarah circle

sarah

Old American cars spew like scattered M & Ms across the forecourt
While old Australian men with their hands folded behind their backs
Follow each other around every shining tonne of metal
Blazing in the sun
High priests of this pagan idolatry of chrome and steel
The watchful guardians of a hundred dormant monsters
Who have prised those roaring mouths open
Lest they learn to speak on their own

*

Twenty-Five.

25/1/14.

Izzy circle

izzy

‘I am a sex atheist’, he said
looking at my chest
his hand strangling a can of PBR

‘this is not America’, he said
eyes squinting a hint
his glasses need fixing

I am still not sure what he meant
does he not believe in sex?
as in fucking or our body pieces?

maybe this is a man who just wants
no religion, no morals and just
pure, unadulterated body slapping but

right now
I am going to put my two fingers
in the small of your back
like a gun

and you will do what I say
and you will know what I mean
even though you know
my hands are my only weapons

*

Sarah circle

sarah

Mayday mayday mayday
This is Her Majesty’s naval observance outpost, Dover.
Does anyone copy?
Hello? Please, someone reply
I don’t know how this machine works
If anyone can hear me, please copy
My name is Alan
I’m not even in the navy
I’m just the cleaner
Nobody’s here
They all left an hour ago
And I don’t think they’re coming back
Oh please, help
Please, somebody come in
It’s what we all feared
Just like in the papers
Big cruise ship came in
Shooting straight for the beach
They tried hailing it
Tried every channel there was
Pushed all the buttons
More buttons than I’ve ever seen em push
I stood with my mop
Watched em all turn red
And this ship just kept coming
Ran aground. Sand whining against steel
4000 tonnes pushing up onto that groaning coast
Men up here shouting, arms waving about
We’ll go sort this out, they said
Every last one
Been quiet up here of late. Routine, you know
Gets to everyone in the end
So they all poured out like a plug had been pulled
And here I am, standing in a puddle of mop water
In an empty station, nothing but blinking lights
Watching out the windows, silent, like an old film
And I see em reach the ship
It’s all wonky, drunk-like
And they stand there with megaphones and shout things I can’t see
And there’s this stillness
The old grey hulk of a ship
And these lines of rigid grey men
And the steel grey sea
All holding their breath
And then this shriek sounds in our speakers
It’s the emergency sirens
Haven’t been used since the war
Bomb announcements, all that
And they’re letting out this horrid squeal
And this noise
Like millions of people stood around in the cold
And all chattered their teeth together
And then I hear it closer
Like it’s in here
Like it’s right in here
And then the floor is surging like waves
And I’m up on a table before I know
And all I can hear is this rush of teeth and nails and screeching
And I look at the floor and it’s rats
Rats everywhere. Hundreds. Thousands.
Can’t see the lino for their bodies
And the noise like a million crickets
They’re screaming past all in the one direction
Tails like worms and this screaming screaming
And then they’re gone. Not a breath of wind.
And I clamber down and look out the window
And the world is gone mad
Every bit of the earth, every scrap of sand or grass or bitumen
Every single thing there is is grey and heaving
And it’s rats. Billions and billions
Piss-bolting onto the sand
Piss-bolting towards that old boat
These white cliffs all dark and churning
And those boys in their uniforms are swamped
Flailing and holding their mouths in big Os
And those rats just keep running
And then they all stop dead. Not a patch of earth anywhere
And I think all the rats in Britain must be on this beach
And every tiny black eye is trained on that goddamn boat
Even our boys have turned to look at it
And then.
And then.
There’s a shift on the deck. A shudder.
And I think to myself, it’s a huge old mop
Must be bigger than a car
A tank
Why’d anyone make one that big
And it’s rolling and roiling
And then one huge clawed foot slams up on the railing
And it’s not a mop
It’s not a mop
It’s a rat
It’s a rat
It’s a fucking giant fucking rat
And it’s half the ship
And it’s rolling its head back
And this maw of its mouth opens
And even from here
I can hear the scream
And it’s picked up by those billion mouths on the beach
And they scream
And they scream
And they’re turning
And they’re running
And they’re screaming
And the rats
And the rats
And the rats

*

Twenty-Four.

24/1/14.

Izzy circle

izzy

the ocean’s in the walls again
thin windows pulling in the cold
cobbled streets scream out
drunk lyrics and shivering flesh

these hands like shovels,
trying to shift this bag of blood
and bones – up and out
into the slap of frigid air

*

Sarah circle

sarah

She sat at her grandmother’s dining table
With an omelette for one and a jam jar of daisies
Stared at the seven spare seats round the rim
Pictured them filled with a riot of sons
And a dog for good measure, snuffling at their knees.
Later, standing half-dressed in the bathroom,
Listening to the whistle of the cistern refilling
And the rain waging soft wet war on the walls
She fingered the skin where her stomach met undies
And imagined the scars from a life full of love
Skating madly like bridges from her back to her thighs
Pulling her apart, holding her in.

*

Twenty-Three.

23/1/14.

Izzy circle

izzy

lips unfurling like smoke
dissipating just as fast

bass rattles the ancient stained glass
and the floor ebbs, strikes,
pulls us underground

our bodies are burning up
it’s just so hard to breathe

*

Sarah circle

sarah

Finding occasion to dig into my palm
In order to extract an errant splinter
And having an evening of uninterrupted leisure
I took the opportunity to keep digging
And I’m here to tell you that we’ve been lied to
Dig though you may, you’ll never make it to China.
Botswana, on the other hand, sends its regards.

*

Twenty-Two.

22/1/14.

Izzy circle

izzy

notice the way the guitarist’s feet
fold over each other,
hold each other

‘feelin’ good’ in a French accent
at an open mic under the stairs
trying not to care about the cold

looking stoic, seeing double, there are
matching mugs, new clothes
a spare towel and so
much
space
in this bed

a bent cigarette on the table
Robin is singing ‘somewhere over the rainbow’
and the walls drip
and someone sighs.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

My lips are cracking at the corners
For want of your kisses.

*

Twenty-One.

21/1/14.

Izzy circle

izzy

I slept for days
my hand in the radiator
my head out the window

there is a cannon-hole
in my chest
I don’t know what to do with it –
keep small birds in it?
plant flowers in it,
mow the lawns on the fringes?

I think I will charge small children
50p to look through it
and tell me what’s on the other side

*

Sarah circle

sarah

Driving through a night haze along King’s Way
I emerged into chaos as profiteroles of flame
Puffed themselves, hissing, to flank my car
Heat settling on my knee like a stray cat.
Shattered into the present, I watched my rearview mirror
As golden light licked the casino and bloomed in the river
And I thought how stunning Dresden must have looked
As it burned.

*