The Good Student

Who cares if my heart explodes

from love, or caffeine overdose?

Ballpoint ink works as lipstick, since no one ever takes your word.

(They want it all in black-and-white.)


Who cares why my heart explodes,

If all the headlines stay the same?

Whiteout makes good mascara, hiding mistakes makes you stand out.

(Names stand-in for batting lashes.)


Who cares if my heart explodes

if it explodes always,

all the time?

They just want new headlines.

Misanthrope on Trial

She attacked the shackled podium

Called out ancient dirty lies.

Young souls oxidise like sodium

Guess she couldn’t compromise.


She came unprepared to barter

Public did not meet her eyes.

“People only love a martyr

Humans go for half the price.”


She professed unmoderated

A love for things they made her hide.

All her harms are self-inflicted

All her scars show deep inside.


“Social norms will underload us

Fallacy wins no real prize.”

She is done fulfilling quotas

She will die and she will rise.

Stress Altruistically

Wrinkles become unbecoming formed for unbecoming reasons like

lost belief, or jealousy

Wrinkles photographed and framed are free of undeserving fame – you must

stress. Altruistically.

Yes, be the shrivelled monk on hunger strike for strangers, for only

he is beloved for worry.

Yes, the kindergarten teacher biting nails over playground bullies,

stress. Altruistically.

For the women never wiled by the pleas for ghosts of smiles are those who

write forgotten poetry.

And the women, meanwhile, ordered by no one to smile are those who

stress. Altruistically.

Listening Too Closely

I wake up to the cries of ants we

hide from behind the window,

I seek them out heartbroken with

a glacier-freezing stare,

That conjures storms outside a door taped shut with vacant lies.

I want to have those sunshine eyes they

draw in children’s picture books,

the light-bulb-coloured bunny teeth so

I could smile away dark matter,

As I branded kindness on the endless midnight skies.

(But I listen too closely,

So the world is always ending.)


Everyone walks on thin glass around me,

So careful not to break the ice

That peppers my skin, acne-like, in crystals and hoarfrost

And they drive the ‘bout around me,

Dodging the weed-choked square

Where glossy crows take sup under broken traffic lights

And no one walks through me

Through the cold orange of a flame

Seen as blazing blue only by colourblind eyes.

The Tragedy of a Dull Knife

The blade is never drawn at dark;

It hides with Master’s sheath

Who knows what lies in steel and bark

To ponder or to seethe?


It once stood tall on yonder rack:

A fixture of the hall

How did it feel when hidden back –

If it could feel at all?


When every day the Master sparred,

Uncaring of the wear

Did burning out leave it so charred?

More torn than ore could bear?


A knife is forged for finite time

A best-before, it’s wrought

And if neglected in its prime

Then all will come to nought.

Dead Man’s Dream

I strode alone to follow suit what was a dead man’s dream

eclipsed by golden rays, with the sky at set of sun.

I strode as to commemorate what was a great man’s dream:

An ember stubbed too long before the crawling night was done.


I tarried on the path aside the hallowed great man’s dream

– for I had met a broken bridge, across I could not run.

I tarried on, the fractured road unveiled a dead man’s dream

So as to carry on, my lying eyes I did so shun.


I wandered off the circle rail that made a dead man dream

– for empty symbols weighed upon my shoulders by the tonne.

I wandered off so wide because the brightest ‘great man’s dream’

would cost a life of shadows– and mind you, I was done.