Thought Processing

In the corner he sat
A wound over his chest
Striking himself with a sledgehammer
To the temple, thunderous blows
That could kill a man
But he was not a man.

The corner shook with what
He wanted out, out from himself,
The thoughts cemented hard
Inside industrial-grade lamenting.

He was in a corner sitting
With nothing in his hands
Only imagining
A sledgehammer of words,
Heavy hard-hitting words
That could kill with thunderous blows.

Again and Again

I walk again and again
the road, to never relent
against the tide of dust
so soon to come, and the practice
mars my skin, builds my bones
and numbs me thoroughly so
no cold no heat no seasons,
no reason I should rest;
no sting from piercing blows,
no bleeding from wounds,
and numbs me pointlessly for
a dust that never comes.

Advantage

She hides her gifts behind the door,
piled up, the wrappers bursting;
they are things she wasn’t born with

but given, by people
who maybe once wanted a teddy bear,
wanted books that wouldn’t rot.

They were people round her cradle, before she was old enough
to say no, to refuse on account
of the dinner guests she knew she’d have, someday:

dinner guests with holes in their shoes,
who invited her over for roast with champagne,
whom she invites over for casserole that’s always

not quite right. Piled up, the things she was given
and now hidden from the doorway, still don’t escape the people
who come through the door.

The Silent Understanding

We strip off our consonant clusters
along with the shoes at the door;
We tips of icebergs know not to rock
the continent with the things we hide
underwater, the soup of morphemes
left going cold for fear of too much meaning
—and there is too much meaning in a dinner.

We dress in festive red and things not said, like
that we only need 3,000 characters
to perform breakfast with a newspaper
to indirectly communicate our love.
We dress festive for these days only,
like endangered flagship species,
we need things to be special.

Phantasie

She has pieced together a map
of holiday brochures to Thailand and
the Netherlands,
of a guide to your first bank account
next to an old, crinkled cake recipe.
She has stitched them together
with a fluffy pink thread from the craft store
and whispered to them her darkest secrets,
reclined in bed, the filament in her nightlight
injected full of electrons
to cast a luminescent green mushroom glow
over all of her oddities, all her desires.
She has made a map of touchable things
that crumble upon the jagged path
to fairyland,
to the spots that hover in her vision
after midnight.

Sonnet to Darkness

Who strains the blood in hearts of clots and tendons,
in slumber mends the muddle of the mind,
constructs with weary words the singing cantons
of dreams? Elucidate! Inhuman humankind!
You bruise that paints facades of living skin,
arranging roses made of barbed twine,
why flame and stake – why hell and sin?
The night is work; and work is all divine.
Come magnify my wounds to viewing size,
come recollect the cubes of sentiment
and shades of crimson duly emphasize
materialise a shattered firmament!
You make pellucid what is thick and bleak
allow released our nature like a shriek.

Words

I keep a jar
of words said and then
forgotten
by people
I still see daily.

They glow like fairy lights
under the cold desk lamp,
they are burning.

But then the sun comes up
to peep through the curtains
and put them out.

Little dust motes,
the only words
that count
are those I write
about you now.

A garden in the tropics

A garden in the tropics
drapes a cloak of autumn round both shoulders
at sunrise, when the colour must shift,
the landscape doused in a wash of rose,
and beds of grass shorn.
A masquerade held
for itself, and pigeons
come cooing from the drainage,
and dogs bound down the streets,
and mosquitoes swarm for their slumber
before daylight.
A garden in the tropics
shapes only the bending and stretching of hues, dear –
just as you will take the diaphanous year
and wrap it about the bulk of your hips
as many times as it will.