a shower of one summer word after another

humid mist, humid mist, blissful wince in the shower as the water splish, splashes on yesterday’s sunburn, sizzling pinches, hot rich breaths on my shoulders lounging, loafing, stuck by sweat on the leather sofa stolen from the street looking neat in my garden nestled between healthy nettles and the roses for cheeks on english roses, english noses which lead on, follow the leader leader leader to the park, to the grass which couldn’t be greener greener greener, its been a long time since I’ve seen ya, how are ya? I love ya, you’re my best mate, let’s kick it, great pass, fall on your ass, hysterical implosion, laugh, cackle, shriek, heaving deep as your back is mercifully broken by the weight of the world, food lover consumed in absurdity, satisfied sportswear punk, lucid drunk, naked lunch, glistening silver-plated ripped packet of wotsits, life-confirming fag drag wisps, plastic bag drifting free and content from somewhere heavent sent to somewhere half-spent in a sympathetic wind sighing despair, care, life and all it’s light and dark haired little boy giggles at a fart that his little mate donny done, that’s funny, everything’s funny really, you got any money? Dunno, probably, wanna go two’s on twenties are the best years a life you wanna lead according to this terrible magazine daydreaming pupils read, twenties are sold in 10-pound boxes which ridiculously detail how they help you pass away, twenties debaucery, the decade long party meant to be cautionary but lets throw that into a breeze mentioned in a distant memory, get carried like arrows in a parry, like a toddler with her whole life ahead of her giggling, kicking waddling legs in a swaddling blanket to sunbathers in brockwell park, to a tragic old rockstar in the elephants head, to dancing with a 6-foot model getting west in east, south london blunt chuffing rastas forking out for rum in spoons, to stars knifing the unpolluted cornish sky, to 5am bleary eyed holiday takers in gatwick’s Costa, to the sweaty musk on a runner running through dusk, gotta win, gotta be first, maybe I’ll just settle for seconds as vacuous as midnight promises between puppy lovers in pub booths bashing heads, nuzzling necks, twisting tongues to silently solve troubles time-trapped and tangled tongue twisters, tonsil tennis, 40-15, 40 loves a game we’re winning in 30-40 degree heat, its all good sport logos sported by good sports, good sorts, she’s a sort, she’s pure sauce, sorta broad I’d court woops caught short thinking silly thoughts I shouldn’t ought staring at her taut short shorts, stalk-like, bald-white legs out, thats alright, whoever you are, wherever you are in this whether to have a drink now or later, what’s later? Later is not now somehow but I don’t know how not now could every be found, conceived, seen by a minds eye blinded by cloudless light, like seriously what’s night? A friend I’ve known for years tells me its when you dream. Whats a dream? Not sure, probably something worth hoping for. Like what? I dunno, like right now, when hours taste like souffles, so sweet, sweet sweeties treat me to a torn up tongue humming an 80s tune, this is a tune, who are you? I love loving too we say with moistened eyes refracting fruit machine rainbows like dust dancing rays through a grubby, glass of water my booze decicated, emaciated, salt emaciated face reflects what it ought to, what is shouldn’t ought to: my rippling reflection burning as blisteringly true as cigarettes, a untroubling reflection which reflects a bubbling, blistering complexion swearing as clinically as tourettes that it doesn’t get better than this, this bliss, misty eyes, hot wet highs, mist, humid mist, humid humid mist from water which splish, splashes on yesterdays sunburn, sizzling pinches causing a blissful wince, what bliss, what bliss

what’s yours is mine (sportswear punk)

If I am what I think
Then I couldn’t tell ya
If I am what I drink
Then I guess that I’m just Stella
If I get blue
I’ll be sure to bell ya
If you’re all heart
My crying line will surely melt ya
To say the smooth outweighs the rough
Would be to bluff
Would be to double bluff
I’m sipping rum out of a mug
Is that enough?
It don’t seem enough

Life’s a bitch and then you die
That’s why we say hi
To friend on the weekend
That pun was Nasty, just ignore me
Oh em gee! You’re so meta! You’re so clever
Nah just bored and at the end of my tether
Cos when days are as blank as my bank account
You delve into a familiar mind
And discover jarring half-rhymes,
Arrhythmic lines,
Fluctuating time,
Hate-crashed parties,
Discordant harmonies which you try and resolve
But that’s in vain:
The sportswear punk’s cold heart
Is a plastic that won’t mould
The who?
The kid’s who wanna/don’t wanna die before they get old
The kids who don’t need to sell their soul

Maybe that’s just me
I’ve been seething since I was teething
Punching the ceiling since I was breathing
But I’m not convinced I’m the only one
The idea doesn’t satisfy
Because I see the gunpowder in your eyes
Can smell the salt of tears you cry
Blurring your vision so you’re blissfully blind
Recognise the life you’re trying to find
What’s yours is mine
What’s yours is mine
And together we’ll be fine
Together we’ll be alright

chatting (an old love song)

Worlds fail as I gaze at your fingernails and how they tuck into your skin

Maybe it’s the drink but I can’t help but think of succumbing to a filthy sin

I wanna misbehave and surf the wave-like groove of the flesh of your lips

Cos I’m scared heartache will become heartbreak without the wet caress of your kiss

But the wall of guilt that circumstance has built weighs painfully heavy on my back

And so, for now, I’ll find solace, somehow, in your company, by chewing the fat

THIS IS IT version 2

when do you go?

I dunno, tomorrow or something,

one drink, two drink

I’ve packed the kitchen sink, might not fit in my new flat

ill come up to your halls one Saturday,

really?

yeah wont fuss, won’t stress, megabus, national express, up the fuckin m1 just to see my best mate

that sounds great

yeah sounds great…

hows it going at work?

could be worse

when does your new wage come through?

not a clue, end of the month or something,

three drink, four, one more?

sure fella,

two stellas please,

I guess we’ll have these and then we’ll say goodbye

part ways into an empty night,

it’s gonna be alright, isn’t it?

yeah mate, yeah, it’ll be fine

 

I’m next to the place my dad watched his son grow

The only home I’ve ever known

Im lying like a foetus in the middle of the road

Trying to stick to it like Velcro

Pretend the ground is a crisp white sheet

The curb a pillow

Trying to wrap up in the orange streetlight glow

But the light is nothing more than a bland sodium dribble

The tarmac is black

The concrete is cold

But I dare not stand back up

Because Im terrified of the blankness of the long night approaching

My nostrils curl at the hollow scent of autumn encroaching

Ah fuck im 20

This is it

What the fuck am I doing?

A 20 year old boy throwing a tantrum

Haunting himself with childhood’s ghosts, yesterday’s phantoms

There’s more to life than this

Hope is a solace

 

I stand back up

Hope is a solace

Lip so stiff its tough

And I look down my road to the sleepy houses

Rows of homes dwindling into an empty dream

And I paint a scene of blue and greens

Of gold and silver with smells heady and sweet

Oh fuck I’m 20

But hope is a solace

Oh fuck I’m 20

This is it

in the sun

I am in the sun

Sitting

Sunlight reflecting off my eyes

Which do not wince in the glare

Maybe my armpits are sweating

My skin perhaps getting burnt

I dunno

I look over to my right

People of children’s ages are playing and laughing and screeching

Climbing trees

Rolling on the grass

Whirling round on roundabouts

Soaring on swings

Their unspoilt, white faces grinning

Forming ageless memories of fun as he had done

The scene was expected

The rhythm of instinctual play undulating to a breeze whistling by

Coming from somewhere, going somewhere else

Harmonising with the breath of the trees

Sighing in the beating heat

The view moistens my eyes with jealousy

My heart groans begrudgingly at puberty

The hormones that poison immediate bliss

That rip open your eyes to ambition and sex and tragedy

Humanity

Because I sit alone

Lucid

My isolation empowers me and laughs at a recent memory

 

Moving like a wind I roll up into the city, person #26 sitting in this carriage, carrying my hopes for the night, sealing fate, hot date, don’t be late, half past 8, hello hello, hug hug, kiss kiss, you look great miss, I know this place round the corner, we move in the crowds, it’s like a sauna with clouds of steam billowing round, absorbing us, the cars, the busses, just been raining, all our faces are crept on by shadows in the failing sun, nah not this place, the next one, hop skip jump and we’re done with the walk, sit down and talk of the things everyone else is talking of in here, what you doing? How’s uni? You going on holiday this year? Clink clank, drink? Thanks. Everyone chitter chatters, somewhere a plate breaks, somewhere a glass shatters, doesn’t matter, because I’m sat opposite her, just a boy and a girl hurled through time, the cosmos so arranged that tonight, from 9, we can drink wine, climb inside each other’s minds and allow the forces of nature to do what they do, bring you closer to me and me closer to you. Liquid slips down and brows furrow deeper, conversation gets loud as I try to teach her all about me, my philosophy etcetera and vice versa, her lines said with such assurance it’s like she’s rehearsed them. We’re just animals, I’m nothing more than a sack of bones, we’re tiny and insignificant. The boldness is cold and I try to hold onto some sort of identity and reason, something to believe in, to keep me dreaming, but as I do I’m a hypocrite, I can’t deny it, i can’t hide it, I moved just like a monkey here, a pinball buffered by lust, fear, excitement, enticed by hope, just another sack of bones, another drone being thrown by the forces of time. Time to go, don’t you know, back home, alone, where I’ll moan and groan on the phone to a friend about my longing for some kind of tenderness, the same as us all, all hellbent on this idea that somehow I’m special, that I’m gonna be successful in love and money. But nah, just monkeys in shoes m8

 

But I am in the sun

Sitting

Sunlight reflecting off my eyes

Which do not wince in the glare

Maybe my armpits are sweating

My skin perhaps getting burnt

I dunno

Because my thoughts are too preoccupied

With ambition and mortality and humanity

To ever surrender myself to the weather

the start of the best years of ur life

Hello, my names Edward

My friends call me Eddie

I’m sitting here on new sheets

Next to my old teddy

Says ted to ed, don’t worry mate,

This is quite a nice new place

But reassurance from a teddy bear

Can’t dry the tears hanging on my face

Reflecting in the heavy droplets

Are the photographs on my wall:

The sleepy orange of a holiday sunset,

The pink faces of mates from school,

The serene blue-greens of trees and streams,

And the hills around my home,

The twinkling hazel of my girlfriends eyes,

From that trip we took to Rome

But even tears evaporate,

Leaving me fresh-faced: the slate clean,

Think of uni as an empty canvas,

Stand up, walking forward’s easier than it seems

Stand up, walk forward, out my room, down the corridor, be sure of yourself Edward, come on, into the kitchen where they’re all sitting, drinking, sinking nervous shots inbetween thinking of the next polite thing to say: hey! who are you, where do you come from, what do you do? Philosophy? Oh you must be smart! I do art, I do geology, I do politics, I do biology, my names James, Jack, Tom, Dick, Harry, Sophie, Katy, Caitlin, here take my number, for safety, in case anything goes wrong, but it’ll be alright, we’ll have a good night, put this one on its my favourite song

And so I’m sat here at the table

With the 8 strangers I now live with

Playing cards, having a laugh,

Aided by this vodka I’m now drinking

I have to try to make this work,

Just be nice, polite, yourself,

I’m frightened of the blank future

But so are these boys and girls

They’re in the same position as me

And it’s an experience that we’ll share

We’re all new to the city, to being away from home,

Each one of us just as scared

The walls start to shake as I take another sip, another glug from this jug of beer, where we going? To a club. Is it near? Don’t fear comrades, says jack the biscuit, I know the way, we won’t risk it, we’ll leave in twenty, plenty of time to quaff piss in a tin, Lucozade and gin, I wanna get steaming, we’re all getting steaming, a team of late teens living the dream: young, drunk and full of rum, ho ho holy shit, quick, better leave if we wanna make the bus, we all run, skip, jump on board, take us north, south, east, I wanna get west, here take two of these mate, fuck, that tastes like hairspray. We’re queuing to pay, Harry’s getting shirty with a guy in front, what you say you cunt? Take him away says billy brute the bouncer, the rest of us get in though. I stop and look and my eyes are thrown around by the ricocheting sound of a pounding bass drum, a sea of young bodies moving like a wave in time to the beat, the beat, shuffling feet, spastic jaws, elastic arms, limbs moving with fluidity through the wet, the steam, the sweat saturated humidity, heat, lights, the beat, what a sight, the beat, tonight, the beat

Where am I? What is this?

What do I do? Look at my fists

Why are they clenched so tight

What is it they want to fight?

This is everything I ever wanted

Everything I’d hoped for

Growing up and getting out

But this is all, too much and more

My eyes are wide, my breath is deep

I can only stand here, still

My eyes get wider, my breaths get deeper

Absorbing it in, I start to feel

A moistness in my eyes,

A warmth in my chest,

A rhythm in my veins

It’s starting to make sense

I could go home, nightbus alone

Be back by just gone two

But actually I’d rather stay

Introduce myself to you

Hello, my names Edward, my friends call me eddie, you have the most beautiful hair, sorry I don’t mean to stare, it’s just amazing, I bathe in the lights, a fluorescent bath, technicolour warmth, my muscles are taut, they’re lean, this is a dream, this is a tune, I move, I groove around the snare that pops in my brain, I’m an animal that can’t be tamed, I’m flying like a bird, writhing like a snake, each breath I take fills me with molten gold, my thoughts twist and turn and hurl and dance and prance, happy memories, I love you, don’t forget your packed lunch ed, you want a drink mate? Touch me, I’m Edward, don’t stop don’t stop, my teddy bear, I’ve lost my mum, can you help me? Swimming in the sea, the beat, drink, drink, the beat, red, green, blue, white, joy, happiness, pain, hurt, tears, hurt, hurt, somethings hurting my back, it’s a boy in black big as a boulder, he’s grabbed my shoulder, he’d leading me away, he’s grabbed my shoulder, he’s hurting my back, he’s hurling me out

I stumble, tumble, am expelled like a belch out of the doors, hit the floor, on all floors, I’m crawling away, to the safety of a quieter place, my face aches, the thud of the bass dwindles replaced by my pulse pumping too fast. At last, somewhere to sit

Somewhere to breathe

Calm down

What happened?

I’m in a busstop. I’m sitting there removed from time. Hours could be passing. I’m just sitting. Sitting, accompanied only by an ownerless dog as he licks a puddle of sick. The couplets and rhyme that comforted and structured my brain have now gone. Thoughts are slow, empty, alone.

Tears form unconsciously on my eyes even though I feel nothing. Reflected in them is the glaring red of a minicab sign, the dull yellow of street lamps, the frenetic blue lights of a policecar, the shadows between two fingers holding a cigarette, the smeared pink lipstick of girl stumbling into the night.

I wanna go home

This is the beginning of the best years of your life

Where is home?

This is the beginning of the best years of your life

tick tock tick stop

Another year, another winter holiday, stop work, operate like clockwork, the tick tock of Christmas time, hours follow hours, minutes follow minutes, seconds follow seconds, smell the smells, say the words, see the people you always do, you always should do at this time of year. 21st, what do I need to do today? Oh I’m in luck, what can I say, can’t complain, hop and skip my way on a trip to the pub with my best mate.

Jingle bells jingle jangle whilst I grab the handle of this jar of beer. Tick tock. There’s a seat over here mate, here’s to festive cheer mate, cheers, cheers, hear! hear! Oh dear, I’ve accidentally had two, three, four. Eyes are the doors to the soul and mine feel like they’ve swung open, tick tock, go on, have a stroll around my mind and witness my pupils loll around to the sound of Christmas pissedness: drunk conversations about wish lists, carrots, that fucking song by Mariah Carey, carefree jibber jabber about that film on the telly all barely being heard above the jingly jangling of bells, the clinky clinking of glasses, tick tock, what you doing, where you going, contractual questions asked without knowing.

Staying at home, you know, the usual: mum, dad and cat flattened by eating, drinking, feasting without thinking too much, just enough to sate, placate, sedate so that board games don’t seem too boring. What about you? Tick. What you up to? Tock. What you doing? Where you going?

“Er, just me and my mum this year” Tick

“Oh yeah?”

That’s odd. No tock

“Yeah.”

The clocks stopped working

“How come?” The cogs and bolts have ground to a halt. Seconds march by but no hands are moving. Infact, he’s just sat there, still, unmoved by merriment.

“Dad left us last Tuesday mate. Don’t know where he’s gone.” The straight chain of fate has been twisted and gnarled by something hateful.

“Oh shit man… I’m sorry…” is all I can muster

“it’s alright”

“Must’ve been awful, are you okay?”

“Yeah it’s cool.”

Time remains stagnant, his voice remains resilient, belligerently ignoring the pain that lurks under his eyes. Seconds must be following seconds, maybe minutes, but all attention is transfixed on his face, staying resolutely in place. Please make some sort of movement mate, it’s okay, let me in, let me help, it’s alright, you can cry, right now I’d rather die than let you keep this to yourself.

He sighs, a huff, “right that’s enough of that, another drink?” and he’s up, leaving me to think, realise, surmise that even in the deep, empty ocean of life, there still exists, persists great, terrible shipwrecks. Fractured vessels that sit unnoticed by the waves galloping on the surface and the currents that surge below. Great, terrible shipwrecks that lay alone: brave, broken and forgotten.