mind gap

Excuse me Sir, you got the time?

He looks up – perturbed, zealous – from his phone;
Iridescent screen beams, like petrol in sun,
conceal the true colour of his iris.
Synthetic rainbow blends, whiter than bone;
Just sclera and pupil – which I become.
He teaches me. Listen! Adhere to this:
The time is now, she is, he is, we are
late, suited, workers, we’re the trains, the cars,
Self-impelled, scared, as Phobos orbits Mars.
Just exist now – stupid question to ask.
Yes Sir, right you are sir, I’ll move as you
do cos I have to, I’ll do as you do,
we do, she does, he does, (but what is the time?)
The time is you’re late, it’s 5:59.

Oh shit, that’s right, that’s me, sorry, thankyou, bye-bye, I’m late, always late, A to B machine, Oxford Circus to the Elephant, changeover, quick snap, black line to Morden, but first the Bakerloo:
I sit down in the second carriage from the back. I hadn’t noticed the rows of people standing steely behind me as I waited to cross the gap. For the first time in a while I notice other people.
I can feel the elbow of the woman next to me. I feel lucky to grab a seat as every space in the tin-can tube is filled, as commuters clatter on, colliding like atoms in compressed gas. A jolt and we’re off.
The rails thunder, dum dum, dum dum, like a pacemaker beneath us, getting quicker and quicker, dumdum dumdum.
From someone’s mouth, a piece of keratin shrapnel projects somewhere, gnarled and chewed. My hand brushes gum, gloopy like unset glue.
Veins throbbing loud and blue. Dogshit on a shoe, sneezes which spew snot, hot like lava, achoo, achoo, ew, ew, fucking disgusting, dumdumdumdum, try and screw shut my eyes,
the seat is like goo into which I am subsumed, “the next station is Charing Cross”, my skin is textured by the tube’s metallic grooves, the greasy poles bending like pipes bubbling with excreta, glass smeared by fingers clambering, scrabbling, everywhere, everywhere, arachnid fingers attached to arms, “the next station is Waterloo”, dumdumdumdum, dense fleshy limbs knotted like neglected wires into which I am tangled, heat heat, heat produced by lumps of meat rubbing together, dumdumdumdum, lubricated by sweat, muggy pate, humid sardines, heat heat, the brakes scream, scream, scream, crushed into the seat, my motherboard is overloading, scream, exploding, blood and electricity, can’t see, can’t hear for the heat, heat, scream, scream, need to breathe, need to breathe, “the next station is Lambeth North”
Force myself up

Jolt, mind the gap

Force myself out
Breathe, Breathe,
Breathe.
That didn’t go according to plan
Where am I now? Lambeth North. Not to-ing nor fro-ing; just a-ing or b-ing.
Breathe, close your eyes
Body and mind wriggles to be free as a tear escapes its duct
What’s the time? Display board is broken and there’s no one here to ask, small, commuterless underground station, forgotten by London’s skyline soaring higher and higher with ambition

Breathe, breathe
Brown Bakerloo line paint
Dull, variegated bricks and tiling, yellows and creams ageing since Victoria’s reign
Dim orange lightbulbs create soft shadows – ghosts move like Golden-age Hollywood stars with each flicker
Breathe, close your eyes
The tear wanders down my cheek lawlessly, like the words of a happy madman, enraptured by nonsense
Upon the black of my eyelids, the ghosts morph, stories from indefinite yesteryears are painted, all at once, united only by the past tense, using the same pallet as the station:
Old, drunk cockneys cackle saucily at a dirty joke whilst waiting for the last tube; a young girl waves at a rat running parallel with the tracks; two teenage puppy-lovers are oblivious to passers-by, their tongues tangoing to the arrhythmic soundscapes of a daydream; a teary mother, rereading a letter from her son who moved away, mouths to herself the closing words – “love you Mum, see you soon”.
My own Mum is painted in the same sepia tones. She’s handing me the necklace I always wear, for my 18th birthday. My Dad hugs me in a moment of suburban despair and he shakes my hand when I’m feeling better. My first girlfriend tells me she loves me and I believe her. Staving off tears, I give a speech at my Grandad’s funeral. I put the world to rights during a sleepless 3am with my best mate whilst we eat a Tesco sandwich.

Open my eyes
Was that a blink? Was that a second? It felt like a lifetime
It felt like the past hugged me, comforted me, laughed with me, cried with me
Exactly as a good friend would
My airways opened up so I could breathe, breathe
Like a machine never needs to
Like a man who is blessed with life

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waterloo sunset

Rusty bus brakes moan,

Cheap earphones sing bitter,

To rows of empty seats.

Trying to drift off,

But tears burn like chip fat,

Cos this scene’s meant for me.

 

I really need my friend but,

Ray’s longing blue croon turns pink bubblegum now;

The colours blend arcanely.

 

Every night I look at myself in bus windows,

See stupid, wretched boy get poorer in sighs.

What can I say is mine,

Other than this bus-ride whine?

 

We used to meet up,

Cans on the common,

Then share my single bed.

But I played with your hair,

Owned liquid gold rubies,

Like Waterloo sunset.

 

I still need my friend,

But the arc of the bridge starts to come into focus:

From fleapit to paradise.

 

Every night I look at myself in bus windows,

See stupid, wretched boy get poorer in sighs.

What can I say is mine?

Maybe I’ve a piece of time.

 

Rusty bus brakes moan,

Cheap earphones sing bitter,

To rows of empty seats.

But I can drift off,

Downstream in dream boats,

Into sunset memories.

 

And I don’t need my friend,

As long as I have my waterloo sunset

I can shut tight my eyes.

 

Waterloo sunset’s mine.

My very own piece of time.

Your Waterloo sunset’s mine.

midnight poet

I am the midnight poet, get to know it

Gimme a dark-seized scene and I’ll own it

Writing as I beat my chest hair – i’ve grown it

My fag end illuminates, come and toke it

 

Toke it, see us in the shimmering smoke:

We are the ripe lychee lung to the old

Toads’ tarred raisins who ribbit, croak, soak

In stagnant pub-booths browned by yeasty mould,

Whereas our fresh froglet legs bounce from bar

To bar, make way has-beens, this city’s ours:

 

Our dicks pierce it’s air, spelling out our names

On a wall with hot piss, midnight poet

And mates and dates all hunting, we’re all game

For a house party, call them, don’t blow it,

Promise we’ll try not to eat them alive,

“My round. What’s your poison?” Mine’s a snakebite

 

Glug that down quick slurp burp, another one,

More more more jagerbombs which detonate

Reminders that I’m my sweet mothers son,

Replacing enlightened childhood landscapes

Is the ink-blot vomit of bus stop glare,

Porch bulb, disco ball, where’s the bog?, upstairs

I scramble,

Past dying partiers

Upstairs,

look in the mirror

W h o’ s t h a t b o y?

The mind and mouth empties

of word’s as I

blulleghhegh

Hhhblllee.rg!hererh

H,huur?rg;;gghlhg.!?hhh

 

Check my breath

 

Should take it as a

warning!

?

W h o ‘s  t h a t  b o y ?

But the nightsky’s incessant grin taunts me

Threatens to swallow me whole in dark victory

And my fists clench.

Who’s that boy?

It’s a man:

I am the midnight poet, get to know it

Gimme a dark-seized scene and I’ll own it

Writing as I beat my chest hair – i’ve grown it

My fag end illuminates, come and toke it

 

I spit blood-clot phlegm mixed with vomit back into the ceramic piss bucket, dim but still lit, gob rocketing out of whistling lips, I’m kim jong young and fulla rum, hahaha that’s a pun, this is fun, so fucking fun, told you I was good with words, stumble drunk, clunk, bang a table, ow that hurts, some chump says “a bump for you you sweet mother’s son of a bitch? numb the itch in your nose, sniff this, dab that, this powder’s white, not black”, crack open a tin, “that’s a sin”, who said that? Spin round on the attack, condensed mass of sweating backs, need a fag, need a fag,

breathe,

just relax, just relax,

tilt your head back, listen to this tune from 2002, “has it come to this?”, the streets, 2002, reminds me of a childhood beach, sat with my family, licking happily on a rocket lolly bought by my mother, lovingly smothering on suncream, the sea beams green, gulls swoop serene, lie back and breathe as aimlessly as daydreams,

“OI OI you alright lad? Sniff this, dab that, this powders white not black”

Brain whizz, blood fizz, shit, has it come to this?

“you shouldn’t be doing that” advises some lips,

who’s are they?

I’m seeing a guy I remember is my mate but out of his head sprouts my mothers hair, his blue eyes roll 360, reappear as her brown, his voice modulates up from a tone down,

“You can do whatever you wanna do,” she says. “But is this you, ‘midnight poet’?”

Has it come to this?

Brain whizz, blood fizz,

I’m gonna be sick,

I’m gonna be sick, need air,

Gonna vomit kaleidoscopic like this this disco ball

need air,

down stairs

nee.pld air

Out’34side

Subs.u8med int…o sha;;do’w

S.inknnk itno som790/ebue wooorrd.d.,llleee9ssss corenrrer

Sxelsesss proootttte.,,.ein

Timiiiidddj g        d,

Coweee/ri/ng./,//. As a b.o.yy.

Clo.,se myyyy eyes

b..eateen

beaten

Succt//.umb i.nto bla.ck eybi/…e.lids

 

 

He is the midnight poet,

And don’t we know it?

In the dead of night,

As the ashen oranges of cigarettes shrivel

And the sodium shadows dissolve,

into the viscous gloom,

The silhouette of a gasping body victoriously wears it’s gang’s black colours

Villainously sniggering at the futile striving of masculinity with it’s Don, the night sky.

He was the midnight poet

But it’ll probably be alright

Cos the sun,

Always rises,

Always resurrects.

The sun,

Always beats bright golden sobriety as loud as a judge’s gavel,

Rays which enlighten

As lovingly as a mother

cope

Cope cope cope cope
Do a line of coke
And have another toke
Lose yourself in smoke
Ignore blood in your throat
Pass out on the road
Don’t let woman know
Why your wrist got broke
Cope cope cope cope
Punched some other bloke
Streaming bloody nose
Pick up some mongy crow
To sleep when you get home
Watch the latest show
Fall into a black hole
Just don’t let woman know
No, dont let woman know
Cope cope cope cope
Cope cope cope cope
Cope cope cope cope
I’ll drown in this pillow
Freeze in sheets like snow
I really wanna go
Somewhere out my dome
But won’t call up her phone
I only want the tone
Cos I can’t ever show
Cope cope cope cope
No, I can’t ever show
mine don’t work like those
Who’ve got their life in tow
They know how it goes
They roll with the blows
Can mend a bloody nose
There’s still blood in my throat
There’s still blood in my throat
There’s still blood in my throat
There’s still blood in my throat
Cope cope cope cope
Cope cope cope cope
She’s found me in the snow
In air which likes to blow
Like fatal traffic flow
She says get out the road
She says to take it slow
You’ve still got room to grow
You need to learn to cope
It’s not just hit and hope
It’s not just shit you throw
Spit blood out your throat
Spit blood out your throat
Let your lover know
Let your mother know
You’re never on your own
Cope cope cope cope
Cope cope cope cope

jelly boy

Haven’t seen much for a few (what they call) days,

The only reflection I ever see, (always see, cant escape, are swans still white?) is that bouncing round my sphreical prism,

my doughy loaf encrusted throughout with shards of tinted glass

Light beams rattle round, refract, constantly change, (pretty much) bend, twist, piroette, startle, appear, disappear, reappear, they stop and consider what they are and what they’re for, direction seems pointless, (they’re bored), they dream, they imagine

They whisper (and they scream) images into the black of my eyelids, they colonise them, spear their flag in and are met with no resistance, so I am now them and they are me

What do they reflect?

They shed light (haha) on skin which is pallid and terse, almost crispy like cardboard, plumped up by melted fat which flows viscous, slow and comfortable like cows milk, lovingly warmed to remedy an anxious night,

carbohydrate pimples (as round as a bosom) contour the pale cardboard, all over the person

All over its (almost) boneless structure, bones slowly dissolve in blood which pools and ferments like a stagnant, forgotten pond, subsuming an intact rib cage and clean, unbruised knuckles which try and let themselves known along long jelly fingers (the same yellow as holly Willoughby’s hair), attached to a blobby jelly palm (the same cream as the walls), attached to a long wobbling jelly arm of the jelly boy, the jelly boy

An arm which rises from between the sofa cushions, from between the duvet and pillows, escaping from the duck-feather ocean

Attempt, strain, strain,

Strain, strain, (try not to flop), strain to raise that jelly arm in the air as an argument which points like the end of a pencil, piercing through parentheses,

direction, difficult, upwards, forward, try and open your eyes jelly boy, try and think of outside:

Jelly boy tries to shout, jelly boy tries to talk about boris johnson in disdain, jelly boy tries to remember how to laugh at something other than the smell of his silent farts, and tries to write something distinct from suburban boredom, boredom, (inescapable boredom) because hes surely, definitely, certainly, (cmon, he must be), a bit more grown up??

an adult? a man?

Can’t do it… try…

cmon…

cmon……

Sweating sweat as sweet as neat orange squash

Cmon,

Ugh, cmon, c’mon

Not happening

Not happening

Give up

No

Give up

Give up

The weight of the strain is too much for jelly boys jelly muscles

Too heavy

Not made to move

Ugh

He resigns to a sigh

The expels air which smells of secret, midnight cigarettes and tinned beer

the smell rises thick like a fume and makes jelly boy’s eyes roll back, roll back

pointlessly bend, twist, piroette, anonymously appear, disappear, reappear behind closed eyelids,

What else to do

But Surf the light beams in all their absurdity?

Surf the light beams because its something to do

that wasn’t it

Stagger down peckham highstreet as if it’s sutton’s

Drunk by the same spoons beer, same best mate, same sentimentality, the same revolutions of thought which caress and bite a goodbye kiss,

What better metaphor than the train I’m on?

Sitting across the seats so I’m perpendicular to the movement

Rolling past zone 2 terraces standing resolute and quantified, lit in an orange burning brighter than sodium ever could

I’ve packed up my suitcase,

It sits at my feet,

Pandora’s box and bag of sweets,

A pint glass clinked to a rock’roll dream,

Sportswear punk jumper needing a clean,

A new telephone with new missed calls,

Good gigs, empty rooms, peaks and pitfalls

Kicking our heels tryna find a foothole

Hard to do when the floors concrete

Licking teeth to taste yesterday’s dinner

Wince at the bitter, wince at the sweet

A glitter-face little-miss sits opposite and sways with each hiccup from the day’s spirit mixer,

Take her home, take her home,

Carnivals over and now she’s alone,

Take her home, take us home,

The parties over, now we’re alone,

Her eyelids slide shut

And I do the same 

To apprehend eyeballs before they roll back

Instead, they’ll paint tomorrow morning’s sun

Ah fuck I’m 22

But hope’s still a solace

That wasnt it