photograph of a moment

i walk into a shop with a smashed window. it smells strongly of cleaning fluid, and there is a large puddle on the floor. the man behind the till is watching youtube videos on his phone and does not seem to notice. the light in here is sickly and yellow. there are jars of pickled things. dried milk. dried fruit. dried noodles.

photograph of a moment

stroll, cont.

gallery road, someone has written, in reference to the huge colourful scrawls lining the no mans’ land between tracks and building site. NOT TRUE, i want to scream. galleries are not so organic.

greenlight leaning over the tracks, poised. another train hums casually over.

a man up ahead appears at first glance to be pissing, but actually he is sketching a bush.  he is wearing earbuds. i wonder what he is listening to.

it’s too painful to stand on this viewing platform; the drilling is too loud. at least there is a creek today; it flows like a fat slug in the rain. brambles reach into the walkway and i find myself looking for the cracks, the in-between, the clues, caught between decimation and desolation.

this kind of barbed wire looks like a fleur de lis.

the smell of sawdust. cigarette butts and polystyrene. moudly apple core.

luxury flats overlooking the sewage treatment works.

stroll, cont.

Stroll

Frankham Street smells like an armpit.

Further along this devolves into garam masala and chlorine.

The arches of the train track are all dripping mildew and piss.

Techno scrawled over techno in different coloured paint.

GCHQ= STATS! in melting white.

The roof drips into tiny gravel pits, makes pigeons jump.

A huge crude face on one, tentacles on the next.

Wake up? in red.

Plants burst through cracks in the brick.

A train thunders overhead.

I step into a cloud of mosquitoes.

Stroll

like a goldfish in a bowl

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i am not stuck fast
but i am glue-slow
wading through wet cement
circa 1970
i drink sky and

what’s funny is
if you build glass where
it never stops raining
life will be as grey
as if you’d never bothered,
and just used concrete

you have to see that
shards are just as sharp
when they fall from phone boxes
as when they stand erect
and pierce the roof

of the world’s mouth

“and this world is
the one”, we shuddered
as we sped towards it
along the DLR tracks

of the darkest timeline
history taut as a tightrope

like a goldfish in a bowl

Dreamscapes.

Not pastel wonderlands full of mythical creatures, or nightmare dungeons full of my deepest darkest demons. Grey places with no real direction or meaning, flipping past like the leaves of a discarded copy of the Yellow Pages lying in a railway siding. Flat landscapes composed of high hedges on either side of silent country roads, long-crashed cars with the headlights punched out, a low distant unexplained roaring, ominous but strangely comforting. My dreams are s l o w . They form parts of my sub-conscious I never bother to explore during my waking hours; as I believe I’ve stated before, my dreams are not this weird. Life is stranger. But dreams are moreish. Ever wake up from Chapter One and try and relax fast enough to catch Chapter Two?

Dreamscapes.

sour fruits

x ray earth ray
window to sea spray
a waterfall in negative

dust me with sherbet
then tell me just what
you want to do about it.

i would like to say
you are the same
when seen through a frame

but it shows me
another layer.
there is more to you

than you would like
me to know.
when you tell me

to go climb a tree
I will- a pine-
I will scrape all the skin

off my legs
leave them raw
purple-pink like meat

like the underneath
of you.
you are true. you are

stalactites, a tall salty
wave in slow motion.
crash down on me.

you hide in the corners
of yourself, eat an apple,
viciously, so it

makes your gums bleed
makes your sweat
squeeze through taste buds

sour fruits