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

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

when life gives you super-absorbent polymers

it doesn’t matter
how many times
you punch a pillow.
it always takes
the shock. i

wish i wish i was

like a punnet
of milky feathers

like a luminous
orange mouldable jelly

like the rubber
tiles under swings
at the playground

like things exhibited
at science fairs

like a crash
test dummy i

wish i wish i wish

it didn’t matter
how many times
you slice a lemon.
it always cuts
me up.

when life gives you super-absorbent polymers

reindeer heart soup

you are a delicacy here.
your silvery hide
like a dusty mirror.
your fluttering lashes

hide eyes like windows.
hoping you are
seen but not watched.
save your appetite.

you are a platinum fixture
in a golden ceiling.
alive but not moving,
willing but not hopeful.

no word is too long for you;
no heart too closed.
they must pour boiling water
down your throat.

reindeer heart soup

BINSEY (rewrite)

i stood in that hollow
once before
you raised me well
taught no feeling

bound up in tape
resurrected
image projected
on concrete wall

dug out by shovel
gouged by fist
i’ve been away
too long

what made you cold?
who made you
all angles
and darkness?

just a scrawl, child
running
down the cave wall
vowels at the mouth

windows, unhinged
hanging
white plastic wings
on cold stucco birds

what held you apart?
pushed you
together
in the black?

broken now into blue
grey
face burned out
standing on the other shore

how do i
swim
to you through this water
two whole feet deep?

i stood in that hollow
once before
neon tubes flickering
too far can’t reach

bring me up to speed now; who
did what, who
died? i’ve been away
too long

fibreglass boards for eyes
cheap
salvaged from bin bonfires
gas leaks

cards in wheel spokes
deal after
deal, loud, dressed
in red, yellow, blue

colours running, the sun
gone
replaced by
“THESE HAZARDS ARE-“

i stood in that hollow
once before
i’ve been away
too long

BINSEY (rewrite)

A Hole To Crawl Through

5 am siren wakes you, sits you

bolt upright into the bleached-pink

sulfur-yellow sun birth

crooked arms reaching ether, extending

hooked tree-claws, bed

full of muttering feathered shadows

unseen pavement glitters

with remnants of night

(stacks & accidents & lost things)

that unknown distant roaring;

same in every city, provincial town,

on mountains; morning earth chant

clouds cream up curved walls of sky

stirred by the sun’s golden spoon

and poured into shining mirror-windows

through two layers to be absorbed by

your eyes; upside-down and distilled

into one stinging fluorescent needle

sound is clearer, brighter

in the hours between, reserved

for being round-edged and murmuring

lie back on pillows, drinking

soft brownness from a chipped pastel cup

light slowly crystallising your form

into something harder, less

prophetic; likely not to witness

an accidental sunrise.

A Hole To Crawl Through