The day will come when you are a car.
Stalled on a heap of dirt. Preoccupied
by your engine that fails to start, your slashed tyres,
those nicked caps, your bumper scratched
from too many collisions. The jack will heave you up
and your exhaust will fall off but you won’t see,
your headlights dimmed, your tail lights cracked
from years of play. You won’t feel the molecular change
or sense your wipers clinging to the glass,
the build-up of their electric charge,
or the fur on your dice bristling
at the invisible touch.
The day will come when you are me,
the steering wheel our hips as our warm lover
splays his hands, pushes with his foot
against our clutch, tries to find the biting point.
As he takes apart the panels beneath us,
hot-wires our insides, starts to spark a cigarette.
Blows the smoke towards our vents.
When he ignites our bonnet. That roar
as we shudder to a start, our working wheels
spinning on the spot. The pendulum
of that sway as we move together, older
than we ever expected.
As in those slow moments before sunrise
when the world is at consummate pitch.
The tone of the sky a deep blue.
Soaked denim in a water fight.
Sure, there are loud times. But let’s focus
on the calm of lying beneath a rising sun
taking everything in, holding onto
that last dew on the grass as though
we will never experience it again.
This poem was commissioned by Anthony Adler for a new anthology based on the Diagram Prize for Oddest Title of the Year. Basically we chose one of the odd titles from this list and tried to write poems based on them. It’s an interesting process because it makes you work backwards as a poet.
I’m back again, but with a different approach. My life’s more packed these days than in 2010 when I first set out to focus on writing every day. Now I’ve got a dissertation of poems to polish up for my masters degree; castings to go to for modelling purposes; shoots to attend for money and projects to apply for with the Arts Council. So here are some rules, I’m to abide by, in simple bullet form:
- I have to upload something every weekday. The weekend is a grey-area. Most of the time there won’t be posts then.
- ‘something’ includes videos, images and the like. For the most part it will be poetry.
- Most of the work that I upload will be in draft-form. They aren’t final.
- And, well, that’s it. Simples.
It’s the Olympics. The stadium is behind our flat, quite a while a way. The other night we were woken up with what sounded like artillery fire.
Thanks again, Tumblr.
Take my coat and hang it on the door. Rip my shirt,
button by popped button. Tie it around your waist.
Pick up little black things and put them in your pocket.
Undo my belt, wrench it until the loops split. Curl it.
Slide down skin-clung trousers. Fumble with my feet, my socks.
Cut off my boxers.
Now, take in my scent and eyes.
Shave my hair, brows, pubes. Stuff them in a pillowcase.
Peel the dead skin from my heels. Tap my head
three times and unlock my skull. Open the cavity.
Prise out my brain and let it sit on the windowsill.
Shed my case and dump it by your bed. Wipe the blood
from my musculature and smear it on your clothes.
Dismember my limbs. Put my toes and fingers
in your dog’s bowl. Crack open my ribs, suck the breath
from my lungs. Use my tendons as thread, my bones
as knitting needles. Gouge my eyes and add them
to the necklace you wear. Take it all. Everything. Now.
I walk the city at night to find you.
Clockworked-wind-up-feet carry me
on buses, through alleys,
away from crowds.
Absent, I drift,
night time’s a clown
rubbing off its make-up.
this is you sad
this is you happy
this is you black
I walk and walk and walk
buildings are trees
there’s no GPS or breadcrumbs
for a beating heart.
I sit by the wheel for ten minutes
When I’m old
and all opinion has withered into phrases
lining my shoes, where once sand spilled.
Do not ignore me.
I’m not a child.
Bedridden, with cracked ribs,
unable to sing my lifesong,
sit and hold me, like the friends we were.
you can understand my jimbledjangled-sounds.
When I’ve used up words
till breadcrumbed they trail verbs and nouns,
from now, to then, to you;
follow them and read them, still.
When Time steals my memory
look at me the same
when I’m old and forgetting what’s for tea
when I cannot remember our grandson’s name,
laugh and talk to me.
Do not think of me the forgotten,
I am still alive, just distant, shy.
Laugh when you tell stories of how,
when you visited my bed,
arm behind your back,
I thought you’d been amputated.
How I rode to school every day on a horse.
Stopped a guy with a knife
just by being calm.
Cry, if you want, if it will help you.
Think of me when you see videos
of weddings, watching the children
going down the waterslides, just nappies
alive, laughing, living my full.
Remember me, love me.
I am never old with you.
This is my 200th post since starting the website on Valentines Day 2010. Woo.
I went to Word Soup last night in Preston, it was their 1st birthday! All grown up. Anyway I heard a lot of good poetry and it was a lovely venue. I was on the open mic and did For Dicks and Linguistic Approaches to Love. Here’s the latter, you’ve all heard For Dicks enough by now I’m sure. Video recorded by Norman Hadley.
Linguistic Approaches to Love
I could reminisce about the sibilance in your uncertain sounds
the fricatives of your fucks, the vowels in your moans.
Could dot-to-dot the consonants that construct your
harsh-angry-hate and make of them a petal, bloomed.
Could take the condemnations, the indignations
dissolve them into sheer potential of hope.
I could reword your sentences, edit your paragraphs
recast you as a whole different character to the world.
Could take your adjectives away until you’re forgiven
for all the words you played with.
Could crush all the verbs into letters with no meaning
till we’re left with no substance - too.
Just people trapped in the present with no action
gaining no traction, just stagnant and blue.
It’s the beauty of love,
that we’d do anything for you.
Others hated Troll’s hangout spots
in abandoned houses, estates
a modern troll—.
Didn’t like the water, sorry trolleys
pet plastic bags, following him.
How he’d smoke and guffaw
and drink too much
brazen, blazing with life
climb up the scaffolding
on construction sites
shouting my name.
Troll could make constellations
out of bottle caps,
unwrap Quality Streets with his toes,
remake the world his own.
Unravelled before his time
lost. Grown up
he uncrooked his teeth,
flattened his hair
smoothed his face to satin flesh
grabbed his briefcase
and snuffed his spark.
I’m in the process of streamlining the different sides to the site so that performances will be in a repository of their own. So, welcome to the video section! wahey! Anyway, I met up with the lovely Jo Bell - Glastonbury Festival website Poet in Residence and Director of National Poetry Day here in the UK the other day. Dominic Berry joined us and we had a good chinwag. Speaking of which, her new project Bugged wants UK writers to eavesdrop on July 1st and write novel poetry/ fiction/ etc based on snippets that they overhear. They have a Facebook page and a Twitter so go contacting if you’re up for it! Less of a tangent Max … Jo had brought her Flip video camera with her so we took a few videos of us performing poems in an alleyway-type-thing near Manchester Central Library - here’s one of mine!