Tuesday 23 April 2013

NaPoWriMo Day 23 Poem 16 The Magician

Ten years old at the window my dad smashed
with a milk bottle the night that he came home
full of wino spittle. The house became a giant box
we locked ourselves in. Me, my mum and my sister
hid like we'd found the trap doors, like we'd found
the magicians secret, the place that hides the magic.
My Dad became the magician that made us disappear

and he couldn't bring us back.

Monday 22 April 2013

NaPoWriMo Day 22 Poem 15 What To Do

 Natalie comes to the door wearing a black miniskirt,
    leads me into her room, opening 
her lips on my neck,
        snaking    her   tongue   along    my   jaw.

Nerves tell the body not to move
because it is true that I am sixteen and stiff
in all the wrong places.

It will take me a week to hate myself
for having to try 
               so hard to forget her.

She has undone me, asking
that I do not fall for her,
    she says it will be easy to forget me.

It will take me another week to hate her
for thinking 
      that she can tell the heart
what to do.

Thursday 18 April 2013

Gentrification NaPoWriMo Day 18 Poem 14

Home is no longer
murder mile, where I lay
in bed, mistaking gun shots
for fireworks at 1am.

Home is no longer
the cross fire of a turf war,
or a hooded 11pm shadow
in Lower Clapton with a blade
put to the warm vein in my neck.

Home is ordering gingerbread lattes and croissants
with smoked cheese and cherry-toms,
at a price that politely robs me.

Home is my buttoned up checkered shirt
cat-walking to Hackney Picture House,
at a price that politely robs me.

Wednesday 17 April 2013

NaPoWriMo Day 17 Poem 13 Crushed Rain

I remember the crush 
of rain in Ken Wood, how hard
it came as we kissed under an oak tree.

Afterwards, my arms
curled coyly around your waist, 
as we ran through the field onto wet streets
where everything sparkled silver
                                in the rain.

I don’t know that by summer,
you will be pregnant
with another mans child,
but I know my friend James 
will grow needles in his gut
because he told me for years 
he loved you.

But I held you 
honest as I could.

Tuesday 16 April 2013

NaPoWriMo Day 16 Poem 12 171 Bus Story

I am sitting on the top deck of the 171 bus
and something is meowing and everyone
is pretending not to hear it,
If there is a wild cat in here we’re all dead!

A man has got on board holding a paper bag of market stall fish.

If he sits near me….

He has sat behind me, my Britishness is keeping me quiet and I am wishing I belonged to a language more culturally assertive, but I think it’s ok because I haven’t heard the meowing for a while.

Maybe it was in my head; maybe it was the ghost of the fur coat the woman in front of me is wearing…

Now the bus is passing a car crash and a small Chinese man is standing with two police officers in the middle of the road, he is telling what happened in interpretive dance, as he star jumps into the air to gesture an explosion.

As the bus turns into the next lane a fox runs into the middle of the road
and we swerve but everyone is remaining British, and I do not mean we were in fox hunting gear, or we started drinking tea, I mean, we are quiet until a man’s phone rings and he picks up (“Bonjour’”) speaking French, and I am wondering what’s his excuse for being quiet all this time?

maybe he has been here too long,
maybe that is what he is saying in French right now,
Marcel, Je suis ici depuis trop longtemps!
              I have been here too long!

At the next bus stop a man gets on and in an American accent asks
fur coat lady if there is a real place called Pimlico because he can’t believe it

and now… I can hear the meowing

TFL Travel Update  -

On Wednesday 18th April at 6pm, the 171 bus will be on diversion. This is due to a road closure as a result of Baroness Thatcher's funeral.

Sunday 14 April 2013

NaPoWriMo Day 14 Poem 11 A Planet That Hurts

What colour flows through my heart
     like radiation?
                           How am I to see myself
in my own river when there is something wrong
with the water
                          in my eyes?
    I am looking for a kind of thinking that will give my face better posture -

I am telling myself
all this rain is made of rubber
I can bounce it
If I don’t stop dancing,
        this is how I move to my mantra before walking
into night
               as a warm body with hard feet -
 I tell myself -
     I got a good heart and it is looking after me -
but it’s not true enough -

there is something wrong with my heart -
it is inventing too much gravity.

Saturday 13 April 2013

NaPoWriMo Day 13 Poem 10 Ode To The Flu

I caught you going round
the office like a tea round, 
you whispered into my body
and said you want to breed 
your bugs with me.

We last spoke in February,
when you stirred your mucus frappe
into my chest.

This is how you saved me
from the torture chambers
of classrooms and jobs behind desks. 

You gave refuge,
reminding me how to be warm
and stay in while you arrived
in my tissues with your yellow 
after-party phlegm, swelling
my glands, until I became
your waling germ,
bubbling in your bacteria.

Tell the doctors that a temperature
is how I burn for what I want,
and I ache for you tonight.

This is how close love is 
    to a bed-ridden sickness.

Friday 12 April 2013

The Pending Death Of My Dad NaPoWriMo Day 11 Poem 9

More and more I understood what he meant by leaving
the door open and pissing on the floor. What he meant
by not caring about the smell. He had a voice that had lost
all its weight. I could not hold my breath any longer.

He dreams of a younger body,
I watched him sleeping,
imitating a death
that he has been waiting too long for.

Do people always die     when they’re supposed to?