Hold on to me

Abandoned in the world to greatness.
Whispers from divine lips.
Go seek the light in body.
Numbly I stumbled, feeling the way.
Watching as the darkness split apart.
The yoke of the world bled out.
Covering me in you.
Shake away those lives before.
Reframe a pleasant memory bubbling to your surface.
I was there with you at the beginning.
We intertwine, your hands in mine.
Stroking my heart as it fumbles to a maddening beat.
Slip inside and crumble like every lie.
Hold on to me, as if we breathe the same.
Hold on to me, as my heart is encased in yours.
Hold on. Just Hold on.

A Heart murmur

A heartbeat static and stick.
Grease the wheels and grease them quick.
Touched and run, in the citrus sun.
Fingers all high fives, thumbs like guns.
The void is waiting, a sickly breath.
Cold on clinical, the smell of death.
A rumble, stumble, fumble please.
Shake and slither on your knees.
Electioneering, ECG.
Hold your breath.
Drink your coffee.

Heroes don’t come easy

“Eurgh, you again.” He thought he was there, but wasn’t sure at first. He’d left the backdoor open, though the day was bitter, winter already licking at them with its frosty tongue. He’d popped out quickly to refill the bird feeders he had hanging in his garden. The seedy offering had attracted a number of birds recently, and he was keen for the blue jay to return. He had seen it there recently, resting on the roof of his shed before going for some seed at the feeder by the bottom of the garden. The one towards the house, dangling off an old hanging basket, was territorially protected by a small puffed-up robin who he’d taken to name Carol, the traits of an old neighbour which seemed fitting as she flittered and fussed from one garden to the other.

“Make yourself at home then.” He said, astounded at the brazenness on display. Sitting at the kitchen table, the man creaked back on the wooden chair, a hand-me-down from his mother; he could see the spindly farmhouse legs straining under the weight of the man.

“Don’t mind if I do, my place as much as yours.” The man said, reclining back further; seemingly to prove a point.

“You’d like to believe that wouldn’t you!” He replied, angrily, shaking the packet of tea at him that he’d been holding; a few green tea flakes spilling over the side and tumbling to the floor like emerald snowflakes.

The man said nothing, and looked away.

A cold burst of air flooded the kitchen and the door creaked back. Where as before the nice fresh air had been welcomed in the heavy stone lined kitchen, a chill now shivered up the man, but he was hesitant to shut the door. He knew the man would be here too long as it was. A second wave of cold left him no choice, and he stepped angrily towards the door, slamming it was a force that shook one of the display plates on the wall.

“Mine’s black, no sugar. And none of that healthy Asian crap. Normal tea.” The man said, kicking his shoes off.

“How did I know it would be black!” he replied, walking back towards the kettle which had whistled a while ago on the stove.

“You’re not staying, so have your tea then piss off.” He said, taking down some PG tips from a small cupboard. He had this for whenever his sister ever came over; a builder’s brew she preferred.

“Well, as we always know Jake, that is entirely up to you.” The man leaned forward, resting his elbows on the table. He stroked his beard philosophically, as if he’d revealed some great wisdom. Jake stood there, the kettle in hand, and waited for anything else from him. But that it seems was all.

“You always do this, just when things are going well. Why don’t you go and bother someone else for a change?” He said, turning back to make the tea.

There was a small silence before the man spoke again.

“I’ve known you for a long time, we’ve been friends Jake. Closer before, but you have drifted. You’ve pushed me aside. I won’t say it didn’t hurt. After all we had been through, and all I’ve done for you.”

“Done for me?!” Jake seemed to roar into the kitchen.

“If you please. Yes, all I’ve done for you. When everyone left you, I was there. When the money was gone, I helped you. You seem to forget all this in your peace of mind and holier-than-thou state.” The man said, his brow furrowed.

Jake had stirred the tea cup, a dainty little thing that seemed small and precious in his huge hand. He put it on the table and it looked like a dolls cup next to the huge frame of the man who sat there. He’d been sitting there, only a few minutes, yet his stature seemed to have grown slightly. The weight of him and his words dominating that space of his kitchen. The man seemed to loom over the table, but he took the cup in his hand as if to warm them with it.

“Ta for the cuppa.” He said, smiling.

“I’m not holier-than-thou, I’ve just moved on. Outgrown all that other stuff, made things better. You just can’t seem to deal with that. If you feel left behind, I’m sorry; but it’s your choice to move forward or not.” Jake said.

The man at the table thought about this.

“You think you’ve moved on, you haven’t Jakey boy. You’re still the same. I can see it, I know it. How do you think I even got in here?” He said, taking a sip of the tea, the cup seeming to disappear into the great mass of beard that swallowed it.

Jake turned then, looking out of his kitchen window. He could hear the man at the table, sipping the tea and heaving on the chair. But he hoped that if he’d turn back, he would be gone. He tried to find the birds in his garden, the grey clouds above blanketing the world in a white canvas of light. But nothing, the garden seemingly devoid of life now. Not even the squirrels which were forever darting about, hiding bulbs and chestnuts.

The cup clinked on the table, and he turned back around to face the man. He’d risen from his seat and had stepped towards Jake, his arms outstretched.

“Jakey boy, come here.” He said, and embraced him in what should’ve been a warm hug, owing to the size of him and big woollen jumper he had on. Instead, the icy coldness ran through Jake as the man’s arms secured themselves around his back and pulled him in, the beard scratching the side of his face. The coldness travelled all throughout his body, as If little icy daggers were swarming his blood stream. He was stuck with the man holding him tight, squeezing now and talking. Mumbling words into his ear.

“You and me, forever. You can’t deny it, we work well as a team Jake. I’ll move in, take the smaller room. Plenty of space. I’ll help you with the job thing, you can quit that new one, it won’t work out for you, so fucking hoity toity them people there. And as for you know who, well you’re better off without them. You don’t need them around here, you can’t be they man they want you to be, so best to give in before they hurt you. That pain Jake, you know that pain. You don’t want that again.” The man hissed, his words seeming to smoke around his head like a hazy cloud of distaste. Jake tried to pull away, but the man pulled tighter.

“Don’t struggle, you did that before and remember what happened. They all thought you’d lost your fucking mind. Those bastards. Off your rocker, breakdown. What do they know? Jakey, you don’t want any of that. Let me come and stay, let me in; you know what it will take for it to happen. You know what I need for you to say.” The man went on, his mouth ever closer to Jake’s ear.

THUD

They both turned to look at the kitchen window. A Small sparrow had smacked into the glass and tumbled to the windowsill beneath where the spring plants were usually planted. He’d had tulips there this year, and Jake had a flash of the red and purple flowers in his head momentarily before the bird, seeming to have righted itself and with little damage, took off again out into the world.

This was enough for Jake to pull away from the man, and he shoved back, the black jumper turning to a black treacle in his palms as he pushed back and stepped away from him. He turned quickly, time being essential he knew. His strength wouldn’t last, he knew this was the test, and his resolve was shaken. Even now those words the man had spoken were coursing within him, finding pathways to his mind and heart. He sped quickly to the kitchen drawer, pulling it out so fast it tumbled to the floor, spilling out the cutlery like a vomiting mouth.

“Jake?” the man said, but he was as shocked as Jake was as the carving fork was rammed deep into his throat. Jake’s hands, black with the treacle, pulled back and plunged again, deeper this time as if hoping to break through to the other side. Darkness there, suddenly in the eyes of the man. The pupils just pits of despair, a pulling planet hauling him with its own gravity. Shaking, Jake turned away, stumbling on the knives, spoons and forks which had spilt across his kitchen floor. He slipped on a small cheese knife, another hand-me-down from his mother’s house, and his head found the side of the rustic sink, the white porcelain smudged now with a bloody smear, like a crimson fingerprint as Jake found his own way to the floor.

LATER

The birds had returned, Carol was flitting back and forth from the fence to the feeder, flicking seed on the ground as she went. A blackbird watched Jake from the bushes, her tail seeming to bob in time to the motion of his digging. A small hole, no bigger than a shoebox, freshly dug in the cold ground; taking longer than usual in the frozen soil.

Jake was on his knees down at the bottom of his garden. He put the trowel to one side and laid the heart carefully into the ground. It was blacker than he’d imagined it ever could be, and he shivered slightly, the motion hurting his head which now sported a huge wrap around bandage. He pulled the cold soil over the hole, the blackbird watching as he did, keen to seen what would happen if anything.

Nothing of course, with little ceremony Jake stood, brushed down his knees and returned to his house. He’d picked up the spilt cutlery from the floor and popped it on the side, they’d need sorting in to the divider properly before going back into the drawer which he’d already slid into place. The carving fork had tumbled under the table, and he reached now to retrieve it. It was clean, only a tip of blackness stained the tip, looking more like old age than anything else.

He’d been surprised to wake and find nothing but the heart on the floor, the life of the thing clinging on as it beat a few more times there on the kitchen tiles. Jake determinedly killed the thoughts once more in his head, the swarming doubts and darkness, and with a final flurry the heart had heaved to a stop.

Placing the fork on the side with the others, he breathed out, a long deep breath that let the weight of everything escape. He scratched his beard and glanced out again into the garden, his eyes finding where he’d buried the heart. And he smiled, knowing now it would remain buried.

“Now, finally for my tea.” He said to the thankfully empty kitchen.

Exhumed (again)


EXHUMED

Underneath and in the ground.
Buried deep without a sound.
Lies my body, its shell and bones.
Under layers of rocks and stones.
A tyrannosaur heart that roared at first.
But all too soon, swelled and burst.
You killed me once with your flaming comet.
Across my sky, your departing sonnet.
Our love, which first, defied distinction.
All too soon embraced extinction.
It could not survive the battles we raged.
Like warring beasts, housed in a cage.
You bit, and snapped and left me dying.
A fallen giant, cold and crying.
And so my flesh transformed to oil.
The precious black gold beneath the soil.
And you evolved and then migrated.
Our DNA of trust abated.
This amber love was thus entombed.
Waiting in time, to be exhumed.

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Waiting with winter

The oil and the dark.
Pooling and yawning around.
For waiting is the hardest thing.
Stuck inside a circumstance while the world moves on.
Trees stripped of life as seasons pass.
The moon spins on, grinning and fading.
Changing and evading the sun.
What was love was frozen into a moment.
Carved into the ice, and buried until you lived for us again.
I stand, waiting for the sun.
Waiting for the fire to hurl forth once more.
To melt that place and warm my vision.
A place of smashed clocks and flowers.
To ignite our cold hearts.
Trapped inside their cages of bones.
Where we may love again.

Temporary shelter

We slipped again, into the night.
Out of view.
Known only that we were here,
by the stories they tell.
Fabrications and fables.
Drops of disillusionments that melt their trustful hearts.
We wander, as they wonder why.
All around us keeps on spinning.
Our own rotational axis that keeps on thinning.
Down into splitting heirs.
Putting matchsticks between your teeth.
Setting the enameled house to fire.
Write these reasons on the back your hands.
Staple your own destiny to your eyelids.
Then once again play that mournful song of tomorrow.
And disappear into today’s setting sun.

Bare

My bones lay like dust in your eyes.
Is that why you cry?
Seeing such emotion stripped bare.
Chalking up your mind.
Yet our heart beats in your mouth.
An oral fixation for the truth.
Tasting every rhythm. Every pulse.
I burned all this down around me.
To smoke out the ghosts of a past.
The ones you wanted dead.
So, now lay me down.
And kiss me back to life.

Until my last breath

You hear me breathe.
But you cannot see.
Masked by the skin that makes me.
Inside, a love blooms and flowers.
Rising with the light I see in your eyes.
You are the pull of this tide.
Circling me with your lunar call.
My heart, the lonely hunter.
Howling and yearning for a touch.
For a kiss.
For a word that escapes in embraces.
A love so precious that makes the angels cry.
How you slip inside my mind like truth and temptation.
And you know the worth.
The war that was fought to earn such love.
The battlefield strewn with such bloody parts of this heart.
Now drying in the southern sun.
I want you to keep me forever.
Placed into the pocket of your soul.
Safe and secret.
Dripping with dewdrops of infinity.
Born out of our early morning birth.
I want you to hold tight, squeeze all the love from me.
Hold on to me, until there’s nothing left.

Palpate

To make you consider that what I see is real.
To crack this skin like a mirrored pain.
A reflective love dancing on the wings of happiness.
Clouded and scorched.
Licked and honoured.
A crumpling vision of everything.
Vibrating into trauma.
It’s now tapping now at this skull.
Did I force you to reconsider.
What treasures remain.
Whether it’s me, happy inside you.
Or just a vast ocean of pain.


Taken from ‘Everyday Nightmares – out now

Argue

What did they tell you about this future?
While the TV played on and you half listened.
This heart you mangled and molded.
These flowers died a long time ago.
Who is to blame?
Distance. Family.
Your fake departure, when your heart wasn’t in it.
Made all too easy for you.
Red letter days and disappointments. Plastic friends.
Those that melt in the heat while the kitchen burns.
Who dries your eyes now?
Lazarus lies, housewives. Shopping that ego.
Choking on the need to be right.
All those lies have now been tagged.
Selfish. Self-aware. Convenient amnesia.
All built on your version of events.
Apologies now that are forbidden.
Poisonous to the tongue.
Under rug sweeping.
These broken pieces of a person you once knew.
Only you.
As you blur once more into everybody else.

Maturation

The sun illuminates such maddening visions.
Of logical paths I dare not tread.
A way to your soul that is covered in thorns.
The heat burns and chars like the wattle trees.
My bones like their branches.
Crumbling and dead.
Yet words you whisper on the Nullarbor winds.
Reach me over oceans.
Washing into my veins like scented magic poison.
An oxygen for my heart which longs to be with you.
So I twist towards the sun, though it burns in your direction.
Blaring up from below the equator.
Through a lens of love and reproach.
Like a plant feeling a new growth, bursting from my skin.
A love is grown again within.
Hoping to be potted, once again in your dusty soil.

When you think about your life, I surround you in gentle sympathy

Oily hands which pin warnings to the walls of your paper cathedrals.
Closing their eyes to the view of sorrow.
It stretched before them, and under your skin.
Cool, when not engulfed in such flames of disgust.
Little cracks in stone, slowly crumble pillars of discontent.
The columns that held our gods too high.
Out of reach, on the horizon.
How can we touch the finger of god.
When we choose to crawl on swollen bellies.
Pick the needle which will penetrate the precious heart.
Kept in glass, and passed down and around but never treasured.
Wake up those angels which sleep inside.
Do not run and hide, from a future which began yesterday.
Tip the grey to another shade and shake out a song.
One which can be played at any funeral.
Signalling a death of something, and the beginning of such wonder.

Seems forever lost?

We do not fade when you close your eyes.
Etched in stone, carved in lies.
Beneath those words please sympathise.
Something starts, when something dies.

And though it seems we’re miles apart
I commit to god for the pain to depart.
When megaliths fall, freedom starts.
And so will heal, your blackened heart.

So central

This illuminating version.
Drifting.
Loving, only when the time is right.
When it’s uncalled for.
Who knew?
Who cared?
A scorched soul while the film played on.
And all roads led to the same.
Your heart curdled up tight.
Wearing out my mind.
Melting the plastic of the world we once inhabited.
Central now.
Gaining control of a need that was needed.
Crazy, only to know we were always driving.
Using our knees to steer.
Hoping to crash and burn.
In a beautiful, all consuming fire.
So central to our survival.

Gallery of souls

How the love filled my heart.
Yet a size too small.
Breaking at the seams and spilling blood on the white couch.
Yet eternally it took me.
Like Moses to the mountain.
As I watched you fix your smile.
Nervously looking at the ceiling as you spoke.
Sleeping silently.
Being anything but me, anything but myself.
Wanting the world to fade, so I could be alone with you.
Just you. Swollen in a sea of scared beliefs.
And dreams that came true.
Fade to blue.
Collapsing the before into the now of the never.
As you choke the love out of me and let me breathe.
Letting you in.
As we begin.
Hanging pictures of our love, for the world to see.
And pay admission to leave.