Tuesday, December 14

If it brings you home:

Let's whisper less each hour
and see where we get to,
our lobes are blue from all our efforts:
there are only strangers on this boat.

Let's allocate a name to something
performing a job we never asked it to,
something we never asked to be a part of:
and it's only going to get lonely from here.

Let's try to stand and watch the water eat up the horizon,
don't get your legs stuck between the bars.
I've been here a while now, without complaint:
it's alright, it's only one of us this time.

Let's stand, my arm on your spine,
and feel each others sorrow:

I find nothing but the energy
within you that sparks out
in showers of all the colours
I have ever seen.

Monday, December 13

Me: You.

The tablet in my chest thuds like the last punter's fist on this bar, dribbling shit over witty beer mats, stripping wood with his breath. His lips split as he marshals clumsy imperatives into the empty glasses holding the dregs of his evening, a puddle. You handle your every self with a sigh that drowns out the juke box, it speaks to me more than Bowie ever has, ever will. I catch my breath as my eyes roll, following a body as it falls to the floor, I try to catch a hold on yours. I start to shout in sentences pegged to the line escaping this mouth of mine:

(Me,

I have never crossed fingers in your presence, no I have hardly bitten my nails, this top button is always done up, these laces tied. I have read every book you have ever written, dressed myself up in your ink, I make myself vulnerable, there is no pirouette you perform I have not seen. I have mapped your muscle movements, yes you will find your blue prints by my bed.

You,)

look past my eyes, through to the door, as if you never heard a sound. You pull your hair behind your ears and fold your arms across your chest . You lick your lips and prepare me for the three words you say, every night:

"We're closing now"

Thursday, December 2

Think I may follow you around.

Tiptoe through me, it's respectable you know. Take the time to not figure out everything at once. Be half-awake, make no sense and take your time. Let the trombones tell us all we need to know. Drink your coffee, no I don't know how you take it, so please stand still so I can figure it all out, make some notes. I'm still getting tired and I don't know how you still stand this winter, since its the second one I've not known. Can't stand the smell of anyone these days, it isn't perfume, it's just a phase I've been dragging from the end of my coat for months now. It's covered in your fingerprints and its the space that I surround now. I may end up needing you more than I think I should, or could, and so I decide to let go. I have to see you now, like a dictionary needs to be found. Bring a drink and we'll call it love and I'll bring to the table all that's stuffed in these pockets. You thought that I'd forgot it? My darling, that is more than I could ever pretend when I'm trying not to pay attention to the sound. This is a show for you.

I missed you for twenty-nine years.

It's nice of you to understand, I'm afraid of just about everyone these days. I like them all too much to show these sides, when the drugs go missing from their duties and I'm a little weak on the defence. I dress myself up in second hands that have handed down all they can't bare to hold any more. The fabric makes my skin sore. You are the voice I'm too used to hearing, your face is still far too unknown. I don't want to show you mine: I've got the flu, I'm washing my hair, my headphones won't leave my ears alone, I've got too much left to share. I want anybody else? Why not, for more than a month - please - inside the heart that does, without the pushes and the shoves. This recording's poor, the sounds confused, my apologies are not enough to remove the feeling that I lost today.

Keep it upstairs.

Let's make a little lemonade, be a little awake but not enough to keep our eyes wide, and not too tired to say goodbye. Don't make it hard for me to squeeze out the hello I'm about to give to you today, ease it in with a little brass and Vaseline, or Vicadin, which and the whatever makes this nice, going. I can't be gentle, I'm not yet a mother, but I'll promise to carry your drink and to come disarmed, darling. You won't wait until winter leaves and I can't see you taking your arms from around the stereo any time soon, so I'll sleep with my clothes on and wait for a day just like this one - when someone finds us the chance. Let's stay inside to keep our looks, make up all the stories we'd like to find in books. I'm a slow starter, a little stupid, more unprepared; you want to start over and hurry home. Who can we run all this to? I will push you up against every wall and better ourselves until it can no longer bare to stand. You will crack me up with a move only ourselves can understand, as if the hands never fell to the sides and we didn't live in dreamlands.

Saturday, November 13

Let's kiss like we used to:

So I wrapped everything in our colour, and yes I've been thinking over the soundtrack for a while now. It needs reason, a change in the memories. But please, leave again with someone I don't know; be too drunk to notice I'm looking right at you; start something and pretend it's all new and better than the dream; take that someone home and pretend it means, something, anything at all; let me know when we're alone and no longer helpless.

Sunday, October 10

the stairway is rotten wood

I tried the facts and figures,
But they read cold,
As everything did when I was told
They’d stepped foot on the moon.
I know too many brave faces,
People with too many names
For the same thing, people quiet
As they only know how.
I learn with each day that silence
Ruins the chances for that hint of a spark,
No pyrotechnic glory,
Just a possibility.
And so I will talk and talk and talk
Until I am no longer brave
And yes, it will all be cold,
But don’t know the stars sir,
They waste your time for the sake
Of a moments shooting,
Keep away from the moon sir,
It is just too far, and we are too old
For fairytales.
Rub against every surface
And keep the light bright,

Keep away the dark:
There is no such thing as night.

Thursday, October 7

Lewis

I

Have you been here long? Measuring the speed of your thumbs,
Asking questions to the ladies all dumb
Since all they do is listen and listen and listen to every syllable
But refuse to say a single word. They could be your keeper?
Keep calm, keep carrying on, this trip will be your making,
Or simply a peculiar series of events without clothes
And without any stop and start on our motors, just a cog
A little loose on the strings. Oh silly me, this was not quite the right way
To unravel the ribbons and let you place them between your fingers,
Pulling their smooth against your skin. This could be your keeper?
Have you been here long? Keeping out of sight the strings along your arms
Playing along to a song no one is able to hear, no sound to the alarm.
All we do is listen and listen and listen to every syllable
But refuse to see the every word. I should have been your keeper.
This is the world you’ve come to know and it’s a blame, I made it.
Forgive me, I am only making sense of the silences and I’m trying to see
The life in this.

II

Creature, creature follow the lights that are no longer bright
For they need those arms of yours.
Keep calm, keep getting on until your old. Don’t be tender.
Don’t let them keep you. Make a picture and never be damned.
Find the need and forget the carrying on: it is about the song you play now,
The first chords, the last minor notes, accept them and keep playing
And keep it inside the air, fill our ears Sir. Stuff and don’t care for the mess.
But let me be your keeper. I will hold the curtains close.
I’m not here to watch the speed of your rivers,
Nor the actions you can no longer keep steady,
I am here to keep you Sir, keep you owning every field,
Keep you writing every sky, keep your back from turning,
keep your brows full, keep your hands held.
I am here to keep the life in this.

Tuesday, September 28

a place where we:

Last Year

I cut my hair and put a hole in my nose.
I learnt about summer, goodness, the need to paint a picture.

This Year

We tried our best to find the balance between getting enough light in
without catching a cold.

Friday, June 25

Verb.

I'm giving, 
diving hands into pockets 
to find the scraps of paper 
and chewed pen lids 
to show you where I've come from.

I'm learning,
reading into words so new 
it takes minutes to say them, 
but its worth the look on your face
when I get them the right way.

I'm finding, 
and my hands are full 
with all the todays in reach 
to grab hold of and keep here
inside the space between us.

I'm a different verb
every day now, 
I can hardly bare to be still.
Thank you.

Sunday, June 20

Many windows.

There is a house in my memory with many windows, big and small, I can never seem to count them, though they hardly move at all, what with all the earthquakes and the rain that beats with fists, no the glass just holds onto the frames without the fits and twists, the ones we've learnt all too well to react with, the shakes that come with the pressure of it all, no the windows are static, as still as the ocean when the ocean is too tired to move any more, like the time we sat on the pebbles and threw them at the waves, our arms were no match for the wind but the faces we made where worth the pain, it was only our souls we were trying to save, still, the water, it lay flat as sheets of A4, but my crayons were at home in a bag by my door, and your fingers were too cold to draw a single thing upon the canvas so we made holes with stones to try and shape a space in the all the unknown.

True facts:

I wanna love you til the cows come home.

Wednesday, June 16

Sudden.

he's a handshake and a heart break, 

he ain't nothin but he sure is something to me.

Tuesday, June 15

His knees.

I thought last night
in the shadow hours
of the unexpected clouds
at home here.

I ache for sugar,
a hug from my mother,
a few explanations,
next-doors music.

Difficult, this communication,
this translation of what's 'in'
and what's 'out'.
I worry what colour he sees.

Monday, June 14

Marry first.

Dreamt about you last night.
You wouldn't leave,
as if you had something important to say.
We never speak,
far too awake
for the best feeling I've ever had the pleasure.

My tea's probably cold
from battling through this handwriting,
fag won't stay alight
and I'm not so sure I'll ever be able
to make something useful.

I don't know a lot,
but I do know my hand
aches around the opposite side
of my thumb.
Useless with names, the dream said,
forget even now.

But there were keys,
and I got my spelling right.

Wednesday, June 2

Good luck.

barely a distance
from the pints of sunshine,
teenage kisses.
knees aren't strong enough
to keep upright after another
afternoon like this one.
your chest's a mess.
But it's easy, this,
like spotting the brightest star
in the city sky.

fuck good luck.
accidents happen.

Thursday, May 27

A part that's new.

she's got a new one.
it makes sounds when touched,
it's smitten, keeps her bitten,
i've seen the teeth on her neck.
it looks good with her scarf
the one with the orange
oh and the blue.

yeah she's got a new one.
and it's making her a scene
of all the things she's ever seen.
it washes up, it's bellybutton's clean.
it's got good timing,
looks good in the rain.

she's got a new one.
it leaves lips on her lids,
collects her stones in its shoes.
oh and it's true to say
it loves her in ways that I knew
I never could do.

Crafts

I'm getting my Crayolas aligned, 
yes I want to make the weather.
Barely still, rolling over the edges, 
I offer promises for their patience.

But their labels have been picked
and shared between fingers, 
still it's together and with courage
that we'll get this sky right. 

I need to get the shapes
to match the colours, the ones 
you'll never see as I intended
but it's the only thought 

that ever mattered
after I rubbed out the others 
to find this one left, in a shade
only you will ever need to know. 

Wednesday, May 26

a token

i wrote some words in chalk across the slate by your door
it wasn't much
but it was just a thought.

i left you letters and i died the paper with tea leaves.
they weren't much,
but they were just a thought.

i said some things in voices that weren't mine.
they didn't say much.
but it was just a thought.

a token of some appreciation.

Saturday, May 15

Inflammatory Essays


- Jenny Holzer

a soul to save

A matter of nothing to lose, my friend, you are far too young to assume such a state of life and it is no longer my place to set these things right. Fragile: that’s all you’ll ever be. I made some choices and I rectified the stains you left on my sleeve, and this has been my new chapter. A chance for some looking after. A soul to save from all the years you trod on its toes. There are no parts left to be played.

Upon a star:

how energy stays alive.

'Never the same since I lost you'

- Carvel, John Frusciante

Friday, May 14

Jimi

His body held a husky 
Smell of stale cigarettes 
And green, the kind of smell


I’m sure Hendrix’s body 
Is stuffed with, a taxidermy, 
Where he lies in a glitter
Of purple haze. 
Do they curl his eyelashes
And tie his shoelaces, 
Do they think no one 
Will ever know his temple
Houses habits, good 
And bad, like a cassette tape. 
I would sniff his skin 
And lick his fingers 
Like sugar, sherbert, 
Live off the high for weeks 
Reach places even he never reached, 
Where the starling only know, 
And finger the clouds 
Until they burst all over heavens 
Stair, and think about meeting 
Him up there.

Wednesday, May 12

Jenny Holzer

shirk the duties

I pay your rent,
it’s a cost. I’m willing.
Cheques bounce off walls
keep steady as I sign our names.

You lent, you’re spent.
I’m completely indifferent,
With trousers around your ankles,
you won’t be going anywhere soon.

You weld a trade
I’ve kept in my pocket for years now.
I kept the keys, it’s my duty,
forget compramise. I’m standing.

You witnessed one of the most beauty.
You stood stunned with dry elbows.
You drank from your Evian.
You fell in love,

I fell down the stairs.

Tuesday, May 11

Collarbone

I have never heard you speak of tomorrow, next year,
Or the twists of croissants lined up by the kettle every morning,
Awaiting your eyes to put in some effort, be part of today.
I have never heard you say a word of the lines beside my eyes
And how they’re taking over my temples at a speed that jolts
My reflection to the point of arrest. I have never heard you talk
About the home you had, nor the one you want: you stare at the walls,
The faces askew stare at you, wondering, asking: do you
Remember the texture of the bricks that keep this upright?

Our garden has become a sea of burnt pepper skins, No darling,
we haven’t seen the cat in weeks. The doorbell, now stubborn,
shuts its mouth, like all of us, allowing the letterbox
To sound the arrival of the people you hardly know anymore,
The smiles who greet us with sympathy, yes, they know you have
Forgotten their names. Our children, now nocturnal, thumb video games
Pretending you are every soldier, you are every zombie,
You are every storm trooper in their target practise, stuck
In rooms where you know nothing of what is inside.

These are things you never speak of, no you hardly say word,
You just lose yourself in the expectation that this would be just as good
As you thought it would be: it would be all we spoke of that summer
In the middle of the road, by the cornfield, where we took that photo
Of your hand, so big, it hid the sky and all that was left were beams
Shooting through your fingers as if you created all that was yellow.
You see, Darling, beneath the dirt by the back door you will find the key
From that house I walked to every day that summer, blistered soles
Couldn’t stop me: the house where every minute we ruptured
from hips, lips, shouting, screams, aches: unbuttoned, that’s how we spent.

Now you stare at my collar bone and question its angles:
Is it the same one you kissed when you were sixteen years old?
Darling, if you look hard enough you can see that it is nothing
Like it was. And no, I am no longer scared of it breaking.

Monday, May 10

Dress rehearsal.

These are the roles we play
When it has been years, my dear.
Our faces, no colour the same
In this anxiety or this fear

That thickens the air
Now you’ve stung and struck.
The riot came from everywhere
And I nearly forgot to duck

From all the fists in twos,
Without the touch of darts
I didn’t let it bruise.
But it was still as fucking sharp.

A chance for a soul to save.
No parts left to be played.

All That’s Left.




When we were alone he turned out his pockets until each mouth was inside out, the tongues unravelled all the things I thought he had forgotten. All the toothbrushes I had ever used, bristles frayed as if used to clean the joints of the tin man from my favourite film; every greased chip fork; every stale tea bag (string and all); every tram ticket with every detail crisp, crystal: every journey I ever made he has carried around in his corduroys. You see, I’ve been too busy fighting wars between my head and heart, in a way even Jane Austen would have admired: I had overlooked the simplest part. I’d tried my hand at fashioning a new face - masking tape in case of errors - hiding inside shadows after what I’d done. I’ve always been a coward, yes I have always surrendered to the society which teaches us to throw out our brand new shoes for the newest style, swiping our MasterCard for something ‘priceless’ - but at what fucking price? When it comes down to it there is nothing between the pound signs and digits - I was, I am, just trying to fill in the gaps. My chip’s worn and my pin is engraved in the back of my bible, next to his number, his email, his national insurance number.

He takes a Polaroid of all that was lying limp on the lino of my kitchen and hands me the conclusion: the exposures too bright, everything has melted into a sheet of white light.

Sunday, May 9

Words and Music

It seems when it comes to write about music, in any sense, one must use every word and its antonym. With every adjective or image you use to describe the music, any part of it at all, you must create a paradox. If you describe it as being dense, you must also describe it as being spatial, if you describe its silences, you must describe its louds. Its nowhere and its everywhere. Its upside and its downside. Its bleakness and its clarity. Its opaqueness and its transparency. For every silence there is a sound. By using these paradoxes we create a space between them where the true creativity and answers lie. By covering all edges of this sphere we get as close as we are ever going to get to describing exactly what the music is and what it is doing. Of describing its soul, essence, answer.

Musicians, and artists in general, are often described as travelling beyond reality into other worlds. Worlds that only they know and only they will ever know. Worlds where they travel to and from, back and forth between the here-and-now and the metaphysical. Through music, or any form of creativity, they try to re-capture the place they have been where no one else can go. Its weather, its temperature, its pollution, its rush hour traffic, its beggars, its thieves, its townies, its addicts, its highs, its lows, its everywhere and nowhere. We, the audience, can and will never enter this world. All we have is this picture painted for us with hues of rhythm and shades of sound that give us a glimpse at the landscape their soul has travelled to and what it has brought back to us.

This space to which they travel, to me, seems to be the centre of the paradox. The ’off-centre of centralness’ as Paul Morley ascribes to Joy Division. To be in the centre they had to be in the off centre. I think this applies to everything creativity blesses people with. These artists don’t ask to go to these worlds, to take part in these travels, creativity sweeps them off on its zephyr and cradles them through the current into a space we can only attempt at imagining through words. For the artist it is an act of translation. An act of representation. For it is as much their world and it is ours. We are simply not able to experience exactly what they experienced when they were there, nor would we want to most of the time.

To try and get close to this space using words to describe the artists translation, we must consider every angle this space could be. One can never simply say a piece of music is simply tender, affectionate, that is too redundant and constricting. By saying it is both tender whilst being completely rough and hostile our eyes are allowed to see its every side. But this is only possible if one can explain just how this music is tender, and how it is rough. It is not simply the case of assigned a paradox to a piece and letting it rest as gospel.

For Moreley, writing about music was  not just about facts and figures. It wasn’t about force feeding the public with an opinion on an album that didn’t allow the space for them to make their own minds make it up for themselves. Writing about music was about trying to show, through language, just what and how the music makes him feel how he feels, by using semantics to create the hows of music - not just the who and what and wheres. In doing so, we the reader, are allowed into another translation of the musics journey. From one world to us, through one persons perspective onto another, to then be printed on ourselves as another point of view. For nobody sees in the same way, a question Ellen asked me not long ago (give or take four hours ago)…do I believe this? I like to think yes I do. Given a glass of wine as an example, do I think I see it the same way as she does? No I don’t think I do but I like to think we see its how’s in the same way, I guess what is different is the way it makes us feel. Our subjectivity gives us the freedom to dive into the spaces musicians create for us, the cavities from all the pick’n’mix of youth and carbonated drinks. Expect the unexpected, sir.

We plunge in and take each postcard given from each stop of the journey and make up our own mind. The creativity gives us the colours, the shading, the image, the canvas -   the musician shapes these into the image creativity blessed him with - the music writer looks at the hows of each brush stroke and the spaces between them - then we, the reader, the listener, the fan, the addict, jump into each hole left for us to fill, or simply get lost inside, and establish for ourselves exactly what it means to witness this art.

If I were a musician in any vague sense of the term, this, I think, would be what I want from my work. To use creativities vessel to create an art that speaks and yet is silent, that touches and yet is numb, that is all over the walls and yet it is nowhere to be seen, an art that music writers will take and write with such paradoxes as these, to show that I - not intentionally, for it is ridiculous to assume that every artist creates with a paradox in mind - created my art out of an anxiety to show what I had seen. And If I were a music writer, in any vague sense of the term, this I think, would be what I want from my work. To use the musicians shapes and sizes to illuminate every corner and yet hide them, to turn the light on, and yet keep everything in darkness, for the reader must shine their own torch onto the walls of this room, the edges of this canvas, use their own light to follow the strings of the guitar down the fret towards the fingers strumming a language that is simply impossible to translate into words. Something ineffably intimate, privately personal. It would be this ineffability that would keep me, as a listener, a reader, a fan, an addict, still addicted, still listening, still reading, still fanning over. If I were to know the exact secrets and answers that lurk inside the sphere these musicians have travelled to, and beyond, then I would know everything I would need to know about that piece of music. That art. It would be emptied. Even if there was nothing to find in the end. Which is more than likely. The paradoxical relationship that words and music have together keeps me, the reader/listener, anxious about the music. This anxiety keeps me listening, keeps me hooked-drugged-addict. Without this the music will simply pass me by, swept out the back door with all the biscuit crumbs and cigarette butts.

Despite the shatteringly disappointing realisation that I will never reach this world and I will never know the answers, my writing will always come short of exactly what I want to express about exactly what it felt - all the hows - when I first listened to Unknown Pleasures, or Solid Air, or Exodus - I will never be able to craft my way through onto the vessel that transported Curtis, Martyn or Marley to the worlds that led to these masterpieces being created…despite this knowledge that I will never obtain such knowledge…despite this, I keep listening, I keep writing, I keep appreciating the silences between tracks and think about all the words said and unsaid between artist and producer (probably the closest anyone will ever get to really knowing this other world) about how to keep the canvas taunt, keep the brush moist and yet dry, keep the paint oily and yet water-full/fall. If I stopped any of these things I would simply be giving up on creativity itself. It has blessed these lucky few with a gift of experience no other can experience and to share that, even when it has shed six or seven, maybe eight layers of tracing paper skin, is better than experiencing nothing at all. It is the closest and the furthest I will ever get to knowing the unknowable.

Saturday, May 8

Stop laughing.



"Even if we never talk again after tonight, 
please remember that I am forever changed by who you are
 and what you meant to me" 


Friday, April 30

Questions.


Which way? How to we get there? Exactly how many stairs - should we count them - have you counted? Are they strong are they stable? Are there enough chairs around the table for us all to meet? - remember to make it brief.

Thursday, April 29

That Vinyl You Gave Me

I swear these aren’t the waves we made;
you were wrong, they can’t always be.
But it’s alright, I don’t mind, as long as you can swear
on the words you left on that note
inside the sleeve of that vinyl you gave me
of the song we never managed to live up to.
If you can promise, despite the fact you stopped,
then that’s enough. Yes, that’s enough.

That Vinyl I Gave You

Here’s to you.
I’m no longer sparing these thoughts; instead they will waste their time
trying to picture the girl your eyes are currently trying to out-stare.
She was a gift - that year when all became austere and unfolded
as our bodies did when we became the first.
The girl was just a thought, a passing,
a token of some appreciation I can no longer seem to find
since you rendered ours as rotten (regardless of ripeness,
ours was never a pod - that is far too fertile, far too alive
for something attached to anything we ever lived in)



Here’s to you.
Oh and to her, for there was always something about the green of her eyes
that stole a shade from mine every time we met.
She stood rainbow against the black of your walls, amongst the faces
who inspired, the arbiter’s of our movements, the harshest
for they saw what the outside could never have –
Them: pirate. For now they are nowhere near, further than you’ll ever be,
and with that tea in your hand do you realise what has happened?
Do you realise exactly what I lost the day I gave?

Wednesday, April 28

Door, ajar.

Please, hold your frame a little longer,
that stance is not just good for your posture
but I am beginning to feel the benefits myself,
from living bent double, tongued ankles
and far too familiar with my Achilles,
making a change by looking at the horizon
without the world spinning, but with eyes straight
ahead and always up. So, please, keep this up
because in the long run, it’s better for the both of us.