I keep on dying, because I love to live

Happy Summer Solstice. Time to write something a little less mysterious.

As the years pass by I’m believing more and more in Vivaldi’s depiction of summer, and becoming less ashamed of enjoying the clichés. London was at a violent temperature yesterday – 34.C. Mosquitos have already made a dance floor of my legs: clusters of mini gunshots along my calves and thighs. Damn these hungry, inebriated beasts. I am forced to douse myself with fēng yóu jīng and sprinkle it on my mattress. I leave the tiny bottle open on my bedside table; hopefully the fumes of magic, anti-demon potion will keep the evil spirits away.

Each day we wake up as if we’ve been wearing thermals in bed. We are hot from the air and the weight of time, then we cover ourselves against the ammunition of the sun. Hot hot hot. Layers and layers of  chain mail.

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Chainmail, Amartey Golding

 

In the Four Seasons, Vivaldi writes of a summer that rouses our blood and our propensity for violence. Violence and conflict, like the friction of two sticks, rub sparks, make fires. That much we have seen in London throughout June. From terrorists mowing people down on pavements, hitting worshippers at mosque, to the fires of nightmares; not to mention the news that is overshadowed by the blazing headlines and the offences that never get reported by the public…

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Wall of Life

fire, fire,
blood roils
hush, peace,
time’s toil
West, East
fuse soil
to plant
in earth
a song

first brick
floats down
young Europe
breathing slow
opening eyes
bridge grows
a smile
that holds
our feet

lion back
cemented skin
land’s arms
Neptune’s twin
leben ist lieben
tattooed within
the rocks
that gift
us flight

storm clouds
cower from
silent hands
rest upon
roses, daisies,
hug along
the stones
that sing
of light

 


 

Written for my friend Karl Mauer. I had fun choosing the bricks for this one…  Continue reading

Mafia Girl

exam hall to Soho
rainfall to ice-cream
scarf to scarlet dress

2017 saw the disintegration of the university.
The abolition of traditional restraints.
The radical redistribution of time and space.
The creation of new paints.

Sunny chaos.

Settings of rapid transitions paved the way
for the emergence of Mafia Girl.

She, the alleyway bridging the old town and new town, drifts on a raft.
Puts her hands in the water of time.

Unlike her brothers, her position is ensured
not through physical violence.
She pivots, laughing, in micro-degrees
between societal segments.

The silent buffer between the zig
and the zag of passing cars,
she saps the nectars of the world,
feeding her own honey jar.

The sweetness of this language
she will not translate
to the boroughs of people and ideas
that she connects and separates.

Mafia girl enjoys the gaps
between people configurations.
The very silence from which she drinks
leads to uncharted directions.

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Sutra of the Rain

The rain is green, a portal to China,
silver sequinned toes on Regent’s Canal.
The rain is serum transforming wrinkled faces
into pure leaves, backcombed hair and skin
succumbing to the climate
of a nightclub.

The rain is a carpet that fetishises
gravity and its contours.
The rain is under-sleeve visitations
wetting our understanding
of wetness. The rain is sand
pouring into the palm, making foie gras
with gutters and bodies and the underground.

The rain is a skewed compass
inverting the seasons. The rain is un-authored
pointillistic painting, artillery, shrapnel,
humanitarian crisis. The rain is the Earth
questioning the blood of her siblings.

The rain is a forehead salute, a search for meaning
on the high street. The rain is pavement suppression.
The rain is footsteps improvising
towards dryness,
nostalgia for the underwings of trees.
The rain is negative harmony,
people compression,
harmonising beings under brollies.

The rain is anonymising
tarmac,
window,
cycle-track,
eyes.

The rain is Iago,
the creature of insides.


Inspired by the incessant London rain and Robert Bringhurst. 

Profile

Sometimes I wonder
whether I am just a face,

a kitten on demand
in the street or via smartphone.

Will I ever be more
than hairless, fragile arms,
a pair of magnified irises,
thigh-high stockings hugging porcelain legs,
pleated mini, open
to the screaming, malnourished nestlings of the internet.

Squealing feeds –
a conveyor belt of doughy oriental princesses.

Let me touch your hair, tiger girl.
I wish to eat lunch with you.

A new generation of Venuses
for the same old penises.

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The Temple

Two boys in a café
talking about how much they mean to each other.

They are in the cavern of their eyes,
on another planet, underground,
-water, -mantle.

Their heartbeats prance around like the voices of bats.

Inside, they’ve built a temple
to which they return
whenever they have had enough
of the big city lights, and the burn
of glassy shopfronts.

They inhabit the temple.

No. They are the temple.

The roof, the marriage of their ribcages,
the leg and arm bones the columns;
the space below filled with their loving
stretches, every day, into new dimensions.

No need for quantity; deeper than quality.
All they need is amity, loyalty, sanctity,
which are as gold as they are silent.

The temple is strong and brave.
One sees chips in the paint and mould in the wood.

The boys once hurled hot acid at the ceiling and walls
but the temple remained. It stood.
It would only fall if they ran out of blood.

The temple is alive and lit by torches
but people walk by and ignore it.
All the better for the boys.
Nobody enters, nobody knows.

At most, some peer through the frosted glass
to squint and sniff: nobody

but a cave, stuffed with treasures
picked up from a nomadic journey:
in-jokes, daisy-chains, pearls of kinship.

The boys choose the Gods and the statues of worship.
Today it’s fruit pastels, cult movies, champion boxing moves.

Stick them all over, roll out the glow-in-the-dark starry wallpaper.
Make a den in the corner with pillows and downy duvets.

The boys can be scared around other people.
They don’t like people knowing they’ve a place of hiding.
Their bodily building. The temple.

People will see us transform
from flesh and human form
into the bricks and stones
of Pandora’s palace.
Our home, majestic. Warm.

The boys lock eyes; they disappear.

All that is left is granite, sun and drought,
and a bulletproof doll-house.

Don’t Slam the Door

Poor lady and her family
on the ground floor,
waiting each day
for the slam of the door:

swinging out from a hand,
it hurtles like a man,
frenetic, carnivorous,
blood-thirsty, murderous,

a force of terror
let loose on mankind.

Deaf, dumb, blind.

Marionette / Energy

Marionette

Knowing I’m a puppet
bobbing along the canal,
Someone’s pulling on the strings
controlling my wheres and hows.

I feel I have some say
on how to hold my arms.
Even at the mercy and sway
of unforeseen harms.

Rest assured,
I can resist
the forces in my wrist,
but not enough to break that solid grip.
Rotating fist.

Marionette overlord.
I can’t find you in me.
But, I hear your footsteps!
Pounding the balcony.


Energy

Somehow it’s much more simple
to style myself in ink
than play those notes,
and hear my voice
drowning
in the sink.

I’ll wait for notes – Enter my head!
– but hear these words instead.

I seem to love notes
less (much less)
than muttering words in bed.

Don’t get trapped within yourself.
I promise!
I’ll look beyond my eyes.
But really,
I feel much safer on the page
than in my musical lies.

I feel more present when I write
than when I play violin.

I feel like I can show the world
the girl that lives within

the spectacles and photographs
suffering from lethargy,
until words come to rescue her.
Dancing. Energy.


Since I read Kate Tempest
I can’t help but rhyme my words,
and structure them in rhythms.
Pretty chirping birds.

Sword and Dagger

Poise, bend, analyse

Tennis samurai,
orange-shirted tai-chi,
disciple with strong knees.

How to best move through the air
to get to where you want to be.

You have your Way,
I’ve my coffee (and cigarettes
zipped in my bag) it’s
all I have,

plus this green pen,
to fly through life
with the skills and brain
and body, we have
to get that ball
to hit your bike
parked in the corner of the world.

Poise, bend, analyse

Trace the process step by step.
That’s technique​! Joyce ‘Donato said
to the young soprano, ​Mix and mix
inside the stomach. Open!
The snake of air whose trajectory
must not, by unnecessary
bits in your mouth
and mind and body, be
encumbered.

Legato, le-gaaaaah-toe!
Legato vowels​, then ​go go go
and follow through​ be Ursula the
villain who is you on the stage,

for there is only true
and only false,
and everyone can see when you are true,
and everyone can see when you’re not you,

says, Tap-Tap-Tap​ the racket and the ground
going ’round the ball to contain it in two
worlds, but the ball just giggles
away, pulls her tongue out and says,

Hey! Hey!
Imma listen to the man,
so let me roll
and let me play!

Come ​ON​, yells the samurai
when he fails to shape the sky he wants.
Gotta listen to the man,​ says the ball, You see,
‘cos he wants his stripe of movement to fall​.

Maybe
he performs for me now? says she.

Stabs her dagger in the bench,
Smells her own blood’s stench.


Written to be read aloud. Inspired by a man practising tennis in Cartwright Gardens called Tom, and Joyce DiDonato YouTube videos. 

vélo-boulot-do-do // other word vomit

vélo boulot do-do
boulot do-do vélo

do vélo do boulot
do boulot do vélo

boulot de vélo
vélo de boulot

boulot de do-do
do-do de boulot

do-do de vélo
vélo de do-do

do lot de boulot
do lot de vélo

love de vélo
love de boulot

love de do
do de love

love de lot
lot de love

do love
love do

love
love

love

lol


a girl around LSE
carries great quantities three
offensive boring dams to
the current of her fighting
walk a snail-trail of droplets
whilst the trees falling sorely
out her hands save the trees don’t
let them go she thought as he
asked to help the dam problem
don’t leave twigs behind don’t mix
leaves up as she searched for her
silent library card


Glowing laptop screen –
my thirsty eyes in search of
a fresh cigarette.


General trivia

It was a few weeks ago that I had the idea of mixing both English and French in a poem, and wowee last night it just appeared out of nowhere from the depths of my difficult slumber. And when I started reading over this patch of unexpected word vomit I broke into a laughing fit, which has also never ever happened to me with regards to my writing. I’ve rarely written something this strange, so please share your thoughts about it with the Noggin.

The events in the second poem did not happen to me personally.

I’m not very good at Haikus. That one there was a last minute addition.


Endnote

Look after yourself and one another.
Take some time on your balcony.

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