Decidedly Disconnected

No one is coming for you today.

Switch all communications to

‘dropping off the face of the earth’.

Today, for as long as you like,

fall languid through

the vacuum of language.

Decidedly disconnected.

Where the word void tells you:

No one is coming for you today.

 

You chose to fall far from the crowd

and snipped cerebral chords

holding many minds together.

Now they sing

in a foreign tongue

and out of rhythm:

No one is coming for you today.

 

Today, for as long as you like,

fall lonely through

all language connected,

(now consciously corrected)

where, on earth they waited

for you to choose

to come for them today.

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Jack’s Hill (there was no Jill)

There is a boy climbing the hill
who the teachers seek to kill
or sedate with a little pill
to end all his progress.

As they shot his legs he stumbled
and to the bottom he then tumbled,
but his courage never crumbled
to start the climb again.

He knows the hill is infinite
and that his climbing shoes don’t fit –
But I’ve heard from him, in spite of it:
‘I’ll walk on bloody feet!’

Untitled and Sonnetesque

What is meant by the subtle inaction

and the feigned, determined inaction

of the beast? Touch greedy and mouth puckered,

prowling the night. Watching the night herd.

 

Flickers of weakness attract the feast,

then glances of coyness ignite the tease.

All the while hidden from victim

grows that beastly grin.

 

How he makes conditions exact

and lets you believe you chose the act

to fumble about that dim-lit den,

time and time again.

 

So from the beast to all I warn:

‘Keep clear of my night or fall for a charm

that respects no taste, just feeds on it –

for every one of you make me spit!’

 

[written in July 2012]

Sometimes My Language is Vulgar

Sometimes I swear a lot,
I admit that. But it’s not
because I’ve grown up that way,
not entirely anyway.

Sometimes it’s ’cause I’m down,
angry maybe or because the ground
I stand on just isn’t what I want
it to be. Sometimes I just can’t
find a word more fitting than ‘fuck’.

Sometimes the weather has me covered in muck
and the language comes out then too.
And sometimes, my luck
just doesn’t pull through
and I’m lonely
for another night
or two.

I Was Happy

The litter in the gutter reads
‘I was happy’ – the rest obscured
by cigarette butts. Black and bold
on pink post-it paper, someone was happy
once.

Written for god-knows-what or who.
Is the writer now ‘over it’? Are you happy?
Or have you, like your post-it, been washed away
to become one with that which, eventually, simply
decays

with the helping hand of rain showers
and collections of water and piss and whatever else
helps you rot. I could have saved all this, lifted you up,
but my ignorance of the obscured words that followed
intrigued.

What Colour Are You? [Live Reading @ Grand Central Bar, Derry]

 

Myself reading my piece ‘What Colour Are You?’ live at the Grand Central Bar in Derry, Northern Ireland. Words below.

 

What colour are you?

Are you red? Are you blue?

The first for your lust,

the second for insight.

You could be vivid.

 

Do you fancy yourself a purple shade

or the brown and green the earth made?

Upholding spiritual roles of your own

or being that which forever grows.

You could live as the world.

 

Is it a smoldering  orange within you

or a yellow, illuminating all you deem true?

You’re the comforting warmth.

You’re the beacon for the lost.

You could be our safety.

 

With all your traits, precious spectrum of self,

you never thought it would be hell

to call him grey. Now, he is cold,

ash and dust. He is the shade of old.

He is the graphite residue of cheap words

and cheapest verse.

I Was a Third Rate Telephone (and Other Professions) [Live Reading @ Grand Central Bar]

 

This is a live recording of myself reading at a bar in Derry, Ireland. There are 2 mistakes in here, I’m sure you’ll suss them out easy enough. Poem below:

 

My mother had some curious beliefs

To pass down. One I’ve heard for years:

When you hear a ringing in your ears
Pray for the dead
She said.

So from an early age I was
a third rate telephone receiver,
speaking into myself though the
machine was broken. How could they
hear my prayers if I could never
answer? I only ever listened to
the ringing.

Then I thought that maybe I was
promoted to the incompetent and lazy
switchboard operator that couldn’t quite
match up the right messages to the right people.
Because I couldn’t hear them. I could never
answer to the dead and the ringing
continued.

Then it hit me. I was the CEO
of Deathly Telecoms and, of course, I
had to make all sorts of delegations for
these calls to get through. But, apparently
people had their own ringing to deal with and
no one wanted work where the ringing
never stopped.

So I made an early career choice
to retire. I explained to the ringing
I was tired and it was absurd and it would
never listen. So the dead go straight
to voicemail now. ‘Please, leave
a message after the tone.’ A
never ending tone.