Free

he hit me right over the head
bled and bled and bled
he sucker punched me to the sky
when i came back down

he kicked and kicked and kicked
the bruises defiled me, disfigured my face
and the blood dried in my hair
fingernails burned away

he dragged his axe
through me
repeatedly
slowly

all of this done smiling
and i remember the last strike
blinding me in the eyes
and i was gone.

i dragged my carcass to the hospital
my fingers trembling
i fixed my own drip
filled up bags with the blood of friends

which they’d donated with complimentary kisses
i lay there deader than pluto
when i checked myself in
and people i loved watched me sleep

they watched me breathe weakly
my ribs raise
the anchors of my heart sewing themselves slowly
back into the cavity

none of us expected him to give me a real beating
but who does?
we all lay there and waited for me
and one morning my eyes flew up like the sun.

we stuck some gauze onto my wounds
and sterilising them
wow
the pain meant acknowledging how bad it was

we cleaned my hair
had it smelling of rosehip and jojoba
we threaded our needles and started stitching
we soaked up the blood from the floors of my house

with paper towels
they went and bleached it
he’d done a runner
long gone

we filled in the paperwork
we filled in the holes
filtered blood into my veins
filtered life back into my eyes

he left like a bruise
in some amazing way
the black and blue
become purple and yellow

and the yellow to cream and skin
we watched me breathe harder
happier
and when it was time

i stood up
and made the bed
i let the drip fall to my feet
i removed the gown i’d worn like a disease

i discharged myself of a broken heart
the stitches still dissolving
the scabs swallowed by my own kiss
i opened the door

went home
stared at my kitchen floor
cleaner than a baby’s two eyes
and warmer than a mother’s hands

bleached bare
no pain in the crevices of the tiles
banking the walls
nothing

no we all came home to my house
and we all watched the moon pass our faces
we all smiled
the past disbanded as memories often do

then i was whole and free.

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dear person

i give good blowjobs
and i’m decent at cooking
i make the best cheer-the-fuck-up cookies
and i’m funny when i’m drunk

i can get lost in the gym
just stick joris voorn on loud
and i turn to soup
my ex said the colour of me (all parts) is latina

but i’m just half african
i look good at sunset
eyes turn green (or yellow occasionally), but only people who fancy me notice it
some girls have had crushes on me i’ve always wanted to know more

i’m not surprised that
i’m deeply insecure and vulnerable
my skeleton is young
but not easily broken

my bones are really dense and heavy cos of dad
so they use higher radiation levels on me in hospitals
this i know because a girl who bullied me on my street
broke my wrist once when i was 8 and i had to get it sorted

i tell people i don’t like to get lost
i banish bad
if i’m depressed i either sleep all day
or get up and eat cereal cry then go and laugh with a friend

but these days i go to the gym instead
do my work
or listen to rap with fifi
who is the most middle class white person i’ve ever met

i do get high sometimes
i love talking about my family
my algerian family
and then i like to talk about mum and dad

tell em bout how cool my parents are
how cool i get to be
i’m decent in bed
i’m not interested in you wasting my time

it will take us years to be best friends
you will know my head very quickly
i am readable
everybody at school at some point has read my work

and probably thought i was a bitch
because of the people i’ve dissed
i’m just interested in turning my upset into art
and my friends have better clothes than me

my tastes are eclectic
i listen to bangin’ tunes
i have the best taste in music
and you have to give me a chance to prove it

i still listen to nina simone
even though the ex that broke my heart like a month ago
spoiled her for me
but i forgot about him staining every record i like

hell i force myself to watch tv shows i associate with my exes
i refuse them to ruin me
because i’m cool and just cos we’re dead doesn’t mean i can’t watch season 3 anymore
and i will revisit the same places we’ve been

cos i don’t stop living
i get lost
i demand my mother read to me before bed time
i demand my father tell me he love me

yes i am an adult
yes i am a child
i am spoiled for choice between the two
i don’t like people who spoil jokes with politics (though i love politics)

and i think cat calling men is funny
i don’t like people who shove feminism in my face
even though i think its important
and i hate the inequality i see everywhere

but it really upsets me
so i eat a banana and paint a picture to take my mind off it
not to be selfish or ignorant
but it makes me feel even worse about my life

i do ask god questions
i do ask my deceased friends and family if they’re looking after me
i talk about philosophy and think about creation every day
i pray, i’m not assigned to a particular religion

i read tarot cards and love astrology
i’d rather have puppies than human friends
there’s plenty more for you to scrape at
but if you’re still interested

i can run for a long time without stopping now
and i’m a lot thinner cos i got fed up of feeling like eating stuff
would fill all the holes inside my soul
it takes me no time whatsoever to forgive

i hate animosity
i am friends with all my enemies
even if they don’t realise it
and i just want peace really

i am friends with all my exes
even if they don’t realise it
and i don’t talk about them really
unless something reminds me of them

sometimes my writing doesn’t make either of these things seem that way
but publicising my brain’s thought processes
is kinky to me
and sometimes people wanna read it

i just have to get it off my chest
and i don’t mind the world knowing
and i’m always sad when people get upset
cos i’m upset too

and i don’t like it if you get pissed that i dated someone before you
i don’t like people who take life too seriously
but i want you to take me seriously
however i don’t take me too seriously

i actually love laughing at myself
and i love it when my friends take the piss out of me
self-deprecation is my favourite language
my dog is my brother

my mother is my best friend
my best friend is a younger sister from another mister,
even though she’s actually older
but i still feel older than her

my dad is my best friend and king too
but he’s so protective that i wonder sometimes if he can even breathe
he’s weird like me
and he’s a marshmallow but you have to be his daughter or wife to see it

i could eat chocolate all day everyday but i stop myself now (as well as Nando’s and KFC)
i like to people watch
and i like to watch old films
and i like to go to my park and look at flowers

i’m a very normal human being
i have simple pleasures
i love you
can’t wait to meet you,

love me xoxox

Personal Problems: 10th Account

N.B. “BUT TIME MOVES ON, GRAVITY PULLS DOWN, YOU DON’T LOVE ME, AND THE WORLD’S STILL ROUND” – LOGAN BRILL, ‘WORLD STILL ROUND

THE TIME HAS COME.
THE TIME HAS COME TO LET OUR FAILURES GO.

I wear silverback.
I’m sorry to myself.
Dad made me aloof.
I love him.
The clouds over his head,
Ever consuming,
They now sit in his eyes.

This is a letter to a stranger.
Uh, I don’t actually know who this person is.
I did, maybe, I passed them on the street once.
I don’t remember.

Dear Stranger,
Tell me something so innately personal
That it guts you, cuts you up like medieval torture.
Even God could plunge his nails into you.

Who are you?
What are you?
Old friend? Old lover? Older?
Maybe family? You used to call me family.

You don’t want to talk first?
You want me to do the talking?
You’ve got to confess at the end something about you.
You can’t act like the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come.
You can’t be the future, pointing at the dead horizon.

Okay.
I’ll go first.
Well,
I don’t know if you remember,
But a while back you called me your heart.

Some women get kitchen knives to guard their house.
I prefer .44 Magnums.
Or if I’m feeling Texas on my skin, Remingtons.
You don’t think you’re scared of my Dad.
He’s not so bad. He hugs you like he hugs continents.
Your knees still wobble.

I look at you
Did you do something to your face?
Old friend?
Did you get your plastic surgeon in
To stab your face with his needles
And tell you you’re worthy of beauty?

You are his finished Mona Lisa.
Although I don’t see the charisma.

I see an idiot.

A smile being stretched like its on the rack.
Your face on a Catherine Wheel.
A stake through your stomach.

I see a cold person

Maybe you were warm once.
I don’t know.
I’m still warm from the shower.
We all thought you would open your lips
With some kind of interruption.
Voice your “discomfort”, maybe.

But as strangers go, they’re all cowards, right?
You’ll never talk to me.
Inconstant.
Your flesh is chicken. You don’t have the guts.

I barely recognise your soul. Seriously, do I know you?
It had colours.
Pretty ones.
You look regular, like I dunno.
Shrugging my shoulders here.
You look like the kind of person who wears sports labels for couture like everybody else.

My mother owns ellesse tops too.
You look genderless.
Markless.
Although
There is a spark there, something real red on your tongue.

Like a maraschino cherry.
You’re a little freezing.
You’re a little dark kiss.
Hmm.
You look like shit.
My hands are too pretty to hold yours.

I have been tossed away in bags,
Each arm a diamond,
Each eye a ruby,
Each tooth a peridot.
You disembowel yourself from my life.
Maybe this is why I cannot place you.

You were a friend.
Maybe more at some point.
But then the weather changed
And you got tossed by God’s flick off my shoulder.
Satan gulped you down.
You are that stranger.

That failure.

I confess, I do not remember you.

But it was nice to meet you.

I don’t think there’s any reason for you to confess anything.
I throw bruises at the wind, they are wasted.
I throw spits at the ocean, they are dissolved.

I don’t think you get a turn.
My ears, two seashells, don’t want to listen to your sea.
No I already know you’re sorry for turning up like this in the middle of my happy life.
I have to go. Like, I moved on last week.

I will omit the time I threw into the rabbit hole with you.

I will scrub you away like henna.

It will never be your turn.

Not now, not ever.

 

19

N.B. 19 and in the in-between 19 stuff of dreams 19 and feeling pain 19 and feeling good 19 and free

i beam with delight when the sun hits my eyes
its different
chewing on the moon
19 with new skin
19 with the ocean to make a home of

i run
i feel the weight of my breasts
i feel my hair singe with the sun
i feel him all gone
i feel him drained from my blood

i beam at the trees
i let cats crawl all over me
i have daffodils in my room
i have water to drink
i watch the sky turn a shade dark

i pay the bills
i watch a leaf ripen
i kiss the clouds
hell, i ride them
i watch your lips move

i kiss them
i kiss them again
i play piano on my computer
i play computer on my desk
i peel oranges like i peel my name onto books

i spoon stars
i smile
teeth sweet
i float on the edge of the world
i kiss you hello

i wave them goodbye.

Trampoline Park

the day before you dumped me
you said you were taking me to barry
for our 2nd year anniversary
because you know i love gavin & stacey
and you know i love the beach

sometimes i don’t think i’m alive.
when i’m in seminars my face feels like its crumbling.
when i’m in lectures i am a ghost in a chair,
i sit next to jamie and he looks at me
and its like all of me vanishes.

the tears stain my cheeks
and i wipe my lipstick off with the night.
i would climb into bed with the guy i kissed
but he savours the aftertaste of you
on my breath and he knows that i am elsewhere.

i will not sleep with anybody in this place.

i suggested we should go to the trampoline park
in cardiff.
it sounds like such an unromantic place to be,
it sounds so cheesy,
so tacky.

that was us in a lot of ways.
this makes me laugh.
yesterday i walked to asda with fifi and the sky
was so clear you could read books through the stars.
i remembered maenporth.

i told her how last summer
we went to that beach with hannah and jon
you had no idea where i was taking you all
but sure enough we ended up on that blank beach
waiting to be tattooed with our footprints and our skin.

you and i climbed into the waves
and spun the ocean into each other’s faces,
we laughed until our guts throbbed
we smiled on a half-cast sunny day
and it was all turquoise and full of seaweed,

i screamed every time it licked my legs.
you and i fell into a wet and sticky hug
and my god
i loved you harder then.
you were deep in my bones.

i’m so sorry
that i couldn’t be happy all day everyday
i’m so sorry
that i “dragged you down”
it couldn’t be helped

my head hurts a lot
and i’m not somebody who can kiss away the dark
within a week like you
but i can say that your love
made room for some light.

i wish you had never gone to university.
to become this single form
to become this boy
he might pass me in the street someday
6ft7, red head,

and I won’t recognise him.

but that’s how you’ve changed.
and we are not what we were,
you anchored me to the sea bed
and went on your way
this, i fully accept.

you couldn’t help me
because you loved me
but you loved you more
and you loved these other people more
who you will learn someday, to be just as irrelevant as i am.

i have married myself
to another structure
although what structure,
i am unsure. it is not you. it is me. but not as i used to be.
i want you to learn that loss is an easy thing.

someday i will be on the same beach
laughing at the sun
wet sticky hugs with a man
who probably knows how to stick around
when i am disappearing and teaches me how to breathe.

who makes me his concern.
who loves me,
good day, bad day.
who doesn’t confuse a bad day or a bad week or a bad month
for a bad relationship.

someday a man will take me to barry
for our second year anniversary
because he knows i love gavin & stacey
and because he knows i love the beach
and he will take me to the trampoline park in cardiff

someday

i won’t look at your name and sob hard into my mattress.

someday

this poem will feel stupid.

Sitting In The Bath 2 Weeks Ago

N.B. I was in a relationship where I had to remind the guy when it was my birthday, I was in a relationship where I folded his clothes like his mother, I was in a relationship where I was his cum bucket, his partial friend, his part-time lover, his glory-giver, the girl on his arm giving him all that sterling reputation. I’ve never wasted myself on any other man before.

We’d been sleeping in the same bed
We went out on Sunday to get me a charm bracelet
For my birthday on the Monday
The following day you went out all morning
And I took the train home
You forgot to get me a birthday card
You sent me love letters a week before the 10th
In February
I received them on the 3rd
I read them and laughed
I pulled out the shovel in my wardrobe
And the bleach in my bathroom,
Left it by the door for a few days
Because I knew there’d be a funeral for us someday
You said at the Superbowl you were mad at me
For not relying on you anymore
And for not wanting to tell you when I had a bad day
You said it put you down
Even though when you were depressed
I picked you up and kissed you
You said you didn’t want to be a counsellor anymore
You said you were you
You said accept me
I said I couldn’t do it anymore and couldn’t rely on you to be there
You would drink when we were meant to talk
I said I needed to go for a walk
I came back
You said we were finished
You said sorry a lot towards the end
You said you’d be okay in a few days on the 11th,
You said my love for you didn’t matter anymore
You said we weren’t getting back together
You said we were finished again
You said you hoped we could be friends
You said you loved me
You left
We’d been sleeping in the same bed
I hugged the skin you shed
You have a new one now
Not fit to shed
Not fit to love
No
You don’t know how to lose with dignity
You can’t win with or without me.

 

I Want To Understand You

N.B. To a young boy I used to know very well, wherever he is. And to the old version of me who used to love him, because she would know where he is.
it’s hard
turning a shade whiter
trying to swallow the oceans
and wearing myself like the pages of a book
or speak like the rain

but i would’ve done it
if you’d let me break you in
like new shoes
because you might’ve thrown your old heart out
like wasted meat

and i preferred it’s chewiness
compared to the suppleness of it’s new skin now
silkiness is what you wanted
i wanted to understand you
and i would’ve done my best

i would’ve stained the whites of my eyes with sunlight
i would’ve sipped the sweat of your lungs
i want to understand you
but you are a foreign war in some ways
how can i understand if i couldn’t watch my world change?

Why We Can’t Be Friends

maybe its stuck to your tongue.
maybe “hopefully we can”, someday,
just doesn’t do it.
my hair stands on end when i think
about your last words to me on the bus
at night
and i have to remember to breathe.

maybe when you were a vanilla boy,
and you liked to hold my heart
as though it were newborn
maybe when you were careful and calm
you might’ve seen or understood
that my veins don’t tend to strangle you
with my black days.

that i don’t pull out your teeth for fun.
that i’m still kissing you goodnight.
and if you had an ounce of good
left in you
then you wouldn’t have turned the key
in the lock
and gone on home.

we can’t be friends because
it would be like peeling off the earth’s skin
like wallpaper
and trying to paint it a solid colour
like cream or beige

we can’t be friends because
it would be like telling God
to grant me a mortgage on the universe
but have the universe
with walls and a roof, limited forever

and it would be like
tearing out the last 3 pages of cinderella
and never getting to wear the glass slipper yourself
it would be you
on top of me in bed
not being able to cum

time and time again
and telling yourself you can’t
rub yourself raw inside of me
and telling yourself this is how sex has come to be
and it would be listening to me
sob on the floor in the shower.

we can’t be friends because you made it that way.

this wasn’t love.

this was your idea of it.

Support Network

N.B.Screen Shot 2016-03-05 at 17.58.02.png

 

your lips are dry and you have sleep in your eyes
your head is empty
your dreams are looking kinda like pancake batter
you’d think you’d be able to make something with them

sometimes you need a support network
so you crawl up the rungs of people you love
but there’s no designated space for you
and it’s almost as though they’ve poisoned the sky

so it rains on you almost forever
when they need somebody you rush at them like the tide
you kiss their toes with cool water
you keep them collected you don’t want to see them alone

but you’re still in need of a support network
so you skulk like a dying star
across the night trying to find a home
for the insecurities you floss your teeth with

you brush your gums with salt
you clap at yourself
you’re your own audience
you thought you heard somebody else clapping too

that he’d be there
that maybe he’d show
you sweat with paranoia
yeah he was there for a while

and then he wasn’t.

 

re-reading the break-up

i’ve stared deep into the world tonight.
it’s difficult, really.
i re-read our break-up.

sure it was painful,
and i think i disagree with myself in places,
cause’ all the times we fucked in the car

and all the times we were dipping into each other’s reflections
still matter.
i was that atm machine waiting for your withdrawal,

i was that nighttime kiss
given obliviously
given unconditionally

i was that cheque cashed in
i was sooner spent than saved and admired,
these sunsets are riper without you in my arms.

it would mean gravity to me
if you could find the courage to bless me
with a “sorry, i treated you like shit”

but all of this silence points to the contrary
my blood is weak pink
and diluted with tears

i re-read our break-up
i confess it didn’t hurt the second time
cause’ i started to see other men in different lights

and it doesn’t sting looking at your name anymore
there is a faint reminder
of what you are and what you were

you have disappeared from all of my horizons
and i turn my little rowboat around
and paddle back to shore

even in the ocean
took me some time to realise you never took me for granted
but that i just gave too much

gave you my skin my shoes and my toes
for words as heavy as air
and as hollow as your face

some people say you’re kind and gentle
some people think that for a giant like you
you’re sweet

your ginger hair makes people think
you were bullied at school and you’re shy
and kind and cute

you were all of these things, sure
minor the bullying, but i had kissed all of them
some say beauty fades

and i guess re-reading our break-up
would say that you were the hag that made me
bite the apple.

it would mean existence to me
if you would turn around tomorrow
and say “wow i was an idiot”

but your flesh your eyes your tongue
taste like sour milk and bitterness
i doubt you’ll ever rise again

there is a faint reminder of what you were and what you are
i have touched it on many an occasion,
and in doing this,

i have exhaled you from my lungs like a joke,
like poison removed from my blood,
i have sponged you away

with only a little scab on my chest
with only a tiny breakage in my rowboat
with only a small tear in the sky

yes i’ve stared deep into the world tonight,
and i re-read your departure
all of this is fixable, i am fixable

but you, disappointing human, cannot fix you.