I Want To Tell You

N.B. for friendships you’re not sure of

that you and people like me go hand in hand.
i am a child by definition,
my eyes wet from staring at the moon.
and i haven’t much to say to you, you are a friend
so naturally, kiss me if you have a minute to spare.

my fear comes from thinking i’ll be 14
wearing lipgloss, thinking i had a chance at ruling the world again
the things  I want to tell you
are sunken just beneath my ribs,
but not quite close enough to my heart.

i admit i am a wretch with no emotion for you
i want to tell you now that no good can come of me
and you will have to smile your way through that
pretend you have some sort of laugh
as you taste my guts,

spilling all the secrets.
i want to tell you that i am a daughter
of people that have hollowed out their backs
for each other, who would believe i’d ever have any talent?
who would ever really know me?

i want to tell you
i’m not interested in the whys and wherefores
but for you to discuss your soul with me
over granola and yoghurt
or pizza, if you’d prefer.

my eyes are wet from staring at the computer screen.
believe me i have nothing to give.
question all others, they have stripped all of me away.
this is half 3 in the morning
our midday maybe.

you are a friend of stranger innards
cut from similar pained organs
only interested in licking the stars dry.
we will wipe each other’s tears from our cheeks
if there are any to shed.

or just pretend we can cry, somewhere on a roof, young and alive.

Personal Problems: 11th Account

N.B. i do believe in fairies, i do, i do.

dear lover,
tell me something so innately personal
that it makes you feel like the way you first fell in love with me.
the way God pushed me over that familiar cliff into your heart.
or better,
so personal that it tears you with a meat cleaver
until you are nothing but slices of guilt and regret.

you suppose I write because I hate you,
but no.
you are just not the boy I thought you were.
take heed of when I call you “boy”.
maybe it is the Peter Pan in you that calls for a Wendy like me
in life to be your mother,
to clean your room
and wipe down your sinks
because that is my calling in life.

there is no need to dislike you
at all.
not even after everything.
my fault, your fault, our fault.
it is immaterial. like dust.
we are just two children,
you fight your dad like Captain Hook
and I too thought I should never grow up,
but Peter, I must.

for me, lover
it is the having to fall in love all over again
start from cleaner whiter pages
so clear are the raindrops
in my eyes
i must harvest new tears to shed

over other silly Peter Pans like you
and the thought of it is so exhausting
but exciting.
learning to recognise his smell,
making him cups of tea his way,
or watching him fly to the second star to the right

straight on till morning.
all boys are Peter Pan at heart.
there is a shard in their chest
that wills them never to grow up.
it’s what wills them to wear the t-shirt
with the curry stain down the front to the gym.

or wills them to leave pistachio shells all over the floor.
or wills them to leave tea bags on the surface.
the TV programmes litter you like childhood dreams of being a F1 race car driver.
and sure enough,
they hide it with the bills to pay
and their newborn son in their arms

but there is magic in their lungs still
fairy dust lining their fragile ribs
that tells them to go play with their Lost Boys down the pub. get muddy.
y’see,
no matter how much it hurts me
i know you meant well jumping into bed with somebody else

right afterwards
because you’re just looking for a Tinkerbell. or Tiger Lily.
a friend to nurse the swords splicing your bones after a broken heart
whereas I took to a cloud
and went on home
where Dad had to hold me.

sure I would fall in love in again.
i would fall in love with a man so hard and so different
that we would make the planet fall away from beneath our feet
and we would go to the university of Neverland
and make it our own
i would risk my heart a thousand times

and wash it out
wring it out to dry with the mermaids all laughing at me
for being so naive that I’ll find a sweet one
but washing out my chest
means I’m a shade closer to new
and you eventually disappear altogether, stain.

no I don’t hate you
no I don’t love you
it’s just always disappointing to stain your new clothes, or organs, in my case.
for now
I’d better be Wendy
and not rely on a Peter to love me.

here is magic
the alcohol is nothing
when you can fly alone
and visit each star like i visit my grandfather.
always sweet.
no, no man for me is ever needed to be happy.

but i might stumble across one by accident to share it with
like cake.
and if you should ever run out of Tinkerbells and jäger
i should hope you find your Wendy in the nick of time
before Neverland runs out of magic
and immaturity.

it’s your turn now.

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.

To Give Up Everything

N.B. For Soulmate #3, who let everybody down.

This is a testament to how much I love you.
That you left me when I needed you,
Take the power, friend.
You have your bones to bruise in future,
Something I won’t be around to mend.
To give up everything for lent.
This is the reason I have loved you.
And in reckoning your world, I have done so.
You are living deep inside the new,
You are fucking it.
You are impregnating yourself with too many new experiences to grind down,
You are swallowing without chewing and here you are, several months from now,
Choking.
I have loved you as I have loved sunsets.
I have loved you as I have loved the horizon in your hair.
You pretend to be some other,
This some other is you now.
I should congratulate you.
But I won’t.
To give up everything is such a waste on everything you have worked for
Where you won’t look into my dark eyes and say “I love you always”.
To give up your warm heart.
There’s jäger running through your veins.
There’s life in my own.
What melts is now,
Stood in a puddle of us
Your old clothes on the floor.
I have bled worse in the past.
I was never a kind of princess,
I just hope to be yours so much forever,
And it’s too young.
To give up the one thing you’ve always wanted to hold.
To give up your lovely old self
And watch me go.
To assume my feelings,
To make the mistake of blaming my bad days
And calling them a bad relationship.
To give up everything because you couldn’t swallow a bad pill
Some people spend years hating each other.
But I don’t.
I have loved you as I loved cool rain kiss my cheeks.
I have loved you as I loved the weather come and go and
I have loved you as the stars have died in your eyes.
Yes I have loved you.
And you gave up everything

For nothing.

Personal Problems: 9th Account

(N.B. I have never been so honest to myself, to you, Reader, to humanity. I hope I never meet you. I hope your eyes never cut my face).

Some time back I said I fuck with words.
I still do.
I am their prostitute.
I am their dirty little whore.

My father holds me against the world,
If I could still keep his protection I would,
But I put 20 oceans between us for the sake of education.
Welcome to University.

Father, tell me something so innately personal
That it takes you back to you standing on the edge of your own father’s grave.

I know these cuts on your skin,
Father, Foreigner, Friend.

You never tell me your deepest secrets so easily,
I peel you back, layer by layer, once every 3 or 4 years.
So this time it will take you some time to think.
I’ll give you some of my own to soothe the pain you’re feeling.

I am your dirty half-breed daughter,
They called me that at school.
And I know it breaks you into two,
That you couldn’t whip humanity’s tongue back into the sewers of its throat.

I don’t blame you,
I don’t blame the blood running through my veins,
I’m happy to be this different,
I’m happy to stare in everybody’s eyes and be weird.

Your family try to love me, but not wholly,
Because I’m half Mother.
Mother’s family try to love me, but not wholly,
Because I’m half you.

Either way, both sides of the same coin are not in my life at all.
How long has it been since I stared into the eyes of my superior cousins?
So long.
So I live by the words,

And I’m sorry to say Father,
I’ve sold myself short to words.
I’m the Sasha Grey of language.
I don’t use protection, either.

How many times I’ve been knocked up,
I’ve lost count,
But I know that this coping mechanism hurts me so much sometimes
That I might as well abort myself.

If I weren’t in your life
Maybe I wouldn’t have licked the paddles of the racism,
I have swam in seas of other peoples’ spit,
So I go home and fuck another word or two.

Father, I’m sorry.
I’m sorry for not being a mathematician.
I know you don’t say too many words in your life.
I know you will never like this work.

But I love you.
I love selling myself for free.
I’m fairly good at it; just like sex,
You get better at it the more you do it.

Every poem of mine is another ex that you never knew about
And every word is another sore you never saw
But you don’t have to heal it
Or bind it with “daddy strength”

If you need to know,
Scroll the pages.
Go through my texts and call up my ex-words,
My one night stands with syllables,

Because I haven’t seen them in months.
I miss them.
I miss Mother.
I miss you.

Maybe the fact we’re so hated by so many people who don’t know us
It turned us into selling ourselves short.
You still respect yourself.
Maybe I don’t. Maybe I do.

I chuck the coins from the spaces between my legs
And hopefully someone will eat them,
I’m not doing this for the money,
I just want somebody to listen, even if its not you.

So there you go Father.
I’ve said my piece.
You’re not somebody to shirk out on a deal,
You’re a man of your word.

Its your turn now.

Girls

Little Girls: When father gave me carbonated water the taste made my eyeballs ache and my tongue shrivel, electrified, and my nose was stained with the unpleasant taste.

Reckless Girls: But since finding other men, I encountered a naturally racist young Nazi scouting Cambodia who could make me laugh harder than the wind knocking branches at my window on Halloween night.

Love-Sick Girls: It was fishes rippling my ribs, bubbles rising in lemonade tickling my sides, that was laughing with you. Carbonated liquid smiling in my chest.

Curious Girls: When father drove me and mama home on late November nights the street lights used to sprint backwards on the motorway, and if I squinted my eyes hard enough, the moon’s stare used to blend with them until my vision made the lights and the moon-rays appear like UFOs landing on the car roof.

Scared Girls: At 14 the streetlights were still tall and in nightmares they could bend their backs and tap their bulbs onto my bedroom window.

Regretful Girls: And before the council refitted new bulbs the old lamps used to shine different oranges and reds and ochre yellows. It reminded me of grandmother’s fruit-bowl, passed down to my mother. We kept it in a corner in the kitchen. Midges used to eat the apples.
Now the streetlights stain the sky mud.
I never enjoyed growing up.

Successful Girls: When I finished paying off my bills, I looked up at the sky and figured, I was here, countless of bullies had bruised me with the belief I wouldn’t be. I hung up my cashmere coat, and with it, hung my old enemies by the neck on my doorstep.

Mean Girls: Uncle would come round on New Year’s. I used to go to the bathroom when the doorbell rang. I could feel his fingernails digging into my skin again. His hands were always muddy, and his fingers fat. He never cut his nails. They were long and yellow. His breath was peppermint and cigarettes, and he flashed a crocodile smile and handed my parents my Christmas present. It was always a box of chocolate orange cremes. When I was little, I used to love them. I told him they were my favourite, before I grew tits and became pretty.
A new girl brought them in one day and at lunchtime I beat her face in.
Her face reminds me of my own when my Uncle has to look after me after school.

Lonely Girls: My boyfriend’s always out. He comes back smelling of somebody else’s kisses. Forget Chanel. I can smell the lust on him. Like roses. I grew like a weed in the sinews of his heart, and I pace the floor on Friday nights, checking my phone, spying on the clock. The TV blares into the night and the cold can of beans festers on the carpet. That’s me, Apartment 3A, Orlean Heights, on 9th. I smoke so much I’ve turned yellow like the Moon. Little does he know I’m smoking his side chick into the night.

Mentally-Unfit Girls: The Devil’s on the inside of my brain, and he is saying “scratch, scratch” into the night, burning his tongue on my forehead, licking my tissues, lapping up my blood like milk. If I cut and cut and cut my face, he bleeds out in the form of my mother’s ghost.

Teenage Girls: But Daddy, I hate him!

Fat Girls: My gut’s bigger than ever before. Can I carve the words “lose weight” into my brain? No? My arm will have to do.

Thin Girls: My head’s so small that my Princess crown won’t fit my head. Can I carve the words “lanky bitch” into my heart? No? My arm will have to do.

Old Girls: Such is life. “Raised by parabolic dunes”, Grandmother. Here I am, sat by his side on the porch, drinking lemonade, surrounded by all our children and grandchildren.

Heartbroken Girls: That’s the way of the heart. You can easily snake it around your fingers, hand somebody the key and they will lace you into their lips. They lace your heart with themselves. Drugs are good. You took yourself away from me, no more high. I just want to drink your blood, baby.

Vain Girls: Grew the fuck up, and found out that Santa has orgies with his elves on Christmas Day. Biggest orgy of the season. Carbonated water’s bad for you. Anything with “carb” in front of it is bad for you.

Big Girls: I still hate carbonated water. Oh, to be little again. I wear nighties now, contemplate my pay cheques, try to eat lots of fruit, avoid walking at night when the streetlights are on, don’t date anybody, and just generally try to forget how easy it used to be.
I want an exercise book for everything in life. Let me practise and give me a gold star.

The Party

We get older,
We outgrow our hot pants and glitter,
The mixers and slippery kisses
Tracing our waists.

Insects skulking our rotten oranges,
Tea at the bottom of mugs,
Lips dry from the pencils in our teeth,
And paperwork runs through our paper-thin blood.

They chuck me into their diary,
And that my drugless spine doesn’t get off on space cakes anymore
And I don’t believe in Urban Outfitters
But the knitted jumper and keys to lock my doors at night.

We all still have fun,
But there’s the rub,
The grey face, world-wearied, reliving the cheats.
Woods won’t keep secrets.

I put the peanut butter to my tongue
And am remembered by countless childhood kisses
From the fresh faced blooms of blossoms
And slide dens in the garden, swimming pools and itching with chlorine.

Moonlight creeps and I let myself slip away into the night,
And I grow older with every blink
And breath.
But who ever knew I was here?

I whip myself to the sky
And there the words overtake me, God’s in the fast lane,
Eyelids twisting with the weight of lead crushing them,
Creaming them to waste,

I can’t see anymore.