Thursday, 23 December 2010
Tuesday, 7 September 2010
The last event I witnessed that’s worth talking about, I guess, is probably the twink who had his flimsy little skull smashed against me. The side of his head quite literally popped open, like an Easter egg under the pressure of a child’s gluttonously probing digits. The odd bit of hair and blood are still stuck fast between my grains, though forensics, the clean-up team and a few days of rain have rinsed most of it off.
Before that, I had a hooker sucking off a trick while she knelt just above me. He stood in the gutter as he was very tall and she would have strained to meet his cock if they had both stood on the sidewalk I fringe. Not conducive to pleasure, no matter how quick and easy.
I have been here for the best part of a hundred years. Marking the border between tramping feet and whirring wheels. My nose constantly filled with the city’s effluence, I have smelt the revolutions and changing detritus of a city come to life. The dirty deeds have largely remained the same, the obviousness with which they have been perpetrated, however, has altered irreparably. Private relief has evolved into public display. It’s certainly interesting, but the stench has no difference.
There is a rhythm to the city that you can’t understand unless you’re mixed up in it every day. The collective rainfall of footsteps overhead ebbs and flows like jazz, but even it too has twisted in tempo over the years. Man makes music unwittingly. Often it is not beautiful. My gnarled, pockmarked hide is evidence enough of this.
Carved from nothing stone and dropped into place between a thousand other nondescript slabs, I was designed to capture, swallow and spit out the run-off of an accelerating world. The iron grating a few yards down is a quiet maw into which the sins of a population slip unnoticed and unwanted into the dark. More than a priest at confession, I forgive your sins.
That is not to say that I have not been part of touching moments also, occasions where tenderness burns through the prevalence of filth. Just the other day, a small child stumbled over her own shoelaces, crumpling into a little heap beside me. She sniffled slightly, but did not cry, she picked herself up, dusted off some of the dead leaves, twigs and gravel that clung to her and sat on the pavement. Her little feet were planted against my cool spine. The laces of one of her shoes had come undone. It had been this that had caused her to trip.
Arriving a few moments later, a smartly dressed gentleman stooped and came to sit next to her. He placed a calming hand on her curly blonde hair and smiled at her. Her cheeks were flushed with the brisk autumnal cold and the effort of clamping down on the urge to cry. The man gently leaned down and tied her shoelaces. He did so in a slow, measured way, so that the child could observe the mechanics of lace-tying, the softness of the fingers weaving in a simple pattern to make sure she was safe and could scurry about the town just as carefree as she had before tumbling.
He completed the delicate bow, leaned back and gave the child a kiss on her head. He stood up and then, with strong hands, reached under her arms and hoisted her to her feet, back up onto the sidewalk. She giggled contentedly and, in unison, they began tapping away into the distance.
Another time, a young man walking with a girl, suddenly dropped to his knees. At first it seemed as though he too had forgotten the art of tying laces. But he didn’t get back up, save for to position himself on one knee. The girl’s hand, which she had thrust forward in aid, remained clenched in his grasp. With his other hand he held a diamond ring.
“It was in exactly this spot a little over two years ago that we met, Claudia. Do you remember? We bumped into each other. You dropped the books you were holding. Your copy of Hamlet skittered off into that gutter over there and I immediately promised to buy you another copy. I admit I never made good on that promise. But I will make good on this one: I promise to cherish you forever and ever. Claudia, will you marry me?”
A small crowd had gathered around them. For once the clatter of footsteps above me had abated.
She said yes. She was crying. I know because when the rain came an hour later, I initially tasted the distant flavour of salt in those first running droplets. But it was a fresh salt, tingling; a taste of happiness as opposed to despair.
No sooner had the roads dried, then the pain and anguish flared up again like a disease. A cyclist was struck by a taxicab. The force catapulted him clean across the road, leaving the cracked, broken pile of bones and striated flesh smeared into the sidewalk opposite. The flimsy helmet that had been blown clear of his scalp rolled meaninglessly against me.
A company lost its documents. A cabbie lost his no claims bonus. A mother lost her son. A city that doesn’t sleep, lost none.
It started raining again and I felt the day washed away.
And then it was night.
And then it was day.
And then it was night again.
Thursday, 26 August 2010
Upon her caramel lap,
Her white-hot touches scold,
A dark world’s coldest snap.
The copper and nickel,
Of her electric hair,
Twists, writhes and crackles,
Igniting the black air.
Her metal-plated skin,
Vibrant against the night,
Glowing wildly from within,
Proves a riveting sight.
The rapture of her heart,
A pulsing supernova,
Practitioner of lost art,
My muse, my liege, my lover.
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
Do you remember when IRAK
Bombed the Brooklyn Bridge?
Perched against its iron hide,
135 feet above the
Shit-filled slab of the Hudson River.
Did you hear about Justin and Harold,
Clocking out ahead of time?
Thompson Square pioneers,
Slickly varnished across silver screens,
Then left to bleed out alone.
And you must know about Dash,
Sucking down 20 bags of brown?
A flame so
Sick’n’fuckin’ tired of everyone’s crap,
That he chose to burn out his own way.
You can’t put a price on that shit.
Monday, 9 August 2010
Your shadows haunt
Darkening lips and faces,
Staining the walls.
Sometimes I stray so close
To your new home,
You reach out
As I waver on the doorstep,
And stroke my cheek.
Your dead fingers
Still feel so warm.
I miss you all.
Tuesday, 3 August 2010
Monday, 26 July 2010
I thought I knew the weight of a glance:
The gentle glimmer of the wind’s dance;
The meadow’s dew-clad morning scent;
The sun celebrating the cloud’s relent;
The soft tongues of dusk’s dark skin;
The warmest touch of the night within.
Until, one moment, meeting by chance,
You showed me what lies beyond the glance.
Thursday, 22 July 2010
His pink and blood flecked face stares out,
From the scarred asphalt paving slabs.
A thousand footsteps press about,
Hammering his eternal scabs.
Flashes pelt his gold-embossed name,
A famous body never seen,
Broken and crushed, looking the same,
A Hollywood grave for James Dean.
Wednesday, 21 July 2010
First Night Jitters
Could she smell her own blood as she stepped down,
The rubber-clad steps of the Greyhound bus?
Did she taste the flavour of corruption,
The street’s glowing slime and contagious pus?
‘Make sure when you arrive there, you call us.’
Her mother’s gentle, caring reminder.
Now rocking warm and alone, a foetus
With an entire lifetime left behind her.
The hungry boulevard has no grandeur,
Her stilettos beat out her innocence.
The wolves emerge from their red-lit shelter,
Keen snouts pricking the air for precious scents.
One night down so many more to be lived.
To what end if the first is not survived?
Second Week Realisation
The morning coffee smells like a rare gift,
Undeserved, yet so desperately grateful.
She stares vacantly into the black rift,
Tiled with sunshine, her corpse sips and feels full.
Her fake Gucci bag by her blistered feet,
Across the path, she spies its reflection.
Its white, lambskin handles kiss the hot street,
Whilst its owner basks in blank pretention.
Such women are made of her childhood dreams,
Mannequins littering her childhood home.
She slams down her half-drunk coffee and screams,
The dummies stare from their faces of stone.
She goes clattering off down the sidewalk,
Out of earshot, the women do not talk.
Third Month Numb
Skin-like scales of torn paper make their bed,
On the tessellated floor of her home,
Once important lines marked over with red,
Now hollow and torn, their meanings unknown.
Scraps of language littering her sweet head,
So many tongues and names, yet she’s alone.
The woman she was in her dreams is dead
Her own voice a blank, cadaverous tone.
Her life lies in piles, just size two algae,
Her eyes have bled out, her pelvis aching,
She so yearned to be an anomaly,
But ended up the same as everything.
A body sold on a sun-baked story,
And then sold again for next to nothing.
Thursday, 15 July 2010
Snort a line,
Wait for cab to West End,
Friend in from LA,
Have to make sure delivery comes before I leave.
Look at phone.
Ah... tastes good.
No alcohol to mask its flavour.
Look at TV - switched off already.
Check playlist on Spotify.
Monday, 12 July 2010
The evening’s ghost clings fast to your bowed head,
The morning sunlight trickling through the night,
You leave the dark souls to play with their dead,
Turning your eyes to dawn’s soft crimson light.
The music of midnight fades out of sight,
Animated dolls collapse where they stand,
Sleeping kids exit their worlds full of fright,
Whispering back to the warm, living land.
And Morpheus slowly lets go your hand,
Taking your waking dreams far, far away,
Leaving you so still, staring where you stand
Though you silently beg for him to stay.
And the faintest talons of night’s brisk cold,
Vanish as black becomes glittering gold.
Tuesday, 6 July 2010
Monday, 5 July 2010
Unsure as I am on how to proceed
I bow to your summons, defer to your need.
For I see in your eyes
The plea to despise,
And I, like a pill, succumb to your greed.
What will you do when I break from my cell,
Not heeding your call, ignoring your yell?
Will you wither and die,
Or scream, scold and lie,
As I drag your soul down to foul hell?
Saturday, 3 July 2010
I carved the lines into the webbing between the index and middle fingers of my left hand, then rubbed vermilion ink into the open wound.
The letter stands for Zigeuner - the German word for 'gypsy' - and preceded the tattooed numbers used for prisoner identification in Auschwitz.
My family is of Romany descent.
And now I have a permanent, homemade reminder that no matter how bad shit gets
it's never as bad as that.
Friday, 2 July 2010
Thursday, 1 July 2010
Their points tiptoe across
The surface of his skin,
Poking holes therein,
Leaving his body in distress.
Their burning stab still slays,
When he tightens his eyes,
Their bite draws weak cries,
It's forever like that. Always.
He accepts their poisoned sting,
The needles dig deeper,
Reminding him of her,
That, in truth, she is everything.
Wednesday, 30 June 2010
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
Thursday, 17 June 2010
First splinters of bright grey skies
Fracture the ragged curtains,
We view our hero. He lies
Eyes open, mind uncertain.
Swivels in his bed sheets,
Launches torso upright,
Rises to his shaky feet
And switches on the light.
He tumbles down the corridor
And into the grungy shower,
Slaps on shampoo and conditioner
Flicks the switch for extra power.
Steam sticks to the mirror,
Bubbles cling to his tan skin
His woken hands grasp silver
Rails, as he starts to dry again.
Checking out his reflection,
He pulls on PRPS jeans,
De Vines with red’n’black sections,
XL T-shirt by Supreme.
New Era tops his head,
Screwy coils tip down the sides,
He scoops up his iPod
And makes his way outside.
The apartment sits atop
The concrete filing cabinet,
Coz the council can’t afford it.
Sweeping down the stairs,
He kicks needles to the side,
Foil wraps and burn holes
Cooling right beside.
Body in the playground,
Face tilted to the sky,
He listens all around
To the sounds of the city.
Welcome moments of horns,
The low thrum of trains,
The fabric of silence torn
From wherever it remains.
He pulls a ready joint from his hip
A plastic lighter from his pocket,
Wedges the roach between his lips,
Flicks the switch and lights it.
He inhales deeply,
Still listening to the music,
Letting it run sweetly
Never getting sick of it.
Kid Cudi starts to play
‘Pursuit of Happiness’ in his hand,
He raises fist to ear and says,
‘Hey, whattya up to, man?’
‘Hey T, I’m just hangin
down the skatepark with KB,
come check it out, it’s bangin
can’t tell you, you gotta see.’
‘Sure thing Dan, I’m just goin
ta grab a bacon’n’egg sarnie.’
‘Bring some weed with ya dude.’
‘No worries, I gotcha covered.
Anyway I ain’t rude
Enough to show up empty-handed.’
‘Sweet, laters seen.’
‘Yeah, catchya in a while.’
Blank goes the screen,
T gifts himself smile.
One bacon’n’egg with ketchup
And a bunch of tube stops passed
T manages to catch up
With Dan and the boys at last.
The clash and scrape of trucks
Chewing on metal coping;
The familiar noise of skateparks.
The music of kids coping,
With the shit that days deliver,
At their feet every single day.
The sounds of escape forever,
Or at least some time to play.
Clap hands, bump shoulders,
The greeting’s the same
Whether younger or older,
T just plays the game.
‘I got that shit you want,’
He whispers with a smile,
His light, brown face gaunt,
But healthy all the while.
‘Nice one mate - damage?’
‘Tenner to a mate,’ he mumbles.
Dan hands Darwin’s image
To T. Behind a kid tumbles
From his board onto the floor,
The board goes rumbling off
Towards the park’s far corner.
Dan lights, breathes, coughs,
A goofy grin lights up his face,
T smiles right beside him
Then hops on his deck to chase
Easy pleasures from the rim
Of a halfpipe and a death box,
Pushing off and surging forward,
Hits the lip, the back truck locks,
He flicks the board then rolls backwards.
A single, fluid movement,
A ballet of wood and steel,
T times every single moment,
Every second has its appeal.
Not much makes him smile
Like a concrete playground,
He often dreams of miles
Of asphalt all around;
An endless landscape
To be skated and enjoyed
To grind, to scrape,
Every step and rail employed.
He pulls up beside the entrance,
Yanks his phone from his pocket,
Marie’s ringtone: Cheesy trance.
A booty call, fuck it.
He thinks hungrily to himself
As he puts it to his ear,
He’s been fucking her on and off
For the best part of a year.
‘Hey where you at right now, sugar?’
Her syrupy voice enquires,
‘Just skatin’, so not too far.’
His libido starts to fire.
‘You wanna come round and hang,
keep me busy for a while?’
‘Sure thing, I’m up for a bang’
He responds with an eager smile.
He flick the board off the floor
And catches it in his hand,
Hustles towards the door
That leads from the enchanted land.
‘Laters Dan,’ he calls over his shoulder.
A muffled response drifts
From between the human boulders,
He exits and his world shifts
Back to partial reality,
Market stalls and criers
Appealing to shoppers’ vanity,
Randoms thrusting out flyers.
T ignores every single bleat,
The real is without his mind,
As he treads the grubby, cobbled street
Leaving the tattered morning behind.
He enters the bowels of Notting Hill Gate,
Giving his soul to the underground,
Praying to the hollow, metal potentate,
And its familiar rumbling sound.
His world becomes clad in black,
The Ramones scream into his ears,
He shuts his eyes and leans back,
Letting the city steal his years.
Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Friday, 11 June 2010
There is finally something to fight for.
Never used to be that way.
Everything used to be rusted, decayed, and rotting from
Splashing in muddy London puddles and gutters.
That’s not the way things are now.
They are clean and sterile and
Even the crackheads exhibit a warped decorum.
God bless the dust in their veins,
Cos they stay sweet and succulent,
Mashing their marshmallow gums together
As death wanders past.
But I digress.
I am back and surrounded by the fresh woodland,
The crystalline mountain peaks,
The nickel-plated ocean
That gallops between rocky islets.
And thrusting out from its soft scales -
A city of glass.
Her soul performs with perpetual grace,
Scattering sweet dew throughout the warm night,
Yet when the sun glows, she leaves not a trace.
Among nameless legends, she takes her place.
Nestling in shadows, safe from the hard light,
Her soul performs with perpetual grace.
The evening’s blue shell is her carapace,
Wrapped tightly around her figure so slight,
Yet when the sun glows, she leaves not a trace.
When Polaris stares down through silent space,
And the cities bubble, smoke and ignite,
Her soul performs with perpetual grace.
She bathes beneath neon ribbons and lace,
Mingles with the syrup of soft twilight,
Yet when the sun glows, she leaves not a trace.
The witching hour revives her doll-like face,
Fuelling her heart and her mind with delight,
Her soul performs with perpetual grace,
Yet when the sun glows, she leaves not a trace.
Thursday, 10 June 2010
It would be false to claim I don’t recall
The first time I beheld your startling grace,
And more false still to claim I did not fall
Abruptly in lust with your flawless face.
But beyond the flesh and its warm promise,
Beyond the tight crush of a hopeful heart,
The purest of desires commands my sense.
When we first dared speak, no words were amiss,
Laughter and comfort sprang loose from the start,
Yet still remains a shard of dark suspense.
Increased moments spent melding our shadows,
Crossing each other’s dry, crumbling footprints,
We have made our time and space keen fellows,
Though I still reign in my wilder instincts.
When my voice stuttered the lines I long craved
To whisper to you, I made manifest,
The fiery music my mind madly played.
The soft shake of your head beckoned a grave
And laid me down into eternal rest,
Though still I desperately breathed, sobbed and prayed.
As weeks have passed. I have glimpsed your slim form,
Delicately laughing, dancing and such,
Whilst I wander in a desolate storm,
Grieving the stranger I loved so much.
If only you could say ‘yes’ and draw close,
Let your silken breath run over my skin,
I would sleep peacefully forever more.
But dreams ignite in a world no one knows
Reality does not trespass within,
No new salvation breaks open its door.
Monday, 7 June 2010
When does raw fear preside
Over all else you hold inside?
And how do you rebuild the ruins
Left as you commit those sins?
Is there a way to truly heal
Without feeling the need to steal
The energy from such close
People; those who love you most?
If I could disentangle myself,
From this poisoned web of ill health,
Then I would do all I could do
To show, touch, feel and repay you.
Sunday, 6 June 2010
The sudden storm.
As if the earth borrows
Death’s silent form.
The rattle of sabres,
I softly bleed.
And the pain strikes deeply,
Surface flesh so freely,
And then the quiet comes,
Though I shake still,
Trapped in my broken home.
Pale, cold and ill.
Friday, 4 June 2010
Thursday, 27 May 2010
Fame is all you want to know
So, my dear, enjoy the light,
For you can’t stop tomorrow
From softly stealing tonight.
Now your name tastes of evil,
And you walk a barren land.
You get in bed with the Devil
It’s never a one night stand.
Your hardened skin begins to wither,
Millions of bodies slacken their embrace.
The only way to stay young forever
Is to die with a plastic face.
Monday, 17 May 2010
I rest my head beneath a sheet of stars,
Each light reflects your gentle eyes’ green flame.
My dreams softly descend from near, from far,
Every last one whispering your name.
Such moments of precious sleep soothe my soul
From the dark erosion of waking mind,
And the promise of your presence is whole,
Unbroken as I leave real life behind.
In these dreams, we linger long together
Ethereal moments slip by like air
Coursing through time, untouched by forever,
For all that matters is that we are there.
And yet if we loved in day as in night,
I would give up dark, for precious daylight.
Friday, 14 May 2010
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
Monday, 10 May 2010
Sunday, 9 May 2010
How strange, the most precious gift is free.
Does its value spring from its rarity?
Is it that it demands courage, faith and danger;
Your every vulnerability?
More priceless than each flawless stone,
Out-glowing the night sky’s shimmering dome,
Creating a soulmate from a one-time stranger;
This gift is your love, your heart, your home.
Sunday, 2 May 2010
There’s nothing in the day that is new.
Or in the night, that has not been revealed
By the simple light of a lover’s eye,
As it wanders every road, every field.
There’s no wound that cannot be soothed,
Nor darkened mood that escapes repeal
By the softest brush of a lover’s touch,
When the world is suddenly real.
Monday, 12 April 2010
Your white-walled studio
The right letters underlining its name,
Positing ‘it’s who you know’,
Marking participation in the game.
And what’s in a hanging?
Wondrous public executions.
The people’s eyes fanning
Across the artistic ablutions.
Hung, drawn and quartered,
Scent of death, look deep inside,
Everything strictly ordered,
No imagination supplied.
Wednesday, 3 March 2010
Tuesday, 2 March 2010
Was the sun ever bullied
From its nest amongst the cloud,
A victim of night, sullied
By its muddied raven shroud?
And were white-seared cliff faces
Clawed into the blackest Hell,
With shipwrecks, myths and graces,
By the salty tongues of swells?
When an immoveable soul
Greets the irresistible,
Feet planted in cold, hard soil,
Which force remains most stable?
When my mind is confronted,
Its granite resolve attacked,
Why do I, the affronted,
Have not the nerve to strike back?
Tuesday, 16 February 2010
Sunday, 14 February 2010
She loves him to the point
of the needle suckling his arm,
Helping him to anoint
that deathly union so calm.
A mother loves her dear son,
With every puncture of his skin,
Beyond the brown opiate gum,
She helped him place therein.
Even as he shivers,
His blue flesh cleansed by morning,
She'll pray he's a survivor,
And promise to always adore him.
Friday, 12 February 2010
The Scot Queen of Farringdon
Will no longer traipse its streets,
The city’s vast chessboard
Lies in shards at his feet.
A holographic shell
Hid his raw bones,
A touch of gothic
Laced his black throne.
Deft fingers wove
Such dark fantasy.
The Queen is now dead
Rest in peace, Lee.
Painting her skin as she moved her long limbs.
She had forgotten
What led to the bleeding – had it truly been him?
She closed her eyes,
To watch shadows flicker amongst dead memories,
Smiling so childlike,
Parting’s warm touch; a lush bed of lullabies.
Insect songs beat against the tar-black night
chiming in chirrups, reptilian tongues.
He softly sobs - white sea-dust fills his lungs,
while behind him, those cardboard hills glow bright.
His plastic dreams scale the sidewalk’s scarred skin
impressed with the same grit as dispelled gum.
The shadows are snagged by the charring sun,
their characterless egos long hidden.
With day’s decay comes sharp chemical light.
He greets it, this time, with naked back turned -
Using all his effort to muster pure spite.
Even when the phosphorus leaves him burned,
He withstands averting his rigid sight,
With nothing ahead, there’s nothing to fight.