The romance of doing nowt

let’s chill here for a thousand years
lounge like Hollywood vampires who yearn
light a candle to be dead romantic
and not watch a second of its slow burn

let’s not talk or try to learn anything
about anything, but be still as a stare
go nowhere, see how long we can lay like this
matted and tangled together like hair

let’s stretch out our limbs ’til we touch the wall
finger the paintings until they all fall
and imprint on our skin, then move the colours
or we could stay still, and not move at all

but if one day we do want to go, get up slow
drift together until the sun explodes, then
float like poplar seeds, the summer snow –
that might actually be nice, you know

What it’s like to be lonely at night

at first, it is faint
like some underlying
sourness of milk
a lacking fullness
the creeping sense
of error before
the realisation of one

without a burst
there is a drip
a leak in the dark
it saturates you
turning your sheets
cold and leaden
and you wake up 

flooded

Middle 8

She had wanted to listen to that new Phoebe Bridgers album on the drive home from school. Just shy of 41 minutes, she knew she would be home before the penultimate track, but was prepared to sit in the car until its finish, if the album proved worth it.

She waited until she had driven out of the area entirely, before connecting Bluetooth and pressing the play button on her phone. The car stereo came slowly to life. She allowed it all to fade into obscurity, rounding the corner onto Fairfield: the gates of the school, the bus stop, the manicured hedgerow, and the smattering of parked Audi parents in gilets and floaty dresses, waiting for their kids.

NME had promised a sonic palette – something close to ethereal – and she would give the album her full attention.

But it was not to be. Looming in the distance, four yellow roadworks signs, and a subsequent diversion, had already interrupted some of the finer dissonances in Track 4, and the experience had, all at once, been marred. She pressed the power button on the car stereo and stared through the windscreen, listening only to the beginnings of flat patter on the glass, and waiting for the lights to go green. She would have to take Hedley, and avoid the A road altogether. 

Continue reading “Middle 8”

May Our Favourite People Never Turn Into Ghosts

May we still think of them
all of the time
and tell them cool things

like what good films
just came out on Prime
or that there’s 26 bridges
over the Tyne –
same number of albums
in Bowie’s lifetime

May we remember them
whilst we’re apart
and tell them daft things

like how you can’t hear
real music in the charts
that there’s nowt bitterer
than the human heart
or that shiver is the
collective noun for sharks

May we fear them
at the end of it all
and tell them sad things

like the 52 Blue whale
and it’s lonesome call
that your brother begged
Santa to make him tall
and how sunlight passes
across your bedroom wall

Earlier this morning, when you showed me a photo of how whales sleep.

Look at this, you said.

I saw a dozen grey torpedoes hung,
such monstrous baubles, in the depths
of the ocean, motionless
and unaltered by the heft
of water surrounding them.
Scattered indifferently,
their fleshy tonnes suspended
like great iron pendants, laid bare
to the perils of foe and flow
in a thalassic slumber.

We sat sipping tea in silent dread,
to think of such cryptic bed.

Dumb Luck Love Song

I’m drunker now than I ever was
before we saw this through

And I don’t know how to look in love
without looking at you

Because I find ways to put your name
anywhere I see a blank

I’ve touched the wood of hopefulness
each time my courage sank

And though nothing true is ever said
when lovers speak at night

We stay up late and laugh and sing
and to us that feels alright