I’m thinking about ripping my heart out

today I started missing you
so here’s how I’ll deal with that
I’ll stick my hand
in my mouth
down my throat
and tug my heart out
in ten seconds flat

plop it in the sink
and no more pain
won’t feel the throb again
drop it like jelly
and watch it drain
like a red teabag
only not quite the same

there’ll be no ache
just a hollow space
but better that than a break
or a wrenching, tearing,
sinking black hole –
better out than in
for my health’s sake

and my heart will just sit
in the sink for a bit
while I go to Tesco’s,
finish work, eat toast,
watch films, get fit
and feel nothing but nothing
not good but not shit

I’ll leave all that missing
with the washing up
under a dripping tap
and not give a fuck
as I pass by the kitchen
never again fussed
by the thought of us kissing

Exhibit


Someone hung her, years ago,
on a wall –
stole her,
ripped her right out of a book.

Isn’t she magnificent?
Take a closer look.

You could almost touch her hair –
very fine and
so red,
releasing a perfume into the sky.

Is she looking at you?
Try not to catch her eye.

You could almost feel her skin –
pastel and damp
with cold;
her neck is bruised and plum.

I wonder, does she care?
Perhaps she’s numb.

You might fall in love with her
all at once
like this;
you may think you hear her cry

but she will not answer –
so don’t ask her why. 

Brining


Seaweed slides through my knees
Stringed beads of brown
I comb its greased locks 
And I daren’t look down

But I feel the traffic of murk
The mystery of this deep
The swell of its breaths
A monolith heartbeat

The shore is a distant seam
Hemmed in against the sunlight
My cheeks dry like clay bowls
Polished and tight

Later, I shall leave slack prints
Across the naked asphalt
Bite the skin near my nails
And taste salt

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”