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

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