Silence at night is a blank hex
something never meant. A ragged
breath was meant to be our white noise –
our cousins holding each other
The grass (which I imagine long
and paper thin, the pelt of earth)
is carving the air into noise
under the hectic stars. And we
lie rumbling and vibrating each
time the sun collapses, and all
the other times as well, our beat
and breath the bellows of our heat.
Our hearing is still a tension
that can hear. The walls just standing
in their cold brick heart, we have called
tinnitus. The whine of our gears
and the ruckus of our machines
– the fingernails, the comfort rub
of a duvet against toes, as
the delicate attention bears
upon the slightest thing, leaving
reams and reams of analysis
of the breath’s passage in the nose
and the roaring brain in the dark
Waiting to explain the contrast
between the blue of the night sky
whose soft storm tufts sail past the star
and the crisp orange of my lamp
and it’s now midnight exactly.
Trying to avoid the back pain,
I describe the warm oranges
and defined black shadows against
the world outside which is not crisp
and rarely defined. Then, onset
of paranoia regarding
that star. It slipped into the text
with no fanfare, but its crisp haze
zeroes in like the silence when
almost deafened after a bang.
It’s watching me, from across space.
Maybe it’s trying to warn me.
The specifics of range and tone
doubtless contain enough data
just to fix this pain and be done.
On the shores of the white star, sand
pours and dreams around blank oceans –
a lone deckchair waits for me there
and a coconut with a straw
I can’t wait to fall asleep, soft
and slow as a cloud dispersing.
With that ache and contrast shift where
things disappear and become blur,
words disconnect and disengage
and the images dance amongst
the silence. When mouths open, then
the silence deepens. I can’t find
the werewithal to concentrate.
I am a lizard with a tongue
slipping out fast to taste the air
in a desert and my light muse
water has been destroyed by sun
scratching its fingers over all,
leaving hot and cracked marks. Scuttle
into shadow, and soon the cold
is within. I can’t think to do
anything. I lie in the warm
glow of the new LED bulb
and stare at the ceiling. The word
approaches when, failing to find
my muse, I fall backwards in the
dark, and the she catches my shoulders
in an eldritch trust exercise
Evenings I stare into light
and wonder why I do not sleep.
I see the wonderful smoothness
of her sat on a windowsill
The cat which is next to her is
not quite with it. She cradles her
phone like I want to be cradled
she sits and smiles the internet
loves a good smile, and a beauty
is brought which justifies all that,
all the machinery of phones.
As if I could step through the stream
and into the darkened room, run
my fingers across her tattoos
Examine her eyes for weakness.
I imagine it would not be
there. The red new leaves of the oak
hatch from a wooden cocoon, where
ancient flooded mines make a home
for birds. We sit on the lithe bench
near rotten memorial blooms
and your shoulders are bright and smooth.
The real woman and imagined
are feathers of the same warm ghost
The night stretches out ahead like
an endless action scene. With duds
the faceless attackers scream, wait
their turn and then run straight at me
so I can deck them with a punch.
But there are so many of them
waving their arms and raising guns
just in time to be knocked back down.
It seems there are infinite shapes
that falling onto the floor takes.
I toss and turn in bed and breath
comes shorter. “Loneliness! You fool!
You should not have approached me. Now
I will teach you the meaning of
pain! Take *that*! and *that*! Now you see,
you should have brought reinforcements!
*hi-YA*! *hi-YA*! Why don’t you speak!
Get up, loneliness, I’m not done
with you yet *KAPOW*. Ah, greetings,
pain, I knew you would crawl in soon.
Our dark past ends here! Pathetic!
You don’t stand a chance against my
FIST! *WHACK* Stop smiling, how dare you”
and on until I fall asleep
The kind wasp woke me –
it knew that I had dreamt
so its wings began to hit the glass
’til, bruised of life, it went
to a mouldy corner
of the blackout blind
and walked along the window sill
until it left my mind.
It must have had a séance
amongst the piling tread
as I later found it curling there
dried out and dead
It’s too late, I’m too tired
there are too many small senses
crowded into the bed with the big
beige allover tiredness –
Let me sleep, let me not write
the aches in my arms tonight.
Only warm up the bed till a)
I can finally relax and b)
The bus is late
Condensated windows drip
onto raincoats, yawns, mornings.
Alongside, a giant spider crawls
slowly – it’s so big
it can crawl slowly and still
It takes a sodden leg
and taps the misted glass next to me
dunk, dunk, dunk
Pensioners get caught inadvertently
in its slowly trailing web
then go back to sleep.
Branches scrape on the bus
like dull whistles