A Few Short Words

Dense Not Thick



The Come Down

Coming down from LSD,


I tell my friend

I’m going to kill myself

and he smiles, thinking me a fool

and it’s true, though not for his reasons.

He thinks it treason, my attitudes

my lassitude,

my apathetic discontent,

my seeming relent,

but he doesn’t understand my embrace.

I have chosen

and having decided

my fate is freed.

There is need no longer

to feed on malcontent.

I am liberated from deliberation,

alive in a land of opportunity,

knowing my death

waits at the end of my hand.

Player Piano

You sit down and for all intents

you play my chords the way they’re meant,

but I’m not sure, it just sounds hollow,

you play a tune that I can’t follow.

It seems to me upon inspection,

your finger’s movement,

placing and inflection,

the way they hover over keys,

only roughly where they need,

and now no longer in your thrall,

that you’re not playing me at all.

All this time I’ve loved your talent,

your style and grace,

your gaited ballad.

I’ve admired your composition,

your fleeting touch

and sharp precision.

But it was merely artifice.

Performance true but not a fact.

A simple farce, a way to lure me,

a little act, a tune in your key.

So now your lie has come unthreaded,

the gorgon gaze has been beheaded.

I see me how you saw me then,

the way I think you see all men,

as instruments or simple tools,

you play us so we play the fool,

but it stops here because now I know,

I was just your piano.

A Beaten Heart

Lonely convulsions

A beating heart

Beaten fast

At home in the stars

Above the troubles

Of life and love

Above the casualties

Of causality

Isolation dreaming

Bound by vice

Held in thrall

By the deprivation

Of a beaten heart

Absenteeism and the Shape of the World

Her laughter fell around me

like rain in crystal goblets.

‘How much do you want it?’

‘Enough,’ I lied. ‘What is it to you?’

‘Nothing,’ and I knew that it was true.

She had no vested interest

but for a fleeting fascination

with the machinations of my mind.

I often asked her for the truth

in those dying days of ours

though she would only smile,

rankling my spine with her indifference.

Apples Roll

He looked at me and shook his head.

‘Son,’ he said, ‘you don’t think right and it bothers me.’

If only I’d fallen further from the tree.

I search the bough and dig the roots,

footing loose under leaf cascade

I strip the bark and count the rings to find a gauge.

Kicking rubble clear of recesses I have mined,

I find kindnesses kept in corners, and dust them clean.

Dirty, lean, forlorn faded scenes,

moments rendered in muted pastel mosaic.

Sic transit gloria.

Such brief euphoria

A cobbled collection of passed injustice,

weakened bliss and cracked smiles

draped over miles of life and lot

and lessons since forgot.

Bubblegum Goddess

She smells of bubblegum and sage

and walks the way that fine wines age.

A soft soled, hard wood, susurrus

of slinky surreptitious steps.

She sits in gypsy splendour

under lights like shredded silk,

Promethean eyes afire

a deity of desire.


Thunder storms throughout the house

leaving empty threats upon each pillow.

Willow thin, the librarian stood atop the stair,

casting her name into the darkness

like some unsheathed syllabic talisman

brandished in the air.

Thunder raged, followed lightning

whipping ragged ropes into the ground

in lashing jagged, whittle thin irradiance,

dispensing wicked shadow clones

upon whitewash mortar canvasses.

The librarian took measure with a breath,

hung his head, denied respite,

sighed resigned and retired.

Let the shadows play, he said

and put away his bellows.


At a loss with loss,

I lose myself to longing.

At the end of dreaming,

when reality slinks back

to reclaim its place

at my heel,

a dislocation follows

as I realize

I am me

and nothing more.

Governance In Sleep

I love you most while you’re asleep,

tangled through the sheets,

a skin and linen swap meet,

sprawled there in threadbare clothes,

regal in repose, with hands thrown

open to palms and level headed,

stirring, mumbled proclamations

of dream nation doctrine,

confident in somnambulant

though prone, to whispers of the willing

flesh through fabric copse

in effervescent glimmers

imposing porcelain instances

upon my defenses, wearing me

down into the governance of sleep.

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