2 pints

 

I’m thinking about the spit on my boyfriend’s cheek,

And how he doesn’t lift his arm to wipe it even though he knows it’s there,

And I’m thinking about the pressure of the glass on my lips,

And what would happen if I pressed a little harder,

And I’m thinking about you of course.

I’m thinking about the warmth of my coat, his coat,

And the cold at the end of my toes that I can only feel when I think about it,

And then I’m thinking about you again and I can’t feel my toes anymore.

I’m thinking about how close her arm is to his,

And how it’s hypocritical for me to burn when I see them touch,

Because I’m thinking about you of course.

I’m thinking about the couple across the garden,

And how they haven’t spoken once in ten minutes,

But have found an hour’s worth of kissing in that time,

And now I’m thinking about you of course.

I’m thinking about tomorrow and I’m thinking about tonight,

About whether I should leave early or stay for another pint,

About what my friends would say if I went right now,

‘Come on, stay for one more round’,

I’m thinking about my options and how they aren’t really mine at all,

And I’m thinking about you of course.

My train is delayed

I fell to my feet metaphorically
As I poured my heart into her half empty half full glass
She drank it pensively
Balancing each drop on her manicured lips
And told me she wasn’t good enough, was she?
When I’d tried so hard to persuade her the opposite
And that was why I was leaving
For she never knew
Never tried to understand
How hard it is to watch her split and rip every centimetre of her body
Screaming out
And in
Praying for some different skin
Or limb

And then a stitch broke away from her lip
And her nose cracked, crackled
Eyebrows ruffled and spouted
And every individual lash fell out
A thin clean break from forehead to temples
Lets wrinkles form in the spaces
Cheekbones became cheeks
And jawline became jaw
As every inch of created self
Slipped away from her skin
And fell in a pile at my feet
Every detail so closely planned
Became ever so incomplete

And I told her she was beautiful
And she replied: not beautiful enough.

An introduction to alcoholism

 

You wake, sip, then force

The thick chemical clog to the back of your throat

It sits persistent in dipping skin

And cheek pouches

Like a rodent, you ponder

Spit or swallow

And as she slips

And skips down oesophagus

Forcing her bulging, wrinkled body

Into deeper holes

Deeper hopes

And steeper slopes

She numbs your brain

Body and brain

And numbs the pain

 

She rests momentarily

Before your stomach

And lurches in chunks upwards to heaven

Tonight’s dinner:

Casserole and rice and bile

She makes your cheeks blush

And hairs stand on end

Sweet lumps of plaque

And yellowed paste propelled

But forcing it down in heavy gulps

She continues her journey

To cancer-ridden joints

Where she makes her dwelling

Your blood her bed

 

And in the aftermath

She lingers forcefully

In tongue grooves

Beneath and between teeth

Peppered and salted

Plated and served

Your heart rate is jacked

Lip’s bittersweet, and temperament cracked

Are you okay?

Yes, I am okay today,

As I was in the cloudy, stormed night of yesterday,

When my mouth frothed and sprayed,

With things I wanted to say,

But couldn’t.

And my hands lay electric under the immense weight,

Of everything that I have faked

And everything that I couldn’t.

But I am not happy.

Because every moment mocks and mimics me,

And makes me ‘okay’ again, you see,

It reminds me that I am and also am not.

And it laughs

Ha

It laughs at me:

At my okay-ness and willing to be who I don’t want to be.

So, when you ask,

‘Are you okay’

I say yes.

Because I have never felt so ‘okay’,

And at the same time never seen ‘okay’ so small and far away.

So I say,

‘Yes, I am okay’

But what I really want is for you to ask

Are you happy?

Screenplay for a poem (2)

Fade in:

The camera focuses in on different parts of the body, clothed and unclothed, throughout the poem. People of all genders, ages and body types appear on the screen and the camera places specific emphasis on the unique details of each body.
V/O:

 

Who are you?

Unrecognisable

Look, why doesn’t my face suit me?

Nothing lines up quite right

My cheeks push out too far and my lips aren’t central

 

I’m like socks not quite pulled up, crinkled at the ankle.

 

Why doesn’t my dermis match my epidermis?

And my epidermis match my blood?

I am pink and speckled brown

 

I’m like the torn wrapping from forgotten presents.

 

My wrinkles make maps across my body

But there is no end and there is nowhere to turn around

Each line breaks and clusters and makes me queasy

 

The bruises on my arms are foreign and deep

Unknown and undesired

Not because they hurt, but because they don’t

 

I blush when I’m nervous

I blush when I’m excited

I blush when I’m angry

I blush when I sleep

 

I’m like the dregs of beer left out in the sun.

Nobody I know

 

Fade out

Screenplay for a poem (1)

Fade in:

A young man, wearing a dark blue suit, stands in the centre of an empty set and takes his jacket off.

V/O:

1

2

3, 4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine

I’m in ecstasy, or am I ecstasy.

 

He stands, looks arounds, and twists his wrists.

 

Each of my cells embrace the

Growing eloquence of mercy

I’m trapped

In this cell.

My tissue aching in the mirage

I need a tissue

Is this real?

 

He begins to move his body slightly as music begins (Toro y Moi – ‘So many details’).

 

Sitting on the balcony of the sky

Looking down my cranial cavity at the tiny people in their tiny lives

And then I’m knocking down the parameters of my body’s protection

Pretty pill in pretty paper. Pretty pill in ugly mouth.

Ha.

 

His movements become more jagged and the images overlap to look like two bodies moving in the same space. His eyes close and he unbuttons his shirt.

 

And now in this dark alley we’re swaying.

And now in this doorway we’re judged.

And now in this body all my blood is broken.

And now in this club, like my drinks, my feelings are mixed.

 

He taps his feet and his hands jerk outwards as he dances. Different films of the same man dancing are played over each other so his movements appear more fragmented and jolting.

 

Teeth grinding and eyes blurred

Sweat on my fingertips, or knuckles

I can’t sleep but I don’t want to

Mouth dried and sickly sweet

Body steaming as I breathe in

Inspiration, or inspired by the addiction

 

His body is moving fast and his quick dancing is interjected by a still image of him staring directly at the camera. The two images blur and the whole screen is messy and confused.

 

Dopamine and noradrenaline and serotonin.

My genes stick to me.

My jeans stick to me.

As the obsession grows, so does the fear.

 

The image fades to black.