Ldn

I like London

even when I’m breathing in chemical cancers burped up by buses

and dodging dog turd seeping into the pavement when I’m out for my run

the dozens and dozens of cookie cutter couples

humming around like bees in beanies and bright baseball jackets

that drip vintage down to their kneecaps.

I like London

the convenience, the ease of delivery, the lattes brewing around every corner

that gaping chasm beneath our feet

where people sit and sweat

and bounce from borough to borough in a rattling box

that spot on our walks where buildings bruise the battered skyline

and shed the puffy clouds.

Fizzy Sundays

Sun pours from the sky’s kettle

making everything drip with warmth

outside there’s a rattle and a clang

the window shakes with the passing of buses

sitting inches on the pavement below

burning their rubber into the road’s pores

burping up toxic gases

that I’ll beckon into my lungs when out for a run.

The Sunday air is quiet and creamy

writing from my bed feels eerily perfect

ahead of a week of probable worry

mind ready to melt

like an ice lolly

body like a train chugging towards burnout.

Happy yawns

I never write when I’m happy

Except for now, while I’m bursting

at the seams with gratitude.

It’s overpowering

like water running through the pipes of the soul.

I sat on the carpet beneath the Christmas tree

and soaked up the flickering of the lights,

brushed the lukewarm, balmy carpet

with my fingers

and felt comfort envelop me,

cradle me,

shower me with its kisses.

Past experiences will always remain,

the future will always feel foggy,

I’ll always grapple with the present.

I may look upon it all fondly,

but that doesn’t mean I need it.

Small accidents

The thing with this illness is that it wears me like a dress, parades around with me wrapped around its waist, forces my insides to squeeze into its elastic. It wears me like its favourite suit, especially when I’ve done my makeup or my hair isn’t right.

I’m black and bruised, fluttering about in a frenzy, its favourite court jester, its clown that skips to its beat, making itself look silly, feel silly, act silly.

I need to get out. I’m dying to quit posing as one of its outfits, desperately deafening cries from inside that never make it out my mouth. I’m paying more attention to this disease than the one that’s currently plaguing the world.

Avoidance behaviours

My narrative is a series of shoulds and should nots
I shouldn’t be afraid of the things I fear
And I should be more ballsy, more ebullient
I shouldn’t need help
I should be able to untangle all of this myself
A very intricate and unforgiving
Cats cradle of “threat”
The brain is an unkind, messy, gelatinous lump
That’s ingeniously cruel
Like Hannibal Lecter.
I take myself off to parks
Remove myself from these four walls
Sip lattes I can’t afford whilst mulling over these shoulds and should nots.
At least when working, theres no space to think
No need to dwell and torture and yell
At your insides as though they were naughty children
With their Ribena-stained lips and
Mud-caked fingers.
When the day is bulging and fully occupied
Fronted by a “no vacancies” sign
There’s little time for grumbling
Everything’s poised on the edge of eruption
Full and tiring
But when the days off clump together
Like hairs in a drain
The mind starts to melt
Fog throws itself over everything
Like an invisibility cloak
Enveloping, suffocating
Darkness inflates like a balloon
It covers all the corners and climbs into crevices
It fills its boots with the pure air
And stomps away with it
There’s gorgeousness in everything
But today I am blind to it
Blind to everything except myself.

Hamster wheels

I might be a slave to capitalism
That’s what I’ve decided
These wild hours sat with a screen
And then evenings spent pumping out words
Like some verbose, defecating machine
Weekends working that hamster wheel again
The money is addicting
And the silence of not doing
Is deafening
So I’ll do and continue to do
To fill the quiet air with pennies and pounds
And stop it inflating with the cold tickle of worry
Bumbling, sore, back is bruised from the inside
Chest is tight, feet feel swollen
Convinced I’m dying in some way
(I guess we all are, in the end)
Poised to deliver, biting off more than my mouth and fingers can handle
Capitalist slave, I didn’t realise rest is rebellion.

Tired and lonely

“Oh my god, other people struggle”

that’s what you hear them say

today it’s debilitating

so was yesterday’s pub visit

and Friday’s pool palava

enough tears to sink a ship

watching Blended with Drew Barrymore

and yearning for that family

my feelings are playing musical chairs

when it stops you hear the clap of arse cheeks

sit themselves down

and with no music to dance to

they twiddle their thumbs gingerly

Christ knows if the noise goes

the fear starts

leaps to attention

like some Nazi guard

the music can’t die down

else I’ll die with it

I stepped out to Londis and squirmed

teeth chattering

mind nattering the whole way

it’s cruel to live like you shouldn’t be here

and the crying is getting old now

I’m bored

wilting like a weed

I’d like to hit somebody

and really yell with my lungs

because I haven’t done that before

(except into my pillow)

and make them burst like two water balloons.

A hazardous week

I have been knocked over this week

Like pins at a bowling alley

Kicked and thrashed

Battered against the back

Of that mysterious black bit

You can’t see behind

Throttled by failure

Plagued by faux pas

And today I am supposed to dust

Myself off and present the shiniest

Brushed aluminium version of myself

To a total stranger

Desperately seeking an escape route

A respite for this mangled brain.

Dirty puddles

I’ve been sitting in this chair

for what feels like eternity

this crusty, scabby armchair

with spiders’ webs for decor

and the scent of mustard-soaked dirty socks

dripping their Dijon all over the fabric

they might end up burying me in this chair

epitaph reading “Killed by The Game”

long sleeves fingering the armrest

gripping on for dear life

like I’m on some sort of rickety ghost train.

I’ve spent more time waiting for you

than I have queuing at Tesco in my whole life

I was promoted quicker

I graduated quicker

than the time it’s taken you to reach out.

Hungry regret is eating away at me

rage bubbles like bone broth

loneliness creeps in

offering up its bitter taste

(if that’s all you bring to the table, then forget it)

I’m on this eternal cosmic pogo stick

yo-yoing to and fro to the rhythm

of that beep, buzz, ring.

I’m full of what ifs, I’m bleeding desperation

and fumbling about for reasons in my mind’s dust

completely invented, untrue

you’re about as clear as clouds

leaving me to create my own weather.

All I can say is it’s stormy and wet

and I want to leave this armchair

before I start to decay

loneliness keeps me locked in

while the floor floods with a sea of what ifs

the eye of heartbreak drawing closer and closer

and swiftly punching me in the jaw.

Always working

Work is swallowing me whole

I’m devoured, kicking and stomping against the roof of its Victorian mouth

Stringy thoughts like syrup

Cling to colleagues and projects and deadlines

And weekends are hazy and jagged

Flooded with feelings of money earning, the grind 48 hours from now

An empty Saturday lends itself to too much time spent musing

With money churning in the background

Realising you’re a cog, small and insignificant

Working always, whether it’s at the 9 to 5

Or working on myself

Always ruminating, stalling, forgetting, planning

Sheets sodden with schedules and words

Blunt days off with no real purpose

Work thoughts pour in like post drought rain.