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.

Notes 30/8

You’re leaving me haggard and quivering

I didn’t realise the extent of my obsession

The length of my lust

The pitiful preparedness wilting

I was never ready, it seems, to do battle

To tread these muddy, murky waters

And fight for breath beneath a rough surf

You’ve left me to wonder, sit, pensive

Write words of passive aggression

And mumble to myself on jaunts to green spaces

Confusion mounts and I’m throwing up fear in a rainbow-hued dizzying spell of colours

I’m wobbling, while tensions mount

Grasping my phone like it’s a tank of oxygen

Almost wishing away the long weekend because it’s all too painful

To ingest

Too exhausting

To swallow.

Notes 29/8

I don’t think it’s crazy to yearn for that dalliance

Me who always shunned settling

Forgot about the ecstasy lining the stomach

Of that faded firework

Burning brightly, licked like a lolly

The sleepover invitation

Fibbing to the folks

Getting dressed up at the step mum’s pad

Lies that taste sweet as Pink Ladies

Guilt tripping me over, loosening my laces

It’s just but it’s loathsome

Difficult to pin down

The in between time, the shuttling back from dating alley of lover’s beach

The eternal guessing game

That clips my wings and stunts my feelings

That hamster wheel forever rolling, stuck in its mindless mesh

And what if I want to get off?

What if I’ve had enough?

Thudding to a stop, wheel burns a mark in the pavement

And what if I want to get back on?

Stepping back into this scrambled wheel yet again.

Outside and warm

There’s something to be said

For sitting on rattan chairs and looking up

At a tie dyed sky

The same inky blue I saw in a dress earlier

The one I added to basket but never checked out

This is a sky of another era, a time

When we rode like ghosts on American highways

Legs pressed up against the dashboard

Podcast blaring nonsense

Gently slipping into sleep

Half expecting to hit a deer

That fear every time we rounded a bend

Or you vroomed a little too callously

A cacophony of screeching, and my brain doing somersaults

Playing out the poor deer’s death

And this balmy air also smacks of times in Spain

By the sea where we built our lives

And had a fridge full of food

And money in the bank

Dusted pink sunsets trickling down to the seafront

Paellas baked fresh, inches from the seabed

Tummies content and hankering for margaritas on Friday nights

Warm all the time

Flip flops flung over shoulders

Walks down to the beach and then back to Lidl

For a feast

Work was still a drag, head filled with dread

Every fucking Sunday night

Like some stupidly mundane weekly ritual

The brain bashing, self inflicted fear and loathing in Las Palmas

I was still afflicted like I am now

But those balmy sun dappled evenings

Grinning on terraces

Stuck like insects in a treacly loveless web

Boy was it good sometimes.

A year has passed and you’re back in my DMs

you got your foot in the door

yet again, a beautiful ghost at it

once more

starve you, I tried

there’s whispers you care and you

want to make things right

but I throttle those whispers

they slip lifelessly into unconsciousness

I’m lighting my tongue on fire

just talking to you

but it’s not the same adoration

lingering like perfume

in the air

not the

drop-everything-lets-text-back

frenzy that once furrowed by brow

made me mad with “love”

drunk on lust

in fact

I couldn’t give a fuck.

Is there a name for being bored but, at the same time, not wanting to do anything?

boredom creeps

and the tinted, dirt speckled screen

is no company

when up against

the blood orange gaze of the sun –

burn covering my chest

from yesterday’s bake off.

there’s no escape from boredom

when you’re not procrastinating

because there’s nowt to do

in the first place

but the level of pressure

squashing that nowt

is not nowt at all –

it’s a monstrous fun sponge

sucking life and love from limb

rendering days dry

and desolate

mouths open

but nothing to say

fingers shoved into gussets

in search of redemption.

lemon groves and Spanish marble

sultry Split and Big Apples

so rosy your mouth waters

are so far away

you can’t taste the freedom anymore

and pearl-stained beaches

are no longer on the horizon.

The expectations we place on ourselves

Why don’t you loosen the reins

A gentle tug to prompt

Purpley, sunburnt

Sooty shackles to the ground.

Why don’t you lower the bar

Before it slices your head clean off

Making you wander

Like some mad headless chicken.

Why don’t you point the gun down

So your temples can stop

Throbbing

And your glands

Can start acting up.

Why don’t you let your smile fade

Take it off like boots after a hard

Day’s grind

Slip sweaty socks off

And leave them on the landing

Feel your gums breath again

Feel your teeth

Whisper thank you.