From very high to very low

Today was a day of mammoth contrasts

when the good met the bad and then the ugly

and I found myself struggling to claw my way out of

a cylindrical hole

my feelings had pushed me into.

I think I broke part of my brain because this oxymoron was so loud

and moronic, true to its name

I think the bits of flesh couldn’t handle two juxtaposed giants

vying for my attention

I’d like to think they had equal chances but it’s clear the bad had the upper hand

the smirking winner

the bad took control and the good lay flaccid and dull

under a dreary spotlight

incredible praise met with steamrolling terror

that glides over you like you’re a wannabe pancake

making mince meat or mashed potato out of my head

an unbelievable contrast that collided against my skull

and I haven’t been able to think straight since.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.