Self optimisation

I optimise myself at every turn and every moment
Wondering often if this is really a normal way to be…
To occupy a hyper aware, hyper sensitive state of being
Where the only concern in this ephemeral life
Is what people think of you.
The only fearsome, fret-worthy foe
Is how I’m perceived by anybody I cross paths with.
I feel desperate for vacancies under Beauty’s wing to open up
I tell her i’ll mold to anything you want me to be
Just make me the kind of pretty that’s universally acknowledged.
That’s impossible, she replies
And I don’t even dispute it, because I know it to be true
Yet I pound my fists against the wall and stomp my feet
Then why hasn’t my brain got the memo, I cry
Tears crawling down my cheeks like two Olympic sprinters
And I’m screaming now because how has one part of my chemical makeup
Not got the memo
While the rest is quick to accept.
I know nothing good can come of this conversation
Yet I still end up inviting Beauty into a meeting room every other day
To plead and beg for the impossible.
She charges me for her time and I leave with a bill the size of a jumbo jet
It gets paid in instalments
Which means I never reach the point of being debt free
Because this loop goes on forever.

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.

Dirty ramen

It’s impossible to act like a princess

when you’re eating ramen.

I pull apart these stubborn chopsticks,

and watch the wood splinter,

like lovers scorned they leap apart

and drown in an oil-soaked, soupy bath

where mushrooms bob up and down

like caramel apples and

bamboo shoots cling to beansprouts

for dear life.

My lips are smothered in broth

napkin smudge-ridden, turning from white to brown

I slurp back sinewy noodles

knotted and silky, drenched in stew

and feel the sauce ooze down my chin.

Teeth no doubt stained

face no doubt smudged

mouth no doubt dyed with soy sauce.

Stop objectifying chicken tikka.


for the stomach


for the soul

masala mayhem ensues.


A creamy layer of coconut and almonds

topples on top of chicken chunks

and lips are licked

while throats yawn open

like snapping crocodiles.


In and out

feeding frenzy

bite and swallow

love at first sight.


Indian food, will you marry me?

so I can plant a sloppy kiss on your spiced cheek

and live happily ever after

in one big billowing poppadom orgy.


Chutney smothering my chops

Naan bitten and torn

ripped and ravaged,

undressed, unpeeled

on our first night together.



for the stomach


for the soul

my ever-lasting love affair

with chicken tikka masala.