Old maid skins new maid

October 30, 2010 § Leave a comment



Growth. Broth. Wrath.

I name each squirrel in the queue for monkey nuts. I break bread with Charles and Sienna and Lone Red and Benjamin.

The woman in my local lets me know that she bought the budgie for a fiver from the man who needed to score. He was allegedly as bare as floorboards. She swears. Sweeps the counter clean. Monkey nuts will do them, she grins.

I hurry home.

It is raining.

My screen is black; I switch it on.

“Time is an illusion. Time is a pianist who works as a postman, who works works works.

We get mail. We don’t see him dust keys at eight, when the door is as shut as his heart.”

I was blind before I knew I could see you seeing me.

You are my ceiling. I am your windowpane. I am rained upon. You are rarely seen.

My mother prays for me nightly.

I am too far gone.

I have faith only in the child who streams by outside, clutching her wand and battering the railings with her Barbie.


I will keep me warm, I insist. I will keep me going. Am I a fuel, or in need of fuel?

I would prefer to be neither. But times are hard for…

Has it been a while?

October 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

Or an hour at most since last I saw your ghost?

I’ve moved on. On a whim, that is. I don’t know if I decided to forget or if I just forgot.

Now I’m listening to Bobby singing ‘oobie doo’ and I feel at peace down to my sockless shoes and wet toes. No, I won’t be your Clara Bow or your good-time girl but I will be me, because it is my favourite thing to be.

Yesterday I went to see Yann play and we discussed your existence and he told me that in his fever, he had dreamt of a yellow light, a spotlight, and another. And they became a constellation, and he recorded their positions and gave them exciting names like ‘hay’ and ‘willow’. Well I never, said I with a bounce as I bowed to his genius.

And now I understand I’m writing to two people, or my ideas of whom or what they are or could possibly be if they wanted to walk beside me, shoes sockless and ties untied.

You don’t have to have eyes as black as thunderstorms or San Luis Obispo. You don’t have to play like Ivor Cutler. You just have to be not unlike me and not like me, and keep your dreams in your pocket and your heart between the third and the fourth layer of skin.

Possibly fifth.

To touch is to feel?

October 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

‘He’s the kind of boy who sneaks peanut butter and baked beans for breakfast, and tells you he’s had a croissant.’

I don’t care what he’s had or had not. He’s had me, for sure. And plenty more.

When the green lines reach the wide-eyed, there is a light. When the mountain evolves into a building as you near, there is a light. And it goes out out out. With the old.

In come the new, the blue and the half-bruised, broody boys on bicycles. I don’t care who you’ve had when I want you to have me.

Except no one really ever has anybody.

And that’s my Aesopian ending.

What, you want more from me? I’m only a line in a room of lines. Waiting to be intersected by a green one, or intercepted by my own family.

I’m only a deer in a forest of fur. And I’ve twisted my ankle to bend your will. In the morning it is purple like a sunset. I feel summer set inside me like concrete. I make you lemsip like I knew this day would come, and I dwell on it like a troll. We love almost, and I turn over to touch my touch-light. Black black black black black black black bible black billboard black. Like when there’s nothing attached, and a tunnel has entered my soul instead of the other way around.

I pull the sheet over my head and pretend it is a shroud. I am dead as if I were dead. I rationally decide to end, and I go up to the rooftop with a glass of water. You are feeding your life philosophy with the sight of my thighs disappearing through the skylight.

I just wanted to be primed and wiped clean again, slate-clean, I wanted to begin again. I wanted you to write your name on my left-hand corner, so that I could feel I was of use to you.

I see the bankers and the waiters and the lies lies lies. I see Maria feeding her child in an arrangement of skin and eyes. Why, me too, me, I am an indefinition in an indefinite ending. So I come back down, and I am aware of all that has ended inside me when I was up there, on the roof of 23 Stephen’s Green.

You put me to bed, and you do not touch the touch-light.

By a string, by a string

October 18, 2010 § Leave a comment

Cast off, oh good love, oh God, oh good grief. Cast off.

It’s just that I think. I think it might be too late. I might be too late.

I hear only my heart like a horse, thundering from here like a child from a house on fire.

For your eyes burn into my back, and blacken my spine.

Cast off, oh God, cast off.

Everything I give is everything that I keep.

October 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

Do you understand this?

With your backpack and your big oily whale-black eyes.

I think you’re wonderful. This is why we will both die alone and I will never reach for words under my tongue. What would a wonder want with wee me? I push them words down down down and swallow them, they disappear like stars driven to distraction by morning sunlight.

And when I cycled right into an Escort and thought ‘go to Naples’ I was really truly thinking how truly sadly I missed you this morning.

And then there you were, with the suddenness of a sapling shooting from snowed-upon ground. You never turn you never turn you have turned but not this time. I want to backtrack and do some wonderful and Saint Joan-ish miracle thing. Just turn. Right around.

Perhaps it is too late, but if I see you on Parade I will try to communicate with my gaze how sorry I am that I cannot speak because the blood is thundering in my head like horses on a track, on its addled way to my heart. Hear it? I knew you wouldn’t.

I think I’ve thought too much about you now for you to ever be real, and I am to blame. I am not brave, I am not brave.

And I like the ‘you’ in my head, for you are my puppet, and I lift you up and down upon my skin and I pretend pretend pretend. I cannot prevent you from becoming.

It is time tickity tock. Decision. Between a dream of a man, or the man behind the dream. Frankly I fear this all or nothing situation. I’d like a little of both, or neither. I do not want to be broken again. The ‘you’ in my head can break me as surely as you can, but were it last year I would not understand. This, or anything.

So it is time. Tickity tickity tock talk tockity tickity talk to me.

Siesta: The Sun Never Rises

October 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

Tonight in The Palace a twenty-six year old Scotsman guessed me. Read me. Knew me. Twigged me from afar as I twitched on my high stool and propped my chin on the bar. I was the twenty-something (early days yet) student with a scarf wound round my curls, swigging merlot, gloomily peering over the horizon of To the Lighthouse. Tapping my brogues against the chipped paintwork and draining the corner of its silence.

And it was disturbing, for I had made a decision to be different and suffer in silence the comments of the kids I avoided on the Parade. My solace was my difference. Now what do I have? Are we all the bromide same that similar same? Is there any point in trying?

‘She lives in the west end. Cycles a battered hipster bike to college at noon, never quite makes morning. Wears chunky glasses and Merdman sweaters on occasion. Has been there, done the girl thing and rarely mentions it. She believes she is the only only only lonely only one to have been broken and is not aware that it is a mere tunnel until she exits and realizes its impermanence. She prefers fruit and fibre to cornflakes, rarely rakes out her heels. Is looking for something or someone although she is not aware of it, as she seems to scrutinise each face that passes, and then redrown redrown redrown down down again, into the land of wolves and women.’

Don’t read me. I know medical men love to diagnose, love to guess symptoms and define a person, but do not mention that word again. You know the one. It begins in ‘c’ and ends in me leaving.

It also ends in ‘é’.

I don’t want to be summed up; I want to be stripped down by a boy with a Cuban tongue and eyes as black as mines. This is my illness.

For my love (infatuation?) makes seven flights of stairs feel like six.

Tomorrow then? Morning? Almost gone ten? The lights not quite turning green? Please have a voice, for I am voiceless under the humming haunting thump that is heart heart heart.

Rather a spoonful of British preserve than British reserve?

October 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

Where, oh where?

One of my favourite rhymes as a child was the one about cats, cats sleeping opportunistically, hobo-style, any surface available. Railroad? Not quite. More piano-top, fireless fireplace. Whatever.

And this reminds me of you. You are everywhere, and every place I open my eyes to. You are every passing face on a bus, every ponytailed person I swerve to miss. It’s like you sleep in every corner I peer into. I cannot even dream without bumping into you.

Shall we make it Thursday?


Just maybe.

This is it?

October 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

I guess I thought a new city would be like a new body, like being reborn into a new heart and a freshness, like when you cycle through an empty city early on Sunday morning and it’s crisp and clean and the sun is trying it’s Glaswegian best to shine.

But life/living/everything just is not that simple. And I can accept that, right here, now, in this moment.
A new city is more like an opportunity to heal. It’s not a new mind/body/heart, it’s sutures. Stitches. And you can’t get them wet, you gotta take care. Some day they won’t be there when you look for them; they’ll have disappeared long before you thought to look. You whitewashed their presence. Life’s like that. A new city is possibility, not a double-take on reality. On a plate lies faces, faces, faces. And you choose whom you want to wake beside, whom you want to lunch with, whom you want to regret, whom you want to admire and move on. And whom you never want to see again.

Yes, it’s stitches. My sister’s friend yesterday remarked over tea that their is nothing but the here and the now and the being HERE RIGHT NOW and this is true. Stretching your mind further than this is to exercise a life that is not yours, for it is not the present, it is a dream. Which you will wake from.

And now, here, now, RIGHT HERE, I’m happy to be here. I’m happy to have been hurt, to have been there, in that blackness that tunnel that darkness that absolute numbness feelingless. I have been, I have returned. I may venture there again, I may not.

Perhaps someday I shall be submerged, but it won’t be today, and it probably won’t be tomorrow unless some driver takes a spite against my vintage Raleigh Alpha Shopper. Envy, my lovers, is a terrible thing.
Almost as terrible as trying, and being beaten back down like a briar in a lane. Or empty gestures. Or reserve. I would not preserve it for a world, or three.

Yes. I would have you born with wooden eyes.

October 6, 2010 § Leave a comment

This is where I was when you were sleeping:

Here I was full of worded goodness.


October 6, 2010 § Leave a comment

Like a feeling of falling comes surprisingly close, like punctuation escapes me. You never stop, most nights you are a comma, or a semicolon, as if something is left unexplained.

Perhaps it is the wind, it comes like the palm of a madwoman and from nowhere.

Today is the day for forecasting the loves of foremothers. As if I, in my pyjamas, suddenly know why they were chosen and did not choose. And whom, and where, and why. I am enlightened. Yet I am not she, who chose a marching piper to stand beside her. I am not she, who watched him toss his matches on the bridge. I am not she, who left her family for her gravity. I am not she, who travelled only in her head.

I too have a riddle and if you cry ‘get into my pores’ once more, I will love you for it all over. Time again. You are my skeleton, I keep you hush-hush hidden in the cupboard by the shutters. Like I left little notes all over our house and then, realising my own selfish intention, collected them one by one and tore them top to bottom. Who am I?

It is not my place to make this place a better one. Never mind the world. It is not my place.

Yet then come the eyes, and it feels good to be watched, to be applauded. Like I want to be discovered. And that is the only function of my skeleton; to be discovered. I just want reaction. I want to be found, like the toy you discarded at Grandma’s and later locate, missing an eye or a soul.

That’s me. I want to be found like the bones of a wise woman buried crossways, clutching her hexes and her heartlessness.

Like the smoke in your lungs you breathed in but forgot to let escape, which buried itself in your alveoli and swore to be your end. Which was nigh, anyway.


Always I am searching for a meaning for a function for a point in which to exist with intention and this scares me. Can there be so little enjoyment in this world that I must give it occupation?


Where Am I?

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