Hierarchy of poetry

dancing
laughing fucking
touching smelling listening
recognising confronting fleeing remembering
reading writing referencing cross-referencing name-dropping
pretending to have read something doing things you hate every day

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A poem for everyone

some poems come as warnings
they lie in wait like
carefully placed bear traps
and leap off pages
in orchestrated waves
poems like this
are stored in tombs
ancient romans fund
their publication
they scare cities
universities pay researchers
to master them
—don’t let them stop you!

there’s a poem for everyone

some poems hibernate
they rise each spring
with the cut grass and
melted bitumen
they summon feelings
of such immensity
they break stones open
with chicken soup and
meatballs grandparents’ voices
and songs played by old lovers
on days of certain colours
—these kind will ambush you!

there’s a poem for everyone

Some poems are found
in the membranes between
fingertips tracing skin on bellies
and round lips
they taste like memories
the smell on pillowslips
—like things you shouldn’t clean
and couldn’t anyway
poems like this
unlock through movement
they are told by bodies
moving limbs and spines
in patterns describing
dream histories
personalities forgotten
and remembered
—it‘s highly recommended!

there’s a poem for everyone

some poems rattle round
in heads and hearts for lifetimes
unheard unspoken
they drive some to violence
against themselves and others
and others take hobbies
that approximate the rattle felt
from poems like this
some poems are never found
until the words are forgotten
then are found in places
people are not looking
—but keep looking!

there’s a poem for everyone

Broken lines

in meetings
they all talk dead-
lines
and straplines and
lines of engagement i look out
windows and

all i see are broken lines

broken lines of
the city
architecture
collapsing fences erupting constructions
across a broken sky it doesn’t

resemble the council blueprints the meeting agenda

i break over rooftops and beat across power lines
high above all these office
lines

free from meetings

in cafes
you tell me something
something that happened
forty years ago
a family

resentment

all i see are broken lines

– broken lines across your forehead
around your eyes through your heart

broken lines of communication people you no longer

speak with

broken lines of memory
your story’s the same as last time but

the lines are broken

things are round the wrong way and
you don’t remember which coffee is yours or

what i said three minutes ago and

on sofas writing
guess what?

all i see are broken lines

not just these lines but

things left in the wrong place – blinds with broken lines
from opening windows without opening blinds

human designs all broken
through
human use

in that fertility clinic signing those papers
promising

that the sperm donated
must be mine

all i saw were broken lines

broken lines of hereditary
broken dreams of children
who look like us the end of surnames

and ideas

of being
remembered

when we

are

gone

Liking things in secret

you like liking things
in secret
you like keeping things
to yourself because
public acts are degrading
public acts are so coarse
no one needs to know
the things that explode in you
you’re so self-contained

you like liking things
in secret
you like to share secrets
and they feel so much
better when
they’re just between me and you
(when nobody knows)

and you don’t have
a problem no
you don’t have
no problem no
i’m the one
with the problem
coz i admit
i have a problem

i don’t have a secret
but i can talk to you
in private
yeah i can
keep a secret
i can do anything
you like
and you like liking things
in secret

like when you
used to like boys
in secret
and you were
still in the closet
and you’re
out of that closet now
but still no one really knows
well not around here anyway

you like liking things
in secret so
i can be your secret
if that’s what you like
you like so many
fucking things
it must get hard not
to shout them out
oh man i can get loud!

so remember when
we went out
for three years or so
but you couldn’t
tell your parents?
you used to fuck me
so well

and you really
needed me
I know you really
needed me
but it hurt
that you couldn’t
tell your parents
so why was i a secret?
you never told me but
i guess i always knew

so for three years
i was patient
for three years
i was your secret
till i got sick of it
but i still didn’t leave you
i had a secret too
i couldn’t leave you
till you were ready
for me to
i just couldn’t bear
to hurt you

so i waited till
you were ready
till your parents
really hated me
and you were too afraid
to defy your parents
for some miserable reason
i predicted

so i know it really hurt you
i know that you were frightened
but i left you right then
coz i just don’t like
liking things in secret
no not for that long

you know i really liked you but
i’m too fucking great
to be anyone’s secret!
i like shouting too much!

Poetry reading

[wine stains eager lips
lament

burnt burgundy embers
lost

that autumn
oh oh oh

this and that]

and this is how you act:

you drop derrida in
too eager too casual to
bordeaux sentiment

clouded sediment
alcoholic lines continue
building

oak notes to false crescendo
your voice breaks on

you stumble

on words from thesauruses

burps betray bad
breath: lion brown
small town
wallflower feelings

tall poppies

and

I like this part best: it’s human

it’s the poetry I came for

Lost property

there are so many
pretty people round here
pretty people to
fall in love with
with pretty clothes
pretty hair pretty lips
and eyes like nature
to get myself lost within

they must have so many
pretty feelings inside
pretty feelings to
fall in love with
such pretty hopes
pretty fears pretty fantasies
their lives must be like stories
to get totally lost within

a pretty person is singing
a pretty song at this pretty cafe
her voice is like nature
her voice is like nature
it sounds like hope!
it sounds bigger than everything!
and i believe i could
find myself slipping lost into it

things here are so pretty
pretty enough
to fall in love with
but nothing here is anything
nothing here is anything
anything that i’d really
ever care to discover
i’m lost already somewhere else

— inside someone else
and i’m not sure i’ll ever turn up again
but i’m gonna ask round!

Gimme all your words

Give them to me
shout them, yo!
Gasp them quickly,
whisper slow.
Giggle words to me.
Wig out all about your day!
Let me hear just what
you have to say!

Paint me pictures
with your words.
Sing me something
with those words of yours.
Push air through
your vocal chords,
roll your tongue
and purse your lips,
produce some stops
and fricatives,
semantic webs
and arguments:
let me know
just what you meant!

Give them to me,
write them down.
Research, reference,
search around.
Freak out about
something geeky.
Draw conclusions,
sock it to me!
Your words are filled with
so much meaning,
and I really like their feeling!

So anyway… even
a couple spare words
would be appreciated:
it’s cold out, and
I wanna get
enough together
to make a poem,
or something like that,
to keep me warm tonight.
Rhyming ones would be great
– I seem to be running short on rhyming ones.