She came to me

She came to me with her shoulder ripped
With blood pouring out into life’s last flight

Rising near to the sun like a shield of courage
Like one who had lost her wing of wisdom

Who had worked all day in the factory of hardship
Whose transfusion of love rocked her like a mountain

She came to me like a shadow movement
Waiting for night to leave the chains of history

She felt the earthquakes that come out of her heart
She stood on her line ready for the highway

I know that you grow

I know that you grow in my soil
I know that you spread your leaves
I know that you inhibit other growth
This is how a weed can turn into a bird
This is how love produces her work
This is how words find strength in the earth

I know that you grow in my soil
And that the garden begins to die in your shadow
That as you fly away you leave him weakened
Competing for food with his white throat
Exposed suddenly to the great sunlight of love

I’m the mistress of the stranger

I’m the mistress of the stranger
In the room above the river
My hair flows like a current
In dark and twisting water

I live six flights up
On a cold forgotten landing
I look across the city
Like Britannia standing

With the bed and chair and table
With a black cat curling
The walls have flaking paint
The floorboards always creaking

The stranger comes on strange days
He comes with many strange ways
There’s nothing to identify
There’s nothing to get in touch with

I’m the mistress of the stranger
Like the moon across the river
I watch the bridge for danger
My eyes begin to quiver

The stranger went away one day
And death came to the door
I heard the stair were creaking
I heard the scrape of claws

Speaking like a father
Sounding very savage
I heard a peel of bells
I wondered who got married

A silence then engulfed me
I’d lost all sense of time the time
The stranger is returning
For the night, the dark, the wine

“L” shaped you

Underneath
Underneath that other you
Underneath
Underneath another you

Triangle you
Percussion you
Inca you
Maya you

Your soul

That he dissa-
Pears into you
Inca you
Maya you

On you
The “L” shape
Of the other you
Where you disappear

L shaped you
L shaped you

Close up things

Sometimes I feel I’m on a rope ladder that I have climbed up too high or climbed down too low
That I’m carrying a bird in a pocket of my mind and that I nearly drop it into a piece of a dream
Stretched like skin between the rocks of a cave
That all my childhood days were empty like abandoned coal trucks linked together
That I wake up in one each day without an existence
My eyes would play with the close up things that my eye could reach
Close up things were like a family
This was my family before I learned to cry

I cried it all out
Alone or in anger alone
Yet some of it was stuck down deep
Like coal in a deep mine
So I drank it out
I drank until only my bones were left of me
I drank until I was quite sure
That no one was there

I searched thru the bathroom

I searched through the bathroom
I didn’t give up hope
I searched in every corner
Until I found the soap

Please don’t leave me dirty
With that I cannot cope
Please before you leave me
Leave one bar of soap

I stand naked in the bathroom
Where you came to grope
The bathroom too was naked
Without a bar of soap

Love it meant nothing
You only want one thing
You didn’t want to marry
You didn’t want a ring

Now before you go away
To widen out your scope
Please let me clean myself
With one bar of soap

I cannot love you with your love
Your love was fast like dope
You cannot love me with your love
Your heart’s not made of soap

I cannot cleanse you of your sin
And change you into gold
Made from love and kisses
Before you can grow old

I make you an immortal
Like a skeleton in a grave
I’ll cleanse your bones and stop your moans
If you can be brave

I can make you wholesome
I can give you hope
If only you would leave me with
Just one bar of soap

Childless in the Museum of Childhood

Childless in the museum of childhood. The museum attacks us like a sparrow hawk. So close to love – but the zebra gets up and walks down the street. The explanation for your choice was lost like a web in a burning barn. I came close to you but the hinges became like earthworms in tubas. Once again the wings of dragonflies fill my pockets, you hug your dolly to your bosom like a grenadier guard walking in space. My pretending friend of childhood is here, she is living in the doll’s house in the darkened corner. There are so many shadows living here in the Museum of Childhood, they cannot all belong to Peter Pan,

Childless in the museum of Childhood. Love do you go in without your pocket money? How do you feel not knowing how to place the blame? Do you feel warm wrapped up in the heat of your tireless anger? What do these childless eyes say to you? Are there pterodactyls in the skies of your dreams? My friendship is a ship of the line going into battle; my body is to be divided as the spoils of war. My face is the face of the moon over a blazing dolls house. My body has been given to the silversmith for a salver, you place your empty cups on one, and oh, you’ve placed your empty cups on me in the Museum of Childhood.

Take away my head-covering see how tall my antlers are. Why should you go childless in the Museum of Childhood? Why should you hunt me down with the weapon of your mouth? The summer has compressed us into the Museum of Childhood like two sardines between its heatwaves. My heart is darker than an African woodcarving, sweeter than a black morass of wild blackberries. Is your heart white like clouds of milk, are your arteries blue like oceans, is your soul divided amongst the exhibits, it is painted upon the faces of dolls and is written on the sides of the toy buses, it is printed like alphabets in bright colours. In a glass case within a glass case my flesh is scared by broken glass.

It is so calm in this great hall. Let us sit here like two best friends. Let us remember the games we played and find new ways to play them. Let us make a den for ourselves in the girders and stay there all night. Like two good children let us go there to do our homework. Let us fall out over the last cream cake, then kiss, and make up. I know I am old now but I know this one thing here in the Museum of Childhood, it is wrong to be so sad.

1999

Your Secret

Your secret lover, the one who drinks the moon, has stretched an acre of magnetic fields between us. Do you love your secret lover like a god and listen to his instruction? He has led you through blood and bruises and broken your heart in two. Yet still you call him god and believe he is true. And now he possesses you again and turns you against mortal love. What plans has he for you? What tortures will he impose upon you? How will his possession of you be expressed? And your beautiful hair, how can it ever be free? Yes, your beautiful hair, how will it ever be free?

Look at him – is your secret lover the masked figure of a Greek tragedy? Is he a devil wearing the facemask of a handsome god. Are you now like the maenad who danced in the woods? Will you be asked to tear wild animals to pieces? And would you kill the jealous human males who spy on your wild dances from the thickets?

But I heard your speech, I heard the speech of the strange spirit on your lips. I feel sharply his distrust for me. May the true God see his illegal activity and may he shudder.

Girl, carried on a gooses wings into the sun at last. Pour out your love upon my soul and let your beautiful hair be free to shine.

1999

Song: Patch me up or put me down

Patch me up or put me down
Girl, you have to choose
I can’t run another mile
Yes, I have a lot to lose

Patch me up or put me down
Oh, do what you must do
Now my life is in your hands
And now I belong to you

Patch me up or put me down
Take me to the vet down in town
I promise you I won’t make a sound
If you have to, have to put me down

Patch me up or put me down
It’s time, you must decide
Patch me up, I’ll be true to you
I will say always at your side

I will stay by your side

I was in your backyard
I was a common stray
But I fell in love with you
I hung around all day

You found me on a riny night
Howling at the moon
You took me in and fed me
And I fell in love with you

I’ve been down with some broken bones
But my broken heart won’t quit
If I get back to my feet
I’ll be your man
At your feet I’ll sit

Whatever you do
Will make me feel like crying
Whatever you do
will make me feel like crying

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In The Cinema of Empty Dreams

Sitting on slithering celluloid seaweed
Where blue sand drifted against the skeletons in the box office

A hungry woman had bitten into the mirrored wall behind the bar
I felt the strands of my inner parts tighten like the strings of a guitar being tuned
I watched you swimming in the seas of cinema history as its tides washed over you in silent rage.

The projectionists flesh dripped like ice cream out of her straight jacket
Like a stream of urine into the shadows that were licking lollipops in the orchestra pit

I felt I only knew what you were imagining if you sat all alone
It was like being in a dream full of punctuation marks that filled a church collection box
As cheap stardust sprinkled down from the sky mobbed by the population of Whitechapel who emerged like blue moths from the popcorn.

I tried to hear you laugh but only heard you think
Your thoughts like little blue gnomes flung their hats into the air as the film took off into secret flight
Then they sang the new tragic measure found in our sleep song symphony

How you loved to hear the rattle of my reptile teeth?
How you knew the cinema as a purple silk torture chamber?
Did I become that bluebird as the lights faded?

As your body folded out from cinema seat and produced a scream
I saw the whole film as the fabric of a feather light condom
And there in your ear an eye seemed to watch me

1999

The Free Warmth of Summer

Here am I / Her forgetfulness
Here am I / Her secrets
Here am I / Her memories
Here am I / Her significance

Here am I. Her fingers fade like slivers of ice in spring water.
Her eyes dissolve to leave deep-cobwebbed caves.
Her heartbeats are only heard by the moon these days.
Her dreams are a river divided by a sharp obtrusive rock.

That social touch goes through her like a stone through a waterfall.
Her voice sticks to my mind like a bird in a tarantula’s claw.
Her heart is the image of a burning, glowing love for a Catholic icon.
Her smile keeps returning to a shelf in a wardrobe used by orators.

How I long for you to love me like a woman from an Arthurian convent.
How I long to be the man I’ve never known.

Here am I. I rise into the sky like a flaming stake.
I melt like an icicle in her white-hot forge.
I become an invisible hair stuck to her twenty-story mirror.
I become a blade of grass uprooted by a hurricane of words.

I become like soft toy in the hardness of her anger.
I remain untouched in the absence of her selfness.
How I long to hear the words that glow on the end of her fingertips like angels.
How I long to lay my head on her lap and sleep.

Here am I. How frightened I am at not achieving the closeness I’ve fought so hard for.
How hard it is for her individualism to communicate, I can never break her self-image out from her hourglass.

Her naked feet, seen in the evening between the firing squad and the full moon that paces in and out of rooms.
She is talking to a small stick man who flies around her head.
What is love if love is not the love I thought it was?
Or is the love that I thought was love an instant thing between other people?

Here am I. There is the unattainable in her head like an evergreen forest.
There are her arms linked to her heart and her heart to no one at the moment.

Here am I. With an abandoned nest for a heart
Where the eggs of the depression bird become the liquid and chromosome of abortion.

In the music of life, sculptured in theory and long term plans and existing as shadows in the mind.
And with my face, puffed up by the endless pain of a slum vertebra and a coal-mined larynx.

1999