layovers never last as long as you want them to

three we’s and two conjunctions later.

We shrugged up together opposite space heaters in tog 9 suits and
reeled off the presidents in order from cute
                                                           present, Wikipedia entries at eleven.

We’ve shouted down, across the table, over the fence to one another:
work’s soon 
and Netflix is on,
are you coming to bed or just giving in?
Phone now.
You may still be charged and calls aren’t recorded but I trust you won’t waste another wasted vote and lord yourself a winner again, gloat until the wheels come off like when you won the boat race last year by a furlong-
you’ve been a cox about winning ever since.

We’ve paid for this house with more than rent
and panned drainpipes for pennies,
our belt loops held together the pounds
in the form of whittled bellies
and camembert rings. 

And on that postcode lottery morning of cold showers and sharing, remember,
we won the fucking jackpot,
                                             shaved at the same time in the same mirror with what little leaked from the boiler.
It’s clearer now the condensation has settled;
that wet room in work station study - ‘or if a futon fits it’s your’s for extra four hundred quid’ - was all the vanity we could muster.
We tamed our quiffs for one another,
shaped pubes into manes, back lit the shit out of them,
we made do and blended in and were single-handedly,
responsible for deforestation and bad brows.
We played scoreless scrabble in the dark and that’s how you left the house.

And the dark matter of that leaving happened whilst the universe cooled slightly
as clothes don’t go cold immediately.
There’s still a little of you leftover heaped in the corner of this rented room keep we’d hoarded home
and now I don’t know what a great lover is
or will be.

The man with the piano was wrong

Place me leaving towards mountains
and a balcony
and a view with a room behind almost empty:
no more news today.

These repertoire roles
                                   that never get old
are headlines of cathodes and of yellow brick roads,
where we’re going
nobody knows,
but we’re told by despair before eleven hundred whats
and whys
and the news anchor’s afloat, tie him to the side,
this shit

If you’ve just turned up, news just in:
miscalculated spontaneity can be traced by its fin.
It swims in cool and collected,
in pools of would this be a problem if we burnt up in cahoots?
It's silence they’re after, boots upon bombs,
and they wish to scratch whistles from Champs-Élysées
into fistfuls of body from the meat of that song.

This isn’t coincidence anymore but comfort to someone who is witness to bad art.
So I’ll stay looking at this alpine view until parts do us due and we battle
in act two,
make up as we take it off,
and stop pretending we hate
‘cos if not the man with the piano was wrong. 

I stole Halloween for you*

You were led here by a handful of trouble,
probably cologne smacked and perfumed in the rubble of last year’s fancy dress.

Tonight, your lashes will fall and matte with the dance floor;
tonight, you’ll pickle in the cask of this club,
bolero until your heels rub from dances with ghouls you won’t remember the name of,

and I’ll be watching you, learning lessons as you go,
as you leave, stumble up up and over into look up left:
                                                                                        Maccy D’s is closed.
You are trouble,
and dripping from that mouth of yours is a slur of
well wounded, cherry red after-taste that dresses
argument upon argument in the sour haste of all you've held your tongue for.

Now, it’s out in the open: the one you came for left with another,
and you’ve collapsed on the floor in a burning mess, bonfire at a vineyard,
torn between,
                    1) home and your own bed, or
                    2) be relieved in the arms of some teenage-ninja-stranger in their nest,
more trouble than they're worth, but rest assured you’ve got this.
They’re from the office, your class, that seminar or halls of residence,
they’re the usual suspect covered up under a mask of 
landslide make-up that sweats into swells and runs down
          over stubble,
          over cheeks,
          bores along
the hem line of their new green t-shirt.

I hide behind shaved legs and ill fitting dresses to blend in,
so count yourself lucky ‘cos for some we’ll be going home alone to
kick heels from the edge of beds back onto floors,
we’ll lint roll the fuck out of everything we own, stressed
as we chip excess fake blood from dressing gowns,
sleeves rolled up and it’s four in the morning. 

You pretend to be a character for less than twelve hours
and don’t use the excuse to act like someone else,
as for me I’m the only lady of the night you'll ever know
risking it as a Pretty Daddy,
the masculine Monroe.


*written for La Raza.

I socially smoke, but

He had something to prove around that pool table;
there was a marriage at stake.

Outside under the heat lamp on the twelfth floor, he stated,
‘I socially smoke, but I’m trying to stamp it out’
and she looked at him as he were at her:
lying through every thread they had on.
A look glanced over and off the rim of his pint glass into a stare of,
before too long we’ll be draped upon the bed sheets like a Dali clock watching for morning to come.

She’d legs of chopsticks that picked their way through the crowds 
and he an arse that hung stiff in the seat of his pants, 
loud rectangular pockets paying eyes to try and keep up, 
and they walked back in like a first year film festival in a two horse town.

Above the table they potted the last eight balls down to the cue,
then left the bar to buy a wedding gown and a real New Yorker's suit. 

Thirteen Reasons;

make of it what you want, but I’m making this a scene.

We made conversation and spoke of card games we’d like to play.
We made all of time a countdown to leaving.
We paused what we had begun in order to get our breaths back and we made that our motto.
We made blinds reappear with a simple twist of, the sun’s in my eyes
                                                                             I can’t see your face.
We spoke to cupboards up in the gods from kitchen proscenium arches and took ice baths after each matinee performance.
We made eleven minute lunches last as if we had all day: four minutes more than our seven minute attentions.
We made a pact to collect what we had left at the Royal Mail delivery office if the other one was away.
We made love once and it was the only time I felt I’d been left in a Safeplace.
We made queuing tolerable, made our Prime membership a chapel to rest.
We made daytime-TV worth viewing.
We made meals-out look as if we knew what we were doing.
We made it fun to mock bathroom doors and their locks.
We never made it this far,
and for that I’m done and sorry for not answering your calls.

Your sorries have no substance,
                                                  the scientist sung without heart,
apart from that, you’re fine.