Archive for April 2013

Boston Bombs and Ceiling's Sky

Open internet bookmarked pages,
creased and cut newspaper pages
and what do you find laying there?
Lies! Written and typed white lies
that can change the minds of men
and the diet restrictions of nervous, plump women.

I know what is real, I think:
          1. Gradient blue skies that are swiped across the Cambridge ceiling at night. They are real.
          2. The feelings you feel for those you have felt feelings for. They’re real
          3. Falling hail and wet shoes, socks moist with Spring’s choice of weather. That was real.
          4. Falling shrapnel of the Boston Bombs that embedded themselves into the tired thighs of  marathon runners running upon high. That was real.
          5.  This poem may well be real, but I haven’t the guts to say in concrete-words that it matters in the grand scheme of things. This might not be real, I regularly think.

This Is For The Essay You'll Never Finish: A Poem For You.

May many more manuscripts
find their way to your hands,
your pen,
that slightly chewed pencil sharpened down
to its end.
            Let emails fill and grace and glide into,
            and over, your mailbox,
            all for you to wake up in
            sheer ecstasy’s shock,
            because you’ve just found out
            there’s work to be done.
                        Allow this doing to be your undone;
                        go out conscious and naked into
                        the hazy summer’s sun
                        and dance, for goodness sake,
                        dance woman! as if a newborn
                        locked away in your womb depended on it.

Pale Blue Eyes Amongst Your Fresh Air Haircut

If we leave the litter behind,
and run until our legs become a burden and our heads start to swell and come loose like a white-cloth-Arabian-silk turban,
we can make it home before 5.

Past the market that only makes sense in the sun,
along the terraces slipping from their foundations,
skip on-top of walls before falling back into our run
behind the street of seared spice smells, conjured up by different nations.

We’ve left the litter behind.

We’d run further than these cities and their boundaries,
take transport to the tops of heavenly high hills,
cause havoc amongst the machinery of the foundries
and make it home for five if we run through those mills.

We’ve left the litter behind.

Holding hands we’ll remember the brush of the grass on our thighs,
farmer’s fields and the dark brown cut-throughs we took,
our pockets full of receipts and chewing gum supplies
and the look of your pale blue eyes amongst your fresh air haircut.

I hope the litter don’t mind. 

Happy Anniversary

She said she liked her coffee cold and dark
like the seas separating her bed and Denmark:

harsh and bitter and brown in the largest
cup we own, so when drinking it
your nose would drown
into an abyss of cheap-coffee-granule-
buy-one-get-one-free shit;

and delivered with it upon the stolen tray,
taken from that shop's Kitchen Must Haves display,
was a plate with two triangles of lightly toasted
toast laid out like the ankles of my late Grandma
(but we weren't together then so, to you,
it just looked like some toast arranged nicely on a plate for us two);

also on the stolen tray from that shop's Kitchen Must Haves display,
was a lovely array of cut of up fruit arranged liked
canap├ęs at every cheap-wedding-buffet:
grapes cut into unfathomable shapes
and slices of kiwi our fingers could never negotiate
and avocado which was there just to cure invisible
weight gain and bad morning breath,
but that's what Google told me so
I can't take it as a guarantee;

and in all of this I was apparently making a fool of myself
because serving you a delicious breakfast
to the sound of Frank Sinatra's Moon River
is not what we discussed, ever- even last night or last week,
in fact, we never talked about this horrendously
unique breakfast.

Happy Anniversary. 

Brown Leather Bicycle Seat Girl

No thoughts were thrown around,
let alone conscious decisions bound
in clear evidence and concrete fence-post facts.

She was awake before the frost settled,
and my how her eyes showed the time:
Lengthy red lines pretending to be hands that chimed.

The parkland grasses awaited the
speckled dappled, sunlight shade,
to warm its back in the morning masquerade.


Only her body was thrown around,
alone across a car bonnet
in a clear honest, beautiful smudge of fashion and blood.

She would never awake the same again,
and how the nurses soothed her pain
with modern miracle, clear liquid rain, medicine.

The parkland grasses still await the
speckled dappled, sunlight shade,
to warm its back in the morning death march masquerade.

Second Life - Bryan Murphy

Larkin’s “toad”
lumbers off
my life.
I don’t watch it leave,
sleep the sleep of the just retired,
wake in mid-winter.

Reinvigorated, raring to go,
worlds to conquer,
I shuffle toward the oyster,
sharpening pen and oiling voice,
knowing I’ll rarely work wonders with either,
grateful for time to try.

High, high climbs the roller-coaster
to oblivion, such fun on the way,
every moment suffused
with freedom’s sharp tang.

- - -

Bryan Murphy is the author of Goodbye, Padania, Linehan’s Trip and countless poems. He recently retired from a job within the United Nations system and now divides his time among England, Italy, the wider world and cyberspace. He welcomes visitors at

New York Diner, New York Homeless

Seats sat around standing tables
void of conversation,
whilst waitresses danced around the homeless
clearing up their desperation with no fuss-
just a cloth wipe across the surface
and a smile to a lonely face;
hard wood walls closed in like
coffin-lid, coffin-hinged cases.

One man alone in the corner held hands with his coffee cup and looked up hoping for familiar faces.

And his finger snapped around the rim,
for this cup of coffee
was his only drink of the day.

And his fingers broke around its handle,
for this cup of coffee
was his wick and leathered-spine candle.

And his fingers melded to the cup,
because this cup of coffee
burnt like coughed-up cigarette butt-stubs.

Last Night And

And I saw spectres sway
in smoke and smog,
hazy gray, secretive fog.

And from the wings
of the checkerboard dance floor,
I stood, saw and adored.

And in fine finesse, finish and form,
you tore me up from the dance floor depth
and whispered odes I shall never forget.

And what fools we were for not saying yes.
I am sorry.

Final Drink - Merlin Flower

The old stick on the wall, withered beyond on the loss.
Fallow piece of paper in the air, hallow as ever.
Fine-the me in the bar. For one final time, one final sip,
that’s all. A pint for further promise:
Clear thinking, steady hands, firm head
and white eyes. But for now,
one more, just.
The final, not yet, but still final now.
Leaving behind times:
of bliss
of contrived creativity
of loud laughter
of escape.
Better things on the way, perhaps.
Mainly from the outside, as always,
ointment for said excoriated life.
Style always misunderstood, birthing
hours of hopelessness, and the descending
perpetual radical is gone.
The last glass, here we go.
Lockdown, but here we go again,
Gain, one more.
Another one, just.

- - -

Merlin Flower is an independent artist and writer.

Lips Became Rock Face Wounds

Lips became rock face wounds,
chapped and sore and high and heavenly
and I’d still kiss them breathlessly.

And though you walk among
the fields and fences of
my heady acre,
I’ll run the risk of failure with
all my devotion
and hand-woven, written emotion.

It was last year when the snowmelt came, that your tarpaulin skin grew tighter around your peg pin bones.
And it was then that your coat zipper split and broke; let me take you home.

Watford Gap Services

Service station blues:
another meal beside the news
station stand, and as Tuesday
clicks into Wednesday
I wait in no queue to be served
by no one.

From behind the
confectionery battlement,
decorated with the money-off-percent
products below,
a professional service station stalker
walked closer,
(hopefully to queue in the no one
queue beside, behind, next to and near

We waited together for some
service in the service station queue,
as midnight became morning,
black sky to blue.

Runaway From The Nice Girl

Y'know there's those buildings you see
when escaping over the motorway and fleeing the country;
those same pitched roofs along the line,
streetlight tall like eager broken spines;
many-a architect's hand has been there with their
continuous ink, connecting that brick to that corner link,
drawing straight edge drain and eye sore pain,
those red doors and white doors and those PVC shite doors that always
stand rigid,
though their locks stay locked until they're next visited.

Well those buildings are what you see
when you're fleeing from someone who hasn't let you free.

- - -

Last Night

Last night I danced like my dad
with a girl who resembled a dictionary definition
I read not long back.

Graceful eyes that could
stop traffic with a blink
and engaging lips that
would smile to sooth the pain of
the midday, gotta-get-back-home-now,
commuters whom step
on pedals with haste.

I lied. My dad can’t dance, so last
night I made a fool of myself
in front of a girl who resembled
a dictionary definition I read not
long back.

Decorum Is Corrupt, Decorum Is Dead

Decorum is corrupt, decorum is dead, the books we told were good
            have all been read.
Fitzgerald has been bled dry by institutions, teachers and those guys in
            red chrome cardigans.
Those Pennine walks have turned to drunken talks in the eaves of the night,
            high above conscious thought and the cold glow candle light
The long haul flights back to the heavenly sight of tyre black
            tarmac have become tedious meditations;
though those lamentations still exist within my wrists,
            a yearning for your riverside kiss.
Bus journeys along roads and routes I already knew are
            changing without consultation,
it’s temporary probation, an experimentation, a test
            of time well spent.
Time well spent in ground floor, high rent, properties,
            fading away into a slack attitude disease.
Needles and fluid, sex and Cupid won’t lift you from this
            perpetual stall,
nor will anything at all; though maybe plans scribbled down on
            napkin edge corners will.
With thought, white paper vertices can quickly become
            mountain range peaks.
Throw politeness out of your transport’s window
            and become a widow to the road,
black veil eyes, cold and grainy, lost in your endeavour
            to find somewhere new to feel safe and clever.
Take those books that you thought were good to tear
            into the new prose of the year.
Rip title pages and dedication pages and index pages
            from the spine
and throw them in the air
            to make a new line of literature and pain.
Take also your pencils and strip them of
            their back bone lead
and shave them into clean kindling for fire start
            shavings for a warmer lonely camp bed.
It’s there and then, in your fake polyester,
            four season sleeping bag womb
that’ll you’ll experience the darkened tomb
            of unbound freedom.
But like paragraphs of small print found in the back of the squint-again-magazines,
            freedom comes at a price, as if long hair and lice or poverty and bedroom escapade vice.  

A List

Time called,
it wants its watch back.

So too did love,
it wants its fake relationship back.

Literature left a message for you,
the book you stole should be returned.

Oh! You’ve just missed music,
it said that album you murdered is pressing charges.

Time called again,
just to make sure you got the message.

Check the machine,
there’s one from Platform Eight.
Bonfire night 2011 just hung-up,
it wants you to know never to return.

An email just came through,
from that film we knew every line too.

What was that,
you use people?

Oh! Politeness dropped by,
he said he’d like to slam every door he ever opened for you
back into your face.

Wait a second,
I’ll put him through-
it’s time, he wants to speak to you.

Endless Chicago

It’s a forever New York out there,
with high rise chimney tops
and siren's scare
that wakes the birds from their sleep.

It’s a endless Chicago beyond the roofs,
bitter and fierce;
wrap up warm let not
the ice penetrate and pierce.

It’s a waiting Washington way over there,
where the ovary tubes of the
Potomac, Anacostia meet and kiss.

It’s my land where every day
is a day out.
No one holding you back
telling you that you can’t walk about.

Boy, 3, Dies From Injuries Suffered In Utica Ave.

for Denim McLein

The car had jumped the curb at speed,
it was gray and dull and 2 foot high.

On Thursday, 12 men with guns on their thighs
took notes and talked and looked around and choked.

Tears fell from 24 eyes on Friday at the station,
for a 3 year old was mowed down in a moment
of miscalculation.

The 18:45 four-door sedan has blood
on its hands.

Keys - Nicole

The cold wine cleanses--
And I really feel your absence.

Out of the patio door I spy:
Coloured hanging lanterns against
Teal firs.
A lavender sky.

I know the door is locked.

I fall ten years back
back into your garden.

It’s a green blur from here and a kitchen table through a window.
Pale wood, solid. Definitely circle.
A chain of coloured lanterns holds me focused as
I try to recall your face.
I try to summon memories time locked away.

All I get is fish and chips and an aubergine cardigan.

The sun is setting, falling behind the firs.
I run to the kitchen door
Desperate to find you.

The door is locked.

- - -

Nicole is originally from Surrey and currently studying a BA in English Literature. However, she (hopefully) is graduating this year and entering either the world of work or post-grad study.  


A rock around her neck
for a star sign birth:
another necklace bought by
another sandal-sock boyfriend.
Time for a new piece
of jewellery, don't you think?
One that’s classy, studded, anything but pink.
It might hang loosely lapping up
the line of air,
that will linger past you when walking to
train station, work station, another day
of painted creation.

Keep the brushes close
and the oils closer,
canvas in the post, ready for closure.
You’re the score and the baton, the lines of manuscript,
my composer.

The D338, France

Tarmac blood in
a ribbon vein,
running on top
of a French landscape,
sunshine and no rain;
a scar I like to call the D338.
Sunflower crowds that
move together,
follow the Sun as if
loose feathers in the wind.

Doorway women squint
into the sky,
their aprons tied tight
to their waist side pockets,
deep with recipes scribbled on paper
and the keys to their acre
behind the family's tin pan roof.

Settle your back back into your seat,
strap in to keep in line your broken spine,
keep concrete eyes on the foundation skyline;
for this is the road that sits upon an alter, the holy shrine of France.