Category Archives: Relationships

That Girl, Fanny

You don’t turn up in an

online search as you

surely would if you hadn’t

died at –what -21, 22?

Forgive me, I’ve

forgotten your birthday, along with

so much else lost in the

long life you didn’t have, but

(and this would make your Roman nose

wrinkle with amusement)

you have never been forgotten in

all those long years that have been

empty of you.

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Guilted Youth

Your third (golden) eye flashed

from somewhere near the back of the van,

amidst the jumbled bodies happily

jounced by bad roads.

We’d loved the new band we’d been to see

–Roxy Music, their first tour–

and the thrill of that unexpected sound

fizzed in us like champagne:

it must have gone to my head to remove

my timidity so, make me crawl

awkwardly across that crowded space,

the cast on my wrist spectral in streetlight.

That drunken post-pub football match

on floodlit New Brighton prom;

that outrageous tackle; sailing

slow-motion through the night sky;

my hand meeting summer-dry earth;

a clean snap and a denial

–I’m OK! I’ll go in goal!

Why did I go in goal?

Parrying shot after shot with a

rictus of pain and a swelling which,

after the long walk home,

even I couldn’t deny.

I dreaded you saying something,

I felt so gauche and full of disability but your

smile was as open as your arms:

“O Finn, you found me!”

The kiss we shared was troubled

neither by my cast nor my evident erection,

nor by your unbeautiful beauty,

nor by our pitiful youth.

The trouble was I wanted you too much and you

didn’t want to be wanted so

–not then, anyway: maybe later

when you’d lived a bit more.

But you didn’t live and I

didn’t learn.

O What a Blow that Phantom Gave Me

A pallid house, moon-engulfed,
corridors beget more corridors:
where are the lights? Stupid,
there are no lights
only the monstrous goboes of the
windows, latticed like prison bars
black on white, like the movies.
Which movie am I in?
Why am I running, sweating,
terrified? Because from a
gust, a creak, a rustle I made
the man who killed me.
His knife is sharp and I know
he is behind me as I run full tilt
into you, dead 30 years:
cropped hair, roman nose, eyes brimming.
“O Finn, you found me!”
And hot in my hands you kissed me
boundlessly, your tongue a
technicolour thing in my mouth,
aching to penetrate into my
monochrome life instead of
being stranded here,
a ghost in a dream.

Extreme of Consciousness

I wonder what will o’the wisps will

grace my last extreme of consciousness?

My mother’s breast, or the

push against for a day

playing on a birchen hill?

A first kiss? But which one?

Whose? That virginal,

immediate, desperate one or

that which reconciled life?

The first fathomless stare of a

newborn? Or the sly complicit

smile of the grown child? That

first tentative touch? The satiation of

good sex? The hand grasped in

night’s desires and terrors? That last

damnable disagreement?

Will you mind if my

mind wanders back to my

first kiss or rolling down a

birchen hill or my

mother’s breast?

Cellophane Heart

Where is the tab? the bit that

unpeals the wrapper?

Are my fingers too

big and clumsy to find it?

Or have you sealed it, so that I can’t

sully the substance

of your immaculately

cellophaned heart?

New Music

You complain that my music is

too loud, too discordant, too

new, implying that I am an

old fool fumbling to stay hip,

whilst you embalm yourself in the

music of your youth where you are still

golden, naked and available with

none of our history ahead of you.

Rust

A slight metallic taste on your skin
in the sweat of your body after sex
took me back in my sleep to the docks
and the inspiration of ships and deep water.
You were with me there, a shadowy figure,
and you led me to where she stood
watching a single-stacker tying up, absent,
eyes fixed on the waterline and the greasy trickle of a bilge.
We didn’t speak, just watched as the elegant iron
rusted slowly in the corruscating sea, rotting
as our love did, beneath sight and out of mind until,
it’s back broken, it sank in some deep.

Waking in the night, I didn’t know what to say.
I doubted you had spoken, knew she wouldn’t listen.
An ocean floor lay about that dark room
and somewhere far above a bell rang, beyond my hearing.

Modern Love

Thought is clouded by a few drinks and the

intoxicating scent of a woman but

 

Thought stops an impulse

thinking it impolite

 

Thought discourages touch

tells hands not to wander

 

Thought stays a kiss

just short of the mouth

 

Thought wonders whether “Yes” is meant

wonders what tomorrow might bring so

 

Thought pushes body away to

neither soul’s satisfaction

 

 

Hera at the British Museum

They know me now, the Security Guards,

nodding faint acknowledgement that the

crackpot is back, the dapper old lady with a

screw loose, blinking her bovine eyes before

blanking them and heading for the pathetic

shards of my life enamoured with glass.

 

They think I am a bag-lady without bags,

except that exquisite Chanel clutch. Did I

steal it? they wonder, but I shan’t tell them

how many such guilt-gifts I’ve had from a

husband who has fucked everything

including my life.

 

There is rarely anyone there to see my

family album in red and black:

nothing like us of course, as though we had

all turned away when a photo was taken, or

been blurred or photo-shopped,

and I am always such a frump!

 

Was I ever young? Or did you

birth me as a mother? Was there

something before? Heat and dust, the

sense of a jolting cart and the

heart-stopping feeling of having

once been wooden.

 

For in these shards, these

fiches of the forever gone, there are no

Baby Photos, nothing before the

Bridal Bed, no blood or

breach of birth, no sore gummed breasts,

milk sopping wet whilst a demanding

God invaded my dry vagina, no nothing of

what I always, forever, was.

 

 

Time is Relatives

Time is relatives:

children pupate into

moths or butterflies; a

sister begins to ache and

sicken; brothers-in-law

die one by one;

parents long gone leave

vague memories of the

longer gone,

black and white,

beckoning us into the

colourless pool of time.

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