Hope (2nd draft…)

April 29, 2008

Another day it smells of coffee,
like my mother found in Panama
returning from her cruise.

It fills a warm house,
the inside cuff of a woolen cardigan;
anxious on a bus, it comforts you.

Sometimes, hope tastes
like a cough sweet, reminds of the time
you lay in bed – sits on your tongue,

hums like a gun, alpine forest,
sharp ice cube. It’s a bell ringing,
sail stirred – blue sunlight over hull.

Hope anchors you. Touching it,

you feel dunes – feathers,
the clean bowl of a silk bag,
the balloon cord that you tried to grab

but missed, as a child.

If hope were here –
it would watch for you,
would move quickly,

press it’s string into your hand.

On the other side of this
wild night – someone else cups palms;
feels beating, wings brushing –

something small, light as fire.

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Hope

April 29, 2008

Another day it smells of coffee:
the kind my mother found whilst traveling,
brought back with her from the islands
discovered on her cruise.

It fills a warm house,
the inside cuff of a woolen cardigan;
sitting on a bus, waiting anxious
it would comfort you.

Hope tastes like a cough sweet,
reminds you of the time you lay in bed,
sits on your tongue, hums like a gun,
an alpine forest, sharp

ice cube. It’s a pike gliding
or a small boat
bobbing up and down
on a broad horizon, green land

rising into view.
It’s a bell ringing, sail stirred
blue sunlight over hull. Hope
would anchor you. Touching it,

you’d feel dunes –
feathers, the clean bowl
of a silk bag, the balloon cord
that you tried to grab

but missed, as a child.
If hope was here
it would watch for you,
search hands, know –

which of us might need it most.
It would move quietly,
pressing string
into palms.

Day Off

April 24, 2008

It was bound to happen really. Mega activity … complete crash.

Today was my first day off in about a fortnight – unless you count Sundays, but even on those I tend to be doing work stuff. I went to bed at about 4am last night, woke up with Damo at 9am. Then went back to sleep until 12.

The day has consisted of mostly sleeping. I did go out for lunch; to the magnificent Go Juicy, where I also bumped into my friend John. After that I bought some sunglasses – and wore them all the way home – and back to bed.

There were some other interludes, in between the sleeping. While out, I tried on several pairs of jeans and 2 t-shirts at TK Max. But I did so in the way a colour blind person might select paint – with little interest. I was like someone in the midst of a drug filled haze. I wandered around, looked at stuff, though not a great deal, then wandered back to the nice safe place, with the no people and soft pillows.

Back at home, I answered a few emails, and in my defense didn’t get back into bed with the intention of sleeping. I did, in fact, finish the P.S Publishing book Damo got sent to review.

The Last Book’ by Zoran Zivkovic – was very, very good. A lot like Haruki Murakmi. Per edition, PS books are much more expensive than your average hard back – but they’re a real pleasure to read. No dust jackets – printed covers, beautiful textures and writers and titles I don’t think you’ll find elsewhere. They’re also less likely to get creased up when you fall asleep next to one…

Right now, its a bit after 10pm. Me and D went to dinner, across the road to Ravoli. I do sound decadent don’t I? I wouldn’t have minded cooking actually – but I just wanted to see the world after all that sleeping. Going into Ravioli at 9.30, results in being the last customer and so not too popular with the owners. And then we nearly forgot to pay for the raita. But Ravioli makes such good stuff.

I’m back to work tomorrow. Jean Binta Breeze is doing a workshop at the art exhibition I’ve been curating: Future Bright. Really looking forward to it – and as I’ll do the workshop as well as make sure it happens ok, it won’t really feel like work.

This is becoming a very long post, maybe I’m trying to make it long to put people off reading down this far. I think what I really wanted to say you see was actually that I think my complete slump today has been something about exhaustion – but also, something about being at a loss. I think I’d very quickly get extremely depressed is it wasn’t for my work. There’s something comforting and actually easy about it rhythm and content. Take it away and I start thinking about the messier stuff. Where’s it all going? What am I doing creatively? Where’s it all going.

Oh dear. Well, tomorrow evening, I’m going to do some poetry at Sugarshack. I might blog about it.

Junkies

April 24, 2008

We can’t still
be awake – sitting on the sofa
with the cushions, pushing,
into the backs of our knees
like blanket stitching weed or poison ivy.
There are pink marks, like pressure sores
from sleeping in. This is enforced sleeplessing,
the army would be proud – would shine
bright lights into our eyes, lightly thumb
the purple bags. But we don’t sleep.
Like vampires we just sit –
on sofa cushions, pushing
sleeping hours away unclaimed.
We write, like someone else might pay
for words we scratch onto our screens –
not just us.

Counterweight.

April 23, 2008

His two left feet
arms around her waist
hung like clubs, or ice picks;
wing men, flippers on a bird –
his hands were:
meaty, sweaty, pockmarked, sour
she guessed been drinking
since the hour
the place had opened – this too tall,
clumsy man
who’d not so much as asked
as fallen in her arms-
was deadlocked round her calves –
left her helpless
only option just to – half dance
half cart – him back across the floor
bright lights, sweaty palms,
half dance –
one – two
half drag –
three – four
the man –
with the two left arms,
dangling useless like a
third limb – a soggy narn,
gabbling senseless ‘bout his mother
or her bra – get your hands from off my
ah!
the girl – with her strong right arm
decanted him into a stool
left him there to gurgle snooze.
The girl –
went back to dance,

Golden Balls

April 22, 2008

I think I may just have discovered the worst TV program, ever made. It’s called Golden Balls.

I’m sitting in Ravoli – this take out/eat in place on Welford Road: I’ve taken to eating my dinner in there because I burn toast and am too lazy to try harder lately. They have a TV. It plays…whatever. The take out place has no discernment – unless of course the owners are taking time out to eat, in which case it’s cricket. But anyway.

Golden Balls is a gameshow presented by Jasper Carrot. When I was a child, Jasper Carrot was a household name: a comedian with his own primetime show – Carrot Uncanned. Now, he is doing this. I feel sad for Jasper Carrot. I am sitting, eating my paneer kebab thinking – this is a sad paneer kebab – Jasper, how did this happen?

It’s hard to be specific about the rules of Golden Balls. It has something to do with lying to your competitors. It has something to do with each contestant having in front of themselves a series of lined up golden balls. They have to guess – I think – which balls have money in them. They are Cassandras for the Daily Mail reading generation.

In the final, two women sit opposite each other, balls between them.

One says “I feel drawn to this one…but I’m not sure..”

the other one says “No go ahead, I trust your judgement”.

Judgement???

The take out proprietor asks me if I’m watching Golden Balls. He doesn’t know that it is called Golden Balls. I piffle at him. As if I would watch this crap. So he changes the channel. Back to the cricket. I miss who wins. I miss how it ends.

Poems about furniture

April 6, 2008


The Furniture Dinosaur

Upstairs – in number 5
it’s swishing like a crocodile.

It’s tapping out a beat
like a drummer with a stool.

The furniture dinosaur knows how to move.

It’s doing the rumba –
sashaying numbers
that would make you blush
if you could see them groove.

The furniture dinosaur knows how to move.

It’s flexing it’s sections of oak paneled thigh,
raking it’s bar table – aluminum
clavicle over linoleum tiles.

The furniture dinosaur
scrapes shelves
of stacked hearts –

only comes together
when it’s dark

I’d like to go up there
and shake a case, jut my pelvis,
shimmy and shake –

but times like these
it’s far too risky.
The furniture dinosaur

can’t be predicted-

cracks glass.


The Table of Longing

The table of longing was like two lovers –
separate but vital –
to each others continuing survival.

It’s two sets of wooden legs
ended in a set of four
perfectly sculpted oaken pegs.

The table of longing smelt of all the years
they’d ever eaten: butterscotch pudding,
hot fruit with vanilla coulis.

It tasted of the wine
occasionally spilt, the skin of the hands
brushed like silk.

The table of longing was the sound of
all furniture ever moved. A distant sea
in the ear of a grand piano.

It was a tree uprooted
and black soil stirred. A car moaning
at the foot of a hill.

The table of longing was lined paper
written verse, varnished leaves
bronzed wood. It was three panels

of a painted screen,
sheets to hide it’s naked dreams:
a desire to be folded – rest limbs.

The table of longing was a pair of wings.
Gold hinges,
glowed in the dark.

Live Boxing

April 6, 2008

Yesterday was a really odd day. Mostly nowadays, my days are good. Up beat happyish affairs. Not to sound too idyllic – but there are sometimes runs, often cups of tea. There are pieces of cake. There are episodes – of the Sopranos. So, yesterday came as not entirely welcome. Odd mood. Tearful. Like the whole world was going to end. Obviously, it got better.

It got to the end of the day and I’d been planning on doing the Live Box (poetry jamming session) down at The Y Theatre – but in my then present mood, I was starting to have doubts. Getting up on stage, moving and shaking and performing over live jazz – in a mood like a mud scraped shoe – didn’t seem like the best plan I’d ever had. Like alcohol you know – if you’re down, you should probably leave it alone. However, the alternative was staying in. And stewing. And we’d completely run out of Sopranos episodes.

So I went. And it was wonderful.

This month’s band was a group called Z-U (pronounced Zu). When I got down there the audience wasn’t the fullest it’d ever been – none of the Leicester artist crew (as I’ll call them here) had made it along. But Sureshot had, and so had I.

The music was dense like a concertina. Multi-layered like a mille feu. The group was a proper jazz trio. Base guitar, sax and drums and as the first song played it was liked stepping into a snowstorm – notes buzzing everywhere, tingling down your spine in tiny explosions. As the set continued, things started to settle down a bit. Melodies started to edge forward, but all the time there was that same energetic tension of sound on the edge of freestyle.

In the second half there were only 4 Live Boxers. Me, Sureshot, a drummer and guitarist. Sureshot did his blues for black. I put a couple of new pieces together (Strawberry and Oboe) and just went with it. Had such fun and we seemed to go down well.

Afterwards, people came up and asked if we often performed together. Nearly said no, but then realised that we actually do. Obviously, The Freedom Showcase – but nowadays also every live box – and we often travel to gigs together. I love performing with him:)

The band were so cool. Afterwards we sat talking for ages and they invited us down to the Birmingham Drum, to live box with them next Sunday. Definitely, definitely, definitely. Also gonna see if I can get more of a crew together though…

The furniture dinosaur’s moving again.
Flexing it’s sections of oak paneled thigh,
raking it’s bar table – aluminum
clavicle over linoleum tiles.

The furniture dinosaur
only comes out when it’s dark; scrapes
stacked drawers
of shelved hearts.

Upstairs, in number 12 –
it’s swishing like a crocodile – dinosaur –
dancing: tapping out a beat
like a drummer with a stool.

The furniture dinosaur
knows how to move.

It’s doing the rumba
sashaying numbers
that would make you blush
if you could see them groove.

I’d like to
go up there
and tell it a thing or two –
but at times like these

it’s risky – far too unpredictable.

The Furniture Dinosaur

April 5, 2008

The furniture dinosaur’s moving again.
Flexing it’s sections of oak paneled thigh,
raking it’s bar table – aluminum
clavicle over linoleum tiles.

The furniture dinosaur
only comes out when it’s dark; scrapes
stacked drawers of crushed hearts,
up against the wall outside.

Upstairs, in number 12,
it’s swishing like a crocodile –

which always means
that I must stay
dust quiet –
and not attract attention.