He lies with his head on New York
He is a giant
In a scale of 1:40000
He has learned something new today
Maybe from a book about the universe
A pop up book of nebula
As big as sky scrapers
He has learned how to be small again
He breathes the same air again
Notices things he never realised before
He takes up a comfortable room
His walls aren’t closing in
The cold outside is perfect
The smile of sunshine tracking up his lined wallpaper
Nothing has changed.
Everything has changed.
She sits in the empty room
Suddenly aware of how bare walls are greedy eaters
They leave the room hollow
She feels as if she is sitting in a ribcage
A bone picked carcus
She feels sick
Her friends came
Boxed her into several pieces and left one by the door
“return it or burn it” written on the side in thick black lines.
It has been weeks since that box fitted into this home
But even so she has not stopped moving it around
To this place and that.
On the fifty seventh day the bottom gives out
The floor is strewn with feathers
So many colours and shapes
At the top of this mountain of flight
A single piece of paper
Pinned by a blackbird feather.
She takes the word
And hides it for the rainy days
It always seems to grow brighter
Then she frames the feathers (every one)
It still is missing something
But she looks at the word
That that is ok.
I stand at the corner of an indoor market
Spend my time casually
Studying people’s shoes.
Adopt the slouch to match.
A surprisingly stylish pair of brown shoes
Keep an old man
And his baggy blue trousers
Shuffling up and down the tiled alleyway.
The roof is a mix of weathered wood and red curves.
Flat caps and memories.
Enduring as if there was no other way to exist.
At the corner again
I think about bringing you here one day
And pointing out all the people
Like the works of art they have always been
When no one was looking
He is alone and the beach is empty
The waves keep reaching out to his shoes
Tiny white arms melting into the sand
The ocean is as grey as the sky
Both are moving
Like giants turning in their sleep
He shouts at the sky
The sky shouts back
They glare at each other in a stand off
He watches as the sky comes crashing into the sea
When he eventually leaves
His footprints sink the ground behind him
The white arms reach out
And embrace the ghost of a gold ring.
I keep coming back to this line
I am the cold costs of home
Though lately I have been feeling more river than ocean
Herded by busy people
With important walks
And brown shoes
Or maybe I’m more of a cave
Smarter, more adventurous creatures lived inside my shell
And they painted their stories on my walls
And now I just recite
These mammoths and hunting hands
Over and over
I am the cold costs of home
A beach in winter
Deep in the grey of it all
The sea, the land, the mist
Coat collar turned up
Hands in pockets
There is still beauty to be found in nothing.
The mice haven’t shown up recently
Maybe they never made it home from their last score
Maybe they’re hold up in the hills
In a log cabin
Nervous but alive
Mouse sized tommy guns
Sticking out of broken windows
I think our mice might be John Dillinger fans
They drive T-Model Fords
They’re folk heroes for some
But somewhere out there
There’s an Elliot Ness cat
Come to think of it
I do live near a cinema
The little Dillinger he is
Went and saw a movie and got gunned down in the street
Maybe he’s made it
Him and his gang
Maybe they left after one last score
I swear I heard them
Laughing round the record player
The sound of bye bye blackbird
Down the hall.
Where I come from
People measure their lives in screen inches
I have been moving from one to the next for days
Or the closest I have got to days
I live my life as a Houdini
Inside a camera lens
I will write the world I will escape to
Or maybe I won’t
But there is no way of knowing until
I stop channel hopping
And start writing
But if this is a magic trick
I have not yet worked out
The prestige of it all.
Things I have found comparable to gravity:
I wear them all
But not always a burden.
AN OPEN LETTER TO MY FUTURE SELF
When you look back on all the wasted time
Try not to look at it as wasted
Try to see it how i see it
It’s just time.
When you finally get around to putting your life in order
Stacking the shelves of your insides
With books and green things
Leave a shelf empty
I’ll be waiting with the comic books
And the reasons why you still write poetry.